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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Abbie's Holmes Family Slide Show

[Click twice to play]
This is a slide show with music that Abbie Dillard (Jim's cousin, our flowergirl, Aunt Carolyn's daughter) made of lots of Holmes and Patterson family photos. It's long (10 minutes) but if you look closely you will see several of Emma, a couple of me and several of Jim at various ages (note the boy in the orange T-shirt -- and also the teenager by the piano in the background with grey tinted glasses). Lots of the photos are of Nannie-Mom who is Emma's great great grandmother and who we all knew as she died at the age of 1005 in 2005. She was Robbye Patterson Holmes and was married to Calvin Bedford Holmes. She's is the handsome one with regal bearing. They were the parent's of Jim's grandfather Robert Holmes. There are also lots of photos of Robert at various ages. When you see twins it is mostly Jim's Dad Ron and Uncle Bob, but a couple are of Jim's brothers Mike and Steve. Enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Letter 2007

Here's a sort of year in review by family member. In case you don't get all the way through the text I'll wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year right up front ... and yes I do enjoy reading Christmas letters -- really I do! We will go by age so I'm first.

Beth
Athens, GA. Last January seems so long ago that I can hardly remember it. The photo at the top of the blog was taken last New Years at the park near my Dad's house. We welcomed 2007 in Snow Hill at the community New Year's party which was lots of fun and all Dad's Snow Hill friends and neighbors were there as well as my "God-sister" and Godfather. Then it was back home to Athens, GA for work and play. Not long after we got home in January Jim was offered a terrific job at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. More on this later -- the impact on me of course was that I had to say yes to the move -- after all Jim moved to Athens for me to take the job at the UGA Law Library as Head of Cataloging. So, my year started off with getting a house ready to sell, selling a house, house hunting in Rhode Island, giving notice at my job, and getting ready to be a single parent for a couple of months, as Jim started his new position in March and Emma and I joined him in early June after school was over. I was in denial most of the Spring and didn't really internalize the move until after we were in Rhode Island. It was a good Spring. I very much enjoyed singing swing tunes with Meridian Women's Chorus which culminated in an early May dance/concert in an old 1940s era gym where we performed with a local Swing Band -- the Artie Ball Swing Band. Folks of all ages came and some danced and some just listened and we even had some UGA students teach a short swing dance lesson. In March, Emma and I got to see my favorite movie of all time -- The Sound of Music -- on the very big screen at the Classic Center as part of Robert Osborne's TCM film festival. The opening mountain top scene was just fabulous seen on the huge screen and of course I love the music and story. Thankfully our house sold in record time -- 3 weeks -- so we celebrated Easter in two places -- by signing and faxing a contract. And we got our asking price (we tried to be realistic with what we asked for!). We actually closed on the Athens house on May 31st and closed on the Barrington, RI house on June 1st. My work was very busy throughout all this as we had received year end money to spend by June 31st and I was trying to get all the projects up and running before I left. I was extremely sad to leave my colleagues at the UGA Law Library. What a terrific group of people to work with and have fun with too. In my 6+ years there the library had come so far as an organization and a collection -- we jumped from the mid 20th century straight to the early 21st century in 5 years! I rounded out my Athens time by taking photos of things I didn't want to forget and eating and drinking in my favorite places with my favorite people. Mom spent a week right before we moved helping us with the movers and watching Emma's Spring dance recital. Then it was off to Rhode Island -- via Dad's house -- in early June. Emma, Maggie and I made the trip uneventfully together.
Barrington, RI. The move went smoothly and we love our new house [click here for photo of house taken in March before we moved in]. It's small, but perfect for the three of us and I love the large finished room in the basement which has all of Emma's toys and stuff in it at one end and the computer and exercise equipment for the grown-ups at the other. There is plenty of storage in the unfinished part of the basement too though it is a total mess right now. We painted some rooms, [click here for photo of our living room post paint job] bought some carpets for the hardwood floors and did a bit of gardening this Summer. Vacation was a week at Mom's Stone Harbor Beach House with my sister, brother-in-law and their 18 month old twins -- and a fun long weekend at Dad's house. Then it was back for school and work. I started work as the Librarian at the law firm of Partridge Snow and Hahn LLP in Providence in July. I have terrific hours -- just Mondays-Thursdays from 8:30-2:30. I get home by 2:45 and meet Emma when she gets off the school bus. The job itself is pretty good. I am the only Librarian so it's lonely at times and quite a different atmosphere than the academic library -- but I am enjoying doing more research and collection development and the pay is very good. To keep up my cataloging skills I am doing some freelance cataloging for Cassidy Cataloging Services. I do this from home so it's flexible and I'm only giving them about 5 hours a week right now. So, working 29 hours a week is much better than working 40 and I have more time with Emma which is what I wanted. I haven't found anywhere to sing yet, but have been doing some things with the Barrington Newcomers Club. I am on the social committee and help plan activities and I joined their Book Club -- this is my favorite activity so far and is a great small group of women with the love of reading in common amongst other things. Let me know if you want any book recommendations! So -- all should be fantastic here and mostly it is very good, I just miss all my Athens friends and activities and I am always slow to settle in places -- but am looking forward to 2008 and seeing more of you that are now closer.

Jim
Jim spent the first two months of the year in Athens as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Trade and Security, part of the School of Public and International Affairs at University of Georgia. In January he was offered his "dream" job as a Professor of Strategy and Policy at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. Without much deliberation we decided he should take it and he moved in March to start work up there. (Emma and I stayed in Athens through the end of the school year). He stayed with our friends the Winners until Emma and I arrived and we closed on our new house on June 1st. He likes the new position but has been very busy keeping up with all the reading and preparation for his course since it is his first time teaching this course and material. He has had time to publish some op-ed pieces in the Athens Banner Herald, some articles published in several journals, and he had two new books published this year! Asia Looks Seaward: Power and Maritime Strategy which he co-edited with Toshi and wrote a piece in. The other, Chinese Naval Strategy in the 21st Century: The Turn to Mahan, he co-wrote with Toshi (who is also teaching at the Naval War College now). In fact his two best friends and co-writers are at the Naval War College now. He also remains affiliated with the Center for International Trade and Security. In his spare time he has been doing lots of biking on the great bike path we have between Providence and Bristol which runs 1/3 mile from our house. As well as great exercise it is his time to think. He also did the lions share of the painting around the house.

Maggie (the Pug Dog)
Maggie is 13 [click here for photo] and still hanging in there. She made the trip up from Athens just fine and is now back in the state where she began her life with us. She sleeps most of the time, but still enjoyes her food with whole hearted gusto and likes to have her belly rubbed and to sleep on the couch with us -- the left hand side of the couch only and the pillow must be in the correct place! She seems to like her new smaller fenced in yard and I like it too since I can leave her out for a bit and not worry about her wandering off and not finding her way back. We "lost" her once in Athens and found her waiting patiently at the door of our nextdoor neighbors house. Before the weather got snowy and icy she was enjoying her daily walk up to meet Emma at the school bus and socializing with the other parents and kids. She went with us on our travels to Snow Hill and Stone Harbor and tolerated the other family dogs -- including my Dad and Hazel's west highland terrier puppy [click here for photo] who stayed with us here for a month this Summer. By the end of the visit we did get some photos of them curled up together on Maggie's big dog bed.

Emma
Lots of exciting events for Emma this year [click here for photo of Emma from November].


  • Sleep away camp for three days with her class at the Athens Montessori School in April. They went to a YMCA Camp Greenville in the mountains on the South/North Carolina border, and learned all about nature, independence, etc...
  • Ballet classes and performance in Athens in May where she was a blue fish in a recitial performance featuring music from Seussical.
  • Going to Georgia Gym Dogs home games and watching them win the NCAA Women's Collegiate Gymnastic championship for the third year in a row. (Mommy loved this too!)
  • Spending two and half months living with just Mommy and Maggie while Daddy was in Rhode Island.
  • Living in motels in Athens and Rhode Island for a couple of weeks while we moved houses. This was a highlight for Emma much for than for the rest of us! They both had swimming pools!
  • Having to leave two good friends one of who lived next door. But trading them for a new house with a basement playroom and bigger bedroom and on a cool dead end street with lots of kids and new friends.
  • Summer camp at the local YMCA, learning to swim much better, and winning a prize at the cheerleading two week camp there.
  • Spending a week on her own with Grandma in Stone Harbor, NJ at the beach and another week on her own with Papa and Ga in Snow Hill, Maryland where she met a new friend and fellow only child -- around the corner from Dad's house and learned about and got her first WebKinz.
  • Starting second grade at a new school -- Primrose Hill Elementary -- and riding a bus there for the first time.
  • Turning eight years old and having a few neighborhood friends for a sleep over party.
  • Reading lots and loving the library at school.
  • Taking ballet and jazz dancing at a new school in Bristol -- auditioning for and getting a part in their production of the Nutcracker.
  • Lots of playing pretend in her new bedroom or the basement playroom.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Majorettes & Polichinelles

Last weekend was a whirlwind of guests and Nutcracker ballet rehearsals and performances. Emma had two parts and had been rehearsing them every Saturday afternoon since early October so it was exciting to be at show weekend for both of us. She had two roles -- one as a Majorette (usually soldiers, but the director tamed the battle scene a bit and wanted to use a female role since all the dancers were girls). They fought off the mice with large wedges of cheese (made out of foam). The choreography was neat as the mice were played by slightly older children and one of things they did in the "fight scene" was lift the majorettes up and twirl them around. In the second act Emma was one of Mother Ginger's Polichinelles (or gingerbread "men" cookies). There were six of them and they emerged from under Mother Ginger's skirt mid-stage and did a very cute dance. The costumes were made of foam and were slightly stiff so their movements, while graceful looked like cookies trying to dance. They lots of laughs and aplause. I helped out backstage on Friday at the dress rehearsal and at Sunday's performance mostly helping dancers with props and quick changes. It was fun -- much better than "babysitting" a whole class of young dancers while they wait to perform for a few minutes -- which was what I had done for Emma's recitals in the past. I felt a part of the show. Then on Saturday I got to see the performance with Jim and my Dad and Hazel who were visiting and our friends Karen and Mark who drove an hour from Connecticut to see Emma dance (which was really sweet). I was enjoyed the whole show -- and particularly enjoyed the pas de deux at the end with the only two professional dancers in the show who played the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The lifts and positions were amazing. I snuck out to watch it again on Sunday after everyone was in their final costumes. I also learned this year -- thanks to a handout Emma's teacher gave her -- that the Nutcracker ballet story is based on a book by E.T.A. Hoffman called "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice." This explains some of the creepy/wierdness of the character Drosselmeyer and the whole dream scene since Hoffman is a German writer and in my experience as a German minor a lot of their literature is a bit odd, or creepy or depressing.

Anyway, the photo below shows both of Emma's costumes on the rack in the dressing room. I love her new ballet teacher, who also runs the studio and directed the show. She is so organized! All the costumes were rented and had the performers names taped in the them and on the hangers. All the dancers had their own assigned chair and space. All the props were layed out on tables backstage and labelled too! I wish more of you could have shared this experience with us.

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Nutcracker Ballet Madness


Here's Emma in her Majorette costume.

Emma's photo of several fellow cast members.

Here's Emma holding up her ginger-bread cookie costume. I forgot to take a picture of her in it and they were rental costumes so you'll have to use your imagination. They were all really cute in them and looked like big cookies.

Emma took a photo of her name tag on her chair in the dressing room. All the performers had their own chair with a name take and that was their place to keep there stuff and sit down before the show and during intermission. Mostly during the show they were waiting in the wings for their turn to go on.
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Thanksgiving


Mom visited us for the whole Thanksgiving weekend. One of the things we did was go Christmas shopping in Newport on lower Thames street. We met Jim at mid-afternoon and then we all had an early dinner at a yummy seafood restautant called Scales and Shells. This photo is of Emma sitting across the table from me sporting her new hairband and still wearing her scarf. It was very cold that day!

My sister and her family spent the first few days of Thanksgiving weekend with our friends Karen and Mark in Hampton, Conn. only an hour from Barrington. We drove there and joined them for Thanksgiving day. On Saturday morning they all loaded themselved in their car and drove to our house to spend about 24 hours. It was a whirlwind visit, but they got to see our new house and town and we got to spend time together. Kate and I snuck in a sisters out lunch and at least an hour was spent before lunch watching Amelia and Nikolas pushing their toys up and down our deadend street while Emma and her friend Kayla rode bikes or helped. Our street is such a great place to play. As you can see in this photo -- Amelia found one of Emma's dolls and didn't put it down the whole time she was here.

Here's Nick pushing around his dump truck.

Lastly -- here are Emma and Kayla on their bike and scooter.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Emma's Second grade class photo



Emma is in the middle row, third from the left. Her teacher Ms. Mercier is on the right and the other adult is Mrs. Genetti who is their class aid. Emma's best friends in the class are Ally who is the third from the left in the front row with the pink skirt and top -- and Stephanie who is in the front row the second from the right also in pink, but with pants. I think pink is a popular color don't you. Emma and I love Ian's facial expression. He's the boy in the middle of the front row.

Ally's Bookstore

Here's a little video I took this past weekend of Emma giving an introduction to the bookstore she created in her bedroom. It is named after her friend Ally.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween on Milton Road


Our big pumpkins ready to great Trick-or-Treaters. Jim designed and carved the bottom one and Emma designed and Jim carved the top one. I always get the messy job of scooping all the insides out.


Jim and Emma ready to head off Trick-or-Treating. I stayed home to hand out candy and they headed off with the pack from our street. By all accounts they had a great time. It wasn't too cold, but it was blustery and very Halloween like with leaves blowing around on the ground and the branches creaking a bit.


Neighborhood kids hanging out before going Trick-or-Treating: Olivia, Kayla, Diana and Emma


Kayla, Emma and Kayla's little sister Elizabeth


Our littlest pumpkin -- "the scream". Is he scary or scared.


More kids: Ben, Isabel, Olivia, Kayla, Emma, Patrick, Diana and Peter


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Friday, October 12, 2007

Wow -- Emma is 8 years old!

So Emma turned 8 years old this past Sunday -- October 7th. I can't believe she is this old already. Also, something about 8 just makes it seem like a milestone. The end of being a little girl and the beginning of being a big girl with all the contradictions involved in that. She's so grown up sometimes and still very much needs us at other times. For example she loves to dance and sing to the soundtrack of High School Musical 2 which we got her as a present -- but also still carries around, sleeps with and plays with her 3 stuffed WebKinz animals (two were birthday presents). For those of you in the know about WebKinz she has a black cat (the newest WebKinz released for Halloween), a black and white cat and of course a Pug Dog. If you have no idea what I am talking about just click on the link above.

We celebrated her birthday by having several friends over for a sleepover party. It went really well. They had Pizza and cake and opened presents and then played downstairs in our finished basement room -- they all got ready for bed without complaint and then watched High School Muscial (the first one which we have on DVD) while lying on their sleeping bags -- and we finally got them to sleep by 10:15 or so. In the morning I heard them around 6:15am, but they didn't come up until after 7 and then I made French toast with strawberries for everyone as their parents were coming to pick them up at 9. We just got the mess cleaned up in the basement room but it was fabulous to have this space for them to hang out and not worry about being in the way or being overheard.


Here's Emma dressed up in her pink party dress -- exclaiming over the gift of the latest Webkinz she's just received as a gift.

Here's the cake Emma and I made and she decorated!

Olivia and Kayla -- both 1st graders that live on our street -- and Ally who is Emma's best friend in her 2nd grade class. They are watching Emma open presents.

The party decorations were Hannah Montana themed. Yes, another Disney phenomenon. We played her music to of course.

This gives you some idea what the basement room looked like in the morning. Here's our neighbor Diana who turns 9 soon and our down the street neighbor Kayla who turns 7 this weekend. Ally is in the background.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Interesting post from Library Land

I just read this interesting post by Karen Schneider on the ALA TechSource Blog which I scan for the TS-SIS TechScans blog. Check it out at: http://www.techsource.ala.org/blog/2007/09/sailing-on.html

I agree with a lot of what she says, but am really reluctant to give up Classification as a unique ID or atleast as a form of subject access. Just because people aren't using it doesn't mean that they shouldn't. It is an excellent way to browse across types of materials such as print and electronic at the same time. On the other hand I firmly believe that libraries need to share more bibliographic data without manually editing and downloading. As a Law Librarian/Cataloger I think it wouldn't it be great if there were a group of top notch Law Librarians doing all the cataloging for Law Libraries and doing it extemely thorougly and well adding lots of access which libraries could then tailor to their cataloging and needs with a profile like an approval plan. Or it could all do into one super catalog which all the libraries could access and choose to search just what they have access to or what everyone has access to. I think this really could work in a more limited environment like Law Libraries or just Academic Law Libraries that have very similar priorities and needs. Where it gets harder is when you throw all libraries into the pot as they are OCLC and then the level of cataloging is not suitable for the academics or it is overkill for the smaller libraries. Just my two cents.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our Living Room




Here's a couple of photos of our living room right after we painted it. We love color and this one is Benjamin Moore "Nacho Cheese". The painting above the fireplace was our first real painting which Dad and Hazel gave us -- its from Ireland. The fan is one we choose and had installed -- there was nothing at all on the ceiling -- no fan or light. We were going for some combo of Arts and Crafst and 1930s aviation style. It is a really comfortable room and great to read and talk in. There is a bay window too -- from which we can see what is going on in the circle at the dead end of our street and up the road.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stone Harbor visit

Jim, Emma, Maggie the Pug, and I spent the week before Labor Day at Mom's beach house in Stone Harbor, NJ. We were joined by my sister Kate, her husband Ron and my twin niece and nephew Amelia and Nikolas who are now 20 months old. They also brought George - their golden lab mix puppy. Here are some photos from our week.



Nicky playing on the beach and riding his trike.

Amelia and Nicky playing on the beach
Emma keeping warm in the twins stroller -- it was not cold to the rest of us!



One day Jim, Emma and I rented a bicycle built for three -- so to speak. It was actually quite hard to pedal, but we enjoyed spending an hour tooling around. We stopped by Mom's house to show everyone.

Jim on one of his rare visits to the beach -- wearing his cool "Australian bush hat" which we bought in Newport, RI.

"Miss Amelia"

The annual family shot -- on the front steps of Mom's house.

Amelia -- always busy.

Emma at YMCA Cheerleading camp



Emma spent the first two weeks in August going to Cheerleading camp at the YMCA. Since it was a Y camp it was very low key -- they still did all the usually things like swimming lessons and free swim, but in between they worked on learning cheerleading routines and then presented a short performance on the last day. I attended the performance which they did to what I think was a Paula Abdul hit from the early 80s which featured cheering ... "Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind hey Mickey!". I enjoyed the performance and though I am biased of course -- Emma was definitely the best one in the group of 1st-3rd graders. I was very pleasantly surprised and really proud when she one a certificate as the most helpful and cooperative in her group. She was the one who did all the counting and lead the others in the routine. The photos are of Emma in her outfit -- they all wore shorts and YMCA T-shirts -- and holding her certificate. Mama was SO proud! We went out for a celebratory ice cream afterwards.

Blessing of the Combines

In early August Jim and drove down to Snow Hill, Maryland where my Dad and Hazel live to pick up Emma who had just spent a week with my Mom in Stone Harbor and then a week with Dad in Snow Hill. Our trip just happened to coincide with one of Snow Hill's more interesting events -- The Blessing of the Combines. Snow Hill is in the eastern shore of Maryland in a mainly farming area. So, on Saturday we all walked the half mile to downtown to watch the parade of antique tractors and very modern huge combine harvesters. Once they were in town they all lined up on a small side street to be blessed by one of Snow Hill's several ministers. The event also included lots of other activities such as a petting zoo, kids crafts, lots of food, and displays. Despite the ungodly hot and humid weather we had a good time. It really was neat to see all of the combines lined up together! We were really happy to go back to Dad's and jump into the pool though.

Two boys sitting in the wheel of a combine
The combines lined up on Green Street

Monday, August 6, 2007

Athens in the news

Just as I was replying to an e-mail from an Athens friend (and feeling very nostalgic for my former home), my husband sent me the link to this OnlineAthens article mentioning three recent national magazines that have toted Athens as a great place to shop, party and/or retire. Just click on the link above to read the whole thing. And then go take a look at two of the pieces mentioned directly: theKiplinger article, or the Cosmopoltian 100 hotest cities: Athens entry.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July in Rhode Island

I don't know what happened to July, but it is almost over already. Well, I do know what happened. I started work on July 2nd -- albeit part-time (as the Librarian at the Law firm of Partridge Snow and Hahn LLP), but it has taken up a lot of my mental attention. I am settling in there pretty well -- though it is quite different in many ways. I am the only Librarian, but at least I have a part-time assistant who is really a professional colleague as well since she is a part-time Library School student. Aside from her my other regular contact is with the Administration folks -- IT, accounting, billing and HR -- we all work in the same area. I do see attorneys and paralegals and secretaries as well when they come down for materials, or call with questions. In my limited experience so far the attorneys have been more pleasant than the Law Professors I've worked with in the past!

So other than work what's been going on. Well Emma has spent the first two weeks of the month at a day camp at the YMCA here in Barrington mostly swimming and doing art projects. We got the house in order enough to have our friends Drew and Ann and their boys over for dinner. (Jim lived with them for the (10 weeks he was here without Emma and I so we owe them big time). We also heard one of our favorite folk groups -- Atwater Donnelly -- from when we lived in Rhode Island 10 years ago. They played on the lawn outside the Barrington Town Hall and gave their usual entertaining performance. On the 20th Emma and I drove down to Stone Harbor, NJ to my Mom's beach house. I stayed for the weekend and she stayed on an extra week. Then Mom took her across to Lewes, Delaware on the ferry across the Delaware Bay where my Dad met her and she is now spending the week with my Dad and step-Mom Hazel. Jim and I are headed down to pick her up on Thursday evening. I am sure she has been being spoiled rotten, but then what are Grandparents for. So, how did Jim and I spent our child free time? Well, we did tons of work in the house unpacking and catching up on bill paying and paperwork. We also enjoyed a Thai meal at a great place right around the corner from our house -- Siam Square. We've both been biking on the wonderful East Bay Bike Path too. It runs along the Narragansett Bay for most of it's 14 miles. I've also been lying around on the couch reading after work instead of tending to Emma or playing with Emma. I am missing her though and will be glad when she'd back.

Jim's in Summer mode at the War College and has been doing lots of research, reading and writing. All of us got to go along with Jim on a cruise around the Newport Harbor and out into the Bay. Jim was the featured speaker at a meeting of the Naval War College Foundation book club which was held on the Admirals Barge -- really a very very nice power boat belonging to the Navy and used by the Commander of the War College -- who is an Admiral (I think). Mostly it was a cocktail party for donors to the Foundation, but Jim also spoke for about 20 minutes on Zheng He a Chinese naval commander from the 15th century who supposedly discovered American before Columbus. The book being discussed was 1421 by Gavin Menzies. I managed to read the first chapter and may go back and finish since it was very interesting -- though as Jim says not backed up by solid research, but fun to think about.

That's about it -- we haven't been taking pictures so stay tuned for some later.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

June in Rhode Island

So we've been in New England almost the whole month of June (well Jim was here the whole month). We've owned our house for a month too -- so what else has been going on?


Mid-June brought the Naval War College graduation and here are Jim, Drew and Toshi all decked out in their academic regalia.

This is the building Jim works in. His office right now is the one with the three windows in a row on the third floor all the way to the right hand side of the photo.

Here's the Newport Bridge across the Narragansett Bay from Jamestown to Newport which Jim can see from his office. The two guys are extra security for War College graduation.

Meanwhile back at home on Milton Road -- here is Maggie enjoying the cooler weather in our yard.

There are lots of kids on our dead end street and here are some of them with Emma. Elizabeth is the cutie on the tricycle and her sister Kayla is standing next to Emma. I can't remember the boys name. They are standing in the driveway across the street from us where Earl the pug dog lives.



We also have a canine visitor -- my Dad and Hazel's seven month old West Highland Terrier named Pumpkin. Here she is enjoying our fenced in back yard.

This is a view of our house from the back of the back yard. Emma's bedroom is the window on the far right and our bedroom is next to it. The sliding doors go into the Sunroom.


Our back yard has lots of shade and lots of perennials especially lilies.

I have to wrap this up now since we are off to Newport to watch the parade of Tall Ships from the lawn at the War College pictured above. We spent most of yesterday working around the house and have started to paint Emma's bedroom so she has moved to the Guest room for a few days. This morning I went for my first solo bike ride. I rode the bike path up to Providence which is about 14 miles round trip. The weather was fabulous -- actually a bit chilli when I started out. I get to ride by a light house and along the water (the Providence River) most of the time. It took me about an hour and I felt the work out. Well, talk to you all later.