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Women are amazing. We can do anything, go us, rah, rah. However, I have noticed that sometimes we don’t certain things well or easily just because we were never taught. (And frankly we weren’t taught these things because of our own disinterest, not lack of attention on another’s part.)  Like, how does one mow the lawn? (When I was a girl, my brothers always mowed the lawn, for which I am eternally gratefully! I did mow the fields once or twice on the tractor, but I don’t think that counts as it is more like driving a really slow car, no manual labor involved. I am pretty sure my Dad would have taught me how to mow the lawn if I had said “hey, Dad, I would love learn how to mow the lawn today!” But I didn’t want to learn how to mow the lawn and I was more than happy in my ignorance.) Now, as a renter with a huge backyard, it is my job (and my roommates) to keep things tidy. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I think it is fortunate I was in my late twenties when I touched a lawn mower for the first time), I didn’t know quite how to go about this task when I finally had to do it myself. So, over the weekend I put together a little tutorial, complete with pictures. Hope it helps! And happy mowing!  Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s 2013! I hope your New Year is off to an amazing start! What are your resolutions for this year? Mine include:

1) Adoration once a week

2) Hire a financial planner (if left to my own designs I would stuff money in my mattress)

3) Take a trip outside the country

4) Start an Etsy Shop (ohh, yes, there is a pile of vintage bags hanging out under my bed waiting for this one)

5) Hike a tiny potion of the Appalachian Trail

6) See historical landmarks including: the Capitol, Monticello, Williamsburg and Gettysburg (it’s about time, don’t you think?)

7) Take more risks (I am not sure what this involves exactly, but as an overly cautious person it sounds like something I should do)

8) Find an armoire for my room

9) Have breakfast in a café once a week

10) Try a new restaurant once a month

 

I did a pretty good job keeping last year’s resolutions . . .

Check it out! A list of all the books that are mentioned by Rory Gilmore  in the TV series Gilmore Girls! I lined through the ones I have read . . . Read the rest of this entry »

Anacostia, it’s like the Narrows of DC – if DC were Batman’s Gotham City. However, despite it’s intimidating atmosphere, where did the name of this area come from?

Anacostia is named after the Necostan Native Americans, also known as the Anacostan Indians. Their settlement on the shores of the Anacostia River was known as Nacochtank. Apparently Cap. John Smith ran into this friendly tribe while he was trying to find the Potomac River. The Anacostia River is one of the main branches of the Potomac River, and the good Captain sailed up this portion around 1608 as he searched for the Potomac.

Anacostia, named after the friendly tribe that lived there, became a neighborhood of DC in 1854, it was mainly inhabited by the blue collar workers of DC, particularly for African Americans and Irish settlers – though both these cultures were initially refused the right own property in DC.

I found this interesting article on street names of Anacostia. Apparently Good Hope Road was used by John Wilkes Booth as part of his escape route into Virginia after he shot President Lincoln.

And now you know the rest of the story!

“Who is Anne Arundel?” I asked my roommate as we drove to her home in Annapolis, MD. We had just past a sign that said  “Entering Anne Arundel County,” or something to that effect.

“Who?” she asked.

“Anne Arundel.” I said.

“Oh, you mean Arundel.” She pronounced the name as Uh-run-dull. I had said Ah-roon-dell. I’m not great with English phonetics.

“Sure,” I said, “however you pronounce it. Who is she?”

“I don’t know.”

“Oh.”

So a few months later I’ve taken the time to look it up. Anne Arundel was the wife of Cecil Calvert – the second Lord Baltimore, and a devout Catholic. Cecil Calvert, through the generous funding of his father-in-law, Thomas Arundell, first Baron Arundell of Wardour, was granted a colony by Charles I in what is now Annapolis, Maryland.

Anne Arundel (pictured above) bore the second Lord Baltimore 9 children in their 21 years of marriage. She died at the age of 34. Anne Arundel County was named after her in her memory the following year. From what I can tell, Anne Arundel never actually set foot in America, she is buried in Tilsbury, Wiltshire, England.

Here is what is written on her gravestone:

Epitome of all the qualities of the Phoenix
That there are in flowers, buds and graces
(these being as great as there are in Heaven)
Here Lies
Anne Arundell Lady Baltimore

Farewell.  No other Woman’s love in the world was to be so requited
She left this world on July 23rd in the 1649th Year
From the Childhood of God and 34 years of age
This memorial was set up by her husband for his love’s sake.

And know you know the rest of the story! (I promise I am not going to do this every day, I just get a kick out of find out who these people really are.)

Image Source: aacounty.org via Trena on Pinterest

When I was in high school I remember listening to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story.” I loved hearing the random bits of information. So today I have a few random bits of information for you!

If you have ever been in DC you’re probably aware of the many weird location names, like Foggy Bottom. Well, I finally took a little bit of time and looked up a few of these names, and I’ll be sharing the story behind them a little bit at a time!

Today, I’ll tell you why Foggy Bottom is called Foggy Bottom. (I think it’s a very English sounding name. When I say it in my head it is almost always in an English accent. To my British readers: perhaps this is complete ignorance on my part, but it does sound better with an English accent.) Foggy Bottom is the low area near the Potomac River where George Washington University is located. A long time ago, this used to be the more industrial part of town, there were several factories. The combination of the proximity to the river and the smoke from the factories may have caused this area to be foggy. Hence the name, Foggy Bottom.

 And, did you know before it was called Foggy Bottom, this area was better known as Funkstown? And now you know the rest of the story!

Image Source: washingtonpost.com via Trena on Pinterest

Source: tumblr.com via Trena on Pinterest

I’ve been trying to find the correct abbreviations for the days of the week. I think it goes like this: Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun. But then one book says to shorten everything to three letters, so you have Tue. and Thu. Personally I like Thurs. better than Thu. – Thu. just looks a little sad and incomplete, it at least needs an “r.”

There, you’ve now witnessed the inner workings of the mind of an English Major.

I found this list from Evelyn Waugh regarding fan mail on Lists of Note. It made me laugh!

Dear People-Who-Use-“Gorge!”-as-a-shortened-form-of-“Gorgeous!,”

I have seen you call things “gorge!” all over Pinterest. It is starting to drive me crazy.

What you are actually saying is: stuff your face with food until you keel over from overeating! There are other meanings too, like: large ravine, the crop of a hawk, the contents of the stomach, and the narrow entrance to the outwork of a fortificaiton. None of these meanings make any sense when you are describing a pair of Louboutin pumps, or, your friends for that matter.

Sincerely,

Me

 

Source: designcrushblog.com via Trena on Pinterest

Well, friends, it’s been a year. Actually a little more than a year. A year since I resuscitated this blog. It took a little CPR, but I think it worked. I started Sacred Monkeys of the Vatican several years ago while I was living in Italy. But my occupation at the time didn’t give me any free time, and the internet connection was unreliable at best. But for some reason, I decided to bring it back to life last year. It lives!

I am still amazed at how many people click on this blog everyday, and that I have readers all over the world! Apart from the USA, the biggest followings are in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and Spain! The Republic of Korea is right behind this group.

You may also see a little tweaking over the next month or two of the format. Just trying to keep things fresh and neat.

Here’s to another year of favorite things and thoughts! Thanks again for reading!

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