Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Hanging with Friends

94 Comments

010This past weekend, as I finalized my short story for submission, rather than shut out the outside world, I decided to take it in.

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I retreated to my favorite place to write during the spring and fall, the back patio.

This…is my sanctuary.

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I had all sorts of company.

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Who says a writer’s life is a solitary one?

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On a beautiful day, I refuse to stay holed up in a dark room with a tiny window. I want to be inspired by nature’s beauty.

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Of course there are thousands of ways to get inspired, but after a long and cold winter, I crave nature’s inspiration. There is nothing that inspires me more than listening to the sounds of nature and hanging out with these beautiful creatures.

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Please check out the special gift I received from my dear friend, Patsy. What a wonderful surprise…this is why I love blogging, so many kind and caring people. Thank you, Patsy!

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

94 thoughts on “Hanging with Friends

  1. If you put up a hummingbird feeder, they will come. What delightful creatures drop in for a visit yet don’t disturb at all. Write on, Jill. Lovely sanctuary you have there.

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    • Thanks, Georgette! Oh yes, they will come and they keep coming. We’ve never had this much activity, this early. Tomorrow I plan to purchase another feeder because they are going crazy. I love it!
      Enjoy your weekend!

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  2. I could draw a lot of inspiration on your patio as well, Jill, although I’m not real fond of little creatures, too much of a city slicker for that! 😀 But you have a lovely view! Our trees are finally in bloom here. My daffodils are on the way out, and any day now my tulips will open. I just love spring. It’s nature’s reward after winter’s brutality. This was a different kind of post, very enjoyable! Love your new profile pic, too!

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    • I work in the city, so it’s nice to get away in the evenings and on the weekend. I can deal with most creatures, but I hate bugs and snakes. When they come to pay me a visit, I head inside. 🙂
      I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the beauty of spring, Gwen. After your long winter, you deserve it. Our tulips have been out for a while now and the hydrangeas are exploding.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the compliment on my photo…I hate having my picture taken, normally, my eyes are shut. 🙂
      Have a great weekend! xo

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  3. Wow Jill, what a fabulous outlook and absolutely beautiful patio and garden. I’m immediately envious, especially with your nearness to water. And hummingbirds? How exotic is that. We don’t have anything like them in the UK. You can’t fail to be inspired there along with all your little chums. Very much luck to you with your submissions – enjoy a wonderful weekend relaxing on your patio!

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    • Thanks, Jenny! Oh, the hummingbirds are my favorite part of spring and summer. They are so entertaining to watch as they battle over the feeder. They are stingy little creatures, who want no part of sharing. I know Sherri has experienced the pleasure of a hummingbird visit, while she was living in California. I wish you were able to enjoy them. I know you would love them. They are great chums! 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend as well…perhaps you’ll be attending a book signing or two with your published author son. 🙂

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  4. You have a lovely sanctuary, Jill! Your photos are wonderful, especially of the hummingbird. Kudos to you for catching that one. I also love the tree frogs. During dark rainy weather, we often find them on our front door, lying in wait for the insects that are attracted to our outside light. But because of all those bugs, I don’t enjoy sitting outside as much as I did when we lived in California. We do have a nice screened-in back porch, though. Everyone else enjoys it too (cats included) so it’s not at all solitary 😉 And, yes, blogging does bring us some wonderful friends 🙂 Happy Friday, Jill!

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    • Thanks, Marie! I got a new camera, that was very inexpensive, but I’m thrilled with the pictures so far. I was able to do a few videos, but I’m not sure how to share them on Word Press.
      Aren’t the frogs cool? Our resident tree frog lives under our grill cover. He was disturbed that day by the leaf blower. He hung out for a while. I think he liked having his photo taken, but then he had enough and took a flying leap, onto the tree.
      That’s nice you have a screened-in back porch. I wish we had one because I’m a major bug magnet. We can be hanging out and no one is getting bit, but I’m being eaten alive. Bugs…the only part of summer that I don’t like.
      I hope you have a great weekend, Marie!

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      • My husband calls me his insect repellant: they don’t bother him when I’m around but they are all over me 😉 I uploaded my videos to YouTube and then linked to them through the media library. Have a great weekend 🙂

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      • I completely relate, Marie. I’m my better half’s repellant also.
        Thanks for the video tip…I’m clueless when it comes to this stuff.
        Enjoy your Sunday!

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  5. I love this! 🙂 We are looking forward to a gorgeous weekend and I would love to tear the old decking down and prepare for a new patio and outdoor living space, because I am RARELY indoors once the weather warms up. 🙂

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    • Thank, Julie! Oh yes, there is an excellent weather forecast for North Carolina this weekend. I hope you get out there and enjoy!
      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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      • I will be out there more than I am in here this weekend, that’s for sure!

        Oh! My mom had told me, about a month ago, to put the hummingbird feeders out, so I did. Within ten minutes, a red-throated male was having lunch!

        I love the outdoors!

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      • Nice! I’m so happy to hear you already had a visitor, Julie! I’m buying another feeder tomorrow. I want every hummingbird in Charlotte to come to our backyard. 🙂

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  6. Thank you for your post; it is very soothing of the mind. Please have a blessed day.

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  7. OMG! This place is gorgeous! I may move down there. We had our first (at least that we’ve seen) hummingbirds this week. They were hovering over my pot of pansies. I need to get geraniums. They always seem to love those too.

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    • Thanks, Kate! Come on down…we have plenty of Starbucks! 🙂 The hummingbirds are very shy when they first come around, but if you spend some time outside with them, they’ll get used to you. Any red flower, they will be all over it.
      Have a great weekend!

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  8. What a lovely view–looks like the very picture of serenity!

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  9. Wow, with that much beauty in your outside world, I don’t blame you! If I sit out back, all I see are my neighbors’ houses. Not as inspiring. 🙂

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  10. Oh Jill, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, where you live is absolutely gorgeous. What can be better than hanging out with these kind of friends, with a view of the water and with such beautiful weather? I agree, who wants to be inside when it is such a beautiful day such as this? Your photos are beautiful, the close of up of your hummingbird is priceless. Oh I do miss these little beauties. And how lovely of Patsy to do such a beautiful drawing for you!
    Are those azaleas? I still have two of my big pots from the States which I now grow geraniums in but they used to have azaleas like this. Of course, I had to leave them behind and have never been able to grow them as big again even though they do well here…go figure! Now I get to admire yours 🙂
    As before, wishing you the best with your submission and have a super weekend. I’ve got my Nicky home, yay 🙂 Love to DFD too 🙂 xoxo

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    • Thanks, Sherri! It’s so nice to be back outside after the long winter. I wish you were hanging out here with me! Yes, those are azaleas. I don’t have a green thumb, so the credit goes to DFD. Those are his babies. We have six pots on the patio, but unfortunately the show is just about over. I surprised the hummingbirds don’t really go toward the azaleas, I suppose we’ve got them addicted to the sugar water. 🙂 Oh, I know you are happy as a clam having Nicky home! Maybe you can talk him into making another music video during his stay. Enjoy your time with him and the rest of the family! DFD sends his love back. xoxoxo

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      • Oh how I wish I was there hanging out with you too Jill! DFD obviously has a very green thumb (although, here we say green fingers, isn’t it funny? I remember the first time I said it and I was given a very strange look and had to explain!!) I remember the sugar water. They say to keep it replenished don’t they as the hummingbirds come to rely on it. I just love your photos of them, so gorgeous. Did I also tell you that I have a fridge magnet which I’ve had since my early days when first moving to the States in 1986 which has a hummingbird on it with the scripture – I know the plans I have for you… – written on it! Long before I ever saw my first hummingbird too… 🙂
        Yes, a lovely time with Nicky thanks, but of course I haven’t had a minute to get on my laptop until now, hence my late reply. As usual, I’m playing major catch up – haha, my mantra it seems! I’m hoping actually to be able to share some more of his music, you’ll be the first to know when and if it happens Jill!
        Thank you, and I hope you had a wonderful weekend too and an ever better week ahead.. xoxoxoxo

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      • Yes, DFD does have a “green finger”…he’s good with the flowers and bushes. Me…I know nothing. 🙂 I like “green finger.”
        Oh yes, the hummies become addicted to the sugar water. Fortunately, our new feeders don’t take in much water when it rains, so we’re not having to constantly change it.
        What a beautiful magnet you have, Sherri…hang on to it.
        I’m so happy you had a nice visit with Nicky. I hope he is doing well. No doubt, he’s as handsome as ever.
        Enjoy the rest of your week and don’t stress about playing catch up. xoxoxoxo

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      • Thanks Jill, you’re a start and I will take your advice. And thanks so much for asking about Nicky, he is doing so much better (and yes, he still looks the same, lol!) although no sign of any grandchildren yet…haha!
        Happy Wednesday Hugs xoxoxoxox 🙂

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  11. Lot’s of lovely pictures here, Jill – including your GRAVATAR pic! I LOVE IT! You look FAB in red, girl! ROJO is your color! Glad the little creatures kept you company while you were writing away, it does make it for a less lonely experience!

    We are recovering from the monsoons that have hit the rest of the country. Today the sun is actually shining and the grass is greener. 🙂 My body is closer to back to normal, I know this because my appetite is BACK! I’ve got some making up to do (eating) this weekend! I hope you have more beautiful peaceful days this weekend! xo

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    • Ha ha! Thank you very much, Maria! Thanks to you and your wonderful teaching abilities, I know what rojo is. 🙂 Of all the creatures, the hummingbirds are my favorite. I just love to watch them fight over the feeder. They go loco!
      I heard you all got hit with rain. I hope things are drying out so you can get outside. We were fortunate, all that mess missed us.
      Yay! I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling better. Having your appetite back is a good thing, so eat up! Congratulations again to your daughter! Enjoy the weekend! xoxo

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      • Today started off iffy, but then the sun came out. I participated in an MS Walk in honor of a good friend who is going downhill fast. 😦 There was a good crowd, so that was nice.

        Ahem…when you get a chance, take a look at the “makeover” I gave you in my latest post. You look fab in ROJO and NEGRO! LOL.

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      • I’m sorry to hear about your friend, Maria. That’s a good thing you did, participating in the MS walk. You rock!
        OMG! I saw the makeover! I’m still cracking up…they are all hilarious. You have such a talent for humorous writing…you could write for NBC, they need some help with their comedy writing.

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  12. Thank you for sharing these pics Jill ! I have yet to capture a hummingbird as beautifully as you did 🙂 and as for the drawing what a wonderful gift! Have I told you already how much I love hummingbirds? 🙂

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    • Thanks, Yolanda! I can sit fairly close to the feeder and they aren’t scared, so that helps to get some decent photos. Oh yes, Patsy’s gift was a great surprise…she’s very talented. I know you love hummies as much as I do. Perhaps we can have Patsy change the name of her drawings to Jill and Yolanda’s hummingbirds. I’m happy to share. 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

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  13. You could host a writer’s retreat in a place like that! Beautiful.

    I love your little friends, too.

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  14. I want frogs in my backyard! I guess I need to get a backyard first (the people in teh apratment behind me get annoyed when I try to grill hamburgers in their living room).

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    • Ha ha! I have no doubt that you provide your neighbors with plenty of entertainment, Eric. That frog is pretty cool. He lives under our grill cover and usually makes an appearance when disturbed or on humid summer nights. He’ll suction to the window. Have a great weekend and try not to burn down the building. 🙂

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  15. And I was feeling good about my little old porch and the few flowers I had! Now you’ve inspired me to take my computer outside. Thanks, Jill.

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  16. Oh, Jill! Such beautiful photos!!! So glad you got outside and found inspiration in such a beautiful setting. I headed out of town to visit and write with some friends, so I’m out in nature as well. I love your photos though. So glad to visit your sanctuary.

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  17. It’s not yet quite warm enough for hummingbirds here, so I LOVE that picture. The others are a colorful and warm invitation to pull up a chair and pillow and writeWriteWRITE. Congratulations on getting the story submitted…and GOOD LUCK! Keep us posted.

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    • Thanks, Marylin! I’m glad I could share my hummingbirds with you. Hopefully yours will make an appearance soon. Speaking of warm, we’re going to reach the upper 80’s almost 90 early next week…summer is right around the corner. Enjoy your weekend!

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  18. I like this idea. My wife keeps telling me to go outside, especially during the spring and fall. Summer’s get a bit hot here, so unless I start writing while floating around in the pool, it’s not likely to be much fun 🙂 Good for you on getting outside and getting some sun.

    BTW – have I missed details on the short story? When and where are you submitting? Or are you keeping that for later after your story is accepted 🙂

    Have a great weekend, Jill!

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    • I definitely recommend getting outside to write before the heat rolls in, Dave. It gets bloody hot and humid here, so I have to take advantage of the nice days. Floating on a raft with a laptop sounds pretty nice. 🙂
      I submitted my story to Southern Writer’s Magazine’s short story contest. I’ve entered the past two years and was a runner-up each time and the stories were published. I’m not holding my breath on a third time. I like to support their contest and I felt I had to write this particular story…we’ll see.
      Enjoy your weekend, Dave!

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      • Looks like I might have a chance to get outside after all. Temps are down into the 70s for the next couple of days before heading back into the 90s. I’ll let you know if I get brave enough to take my laptop onto a floatee in the pool 🙂

        Hey, third times a charm, right? That means your story will win this year! The power of positive thinking …

        Had a great weekend. Hope yours was awesome.

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  19. I haven’t tried to write outside yet Jill but you are inspiring me. I do have a big window at my shoulder and sometimes I spin around and look for the action of unsuspecting critters. No hummers here yet but again – you are inspiring me to fill the feeder! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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    • Oh yes, fill up that feeder, Dor! The hummies should be getting active in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s nice to write outside before it gets to hot and humid to do so.
      Congratulations on your latest blog venture…I’m excited for you! Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

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  20. Now there is a sanctuary to inspire the soul, rest the heart and raise the spirits – and if you must – to write! I would be too busy just being there – looking, observing, breathing, feeling, being! Absolutely wonderful! Are you telling us you actually put your head down and do actual writing here? You are a dedicated writer indeed! 🙂 I am sending you best wishes for that submission xoxo

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    • Thanks, Pauline. 🙂 We are blessed to have such a lovely outdoor space. Believe me, there are many times that I’m just out there, enjoying the beauty. I do love, however, to head out there with a pad of paper and a fancy pen. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

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  21. Oh, I forgot to say I saw the lovely drawing of the hummingbird too – our blogging friends do tend to spoil us don’t they! We don’t have hummingbirds and I love to see how many folk on the American continent enjoy them and put out the feeders xoxo

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    • Yes, Patsy, like yourself, is an extremely talented artist. I know you’ve been spoiled many times, Pauline. 🙂 I wish everyone could enjoy hummingbirds, they are truly incredible creatures. xo

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  22. Why is your back patio so gorgeous? Do you live in the penthouse of a resort?! xo

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    • Ha ha! Too funny, Luanne. No, it’s not a penthouse, if it was, there would be an ocean view. 🙂 We live in a golf course community and after 9 1/2 years, we’ve been fortunate to only have had one broken window. I’m knocking on wood right now. 🙂
      By the way, I’m still planning on sending you my Amazon bill! Great reviews!

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  23. Jill, glad you have so many friends! What a pleasant, peaceful place your patio is.
    Theresa

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  24. If I had a back patio like that, I’d never want to leave. Your little green frog friend can come visit me any time. I adore frogs. I think we all need a large dose of sunshine and nature to blow away the winter cobwebs and refresh our spirits. Patsy is a fine artist. I LOVE the hummingbird piece. Just beautiful. Have a nice day, Jill, and when you’re enjoying that gorgeous patio, think of how I wish I were there. 😀

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    • Patsy did a fantastic job with the hummingbird drawings. That was her first attempt and it was incredible. She’s very talented.
      It is difficult to leave the patio on days where there is no humidity and the temperature is in the high 70’s. Unfortunately those days will come to an end when temps climb into the 90’s and the humidity creeps in. But for now…it’s heavenly!
      I love frogs too, Elizabeth! This little guy is hilarious, especially when he suctions to our window. 🙂
      You’re welcome anytime! 🙂 Have a fantastic weekend!

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  25. This is so special and lovely of a place to write! I enjoyed the creatures and the way you shared this all with us! You deserve a wonderful publication of the story you are working on! Smiles, Robin

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    • Thank you, Robin! I do enjoy writing out on the patio until the summer heat kicks in, then I have to retreat indoors. Enjoy your weekend!

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      • Thank you so much for the views of the hummingbirds, Jill. I love birds and enjoy the ones I see over in the OWU campus next door. I have not seen a hummingbird for at least a year! I hope to see one at my friend’s house sometime soon! She puts out a few feeders and has some flowers that attract them, too! Hope you have a good weekend, too!

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  26. These are beautiful pictures, Jill. You’re certainly a woman after my own heart being surrounded by such beautiful, natural scenery 😉

    Best of luck with your short story xxx

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    • Thank you, Dianne. Whenever I see the critters, like the frog, I think of you. 🙂
      You’re new writing nook, is surrounded by nature’s beauty. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

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  27. You have a beautiful sanctuary Jill. Congratulations on taking advantage of that spring energy and getting your story submission finished.

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    • Thanks, Andrea. I do love spring. In years past, it seems we’ve gotten short changed when it comes to spring temperatures, it goes from cold to hot. This year, we’ve been very fortunate with a little in between.
      Enjoy your weekend!

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  28. What great company and inspiration! Love the hummingbird and the frogs!

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    • I am in good company, Nancy. The hummingbirds are crazy this season, more active than I’ve ever seen them. I would imagine, living in Florida, you have your share of hummingbirds.

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      • We had a hummingbird feeder in Maryland, with regular visitors. We don’t have one here ~ there are HOA prohibitions against feeding the wildlife, including birds, in the neighborhood.

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      • I didn’t know you lived in Maryland, Nancy…what part? I grew up in Virginia.
        Wow, I’ve never heard of an HOA not allowing bird feeders. Well, if you have some red flowers, the hummingbirds should come around.

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      • We’ve lived in NJ, VA, MD, NC, SC, and now FL. In Maryland, we lived on an island in the Chesapeake Bay. I went to college in Williamsburg. We lived in Winston-Salem for 8 years.

        The HOA prohibitions are because we live on an island which is a bird sanctuary . . . with plenty of wild food for the birds that congregate here. We do have lots of great wildlife to watch ~ osprey, cormorants, anhingas, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, etc. So no complaints.

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      • Aw, the Chesapeake Bay area is one of my favorite areas in Virginia.
        Well, that’s different…you’ve got plenty of bird action. I’ve always loved the osprey. We’ve got a Great Blue Heron that has take up residency at our lake, he’s incredible.

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  29. Love this post, Jill. And I completely agree with you – I hate being cooped up on a beautiful day. On the other hand, it’s pouring here today. I have my warm, woolly socks on and a hot cup of tea beside me with only the household spiders for company. Great photos – your surroundings look enough to inspire any writer!

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  30. What a lovely patio! It is peaceful. It is calm. It is serene. A great place for you to be inspired and write. I hopped over to Patsy’s blog and saw the beautiful humming bird she drew for you. Very nice.
    Have great week, Jill! 🙂

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  31. Beautiful place to write Jill! I’ve been opening my blinds to let the spring into my Kour cave as I work. 🙂

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  32. How in the world did you get a shot of a hummingbird at rest? That’s never happened for me. I love nature. It really does wonders for my soul. congrats on finishing the story.

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  33. That’s beautiful and I love hummingbirds!

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  34. I love to scribble or read or daydream in the garden, Jill. Any or all of them 🙂 Is it almost finished?

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  35. Jill you have such an awesome garden an illustrators paradise.

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