Monday, July 14, 2014

... gardening, history touring, and trying to stay cool...

As a college professor I only have a few extra responsibilities during the summer months so right now “my office” is the occasional meeting where I commute to campus, working at the computer from my home office, or simply being outside.  
I live in Richmond, VA and I like to be outdoors albeit out of the direct rays of the sun. I really would love to post about how I layer but I don’t. I wear as little as possible and I dowse myself in sunscreen. Sorry for the TMI but I sweat, not perspire, not glisten but sweat! When I have an event that requires me to be outside in the 90+ degree heat like this weekend, I often have to not only change my clothes midday but also shower. I can usually get away with simply touching up my hair, but a make-up overhaul is usually necessary.
On Saturday, my fella needed to go pick up a few plants to fill some of his pots so we headed to Strange’s Greenhouse. They’re a family run florist started by Mr. Strange in 1935. Of course while I was there, I had to pick up a few plants too including a strawberry bush! As soon as I came home, I planted (3pm, the hottest time of the day) and then showered.
Window at St. John's
I’ve just taken on the position of tour guide to a historic cemetery. The position will actually have me give many tours of the entire city in the future but for now I’m focusing on one of my favorite places, Hollywood Cemetery. This weekend I did a practice tour for my friend and his family. We started at the Poe Museum which is located in the Old Stone House, an establishment that pre-dates Mr. Poe and it noted as the oldest original building in Richmond, VA. It was built in the 1740’s and while Poe didn’t live in this building, is only blocks away from the sites of some of the places he lived while in Richmond, his place of employment, the Southern Literary Messenger, and somewhat close to the graveyard at St. John’s Church where his mother is buried.  After the Poe Museum, we headed attend a reenactment of the Second Virginia Convention and Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” speech at St. John’s Church where we toured the graveyard.  We visited the grave of Poe’s mother and took a few pictures. George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is also buried in the churchyard.  Just as an aside, I have to note that the actor who played Thomas Jefferson was a bit easy on the eyes. Afterwards, we headed to Hollywood Cemetery where we toured the 90-foot pyramid-shaped Confederate monument with granite quarried from the James River; the burial spots of Presidents Monroe and Tyler; and, the family plot of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It was a bit of a whirlwind and my friend joked that it was 400 years of history in 4 hours. After being in and out of museums and graveyards and cemeteries (a graveyard historically is the burial ground adjoining a church while a cemetery comes from the Greek language meaning “dormitory, resting place” and isn’t associated with a churchyard), I showered before going out to dinner with the group.

Channeling my inner Mickey Mouse
How do I stay cool? Open toe shoes are a must! If my feet are hot, I am dreadfully fussy. I also tend to wear my hair up... sometimes in pigtails and sometimes in buns. On Sunday I wore buns and channeled my inner Mickey Mouse since my friend is obsessed with Disney. Other than that, I just let the heat overtake me. After all, it is summer in Virginia.


  1. I'm quite happy to live in sweden where the hot days are not more than two weeks. I don't sweat but my brain works very slow and my feets get swollen. Open toe shoes seems like a great idea :)

  2. "....I sweat, not perspire, not glisten but sweat!" - MEEE TOOO! I have 3 sisters who glisten. The 4 of us can be doing the exact same aerobic work out, I have a cloth bandana wrapped around my head so the sweat doesn't drip and burn my eyes ... my clothes are soaked while those 3 are barely moist!!! Open toe shoes, a must. I, like you, just let the heat overtake me...when I have to. I usually go from A/C'ed apartment to A/C'ed car to A/C'ed work during the hot season. I save my outside adventures for early spring and early fall. I can't get away from wearing black, it's who I am therefore I've learned to adjust accordingly. I love your blog!