Sunday, August 2, 2020

Loving Summer


Imagine finding a hidden room, complete with furniture, a trunk, diary and shadows. Author, Anna Hughes couldn't wait to finish her attic room. Did the shadows hold the secret to why the room was sealed?

I've always loved summer. Well not the hot 90 degree days or the high humidity days that make it feel like summer. Those days I tend to stay inside. But I do enjoy the cooler mornings.
Hubby and I take our coffee out and sit on the patio in the early morning and watch the birds at the feeder. He often takes pictures of them. Also among the birds are squirrels and one chipmunk. I've had to block off the feeder from those two varmints or there wouldn't be any seed left for the birds. Especially the chipmunk. He gets right up there inside the feeder. 
We also enjoy watching the Humming Birds and Baltimore Orioles. We have
several orioles.  They've always had to share their food with purple finches, which was no problem although there are a lot of them. 
Suddenly, one robin has taken a liking to the grape jelly. Yes, it's only one. The others patrol the ground, looking for worms or insects, but this one particular robin keeps coming back to the oriole feeder. 
I have a round, flat, shallow humming bird feeder that the humming birds didn't seem to like, and the sugar water spoiled almost overnight, so I took the top off and put grape jelly in there.  The orioles don't go by it, but the finches and the robin love it. 
Apparently, so do the deer. In fact the deer love the humming bird food. Yes, not only am I feeding the birds, but now the deer are imbibing - well at least one deer. And he's very brave about coming up to it. It's right outside my kitchen window and he has no problem in broad daylight to drink from it.  Now I know
it's not because he's thirsty because there's a freshly filled bird bath right next to it, and it'd be a lot easier to drink from that  than the humming bird feeder. I don't mind that he's drinking from the feeder, but now the humming birds have stopped coming and that makes me sad. I love watching them. They're so pretty and delicate. Tiny little things. I decided to take the feeder down. In the heat, I was having to replace the food too often or it spoiled. Besides, she also ate my tomato plants. I only had four and she devoured the cherry tomato plant and the beef-stake plant right down to the ground. I was able to salvage the two sauce plants and they're now enclosed in screen.  And now she's eating my Rose of Sharon that are only a couple feet high.  They're never going to grow and get flowers if she doesn't leave them alone.  Just a couple doors down and across the street there's full grown ones with flowers and she doesn't bother them. Must be the young tender leaves. 
But I'm still enjoying summer and not looking forward to Fall and Winter. Not that I mind the cooler weather and snow. I just hate putting heavy clothes on, especially to go out. I dislike the bulky winter coats and I'm not too keen on driving in the snow. I'm not keen on driving to begin with, but it's a necessity sometimes. Usually, I make hubby take me places. It's the only way he gets out of the house. He's a homebody and has COPD (which he uses as an excuse for a lot of things, but that's a story for another day). 

Here's an excerpt from Shadows in the Attic  
For more books by me check out BWL Publishing

I hurried to my room, freshened my lipstick and ran a comb through my hair. I loved my new short hairstyle, even if Ben didn't like it. It didn't take hours to blow dry and style even after a shower. Chad Edwards, the contractor Connie recommended, would be here any minute. I liked the sound of his voice over the phone, all deep and masculine. Besides, he sounded as excited about the restoration as I was.
I hurried downstairs when the doorbell rang, opened the door, and my mouth darn near dropped open. The sexiest, hunk of a man I ever saw stood in front of me. His dark hair, mussed from the wind, fell over his forehead. Bushy eyebrows topped the bluest eyes I'd ever seen, and he towered over my five foot six height. A complete contrast to Ben's dark, brooding looks.
Something jolted inside me, and I swear electricity seared the air between us. Even my arms tingled. Never had a man affected me this way. What was wrong with me? I'm engaged for heaven sake. But I couldn't help it. This man stirred something inside of me. Something Ben never stirred.
"Hi, I'm Chad Edwards. Are you Anna Hughes?"
Heat burned my cheeks at my thoughts, and I held out my hand toward him, hoping my face wasn't too red. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Edwards."
"Chad, please. Nice to meet you too, Anna. You don't mind if I call you Anna do
you?" He took my hand, and my heart did a strange flip. A trembling all the way down to my toes scared me. I liked the feel of his rough hand, calloused from hard work, and was disappointed when he let mine go.
"Hi, Chad. No, I don't mind." His name flowed easily from my lips, like I'd been
saying it forever. And I especially liked the way he said my name, placing the emphasis on the first syllable—Ann-a, unlike the quick way Ben said it, more like On-na, with the emphasis on the last syllable. Kind of hoity-toity.
Chad's smile reached his eyes. Something about it made me think he was fun-loving, spontaneous and adventurous, unlike serious minded Ben. Not that there was anything wrong with Ben being serious. I just wished sometimes he'd let go a little. Darn it, why was I comparing Chad to Ben?
"Please, come in." I swung the door to let him in, and closed it behind him. He stood in the foyer and looked around, letting out a low whistle as he stared up the curved oak staircase. A picture of him, standing there years ago, waiting for the daughter of the house to join him, flitted through my mind. He seemed to fit.
I smiled at the image. "I've heard good things about you, Chad. I'm glad you agreed to look at this job."
"I couldn't resist. When I heard it was a Queen Anne style Vicky, well let's just say that's my weakness."
"Mine too. When this house came on the market I had to see it. Once I saw it, I was sold." I led the way to the attic. "Come on, I can't wait to get your opinion."
I turned the corner to the landing and looked back at him. Darn, he was good looking.
"This is the first room I want done. We'll look at the rest of the house later."
As we rounded the corner of the attic, Ben joined us. "We want this wall knocked
down for starters,” he said. “Anna thinks there's a room behind it. At least, there's a window that shows from the outside of the house."
Ben's tone irritated me. Okay, so he didn't agree with me about the renovations, that didn't give him the right to intrude on my conversation.
Chad knocked on the wall in several different places and looked at the floor space between the walls and took some measurements. "She could well be right," he said. "This room should be much larger." He turned his attention to me. "What exactly do you want?"
"I want to make a home office up here for my writing."
"You're a writer?"
Ben didn't give me a chance to answer. He came and stood next to me and put his arm around me possessively. I tried to shrug him off. This wasn't like Ben. He never touched me in public. Never even held my hand. "So, what will you charge to knock the wall down and finish this space? I mean is it even worth it?" He pulled me tighter against him and almost knocked me over.
"Just to knock the wall down and haul the material away, fifteen hundred dollars. It depends what else Ms Hughes wants as to the rest of it." Chad turned his attention back to me . "I can't give you a price on that until the wall is gone, and we see what's behind it. I'll need to know exactly what you want, wiring, lights, that kind of thing. You can knock the wall down yourself and save the money. There's no wiring or heating ducts to worry about."
"Okay, we'll be in touch," Ben said. "Thank you for coming. He guided me to the top of the stairway and waited for Chad to go ahead of us. I tried to pull away, but he held me tight against him.
"Anything else?" Chad turned toward me again.
"We'll talk about it and get back to you," Ben said, not giving me a chance to answer.
I bit my tongue. Oh, we were going to talk about it. No doubt about that. I'd say
something now, but didn't want to start anything in front of Chad. What made Ben think he could take over like that? Like I was a moron who couldn't think or talk for myself.
"Okay, then." Chad turned and went downstairs ahead of us.
Ben finally dropped his arm from around me and followed Chad to the door before I made it to the bottom step. "We'll be in touch," he said and almost pushed Chad out the door and looked at me. "I think we should knock the wall down ourselves. Then you can see what's behind it and not waste the money."
"You're willing to help knock down the wall?" Would wonders never cease? I couldn't believe my ears. I let the matter of Ben's rudeness drop. If Ben was willing to work on the attic, I wasn't about to start an argument. Not yet, anyway. But you can bet I wouldn't forget it, either. He'd hear about it eventually. I'd have my say. Oh, no, he wasn't getting off that easy.
"Sure, we can start tomorrow. Once you see there's no room up there, you can forget this nonsense of renovation."




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