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The weather has been hot and stormy all week—my favorite part of Florida.  I wait all winter for summer to arrive with its afternoon thunderstorms, but somehow the last few years in my little part of the world seem to have gotten missed.  Well, this week has made up for a lot of lost hours of the balmy tropical weather that I adore. 

I took the boys to the park near our house after school today.  I really didn’t feel like it, so I was grateful for the thunderheads on the horizon.  I figured we would be rained out shortly. 

They played on the slides while I photographed my two favorite things about living in the south—storm clouds and live oaks.  Interspersed with my Ansel Adams moments, I tried to take action photos of the boys.  I had better luck with landscapes since they stand still.

Michael , the big chicken that he is, will not really use the grown up swings—by grown up, I mean anybody over the age of three.  He can’t figure out how to pump his legs so that he can keep swinging on his own; so he wants to ride in the bucket seats and have me push him.  I get a little tired of lifting a 4’ tall, 45 pound person into these swings that are invariably hung higher than the traditional ones.  I decided I wasn’t doing it today.  Well, you’d a thought I killed Santa Claus.  Mikey starts his usual back talk by telling me that he is going to swing, and that all kids are dumb dumbs.  I simply told him I was leaving and started walking to the car.  Pierce was with me, but unfortunately we had to walk by the swing set to leave.  Naturally, he wanted to “hwing”.  Well, he managed to top Mikey’s tantrum by leaps and bounds!  He collapsed because it’s just too hard to have a tantrum and remain upright.  It takes all his angry energy to scream like I’ve just cut off his hands.  I scooped him up and hustled my way to the car, while he let every living soul within five blocks know what he thought my decision.  Thankfully Michael, as independently as he tries to act, would NEVER let me leave him anywhere.  I can always call his bluff that way.  As we got to the car, there are some people talking next to it.  I believe we killed their conversation as they departed very quickly.  Especially when Mikey was saying (to be shocking and ugly) that they were trying to open our car’s doors and get into it.  I was sad that they had left, because when I got both boys with still in nasty rampages into the car and shut the door, the silence was so blissful that I was going to ask those people to take me home.  Instead I got into the car and blasted the music.  I figured it would either shut them up or drown them out.  It worked.  Pierce was happy as a clam when we got in the driveway, and Michael was telling me he was sorry for behaving badly.  God love ‘em!  God strangle ‘em!  God love ‘em!  WHICH IS IT??????

On a side note, the thing I really despise about Florida is the giant weird bugs.  I took a picture of a huge banana spider (I think it was a banana spider) in her web when I went walking with Pierce the other day.  There is a picture posted that will make your skin crawl!