Dog Days of Summer

Typically, the hottest days of summer in my part of Louisiana are the months of August and September. I never thought about the expression the dog days of summer, until I watched our rescue dog, Tully, during these months. Lots of dog expressions crept into my language such as whoa doggy, doggy bag, It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and His bark is worse than his bite.

But now, as I face another hot month, the dog days of summer have affected my actions too. It’s not Tully’s fault. His lethargic attitude reflects mine. I understand the expression now that I visualize it every day. Tully and I are both longing for a breeze, a reprieve.

My dog day characteristics that mimic my Tully are: laziness, resting mode, low energy, drained, dead tired. I see canine, fur baby and want to spread out on the couch and twitch as I cream under the fan. But I pry my eyes open, stretch, and carry-on in my working persona. Yet, oh to be a dog! (I say the same thing about my cats who sleep sixteen hours a day!)

Although the expression makes total sense describing the hottest, most oppressive summer months in the south, the history of the expressions adds a bit of relevant explanation.

The dog days of summer this year were July 3-August 11. They take place during the time when the sun occupies the same region in the sky as Sirius, the bright star visible from any part of Earth and is part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog.

Make sense? Whatever the history of the expression, I now have a visual in my Tully as he sleeps during the heat of the day. He and I share the same dreams of catching a cool breeze and chasing a butterfly. He just gets to do it more often than I do.

As the dog days of summer linger, what do you do in anticipation of the fall? I plan, read, organize, and rest in the hammock under the shade tree with my dog. I don’t want him having all the fun.

Butterflies and Zinnias

My year is full of butterflies and zinnias (and sunflowers and bumble bees)! I know each year when August rolls around that beauty will continue to burst forth as the intricately-patterned, winged masterpieces flit from a myriad of colored heads, gaining nectar and nourishment. They are holding on to summer, prolonging the hot, muggy days and enjoying the pollen after the afternoon showers.

And I watch while venturing into the heat that I wish away, not realizing I’m sending them away with my selfish thoughts. My dog and cats sleep in the shade or inside in the cool air desiring the fall breeze too.

I know summer is ending when school starts. My online roster zooms to 250 students “eager” to learn Spanish and French. As my garden wilts—the vegetables and lilies gone for the season—my “lazy” days change to full agendas. Am I ready? Part of me wants the butterflies and zinnias to stay—to prolong the season.

Yet, God ordained the changes for a purpose. As the fall lurks close by, I can almost smell the cool breeze—Almost! I make my fall plans including what to write, read, and edit. I add weekend adventures, always pleasant in the crisp weather. Ideas for Christmas gifts and activities creep into my day planner.

Good-bye summer. Oh…not yet.

My butterflies and zinnias tell a different story as they have a tenacious hold on the season for another month. I’ll take my cues from them and enjoy the slow days of the season.

What season do you enjoy most?

Summer Fun Author Promo

Summer Fun Giveaway Picture (1)I’m so excited about this. Here is your chance to win some very good books. I’ve read many of them and hope to read more this summer. Go to the link below and participate. My book, Bring Me Near, is featured. Tell your friends too. It’s free to enter.
School is out, the weather is warm, the kids are playing in the sprinklers, and the beach is calling our name. Summer is here and what better way to kick it of than with a multi-author giveaway!
Don’t miss your chance to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card and 30+ books. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/e5b7/summer-fun-multi-author-promo
The event and giveaway is going on now through June 30.
FYI, my publisher is putting this on as she supports authors and reading.
Summer Fun Giveaway Picture

Deadlines, endings, and beginnings

Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people. Colossians 3:23

Work as if you were serving the Lord, not as if you were serving only men and women. Ephesians 6:7

IMG_4632I am a list maker. I admit it and claim it! Deadlines, chores, to-do, writing, reading, grocery, goals, financial, exercise, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. I love lists. And luckily, I don’t mind having an item reappear because I didn’t complete it on its assigned day. I’m flexible to a degree.

IMG_4631Right now I am facing the end of my summer break. It’s time for me to go back to work. As a teacher I give my energy to my students and vocation for ten months and enjoy the two months off in the summer. My energy is then spent on other non-working goals. So, the summer is ending and takes with it my detailed lists of home projects, writing, reading, movies. Next week, shorter versions of those lists will appear, for I can’t imagine giving up reading and writing just because I work outside my home.

Deadlines inspire me instead of intimidating me. Presently, I have editing deadlines before my novels can be released. Deadlines dominate my teaching days as I strive to complete and distribute information in an enlightening way to my students within a certain period of time. I put deadlines in every area of my life. My favorite ones are the ones that have a short-term ending date–two weeks, six weeks, a semester. It’s hard for me to concentrate on a deadline two years away.

IMG_4634Endings are bitter-sweet. I strive on the feeling of achievement and accomplishment. Yet, the end of a great book or the end of a restful summer comes with a sigh of wanting it to continue just a bit longer. But, vacation will come again as will the next awesome book.

Beginnings have the air of hope and anticipation, even of mystery. So many unexpected blessings wait around the corner. For example, this school year or even this next week will introduce me to some exceptional students and colleagues who end up teaching me so much about life and relationships as well as technology and facts.

Remember to enjoy your deadlines, endings, and beginnings as you do the work God has given you to do.

What deadlines, endings, or beginnings are you currently facing?