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.

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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Cats and plants and dogs, oh my

Cats and plants and dogs, oh my

Well, just one dog.

This is Lola:


She’s an almost-5-year-old black German Shepherd Dog (with lots of white dustings, and in this picture a stray white hair stuck to her nose), and she is very cute. You will be seeing more of her in future posts.

As promised, here are some pics of growing things — and also a few cats, because they like the nice weather, too.

First up is Logan, who at almost 15 is the oldest of the pets (or varmints, as I like to call them). He also is very into catnip, so this is his favorite place during his brief trips outside:


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Visiting chickens

Visiting chickens


This is a picture from last year of one of the neighbor’s chickens. They have two, and since their yard isn’t fenced in, the chickens like to go exploring. They’re pretty friendly, and I’ve gotten to pet one of them, although they’re much more interested in any food you might have for them. (And yeah, I totally feed them if I can find something when they stop by.)

My dog, Lola, sometimes ignores them completely when she sees them, sometimes watches them, and sometimes (namely when they come up on our front porch) she barks and barks and acts like she wants to rip them apart. I really want to get two or three chickens myself this year, so it’s going to be a fun process teaching her to leave them alone.

Short post today! I’ll try to remember to get outside with my camera tomorrow and take some pictures of growing things. Or of Lola. Also tomorrow is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo, which I am signed up for and will be attempting to use as motivation to make some progress on a novel draft. (Another thing I’d really like to do this year is actually finish a draft!)

The garden of yesteryear

The garden of yesteryear


And by yesteryear I mean last year.

This is a snippet of the flowerbed last June. The echinacea (coneflower) was blooming, and so were the poppies that had self-seeded from the year before. (I’m hoping they come back again this year!) The spiky-looking plant on the left is a red hot poker that was just starting to bloom, I think. You can see a bit of red on it. There are two of those in the bed, although I can’t tell in this picture if you can see both of them.

To the right of the red hot poker is some self-seeded rudbeckia that wasn’t blooming yet. The year before, I planted two of those, I think, and neither one made it through the winter but tons of little fuzzy plants started popping up from the seeds, which was cool.

There’s also some marigolds in there, and the upper left is a sunflower with its giant leaves. The other side of the fence has more sunflowers, and there’s a yellow miniature rose bush in the flowerbed but not in the picture. (And pay no attention to the fact that I am terrible at weeding.)

So this is about what things will look like this summer! The echinacea is already starting to come back, the rose bush has new growth, and I’m pretty sure the little fuzzy baby rudbeckias are popping up again. I’ll keep an eye out for the poppies, and I definitely want to get some spring-blooming perennials in there this year.

A few more leftover pictures from last year:

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