Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Coming out the other side.

Or, we lived through it.


Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were transported into hell.  In a hot hand-basket.  It reached a heat index of 110 on Saturday and, after thinking we'd gotten a break because of the big-ass thunderstorm Saturday night, Sunday proved to be almost as bad.

My usual cranky self was held in check because I have company, the humidity turned me into wet lettuce, and I didn't have the energy to crank.  Even my BGPs were sodden.  TMI???

Rosie's dog, Fae, a sweet-natured fluffy dumpling, is highly panicked by thunder and lightening.  The skies opened Saturday, late afternoon, and the storms rolled through continuously until early Sunday morning.  Lots of lightening and thunder.  It was a rough night all around (although - no watering....)

This was the state of all of us by Sunday morning:


Guess who.  Yes, it is 105 degrees.
We officially declared Sunday as a Slug-fest - and not the kind where you fling your fists around.  The kind where you collapse where you are and spend the day barely awake.  We watched episodes of Midsummer Murder and The Incredibles - 1 and 2.  Then we ate a big fruit salad and topped the day off by going to bed by 8:30.  We know how to have fun.

Monday morning, the rain started and didn't stop until this morning.  I will not have to water the garden for a good two days.  No complaints there, but the weeds they be a-growin!  I am hoping that things will simmer down (and not be a repeat of last weekend), so that I can get out and get things done.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Let's talk gardens.

Although all I did was mitch and boan (as Mama Pea would say) about our wet, cold spring, I could use some of the wet coldness right about now.  We transitioned right into a HOT, dry summer.  Well, humid, but no rain.  It has been dry as toast.  This morning was the first tiny bit of rainfall we have had in over 15 days.  And it is going to be raining off and on all day - halleluiah!

Looking toward the barn (notice the dying pines). 
Elderberry in the forefront, zukes left, then tomatoes, then
the Alley of Tires.

Weedy herb bed with Elderberries.

Weedy pepper bed.  (Notice the theme?)

Thank goodness for the kale!  Chard behind. 
In more ways than one.

Red noodle beans and yard long beans
on trellis (barely)

Bee balm gone wild!
We are slowly getting used to another person and dog in the house.  Luckily, Rosie is an easy house guest and we are very simpatico.  But I am not used to talking this much.  The dogs are trying to adjust to a sweet, furry bundle of nerves called Fae, and Slimmie is wondering why I hate him.  He comes out in the wee hours and we try to sneak in a cuddle while I'm knitting.  It is nice to have someone other than dogs to talk to, and we do have a lot to catch up on.  She is a freelance writer, so the set up is perfect - she can work from the dining room table and the dogs get company all day.

I am finally off doxycycline and should be able to brave the sun again - good thing.  The weeds are starting to look like they might be there to stay.  NOT.  Thanks to very little rain, growth is slow (except for the aforementioned weeds).  The tomatoes are starting to take off and there are quite a few green ones.  I just can't wait for the first ripe tomato!

Monday, July 8, 2019

It's going to be a rip-roarin' summer!

Lawsymercy.  First, let me state here that I will NEVER HAVE ANOTHER YARD SALE AGAIN.  PERIOD.  I am slated to help my sister with hers, but, as for one of my own?  No way, Jose.

Our office closed early on Wednesday, so I beat a hasty retreat home - and turned on all the fans.  It was a bona fide heat wave with high heat indexes and it was HUMID.  My least favorite combination.  Once the sun started to sink, I fired up the oven and baked my two pies for the library fundraiser - rhubarb custard.  One of my favorite recipes and easy-peasy.  Once they cooled (took hours), into the fridge and the dogs and I were trying to sleep in front of the fans.
IN the sun?  "Slimmie"?

Even with 93% humidity, The Pat
must be covered.  It makes me want
to break out in hives.
The Fourth dawned with the same amount of heat/humidity, so I opted to drop the pies off with a library trustee and then crept into the dark house, with all windows closed, curtains drawn and fans on full.  Amazingly, my neighbor - he of the semi-automatic weaponry - was a mere shadow of his usual Fourth of July self.  Last year, I truly thought we had been invaded.  There were explosions into the wee hours.  This year?  I guess the heat wave must have gotten to him, or his fuses were damp.  There were a few bangs, but that was it.  Bless him.

Friday was up to VT for errand-running, change getting, a short parental visit, and back to start sorting out and putting out the yard sale stuff.  It did not help that the heat wave persisted.  Thanks to my own genetic makeup, compounded by Doxycycline, I could only spend about 10 minutes at a go outside, before having to retreat and cool down.  That made the set-up process excruciatingly long and frustrating.  Have I mentioned that I get cranky in humidity?  Ditto Saturday, where it was even more humid, if that was at all possible without rain.  Speaking of which, in the middle of the day, a cold front moved through and there was much racing around with tarps and bungee cords.  I managed to get everything battened down before the rain.
Nightly "Cheezies" - the big blue one
is mine.  The little, bitty cheezie is Slimmie's.
As I sank into my damp chair to enjoy the sound of rain on the metal roof, my phone rang - the caller was from Tucson, so I let it go into voicemail.  I get so many spam calls, that I don't answer anything that doesn't have a name attached to it.  When the caller left a voicemail, I listened and it was my cousin, Kitt, whom I have not seen in 25+ years!  She, her husband, their daughter and SIL, granddaughter and grandson, were motoring through, on their way to Boston and could they stop to see me in the morning.

Heck yeah.

The morning of the yard sale dawned gloriously un-humid and cool.  Birds sang.  Winds wafted.  I ran around like a maniac.  I was almost set up when 1) my sister arrived (yay!), 2) my neighbor arrived with even more 'junk' (erm), 3) a 24' flashy motor home pulled into the driveway.  Luckily, they arrived early, so I had time to talk, laugh, show them around, and hug my cousin mercilessly.  Then they were off and my sister stayed for a visit, while we waited for the crowds.  And waited.  The bad news was that very few people showed up.  The good news was that I got a lot of weeding done!  I positioned myself under the big fir tree in my front yard and weeded as long as I could take the sun, then flopped in a chair and listened to my audio book.  I gave the dogs marrow bones (frozen, so they could gnaw on them and cool down at the same time), infused some filtered water with mint, made some cold brew, tidied up here, tidied up there.  Twiddled my thumbs.  Sighed mightily.  I finally had to call it quits, as far as sitting outside, shade or not, and went in to do housework.  I figured the dogs would sound the alarm should anyone arrive.
Cukes weeded - except for the middle.
In the early part of the day, it was just peaceful - with birds flitting about.  A young catbird found me fascinating and we sat about five feet apart, sizing each other up.  I think they are such pretty birds.  The only sour note was the endless cacophony of young crows, pestering their parents in the chicken yard.  I'm not sure if it is a Murder of Crows, or Let's Murder Some Crows.

I also received news over the holiday that another close friend has ended a chapter in her life - she will be staying with us for a few weeks, while she works out her next adventure.  She comes with her bestie, Fae, an 11 year old fluffy, four-pawed girl dog.  It will be interesting to see how I do, going from semi-feral, semi-hermit to roomie.  And how the pups do with a new face in the pack.  Given that Rosie is the personification of positive energy and sunshine, I think I will do fine.  I can always hide in my room!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

All I needed was a cause and other ramblings.

This energy drain is really getting on my nerves. There’s nothing worse, to me, than sitting around looking at your list multiplying and not having the energy to tackle it. However I did get a little boost from an  unusual source on Sunday. When I dropped off the baked goods at the farm, I found out that one of my gravel pit neighbors ( codename: Pinocchio) was in the process of trying to get a permit to screen over 50,000 yards of soil. Apparently, that comes out to around 2800 truckloads. Or 2800 trucks going past my house, twice. Plus the noise of the screening. I was so incensed I think there was smoke coming out of my ears.

There is nothing like righteous indignation to give one an energy boost! I got on the Internet and found the email address for the mining division of the DEC.  I then fired off an email to them and sent emails to everyone I know who has any connection with state government. I’ll  do everything in my power to make sure that that permit is not issued. Our road is in terrible shape now, with just the heavy truck traffic that we have with the two mines.  Quadrupling – or whatever-ing - the traffic is not going to make it better. There is also a small bridge that is crumbling and it would be disastrous to subject it to that kind of wear.  Hmm.   Then, again, should the bridge collapse with a truck carrying a full load, I guess that would put a monkey wrench in the traffic pattern.   I digress.

I was pleased that DEC responded quickly,  and I now have names, email addresses and phone numbers, plus some leads to influential people.    I’ve only just begun the fight.


The Little Prince (aka The Butter Pat, The Pat, Mr. Stinky) had to go to the vet this morning for his first seasonal allergy shot.  And nail clipping.  This now involves:  administering half a sedative an hour before his appointment; strapping him into his brace; clipping him into his booster seat, all while Lovey looks on, worried.  He is the only dog I have had (beside Scrappy, who was 99.999% perfect) who just can't wait to get to the vet's.  He almost levitates up the ramp.  This morning, we came through the door and smack into a vastly overweight and amped up lab mix.  Who roared.  This set off the high yodeling of the Pat.  It was chaos.  His vet, Dr. Hannah, came running across the waiting room and scooped him up and trotted back to an examining room, me in tow.  There was much cooing and massaging of little ham legs and carrying-on.  No wonder he looks forward to it.  I would, too.  No one offered to massage my big ham legs, however.  And thank goodness.

While they were waiting until the reception area was clear - the 'fluffy' lab is the polar opposite of the Pat, shedding in fear like a ninja and peeing all over the place - Little Prince managed to draw a crowd - there were two vets, two vet techs and a receptionist, all squeezed into the lab, taking turns rubbing his little cranium and hand-feeding him treats, all talking in high-pitched voices.  It was embarrassing.  By the time we made it back to the car, his little head was drooping and he dozed all the way home.  There was a joyful reunion of siblings - parted for those long minutes - and then he went into his crate on his own, pulled up his blanket and was asleep before I left for work.  I want to come back as the Pat.


I know it's going to be worse before it's better, but this organizing for a yard sale is horrendous!  I have piles everywhere.  There is no surface showing.  I am starting to develop a tic.  It hasn't helped that it's been put off for a week - the weather last weekend was uncooperative.  This Sunday is so-so, but I am not putting it off again.  I had planned on putting an ad in the local rag and went through the grinding process of actually contacting someone.  If you call, you get voicemail.  There is no information in the paper as to the cost of ads ($ per line), so one is forced to send an email.  A full week later, I received a reply.  Eight emails later - with me sending them my copy and requesting a price and never getting one - I got this reply:  "One problem.  Every summer we take the first week of July off and there is no paper."  Seven emails prior to this, I gave him the copy - which included the date of the sale (7/7) and told him I needed it to run in this week's edition.  I do believe he expected me to change the date of my sale to coincide with his vacation.  I will turn to Facebook.  It's no wonder that social media is taking over the world.  And that is not a good thing, IMHO.  Friday I will get my change and start setting up.  Saturday I will finish setting up and take pictures of the 'highlighted' items to post on FB.  Sunday morning, mimosa in hand (kidding.  maybe.) I will brace myself and hope that lots of people come and find just what they've always been looking for.