The weather has been plain obnoxious. I’m wondering if I’m getting to be an old fogey, the way I seem to refer to it so much. In early spring I complained of coolness, now I’m complaining of the heat! It’s been in the 90s and well into the 100s this past week. I find that ANY time I spend in the sun is VERY taxing on my person. Spending even a few minutes outdoors in the daytime really drains me; I have to be very careful, and rest accordingly. Since we live without air conditioning, we also have to be very careful of cooling the house at night, closing it up tight at dawn, and not being stupid about heating it up in the day. This means no roast turkey.

This complicates some of my chores. Gathering eggs midday is not always doable; I cracked one open last week (it must’ve been out a day or two) and it was actually soft-boiled. THAT was a surprise. Forget “hot enough to fry an egg” – we’re baking them in the shell.

I hung out a load of laundry last week and it put me down for an hour or more. The girls’ clothes are the worst, because they’re little, and they’re many, and it takes forever to hang them, or bring them in. I’ve taken to drying theirs in the dryer at bedtime. I obviously can’t do it in the daytime, but neither can I do all of the laundry like that. As I type, 2 loads of hubby’s laundry are hanging out; they will probably do so until tonight. I just hope they’re not all bleached by then.

I also can’t bake bread in the daytime. I can’t make the dough either, because there is a set rise time I can’t mess with. So I can bake bread after dark (which is 9:30 or 10:00). But by then, I’m usually completely wiped out. We’re a little short on bread around here right now. Anyone want to donate to the mixer fund, you’re more than welcome. In fact, I’m putting together ideas for raising money, but that’s a different post.

The garden is becoming a bit jungle-esque. Man, those beets are certainly growing! Especially when I don’t get a chance to be out much. Some mornings I get up at 6 or 6:30 and spend an hour or two weeding. The weeds grow even faster than the beets and radishes. Oddly enough, I don’t even really like beets or radishes. They’re tolerable when they’re from my own garden though, and in a salad.

Another weather issue we had lately was a sudden wind. Not the 2-day-long, holocaust-creating sustained wind, but some gusts that whipped up for a few minutes, then were done. It was very odd. Very dusty. And very expensive for some.
For us, I was facing east thru the sliding glass door. I could see the trampoline almost start to move. The wind came from the south, which is unusual. My narration to hubby (to my right and facing north) went as follows:

“Honey, oh my gosh, that little birch tree is really leaning over. Wow, the trampoline is moving! (add a tone of hysteria here) Oh my gosh, the trampoline just took out the bunny cage and—!”

Hubby, by then able to view the airborne trampoline through the north window, was on his feet. We stood at the window, my hands on my head, watching our now-very-mobile trampoline leave. A few other things had become mobile, and within a few minutes Hubby was outside moving the bunny and cage (they actually survived) to the north side of the house, and also the “baby turks” and their cage. They were under the trampoline also, but somehow escaped the tumble-dry cycle. Shade for them is now an issue.

A few trampoline facts:
It wasn’t little. It was a 14-foot trampoline, steel frame, and upper-net-holder-thingies also of steel. The mesh net was only partly up. It has survived wind before. It traveled a full 1/4 mile before coming to a stop, making it over 2 fences and an irrigation ditch. You can see it dead-center in this picture. It looks like a small blue-black oval, above the green grass, and below the line of trees.

After the trampoline’s sudden emigration, I had to console my crying 5-year-old. Hubby witnessed some dirt from the neighboring field flowing straight up. I wonder if it might’ve become a tornado, or was trying to.
We were much luckier than some. Power lines went down on the other side of town, a large tree uprooted itself and leaned on a 2-story house in town, bringing up a couple spans of wooden fence and a cement patio. I drove by a south-facing … shed? and it looked like it was teetering on the edge of collapse. Not a small shed, but one of those long steel buildings, open along one side to house tractors and hay and other important equipment. At least they were probably insured. As our insurance has … issues? with trampolines, they weren’t privy to it’s existence. And won’t be privy to this information either.
Within a short period of time, things were calm again (save the billowing smoke in the sky from a fire somewhere northeast of town), and my girls, my mom, my niece, and I took a little walk. We followed a trail.
Apparently speeding trampolines like to divest themselves of critical parts. We were grateful the neighbor had recently mowed and baled this field, else we would have had a far harder time.
We finally found the bulk of it:
With Hubby now on hand, and the kids pitching in, we had it dismantled and piled in the pickup in no time at all.
We found some interesting bugs along the way. As a child I always left the bug-catching to my insect-loving brother, but I guess without one of those on hand, my girls take the role. In our Audobon Society book we discovered that this red one is a “Red Milkweed Beetle.” Aptly named, since he was found on milkweed. After this photo he spent a few days in a plastic cup with a daisy. And was named “Chomp.”
I found these by myself, which, as it turns out, might be a good thing. Apparently if handled they “emit a foul-smelling odor.” I do not handle things with many legs. Oh, and these are “Milkweed Leaf Beetles” and the A.S. bug book picture doesn’t do them justice.
We’re not sure what we’re going to do about the trampoline. The trampoline-y part is fine; but we need a new frame, maybe some new springs, things like that. I don’t know if you can buy them a la carte, but I hope so. It’s the closest thing I could find to a padded room when Little Monkey became mobile. It’ll have to go on the list I guess. There’s still the midwife to pay, homeschool curriculum and a new printer to buy, hubby says we need a new roof… And of course, the mixer. 🙂
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