Hot tamales

Saturday, July 18

And I don’t mean the food! I’m hearing from friends and guests from all over that their weather is hot and some are stating that the humidity is higher than normal in their area. Like we need some crazy weather right about now, huh?! We’ve been trying to do our chores around the heat. If there’s something that needs to be done outdoors it is done first thing in the morning. Well, after coffee. There are very few things that come before coffee other than taking care of the animals, ha!

This morning I vacuumed and started the laundry while CountryBoy hauled water up to the cabin after the guests left for the day. We knew they would want to cool off in the bathtub. Once that was done we sat ourselves to cool off a bit. After lunch I started canning another batch of green beans. CountryBoy picked a mess this morning and had snapped them so I added them to the frozen ones and we ended up with eight pints.

Knowing that canning season was upon us I knew that we needed to find a place to store all the canned goods. Our pantry was already full and the storage room was full of all sorts of miscellaneous stuff as well. The only available real estate was in the mud room. We talked about adding shelves in there but I really didn’t want to buy anything when I thought for sure there was something already in the house that could be used. I decided to use a cabinet from my craft room that CountryBoy had built shortly after we moved in. I emptied it (onto the guest bed) and we carefully hauled it downstairs. We relocated our jams & jellies from the pantry onto the cabinet and I will be putting the newly canned goods on it as well. Now I have to find a home for what’s on the guest bed. I have some ideas – now to decide which would be the best option.

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Just before I sat down to write today’s journal entry I researched off-grid cooling ideas and ended up on Amazon. I’ve sent emails to two different email addresses trying to get more information and a price on the solar ceiling fan that we found online but have not received a response. With weather forecasted in the nineties for the rest of the month I knew I had to come up with something for the cabin. It’s been on my mind so I figured we needed to come up with another plan. I did some browsing on Amazon and found a decent size fan that connects to a 12V battery. It’s a simple little fan mainly for gazebos and small spaces so let’s hope it will be sufficient. I also bought a 12V marine solar panel and we, ahem CountryBoy, will connect the fan to the solar panel which will save on battery usage and recharging time. We learned that the power bank we provide takes about six hours to completely recharge if fully drained. With check-out time at noon and check-in time at 3 o’clock it’s not enough time. So far we’ve been lucky where the check out will leave early and the check-in on time or vice versa which has allowed for time to recharge it. Buying a second one is out of the question. They are not cheap. The fan AND the solar panel did not even total $75. We figured it was worth a shot. All I know is that even though the cabin is a glorified campsite we needed to provide some sort of relief. And if the guests bring their own battery operated fans that will be that much more air movement which is definitely good. I’m also toying with the idea of adding curtains. gasp! I don’t want anything to mar the view but I’m thinking even some sheer curtain panels will help block some of the heat. I also think it will add to the ambiance of the cabin. I’ll let you know what I decide. I do know the sheers we have hanging in our living room sure help.

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It’s been a nice, long day. I’m not sure how or why some days just fly by. One minute you’re getting up and the next it’s time for bed. Not today though and I’m SO glad. I love a good, long day off. I managed to get all the laundry done, gave LizzieBelle a bath, cleaned the house, canned the green beans, relocated some furniture and STILL had time to take a leisurely bath, gather the eggs, do some crocheting and write today’s journal entry. The best part? It’s not even 8 o’clock, yay!

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Farm news: 29 eggs

Sunday, July 19

Our guests left right as we should’ve been heading to church so we weren’t able to go today. While we waited for them to leave I worked on trying to remove what I discovered to be a non-threatening virus from my laptop. I’m not sure when or how I got it but a couple weeks ago my search engine routine changed. My recents and most visited sites would typically load whenever I clicked on Safari or Google and then a few weeks ago they would flash on the screen and then I would get the web address for some Search Marquis. I had learned that if I just deleted it then a small version of all my most recents would then appear. It was starting to get annoying and I knew that CountryBoy would not be able to navigate to the necessary cabin email or Airbnb site so I needed to resolve it. Long story short – after I got home from work I was finally able to clear it up. whew.

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I decided to empty the eight cube unit I had in the dining room where my camera equipment, essential oil books and office and printer papers were stored and use it up in the craft room for all the stuff on the guest bed that was in the cabinet we had moved yesterday to the mud room. I hauled it up there with my arm looped through one of the cubes and ended up bruising my arm. I also discovered that our stairwell gets narrower at the top and it was a tight squeeze. Now I have to find a place for the office and printer papers and such. I’m really thinking I need to just get rid of a lot of stuff but I usually end up needing something I’ve gotten rid of shortly after having got rid of it. Anyone else have that problem? So, I end up hanging on to lots of stuff just in case I might need it one day.

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CountryBoy took care of cleaning and getting the cabin ready and I went to work. It was a short day. Thank goodness. It was so hot and humid that my knee caps were sweating. Nothing like sweat rolling down my shins.

Monday, July 20

It’s ridiculously hot and dry. It seems with each passing year that the summer’s here are getting hotter and drier. I want to go back to our first summer in Kentucky where the nights were cool and the days were in the mid-eighties. If only. We’re not alone though. I’m hearing from people everywhere that their weather has not been typical either. Global warming? God trying to get our attention? Both? Hmmm.

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Shortly after I left for work our neighbor came over to patch the barn roof and retrieve CountryBoy’s tool belt. yay!!!

Pretty rough looking roof, huh?

I think what we’re going to do is have the other two spots where the tin is missing patched, have any open screw holes caulked and then paint it to stop it from rusting any further. Our neighbor is going to give us a quote. We’re just glad the huge gaping hole over the corner of the chicken coop is now covered up.

Also that morning the feller came by to put the culvert in for the pond.

It’s too high. Several feet too high. Our orchard would be flooded before water ever reached the culvert. I wish I hadn’t been at work during all this. I am my Dad’s girl. I would’ve shined a level on it and told him to keep digging until it was right. We’ve called and left a message. Thankfully the dozer is at our next door neighbors so hopefully he can fix it before they pick it up. I’m sure he will. If not, the neighbor that patched the roof said he could dig it out and place it with his tractor and bucket.

You can also see the accumulation of water from a couple quick downpours. They came down fast and hard and left as fast as they started. We are grateful as even the quick bouts of rain watered the gardens a bit..

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I picked up our push mower today after work. I went in to pay and saw that they had window AC’s in stock. I told CountryBoy about them when I got home and we turned around and went right back to town to get one. As we were coming out of the store I noticed a bunch of plants in the dumpster. I asked the clerk about them and he said that it was too hot and there wasn’t enough staff to keep them watered and since they are closed on Sundays by Monday morning the plants looked awful so they trashed them. He said we could help ourselves so we went dumpster diving! I pulled out a tray of four heirloom Mr. Stripey tomato plants, a spearmint, English Thyme and cilantro and CountryBoy pulled a tray of six hybrid Cherokee Carbon tomatoes, one heirloom Bradley tomato, one jalapeño, and one Cubanelle sweet pepper. We watered them with collected rain water and we’ll see if they’ll perk up. We reckon we pulled about $65 worth of plants from our dumpster diving shenanigans.

Shortly after we got home a neighbor stopped by just in time to help CountryBoy lift and install the AC unit. Lucky for me! It has been wonderful to walk into a cool house. It’s not cold by any means but we are blissfully happy with the cool and comfortable air. It has helped with the humidity build-up inside the house as well.

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The hibiscus is beginning to put on a brilliant show of huge, beautiful flowers…

There are lots of buds this year…

Every year the entire bush dies off during the winter and every year CountryBoy mows over it yet every year it comes back and is beautiful. These are the types of plants and bushes I like!

Tuesday, July 21

The salvaged plants are looking much better. Even the spearmint perked up much better than I thought it would. yay! I wish we could’ve rescued some more but the dumpster was so packed it was impossible to pull some of them out. What can ya do?

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Work was quick and smooth and by 12:30 we had the approval from the printer that our pages were good to go. On my way home I pulled into our local Pickers Paradise on a whim. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular I just felt like walking around and seeing what all was in there since it changes all the time. I found some Corelware dishes and a few bowls that we’ll eventually put up in the cabin after all the paper plates we’ve stocked up on are gone. It just goes against every fiber in my being to buy paper plates. To me it’s like throwing money away and I just can’t bring myself to keep doing it. I will keep purchasing plastic utensils (which truly eats me up) but it’s really the only way for sanitation reasons so I just have to get over that one. I also picked up a bed sheet for a $1. I haven’t decided whether I want to make an apron or more of a pinafore out of it. Or maybe I’ll come up with something totally different. You know me, ha! And I picked up a wooden crate. My idea was to store computer and specialty papers in it near my desk but now I’m thinking I may use it it my craft room. We’ll see.

The guests arrived and shortly after their arrival they came back down and wanted to meet Mabel. I tell ya, everybody loves Mabel the Vietnamese Pot Belly pig! She was pleasant and carried on a good conversation with me which the guests enjoyed.

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After greeting the guests we walked back into a comfortable house. We are so thankful because here’s what the thermometer on the front porch read…

96 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just crazy for Kentucky!

Later that evening CountryBoy came breathlessly back into the house and said “Gary’s out by the bridge.” I grabbed my camera and slipped my flip flops on and out we went sneaking around so as not to startle Gary. I managed to get a photo from a distance but it was blurry. We walked in the cover of the barn and just as I stuck my head and camera around the corner he ducked back into his home. So, here’s the blurry photo of Gary the groundhog…

He’s a big’n! Actually, we’re not sure if he’s a Gary or a Greta. I reckon if we end up with a bunch of little Gary’s running around we’ll know Gary was indeed a Greta.

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I took some ‘thank you eggs’ over to the neighbor who patched the barn roof. That was all he wanted so I decided to take them over. (I still owe them some eggs for the cucumbers, which by the way, we sampled the spicy ones and my, are they spicy but deliciously crunchy.) I stayed for a little bit and we had a nice visit.

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I’ve decided against the curtains for the cabin. CountryBoy doesn’t think they will help that much. The cabin gets the morning sun and after that it’s in the shade so he’s probably right.

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I spent the evening doing a little crocheting and finished the body of the blanket. Now I need to weave in the ends and then do the border. I escaped outside for a bit to capture the last of the day…

Wednesday, July 22

More guests. More heat. No rain. We are having another dry spell. One day the forecasters are calling for rain all week and the next it’s all gone. No rain in sight. We are picking the purple-hull peas before the hulls even turn purple. We are having to pick them when they turn a yellowish color instead because if we don’t the peas will dry up in the hull. We’re glad to be getting them though, that’s for sure.

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I did some more sweating from the knee caps again at work today. I ended wrapping my neck in one of the cooler thingies that you wet, stick in the fridge and wear around your neck. Boy did it help. After I had finished ironing the sheets I made up some room sprays and updated the check out bill. It was a good, productive day.

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While I was at work CountryBoy pulled the culvert out. He tried to use the blade on the tractor but ended up having to use a shovel and dig it out by hand. I’m not really sure why he didn’t wait to see if the feller would fix it but he said it was bugging him so he up and did it. He’ll still have to wait for it to be installed because that would be an awful lot of digging to place it where it needs to be. He also cleaned and readied the cabin for today’s guests which have arrived and will be staying for two nights so he’ll get a short break from cleaning and then I’ll be off work and able to help.

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Farm news: 28 eggs

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