Keeping Cool

Chicagoans complain about the cold seven months a year, then they complain about the heat and humidity for three. And yes, you dwellers of the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Arizona can just please hold your tongues, please. You may have your weather challenges, but residents of the Midwest get it all: giant hail, tornadoes, blizzards, days colder than a witches teat and days which remind me what agricultural workers in Florida live through. Our foundations shift, our basements flood, our engines freeze in winter and our car bodies rust. I suppose it builds character. At this point in my life I guess I’m a character.

It was 97 yesterday,  it was 97 today, and it will be 97 tomorrow. I have expensive plants I bought yesterday that need to be planted, and weeds are ecstatic. At about four I girded my loins and dug a nice big hole to plant one of three nicotiana sylvestris. (An expensive, divine smelling annual.) Willow the Wonder Cat is interested in everything we do — pounce on the pencil when we’re doing the crossword, dare the up and down of the sewing machine needle with her paw, and leap from nowhere to tackle the weed in my hand. She loves gardening.

So, sweaty and lightheaded, I walked across the patio to pick out my  plant. I turned, and saw my Under Gardener pee carefully in my hole, then carefully fill the hole up with the dug up dirt circling it. I gave up.

Glory be to God for air conditioning. I just kinda fooled around on the internet, and Facebook Friends posted some clever links. Want to publish your monograph in Llama font? Ici:

Or perhaps you’d like saucy sculptures of ladies made entirely from Chinese  cabbage?

So, I wasted some time on the internet, averted heatstroke and then did something conterintuitive: I got down with flour. Thanks to the divine A/C  I baked bread and made handmade fettucine. Come to think of it, that’s what I do when it’s twenty below outside — if the weather’s keeping me inside it’s time to do some real cooking. I bought the ice cream machine out  and did a strawberry frozen yoghurt.

It was a frustrating day, but just as our ancestors threw a log on the fire in wintertime and played euchre, I survived the heat by taking advantage of being held hostage by it.

It’ll be in the 60s by Thursday, say the local network weather guys. I’ll pull on a cardigan and weed.



Filed under A Couple of Bucks, Food, Growing things, Machines, Needlework

5 responses to “Keeping Cool

  1. From your mouth . . .

    Please let it be 60ish. I still have FOUR plants that have to go into pots, and today, I DID brave the outdoors—with Sweetpea, for about two hours this p.m.
    I carried out a little tub filled with a littler tub, an assortment of teensy cooking utensils, a towel, her sealed cup of ice water, my phone, and a magazine I grabbed from upstairs.

    But planting something in the heat—just beyond me any more. I DID Gunga Din small tubs of very hot water out the two heavy doors four different times, to be whooshed into cooler submission by Herself with a heavy hand on the hose, as the stock was depleted by all the splashing.

    I DO hope those dear plants will forgive me, and LIVE. Perhaps they’ll take some encouragement from the steadily-growing grapevine which has sent stealthy slim tendrils INSIDE the downstairs kitchen window, has crept ten inches across the ceiling, and is probably going to strangle us in our beds.

    Why do I prattle on? It’s very late, and my tired-to-blather ratio increases exponentially with each passing minute.

    Perhaps later the Horticulture vs. Heat bout will have more drawing power.

  2. sparrowgrass

    I visited Indiana for the Memorial Day weekend, to attend the Princess’s court, and while I was there, a friend divided some perennials for me to take home. Three different colors of irises, some obedient plant, toad lilies and some honesty (AKA moneyplant).

    When I left Missouri headed east on Friday, the low temp the night before was 45. By the time I got home on Tuesday afternoon, it was 90+. And it has been over 90 since then. I spent last weekend out in the sun wrassling with my pool pump and hoses, and I think I boiled my brain just a little–a slow simmer for a couple hours, anyhow, and I have just not felt like going out in the heat and planting those plants.

    So far, they are surviving on the porch in the buckets they came home in, all except for the honesty. There is something about me that just does not mesh well with honesty–take that as you will–and I have never been able to establish it.

  3. kim shook

    I, too, have things to plant. We have either been too busy or too hot to attend to them. And this weekend we are going away. Sometimes you just have to say the hell with it and cook something!

  4. I toil not, neither do I spin (or cook, or do housekeeping, much). It IS 81 right now and we just returned from an Adventure Walk, with spyglass and basket, and are cooling off just from the patches of sun between the shady paths.

    Didn’t even LOOK toward the plants today. mea culpa.

    Didja get any of that great big mass of stuff which hovered North of us all day yesterday?

  5. We sure did, Rachel, and we’re getting more tonight. Sigh.

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