I apparently took an unintended summer vacation from the blog, oops. It’s still technically summer, though, and the recent return to high temperatures proves it. It was really weird having such mild weather in August, but it was also rather nice — especially last week, which was sort of like a little fall preview. It was awesome. Of course now it’s back to 90 degrees with 80% humidity, but that’ll only last so long, at least.

So! Goings-on of late:

  • Went to the first weekend of the fair, ate unhealthy food, and looked at bunnies.
  • Wrote a post for the NaNoWriMo blog; it’ll be up soon!
  • Something else??? I feel like I’m forgetting something.

In the yard, the flowers are winding up for the year. The echinacea and rudbeckia are mostly done, which the goldfinches have been appreciating. The yellow rose bush is really big again, but the flowers have mostly been extremely insect-damaged, so it’s not much to look at. The orange rose bush is still tiny, and only has two or three flowers at a time, but they’re still super-pretty when they first bloom.

Oh, and the hydrangea actually bloomed! It only had one bloom, but it was a pretty dark pink.

I didn’t end up planting sunflowers this year, so the only plant out there for most of the summer was the one I posted a picture of back in April. It got huge, but I’ve been cutting off the blooms once they’re dead and the seeds are mostly gone, so right now it’s not very tall, and just has small flowers. But! There’s a bird feeder outside one of the windows (entertainment for the cats) and it turns out that the birds planted their own sunflowers.

There’s four or five plants; I decided to leave them alone and see what would happen. They’re not very tall, because they started so late, but the tallest one has a big pretty bloom on it. And I’m sure the birds will appreciate the seeds regardless!

Fall is my favorite season, and my birthday is in a month and a half, so I’m looking forward to the next few months. (Although, to be honest, I have mixed feelings about the birthday.) I’ve been a bit too casual about my business over the summer, so September and October are all about really working hard and getting some new clients lined up — and then in November is NaNo!

I’m not sure what I’m going to write this year; I really want to work on something I’ve already started but that’s against the rules. I have two other unwritten ideas I could pick from, but I’ll have to see if either one of those really grabs my interest by November.  I could try to come up with something new…but seriously, the last thing I need is yet another novel idea. (I should really actually finish one I already have first.)

That’s all for the update! I’ll have a post on Thursday…about the fair, maybe?

Monster echinacea

Monster echinacea

I don’t know if this image fully captures it but the echinacea is tall this year. It’s awesome.

tall echinacea


On the right there’s one of the not-exactly-red-hot pokers (the other plant isn’t even red at all; the flowers are yellow!), and at the bottom is some rudbeckia. This pic was taken last week? Some of the rudbeckia is just about to bloom now.

Sushi & butterflies

Sushi & butterflies

The long-delayed Cincinnati trip post! On an unspecified Thursday!

Lots of pictures in this post, starting off with lunch on the trip: sushi from Fusian, a.k.a. the reason we even went to Cincinnati in the first place.

(There’s a piece missing because I forgot to take a picture before I ate one. But at least I remembered to take one at all!)

Fusian is an Ohio-based independent chain restaurant that operates rather like a Subway, Qdoba, or Chipotle — except with sushi (yay!). You go down the line and pick what you want, starting with a nori wrap vs. a soy wrap, continuing to your choice of rice (white or brown), protein (including raw, cooked, and tofu options), and whatever toppings you want to stuff in there. Then they cut it into 10 pieces and add whatever sauces you want. The sushi in the picture, if I remember correctly, was half-salmon, half-tuna (both raw), with every topping (mostly veggies, plus cream cheese) minus cucumbers (because they’re gross), and with wasabi mayo on top. It was very very tasty.

So basically they have fast, customizable sushi at really decent prices. It’s amazing.

I first went to Fusian when they opened a location in Dayton while I happened to be in town. I’ve been a few times since, in Dayton and Cincinnati. They also have locations in Columbus, but unfortunately nothing in Kentucky yet. Come to Louisville, guys!! (Please!)

So after having our sushi lunch, we (my mom, my niece, and I) decided to be cultured. My mom and I had been talking about going to Ikea and Jungle Jim’s while we were there (which I mentioned before), but I had looked up stuff to do in Cincinnati and found out that there was a cool Japanese art exhibit going on at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and a butterfly show thing at the nearby Krohn Conservatory. So we did that instead. Culture! And bugs!

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Skillet cat

Skillet cat

Connie in a skillet

The Cincinnati post is still forthcoming; it’s going to have a lot of images and I just haven’t had the time to really sit and work on it yet. Luckily I just said it would be ready  “for Thursday” with no reference to which Thursday, so as long as I post it on a Thursday I’m good. 😀

In the meanwhile, here is a Connie-cat in a skillet. This is one of her preferred nap places around the house, because cats are weird. I had put this cast iron skillet on a shelf one day to get it out of the way temporarily, but once she started using it as a napping spot I felt bad about taking it away, so it has remained there. (There’s another skillet I can use, so it’s not a big deal to let her have this one.) I keep saying I need to make a skillet-shaped bed for her.

In the flowerbed, the chives are blooming, the echinacea is giant, and the rosebush has buds on it (both of them do, actually). Pictures at some point! (I’m being even more vague now, but really I’m aiming for next week.)

A wild sunflower appears!

A wild sunflower appears!

sunflower seedling

Okay, it’s not exactly wild, but it is the first self-seeded baby sunflower I’ve spotted this year. Isn’t it cute? They start out so tiny but they get so big so fast.

Of course, it’s in a completely inopportune spot — in the middle of a lawn area (I say “lawn” ’cause that obviously ain’t grass), too far from anything to be staked to as it gets bigger, and on the south side of the tiny orange rosebush, which means if I let this grow here it’ll eventually block sun from the roses.

So, it’ll have to get moved. (It’s the first one of the year, and I hate pulling out plants anyway, so yes, it’s definitely getting moved, not done away with.) I’ve transplanted plenty of baby sunflowers before and they always do fine. I wonder what the flowers on this one will look like!

I found this little guy yesterday (I think?) but today I found some more surprises in the front yard. The sad, clearance-sale hostas I planted way too late last year made a comeback!

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