Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You know it's July when the temp gets over 105

How about 115 on our front porch yesterday?

With 7 percent humidity.

Now, I realize that those friends and family members who live in the midwest and south have absolutely NO CLUE what humidity that low feels like. It's desert dry. It's watch-your-skin-shrivel-right-up-and-wrinkle dry. It's nearly nosebleed dry.

If you hung wet clothes on a clothesline, you'd be taking down the first ones by the time you'd finished hanging a basket.

Today brought smoky haze from the southeast: Paradise is burning up again, and evacuations are again in place for this little community near Chico. Tony said ash was falling on his truck in the parking lot. Air quality there is unhealthy for anyone. And it was supposed to hit 117 here, although it only got to about 110 because of the haze.

Only. 110.

I'm back in mole mode -- blinds drawn against the sun and I try not to go out after noon. The kitties are flopped on the front porch near the front door where presumably there is a trickle of cooler air. I've got a fan on them and bring them ice cubes and water periodically, and I even rubbed the twins down with ice this afternoon -- they liked it. The water evaporates so quickly that it is cooling, albeit briefly.

The garden is doing well, although fruit won't set this hot, I think. I've had lots of squash and zucchini, and some nice cucumbers, a few green beans, and tomatoes are coming. I've been trading squash for tomatoes, though, and tonight we had fresh tomato, turkey bacon and lettuce-leaf basil sandwiches on whole wheat. The lettuce-leaf basil is just wonderful -- not as strong as the regular stuff, and big leaves, and very tender. It's going on my list to plant next year.

I put up prayer flags atop the garden fence this morning -- on a trip Sunday to the Mt. Shasta Lavender Farm, my girlfriends and I stopped at a street festival in Mt. Shasta City where it was tie-dye hippie heaven, and found the prayer flags in one of the booths. So my little flags, in the traditional Tibetan colors of yellow, green, red, white, and blue, are flapping prayers all day long. I like that very much. The garden is a spiritual place for me anyway -- I love working in the earth, watching things grow and thrive, and then harvesting the food to nourish our bodies.

One delightful movie we watched this weekend: August Rush. It's improbable and totally stretches credibility, but the music is wonderful, the story is heart-warming (and sad too), and Freddie Highmore, who plays little Evan/August, just makes you want to scoop him up and love on him. It was a nice escape from heat and gas prices and sick children and stress.

Stay cool. Check everything twice. Be patient. Drink lots of water in non-plastic bottles (I just bought them for us). Say thank you to the universe.

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