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Sunday, May 27, 2007

My In-Laws left...

My in-laws left yesterday. But before they rode off into the western sunset, we were able to visit the American Frontier Culture Museum (http://www.frontier.virginia.gov/). It's a museum just outside of Staunton, VA in the Shenandoah Valley that represents life pre-immigration for the Irish, German and English and how those cultures influenced the culture of the American settler.

We enjoyed ourselves and took lots of pictures of iron work for Reid (they had a 1730s period forge and Reid really enjoyed talking with their blacksmith). I also bought a present for my sister and my mom, got to pet a lamb (one of a set of triplets) and bought fresh made fudge for the drive home. Yummy!

Then this morning Reid and I were sorting the quilts that my mother has given to us (refolding them) and Tater enjoyed the wedding quilt very much!

Belle Isle and the James River

On Friday evening, Reid, his parents, Tater and I all went to the southside of the James River and walked along the water's edge and then out to Belle Isle (which was used as a Union Prison Camp during the American Civil War).

Tater had a GREAT time climbing across the rocks that are across one section of the river (in fact he was leaping over sections of water that I had no idea he would leap). Seems his English beagle roots must be from near the rocky shores! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of him exploring but I did get a few beautiful ones of the river.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

House Hunting... 1800 miles away

So Reid and I (mainly I as Reid's parents are here) have been rental house hunting this week via the internet and telephone. I have now realized why people are not supposed to move 1800 miles across the country unless they are amazingly wealthy and can fly back and forth several times.

The biggest problem is that we have pets which narrows down the list of possible properties to about three... I have requested more pictures and information about all three as they all seem to have pros and cons. The good news is that it does sound like we're going to find a place. We may have to pay an extra month's rent, but it sounds like we are going to find someplace!

In other news, Reid, his parents and I went to Petersburg yesterday. We saw the Siege Museum (which is a really small museum dedicated to the longest siege on an American city in history, Petersburg from June 1864 to April 1865). We then walked around the city a little and then drove out to the Petersburg National Battlefield. We stopped at several of the batteries to take a look and accidentally took a wrong turn at one of them, making what should have been a half mile walk through the woods into a mile and a half (oops!).

We also saw the Crater, which is probably the best known part of the Petersburg battlefield. It is amazing. The two trenches were really close together at this particular point in the line (we are talking easily yellable, probably even tossing a football level). The Union forces dug a 511 foot tunnel under no man's land and under a Confederate magazine. Then at 3:30 in the morning, they lit the fuse. Over 2,000 men were killed in the Crater. You can see a fictionalized version at the beginning of the movie Cold Mountain. But to see the Crater in person was pretty powerful.

And finally, I taught my last first day of class at VCU on Tuesday evening. I am teaching an 8 week T-Th evening Effective Speech class. So far the students seem nice. In fact, I need to log off of here and go work on my lesson plan for this evening.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


On Monday morning my parents left to head back to Indianapolis :o(

But my in-laws will be with us for the rest of the week and yesterday we went to Monticello. The weather was amazing and I took some nice pictures of the flowers which are beautifully in bloom.

Dogs Play

While my mom and dad were here so was their westie Albie. He and Tater (my beagle) love to wrestle together! In fact this is the only dog that Tater plays with like this. So, we videotaped little clips of them playing and this will be my first attempt at putting a video on!


Saturday was graduation day... and it's official!

(This is everyone who came to share in the day. From left to right: Chris, my father-in-law, Annie, my mother-in-law, Reid, my husband hiding behind my hat, me, Alice, my mom, Jay, my dad, Dan, my brother-in-law and Sarah, my sister)

(And me posing behind the VCU letters)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Baking Day!!

It's Baking Day! Reid and I are headed over to Mike and Julie's house for brunch and baking! We are giving baked goods to the two professors who have meant the most to us while we've been here.... and probably baking something for us too!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Kill Bill... Volume 1

So Reid and I are more than a little behind the times and just watched (for the first time) Kill Bill Volume 1 (yey Netflix!). Reid had wanted to see it for a long time and I had been avoiding it because I was told that it was very violent several times. And frankly I'm not a huge Tarantino fan.

But Kill Bill was a pleasant surprise... Don't get me wrong, I thought all the talk about how bloody it was was justified. But it really was just an updated, realistic Kungfu movie (when someone swings around Samurai swords, and someone else gets hit, he or she really should bleed).

However, as Tarantino never meant for this movie to stand alone (he made the two of them as a serial) I was extremely dissappointed to remember that we have dropped our Netflix from three to two which means we have to wait for this one to get back to them before they can send us the next one.... argh!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

It's Done...

Julie and I graded our student's finals this morning and turned in their grades. We then dropped off our thesis signature pages to the library. And I just finished typing up my final response for my directing class.

And with that all of my official duties for graduate school are done. I am doing a staged reading this Sunday evening for fun... and I still have to clean out my office (Julie and I are doing that tomorrow morning)... and take back my library books. But for the most part, I am all done. I know that I should be really happy and excited but there is definitely a part of me that's sad. Leaving grad school means leaving behind being one of the kids. Taking a professorship means being one of the grown-ups...