All posts by taneya@gmail.com

Visit to the US Capitol

Yesterday, after a business meeting I had in DC wrapped up, I decided to stop for a detour on my way to the airport.  I was able to take a tour of the US Capitol building and it was highly educational!

The tour was very well organized.  You pick up a ticket in the Capitol Visitor’s Center and fortunately, I was just in time for the very next tour.

looking down into the main foyer – full size model of the statue Freedom that sits atop the dome

It started with a short video, “Out of Many, One” that gives a historical overview of the building.  Then, we split up into tour groups.  Each of us in the group wore audio headsets that allowed our tour guide to speak directly to us and only us.

What a great way to do this!

We started the tour in the Rotunda, where we learned about the room itself, the artwork in the room – along the walls and in the center of the dome, and the statues. 

Apotheosis of Washington
Frieze of American History 
Paintings in the rotunda. This one was commissioned by Congress in 1837 and is the “Baptism of Pocahontas”
Abraham Lincoln statue 

The tour then moved to the National Statuary Hall to learn about all the statues throughout the building.   This room used to be the original House chamber.  The history behind the statues is interesting – each state was allowed to donate two statues of anyone they wanted, so long as the person was deceased.  And, statues could be made of marble or bronze.  

I think my favorite statue of all the ones I saw was this one of King Kamehameha I in the Visitor’s Center.  It weighs over 6 tons!

King Kamehameha I

After the National Statuary Hall, we visited the Capitol Crypt, which was built to be the final resting place of Thomas Jefferson.  He died well before it was finished.  The columns and archways provide support for the Rotunda and Dome above. 

All-in-all, the tour lasted about 30 minutes. It was so well worth the time! I learned so much and I highly recommend a visit.

I have so many more pictures and details in my online album that you can check out!

 

Our 4th Doctor Inspired Bedspread

Last year, I knit Kalonji a Dr. Who 4th Doctor scarf for Christmas. Then, I crocheted myself a 4th Doctor “inspired” scarf to match him.  Then, I decided I liked the colors so much that I wanted to make us a 4th Doctor-inspired bedspread.  Six months later, I’ve finally finished it. We have a queen-sized bed and this is the largest crochet project I’ve done. I’m hooked (pun intended) and want to make more bedspreads!

Kaleya is 10

…and where does the time go!  This week, Kaleya turned 10 and we had quite a time celebrating.

Monster High, My Little Pony, drawing supplies and more among her presents. Kalonji took the Father-of-the-Year Award though with this present. He commissioned a painting for her that incorporates two of Kaleya’s favs – rainbows and Dr. Who (the blue box is his time travel machine, the TARDIS).

Then this weekend, we held a slumber party for her.  She’s been wanting a slumber party at a hotel for awhile now, so we finally did it. It was great! We played cards, played doll babies, watched TV, painted nails, played video games — all the things you expect from a group of kiddos.  And of course we had birthday cake.

Thanks everyone! It was fun!

Building A Library

Watch out world! Kaleya is a mini-librarian in training.  Well, at least for her school she is :-)

This weekend we spent time getting their library set up.  The school is building up a new space for the kids, so lots of sweat and tears are being expended these days as everything is nearing completion.  The library is no exception.  And, of course, I the librarian has to train my mini-me to help out.

We had a ball!

Requisite “before” picture

Getting books out of boxes

We are starting to see some organization..

Kaleya in her “library”

the textbooks & workbooks section looking good

showing off the fiction books, authors last names begin with O-Z. Tons of Magic Tree House series books!

Kaleya explaining how things are organized

And explaining how the check-out log will be kept

We certainly had a productive weekend. Though, we are not done, we had a great start!

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

This weekend has been great! I’ve had a not so great week as I was sick and had to miss a couple of days of work. I still have some residual respiratory “stuff” going on, but this weekend has been so nice and I’ve felt far better than I had all week.

Saturday I started the day with some shopping – for yarn to use in my crochet projects, and for Kaleya as she has an upcoming science fair.

Saturday night I had a chance to catch up with a friend and her daughter,  and we had dinner at Rainforest Cafe.  It’s been many years since I last visited there and we had a great time!

Then Sunday, Mother’s Day, we spent the afternoon at Edwin Warner Park with friends and just enjoyed being outside. The weather was perfect.

This coming week will be busy as I have a business trip to Chicago on Saturday.  Hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

Panafest Nashville 2014

This year, Kalonji and I had a chance to participate in some of the activities for Panafest Nashville.  The Nashville version is based on the one held every two years in Ghana and aims to bring together all African cultures for a weekend of cultural festivities.  This year, the guest speaker was Nelson Mandela’s eldest granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela.

We all had a chance to meet Ms. Mandela last weekend on her arrival to the states. Africa Legacies Foundation held a reception for her at the Africa House and we enjoyed having the opportunity to hear Ms. Mandela speak about her father, Thimbekele Mandela, and her grandfather Nelson.

kids in the backyard of the Africa House
Kaleya & Ndileka Mandela
Ms. Mandela w/ Dr. Chihombori, Dr. Quao, and Kwame & Justina Ahima
Kalonji and Kwame Lilliard

Then, last night, we attended the Panafest Gala Dinner and had a great time! The Gala was held at the Global Event Center in what used to be Hickory Hollow Mall.  Ms. Mandela was also present, spoke some about her family and the work she was doing – including the fact that she planned to establish a Tennessee office of her foundation – that’s great news to hear.  During the evening we were treated to dance performances, a fashion show,  and great food and music.  We even ran into a family friend while there. For more, the Tennessean has a nice article with information about her visit here in town.

My pictures didn’t turn out the best, but I did capture a few.

Kalonji, Derrick, and Donovan

I also very much enjoyed the music. It was awesome! I was trying to use Shazaam to identify the music, but the app didn’t do that great of a job unfortunately. But, I did capture a few tracks, so I’ll start with those and see what else comes up.

Many thanks to the organizers for a great evening