Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Summer musings - baby, it's hot outside!


July 28, 2020

The stretch of days between the first of July and the middle of August used to be called the "dog days of summer." I suspect the younger crowd has forgotten all about that just as they've conveniently forgotten so many other things that don't fit their climate change narrative. 

The dog days of summer also mark the rising of the dog star, Sirius, in Hellenistic astrology. Hellenistic being what historians usually classify the era from about the first or second century BC to the sixth or seventh century AD. It helps to read books. 

I hear the "news" reporters crying about how it's never been this hot. Really? Temperatures in the low to mid-nineties in July is new? I don't think so, kids. It's the dog days of summer, remember. It's supposed to be hot. And, in case you don't know, locally our hottest day in July happened in 1954 where the mercury reached 105F. 

What? You don't get the mercury reference? Again, read a book. 

This is the time of year when the garden harvest begins. We've been eating a lot of cucumbers this year. I've made a couple of batches of refrigerator pickles and next year plan to can bread and butter pickles. "Old-fashioned" food without chemical preservatives appeals to me. 
I've room for a good-sized garden here on the manor, but there are precautions to be made. We have a lot of deer, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, and birds around. They can decimate a garden so one must prepare and then be constantly on watch. My solution will be an electrified fence. 

I'm looking forward to growing more of my own veggies. The notion takes me back to my girlhood days and my grandfather's garden. It will keep me connected to him, and that is a good thing. 

I want to keep honeybees, too, but the spousal unit has dug his heels in about that. The battle is not yet truly begun. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com




Wednesday, July 15, 2020

When the writer needs a talkin' to

July 15, 2020

I'm not sure who uttered the phrase, "the hurrier I go, the behinder I get," but I certainly understand the sentiment. It's what happens when one has "too many irons in the fire."

But enough with old cliches. Writing, being a writer, is filled with time-sucking minutia. Many writers bang out the first draft without ever going back to do any editing or continuity checks. I'm not one of that school. If the story takes a turn on me, I have to go back to the beginning and re-read and double-check everything. To me, it's a good thing. I know the characters and their relationship better, and so can flesh out their encounters. It takes time. 

It also takes time when you suddenly realize the ending you'd envisioned just doesn't work. When that happens, you have to develop a new ending which means another pass or two through the manuscript for continuity. Time, time, time.  Recently I've been thinking back to those years when I could write six books a year. It was easy to do when didn't have to do covers, editing, and promo. Life marches on and change is inevitable. 

I'm impatient. I want to finish The Quest but reworking parts to fit a better ending is a time drain. I only work four days a week now and yet I have less writing time. How is that possible? Oh, yeah... I had an idea for another series of promo cards. I had some outside work to do. I snagged a book and then had to read the entire series. 

What the hell happened to the discipline I used to possess?? It's like the Bad Co. song. It's gone, gone, gone...  

I'm very, very annoyed with myself. I'm not sure how some writers slap themselves back into line, but I need to find something that works on me - fast! 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Friday, July 10, 2020

Fledgling red-tailed hawks, three fawns, and cicadas

July 10, 2020
holly tree speckled by young red-tailed hawks


I consider living in rural America to be a blessing. I've always felt that way but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it home just how huge a blessing living off the beaten path really is. I'm grateful every day to have a beautiful refuge to call "home."

It's summer. More specifically, it is now the dog days of summer, that stretch between July 4 and the middle of August that are historically the hottest days of the year. And it is hot here in western Maryland. We've had a string of days where the mercury has hit 90F. Even in this heat, my little manor is full of life. 

We have three fawns this year! We have a single, and a set of twins. The young doe with the single is a bold creature. She comes right up to the house to much at the hostas planted around the patio. Her trust of humans will no doubt be her downfall. The doe with the twins seems to be more experienced. Her path is a cautious one, sticking quietly to the shadows in the woods, delicately picking her way along the stone fence one wary footfall at a time. 

Then there are the hawks. For the first time since 1981, when I built my house, there is a nesting pair of red-tailed hawks in one of the big maples. I knew they were up there, having seen them coming and going. Not to mention the evidence they left all over one of the holly trees. I thought the holly must have a disease that caused white splotches. Then I looked closer and realized what was really on the leaves came from fifty feet above. I do hope the rain washes all that off. 

There are four young hawks, and they are fledging this week. I've watched them every day as they hop, and flap, from treetop to treetop screeching all the way. Over the course of the week, they've gotten much bolder and I'm sure they'll be gone at any moment.

The season of the lightning bug is almost over, and the season of the cicada is about to begin. This isn't a big year for the cicada but I'm sure we'll have enough to make a joyful noise. Next year is the year for Brood 10, and the sound will be deafening. 

Will we still be dealing with COVID-19 next summer? I fear we may, and if that is the case, I will continue to count my rural blessings. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4, 2020

July 4, 2020

In this oh, so political era, I think we've forgotten how to enjoy the simple things in life. Forget the Dems and Rhinos and concentrate on getting the picture to shift just a wee bit...

What? You can't get it to work, either? I've been trying for years!

https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-red-white-and-blue-of-it.html

https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/2017/07/appreciating-small-freedoms.html

https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/2018/07/independence-is-precious.html


At least I'm consistent in what I like.