Sunday Dinner: Becoming


“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere

or achieving a certain aim.

I see it instead as forward motion,

a means of evolving,

a way to reach continuously

toward a better self.

The journey doesn’t end.”


Michelle Obama



“She said the music made her wonder,

Does it alter us more to be heard, or to hear?”


Madeleine Thien



“You may live in the world as it is,

but you can still work to create the world

as it should be.”


Michelle Obama



“But in the midst of all that uncertainty

and lack of clarity, there lies a wild beauty.

A hope. Possibility.

The promise of something bigger than us

happening just beneath the surface

that we can’t see.”


Mandy Hale



“Over and over again we
become lost and un-lost
We become and un-become.
This is meant to be.
Without our knowing and
unknowing we would have no
splendid, epic stories to tell.”


Susan Bocinec Terry



“Or maybe they weren’t changing.

Maybe they were just now becoming

what they had always wanted to be.”


Eilis O’Neal



“My fears teach me courage.

My weaknesses coach me to strength.

My scars remind me

not to make the same mistakes.

I can become who I long to be

by loving who I am now.”


Toni Sorenson



“We are all in the process of becoming.”


Harmony Dust



Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019



“Give focus

only to which you want to see expand,

anything else is nonsense.”

Nikki Rowe


Sunday Dinner: Curious


“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds,
the first passion and the last.”
Samuel Johnson



“Enjoy every step you take.
If you’re curious, there is always something new
to be discovered in the backdrop
of your daily life.”
Roy T. Bennett



“I set out to discover the why of it,
and to transform my pleasure
into knowledge.”
Charles Baudelaire



“The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existence.
One cannot help but be in awe
when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life,
of the marvelous structure of reality.
It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend
a little of this mystery each day.
Albert Einstein
“Study hard what interests you the most
in the most undisciplined, irreverent
and original manner possible.”
Richard Feynman



“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see
and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious.
And however difficult life may seem,
there is always something you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.”
Stephen Hawking



Woodland Gnome 2018



“The mind is not a vessel to be filled,
but a fire to be kindled.”


Sunday Dinner: Retrospective

January 2017, Jones Millpond

“That’s what pictures are for, after all:
to stand in place of the things that weren’t left behind,
to bear witness to people and places and things
that might otherwise go unnoticed.”
John Darnielle

February 2017 Powhatan Creek

“In retrospect,
we can only be thankful
to all the mistakes that we made
and to all the lessons
that we learned from them!”
Avijeet Das

March 2017 James River at Black Point

“The Naga laughed softly, ‘There’s a thin line
that separates courage
from stupidity.  And that line
is only visible in retrospect, my friend.
If I’m successful,  people will call me brave.
If I fail, I will be called foolish.
Let me do what I think is right.
I’ll leave the verdict to the future.”
Amish Tripathi

April 2017 York River

“It is a simple
but sometimes forgotten truth
that the greatest enemy
to present joy and high hopes
is the cultivation
of retrospective bitterness.”
Robert Menzies

May 2017 Jones Millpond

“Remembrance of things past
is not necessarily
the remembrance of things as they were.”
Marcel Proust

June 2017

“Memory believes before knowing remembers.
Believes longer than recollects,
longer than knowing even wonders.”
William Faulkner

August 2017 Powhatan Creek

“Remember your connection with the cosmos.
Remember your connection with the infinity
and that remembrance
will give you the freedom.”
Amit Ray

September 2017, a waterway on Jamestown Island

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

Wishing you happiness, prosperity, good health and good gardening in 2018!


October 2017 The ‘D’ River empties into the Pacific Ocean

“Photography is never real,
it’s merely one of many ways
of telling the truth.”
John Thai

November 2017

“Ever poised on that cusp
between past and future,
we tie memories to souvenirs
like string to trees along life’s path,
marking the trail
in case we lose ourselves
around a bend of tomorrow’s road.”
Susan Lendroth

December 2017


Sunday Dinner: Transition

November 28, 2015 fall color 019


“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me

with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is

any more than he.”


Walt Whitman


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“In all affairs

it’s a healthy thing now and then

to hang a question mark

on the things you have long taken for granted.”


Bertrand Russell


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“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.”


Jeanette Winterson


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“Light precedes every transition.

Whether at the end of a tunnel,

through a crack in the door

or the flash of an idea,

it is always there,

heralding a new beginning.”


Teresa Tsalaky


November 28, 2015 fall color 012~

“ ‘Siri, what is the meaning of life?’

She answers: ‘ To think about questions like this.’

Huh. Good one.”


Kim Wright 


November 28, 2015 fall color 027


Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015


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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

All photos at Jones Millpond from the Colonial Parkway in York County, Virginia





October 28, 2014 fall color 084


The end of October also means the end of our Indian Summer.

Another sunny and warmish day here, a friend and I drove out to our favorite Homestead Garden Center this afternoon for pansies, panolas and soil.

With clearance in progress, ahead of the coming Christmas trees and wreathes, we also picked up some end of season ferns and perennials.


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We drove home contented, with the back of my auto filled to the brim with trays of plants and bags of good rich compost.


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Our conversation was interspersed with,”Look at that!” and ” Oh, how pretty!” our whole way out into the country, and back, as we enjoyed the beautiful trees along the way.

My partner has had an eye to the weather all day. 


October 28, 2014 fall color 104

It seems we have a n’oreaster in store this weekend.

We don’t expect to see snow, but we’ll have wind and our first truly cool days and nights.  So often these windstorms strip the trees of their leaves just as the color hits its peak.


October 28, 2014 fall color 103

So gentle October will blow away as two storms converge tomorrow over the East Coast, bringing  the first blast of winter to the eastern United States.

It snowed this morning in Chicago.  Snow on Halloween?  Really?


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This is the season of changes; endings and beginnings.

This is a good time to remember that the seeds of the new are always contained in the husk of the old.  Don’t you find that to be true in your own life?


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Samhain  is a transition time;  a time of remembrance.

I spent much of the day catching up with friends and meeting new neighbors.

A good way to mark this special day, I think.


October 29, 2014 fall color 009


And this afternoon I finally dug up the last Begonia “Gryphon” from its spot on the deck, and brought it into the garage for winter.

I’ve been procrastinating, as you have probably guessed; but  finally have almost all of our Begonias indoors.

Those that remain outside are sheltered, and one especially huge pot just isn’t going to come in this year.  (Unless I can figure out a way to wrestle it from the deck into the garage before that first true freeze, that is.)


October 28, 2014 garden 005

Finally, I made chocolate spiders for the neighborhood Halloween party this evening.

It is a little late to be giving you the recipe now, I know;  but I’ll write it out so you have the idea for next year.


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We have been corralling real spiders in the house for the last few weeks.  It amazes me how they find their way inside.

But we keep a glass jar and an old greeting card handy to catch them and carry them back outside.

The chocolate variety (of spiders)  are big and delicious looking.  They might look especially frighteningly delicious  perched on a huge scoop of pumpkin ice cream.

Whether you celebrate Samhain, Halloween, The Day of the Dead, or even good old Guy Fawkes Day, I hope you have enjoyed it with those you love!


October 28, 2014 fall color 102

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014


Chocolate Spiders

1.  Pour a bag of milk or semi-sweet chocolate bits into a glass bowl, and microwave on high for thirty seconds.  Stir.  Microwave and stir in fifteen second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Stir the chocolate briskly with a rubber spatula for about two minutes to temper the chocolate.

2.  Line a baking pan with waxed or parchment paper.

3.  Stir about two cups of Asian Chow Mein noodles into the chocolate and stir to coat.  Add more noodles, as needed, until all of the chocolate is used.

4.  Lift small lumps of coated noodles using two forks, and place them on the parchment.  Each “spider” should be about a tablespoon of noodles and chocolate.  Flatten the pile slightly, and arrange the noodles so it looks like a spider with many legs.

5.  Use two M&Ms or other small round candies to make the eyes. 

6.  Place the tray of chocolate spiders in the freezer for ten minutes, or the refrigerator for thirty while the chocolate hardens. 

7.  Serve on a platter, bag the spiders individually in candy bags, or serve as a garnish on ice cream.

All that is left... the end of the batch.  These don't have quite as much chocolate as the ones we took to the neighborhood gathering.

All that is left… the end of the batch. These don’t have quite as much chocolate as the ones we took to the neighborhood gathering.  But you get the idea….

Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

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