Friday, June 8, 2012

Monticello and healthy tuna casserole

Do you remember me telling you about my camera lens, which I dropped and then couldn't remove from my camera?  I wrote about it here.  Well I finally got that baby fixed!!!!!  I asked a local photographer where he would take it and he said Charlottesville.  I asked a friend to tag along, we loaded into the car and drove the hour or so...10 minutes in the shop, and $20 later it was fixed.  YEEHAW:))))  I felt like doing cartwheels to the car.  Something I'd been worrying about for months was suddenly fixed.  Like that...instant voila!  Now I'm just praying my lens lust won't return;)  I was doing good.

So while we were in Charlottesville we decided to take in Thomas Jefferson's plantation home Monticello.  If you haven't been there you really should add it to your bucket list.  I can't tell you how much fun we had.

It's nestled in the mountains, with rolling hills and lush gardens all around.

Just thinking about all the history, interesting people and things that happened on that land about made both our heads pop off.  At one point Kim turned to me and said she thought she was going to pee her pants.  Uh yeah it was that exciting!  Oh and don't you just love the holey jeans and flip flops??  Mr. Jefferson would be so proud...gracing his lovely garden in only the finest;)

The gardens were lovely, but the house...where I couldn't take one picture...was fascinating.  You know it was all I could do not to whip out my camera.  The thought of being escorted out like the guy at the National Archives in DC was the only thing holding me back. 

The DETAIL!  Holy cow people Jefferson was a detail maniac.  He was a mathematician, master gardener, architect, servant to our nation etc...  He read novel upon novel...7,000 volumes to be exact.  Which back in the day one book cost as much as a cow!  Knowledge was power and he was powerful.  He spoke and read 7 languages.  He loved maps and owned 50...which was unbelievable for that time.  He painstakingly planned out every inch of his home.  It took 40 years to get just right.  And I kept thinking to myself how in the world did he have time to do everything??  How was he SO uber gifted in so many areas.  You know what I think the answer is...NO INTERNET!  I'm just sayin'...oh and slaves to help him do all the work. 

Here's a candid of me.  Just so ya know I don't smile all the time.  I actually do have another face.  It's called scowl...ha!;)

Another interesting fact about Jefferson is that he died at age 83.  That's over twice the average lifespan of a man for that time.  He died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence...along with his very bestie James Madison.  How weird is that?

There's the slave he was involved with that bore his children, and that he died penniless.  Which really stumped me.  He was extravagant, but he was also sharper than a whip.  He had to have known there was more going out than coming in. 

But beyond all of that, the fact that he was never able to live out his own words that all men are created equal and free his own 200 or so slaves.  That's the thing that stuck with me.  I know times were different.  That's all they knew, but it just kind of made me not respect the man as much.  See I'm judging.  Shame on me.  But still to have written those words!  Wouldn't it have been so much more impactful if he could have set the bar??  

Now onto another great man, Rocco Dispirito...ha!  I'm not sure if he's great, but his cookbook is pretty good.  Just got this at Target the other day and that's where my recipe for Feed my Family Friday is coming from this week.

Crispy on the Top Tuna and Green Pea Casserole

This is just the sort of recipe Jefferson would have liked by the way. They made "mac n cheese" and comfort food at Monticello often.

Whole wheat rotini.  I used the whole box.
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt.  I used fat free.
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/4 cups reduced fat cheese.  I used whatever I had on hand which was mozzarella I think.
18 ounces canned tuna packed in water.
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbs.  I used Ritz.

Boil noodles to directions on package.  Mix sour cream, yogurt, mustard and cheese.  Add tuna, cooked noodles and pea.  Stir well.  Pour into sprayed baking dish.  I used a 9X11.  Pour crumbs over top and bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes.  ENJOY.  My family loved this!  Yummy and pretty healthy to boot.  SCORE!!!

Okay you know the drill.  If you want to share a recipe grab my button, link to that post and let's FEED OUR FAMILIES:)

And finally the winner of the MAN CUFF is:

Okay sister, here ya go...

I start slow, with my iphone on Pandora tuned into Josh Wilson...I get a nice beat and mix of my favorite Christian contemporary music...Lord knows I need HIM to get my ass running!

then I bag my faith and get DIRTY with Christina Augulera's Dirty album...

to get up those big hills, I put on eyed peas...gets my booty moving!!! And hopefully, smaller....

I start to get out of breath here...but I have at least 20 minutes left, so, I call on my girl, PINK...

her BEST HITS rock...keeps my legs and arms moving!!

now time to slow down...

might work in a little Train, or Jason Mraz..Colbie...Christina Perri...and then I work my way back to my good ol' Christian Contemporary...

LOVE to stretch in my driveway when I am all done, and listen to Laura Story's BLESSINGS...or anything Third Day...

I can NOT run without music.
And I walk the dog with my rosary beads :-)

enjoy and happy working out!

Thank you all SO much for the playlist suggestions.  I downloaded a ton of new music and it has made my workouts much better.  Check out the comments from that post for ideas:)

Have a blessed day.

616.  holding a hurting friend's hand
617.  learning about my nation's past
618.  fieldtrips that ROCK
619.  getting my camera fixed!!!
620.  a week full and overflowing
621.  a proud momma moment with my big chick

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  1. you got some gorgeous pictures!!! and $20 to get the lens fixed is a great deal. woot!

    the casserole reminds me of my childhood, only healthier. yumm!

    happy weekend, pretty girl.

    ps. your shirt is so fun; love it!

  2. Yaaaaaay!!! You made it to my home town! Isn't Charlottesville awesome??? Don't you just love Monticello?? I bet you soaked up every minute:)
    Hope you made it to the downtown mall, it's the pinacle of Charlottesville coolness:)

    And P.S.
    I second the comment above about your super de duper cute shirt!

  3. wow, those are some beautifully amazing pictures there, Becky! i have not been there but have been to many famous landmark-esque places as a child/teenager that i didn't appreciate at the time that i wish i could go back and see again--because now i would : ) $20 is awesome. i recently had ana ccident with my lens and i am so scared to see if it can be fixed or not..i am thinking no. ughhhh. happy friday!

  4. gorgeous, every last bit! and i am so with you on the sad disparity between tj's words and actions. (i'm pretty steeped in hypocrisy sometimes too, though--asking God to save me from myself yet again.)

    love you, my becks! have a beautiful friday!

  5. What a FUN day! You and your friend are absolutely gorgeous! I love the way your shirt matched the hollyhocks! Hooray for a cheap camera fix! What a blessing! Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Love your pics! We stopped there one time traveling with Steve's parents when our kids were little -awesome memories. Have a blessed weekend with family :)

  7. i am so coveting your field trip day!! what a cool day! i would love to see that. now that i have a super cool friend that lives super close to all those super cool president places i can totally make it happen! :)

    and oh, i know that look...the "scowl" ha!! i've seen it!

    love you, sweet thing.

  8. So happy bout your camera. LOVE CHO, but--can you believe it?--I've never been to Monticello. Amazing photos, and I love your shirt!

  9. wow! that looks like such a fun day!
    i would LOVE to go and soak in all of that history. so intriguing.
    you ladies look lovely in the beautiful!
    and those gardens look divine.
    i hope you have a blessed weekend!

  10. That photo with the bee is FANTABULOUS!!!! ;) Gorgeous!!! Glad you got your lens fixed and reasonable too! :D What helps me get over lens envy is thinking about having to carry around MORE equipment and then I get pretty content with the two I already have! ;)

    Love the bit about Jefferson getting so much done because he didn't have internet - and all those slaves that helped him! haha! Too both sense!

    I like the candid - the scowl - I make the same kind of face when I'm thinking or doing online banking and my kids always ask me why I am mad! hahah! ;)

  11. that tuna recipe looks great! i adore good tuna casserole, but the rest of my family isn't too keen on it. and that's not good because i still have quart jars of tuna i canned in the pantry!! so they're gonna eat it anyway!! sometimes being the chef is so fun ;-)

  12. Growing up in Charlottesville, we went to Monticello every time guests were in town. And yet, I love it and don't get tired of seeing it as an adult. If you really want to get to know Jefferson and the real story behind your questions, you should read The Jefferson Lies by David Barton. It's on my summer reading list. David Barton is one of the foremost authorities on the Founding Fathers and he is tired of how they are negatively portrayed in our history books (for instance, that they were God-less men). He owns many original documents in the Founders' handwriting. And Mr Barton is a great storyteller. Sorry for the long-winded comment. I am so glad you enjoyed Monticello, and I loved your photos. Too bad they won't allow photography inside! You could do it justice :)

  13. I loved this post! History, ah one of my all time favorite subjects and Thomas Jefferson is right up there for me as one of my favs. Becky, your photos were beautiful and well, so are you! :)

  14. Good for you and your lens love when you expect the worst and it doesn't happen. What a beautiful place I'm sure Mr Jefferson would love your flip flops!

    Have a great weekend!

  15. Beautiful Photos as always! Glad you got your camera fixed and only 20.00 makes it a lot easier.I will have to check out the new cookbook~Cheers Kim

  16. love rocco

    love your pictures

    love you

    love that I WON

    i never win

    i am a loser

    so happy i won!

  17. You are so pretty. Okay so I am reading Uncle Tom's Cabin right now and I feel so dumb. The language in the literature is so much deeper and richer than the language we use now and it's not difficult to read, it's just more intelligent than our dumbed down daily talk. I'm loving it... but so sad about slavery. I talked to my kiddos about it the other day and they were just amazed that our country could do that to another human being! (As am I.) Heartbreaking. But I would have LOVED doing that tour with you. You know me and history... :)

    Thanks for the chat today friend. Love you!

  18. Yay for a fixed lens! I've always wanted to go to Montecello, but I don't get out to the East Coast very often. Thanks for sharing the pictures and for the link party!

  19. I <3 Monticello. I've never been in the house, but I've covered the grounds, info center, archaeology shacks, museum, garage... I need to go back and tour the house one day. Your serious face is very good. :)

  20. LOVE Monticello and your thinking pose. My favorite coffee cup came from Monticello with the saying... "I cannot live without books."

  21. How fun! I hope to visit Monticello someday and see again that beautiful part of the country.

    Oh, and your poppy photo is breathtaking! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  22. Oh goodness.....that tour made ME have to go to the bathroom--and I only experienced it through your pictures! I can.not.wait. to make that trip! I LOVE history. And so does my big boy. He was all over the info & photos you provided....thanks :)

    You mean I should just go get my lens fixed for 10 bucks and quit worrying about it???!!!! And I thought I'd have to buy a brand new one! YAHOOOOO!

    Love your shirt & holey much!

    And I should submit some of the dinners that have been delivered to us! Since I'll be in a cast & pretty much on bed rest for the summer, we have meals provided every other day through July so far! And more people are calling to get on the list! We are so blessed by our school & church families.

  23. Oops....meant 20 bucks. But STILL.....

  24. P.S. because my last comment wasn't long enough :) Be sure to go back to Monticello in the fall. Gorgeous area when the trees start changing.

  25. You are so lucky!
    $20 was all it cost for that fix!
    I am never that lucky...ha ha!
    I'm very glad you have your camera all fixed, you produced some STUNNING pictures and now I want to go to Monticello!!!
    Hopefully while we live so close we will be able to find a time to go.
    Thanks so much for sharing :)

  26. Getting your lens fixed for 20.00 is great! Glad t hear that it is all fixed. Thank you for sharing all of your beutiful photos and the history lessons about Thomas Jefferson. :) I love going to historical homes. Not sure I will ever go t Thomas Jeffersons home so thank you again for the photos.
    I hope to add my latest smoothie to tomorrow night your Feed Your Family. the recipe that you made from a cookbook written by Rocco Dispirito looks yummy.


  27. I am about to pee my pants....I wanna go to Monticello! I am sad about the slaves. Even with no internet I wouldn't have read nearly that much. Well if someone did the work. I always say that about Martha Stewart..s she hasn't got that much going that we wouldn't have if wehad her staff! I have tons of ideas ...I just need helpers!!
    Love your shirt. You looks so cute. And yay on the lens!! I still haven't gotten that one. I NEED too. This is sooo long and I have more to say.I guess I should have sent an email.... lol! xo

  28. I was entertained the whole way through this post! Your the scowl...made me laugh outloud:)
    happy dance for the always gets me to imagine the people that lived in the Thomas Jefferson LIVED there! crazy to think about.
    hope your weekend has started off sweet..

  29. Monticello is definately on my list. I loved Mt. Vernon and can only imagine the awesomeness of Jefferson's home. Thanks for taking us along, Becky!

  30. So happy to find you and your blog! GREAT post. I'll be back. JOY to you...

  31. So happy to find you and your blog! GREAT post. I'll be back. JOY to you...

  32. okay....I love Thomas Jefferson and think he was brilliant, but I've totally wondered the same thing about him setting the bar high and letting his slaves go free.

    I have modeled some of the homeschool that I do with my children after the book "A Thomas Jefferson Education." It involves a boat load of books.... :)

    I read some of your comments from the playlist post, and I literally LAUGED at the computer when I read the one that ended up winning. It was hilarious! Glad she won!

  33. okay....I love Thomas Jefferson and think he was brilliant, but I've totally wondered the same thing about him setting the bar high and letting his slaves go free.

    I have modeled some of the homeschool that I do with my children after the book "A Thomas Jefferson Education." It involves a boat load of books.... :)

    I read some of your comments from the playlist post, and I literally LAUGED at the computer when I read the one that ended up winning. It was hilarious! Glad she won!

  34. Adore Monticello
    and love TJ, even
    though, as you say,
    his ownership of
    slaves seemed very
    hypocritical, given
    his powerful words.
    If only we could time
    travel and get into
    his head! I always
    love the fact that my
    son was born at the
    U of Va hospital, while
    my hubby was getting
    his MBA at U of Va ~
    gives us lasting ties
    to this amazing place!

    Hope you are staying
    cool. We've had a b-ball
    tourney since yesterday
    in Burnsville and today
    it was 94; yikes!

    xo Suzanne

  35. Glad you got things all settled with your camera! And your trip.....How much fun! I loved all the pictures. A few years ago I made it ti George Washington's Mount Vernon, let's just say I dudn't want to leave and I can't wait to go back someday! Now, Jefferson's place is officially on my list if places to go.

  36. YAY on te cheapie lens fix!!! And looks like you turned it into a fantabulous day!

  37. Oh the pain of even thinking about wracking up my 50mm makes me shiver. It is my favorite. So glad that you could get it fixed with minimal cost.

    And the pictures from Monticello are fab.

  38. I would love to visit that place one day. I love historical places..and learning about what made people who they were back then. Wonder if someone will ever in the future want to know what made me tick?? hmmmmm??

    Love seeing your new friends that you've made.. God certainly kept his promise and sent you some good ones. YAY!!

    Hubby and I love tuna casserole and will have to try your recipe since it has a different ingredient spin on it.

    ♥Lee Ann

  39. i'm so jealous. i want to go on a trip with a friend. how fun! and what beautiful photos, friend...

  40. I've always wanted to make my way to Monticello. So gorgeous!
    And $20 to fix your lance? Totally awesome!

  41. Wow I really love your pictures so much, The colors in it are amazing, ae you doing that with photoshop?

    I wish I was that good, I have a sony alfa 200, but I don't know how everything works, like shutter, which position I should use with pictures the camera is always with me on p and I don't know what that means, I hate it, I want to learn.

    Hugs from the Netherlands

  42. You take the best road trips! Imagine going to get your camera fixed (yeah) and then ending up someplace this wonderful! Love tuna casserole ~ I make it with low fat cream soup and lots of veggies ~ celery, green onions, red pepper and mushrooms ~ so yummy. Hope you had a great week-end sweetie. xo


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