Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are you ready for some football???

If you know us, or if you read this blog, you know we're a little odd. And this will just reinforce things.

So we like--no, we love--stuffed animals. We collect them on pretty much every trip. And they've more or less become part of our family.

J's favorite is Bear. Bear is a football fan. More specifically, Bear is a Chicago Bears fan.

(By the way, his sidekick is Lish)

That being said, Bear is pretty much kitted out in Bears regalia. He has a scarf in Bears colors, and now he has a Bears football that plays the Bears fight song.

Bear is ready for football season. He gets to hang out on the coffee table and see his favorite team play.

Bear is happy. Especially since his team won :)

It's late September... you know what that means:

It's time for musicians...
(that's Seamus Kennedy)

(that's Gaelic Storm)


Stone crosses...

And lots, and lots, of kilts :)

Yep, we took our annual pilgrimage to the Celtic Classic, accompanied by J's mom. It was a really nice day. We browsed some shops, dodged a few raindrops, and listened to some great music. J got to watch the winners of the bagpiping competition as they played in the rain, and then in the pub tent! We all got to see Gaelic Storm play, which was a real treat.
We're already looking forward to next year.

It may be fall

But my dahlias haven't gotten the message yet.

Yeah yeah, I just read that they bloom potentially through November, but it's so nice to see what looks like a bush full of summer in late September at our house.

These suckers are big!

I feel a real sense of accomplishment, since I planted a single bulb in June and I'm getting these amazing blooms.

OK, I'm back to the real world

I finished all of the Twilight saga, and loved almost every minute of it (especially Breaking Dawn--I know, I'm weird). Now I'm really hoping Ms Myer finishes that partial draft of hers soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sorry, I've been busy reading

Yes, I finally caved and read Twilight. And couldn't stop. I'm almost done with the fourth book, and I am totally hooked.

I'll surface to interact with the public soon, I promise.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On to Concord

We'd pretty much learned all there was to learn on our short weekend trip as it pertains to the Revolutionary War. So we decided to switch gears and check out the writers who spent their time living and writing in Concord.

First stop, the Concord Museum

We got to check out some of the town's history, and some of the famous faces who lived here.

They were also doing a temporary exhibit of Presidential china, and had quite the collection. When you have time, check out what Rutherford B Hayes picked out during his time in office. Despite what the guy next to me thought, it's awful.

Right across the street is Ralph Waldo Emerson's old house. The tour was pretty neat. The house is still owned by the Emersons, and I swear I could still live there. There were over 3000 books throughout the home, and some "modern" touches from the 1830s.

After the Emerson House, we headed over to the Orchard, where Louisa May Alcott and her family lived for a number of years.

The house sits on a beautiful piece of land

The inside was a hot mess. It sounds harsh, but that's the way it is. Part of the house was built in 1630. Another part was built in the 1700s. Mr Alcott did some tinkering with it in the mid 1800s. The floors are beyond sloped. There is not a single right angle to be found in any doorway. They brought in the guy from This Old House when they found that the back half of the place was rotting away. I don't know if he was excited to be in on such a historic project, or if he wondered why they were bothering.

In any case, the history of the house and the family was fascinating. This was a family of Transcendentalists who loved nature and art, and had a constantly rotating cast of characters coning through the door. For much of their lives they had little money, so I firmly believe they found joy in the little things. Louisa May Alcott actually hated the book Little Women, and made her initial money writing steamy novels and controversial topics. She sounds like a firecracker!

It was getting late, so we didn't get into the Wayside, where Nathaniel Hawthorne lived. But we did get a picture!

We'll save that tour for next time...

More on Lexington

After we'd taken our initial tour and had some lunch in Lexington, we decided to visit the Lexington Green, where the initial confrontation happened to start the Revolutionary War, and where British troops fell back after their failed trip to Concord.

In a nutshell, the British were coming to Concord to take a cache of weapons from the citizens, and no one was going to let that happen. By the time the British showed up in Lexington, everyone knew they were coming, and the militia was waiting for them. After a brief standoff, a shot was fired, and the British killed 8 Colonials. They proceeded to march on Concord, but didn't even get there before more militia confronted them and killed 2 soldiers. Knowing this wasn't going their way, the British marched back to Lexington, with militia taking potshots the whole way back. They met up with reinforcements in Lexington, talked it over, and figured Boston was a better place to be.

This was a marker commemorating where the first Colonials fell on the morning of April 19, 1775

This is a minuteman statue also commemorating what happened here. I had to giggle at his rather nicely carved backside.

We toured the Buckman Tavern, a gathering place leading up to the war. It was an amazing building, including a kitchen I would have killed for if I had been around then. You name it, they had it.

We also visited the Munroe Tavern, which is the only place in town that gives the British side of things. This tavern was used by British officers when they were figuring out what to do next.

They had a lovely native flower garden planted next to the tavern. This wasn't the prettiest flower, but it was the first one I found in my stack of photos.

The shot heard 'round the world

For the 2 or so of you who actually follow this blog, you may remember this post about our January visit to Concord, MA. We decided it would be really nice to go back when the weather was warmer and less snowy. This was our weekend. It didn't hurt that work has been outrageously busy, and I desperately needed a break.

We got a lot of history over the weekend. I'll admit, I'm much more of a Civil War fan than a Revolutionary War fan, likely having to do with growing up on the west coast and having a mother from the South. But we got to learn much more about our fight for independence this trip. We did a lot of our touring out of order, but I've tried to put it together in some chronology of what happened lo those many years ago.

Below is the Hancock-Clark House. This is where Paul Revere was heading to in order to warn Sam Adams and John Hancock that the British military were on their way to confiscate weapons from the Colonials. Much of the furniture is original, and we learned a lot of details about that night, when the area seemed to be crawling with horsemen warning the countryside about the 700 or so British troops on their way.

We visited Lexington Green, where the first shots were fired in the American Revolution, but more on that later. After that fiasco, the next big action happened on the road leading from Lexington to Concord. Our able tour guide told us the story of how the Colonials held off the British troops at a key bridge on the way to Concord, forcing them to head back to Lexington and abandon their original plans.

A monument was placed on the spot, with this poem, the source for "the shot heard round the world".

A soon-to-be famous sculptor cast his first official statue commemorating the moment. He later went on to create the Lincoln Memorial. This one isn't bad for a first try, is it?

It was a gorgeous day, and it was hard to imagine any fighting going on in such a beautiful setting.