Got home safely, braved the welcome weekend rains, and did my usual re-entry: eat well, sleep much, work little.
Laughed as Jim, former high school trombone player, accompanied radio jazz on his trombone. It was pretty good! We celebrated, too, as Jim's jazz is now being heard on television -- he has licensed tunes that are now part of GREEK and LIPSTICK JUNGLE (television shows we'd never heard of, but now we've watched them!).
Sat on the front porch between rainstorms and watched Cleebo drink from the bird bath.
Admired Jim Williams' handiwork in the carport (see the dogwoods and azaleas blooming?) -- which needs a name. Right now we're calling this room "Irene." My Jim suggests "Alice in Wonderland," since there is so much odd (and luscious) color and shape in this room. Do you have a suggestion?
Jim Williams installed the transom windows (there are three) and the light -- what do you think of the light? It needs a name, too.
Here's a closer look. Found it at Kudzu in Decatur and snapped it right up. Jim calls it an alien jellyfish light.
Kids came for brunch on Sunday, but I was having too much fun savoring their company to take photos. Birder friend Jerry came over, too, with his binoculars, and we began making a list -- in my notebook, of course -- of all the birds we saw in my back yard.
Now... I am not a birder. I know by sight robins, blue jays, cardinals, and a few others. So I've decided, for this back yard bird project (it wasn't planned, it just came up as we sat there and Jerry kept finding more -- and more -- beautiful birds) I'm going to devote a notebook page to each bird we found and paste in there a picture of each bird so I can know what I'm looking for. I might even buy a pair of binoculars.
Jerry has this cool recorder that plays different bird songs, too. "What's that screeching bird I've been hearing early in the mornings?" I asked. "Like this?" Jerry played me a bird "song." "That's it, exactly," I said. "Those are baby great-horned owls!" said Jerry.
Well! I know we have great-horned owls here. I have heard them. Many a morning when I'm writing at 5am, the owls are ending their hooting as the dawn comes and the day birds take over.
Sitting outside, learning to look for an hour yesterday afternoon, was therapeutic. I saw a pine warbler up close -- and you'd better believe you'll see the appearance of a pine warbler in my next book, in much the same way "blue jays chitter-chattered in the pines" on page one of THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS.
Or maybe I'll mention the other birds that have taken up residence in my trees: we've got Carolina wrens, orange-crowned warblers, and even bluebirds -- saw them with my own eyes, unaided by the binoculars. I'm
putting up a bluebird house, immediately.
I am home for two weeks before the next travel. Two weeks to work on book one of the Sixties trilogy before a chunk of it is due to my editor. So, tomorrow, I'm going to talk about this trilogy (avec its pine warbler) and ask you your thoughts as well. Today I'll take care of the week's errands and business so that, starting tomorrow, I can push forward in long writing hours. Tomorrow is a work-lots day. A Sixties day. Far out.