Thursday, June 30, 2011


We took a field trip for our Info Meeting today to the new Richard Byrd Library. It's nice but we all found alot of things to criticize of course! Tysons is due to be renovated in 2013 I think. One thing I like about our library is all the windows and the light.  It's really a very nice space, even if it could use some updating and renovation.

Then tonight was the last yoga class of the session, and we weren't too happy with it. Pat had us do some sort of yoga obstacle course, with all these different stations, and we had to do about 15 different poses at the different stations. It was kind of chaotic and none of us enjoyed it.  As much as I appreciate Pat trying new things, we all agreed we like a straight yoga class, with quiet meditation. Things are going to change, though,  as some of us are moving on to different classes, some moving up a level.  We all went out to dinner afterwards at Masala Wok. I had heard it was good, but it was just okay. Fast food Asian.

Skunkologist Eric came today and set 2 traps in back. Will be anxious to check tomorrow morning!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Well after 2 years I'm afraid to say our skunks might be back. After trapping a family of 7, a new deck, wire mesh around the opening, and tons of anxiety...well today I went outside to water and there was a ditch under the gate, and 2 dug out areas under the mesh of the deck. Aaaargh. Time to call Eric, our skunkologist. The funny thing is I sprinkled some so-called skunk repellent that I bought at Merrifield around the deck yesterday. I guess it really means it attracts, not repels...

I made Martha's chocolate toffee cookies tonight to take to Cleveland this weekend. I talked to Linda tonight and she said Tom and Evie are coming in on Sunday for the day! I'm so happy they are coming.  And she invited Peg and Tom over for dinner, so we will get to see them too. I'm really looking forward to the weekend and seeing everyone. Brooks will drive there on Saturday afternoon, and Julia flies in on Saturday morning. Rich and Linda will pick her up.  It will be the first time the kids have been back to Euclid since Mom died in June of 2008. Hard to believe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jane Kenyon

Peonies at Dusk
by Jane Kenyon

White peonies blooming along the porch
send out light
while the rest of the yard grows dim.

Outrageous flowers as big as human
heads! They're staggered
by their own luxuriance: I had
to prop them up with stakes and twine.

The moist air intensifies their scent,
and the moon moves around the barn
to find out what it's coming from.

In the darkening June evening
I draw a blossom near, and bending close
search it as a woman searches
a loved one's face.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nights with Nancy

Why do we watch Nancy Grace? She is so abrasive and obnoxious, but there's something about her that I like. She is like a bull dog. Nothing matters to her except finding justice for the victim, and she doesn't care who she offends. I know she is pretty offensive, but I guess I admire her commitment. Plus she is so entertaining.  Can you tell we are watching Casey Anthony trial?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Early Sunday Walk in Herndon

W and I were up early this morning, so we went for a long walk in Herndon. Here are a few of the gardens we passed by. The first picture is my favorite house in Herndon, on Monroe Street, but the picture doesn't do it justice. I didn't want to walk up into their yard to take a picture! I really enjoy my walks around town. I used to walk around a lot when the kids were little, but now it seems I'm always in car just passing through. So it's kind of nice to get to know the town again on foot.

 Later W went to Best Buy to look at laptops and I went to MGC and took a sample of my anemones. The guy I talked to wasn't sure what the problem is--he looked at it under a microscope and saw some mites, but he doesn't think that is the main cause. It might be a virus. Regardless, he said they are very hardy and he doesn't think it will kill them. Just make them look ugly, great. I also picked up a 6-pack of hummingbird salvias, to fill in a few areas in front garden. We need RAIN!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cleveland Rocks

I have picked these rocks up over the past few years at Linda's beach in Euclid. Next weekend I can get some more! I like having a little bit of Lake Erie in my backyard.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Looking Out My Kitchen WIndow

This is one of my favorite views from the house. I love looking at all the green in the backyard, and the shape of the Japanese maple. A bonus is watching the wrens dart in and out of the gourd birdhouse (see it in the middle of the bottom window pane).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cutting Back Those Geraniums

Trimming those sprawling geraniums

There is a problem with my anemones. I think they may have a virus. The leaves are spotted and some plants are dying. I guess I better take a sample into MGC. I would hate to lose them, as they are so pretty en masse.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Errands and Lunch with Lorraine

Coneflowers and Daisies
Lorraine and I met for lunch at the Bagel Cafe to catch up. We always enjoy sharing stories about our girls and there is always lots to talk about!  It has been hot this week and too humid to work outside. It's frustrating because there is certainly a lot to do. I need to cut back the perennial geraniums, hellebores, nepeta, tie up the clematis (again), and pull out the larkspur. I noticed today the mildew is starting to show up on the deck. I think we will have to clean it again in mid-summer, as well as the early spring. I guess there is no such thing as maintenance-free, even with Trex.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school. As I drove past Herndon Elementary this afternoon I could remember so clearly that feeling of the freedom on the last day of school--of no more homework, making lunches, school projects, PTA newsletter, afterschool practices and games. Time for the pool, BLT lunches, vacations, sleeping in. A group of us used to take a picnic to the pool on the last day of school to celebrate summer. Some of my best memories of raising my kids are of those lazy days of summer--of going to the pool for the afternoon and coming home chlorine-clean and worn out by the sun. And the best was to come home to a dinner of Mom's tuna salad and iced tea. A perfect summer day! (Of course I am forgetting about the summer baseball league, All-Star baseball teams, baseball camps, ballet camps, and all of that.) But it was fun. Makes me want to re-join the pool and make some tuna salad for dinner tonight!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gray Monday

We had lots of rain last night and it is still kind of dreary today. I work all day and then Elizabeth and I are doing a makeup yoga class tonight in Mary's class. The dilemma we are facing is whether to go up a level this summer--we would be going to Yoga 2/3, which is prep for headstands.  I don't know if I am ready for that, but I want to stay in class with Elizabeth, Sherrie and Kathy, and they all seem to want to move up.  I guess I have to ponder...

Oakleaf hydrangea and daylily

We finished the second series of Blue Murder over the weekend.  We like it, and it has gotten even better in the past several episodes. It is a contemporary British detective drama, kind of like an updated Prime Suspect, but with very contemporary issues--Janine is a single mother with 4 kids and a very demanding job.  I thought we were at the end, but I found out there are 2 more seasons, so yea, we get to keep watching Janine and Richard. We also just started watching Cranford.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Triathlete (and his kids) on Father's Day

Post race chillin
Well, Walt did great in his triathalon in DC. The hardest part was the swim in the Potomac, due mostly to the wetsuit that he wasn't used to wearing. It was a coolish morning, a little drizzle, perfect for a race. I watched on Constitution Avenue and got to see him coming and going on the bike and on the run. Then I went to the finish line to see him cross. He seemed pretty good at the end, not too tired, just glad it was over.

Julia called several times to check on his progress. She had Colleen visiting for the weekend in Chapel Hill, so they had a busy weekend. Below is a picture of Walt and Julia on the UNC campus in May.

Walt and Julia in Chapel Hill, May
Brooks came over for dinner and we had teriyaki pork chops on the grill, rice, asparagus and salad. He is leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning to meet some of the people he will be working with in his new position. 

Walt and Brooks, Father's Day 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Getting Ready to Ride (and Swim and Run)

Last year's Tri in Culpepper

Walt is outside, cleaning his bike, oiling the chains, checking the tires, and making sure it rides smoothly tomorrow when he rides in the National Triathalon. He has to take his bike downtown today and leave it in the transition area, and pick up his paperwork at the Convention Center. He is excited. He has to get up at 4 am tomorrow morning, as the swim starts at 6 am. Can you imagine jumping in the Potomac at 6 am? Is it still dark? I will be going downtown a little later.

It is humid and gray this morning. It's so nice not to have to work on a Saturday, so I hope I can do some stuff outside later. Right now it's too humid and buggy. I think I'll make some cookies.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Taste of the Town

Walt worked at home today so that he could go pick up his wet suit in Falls Church. When I got home from work we went to Clyde's for my new fav--blue cheese burger--and it was Reston's Taste of the Town so we walked around a little bit afterwards. It was a beautiful night and tons of people were out. We sat and people watched for awhile, then came home and watched the first episode of Cranford, that Kathy from yoga lent me.

Brooks called to let us know he got the new job he was interviewing for. He is now one of 3 managers in the region, will be in charge of 70 people I think, and will be working alot. He seems happy about it, it's a big step in Best Buy. He may be going to Chicago next week to meet some of the new people he will be working with.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rain and Yoga

I woke up this morning to the wonderful sound of rain. However, it did not last very long and I don't think it did much good for the poor parched lawn and gardens. I had to work today and then had yoga after work. We did backbends tonight, my favorite (not). I actually did a full backbend, with Elizabeth's help. I felt good afterwards. I was so tired before yoga and didn't feel very well, but I always feel good after yoga. Hmm. I guess I better keep going.

And it's raining again. And thundering. Yahoo!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lovely Lacecap

Lacecap Hydrangea 'Bluebird' June
It's sunny and in the 70s right now--we are having a few rare days of lovely weather. As I walked around the yard this morning, it's mostly green right now with a few hydrangeas starting to bloom. I just planted a Limelight hydrangea which I bought at Espenshades in PA, but it probably won't bloom this year. The lacecap above is one I propagated from my first lacecap, and now it is bigger than the original.  The begonia below is from South Maple Nursery, one of our favorite greenhouses in PA. Rachel knows us now, after many years of coming to her in the spring, and she also makes the best cookies. She has the best selection of begonias, beautiful colors,  and they are truly a perfect bloom.
Non-Stop Begonias at Shady Maple Greenhouse in PA

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Star of the Show: Lavender

My lavender is amazing. I planted this hedge of 5 lavender 'Munstead' plants in 1990 and I have replaced 2. There might be a 'Hidcote' in there.  It must be just the perfect spot for lavender because it thrives in this area. I cut it back in the spring, and again after flowering, and it will flower for the rest of the summer. I have been working on this small bed for awhile, trying out different herbs. Right now it has rosemary, parsley, basil, several thymes, and oregano. And a sedum 'Autumn Joy' for some color and a purple heuchera squeezed in too. Oh, and of course Nepeta spilling around the edges. And some lily of the valley in the spring. Oh and some 'Ice Follies' daffodils, also planted in 1990. Pretty long-lived plants!

Lovely Lavender June

I went for a walk early this morning. It's another beautiful day and I don't mind walking in this weather. I like to check out other people's yards and gardens. Off to work now--

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garden Chores

Kousa Dogwood May

A beautiful day today--much cooler. I was up early and outside by 8:30 am and worked outside most of the day, until 3 or so, with a break for lunch and a little Casey Anthony trial. It's so interesting to watch a trial now that I have been a juror. I wouldn't want to be on that trial.
Hellebores and Hostas

I did a lot of pruning, cutting back (asters, geraniums, nepeta), moved my pots around, watered the dogwood (it's looking better), potted up some mint. Garden looks good, but we sure could use some rain! I have worked so hard in the gardens this year, it is so much work. I need to start thinking of ways to make it easier. Have been reading a couple of interesting books,  Gardening for A Lifetime, by Sydney Eddison and Embroidered Gardens by Page Dickey, both of whom are aging gardeners trying to make their gardens simpler, more maintenance free. Hmm, something to think about.

Hellebores and Hostas
We watched UVA baseball win an exciting game tonight. The Cavs were down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs, bases loaded, they got a hit and won!! 3-2 and now they go on to the college World Series. Woohoo!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beginning a Blog

Well, I am going to try my hand at this blogging craze.  We' ll see how long I keep it up, and if I have enough interesting things to say, but it does seem like a good way to keep track of where life is taking me. Woke up early, it's going to be another hot day. W went biking early 25 miles on the bike path, getting ready for next week's triathalon in DC. I worked outside early, watering, weeding. Bagels for lunch, what else, later we went to Weggies and stocked up. We drove by the new Dulles Honda, pretty fancy, but will be more convenient for us. Then home to wash the car, and make dinner. Brooks came over for dinner and we watched the Mavs beat that punk LeBron.