So It’s Summer

If things were usual, we’d be heading out tomorrow for two weeks in Italy—Kayla’s big graduation trip. Bright side of this disappointment, is we’re re-booked to go next year. Something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, our girl has graduated, with honors, and they were able to hold a safe and lovely outdoor ceremony. I’m so glad she got that moment in cap and gown. Though her prom was canceled, she dressed herself up in her gorgeous dress for pictures.

Elegant in aubergine.

Since we’ve all been staying home, we decided we could merge our bubbles with Jason, Kat and Griffin last weekend. It was beyond wonderful to see them all again, have some time together. A full fifth of Griffin’s life has been spent at home, with just Mom and Dad. A long, long time.

I could see memories click, bit by bit, and though it took him time to start warming up to Nana again, by Monday morning before they headed out, we got there.

The boy loves water in all forms. Nana bribed him with the hose. Nana is no fool!

If you press here….

This happens!

And he loved just walking around outside—took his Dad on several adventures. Sunday night the three of us walked out so he could see the solar lights glowing. Jason took one of my all-time favorite pictures of Griffin staring up at the magic ball I got last year at Greenbrier.


Otherwise, it’s routine, routine, and more routine around here. Cooking, working out, cleaning, writing, gardening. And the annual Deer Wars. I was just out weeding and saw they’ve come right up the drive at the back of my house, mowing down Black-Eyed Susans and Purple Cone Flowers.

My dogs are useless here apparently.

Worse, they’re still (or Parker is) nosing in my pots. Despite hot sauce, red pepper flakes, vinegar soaked coffee filters.

Another battle in another war.

Still, the gardens look lovely—especially if I squint when I pass the damage. And my hydrangeas are absolutely awesome this year.

We continue to stay home, rarely venturing out. We did participate in the very peaceful—100% masked—protest in Boonsboro. I’ve lived here for decades, and believe this is a first. About a hundred people gathered for it, and that‘ s huge for a small rural town.

So that makes three times I’ve left the property since March 8–the others being dentist appointments. And all good there for now!!

Today with the weekend cleaning and cooking and baking and gardening done, I’m either sitting down to proof galleys or to give myself a break and read someone else’s book.

Stay safe, stay well, enjoy the flowers and the long, bright days of summer.


33 thoughts on “So It’s Summer”

  1. Can’t believe how much Griffin has grown! Kayla looks gorgeous!

    Do you have problems with squirrels in your garden? We’ve tried every method we know. They’re still killing our potted plants. I’ve given up trying to grow vegetables. My little dog chases them sometimes, but not enough.

    It was so good to hear from you! Glad you’re staying safe.

  2. Your granddaughter is stunning! The Prom gown is elegant!!!

    Griffin is so handsome…and oh the genius of introducing him to the HOSE! Next a slip and slide!!!

    Sometimes suspending CDs with clear fishing line helps deter the deer…they flicker randomly in the wind, and the deer startle and more on.

    Me nemesis is chipmunks…cute though they are…they ae tunneling under the house!!! Muttering here!

  3. Congrats to Kayla. She is so grown up and gorgeous. Griffin is growing like a weed. Glad to see that everyone is well. Glad to see you. Enjoy the summer and stay cool. Love

  4. We are in the middle of winter in New Zealand so just turned around to head back to summer. So hard to read how much you are facing in the US. We currently have full freedom here again but with a few new cases coming in over the border who knows if that will continue. I had the delight of a new grandson during our lockdown so I definitely have sympathy with those still separated from loved ones.

  5. Lovely granddaughter, you must be so proud and Griffin is just a doll, love his little face. When we lived in California, we had 10 deer that camped out in the pasture next to us. They leaped the fence beautifully and ate the flowers in my rock garden while looking at me as they chewed! I still haven’t gone out of my yard, March 11 will stay in my mind for awhile. I live with my youngest son and DIL but since she is a critical care nurse it’s been far apart and masked. My oldest son came to see me Mother’s Day, masked as his business is essential also. I’m afraid it will be awhile before normal happens.

  6. Thanks so much for the update, Nora. I love hearing from you. So wonderful you got to see the darling grands. God bless.

  7. So I remember pregnant Momma, and Kayla’s birth, bit of a shock to see cap and gown. Congratulations to all!

  8. Hi Nora,
    Enjoyed hearing from you. I just finished Hideaway – I should not have started it while trying to sock and move!! Big mistake b/c I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down.

    We have 5 grands, all girls! And we just celebrated 21 years in old house with a sleepover with the grands and one more family meal with everyone. Lots of memories but ready for new adventures.


  9. Nora, Thank you for sharing such precious moments and memories!

  10. You books take me to so many worlds.

    Your blog centers me and brings me back to who I am.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  11. Wonderful photos, beautiful children, making memories, stay safe, looking forward to the next book, cold here in Australia, COVID spike in Victoria, in Queensland we are doing okay.

  12. Kayla is so pretty. I’m sorry she missed her prom and the Italy trip has been postponed. Hopefully, next year will be better.

    Griffin has gotten so big. I love the picture of him with the Greenbriar ball. I hope he remembers you the next time you get together.

    I understand staying at home. I’ve been out six times since March 13th. The most frustrating part of that is I’ve only put 87 miles on the car so I missed all of the cheap gas. You might want to try scattering human hair around your plants. My friend Ray brings home the hair shed at his barber shop. He has many deer where he lives, but they don’t bother their plants.

    Keep plugging away at isolation. It’s necessary. I’m glad that I love to read and have an extensive library. It’s keeping me sane.
    Ciao and best wishes.

  13. Congratulations to Beautiful Kayla 🥇
    Wishing you all a Happy and filled with Joyful moments Summer.

  14. Thank you for sharing your fabulous pictures with us! I got to hug and kiss my granddaughter today, for the first time since March 15th. Though she’s 12yrs old, I usually see her about 2× a week. FaceTime and ZOOM doesn’t make up for that side hug that she does so well! We too postponed the family vacation. Our trip next year will be her 8th grade graduation present from me! Nona loves her Honey Bunny!

  15. Congrats to Kayla- she looks so pretty and classy. Many girls her age go overboard with makeup, and look trashy. And Griffin- I can’t believe how he’s grown! I’ve started facetiming w/my GG’s , (great-grands)- i’m afraid they will forget what we look like.
    I’m exactly your age- but i’ve been out once weekly to do my food shopping- w/mask and gloves on. I don’t like the fruit and veggies i get when i have my food delivered. And it helps with cabin fever.
    My nemesis are squirrels- good luck with the deer. I’ve read that the hair thing works. It was nice to hear from you.

  16. Love the pics! Congrats to pretty Kayla too! And my, how your little man has grown! We just recently expanded our little bubble too with the kids and grands…..gosh it’s great to be with them again! Gosh darn those pesky deer!
    We put half bar chunks of Irish Spring soap hung with S hooks around the flower gardens….it’s been working!
    Thanks for connecting and enjoy your summer😊

  17. Congratulations to Kayla and Griffin is a handsome little guy!
    We got to see some of our kids and grandkids outside, no hugging, which is missed so much! The youngest granddaughter is 18 months old and we saw her last, in person, at Christmas!! We were away for a few months when the craziness started and we FaceTime but not the same!
    We also have deer issues, going to try and plant more deer resistant plants and hang wind chimes and hope for the best!
    Thank you for sharing and stay safe!

  18. I’ve been out and about at least once a week since the shelter in place order went into effect, usually to get my mail at the UPS Store. I am now housed after being homeless for a bit over 2 years, but I was lucky enough to never actually have had to sleep outside.
    The gripes about the deer had me snickering a bit because it reminded me of the battle my sister fought over her blueberry bushes. She would be lucky to get a quart of berries from her two bushes after her dog and the scrub jays picked them over.
    I’m doing well, and I am glad that all of you are well and your families are also.


  19. Oh my goodness! Griffin looks so big. And what a stunning young woman Kayla is. I know you’re so proud. Glad you’re all well and safe . Blessed be your Solstice.

  20. Heartiest congratulations to Kayla! Your hose play with Griffin reminded me of doing the same with my two year old granddaughter who is now 17 1/2. Such a fond memory for which I have pictures to remember it by.

    Happy to see you and your family are all safe and well as is mine. I will be crossing the Bay Bridge for the first time in five months to attend our granddaughters wedding next week. Best part will be seeing our daughter and her family for the first time since January when we went up to Sykesville to meet our one day old great granddaughter. I am so excited!

    Stay well and keep the books coming. 🙂

  21. Kayla looks lovely. So happy for her that she was able to participate in her graduation. Griffith is growing so fast, but then they do seem to do so in the first few years. He’s looking great. Your garden and hydrangeas look beautiful. My husband takes care of my father’s yard, and the deer have been uprooting his flowers – they don’t eat them, so he just replant them. Very annoying. I’m glad things are looking up with being able to be with your kids and grandkids. Thank you, as always, for sharing.

  22. A beautiful family! Lots to be proud of. For the deer send the menfolk out at night to pee around the flower beds. Not in them around them. Works like a charm. We live on 5 acres with about 80 acres around us. We’d only been married a month and in our house 2 wks. My husband was just finishing building a raised bed for me and I saw a herd of deer standing in the tree line watching. Looking at all my newly planted hostas I told my new husband what I needed him to do. His eyebrows disappeared into his hair! Works great. 20 yrs later he’ll ask me where I need his services.

  23. Congratulations to Kayla! You look beautiful! Griffin is getting so big! He’s Adorable as always! Same for us. No reason to go anywhere and obviously can’t, so we can stay safe. We were planning a trip to North Carolina this year and we were going to visit Turn the Page bookstore and Innsboro in Maryland but maybe next year. For this year just work and home. Getting some much needed Home repairs done as well! As always love hearing what’s going on!

  24. So many graduates doing alternate ceremony events. Drive in movie graduations are the rage this summer. Kaylas is beautiful in her prom gown and cap and gown. But her graduating with honors is the big celebration.

    As for the deer, I have a family of 6 now; two new babies, and they have no fear. They come right up on my front porch to eat my hanging pots of impatiens. I switched to begonias and they seem to leave them alone. I am collecting all deer resistant flowering perennials plants for next year. Life in the woods is not for the weak of faint of purpose.

  25. I remember you sharing pictures of a young Kayla and the time has flown! Griffin looks so fascinated when you explain things to him! I’m loving my garden too with iris coming and lavender and fusias and geraniums it’s beautiful! I usually take videos of my garden in bloom each yer so i know what worked well and where. Thank you for sharing Nora. Xx

  26. Such beautiful photographs. Your grandchildren must give such happiness and hope for the future. Hope you and your family continue to stay completely safe. Many thanks for sharing your life with everyone Nora xxxxx

  27. It’s so lovely to see this update. I’m so happy for Kayla and happy that you have been able to extend your bubble to include Griffin. It must have been hard to only see him on screens! Your hydrangeas are gorgeous. We just moved and I had to walk away from the gorgeous bushes I’ve tended over the last 6 years. Oh well, there’s fun in starting again!

  28. Huge congratulations to Kayla, she looks absolutely stunning.

    The pic of Griffin looking up into the solar light is priceless.

    Good luck with the battle of deers, I am sure you will come out on top in the end!

  29. Congratulations on the graduation and spending time with the granbaby! Can’t believe how big he has gotten!

    In response to the deer, and I know this is going to sound gross, but my dad gets something that is basically coyote urine (smells horrendous), that he sprays on the plants. It has kept the deer away from the plants for the last several years! Hope they don’t eat too many of the plants!!

  30. Nora, so glad to see your family is thriving despite the challenges. What would we do without family, friends, and a few good books, eh? I live in rural Alberta and we use bars of Irish Spring soap to keep the deer from eating our plants. I’ve heard you can use shavings but I just put the whole bar in the pot or bed and the deer hate it. Stay well and I look forward to your next book.

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