Terracotta Army – VMFA Jan 2018

Another amazing exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!

When Ying Zheng was laid to rest in 210 BC, he was accompanied into the afterlife by an army of nearly 8,000 life-size clay soldiers, horses, chariots, organized into battle formation and equipped with a full arsenal of weapons.

Ying Zheng ordered the construction of his mausoleum complex and military entourage shortly after he became king of the Qin state in 246 BC. In only eleven years as emperor, he brought about significant political and cultural reforms, unified the nation, and reshaped Chinese national identity in ways that have resonated for 2,200 years.


This was the only (stated) replica in the exhibit.

Finally, the army!

Offering a glimpse into ancient China’s firm belief in the afterlife, this section of the exhibit displayed life-size terracotta figures and other objects excavated from the First Emperor’s mausoleum complex. Some figures stand over six feet tall and weigh more than 400 pounds. Stone armor, bronze weapons, and a bronze goose accompany these large-scale sculptures that depict the First Emperor’s soldiers, officials, and servants.

More than 700,000 workers constructed the mausoleum complex over 38 years of Ying Zheng’s reign as both king and emperor. The First Emperor’s mausoleum complex (which sits at the foot of Mount Li, near Xi’an) is a necropolis, or a large cemetery of an ancient city, and measures approximately 38 square miles (more than half the size of the City of Richmond) in its entirety. The complex includes the tomb mound, ritual structures, a palace, an armory, an entertainment arena, stables, and a garden pond, as well as three pits containing the terracotta army figures. To date, it is estimated that only 20 percent of the buried figures have been excavated.

These objects not only represent furnishings and amenities for the afterlife but also show the artistry of ancient Chinese craftsmen.


Today, the First Emperor’s tomb mound remains undisturbed, and its contents are a mystery.


Virginia Orchid Society Annual Orchid Show – 2018

Strange’s Florist hosted the 12th annual Virginia Orchid Society Orchid Show. I went last year (after going to Longwood), thinking it was just going to be a few orchids. I didn’t take my camera (I know, gasp!!), and I was completely wrong about show! There were so many orchids! And so many species I had never seen before, or even knew could exist!

So when I saw it on the calendar again this year, I made sure to take my camera! It did seem a little smaller this year, but it still had so many pretty orchids!!












I found this one at the show and it was so different than the others, I just had to add it to my office windowsill :)

And this is the whole collection!



You can see a post of my first orchidĀ here.

I love orchids!!


Tacky Lights 2017

Another year (and a month late!) with more tacky lights! It occurred to me driving around this year that I have never given credit to the houses. There are also houses that I have really enjoyed in years past, but I didn’t write down the address and therefore don’t know where to go back the next year! I am rectifying that this year. Most of the houses in this post I’ve been to, and posted about before.

2334 Thousand Oaks


9608 Asbury Court – 2017 “Great Christmas Light Fight” winners

Yes, the lights go ALL the way up to the top of those trees, and they are 70 feet tall!

A whole flamingo section!

I’m very partial to geese too. And the vultures for some odd reason!

I’ve never seen the squirrels and the mailbox, the santa building the snowman, or the polar bears climbing the trees. I thought they were really cute!

9215 Venetian Way

But don’t go down Venetian Way, they don’t decorate the front. Take Maybeury instead so you can see the lights reflecting off of the lake.





And someday I’ll be on the tacky light tour!