Tuesday, July 08, 2008


The weather here is hot and humid and miserable. Today, I’m hiding out in the basement with a bunch of our farm felines. Animals know not to move on days like these. Vera, the matriarch of the cat clan, has a particular favorite spot on top of the copier. I've just taken to calling her the copy cat.

It is still raining almost daily although I did squeeze some vegetable gardening in this past weekend so the weeds don’t get out of control. The past few years, I haven’t felt the desire to grow veggies. This year, with the price of everything going out of control and no end in sight, I’ve planted a nice assortment of squashes, herbs, beans, tomatoes, beets, swisschard and of course, lots of zinnias and flowers for cutting bouquets. The sunflower planting is way behind schedule – but this week it looks like lots of seeds will get into the ground. And then there is all the outdoor painting that needs to get done. The to-do list just keeps growing.

Summer is so hectic – I’m working on that upcoming book… Yes – still working on it….. And then I said yes to an editorial. It’s in a technique that I’m not quite proficient at and it is basically sucking time away from what I should be working on. I get very upset with myself when I say yes and then hate the process all the way through. It is totally my fault. I’m trying to learn to say no when I have too much going on. Just had the sense to say it this morning – a personal victory. When you freelance, you’re always positive that you’ll never get another job. But then you do.

Everything is a balancing act around here. Lots of things have to be done at the drop of a hat – like catching escaped animals before they destroy the garden and all your work goes down the hopper. And then there is the kid side of summer that I needs attending to. Right now, Julia is in a summer school program so her days are occupied for another two weeks. But she gets home early in the day and I want her to have fun in the summer – not just run around doing errands that need to be done or rushing to Fedex to get there before the truck leaves. Swimming in a pond, reading books she wants to read, running around outside, visiting her cousins.

I hope you are enjoying your fleeting days of summer and that you stop and smell the roses – I’ve got to remember to do that – I’ve only done it once so far this summer.

That’s what is on my mind. What about yours?


Patricia said...

My summer is full of knitting. The 4th of July we had a very small cook-out for the parents, talked with the neighbors, puttered around the house, looked at the community garden, (our community garden consists of three neighbors we are out in farm country but not farmers.) Husband had a photo shoot, and we too, are dealing with the heat and humidity. It is cool enough at night that the dog, cat, husband and I are all in one bed. When it is really hot everyone is looking for coolest part of the house to sleep.

You are not the only one planting a garden because of the high cost of food. This former city slicker is looking up how to can, pickle and store the harvest.

Looking forward to the new book.

Elizabeth said...

I just wrote about not finding time to just sit on my porch. And summer is so short.
I have planted veggies for the first time; there was no room to do so in the city. And checking the woods for any wild berries.
I am spending the rest of today in my pottery studio as it's cool in the barn.

Willow said...

What's on my mind? The work being done in my house today (finally!) to repair that water damage from last April. Our floors are torn up and I'm confined to the bedroom with my computer and some knitting. Enforced relaxation. But the banging from the front of the house makes me wince.

Anonymous said...

Vera has the right idea! Keep cool!

MelissaKnits said...

My mind is dwelling on how important the words "finished basement" are in my life this week. I too am camped out below stairs. At least the nights have not been bad.

A woodchuck ate my cabbage. Things are not looking good for him. Otherwise we're eating out of our little plot daily. Yum!

Renna said...

Hubby and I are kicking ourselves that we didn't plant some veggies. Living in town with a small backyard, we don't have room for a garden, but we had planned to attempt container gardening on our patio with some tomatoes and peppers at least. Our good intentions seemed to have gotten lost along the way.

It is very hot and humid where I live, too, only basements aren't common in these parts (high water table, I suppose). There's no place to escape the heat, so we use our a/c, and watch the outside meter whiz by at lightening speed.

I love the "copy cat" name, very clever! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Suggestion. Buy a couple USB sticks.


On one backup (copy) all your pictures.

On another backup all your other writings.

On a third backup your current work in progress - the book, the articles you are currently working on.

So if your computer does get zapped, all is not lost.

We're in eastern massachusetts and lost our tv and dvd/vcr a couple weeks back. We've been unplugging our computer as well, but I realized how upset I would be if I lost all those years of pictures of the kids - especially since the majority are not printed. I put the USB stick of pictures in our safe deposit box.

caliconurse said...

Kristen, this summer is all about being in the moment with my kids and husband. For too many years we've been rushed rushed rushed and not had the summer I want for my family. I make a decision every day about what's really important that day....such as how much longer can I put off that laundry to get in another hour or two at the beach? lol...but..so far I have a very happy crew here and I'm learning how to stop and relax and just sit still...We put in a pretty big garden this year for the first time and I'm very excited about it. Stay cool and I'm looking very forward to your new book!

kathy b said...


I have only planted tried and trues this summer. watering vegetables is too costly here. We have an abundance of neighbors who want us to enjoy their tomatoes and farmers markets galore.

I stuck to Filling most space in the garden with pumpkins that I hope to give away to the neighbor kids come fall. Coleus up in front of the house where the shade is intense. Geranums near the porch.

The rain has been near perfect in Chicago area so very little extra water is being used for the flowers.
Im thankful.

Im starting my vacation right now! I intend to use it well and see the peace in many moments.

Knitlee said...

Oh summer...I am having a hard time believing that it is July already! I have been filling my days with working at my LYS-and spending time with family. We have no vacation plans and are joinging the "staycation" club this year. I am fortunate to live on a pond and just love having my niece and nephew over for beach days...nothing says summer like the squeals of little tots dunking in the water-I have been knitting and knitting some more-Happy Hazy Lazy Days everyone-isn't the moon incredible tonight-! Alissa

beth said...

Well, today I am very excited that I am leaving tomorrow to go to the beach with my mom and dad and sons and two of their friends for a whole week! All of these boys going are 13 and above so I get to just enjoy them and not really have to make decisions about what to do or take care of them. You know, we'll do things like card playing and other slow fun - and when at the beach I can just sit and read or play in the waves with them and not worry! My mom does lots of cooking and meal planning and I just get to help in the kitchen and watch dishes but not make the decisions about what to eat. The hardest decision next week may be whether to knit or read. I am very much looking forward to the mental break and the smell of the salt air.

I hope you get in plenty of pond swimming - that's one of my favorite memories of New England summers (we used to live in Williamstown, MA). Enjoy!

Wendy said...

I planted a garden for the second year, but did not plant any beans, had such bad luck with the bunnies eating them last year...My squash is coming in, but rotting before ready to pick, due to the amount of rain we have received. The sunflowers are about to open, and there is little baby tomatoes and cucumbers that will be canned and pickled. I take time every evening to go out with the kids, and "water" them. then we go around the perimeter of the property and see if there is any berries to pick. We have been to the park for a picnic, when it is not so humid that you can cut the air. The early part of the days are kept busy with cleaning up the mess and some crocheting or knitting, in the comfort of the air conditioned living room...The cats laze all day and take advantage of the cooler evenings and nights to romp and play and keep us awake....
Enjoy your day and stop and smell them roses........

fabricluver (Susan) said...

on my mind - is that you are a wonderful loving Mom and wife

Hugs, Susan

Lena said...

Well, even though our lives are very different, after catching up with your posts, I realize that we have been feeling similar feelings about this summer and how fast it is going. Due to extended family issues, I'm often trying to fit in the pleasures of summer, rather than living them day to day like I'd prefer to do. But I still try to find time each day to sit with my coffee, enjoy the birdsong and enjoy my garden, such as it is. I keep hoping for time enough to make it as lovely as it used to be, but in the meantime I appreciate the beauty of it as is.
I love your garden shed. I'm hoping to one day turn our detatched garage into a similar space for working on artwork, making dolls and for sharing creative space with friends. I'd love to put in French doors and a small sitting space right outside of it, next to my small pond. Dreams are fun, aren't they?

Best wishes to you Kristen.

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