May 23, 2010

Gold Cup

The Virginia Gold Cup started in 1922, and now draws about 50,000 spectators. Steeplechasing in Virginia has been a way of life since early Colonial times when the horse was the primary way of transportation, farming and war. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson met in sporting competition over fences. Organized steeplechase races have run in Fauquier County since 1844 originally at White Sulphur Springs then a fashionable spa near Warrenton.

On April 3, 1922, eight sportsmen met at the Fauquier Club in Warrenton and decided to organize a four-mile race between flags over the natural walls and fences of the nearby hunting countryside. Pledging $1,000 to purchase a trophy for the winning owner, they ruled that it be kept permanently by the first owner to win the race three times, not necessarily in consecutive years nor with the same horse. Just 34 days later, they held the first Virginia Gold Cup race. From its beginning, the race was intended to be a national event drawing “the best hunters in America.” Unlike today’s seven-race card, that first Virginia Gold Cup was a single-race event, riders to be “gentlemen wearing racing colors or officers of the U.S. Army in uniform.” we are today!

Our third horse race together!

LA Tent

Swept off my to speak!

Prom pose

Nap time

May 11, 2010

First Lady's Luncheon

Since 1908, the Congressional Club, a group made up of Members of Congress' spouses, has honored the First Lady with a lunch. My boss' wife asked me to go as one of her guests this year! I was thrilled and my expectations were surpassed!

The theme was "Illumination Celebration" and featured lights in general and chandeliers throughout the White House in particular. The first thing I saw when I sat down at the table was a Seda France candle in Japanese Quince (my favorite!) in a special box made for the luncheon!

The food was delicious. We had white cheddar cheese soup topped with smoked popcorn, cornish hen with apricot, sweet potato parsnip and roasted corn hash, and southern biscuits and cornbread (with whipped honey butter). Dessert was the best: there was a duet: warm chocolate molten cake AND spiced apple glace with delicious fresh berries!

As if the food wasn't enough the entertainment was even better. Among several, Julia Murney, who recently played Elphaba in Wicked and Mark McVey who has played Jean Valjean in Les Mis. Mark's singing brought us all to tears!

This is the only picture that I could get of Michelle. She was escorted out by a Marine as were the other spouses of President Obama's cabinet members and, of course, Mr. Pelosi!

The first lady spoke for a few minutes, highlighting her campaign, Let's Move! which is aimed at stopping childhood obesity within a generation.

Here is our great group!

May 08, 2010

More to Come

I'm back! The month of April was unbelievably busy. So many events occurred--expected and unexpected. Granny Penn went home to be with the Lord. My best friend, Ashley, got married in Charleston. I celebrated another birthday with Gran Fran in Mississippi and went to Kern's sister's wedding in Brookhaven. (DROVE back to DC to bring Kern's truck). Work continued to be busy. I got to attend the First Lady's Luncheon with my boss' wife! Mississippi on the Mall planning is ramping up. (You can purchase your ticket HERE, hint hint!)

That is my disclaimer for that fact that over the next week or two I am going to try to go back and chronicle some of these events in more detail. I'm getting mentally prepared for the writing.

For now, I will include some pictures of my Saturday morning. I crossed a threshold this morning--I am officially growing my first CROP--tomato plants! Kern and I went to Frager's Harware store (DC folks, if you haven't been, I recommend the field trip) and got a container, 3 plants (2 patio and 1 roma) and potting soil. An outing in DC isn't complete without seeing at least someone with security detail. I spotted Kathleen Sebelius collecting a variety of plants.

We went to Kern's house to plant the tomatoes
Now I have to be patient and WAIT! (and water!)

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