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Cooling [Aug. 29th, 2016|05:45 pm]
The day began with some clumps of white clouds. They gradually increased their share of the sky and slowly merged, and now there is an almost complete overcast, with just a few thin strips of blue here and there. Up near the Oregon border they might get some rain, but it's unlikely it will reach this far south. The boarder is fine, though. The sooner the rain starts refilling Shasta and Whiskytown and Trinity Lakes, the better.

The best news is the cooling trend. The rest of the week there will be highs in the low eighties, and the nights will be dipping down into the high fifties. Soon I'll be able to leave the windows open much of the day, and then will come the time when I can close them at night and leave them open all day. The air should start smelling of autumn before too long. I'm starting to think about pomegranates again.

But that's October and November, and we've still got September to get through. September can be unpredictable, blowing hot and cold by turns. Hot is not so bad when it is preceded and followed by cold, though. Leaving the chilly house for a warm outdoors on a mild September day can feel more like getting toasty than like getting braised. Even today is not too bad, and I'll probably be able to open my windows by six o'clock, or not long after. I'm hoping that a breeze comes up, as it sometimes will on a warm but overcast day.

That strange bird I've heard but never seen who has been hanging around the neighborhood all summer is still out there, hoot/coocooing. I think it might be calling for a mate, but if so it has been disappointed so far, and is likely to remain so. I'm pretty sure it's the only member of its species in the vicinity. Early one morning a week or so ago I thought I heard a faint response from another bird with the same call somewhere over toward the river, but the bird nearby didn't respond to it.

Either I heard something that wasn't there, or the other bird was of the same sex as the nearby bird and so they took no interest in one another. It seems rather late in the season for them to nest anyway. Maybe the stray bird will return to its normal wintering ground once the weather grows harsher. I've enjoyed listening to the song for the last couple of months, though, even if coming to this exotic place was a wasted trip as far as the bird was concerned. I can sympathize, as I certainly know that feeling.
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Verbiage [Aug. 28th, 2016|09:59 pm]
Some days are just hard to conjure up once they're over. If I try hard enough I can summon bits and pieces, a few stray images, but for the most part today just went away. I remember that it happened, but now that it has it amounts to nothing. A few items from the stores are all the physical evidence that it ever was, and I feel this vague dissatisfaction from the fact that I don't want to eat any of what I bought even though I'm getting hungry.

I'll eventually eat something, of course, because eating is my excuse for drinking the bottle of beer that is the thing I really want. That's one of the few things I bought, and that part of the day I do remember, even down the the sound of the refrigerator door opening and the smell of the cold air that spilled from it, and the feel of the cardboard handle of the carton in my hand. I wish I had bought something to eat that would be as memorable.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Beastly Entry [Aug. 27th, 2016|11:18 pm]
A few nights ago I smelled skunk on the air for quite a while, and tonight it dawned on me that since then I haven't seen the skunk who had been visiting my yard frequently. This suggests that the skunk might have ended up as road kill. I find the presence of skunks in my yard a bit stressful, for the obvious reason, but they are pretty cute anyway. I'll miss that skunk.

Something else I've been missing is the deer I used to see fairly often. I've suspected that the construction of some houses east of here, and the fencing of the yards, has made it more difficult for them to find their way to my block, or has made them more reluctant to take the risk of heading this way, as they now have to walk mostly along streets rather than crossing open fields. The fact that the apple orchard at the end of the block has been taken out has also reduced the incentive for them to come here, as deer are very fond of apples.

But very early this morning I happened to be at this desk and I heard the distinctive sound of deer hooves on the street, and a short time later the rustling of the bushes in my yard. It was too dark for me to see them, but I think there were at least two of them, and perhaps three or four. I wish they still came around in the twilight, so I could get a look at them now and then. But it just isn't as rustic here as it once was.

At the moment the only wildlife I'm sure is about is crickets. Both the big crickets with their pleasant, relaxing chirps and the small crickets with their annoying buzz are active tonight. When I can focus on the big crickets I feel calmer, and when the noise of the smaller bugs intrudes I become more anxious. Sitting on the porch thus induces a sort of emotional whiplash, as the focus of my attention veers from one sound to the other. In a while I'll turn the television on and both insect songs will subside into background noise. It's for the best. Being pushed back and forth irritates me.

Grocery shopping tomorrow. I hope I can get enough sleep, and wake up early enough tomorrow that I don't have to rush. I forget more stuff when I've been rushed. But my list is very short this week, so there's less to forget. So I won't worry.
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Short, Not So Sweet [Aug. 26th, 2016|11:18 pm]
Buzzy little crickets are busy outside my window, and it's a bit like hearing a dentist drill my teeth. I haven't been out in the sun, but I feel sunburned. The sun might be getting strong enough to burn skin through roofs. The sky exuded anger all day, but has cooled off now and probably won't try to kill me in my sleep. And I probably will sleep tonight, because I woke up around four o'clock this morning and had only a couple of catnaps this afternoon. That's the sort of thing that leaves me punchy. The sun better watch out tomorrow. If it comes after me I just might hit back.
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Oh, Well [Aug. 26th, 2016|05:03 am]
Oh, look, I did the forgetting to finish and post a partly written entry thing before falling asleep again:
Not long ago six o'clock felt like late afternoon, and now it feels like early evening. It won't be long before it hosts nightfall, and then full darkness. Summer, despite persistent heat, is shriveling away like one of the oak leaves it desiccated. The autumnal equinox is only about four weeks off. With luck, we'll get some chilly nights that will allow me to have the oven on before then. I urgently desire a baked potato with a nice, crisp skin, and loaded with butter and sour cream (yes, both!) Nor would I be the worse for some baked macaroni and cheese. Well, my bum might be worse (larger), but I wouldn't be worse.
It appears that bum fat is not my problem. It's brain saturation. My brain is full. That's why I sat on the couch to think about what I was supposed to do next and ended up sleeping for about nine hours.

Look at that, the sun isn't even up. What a life.
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Nocturnal Pleasures Due [Aug. 24th, 2016|10:38 pm]
Shorty, the black feral cat who lives mostly in my back yard, has never shown himself to be much of a hunter, but he has apparently been learning. This morning I saw him playing with something, and when I looked at it, it appeared to be part of the remains of a very small bird. Then this afternoon he brought something near the porch and I saw the thing flutter and briefly escape him, but it was too injured to fly, as I saw when I examined it closely. He quickly re-caught it.

As I'd feared, it was a hummingbird. I let him put it out of its misery (I didn't stay to watch, but I hope he did it quickly.) The small bit of remains he'd been playing with earlier was probably part of a hummingbird as well. Hummingbirds are pretty hard for cats to catch, so Shorty must be really fast, and a really fast learner. I do hope he doesn't catch any more. I love my feral cats, but I also love hummingbirds.

A bit of warmishnes is coming back over the next couple of days, but the nights will actually be getting cooler. By Saturday the low could drop down to 59. That's cool enough to justify putting on a sweater when I go outside, though I don't think I will just yet. I'd like to revel in the chill for a while first. I've got all winter to ward off the cold with layers of clothing. For now, I'll just take pleasure in shivering.

The supermarket ads went online today, but I haven't looked at them yet. I fear that there will be some good buys, and the fact is I've spent just about all of this months grocery allowance already. I hate to pass up a good bargain, but I'm afraid I'll have to this week. I really need to build up my bank account after paying the enormous property insurance bill. At times like this I wish I was young and really good looking, so I could sell naked pictures of myself to make a few extra bucks, but nobody would want naked pictures of me the way I look now.

Hey, maybe I could get people to send me money not to send them naked pictures of myself? But, no, Donald Trump probably has that market cornered. Guess I'll have to think of something else.
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Unpleasantly Buzzed [Aug. 23rd, 2016|09:16 pm]
For some reason my front yard is full of little buzzy crickets, but the back yard has only one regular cricket with a pleasant chirp. I can hear the buzzy little crickets from the back yard, but not very loudly. I'm going to spend time in the back yard and avoid the front yard. Sadly, the room with the computer is in the front of the house and since I must have the windows open to cool the house off I must listen to the buzzy little crickets the whole time I'm using the machine.

I'm not sure how close I am to going crazy from the noise, but I'd guess pretty close. Looks like I'll be spending less time at the computer in the evenings until buzzy little cricket season is over. I might be able to write my posts in the daytime, but I'm quite a bit more disorganized that time of day. The buzzy little crickets are supposed to be edible, but they don't seem very appetizing to me. I wish the feral cats would eat them so I could get some peace and quiet.
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Time Flies When You're Having Heat Stroke [Aug. 22nd, 2016|10:36 pm]
That little clock/calender thing down there in the corner of the screen just told me this is Monday. That means tomorrow is trash pickup day and I have to take the wheelie bins out tonight. It seems as though I took them out just a couple of days ago, but I guess it has been a whole week. That's another thing the heat did to me. Being miserable clouds my memory. Maybe that's a good thing. I know there was a lot of misery last week, but the details of it are already fading, so I don't have to dwell on them. But I do have to toss about four bottles that contained various juices I downed last week. Once they are in the recycling bin the physical evidence of the heat wave (aside from the brown and withered sourgrass) will be gone.

Right now I'm finishing off the last half of a cantaloupe so I can toss the rind with the rest of the garbage. I should have eaten it a couple of days ago so I could get it out of the refrigerator. I left it in there too long and it has flavored my butter. Decaying cantaloupe-flavored butter is not pleasant. I do hope that the unopened pound of butter hasn't been affected, or I'll be tasting the foul ghost of this melon for a couple of weeks.

While the heat has diminished, I overslept today and didn't get the windows closed and the fan turned off before the day got warm, and by the time I did those things the house was already up to 74 degrees. I still managed to get through the day without turning on the air conditioner, and now I've got the windows open again and the fan on and it should be fairly comfortable in here by midnight. It's supposed to get down into the low sixties tonight, and I'm hoping I'll need to use a blanket when I sleep. Blankets are such a luxury when summer finally declines that using one makes me feel positively rich.

But that's later. Right now I must get those wheelie bins out. Then I'm going to just sit outside for a while and luxuriate in the cool night air.
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Here Today [Aug. 21st, 2016|07:03 pm]
I woke up so early today that I almost nodded off while sitting on a chair on the back porch a few minutes ago. It is deliciously cool out there, and a soft breeze is blowing, but I am so sleepy it might as well be sultry and soporific. I don't know how I'll stay awake long enough to watch the English people murder one another on television tonight. I'm not even sure I can stay awake long enough to eat dinner. Maybe I could take a nap and then wake up before the murders begin, but lacking anything that could serve as an alarm clock I don't trust myself. On the other hand, if I don't nap it's likely that I'll fall asleep during the murders and never find out who killed who and why.

Decisions, decisions. I'll put them off with this:

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Hooray [Aug. 20th, 2016|10:57 pm]
Today was five degrees cooler than yesterday, but better still tonight is supposed to get five degrees cooler than last night did, and tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler less hot than today was. Then we should get highs in the eighties and lows in the low sixties for the rest of the week. The utter misery may be over, for now, and I will suffer discomfort only by day and actually get to be comfortable by night. I'm not sure my brain will be able to recover rapidly, or fully, but at least my recent heat-induced dementia should be ameliorated somewhat.

But good news must not be unalloyed. Tonight I hear from my front yard some of the small crickets who make the unpleasant buzzing sound with which late summer in these parts is plagued. If any of the enjoyable large crickets are still chirping, the little ones are drowning them out. This will be going on at least into September, and longer if the weather stays warm enough. I'd like to get one of those cool Septembers with lots of rain, but that hasn't happened here for decades, so I guess it's unlikely. That won't stop me from dreaming about it, though.

And I guess I won't be getting cooked when I go shopping tomorrow. That will be a nice change. It doesn't even bother me that none of the stores have ice cream on sale this week. Hooray for summer's decline.
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