Happy Summer

The first day of summer? Really? It feels as if summer has been here for the past couple of months, with temperatures into the nineties and hundreds. Today, oddly, is a cool, misty day, with fallen leaves sprinkled about. Maybe someone is playing a joke on us, and it’s really the beginning of fall.

More probably, the joke is that we still have three months of heat ahead of us, and today was just a bad connection, where the weather couldn’t log in to the proper season.

I’m just being silly about the incorrect log in — and grateful for the cool day. What made me think of the bad connection analogy was that I couldn’t log into my website email, the one I opted to pay for. (Too many people and businesses and sites have that address for me, and it was too complicated to change. The good news is I don’t have to deal with any ads.)

I called my website provider, and after going through a series of verifications, a real person answered. A real American-English speaking person. It was such a delight talking to someone who understood what I was saying, and moreover, one who had patience with my inability to think of simple words. (Like address bar. Why would that have slipped from my brain?) They didn’t really do anything except take up enough time that the problem fixed itself, but at least the issue is on record, and if there is ever another instance of the same thing happening, I know where to send the screenshot of the very, very, very, very long 500 error code that basically said there was a problem connecting to the server but no one knew what it was.

I’m always leery when two weird computer-related things happen around the same time. I had just received an email from Facebook telling me that someone tried to change my FB password, and if it wasn’t me, to click on the link, which I did. (The link took me to a message that basically just said the problem was reported.) It seemed legitimate, a real Facebook notification, but since my website email address is my backup email for FB, I wondered if whoever had tried to change my FB password had somehow done something to my website email. The real person said the two weirdnesses weren’t related. They also looked up the email address on the FB email, and said that, as I had surmised, it was legitimate. So, whew!

But that’s not what this post was supposed to be about. I’d intended to talk about having summer before it was summer. I’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning up spent larkspur (because of the heat, the plants gone through their cycle and were finished for the year) and planting seeds in the cleared garden areas. When this happens later in the summer, I just let it go, but it seemed a shame to spend the entire summer with an empty garden patch, especially since summer just started today.

And oh! It’s not my imagination — my brown grass is greening up. I think it helped that the lightbulb finally went on, and I sprinkled the dead areas with mulched grass clippings to keep the heat and wind off the grass. (I’ve been moving the mulch around a bit so that the clippings don’t mat down and block air flow to the grass.) And it seems to have helped. Since this appears to be a problem area, I will continue with this light mulching until the cooler weather. If I had any doubts, I now know this is a cool season grass that does not like our summer heat, so I’m sure the grass is enjoying this lovely cool day as much as I am.

Happy summer!


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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The Day Before Summer

Today was my day for watering the garden and since I had to go to work mid morning, I went outside fairly early to take care of my gardening responsibility. And eek. By 8:00 o’clock, it was 80 degrees with 80 percent humidity, and 80 parts fleas and mosquitos.

We generally have low humidity here, which makes the days of high humidity an especial affront. And the mosquitoes . . . they must be new to the area because they didn’t get the message that mosquito repellants were supposed to repel them. Still, I got through the task, though it was an effort, not just because of all the annoyances but because of the toll the high heat and searing sun and no rain is taking on my yard. Many of my poor plants are desiccating; I have brown stalks where once the larkspur held pride of place; and too much dying grass and invading weeds are making my various garden patches unsightly. It’s simply been too hot to spend much time outside cleaning out the beds.

Even worse, a few baby bushes look as if they’re giving up. Not that I blame them. Except for trying to keep the plants alive and doing whatever non-gardening jobs I need to do, I too have more or less given up. And it won’t even be summer here until 9:31 tomorrow night. I can’t imagine another three months of this heat, though I suppose I will make an accommodation with the weather as I have done with every other obstacle in my life.

Just not today.

I couldn’t bear to be outside even long enough to take a photo of the few flowers that are so bravely blooming. The cactus flower that accompanies this article was taken yesterday as I left the house to go to work. It’s gone today, and there will be no more pretty yellow blossoms to mask the vicious prickles on the plants.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator