More Catching Up

“This place sure is green.”

This summer has been a race against time and a battle with Mother Nature. We are trying to complete some projects around the house, maintain a garden and keep a dog happy – nature has NOT been cooperating. I have been rained out, steamed, roasted and threatened with being blown off the roof. The Editor’s garden has been inundated with grass that has flourished in day-after-days of rain, to the point that pulling it out requires Herculean strength. The heat and humidity have kept Maddie grounded, inside and upset. Still, some progress has been made, some normal has been salvaged and there is still hope.

The garage roof is beyond the halfway point, even though it doesn’t appear to be. That’s because of the time involved in prepping the roof (removing shingles, making repairs, new construction) takes much more time than nailing down new shingles. We will be placing the order for the siding, windows and a new door, later this week. We may not be able to start that part of the project until mid-September, but I want to make sure that we have all the material we need. The dumpster will be gone in a couple of weeks. I will warehouse the debris from the siding part of the project until we’re finished, and then order a second dumpster for a repeat performance. I love having a dumpster, but it gets old having to drive around one.

I finished my coffee table. It’s now sitting comfortably in my office. It has had stuff placed on it, and it has come close to having coffee spilled on it. It collected a little nick in the finish, that I will repair with a dab or two of Waterlox Oil. I built the table to be used, to get nicked, scratched and to have stuff spilled on it. It’s OK. The office renovation project is going well. It’s about 80% complete and all the difficult phases are behind me.

On the reading and writing fronts, both the weather and WordPress have been knocking the stuffing out of me. Since before Norm’s break over at Thursday Doors, I haven’t been able head out for a proper doorscursion. I’ve managed to get by with doors that were “in-stock,” and with a little help from my friends, but I need a break. I’m not asking for much, just a rain-free commute during which I can stop for 15-20 minutes.

WordPress has complicated my reading life by disconnecting me from several friends. I have people that I have followed for years, just stop showing up in my inbox. Of course, with it being summer, I don’t automatically react to a missing post, but then I see a comment, and I realize “this person is still out there!” I think I’ve reconnected to everyone, but if you’re thinking that you haven’t heard from me at your place for a while, let me know in a comment.

I’ll be playing catch-up with WordPress for the foreseeable future. If we get some nice weather, I will close the laptop and head up on the roof – after, of course, taking Maddie for a walk. I’ve been using the time I sit with Maddie in the afternoon to catch up on comments and reading. I’ll get to you, unless WordPress has severed the lines of communication. Eventually, I’ll get to you anyway.

I hope you’re having a great summer. I hope you are having better weather than we are. For those of you close to the forest fires that are burning out west, know that we keep you in our thoughts and prayers. For those of you with school-age children, been there, done that. For those of you (you know who you are) grappling with writing, editing, publishing and marketing, good luck – keep up the good fight – and I know you’re going to be successful!


  1. Usually I’m the last one, but today I’m ahead. Yay. The weather isn’t really fine here as well. You already saw what’s happening down South India. Over here in Mumbai, the rain and sunshine combination is not helping much. I’m down with diarrhea today, but still working. Can’t stop. Generally, I’m excited about the monsoon, but this year I would like the sun to return as quickly as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I set this post to appear earlier than normal. I’m never sure what the best time to publish is. For the prompts, I have to wait until the sponsor puts their post up (so I can link to it) but when it’s just me, I’m trying to get them out earlier for the people who start their days earlier.

      Sorry you are not feeling well. I know that feeling of being sick, but still having to work. I hope you get better soon, and I hope the sun comes out and brings an end to the flooding.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Normally, I receive your email notification by 4 pm (India Time), but today I received it by noon. Since I was not in my best mood to write, I thought let me read your post. I took an afternoon power nap and feeling better. Now I only need to get rid of this weak feel factor.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As far as I can tell, you’ve been doing a bang-up job, so don’t worry so much. People have to understand that bloggers have a life-away-from-the-keyboard too.
    I really like that live-edge coffee table, Dan. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dan. That roof is looking beautiful. I do inderstand about endless rain, being from Louisiana. I feel thrilled to live somewhere that it rains often but not normally in a continuous cycle. I hope you get some constant sun this week to be able to finish up. The coffee table is just so amazing. I love it. Good luck with that reconoitering at work. Poor Maddie. If only she could be more Mimi-ish…..😏 The flowers look so pretty. Did you plant any veggies this year? Oh, and that squirrel is banging your mailbox door for peanuts, I’m certain. Crafty little fancy rodents, they are. Have a great week. I spent my weekend indoors for a change, doing creative things. I snapped a few photos during our off and on rainy days and we wached some movies. It was nice to be low key. I like the look of that outdoor bar patio though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheryl. So far, the forecast still looks good for Th-Sat – Thursday, the high might only be in the upper 70s – we haven’t seen that since the beginning of July, except during a thunderstorm.

      The squirrel must be lifting the door and dropping it, becuse we hear it “open” more than once. I’m really glad we don’t have a doorbell out there.

      The Editor does have veggies growing, but they are competing with grass. We’ve been enjoying tomatoes, peppers and beans. I asked for the sunflowers, and she planted tons of seeds, but between the birds and squirrels and chipmunks, most didn’t even get to sprout.

      I’m glad you had a nice quiet weekend. I hope this week goes well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. We have tried sunflowers time and again but for various reasons only had one year ling ago where they reached epic height. I believe it was a monsyer variety. We wnated the seeds but ended up sacrificing them to the birds in exchange for leaving our veggies alone. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the table! Love the squirrel! hahaha Just put a rubber stopper on the railing and the bang will stop, of course then you wont know when they’re calling! We are expecting a relatively nice week but Mother Nature has an attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pam. Mother Nature certainly has an attitude this summer. I’m doing my best to work around her whims, but it hasn’t been easy.

      I’m very happy with the table. It’s funny, the guy I gave the first table to is going to be in the office today. Maybe he’ll put dibs on this one too :-)

      We have thought about bubble wrap on the railing, but this is the one that also knocks at the door (you can barely hear him, but he taps on the glass). He also climbs the siding and looks in the glass panes at the top of the entry door.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your table is in an award winning category. The Rose of Sharon is beautiful. Mine is blooming, and I love it. Maddie looks like she is enjoying her cot in between the storms which seem to be at a minimum of every other day. You should be commended for getting your garage project as far along as you have with working and rain getting in the way. Hope next weekend is dry and cool in your part of New England. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. The forecast is for dry and cooler (high of 78 on Thursday). I hope to get a few good days in. My goal has been to get off the roof before the end of August.

      Maddie gets upset when she either can’t walk or can’t sit, but she’s adapting. The thunderstorms are another story.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Like everyone else, I love the coffee table. I don’t have any outdoor projects like yours, so all of this rain and/or scorching heat have not inconvenienced me to the degree that it has hit you. Summer seems to be slipping away–I am already noticing that it is still dark at 6:00 a.m. and the days are definitely shorter. The good news is that things slow down at work in August and commuting in the D.C. area is marginally better, except in areas where they decide this is the perfect time to do major roadwork. It’s already rained today and is supposed to be overcast all day–I can’t decide if I want to go out with my camera. Good luck with your roof later this week–the weather finally looks like it will cooperate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. Yeah, the weather has been a mess, but I’ve gotten lucky. Most of the days I’ve taken off have been days I could work, at least until 2:00 or 3:00 o’clock. I am starting to see the sunrise on my way to work, which is always nice for pictures, but a little bit of a concern. I can’t start working outside until 8:00 am M-F and 9:00 am on Saturday so I’m good with that – for now.


  7. That coffee table looks like it was custom made for your office. Oh! Wait!! It was! Pat yourself on the back Dan, you aced it. Your co-workers will be so sad when you retire, but so happy you left the coffee table.

    Sammy and the mailbox are too funny. I just hope he doesn’t decide to ‘squirrel’ away any of your mail.

    Maddie seems to be doing pretty good coping with the storms and heat and fewer walks. Now if MiMi could just cope with you and your camera. 😄

    Garage roof looks great. I would say you’ve accomplished a lot working against Mother Nature. She certainly hasn’t been user friendly lately.

    I sympathize with the Editor and the grass that has apparently been pumping iron. Most of our grass is what my grandma used to call ‘cow grass’. It is thick, grows like wildfire, and weeding it out of my flower bed requires gargantuan strength.

    The Rose of Sharon is so pretty. And those two Sunflowers are so vibrant while they’re hanging on for dear life.

    Hope you have a really great week and summer reverts to normal for all of us.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. The coffee table fits the office really well, even though I was totally wrong about the color of my furniture. I’m not sure what I’m doing with it, but I’m not leaving it behind when I retire.

      The squirrels have gotten very good at getting our attention. One of them actually stands in front of our car sometimes to collect a toll before we leave.

      Maddie is coping, and we are coping. By that I mean we sit and walk with her at points where we wouldn’t normally make the attempt. MiMi doesn’t like being woken up for a photo-op, but she’s just to cute to resist.

      I like the term ‘cow grass’ – we’ve joked that we need a few goats to get rid of this stuff.

      I do like the look of the forecast for later this week. Hoping to make some progress.


    • Thanks! The end of this week looks pretty good for now.

      I am using Adobe Lightroom, which includes a ‘watermark’ feature. I’m playing around with it, trying to get this to be less obvious, but obvious enough. There are lots of other options, including some free online options. If you’re looking for a solution, search for ‘watermark’ instead of ‘copyright’ – you’ll get more results.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dan – well you’ve been busy, regardless of the ups and downs of natural life. Congratulations on the coffee table – looks lovely – I love reclaimed items. Keeping Maddie happy is important, the Editor more so … especially if her garden’s going to need some re-organising after the rains and wind …yet can see you’re looking after you too – the breakfast looks good. Good luck with this week and keeping on going … take care and thanks for the update …at least you have green grass … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. I’m not sure how much is grass, but our yard has never been greener than it is this year. We’re making good progress, and we’re surviving the storms. That’s about all you can ask for.

      Every now and then, I have to stop for breakfast – a welcome break in the start of a crazy day.


  9. Love your positive encouragement, Dan. It is amazing how much weather can influence what we get accomplished. I’m sitting here being tortured by an exercise that for all intents has been designed by a black ops Halburton operative to extract information from ISIS agents.” I’ll confess just tell me what you want to hear!!!” Gotta go, time for my waterboarding session.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did think we would see less rain during the summer. Usually, at this point, our “lawn” is burnt to a crisp. Instead, it’s a lush green demanding to be cut at least once a week.

      I did allow for some delays and snags, so I think we are still technically on schedule. If we get the nice weather they are predicting for later this week, I will feel very good.

      Thanks for the comment on the table. It’s true, furniture, especially a coffee table, is meant to be used. I’ll fix the nick, and buff out anu scratches, It survived in the forest, it can survive in my office.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dan, bravo on your projects! The roof looks good, and the coffee table a work of art! I’m on vacay visiting family in WA state and the fires in eastern WA and Canada left us with smoke. Some days clearer than others depending on the wind. Of course pics of Maddie & MuMu round out your post & make me smile! Have a great week! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Christine. There are so many fires this year. I hope they get a handle on them soon, and I keep many kind thoughts for those fire-fighters. I traveled through eastern Washington when I lived there, and then again on visits with my wife and again with my daughter. So much beauty at stake.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Dan – I’ve noticed bloggers disappearing from my reader as well. Very disconcerting. The fire situation is getting a little better here and the fog has moved into my area which always brings a little drizzle. We’re actually hoping for early rains.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would think rain would be most welcome at this point, Jan. I hope you get it in time to help with the fires.

      Losing the connections seems random and weird. I lost touch with one guy who normally publishes every day. I figured he was on vacation.


  12. Love the flowers and Maddie (of course), but that table!! Wow and wow! The summer has flown by oh so quickly and I can’t believe August is nearing an end as well. It’s like a paraphrase of that classic song: Where has all the summer gone, quickly passing! Where has all the summer gone, not long at all.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope you get past the heat, humidity and rain and have a few nice summer days. We’re just coming out of a stretch of days where the A/C was required. Tonight, we have a nice easterly breeze, tomorrow we have rain that is needed. Our grass is looking hay-like.

    Poor Maddie, she has to be dreaming of sun and low humidity and long walks.

    I had to scroll really fast past your office renovation…cuz, office move…PTSD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the good weather wishes – we’re supposed to have a few nice days starting Thursday. I hope that forecast holds.

      Maddie has been dealing with short walks and hot & humid sits. She’s looking forward to some nice cool dry days to sit outside in the evening.

      I completely understand your reluctance to think about the renovations. I will be entering that same recovery program in a few weeks when phase-II is complete.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The coffee table looks perfect there! It’s lovely. I love flowers with water drops. Those were pretty. The projects look like they’re coming along, and it’s nice to see the kitties, and Maddie enjoying their favorite lounging spots.

    Hope the weather cooperates more, and the humidity fades.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Be careful on that roof ! So , knowing your busy schedule , I guess we’ll have to put off for awhile the jobs I’ve got lined up for you around my house in CA . You’ll probably have to bring your own tools , too . Did I mention that ?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You sound way too flat out for summer. Even if it has been an unusual one. (Unusual weather all round. There are multiple bushfires raging in New South Wales. It’s winter.) Love your coffee table. And your shingle work is impressive but please do be careful. No broken bones stories, please.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m back to not being able to *like* posts on WP again. Sigh. Maybe it’s just trying to send the message that I’m absent too much and it no longer recognizes me.

    We haven’t had your problems with rain this summer, but when it does rain, it’s torrential. We’ve had a lot of flooding issues in parts of the city, including downtown, because the old infrastructure simply can’t handle the volume of rain falling so quickly. Today we are entering day 2 of sogginess and much cooler temperatures. Quite frankly I’m happy to get a reprieve from the humidity.

    The new table is looking mighty good in the office, Dan. I’m sure your coworkers are already starting to lobby for ownership 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t had the “you can’t like this” problem for a while, but it is frustrating. Losing people’s email feed is really annoying.

      It’s raining today, but it’s supposed to be sunny and cool for a few days, starting tomorrow. I hope it holds.

      Street flooding has been a big problem here this summer. I hope they figure out how to improve the systems.

      Thanks for your support, Joanne.


      • I find that clearing my browser history does solve the *like* issue for a while, but it is annoying to have to do that. I’m just lazy and it forces me to log back into all the sites I regularly visit.


  18. You have accomplished plenty! I always feel a little rushed and stressed when August is ending because there is still much I need/want to do before the summer is over. Weather has been active, and the grass loves it. Like you, outdoor projects are off and on again. I love your finished coffee table!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jennie. It’s been a challenging summer in New England (as you well know). We’ve been lucky, in that I have some flexibility in my schedule. I have had Th-Fr scheduled as vacation days but I’ve gone to work because it’s pouring. The one thing I haven’t been able to avoid is working on those yucky hot and humid days.

      Good luck prepping for the new school year.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Waterfox oil – ha, I found something hubby did not know about! (grin) Sheesh, Dan, that sitting area outside is so beautiful! I know about roofs and how much time it takes – wish you success and it will be done before the Fall rains:)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am playing catch up as well. I bet you noticed, cause I’m just late all the time nowadays! I have made progress in many ways but on social media, a big nope. Weather and yard work have been similar here. The Mister is taking a day and a half off work to mow down the grass BEFORE MORE RAINS COME AND MAKE IT GROW CRAZY AGAIN! if he didn’t do that, it could be a jungle out there!
    The coffee table looks spectacular and I am glad you’re enjoying it :)
    Also glad your roofing project is coming along.
    It would be nice to have a dumpster all the time. I gotta say, yes, I’d like that, too. Even just twice the size on the regular bins would be nice. Or one just for yard debris.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Roof looks great….love the coffee table!! Summer weather here in the desert southwest beyond the intense heat is our monsoonal thunderstorms….beautiful in the distance with the big thunderheads and lightening shooting through clouds. They can be very powerful in localized regions…flooding, winds, etc. Our community became one of those localized regions recently. In a large master planned community of over 14,000 households, we lost 1500 trees (3 were ours)….a cluster near the center of the major impact (close to our neighborhood)…roof tiles blown away…half to a quarter of the entire roof….these are clay tiles, not shingles and those things are heavy and cause damage to other homes when they get blown off (which in all of my years living in the west… which has almost all clay roof tiles… I have never seen). We were lucky in that we only had 2 cracked tiles and lost one. Freak thing…two strong thunderstorms coming from different directions converged over our community…created twirling winds (some say funnel cloud)….that collapsed 3 large high wire towers running next to the community from the power plant in the desert into Phoenix proper…all I can say is Mother Nature sure knows how to keep us on our toes. Ours has not been the only area around Phoenix impacted….almost daily some part of the metro area is getting hit with one of these strong storms….has been an unusually active summer weather-wise here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That’s sounds like a frightening experience, Kirt. Is the street drainage designed to handle that much water? Apparently, ours isn’t – lots of street flooding this summer. I hope no one was seriously injured. That’s a lot of trees to lose in one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No injuries, although the High School was opened up by the red cross for those areas that lost power (we did not)…streets flood here, yes but in the newer communities like ours around Phoenix, there is ecological sensitivity to protect natures washes here in the desert….although dry most of the time, they were created by these heavy types of raining and flash floods. A good example which plays out across the community as a whole…in our neighborhood all of the street drains flow into a large park which is sunken if you will….turns into a pond for allowing water to naturally soak back into the ground and also has large drainage grates that feed the water into the wash that is next to our neighborhood. The large drainage control keeps the water from getting deep. Tree cleanup will be taking a few months…have been cleared out of the streets quickly, but mulching and stumping in process.

        Liked by 1 person

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