Monday, June 29, 2009

Let's make a deal!

I look forward every few months to receiving a magazine that I subscribe to called “Realm”. It is all about Great Britain and the photography is amazing! Anyway, after being away for a week I was very excited to see my latest copy in the huge stack of mail that I had to sift through, so as motivation, I promised myself a read-through once I was finished sorting the pile. As I sat back to relax I was surprised to find the announcement of the village of Linkenholt, Hampshire, England was up for sell. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE!!!

This included the manor house, 22 houses, 2 blacksmiths, the village shop, a commercial shoot and a cricket field valued at £25 million! The only thing not included in the sale is the 12th century church (yes, for us in the USA that means it was built in the 1100’s)! Amazing!

Now the idea of an entire village for sale is fascinating in itself but then I realized that this was the village that my third Great Grandmother, Charlotte Newman was born and raised in.

She was born on March 10th 1825. She walked the village streets, she went to the church, she stayed there until she married William Talbot of Ashmansworth, Hampshire, and to me that is so exciting! I had the opportunity to visit it with my parents and husband 11 years ago and I remember it well. It is a beautiful village. This village even pre-dates the Doomsday book!
So the question is how can I come up with a quick buck to buy the village that has so much meaning to me? They want to keep the estate intact which I think is very important.

One advantage I do have, is that I already own some property over there…ok , it may only be a square foot of land somewhere in north-western Scotland but, land is land, AND my property came with a “title” so that should add some prestige to the deal… to have a “Lady” as the estate owner??? Do you think that would qualify me for financing?

My friend Kim and I have plans on how to make it a money making business. Do you think I would need a down payment?
I think I had better plan a quick fact finding trip over to investigate further. Who’s in with me???? Oh what would we do without our dreams!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fun at the Beach

This past week we were at the beach in California with all our kids and grand kids (that's all 24 of us in one beach house!). It was great fun but even though it was a vacation, we couldn't skip our usual Wednesday "Grandma Day". I went on the Internet before leaving and found some great "beach" crafts to do while we were there. The kids loved them so I thought I would share them with you all in case you are ever at the beach with kids.

Mr. "J" modeling his 2 projects; the visor and water bottle

Before we left we made these two crafts. First was a foam sun visor that they decorated. These foam craft projects are inexpensive, not messy and easy for them to do.

Miss E showing her visor and bottle
The water bottles were also very easy. I got them a water bottle from the store and they decorated them with permanent markers. They picked ribbon that we attached to the bottle with O-rings and dungaree buttons. They used both of these all week and they survived the whole week also.

Miss B and Mr. J putting there memory cans together
On the "official" day (Wednesday), we started the day with a long walk down the beach to find treasures that would remind the kids of the visit to the beach. They included everything rocks, shells (not too many), seaweed, feathers and even some interesting garbage.

Miss G showing off her treasures
After the walk we filled plastic paint cans I got from the craft store with sand and put the "treasure" inside. This one didn't quite work out as the directions suggested.
Mr. S very proud of his beach memory can

They were supposed to fill the cans bit by bit with sand and press the items up against the plastic but it just didn't work. The found items kept getting lost in the sand so instead we just filled the can half way and put the treasures on top of the sand.

Miss E is showing hers here

Before we began our walk, I had the kids paint an inexpensive wooden frame a pretty blue color like the ocean. When we cam back from making the memory cans, the paint was dry. I know that we would never find enough sea shells so I bought a couple of bags from the craft store. They decorated the frames with the shells and leftover items from the walk.
Busy and work being creative!
They had a lot of fun being creative with the materials in decorating the frames. Then we put pictures in them that Grandpa had taken the day before and had developed in the frames and they turned out beautiful!

We left those to dry and went out to the beach for one more activity.

This one was especially easy. We took 10 drinking straws and taped them together with 1 piece of electrical tape. I gave them each a cup with bubbles and the dipped the straws into the bubbles and blew! Many bubbles! It took them a while to figure out not to blow too hard but they all eventually did it and had great fun blowing.

Miss B enjoying the bubbles
Then they had fun trying a variety of blowing bubble tools that I brought from home. One thing that doesn't mix is sand and bubbles. We all got quite messy!

Mr. C's and Miss B's completed projects
It was a great Grandma day and we had a great time together at the beach this week!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Dad is the GREATEST!

With Sunday being Father’s Day here in the USA, I wanted to pay a special tribute to my Dad. I have wonderful parents. My dad worked hard, and is still working hard. That is something he taught me through his example is how important work is and the satisfaction it can bring you. He also taught me the importance of great literature, music, religion and our heritage. I was born a “Talbot” and it is a name I have been proud of.

In Thirsk, England, home of author, James Herriot

One of his favorite things to do is Family History research and he has traced our family lines back quite far. We have a great heritage but maybe that is just because he has taught us how important family is through his desire to connect us all together. He, like my Mom, is a great travel buddy. I have enjoyed the trips we have taken together. Maybe it is because of our similar tastes in history, books, and all things England.
Dad relaxing in the Tower Bridge exhibit in London

I have, and always will look up to my Father as a great Man and a great example.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I want to be a Czar if eveyone else is!!!

With the new FRENZY of making Czars over every aspect of our lives, I decided I want to be one also. But what I have to decide is what I want to be Czar over. Apparently you need no experience in the area you are made Czar of so that opens up so many choices, except the many that have already been assigned by our new "dear leader". I tried to find out the exact number but they are being created so fast that a current list is hard to find.

So, decisions, decisions, I think I want to be the travel Czar. At least I have some experience there. But that means you can only travel where I have been, RIGHT???? You can't go where I haven't been to or you wouldn't know what to do. Isn't that what Czars do? Make all the decisions even though no one has voted for you or you don't even have to be confirmed by any government committee. How great is that? But I want a crown to go with it. Maybe that means I should also be the Czar of head-wear. Then I can decide what hats or crowns we can all wear since apparently none of us can decide these things on our own.
Think of all the fun I could have and so could you if you were a czar also! I just mowed the lawn, maybe that qualifies me to me the Czar of yard maintenance. No wait, I have too much experience since I LOVE to mow the lawn every week. I wouldn't be able to make outrageous decisions that I know nothing about then, so someone else will have to be that Czar. Great IDEA....I will make my husband that one, he doesn't know too much about yard work (just kidding, honey!).
Oh just think of all the great pictures I could be in if I were a Czar. We could have Czar parties and get-togethers. I will keep thinking of which one I want to do and let you know. But I will have to decide quickly, they seem to be being assigned so fast, all the good ones will be gone before too long. What do your think? What would you like to be Czar over?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am a Loyal Fan No More!

I have been a fan of David Letterman's since his first daytime show in the late 70's-early 80's(I think it was in 79 or 80). But no more. After what he said on his show a few nights ago about Sarah Palin's 14 year old daughter, I will never watch his show again. I am sick of ENTERTAINER'S, (yes that is all they are--entertainer's) using their shows as a political soap box and then after saying such dispicable things, claim it was ok because it was"only a joke!"

David Lettermen should be ashamed of having such bad taste in material. I would be willing to bet he would never say anything as disgusting about the Obama daughters. He shouldn't say things like that about anyones daughters no matter what his political persuasions are!
Sorry about another rant!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My 1 Year Anniversary of Blogging

It was a year ago that my friend Kim talked me into starting a blog. I have had fun expressing my opinions on everything from books, movies, politics, and sharing parts of my life on my blog. And you have been very obliging in reading it.
My very first blog was pictures of my garden, mainly my artichokes. We are eating artichokes from March into May and by the end of May we are sick of ARTICHOKES!!! So from mid May into June we let them go and this is what happens! The most amazing flowers! The first time I let them go on to bloom I was shocked at how beautiful the flowers were.
Each year I am again amazed at how beautiful this vegetable is as a flower. This year my son Michael, who is a very talented photographer, took these pictures of them. They were especially beautiful this year...but then again, I say that every year. If you have never grown Artichokes, try it. They grow like a weed and are delicious and beautiful! If your kids like artichokes this is a fun one to have in your garden.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"The Count of Monte Cristo"...Justice or Revenge???

It’s about that time of year when I have a “longing” to re-read one of my favorite books which is “The Count of Monte Cristo” by A. Dumas. Whenever I get into a discussion about this book with someone else who has read it, we can never seem to agree on Edmund Dantes’ motives in the story. I feel it is his hope for justice that he exacts his revenge on his enemies and many others feel it is purely for revenge, his own revenge. Let me put my argument to you and if you have read it and have an opinion, please feel free to comment.

A brief recap of the story:

Out of jealousy, Edmund Dantes is falsely accused and imprisoned by four men, for 14 years. He eventually escapes, finds a tremendous treasure that he learned about in prison from a friend who died there. He then comes back to France with a new identity, the Count of Monte Cristo. He begins to exact his “justice” to those who wrongly imprisoned him. BUT, and this is my argument, the justice he serves them is based upon crimes these same men did to other innocent people, not the crimes they did to Edmund Dantes. And for those reasons I don’t feel you could say he came back to get revenge.
Am I wrong?

Here are the 4 men in question:
Fernand Mondego
Gerard de Villefort

James Cavieizel is the best looking Count ever!!!(2002 version)
The first three named are the men who, because of jealousy for different reasons, wrote a letter to the authorities that Edmund had committed treason and that he supported Napoleon Bonaparte. When he was arrested, de Villefort (a power hungry politician)knew he was innocent but had him locked up to keep his family name out of the scandal as his father WAS Bonapartist sympathizer.
Robert Donat was pretty good but the story was changed too much (1934 version)

Just writing about it gets me excited to read it again. It really is an amazing book, and I haven’t heard that argument that can make me change my mind about Edmund Dantes.
A couple of other gripes I have concerning this book. First, I say the ending is perfect and that he ends up with the right woman (I don’t want to say more as it could ruin it for those who haven’t read it yet).
Second gripe: of all the movie and television productions of this book, and there have been many, not one has followed the book exactly. I think it is amazing that with a classic novel that is PERFECT, screenwriters think they can do a better job of writing the story so they change it.

This was the worst adaptation ever! The only thing that hadn't been changed was the title! (1998-sub-titled)

My plea is to BBC.
PLEASE MAKE THIS BOOK INTO A MOVIE!! You are the only ones that will stick to the book and get it right!