Sunday, June 14, 2015

It might actually be summer if...

  • it reaches 90°F by 10am
Oh yes, it has been very very hot this weekend. ALL weekend. I actually went to work on Friday (I don't normally work Fridays) just to get cool. It worked. Finally, there are thunderstorms this evening and I am sitting in the front door to keep Swee'pea in and enjoy the cool air wafting through my house. I guess I should explain all of that. Swee'pea is my indoor kitty. There are many reasons for this but I won't go into that. Suffice it to say he has to stay in, but it is so blooming hot inside the house, the best way to cool the whole thing off quickly is to open all the windows and doors and allow the air to pull through. I had a wonderful roofer who told me it was, and I quote, "Italian air conditioning." He explained that as I have two skylights in my house, if I could open them, they would help pull all the air through the house. The constant flow is what would keep the place cool - or at least help cool off. Unfortunately the only skylight I have access too doesn't open anymore. I should really revisit that. But still, if I sit in the front doorway I can keep the doors wide open, Swee'pea in, air flowing through, and blog! All good, and so! It might actually be summer if....
  • the indoor plants are all outside 
And lovin' it too: 
The aloe vera decided to bloom!  I'll keep you posted on the progress there. 
  • Shasta daisies and cosmos are blooming 
After a lull in the spring flowers I am so happy more cutting flowers are coming. Echinaceas aren't quite there yet. But soon... very soon...

  • the mustard has gone to seed:
I now have a field of mustard. I should probably weed some before the whole things goes to seed. Otherwise, I'll have a mustard lawn instead of grass. What a shame.  

  • I decide I must tackle the abandoned garden in the back before it becomes a jungle
 The result of the jerk who cut down the gorgeous maple is that the abandoned house behind me gets all kinds of sun, with no one to maintain it. This means anything and everything grows to the best of its abilities. 
And of course, under normal circumstances, this wouldn't bother me. Live and let live and all that. But there are a few issues. There are these "weeds" in Pennsylvania, that turn into trees. What they are is a pain in the neck. They grow seeds that every four-legged and two-legged-plus-wings ingests and poops all over the place.  I spend considerable amount of time "weeding" just pulling these stupid things out. If you don't get them quick, they turn into trees. I'm not kidding.
 Now, of course by writing about them now, it has just occurred to me to to google them.  The wikipedia entry is very enlightening:
So - this is actually THE mulberry that some kinds of paper is made from! I had no idea. I thought it was some sort of strange - name. WELL... this deserves more research... but not today... stay tuned...
because currently - they are still a pain in the neck of this home owner.  If you look back at the above image you will see how overgrown it is with those paper mulberries.
And see the "tree" to the right of the bee hive? that's a paper mulberry. 
and since I'm not willing to allow all of those plants to become full-fledged trees (because they will block all of my sunlight for my garden AND make tons more baby-mulberries AND cost a fortune to cut down) I had to go back to that yard and whack away at them. Now of course, there is a trade-off; I can see the ugly falling-down house very clearly. But on the bright side (literally) there is more sun in my yard because those "weeds" will not take over!
  • raspberries are ripening! 
Yippee!! Big fat ones too. I've only gotten a few handfuls so far, but after this hot weekend, I'm sure they will be ripe this week.  

  • and finally, today the fireflies arrived  

I saw two! One in the mustard and one on the grass! Eeeeeeeee! I love summer! I really do. I didn't used to, but here on the east coast, after such a long dead time, the spring and summer are so full of new surprises every day. New things grow, bloom, and appear. And even though some things wane, new things come along to take their place. Its rejuvenating - even when the heat makes your brain absolute mush and it's twice as hard to get any thinking done. It's worth the trade off.
By the way, not my photo - I stole borrowed from the interwebs. 

Why do I need to think, you might ask? Well, lemme tell you...

Remember this post? If you don't have time to do it right the first time ...

Next weekend I'm going to see an actual copy of this volume! That is another wonderful thing about summer, time to travel. There is a copy of this volume at Harvard's Houghton University Library. I'm going on Friday to visit and see it. I am SO excited!
I've been doing a ton of other "research" - meaning - looking at amazing old books at the Library Company of Philadelphia. I'm trying to find out more information about how books that had movable parts in them were made. And so, incidentally, in my research I get to look at some amazing books. It is so much fun. Stay tuned next weekend. I'll share what I can; Houghton is pretty strict with their researcher rules. Can't blame 'em... they have good stuff. 

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