Well, this is awkward! For the first time in since I began this blog in 2009, I had no blog post pre-prepared for today. You can usually figure out posts I have written before posting them, as I usually schedule those posts to appear on-line at 2:00 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. But today, Thursday, nothing!
Now, I don't think it's just laziness; like so much else in life, it is a combination of factors. We took our first trip just a few weeks ago, and spent eight days in Massachusetts and part of New Hampshire, "visiting relatives, living and dead" as my wife put it. But I didn't see much heraldry on that trip, so the two posts that I did are pretty much all the heraldry I saw. And now summer is coming in at a rush here in north Texas, and given the wet spring we've had, our yard needs a lot of seeing to: trimming back tree branches from the power lines; cutting back a few dead branches; keeping the small patches of grass and the large patches of ivy in their places. Not to mention some of the larger projects: redoing the railroad tie retaining walls along the uphill side of the driveway; planning to reinstall some pathway lights next to the driveway for better nighttime accessibility; power washing and restaining/sealing the deck in the backyard; and so on. You know, all the little (and big) things that are often referred to as the "joys" of home ownership.
I even took a couple hours yesterday to visit one of our local big-box hardware stores to get everything to accomplish some of those projects. And we've been hiring folks to come over and do the jobs that my wife says I am now too old to get up on a ladder to do myself: replacing the burned-out lightbulb in the stairwell (we've now ordered a new fixture to have them replace up there, one that will let us use an extension pole to change the lightbulb; what's there now is hanging from a chain and is completely enclosed in a clear globe, so you actually have to put hands on it to change the bulb, and it's really not terribly safe as it's located directly above the third step from the top, but too high to reach from that step; one slip, and you're down the stairs and all the bodily harm that can come from that); trimming one large branch from a red oak tree that was growing up into the wires leading from the power pole to the house (I'd gotten the lower one without issue, but I could reach it easily with the polesaw without using a ladder); and I've been given a lot more presentations to genealogy societies than usual recently, with more to come this year, along with having to write two brand-new presentations for upcoming ones. But all of that travel and these projects and tasks have taken up a lot of my time, and writing blog posts has, for the first time in over 13 years, taken a back seat to these other things.
This is to say, "I'm sorry I didn't have anything already posted for you this morning!" I hope to be back on track and preparing what I anticipate will be interesting and educational posts about heraldry. There may be a few more "Heraldry In The News!" posts, and I may be going back over some earlier trips we've taken to point out bits and pieces of heraldic art we've seen there. There also might be a few more posts about bits and pieces of my beliefs and philosophy about heraldry. And, of course, there should be a whole bunch of posts when we get back from out trip to England later this year.
So, hang in there with me, and we'll make it through this comparatively dry spell together. Because I refuse to let this heraldic blog go the way of so many others in the past, and have it simply fizzle out or fade away.
Thank you all for being here and, of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them as a comment. I check the comments very regularly, and often reply where I think I have something to say about a comment, even if it's just a "Thank you for sharing that information." And I'm always interested in what people might like to see here. Sure, it's my blog and I'm the one who decides what to post, but I'm also interested in hearing what directions you'd like to see me go with it. Or if you don't want to comment here, you could always email me privately (email@example.com) or message me on Facebook. Just sayin'.
And just to make sure we're still talking about heraldry, here is a copy of my arms done back in 2012 by heraldic artist Xavier d'Andeville.