We tore out ivy, weeds and overgrowth this year, planting anew across the yard. It was a labor of love. The companion to the beautiful grass pictured here is fennel flowering. The waxy leaves give it a fairyland look, which the dragonflies adore, as do the butterflies, which were plentiful because we planted just for them, as we did for the hummingbirds. It’s been such a lovely summer, as we settle into our new habitat, complete with canopy on our deck, potted plants, rose and all sorts of native bamboo, too.

It’s hard to see the season give way to fall, with select trees already beginning their turn.

The nearby high school already had cheerleaders out practicing with the football team, timing their introductions so they’re ready for the first big game.

Long weekend coming up, so if you’re traveling, be safe; same goes if you’re partying, which we will be. Birthday coming, though I do appreciate Speaker Boehner, Pres. Obama and the NFL scheduling their events around little me.

The floor’s now yours, any topic goes. Just enjoy the conversation, as we bid summer adieu on this first day of September.

Some thoughts to get you started…

I’ve stopped pretending that the president’s jobs speech scheduled for next week is going to matter. I’m tired of speculating about what it will contain and whether its proposals will be big or small, bold or timid. … – Ezra Klein

Here is what all voters, and especially independents, despise and disdain in a politician — weakness. Nobody wants to see their leader get beat to a pulp every night and then bow his head again. There is no secret, brilliant strategy. This White House is in a bubble. They think they’re winning when the roof is about to cave in. – Cenk Uygur

“I do think this is a really big debate and I think the White House was out of bounds”¦in trying to schedule a speech during a debate,” Carville said on “GMA.” … “Given a choice between watching a debate and the speech I would have watched the debate and I’m not even a Republican or even close to being a Republican,” he said, adding it will be a “barn burner.” – GMA

PS – Thanks to spincitysd who, as people got sidetracked this summer, has turned In the News into his own private blogging paradise. Anyone can post anything, cross-post from your blog, too. Don’t be shy, chime in! I don’t always have time to comment, but I read every single diary.