Dear Reader,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Here we are in the “Dog Days” of summer thinking about pooches panting in the heat and searching for some shade. But the true origin of the term comes from astronomy. If you look closely at the night sky, you may notice one star is brighter than the rest. That’s Sirius, The Dog Star, part of the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Big Dog.” This year it will be visible until August 11th. You should be able to see it without a telescope but if you have one enjoy the magnificent sparkling display.

Yes, the cats are on a hooligan rampage again. I think they’ve broken everything possible in the house.  I shrug. It’s just stuff. So, here’s a tip: if you ever adopt young cats lock everything up that has any value, although I think Miz Boo can pick locks. I think she’s been watching Tick Tock videos with Tessie. Speaking of Tessie (Miz Boo’s Mommy), she is quite talented. She can turn the TV on, and if it’s a show she likes she’ll leave it, but if not, she’ll turn it off. She still hasn’t mastered changing the channel. Yet. She also knows how to turn on the water but hasn’t been able to figure out how to turn it off. It’s a learning curve. I’ve also discovered her favorite beverage is ginger ale. And she must drink it from a straw. We’re trying to figure out how to do a blind taste-test. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

My pillows are no longer my own. Harvey sleeps on one, and Boo sleeps on the other. She is sweet as honey with 3 legs, a club foot, one orange eye and one yellow eye. She’s quite a site but she’s my little baby. I know I mentioned Winnie has taken residence on the dining room table, and that’s fine with me. It seats 12 so there’s still plenty of room for company. If people don’t want a cat at the table they can go somewhere else to eat. My house. My rules. 😊

August is hot and sticky down here. Every year it gets hotter and stickier. I love to sit on my rocking chairs on my front porch but last month it was impossible. I needed a spatula to get up. After 5 minutes of that I decided to hunker down in the air conditioning and watch my fur-family destroy whatever is in their path. Gotta love ‘em.

Big book news:  No Way Out is on The New York Times Best Seller List; Secrets (Book 2 in the Lost and Found Series starring Luna and Cullen Bodman) will be on sale the end of this month; The Guest List and The Marriage Game are being reissued in August and September with spectacular new covers! I’ll save the fall announcements for next month!

It is hard to imagine school will be starting in some states at the end of this month, so the weekends are precious and there is nothing better than a good family dinner, especially a traditional Southern dinner. I wrote about this last year, but it’s worth repeating. Many people turn up their noses to collard greens—I for one, am one of those people—but this is made with bacon. Everything is better with bacon. (I wonder why no one has invented bacon flavored toothpaste…oh well) As I mentioned before, this recipe comes from Ashley Fenimore, a beautiful young pharmacological oncologist who won the Charleston Magazine contest for side vegetables. Her collard greens was the winning recipe!  Ashley is one of those people who work tirelessly in search of the cure for cancer. After a long week in the lab, she relaxes by cooking with her family. Another friend Carolyn Williams gave us her family recipe for fried chicken. And of course, every Southern meal must have potato salad.

Contest stuff:  Everyone seems to be enjoying the contests for a bundle of my personal favorites so we’re going to do that again!

Enjoy the rest of the summer. Stay cool, stay well, stay safe, and most of all stay sane!

Warm regards,