Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just call me Princess Alisa

I found out not too long ago that through my ancestry I have a castle in Scotland named Dunnottar Castle. How cool is that!!! I've always said that I wish I had some rich relative that I didn't know will me all of their money, that way I didn't have to grieve over their death because I didn't really know them but still got rich out of it. I guess this is going to be as close as I'm going to get. money, but at least I can say I have a castle in Scotland. It's actually on my mother's side of the family through her mother, my grandmother. My grandma, Eunice and I, love doing geneology and while working on her side of the family, she found out that through the Keith family, we have a castle in Scotland. You can actually visit it and do tours and everything. I'm so going to visit it.....actually, Jake and I are looking into going this summer 2009 and possibly my mom. We're looking at a cruise that visits all different countries in Northern Europe, like London, England; Sweden; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Scotland to name a few. That's our plan.....but, we'll see. You never know what may happen between now and then.

A little history: The site on which the Castle sits has been inhabited since Pictish times (5000 BC to 700 AD) although an exact date is not known. The name Dunnottar stems from the Pictish word "Dun" which means hill fort or place of strength. Dunnottar Castle was home to one of the most powerful families in Scotland, the Earls Marischal, from the 14th century when Sir William Keith, the 1st Earl Marischal, built his Tower House, also known as the Keep. In 1649 Charles I, King of both England and Scotland was executed by Oliver Cromwell, the self-proclaimed Lord Protector. In 1650, his young son Charles II arrived in North East Scotland, and stayed a night in Dunnottar on his journey south to give battle for his fathers' two kingdoms. In 1715 the last and 10th Earl Marischal, George Keith, was convicted of treason for his part in the Jacobite rising. His estates, including Dunnottar Castle, were seized by the Government. After the seizure of Dunnottar from the Earl Marischals the Castle was neglected, until it was purchased by the Cowdray family in 1925. The 1st Viscountess Cowdray embarked on a systematic programme of repair. Since then the Castle has remained in the Cowdray (Pearson) family, and has been open to visitors.

Some famous events:
- Shakespeare's Hamlet starring Mel Gibson and directed by Franco Zeffirelli, used the Castle and surrounding land as the perfect theatrical setting for the celebrated 1990 film version of the famous play.
- Dunnottar appears as the backdrop with in a current STV ident.
- BBC One's Country File - location for filming of inter segment links.
- The Discovery Channel's "You Are Here" series.

If you are family or are just interested in reading more about this wonderful castle you can use this website:

Enjoy looking at my, Princess Alisa's (he he) Dunnottar Castle:

It's located in Scotland, two miles south of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

The Crown Jewels (too bad I can't inherit that bling bling)

The Drawing Room

The Whig's Vault

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I LOVE MY HUSBAND SOOOOOO MUCH!!! The other day I came home from working in my classroom before school started waiting for my honey to come home. When he came home, he held something behind his back and said that he had something that I wanted. I had NO clue what he had. There was nothing I could think of that I wanted. Well....I was so WRONG!! He surprised me with the 4th book by Stephenie Meyer "Breaking Dawn". I had all the others and have been trying to get Jake to read them (he likes reading about Vampires and such). I figured that I would pick one up when it died down a little, figuring they would be all out everywhere at the beginning. I just love my husband soooo much. I love the little surprises he does for me. I couldn't ask for a better husband!! Now, I'm a little embarassed to say that I haven't even started the book yet. School started Wednesday and I've been swamped with grading and getting things ready. I have a student teacher working with me this year too. I hope I can find some time to read this exciting book. I'm trying hard to not find out about what happens from anyone or the internet. Happy reading to those who started or are probably already finished. LUCKY!!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

First Day of School

Today was my first day of school for the year. My kids are the cutest!! I have a full every year.....of 30 kiddos. I have to say that our school has the best crop of kids. Here's my classroom before school started.