Thursday, August 2nd
The photos for this post include a sunrise as seen from our porch. The sunrises in Arizona can be as spectacular as sunsets.
The crew and I are outside in the cool of early morning.
Previously I bought concrete blocks and patio blocks to make a place for the rain barrel underneath the new downspout Mike will install.
My plan is to create a little patio and then build an elevated platform for the rain barrel. (Elevation is important to create pressure for water flow and room for watering cans under the faucet.)
The next photo shows the project in progress. It will look a lot different when done.
You can see how important the garden cart is.
I would’ve had a very tough time carrying concrete blocks from the back of the Perfect Tow Vehicle to the rain barrel’s location!
I also use the cart to empty the Best Little Trailer. I’m taking everything out and hauling it over to the patio for sorting. A lot of items carried in the PTV and the BLT all these years now can be stored at the house. It’s nice to be able to lighten the load, yet still have rarely used stuff available when we are house-docked.
I change my mind.
I mention in a previous post that I would leave the grapes for the birds, lizards, and any other creatures that want them. During these very hot days the sparrows and finches visit the grape vine often. I hear Lattice Lizard in the leaves.
Well, I’m hit with a terrible craving for sweets, which I don’t keep in the house. When that happens I usually eat watermelon. But I’m all out of watermelon. Soon visions of white cake with buttercream frosting tempt me to go to the grocery store. If I give in, I’ll be zooming over to the bakery area, for sure. Then I remember:
I take the colander out the back door to pick a few clusters.
I had no idea there are so many grapes!
You know how you go out to the vegetable garden to pick a couple tomatoes for sandwiches? You bend down and lift the leaves out of the way and there’s this incredible cluster of big, beautiful, red tomatoes you didn’t know was there? That’s what I experience when I lift the grape leaves out of the way.
The grapes are small. Doesn’t matter. They’re sweet and there are plenty for the critters and me.
I keep a supply of grapes chilled in the refrigerator. Whenever that sweet craving returns, I do a refrigerator walk-by and grab a handful.
Today is a very productive day!
Besides emptying the BLT and building the rain barrel station, in the early evening I mix up a batch of Quikcrete and repair the cracked concrete of a raised bed. Actually it’s worse than cracked; big chunks have come loose.
According to the folks of Quikcrete, set up time is 5 minutes. Right. On a hot, dry day the set up time is more like 2 minutes.
Boy, do I make that concrete fly!
Friday, August 3rd
Mike and his helper work on the roof.
In spite of the intense heat, they complete the most difficult part, laying the last of the fabric, making it fit around the skylights, and topping the fabric with black gunk. It all has to set for a week before the next two layers (white) go on. As usual they can only work a couple of hours before the heat drives them off the roof.
While Mike and I share a bowl of chilled grapes, I ask him if the location of the rain barrel will be okay for the downspout’s angle to the opening in the top. He approves. We discuss the platform design.
I show him the two kinds of spigots I bought.
(Two spigots need replacing.) Typically, the other day when I go to pick out the spigots, I come upon a dilemma. You see, I know I need to buy 3/4 inch spigots but I didn’t check whether they should be “innies” or “outies.”
Late in the afternoon I return the female spigots. I buy three air conditioner filters, a pack of tortillas, two watermelons, a box of fresh strawberries, among other items.
Saturday, August 4th
Today’s breakfast smoothie is almond milk, peanut butter powder, a few grapes, and lots of fresh strawberries.
I want to dive into more projects, but my energy level is very low.
Yesterday afternoon, I notice the first signs. This depletion of vitality happens a couple times a year, a lifelong pattern, and I’ve learned that there’s no sense in fighting it.
I try to blog without success. I watch a movie. I sit on the porch. I nap a few times . . . as much as Roger and Reggie will allow.
NOTE: It’s Sunday and I’m feeling much better! BTW, aren’t my boys cute as buttons? — Sue
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