The Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army has come to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and it’s awesome. The figures are over 2,000 years old, mostly undamaged and full of exquisite detail. They’re big too! I expected them to be much shorter, based on the size of the clothing I saw during the exhibit for The Forbidden City.

The emperor with his chariot is the first thing you see in the exhibit. It’s a reproduction due to the extensive damage of the real chariots, but it was a great way to begin the tour of the army intended to accompany China’s First Emperor into the afterlife.

The army itself is a variety of military and civil positions, from the general to the infantry. These are the real army and not replicas.

Each face is different! I didn’t notice that until I read it on one of the information plaques. The hair, ears, and hands were all different as well. Not as much, but it was still noticeable. The shoes varied depending on the importance of the soldier.

The army was made in pieces, which were then joined together and colored to represent actual people. I’m so used to thinking of terracotta as a dull brown, but the real army was quite bright and rich in colors.

The afterlife even had a stable boy to look after the horses!

There were other pieces on display as well – brass pieces from the horses bridles, jewelry, various pottery, and miniature figurines.

The workmanship in creating all those different faces (8,000 pieces have been excavated so far), the horses and chariots is incredible. Equally incredible was how the First Emperor, Ying Zheng, made reforms and unified China after years of separate provinces and war.

The Terracotta Army is in Richmond for another week, through March 11. There are also evening hours to see it. More information can be found at the website for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

I’m Watching You

The beagle knows all and sees all

Dear family and friends –

Yes, it’s me the beagle again, back to tell you more stories about Mom.

Did you know how sneaky she is? How is a beagle to get his beauty sleep when I have to maintain a constant vigilance? For example:

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Life Goes On

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View at Short Pump Mall, Richmond, Virginia

Gretchen Rubin has often said:

The days are long, but the years are short.
I realized that part of why I’m not blogging is that I’ve been busy with so many other things. It’s not good or bad, it’s a season in life.

Last year, my favorite boy toy and I traveled extensively, both in-state and out-of-state. Some of the trips were to see our daughter, grandsons, and bestest son-in-law. One trip was to see my Dad and family in Texas. But mostly we wandered.

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My daughter and oldest grandson

I took nearly 2500 pictures last year, often with my cell phone. It’s always on me, it takes reasonably good pictures, and it’s easier to post to Facebook later.

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2016 Word – Hustle


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

In the early part of 2016, I used One Word to frame the year and my intentions. The word that chose me was “hustle” after I’d done Jon Acuff’s “30 Days of Hustle” in January. Although I’d initially picked something else as my word, it became apparent that was to be my word this year. I can’t say I was too thrilled with it and I didn’t quite warm up to it until this fall.

I didn’t want to hustle anymore. I wanted down time, time with family and friends, time to have more fun, and to not be constantly striving.

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Finding New Hobbies


As this year has gone on, I found myself needing some new interests. Unfortunately, very little appealed to me.

I finally set the following criteria:

  • It could not require hours behind a computer. I spend all day in front of a screen for my job and I can’t do it at home all night and weekend too. I love my camera as a means to take a walk, but hours of post photo processing are not fun.
  • I wanted something physically active. It didn’t have to be anything hard core, but I wanted something that was more than sitting around (see the first point above).
  • I also wanted something where I could grow and learn, something where I could take classes, ask questions, and experiment to a higher knowledge level.

I settled on:

  • Using my Big Green Egg (BGE) smoker more and
  • Doing yoga more consistently.

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Missing: A Personality

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in March

I seem to have lost my personality recently.

My “part-time” job has been fairly high stress due to some turnover and I’ve been working a lot of hours to transition, streamline, and meet tax due dates. I’ll get those hours back, but not for a while.

If you want to discuss Excel functions and formulas, downloads from the general ledger, and strengthening the accounting around the tax filings, I’m your man! Or person, as it would be.

But if you want to discuss what I’m reading lately (all the  J.D. Robb’s starting with the first one), what television shows I’m watching (reruns of Numb3rs), and what hobbies I’ve been enjoying (none), forget about it.

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ABFriday: Derelict Boat

Happy New Year! And what better way to start the year off than with After Before Friday, sponsored by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing. To see how other photographers interpreted this month’s photograph, click here.

This month’s selection came from Laura Macky, whose past participation encouraged many of us to up our game after seeing her imagination let loose. Laura is a fantastic photographer; I follow her on Facebook and also on her blog, Laura Macky Photography.

Laura’s picture looked pretty good to me without any adjustments:

Original Photo

Original Photo

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