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Amazing that June 21st was officially summer but it feels like we're already half-way in. Our temperatures here in the South West have been sweltering but remembering this past winter with below freezing temperatures keeps me from complaining.

We are now coming up on the time of year that we generally plan if, when, where we will spend our summer vacation. But with a pandemic still ravaging our world the thought of waltzing out to the nearest tourist trap is not at all appealing. But honestly that type of vacation has never been our ideal. We are east coast transplants who have been landlocked all these decades. So our vacations usually take us to the beach. And because we had a house full of children the best way to experience the beach was by renting a beach house.

Yes it sounds ritzy to some but for us it was cost effective. Since there were cooking facilities we would be eating the same food for the week that we were away that we would have eaten at home. And since we would drive to the beach house we'd have the use of our own vehicle for travel once we were there. Also because the beach itself is the attraction, when you get there you don't have to spend a whole lot more on entertainment. Yes, we'd normally plan one night to take the kids out to dinner and maybe a family movie. But the entertainment funds would normally be spent on buying kites to fly on the beach or to buy souvenirs at local vendors.

This year we haven't quite decided whether we're ready to get back out there for a full week. But we are considering maybe a daytrip to picnic on the beach. In the meantime I create my Flowscape scenes in the morning and dream of all the different places we'll travel to in the world when we have suppressed this virus. So take the opportunity to swing by the Forum and pick up a few summer-inspired backgrounds!

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I start Go With the Flow in half an hour and I am irked over this dream I had last night. We live in an older house and I dreamed that we had bats living in the eaves. But not only were they in the eaves, somehow in this dream the overhang was nearly inside the house so the bats were roosting right outside the open window. I didn't dare disturb them because I was afraid they'd fly in through the window.

So I went to get assistance. Recall that I live in an old house. When I got to the stairs to run down, someone had removed the staircase. There were workmen in my house (a good thing) but for some reason unknown to me they had removed the staircase. I called out for one of them to bring a ladder and a guy brings a ladder. BUT... he places it where I can't reach it! Finally I just gave up and used my old monkey bars skills to lower myself down by the edge of the staircase to the bottom.

If this is any indication of how this week is going to go from here. I am looking forward to many challenges and also some successes. Stay tuned. By the way, are there any dream interpreters in the house?

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Last week on twitter a writer noted that he was his most creative in the shower. And as the discussion turned I began to think about the effect of water on my writing. When I was in high school one of my instructors commented upon the moorish architecture in Spain. She noted that the moorish palaces all contained water features... from reflecting pools to fountains. Spending a majority of time in desert spaces the Moors were aware of the need for water in a utilitarian sense but were equally appreciative of the calming effects and benefits of visual beauty and sound of running water.

By and large we view water as a utilitarian element. We need it to drink, to rain down on our crops, to cleanse, to bathe, to swim in, to cook with. It is so basic and yet so precious.

As a creator I identify with the Moors in viewing water as beneficial beyond its utilitarian purposes and to some degree believe it a luxury to be in the presence of water. Born under a water sign (if you subscribe to such things) I have always felt its calming and creative influence. When I have the opportunity to spend time near the water I am never disappointed with the creativity that results from it.

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