bees

So Much! And grateful for it all!

This morning, between the spats of rain, I’ve seen a swallowtail butterfly flitting around the flowers. Yesterday, I spotted a newly hatched monarch and I was so grateful that Husband made an effort to mow around the milkweed.

I’ll often stop washing dishes when the hummingbirds come to the feeder on the window outside the kitchen, but Tuesday, it was empty and I washed and filled it. I still had my hand on it – standing right there so it wasn’t like I was trying to camouflage myself – and a hummingbird came to feed. I don’t know if it was extremely hungry or incredibly trusting, but it was a thrill to be so close and feel the wind from its wings. I have this lovely friend who sends out a newsletter about nature, animals, and spiritual concerns. Because of her, I’ve been more attuned to nature recently and noticing strange things like that occurring more often, probably only because I am paying attention.  (Thank you Kellie!)

Recently, I used my gift card to Barnes and Noble to purchase one of those calendar organizers, you know, the ones that look impossibly thick with pages to plan your week and list goals and you wonder why anyone would ever need one that size. Let me tell you, I didn’t realize it, but I have needed one for a very long time. I’ve only had it for a few weeks and I’m already amazed at how easy this has made my life. So, Stepson, if you’re reading this, thank you for the Christmas present.

Yesterday was Husband’s birthday and even though it was a milestone, he didn’t want a fuss, so he didn’t get one, but he did get a card, a pan of brownies instead of a cake, and a case of his favorite beer.

8.17.2016

I posted a similar pic on Facebook and was delighted at the number of likes and birthday wishes it generated. Also, I know it’s small minded and petty, but I do wish people wouldn’t use his first name on Facebook, because, well, I’m not sure he wants to be associated with the likes of me via social media.

And Husband’s birthday is not the only close family member’s birthday this month. There are at least seven, plus two friends that are like family, and there’s a baby shower to attend and an ex-in-law’s anniversary to celebrate, so yes Hallmark, I am keeping you afloat…not that I expect a big company such as yourself to send me a thank you card.

Besides sending out tons of greeting cards, I’ve also been weeding the garden, mowing the trails, weed-eating the labyrinth, reading, making and drinking gallons of sun tea, cooking, cleaning, stressing out over Stepson’s impending wedding and the guests we’re putting up and the accompanying dinner menus, who’s getting where and when, attending Board of Education meetings, Hamburg Writers Group Meetings, looking forward to the novel critique meeting, being thrilled for friends with book releases (Congrats Gina Detwiler, Jeff Schober, Mary Akers, Claudia Cortese), enjoying the results of the Bemer treatments, being excited to start as a Bemer tech tonight, submitting two things a day because I was down to something stupid like only four things out plus fretting over the pink hibiscus and goji plants that I bought at the East Aurora farmer’s market last week which haven’t gotten planted yet, but man do the bees love them both.

 

8.16.2016

If I was reading this, I’d think that was all I was doing, but actually, I’ve been doing a lot of writing. These two characters, Pete and Tara, will not leave me alone. I’m taking old and new word lists from Hot Pants and even though I can’t find a story with the words, “Boogieman, ankle, Dumbo, kiwi and tax,” they do, and make it all about them. I decided to make them have sex so they’d have what they wanted and leave me alone. Was that good enough for them? No, they were right back at it yesterday and used a Kathy Fish Workshop Reunion prompt to get there. I read that piece, “Sweet Spot,” to Husband and his response was “I didn’t know you had it in you,” which made me not want to associate with him on social media.

Oh, and we have new art!

art

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections; your experiences may vary.

August has arrived

When I finish writing projects, I’m usually thrilled to be done…not so much this time. I know, I know, I plan on this being a trilogy, but in roughly two days, this draft of Dreaming Lettie will be done and that makes me sad.

I’m thrilled to have such lovely problems.

The “fun” story I mentioned last time was polished up and I want to give a shout out to Nancy Leone and Nina Fosati for their help and insight and to Saundra for laughing when I read an early draft at the Hamburg Writers Group meeting.

The heat has been getting to the plants. The garden is doing great, as well as the trees and shrubs I’ve been taking water out to every day in the far backyard but today I noticed the hydrangea, one that’s been doing well for at least 6 years, was stressed so I hauled water out to it, too.

The bee saga came to a peaceful conclusion. When Vikki, my amazing and brave sister was here, she soaked cotton balls in almond extract and plugged them around the entry. The wood that was pried off, stayed off.  I had a plan to entice them to a new home, but when I secured a bottle of lemongrass oil, (Thank you Nancy!) the bees had moved on. Husband replaced the wood last weekend. Soon the gutter will be repaired, the tree taken down, caulk applied, the window washed and scaffold taken down. Now that’s a project I will be glad to be done with!

The timing of that will be convenient since the vegetable canning has already begun. I put up three quarts of green beans yesterday using the outside stove my incredible Husband made for me years ago. It is such a great thing to do water boiling outside in this weather.

And so, out to the screened-in tent to begin the end of my latest book. If you’re interested in reading another book, here’s what I had to say about Christopher DeWan’s soon to be released collection, “Hoopty Time Machines.” Thanks for stopping by!

 

8.4.2016

*These are my creek side reflections. Yours may vary.

Fireworks, Honey, and a Lily in Bloom

Did you have a happy 4th? Husband and I went out to watch fireworks in East Aurora on Sunday since I knew he wouldn’t want to be out late the night before he had to go to work. Capturing fireworks is tricky and after about 5 minutes it was deemed a better idea to just set the camera down and experience the barrage of color and sound.

Kudos to the people sitting by us who kept redirecting the drop-in mouthy guy who wanted to bash Trump/Hillary/Bernie loudly before I kicked him in the shins and said, “Guess what? No one is here to talk politics. There aren’t that many things we as a community gather for, so don’t be an idiot and tarnish it because you think if you’re loud you must be right.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(And in case you’re wondering, I’m an undecided registered independent voter and I don’t care about any of your opinions, so don’t talk to me about the election unless I specifically ask you to do so. Also, I’m not going to ask you.)

 

 

 

Beehunt

I’d hoped to have more bee pictures of the partial extraction. I asked Husband to put them on his laptop over the weekend. I even asked if he downloaded all the pictures. If they’re on there, I can’t find them. *Sigh* There’s a reason “Trust, but Verify” got to be a saying. Regardless, this is what I ended up with:

Honey

A jar of raw honey from our very own wild bees.

MANY, many thanks to Vikki, my incredibly knowledgeable and brave sister. Love you!

 

The July issue of r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal is up and gorgeous. Jerri Bell’s “Care Packages” is deliciously written. Lucinda Kempe’s “On Perseverance: 5 Shorts” is wonderful and Len Kuntz’s “Twisters” will leave you breathless. Check them out, as well as the other amazing work made all the more incredible by Fay Henexson’s photography.

After last month’s scramble to get my 20 pages done in time for the novel critique group, I decided to drop “New Thing” and work on “Dreaming Lettie.” I’ve already gotten my required pages written plus a couple extra, though I need to slow one scene down. After I post this, I’ll be editing that and then continuing on. Working on the same thing for a little bit each day helps so much to encourage continuation. Hopefully, it will lead to completion.

I had a lovely evening last night in Eden at the Hodge’s. Mary Jo invited me and Nina Rochella Fosati for a light supper and a discussion about writing. Charles played butler beautifully, especially when he brought dessert. Mary Jo, Nina, and I talked about our writing process, submitting, agents, the good parts and the frustrations of doing this crazy thing where we take the same 26 letters and turn them into characters and force those fragile constructs into conflicts.

Otherwise, it’s been hot and dry here so I’m developing upper arm and leg strength taking multiple buckets of water out to the 4 remaining pines, 4 mounding perennial flowers and 3 blackberry bushes early in the mornings. Each time I do, I’m reminded that I’m not a morning person. Ah well, I guess that’s proof that I do love plants. Especially when they do things like this:Lily

Thanks for stopping by!

 

(The above are my creekside reflections. Your reflections may vary.)

Quirky Times, but at least the Wall is Painted

Hi! The wall got prepped and primed and painted. It is wonderful. The color changes from gray to blue to purple. I love it!

These pics do nothing to show you, but here you go. Thank you Donkey! (The painter.)

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I’m in a happy/sad sort of place. I’m going to Chautauqua on Sunday for a writer’s conference. Husband is going to start working ten hour days soon. I’ll be in charge of mowing the lawn while he’s working. I think I’ll be sad a lot when that starts. I’ve started working out to a Jillian Michael’s DVD and wondering why, considering the state of the Earth. For f-’s sake. Who gives a crap about Benghazi, or the IRS or Jolie’s breasts when collectively we should be demanding better treatment of the planet.

I don’t know how to do it. Husband and I own one vehicle. We recycle. Plant flowers for bees and butterflies. We volunteer. I know, it’s not enough and it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth every time I think about it. What do we do to get better, be better, help another person out a little bit more than we are trying? I just don’t know.

It’s probably just a personality trait—I have this wonderful wall now. I must not deserve it so I make myself feel bad about everything else…but the weather throughout the world scares me.

Last week, the radio was off for gobs of time. Now it’s back on and I hate not having power to save the fish that are floating in Lake Erie or the flocking West Nile virus infected birds. F*ck.

So, I suppose I’ll do what I can. Give a thumb up to work I like for r.kv.r.y., plant more flowering vines for bees, breath. Go on with a bit of courage. Hope people I know I love them for being them.

 

(*These are just some of my sad creekside reflections. Your outlook on life may vary.)