Monday, June 23, 2008

Catching Up and Giving Thanks

Today is cool, as it should be for this time of the year. It is so beautiful and so blessed after the nasty, brutal heat of last week. Saturday the thermostat in my main hallway said 88 degrees. Horrid. Once in my life it got hotter. I fear these summer heat waves even more than I fear my winter heating bills. (And I tremble when I open those.)

The basil loved the heat and grew inches. The roses also thrive, thanks to the kindness of a friend who watered them everyday. The garden is a blessing. It is fun to start cuttings from existing plants and watch them take hold and grow.

I am thinking about "living shade", plants that will grow to six or eight feet and cool various parts of my house. Last summer I wrote about sunflowers. This summer my neighbors directly across the street have planted a bed of them. These are the tallest plants I have ever seen! As tall as the roof of their garage now, the plants also have the biggest leaves I've ever seen and they are beginning to flower. So pretty, the huge disks of yellow and brown follow the sun. I love them.

There are other plants that will grow so tall. Flax, wheat, some pole beans, morning glories. I have been spending time on the website of Bountiful Gardens and making lists. Is it too late already to plant this? Pearson Tomatoes will mature in 80-90 days. I would have tomatoes in time for my sister's visit in the fall. What can I grow in the side yard to shade the bedroom?

In the meantime, I will resort to primitive things that work. White blackout cloth has replaced a makeshift cardboard in one large window. More to come, for the cloth is here. This fabric doesn't feel like fabric; it doesn't have a nice "hand" and it doesn't drape. It does the job of blocking light though and since it is put up right behind the air vent, I noticed an immediate improvement in air flow from the summer air fan. (Almost as good as air conditioning and much less expensive.)

Whiteboard can be used almost like shutters in houses in the nineteenth century were used and it blocks light and heat. (Cuts drafts in the winter, too.) A huge piece sits in my front hall waiting to be cut into two pieces and used to block more light and heat.

I don't have space to plant a tree and I don't think I have time either. Twenty years ago, we could have planted trees and now there would be shade. I can't maintain trees though. That is one thing a disabled person just can't do!

Overall, I am simply grateful to be here, grateful to have a sweater draped over my shoulders and ever so grateful for the blissful cool air coming in on me. Last time I checked the weather channel page, about 8:30 am, it was 69 degrees outside. Praise God!

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