I feel like I just wrote last week’s column and now here I am again. The quilting ladies and I are headed to Fredericksburg on Thursday for our retreat. I have lots of projects for our time together. Although I don’t go on retreats very often anymore, I am looking forward to spending several days with this wonderful group of ladies. I need to get myself organized and ready by Wednesday. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing today.Summer is my get back in shape time, but it’s not something I even think I like to do. During the year the teachers and I got together and worked on some Zumba. I can’t say that we are very good, but we at least put out some concentrated effort. I have to say that the Zumba is fun to do so that makes it a little easier. Since I’m going to be in town more this year, I have also started to take the ball machine out and work on my tennis. The issue in Texas is that everything has to be done early in the morning or you fight the heat. This week we will hang around 100 degrees for most of the week. Russ likes that kind of heat, but as a former heat stroke victim, I can’t take the heat for very long. I used up one of my nine cat lives that year, so I’m a little more careful. I have done quite a bit of weed eating in the mornings as well, so I feel really empowered to get more yard work completed.I notice that a good many gardens are bearing produce. Marshall gave me several zucchini squash which I shared with Pat and Linda in the office. Why is it that the stuff you don’t eat that much of, just blows you out of the water, while the rest of the stuff that is hard to grow, will hardly produce? My tomatoes are beginning to feel the heat, but are still producing. The tomatoes are rather small, but they sure taste good. My mother-in-law Clifton, used to peel the skins off the homegrown tomatoes. I think I understand a little better now. Your garden tomato skins are much thicker and tougher than the green house varieties. She was always worried that older guests might choke on the skin. That’s my momma-in-law, always considerate of her guests.I’m having a wonderful time (not) putting my science program in to order. The c-scope science requires reams of paper and handouts to attract the kids. I don’t know if it is successful in that area, but it is certainly successful in keeping me snowed under with paper! I feel as if I’m working with the government, you know the more paper and cross checking you can do the better off for the paper industry. The really fun part is once I get this all in order and I’m happy, someone will come along and change the whole program. Oh well, someone has to justify their salary don’t they?I saw Gunner and Denim up at school helping Mondo clean out some swallow’s nests. They are such useful little birds, but they choose the worst place for their nests. They park right over a door and then make a mess for the human inhabitants to clean. I have two trying to build on my front porch, but I have made it my mission to sweep away their beautiful little works of engineering! Nature is not always kind. Russ put down new seed for the yard this year since we lost all of our grass last year. This heat is really hard on baby grass. I hope we can keep it alive! Then of course there are the grasshoppers. The FedEx lady commented on the large number of grasshoppers she ran into coming up the road. I hoped the rains we had would kill them off. Glen, Russ’s cousin told us one time that moisture causes some sort of disease to grow on those rotten creatures and they would die. I’m not seeing any substantial dying going on around here. I keep thinking guineas will help, but the last one we had here lasted one night. Maybe several would have a better chance. I know of several people around here who have free roaming guineas and they have lasted. Perhaps I’m just too cautious. I have this inner thing that hates to provide meat for predators. It’s personal and probably weird, but I don’t feel as if I can afford to feed every coyote, owl, fox or whatever in the county.I have a praise to offer. My son’s house in San Antonio has just been rented. I know this will take a load off his mind as well as his wife Heather’s. They would like to return to their house one day, but that is always an iffy thing with the Armed Forces. Although I miss them all greatly, I am excited about the experiences they are living. Here they are not even teenagers and they are having a European tour. The knowledge they are gaining from their travels far outweighs any classroom teaching. I will be glad when they get back, and I will surely be happy when Scott gets back to his family.I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July celebration. Please take the time to examine just how blessed we are in this country. We may have issues with our government, our President and our legislators, but we are so lucky. Back in 1776 courageous men and women put their lives and their possessions on the line and defied an unjust king. Their sacrifice and pain and combined wisdom gave us this beautiful form of government and our precious country. May God continue to bless America.