Sunday, January 30, 2022

A View from the Quadroplex


Usually by the time there’s this much light in the sky the blog has long since been posted and I am on to other things. 

This is the view from my desk. I’ve always loved this view since the summer I moved here. At some point over the last year I decided to put my work table here so I could soak up as much of it as possible. It was a good decision. Regardless of the season, this view never ceases to make me happy. I enjoy the changes in nature, watch birds and squirrels, follow the rhythm of my neighbors comings and goings each day. I’m still trying to decide if it would be polite to smile and wave, or whether that would make them feel “watched.”

I’m working on several larger pieces at the moment. I imagine them simmering away on back burners, not ready yet but approaching completion. 

Some fun dribs and drabs this morning:

If you’re thinking of making Valentine’s Day plans, this might prove to be a memorable celebration.

Celebrate 2022 Valentine's Day with your sweetheart by solving whodunnit together at this murder mystery dinner in Columbia, Maryland. Join us on Monday, February 14, 2022. But watch out. This is so much fun, you might die laughing!

Very limited attendance. Advance reservations required.


Was it the Colonel in the Kitchen with the Candlestick? Or the Professor in the Parlour with the Lead Pipe? Join Whodunnit for Hire and the Doubletree by Hilton in Columbia for the murder mystery based on the popular 1940s board game. But watch out! This is so much fun you might die laughing.

A 50/50 raffle will take place at the event. The winner will get 50% of the money, the other 50% will be donated to Maryland Public Television (

The company, Whodunnit for Hire provides “team building and mystery entertainment” in Baltimore, Carrroll, and Howard Counties. Depending on your personal tastes, this might be fabulously fun or painfully awkward. It caught my eye because they were hosting one Saturday night at the DoubleTree Hilton which is less than five minutes from my house.

Another event which caught my eye was a story walk created by the Media Specialist for the students at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School. 

Our media specialist, Mrs. Spangler has set up our very first StoryWalk for the picture book Hello Summer, Goodbye Autumn by Kenard Pak! Students can walk and read! Students then have the chance to share about the story walk on pallet or paper leaf too!

Photo courtesy of HCPSS 

Although the original tweet from the school appeared in November, this story caught my eye in a piece shared by Ellicott City Patch:

StoryWalk Inspires HCPSS Students To Read More , Kristin Danley-Greiner for Patch

[The media specialist] tapped into the talents of Howard County Public School System's print services team and produced a series of panels featuring the text and illustrations from Kenard Pak's children's book "Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn." They were strategically placed in a small garden area toward the front of the school, which allowed students to walk around and read the story outdoors.

"Reading outside was definitely new and fun for many students. It not only gave them the freedom to move around while they were reading; it allowed them to make valuable connections between the story – which talks about changing seasons – and what they see and feel in their daily lives," Spangler said.

I’m a big fan of story walks. Have you ever visited one? I know there have been several in Columbia/HoCo over the last several years. At the moment I’d only be interested in one taking place at various stops within my house. It’s cold out there!

Author Jason Reynolds came to Busboys and Poets in Downtown Columbia on January 22nd in Columbia and I am very sorry to have missed that. I’m not even going into grocery stores these days, so this event was a no for me even though my heart said yes. If you went I would love to hear your impressions. Reynolds is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. If you want to know more about him, I highly recommend this interview with Manoush Zomorodi on NPR.

Jason Reynolds: How Can We Connect With Kids Through the Written Word?

Apropos of Friday’s post about making our personal calendars more inclusive, my husband came home from work with a Chinese New Year goodie bag full of treats provided by parents at his school.

And just this morning an offer for a more inclusive calendar appeared in my Facebook feed. It is presented as a free download for teachers but I’m sure they’d be happy for anyone to read and learn from it.

My plans for the day involve buying a bird feeder and working on those other simmering blog posts. Have a wonderful day and keep warm.


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