New York State Needs Health Care Workers

This was the plea in Governor Cuomo’s email last week. I kept the email and pondered about going north to help. Today I applied to their survey. Unsure if they want a 63 year old nurse with 45 years of experience currently working psych, however, I applied anyway. We shall see. Was going to extend my contract in Virginia but quite frankly they are dragging their feet so guess they don’t want me. Their loss.

New York has done much for me. Besides being my state of birth it’s schools and colleges have given me the ability to live a comfortable life as a single woman. I feel indebted. Also, I have been raised on Rockefeller and Cuomo governorships which has contributed to my ethics and boldness. Maybe someday we’ll have a female Cuomo governor as Andrew has 3 girls. They are half Kennedy so public service is in their genes. Wouldn’t that be nice? I digress but am hopeful.

Back to my message.. if you are a health care worker and feel the need to give back to fellow Americans here is the web site of the survey.

Maybe I’ll meet you there.

Chrysler Museum Exhibit: Edvard Munch

This Norwegian based artist exhibition was a first for the Chrysler Museum and did Munch proud. Best known for his picture, The Scream, Munch was a multi-faceted talent working in etchings, lithographs, and wood cuts.

Fifty of his works were borrowed from The Washington D.C. National Gallery for this exhibit and let’s hope the exhibit extends so more visitors can capture this unique collection.

Munch was a tortured individual with the early loss of his mother, sister, and later tragic romances. He was institutionalized at one point in his life for alcoholism and anxiety. The portrait below is of his psychiatrist.

Dr. Daniel Jacobsen

While viewing the exhibit suddenly drums began to play and ballet began. This was a first for me to experience in this setting and enjoyable. The dance modeled Munch’s problematic romantic history.

And round the corner from the Munch exhibit was a new addition to the Museum, the Pinocchio images of Jim Dine. Stop and see.

Tomorrow: More Chrysler Museum Art.

Note to Virginia and North Carolina: Pick Up Your Road Trash

In my last 2 gigs I noted how bad the litter was on the side of the roads in these states. Wish they’d do something about it. Perhaps they could organize groups or have inmates assist as they do in Florida?

During this time of quarantine with folks having little to do what better time than to get out and clean up our roadways? It would meet the criteria of keeping distant, get us out in the fresh air, and do something positive for our beautiful Mother Earth.

Give it a go, grab a bag and let’s clean up!

Virginia State Bird, the Northern Cardinal, in the midst of a Magnolia Bush.

The Chrysler Museum of Art: Glass Studio

What a great place for a visit post pandemic. This was my first stop and future Chrysler Museum blogs will follow as the museum and its collection is immense.

Kids will adore the glass studio and museum. It is a must see.

Chrysler certainly must have sold many cars to have afforded such a collection :). What a gift with the museum being entirely free. Thanks, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., for your generosity, and to his wife Jean who encouraged him to gift his 30,000 works to the City of Norfolk.

The glass studio is a workshop as well as a museum. They have affordable classes for all levels of glass blowers in their studios. Looks like much fun.

On the museum side at the glass studio there were many interesting pieces on display.

House of Cards made of glass.
Bacon Cheeseburger
Elegant water pitcher

The Chrysler Museum of Art across the street is home to one of the largest glass collections in the world. They have over 10,000 pieces of glass from 3,000 years of history.

Besides Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.’s collection many bequests have been donated to the museum. My favorite:

To Follow: The Munch Exhibit, The Chrysler Art Museum…

Things to Do During Lock Down #1

In a former life I was a New York State Prison administrator for 13 years. Traveling the state charged with the responsibility of prison health records in the then 71 prisons I saw much of the state and prison life. Lock down is a prison term so am coining it here on a positive note with ideas for things to do during this challenging time.

  • Read
  • Color
  • Museums on line. Check out the Morgan in New York City. Know there are many more, explore and let me know.
  • Grow plants – Herbs are amazing to watch as they grow quickly. A $4 Dollar Tree purchase can get you started. Needed: a planter, bag of garden soil, seeds, plus a sunny window. Parsley, oregano, basil, sage, and dill are the easiest to grow.
  • ======================================================== Kids would love this project. Make it a fun way to learn. Have them figure out recipes for the herbs, how to best cultivate soil for herb growth, re potting herbs, natural ways to insecticide, herbs of the world or which herbs are best for health, cleaning, etc…
Using the seed packets to label where the seed are planted.
Dill and Sweet Basil with Lemon Tree from seed growing in background.

More Dill, Sweet Basil and Oregano. There are many seeds in a packet. Mail extra seeds to friends and have them start gardens. Use a tweezer to take each individual seed for planting. They are little creatures.

Another idea: A blog about your experience or science project for school?.

  • The lemon tree seed came from my neighbor Shirley. Years ago, pre-TSA, a friend brought a lemon tree bough from a Vatican garden. Since then the lemon bough has produced many trees. Currently, I have 5 trees growing from the lemons of her tree. It takes a bit more time but worth the wait. Plant many of the lemon seeds to ensure several plantings.
From the top.. Lemon trees growing, the brown spot is egg shells used to fertilize soil.
Lemon Trees side view.

  • Am reading The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. She is a screenwriter, and what a brilliant gal. The whole family is with her bro James Cameron, Titanic director. Each week there are exercises. This week was to listen to music and doodle. How relaxing. Thanks, Julia. Give it a whirl.

  • Collages – another Julia Cameron idea. Get those old magazines out, tear them up and paste them on newsprint or cardboard. Then decorate. A bit messy but what fun!
  • U Tube music. They have a tune for every need – to wake, sleep, study, eat by, exercise by. Also, have some of the major artists and rock stars. Explore it.
  • Pierre, of the French Moments web site sent more photos of France. Sadly, several of his close friends have died due to the virus in France, so make sure to stay indoors, wash your hands, cover your mouth when sneezing or sneeze into your elbow. Protect yourself!
  • Take a drive and enjoy nature. Here’s some of my favorite Virginia trees. Virginia sure has some beauties in the spring. Once the pandemic passes come visit.

Wish I knew what the name of these trees were, how to grow them, where to buy them with the best price… Gosh, another thing to do.

Next week: Eating right during lock down with low calories.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is a jewel in the crown of our American history. The idea began with Reverend Doctor William Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish in Williamsburg, and the monies of John D. Rockefeller. During the Rockefeller’s family visit to Hampton University Goodwin broached the idea with the millionaire and received 5 million dollars, which increased to 68 in the course of renovation translating to 3 billion in today’s standards.

Bassett Hall, the Rockefeller home on the grounds of Williamsburg. A must see. Check for days and times open.

That said, let’s talk tour and how to get the most of your visit. Take a look on line,, to see what buildings have guided tours and arrive at opening, hours are 8:45-5:00pm. Since there is much to see it is difficult to visit in one day, but not impossible. Select priorities, map out the trip and download their Ap for additional information. Save the museum visit to end of day and check hours as some days the museum is open till 7. The museum is newly renovated and yes, is another must see. There is a free bus shuttling visitors from the Visitor Center to various sites in the restoration. Take advantage of it.

George Washington never looked so sexy..
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D.

There also are special talks throughout the restoration and at the museum. These are listed on the This Week At A Glance available on the Colonial Williamsburg web site. Price for tour is $44.99 adult, $24.99 6-12, pricey so make the most of your time as there is much to see and learn.

Restaurants are in the historic homes as taverns, but don’t waste valuable time at a long lunch unless you have multiple days. Eat a big breakfast before arrival, bring granola bars and fruit for lunch, or stop at the bakery behind the Raleigh Tavern on Duke of Gloucester Street. Their wraps are delicious and reasonable at $6.95 with tasty cookies and cakes, my favorite being the Queen’s Cake.

Christiana Campbell Tavern – make reservations ahead. George W’s favorite seafood spot.

First stop, The Capitol. Here they have guided tours every 20 minutes. Arriving as one just left I scouted out the nearby jail and another historic house nearby.

The meeting house and Public Gaol (see jail cell pic) are adjacent to the Capitol, so if you have wait time visit these sites.

Williamsburg was the capitol of Virginia in colonial days. The restoration is 1 mile long and a half mile wide with some private residences. Small signs appear on the outside of these homes so as not to enter in error.

The Capitol held the court room for the colony. Courts met quarterly and those to be tried waited in the Gaol until hearing. These quarterly sessions lasted 6 weeks with 75 cases heard during this time frame.

Once a court decision was made the paperwork was scuttled across the pond to the King of England for final decision.

Queen Charlotte and King Charles

This took 6 weeks. The King gave his final decision then paperwork was returned to the colonies taking another 8 weeks. What a process as in the meantime the prisoner remained in the Gaol.

The Capitol

Next head down Duke of Gloucester Street with the coffee house, apothecary, bakery, Raleigh Tavern, and silversmith. This street bustles in activity and has much to see.

Clothing Shop

An interesting historic house stop is the Thomas Everard House on the Palace Green across the street from the Governor’s Palace. Thomas was Mayor of Williamsburg and held several governmental positions.

He shared his home with his wife and daughters. In the upstairs bedroom his daughter’s wedding gown was displayed. Wedding gowns were multi-purpose and depending on the circumstance either a current piece of clothing or a new dress was worn. The gown then became part of the women’s regular clothing post wedding. White wedding gowns are a 20th century creation. A colonial wedding cake was one layer cake with meringue frosting.

The final stop was the Governor’s Palace. This is a re-creation based on Thomas Jefferson’s etchings. He was the last Governor to reside here.

What an interesting place of history. Built in 1722, becoming a hospital in 1787, then burning to the ground shortly thereafter. It was the third building Rockefeller recreated on the property and recreate he did. All contents and building materials are historically correct. Lord Dunmore, the last Brit to occupy the Palace in 1775 would probably think he was at home.

Entrance with gun collection display

Surrounding the Palace are gardens as there are throughout the restoration behind the colonial homes. These small spots of color are a lovely find. Take a moment to enjoy.

But, don’t forget the museum…

The new exhibit is Upholstery CSI: Reading the Evidence. It shows how furniture of different eras was created. Much fun and a must see.

Three chairs from different places in the world..

Enjoy your Williamsburg visit and rekindle your love of our home, America.

Pasture Point Hampton, Virginia

Having driven past this park several times I decided to stop and what an interesting find. This Park is home to Pasture Point, one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Hampton, Virginia. Part of a plantation owned by Englishman Miles Carey in the 1600’s, it borders on the Hampton River, and Bright’s Creek. The Creek was later known as Pasture Track with grazing cattle and a surrounding orchard.

If Miles could only see his lands now.

During the Revolutionary War homes in the area served as winter quarters for French officers participating in the battle of Yorktown.

Beautiful homes still grace this area.

In the following century seafood businesses began in the area with subdivisions developing neighborhoods. Some of the Victorian homes of the era remain.

Pasture Point was known as a streetcar suburb during the 1900’s due to the presence of a streetcar line. Prominent and regular folk of all colors lived here.

Wonder what the revolutionary war figures would think of this bridge?

So, during corona isolation stop by those places that you often drive by.

You certainly will learn something of value.

Caveat: Historical information from plaques at the Park. Thanks.

Portsmouth, Virginia

What a captivating place to visit with its combination of past and present. I found it fascinating.

Let’s start with history:


Olde Towne was part of the American Revolution. When British commander Cornwallis reached Portsmouth in 1781, he abandoned the town upon receiving new orders and moved his troops to Yorktown sparing Portsmouth. Walk through this area on your visit and enjoy.

The home of Thomas and Elizabeth Hill, Jr. is owned by the historical society and open to the public with selective viewing hours. Call or check the city website for days and hours. or 757-393-5111.

Other homes in the area

And museums to visit

St. Patrick’s Day parties at local watering holes.

And more historic sites, The 1846 Courthouse, churches, and The Commodore Theater..

However, the waterfront was my favorite spot. Here a ferry takes you around the harbor where one can get up close and personal with naval ships under renovation. It is a 35 minute ride and a must do. Fare is $2. for adults, bring cash. What a deal and what a sight.

Ferry with Naval Ship
Kids adore this cruise.

Naval ships are repaired in this portion of the Harbor, however in another area of Portsmouth air craft carriers are constructed. This is a prime source of employment for the area.

Tug boat bringing in cement tubing. Portsmouth is the deepest natural port in the world.
Under Repair
Close up of Ship Under Repair

And finally, pleasure and duty..

Marina with Naval Ships

There are many festivals during the summer months in downtown Portsmouth. Check out their website for all the fun.

Healing Earth

A few tips from the Norfolk Garden Newspaper.

  • Ride a bike, walk, take public transport. Get exercise, use the car less.
  • Drive an eco-friendly electric car or hybrid rather than gas powered.
  • Plant a tree, bush, or flowers. These folks absorb carbon dioxide.
  • One of the biggest carbon dioxide contributors is meat production. Eat meat only once a day. Meat production makes up 14-18% of carbon emissions in the world. This is five times more than all transportation vehicles.
  • Get rid of plastics – cutlery, bags, bottles.
  • Ditch straws – who needs them????
  • Use items that you can use again and again.

Some easy steps to save our planet.

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Spring in Virginia is popcorn flowered bushes filled with beautiful color. Decided to experience this even more at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

This Garden began in 1938 during the Great Depression as an FDR Work Progress Administration Project with 200 black woman clearing and planting the first 23 acres. The Garden now encompasses 175 acres of natural and planted gardens.

Start at the Visitors Center with the free tram which runs on the hour. This overview to the Garden is informative and will help you plan your garden visit. On May 1st boat rides through the Garden canals will begin.

Next to the main building is the Japanese Garden. Always a personal favorite, stop for inspiration.

The Tower overlooking the gardens is a good spot to watch planes go skyward. The Garden is adjacent to the airport. Met a Frenchman catching a visit prior to departing for his homeland.

Rembrandt in the Statuary Garden..

The WPA Memorial walk to Mirror Lake is filled with camellias and azaleas..

As well as a Sequoia tree gracing the path..

On Father’s Day weekend the Butterfly Garden House will be open.

A Lego exhibit is throughout the garden..

And finally look who can visit on Sundays for those who are members. Furry friends. Membership has it’s privileges..

Much is happening at Norfolk Botanical Garden.

Come experience it.