Saturday, August 27, 2011


We returned to Gilbert Friday (Aug. 26) after ten days in town. We didn’t mean to be gone from the farm so long, but with Mike’s road trip, physical therapy for his back, and Lewiston’s. “Hot August Nights” celebration, we decided not to make short trips back and forth.

We’ve spoken of “hot August nights” before – the phenomenon, not the celebration. In 1949 Harry found an electric fan for Mary Lou, who endured a long and difficult August labor as Chris came into the world. And when my mother went into labor on a hot august night 24 days later, my dad decided to postpone the hospital visit and take her for a pleasant evening drive. I think of those stories when August is hot and nights fail to cool – as now.

Thursday afternoon Mike and I attended the Roger’s Motors “Hot August Nights” celebration, free to all comers, including a barbecue for participants. Mike entered his ’65 Barracuda in the morning, and then the two of us went at 3:00 to walk around the lot, admire the cars, and wait for the barbecue. I made one tour and then sat in the shade as the thermometer across the street registered 101. Ice, pop, and water were provided but were hardly enough to keep up with the human need to stay hydrated.
The show was only a block from the Bernina Shop, and I honestly thought about taking myself there. However, I would have had to cross 21st Street on foot, one of Idaho’s most trafficked streets, at the busiest time of day. To drive there I would lose my parking spot. It was easy to talk myself out of making the effort.

So here we are at the farm. Mike rode his BMW ("the backroads Beemer") because he has an appointment in town on Monday and I came later in the Dakota loaded with Nellie, food, supplies, books, and sewing. I had suggested we just stay in town for the weekend, but Mike had it worked out in his mind (excuses to ride the motorcycle) and was anxious to get out of town. Just as well because Neighbor Pete called to say he would finish the repair work on our lane if we were coming up. That happened.

The hummingbirds are gone. I’ve cleaned the feeders for storage. And now we have some odd white butterflies with black markings, evidently the “pine butterfly” or “white pine butterfly.” We don’t recall seeing them before, and I don’t think they spell good news for the pine trees. Perhaps someone will read this who can give me learned info.

Being away during a hot spell was not good for my gardens, but I was surprised that the damage wasn’t worse. The squash revived with watering and I picked two zucchini just right for grating and we'll have yellow squash for dinner.

Farmer Kyle is harvesting now. I waved to him as I “sped” by his operation on my morning bike ride. Unfortunately there’s nothing on our place to harvest this year, so he won’t be coming in here. We wonder how the lack of crops will affect the deer and bird hunting seasons.

I went to a seminar last weekend and the cookies served with lunch were delicious – chocolate chip, macadamia nut, coconut taken from the oven slightly underdone. I found such a recipe online and am anxious to give it a try, but it’s really too hot to turn on the oven. Mike will make homemade ice cream for dessert tonight.

Well, I’m off to the vintage sewing room to set up my machine and organize my projects. Later . . . KW


Leah said...

Quite a turnout for the old car celebration. Maybe so many people came because no one else plans things in such hot weather! The 101 temp across the street reminds me of a large thermometer outside our gates on a busy street. It is always higher than the recorded temp for our town. When people site that thermometer, I remind them that it is hotter there because of the heavy traffic and hot asphalt right beside it.

Kathy, I'll bet your dad and his siblings slept outside on hot August nights at the farm. What do you think?

Kathy said...

And that car show was just a pre-event -- a free event, the marketing ploy of a dealership. A downtown Lewiston association sponsors the regular event which includes a car show and cruise, for which car owners have to pay a registration fee. There's also a "big name" concert in the park which costs plenty and involves a beer garden, but we lost interest when '60's performers became '70's rock and the organizers began to play to the drinking crowd.

Yes, I agree -- those thermometers on the street do not reflect the official temp.

I don't have definitive info on whether or not the Dobson siblings slept outside. I do know that they would sit outside after dark on a warm evening and enjoy watching the sunset and then the stars and northern lights. My dad knew the night sky and continued an interest in night sky events throughout his life.

Chris said...

I sent you an email about the butterflies courtesy of Dr. Dan.
Hope you're enjoying the farm--we had quite the lightning storm last night!! Sound like the whole state was lit up as I just talked to Bruder Bear and they had it, too.

Kathy said...

Yes, I received the info on the pine butterflies. Bottom line from Dr. Dan: don't worry unless the butterflies carry the tree away. The butterflies were fluttering everywhere on Friday but decreased rapidly.

Mike said he sat on the porch to watch the lightning show late Sunday night. I slept through it.

Chuck said...

What was the occasion for Pete to have to repair the road? Did it get done to your satisfaction?

I remember some really active thunderstorms watched from the back porch. One storm was so lit up that you could take video and not have any dark image. It's hot here, too, 101 today. Maybe cooling a little next week.

Good post!

Kathy said...

Hi Chuck! The lane washed in the early spring when the bank (June's field) sloughed into the ditch. Clint and Mike discovered it early on and made a temporary repair, so the damage could have been worse. Since we have no equipment of our own, we employed Pete to make the repair. Yes, Pete does excellent work with his bulldozer. He put the excess dirt into my garden tires and also smoothed some into the low place between the pond and the barn. Of course, he shaped the bank to keep it from sloughing more. Back when we enlarged the pond, Pete also shaped it for us. Now Pete has an old grader and is "pleased as punch" about that.

I need to do better at linking to previous posts that explain these things, although I admit to being a little vague when I write about other people.