First things first.....Happy Birth Day to our 6th Great-Grandchild Adalynn Deserae Valdez born this morning at approximately 11 a.m. in Arizona - weighing 7 lbs 4 oz. We are so happy she has arrived here on earth safely.....with LOTS of black hair! That makes two great granddaughters and four great grandsons.....and I really don't know how I got old enough to have that many great grandkids, but I'll take all I can get. It will be a long 10.5 months until I get back to Arizona and get to meet her in person but I'll be expecting lots of pictures to keep me updated :))
And WOW - what humidity. The picture above shows what my face usually looks like....I have a hard time cooking because I start to perspire in the kitchen and spend more time wiping my sweaty face than I do cooking! Yesterday in the early afternoon it was 94% humidity! Seems like we have had some rain every day this past week. Sometimes it lasts for just a few minutes of a heavy downpour, and sometimes it is a heavy downpour followed by a steady rain that lasts most of the night. I knew I was perspiring profusely but didn't realize just how wet it had been until we turned the corner into the parking lot coming home for lunch the other day and noticed that we were growing a crop of mushrooms on the front lawn that had popped up overnight!
These mushrooms were about 4 inches in diameter - quite impressive.
I liked the little freckles on them :)
Saw more interesting and beautiful nature things this week.
I really liked this bush with the clusters of TINY french blue flowers surrounded by a few bigger white flowers with blue centers. Intriguing plant.
The crepe myrtle trees continue to bloom with the more vibrant colors just coming into their glory. Elder Ashton mentioned that he saw a line of bright red ones when he was riding his bike yesterday and said they were really pretty!
This one is right outside the main lobby door of the church and only about half of the blooms are out. Some of the trees get so covered with blooms that they become too heavy and the branch breaks off. We have experienced that a few times with too much citrus on our trees back in Arizona, but I've never noticed it with flowers!
This is the trunk of a fairly mature Crepe Myrtle tree......I find the "bark" quite interesting!
The office was a little quiet this week and I had a chance to create some spreadsheets and do some prep work for processing the rent this next week. We've had a couple of sets of missionaries move this past month and closed out another apartment so I need to make sure I get the utilities turned off and don't pay the rent. We also have several empty apartments that we continue to pay rent on, but I need to keep an eye on utilities to make sure they are not too high while the apartment is vacant. We will fill all those apartments when the next group of missionaries comes in 3 weeks. We thought we were going to have 31 new missionaries arrive but got a reprieve this past week when we learned ONLY 30 will be arriving on August 4 ;-) Sister Shaw (one of the other sisters that works in the office) has been busy purchasing bedding for the incoming missionaries. We don't have a very big office space and each missionary is given a mattress pad, a set of sheets and pillowcase, a blanket, a comforter, and a pillow when they arrive. Some of those items are rather bulky so it has been a challenge to find a place to store 30 of each of those......it is quite interesting as we have comforters, blankets, pillows, etc. stacked on top of our wall cabinets and stacked in corners on the floor. Feels good to know we are almost ready to greet those new missionaries!
Elder Ashton received a call from a gentleman asking about the cars for sale early in the week. He said he wanted to start a rental car company and wanted to know how much he would have to pay for the 6 remaining cars. Elder Ashton talked with Salt Lake Fleet people and they were willing to give him $500 off on each car. He still seemed interested when Elder Ashton talked to him Thursday afternoon and said he was meeting with his investor that night, but then we never heard anything more----guess he will have to sell them one by one. I still say I need to buy that plaid jacket and make him a poster.
What do you think?????
Saturday we took a quick trip over to Newport News to try to see some more history of the area. As we were making our way across the bay/one of the rivers and approaching the M & M tunnel (the first one I drove under when we got out here, I realized that a ship was heading our way and would be passing over the top of us.....that was a little freaky! I didn't capture a picture of it, but found one of it......it moves automobiles and is called the Sunshine Ace.
It was riding high in the water like this and moving pretty fast, so we think it must have dropped off most of the cars. The web site says it departed from Norfolk this morning - don't know where it is headed.
I was able to capture this picture of another ship that looks like it is getting ready to cross over the tunnel on our return trip later in the afternoon.
We visited the Virginia War Museum in Newport News yesterday afternoon and one of the first things we noticed was the display of several large guns outside the museum. They were impressive but not nearly as good looking as those "guns" my grandsons displayed a week or so ago ;-)
A huge tank sitting outside.....Elder Ashton said he thought this one was self-propelled.
This museum was VERY interesting as it had displays dating from the revolutionary war up through the Vietnam war and even a remnant of the Berlin Wall that came down in 1989.
This display related to the Revolutionary War was very interesting to me. Below you can see the handwritten version (written in George Washington's own hand) of what you see above. Made me think about what it was like for them as they were fighting that war. Seems from the contents of this letter that all was not sunshine and roses for them!
As I read the plaque entitled, "The Shot Heard Around the World" I wondered at the men (and women) who had courage enough to stand up to the strongest nation in the world at that time in open defiance.......what did they give up to establish this nation? And one of the reasons was a 2% tax on tea!
I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures below....the lighting in the museum and the glass made
it like I was taking pictures in a mirror. You can see the display of guns that was on the opposite wall.
I was VERY surprised at how small the uniforms were.....these were uniforms for the "men" that fought in the Revolutionary war and they looked like they would barely fit a 12 year old boy.
A leather hat - note the hole in the front where the adornment would have been fastened.
Another small uniform.
Terrible picture - but maybe you can tell this is a small book of scripture that was carried by one of the men during the Revolutionary War.....it is a copy of the New Testament. Surely brought home to me that this country was founded by God-fearing men.
This is a surgeons traveling surgical kit.....note the different kinds of knives/instruments used to perform surgery on the wounded and injured.
This display was fascinating. It was a wooden splint that was carved to fit on the inside of the right calf with the hole allowing room for the ankle bone to move about. The crutch certainly doesn't look as comfortable or as easy to use as those aluminum ones I spent 5.5 months on! It's hard to tell from the picture, but that splint was only about 2/3 the length of my lower leg.....seems the soldiers must not have been much taller than 5 foot.
Uniforms for women of the Red Cross at the time or World War II
Following WWII France, Belgium and some other countries sent cars from a gratitude train to different states in the US as a thank you to them for sending soldiers and helping them make it through WWII.
A replica of what the fence was like at Dachau concentration camp. In 1945 an order was issued to exterminate all residents of that camp because Germany did not want any of the prisoners to fall into the hands of the Allies.
The portion of the Berlin Wall.
While I found the museum very interesting, I left there feeling quite sad. The displays were well done, but they depicted war, after war, after war, after war. I mentioned that to Elder Ashton and wondered why we have so many wars and he reminded me that it has been that way for a long time....even in Book of Mormon times. He's right, but I wish we could all get along and treat one another with kindness and respect......Call me PollyAnna :)
The bottom paragraph that describes the surrender at Appomatox Courthouse touched me and made me realize that sometimes even the victor feels the pain of those he/she has conquered. I love the last sentence that seems to encourage forgiveness and acceptance!
As we arrived at work on Friday, I noticed this vibrant red flower across the street....it was about 6 inches in diameter! So when things calmed down a little, I walked across the street, knocked on the door and told the gentleman who answered that I was an Arizona girl and had never seen anything like that flower and asked if I could take a picture. He was very gracious and allowed me to take the picture but I think he might have thought I was just a little weird ;-) I did some research to try to find out what kind of a plant it is (thought it might be some kind of Hibiscus because of the stamen) but was unsuccessful in my search. I did notice as we left church today that all those green buds are now red buds so it should be quite striking later this week.
I also noticed these pretty and unique lillies of some kind right in front of the church.....
...and I noticed the leaf that is all rolled up. When we went on our cruise to the Caribbean a little over a year ago, we took a flower arranging class on the ship one day and they taught us how to roll the leaves up like that and use them as points of interest in a bouquet......hmmm...looks like Mother Nature thought of that first :)
And, last but not least, the most beautiful picture I have seen all week......
....the newest great granddaughter in my son's (her grandpa's) arms. What could possibly be better than this?