Labor Day in the Garden

What are you doing this Labor Day? I’m hanging out in my garden. From vegetables to flowers, I can’t bear to say goodbye to summer but alas, fall is on its way. Fall foliage is great, and I love the brilliant burst of yellow, gold and red as much as anyone, but color is my middle name—the brighter the better. But with all the pumpkins and scarecrows crowding their way onto my doorstep, what’s a gal to do?

hidden pumpkin treasure

Fight every squash vine and straw bale she can with the power of pinch.


You bet. Pinch, as in pinch back those faded and dying blooms on my summer favorites, like Guinea Impatiens, geraniums, begonias… It will encourage the growth of new blooms and prolong their beauty. Give me another month, please! I’ve only a few left before the first freeze!


Of course, there is always my vegetable garden to fall back on. The first day of September marks the beginning of my fall gardening season and I am SO ready. My patio is littered with sprouts. I start them on my patio before transplanting because it’s simply too hot for these tender little darlings outside this time of year in Florida. Tomatoes and peppers like it warm, but my broccoli and kale and lettuce do not. So I give them a “cool” start under the screen.

patio sprouts by the pool

And next to the pool where I can take a dip–it is Labor Day after all!

Hope you’re enjoying yours. For my gardening friends, be sure to check out my garden blog: BloominThyme. I’ve just started a new section called “How To Grow” making it super easy to find what you’re looking for when it comes to gardening instructions. While you’re there, take a peek at the recipes! I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy this holiday…

My book ban

UnknownI’m currently on deadline with book number two. It’s not the deadline that’s tight, but the amount of editing and rewriting I need to cram in before this manuscript is where I want it to be. I think I can get it done, assuming September brings no emergencies or disasters, but I’m not 100% sure. Not yet. Not until I figure out just how extensive the rewrites are going to be, and for that I have to keep writing. 

And so, to keep myself on schedule, I am on reading lockdown. I’ve shut down my Kindle and hidden my TBR pile. That new Susan Elizabeth Phillips that just popped up on my iPad? Haven’t opened it. That new Kresley Cole on my Audible app? Haven’t clicked on it. For weeks and weeks, y’all!

I miss books. I MISS them! I miss cracking one open and getting a whiff of paper and ink. I miss settling in with a glass of wine and my Kindle on the back porch. I miss waking up with my iPad on my face because I just had to read one more chapter. I miss feeling my heart pound and my stomach swirl with fear or anger or love. I miss forgetting all the stuff in my life and getting swept away in someone else’s. I miss everything about books.

Yes, I’m getting a lot done on my own, but if this little experiment has taught me anything, it’s that I have willpower of steel. Now if I could just figure out how to apply it to french fries and chocolate.

So yes, Janna, I will pick up a book and study it, but not until October. 

To Study or Not to Study (No Question)

To study, by’s explanation, is to apply oneself to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, practice, or reflection.

I made the recent decision to, as my kids jump into another year of school, devote time and energy to some independent study for myself. It makes sense, expounding upon my understanding of particular subjects, especially those which fascinate me, and I’m not sure why I never thought of it before. I mean, I know that I’ve been a (sometimes) willing student of life, and a voracious reader, but I suppose I’ve kept so busy working and parenting and simply being, that I’ve never, as an adult, thought about actively pursuing topics I’m interested in to research and absorb.

There’s suddenly something so appealing about reading and studying in ways that are natural to me. Now that I’m years-removed from my classroom education I can recognize the ways in which I most effectively approach learning and content retention, and control them myself. Plus, now I can do it for simple enjoyment and personal gain, not because I’ll be tested, or because it’s necessary for advancement.

For sure I’m interested in philosophy and religion, and also the writing craft (something I’m not unfamiliar with, but need to deeply review), so these are first up on my list.

So far I’m several pages into each of these books:


What’s hardest is choosing which to pick up any given moment of spare time. Are any of them familiar to you?

Down the line, I’d like to delve into psychology and forensic science, as well. Are there any titles related to those topics you would recommend?

What would you study now if you could find (or make) the time? What would you apply yourself to for the sake of knowledge?

I challenge you: Pick a topic, buy a book about it, and study.

Summer’s Almost Over

For many, school has already started. For others, school will begin next week. Summer is coming to an end, though we still have Labor Day to celebrate on September 1st.

We just returned from vacation at Stinson Beach. This small town of about 450 people is on the coast of California about an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge. We rented a house on the beach and it was so wonderful to step out onto the sand from the enclosed back yard – which was great for the dogs!

I came back home and felt depressed. It’s the first time that’s happened to me. Granted, it could have had something to do with the fact the world lost Robin Williams. I loved that guy. Being a peer, it saddened me even more. He gave so much of himself to us. I’ll miss him.

So the same week we were at the beach I discovered it was Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. We didn’t see any sharks but we saw pods of dolphins as well as sea otters. Now, that was awesome.

Did anyone do anything exciting you’d like to tell us about? It doesn’t have to be about a vacation. It can be anything.

Gone Fishing

Right this moment Sheila would rather be fishing, despite the fact that fishing is about two-million-one-hundred-and-twenty-eight on her bucket list.

Or hanging here.

Or reading a good book.

Or finishing the developmental edits on her upcoming book.

Instead, she’s hanging at the youngest son’s new farm, a paintbrush in one hand, cleanser in the other.

Check out her recent adventures on Facebook, then make her day by popping over to her Author Page to give her a Like.

If the painting and cleaning are finished — which they better be! — Sheila will be back in three weeks. Until then, enjoy your summer!


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