New parking, pets, total solar eclipse, and flowers – August Recap

The month of August was a whirlwind and suddenly it’s gone.  Hello September, when did you arrive?

Shane was busy at the beginning of the month spreading gravel for the new parking area.  The Miatas have been multiplying out here!  (Business is great, a good problem to have.)

Justice came to visit (the kid’s dog).  Josie had a blast playing with her.

Nugget and Sir Purrs in their natural element, lounging!

The highlight for August was most definitely the Great American Total Solar Eclipse.  We drove down to the Shawnee National Forest on Friday before the eclipse to find a campsite.  After driving around for 4 hours we finally found this field that had been mowed to accommodate overflow campers.  Needless to say at 5 am, we took it, mostly from exhaustion.  There was a nice view of a small pond, pictured below.  However, the next morning with the 95-degree heat and no shade we decided to try one last place for possible camping.

Lake of Egypt was our saving grace.  About 30 minutes away from the field location we found 8 campsites available with lake access nearby to cool off!  Yay.   The above photos are the only ones I captured with my Nikon.  The rest of the weekend was captured with my cell phone camera.  We had such an amazing time.  Met wonderful people to hang out with and kept cool in the refreshing lake.  On Monday, we joined many others with the same idea, to watch totality while floating in the lake.  It was truly the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed in my life.  Instead of trying to take pictures, I simply enjoyed the 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality.  Amazing!  Good news for us, the next total solar eclipse will come right through where we live in 2024.  I am already counting down the years!!  To see more of my photos from that weekend, follow me on Instagram @fstopmama.  (I posted throughout that weekend.)

This month also brought a nice variety of wildflowers.  While picking some for my next floral arrangement I snagged a few photos.

This month I tried my hand at floral arranging.

As for books:

  1. “4 3 2 1”  by Paul Auster (866 pages).  I managed to finally finish this book on August 1st.  Excellent book with 4 different versions of the main character’s life.  I actually kept notes to keep track of what was going on.  Really enjoyed this book.
  2. “When All the Girls Have Gone”  by Jayne Ann Krentz (331 pages).  This was an easy read and tad bit too predictable for my taste.  In some sections, I felt the story moved way too fast.  Overall not my favorite book.  I thought the story and plot were good, however, the execution was poor in my opinion.
  3.  “The Fortunate Ones” by Ellen Umansky (320 pages).  What a lovely book.  I really enjoyed the prose by this author.  Wonderful story and I loved how the lives of two ladies from two different generations were interwoven throughout the book.  I highly recommend this one.
  4. “Two From the Heart” by James Patterson & others (273 pages).  At first, I did not think this was my type of book.  The cover is a bit misleading, making you think it will be a mushy love story (not my cup of tea).  However, I enjoyed this book, a collection of two shorter stories.  Of the two, I enjoyed the plot of the second one more.  A unique story indeed.

Until next time folks!