a look at June in pictures

June proved to be an eventful month, what with there being birthday cakes and presents and all. But there were also books! And trips! And chairs!!!
Here’s a look at some of the best things that happened in June (sans the birthday stuff, for that silliness see this post)

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OMG! I got a book signed by Neil Gaiman. The joy and joyness cannot be contained! Also, the book is beautiful.
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See! There he is in all his mad-haired, creative genius glory!
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I also had a rare beach outing. It was really a momentary excursion, but there were dolphins and seashells.
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And I got chairs and only had to spend $40 on the gas to pick them up. The kitteh is more than pleased. He purrs with pleasure every time he climbs on them.

July is proving to be a busy month… much busier than I anticipated. I’m doing what I call Camp NaNo part 2, in the hopes that giving myself a deadline means that I will finish Cassiel within the month. It’s starting to grow out of control again. I need to reign my creative juices in… I’m wordy to a fault. There must be a project that I can complete in less than 100k. This is not a good thing. Really, I need to focus on action and cut out the extraneous stuff. I’ve let myself go with setting and inner thoughts. I need action!!! ACTION!

So that is that. If it’s a bit quiet around here, it probably means I’m being a stern taskmaster and making myself stick to writing… turns out, I also got in a bit over my head and have to frantically rework some of my work-related writing for publication. My fingers may very well go on strike after all this.

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tra la la, c’est la vie.

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Webinars are awesome, but I absolutely hate sitting in my office all day. It’s cold! And inspires me to think too many random thoughts, like how many weird smirks I have in my smirk repertoire.

vacation, coming to a close

It’s been a great, extremely unproductive, sweets-filled week with lots of memories and special moments. It has not been a good week for my web connection. It has been a terrible week for uploading, blogging, or sharing said memories in any way, shape, or form. I’ve given up and am invading my local Starbucks to mooch off their connection while I latte-ify.

It was a week full of furry cuddles, unexpected surprises, tea, giant lattes, mountain adventures, flowers, and sneaky wildlife. I had my first glimpse of fireflies, wild rabbits, dear deer, groundhogs, wild pheasants, turkeys, and more critters. Also got to see some wild raspberries, currants, juniper, cherries, and peaches. All untamed! Auntie Em was a hard taskmaster and drove an action-packed tour 😛 so I got to see plenty of North Carolina in only 4 days.

The bchan also made my actual birthday rather unforgettable with a surprise birthday celebration and treasure hunt (there was a map in a bottle and a tiki man!). A very special 28th year of living 🙂

Fun times at the JujuHouse
A fanciful afternoon tea at the Olde English Tea Room. Very cute little place with excellent scones and fragrant tea.
Fun times with the four legged cousins… here they are making their escape in the early morn.
OMG! Hydrangeas everywhere!
And peaches galore!
Unexpected Asian treats at the giant Asian supermarket and a new lucky cat for my collection.
Had my Southern moment at Cafe Azalea with a delicious bowl of shrimp and grits slathered in a fantastic tomato rosemary sauce and full of goat cheese goodness.
Lots of beautiful scenery on the drive to Asheville.
Overwhelming but delicious lattes (mine was almond mocha coconut *drool*) at Malaprop’s bookstore. Definitely needed the caffeine after Auntie Em’s fast-paced touring 😛
And wrapped it all up with a detour for ice cream at the Maple View dairy farm. Ice Cream! From a real cow!

A special week indeed, including this bit of cuteness from the bchan…

A little Sailor Mercury with her own room full of books.

things that cheer me up

Still feeling aches and pains, but managing to not freak out quite so much when I feel a twinge. Winter Break will = recovery time this year (now that my travel plans are bust). Mostly just looking forward to some reading and writing time, and a few outings.

In the meantime, I cheer myself up with a few silly things…

Like wearing colorful tights, as pants are still out of the question.

Playing with the lucky cats and my new Chihiro (an early present from the bchan).

And pestering Didymus for a photo-op.

Out and About: Ichimura Miami-Japan Garden

My mom used to tell me about this little Japanese garden by the beach where there was a huge Buddha statue. Like many of her stories, this was before my time which meant that it was a place I only ever heard of–one of the many near mythical places that she used to go to with my dad when they were courting.

Last year, the bchan and I went to Jungle Island and we noticed that the Miami-Japan garden was right next door to the park. We said we would go one day… and today we did! It was a Labor Day surprise that I wasn’t expecting, and it was a lovely treat during what proved to be a very hot day.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared to go on such an outing, so I left my camera at home and had to rely on my cell phone *for shame*. At least the picture quality is better than that produced by my old phone.

Springtime surprises

We had some windy spring showers last week and my gran found a perfect little bird’s nest that fell from one of the trees. It is such a cleverly constructed little basket, the tiny twigs woven round and round.

basket weaving

Yesterday, we had another nest-related surprise… the neighborhood hen has been making an awful fuss lately, cackling at all hours and terrifying the cats, turns out she’s been laying eggs. She belongs to someone who lives down the street, but she’s made herself a nice little nest among the trees behind our apartment. We hope the troublesome neighbor kids don’t notice that they’re there… or that the brave rooster gives them a good pecking if they get too close.

Nestled

Crookshanks (below), Lola, and Kittygirl (the outdoor cat colony) are terribly frightened by the chickens because the feathered beasties scare them away and steal their kibble.

Crookshanks is confused

A Peppermint Nightmare

Jack White is the Boogey Man under my bed… or so it seems :p

I was fixing up my room when I spied the corner of a photograph peeking out from under my bed. It was a picture I took at a White Stripes concert ages ago. I’m talking film photograph here, before I ever even owned a proper digital camera… which places this picture somewhere in the pre-2005 era. No idea what it was doing under my bed or how I happened to notice it now.

He’s quite swoon-worthy in this picture, if grainy.

I think it’s time for a little Hotel Yorba.