|Mandy Mae in the garden last winter.Click to enlarge.|
Bunches of unrelated stuff.
I'll organize this later after I put away the laundry, mow the back yard, make some carrot juice, surf my favorite blogs, see if there are any snow peas left on the pea vines, dig some new russet potatoes, fondle my just-about-ready sweet corn and think about fixing the muffler on Ted, the riding mower.
The AC died in my car. Huge humidity and soaring temps mean the dog and I both ride with our heads out the windows and tongues lolling.Whenever the offer comes by, I hitch a ride with Jorge in his air conditioned limo. Then I have to put up with Jorge aphorisms. He says out loud, "I wonder how Mountain Man Johann's doing in this heat?" I quickly reply , "Johann's got solar AC."
"Solar AC ?" Jorge asks with a skeptical voice. "You know my ex-mother-in-law once said, You don't have to think to lie. "Solar AC? You're kidding me."
Mountain Man Johann is off the grid, using solar and wind power. He gets his water from a spring down the road. We run into his tree trimmer business partner in the co-op. He tells us they've been swimming in local ponds in the evening. "Found one with a cold,deep hole," Andy says with a fond grin.
I washed my pocket calculator yesterday. I didn't realize it until I pulled the still damp laundry off the line at 5:30 pm. I hung it at noon. Feeling the pocket flap pocket on the leg of my cargo pants I utter an "Oh shit". The calculator is a dual powered one with a solar panel and battery. I flip the cover and hit the "on" button. Gee whiz. The 0 numeral comes on bright and clear. The LED panel is a bit cloudy and some detritus got under the solar cell, but, wow, it still works.
A young couple drives down the road in the afternoon. "At last," I muse, someone not 85 years old wanting tomatoes like the last duffer. "Tomatoes?" I repeat. Are you from around here?" "On May 26th the evening forecast called for 34 degrees and lowland frost, " I tell him. He leaves his car idling while his wife watches from the passenger seat. " If I planted the tomatoes on January first we might have a few by now."
An attractive red head gets out of the Toyota and says, " Can I have a few minutes of your time?"
Oh no. they're selling ariel photos of our place or are in the area doing some paving and have leftover asphalt. At least she's not dressed in gray skirt, white blouse and asking me if I've taken Jesus as my personal savior.
"We're from The American For a Friendlier America," she says. ( I made up the name of the group). I interrupt before she can continue. "Is that one of those outsider groups the local Republicans have hired to influence the upcoming recall elections?" "Uh, But..."she sputters. " What exactly is AMFFA about?" I ask, again interrupting. "It's just the AMFFA," she says. "Well you're in trouble if you don't know anything about the organization you represent, "I tell her.
"I'll just go on my way," she says. "Thank you for your time." Then she says, " If you're a Kapanke supporter, we won't try to change your mind. "Wait," I tell her. Didn't you see those Shilling signs on the hill by the highway. I'm not voting for that Republican scoundrel Kapanke. She asks me to sign a card reminding people to vote in the upcoming election. The self addressed card I fill out will be mailed back to me before the election as a reminder in case I'm memory challenged.
I'm distressed to learn that she's from Chicago. She asks about rural fire numbers which seem to be out of synch. Obviously, she's been hired to canvas at a per contact pay rate. It seems the Democrat is using the same tactics the Republicans are using, hiring out-of-state lobbying groups with no public scrutiny of where and how their funds originate.
I've decided that cats are smarter than dogs. Pooch, the cat heads for the basement after a morning romp. It's a cool 67 degrees because of the deep, poured-concrete foundation for the old school house. I figured out that putting a box fan set on low instead of a dehumidifier saves a few $ on our soaring electric bill and doesn't add additional heat from the humidifier. He's got a soft afghan on a low table to stretch out on and empty wine boxes to prop his feet against. The dog follows me everywhere, sitting in the scorching sun so she can keep me in sight.
I guess it doesn't make me sound like a rocket scientist working in sweltering weather, but I do try to get most of the bull work done before 9 am. Digging potatoes for my library angel the other day at mid-day, I quit after bagging 5 pounds. It was all I could do to drag myself back in the house and dry off before dog and I headed to town. The far plot of onions and potatoes is the least fertile of all the garden plots since it is very close to an artificial berm created to keep the river from flooding our front field. All the other garden plots are some of the sandiest, most fertile loam I have ever worked in my 30 years of growing vegetables. "Out of sight, out of mind" figures into the equation also, as this 30X40 plot is far enough away from the house that one year a woodchuck took up residence in the middle of the pumpkin patch we grew there.