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July and August Update

Monday, August 21, 2023


Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  Is it hot in your neighborhood?  It sure is hot here in Central Alabama! 

I guess y'all wonder where I've been because I haven't blogged since June!  I have been traveling a little to visit family and friends.  I was able to spend eleven days at Lake Martin at the beginning of July, and it was so nice to get to do that.  While I was there with my family, I learned that one of my dearest friends had passed on July 3rd.  It was unexpected, and I have been in a state of shock.   Her sister in law called me on July 4th to let me know.  Other than church, we did everything together: We were in the same sorority alumnae group, DAR chapter, art class, and we belonged to a couple of other community groups, too.  It has been so hard to continue going to these meetings and events without her.  She was laid to rest in New Jersey in her family's mausoleum, but her family will be holding a celebration of life for her here in Alabama in early fall.  Everyone misses her, and she will be honored at our DAR Chapter Meeting in September.

Here's a synopsis of my summer activities so far...

What I've been reading:

This is our new devotional we started this month.
It isn't too late to join us HERE.  We are all in agreement that this devotional is so positive and uplifting!

What I've been reading and streaming:

The adaptation on Amazon Prime is very close to the book.
Starring Jennifer Garner, I liked the mini series more than the critics.
This is the only show we've watched this summer because it's baseball season, and we watch almost all of the Cubs games.

What I've been doing while in Birmingham:

I've been gardening in the early morning hours, and I've been doing floral arranging, too.

Large arrangement with mostly greenery



The above photo is before a very pregnant deer thought that this container was her own private salad bar.  She destroyed it!  You can see the reel on my Instagram account, just look for the cover photo of this container.

I've been nursing three carpet roses back to health.  They're looking much better!

What I've been organizing so far this summer:

I bought these MacKenzie-Childs canisters during the online Barn Sale.
They are holding supplies I often use in photos and art/craft projects.

Shelley cleared out a lot of her art supplies, and she moved them into the library where she likes to draw and do lettering.  It freed up a lot of space in my studio, and I've been able to reorganize some of my supplies in the armoire.

I also took everything out of my closet and Mr. Bookish's closet and reorganized, donated, and threw out items. 
It feels so good!  Mr. Bookish says it's like Christmas whenever he opens his closet!
Having separate closets is the secret to a happy marriage ;P

Where I've been going:

We've mostly been going to Lake Martin and Louisiana this summer.  Our niece is getting married, and she's had a few parties.  Also, we attended a special birthday party at Commander's Palace for Mr. Bookish and a few of his friends.

Oak tree in New Orleans
More on our trip in a later post.

What I've been drawing:

I'm still working through a realism book in my art class.
This rose was drawn with (mostly) German-made oil-based colored pencils.

Blog posts I'm writing:

Sweet Rita @Panoply is hosting a "Welcome Fall" tablescape blog hop next week.

Come back this Friday, August 25th, for a review of The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill.

Our next Tales of the Traveling Tote link party will be Friday, September 1st.  

I'll be reviewing a cute Halloween cozy mystery and sharing an easy (and the most delicious!) pumpkin spice latte recipe I've ever had.  Really.  You won't want to miss this post!

What have you been up to lately?  Please let me know in comments.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. You've sure packed a lot into your summer months! I love getting better organized and making things look pretty...oh and reading! I've lost so many friends and family members these past few months that it is sobered me. I'm trying to figure out if I'm spending my time doing things I want to do while I still can! Hugs, Diane

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Ricki Jill. It's very terrible to lose such a close friend. Last summer I also lost my best friend very suddenly. It was truly heartbreaking. We spoke every day for over 20 years and I still pick up the phone to call heart goes out to you. Sending prayers and hugs...


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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