Today is not an outside day.
It is steamy, icky hot in NC and when I went outside to put the kitchen scraps in the compost pile, the haze and humidity of my brief trek settled on me like sea spray. That was enough to cancel any plans to pull out the strawberry plants from my rose bed today.
At first I did not mind their sneaky encroachment from the adjoining plot. I’d pictured myself being Strawberry Girl this summer. BUT…I still have not had one perfectly ripened strawberry from my plants and that is, after all, why I grow them. If I’m going to have to eat orange berries, I might as well buy them at the supermarket and use that garden space for something else. In the meantime, the thieving squirrels and chipmunks are fat and fruity.
Do children still read Strawberry Girl and the wonderful other books by Lois Lenski? I read and loved them as a child. I still have the book she autographed for me when she came to our small church (a favor to her friend, the minister’s wife) when I was nine. She had written a book of children’s songs (the first of three she wrote) and we sang them for her. I had a two-line solo; I was the good Samaritan.
When I had gone into the building that afternoon, a gust of wind had blown the heavy wooden door shut on my finger and ripped the nail bed open. Such a dilemma for a budding hypochondriac! A wound bound to elicit attention and sympathy, but showing it could get me sent home without meeting her. I wrapped it in toilet tissue and squeezed it tightly with my left hand so that it wouldn’t bleed on my dress and in a voice even more quavering than usual, I sang my lines which began, “Recover now in bed. . . .”
Now that the ever-bearing strawberries are taking a breather, the squirrels and chipmunks have moved on to greener pastures, so to speak: the apple tree in our neighbors’ yard. Unlike us, the neighbors have dogs which discourage critters from convening in their area, so the squirrels bring the apples into our yard for their green apple martini parties and even invite their chipmunk cousins which have grown quite cocky.
The birds are lined up with their little towels and flip-flops, waiting for a turn in the fountain. My robin sexing is not good, so I don’t know if that’s Dolly Parton or Arnold Schwarzenegger out there, but one with an exceptionally big chest demands it have first dibs in the water. A bully robin? Surely it’s the heat! Or maybe a bit of the green apple martini.
I read somewhere that the optimum sleeping temperature is 67 degrees. Not “around” 67 but precisely 67. I cannot imagine many people doing so in summer…although it is delicious in winter. Miss Piggy takes her naps in front of the air vent. Nothing moves her except the sound of food being poured into her bowl. She is snoozing with her legs crossed rather than go for a walk to pee.
I’m not going to argue with her.
Hey, I still have a scar on my finger…!