Too darn hot!

My home office is in a converted sunporch on the upstairs back of our 1926 Craftsman bungalow. All those windows mean I have a great view of my back-door neighbor Susie’s glorious garden, which is currently a riot of blue hydrangeas. I can also check on Wyatt, Weezie, and my grand-dog Tybee, who is currently staying with us. The bad news is that the office has a Southern exposure, and no insulation, which means it’s broiling hot in summer and cold in winter. So I’ve mostly been writing on my laptop downstairs. Trying to keep cool and save gas money, I’m trying to have at least one or two no-drive days a week, and also trying not to use the oven. Making lots of tuna salad and devilled eggs. After our weekend trip down to Tybee, we brought back a mess of gorgeous wild Georgia shrimp. For dinner, I improvised a shrimp louis salad–and all modesty aside, it was pretty darned yummy. After boiling shrimp with Old Bay seasoning, quartered lemons and half a can of beer, I made a bed of shredded lettuce, and topped it with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers and hard-boiled eggs. I mounded roughly chopped shrimp on top of this, and added a dressing made from 1/4 cup low-fat mayo (Duke’s, natch!) 2 Tbsp. bottled chili sauce, 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and some lemon zest. Ladled the dressing over the shrimp and then sprinkled chopped green onions over all. I wish I’d had an avocado to add, and I’ll definitely do this next time. My favorite book find of the summer is MARY EMMERLING’S BEACH COTTAGES. I’ve always loved Mary’s work in various shelter magazines, including COUNTRY HOME, and also her books. This new book is full of wonderful beach cottages–from humble shacks to glorious Hamptons mini-manses. And guess what? As I was drooling over the photos, there, on page 179, I find a listing of Beach Reads. The list includes books by Carl Hiassen, James Patterson, Sebastian Junger, Nicholas Sparks, Anita Shreve, and….Mary Kay Andrews! SAVANNAH BREEZE! I let out a happy screech that startled Mr. Mary Kay almost (not quite) out of his sound sleep. Check it out!