Sunday, August 02, 2015

So Richmond

My library location will be replaced by a new building this fall, so we're all cleaning out not only our own accumulated junk -- this calendar illustration I loved, for instance -- but also almost 40 years of library paraphernalia. Old photos show me that we got rid of some things weird wall hangings and what not, but many office supply type things were still in place. I memorialized some library and office supplies here. A few pictures of old library interiors are here.

The painting is from a calendar that came in Richmond Magazine. I love the way it reminds me of all of my apartments at once.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Birthday Birding List

Powhatan State Park
(mostly sunny, mild -- low 80s)

northern bobwhite
turkey vulture
mourning dove
yellow-billed cuckoo
red-bellied woodpecker? (by ear only, maybe it was a flicker?)
pileated woodpecker
eastern wood-pewee
red-eyed vireo
american crow
carolina chickadee
tufted titmouse
carolina wren
wood thrush
northern mockingbird
field sparrow
indigo bunting
orchard oriole

Indian pipes
turkey tail fungus
passionflower vine
butterfly pea
trumpet vine
lots of butterflies: tiger swallowtail, and probably spicebush swallowtail, and several others

Monday, June 29, 2015

Yes, This (Leadership)

Real Simple magazine profiled GSUSA's CEO Anna Maria Chavez in February. To the question "what kind of leader are you?" she said, in part:

If a troop comes to the office while I am meeting with a donor or the board of directors, I stop that meeting to meet with the girls, At the end of the day, that's whom we work for.


I made a recipe I found on Pinterest and it looked like its picture! And tasted great! Cheated with a premade crust, though.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sea Cake

I finally used the octopus cake pan I bought at a yard sale ... in 2013? Right before the oven died, I guess, which was August 2013. Time flies. Anyway: it seems I need this product I've never tried. The company that makes the pan suggests a oil-and-flour-in-one spray in place of shortening and flour, which didn't work well.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Virginia is Beautiful

According to this, freezing fog brought the stunning sights on today's drive to Winchester. I gave a fraction of a second's thought to taking my camera with me: but who brings a camera to a funeral? On the other hand, it is a pretty drive. No; you've seen it before. The internal discussion having ended there, I give you grainy pictures from the cheap-ass phone.

College friends moved to West Virginia a couple of years ago; sadly the only time we'd met up in person was at reunion last year. Several speakers at the memorial service recalled Sandy's determination to attend it, cancer be damned. It claimed her last week, and so there I was driving through mists and light rains until the hills began to appear. At the higher elevation, some of the trees were gorgeously frosted. Route 17 by Delaplane is stupid-gorgeous normally; with misty fog icing the trees ... well, I just had to pull over. I stopped at the state park: breath-takingly cold after the warm car; quiet except for chunks of ice falling off branches. I trotted to the bathroom -- first state park visit in flats and my dress coat! -- and back to the car. The cold, gray, quiet cleared my head.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Last spring, someone asked me to attend what I thought would be a committee meeting about an event at Camp as part of the local Girl Scout council's 100th anniversary celebrations. It turned out to be the whole 100th anniversary committee sitting around the conference table. I did not feel I had much to contribute, until someone said, What's going on with the highway markers? Some personnel had changed and some things were unclear. The project to nominate two state highway markers in honor of local Girl Scouting seemed likely to be let go, so I spoke up perhaps for the first time: Oh, that shouldn't be too hard; I can do that for you.

Well, collecting the appropriate 19-teens documents for troop 1, Highland Springs, Va., did not go well, but by the time a faculty member moved from Chicago to Richmond in the 1930s and asked to keep her daughter's Girl Scout experience going in their new town, bureaucracy existed. And that was a good thing: we could mark the first African American Girl Scout troop in the South. I found minutes and other useful things on file in the Council's archive at Virginia Commonwealth University, and so today at Virginia Union University, we unveiled a marker celebrating troop 34.

The celebration went like many a formal Girl Scout program: welcoming remarks, flag ceremony, the national anthem (sung beautifully by a young man in his first year at Virginia Union), Girl Scout promise, and various speakers. Two animated Ambassador Girl Scouts served as mistresses of ceremonies. A VUU vice president spoke not only of his Boy Scout and Girl Scout family members, but also noted the coincidence of troop 34 and a 1960s VUU group arrested for "disturbing the peace" at a sit-in downtown: they were the Richmond 34. The daughter-in-law of one of the adult founders of the troop remembered her mother-in-law, a tireless community activist. A surprise speaker was Gloria Scott, GSUSA's national president in the 1970s, the first African-American to hold that job. She talked about being a newly-appointed dean at a college in Texas and having someone -- from the local council? GSUSA? -- say, Look,we're starting this Campus Girl Scout thing and we need you to get that going on your campus. It echoed Juliette Gordon Low's oft-described tact of just telling people what they could do rather than asking "could you maybe help with this?" I appreciated seeing another pattern of history. Many of the phrases in the 1930s council minutes sounded familiar, such as wishing National would let the local council take care of things in its own way.  However tricky the road, we got there, and because of Girl Scouts, I have all kinds of women as my sisters.

I must also pause to remember my brother Girl Scout (as it were), the late Reggie Tupponce, who led me to my first marker project.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Puzzle mania spilled from home to work, and back to home again. Here's a birthday present puzzle I just finished! Mega Puzzle -- Sri Mariamman Temple.