Friday, May 27, 2011


 After a week of difficult revisions on my latest manuscript, I found myself blocked, unable to find my way to end. The harder I worked, the less I typed. Finally, my CP and dear friend Christine convinced me to leave my kitchen table, grab my kids, and do something fun before the next round of thunderstorms struck. That's when I realized I'd yet to take a trip to Williams Nursery in Sterling, Virginia.

Williams, a private nursery on a large horse farm, is an oasis outside of Washington, D.C. Although surrounded by highways, office buildings, and housing developments, Williams has become an annual event. A place for the kids to chase ducks and skip stones.

For a brief time today, no one was worried about deadlines, tests, or projects. While I shopped with my camera, my kids ran free. 
For the first time in weeks we had no one to see, no reason to rush. 
Just time to be.

Time to contemplate. (The upcoming last day of school maybe?)

Time to throw rocks.

  Time to follow ducks.

Time to skip stones.

Time with the flowers. 
(Williams specializes in perennials native to Virginia in the summer, lilies in the spring, mums in the fall, and poinsettias for winter.)


Although I was tempted by the hanging geraniums, 

I left with what I came for--water lettuce for my fish pond. 
(Thanks to my husband for refurbishing the pond and saving my fish!)

The other thing about Williams? It's cash only. A good thing since my eyes are definitely bigger than my garden budget and my ability to get everything planted before the first frost. 

Thanks, Christine. A trip to Williams was exactly what we needed. I just wish you could've come with us!


Thursday, May 26, 2011


The Garden-Gate by Anonymous 
(an old minstrel's tune published in Hume's History of England, 1778 ed.)

The day was spent, the moon shone bright,
The village clock struck eight;
Young Mary hastened, with delight,
Unto the garden-gate:

But what was there that made her sad?
The gate was there, but not the lad,
Which made poor Mary say and sigh,
'Was ever poor girl so sad as I?'

She traced the garden here and there,
The village clock struck nine;
Which made poor Mary sigh, and say,
'You shan't, you shan't be mine!

You promised to meet at the gate at eight,
You ne'er shall keep me, nor make me wait,
For I'll let all such creatures see,
They ne'er shall make a fool of me!'

She traced the garden here and there,
The village clock struck ten;
Young William caught her in his arms,
No more to part again:

For he'd been to buy the ring that day,
And O! he had been a long, long way; 
Then, how could Mary cruel prove,
To banish the lad she so dearly did love?

Up with the morning sun they rose,
To church they went away,
And all the village joyful were,
Upon their wedding-day:

Now in a cot, by a river side,
William and Mary both reside;

And she blesses the night that she did wait
For her absent swain, at the garden-gate.

What is a "Study in . . ."?
A visual record defined by a single element, such as color, texture, or type. My previous journal entries include Studies in PurpleStone Faces, Yellow, and Bark.
I hope you enjoy them.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This week's visual record of gratitude begins with #270, my children's first garage sale where they gave up their favorite toys for cash. Then came the long conversation about needs, wants, and the value of charitable giving.
#271 While the kids bickered and bartered, I stole moments to both plant and photograph the garden.

#272 Long lost peony.
I thought this white peony had died during the winter, until this morning when I saw one perfect bloom.

#273 Orchids.
Can't grow them or keep them alive, but they remind me of what is possible.

#274 Urns, waiting.

#275 Urn, overflowing. 

#276 A few Sunday afternoon hours spent alone in the garden.

#277 Mother's Day flowers, still blooming.
#278 Antique roses, fading

#279 White Guinevere roses.
These roses, along with gardenias, made up my wedding bouquet.

#280 Fresh basil, fresh pesto.

#281 A view from above.
This weekend, my husband finished the refurbishment of our fish pond.
#282 A view from below.
Beneath the pergola, cool shade during a hot afternoon. 

#283 Boys, their ball, and a birthday party.
{along with an ancient golden retriever, unseen but still actively involved in the game.}

#284 Flowers.

Come visit me over at my book blog where I also keep a writing gratitude journal.

Join the community at A Holy Experience.

Hope to see you there,