Stephanie Burgis
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It is way too hot today! Patrick and I took Nika out to Bolton Abbey (about an hour away), which is normally one of our favorite walks. We spent about 3-1/2 hours walking around, and we all felt just limp & ill by the end of it...only to face the nightmarish car ride back, in overwhelming mid-day heat. Bleagh. Our next car will have air-conditioning, I am determined!

After showers and tubs of ice cream, though, Patrick & I are feeling much better. (And Nika went straight to her crate, where she's been sleeping deeply ever since we got back, which should help her out, too.) It's been a nice weekend overall. Yesterday was just perfect--we slept in, spent about two hours writing in the morning (I finished Chapter One of The-Novel-Tentatively-Known-As-Shadow Dance, hurray!), went out to Temple Newsam (a local historic house with beautiful grounds for dog-walking), then went out to coffee with friends. Easy baked potatoes for dinner and a silly rental movie just made the day perfect: total relaxation. Exactly what we both needed after a long, stressful week.

Best of all (from my POV), Patrick surprised me yesterday with a present: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince! I'd been unhappily planning to wait until August to buy it, but yesterday as we headed out for the coffee shop (at Borders), he announced that it would be cruel & unusual punishment for me to wait so long (true), and he insisted on buying it for me. I am about 65 pages in, and very happy. :)

Thanks again to everybody who commented or emailed on my last entry. It really helped.

Now, back to Harry Potter...

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