Too Early for Summer

After my foray into political commentary, I have decided to revert back to my usual chuntering on about nothing terribly important – this is something I am quite good at. Politics – not so much.

Summer has arrived. We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know it would arrive with such vengeance. I could tell it was on its way, because I went into “nesting mode” last week and spent a four day weekend cleaning every single closet, drawer and cabinet out.  One can have what appears on the surface to be a clean house, but if the cabinets and drawers are jam packed with all kinds of stuff, the house is not truly clean.  Some people hear voices in their heads, I hear the mess in the closets whispering to me, taunting me with “Oh you think your house is clean, but we are still here, brimming with stuff you don’t really need” (maniacal chortling ensues). I called the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) to come pick up all the stuff that was useful to someone.  I used to call Goodwill, but they have become so picky about what they will take, it’s not worth calling them anymore.   It is interesting how much stuff one can collect when one isn’t moving every 3 years with the military.  We have been living in the same house for about 8 years now and boy, does the junk accumulate.

Yesterday it was a balmy 105, the day before it was 107. Here in the Central Valley of California, our summer is like everyone else’s winter. We all get out and do our chores and errands early in the day, and after 12 Noon it is time to go inside and batten down the hatches (that means close all the shutters, turn the fans on full blast) and find the coolest, darkest place in the house to rest until the sun starts to set.  Usually about 7 o’clock the temperatures start to drop and we all emerge from our hiding places to sit on the patio, barbecue, take the dogs for a walk or wallow in the pool like Manatees.

Of course, during the work week, one can’t hole up in their house during the hottest time of the day, because that is usually when everyone is coming home from work. I have to summon up the courage to leave my place of employment and begin the trek home.  Initially when I leave the overly air-conditioned hospital, it feels really good to be in the heat.  But the thermoreceptors on my skin adjust rapidly and about 5 steps into my walk to the car I am thinking, “Can I make it”.  I reach my car, and clamber inside, it is like climbing into a dryer on High Heat.  I feel my brain desiccating inside my skull, the air is so hot it is burning my eyeballs.  My air-conditioning in my car sucks, and doesn’t really cool the car down until I am about 5 minutes away from home.  I am rather pleased with myself this year though, because I have put my fluffy teal glove on the stick shift, so I don’t burn my hand when trying to change gears.  Last year I used a tea towel.  I know some people use oven mitts to drive, so they don’t burn their hands on the steering wheel.

We won’t see rain again until October or November. Our last good rain was in April.

The gardens around us still look pretty fresh and green. The leaves on the trees are shiny and fresh.  After several months of this heat, everything will have a kind of dull, dusty look – no rain for so many months does that.  I see the lawns already starting to get patches of brown, with the exception of those houses that pulled their lawns out and had fake grass put in.  Even their lawns look dusty by August. I have taken picture of the garden, before the heat really pummels it.  I think it looks pretty good this year.  I want to put more bedding plants out, but I don’t know what kind of watering restrictions we will have this year.

I did however, do something else that I am pleased as punch about. I hired a landscaping crew to come in weekly and weed the beds and mow the lawns.  They are magical, my landscapers.  I don’t know how they do it, but there isn’t a weed anywhere, everything is so tidy.  They can do in 1-2 hours what it would take me a month to do.  I really feel like I have kind of cheated, turning over my gardens to some strangers.  I know my British Grandmother would think it was very weak of me, to turn over the weeding to someone else, but in the landscaper’s defense, they did save a Japanese Maple seedling, so I know they aren’t just barreling through the garden, not paying attention.

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to do my weekly shopping. I thought I had it all planned out properly, so my food wouldn’t suffer in transit.  I started at Target (the cheapest place to buy dog food), then went to the car wash and lastly went to Whole Foods.  At this time of year, you really have to plan your stops, because the temperature in the car can get quite ridiculous. Even the baggers at Whole Foods asked me if I needed ice for my meat.  You can imagine what buying ice cream must be like.  You basically just have to go to the store for ice cream, and then quickly return home, no dilly-dallying, or the ice cream will be in a liquid form by the time you arrive.  I made the fatal of mistake of buying chocolate chips at Target, and then made 2 other stops.  The chocolate chips had completely melted by the time I got home and really could have been used as a warm compress on sore muscles. I guess I will have to get a hammer, or maybe a chisel if I want to use that block of chocolate for chocolate chips.  Oh well. Lesson learned.

temp in car (2)

Summer is here.

33 replies »

    • BRRR! I figure if I can make it to work before it hits 80 degrees, it will be a nice day. We are presently at 72 degrees, which is really nice.

  1. We get hot and humid here, usually in August and September. Occasionally we have high temps like yours, but mostly it stays in the 90s, both temp and humidity. I understand about your grocery shopping plan. Even though it’s not as hot here, I do the same thing, sometimes taking a cooler with some ice in it so I can calmly get our food home. I live far enough away from the grocery, and in an area with ever-changing road construction delays, which means that long waits are a given on the way home from the grocery.

    • Thankfully the grocery store is just down the street. The loss of my chocolate chips was just bad planning on my part. Did you get your air-conditioning fixed. I must come over to your blog and visit.

  2. Your garden and lawn looks beautiful! I’m jealous of it, even with the landscapers.
    It’s about 80° here and 65% humidity. It’s tolerable for a Midwest summer morning.
    Floating around like a manatee sounds delightful. Florida refuses to take me to see them when I visit him. Every. Time!

    • That 65% humidity I think would do me in. And my garden really looks much better in the photos than it does in real life (I will let you in on a little secret, I photo-shopped out the pee spots on the lawn – there weren’t that many, but they were annoying). I love Manatees too, I think we went to see some in Florida when I was a kid, they seem so sweet and smart. Did you ever go to that park where the ladies water-ski in sparkly tu-tus? I thought that was great. I wanted to buy my Great Dane a sparkly tu-tu (they had some on sale at Costco, but my husband said there was no way. Don’t you think a Great Dane would look cute in a sparkly tu-tu?

      • My bad on the weather. It was 80 with 23% humidity after I commented. Oops! Oh don’t you love photo shop?! No, I’ve never seen the ladies in the sparkly tu-tus perform. (I’m too busy doing my own performances…) And husband! Let her get Mikey a sparkly tu-tu! He would look ADORABLE!

  3. Lovely pictures of your garden! We almost hit 100 both days this weekend, hot for the mountains of Oregon. I could relate to the early morning chores and retreating during the afternoon heat. Fortunately, I didn’t have to drive to the valley. Oven mitts for the steering where sounds awful. I hope the temps drop a bit. Stay cool.

    • It’s funny it is always kitchen accessories we use in our cars. I can’t believe it took me 10 summers to finally figure out I needed to put a glove on the stick shift. Last year I used a tea towel to change gears, so I didn’t burn my hands. Do you have air-conditioning where you live, or is 100 degrees very abnormal for your neck of the woods? I can’t imagine living in this kind of heat without air-conditioning, although I do know some families that don’t and they seem to do okay. Some day I am going to move to Oregon, it is such a beautiful state – so green.

      • 100 is unusual and record-breaking for us. We don’t have air-conditioning, but the nights are cool so we open the windows and then lock the cool air in for the day. It is green up here. If you like to garden, it’s close to paradise, except the weeds grow just as fast as everything else!

  4. I totally feel ya! Like you all, in Georgia we have to do everything early so that we can go inside and recover from our ‘hell hot’ summers! Here, a 90 degree day is considered rather chilly! LOL!
    I think the worst part is the humidity because it makes the heat stick to you!

    By the way, the scenery at your home looks like a mini-paradise! I love it! Please keep posting pics like these flowers; they are gorgeous!

    • Thank-you, the flower photos turned out much better than I thought they would. We lived in Georgia, we were stationed in Warner Robbins, and that heat is horrendous, with the 100 percent humidity. I remember those days. The thing I miss the most about the South is the afternoon rains in the summer, a brief respite, and then when the sun comes out again, and everything evaporates, it becomes a total steam bath. I suppose I shouldn’t really complain really, at least it is a dry heat over here. But Georgia has all that green and lushness, and boy did my gardens grow there.

      • Wow, yet another coincidence! Ron was based at Robins! This is too crazy!

        But you are right, a quick thunderstorm will usually roar in and out and we do get a break, albeit fleeting! LOL

    • I can’t imagine what it would be like in Saudi or Egypt – and sand everywhere. The lack of green and foliage would be more than I could take. We lived in Phoenix for several years, and my husband said that was training for purgatory – with temps into the 110s and above. At least here in the Valley – it cools down nicely at night – in Phoenix it would still be 100 at midnight. That’s nuts!!!!!

    • Thank-you. Surprisingly it looks much nicer in the photos than it does in real life. Must be the angles or something. Give it a couple of months and everything will look all wilty and lifeless.

    • Exactly – a couple of days of this heat and I am done with it. Problem is, July and August are really the months that are unbearable, well and actually most of September too, so to start with heat like this in June – it is going to be a long summer.

  5. oh your garden looks beautiful! The heat in the central valley really is awful at this time – and the worst is yet to come! The only good thing about it right now is that it is making my garden and tomato crop grow like crazeeee…. !

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