Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Again?? Playing in the Snow

After a series of warm springlike days, 
we awoke this morning to a gentle steady snowfall 
that continued all day.

I knew that snow was predicted but it was so warm yesterday 
that I thought it might be a false alarm.  
So far we've only gotten 2 inches; 
 and it's been melting from the roads and driveway as soon as it falls.
I wasn't scheduled to work today, 
so I baked some muffins and sipped coffee while watching it fall this morning.  

My limited snow experience as a child was obvious last week:  
My attempt to make a snow angel turned out to be a snow bat!  

I forgot about waving my legs!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Still learning.... Two symposiums.

The snow is all gone, but nevertheless,
here are a few random snow photos to go along with this post.

I've attended two daylong conferences this month
 with topics were radically different from each other:  
I don't know if that means I'm scattered or well-rounded!  
The first was a Child Welfare Symposium 
titled "Emerging Issues in Child Welfare" held at W&L's Law School.
The topics covered dovetailed with the CASA training
that I was in the midst of completing.
It was a chance to hear acclaimed speakers from around the country,
with a variety of viewpoints and it gave me much to consider.

Crazy that such an opportunity was free and open to anyone who wanted to attend.
A tremendous wealth of information to be gained just by showing up.
Gotta love it.
On a somewhat more upbeat note and a different campus 
was the horticultural symposium titled "A Celebration of Trees" 
held at VMI's beautiful Marshall Hall.
The day included three speakers each adept and enthusiastic:
Michael Dirr, Sarah Ross Hugo and Vince Dooley.

If you're a football fan then you would know Coach Dooley from GA athletics, 
but he's also an avid plantsman 
who has become a gardening convert late in life following his retirement. 

Sarah Ross Hugo gave an inspiring presentation....
she had a gentle style of speaking 
that encouraged me see plants in new focused way:
Look for beauty in even the tiniest part of a plant!

The title of Dr. Dirr's talk was "In Praise of Noble Trees. 
In a short span of time listening to him,
I learned a lot about tree varieties ... he's a gifted educator.
Unfortunately one thing I came to realize was that our property is pretty much barren of noble trees!  
But that doesn't mean things can't change!

I was able to experience Dr. Dirr's teaching abilities twice:  
the day before he lead an educational tree walk over at W&L.

I came away motivated to work more on our woods (and maybe less on flowers and perennials?)
however, I had lots of bouts of nostalgia as I thought often of my plants left behind in LA.

What I wouldn't give for a camellia right now!

If my magic wand would ever start working, 
I'd wish that I had another 50 years to live 
to see some of my new plantings come to fruition.
However one of the quotes of the day was by Nelson Henderson:

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

Perhaps that quote can apply literally to trees and also to volunteer projects like child welfare?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why Complain?

We've had two more snows since I last posted.
 I'm most assuredly, 
NOT tired of it yet!

Judging from the bellyaching and complaining around town, 
I have a hunch that I might be the only one in the county 
to have such a welcoming opinion toward the white stuff!

Why??  It's undeniably beautiful and complaining won't make it go away! 
View toward Big and Little House Mountains
A routine walk down the road in the snow
changes my perspective so that it seems I've never been here before.
I can come home to an entirely new house!  

Everyday little things like a shoe print 
become tiny worlds of wonder with glittery flakes and ice crystals.

Not blogging doesn't mean there's been nothing happening,

Between the usual things like card games (bridge is still an addiction),
music (The Broadway Boys at W&L and The Honey Dewdrops at the Krantz'),
Newcomers activities (we definitely eat well!), 
and work (approx 2 days a week nowadays), 
I've found time begin and participate in plenty of new activities.  

First thing to announce is that I completed a training course to become a CASA volunteer.

CASA's are Court Appointed Special Advocates who volunteer for judges 
within in the court system and serve as voices/advocates 
for children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. 

For the last 7 weeks, it's been "scenarios" and simulated cases;
 yet to be seen is whether I can handle the mental/emotional challenges 
that will go along with the job in real life situations.
If I can curtail my natural urge to "fix" things and/or castigate someone I think is guilty, 
then I'm hopeful that it will be  a useful and challenging way 
to do something positive within my new community.

Stay tuned for more announcements of things past and present!
Tulip Poplar Limbs Against a Gray Snowy Sky