Dec 25 2016

And a joyful seasonal holiday of your choice to you!


I understand that the first night of Hanukkah falls on Christmas eve this year.  Nicely convienient.

Athiest that I am, Christmas is a purely secular holiday for me. Celebrate family! Friends! Loved ones of all sorts! (Rats, I forgot to buy Charlie the cat a present. Well, I’m sure some extra catnip in his sockie-toy will be appreciated!) Be kind to each other, and spread joy everywhere you can.

We’re going to be needing good will in the days to come. Of this, I am sure.

My visit with some Florida friends included the traditional gawk-at-the-nearby-mansion interlude. The owners decorate with lights every Christmas, and this year went even more over the top than you’d think possible.

I’m sure this is visible from space.



Street view.



Sidewalk view.



And driveway view…

And they even opened the gates this year, and let everyone wander the grounds to enjoy the lights up close.  Very public-sprited of them!


Love these sweeping staircases.



There’s something about palm trees wrapped up in Christmas lights…

Of course, not everyone can afford $300,000 for Christmas decorations.


Fortunately, there are more frugal options:


While Florida lacks snow, there is no shortage of styrofoam coolers.

I hope you and your own family, extended family, loved ones, and associated non-human critter-citizens have nothing but delight for all your holidays.

Dec 21 2016

And a happy Solstice to all…



Dec 15 2016

Surfacing briefly


Just checking in, to let everyone know that I’m still alive, merely incommunicado on my writerly retreat.

In. Florida.


Yeah, it’s been, oh, 80 degrees Farenheit (26.6 Celsius, for everyone except the USA).  Which is actually a little warm for winter, here.   Meanwhile, I believe some of you are experiencing a blizzard of some sort?  Ah, well.

I love this screened-in porch, with overhead fans, where I have basically set up my workspace.  It’s quite lovely.

I do wish the actual book would be more cooperative… but I’ll keep at it.  I’m sure I’m learning all sorts of things about how to fix plot problems, identify dead ends, and persevere despite disgruntlement.   It will all come right in the end.  I’ve actually done this before, so I know that to be true.

Meanwhile: sunshine, moonlit nights (I love to work at night), fresh air, entertaining birds, and bonus kitty.

Charlie observes from on high.

Charlie observes from on high.

This place is not actually isolated — I’m just isolating myself, voluntarily.  It’s a quiet neighborhood, with nice scenery.   There’s lots of stuff to do nearby, none of which I’ve done yet…

But I’ll be hanging with a local friend on Friday, which I’ll be glad to do, having been  on my own for over three weeks now.

Just me and Charlie and the birds… And Rowan and Artos and Bel, and a couple of new people with their own agendas and problems…

Plenty of ibises about:


These guys are always glad to see me.


"cause the know I've got the good stuff.

‘Cause they know I’ve got the good stuff.

Seriously, these dudes are everywhere.   They’re like the sparrows of Florida.  Only big.

Also seen but not caught in photos: Yellow-green Vireos; Ospreys; Kingfishers; Muscovy ducks; Great Blue Herons; some sort of stork; Snowy Egrets; some other sort of small white egrets, which showed up one day mixed in with the ibises, but spent their time scrounging through the shrubberry in search of delicious lizards, of which they found many.

Not seen, but known to be around somewhere: Roseate Spoonbills.

In other, and somewhat perplexing news, I went shopping at Kohls the other day, because I dicovered that I did not bring enough short-sleeved t-shirts.  I did not find short-sleeved t-shirts in the Women’s department.

I did find these:

Yes, the layered look. So popular for winter fashion.

Yes, the layered look. So popular for winter fashion.

And these:

And let's not forget our puffy quilted jackets!

And let’s not forget our puffy quilted jackets!

Even if we were not having a heat wave, and the temperature were the winter-in-Florida normal of about sixty degrees — no way would anyone need a puffy quilted winter jacket.  Would they?  But the store was stuffed with these!

All I can think is that they had them for sale so that all the grandparents could buy them to ship to their grandkids in the frozen north.   I guess that makes sense.

Well, back to the tale…