Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Record Temperatures

Every year since we were married, we've tried to make at least one improvement to our home or yard.  Two of the trees beside the house were removed this week, and what a difference that makes in our looking out the windows.  We can actually see out the windows now!

All that's left of a
 humble home
Two more trees need to come down, but they are the hosts to families of wrens, so they will be spared till next year.  It's difficult to see the trees we planted years ago now being sawed down, but nothing lives forever.  When the juniper yew came down, a delapidated little bird house fell from inside it onto the lawn.  Its four walls simply unfolded.  I saved the front side, the part with the little hole. 
Mississippi Rock
This morning the guy from a local nursery delivered a load of Mississippi rock and laid it around the north and east sides of the house.  We couldn't decide on a kind of rock, but then we figured we should be loyal to the rock from the Mighty Mississippi rather than the white stuff that comes in small bags at big prices.  I love rocks, and I'm looking forward to having a whole new assortment to admire.  After they got the rock put down, they sprayed it with water to bring out the colors of each of the rocks.  Love it! 

We've removed the gold drop bushes that had seen their better days and were scraggly.  We're not going to replant shrubbery, but instead will put decorative pieces out there that can be replaced now and then.  The old birdbath got a fresh coat of paint, and that will go in front of the house. 

The older we get, the more we hire others to help us.  Young people need the money, and we need their muscles.  We used to babysit for the nursery guy himself when he was a little boy.  We would go stay with him and his sisters while their parents went on trips.  So, that in itself adds a more personal touch to the rocks, and I know he'll pop into my mind when I look at the rocks.  I'm being a sentimental sally.

The temperatures in our area have been, what I call, deadly and oppressive.  Not fit for humans or any of the creatures living beside us. Our heat gauge rose to 102 yesterday.  My hair is short, but I called the salon to see if I could get it cut even shorter.  When I sat down in the chair, I told my stylist to whack it all off.  Funny how we women like our hair long when we're younger, and when we reach the 60's we like to wear it short.  Carefree and comfy. 

We need rain, or our lawns will be drying.  This heat spell is forecast to move out of here tomorrow, with cooler temperatures coming in.  Like down into the 60s.  The relief will be more than welcome.  Our little family has been sleeping downstairs on the couches the last couple of nights. 

How well I remember what it was like sleeping in hot weather when we were kids.  One small oscillating fan for the whole family, and mother never let us sit right in front of the fan.  She warned us we'd catch a cold if we did.  Air conditioning wasn't heard of, and even it would have been, my dad wouldn't have used it.  First, we couldn't have afforded it, and, secondly, he just didn't believe in spending money on things of temporary comfort.  We were raised to sweat it out, and in time cooler weather would return.  I remember laying in a damp bed, tossing and turning, my long hair twisting into knots, and trying desperately to fall asleep. 

I can still see my dear Gramma H sitting in her rocker, fanning herself with a newspaper.  Poor dear would be baking bread in the wood stove, her face was beet red.  Women back then went to any length to provide bread for their tables.  Bless their hearts.  That's why there used to be separate small buildings beside the house known as summer kitchens where women could do the canning and baking while keeping the heat out of the main house.  Gramma didn't have a summer kitchen.  If/when I get to Heaven someday, she is the first person I'm going to run up to and hug, and I'm not going to let go of her for a long time. 

Speaking of kitchens.....I was closing the crisper in our refrigerator when a piece of plastic broke off.  The crisper drawer hung down like a drooping flower.  Why does it always have to be me that breaks stuff around here.  We called the appliance store and they were able to order a new piece for only $29.  I'm mechanically impaired, so it is not I who has to replace the piece.  My mechanical abilities stop with the can opener. 

Stay cool and please keep an extra eye on the pets who aren't able to fend for themselves in this dreadful heat.