Before and After

Last Monday, the horrible heat broke with the temp dropping from in the 90s to in the 70s. Much, much better but still humid. On Thursday we had a light rain—wish we’d had more—that cleared the air, and now here we are with August weather very much like the August of my memories: clear, not humid, cool at night, and hot, but not too hot during the day. I could take many more months just like this with the grasshoppers buzzing, and the hermit thrush singing in the morning and the crickets’ chorus at night. Even though I have creaky knees, this weather puts a spring in my step.

Here are a few views of my front yard gardens, in the dappled light ofΒ  morning.

Clearly, the black-eyed Susans are the stars—along with the toad and the mermaid—of my August garden.


Through the hot and the humid, the cool and the delightful, Clif has been hard at work replacing a living-room window, well past the point of needing to be replaced.


And after.

Once Clif has finished with the window, he will tear off the old cardboard siding—I’m only exaggerating by a little—and replace it with wood siding. We’ll even be getting a new porch light. The old one has been there for at least forty years, and I don’t think we can be accused of getting rid of it too soon.

Still, we do like to keep things as long as they are useful, and we are careful not to get rid of anything willy-nilly.

With all these improvements, how spiffy our entryway will look!

Next summer, onward to another part of the house with more windows and siding to be replace. Never a dull moment at our home by the edge of the woods.


With my upcoming book Of Time and Magic, I am at the very picky, eye-straining stage of editing, of going over every line to catch as many errors as I can.

On this blog, cutting back to one post a week was a good plan, and I will be doing this for the foreseeable future. Eventually, I hope to be back to featuring other bloggers’ posts. This takes more time than you might think, and right now most of my energy is going to Of Time and Magic.

Also, I would like to get back to book, movie, television series, and music recommendations. I really, really enjoy getting recommendations from other folks and adding them to my various lists. These recommendations expand the horizons of this Maine writer who can go for weeks without leaving the house and yard. With your mind, you can travel anywhere, no matter your circumstances.

So, many thanks, blogging friends.

Until next week…




70 thoughts on “Before and After”

  1. You have such a beautiful yard and garden. I’m sure that magic must happen there. πŸ™‚ I, too, appreciate book, film, TV, recommendations. It’s a good way to stretch.

  2. Editing is HARD work, so I totally understand your absence here, Laurie. Thank heaven for flowers like the Susans that don’t require constant hovering for them to look gorgeous!

    1. Sure is! Every year, during August, I am always grateful for the black-eyed Susans as not much else is in bloom in our gardens on the edge of the woods.

  3. I was in the UP of Michigan this past week and the black eyed susans were everywhere up there too. Seems like the weather must have been perfect for them! The combination of purple thistle and yellow goldenrod and susans among the white queen anne’s lace was just beautiful! Your yard is beautiful too. Good to have decent weather to do the window exchange…it’s going to look spiffy! But it’s a lot of work!

  4. Your garden looks lovely and I really like all the ormnaments among the flowers. Well done Cliff for carrying out some repairs. Replacing a window is not a small easy job!

  5. It is always something with house maintenance, isn’t it? Like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, when they get to one end, it’s time to start again. πŸ˜‰ How lucky you are that Clif is handy.
    The weather has been SOOO much better lately, I’m really enjoying it immensely.
    Good luck with the editing, don’t forget to rest your eyes out in that beautiful garden. πŸ™‚

  6. Your yard looks beautiful and I love the photo of the toad!πŸ™‚ I’ve been celebrating our great weather and it looks like we have more on the way. How wonderful Clif can tackle these projects!! I love movie, book and tv show recommendations and like you they have really been something I’ve looked forward to as we continue to stay close to home. Hopefully this evening I will be watching a few more episodes of The Sandman.πŸ™‚

  7. There’s nothing like a home improvement project — especially one that will help keep you cozier this winter! Right now, you have that glorious garden to enjoy — be sure to take plenty of time for it.

  8. Your house and garden looks lovely in your first photo, really pretty. Paul and I are most admiring of Clif managing to replace a window…..well done! We have a vague plan to do some repairs/renewal to our house, if only the rain would stop! I agree, it is great to recommend books, movies, music etc and we especially loved the movie you recommended “Lunana: A yak in the Classroom”, and music by Olafur Arnalds (I hope I have that spelling right).
    In the meanwhile, best wishes with your editing.

  9. I’m pleased your oppressive weather has broken. We have drizzle outside at 8.30 a.m. I like your photographs as always. Congratulations to Clif. I was only telling Jackie yesterday how long you make things last, and don’t waste anything

    1. Thanks, Derrick. Glad you have a drizzle. Supposedly, rain is coming our way. We sure do need it. And Clif and I try to make everything last as long as possible. Sometimes a little too long. πŸ˜‰

  10. Wow – kudos to Cliff for tackling that upgrade! Hopefully it helps keep your home snug for the winter. Your garden is as lovely as ever – so glad the weather is more pleasant for you to putter about.

    And kudos to you for putting so much time into your editing!

  11. This weather is so much more enjoyable than what we have been having – thank you, Mother Nature. Applause to Clif for his handyman skills and making things more energy efficient I’m sure. I can only imagine the eye strain involved in the editing process and reading forward and backward trying to catch everything. Good luck with that, and I hope it is a big success.

  12. Dear Laurie,
    I’m glad to hear the weather is more to your liking and to know that you and Clif are happy about the progress on your house and book projects. Keep up the positive outlook.

  13. I just found out that we have two more things in common, Laurie. A yard that is uplifted this time of year by abundant black-eyed-susans and a husband who can fix anything.

    Best of luck in the editing phase, my friend. That must be very tedious. xo

  14. Your garden looks lush and inviting. I’m glad you had some rain along with cooler temperatures. We’re into a heat wave here, with highs in the 90s to 100 today. It’s going to be a long week. I greatly admire your discipline as a writer. Thanks for sharing your schedule going forward.

  15. You have such a beautiful garden, Laurie. I love the combination of flowers and shade. And excellent repairs. Our home too offers an endless supply of those! Enjoy the cooler weather and Happy Editing!

  16. This heat (and its recurrence) is really something else and must have been so challenging! I hope you have seen the last of it!

    I don’t remember seeing these particular views of your garden before – I mostly remember your back patio (with the lovely furniture) in various weathers! It is so lovely!

    Hurray Clif! on a replacement well-done! Looking forward to having a peek at your porch when it is all done!

  17. Your garden looks great and the window looks perfect. Clif has done a great job. I have a feeling that a house is always a never ending project 😁.

  18. The garden looks lovely and the mermaid captured my attention, by seeming to be swimming in sunlight and flowers. So glad you have a new window.

  19. The toad is winking at us, thanks to the peeping Black-eyed Susan! And congratulations to Clif on a job well done. Speaking of jobs well done, good luck with the last phases of your book, Laurie.

  20. Just catching up here, Laurie. Your gardens looks beautiful! There is nothing like summertime for catching up with home repairs, too. Clif does nice work! I am in favor of replacing older electrical fixtures where possible, though I like your porch light, too.

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