As you view these images, I am off to see my parents for some Mother’s Day / Father’s Day celebrating.


Following that, I’ll participate in a Saturday Board Meeting for the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners.


Then I’ll get to spend the evening with a long time friend and fellow photographer.


And hopefully, all of that work and play will be followed by a belated birthday celebration with my sister.


These images were taken during an evening with friends last week.  Life, and all it’s gifts and challenges, has prevented this group of women from gathering lately.  On Friday, we finally got to sit around the fire, enjoy delicious food and drink, and the company of folks who know you well and love you despite your, shall we call them, less attractive, traits.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!  I’ll catch up with you when I get back.

Good Friends and Glass

My good friends, Tim and Joe (who is probably also your good friend) are helping me to find some new glass.


In my previous post, I commented that I needed some more zoom, and those who know Joe will not be surprised to learn that he generously took time out of his busy life to do some research for me.  Knowing that the campaign is offering me precious few free moments, I’m so grateful to Joe!


Like Joe, my long time dear friend Tim, has started using a mirrorless camera, and he offered to let me play around with one of his Canon lenses.  How cool is that?  What an incredible guy!


I’ll be participating in a couple campaign events this weekend and I look forward to continuing to try out this new lens.

How fortunate am I to have such great friends?

Gratitude II

It was a long time coming, but I finally had the chance to say thank you to everyone that helped me out after my motorcycle wreck.  Bad things happen, but good things can come of them.  For months I was showered with love and care and it has been a goal of mine ever since, to say thanks.

Family and friends gathered on the new porch this past weekend, and Tim captured the scene beautifully.





Friends and family came from far and near.  For once it didn’t rain, and the sound of laughter was the only music we needed.

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Thank You.  Two simple words with a whole bunch of love all wrapped up in them.


It Really IS About the Bike!


Life on the Bike and Other FabThings has been about much more than motorcycles, especially through this very cold, icy winter.  Thankfully, photography and travel are a big part of this blog, too.  Now that warmer temperatures are finally here, I can once again combine all three.


Photo Credit: Cherie Yost

Seven bikes with ten friends riding, set out yesterday morning for Burnt Chimney, Virginia, a small community in Franklin, VA, near Smith Mountain Lake.  Led by Dave, we rode 150 miles on back roads and the Blue Ridge Parkway, where this view was our reward for the ride.  You’ve heard me praise the beauty of this part of the world many times, and this photo is just a bit more evidence to support the claim.



The next stop was Sunken City Brewing Company, a small, fairly new craft brewery near Smith Mountain Lake.



We were all so happy to be out of the house, out of the routine, and enjoying time with friends and on the bike.


Next stop: Mangos Bar and Grill at Smith Mountain Lake.




We toasted a return to warm weather riding, live music, good pub food, and friendship.


I wished I’d gotten this guy’s name.  He sure entertained the crowd, and gave me the opportunity to play with my camera.


(this is an advanced peek at my Monochromia post for Saturday … shhhhh)


What a great day on the bike!

We’ve built a Sunday ride into the weekend campaign schedule.  Saturdays are for knocking doors, and I’ll be on the phone making calls for four hours on Sunday evenings.


Photo Credit: Cherie Yost

But Sunday daytime?  It’s all about the ride!


You all understand the thrill of vacation.  The planning and preparation are over and the travel is about to begin!  I’ll be heading out to the Chesapeake Bay and then Bethany Beach, DE (by truck) and then back home to switch vehicles and head out on the bike to Kentucky.  Needless to say, I am excited!


This photo is from my annual gathering with the GOAs.  We’ll be returning to this same island and I cannot wait to get to the Bay and bring out the camera.

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Gwynn Island is quite remote and I’m not even sure there is cell coverage. I do that know there is no internet, which means that I’ll be missing out on all of your gorgeous photos, captivating stories, and interesting updates.  Please let me know of any particularly important ones that I’ll miss while gone.

See ya soon!!

The Garden Fence

Another rain free evening (twice in 10 days!) in yet another lovely backyard.

You just can’t beat the golden hour, especially when you’re enjoying it with friends!


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Solstice Party

The longest day of the year inspires many things … photography, mass yoga gatherings, 5k races, dances, and parties.  My friends held a Solstice Party, a wonderful celebration of summer, family, and friends.

We enjoyed great food and drink in a beautiful outdoor setting.  Children played, adults laughed, and everyone danced, waving sparklers and glow sticks around with abandon.  All this and a lovely garden tour, too.

I wish I could say that I had taken photos to capture all those moments, but it’s hard to dance and shoot pics at the same time.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these, taken earlier in the evening.

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And in the Fairy Garden, for Boomdee 🙂


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!

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

For those who don’t blog with WordPress and may not know, the Daily Post offers a Weekly Photo Challenge.  Each week, the Daily Post provides a theme for creative inspiration and the blogger is supposed to take photographs based on the interpretation of the theme.

The theme for this week?

Pick the best pictures from your 2012 and have those pictures tell everyone about your year.

I wonder if this Challenge was as hard for other bloggers as it was for me.  At first I was intrigued, then overwhelmed and finally resigned … resigned to the fact that I would never be able to narrow a year’s worth of pictures down to a few.

This exercise helped me to remember what a great year it has been and just how fortunate I am.  Fortunate to have amazing friends and family, and to live surrounded by beauty!  No doubt there have been challenges and some heartache, but the positives won the day (er … year).

I decided to share my year in two ways … life and beauty through photography and then life and beauty through family and friends.  A few of the pictures were taken with my Blackberry (yes, I still use a Blackberry).  You’ll be able to tell the difference.

Life and Beauty – Photography

Claytor Lake, Pulaski County, Virginia

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The Booker T Washington National Monument, Franklin County, Virginia


The Ride of Silence, Radford, Virginia


The New River, Radford, Virginia


The New River Valley Fair, Pulaski County, Virginia


Fall and The Virginia Tech Hokies


Labor Day and rain in Floyd County, Virginia


The Scarritt Bennett Center, Nashville, Tennessee (from the 2012 Solo Bike Ride)

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Shooting Creek Road, Franklin County, Virginia


Somewhere in North Carolina


Along the New River in Pulaski County, Virginia


Foggy Morning, Radford, Virginia


The Home of John and Mabel Ringling, Sarasota, Florida

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Just another lovely field in Montgomery County, Virginia


A train trestle over The New River, Pulaski County, Virginia


Life and Beauty – Family and Friends

Andrew’s Farewell Party before his move to Charleston, SC (in Blacksburg, Virginia)

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Mothers Day / Fathers Day with the best parents EVER (Williamsburg, Virginia)


Sisters Celebrating 50 (Roanoke, Virginia)


The Annual GOA Gathering (Bath, North Carolina)

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Hanging with the SoHos! (Dublin, Virginia)


Gathering with the BGs in Grayson County, Virginia

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The annual Road Trip with Ruth to see the Hokies (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)


Mumford and Sons Concert (Bristol, Tennessee)


Some of my favorite Biker Chicks (Elkin, North Carolina)


Bikers riding for a good cause (Draper, Virginia)


“Divas” raising money for another good cause (Radford, Virginia)


Time on the farm with Bill


And time on the bike with some of my favorite guys (Philpott Dam, Bassett, Virginia)


I’m always ready with the camera while riding,


whether at the beginning of a trip with my good friend, Tim,

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Or during the pouring rain on my annual solo bike ride (somewhere between Nashville and Knoxville)


And best yet, reconnecting with lifelong friends (not a quality picture but a quality friendship) Richmond, Virginia


So there you have it … how lucky am I?

Onward to 2013

Grayson County: A Weekend Without Technology

I’m always grateful for time with friends … even more so when that time is spent in an early 20th Century farmhouse in Elk Creek, Virginia.  Seven women, the cares of family, work and life left at home, gathered for a weekend in Grayson County.

Grayson County is in far Southwest Virginia and is the home to the Mt Rogers Recreation Area and the highest point in Virginia (5728 ft).  The twisty, hilly road to our weekend getaway took us through the mountains and by thousands of acres of Christmas Tree Farms and pumpkin patches.

Our farmhouse (Shepherd’s Retreat ) was actually a Sears Home, built in 1909.  Sears was one of the largest companies to sell mail order homes. “Entire homes would arrive by railroad, from pre-cut lumber, to carved staircases, down to the nails and varnish. Families picked out their houses according to their needs, tastes, and pocketbooks. Sears provided all the materials and instructions, and for many years the financing, for homeowners to build their own houses. Sears’s Modern Homes stand today as living monuments to the fine, enduring, and solid quality of Sears craftsmanship” (

While only an hour and a half from home, and 12 miles from the nearest gas station / small store, it was almost a step back in time.  No cell phone, no internet, essentially no TV and definitely no college football!

The lack of technology was not a problem for this group of women.  With no restaurants any where near by, delicious meals were prepared in a kitchen filled with light and the sounds of friendship.


Card games were played, and songs were sung.  At times, the house echoed with laughter, talk and dancing; at other times, peace and quiet reigned as books were read, walks were taken and naps were indulged in.


The beauty of our surroundings had me reaching for my camera time and again.


(Ruth Babylon, the real photographer, took the last picture)

Frosty mornings ….

… led to gentle, warm sunny afternoons ….

… and gorgeous sunsets.

As the weekend came to an end, we felt grateful to share such treasured friendships.  We were recharged and ready to get back to life outside the farmhouse.  And isn’t that what friendship and freedom from the distractions of technology should do?