Weekend Catch-Up #1

Recipe for a late-June week-into-weekend:

One yellow duckie watering can.

One watering helper wearing stylish New Orleans bling. My staff is nothing if not multi-talented. (Last night she called the fireworks "bubbles!" -- I sense a writer in the making...)

One daddy home from work. Sorry, Debbie -- quittin' time!

Delicious lunches -- lunch is our big meal of the day.

Sometimes Jim cooks. His expertise is frozen peas. Also frozen corn. Corn on the cob. Broccoli -- lots of broccoli. And couscous. Boiled eggs. Peanut butter.
And he makes a mean salad.

Goodbye to Jim who works every weekend. Here he is, off to play a wedding. He guarantees a long and happy marriage to brides who hire him to play for their weddings. June was full of weddings, and Jim was learning Enya tunes for processionals and U2 for recessionals, also "The Best is Yet to Come" for one recessional. Listening to practice around here this month has been very interesting.

A late-afternoon nap near the lake at Hard Labor Creek State Park. We love state parks. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, which created so much of our state park system. We drive to our local state park, put $3 in the honor-system parking kiosk, and take off for an afternoon of sitting, sipping, and swimming... with an occasional nap thrown in for good measure.

The garden in mid-summer. The chicken is a birthday/Mother's Day gift from my kids.

More to eat.

We're bringing home whatever we find fresh at the local farmer's markets.
That's an organic eggplant on the right, simmered in water, not oil, with a bit of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Still finding asparagus (Jim made this salad!)... have you read this article in The Washington Post titled "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating"? We're eating 7 of them. I'm pretty confident we're not going to start eating sardines, but we can incorporate the others.

Vegetarian chili, organic red seedless grapes. Summer food! It rocks. Not pictured: tomato sandwiches with cheddar cheese and too much mayonnaise (Vicky S., I need an intervention!) and baked pears with a bit of melted chocolate on top. Mmmmmm good.

Finally, a week/weekend is best when there are friends to share some of these meals with. We've named the new carport room "Irene." I don't know why.

Weekend Catch-up #2 tomorrow: the North Georgia mountains and into North Carolina. And, a writing report.

Meanwhile, I've worked on a picture book this Saturday morning, and now turn my attentions to the novel. I'm hoping for a long stretch of writing this afternoon. I'm introducing nine-year-old Drew in chapter three. Each character needs a unique entrance, just as he/she does in the movies or on the stage (or, in life, come to think of it). Even my air-raid drill, introduced in a scene I finished yesterday in chapter two, is a character who needs an entrance.

This chapter three was the original chapter one for longer than I want to tell you. I hadn't been willing to let it go for the longest time. I hadn't wanted to write school scenes, for one thing. Think about it: in all my Aurora County novels (all my novels so far), there is not one school scene. I've kept the action centered on home and community, purposefully, even when spanning several months: LITTLE BIRD starts at Easter and ends at Thanksgiving.

But I need school scenes for END OF THE ROPE (the working title of the 1962 novel). For one thing, air-raid drills are an integral part of the story. I can't just tell you about them: I need to show you. So off I go to school with Franny.

One more note: Wheeeee! Thanks for all these Sixties memories that are pouring into my inbox! I'm going to share some of them, with permission, over the next several months, as I work forward on the 1962 novel. Please feel free to use the comments section, too -- I didn't mean it, what I said about comments long ago. I think I've figured out how to comment on the comments. So I've opened them up again. Comment away.

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