Valerie Dalton
My family and I moved to Missouri from Plano, Texas in August 2006, just as our son entered his junior year at Marquette. My professional background is in mechanical engineering, with a degree from The University of Texas.  I took a leave of absence to focus on motherhood in 1990.  Except for 9 months that I worked as a contract engineer on the International Space Station when our son was in first grade, I have remained unemployed by choice.  Over the years, I have studied photography, ceramics, and other areas of art.  I am passionate about life - in particular family, nature, gardening, cooking, social justice, spirituality, reading and photography, to name a few.  I am an avid recycler and thrift store shopper.  I am prone to flit from one activity to another, often leaving a trail of unfinished projects. 
This year I am learning about organic vegetable gardening, with a commitment to preservation of plant diversity. I blog at dancingwoman.wordpress.com about gardening and occasional random thoughts.   I have 3 plots in two community gardens and various edibles on our deck.  I also blog at dancingwomanlocal.wordpress.com about "All things Local".  Among my passions is the belief in community - I grew up in a small north Texas town, in an era when people went to bed at night and simply locked the screen door - just to keep the bugs out.  We frequently socialized with neighbors, family and friends.  These connections to other people are very important to me.  I find much joy in being able to visit with other members of my community when I'm out and about.  Blogging is a way for me to "visit" with folks every where.  
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Valerie Dalton's thoughts and ruminations
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