Monday, July 18, 2011

Siesta Time

We have been hit with a heat wave here in the upper Midwest that is (to say the least) unpleasant.  Yesterday the heat index was 108°F.  I have never known temperatures to be that high here.  The air was so humid yesterday that it felt as if I was down in New Orleans touring the Gulf on the steamboat Natchez.  Every little movement made me sweat.   I was seriously concerned for our health because we don't have air conditioning so Tom went out and finally bought a 6,000 BTU air conditioner for Lara's room.  She immediately perked up after it ran for a while.  I called my Dad to check up on him because he doesn't have air conditioning either, AND he refuses to even run any of the fans we have bought him over the years.  Then later in the day, thunderstorms blew in -- loud boomers with lots of lightning -- and dropped between 2 and 4 inches of welcome rain on us.  Of course, the electricity went out.  There was flash flooding in a lot of places, but here the rain soaked right in the ground because we have been so dry.  Anyway, the heat wave is supposed to be with us for about a week.  I am calling this Siesta Time -- time to take things easy and forget about work until later.

This heat experience makes me think about people's dependence on fans and air conditioning.  Maybe my Dad has the right idea about not using air conditioning or even fans to keep cool.  If you get used to depending on the electrical grid to be comfortable, what are you going to do if the grid goes down?  Is it better to naturally acclimatize yourself to current weather conditions; or, is it better to use modern conveniences and acclimatize yourself only when you must?  Need vs. Desire.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I should pull out my Letters From A Stoic and see if Seneca has any apt input on the issue.

Before this awful heat descended, I was working steadily on breaking the 200 lb. weight plateau that I am struggling with.  This empty space --

where we plan to put a 12' x 10' shed to house all of the garden tools used to hold waist high weeds and this --

Remember last year when we had to literally saw our way down through the driveway after the tornado?  Well, this is the wood from that mess.  It took me three days to move one piece at a time.  I don't think it would have taken that long except that our hand cart has a flat wheel on it that I guess will not get replaced unless I do it so I had to roll the bigger pieces over the ground to get them out of the way.  We plan to split this wood next summer.

I also took down my maple syrup rig (look on the right side of this blog to see the picture of Tom stirring maple sap) and piled it out of the way next to my burn barrel.

Then I worked on the garden boxes.  I pulled out of one garden box the lettuce that went bitter from the heat and the overgrown radishes, and I planted more of the same that will hopefully grow fast with the heat.  In another box I planted more carrots and green beans (which I wasn't going to plant because Tom planted so many beans, but the deer have been visiting his garden so I wanted to be sure I got beans from somewhere to can for the winter).  Next, I pulled the garlic and let it dry for a few days before tieing it up in bunches and hanging it in the garage to cure for a couple of weeks.  That reminds me, have you seen the latest prices are for seed garlic?!!

In another garden box, the basil and sage are gorgeous!  The dainty chervil has gone to seed and I'm letting it reseed where it is to increase its patch.  And the rosemary I planted is finally starting to come up.  I also made a third planting of dill; I'm not having much luck with dill this year and I certainly hope some of it comes up somewhere.  The sage patch smelled so good that I harvested about half of it to put in the dehydrator.  (The house smells SO good.)  The rest of it I hope to sell at the farmers market.  The basil looks great but has to grow some before I can harvest it.

I really need to get to town and buy the lumber for more garden boxes. 

Talk to you soon.  Stay cool!

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