I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Doing nothing, outside, in the middle of the day.

We are having our first heat wave. Summer is finally here and ,with it, limited activity. I water and do projects in the morning and go for walks after the sun goes down. I loose all my energy on hot summer days, so I stay inside with my precious air-conditioning. I have no shame. I would be living in Alaska, or at the ocean, if I didn't have air conditioning. I'm not a hot, summer in the city, type person. Summer is something I suffer through. Its redeeming value is summer vegetables, wild blackberries and the fragrance of the Butterfly Bush blooming in the front yard.
One project I did this week was to paint a folding, metal chair that badly needed help. This was done early in the morning after Farmlady's second cup of coffee... in a cool, shady spot under the oak trees.
This was what it looked like "before".

 A pretty chair that you couldn't sit in. The paint had oxidized and if you sat on it you got up with dusty white stuff all over your rear end.  The cushion helped, but you still got powdered if you leaned back.
For a while, I just put a plant on it.
This worked and no one accidentally sat on it. But, it was a chair, after all, and things should be used for what they were intended.
 So... last week I washed the chair with soap and a wire brush, let the sun dry it, checked for loose paint and the next morning I spray painted it.
Here is the new spiffed up chair with all the intention in the world... waiting for someone to sit on it.
I love the color. It's Krylon indoor/outdoor spray gloss. The color is "ivy leaf". It dries in less than 10 minutes. I only used one spray can. I wanted the darker finish to show through, so I didn't cover it with a second coat. I like the effect. Now, there are no embarrassing moments when friends want to sit on the porch and talk.
Last night I went for a late walk up to the top of the property. It was still warm and it smelled like summer in the foothills... a mixture of heat, grasses, oak trees, manzanita and toyon. It's a good fragrance.
Annie followed me and then decided I had gone too far, so she waited for me below the well house. Always, at some point on our walks, she stops. It's as if she knows not to go further. Interesting.
Maybe she smells something or senses danger. I'm not sure, but she always stops and waits until I come back. Then she runs ahead of me and we walk back to the house.
She leads me home. It's a very important job for her. If I stop to take a picture she runs up to me, circles my legs and starts walking again. It's a little ritual we both enjoy.
I stopped once more before we reached the house because I saw a burst of blue in the dry grass. It was one of the last spring wildflowers standing.
It was Brodiaea elegans (the Elegant Brodiaca). This wildflower blooms from April to July in our grassy hillsides. It begins to flower when the fields dry out in early summer.
I took some pictures and then, as the evening darkened, walked back down the trail toward home.
When we reached the house I put Annie in the garage, gave her a treat and a quick back scratch, closed the door and walked across the concrete to the back door. I heard Brownie acknowledge me from the goat house.
The dogs were at the door and greeted me like I had been gone for years. Carl looked annoyed. He forgot that he and Cutter go with me every other night. It's a different walk with them on a leash. Not so peaceful. Lots of stopping and going. I guess Annie feels the same way about me.
The Prospector was reading in the living room.
He looked up and said, "Did you put the cat in?"
I said, "Yep.".
He said, "Thanks".
I looked outside and it seemed dark already.

Tonight I went a little earlier... and took the dogs.
We watched for Rattlers and stayed in the middle of the main road coming up to the house. With this heat we have to be very careful.  No walking in the grass.The Rattlesnakes will be coming soon. Another reason to love summer. (That was sarcasm!)


  1. I love that green!!! I have started incorporating that color into our place here and there. In fact, I painted the doors of the house a color similar to that. I love it! That flower is gorgeous. And, I know what you mean about summer and the heat: not my favorite time of the year either. I do my walk in the AM and then water in the PM. If I water early in the day, it is all dried up by the afternoon/evening and I feel like I have to do it all over again. It sure is a lot of work taking care of a place, isn't it! But, worth it. We still haven't had to turn the AC on yet. Maybe you are a bit hotter than we are.

  2. sounds like a nice peaceful summer evening. How is Brownie doing now without Murph? I love the chair, great colour, just waiting for company.

  3. love what you did with the chair...it looks very cool...

    fresh berries...yum

    and so cute on the cat...mine likes to hide by the bush, or railroad ties and jump out to scare me then follows me in...lol

  4. I just love the chair. It is very unique. Great photos. Have a blessed day and yes please watch out for the rattle snakes. Madeline

  5. Love that chair. I see Annie's nose, very possibly a bite. I can't get a good shot of Ishi's face, he wiggles too much. I need to go out and call him and check on him again. I think our rattler is under our deck, that is where it was last year when it bit him, but Rich couldn't find it when he looked. Be careful out there! Tina


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