August 2nd, 2013



Tonight I might not have to turn the fan on at all. The house will probably cool off before dawn with only the windows being open. Maybe we will have a mild August to make up for that torrid July. Too bad it's too late for the lawn and all the other plants that have been desiccated by the heat. I'm especially sad about the sourgrass, which is now entirely brown and wilted. I always miss the sourgrass when it dies back, because I know its bed won't look good again until spring.

The peaches are all gone, too, so there is no more fruit in the yard until next year. If I want fruit I'll have to go all the way to the store to get it, and pay actual money for it. Not that the peaches from the yard are entirely free. I probably spend almost as much on water for the tree as it would cost me to buy as many peaches as it produces from Safeway. It's just that it's very pleasant to be able to walk out the door and pick a fresh peach. It makes summer a bit easier to bear.

This afternoon I discovered that daddy long legs spider had put its egg sack on the underside of the faucet over the sink on my back porch. Well, I guess it was a mama long legs spider, but you know what I mean. Anyway, the babies had hatched and a bunch of tiny spiders were swarming all over the faucet, which had some web strung under it. I considered leaving them in place, to see if they cannibalized each other, but decided that I really didn't want baby spiders crawling all over my hand every time I had to fill the feral cats' water bowls, so I slaughtered the lot of them. It's too bad. They were oddly cute.

Edit: Well, here it is Friday, and this was supposed to be yesterday's post. I finished writing it at eleven o'clock, then went off to watch the first segment of the Daily Show, and then I forgot that the entry was here waiting to be posted. Curse television for being so entertaining.

Failure to Crash

Well, I haven't done any actual sleeping in about 26 hours, and that sleep was only about three hours long. I had a couple of brief naps this afternoon, maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. I feel tired, but my brain doesn't want to slow down. I do hope I'm not developing a manic state again. I haven't had one for decades, and this would be too soon to get one. I did put my wakefulness to some good use, and managed to do some cleaning I've been putting off too long, but I can't do anything that requires much concentration. I'm not sure I'll even be focused enough to make dinner, although I'm getting very hungry due to not having eaten any lunch. In fact, I'd really welcome one of those unintentional naps right now.

When I ought to have been eating lunch, I was in the back yard messing about with weeds and rose bushes and the garden hose. There I saw one of the feral cats get stung on its forepaw by a yellow jacket. The cat was about to eat when the wasp buzzed the bowl a few times and landed on the food. The cat, understandably miffed, swatted the wasp with its paw and got stung for its trouble. After darting about in a panic for a minute or two, the cat spent the next several minutes licking its paw. After that it vanished, probably crawling into some hiding place where it felt safer. I've been watching to see if the cat returns. It might be so traumatized by the experience that it won't want to eat from that bowl again. Also, I hope it hasn't got an allergy to the sting. I'd hate to lose a cat to an insect.

The days are still uncomfortably warm, but the nights have turned pleasantly cool, so I have time to recover before the heat returns, and the house gets quite comfortable around midnight. This should continue for the next several days, but there's no telling what might happen after that. I'm quite surprised, and pleased, that we haven't yet had any large fires locally this summer, but August is usually the most dangerous month for fire, so I remain wary. The recent extreme heat has caused the oaks to dry and shed more leaves than is normal this early in the season, and I might have to start doing some raking within a week or so. That will be very unpleasant should it turn hot again. I might get a head start on those leaves that have already fallen, just in case, but it will depend on whether I can get enough sleep to prevent me from becoming exhausted.

I'm actually getting very tired of this place. If moving were not such a hassle, and finding another place to live not so costly, nothing would please me more than to leave for some more enjoyable clime. I probably wouldn't be able to take the feral cats with me, though, so even if the other problems weren't a consideration I'd still probably stay here as long as the cats are here. Nobody else is going to look after them, and they trust me.