Friday, September 25, 2015

Mount Vernon (Finally)

I know you're about to die of shock, but here at long last are pictures from Mount Vernon.  Actually these are only about six weeks old, so I'm much faster getting these up than I was all those Wales pictures.

We had a nice day for our trip out to Mount Vernon, but it was hot.  We started out with checking out some gardens.  Hey look, banana trees.

I think these are coneflowers and if they're not then don't correct me.

I don't know what these are, but I liked the way they looked.

And that is one of the buildings right next to the ornamental gardens (as opposed to the vegetable gardens).  I think it's a greenhouse, though there were slave quarters not too far away as well.

Couldn't decide which pic I liked better.

Again, no idea what kind of flower this is, but I thought it looked cool.

More coneflowers.  I looked it up, they are coneflowers.  I think it's interesting how I can tentatively identify flowers just from the descriptions in books I read.  Not even botany books, but things like Anne of Green Gables.

And there's the main house.  They're in the middle of restoring the facade so there's no way to get pretty pictures of it.

Pic in the stables, pretty sure that those saddles didn't belong to George Washington.  They do have a thick layer of dust on them.  Lee thinks it's weird that as sensitive as my nose is, I enjoy the smell of stables.  Then again, I've never had to muck out a stall either.

There's the front of the house.  Did you know that it's actually constructed out of wood, not stone?  The wood is painted using a certain technique to mimic the texture of stone (they mix in some kind of sand or something in the paint).  Which I think is kind of a cheat.  I must confess to being somewhat underwhelmed with Mount Vernon; Lee and I think that Europe has turned us into snobs.

More outbuildings, this is Lee's artsy shot.

Ye olde farm equipment.  Disclaimer:  pretty sure this implement was never touched by George Washington.

We watched a demonstration in a threshing barn; old G-Dub came up with an idea for how to separate wheat from the chaff more efficiently than having people beat at it for hours.  They get a couple of horses to run around the barn on top of the wheat.  Under all the wheat, the floor is constructed so there's space for the grains to fall through while the stalks stay on the floor.  Then the main problem is making sure the horses keep moving fast enough that they don't stop to tinkle.

I got to pet one of the horses!  It's actually a Haflinger pony.  Disclaimer:  this horse never belonged to George.

And there's the other one, who also never belonged to George.

Spoiler alert:  this bull never belonged to George either.  No bull.

And there's the view from Mount Vernon's back porch out over the Potomac.  And that's pretty much all we saw at Mount Vernon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Accolade, Part 9

Eagle-eyed blog readers will notice that today's post is not, in fact, pictures of Mount Vernon.  I have at least downloaded them onto the computer from the camera, but that's as far as I've gotten with them.  And since it's the start of a new month it's time for a cross stitch update anyway.  Actually I'm behind on these too, but we'll get to that later.

The project for August was The Accolade.  This is the largest Scarlet Quince pattern I've tackled so far.

I added 9,366 stitches for a grand total of 56,265 stitches done, or 37.51%.  Yeah, I'm still a ways away from halfway done, but I DID manage to make it to under 100,000 stitches left.  Yay me.

In other good news, I filled in everything around the queen's face so she no longer looks radioactive.  I was kinda obsessed with working on this for most of August but stitching her noggin took FOREVER because of all the confetti.  My needle board once more looks like a porcupine.  But the curtain behind her goes a bit faster, so I should finish that last bit on the left the next time it comes up in the rotation, and on the next row of pages I'll get to her sword and the knight's head.  So ya know, progress.

That's it for me today.  Cheers, peeps!