This earth

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos I’ve taken of this wonderful planet…

Mt Ngauruhoe, an active volcano on New Zealand’s North Island. This photo was taken in November 2008, while trekking the 20km Tongariro Crossing, a truly amazing hike. You may recognize it as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies, and much of the surrounding landscape is quite Mordor-esque.

Mt Ngauruhoe

As long as we’re in the land of the long white cloud… This isn’t a spectacular landscape, but I love the colors and mood of this moss-filled forest along the St James Walk on the South Island. Taken during our 2-week stay there in December 2013.

St Jame Walk

Another stunning mountain… Mt Ararat, taken from Khor Virap monastery just inside the Armenian border with Turkey. This has been my laptop’s desktop background ever since I took the photo in November 2013. It was a perfect view of the mountain, which I understand doesn’t happen all that often. I’m pleased with the composition of this photo as well.



I realize the next photo isn’t of nature as such, but I think it’s a wonderful example of building with nature… Moonlight over the village of Manarola, in Italy’s Cinque Terre, from October 2015.


And lastly, a quiet scene in the English countryside, along one of the many canals. I love the light in this photo from November 2015.

Fall along the canal


So, kind of a random selection. And I know I’m no photographer, and these are all taken with a phone… But it makes me happy every day, not just today, to live on and with such a beautiful earth.

Going Nomad

Just letting my 3 readers know that I’ve started a new blog to document my husband and I “moving to the world” :-)  I’ll still post other things on this blog… maybe less sporadically once I don’t have a household to manage! But if you’re interested in seeing the world with us (and seeing if things turn out as we plan)… follow me over to

Update – I just realized I never posted anything about our trip to NZ at the end of 2013, my several trips to England, and also Armenia. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! But not until I reduce my belongings to 2 pieces of luggage, which is a fairly massive undertaking…

SharePoint Saturday DC – Reston 2014

Once again, the SPSDC organizers put on a great event this past weekend!

I attended this time as a speaker and also as a vendor, both of which I enjoyed very much.

My presentation was entitled “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with SharePoint”, which was an end-user focused overview of various ways to prevent inconsistencies and redundancy in SharePoint content by taking advantage of out-of-the-box features. This was a new session for me, and I was really pleased with the positive feedback I received. I plan to add some content based on questions raised during the session, and hope to present this session again at future events🙂

Here are my slides: Reduce Reuse Recycle

Ned Dickert wrote a nice blog post about my session (thanks!)

LT boothAfter my session (which was in the first time slot), I spent the rest of the day at the Lightning Tools booth in the vendor area, talking to attendees about our products. This is one of my favorite things to do, because we offer something of interest to pretty much anyone, no matter their role in SharePoint, and I love having conversations with people where I can help them solve real problems they’re having.

SPSDC SharePintAt the end of the day, SharePint was held at the aptly-named World of Beer in Reston Town Center. They had a really nice selection of beers, and I liked that you could browse their beer list on mobile devices, by origin and style. Among others, I tried a flight of local beers… yum! And of course I really enjoyed spending time with old SharePoint friends, and making some new ones🙂

See you next year!

SharePoint Saturday DC – Custom Lists

Here’s my slidedeck from SPSDC (June 7, 2014). As those who attended my session know, it was mostly demo, so I’ve only posted the slides containing the reference information I mentioned during the session.

Custom Lists 101 – resource

Thanks to everyone who attended my session! I had some good conversations with several people afterward, which is one of the great things about SharePoint Saturdays🙂

In A Wink


It’s Christmas Day, and that means it’s time to work my Stave Santa puzzle (entitled “In A Wink”) for what I see on the handwritten label is the 20th year!
Back 20-some years ago, when business was booming and we were all flush, I discovered these gorgeous Stave jigsaw puzzles. Each is hand cut from cherry wood, and you can order custom pieces to be fitted within the puzzle…


We had gotten several for our dad at that time, and I own three of them, which is probably nearly $1,000 worth of puzzling masterwork. Kind of ridiculous, I know, but oh, the satisfyingly quiet little “chick” of perfect wooden pieces going into place…
My Christmas Santa puzzle is especially fun because it’s one of their trick puzzles, meaning some pieces will fit in two places. See… this almost all fits, but is obviously wrong:


But what I love most about this puzzle is that you really have to do it the wrong way first, before you can change a few pieces around so it’s right:


My annual reminder that one must often fail before one can succeed…🙂

Merry Christmas, friends!

SharePoint Saturday UK – Fun With Lists

Here’s my slidedeck from SPSUK (November 9, 2013). As those who attended my session know, it was mostly demo, so the last 6 slides contain the reference information I mentioned during the session.

Fun With Lists

Arriving in Second Summer

It’s been 6 or 7 years since we visited my sister L, who now lives in Naples, Florida, but with some Delta miles to spend, and with my other sister C and her family (husband K, teenage daughter E, and pre-teen daughter J) planning a Fall trip to Disney World (from Germany), we decided it was about time we did!

Our trip began rather inauspiciously, when A got an alert from the Delta app as we were having coffee at the Pittsburgh airport, that our first flight to LaGuardia was delayed by 20 minutes, cutting our already “pushing it” connection to “not likely at all”. But a quick conversation with the nice Delta agent at our gate got us switched to a flight through Atlanta instead, just about to board, which got us to Fort Myers almost 2 hours ahead of schedule!

Old Naples PubThat meant: time enough to meet L for a couple beers before “the Germans” arrived from Miami! She drove over to our motel (The Mariner, more on that later), and we walked the block or so to Old Naples Pub. L wanted to sit inside in the coolth, but we just-off-the-plane northerners overrode her and asked to sit outside in the tropical warmth🙂

We hadn’t actually eaten lunch yet, though it was after 3, so we ordered some chips & artichoke dip, and a fruit & cheese plate, just hit the spot. We also had to try the Coastal Calamari (“drizzled with sweet chili glaze and sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds”), though we weren’t sure if the name meant that it was from this coast, or just coastal-style… but it was a really tasty way of serving it. I always like to try to drink as local as possible, so I tried a Weizen from Naples Beach Brewery, which was really very good, very true to style. We had a nice time catching up with L, and checking in via as our Buccos were creaming the Cards in game 2 of the NLDS. #RaiseIt

We  still had some time to kill before the Germans were due in, so we walked the whole block from our hotel to the beach, and took a nice stroll southward. I found a bunch of really cool clear disc-shaped shells… I just need to think of something to make with them!

Naples Pier

After the Germans arrived and got checked in, we all met at Ridgway’s for dinner, which was really very good, as well as being great to relax and talk with my sisters and their families. I had a cup of gazpacho, and the goat cheese tart appetizer as my meal (“Goat Cheese Tart with Ratatouille ~ Artisanal Greens, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette”… SO good, the crust especially!). I paired it with a glass of Dog Point sauvignon blanc from Marlborough — getting myself ready for later this year, which will be our 3rd summer😉 — and left room for the raspberry Crème Brule and an espresso.

Poor J was falling asleep in her chair after being up since 4am German time, so C took her back to the motel before dessert. A & I, and K & E, decided to walk out to the end of the pier before going back to the motel, as the Germans hadn’t had a chance to get to the beach yet. It turned out to be pretty exciting, because there were a lot of people night-fishing there, and two guys hooked and reeled to the pier the same (quite large) shark! Made us think twice (but only briefly) about going swimming nearby in the days ahead…