Summer Is Around The Corner

20140427_150226I know, I know. Some of you are just digging out of the frozen winter we just endured.

**Waving at Bandita Susan.** 

And some are heading into the fall of your year. **Waving at Banditas Anna C and Christina.**

However, it’s been springish warm down here in Texas. In fact, the other day I spent a wonderful day sitting outside on my patio, writing and enjoying the blue skies. Our new puppy, Rusty, is just about 7 months old, so this is his first spring. Which means he tends to do very funny things. For a while he spent time following around a white butterfly and then a blue speckled one as the flitted to my rose bush. Then I heard him snuffling around behind me. He was hot on the trail of some kind of bettle that was scurrying around on the

But my favorite part of the day was when I looked up to see him sitting close to the pool. He seemed to be watching something. His head bopping up and down and slowly moving as if following something. Now, about twice a year we get ducks in our pool for a quick swim. That wasn’t what had Rusty’s attention. Nope. I laughed when I realized what he was watching. It was the creepy-crawly that skims around the pool, keeping it clean. Quite fascinating to a puppy. Can’t imagine how he’ll react when it gets warm enough for us to swim!

20140427_150251A few days later, I was out trimming back my rose bushes. One is a tea rose with buds that start out with a pinkish hue, but when it opens it’s a creamy white. You can see it has one bud at the moment, but that’s because I pruned it way back in hopes of getting rid of any dead areas from the ice storms we had this winter and encouraging new blossoms. Our blooming season is in April to mid June, then again in September all the way into November. I love cutting several and filling a vase in my kitchen window with them.

The other bush is the one up top. It’s a red climbing rose. Now here’s the odd thing. When we moved in, I planted a yellow climbing rose and next to it a red tea rose. Then a year or two later the red tea rose died. I dug up what I thought was most of the red root. Another hard freeze two years ago and I thought the yellow climber died, too. Then this year…poof! Up comes the branches, leaves and buds. Imagine my surprise when they were RED! (Anyone want to explain this one to me?)

This year the Jazzman is planning a square-foot vegetable garden. Our oldest daughter started tomato plants from seeds and brought us a few plants. Right now they’re still in the delicate stage so they’re in a little pot, but Jazzman plans to get them set out sometime in the next week or so. This should be quite fun to watch. Jazzman and a garden. Might prove quite tasty, too!

This summer…later in the summer, we’re expecting two new grandsons. Yep, my younger daughter and second child is having twins. That will give her 5. Geesh, just saying it exhausts me!

Two big things are occuring. My sister Sami and her family are bringing my mom (HI MOM!) down to meet all of her great grandkids. She’s met our youngest granddaughter, but not all her cousins. Mom will get to see the new kitchen and bathroom we’ve had done. And of course, there’s RWA National in San Antonio, where the Banditas who can make it get to spend face time together!! Lots of fun there! And this year, not only do I get to sign books at the big literacy signing again, but my critique partner and roomie Sandy Blair will be here. YIPPEE!!

So, what are you looking forward to this summer? Big travel plans? Some quality time hanging out in the yard with family? A new garden? 




  • Jane says:

    Hello Suzanne,
    Wow, five kids. I don’t have any travel plans, but I think my cousin is going to Rio and hopefully I can get him to buy me some souvenirs. I’ll probably just stay in the city and catch the summer blockbusters with my friends. I was so excited when my orchids started blooming about two months ago.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Looking foward to sunshine, heat, temps above 80, and yes, even humidity. Grandson #2 and I are going to plants some flowers as soon as he repaints my flower pots. I honestly have a black thumb, but I still want us to do it.
    BTW, I have twins, identical., best advice is to not giving them rhyming names. It’s bad enough having someone look just like you, everyone needs their own name. Mine are Craig and Bradley. I also had them first, then a daughter, I think having one then twins would be a bit harder. Oh yeah, as she probably already knows, they fight! And congrats to the entire family.

    • Amy,

      I have a semi-green thumb, so roses seem to be fairly hearty, especially if they die and come back to life a different color. 🙂

      I’m not worried about rhyming names for the twins. This particular daughter chooses very, very, very, very unique names.

  • Hi Suz! Wow, loved the description of your lovely puppy discovering the outside world. I bet it’s all really fascinating for him. I went out this morning and noticed that my roses are getting that flush of autumn buds. I lost a couple of bushes in the horrible heatwave we had back in Jan/Feb so I need to look after the ones I’ve got left. And congratulations on the new arrivals. Man, you’re definitely going to have your hands full!

    • Anna,

      Isn’t it a little heart breaking to watch a favorite bush or plant not survive the harsh weather. Jazzman and I were sure the crepe myrtle the Bandits gave me to memorialize my Daddy’s passing hadn’t survived the freezes. But about 10 days ago, it just started blooming….slowly. I was so happy!

  • You certainly have a very special time ahead of you, Suz. It’s lovely when all the generations get together! I really, really wish we weren’t seeing the last of our summer here. It’s getting cool, which most people I know love. But I listen to them praise the weather change and think… WINTER IS COMING with the same awe and fear you hear in the voices of the people in Game of Thrones. I hate being cold and I hate the winter viruses that descend on my family each year. I envy you, being able to look forward to summer!

    • Hey Christina!

      LOL on the GOT reference. That ran through my mind when the ice storm hit us in December! I don’t mind the cold so much, (Jazzman does), but it’s the viruses, followed by my hacking cough! This year wasn’t quite so bad as I wasn’t over exposed while working in the hospital. Thank goodness!

  • Helen says:


    Fantastic news on the twins 🙂 and that all the family will be together Rusty is so cute and they are so inquisitive we have a Mareema puppy Casper who is 4 months old and he is a little naughty at the moment but very cute and he loves water and laying on the cold grass I think he is going to enjoy winter. We have holdiay plans in November which will be just about summer we are going on a cruise to New Zealand and we are really looking forward to it and as we are heading into winter which I love I am hoping to reast read and spend ti,e with the grandkids

    Have Fun

    • Thanks Helen,

      I’ll be glad when the little guys get here, that’s for sure. And I can’t wait for Mom to meet all her great grandkids.

      I saw a picture of Casper. I thought, what a great name for a white dog!!

      A cruise of New Zealand. How fun! Sigh. Jazzman has always said he wouldn’t do a cruise. Dang it!

  • Shannon says:

    I love spring and summer. My summer plans are lots of reading time by the pool. The heat and humidity are feel perfect when I get out of the water and dive back into a good story. The problem is that a couple of my favorite authors’ books come out in August. I suppose that is when people really do summer.

    I am thinking of taking a trip to see my Mother.

    My other late spring-early summer task is getting a new TV and then setting up the combination DVD and wireless device for Netflix. The entertainment complex is for those days when rainstorms roll through.

    • Shannon,

      I love to read and hop in the pool. I’m usually in it by late May. It has to be at least not freezing…the water, that is. But once it is, I tend to do laps every day! Rusty is going to get lots of outdoor time this summer.

      I hope you get to go see your mom. I take my trip home in the fall, but that’s because it’s her birthday AND I need the fall weather. I just feel lost without it.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    We have a butterfly chaser, called CC. She also likes worms. She and her sister, Jersey Girl, have already been scouring the fields and presented us with mice! Yes, spring is here!

    I’m looking forward to travelling too, this spring to Kelowna and this summer – to RWA (where I’ll be signing for the first time!) and to a very dear friend’s wedding. Plus our grandson’s christening and first birthday.

    We’ll be getting a new bathroom too – not looking forward to the upheaval of that quite so much, as we have to replace our boiler, though it will be fab when it’s done.

    • Hey Anna!

      If Rusty wanders in with a dead mouse or bird…he and I are going to have a talk! He can guard against them, but he doesn’t need to present them as a trophy!!

      We’re so glad you’re going to make it to RWA Nationals this year! And I think you’ll have a blast at the signing. 🙂

  • Mozette says:

    As it’s warming up for you, it’s beginning to cool down for us Aussies. And in all honesty.. about bloody time… I’m looking forward to the colder months as we’ve sweated ourselves into a big enough puddle if you ask my opinion.

    Besides… I don’t mind the cold weather. Seeing I have a new guy in my midst… 😀 Yeah, I’ve begun seeing a nice, handsome new man and he’s been keeping his slippers under the foot of my bed lately… thus keeping me warm too. 😉

    So, it’s going to be a nice warm Winter snuggling up to a nice lovely somebody with me. 😀

    • Hey Mozette!

      I can so sympathize with y’all about the heat and finally getting a break. That’s how I feel every September when the temps in TX dip out of the 100+ range! A few days of that would be okay…but weeks on end? Please!

      A new man!! How lovely!! Sounds like you’ll be having a very, very nice winter down under!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Hi Suz!

    Love that pool-side photo of Rusty. From the back he looks just like my Bandit, a sweetheart of a dog that we had for 14 years. He love to sit by our backyard pool when we lived in Florida and watch things float by. He especially loved to drop his tennis ball into the water then run around the deck chasing it as it floated around the pool. 😉

    Spring has finally arrived here in North Carolina and it’s lovely. I have a few trips planned. I’m off to Florida next month for my niece’s college graduation. She’s graduating Magna Cum Laude. So proud of her! We’ll be beaching it in June and July (my friends bought a beach house so we can pack the kids and dogs into the cars and head down there whenever we want now) then I’m off to San Antonio for RWA national. Can’t wait to see all you Banditas and Buddies who will be there! In August, it’s back to Florida to see my other niece – and my new grand-nephew – who are coming home from Japan for a visit. Can’t wait!

    Suz, there aren’t any twins in my family but I am one of five children. Loved growing up in a big family and love it even more today. We’re spread out across the country but still very close.

    • PJ,

      Love the story about your Bandit tossing a ball in the pool to chase it. Our last dog, Rocky, was a swimmer. Not sure what Rusty will think of the process!

      Wow, you have LOTS of travel on your agenda! I’m so glad you’re going to be at San Atonio for the conference again this year!

      And you were the only girl in that family of 5 right? My Granddaughter will be too.

  • catslady says:

    I’ve had tulips come up different colors – something must be happening underground lol. I’m just looking forward to some warm weather. I did plant some onion bulbs but it’s still too early to plant anything above ground.

    • Hey Catslady!

      Your tulips changed color? I’m thinking my yellow roses melded in some sort of Vulcan mind meld with the red root and that’s how I now have red tea roses!!

      We are lucky to have warmer weather earlier, but it also means we have to get the plants in the ground faster if we want to have them in good shape before the heat hits them!

  • Cassondra says:

    Five kids, eh?

    I can’t even imagine that.

    They do know what causes that, yaknow?

    OH…lessee…I’m hoping to have a garden this year. Didn’t get one last year. It won’t be big. A couple of squares like your husband is doing. But maybe some home-grown tomatoes! *slurp*

    • Cassondra,

      They only wanted one more for a total of 4. As Lyndsey said…God must have a sense of humor. So, 5 it is!

      One thing I miss about Ohio and my Dad is stealing ripe tomatoes out of the garden he set out every year. They are so much better home grown, aren’t they?

  • Deb says:

    My summer is crazy and it hasn’t even started yet! My SIL is getting married in Lubbock, TX on June 7. So, that means a 16-hour drive, leaving on the 4th or even the 5th. But, daughter Shary has a volleyball camp on the 14th, so we will head back home on the 9th. We had not planned to go back to TX for a few years so that we could save up money to go back to Padre Island, but SIL’s marriage takes precedence in this case.

    I have to have cataract surgery (I’m young, yes, but thanks to being on prednisone for months when I was a kid, it is now affecting me 35 years later).

    I am taking a class in mid-July; only a 2-day class and the instructor is fun.

    My dad’s health is not good (he has Alzheimer’s and it is progressively and aggressively getting worse), so I will be spending time with my folks. My mother has some decisions to make, and it is sad for her.

    BUT, we will squeeze in some time for lunches and get-togethers and fun.

    • Deb says:

      My husband Jerry and daughter Shary are planning what to plant in our little garden again this year. Tomatoes, green beans, and lettuce for sure.

      • Nothing sounds like summer more to me than fresh green beans and home grown tomatoes!! Will have to suggest to Jazzman that we think about some greenbeans.

    • Hey, Deb!

      OH man! Lubbock in June is gonna be HOT and dry and windy. Hopefully though, you’ll still have a wonderful time at the wedding.

      So sorry to hear about your dad. We went through that not long ago with my MIL. It was very sad at the end. (((HUGS))) hoping you and your mom find some relaxing time together in the midst of it all.

  • Becke says:


    My daughter has five plus two stepkids that visit. There’s only one word for her house: chaos! Of course that wasn’t enough for her. She bought a boxer puppy last winter.

    Did you ever hear about a crooked gene?
    LOL. That said, we love the grands.

    Our summer is RWA. We plan to leave early so we can scope out Austin.

  • Susan Sey says:

    Suz, at this point, I’m just looking forward to summer! (It’s pouring rain & about 40 degrees outside my window right now. And I’m grateful because it isn’t snow. THAT’S how mean this winter has been.)

    But I’m mostly looking forward to RWA with my Banditas in San Antonio! Whee!

    Enjoy some sunshine for me until I get there!

  • Suz, I love the bit about Rusty and the pool! Can’t help you about the flowers, as I am mainly skilled at killing them, but I’m sure you’ll fix it.

    We have no big summer plans but are looking forward to having the boy home in a couple of weeks.