The Summer so Far

August 30, 2014   220px-Wild_rabbit_us

Labor Day weekend is upon us and amidst the end of summer/pre-fall barbeques, vacations, staycations and general revelries, here’s what’s happening in my neighborhood:

We hit 101 degrees last week, but after a run of 98 and above, have dropped into the eighties for a few days. Nice. Hopefully, we’ll get some real rain (as apposed to little pop-up showers) to go with the cooler temps.

Whether it was the weather, the straw beds I planted things in this year, dumb luck or all three, I had the first really good batch of tomatoes in three years. Also nice. I’ve had enough to eat fresh once or twice a day and to freeze a couple of gallon bags full, so far this summer plus enough cherry tomatoes to munch on while I work at the computer or around the house.

I have four nice sized fall squash on the one plant that survived the rabbits, which may not sound like much. But, since I have only one mouth to feed, they will make a nice addition to winter food supplies. I still haven’t searched for potatoes or onion, but since the tops are all dead, now, I am thinking that tomorrow might be a good day to tackle that while it’s cool outside.

The extra tomato plants on the south side of the house have also produced a bumper crop and, after a friend helped me put out a sign for people to take some as they ripen, several neighbors – especially older ones who rent and maybe don’t have a place to grow any – have done just that. As there are still some ripening, I consider it a success and will try to repeat the offering next year, maybe adding some other things, too.

The broccoli, cabbage and lettuce seeds I planted awhile back, for a fall garden, didn’t survive long enough for me to even get the little barrier up. I think the rabbits must have a scout that keeps watch for those things. I’m pretty sure the one I’ve startled a couple of times in the early morning and late evening is one such lookout rabbit. He looked a bit shifty-eyed to me.

A skunk (perhaps the skunk, perhaps one of its kinder) made its way past the house going back east, early Thursday morning, as I was getting started for the day. Whether elder or younger, it didn’t bother the garden this time, even the tomatoes at the side of the house, maybe because the rabbits ate all the melon starts earlier this spring.

And I’ve learned some things to make my life in summer easier as I get older:

Living downstairs, where I can just walk out the back door instead of walking down two flights of stairs, sure makes gardening easier.

Heat rises, so living downstairs is cooler than living upstairs. As is having a front door and a back door at opposite ends of the house and windows on all sides that you can open or shut for ventilation as necessary.

A crunchy peanut butter sandwich on good bread, a fresh sliced tomato and a glass of iced tea make a great no-cook lunch in the heat of the day.

And, finally, don’t take in your son’s long-haired cat when he moves away. No matter how many times you brush her in the summer, no matter how often you run the vacuum cleaner over your carpeting, you will always wake up the next morning to a house that looks like your cat exploded during the night.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone.

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4 Responses to The Summer so Far

  1. graveday says:

    I hate to keep correcting people on this, as I sound like such a grinch, but heat goes in all directions, hot air rises. A ceiling heat lamp will warm the floor, but the air at the ceiling will be hotter than the air at the floor.
    Agree on the cat hair and most other animal hair. Daughter just took her dog, but not all the hair she shed.

    • theozarker says:

      Hey grave, LOL, thanks for the physics lesson. That makes sense, now that I’ve stopped to think about it.
      Have you been able to garden any, during the drought? Do hope you’ve had a nice summer otherwise, (though I’m sure that’s a pretty difficult otherwise, if you live in one of the severe drought areas.)

  2. graveday says:

    I do live in one, but my town gets water from the ground, which is not good long term, but we have water for now. They are putting a pump into the Sacramento River to boost supplies, but a recent drive past Lake Shasta from which the river flows says that pump will be sucking sand if this drought continues, and it may well. In fact, probably will.
    Just as an indication, the well levels plummeted during the seventies drought to a record low at the time, but rebounded to somewhere in the middle between the low then and what had been normal. Now we are twice as far down as then and plunging. They used to publish the levels monthly, but stopped that decades ago. They rarely talk about levels, but they did mention the current low level in a rosy writeup about how the pump was going help alleviate that. Ha.
    P.S. Did you know that Bill Hicks is back online. Not that Bill Hicks, our BH. He beat pancreatic cancer for now.

  3. theozarker says:

    Glad to hear you have water, for now, but it sounds like a lot of people who should know better are whistling past the graveyard, doesn’t it?
    So glad to hear about our Bill Hicks. I’ve missed him. Did not know that was why he took his “vacation” from the blog, but I’m so glad he’s whipped it for now. Do hope that’s permanent.

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