RANDOM FRIDAY ON SATURDAY: Glorious Rainy Day. . .

Today I got to actually live a dream:  a Colorado-like summer day in the middle of a Texas August!  And I wasn’t dreaming!  Clouds began to build early in the day, and it became overcast and surprisingly cool, so I grabbed a magazine and decided to get some use out of the front porch swing.  Lucy the cat, in a much better mood in 80 degree temps than in 95+, joined me on the swing and batted at a weather-worn toy I had placed on one arm rest last summer.

My sister made me this sign for Christmas.  Cute, huh?

We sat there, Lucy purring contentedly, I relaxing while flipping through a couple of magazines I had saved for such an occasion.  I really thought it would be later in September before I could do so.  Trying to enjoy a late afternoon or early evening swing on my front porch on a typical August day is more like sitting in a sauna where someone released a bushel of mosquitoes and flies.  Not a pleasant prospect for someone who would have melted in a hoop skirt and corset back in the days BAC (before air conditioning).  Those antebellum Southern women must have been made of something else.  I guess they would have enjoyed air conditioning, too, if they’d had the chance.  How spoiled we would seem to them!  There are many things I am nostalgic for, but hot summer days without the miracles of electricity and a/c are NOT among them!

Little Lucy enjoying the unusually cool afternoon.
Yes, the swing needs painting and the window needs shutters. . .we’re getting to it!

Sit down and swing, Mommy!

My ride sits out in the rain while my daughter’s ride is repaired
by my husband (always something) in the carport.  It needed a bath anyway.

I’m sure it will be back to the steamy dog days of summer soon, but at least today was a lovely respite from the relentless heat.  The green grass of spring has given way to crunchy straw and dirt.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that even the porch posts have bent from past summer heat.  It ain’t for sissies!  Meanwhile, we will wait eagerly for the cooler temps of fall. . .

Ap ril  


AT HOME MONDAY: Autumn dreams. . .

Will autumn EVER get here?  As a former teacher,  I would never have said those words because they meant wishing for school to start!  Although I generally enjoyed returning to school every August, a few more weeks of vacation would have certainly been welcome. . .

Now, all I can think of is cooler temperatures with crisp nights and the possibility of going outdoors without becoming a sweaty, oily-faced, hair-drooping mess.  At least this summer hasn’t been as bad as the Summer of 2011 when Texas found itself in the drought of a century.  Yes, I realize that this century is still new, but last summer was HOT and DRY!  Lakes, rivers, and creeks dried up, trees died, and paint peeled.  I don’t remember reports of windshields breaking, though.  That really happened back in 1980, when the sliding glass doors on our one-bedroom apartment shattered with such a large crack that I thought someone was shooting at us!  Maybe windshields and sliding glass doors are made of tougher stuff these days.

I really despise the summer heat and will do almost anything to avoid being outdoors for very long, even curtailing my shopping.  Naturally I don’t spend any time in my yard after 9 a.m. or before 8 p.m.   As a result, the plants with such promise and beauty that I eagerly bought back in the spring begin to suffer when the temperatures climb above 90 degrees.  For some reason, they don’t survive very long without regular watering.  I have streamlined my flowers so that they can be watered from the backyard deck or the front porch without me having to stand there for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time.   The faucet and hose for my deck plants is actually on the deck so that is pretty easy.  And with a soaker hose along my front porch, all I have to do is walk to the end of the porch, kneel down, and reach to turn on the faucet.

Too bad my soaker hose blew out.  The very nerve!  And this is my second one!  The first one blew out as well!  Do you think it might have happened because I leave them out all winter?  Who wants to dig out a soaker hose from among the mulch, fallen leaves, weeds and plants, lizards, beetles, spiders, and cat poop?  Less trouble to go buy another one every year or two.  Wonder if the hoses will eventually turn to mulch?

Why couldn’t the newer soaker hose have at least lasted through one more summer?  Now, in the hottest part of August, I am forced to stand outside for a half hour or more just to give my stupid azaleas their necessary drink.  (Don’t worry, they didn’t hear that.)  I didn’t realize the soaker hose wasn’t functioning until those poor azalea bushes began to turn brown and crispy.  I figured I better start watering if I don’t want to replace every single one of them next spring.

To add to my discombobulation, my mother’s lush and green flowers scornfully harken to mine from across the yard, leering in their abundant blossoms and full leaves.  They get water in abundance, even in the hottest weather, because my mother doesn’t mind the heat.  She gets cold if it dips below 85 outside.  Oh well, maybe if I give my plants a little pep talk next time I water, they won’t notice the Garden of Eden next door.  Even this poor hydrangea which would desperately love to produce flowers if it wasn’t concentrating so hard on getting a drink. . .

Can you see the dead cow skull?  No tumbleweeds, though. . .
And for all you plant activists:  don’t worry, I watered immediately.

My outdoor cat Lucy meows louder when its hot.  It isn’t her cup of tea, either.  Can you see the scowl on her face?  Wonder if the first freeze might be early this year?  We would both be much happier. . .

Ap ril