Rain, rain….rat snake!

Raining her in the Lowcountry.  Like, really raining!  The first night there was thunder that shook the house, flashes of lightning to often, large, and close they lit up the house, and even a heavy, if short, hail storm.  We got up at 5am to the street flooded over a foot deep from one side to the other.

The storm kept me up all night…the boys woke up and peered outside and said, “it rained?”  Sigh.  Boys.

Because the water is always deepest right at the end of our driveway the boys came and went on their bikes from the second drive at the end of the yard (actually it is a glorified patch of gravel, sand, and leaves)  It was there they encountered the second of our much loved reptilian residents….our black rat snake.

Gorgeous! Right?  I love that we have so many kinds of reptiles here…and a fine assortment of amphibians as well, but that is a topic for another day.

We have anoles, both our native Carolina (green) anole

  but also the introduced Brown anole

We have Fence Lizards, the only spiny lizards native here  species photo

And of course an abundance of snakes, turtles, tortoises, alligators…the list goes on and on.  It is a great place to raise kids…so much to explore, so many amazing animals to appreciate and love and protect.

I was tickled and delighted the boys came up to the house thrilled about finding the big rat snake out in the rain, making his leisurely way up the magnolia tree, where the thick leaves will provide some protection from the storms.

Looking forward to seeing him again one lazy afternoon, basking in the morning sun.

Sliding into autumn…

September!  how the heck did it get to be SEPTEMBER already?  The days are already getting shorter and soon the ninnies…err powers that be…shall insist on depriving us of our lovely daylight savings time and once more all things will begin in darkness.

Most of my friends are running gleefully into fall.  I am hanging onto summer with fingers and toes, screaming:  NOOOO!  Don’t leave me!

Still the month holds much joy.  A trip to Long Island to see my beautiful daughter, amazing son (why do I have to keep adding the dang “in-law” part.. ) and their awesome little Squid. And my Reesie is there.  And Kris.  Going to be wonderful and Spud is going too.  Even better.

and KHYR’s edits are completed!  so Judah can have a read ….whenever he has time away from his post-grad novel… also fun!  And to celebrate,,, here is our FANTASY FRIDAY picture….

Love this one…

Welcome August

August has come.  I shall miss July.  It was a wonderful month, the heart of my favorite season…summer!  But I look forward to what August will bring with both joy and trepidation.  I love that August here in the Lowcountry is still summer…with a capital S!  

Hot… still in the triple digits and no sign of that changing this week.  Sunny….actually a little more rain would be helpful with this heat, but I do love my sunshine.  And, of course, the joy of long long days and clear nights with star-filled skies.

Downside?  Back to school.  Oh how I hate back to school down here.  This is one of my biggest disappointments with being home in South Carolina.  The school systems bite.  And the worst part is….they don’t even know how bad they are!  It is terrifying and disheartening and…sad.  Especially for my son who is bright, and talented, works hard, and such a wonderful kid to work with (all his teachers agree) and has dyslexia.  So the lovely schools will shove him to the side…off the main track… where he won’t make them actually teach in the way he learns and won’t mess up their illusory competence records.  He is disappointed.  I am disappointed for him.

This isn’t the end.  We have just begun to fight.

Meanwhile, there are school supplies to buy….both for him and for my Little A.  Even more for the Little A as kindergarten requires a lot more supplies than high school.  So this weekend we will begin the shopping.  Uniforms for the Little A… khaki pants and shorts, polo shirts, some play clothes for after school.  Fill a long list of supplies needed.  And clothes for my AJ…shorts, t shirts, cargo pants, sox, underwear, jeans and new tennis shoes.  He grew over the summer!  Nothing fits.

More writing.  More editing.  More days and nights of missing our A and wishing he was home once more with us where he belongs.  THIS is his home.  Nowhere else ever can be.

And more work.  More landscaping, and cleaning.  More gardens and flowers.

More blessings.  More life.   Welcome August.

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?!

Now it is SUMMER

If there was any doubt before, it is now JULY….full on the middle of our gorgeous, glorious SUMMER!

Yes, that is me you see happy dancing in the puddles from the thunderstorms, and grinning like a Cheshire cat as I revel in the hot, hot, HOT sunshine.  I love Summer.

Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime!  (feel free to sing along)

Have to get up really early to mow the yard now.  Walk the dogs early.  But I still do my work….lots of outdoor gardening and landscaping… in the middle of the day.  All but watering, the plants appreciate me waiting till late afternoon for that.

I did have to replace a couple of pots of flowers at DeeDee’s that just weren’t up to the heat/sun (the three digit temps are hard on flowers) but I found good sturdy stock better suited to this year’s weather and they are looking wonderful.

Miss my Little A soooo much.  Can’t wait till he is home again.  Got his replacement hammock swing for out under the live oak and it looks great.  He will love that.  The swing is his favorite place.

Tomorrow is 4th of July.  No big plans.  Kids will shoot off some fireworks in the driveway.  We’ll watch whatever the neighbors shoot off.  Going to grill out back and enjoy the sounds and smells and ‘family’ of the 4th.  We are blessed.

Where did this week go?

Today I had appointments.  Sunday is Father’s Day.  I have quickly lost track of the entire month of June.

Sunday is not sad so much any more…the kids and I are adjusting…but the old habits keep creeping back up on me.  I go to the store and catch myself trying to decide what to make David for Father’s Day brunch.  The kids saying how much they felt they ‘needed’ to make western ribs this weekend…we don’t even eat red meat any more…but because it was their Dad’s favorite.  He loved to grill.  Well, no.  He loved to have grilled food, LOL.  He started the grill and then the rest was mine.  Which was totally the correct move because he was an impatient chef and cooked before the fire was ready.

No ribs this weekend.  No lemon meringue pie or a fancy brunch.

It seems empty somehow without those things.  But he is remembered this weekend.  And missed.

One last day

Tomorrow my Reesie heads off to New York and her amazing summer job.  Today was spent racing like crazy people trying to pull together the final things for camp.  Some ‘blacks’  (she is a stage manager in the theatre at the camp and they told her not to bring her ‘good’ blacks to camp) from Goodwill.  Plus a pair of shorts and a couple of adorable plaid cotton camp shirts.  We got the last of her snacks for the long train ride.  We wanted to spend one last day on the beach…but it decided to thunder storm instead. :s  Packed her bags.  Tried in vain to find a wall charger for her camera but did succeed in finding a $2 cord for her iPod.

We talked (a lot), drove around (a LOT), and ended with a quick and very late supper at our favorite Crab Shack.  I am going to miss her so much but can not be more thrilled about this big step into her adult career and life.

Life is good.