Where are the birds? I haven’t seen or heard a bird outside in days. They’re normally out there singing every morning.

So where are the birds?

It seems so strange when there’s no birds flitting around up in the trees. I miss them.


My patio plants are struggling in the heat. Only the strongest make it now in the dog days of August. Happens every year.

Plus this year I don’t have the two trees that bordered the alley to provide a respite from the sun. I’m trying to keep everything alive, but for some plants it seems to be a losing battle.

Even the cone flowers are starting to dry up. The gaillardia flowers have all turned brown.

Just the most hardy of plants are still growing now.

The hibiscus is doing fine, as are the sturdy herbs, sedum and ornamental grasses. And of course the purslane and the morning glory vines.


Charlie on his bed

I don’t think I’ve ever shown you this quilt. I bought it on eBay last year. I ended up bidding/paying $19 for it.

Can you imagine all the work that went into this quilt, and selling it for just $19? A shame really.

Not that I’d pass it up. You know how much I love quilts. But a hand quilted patchwork quilt has an awful lot of work and love go into it.

So maybe a relative found it after someone died and just wanted to get rid of their possessions. That’s all I can think might have happened.

Well, it’s in my possession now. And until I’m no longer around, I will take good care of it.


I started reading this book last night. I read most of it because I was so caught up in the story line.

You never really know someone until something bad happens and then you see what the people closest to you are truly made of. Such is the plot of this book.

Here is a blurb from Goodreads…

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner.

Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.


Love can be conditional. Life can be brutal. You find out if love is conditional when you really need someone. If they stay by your side, they’re a keeper.

If they don’t and they walk away, your heart is broken, yes. But then you know they just couldn’t pass the test of loyalty and love.

And why would you want someone who walks away when you need them the most?

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  1. If you can’t afford to get a sunshade to put up, how about picking up some patio umbrellas at rummage sales or buying them at clearance sales – this is the time of year big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot) and places like Target and Walmart are clearing out their summer items. Give your plants some shade and water at least 3 times a day. You’ll probably be sweating and cursing as you do it, but maybe you can keep more plants alive. As was noted above, birds need water and shade. If you don’t have that in your yard, they’ll hang out where there they can find it. We are probably on course to have the hottest summer yet recorded in the US ever, around the entire country. Welcome to the new normal. Birds may begin to change their migration patterns and leave for “winter” climes at the end of June soon. July was a killer here in SE Wisconsin, and August is coming in just the same. It’s horrid outside.

  2. Brenda… I used to get your blog daily but for some reason I don’t now…I have signed up again but to no avail…any ideas?

  3. My birds are not out and about either. The sun is just too intense; although a male cardinal was splashing in the bird bath at about 7 this morning. The squirrels have been in hiding, too. They love to get on the bird feeder to chomp up the apple cores I leave each day but the cores have been untouched for a couple of days.
    Please show us more of the quilt. You have renewed my appreciation of the beauty in them.
    My patio plants are struggling like they always do at this time of year. Hot as it is I can feel autumn in the air. Even the leaves are sounding different in the wind. Probably because it is so dry. As challenging as the lack of rain is I prefer it over high heat and the unbearable humidity. The poor ferns along the back of the House were turning crispy
    so I cut most of them back to the ground. They will rally in late September and look fine until frost.
    You and little sweet Charlie take care of each other.

  4. It’s interesting that you asked where the birds are. My concern is the bees or the lack of them. We finally googled it and discovered that the bee population suffered in the catastrophic fire we had in Ventura County last winter.

    I was so excited to see a bee in my lavender the other day. There used to be up to 20 at a time and hopefully that will happen again.

  5. I know my birds disappear as soon as the birdbaths aren’t freshened or full of water. Maybe a birdbath or even a saucer from a pot—would entice them back. And of course a bird feeder, if you are allowed to put them out! Strangely, one year I had a bird nest in an old artificial ficus I had on our patio?

  6. Hi. We have birds here. But, I am in a hilly area of Central Kentucky just a few miles from a river and there are a lot of trees nearby. Only one tree in my yard, but the neighboring yards have trees and thickets for the birds to hide in. I think the birds in your area must have gone in search of shade and water! I really like your quilt. It looks like it has just two colors, which makes it really interesting and kind of modern. I have a twin-sized quilt in our second bedroom that I found at a thrift store a few years ago for $10. It is a bow tie pattern and has a bit more pink in it than I would like, but, it seemed silly of me to pass up such a nicely made quilt just because of a few more pink bow ties than I would have preferred. I figure that some grandmother made it for a granddaughter, and at some point the girl decided she was too old for it and it ended up in a box to go to the thrift store. So I’m happy to give it a nice home. Quilts deserve to have a nice place to spend their days. I’m sure that Charlie appreciates that comfy quilt.

  7. Sorry I went back to look again and see it under Charlie boy’s bed. A great idea by the way. I couldn’t see it before because an ad was blocking my view.

  8. Please show the quilt again in another post. I didn’t see a quilt in this post! Would love to see your bargain quilt.

  9. Thank you for your review of this book. I got a free copy from my library as a gift for participating in the summer reading program. I chose it because on the cover was the recommendation, “If you read just one book this year, read How to Walk Away. ” Just pulled it out to start reading tonight based on how much you have enjoyed it!

  10. Brenda, maybe it is just too hot for the birds, too. Just a supposition. You know, I was thinking one way to provide a little shade would be to have one of those umbrellas that are off-set from the stand so all the shade of umbrella is useable. Then the plants that were struggling could be under that and have an easier time in the shade. There should be some at decent prices at this time of year when all the stores are starting to talk about fall and school starting. Also, with that available shade you could have a few shade-loving plants that appeal to you. Just a thought.

    The book sounds like a good one, too!

  11. We feed the birds, the squirrels, the chipmunks and last week a little bunny all year long. We have more birds than we know what to do with. After feeding these lovely birds, they poop all over my car. I don’t care I love watching them with a cup of tea on our little porch. I love the mourning doves who eat from the ground and the little wrens that are so small and sweet. Every time we go out and see birds my husband yells out our address and tell them to go to our house for food. He loves them as much as I do.

  12. We still have birds here but then we don’t have the conditions you do there. I am really sorry that you lost those two trees-although I know they needed to be gone because the roots were doing so much damage.

    That sounds like a great book! xo Diana

  13. I used a patio umbrella to shade my potted plants when the heat and sun was intense. It helped my potted plants survive for the rest of the growing season. I also learned that overwatering didn’t help in this situation, just brought on overwatering issues. Watering the hot concrete patio helped cool things as well. But the umbrella shade was the ticket. I saw mums at a garden center. The flowers will be long gone before September arrives.

    1. I was going to suggest the same thing. All the stores have summer stuff on clearance. Perhaps you could get a couple of patio umbrellas and stands and create shade where you need it.

    2. I am planning on looking into an umbrella next spring. Remember I had that nice green gazebo and the wind tore it apart. Oklahoma wind, you know.

    1. My Charlie boy is such a good boy. I put that quilt under his bed to give him a little more thickness in his dog bed. He has arthritis in his neck and back. I want him to be comfortable.

  14. Do you have a faucet on your patio? If you do you might look into a drip system. The big home stores have all you need and they are very affordable.

    1. I’ve thought about that. But most of my plants are in pots and I don’t quite know how that works. The faucet is on the wall of my apartment. Nowhere near where the plants are.

  15. I am still seeing a variety of birds but they are quieter; however a robin was scolding my dogs in the back yard this morning. There is a hawk in my neighborhood too, and it seems to be attracted to where bird feeders are located. I don’t feed the birds because it attracts chipmunks and other critters I don’t need.

    Some of my plants and flowers look pretty hopeless right now, particularly my many ferns. They getting dried and brown. Others things continue to thrive. I guess we are in beginning the transition to another season!

  16. Regarding the trees that you wanted cut down because they were pulling up your fence and hanging on your roof – a person just can’t win… It was either a ruined fence and roof or a summer with no shade. It seems a person just can’t win! Most of the times we win and lose at the same time or situation. Life is rough. Sorry about the heat and sun affecting so many of your plants this year. Mine, too. I don’t have any trees at all!

    1. The trees weren’t only hanging on the roof and pulling the fence down, the roots were growing underneath my apartment. The tree isn’t dead, I still pull what sprouts from the stump. I hope it’s stopped growing underneath the floor. That has torn up floors in other apartments here.

  17. I have a lot of birds, but my neighbor across the street has none. Then one day she saw three hawks drinking from the birdbath. Problem solved.

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