Hot weather and stuff is quickly ripening. I brought in two tomatoes this morning. They'll go into a salad tonight.
Ripe 'maters in July. Unheard of at our house but most welcome.
Seems I can't pick those blueberries fast enough. I'll bring in a batch and hours later go out there and a whole bunch more have turned blue.
Banner crop this year too. That makes me happy.
My raspberries are almost down to the last picking. I don't get a lot of them, but they do add up, and my freezer shelves are looking BERRY good right now.
While looking over my blueberries this morning, I decided to try a panoramic photo of the front and north yards. Sun and shadows were nice as was the GREEN lawn in late July.
Unheard of again. The lawn is once again ready for mowing. I love to mow lawn but by late July am happy when it becomes a once-a-week routine.
Not so, just yet.
From what I've heard, the once-a-year grass mowing will happen pretty soon. Lori, the hay cutter extraordinaire was swathing at my sisters' place last night.
So, she should be coming this way fairly soon.
This year I'll be almost back to where I was with my haying season workload over at the Great Northern farm: write the check and wave as the hay stackers go out the driveway. I'll probably give them a brownie or two also.
Because of problems with mice, eating both the hay and holes in the tarps, I'll be asking Harvey if the guys can put it in the barn this year rather than the shed down the lane.
An area has been opened up inside the barn for more hay storage. We don't get that much off our field anyway, so it will be nice to have it all inside where at least the wet weather can't ruin it.
The mouse population in the barn is significantly less than that in the far shed, so it may take them more time to nibble those pieces of twine and turn the bales into chaff.
The heat is definitely on as of yesterday, and they say we'll be up near the 100s for several days.
So, I've found a few ways to beat it this time.
1. DON'T sign on to announce a horse show. That's a for sure, so I'm in good shape there. That last day of the Spots of Fun Show at 100 degrees did me in worse than ever.
2. Water the veggies and posies in the afternoon----not the cool morning. Yup, dragging a hose around while wearing shorts and Crocs definitely has a definite cooling effect, especially when the hose can be aimed at one's body in between plants.
3. Wash a horse. I did that yesterday with Lefty after finding an Absorbine medicated shampoo which attacks summer itch, fungal problems and flaky skin, among other skin problems. Lefty loved his bath and so did I. Washing a horse always guarantees a few cool moments when the water from the hose decided to drip down to the armpits. Directions call for two baths a week, so during this inferno, I'll make sure to follow them to the letter. Plus, Lefty seems a lot better this morning with his interminable misery from skin problems during hot weather.
4. This is my sister Laurie's favorite. Work hard. Get sweaty. Then, wait for the cool breeze to provide a temporary break from the misery. Last night Laurie came over with her horse trailer to pick up a lawnmower. Hers went down, or at least she decided she didn't want to run it with black smoke puffing from the motor. So, she's using our old mower. I gathered the two boards serving as a loading ramp and hauled them on the 4-wheeler out to the road where she had the trailer parked. Once they were propped up to the ramp, she drove the mower into the trailer. She left, then I hopped onto the 4-wheeler. As I drove it back to its spot, I yelled to Bill, "This is the way to stay cool." I had worked up a sweat, and that open-air breeze felt like Heaven. By the way, Bill was so warm when he came home from working on a south slope hillside yesterday, that his T-shirt had a wet pathway where his seat belt had been attached.
5. During this heat wave, I have that little blue fan which sprays water, which Barbara bought me, so I can carry it with me for relief.
6. During this heat wave, I'm hoping to tough it out rather than submitting to it. In my crazy mind, if I don't let it defeat me from doing what I normally do, that will be a victory.
7. Count the days. Any time, we've managed to live through one miserable day, that means one fewer to dread. So, we've got one down and about 9 to go AND then we'll be griping cuz it's too cold.
8. Finally, be thankful for what the heat actually does that's good: corn grows, cukes appear and suddenly become edible, hay does go into the barn in a reasonable fashion, sometimes all that green grass dries up and we do have to mow only once a week.
Yup, we've got the last big stretch of summer coming on strong, and if we just plan a little, we can manage. Today I'm avoiding some of the heat by meeting a former foreign exchange student who's here visiting from The Netherlands. So, that will be fun.
As the thermometer continues to skyrocket over these next few days, I do have to admit that I sure do miss Big Blue, our swimming pool which Bill cut up into little pieces and hauled to the dump back when it was cold.
At the time, I announced that I didn't want to deal all the problems associated with those home swimming pools any more.