Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On the Road

Dan and I are traveling.  We flew to Memphis on Thursday thinking we were getting away from cold weather.  We brought it with us.  We stayed over the state line in a bed and breakfast in Mississippi. We headed south on Saturday staying in Vicksburg. Last night we were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  We are off to New Orleans this morning and then will turn east along the Gulf coast.  Our destination is Sarasota, FL by Sunday.  We'll fly home on Tuesday.

No photos to post yet.  I'll have lots to share over many posts.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Dover, Delaware

Friends of ours have as a goal to visit every U.S. state capital.  Driving through doesn't count.  They have to visit the capitol building or have a meal in the town.

One cold December day we accompanied them to Dover the capital of Delaware.  We visited the historic capitol building (the Old State House) and had lunch so they can check this state off their list now.

Above is the Old State House as it looks now after a major renovation to return it to what it looked like when first built.  Below is what it looked like before the renovation.

Next door is the Delaware Supreme Court.

All of these building face a small park called The Green.

Immediately upon stepping into the State House, you are in a court room as it looked when Delaware was first a state.  Delaware had a three judge system, that's why there are 3 chairs on the highest dais.

Upstairs are two chambers, one for the state senate and the other for the state representatives.

The rooms are small because a small state like Delaware didn't need many of either type of legislators.  

Above the chambers is a smaller viewing gallery.

I took this shot from that viewing gallery.

This painting looked a bit strange to us until the docent told us that a body double posed for the body of Washington.  Doesn't the head look like its not on right?

Looking out to The Green.

The other windows look out on Legislative Hall: The State Capitol.

We stopped into a tiny house on The Green where a young woman in period garb (a state park employee) gave us background information on Delaware and related the story of Caesar Rodney, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence from Delaware.

In warmer weather, walking tours of the capital are offered from this building.  We enjoyed sitting by the warm fire to hear her stories.

A nice lunch was here in the Governor's Club Cafe, also by a fire.

It gets its name because its across the street from the governor's mansion.

It was a nice trip.  We hope to do it again to visit Harrisburg, PA.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Walters Art Museum

One December day Vantage House where I live took those of us who signed up to The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.  This private museum is free!  As the brochure states its "one of only a few museums in the world to present a panorama of art from the third millennium BC to the early 20th century.  The thousands of treasures range from mummies to arms and armor, from old master paintings to Art Nouveau jewelry."

The docent who met us gave us a one hour overview tour starting with this exhibit.  The focus of this was to show that the Dark Ages weren't that dark.  Besides things to look at the exhibit space was filled with sounds and scents of the time period.

This vase, carved from one piece of agate is probably the most priceless item in the museum according to the docent who heard this from the former director.

This altar piece still had a scent of incense when it was installed.  I was troubled by the amount of items from churches.  I had to wonder who sold these items to Mr. Walters?  Is the church still standing minus its priceless treasures?

Other galleries contain the art collections of the original collector and his son.

Yes, the painting below is the Mona Lisa, but not the one from the Louvre.  This was painted by someone in da Vinci employe.

Lots to see and not enough time to do so.  Another trip will have to be scheduled.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Total

I was all prepared to write about why I read fewer books than last year with excuses like selling our house, downsizing, moving twice, etc until I looked back to see what my total was for 2015.

Lo and behold I read the same amount as last year: 69.  And in 2014 the total was 70.  I had no idea I was so predictable.

Getting ready to pick up a new book this afternoon.  It's a rainy, yucky day out and I've been out in it to get items for our upcoming trip.  

Now it's time for a cup of tea and a book.

If you're looking for books to read may I recommend to you the author Jojo Mayes.  I read three of hers in December and suggest "Me Before You" and The Girl You Left Behind".

I'll leave up my 2016 book list in the sidebar until I'm ready to post for 2017.

Happy New Year and happy reading.
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