Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lining up to cuddle with Micah

Lanie laid down for her daily cuddle and Sophie decided she wanted a turn. She laid there and groaned while Micah petted her. Maybe groaning is a horse's version of purring. Or maybe it's harder to breath when laying down...

Marie Antoinette's adoption of Jacques Armand as told by Madame Campan



Marie Antoinette's First Lady of the Bedchamber, Madame Campan, described, in her memoirs, the circumstances surrounding Marie Antoinette's adoption (to use the term loosely) of one of several children:  

"A little village boy, four or five years old, full of health with a pleasing countenance, remarkably large blue eyes, and fine light hair, got under the feet of the Queen's horses when she was taking an airing in a calash, through the hamlet of St. Michel, near Louveciennes.  The coachman and postilions stopped the horses, and the child was rescued without the slightest injury.  Its grandmother rushed out of the door of her cottage to take it; but the Queen, standing up in her calash and extending her arms, called out that the child was hers, and that destiny had given it to her, to console her, no doubt, until she should had the happiness of having one herself.  "Is his mother alive?" asked the Queen.  "No, Madame;  my daughter died last winter, and left five small children upon my hands."  "I will take this one, and provide for all the rest.;  "Do you consent?"  "Ah, Madame, they are too fortunate," replied the cottager;  "but Jacques is a bad boy.  I hope he will stay with you!"  The Queen, taking little Jacques upon her knee, said that she would make him used to her, and gave orders to proceed.  It was necessary, however, to shorten the drive, so violently did Jacques, scream and kick the Queen and her ladies.  The arrival of her ladies at her apartments at Versailles astonished the whole household;  he cried out with intolerable shrillness that he wanted his grandmother, his brother, Louis, and his sister, Marianne;   nothing could calm him.  He was taken away by the wife of a servant, who was appointed to attend him as a nurse.  The other children were put to school.  Little Jacques, whose family name was Armand, came back to the Queen two days afterwards;  a white frock trimmed with lace, a rose-colored sash with silver fringe, and a hat decorated with feathers, were now substituted for the woolen cap, the little red frock, and the wooden shoes.  The child was really very beautiful.  The Queen was enchanted with him; he was brought to her every morning at nine o'clock;  he breakfasted and dined with her, and often even with the King.  She like to call him my child and lavished caresses upon him, still maintaining a deep silence responding the regrets which constantly occupied her heart.  The child remained with the Queen until the time when Madame was old enough to come home to her august mother, who had particularly taken upon herself the care of her education.  This little unfortunate was nearly twenty in 1792;  the incendiary endeavors of the people, and the fear of being thought a favored creature of the Queen, had made him a most sanguinary terrorist of Versailles.  He was killed at the battle of Jemmapes."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Texas Law Review

David gets a congratulatory hug from his sister after he gets the news that he made the Law Review!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tricia and Bonn

I spent the night at Tricia and Raleigh's house and Tricia and I talked and interrupted each other until late, late, late.  Tricia probably loves me more than anyone I know, outside of my family, which is more a reflection of who she is than who I am.

Mixed-up Mobile Montage

It was a quick, spontaneous, stop in Mobile, just passing through en route to Texas, so we didn't get to visit family in Mobile, but it was fun, nonetheless.

We went to see the property where my parents' house on Fowl River where they lived for thirty years until Hurricane Katrina made the move-or-not-to-move decision for them.  This is the view from the entrance to property.  It looks abandoned and, as remembered places do, smaller.  There's a row of shrubs, running down the middle, marking the line that divides their lot into two.  I don't know who, if anyone, owns it.  Considering what a sentimental, overly emotional person I am, it was surprising that seeing it was interesting, but not sad.  I've analyzed and re-lived it all so much that it doesn't bother me to look back.  It helps that I didn't allow myself to think about my mother.



 view of house foundation from deck
 down river to the right

Micah, looking left from island


 boathouse and birdhouse from new deck
 boathouse from far corner of pool

 vines intertwined on the pool chairs
 old fountain

 One of our old dining room chairs ended up in lower boathouse.







 view from what was the porch

 11404 B Queen's Way

We waited twenty minutes to be seated at one of the several empty table at Baudean's, before giving up and going to Battle House for dinner.  Wise decision.  The Battle House was amazing!
 We bought a basket of peaches at Mom's favorite fruit stand across the street from their church.
Rear of St. Philip Neri -  The old white clapboard parish church is across the street and, even though it wasn't in use when Mom and Dad lived there, I wish I'd taken a picture of it.
 Then we went on to see the Visitation Convent where my mother attended high school.
 Chapel steps

This is the Visitation gift shop now, but I don't know what the building was used for when Mom attended the school.

 In the garden right next to where I parked the car.
 My mother's childhood home on Hunter Ave..





We stayed at the Battle House in Mobile.  Maybe it's the family connection, the hauntedness, and the French influence, but I think it's my favorite hotel.  And, not all that expensive.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_House_Hotel and http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mobbr-the-battle-house-renaissance-mobile-hotel-and-spa/

 view of the Battle House from the skywalk between the old and new sections of the hotel
My mother told me that at a party shortly after the re-opening in 2007, a friend of hers saw the reflection of a Confederate soldier in the glass on a painting.  Mom seemed to believe the story.
My sister, Mary, and I stayed at the Battle House shortly after it re-opened.  The first night we were there, Mom stayed with us (the last night I spent with Mom, shortly before they moved to Williamsburg).  She was very weak, with what we thought was exhaustion, but now know was a heart problem.  Mary and I were glad she wasn't there in the middle of the second night we were there, when we had a fire alarm and had to evacuate down several stairwells.

 Louis XIV immortalized




Terry and I stayed here in 2008, along with some of my siblings, when we attended the ceremony of the dedication of a room on the USS Alabama (not sure that's the correct name) in Mobile.
My paternal grandmother worked at the Battle House for thirty-two years and I have my other grandmother's scrapbook containing dance cards and invitations from the Battle House, so this place is pretty special to me.  We're descendants of the the original owner, John Battle, too, but Mike has to explain the line to me.  Again, because my retention is pathetic.

Visitation Chapel


Eighty-eight and still swinging

I rode in the cart while Dad played nine holes with the James River in the background.  During the two days I stayed at his house, we talked, watched the birds and I got to spend some special time with his wife, Mary Belle.

The Honorees - Ryan, Allison, Rachael, and Maury

Not only do Michael and Katherine know how to set a marital example, they know how to throw a party.  I loved spending last weekend celebrating with family and friends in Richmond.

As always, it's all about the food.






All smiles

Mike, setting the tone
Annabelle (Well, almost all smiles!  Smiling can get tiresome.) Kim and Elizabeth
Caroline, Mary, Jim, and me
Jessica and Sean
Chris and Christie