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I feel like smiling today, a big smile from ear-to-ear. The 31 Days of May Challenge is over! Hurray! Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the challenge; it encouraged me to write each day - something I have never done before. I have tried it, but usually gave up after a few days, always finding a long list of excuses to stop. So thank you to the the sponsors of this challenge and all Active Rain members who read my posts. There were days when my pen was dry and I had absolutely nothing to say, but you, (17 comments)
Motivational Monday - Get Rid of Junk Mail - 05/30/11 07:36 PM
Get rid of junk mail. This is yet another suggestion by Joyce Meyer from her book "100 Ways to Simplify Your Life." I have been reading one chapter at a time, trying to apply each message as soon as I read it. I don't know how much mail you receive, but I am overwhelmed by the amount of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, etc. It takes me almost half an hour each day to go through my mail. I check each piece of mail because I'm afraid a bill or something else of importance may be buried among the pile of advertisements. How to reduce the (17 comments)
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. - Nathan Hale And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. - John F. Kennedy As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation's wars. - John M. McHugh (15 comments)
Have you heard of Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain? This event is supposed to be a lifetime opportunity. I'm still trying to figure out what opportunity do the sponsors of the event have in mind. A rare opportunity to be jabbed with one of these deadly looking horns? I prefer the peaceful nature of the Colonial Willamsburg's bulls. Can you see them jabbing anyone? Or even running? I saw these two mellow friends on the grounds of the Colonial Willamsburg, and liked their peaceful approach to life. I'll take grazing with these two bulls over running (12 comments)
Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon, Virginia - 05/27/11 02:51 PM
Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon, Virginia Don't miss this delightful event at Mount Vernon, Virginia, home of George Washington, this weekend. After the day crowds leave, the Sunset Celebration begins, providing visitors with 18th-century experience. Tour the mansion and the lantern-lighted grounds, take a wagon ride, mingle with costumed residents, including Lady Washington. Enjoy wine and desserts, 18th-century music, dancing, and games. This is a family-friendly event, so no need to worry about special arrangements for you kids - bring them with you and celebrate the beginning of summer at Mount Vernon. For details about this event, click here. May 27 - 31, 2011 6:00 PM (7 comments)
Field Trip to Colonial Williamsburg - 05/26/11 11:12 PM
Colonial Willamsburg The field trip to Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia on Tuesday with my son's class was filled with lessons in early American history. The original capital, Jamestown, founded in 1607, was troubled from the beginning by conflicts with Indians, lack of food, and disagreements among the leaders. In 1699, the capital was relocated five miles inland between the James and the York Rivers, and the new city was called Williamsburg in honor of King William III. The city flourished as a political, cultural, and educational center. After the American Revolution, Williamsburg lost its importance. In 1926, the restoration of the historic area started and more than 500 18th-century buildings have been (14 comments)
My son's field trip continued to Williamsburg after we left Jamestown, Virginia. When I came across this gate leading to the Governor's Palace, one of my favorite childhood books came instantly to my mind - The Secret Garden. Although the garden in the book was neglected, contrary to the manicured grounds surrounding the Governor's Palace, I felt the same sense of mystery, when I looked at the closed gate leading to the garden. (23 comments)
Tuesday Treasures - 1607 Settlement in Jamestown, Virginia - 05/24/11 11:48 PM
This has been a great day; I went with my son's class on a field trip to Jamestown, Virginia. As you may remember, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement, established in 1607. Jamestown was also the capital of Virginia until 1698. Almost immediately after landing, the colonists were under attack from the Algonquian Indian. Under the leadership of John Smith, they quickly built a fort, including a storehouse, church, and a number of houses. The friendly tribe of Powhatan Indian helped the colonists survive the harsh conditions by trading with them. The Powhatan chief was also the father of famous Pocahontas. Sorry to disappoint everyone, but (25 comments)
Motivational Monday - Are You On a Right Path? - 05/23/11 09:53 AM
Motivational Monday - Are You On a Right Path? Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there (21 comments)
Times have changed since our ancestors arrived to North America. On our way to Saint Michaels, MD, we passed an antique store. When we saw this four-wheeled carriage in front of the store, we decided to stop and take a closer look. My travel companions loved the carriage and insisted on being in this photo. (18 comments)
"Who Moved My Cheese?" - Coping With Change - 05/22/11 03:51 PM
The recent changes in ActiveRain leadership, made me think about our ability to cope with new situations. Most of us have difficult time giving up something we are familiar and comfortable with. We develop certain lifestyles that make us happy and when something disrupts our ways, we get mad and uncomfortable. As I was thinking about changes we all encounter each day, a little book, "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson, came to my mind. It is a parable featuring four characters, two mice and two Littlepeople, mice-size. Each day, the mice and Littlepeople enter a maze in search of (15 comments)
There is so much going on around Arlington VA each weekend, I forgot to mention the annual Spring Fair at the Lyon Park. The event was in full swing as I was driving by, on my way to the store. Several adorable ponies were walking around, carrying cute riders through the park. I stopped to take a few photos. This charming pony stood patiently in the midst of bustling activities, waiting for his next little customer. Pony ride, anyone?
Among participating restaurants are: Jaleo, The Melting Pot, Willow, Chevys, Rustico, La Tasca, Rock Bottom Brewery, Toby's Homemade Ice Cream and Lebanese Taverna. Tickets are $20/online for eight tastes; $25/door. Tickets are available online or call 703-528-3527. For more information click here.
Children's Festival 2011 - Washington DC - 05/20/11 09:56 PM
Children's Festival 2011 - Washington DC International month in Washington DC will continue this weekend. It is children's turn to experience some fun. Each May, Meridian International Center hosts Children's Festival promoting cultural exchange and understanding among children of different nations. Embassies will have educational booths that encourage learning about their countries, including artifacts and crafts. Fun activities and foods from around the world will complement this exciting event. Embassy representatives from each country will be present to answer questions and interact with guests. Meridian International Center is devoted to making its programs accessible to the entire DC community. To guarantee this goal, all children under 12 receive free entry into the International Children's (12 comments)
Bike to Work Day - Arlington VA and Washington DC - 05/20/11 09:49 AM
When I was driving my kids to school this morning, I suddenly noticed lots of bicyclists everywhere around Arlington, VA. I forgot today was a "Bike to Work Day"around Washington, DC area. So be prepared to see hundreds of bikers in business suits! It is quite a sight! Each May, thousands of Washington, DC commuters participate in "Bike to Work Day". This became an annual event sponsored by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections. The idea behind this event is to keep air clean, have fun, and get some excercise while commuting to work. If you are riding a bike to work today, you will find pit stops around the area that (12 comments)
Ever since my daughter was a toddler, she loved animals, especially cats and dogs. As soon as she started talking, she would ask me to get a puppy or a kitten. Since my husband and his entire family are allergic to cats, a kitty has been removed from the list of possible pets at an early stage. But a dog was still in a realm of possibilities and my daughter knew it. It is funny how kids can recognize your weaknesses and use them against you. My daughter devised a strategy for getting a pet based on my weakness (29 comments)
Have you taken a walk around your neighborhood lately? There are always things I learn when I explore my neighborhood and local parks. The creativity of people amazes me. As I was walking through the Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington, VA today, this colorful picture attracted my attention. Upon further investigation, I've found out this was a painting of a Mayan woman in a traditional costume. The beautifully adorned flower pots made me realize there were countless ways to make our lives more enjoyable. Often, it is as simple as planting some gorgeous flowers in our garden, or just painting your (10 comments)
Air Force Memorial - Celebrating Armed Forces Week - 05/17/11 08:01 PM
I'm lucky to live close to Washington, DC and be able to visit museums or monuments at any time I wish. Since this is Armed Forces Week, I have been visiting places in my area that honor the bravery of our men and women serving our country. I would like to share with you a couple of photos of the Air Force Memorial I took today. The Air Force Memorial is located in Arlington, Virginia, overlooking the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and Washington, DC. This memorial honors the service and sacrifices of over 54,000 of Airmen who have died in combat. The major part of the Memorial are three stainless (15 comments)
Motivational Monday - Don't Be Afraid of What People Think - 05/16/11 10:36 PM
"Don't Be Afraid of What People Think" "This advice came from a book by Joyce Meyer, "100 Ways to Simplify Your Life." It is a great little book to read one chapter at the time, and then try to incorporate the idea into your life. I often catch myself trying to please everyone around me: my family, friends, co-workers, etc. I'm afraid to hurt their feelings, driving myself mad by doing things I dislike to please them. Joyce Meyer advices not to worry about what others think about us. It is impossible to please everyone and also pointless. Someone out there is going (26 comments)
When we think of George Washington's home, we usually think of Mt. Vernon estate where our first President lived full time. Mount Vernon is located 16 miles south of Washington, DC and 8 miles south of Alexandria, VA. The house you see on the picture used to be Washington's "home away from home." When George Washington had to take care of urgent business in Alexandria or Washington, he often stayed at his modest townhome in Alexandria. This townhome is a recreation of the original home built by George Washington in 1769. Today, this home serves as a private residence. I have visited it many times, (14 comments)
One of my favorite places around Washington, DC is Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. As you walk through narrow streets of the city, under the trees forming shady tunnels, you feel as you stepped back in time. And you did. Many townhomes go back to 18th century and are still used as private residences. Some of the historic townhomes accomodate restaurants and shops. As I was walking along Cameron Street, these pretty pink windows, enchanting store sign, and plants adorning the entrance attracted my attention. I love the way the splash of color makes this townhome stand out among the row of similar homes. (17 comments)
Air Force Thunderbirds Air Show - Langley Air Force Base in Virginia - 05/14/11 02:07 PM
The Thunderbirds, the United States Air Force Demonstration Squadron, demonstrate their flight skills with aerial maneuvers at more than 70 air shows in the US, Puerto Rico and the Far East. The first air show took place in 1953 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The name Thunderbird was influenced by the culture of the Native Americans. Many Native American legends talk about the Thunderbird as a great Eagle, who produces thunder from the beating of his wings and flashes lightning from his eyes. The legends speak of the Thunderbird with fear and respect, believing that nothing could challenge this mythical bird. This spectacular Thunderbirds Air Show is scheduled at (8 comments)
This bridge is part of the Glen Echo Park in Maryland. The park is a very popular place for kids and adults, offering children theaters, carousel, art classes, dancing, and many more great activities for all ages. If you are a first time visitor to the park, this scene will probably surprise you. The large parking lot in front of the park does not hold much promise for what you experience next. But as you approach the bridge on this photo, the scenery is suddenly transformed from the asphalt field to this amazing (10 comments)
I took this photo while visiting one of the most charming parks in my area, Glen Echo Park in Maryland. The park was established in 1890s as an amusement park, and this building originally served as a refreshment stand. Today, the Pop Corn building serves as a gallery for art exhibits. The park is home to many art galleries and studios for local artists. (14 comments)
This Weekend in Arlington VA and Washington DC - 05/12/11 11:11 PM
This is going to be another fun weekend around Washington DC and Arlington VA. Here are a few events your family may enjoy: GUPPY GALA - Bring the whole the whole family to the Washington Zoo for a fun night of yummy treats, songs, and activities. No need to cook on Friday night - dinner will provided by Subway! This annual family-friendly event is for FONZ members only. In addition to exciting animal encounters and delicious food, a variety of fabulous activities such as rock climbing, face painting and kid-friendly obstacle courses, mazes, costumed characters, jugglers, gymnasts, and musicians are all free with the cost of your ticket. Enjoy all this while raising funds (11 comments)
The Arlington National Cemetery - "Field of Heroes" - 05/11/11 10:45 PM
Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service, is quickly approaching. As I was passing by the Arlington National Cemetery, I decided to stop by and take a walk. Here, under shady trees and among the gentle hills, over 320,000 veterans from every war and major conflict have been laid to rest. The land known today as the Arlington National Cemetery used to belong to General Robert E. Lee. He left his estate on April 22, 1861 to command the Confederate army. Soon after, the Union forces moved in, making the estate their headquarters. On June 15, 1864 Arlington House and 200 surrounding acres were (21 comments)
RED DAY - Renew, Energize, and Donate - May 12, 2011 - 05/10/11 05:59 PM
RED Day (Renew, Energize and Donate) is an initiative dedicated to improving our local communities. Each year, on the second Thursday in May, Keller Williams Realty associates from across the United States and Canada participate in community projects. They devote their time to helping the neighborhoods in which they serve. RED Day projects include rebuilding homes, refurbishing local parks, giving to local food shelters, hosting blood drives, beautifying beaches and so much more. Anyone can join Keller Williams associates and participate in community projects. So look for a Keller Williams office in your area and ask what can you do to help. However you choose (8 comments)
Progress Is Made One Step at a Time - 05/09/11 08:32 PM
A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. - George Savile Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson I have spent my Sunday reading, a rare occasion to relax for more than a few minutes at the time. Because it was Mother's Day, I didn't feel guilty sitting down for a few hours and indulging in fun reading. I'm almost finished with "Sail" by James Patterson. "Blind Man's Bluff" is next on my reading list. Thank you to my ActiveRain friends for great book recommendations. Among the books I picked up this (13 comments)
Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms. I hope you have a chance to spend your day with people you love. As I was reading some poems about mothers, this one caught my attention: Dear Lord Dear Lord, it's such a hectic dayWith little time to stop and prayFor life's been anything but calmSince You called on me to be a mom Running errands, matching socksBuilding dreams with building blocksCooking, cleaning, and finding shoesAnd other stuff that children lose Fitting lids on bottled bugsWiping tears and giving hugsA stack of last weeks mail to readSo where's the quiet time I (15 comments)
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Need Something Fun to Read this Weekend - Any Recommendations? - 05/07/11 05:42 PM
When I have any time to spare on weekends, I usually try to read something for pleasure. No business books, no motivational stories, just pure fun. Suspense novels are probably on top of my list, particularly written by David Baldacci. David Baldacci used to be a corporate and trial attorney in Washington, DC, so his stories usually take place around DC area. Since I live close to DC, David's stories are even more fun to read - I am familiar with the places he writes about. He became a bestselling author after writing his first novel, "Absolute Power."Many of you probably remember a movie based on (15 comments)
Arlington VA Parks - Long Branch Nature Center - 05/06/11 11:05 PM
Life around Arlington, VA can be very hectic. This small county of only 26 square miles, located across the Potomac River from Washington DC, had a population of 213,300 as of July 1, 2010. This makes Arlington one of the most densely populated counties in the country, with 8,267 residents per square mile! But don't despair! If you want to get away from the noise and crowds, go to one of Arlington's fabulous parks, such as Long Branch. You would never guess there is hectic life going on, just outside of this oasis of peace. I went for a walk to Long Branch Park with my dog this morning, and was enchanted by the beauty and tranquility of this park. Walking through the woods, along the stream, takes (9 comments)
This Weekend In Arlington VA and Washington DC - 05/05/11 07:01 AM
Weekend is almost here again. For those of you who would like to do something fun this Saturday or Sunday, here are some suggestions: Kennedy Center is always a great place to visit. It is our country's cherished performing arts center including Opera House, National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), and theaters for adults and children. Among many performances this weekend, here is something children will love: NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Bears, Bears Everywhere. Ages 3 & up. 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Also 5/8, 1:30 & 4 p.m. Bears are everywhere, and so is music. NSO musicians introduce kids to the bears (10 comments)
Our Portuguese Water Dog (PWD), Django, takes his job seriously. PWDs belong to a working breed, originally from Portugal where they helped fishermen with their jobs. PWDs were taught to herd fish into fishermen's nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and act as couriers from boat to boat. When around water, Django always takes the opportunity to show his "working dog" skills. HAVE A GREAT WEDNESDAY! (23 comments)
St. Michaels MD Video - Thank You Steve Hoffacker for Your Help - 05/04/11 06:49 AM
A few days ago I wrote a post on St Michaels, MD and wanted to include a video, however, I couldn't figure out how. Steve Hoffacker surprised me yesterday, when he called me and offered his help. He walked me through all steps I needed to follow to embed the video into my post. Thank you so much, Steve, for taking your time to help me. You are a great instructor - here is the video.
"During the War of 1812, St. Michaels gained its name as "the town that fooled the British".The residents of St. Michaels, having been forewarned that British (5 comments)
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Virginia - Fast Facts - 05/03/11 06:48 AM
My ActiveRain friend, Lloyd Binen, inspired me to to start a series about my state, Virginia. His recent post about California's state flower gave me an idea to brush up on my Virginia history and share it with you. Today, I will introduce Virginia to you with some facts all school children in Virginia must know. How lucky for me that my 4-th grader is learning Virginia's history this year and could help me with the following list: Fast Facts about Virginia (VA) Origin of Name: in honor of Elizabeth "Virgin Queen" of England Nickname: The Old Dominion Entered the Union: June 25, 1788 (10th (16 comments)
Motivational Monday - Every Artist Was First an Amateur - 05/02/11 06:57 AM
Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson When we start a new venture, we are often full of doubts when things don't go the way we planned. We compare ourselves to others, already successful in our chosen field, get discouraged, and often quit, before giving ourselves a chance to succeed. So if you are discouraged by the present state of your personal or professional life, here is a little story from a book "The Law of Success"by Paramahansa Yogananda: A and B were fighting. After a long time A said to himself: "I cannot go on any longer." But B thought: "Just one (15 comments)
St. Michaels MD - the Town that Fooled the British - 05/01/11 12:54 AM
If you've never been to St. Michaels, located on Maryland's eastern shore, you should visit sometime. This beautiful small town is located about 90 miles away from Arlington, VA and Washington, DC. St. Michaels is full of historic colonial, federal, and Victorian homes. Old churches and many antique stores add to the charm of this little town. We went to St. Michaels this weekend, unaware there was a WineFest in progress. It was a pleasant surprise to see festivities going on around town. Wines from eight countries were served, and those who were not wine drinkers could find beer at several posts. Randy Welch walked around town in a traditional Scottish kilt, playing the Great Highland Bagpipes. It was a fun place (21 comments)
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