Monday, November 28, 2011


An old home on the East River

The wrap around porch is beautiful...

but is deteriorating.  It's still a wonderful old home, though.

When viewed from a distance, you can't see the flaws.
(The house is in the upper left corner.)

I don't know about you, but it feels like I've been off work and on vacation for a week, although it's only been four days. What a difference it makes not having to drive children back and forth to school and the associated activities, although their social calendar didn't slow down much...

Anyway, today's post is a hodgepodge of random thoughts, which is no different from any other day here, really.  It's sort of like a Three Thing Thursday on Monday--with six things instead of three.

1.  The Chesapeake Bay Family celebrated Thanksgiving in the most unorthodox way humanly possible.  This topic deserves a separate post but let's just say that lots of driving and this place (click here) were involved. Oh yes indeed. The only thing that would have made it any crazier would have been if we'd all been wearing crab hats.  And trust me, we did not want to draw attention to ourselves in that crowd.

2.  The movie Eat Pray Love is now one of my favorite movies of all time mostly because of the way it ends (in Bali, which isn't Bora Bora, but sure looks good to me).  One night when the Chesapeake Bay Children were both gone, looking forward to a nice, quiet evening alone with my new movie, I attempted to load it on to the DVD player in my bedroom.  Since it's been so long since I've watched a movie, evidently I forgot  which button to push on the remote.  No problem!

Still optimistic, I trotted into the living room and loaded it into that DVD player.  The audio worked just fine, but no matter how many cuss words I uttered buttons I pushed I could not for the life of me get the video to work.  Note: Ordinarily Chesapeake Bay Son handles all the technical issues in this household.  I was not going to embarrass him by calling to ask how to operate the DVD player. I was bound and determined to figure it out on my own, gosh darn it.  Oh, and no, I could not watch it on my laptop, because my laptop screen is fried.  That's another story for another day, although the problem will soon be rectified.

So, I resorted to the one thing I knew would work:  a "portable" DVD player/TV combo (the size of a mini-fridge) with only one plug and no remote or other confusing buttons whatsoever--from circa 1995 2005.  The screen was so small I had to practically press my nose against the screen to see pull my chair very close up to see. (Note to self:  Please schedule that eye exam that is now two years overdue, otherwise you're well on your way to being legally blind.)  Finally I saw the movie, and I loved it.  Success!

3.  The photos above were taken from the public landing just below the Court House.  I have long admired this house and try to capture her every chance I get since she seems to be deteriorating.

4.Yesterday I had the honor of meeting a Mathews resident who can trace her roots in this county back to the 1700s which was the same year that DVD/TV combo was invented.  Later this week I will share photos of her absolutely exquisite home called Beachland, and snippets of our conversation about her family.  Beachland is the sort of home that gives you chills; you can feel the history even as you drive down the driveway.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring a pad and pencil with me, so most of the history she shared will be filed in the same part of my brain that remembers forgets how to operate the DVD players in my own house.  However, I am hopeful I will get back there for a longer visit to delve deeper into what is most assuredly a great chapter in our local history.

5. I made the best batch of collard greens this weekend.  Slow cooked them with a ham hock.  I do believe I could eat collards morning, noon and night and never get tired of them--but only if they're cooked in old ham.

6. Arcadia Publishing has scheduled a couple of book signings for my book.  The first will be December 10th, the weekend of the Christmas parade, at the old Sibley's General Store, now the Mathews County Visitor Information Center.  The next one will be the following weekend at Twice Told Tales in Gloucester.  I'm working on a third at Sandpiper Reef but will probably wait and do that one early next year.  More info/details coming soon.

Right now I am just trying to survive memories of Thanksgiving at the Golden Corral the transition back to the work/school week.

How was your Thanksgiving?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing some of the weekend highlights, CBW. I hope you can see EatPrayLove again on a bigger screen; it is worth a repeat showing. I have a crush on Bali, and also have a crush on Javier Bardem,(who was charming in a Charlie Rose interview and appears to be evolved, humble, intelligent & a political activist)so it was nice to see the Julia Roberts character ending up with both Bardem & Bali.
My brother & I can still go into fits of laughter recalling restaurant family gatherings w/my dear departed stepdad,(who was a restaurant manager, and under the delusion of duty to run every restaurant we ate in, barking at the staff members.
My married son cooked T'Day dinner for which I was grateful, and I also just felt grateful to still be on the planet, zany family or no.

deborah said...

Sounds as if you had a relaxing mini vacation!
I want to watch Eat, Pray, Love too, but I also have a problem operating the remote without 'adult' help :) We have the movie on the flash drive that is connected to the XBox which is connected to the TV and I just don't have a clue about how that whole deal works. Guess I'll ask someone to put it on one day this week for me.
Thanksgiving was a circus, as usual. Only 13 came to eat and we did eat!
Congratulations, again, on your book release! I can't wait to purchase a copy. If I send it to you, will you sign it for me?
Have a great week!

Deltaville Jamie said...

Glad it was a relaxing 4 days... I love Eat Pray Love, and because you mentioned it, I ended up buying a copy while Black Friday shopping. It was $3. I haven't had a chance to watch it (again) yet. Perhaps one middle of the night when I'm wide awake at 3am I'll pop it in. Looking forward to Beachland. Wish I could get down there! Basketball season is upon us now and we have games and tournaments the next couple of weeks. Then it's Christmas. Now I want to cry.

Windsmurf said...

Well, I survived another TDay. There were 10 people at my table and we did some real damage to a 23 pound turkey. There is not even a speck of that bird left now. Not to mention 4 pies, 12 dozen cookies, and a birthday cake - all gone. I did most of the cooking, but everyone else did the cleanup after - hooray!

It never occurred to me to have Thanksgiving dinner at an all you can eat restaurant - what a fantastic idea.

I read the book, Eat ,Pray, Love but haven't seen the movie yet. I'll have to check it out - I love Javier Bardem and I'm betting I would love Bali also.

The house in your pictures looks intriguing, is it occupied abandoned, haunted, for sale?

growing wild on waverly lane said...

I enjoyed every bite!! The turkey was to die for, dressing, mashed potatoes and wonderfully cooked green vegetables...roasted sweet potatoes and my favorite, carrots steamed to perfection.

It was worth the atmosphere in the waiting line. Somewhere between Dante's Inferno and a bordello in a third-world country.

Daryl said...

I just started the book .. so the movie will have to wait a bit .. but we did see some good movies this weekend - screeners from a friend and if I told I would be killed - we saw A Dangerous Method, Super 8, and Beginners .. I love 2 out of the 3 .. Beginners surprisingly confused me a lot .. and Super 8 while wonderful seems as if JJ Abrams was channeling Stephen King/Steven Spielberg/George Lucas .. which honestly aint bad .. A Dangerous Method was very 'talky' but amazing... oh Viggo Mortenson's in it but he keeps his clothes on.. just sayin.

Ohyeah .. we also ate a lot and I had a lot of company stopping by and some I went out with ..

Bethie said...

I wanna go inside that old house, eating a bowl of your greens drowing in cider vinegar reading your book and dreaming of Beachland! That would be way better than any movie to me!!

I look forward to your book signing. I plan to be there!!

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the old house. My kind of place.
I haven't seen Eat, Pray, Love, but I think I should. I can't operate those movie-viewing things, either.
Book signings! Aha, now people on the street will point at you and say "There's that author!" So it's official, you're about to become a gen-you-whine local celebrity.
Good for you.
-- K

Dghawk4 said...

Would LOVE to see the inside of that house! There is one almost identical to that one as you go into Toano. The wrap-around porch is even on the same side. It doesn't have a water view, though.

Wonderful news about the book signing. I've already written down the where/when.

Didn't do Golden Corral for Thanksgiving, but did for breakfast Friday morning after hitting Belk's at 5 AM!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

LLC-I confess I'd never seen nor heard of Javier Bardem before this movie but I sure wouldn't mind seeing more of him... He and Bali were my favorite parts of the movie!

Deborah-The whole XBox thing was part of my problem too although I didn't know it at the time. And thank you so much, of course I'd be happy to sign a copy for you.

Jamie - I know what you mean. Between dances (for the teenagers), basketball tournaments, Christmas stuff, and what not I have not one spare minute until January. Good luck to Bridget in all her games.

Windsmurf - No leftovers, that is tragic! Javier is magnificent in this, although you don't see him until the end. I think you'd like the movie, although I'm not sure how it compares to the book, usually there's a difference...I don't know anything about the house, but I do not think it is occupied.

Growing Wild/CB Mother - You've pretty much nailed the description of the atmosphere, although to quote Baby Sister, that line, which snaked around and around that tiny, cramped, inadequate waiting area, "gave a whole new meaning to the word corral." We were like cattle waiting for the stampede to the mashed potatoes, which by the way required strong defensive skills just to get them onto the plate. I was forced to elbow and boxed out several people just to splash a few meager spoonfuls on my plate, while others were breathing down my neck trying to get to them. Stressful, but definitely interesting. You can't accuse us of being boring and conventional, that's for sure.

Daryl - I hope the book is good, the movie was fantastic.

Bethie - Can't wait to meet you. Look for the Beachland photos later this week, by Friday at the latest.

Kay - You definitely should see the movie - you may want to see it when your husband is refereeing a basketball game though - it's definitely a "chick flick."

Dghawk - Would love to meet you, hope you can make one of the signings.

Happy Monday, it's going to be a very long week.

thomas said...

Mr. Bardem is best known for his performance in "No Country for old Men". While far..far from a chick flick, it did garner several awards.
If you don't like extreme violence, don't watch it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Thomas's comment about "No Country.." it is gory & violent-- and too bad Bardem won the Oscar for that movie rather than the 2010 movie"Biutiful", which he was Oscar-nominated for in 2011.( He did get best actor in Cannes for it, though).
Your family is so hilarious, CBW--I was cracking up reading your, CB mother's and Baby sister's takes on the Golden Corral experience.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thomas-I'm usually not a fan of violence in movies (or TV), however I may make an exception--in the interest of advancing my cinematic horizons and study of the actor, of course.

LLC-We have only shared the very tip of the iceberg. This Thanksgiving story and many others like it could fill a book, although this particular chapter really has taken us to a whole new level. Each of us has a slightly different perspective on the same hilarious/outrageous event, which to me makes it all the more hilarious. Thanks for the tip on the other Javier movie. Can't wait to check him--I mean it--out!

Anonymous said...

I loved the movie but loved the book even more! I am so sorry that it doesn't look like I will be able to make either of your book signings. I was hoping to be there. Can't wait to get my copy. Keep us posted on future signings. I went with my husband to winterize an old plantation home on the Great Wicomico River over the weekend. It was amazing. I got to look around and even though they have just started renovation, it was so beautiful. I love old homes and the character they have. Sorry that I forgot my camera!