My weekend away was fantastic. I spent it making close friends with a four-year-old named Caitlin who very well may be the most beautiful little girl on earth. She is stunning, sweet and full of life. When she couldn’t remember my name, she’d come screaming through the forest, calling after me, “Friend! Friend! Grandpa, what is her name again? FRIEND!!” Finally, I’d stop, nearly dying of laughter and wondering how far I could push her until we could repeat the scene.

My crafting has been sparse lately. It is terribly hot outside, as to be expected of Arizona in June. So hot that the thought of baking, holding knitting in my lap, or working in my long-since-dead garden seems trite. Why bother? There are popsicles to be enjoyed, books to be read and swimming pools in which to float. There is something about 100-plus degree weather that evaporates nearly every ounce of my motivation and leaves me a hungry, lollygagging heap. Some people lose weight during the summer. Who are these people? They surely need another margarita.

new labels

Even my pretty new labels haven’t provided much inspiration.

In the interim, I’ve been spending time huddled in my dark studio, under the comforts of both an overhead fan and the ice cold air conditioning, reading blogs. I suppose I’m not only reading them, but wishing I could transport myself to them. For example, Ms. Weirdbunny with her Welsh farm makes me hurt to be outside in cool weather. Wisecraft and her Pacific northwest gardening isn’t doing my envy any favors either. I found my very first based-in-Africa craft blog last week and if I could send myself over to LuckyBeans for an extended vacay, oh, how I would. Hello Zambia! I hope to see you one day.
More than anything, I find myself wanting more domesticity. Many of you are collecting summer berries for preserves. Others are tending glorious gardens — ahem, Ms. Finny — and still others are finding the summer months their happiest times to pair quilt fabrics and yarns. I’m trying to pair bikini pieces with Nicaraguan tan lines.

Chicks and hens, cobweb

Speaking of gardening, I’m thinking of an indoor succulents collection. Any suggestions?


Any idiot can keep succulents alive, right? Or so I thought before my aloe vera died. Aloe vera. In the desert. My black thumbs’ prowess surprises even me.

succulent 3

Obviously not from my garden.

The cherry that takes it all — of course — is Ms. Martha with her impeccable summer jams. (Seriously, have you seen the July issue? Go buy it already.) Is it wrong to dream of delivering to neighbors tiny, perfectly jarred homemade jams with my home’s own crest emblazed on top? Lordie. I think I’ve just booked myself a one-way flight to Stepford and there’s no stopping my arrival.
Y’all keep posting. When I come in to reapply sunblock and fill up my Cha-Cha glass, I’ll catch up.