Too Hot For Me (No Soup For You)

September 8, 2013 at 8:15 am (Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Summer is ending. The last few weeks have been hot with temperatures hovering around 30 degree Celsius (86 degrees F).

Too hot for me.

I am not summer’s child. I was born in the Spring and my heart resides in Autumn.

I adore the cooling days and nights. I luxuriate in Fall’s changing colours. I don’t want the first snow to fall until Christmas Eve (I must have snow for the holidays). Autumn is too short. Summer is too long.

It is too hot for me.

Like an insect, I hover in the cool breezes and hide inside umbrellas or sneak inside dwellings to escape the heat.

Hiding inside doesn’t work. Inside, sans breeze, is hotter than outside unless you have air conditioning (hi everyone who isn’t me).

The fans stir up only warm air and lately there have been no night breezes.

I can only survive Summer if there are night breezes.

I praise the humble dragonfly out devouring the insolent mosquito.

It is too hot for me.

The farmers are out harvesting. Hi Farmers.

The gophers are out chasing each other.

There are fresh vegetables and ripe fruits over-running homes and markets.

You can’t leave the house without zucchini and lone tomatoes apparitioning on the kitchen table or on the back deck. Beware of drive-by gardeners!

It is too hot for me!

How do I survive when it’s this hot out?

Other then hiding in air-conditioned spaces. I thank the stars for air-conditioned libraries.

I drink something hot, like tea.

Or make soup.

Yes, I know this sounds counter-productive.

Wouldn’t putting something hot in your body just make you hotter?

Actually hot beverages are good for you when it’s hot out…

They make you sweat…which cools you off…miraculous!

Also remember when you sweat you lose salt which your body needs to be healthy.

So when it’s hot, drink something hot and replenish that salt.

No you don’t need to go as far as getting a salt lick!

Hot, hot, hot…

Too hot for me!

I’m waiting (melting) (sweating) for Autumn to start

Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.  ~Carol Bishop Hipps

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Photo Friday: Summer Colours

August 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm (Meme) (, , , , , )

I had a different post planned for today (hopefully, you’ll see it next week) but I’m in the midst of the last of my unpacking (see last week) so I give you a little bit of summer color instead.

Holy, run-on sentence, Batman!

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I Want A House Dress

July 15, 2012 at 8:15 am (Life, Rants) (, , , , , , , , , )

It is still too hot. Even though I live in a semi-basement apartment, I am too hot. All that the fans seem to be good for is to circulate warm air and even opening the windows in the evening is doing little to cool down my space . I wish I could sleep with the windows wide open all night but I don’t feel safe doing that. If I did maybe then the loud thundery night air would cool down my apartment so that it would be livable during the day!

I sit here in  my hot apartment not cooking, not reading (the light-bulbs get too hot), and not doing much of anything except spending too much time on the computer as television is crap 90% of the time during the summer.

It doesn’t help that I live in jeans and own few summer clothes. My wardrobe is a fall/winter/spring wardrobe. It’s as if my mind refuses to believe that Summer exists at all.

What is a house dress? Well, obviously it’s a dress you wear mostly around the house because you don’t want to be seen wearing it. My grandparents had clothes they wore at home and clothes there wore in public. Me – I’m past the point (actually never really cared that much) where I acknowledge others’ judgments. Right – so why won’t I wear shorts in public? My grandmothers mostly wore houses dresses.

According to Gertie (don’t you just love that name. Isn’t it such a grandmotherly name?):

First off, what is a house dress? Basically any relatively loose-fitting day dress with easy closures (usually in the front) that was worn to do household chores in.

My mother does not wear house dresses. She wears shorts and goes about bare footed as often as she can or slips on flip flops. My mother is a summer person. She is a gardener. She loves the heat. She loves the long days.

She was raised on a farm and has lived in small towns for ninety percent of her life. I don’t know if this is why she prefers shorts to dresses. She used to dress up. She used to wear dresses and high heels. I have pictures. We use to play dress-up with her old heels and even then I knew I would not be wearing those things every day!

I hate shopping. I am not a girly-girl. Was I ever a girly-girl? They use to make us wear dresses every Sunday to church and on special occasions. We had to wear not just dresses but tights and pantyhose as well. Thus, I’ve always viewed dressing up as torture not fun.

I can’t remember the last time I wore a sundress or owned sandals.

I can remember the last time I owned a house dress. I paid ten dollars for it. I was in my twenties and living by myself. It was a black, sleeve-less cotton dress that flowed to below my knees and was easy to put on. I wore it around my apartment and on the days I did laundry because it was cool and I could put it on and forget about clothes and fashion and the weather. I never wore it outside the apartment building! I never wore it except when I was alone.

Here are my three reasons to wear a house dress:

  1. A house dress is cool. That is, it allows the air to circulate and cool your body. Though, on the other hand, because of shows like Mad Men, house dresses are also COOL.
  2. A house dress is easy; easy to put on, easy to make and easy to forget about.
  3. A house dress is quick; slip it on and you’re done dressing in one or two easy steps.

Here are three reasons I won’t wear a house dress outside the house:

  1. A house dress needs accessorizing. You have to think about what to wear on your feet especially if you plan to leave the house even if you’re just going down to the communal basement to do your laundry.
  2. People judge you. I feel more vulnerable wearing a dress, especially this one. In my jeans, I blend into the crowd and nobody notices me.
  3. I haven’t worn a dress comfortably in public since I was 7. That’s when people started to feel that they had the right to comment on my appearance. I don’t care what you think of my fashion look and I’d prefer that you keep all comments, good or bad, to yourself.

Now, I want a house dress. I want it for practical reasons – I’m tired of being overheated. I want it for the comfort and because (part of me) wants to feel as pretty as that seven year old use to once upon a time.

I’m off to buy this dress. Don’t tell me how I look in it (please)!

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Hot & Bored

July 8, 2012 at 8:15 am (Weather) (, , , , , , )

Summer is upon us.

The daytime shadows are skinny and long.

It is so hot.

It is so hot that all one has to do to dry their hair quickly is hang your head out the window for a minute or two!

I am locked up inside – hot & bored & broke & alone.

Summer is not my season.

Though I do look fondly on afternoons spent exploring shadowy woods.

But shadowy woods are best explored in May or September.

Or when there are cool winds to chase away the mosquitoes.

Summer is not my season.

Though when I was a young teenager, I dreamed of owning a cottage by the lake. But that was before the lakes were over-run with houses. You might as well be back in the city. The neighbours are close enough to touch and though there are cool breezes and calm waves there is also way too much noise and booze.

I want to be able to have my own lake with a cave to hide in. I need an island, perhaps.

Summer is not my season.

It is too hot and I can’t afford to go anywhere or buy anything (so beaches & woods & air-conditioned malls are out of reach).

It is too hot and I am bored.

I am tired of reading and tired of television.

I am longing for an early autumn (could we start now, please)!

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Summer Memories

August 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm (Fun, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , )

The summers of my childhood were endless. I woke up, had breakfast and immediately was sent outside until the noon whistle blew. When I was growing up, every small town had a whistle that sounded every day at noon sharp; that’s how we knew to go home (or back to grandmas) for lunch. After a lunch hastily eaten, we quickly headed back out before we could be corralled into doing dishes.

We spend our days running wild, rain or shine. We had the run of the main street sidewalk for playing games, like hopscotch or roller skating. It was the 60s, the end of the baby boom, and kids to play with were plentiful. The grown-ups were there to keep an eye on us and corral us for the occasional errand.

Other children’s parents/grandparents never hesitated to help or hinder us with the occasional warning. We had the run of two playgrounds, the public and the elementary school ones, and there was a paddling pool to splash in.  We loved to hide in the lumber yard, but being it was off limits, only got to explore it on Sundays and holidays. The lumber yard was a forbidden danger full of nails, the fear of tetanus shots because of a rusty nail stepped on and splinters.

In reality, the lumber yard consisted of hundreds of open shelves, long enough for two or three kids to lie down in them toe to head. I don’t really remember the appeal except it was cool & dark and smelt of saw dust, and was, of course, forbidden!

Our summer games were different from the schoolyard games we played from September to June. There were fewer rules, nobody to tell us what to do and boys & girls roamed together as one large pack, a gaggle of kids, a mob.

What is a large group of children called?

The biggest difference was that in the summer we were allowed out after supper. Summer evenings are long, for a few short weeks, the sun stays up until ten and we pack of children were not called in early to bed. In the back alley, we played tag or hide-n-seek in the waning twilight.

I don’t remember many rainy childhood days. The rain did not stop my fun; I would pull on my serviceable rubber boots and follow the streams the rain made. I would imagine tiny people boating and building and playing along these streams. It was very British, in my imagination; there were green forests and rolling hills and fairies. My first book was Andrew Lang’s Red Fairy Book and these are the illustrations that haunt my childhood memories.

If I was not outside, I was at the library (after all it was right next door) or I was hiding and reading. I don’t know why I hid with my books? I hid under the bed, in the back of my mother’s closet or upstairs in the back of eldest sister’s closet. I still like creating caves and I still like reading; you could say that on bright summer days, the curtains closed as they are now, my apartment is one big, solitary cave.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town, 5 blocks x 5 blocks in size, with a bustling main street. Main Street had two grocery stores, a drugstore, a hardware store, the library, a meat market, a bank, a cafe, the seldom used train station at one end, the elementary school at the other end, and a horseshoe pitch. It had every thing we could ever need.

Of course, part of the summer was spent with grandparents. My mother’s parents lived in a smaller town than we did after they sold their farm and my father’s parents were, on a farm, just a few miles out of town. We had swimming lessons in the lake my mother’s parents’ town was named for. When we were in our early teens, my younger brother and I walked across this lake one winter and the news reached my grandparents before we were even across this frozen vast-land (yes, we got in trouble).

On my father’s parents farm we morphed into farm kids, free to roam the countryside, staying within yelling distance, of course. We weeded the garden, we climbed the rock pile we helped to create, we picked cattails at the slough, we conversed with the cows and were chased by the vicious geese. When he was twelve, my younger brother got a BB gun for Christmas. I was so jealous! When he finally let me use it, I accidentally on purpose shot him in the back of the leg. I wanted to see if it would hurt and was not about to shoot myself. I didn’t get in trouble for this because he never tattled on me (which was very unlike my younger brother).

There were cousins galore on my father’s side and none on my mother’s, though there were a handful of second & third cousins much older than us.  On my father’s side we cousins ranged from babies to teenagers and there was always some one to run wild with. I miss that aspect of summer. My summers now are too bereft of companionship.

From the ages of 7 – 13, I was a wild child, a tomboy, a member of Peter Pan’s tribe or Robin Hoods. There was endless freedom and no responsibility except to be home in time for meals and to be respectful and kind. Like any normal pack of children there were fights, disagreements, bumps, bruises and tears. We learned to negotiate our way; we learned how to survive and who would compromise.

Childhood is not necessarily safe but we all survive it somehow.

In spite of the bumps, scrapes, bruises and hurt feelings.

My summer childhoods felt perfect and I miss that bliss of perfection.

I wonder what I have lost, growing up, becoming fearful, and losing that fearlessness to try everything.

What would you answer if I asked you to come out and play?

(Playing Hide-n-seek in the dark is fun for grown-ups too.)

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Summer in the City

July 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm (Life, My City) (, , , , , , , , )

Once the ribbons and festival garbage cans start to crop up along the river bank I know  Summer in the City has begun.

I’m not a big fan of summer; summer tends to always be tooo hot. I love it when the temperatures drop over night, to the single digits, it helps me sleep better.

I love the Farmers’ Market in the Summer. There is no taste like fresh peas and other vegetables straight from the garden. I don’t garden but my ancestors are farmers and gardeners. When I lived at home, as an adult,  my mother gardened and I took care of the inside chores. I much prefer this arrangement over our childhood one where all of us were expected to garden and weed. I think mother thought because she loved it so much it must be fun. I don’t think I’ll ever find gardening FUN but I’ve grown to appreciate the rewards that labour brings.

Summer in the City means enjoying the Jazz festival. There are tons of free concert and I suppose, if one was persistent, one might bump into a star or two. These gophers were out frolicking with their pals while listening to the music.

Today is the first weekend of the Fringe. I always go to the Fringe but this year I am also volunteering which is turning out to be a ton of fun.

It’s only the first weekend of the festival, our August long weekend, and the crowds are not yet huge.

I watch the Oriental Dance group dance on the street every year thinking that it would be fun to join but I haven’t joined yet. I’m a slow adopter and a scarredy-cat.

Don’t the dancers look happy? They’re probably a great group and very open, don’t you think?

Summer is half over and I haven’t done half the things I wanted to.

Before I know it, it will be September and we will be ending the season with the Fireworks festival.

For your summer enjoyment here is some bonus nostalgic teenage music.

I hope your summer is marvelous and not seeming too short.

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”
-  Russel Baker

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Tribbles and Bits

May 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm (Book Commentary, Life, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

LilacsYesterday, there was a scent of lilacs wafting on the wind. The Lilac season is one of the seasons I wait for in anticipation. And it is such a short season (LOL). I only have about two weeks to enjoy the Lilacs and then they will be gone and it will be summer. Hot, hot summer which is the season that I despise the most. I can not tolerate the heat. Autumn is my favorite season: the days are still long, the heat dissipates by dusk and raspberries are plentiful and inexpensive.

I don’t hate everything about Summer just the heat. The Children’s Festival will start next week and starting tomorrow my walk to work will be festooned with ribbons. Not the whole walk, just the last part by the park. They will have bright ribbons hanging over the trees which are already a canopy of green but for one week will be joined by a rainbow of ribbons and hoards of children when I go out for lunch. This week makes me wish I still had little ones in my life to enjoy the festival with.

Today is Sunday. It was a beautiful day but I did not go out into it. Except to take out the garbage. I stayed inside reading, enjoying the sun like a cat. I finished two books and the Saturday paper. I did notice when the sun went behind the clouds but I was not tempted to leave my apartment. I’m a little tempted now but it means I’d have to put on a bra and I don’t want to!

What books did I finish, you ask?

the Necklace

One of the books was The Necklace. This book is the story about thirteen women who buy a 15,000.00 dollar necklace to share. The book details this social experiment and how sharing the necklace affects each woman. I couldn’t do it! For one, I couldn’t spend that sort of money on jewelry (over 1,000.00 dollars each) and two, I wouldn’t be able to share something like that. Either I would want to have it safe with me always or I would prefer not to have it. I do recommend the book. I found the concept to be a courageous one; I just couldn’t do it!

The other book was Stephen King’s latest book of short stories, Just After Sunset.  I think Mr. King does short stories better than he does novels. The best short story in this collection was The Things They Left Behind which is about 9/11. Here is the synopsis from Stephen King’s website and here is what Wikipedia says about it. The glasses, below,  play a pivotal role in the story. LolitaI cried. Stephen King usually doesn’t make me cry.

So here you have it – some bits about my life but no tribbles (not this time anyway).  ;-)

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