Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summing up July: Knitting, Felting, Fireworks, Writing, Gardening, Sadness and Happiness

The fireworks for my nice little town are shot off in the park next door. We have front row seats. The first year we lived here, my children each had a friend over and we all sat on a blanket on the roof over our garage and watched what seemed like our own personal fireworks show. We learned, though. If you live in this neighborhood, you are almost obligated to have a party on fireworks day/night. The whole subdivision is a wall-to-wall party. So now my husband invites friends from work. We grill, everyone brings something, we eat outside, play lawn games, make s’mores. The sun goes down, we don sweatshirts and bug spray and gather on blankets laid out on a hillock next to the park. The fireworks are always spectacular and have an in-your-face excitement to them. So that’s what we did at the beginning of July – we had our fireworks party.

We also began to harvest things from our garden. Peas were the first things ready for picking.

Now the zucchini are providing for our table. So far we’ve had zucchini bread and steamed zucchini mixed with green beans from the garden, and then sprinkled with fresh peas. Yum! The green beans are my favorite. They are yummy and abundant. Our tomatoes haven’t ripened yet, but we have a lot on the vine.

The corn has just begun to tassel, I noticed that the calendula is getting ready to bloom, and I think the sunflowers are getting as close as they can to the sky before they decide to bud. They’re tall and magnificent.

One of our kitties had to be put to sleep in July. Just last week, in fact. Now when I walk out to the garden, I pass her little resting spot, and that of one of our other little kitties.

Here she is on the right, thirteen years ago, with the little girl who grew up with her and loved her every minute of those thirteen years.

Sadness and Happiness. The art of living is figuring out how to heal from the one so you can embrace the other.

I’m working on a new novel. It’s for ages 11 and up, targeted for boys. It has rugby, ghost hunting, and a new girlfriend who may or may not be a ghost. It was my turn for critique in July and my critique group really liked the first chapter. One of the comments written by one of them was, “I hope you know where you’re going with this, because I really like it and I want to read the rest.” Hee! I don’t really know where I’m going with it. And that’s kind of a problem. I have ideas, but I really need a good twist, a wow element to give my idea some real spice. Trying to come up with that element has only led me to a little alley in my head that’s boxed in by concrete walls. Not a fertile place for go-go ideas. So I left July stuck somewhere in chapter two. Page 28 to be exact.

I’m hoping August will find my mind working again. It’s my birthday month! Woo hoo! I already got an e-birthday coupon from my favorite yarn shop – Miss Chickpea’s Funky Fibers. At least creativity will flow through knitting, if not through writing!

Speaking of which, the end of July saw me finishing a pair of knitted slippers and felting them.

They’re thick and cushy (I knitted them with two strands of yarn so they’d felt up nice and thick). In fact, they’re still drying out because they’re so thick, and it’s been a tad humid. Can’t wait to slip them on my feet and try them out. I’m ready for winter!

This happy little gnome, who used to help hold up a plant, is waving July goodbye. He's wishing you a wonderful August!

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