February: Love Your Heart!


February is American Heart Month and my practice, Summit Women’s Health, is raising awareness about the #1 Killer of Women.

1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year.

We’ll be celebrating National Wear Red Day with Go Red For Women on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.  Why don’t you wear some red, too!


A favorite local bakery and bistro prepares the most beautiful cookies for the holidays and I couldn’t resist taking a picture!

It’s been an exciting 3 weeks on the campaign trail!  This weekend though I’m taking a break to visit with friends and family in Richmond and Williamsburg!  See you when I get back!


Weekends away offer many gifts.

Time with friends and the chance to fill up with the good things in life.


Loud laughter. Quiet Conversations.  New card games.  Old music.  Much wine. Not enough dancing.

Nourished by meals prepared together and shared around a large family table.


Long walks and talks, and peaceful moments at the river’s edge.


Early morning photography sessions and late evening songs around the campfire.


And arriving home rejuventated, with major life decisions made.


Gifts indeed.


And We Breathe

The women rush through the kitchen door, hands burdened with bags of food from a quick run to the store, and faces burdened with the cares and worries of the day.  Each one feels sure she is the only overwhelmed one in the group, but very quickly realizes that she is not alone.


The house is cluttered with the detritis of the week … piles of mail on the table, various pairs of shoes scattered about on the floor, books perched on every surface … but the porch chairs have been brushed clear and the table tops are clean.

The food is quickly laid out on the table,


flowers placed in a vase,


and the candles are lit.


The talk that initially bursts forth after being surpressed all day eventually calms, and the women begin to relax, surrounded by friends who know and understand.


The porch offers a welcome respite from the world, even if temporary.


And we breathe …

Raleigh: Perfect Opportunity to Practice Portraits!

I have so much to learn about photography, and even though I am thoroughly enjoying the process, I am often impatient with my less than rapid growth.  I particularly need to improve my skill with photographing people.

On Monday, I had the chance to visit with Amy and Debbie, and while we enjoyed our catch up time, sweet little Raleigh enjoyed her snacks and playtime.  It was the perfect chance to practice and I had fun photographing her.

Raleigh chattered all evening, and was often smiling and playful, but my favorite shot was this one.  Don’t you wonder what she was thinking?



She sure loved those apple slices!


And managed to entertain us as she ate.


This was the best one in B&W


Was she ready to get out of the highchair?


Or just ready for bed?


Either way, she’s pretty darn sweet and made the perfect subject for portrait practice!

The Third and Final: What Will it Be?

I’ll never forget the thrill I felt after purchasing my first motorcycle!

I was just out of the motorcycle safety course, had a brand new, crisp license in my wallet and I needed a bike! I didn’t know much, but I did know that I wanted something small, used and practice worthy.  I did not want to make the mistake of many new riders, who purchase a brand new “big” bike and, many drops and near accidents later, either sell or leave it sitting there, rarely to be ridden.

Enter my sweet little Honda Rebel, 28 years old with a $1000 price tag.  The perfect starter bike for me!  Three months later, I had learned much and was ready to move on up to a bigger, more powerful bike.  I was a bit sad when I sold that purple rebel and hope it treated another newbie as well as it treated me. Read a bit more about that here: https://lifeonthebikeandotherfabthings.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/learning-to-ride-part-1/

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A tinge of sadness was soon replaced with tremendous excitement after the purchase of my 2008  HD Sportster 883L.  It too came to me used, although I was only the second owner and the odometer read just 3oo miles.  The goal for this second bike was to grow in confidence, comfort, and skill.  I’ve put almost 15,000 miles on my Sportster, taken week long solo rides each August these past 3 years, and ridden many, many miles with friends.  What an amazing time I have had on this bike!

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You can read more about that here: https://lifeonthebikeandotherfabthings.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/learning-to-ride-part-2/


Last week, my bike went into the shop for the annual oil change and check up in preparation for the riding season.  (It needs to be said that I’ll ride all year long despite colder temps, but the snow this year has kept me to only a few rides since November).  As is not uncommon with “adult toys”, there are things to be done to this bike … some tweaks and some upgrades …  and all of that costs MONEY!

What to do?

Spend a good chunk of change to get this lovely little bike ready for the year, and to upgrade it a bit?


Trade it in and get the third and final bike?

If you’ve read Learning to Ride, Part 2, you’ll know that my goal all along has been to eventually sell the Sportster, the bike I have called my intermediate or “middle bike”, and to then purchase the bike of my dreams.  The biggest obstacle to that, of course is financial.  A new bike means a monthly payment … ugh!

But I can feel a new one calling my name.  Just the thought of it is seductive.  In fact, tomorrow I will pick up the Sportster from the shop and bring it home.  Next week, I’ll be visiting my friend Jay and start talking about a new bike.  I don’t know what that bike will be (and I may not be able to work out the financial side of things) but in the meantime …

Isn’t this one a beauty?


The 2013 Fat Boy Lo.

Just add some saddle bags and a windshield and I’ll be ready for the road.

I’ll keep you posted …

Mid Winter Sanity Check: GOA Time!!

I found these pictures as I was looking through the archives from past GOA Gatherings.  I was updating my FB page to reflect the joy I feel as I prepare to hit the road to meet up with some of my most favorite women!  These gatherings are restorative to my soul, are a time of laughter, talk, and love (and the addition of a few pounds after enjoying amazing food and drink).  I had just gotten my new camera and I was playing around with macro.  Clearly I had then, and I still have, much to learn!

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The GOAs are the Girls of August, and they are the women I attended the Medical College of Virginia with 20 years ago.  We meet every August for a long weekend and we also meet for a Mid Winter Sanity Check in February.

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Today I leave for the Sanity Check and I can not wait.  These women have been a part of my life for such a long time and they mean the world to me.  And who doesn’t need a little reminder of summer in the middle of February?

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It’s GOA Time!

My First “Real” Photography Gig!

This past weekend I photographed my first wedding!  Not as a pro, mind you, but as a favor to a dear friend, the mother of the groom.


This wedding came up suddenly and I readily agreed to do it.  Yet almost as soon as I said yes I began to worry.  Not only had I never photographed a wedding before, I would not necessarily be the one you would want.  I’m not a “traditional” person in life or in my photography … some of the typical wedding shots would just not be my thing.  I rather prefer candid shots and more artistic ones.  In addition, I don’t use (or own – YET) a DSLR.  Finally, and most importantly, I wanted my friend to be happy!


Thankfully, I only had 7 days to stress it and I talked to some professional photographer friends before hand to get some hints.  I came home after shooting for 5 hours, was pretty beat and after viewing the pictures, was not pleased. In the light of day and after a good night’s sleep, I felt much better about them.

It was quite an experience and I had such a good time, even though it was WORK!  I have much to learn about this type of photography (not that I plan to do this for a living).  I’m only sharing a few (for privacy purposes) but am happily including several shots of the location – along side a creek in Giles County, Virginia.  The water was so still and the reflections on the surface were incredibly clear.

















Fall in love with Fall … all day long

I am always surprised when someone tells me that they don’t like fall.

The fresh air, the cooler temps, the energy … but mostly the colors!

I want to take my camera with me everywhere I go.  And when I do leave it at home, I regret it.  The beauty of fall surrounds us at all times of the day.

Morning sun…


Mid-morning Color …


Late afternoon light …


Evening Sunset …


Don’t mourn the passing of summer and end up missing all that is fall!!

Let yourself enjoy!!