Sadie and I have a love for In the Kitchen with David on QVC. It airs every Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon hosted by the fabulous David Venable. I got the unique opportunity to go see the show live at QVC Studio Park in West Chester, PA.
It was everything I thought it would be and so much more. I saw Tara McConnell, the creator of Temptations, and the oh-so-famous Bob Warden. Before the show started, we had a chance to have a quick question and answer session with David and Mary. It was confirmed that David is down to earth and really cares about his fans. In fact, he announced that he would be available for a cookbook signing session after the show. My mom and I were ecstatic. In fact, my mom was a little starstruck when she met David.
He mentioned that one of his favorite recipes from his new book was Italian Wedding Casserole. Well folks, it is simply divine. I made it last night and I must say it was a success. You can find the recipe here in this preview of his latest cookbook, Back Around the Table. Have fun foodies!
I took this photo the day before my friend passed away. Little did I know that this photo would be just more than a picture. I never thought I believed in signs, but now I truly believe that the universe sends you them when you least expect it. This was the only photo I took in the zoo that day. If you read the information on this link, you will understand what I am talking about.
This week I have been going through many pictures and remembering the times where I was happy. I have reflected on all of my friendships. Those that were made when I was a small child, those that were made in college, and those that have been made in my adult life. Some pictures are difficult to look at now that my friend has passed away, because they remind me of a time when we were all happy. I’m not sure that anything will be the same. Yesterday, when I looked at the pictures on my phone, I saw this peacock. I remembered from high school English lit that the peacock always held a special symbolic meaning. I decided to look it up and I read that the peacock is symbolic for immortality. I know that my friend has left this earth, but his spirit has not died. He is still in all of our hearts and he will be remembered forever.
As for renewal, I think it gives us all a chance to take a look at our own lives. I did not only lose one good friend, but instead I think I may have lost two. I cannot change the mistake that I made. I can apologize over and over again, but I cannot change the past. I realize now that I hurt my friend unintentionally. On the night that my friend died, it was difficult to hear my friend say that she didn’t want to live without her best friend. I saw my own life flashing before my eyes. I got scared and took the easy way out. I avoided the situation instead of facing it straight on. I came back to reality to face my fears and wanted to help my friend, but at that point, I realize it was too late. The damage was already done. I don’t know how to fix this, but I pray everyday for God to give me guidance.
Guess what. I am a Thomas Jefferson fanatic. Do you think it’s a coincidence that I go to business school at his alma mater? I think not. I actually love US presidents in general. I know a lot of useless trivia about them, but TJ is my favorite by far.
Last year I had the pleasure of visiting his house, Monticello, outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. I was in Charlottesville by myself for a completely different reason, but you better believe I booked a tour at Monticello before I left. I’ve done a lot of mansion tours in my day: up in Newport, RI, The Biltmore in NC, Versailles in Paris, the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT, and several chateaus in the Loire Valley just to name a few. This tour was different because I knew TJ was there. I loved learning about all of the choices he made in the design, and about his daily habits in the house. I highly recommend it if you’re in the area!
But I digress, this post is actually about a new book about TJ that I recently bought on tape (well CD actually). I bought the audio version of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, because I’m doing a lot of long drives this month, so I thought it would be good for that. I haven’t even finished the book yet, but I’ve decided to give it a good review. Often times, these types of books are rather dry, and difficult to get through at times. I find this one continually interesting. I am filled with little tidbits about TJ and his family that I never knew before and I’m only up to 1784. Here are a few I’ve learned so far:
Martha Jefferson (TJ’s wife) actually went by Patty
Patty made TJ swear on her death bed that he would never re-marry and he abided by her request
TJ’s relationship with his mother is largely unknown because all of their correspondence was destroyed when her house burnt down, there is question as to how well they actually got along
Sally Hemmings (TJ’s slave and mistress) was actually his wife’s half sister because her father was Patty’s father (the Hemmings served Patty’s family until Patty’s father died)
Though TJ held numerous leadership roles, perhaps his most disappointing was his stint as governor of Virginia, to his embarrassment, his tenure was largely criticized in an official capacity by the Virginia House of Burgesses
The fact that I live in Virginia is an added bonus as I listen to this book. I am constantly hearing the names of streets and schools in the area, and now I can identify the significance of their namesake. Who knew there were so many important Virginians!
Have you read or listened to any good books lately?