Every summer we take a family (with friends who are family) week at Nemacolin in the Laurel Highlands. We’ve done this since Kayla and Logan were just little guys.
It’s fun, and it’s busy, it’s relaxing and noisy and loaded with young energy.
This year was no different.
Our pals have joined us on this week since their two boys’ tiny days. (In fact since before their youngest, Brendan, was born!) They are tiny no more! Altogether we’re six kids, ranging now from nearly seventeen (Kayla) to 8 months (Griffin) and seven adults. We still outnumber them!
The kids really only see each other a couple times a year, including this stellar week, but every time, they slide right back in as if they’d hung out the day before.
We bring our old, original Wii and set it up in the living area of our suite for group fun in the evenings–or for a rainy day. There’s a big pool, tennis courts, loads of activities for those who want them. And, of course, spa treatments.
There are ropes courses, climbing walls, zip lines–and lovely walks.
This year, Jason and I took Griffin in his stroller for one of those lovely (long!) walks. Good thing Dad went with us because there are challenging hills, and while Nana could’ve managed, it would have taken some rest periods!
The second walk, I had Kayla–young, long-legged girl–who pushed the baby and stroller up the big-ass hill.
Kayla and I hit the shops–and Logan hooked up with us. Colt, Griffin and I hit the toy store.
When we had a couple of foundation meetings, kids juggled baby-sitting.
We had pool time, gym time, hang-out time, game time. And our now traditional family (minus Griffin for this) Paint Night where I learned I don’t (or didn’t) understand the concept of negative space.
Griffin discovered the joys and rewards of crawling–he can motor pretty well now–and the sheer delight of having lots of kids to play with him, entertain him.
One night we hung out with a kind of virtual reality screen–throw a football or hit a golf ball at it. Our pals the Orrs are seriously athletic, and their oldest, Ryan, is quarterback on his high school football team.
The boy can throw a football!
I honestly thought Griffin would just explode. Nothing has ever been funnier in his eight months of life.
And it’s great to see kids so willing to entertain a baby, to haul him around, to take his hands so he can walk–a favorite activity.
I can imagine Griffin waking up at home this week and wondering: Hey, where’s my crew?
So another summer week’s in the book, with good times for all.
There’s nothing like kids–from teens on down to babies–to remind you what summer’s really about.
Today’s the day — Under Currents is available for your next summer read! And this is the place to discuss the book with other readers.
I know you read the excerpt a while back so here’s the book description to refresh your memory:
Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. While strangers and even Zane’s own aunt see his parents as the epitomes of a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, Zane and his sister Britt know there is something terribly wrong. As his father’s violent, controlling rages and his mother’s complicity become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. In fear for his life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away. When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the facade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves.
Share your all your thoughts in the comments — and be ware: spoilers ahead.
Not a lot going on this past week, which is just how I like it! Just work straight through to the weekend, all pretty calm and satisfying.
A full Saturday for certain with a lot of gardening chores–also how I like it. With packing squeezed in there for the family trip to the spa. BW’s going to meet us there mid-week as he’s off to a music workshop to work on his Cajun accordion playing. Kayla and I head out Monday morning, and the rest of our gang will dribble in through the day.
Spent the evenings signing books and finishing up galleys as I really don’t want to take work with me.
We get our first little harvest of tomatoes–a very pretty Roma and some cherries. Setting them and the peppers in this new spot made all the difference. While I weed the front of the beds, BW braves what I like of as Snake Haven and does the back. (No snakes spotted.)
And as our wild berries are ripening, he has himself a handful, then gets another handful for me. Yum. We don’t often beat the birds to the berries that climb all over the slope behind the raised beds.
Last week, he discovered a nest of ground hornets under the furled loosestrife when he started to install some low fencing support as they’ve gotten so big. The hornets were not pleased, nor was BW when he got stung–fortunately only twice.
We just can’t have hornets buzzing around right outside the house, but whatever he sprayed didn’t bother them a bit. Time for the exterminator.
The plants and pots look good!
We have an incident last week with a raccoon and the dogs. The dogs behave like dogs, so the raccoon is no more. In the battle, they break my favorite pot–my face pot–in two. Handy BW glues it back together, but I’m letting it rest for the remainder of the season–and happily save the plants.
A couple of problematic shady spots we’ve worked on are coming together. In one area, after many failures due to deer, I tried astilbes–deer-resistant, and they’ll take shade. Not my prettiest spot yet, but since the ones planted last year survive, we add more this spring. Eventually, when the little guys catch up, I hope for a nice flow of color and texture the deer ignore.
I chase one away from another area just the other day after work. They’re pretty, but relentless.
I’m having serious good luck this year with hummingbirds and butterflies. We have a couple of hummingbird feeders, and I like watching them. One enjoys the boomerang lilacs outside my gym, and often comes to feed and visit when I work out. Sweet.
My herbs are thriving (harvest a lot for dinner last night). I’m letting one patch of oregano bloom because the butterflies like it, and I like them.
My favorite of the weekend is the stone lantern BW gave me for our anniversary, and installs yesterday. So pretty during the day, and what a lovely glow it gives at night. I think it’ll be my favorite thing for a long time. Across from that, my Rose of Sharons are about to burst into bloom.
Purple coneflowers and Susies bright in my beds, cardinal flowers ready to pop. Spilling nasturtium, bold begonias, cheery garden phlox. Hydrangeas lush and lovely–and so plentiful I cut some to enjoy inside.
It so satisfies me to see the rewards for the years of work, to see each area we tend develop its own personality. It’s even more satisfying to see it all on an evening walk after a good day’s writing.
I’ll miss that this week, but I’m pretty sure the family time–and a couple of good massages–will more than make up for it.
This summer’s grandkid trip features Logan at fifteen, and–by his choice–Montana.
He and his posse–BW, Jason, Kat, Griffin and me–head off to Paws Up for five packed days. When a boy’s never been west, you can’t have a much better intro than Montana.
The flight out’s smooth–thank all the gods–and the weather when we land a LOT cooler than Maryland. First stop, a bite to eat which includes Griffin’s favorite treat, french fries.
Then it’s time to fulfill Logan’s first request. The boy needs a hat and boots. This offers a nice walk–stretch those plane legs–and a chance to see some of the horses in the paddock before BW checks Logan in for his first activity.
A guy can’t go west without testing his skills on the rifle range.
I plop Griffin on the grass. He is very entertained grabbing it, yanking it, talking to it.
He’s also thrilled to gut laughs by the tether ball play.
Grandda takes Logan to the range, and the rest of us head to our cabin to unpack, settle in. It turns out Logan has a keen eye and steady hand with a .22. Those endless hours of video games likely help there. Montana Logan shoots the crap out of the targets for a solid 90 minutes.
Logan has the loft room in the cabin, so I join Kat and Griffin to show him his space. As he’s well pleased we leave him to unpack then clean up before his first western barbecue.
Kat, Griffin and I decide to walk over to the Village, and while the road–pitted, horse poop, rough–is a challenge for the stroller, we manage just fine. You can smell the burgers and dogs and brats before you get there, and hear the music from the live band on the outdoor stage.
Griffin likes the music, and shows his own keen eye every time a pretty girl walks by. The men join us for the feast, the view, the music. You don’t go hungry at Paw’s Up. And, oh, that sky.
But our body clocks are still on East Coast time, and we unanimously agree to call it an early night.
We (except Griffin and me) have a hot air balloon ride booked for the morning. But the weather up there looks iffy, so that’s called off.
I head up to the living area of the loft for my workout while Logan catches more zzzs in his bedroom. I hear Jason and Griffin down below, go to the rail to say good morning. It’s rewarding to hear Griffin’s happy babble when he sees me. Jason brings him up, puts him in the pack and play. He’s well entertained watching his Nana jump around for her cardio section before the rest of the crew stir and all but Nana head out for breakfast.
Since they won’t be gliding up in the clouds, we vote to hike down to the obstacle course. The Grizzly Man isn’t for wimps. I have to give Kat major kudos for hiking it with an extra twenty pounds of Griffin strapped to her in the pack.
The trail’s steep. I’m talking feel those quads sing steep. Logan handles the obstacles like an American Ninja champ. Nothing stops him. And he instantly becomes Griffin’s favorite cousin, bringing on gut laughs as he climbs, swings on ropes, jumps and balances.
I’m in pretty good shape considering, but I’m winded more than once on the climb. That’s okay because I can take time to admire the wildflowers. We’ve never been here this early in the season, so I haven’t seen the bitter cress or wild lupine in bloom. Makes me happy when I catch my breath.
And I only had to wince and close my eyes a couple of times while Logan performed.
Well earned and much appreciated.
The gang–which does not, again, include Griffin and me–have a river float booked. After Daddy entertains his boy with tosses and rubbing his belly on Daddy’s head, Griffin and I are happy to wave them off. We have some play time, then a nice rock on the porch when he gives Nana those I’m Tired tells. I’ll take rocking a cuddly baby on the porch with a fabulous view any day over riding the rapids.
Team Logan returns, wet, cold, triumphant.
Logan’s favorite cousin status is only more solidly cemented.
The whole river gang hits the hot tub.
Time for dinner.
We thought to play a game or two after, but the energetic day’s taken its toll all around. So goodnight!
Workout for me in the morning, then breakfast for the gang. And we’re off for a guided tour of Garnet Ghost Town.
Our guides point out the beargrass along the way. Fascinating starry white puffs on stalks. Each plant only blooms every three to five years. The woods and hills around Garnet are loaded with them.
We do our tour on a gorgeous morning walking around and through the old log buildings of the once thriving mining community. Daddy hauls the baby, Mama hauls the baby, everybody eventually hauls the baby who loves looking at everything and every one.
And before you know it, lunch!
My two boys really pack it in. No fussy eaters here.
Logan, Jason and Kat are off to ride ATVs. Time for another porch rock, and some down time while the baby naps.
Our adventurers come back coated with dust and success.
Clean up time before our Chuck Wagon Dinner experience.
We now have two cowboys as Kat and Jason scored a bandanna and boots for Griffin! He is seriously dressed for Chuck Wagon time.
They shuttle us over to yet another gorgeous area of the resort by the Blackfoot. Food’s more than plentiful, but first Montana Logan heads to the river. I watch him and Kat skipping stones.
Kat wins this one, hands down.
Pretty, pretty evening, lots of kids running around, some cowboy poetry. And more grass for Griffin. I swear he’d sit for hours in the grass.
But there’s horseshoes, and I spot Logan taking on Grandda. We have to go watch this. Kat, Jason and I play pass-the-baby. The score stays close, but it looks like experience will triumph over youth.
But then, Logan, steely-eyed, lofts his shoe. It’s a Ringer!
I wish I’d had my camera out to capture that look of surprised delight on his face. I did get the aftermath. And he takes BW by a point.
Back home. And some Reverse Charades.
This again has the baby in squealing with joy. Look at all those crazy people!
Logan thrashes us.
BW to read, me to sleep, and apparently the rest to hang out awhile. During that time, Logan’s favorite cousin status reaches new heights–as they demonstrated for me in the morning.
Logan meows. Griffin: Hysterical!
Logan shakes his hair. Griffin: Gut-busting!
Logan makes a face. Griffin: I think I cracked a rib!
Kat, being one smart mama, now enlists Logan every time she needs to change Griffin if he’s fussy. All Logan has to do with shake his hair or make noises, and Griffin’s squealing with joy.
I love, seriously, how engaged and patient Logan is with him. He’ll get down on the floor with him, or take his hands for Griffin’s favorite walking practice. And the little guy will walk endlessly if you can keep up. They’ve bonded hard over these days to the point Griffin just has to see him to break out in grins and excitement.
Morning time. Breakfast for them, workout for me. Then BW and I have massages booked.
Ahhh. A trip to Spa Town’s just what the doctor ordered. Blissed out we return for Logan’s Aerial Adventure Course. I’ve seen him take on those types of courses before–he’s like a monkey. But this one is bigger and more complex.
He handles it like freaking Spider-Man. And again has Griffin lost in hero worship. He swings, he climbs, he balances, he walks the tightrope, he belays down from–I don’t know how high a platform–then climbs up to the second part of the course.
We find grass for Griffin. Logan finishes the 90 minute course with 20 to spare, and is invited to do any part of it he likes again. But he’s satisfied. And hungry.
Lunch is welcome, followed by a little down time. We have a jigsaw puzzle we’re working on. Progress made.
It’s Griffin and me and the rocking chair. And the rest off for a trail ride.
When the gang returns I learn they had the kind of excitement you’d rather not. Jason says he noticed his mount seemed a little testy, kept putting his ears back. Then about ten minutes away from home, he spooked. Turned straight into Kat’s horse, spooking that one. Had Logan’s horse shying.
Logan got his under control, Kat managed to pull hers up from the gallop he’d launched into. But as Jason pulled back, his horse turned again, and tossed him.
Fortunately–as best as you can be fortunate–he took the brunt of the fall on his hip and shoulder. The wrangler was quick, and they called out the EMTs just to be sure. The group’s a little shaken, and Jason plenty sore on top of it.
He’s got ice, has a long hot shower, some Advil. He’s moving slow, but okay. Still we opt out of that night’s BBQ. The rest head off–and they’ll bring us food back. I’ve pretty much hit a wall activity-wise and take a solid nap. That with a minor break, turns into 10 solid hours of sleep.
Human enough in the am for my workout. Jason’s better, but his main deal now seems like a pulled inner thigh muscle. Some stretching, some ice, a spin in the hot tub. Improvement.
Better yet, he and Kat and Logan have massages later in the day. Perfect timing for Jason. Kat and Griffin go rappelling. Jason’s in no shape for that! But Kat rediscovers her love for it, and Logan has a great time.
They head down after lunch for a good rub while Griffin and I have that floor and porch time.
Logan, Grandda and Kat head to the go-cart course. Though he’s doing better, Jason opts out. The report is, once again, Logan wins the day.
We’d planned to have dinner and a movie in the cabin for our last night. Our timing is perfect. As we wait for our food delivery, a storm–a whopper–rolls in. It’s dramatic and fabulous–especially since we’re all cozy indoors. (Logan’s become our official fire starter.)
The wind blows, the rain slashes, and the hail shoots like bbs. I have drama, wine and a fire. It’s pretty great.
It blows out again while we eat.
Up to the loft for movie time. How about some Captain Marvel? Griffin doesn’t make it through, but sleeps peacefully on Kat’s lap.
It’s a nice, relaxing end to our many adventures.
Miscellaneous photos from the trip:
Quick morning workout, pack it up. Breakfast, happy Griffin who watches Logan with adoration all the way down the loft stairs.
Back to the airport on a–thankfully–clear day for the flight home.
Have to say goodbye to Jason and Kat–who remain the best traveling companions ever–and the happiest baby in the world of babies.
We’ll see them again soon as we have our full-on family spa week coming up in no time.
Drop Logan off at his mom’s, and his two siblings actually come outside to see him. Absence makes the heart grow, after all.
Home to the dogs, to unpack, to just chill.
Those cowboys wore me out!
But nothing makes a nana’s heart smile more than having her teenage grandson tell her this was his best vacation ever.
We’re less than 70 days out so I think it’s time for a sneak peek at Vendetta in Death, don’t you? First, the book description.
She calls herself Lady Justice. She chooses a man as her target, then turns herself into tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead — an alluring, seductive illusion. Once in her grasp, her target is powerless.
The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.
As Eve combs through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life his compulsive need to record his misdeeds hints at a wide range of suspects, but Lady Justice remains elusive and escalates rapidly. If Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled.
Here’s a quick one before we take off in the morning. It’s Logan’s turn for a summer trip! We’ll send a report, and plenty of pictures when we get back.
I get to have my oldest and youngest grandsons for five fun days!
Meanwhile, I had a very solid, productive writing week. It’s always fun to spend time with Eve, Roarke and the gang. And to be able to stick with it, and them, without needing to stop and go anywhere! Yay!
Today meant getting that workout in early—and doing a little extra as tomorrow’s a travel day. Then packing. And packing, and figuring, and packing.
My wall/paver guys have done an amazing job, and are nearly done. It LOOKS done, but there’s backfilling, and lights to install, and clean up. I’m just so happy with the results. And finally, BW and I could move pots who’ve been waiting in far too much shade for their place on the lower patio. I expect my geraniums will thank me with lots and lots of blooms.
I got my weeding and deadheading done, and had a very fine time with it.
And discovered lilies! Two years running, the deer ate them all. We’ve been battling them fiercely this year, and we’re winning!
Happy, too, we’ve worked on problem sloping, shady areas, and are gradually improving them.
I bought my gorgeous new fairy, intending to use her in the shade. But her beautiful bronze skin would disappear. So I switched her out, and she’s lovely and happy where we put her. Now the very white reading girl pops in the shade with a cairn, an old hand plow and my tree of life gate.
My nasturtiums—Laura always gets me seeds—are throwing vivid blooms, and before long will spill artistically over my garden wall. I love adding them to salads—along with my thriving herbs.
It’s been great to spend so much time playing in the garden. I’m going to go spray my tomatoes and peppers with an epsom salt solution, then come inside, sign four tubs of books.
We head out and head off early tomorrow morning. I’ll miss my garden, miss Eve and Roarke, but I think I’ll be too busy having fun to notice.
If you don’t have time, you need to make time for fun now and again. This was my week for making fun time.
What could be more fun that a day with girls–sisters and daughters–and the happiest baby in the world?
It’s our tradition to do a shopping spree at Saks in Tyson’s every year for Kat’s birthday. The team we work with there aren’t just the best, but have become family over the years. We start off in an area they’ve closed off for us and transformed into a garden–with a harpist!
Oh, the peonies! So fragrant, and fat as soccer balls.
Griffin likes the music, and also the selection of handsome baby clothes to pick from. Nana shows his some options. Yeah, that’s okay, hmm not bad. But when she holds up a little man suit, this is met with enthusiasm. Obviously, every handsome boy must have a little man suit.
We have delicious shortbread cookies–butterflies, dragon flies, blue birds–and an incredible cookie birdhouse made by Lily from the Graff department. She’s an baking artist. Some of these I have to take home for Kayla as my girl is extremely fond of Lily’s creations.
Then it’s time to get serious about wardrobe for girls.
Griffin hangs with us, hangs out with the team, has a walk-about and even takes a nap. When we break for lunch the teams presents us with an amazing gift. They will have a dogwood tree (which happens to have been Kat’s mother’s favorite) planted wherever Kat wants, and have included a really lovely plaque. It’s so touching, so thoughtful.
Kat and Jason will find a spot in their lovely yard where they’ll be able to watch it grow and bloom.
We have a simply wonderful day, and are now outfitted for all our summer adventures.
Because fun days should be expanded whenever possible, we learned years ago to stay overnight. After a post-shopping room service dinner, we have to say bye to Mary and Sarah–both have obligations in the morning. But Laura, Kat, Griffin and I get comfortable.
Griffin isn’t interested in sleep because this is too much fun. Laura can make noises by rubbing her fingers over the sofa, and there’s nothing funnier than that. Still, eventually it’s night-night for all.
I wake as usual about five-fifteen. But I wake to the sound of a baby laughing. About the best wake-up call ever. I join Kat and Griffin and a glorious sunrise for amusement with hands and sofa noises.
Mama’s tired, and Nana’s up, so Kat can catch more sleep while I get more play time. The boy doesn’t last long before he starts the eye-rubbing, head scratching that says: I need a nap. While he naps, I get my workout in–a good deal for all.
All good things must end, so we pack up–it’s quite a load–and head out. Happy Almost Birthday, Kat!
Back to work for me, but a slightly shorter day of it Friday as my older babies are coming to dinner. A good time to catch up on what’s what at the end of the school year. The two oldest will be joining the work force this summer around vacations–a very nice balance, imo.
We’ll be having fun with Logan shortly as it’s his turn for a summer trip, and it’s coming right up. Details to come.
Saturday, it’s work out, get in some quick gardening because we’re spending the afternoon in Baltimore at an O’s game. Kayla’s going with us. Logan declined as he considers baseball boring.
I love the boy, but this is heresy!
It’s a perfect day–low 80s, low humidity, sunny, and there’s nothing prettier than a baseball field. And no field is prettier than Camdon Yards.
We’re a happy group, guests of my broker and his team. Kayla and I settle in to watch them finish prepping the infield as the stands fill up.
And here comes Griffin for his first ballgame. Unlike Logan, he doesn’t seem to find it boring. He also samples his first crab cake, and like a good Maryland boy, enjoys it.
A pretty little blonde girl flirts with Griffin who flirts right back.
We have a fine time despite watching the O’s lose. They just fell apart after the fifth. But I’ve had time with my oldest and youngest grandbabies, hang out with Jason–who loves baseball–and Kat–who simply doesn’t understand it–on a perfect June day.
Today, I get my workout in, and focus on finishing some gardening. Then it’s deal with my seriously disordered house.
Because tomorrow, solid work time starts again. And that’s fun, too.
That’s what June feels like so far, and that’s the best in my world.
A solid work week for me is a treat, so the weekend really is the carrot at the end of another carrot. Right now, I’m back in Eve and Roarke world, and that’s always fun. So I spent the week catching up with old pals and murdering people.
For Saturday, I have an agenda, and it works! Get my workout in. Check that off. BW and I apparently had a mind meld as on Friday I thought: Wouldn’t it be nice to have bbq ribs over the weekend–and he comes home with a pack of ribs thinking same.
So I wrap those babies in foil on Saturday, stick them in the oven awhile. During the awhile I plug a few plants into the pots where Parker–before we added red pepper flakes to the soil–decided to dig them out.
Check ribs, have time to weed and deadhead the beds. This is kind of a zen activity for me. It’s quiet, relaxing, pleasant.
Ribs out, make up sauce/marinade, cover the ribs with it, and into the fridge.
Back outside to see about using this old trellis on a big–BIG–rose bush. One of BW’s cousins gave us the bush for a wedding present, so it’s 34 years old, taller than me, and blooms like crazy.
Turns out this isn’t a one-person job, so BW gets his sledge, makes holes for the trellis, and we get it up. It’ll do better next year when it’s not so full, and I can more easily thread it through–but those long arching branches are now off the ground.
He’s put this wonderful old gate–tall and really heavy–in our shady hosta area. I love it so much I ordered a smaller Tree Of Life Gate to go in another deep shade area where I can get nothing to thrive.
We haul the new gate–to be used as decor–down the lane to the stubborn spot. I hold, he and his sledge do the work, and there we have it. Nice.
I decide, when I’m done outside and back in the house, I’ll look for some lawn art on line. We can make that space prettier.
Since I’m out, I throw the ball for the dogs. The dogs watch me throw the ball, obviously think: YOU fetch. It makes me realize that in the last year or two of Pancho’s life we stopped throwing balls. He loved chasing and fetching more than anything in the world, so we had to stop when he really couldn’t run.
I’m going to work on this with these guys as the vet tells us Parker’s gained 9 pounds. Dog needs to work out!
Meanwhile, the pavers are coming along. It’s not going to be quick, but it’ll be worth it.
Today, after the workout, a few inside chores–maybe some ball-throwing–I get to pack for our girl overnight/Kat birthday spree. The best kind of interrupted work week!
Then BW will throw those ribs on the grill, and we’ll feast.
For me, that’s a solid, uninterrupted writing week followed by a pretty weekend in the garden. All my stars aligned, and it feels like it’s been awhile since they have. That makes it all the sweeter.
Since it somehow decided to be June, and June’s pretty busy, I’ll take the pretty perfect last week of May for that solid work week.
It’s a pleasure–mine anyway–to work steadily along, then shut down for a workout. Through this week, I work out with the sound of stone saws outside my little gym. Progress there, too! Every day I saw more of our wall going up–so pretty! It’s satisfying to take a walk around, see that progress, see new blooms–after a full day.
Then to start June off in the garden? It doesn’t get better.
In my continuing war against deer, I bought a couple of big garden spinners. Fun, colorful. I was perhaps overly proud to put one together solo. Mechanics isn’t my strength. I did need BW assistance with the second–one with a solar light–mostly because it had more parts and needed three hands to manage it easily.
Whether these will spin and chase off deer is debatable. But I like them anyway. So far spraying repellent’s doing the job (knock on every available piece of wood). And I do plant a lot of deer resistance varieties.
I have a whole flow of astilbes in a shady spot at a distance convenient for deer to sneak up. I saw one nibbled on yesterday, and imagine some deer taking a bite, then going PTUI! Serves her right.
BW spent most of his first day of June on his little Cat cleaning up the area behind his shop. This is an area I mostly avoid in order to keep BW alive. I will say he made some serious inroads.
We found a better spot for our tomatoes and peppers–already have tomatoes on the vine!–and he had the idea of using an old wagon as a stand. Cute.
I weeded, dead-headed, swept, pruned, rearranged and had a very fine time.
Today, post-workout, I’ll see what else I can play with before we have a family dinner. No Jason, Kat, Griffin this time as they’re out of town for a wedding. Griffin had his first plane ride–and seemed to enjoy it.
Right now, I’m looking forward to a summer filled with work, fun, flowers. It’s time to hit the gym so I can get started on that.
I think it’s pretty safe to say this year hasn’t followed the traditional path so far. As you’ve seen over the years, routine – in her work days, workouts, spa trips and vacations – is sacred to Nora.
As the calendar turned to 2019 both of us assumed the posts during the winter would follow the years prior, from Nora’s whole house clear out, to the adventures of being Home Alone while BW was away, then a smooth glide into Spa Girls, Derby, then summer.
But February happened, #copypastecris sat front and center in Nora’s head, and the winter slipped away. Nora wasn’t in the place to share regular happy updates of hearth, home and grandkids. I didn’t think humorous or cranky bits quite suited the mood here. So we — meaning I — let things slide.
Now I’m working at the beach office where I find my balance. Nora’s hit a run of relatively peaceful work days which brings her balance. And so I thought it was time to bring this space back to life with far more regular check ins.
Let’s start with the current book news.
Golden In Death is the 50th book in the series and to celebrate, Entertainment Weekly had the exclusive cover reveal.
Then St. Martins Press created this book trailer which features pulsating music and the cover on a stack of the In Deaths that came before.
Honestly I can’t wait to read it.
Here’s the cover in all it’s glory:
“But, Laura!” I can hear you all say, “What’s it about????
Everyone is mum on that right now, including that crafty JD. All she’ll say is it’s about murder (duh) with a mysterious motive―and a terrifying weapon. Now I really can’t wait to read it.
You’ll find all the US pre-order links here. Nora’s other publishers will have links up well ahead of time. Promise.
That’s all I have up my sleeve at the moment. There will be a few St. Martin’s Press Golden promotions I’ll share as we head into the fall. Plus, there’s something in the works with Little Brown UK. So stay tuned.
Add to that, we have Under Currents in July, Vendetta in Death in September and the run up to The Rise of The Magicks in December. Not to mention the girls + Griffin trip to Greenbrier in July and Nora’s family vacation in Ireland in August. The rest of the year will pick up the pace quite nicely.
Now to take care of the dust bunnies in the media library.