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August is my favorite month of the year.

So I make it a point to take long slow walks on August mornings, getting a good long look at what I’ll miss most when it’s Winter.

I promise you that none of these photos were staged. But they do look too perfect to be true, don’t they?

Even the pillows look like props.

Another perfect front porch. Does the family ever come out here and set in the wicker furniture and tell tales about Summers past?

it’s got, for when Ma sets in this here rocker , a handy place to set her Long Island Iced Tea.

Two things I love about this photo:

First of all, is this not an adorable little parcel on the door step? I love brown-paper boxes with collage-like mailing bits arranged like a work of art.

And secondly, who can notbe compelled by the disinterested gaze of the house’s watchcat?

And as I stood there, snapping my photo of this doorstep, I noticed out of my peripheral vision that I had attracted the attention of another member of the household:

Yes, that’s a real cat. I know! Everything in my village is all too twee!

A Wrap around front porch:

I  want to puke from the overdose of perfection:

Yeah. Life isn’t really like this, is it?

BAtthe end of my first August Walk, I came home to find a pretty-near perfect situation going on in my backyard.

This is Blackie and Duds  fretting over Standard and Poor’s downgrading of the United States’ credit rating, so I don’t have to.

In fact, I think I need another long August walk if only to keep my mind off the economic apocalypse.

What are you doing these days to ward off the pointlessness of existence?

15 comments to Things Are Bad, But Not That Bad.

  • Jen

    Being amazed at the cucurbit vine (don’t know exactly what it is yet…not zucchini though)growing rampantly from my compost pile.

    Finding amazing insects in my yard and in the woods. A tiny spider that caught a bumble bee in it’s jaws/arms. A metallic purple/blue 1″ long ground beetle bumbling through the forest…

    Sweating a lot, which always reminds me not to complain because by January I’ll be wearing so many layers and freezing my butt off all the time.

    Finding lots of feathers.

    Eating delicious things from my garden and from the farm where I work.

    Enjoying the symphony of August: crickets, cicadas, katydids, grasshoppers, etc.

    Going for evening walks after dinner and having leisurely conversations with my husband.

    Pointlessness…easy to keep at bay in August! February/March…that’s a serious challenge!!!

  • Sallyann

    I am sorry you did not find your walk a calming, peaceful experience. I enjoyed the photos. Even though life is not perfect I find it wonderful that people set a stage for themselves that makes them happy.
    And YES, PEOPLE DO STILL GET MAIL, especially if they send mail too. It wasn’t that long ago I sent you my creation of a desk calendar. Or didn’t you get it?
    I some times feel a bit negative after I complete a big project. I think it is because I NEED to create and feel purpose. It takes me just a bit to redirect my thoughts.

    Hope you can find the symphony in your walks again.
    Sallyann

  • If you move to Florida, August will quickly become a least favorite month ;) I’ve been reading and gardening and planning a challenge for myself. Nothing too exciting, which is okay. I’m so nosy- I want to know what’s in that little box by the front door! I am going to pretend that it’s art supplies, although I bet it’s reall prescription medicine, a 90-day supply of Prilosec.

  • Deborah

    Experiencing the birds:
    The goldfinches on my purple coneflower
    The mama cardinal on her nest with 2 eggs
    Hummingbirds buzzing me as I water my garden
    Trying to remember what ‘normal’ feels like & anticipating the return to normal temperatures tomorrow.
    Planning changes I will make in the garden for next year – roses, out; carrots, in.
    But mostly, focusing on the Monarchs as they pass through on their way to Mexico:
    Checking my milkweed plants for eggs & caterpillars
    Having a Monarch display at the Family Fun Fair at a nearby state park and seeing the translucent fascination on the faces of children and adults alike as they saw a Monarch egg on a milkweed leaf and different sizes (instars) of caterpillars and one butterfly that had emerged (eclosed) morning.
    Children would ask if the caterpillars were “really real.” One little boy kept coming back to look at them. Finally he said, “ok. I saw the antenna move. No I know they’re real.”
    And I had a 6 yr.old boy tell me that I should use glue for the Monarch fan project (taping a Monarch image on cardstock to an oversized tongue depressor) because “glue is forever” and tape isn’t always. Then he told me I had taped them wrong, that he had learned how to use tape the right way in kindergarten and proceeded to show me how it was done.

  • Tracey

    My youngest cat,aged four, decided last week that he’s going to sit on my legs again. He hasn’t done this in over three years (ever since a very complicated & painful neutering). So now I’ve been sittng on my dining floorin the evening, drinking cafe au lait, with a cat stretched over my calves.

  • I find the perfect scenes make me happy and give me anxiety issues all at the same time (because why I can’t I do perfect stuff like that?) so it is probably better that I not look at them all but enjoy the imperfection that is my life. :D

  • I’ve been out watching birds do very birdy things here in the Great Pacific Great Northwest. Yesterday I was treated to a Pied-billed Grebe bringing a wee fish to its two new hatchlings, all on the lily-pad cluttered lake.

    Later I sat by a pond in a meadow to see swallows swooping low over the water clearing out all the insects that might otherwise come over to investigate my arms. A Killdeer and two Least Sandpipers flew in to the muddy shoreline not 20 feet from where I perched on my camp stool. And all of this loveliness appeared in the very heart of my bustling city of Seattle, in a tiny 75-acre respite from insanity called the Union Bay Natural Area, which, before being restored decades ago, was merely a landfill.

    I call it my personal place of restoration. August or any other month of the year, being there by lakes and ponds and meadows and lots and lots of birds always works for me.

  • JOAN

    I don’t believe real people live in those houses…nope, they’re stage sets. Cardboard figures live inside. They don’t generate trash either. You should visit my yard if you want “real.” It wouldn’t piss you off, it has lots of leaf litter, weeds, a bird bath, a couple of benches and it’s hotter than blue blazes. The only things that thrive are cacti…I hole up inside with the A/C running night and day, fans helping to move the air around. What I do is make up my list of challenges:

    1. Draw or paint something EVERY DAY.
    2. Read as many books as possible between now and fall migration.
    3. Destash my quilting horde, UFO’s, any extraneous crap I have accumulated.
    4. Drink my favorite Teavanna Youthberry/Wild Orange Blossom tea
    5. Pray for October for the the cooler weather to arrive.
    6. Rejoice that our investment in gold has tripled in value.
    7. Count my blessings.
    8. Pick flowers to paint
    9. Laugh at every opportunity
    10. Pet my cat and dogs.

  • Mary

    I see a “I am not afraid of you ” blink on the gray cat. Did you catch that? He was watching, but he knew you weren’t there to harm him.
    What a sweet kitty.

    Long Island;— who knew? Thanks, Viv…..
    Show us more.

  • Susie

    Blackie and Dudley have called a truce, maybe? Or are they getting too old to bother each other?

    Those perfect houses give me the willies. I bet they use tons of chemicals everywhere.

    One thing that makes me happy: We have a crow family of 7 (mom, dad, last year’s one kid and 4 from this year) that visits every day. If I put corn out at dusk, they come at dawn and set up a racket. So I put it out after I get up, then they can caw all they want. If I’ve forgotten to put out eats, one of them comes and looks in the window with a beady eye. Brassy, but I like them.

    Anyway, October is my month, you can have August. The smell of burning leaves is one of THE most wonderful smells in the world. Next to a good smelling cat’s fur that you can bury your nose in.

    Life isn’t pointless, just ask a cat who’s purring on your lap. ( Maybe not Cindy ) With that “I know something you don’t” smile they get when they go to sleep. And enjoy a cup of really good tea……

  • Face it. Sometimes life’s just good…

  • Jeez, what a brilliant and fun blog. I’m glad you found me so I could find you.

  • Tracey

    I walk thru a neighborhood filled with houses like that daily on the way to the subway. No one ever sits on the porches. One day,as I approached the best-kept house in the neighborhood, I heard the rock band from hell blasting from its gorgeous, glass-front turret. If I lived near that band, I’d never step foot outside. Nothing is a idyllic as it looks.

  • Well, if it stops raining today, I think I will be going for an August walk and taking pictures of houses! What a greats idea! I LOVE the one of the cat and the package. Thanks for always bringing some inspiration to my day!

  • Parcels, mail and porches. Oh how I love them…

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