Friday, July 29, 2011

Burleigh House, My Ancestral Home

This grand estate is Burleigh House in Stamford, England. It was built for William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, Queen Elizabeth I's right hand man.

You may recognize it from the Keira Knightley version of Pride & Prejudice. In that movie it belonged to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Collins' patroness. It was called Rosings and the scene at the dinner table was filmed inside Burleigh House.

During a trip a few years ago, my husband and I serendipitously stumbled upon this great house. Inside was a display of the clothes that Lizzy Bennett and Mr. Darcy wore in the 2005 movie version. From the town of Stamford, the walk across the park to get to this house was probably close to a mile.

Lord Burleigh's daughter, Countess Anne, my 12th back maternal great grandmother, married Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, who is a very good contender named in the mystery that is William Shakespeare. Some think that Shakespeare was his pen name and that he actually wrote all the work attributed to the bard. Will we ever know? In 1596, Edmund Spenser wrote a dedicatory verse to Edward de Vere in Fairie Queen, his tribute to Queen Elizabeth. Anne is buried in Westminster Abbey.

And to think that I walked where my ancestors walked, saw their house and personal's just too much to take in. I'll have to go back now that I know the history of our family.

Edward owned the ship Bonaventure which shipwrecked in Bermuda. That story later became Shakespeare's (or Edward's) The Temptest. The craziest thing about that wreck is that on board was a man named Jordan, who was my husband's ancestor! I guess the world has always been smaller than we thought.

My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Deaver. It was changed from de Vere when my ancestors came to America. It's of French origin and has been traced back to 1045. Another de Vere ancestor fought alongside William the Conqueror in the battle of Hastings in 1066.

Sorry to ramble, but I just love this stuff! It just makes history come alive. I'm trying to engage my soon-to-be teenager with our family stories hoping to fan into flame her smouldering interest in history. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I Did During My Summer Vacation

At least one morning of it, I took photos at our public library of people with their dogs. They'll be hung in the library for the "Dog Days of August" exhibition. After it's over, they'll be given their photos to keep. It was a fun two hours getting to meet the different dogs and their people.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Busy Week Ahead

Miss Thing will be gone all week to a church camp in the North Carolina mountains. I'm going to work like a fiend to get her room painted, her school books ordered, and her school year planned.

So....looks like my week off will be all about her anyway. So what else is new?

And do I need to say that she did NOT want to have her picture taken?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Travels in South Carolina

Here are more pics from last weekend when we attended a horse show where our youngest daughter was showing.

On the way back, I found this little country store where I just had to stop. Isn't it the cutest thing? I bought some benne (sesame) seed wafers, fried peanuts in the shell, and a divinity log. I rarely buy anything home canned as I can do that myself. They had rows and rows of all kinds of preserves, jellies, and syrups. I can make divinity, too but don't usually go to the trouble; except around Christmas. And I do love me some divinity. It's aptly named, for sure.

I love the symmetry of the jars and rows. It reminded me of a little store I found in Stamfort, England. This store looked very British. I made use of their washroom as I had about a two-hour trip home. I really just wanted to go in there and look. It didn't disappoint.

Have ya'll tried she-crab soup? It's delicious. I make that, too, only I leave out the crab row, so I guess mine is he-crab soup?

Click on the first photo and you'll see that the address on the mailbox is 1330 King's Highway. I love that address, especially since it was a one-lane paved lane leading into the country. South Carolina is rich in history going back over 300 years. Not old by European standards, but certainly old by American ones.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Old Sheldon Church Ruins...Yet Again

Yes, I'm obsessed by this place. I know I've posted pics of this church many times, but you haven't seen these, because I only took them last Saturday. My daughter had a horse show about five miles away, so I couldn't resist running over the trying, once again, to get better shots. I'm pretty happy with these.

The mosquitos about ate me up! Goodness gracious, little bitty ones with a big buzz and a bigger bite. I was slappin' with one hand and tossing my hair back and forth to keep them off my face and neck and snapping photos with the other hand. It would have been quite comical if anyone had been watching, which they weren't. It's a pretty isolated place.

I heard that the church was covered in plaster at one time so that it was white. You can still see patches of it on the interior. I wonder why it wasn't rebuilt after the War of Northern Aggression or the Civil War to you Yankee readers. There wasn't anything 'civil' about it except that it was on native and not foreign soil.

I hope to get over here on the second Sunday after Easter some year and participate in the annual service. I think the St. Helena Episcopal Church in Beaufort, SC does it. I've seen pics of it on their website. How cool would that be?

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Business Lunch

Here are two of my grandsons having lunch and discussing the problems of the world. We were in a pub in Yorktown, Virginia last fall during our Williamsburg pilgrimage. This is the first time we've been to Yorktown. We were waiting until the children were old enough to appreciate it.

I'm a sucker for silhouettes and couldn't resist taking a photo of this most serious moment in time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Churches in the South

Here are some vignettes of different church where we've travelled. I'll try and remember where they were taken.

1. Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg
2. Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia
3. Chapel in Jamestown, Virginia
4. Catholic Church in St. Marys, Georgia

5. Bruton Parish again
6. Hiwassee Union
Baptist Church in Reliance, Tennessee
7. Old Sheldon Church Ruins in Sheldon, South Carolina
8 & 9. AME church close to Millen, Georgia
10. ?????

Click on #'s 1, 3, and 5 and read the fine print. Click twice for a super closeup.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Most of the time, I find poetry too hard to read. I know it's laziness on my part. I WANT to like poetry. So I've determined to stretch myself and read some poems. I have several books collected through the years; some left over from college English classes and some bought for the beauty of their covers.

This book falls into the latter category. Found in an antique shop a long time ago, I recently opened it to find the original giver's artwork decorating almost all the pages.

The inscription says, "To My Dear Roderick, Christmas 1935, From Jane.

Since it was a Christmas gift, she decorated quite a few pages with holly leaves and berries and underlined special words in red. I particularly love the sweet face she drew of Mrs. Browning, the author. Reginald must have been a pretty special fellow to warrant so much time and detail. Now I'm going to read a few. I don't think they'll take too much mental taxation.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

G.K. Chesterton Quote

"How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about arithmetic and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious because it is gigantic, not because it is minute." G. K. Chesterton-- English writer and Christian apologist.

Glass Blowing at Jamestown, Virginia

Here are more pics for you Pom Pom. We stayed in the glassblower's hut for a long time. We finally had to pull the kids out. You can see my two girls watching from the background in the first one. This is a beautiful cobalt blue jug.

It also felt good to be in here on a cool fall day. I wouldn't want their jobs in the summertime.