Summer Intentions

I’m participating in the Big Time Literacy blogging challenge and doing some of the posts here and others at my professional blog, In Another Place. The intention board seemed more personal so I’ve shared it here. It was a perfect assignment for yesterday as I’ve had these intentions in my head but had yet to execute, especially the yoga and bike ride. But, by the time I sat down to make the board, I had done both yesterday!

I LOVE my new bike with its basket and bell. And riding a bike gives me a different view of the neighborhood. I stopped to say hello to a gardener about his lovely vegetable patch and waved to a man waiting for a ride. I haven’t been out today: we are in the midst of the first major heat wave so today’s exercise was a long dog walk. Maybe I’ll get on the bike later this evening.

I parked my bike by the garden down front and took a few pictures. My gardens are a labor of love and have taken five years to get where they are. There is always work to be done but for now, the beautiful blossoms cover up the weeds.

And part of the intention is to eat better: we have squash and cucumbers flowing from the garden right now and I should be able to get fresh tomatoes and corn at Saturday’s market.

intention_posterI added the superhero avatar today after spending last night and this morning reading Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson. I made a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative but I want to do more. It may be letter writing or online advocacy, but I also have a sense that I can do more hands on kinds of work with local kids in areas of coding and robotics. Focus on ways to have a positive future.

Finally, I am just excited about the blogging I’ve done in the past few days!


Book Bingo Update Plus Some Bookstore Tourism

I wrote about Book Bingo over at In Another Place related to gamifying reading.

I filled out my card and have been using it to drive my reading. It’s fun to explore different genres including fantasy (The Graveyard Book), science fiction (Ender’s Game) and alternative history (The Man in the High Castle). I took advantage of the analog AND digital library to find a couple books (The Graveyard Book and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian) and retired one that’s been around for awhile (Spartina).

I did take time off the bingo card to read The Emperor’s Tomb by Steve Berry, my first Overdrive checkout. The app connects to my Amazon account to get to my Kindle and lets me choose the length of the check out time. It’s interesting that not all of the books in the Cotton Malone series are available electronically. But the next one is already on the shelf at my local branch so I’ll head down there this week.

KramerbooksA conference in Washington, DC, got me to a new bookstore. Kramerbooks is in Dupont Circle and packs a lot of books in two pretty small rooms. Walk through the store to a bar and a lovely cafe. I might be willing to move to the city if I could live around the corner from a spot like this. I came away with a nice pile of interesting reads including Education: A Very Short Introduction by Gary Thomas, part of Oxford’s series of short introductions to lots of topics. I’m proud of myself that I only walked away with one. I’ve mostly stopped by fiction in analog since I read them so quickly. Instead, I added a few others to the library including A History of the World in Twelve Maps and On Dupont Circle, which tells the story of the Roosevelts and their progressive friends who shaped the beginning of the 20th century.

It’s harder to find time to read this time of year: the garden is calling. There’s weeding and culling and moving and mulching, and I like to do a couple hours a day, in smaller chunks of 45 minutes or so. After five years of working on these garden beds, adding perennials and shaping edges, they are coming together nicely, and I’m looking forward to seeing them move through the seasons. The biggest challenge now is dealing with some of the large chunks of daylilies and irises we have in various places. I have spots for them but the digging and hauling have deterred me so far.


Mid June Mosaic

Sometimes pictures are worth more than words…

1. Cardinal Flower, 2. Wildflower, 3. Mexican Fritillary, 4. Onions, 5. Two Days Old, 6. The Corn Is As High…, 7. Red Chard, 8. Chick, 9. Farm Sign, 10. Cauliflower, 11. Wildflowers and Barn, 12. Yellow Hollyhocks, 13. Pink Hollyhocks, 14. Blackberries, 15. Patty Pan, 16. Fennel, 17. Orange Chard, 18. Black Eyed Susan, 19. Yucca, 20. The Silo Area, 21. Trumpet Vine, 22. Yarrow, 23. Chard and Barn, 24. The Harvest, 25. Sweet Potatoes

My First Christmas Letter

I usually don’t write a typical Christmas letter, preferring instead to jot short individual notes in each card. With the advent of social media and email communications, many friends both near and far know what we are are up to whether through Facebook status updates, flickr photos or the blog. As for old family friends, aunts, uncles and cousins, my mother makes a good social network node. But I suppose there are folks who are busy living their own lives without time to have much interest in mine.  So if you haven’t been following along, here are the highlights.
We started the year in the same small 1920s bungalow in suburban Williamsburg that we had lived in together since we married nearly 20 years ago. We ended the year in a two-story, rambling 1850s farmhouse in rural Virginia. It came with 18 acres that we hope to cultivate in various ways from pick-your-own berries to farm stand produce to a few pigs and cows.

We started the year with one old dog–Tina Turner the beagle mix still graces our lives–and ended the year with three dogs. Tina welcomed Spot, a large lab/terrier mix, in early April, and just recently, Major, a stray beagle/lab mix puppy probably born somewhere on our property adopted us. I’m still longing for two cats to hang out in the library but we’ll get past raising the puppy first.

2011 saw some major change in our lives. While we miss our Williamsburg friends and neighbors, we are having a great time on the farm. Bob is harvesting gorgeous vegetables from cucumbers to greens to soon-to-be red cherry tomatoes from the sun room that runs along the southern side of the house. We’ve put in some gas logs so we will be cozy this winter since all the chimneys need lined before the fireplaces can be used. We would love to have you visit us here in Waverly. We have a lovely downstairs guest room with its own bath.

We both work from home so usually one of us is here. Feel free to just drop by. We can’t promise it will be dust free but we would love to see you despite that. You can also keep up with us at

Our best wishes to your for a peaceful holiday season and a new year full of joy and love.  And just for fun…enjoy some Christmas karaoke!


I am sitting in the shade of the oak tree in my back yard where I get three bars on the wifi connection.  (Unfortunately, my battery is in the red and I have no power nearby but that’s another story…) I am realizing the joys of working from home for yourself.  My nose has been to the programming grindstone all week, first in Flash and then in php/sql.  The projects are basically completed so I’m treating myself to a morning of getting caught up.  I love the fact that I was able to schedule a meeting from my laptop in the backyard and who knows, if the weather is nice on Monday, I may conduct it from here, too.

I’ve been reading away but I don’t have enough battery power for that kind of blogging.  I put together a mosaic instead.  A little of everything from the past month: flowers, WM, Denver.  Enjoy!

May Mosaic

1. 113/365 for 2010 The Greenhouse in Spring, 2. 114/365 for 2010 Purple Columbine, 3. 115/365 for 2010 Early Rose, 4. 116/365 for 2010 Still Life with Wygelia, 5. 117/365 for 2010 House, Field, Sky, 6. 118/365 for 2010 Lily of the Valley, 7. 119/365 for 2010 What time is it?, 8. 120/365 for 2010 The Big Blue Bear, 9. 121/365 for 2010 Immigration Protest in Denver, 10. 122/365 The Molly Brown House, 11. 123/365 Along the Street, 12. 124/365 for 2010 Worth The Wait, 13. 125/365 for 2010 Foxglove, 14. 126/365 for 2010 Spring, 15. 127/365 for 2010 Roses!, 16. 128/365 for 2010 Strawberries!

Spring Mosaic

I just updated my flickr photostream and added photos to my Spring 2010 set.  I thought it would make a nice mosaic. Some but not all are part of my Project 365 set.


1. The Pond in Spring, 2. 96/365 for 2010 Candy Tuft, 3. 98/365 for 2010 The Hoop House, 4. The Hoop House, 5. 92/365 for 2010 Yet Another Dogwood, 6. P4070416, 7. 97/365 for 2010 Wysteria, 8. 95/365 for 2010 Gourd in the Dogwood, 9. 94/365 for 2010 Dogwood Update, 10. 93/365 for 2010 Orchids, 11. 86/365 for 2010 Forsythia, 12. 85/365 for 2010 Camellias, 13. 81/365 for Project 2010 Early Daffodils, 14. 108/365 for 2010 Winged Beauty, 15. 107/365 for 2010 Irises, 16. 106/365 for 2010 Celebration in White!, 17. 105/365 for 2010 Wild Azalea at Morris Creek, 18. 104/365 for 2010 Honeysuckle, 19. 103/365 for 2010 Hostas, 20. P4140413, 21. P4140412, 22. 91/365 for 2010 Snowball Bush, 23. P4140409, 24. 99/365 for 2010 Jack in the Pulpit