I woke this morning to sunny skies and a soft breeze, and I’ve had the downstairs a/c turned off all day, and the doors wide open (well, the screens are closed). Fresh air is such a marvelous thing. Not that I don’t love that my a/c will cool my house down to 65 degrees if I want it to, but, I much prefer the free stuff from outside.

It’s 85 degrees right now, according to, and while I know we’re due for some low-mid 90’s over the next few days, I don’t mind, because underneath the warmth, I can feel the bite of fall, even without the impending rain (see next post).

In celebration of it being neither hot nor humid, the dogs and I circumnavigated the neighborhood. We walked slowly, because of Zorro’s heart condition, and his month-old ACL injury. He was fine, though now he’s completely exhausted. Poor old dog. Miss Cleo was her exuberant self, finally settling into a proper walk about ten seconds before we arrived home, where gave the lawn guy little to doubt about her feelings for his edger.

On our voyage, we encountered some strange life forms, like Lucky the dachsie/min-pin mix who decided that the middle of the street was the appropriate place to flirt with Miss Cleo. (No worries, both dogs are neutered).

Miss Cleo also got to bark pointedly at the bane of her existence, the cement poodle on the corner. She finds cement statuary beneath her notice, generally, but this – perhaps because it is dog-shaped – she treats as a personal affront to real, live dogs.

It’s a good thing the statue is far up on the neighbor’s lawn, where the dogs are not allowed to tread, or I can just imagine the sort of statement that would be made.

In other news, the house directly across from us, and the house two up from us on the same side of the street are both up for sale, both as FSBOs. With realtor representation, they might have had a chance in hell. As FSBOs? The earth will spin the other way on it’s axis before a sale is made.


We just got back from our tour of the neighborhood, in which Zorro marked every tree and Miss Cleo, in her unerring clumsiness, managed to tromp through every fire ant mound in the mile-circuit we generally take. This was the shorter of our two mid-length routes: around the corner, through the park, across the street, around another corner, and down the long block home. I’m not sure what messages the dogs got this morning, but I noticed a few things:

  • – The neighbors who share our back fence, and thus face the park, were in their driveway (all four of them) staring at their SUV and their boat, as if there was a telekinetic element to hitching the former to the latter. I noticed they have a shiny new (unstained) fence around the boat, separating it from the rest of the back yard. Of course, they hired someone to build the fence. I’m thinking they should have hired someone to teach them how to hitch up a trailer. I’m a city girl and even I know how to do this.
  • – The neighborhood teens are being sloppy. The bench at the far end of the park had a pile of Dr. Pepper cans sitting on it. I realize the only trash can is at the play area, on “our” end, but still, we’re talking a length of maybe half a block. (Of course, we really should have trash cans at both ends.)
  • – The people at the opposite end of the part from our back-fence neighbors have added one of those fire-pit tables to their front courtyard. It’s not a porch – our neighborhood doesn’t have them – but they’ve made a lovely outdoor courtyard in front of their main window. It’s a little too chi-chi even for me, though, with the gnomes and the fake parrot and such, but, whatever. It’s nice to see people sitting outside in lawn chairs on balmy evenings, and not in laz-e-boy recliners in the garage, which will forever strike me as tacky and weird.
  • – The people with the cement dog that Miss Cleo barks at have new flowers – they look like Gerberas but they’re so perfect I suspect they’re fakes. We didn’t cross their lawn to confirm.
  • – The people a few doors down from us who are trying to sell their house had some lovely wine racks in their always-open, apparently unattended garage. They also had something that looks like a lemonade stand sitting on the driveway. It was red.
    It made me want lemonade.
  • – Our peach tree is still peaching. We lost some peachlets in the storm the other night, but the birds and bugs are feasting on those, and I think we’ll have a decent amount of peaches. I think they’ll be about ripe when my parents arrive in 2.5 weeks, but it might take a little longer. Also, the flowers in front of our main window? Are cheery and bright, and I’m glad we planted them.

And on that note, time to make coffee. and maybe a mushroom and dill havarti omelet.