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July 2019, Week 3

I probably say this every week, but the summer sure is flying by quickly. As hot as the weather is now, I hope the days continue flying by so we soon will find ourselves in the cooler weather of autumn.

Is the name of this week just survival? Keeping plants watered, mulched and harvested, and keeping the gardeners hydrated and seeking shade to cool down often while working outdoors? I can't think of much else, in terms of gardening chores,

I don't even have a long chore list in my head because it is too hot to spend a lot of time working outdoors. We're at the stage now where it mostly is about doing only what we have to do, mostly in the early morning hours, and being extra careful to watch out for venomous snakes while doing all the above. I suppose it would be good to watch for pests that can devastate crops, but honestly, at this point if the beneficial insects, birds, toads, frogs, turtles and other creatures aren't taking care of the pest insects, then I don't care. It is too hot....and that doesn't mean I haven't noticed it has been cooler for a couple of days. I have noticed that, but the heat comes roaring back this week. Usually whatever pests we are seeing here will peak in July and then their population slowly falls---even the grasshoppers---so I don't pay any attention to them after this point if I can avoid it. Stink bugs might bear more close watching this year, but they haven't started destroying the tomato plants in the containers by the house so I haven't had to worry about them. Down in the front garden, the beneficial insects and birds are knocking back the stink bug population to lower levels as time goes on. There's still too many of them though, and far more green than brown, which is the total opposite of what happens most years.

The dogs remain disgusted with summer. I send them out into the dog yard and they are back on the porch, scratching at the back door, barking and wanting to come back in after being outside for 5-10 minutes. They've become too used to the air conditioned house, but I don't blame them.

What is everyone going to work on this week? I'm only going to harvest, water and enjoy the succession crop of flowers that really are filling in nicely and filling up the rows where veggies grew earlier. I probably will start cutting bouquets of them this week so we can enjoy some of the blooms indoors since we aren't spending much time outdoors. Tim and I have some tree and shrub pruning to do around the house today as the roofer comes tomorrow to start (finally!) working on the roof. A top-notch roofer is work waiting for, and we've been waiting for months and months for him, and I'm not sorry we waited for him although it wasn't any fun being on the waiting list. There is no rain in our forecast for this week, so we won't have to worry about anything getting wet while he is tearing off the old roofing materials and putting on the new ones, so at least there's that.

Other than that, there isn't much to report here at our house.

I mentioned this on one of Nancy's FB posts so I'll mention it here: we are moving my mom to the hospice wing of her assisted living facility this week. She is 90, has been on dialysis for about 14 years, and has no good veins left in her body, making it really hard to impossible for her to fight the infections she's constantly afflicted with. She was just diagnosed last week with MRSA for the third time this year, and it is a new strain---not the ones she had before. They cannot use IV antibiotics to treat it because her veins are so bad, partially as a result of 14 years of dialysis. For the last couple of years, her life has been one infection after another, and certainly her quality of life has suffered. I don't know how a person is ever really ready to move a parent to hospice care, but I do feel like we've all known for quite some time that this day was coming and we are as prepared for it as we can be. None of us want for her to suffer, and hospice care ensures she will not. She's ready to go--and has repeatedly told all of us that she is ready to go because she wants us to know she's okay about going into hospice care. Toward's the end of my mom's mother's life, my grandmother kept telling us all with the quiet assurance of a woman of faith that "there's more waiting for me over there than there is here" and we were grateful for her attitude. Now, we hear those same words coming from our mother's mouth---deja vu.

Have a good week everybody and stay safe and well-hydrated,


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