Today I worked hard. I had energy and motivation! Went to three stores, bought a car full of stuff- food, gardening supplies, stuff for my summer camp class... built this solar car and a wagon for it to pull rocks with...

Moved this bird bath base from the back of the yard to here and put the newly purchased bath on top... planted stuff... weeded... and put up an extra fence around my garden because the BUNNY ate all the leaves off one of my string bean plants. That rascal squeezed in a 2" x 4" hole in the fence. Well, now Peter Rabbit, try this extra barrier.

Grilled steaks for dinner, made a potato salad and asparagus salad too. Memorial Day.


Today I did more yard work and finished up some preparation for my summer camp (which starts in 2 weeks!) I had a close encounter with this baby bird who was just learning to fly. It wasn't scared of me at all.

And my orchid is blooming again! This orchid was a gift from friends in 2005 at a celebration of a mural I'd painted. Can't believe I've kept it alive all these years.


We worked in the yard all day pruning trees. We pruned the Tupelo which was hanging over the woodshed and driveway. You couldn't see the woodshed roof and couldn't walk the driveway without hitting your head on branches. After a rain it was even worse. So we removed about six of the lower branches, cut them up into manageable sizes and bundled them. What a chore!
Here is is afterward. A much cleaner look.
We also pruned this Chinese Elm which had some beautiful low branches, but it make the garden seem so closed in. After pruning, the tree has a much more upwards flow to it. By 4pm we were very tired and worn out. Then we got a call from my former student Megla (which rhymes with Tesla... an indication of what a bright and creative science student she was.) Megla and her friend were passing through town on their way to Wyoming. I've known this young lady since she was in elementary school! She and Jes were good friends in middle school and her mother is one of my closest friends ever. What an honor and thrill to have her visit! She and her friend stayed the night and we went out to dinner downtown. Talk about "old home" week! Three visits from C'ville friends in one week!

She is getting her Ph.D. now- such an accomplished, kind, dear person.


We had more guests from Charlottesville today! Our dear friends N & T were driving to Wisconsin and stopped on the way.We have known them for 22 years but N has known Dan's mom since they were children so they're almost like family to us. It was SO wonderful to see them. This must be "old home" week since this is the second time we've received visitors from C'ville this week.
Dan and I walked the arboretum trail this evening and saw some sights. I love oak leaf hydrangea especially because it's the state wildflower of Alabama. I painted this once, or tried to. Such a graceful flower.
We saw this box turtle on the path and Frisbee was very excited to sniff it.

Sunset at the Arboretum.


This is the berry that forms on the Service Berry tree in my side yard which drapes over the driveway. When we moved in last year it was done putting out berries so I didn't know until today why it was called a berry tree.
This is the Sweet Bay Magnolia that grows next to the extra parking spot. It smells so nice and has so many blooms.

And these beautiful plants are Astilbe. They grow in front of the wood shed. I hope to get more of them next year because they're so pretty.



Today I tried to figure out what this plant is. I searched and searched online for monocot plants with seeds near their leaves, and had no luck. Then I posted these pictures on my Facebook account and got an answer from a friend who is a horticulture professor. It's a lily, most likely a tiger lily. It's pretty ugly right now and I wonder if this is the "garden variety" orange tiger lily the previous owner instructed me to pull up if it appeared.



I spent the day sorting Legos for an activity in the summer camp at which I'm teaching next month. Why? They're just going to get messed up again- Squirt said. I enjoyed it, and it helped me think about and plan some of my lessons. This photo is of blueberries growing on three bushes in our back yard. I don't know if they are real, edible blueberries or just the ornamental kind. (They are the real kind.)



What a lovely surprise today, we had guests from Charlottesville visit! We've been friends with R&M for close to 20 years and it was such a treat to spend time with them. We went out to dinner at Winchell's and just had a great time catching up.

Not much is blooming in the gardens right now. The Sweet Bay Magnolia is blooming, as is this wild azalea bush, but the peonies and irises are done. Now I wait on the lilies.



Dear Dan, Happy Birthday! This was the most memorable birthday we've had together. First, I got you a pretty spectacular present even if it's on back order. Plus, I made your mother's Vienna Torte cake, and we went to our friends' house for a LOST finale party.

Miss March and I had a great time discussing the show as we watched the final episode with you and Squirt and Mr. March. OK, so you "shushed" me a number of times for talking back to the wide screen flat screen high definition television with "Instant Replay TV" capability. That's OK. It was a pretty cool thing, that TV. Seemed almost real. And no, you're not hanging one on our wall.

We stayed over at our friends' house until nearly midnight when we came home and watched more LOST TV on our own little cathode ray tube set. I hope you had as much fun on your 47th birthday as I did.

Love, Chrissy


Blue Hole

Water running from Blue Hole to the Boils

The Boils

A big Bur Oak

Got a migraine last night because I ate a couple wasabi rice crackers like an idiot. Later looked at the box and the crackers contained maltodextrin, "natural flavors" and soy sauce extract. Three code words for MSG.

Today after sleeping off the migraine Dan and I went on an excursion to McConnell Springs where Lexington was founded. It was really a beautiful spot. No wonder they settled there. If you ever come visit we will take you!



The bunny who lives in our yard ate the tops off all my greenbean plants, but two of them have sprouted new leaves since I made a fence around the veggie garden. I hope to have beans this summer!

Also experimenting with carrots. These are seeds from Seed Savers. My other seeds never came up. Hmmm....

The lavender is getting ready to bloom!



Getting ready for a workshop I'm giving tomorrow- gathering supplies and polishing my PowerPoint. Here is a photo of an unusual but pretty peony I cut from my back yard. I loved the way the light was shining through it from the lamp. The peonies did not last long enough given all the rain we've had lately.



My first vote in Kentucky. The polling place was at a church which seemed really strange and you had to say out loud to the poll worker whether you were a registered Democrat, Republican, or Non Partisan. So much for privacy!



I have a problem. I try to stop and can do so for a day, but then I'm back attacking my fingernails again. I guess it's nerves and it's a good thing I can't drink alcohol because I think I would start drinking to calm myself down if I could. Where is this coming from? The uncertain future of an open-ended summer? Yikes!


View of the rain out my bedroom window.

Frisbee likes to gather his toys here on this bed. My mother-in-law made shams for the twin beds out of scraps from my quilt reduction surgery, and I received them this week.

Today we had some special guests visit from the deep south (a writer and an historian), and we went out to brunch with them. Unfortunately, I did not get a photo, which is a shame. We went to Doodles, a really special place well worth the wait.

This afternoon it rained and I stayed inside working on some random things. Vegetable stew over rice for dinner. Not too good, but palatable.


Woke up this morning with no idea what the day would hold, and Dan suggested we go to Frankfort, the state capital, for a tour of historic homes. We had lunch with my neighbor's mother who lives there, and made it to all but one of the historic homes. My favorite was the old governor's mansion- the backyard of which is pictured here. The coolest part of the tour was seeing how many homes had a painting by the previous owner of our house here. He was a faculty member of the art department and quite well known. And good! I think it would be wonderful if we could eventually own something that he painted while he lived here.


Today I attended a "retreat" that the College of Education sponsored. It was not so much a retreat as an enjoyable way to have a meeting. We met at Spindletop Hall , a club owned by the university. I just took a couple photos with my iPhone and they don't do it justice. It was a beautiful spot just outside of Lexington. We had lunch, and the coffee was good, and it was nice to discuss things outside the normal venue.


Today was the last day of my academic year. I spent the day writing and managed to almost submit a paper for publication. Before submitting it I vetted it with my former adviser and he suggested I beef up the discussion section, so alas, I did not submit the paper.

Here are some garden scenes. The irises are in bloom, even the ones in the water garden.


Today starts the last week of my first year as a college professor. Dan and I went for a long walk in the arboretum this evening and I took a picture of him with the biggest magnolia flower I've ever seen. It's called Big Leaf Magnolia, appropriately. Another Big Event of the day was receiving in the mail two VHS tapes of this season's episodes of HBO's show Big Love. I received the tapes from my good friend Moonie whose father taped them for her. My neighbor lent us an old VCR since ours busted years ago, and we have a Big Week of Big Love watching planned.


I took my camera to our favorite place to let Frisbee run, and snapped some photos of him playing his favorite game with us. We each have treats and call him back and forth to get them. He loves it, and it's fun to watch him run like the wind.


Yeah! Aza is a college graduate!


We left this morning for Virginia to attend Aza's graduation from JMU. Driving over the Blue Ridge Mountains, I kept checking my emotional temperature to see if it felt like "coming home" or not. It's still so strange to be an ex-pat Virginian. It was wonderful seeing Aza and her new kitty "Little Gray."


April 2                                                                    April 11

April 25                                                                    May 6

I think that if I washed this SunChips bag out in the sink I could actually put more SunChips back in it, it looks so good after 5 weeks buried in compost.

Today my colleagues and I met for most of the day to work on a proposal together. We work well together. We were treated with cakes to celebrate accomplishments made recently. What a wonderful group of science and math educators I work with!