July slides by

,,, and I shall miss it!  So quickly come…and gone.

We found this gorgeous creature in our backyard.  She has an amazingly perfect web and sat and posed for her photograph.

Golden orb weaver…right next to the screen porch.  So beautiful.

More planting of flowers today.  Pentas, Mexican sage (which is a kind of salvia), found the most gorgeous phlox in a pale pale pinky lavender with white, and added more portulaca.  The raised vegetable planter is now a butterfly garden and they were already visiting it before I could even get the final plants in the soil.

Everyday miracles

It was another gorgeous day.  If that sounds repetitive…it is.  I am so blessed to live in a place I love and enjoy this much.  I love the sunshine.  The heat.  The sun.  The breeze off the ocean.  The sudden summer rains.  The long summer squalls.

I love wild masses of color from summer flowers and crepe myrtles, the whisper of the breeze in salt grass and pampas mounds.  The hawks that sit atop the posts and watch us below.  The mockingbirds with their myriad of stolen songs.  Peppers in the trees, and anoles on the house.  Everything is bright and blessed here this time of year.

No, we don’t have any money for a ‘vacation’ like normal folks do in the summer.  Someday I want to take AJ on a ‘real’ vacation… he was so young when his dad got sick and died, he doesn’t even remember ever having taken one…  but here we have our own little backyard vacation every day.  We have the ocean.  We have the Angel Oak, the cobbled streets of downtown Charleston, palm trees, and sailboats passing beneath the bridges.

Before he heads back to school we’ll go to the Battery.  We’ll walk around down town.  I’ll even save the money to take him someplace fun and “Carolina” for a special treat.  We will make the memories.

Life is too precious to miss just because you don’t have much.  Every moment we have is a miracle.

Summertime sunshine

Another long fun filled day at work.  Lots of work outdoors, as usual.  Cleaning up, cleaning out.  Putting new plants in.  Mowed, edged, weeded.  All in the blazing high 90s, heat index in the 100s South Carolina sunshine.  And it was good.

In between, since poor Merrill is down with the ick and the meds are making him nauseous, I ran to the store and got club crackers and Coke for the upset tummy, and tuna and catfood for the grumpy cat.

DeeDee wrote me a lovely letter of recommendation which I shall send off to the school system tonight. My ‘plan’  (you know what they say about the best laid plans….)  is to get a part-time or floater position job, if possible, with the County schools.  That would provide the income cushion I am sorely needing and keep me under the earnings ‘cap’ for folks like me.  With my teenager having handily outgrown all his clothes over the summer…I swear the boy is taller than me, so probably 6′ now… I am going to need all the money I can save up to get him clothes and shoes for back to school.

Good news front…for reasons I cannot explain but am delighted with…there is NO flea problem this summer.  Now the dogs are always on their flea/heartworm medications through the vet….but most summers the fleas are still ‘there’… there are always the random ones carried through the yard by a squirrel, coon, or local critter…   The last two months? Nothing!  I am thrilled.  The dogs are the most content and itch free I have seen them in years.  This is wonderful.

And so… off I go to write.  Edits on crit partner’s book are done and now it is time to get Khyr wrapped up.

Isn’t life wonderful?!

Friday fun, friends, and family

Today was the last day of VBS.  It was fun! I worked in doing the kids’ crafts all week and we finished up with a great one where each child made a (faux) leather bound journal to take home.  They loved it, it was simple enough for smaller kids but left lots of room for creativity for the more advanced/artistic children.

Afterwards Merrill and DeeDee took me to Mellow Mushroom for pizza.  We ate out on the patio but along the wall, not near the big open windows.  A late afternoon storm blew in…watching the approach of this huge wall of black cloud was amazing and then… it was on us!  Rain poured.  Winds whipped the rain through the windows, customers grabbed their plates and ran for shelter.  We sat and enjoyed the mist blowing over us on this hot summer afternoon….and ate our pizza.  Of course, DeeDee frizzed and my hair sprang into a tight mess of wild curls….but it was wonderful.  Such fun.

Then tonight our Little A called and we talked for ages.  About how he expects the hammock swing to be waiting when he comes home.  How he’d like to have one where he is nooowww.  (hint hint)  😉  About the color of his life jacket (red and orange) and how much he needs a new trampoline when he comes home.  It was wonderful.

Now I am off to murder some monsters with Khyr.  So here is our Friday Fantasy and I hope some of ya’ll love it and see the fantasy it opens for us all….

the magic in the moonlight

Mixed blessings

we have looked forward to this day for a very very long month….and today was the day.  We got to see our Little A and LeeLee.  We got to hold, cuddle, play, talk.  AJ shared his 2DS with Little A and they laughed at old photos of David ….esp the ones where he was being silly ….and showing them his ‘big belly’  (the liver cancer made it look like a beachball) and they played games and laughed the way brothers do.

Lots of smiles.  Lots of joy.  They miss each other so much…

And then it was over…and my precious Little A threw himself in my arms and sobbed and sobbed and begged not to go.  It breaks your heart in ways that can never be mended.  And now… the wait until we can hold him once more.

But this afternoon, God hid my tears with His rain…it poured and poured.  As if the whole world was crying with us.  And somehow, it felt better.

So we will go on.  Till we meet again.  Till the waiting is over…and we don’t have to cry any more.

Getting ready to roll

This is VBS week and I am going out to help with bible school at a very poor inner city school.  Worked at the school a year ago putting in garden beds so the school could grow their own vegetables, and was sad to hear from the children that the plants came up…and were allowed to die untended.

Perhaps this year, if I can get some help, I can go plant their vegetable beds and make it out to the school at least once or twice a week just to water and weed. Also thinking a few perennials would go a long way toward helping them have success…strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, sunchokes, ground nuts (Indian potatoes), scarlet runner beans, and kale. That alone would give the kids something to harvest almost year round down here.  I need to put this up to the school and the church group.

Scarlet runner beans

Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)

Finish with fun

it has been a long, hard, stressful week…but also a good week.  Filled with moments of hope and rays of sunshine.

My AWOL cell phone finally reappeared.  YAY!

The parrot is sitting three eggs.  I know none of them can hatch (she has no mate) but it makes her soooo happy to sit her little nests each year.  So she gets extra treats in a special bowl down where she has made her nest.  Tonight it was sugar snaps peas, black grapes, french fries (baked), and banana.

No she’s not spoiled.  Much.

And it is another fabulous FANTASY FRIDAY!  That is always a good thing.

Because this week…. ELF.  Need I say more?