Summertime beginnings

June 5, 2024

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Yes, you're correct. This is the longest I've ever gone without writing - at least on my blog. The truth is, I've been writing, and actually editing like crazy on the final portion of my new book, which will be out this fall. I'm in the final stages of approving artwork for the cover, which is one of my favorite parts about pulling a book together. I strongly believe you CAN judge a book by it's cover (that's what my husband says when we see  mugshots on the news). I hope to have more specific updates on the book for you soon. 

We traveled to New Jersey for my father-in-law's funeral service. I hate to take pictures at a funeral, but it's rare we're all together with the boys looking so nice. My husband was a wonderful son to his father and now  has fabulous sons of his own. I'm so proud of all three of my men. I loved seeing all of the NJ relatives and friends of the family who thought I had an accent. 

I visited my friends Nancye and Sonja at their "Friendly Advice Booth" inside Page and Palette bookstore. Every Tuesday, they set up shop and give friends and strangers sound advice. I can't even remember what we talked about, but I do remember  feeling better when I left than when I came. While I was in the bookstore, I ran into local author Lila Pennington Ryles, who has just published her first book at age 92. She was excited to know I had just started reading her book, "What Would Mama Do?" We spent a long time discussing book things. This is her story of growing up in Fairhope with her brother when they were 7 and 9 years old - ON THEIR OWN for the most part. How they survived is beyond my imagination. They even found a German submarine in Mobile Bay! 

Here I am with Lila. She's a firecracker. 

I'm writing to you from my backyard office beneath a crepe myrtle tree. There's lots of early summer breeze and I must be near a nest because the dastardly mockingbirds are yelling at me. I already picked the blueberries for the day, so they're angry about that as well. 

Speaking of nests, I had beautiful little wrens hatch on my front porch, wrecking yet another fern, but then, (insert ominous music here) I found this yesterday . . . 

I removed a temporary plastic flowerpot full of globe amaranth to finally plant in the ground, and this nest of eggs was underneath. If you click to enlarge, you'll see a tail of some sort. Most people think it's a skink nest - like a snake, but with four legs. Not poisinous, but terrifying nonetheless. Others say definitely snake eggs, and others just say, "run!" I returned later,  determined to poke it with a stick to see what popped it's head out, but "something" had completely covered up the nest and didn't respond to my gentle poking invitation to come out and show herself. 

I sent the photo to my nature loving Eagle Scout son and asked, "what kind of horrible creature laid these eggs?" He responded with the name of a politician. Very funny. Needless to say, I won't be doing much gardening until this gets moved.  

I was the guest on Andy Andrews' Wisdom Harbour podcast a few weeks ago. I brought some summertime cookies I made to celebrate that my books are now available at Wisdom Harbour Studios in Orange Beach! Baking is a good way to balance staring at a computer screen all day. 

Here's a picture of the lovely bird eggs. They hatched and learned to fly while we were away in New Jersey. It's like The Wild Kingdom around here. Everything is growing, hatching and blooming like crazy. What's happening in your yard? 

I hope your summer is off to a good start. Thank you for missing my column, and I'll keep you posted on book news. I love hearing from all of you, so thanks for the comments and emails. 

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