11.26.2017

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello


September 10th was the day I fell in love with Virginia on the road to Monticello. Lea and I woke up early this Sunday. Our tour for Monticello was to start at 10:15 in the morning, so we gave ourselves more than two hours for the long drive to Charlottesville from Arlington. The drive wasn't as bad as we'd thought it would be and after we left the city behind us we were met with little to no traffic. The skies were pure blue, the weather teased us with cool autumn temperatures, and the sights were breathtaking; the mountains, farm animals, family farms, homes, and long winding roads. It was our first road trip during our vacation and it was perfect.


When we first arrived at Monticello, we handed in our tickets and took one of the shuttle buses to the top of Monticello. We had the most beautiful view of the mountains. Later when we entered Thomas Jefferson's home we were met with Native American artifacts in his two-story entrance hall. Jefferson called this room the "Indian Hall" and it contained weaponry, hide paintings, pipes, quillwork, and more. There were also European sculptures and paintings, maps, natural history specimens, a model of an Egyptian pyramid, the bones of a mastodon, and other objects from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Elizabeth Chew, a former curator at Monticello, had the following to say about the room: "As a product of the Enlightenment, Jefferson's display represented not simply a desire to showcase the marvelous and bizarre, but to work towards a scientific understanding of the world through observation and study. In the Indian Hall, Jefferson sought to demonstrate, visually, that the products of North America could take their places alongside those of the Old World."

We took a tour of each of the rooms, some notable ones were his library, cabinet, tea room, dining room, bedchambers, and parlor. My favorite room was the parlor. The room was designed for reading, listening to music, playing games, and other social functions such as weddings and christenings. The walls were adorned with portrait paintings of men that Jefferson admired such as John Locke, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and Marquis de Lafayette. The room was as spacious as it was impressive. My other favorite rooms were the library and the cabinet. The library functioned as Jefferson's workplace where his books were easily accessible and the cabinet was similarly used as his workplace for study, writing, and scientific observation.


After exploring the inside of Jefferson's home we explored the grounds, gardens, cook's room, and the basement which included his wine and beer cellars. From there we participated in the Slavery at Monticello tour. It was more of a discussion about slavery and everyone was allowed to add to the conversation. We were also told stories about the slaves and their living arrangements, labor, family structures, and experiences at Monticello. We talked about Mulberry Row, a 1,000-foot-long stretch of land where domestic life and work coincided for free whites, free blacks, indentured servants, and enslaved people. The area was once covered by servant dwellings, workshops, storehouses, woodworking and ironworking shops, a smokehouse, a wash house, and a stable. It's where the blacksmiths, spinners, weavers, tinsmiths, nail-makers, carpenters, gardeners, stablemen, and servants of Monticello worked. Sometime in the future, Mulberry Row will be restored with the help of curators, historians, and archaeologists.


Our final stop was the Monticello graveyard. Jefferson had left instructions for what he desired on his grave. It was these three things that he considered his greatest achievements and what he wanted to be remembered for; none of which included the presidency, but instead his contribution to America's Independence, religious freedom, and scholarship. The obelisk above Thomas Jefferson's grave reads:

HERE WAS BURIED
THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA


CHARLENE ZALE

11.19.2017

My Makeup Collection


1 | It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream in Medium
2 | Benefit Boi-ing Brightening Concealer in Light-Medium
3 | Too Faced Primed & Poreless Powder
4 | Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed
5 | NYX Matte Bronzer in Medium
6 | Too Faced Natural Matte Eyeshadow Pallet
7 | L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Blackest Black
8 | Babo Botanicals Lip Tint Conditioner in Wild Roses
9 | Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Safe Word

I use the eyeshadow palette for multiple things so I don't have to buy separate products. I use the shade "sexspresso" to touch up my eyebrows and sometimes I'll use the same shade as an eyeliner for my top eyelids. Since I don't use eyeliners, I also use these eyeshadows underneath my eyes to give that area some color. I only use neutral colors. I'm not one to wear pink blush and red lipstick. I feel and look my best with a brown-mauve color on my cheeks and an antique rose color on my lips.


Determining how much makeup to own at once is really quite simple. I only buy makeup that can fit inside of my makeup bag. Since my bag is quite small the only time I buy new makeup is to replace something I've used up or if something I will have to repurchase in the near future is on sale. The one thing I'm not picky about is face powder, I only ask that they be translucent. I just recently started using a new powder and so far I like it. Other than that, I know where I can find my perfect foundation, concealer, blush color, bronzer formula, mascara, eyeshadow palette, lipstick shade, and lip balm. I'm a creature of habit and once I find something that works, I stick to it. It has taken me so long to use up makeup I've already purchased only to go back out and buy more makeup just to find what works for me. It took a little more than a decade, but I'm glad I found the products that work well with my skin and complexion.

Personally, I've never understood the mentality of owning so much makeup at once since makeup has expiration dates and the more you own, the less likely you are to finish a single product before it expires. I also find that having only the essentials makes getting ready in the morning a simple task. Ten minutes is all the time I want to devote to my makeup application in the morning. I do wear a vitamin C serum, eye cream, and sunscreen underneath my makeup, however, I did not include them here because they are skincare products.



CHARLENE ZALE

11.17.2017

Library of Congress and Jefferson's Library


September 9th. Lea and I visited the Library of Congress twice during our trip. Our first visit was right after we left our tour of the Capitol and the second visit was a few days later on the 13th. Our first visit wasn't planned, we simply used the tunnel to get to the Library of Congress from the Capitol. We wandered around on our own and got a glimpse of Thomas Jefferson's Library, which was perfect timing since the following day had us exploring Monticello. Because we were too late for the tours that would have given us insight to the building's history and art, we promised that we would come back on another day.


On September 13th we returned to the Library of Congress. We visited the bookshop and gift shop first, where I purchased Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries by Tom Shachtman. During the tour, our guide did point out some interesting facts about the art in the Library of Congress, its founding, and of course Thomas Jefferson's contribution. I have already dedicated a separate article to Thomas Jefferson's books, if you would like to read it you can click here. What I loved most about the art within the library is that everything is there for a reason, every piece of art is an allegory for something, someone, an event that took place in history, an idea, etc. Many symbols were revealed to us, so many in fact that I could barely keep up.

After our tour we decided to register for Reader Identification Cards so we that we could gain access to the Reading Rooms. While we didn't have time to request materials and wait for their retrieval, we still wanted to get the cards knowing that there was a chance we wouldn't use them during this trip. I may return someday and use it for research since I am a student of history. That said, there's also plenty of resources on their website.


CHARLENE ZALE
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