The week’s forecast has been daunting with its announcement of 107 to 111 degree weather. It freaks me out a little, to be honest. But then I decided to work with it.
We have planted a lot of trees but they are still 4 feet high and not very shade productive yet. We do have some trees and shady areas on the sides of the house and we put up a large canvas gazebo. Under it, I placed a rather large child’s wading pool that my sons are small enough to float around in along with their 50,000 dinosaurs. I stocked up on heavy duty waterproof sunscreen, library books, and sugar-free pop cycles.
I have been keeping the house closed up and the air conditioning at 79 degrees and freezing all sorts of BPA-free water bottles and plastic jugs for icy water all day.
We try to go outside to play and garden in the early hours and sometimes we will come back out in the evening when the sun has floated to the other side of the house. I apply liberal amounts of sunscreen to all of us and keep the furry pets inside. If the dogs decide they must be with us I soak them with water. This is the perfect weather for outdoor doggie baths which were performed yesterday. Clyde and Babu didn’t want to admit it but I could tell they found that a cold bath on a 105 degree day wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
I have put the computer away from the kids. I don’t find it to be a positive thing and they act like I’ve taken their heroin away when I shut it off. It’s got some weird addictive gamma rays or something. I purchased a cheap $125 laptop for Arjan for his education but it wound up being a Youtube source. I have stored it away and it will come out in the fall when Arjan starts his homeschooling. So, I was somewhat concerned at how to keep them cheerful during these days of hot, hotter, and hottest weather. I was also concerned for myself. Going to the river in this heat and with two wild boys alone is NOT an option.
Now, there are some fun things the town offers and many towns may offer. There is the Movie Clubhouse offered by Cinemark. For the next 10 weeks over summer two mornings a week at 10:00 am on Wednesday and Thursday they offer kids movies for a dollar per person. We are definitely going to enjoy that! There is a public pool but it’s $5 per person here. I have yet to see if they have discounts. Most pools are a couple bucks per person so this one seems pricey.
There are concerts in the park one night a week that is free and after 7:00 pm when it cools down. And there is the river.
We went to the Saturday morning Farmers Market with our new neighbors at 8:00 am. There were a lot of organics and homegrown meats there along with homemade pies. I find Farmers Markets to be a natural way to shop for food unlike pushing a cart around a fluorescent lite box store. I have decided that this is how I will do as much of my shopping as I can. We have three days of Markets here in Yuba City. The Wednesday Market is year round.
The next day there was a wonderful wind all morning so I left the windows and doors open and enjoyed the breeze and birdsong until it started to bake and then I closed up shop and turned on our cool air. I had a homemade iced coffee and decided to rearrange my dining room. It just didn’t have that cozy feel. It’s amazing how much you can change the look and feel of a room just moving what is already there around and maybe subtracting or adding something from another room. Then I was motivated to tackle my laundry room and create a little writing space there so I can see my boys out the window and keep an eye on their shenanigans as I write and blog. This is wise since Arjan seems to think all is fair in wrestling water games such as shoving his brothers head under water or using his body as a human bridge.
I was able to recreate my dining room, finish organizing and setting up my laundry room, do a little more decorating of the living room, and I decided to grow a few more houseplants. This is so easy with Ivy type houseplants. I just cut off some long stems and put them in a quart jar of water and in the kitchen window. Within a few weeks, they have roots and I plant in a clay pot with potting soil. I have found cheap organic potting soil at Lowe’s and Homedepot along with $4 dollar bags of rich compost (just until mine is ready). I have stacks of old clay pots a former neighbor gave me for free. Voila! I already have grown two houseplants since moving here. That organic soil and the heat does wonders for growing things. I feel like each day my plants and garden take huge leaps of growth overnight. I now have a lush plant on my desk and I sent one off with my husband. He has the only gas station in town with wine barrels filled with geraniums at his gas pumps and houseplants in his store. People love it! It makes his shop look quaint.
That night Bali put up my chicken wire fencing around my garden beds. The neighborhood cats were thrilled with the enormous litter boxes so I figure chicken wire won’t be so easy for a cat to climb. I’m not happy to find cat poop in my beets. I am grateful it’s the beets and not my carrots though.
Today is 109 and thus far I have managed to work out with the weights and tread climber early. It’s all in the garage now which I really like. I plugged in a small radio someone gave me and was able to tune in my new favorite station that plays a lot of 80’s. Yay! I worked out, watched the boys play under the trees and listed my gratitudes…of which there are a lot and I get distracted halfway through. Sparkly things distract me along with just about any light or sound.
I’m still reading my Everything Stress Managment book on the tread climber. It was covering the finances and had a question and quiz section. I feel so good about our finances that I enjoyed the quiz and questions and skimmed to the next part. It feels great to be debt free except for the tiny house loan that is unheard of in today’s market in California. And today I was talking to Loan Depot about getting a loan with a smaller finance rate and cutting out the PMI for a smaller mortgage and when they ran our credit I was told that Bali has a score of 751 now! This is amazing because when we married he had awful, awful credit but with just one secured credit card through the bank, he has done an 180 in a year. Amazing.
Now I’m sitting on a bar stool with my laptop on the dryer writing this blog and watching the boys out the window. I will soon bring in a big box of train tracks out of the garage I’ve stored for months. This will give them a new toy to build and work on for hours when they come in from the heat. TV is no longer an option these days along with the computer. We are spending a summer unplugged. We have such a great yard and house that these boys can use the imagination all day long. I don’t even make phone calls but rarely and the cell phone is in my desk cabinet. I’m not a fan of FaceBook or Twitter so that’s easy. My only real addiction is blogging, writing, and afternoon ice coffee now.
Today I had the boys plant their own garden. I have control issues and I found my patience was nowhere to be found when we planted the first garden. What fun is that for them if I’m acting like a gardening sergeant? So, I decided to really let go and I gave them all the remaining seeds and the other large raised bed and said, “Go for it boys!” And they did. They threw all the seeds every which way and we will not know what is where and who cares. It was fun and they will have a wild garden.
Today I will string the clothes line my friend sent me and hang my first wash. I have committed to no dryer. At least for the summer.
I have also started my weight loss challenge today with a cemented commitment. I was praying for unseen forces to help as I’ve been trying to get started for weeks and it seems that I’m either throwing a bar b q and a neighbor brings chocolate cake or a neighbor brings treats for my kids. I have a huge love of sweets and can’t resist. So I prayed to Jesus for help. I got it alright. Not quite how I would have imagined. My husband rubbed the back of my leg yesterday when I donned shorts. I thought he was being affectionate but then he mentioned that I needed to work out more to “get the lumps out” (he’s foreign and English is his third language so everything is said in an interesting way). He did get slapped but I actually wasn’t that upset. I figured that was the Universe giving me just the motivation I needed. Bali is very, very lucky that I have a very strong and high self-esteem today. Also, he is no slim beauty queen himself so I offered the challenge right back.
I am now motivated and have planned out just how I’m going to lose 30 pounds over the summer. Well, being that I’m in my 40’s I’m sure it will take much longer than that but I swear I’m going to make a dent in the waist by Fall. I’ve decided on, after much research and comparing, a low carb, no sugar diet loaded with salad and protein. I will do the treadmill every day, except Sunday, and full body weight training 3 days a week. I am fully committed as of today and if I have to turn down a bar b q, I will. No eating out or accepting baked goods from Penny across the street. I have to treat this like I did with quitting smoking and weekend drinking. It’s an addiction and must be taken seriously. It takes about a year to really cement a new lifestyle.
We are ending our day with a bowl of popcorn (no, I’m not having the popcorn) and an old movie on TCM. My favorite channel for those charming old movies. They take me back to times that seemed so innocent and carefree. The movies these days are so heavy.
This summer is our first in this home and we are pretty happy. I’m just hoping this crazy heat is not going to be a normal thing. I enjoy the 80’s and even low 90’s are fine, especially with a light breeze, however, it’s pushing it when nature cranks it up to 109 and 111.
I have many more indoor projects lined up for the next 5 days of hell. So, I’m actually enjoying the days instead of dreading them. And Wednesday we will going to a morning matinee to see Trolls for a dollar! Yay summer deals!