Monthly Archives: May 2009

Lazy Summer Days

Yes, some of you will doubtless be telling me that it has been summer on my island since–oh, March or so. And given what your summers are like, I will be agreeing with you. However, now summer has REALLY arrived. With a vengeance.

First of all, the tourists are here.

On weekdays, even in summer, the tourists aren’t too bad. You can still get into a restaurant without an hour or more to wait, and drive down Seawall without wanting to honk at the sightseers. But weekends? Fuggeddaboutit! (and yeah, I know, we don’t sound like that in Texas, but we do definitely know the sentiment.)

The tourists hit Memorial Day weekend. The beaches were pretty much wall-to-wall people, and Seawall Boulevard was wall-to-wall cars. We spent a very lazy few days. We went to see a movie Saturday afternoon (Angels & Demons), went out to the Coastal Living magazine idea house on Sunday and then the fella had to go to Austin (he had a presentation I “got” to proof before he left) Monday, so I made the boy and his girlfriend go see Monsters vs. Aliens with me. On the way back, the traffic was so heavy, we had to sit through one stoplight–on the street most people use to leave the island–about 5 times just to get up to it and go through. Fortunately, we weren’t trying to turn left, just go straight through to go home. The boy kept growling “Get off my island.” And it hasn’t even been his very long…

Actually, we didn’t go home, but to one of our favorite, hidden, mostly-locals places to eat. Having lived most of our lives in small-town Texas, we know that the hole-in-the-wall non-chain/local chain places often have the best food. And no, I’m not going to tell you where we ate, because we don’t want all you tourists crowding up our favorite place. If you know me, call me when you get to town, and I’ll take you there. :) We figured we could get in easily, because everybody was heading home at the end of the holiday. And we did.

Still trying to get some writing done. Yesterday, I was going to go to Starbucks to try to write, but there wasn’t a place to sit. And since I don’t drink coffee anyway, I went across the street to the Taco Cabana and wrote there for a couple of hours. Today, I had both a dentist’s appointment and a doctor’s appointment (regular checkups) and that took up all my time–so much that I was very late getting to the paper for the dayjob. But I am getting a little bit done. I need to get a LOT done.

Party in Pittsburgh

I’ve been back a few days, but it’s hard work, sitting through 5 hours of graduation ceremonies. (Yeah. 5 hours. Plus some.) The son-in-law walked across the stage in anticipation of completing his PhD in another couple of months, so we went to Pittsburgh to see it. Saturday, when we arrived, was chilly and rainy, but the Saturday night Hooding (when doctoral grads get their fancy hoods) was indoors. The middle grandson got fidgety and was sent outside to the playground with Uncle Bob to play…and when it started raining, he decided the tarp over the sandbox made a good slide and did a Superman leap onto it. He got Really wet and cold, but made it back inside with UB and Granddaddy to see Daddy get his fancy hood. After, we took him home to dry off and have cake. Doodlebug and Granddaddy are both allergic to wheat and milk, though Doodle is more allergic to milk. But there is a gluten-free bakery that makes really good cakes–so Everybody got cake, with really thick fluffy icing.

Sunday morning, all the graduates–from bachelor’s degrees through the doctorates–marched into the stadium and got their degrees officially conferred, and had all the speeches. It was COLD! I think the high that day was barely 60 F, (15.5 C)–which is winter weather here in Galveston! I did take a velveteen jacket to wear, so I didn’t get too cold. It started off cloudy and threatening, but cleared off by noon and warmed up nicely. Doodlebug went crawling around our feet, but he was really quite good. And afterward, we went to the physics department where they handed out the actual diplomas, or diploma holders for those who hadn’t quite finished all the paperwork yet. And all the graduating was done! We went back to the hotel/home, changed clothes, took little naps, and gathered back at the house to be lazy. We spent the evening watching Kung Fu Panda with the grandboy. And eating sandwiches and more cake. (This was a BIG cake…)

Monday, we slept in, then went to join the others. Doodle still is in school, so we went to see the “scary movie.” Star Trek. (He probably would have liked all the stuff blowing up, but not the talky parts.) Totally enjoyed it. My favorite characters are still McCoy and Scott, even with the new actors. (Who can’t love Simon Pegg as Scotty?!?!! And Karl Urban has all the McCoy mannerisms down, with extra hotness. Sigh.) Then we took the boy to see the Science museum, one of his favorite spots, and went out to dinner by the airport, because his other grandparents needed to go to their hotel to fly out early in the morning.

We still had most of Tuesday to visit. We went to see the dinosaurs, and since Doodlebug (as his mom calls him), was in school, we got to see the mineral exhibits, and the horse exhibit, and even went over to the art museum to look at the art. Had some really cool stuff. Had an Ethiopian lunch. Apparently in Pittsburgh, you either get burger places (with Really Good burgers) or foreign food… Anyway, Ethiopian was interesting, and good, and no, it was not “Eat your twigs and bugs and go run 6 miles.” It was good. Spicy. Then, as the daughter was driving us to the airport for our 5 p.m. flight, we had a wreck. It was relatively minor, nobody hurt, but left both cars undriveable. We wound up calling a cab, once the tow truck got there, and the fire truck got there. The police took another half hour to make it, but we had to go to make our flight. Which we did, with plenty of time. And we were home by 11 p.m.–Texas time, which meant midnight, Pittsburgh time. You know, it was odd that they didn’t have a lot of steak places in Pittsburgh… Anyway. The weather stayed sunshiny, which is apparently peculiar for Pittsburgh. It’s the 3rd rainiest city in the U.S., right up there with Seattle and Portland. Nice that it was gorgeous for us. :)

So, I’ve been home. Got my copy edits sent off before I left town, so I’m good there. Haven’t got back into the writing of the book, much. Sigh. But I did type some in today. Less to have to do later. NEED to write. I’ll try to do some tomorrow. So, that’s what’s doing here. I hope to go to the Coastal Living idea house this weekend. I bought tickets… Need to check how long they’ll be open, in case I don’t make it this weekend.

And there you have my life.

Beach observations and other news

I meant to post this yesterday, but got too busy. Today’s no less busy, but I am determined.

First, want to say thanks for the “Awws” from Catie and Barb. I have decided that I need to walk more often, but not quite so far, because I get tired and don’t pick up my feet and trip over stuff. My bruises are better, and my hand is doing that “getting well” itching. :)

I drove down to the beach to walk yesterday, because it’s more fun, and because I wanted to spend my walking time actually on the beach, not getting to it. And I didn’t take Dolly. I tend to observe stuff more when I don’t have to deal with the dog.

First observation: The seaweed has come in. Blankets of it. I was thinking maybe it’s a little early for the big piles of seaweed, but maybe not. We’re almost halfway through May… I saw some logs that had floated in that looked like they had fur. Greenish fur, but furry, nonetheless. (Yes, I know it’s algae. But it looks like fur.) And a tennis shoe that had been in the water long enough that it had those lipstick clams attached to it. Quite a few decent sized ones… I only saw the bottom of the sole, not the top, so I don’t know how much of the upper shoe survived, but that sole had been floating around a long time.

I only saw one seagull. I was out there by 8 a.m., but I think because the sun’s coming up earlier, the seagulls are giving up their “standing by the edge of the water waking up” earlier. I saw lots of sanderlings and ruddy turnstones, all of which had two legs. They have a little butt wiggle when they’re running away from you…

I also saw a shark that had washed up on shore. It was about a meter/yard long (give or take that difference between a meter and a yard), and it didn’t have a tail. I don’t know if it died and got washed up because it had lost its tail, or if it lost its tail after it got washed up. It didn’t look like any scavengers had been at it… I have no idea what kind of shark it was, though. I’ve been looking–not a nurse shark. Dorsal fins aren’t right. Its nose was really square across, so it’s not a pointy-nose shark or a round-nose shark. Hmm. It was gray, with that straight-across nose, one rather pointy dorsal fin, no barbels (catfish-like whiskers), gill-slits in front of its side-fins, and small high-set eyes. Haven’t found the right picture for it yet. And having its tail missing takes away another thing to help ID it. Oh well.

In other, more interesting news, New Blood is a recommended read by the Virginia Beach Public Library! It’s a lovely review–and they’re recommending it!! I’m excited.

I got my copy edits for Heart’s Blood (Grey’s story), and have finished them up, except for the chunk of 25 pages that got left out of the ms they sent me.

What do you think of Blood from Stone as a title for Harry & Elinor’s story? Stoneheart? Heart of Oak? Working on villains for the story… Villains are such a pain.

The clumsy gene strikes again

I’m going to have to stop doing this. Yep, fell down again. Tripped over an uneven gravel-concrete sidewalk and hit the ground, face down, stretched full-out. Cut my hand on the exposed rocks. Skinned the knees (again). Aches and pains, scrapes and bruises. Not much more than that, but boy am I moving slow.

I was on my way home after another walk with the dog. She’d worn herself out chasing birds through the surf–probably 17 times back and forth at full speed between the jetties, so she wasn’t pulling at the leash at all when I fell. I’ll probably have to give her an aspirin later on, for her bad knee. She was limping on it there at the end, but she was running as fast as the birds were flying, most of the time. I’ve always thought she looks to be part bird dog, except bird dogs don’t actually chase birds…

When I crashed to the earth (and it’s a wonder it didn’t measure on the Richter scale), she came back to check on me, make sure I was okay. Luckily, I didn’t fall on her–entirely due to her fancy footwork, I’m sure. I crawled up onto the grass, because I wasn’t about to push off those rocks, and sat there a while. Dolly sat there with me. I think she figured if I was going to rest, she might as well rest up too. Thing is–she was still all salty and sandy and kind of icky, hovering by me like that. Oh well. She was looking after me. Or something.

So–no more falling down. Not sure how I’m going to make sure I don’t–didn’t mean to fall down these last two times either–but that’s my intent.

I didn’t think I’d be able to concentrate on the new book–but since I just got copyedits for Heart’s Blood, that’s what I worked on instead. It’s pretty clean, which makes me happy. Got to check one thing with the Brit Across The Desk. Of course, I’m only through page 125 or so…