Since our arrival one week ago, Mary and I have been toiling like galley slaves under Master Nick’s whip. The basement wall, made of concrete block is almost finished. We have one course to go but today it is raining and I can’t say that bothers me in the least. We need a rest.

The weather has been unseasonably hot (high 80s, low 90s), humid (very), sunny and still all week – not exactly what we expected this time of year. After this rain passes, cooler weather is forecasted.

Nick’s two acres is about one hour’s drive outside of the city in some low, heavily forested hills. Bull Run, the site of two major battles during the Civil War is only a few miles away. Nick’s neighbor found a VMI (Virginia Military Academy) button on his land. Presumably, an artifact fallen from a Confederate officer’s coat.

One border of Nick’s land is a small creek, complete with crawdads. The forest floor is littered with flat stone. Some day I’d love to build a wall with it.

Not much to report except our slave labor. Our only break was on Monday last when we went to FBI headquarters for a ceremony where Nick received the Director’s Award for some undisclosed (secret) but outstanding achievement. It was presented by the Big Man himself, the new FBI Director, James Comey (he is big – 6’8″!). The official FBI photographer promised to send us a photo of the presentation which I will include in a later post.

Anna Banana is quickly transitioning from baby to little kid. She’s quite steady on her feet, very inquisitive, and happy, happy, happy. She makes a lot of noises, none of them really words (except “doggy”) so we expect talking will soon be her latest passion.