Well I’m up to day 132 of the Pandemic Quarantine as of July 31. But who’s
counting? The month is over and it has been the hottest ever on record here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today was the first day in over 6 weeks that it was under 90 degrees. The heat index here has been as high as 108 degrees. Seriously, it is hotter here than in Florida. I am watching such things. How can that be???? I have so little energy.
I do get out in the mornings at sun up to walk in order to get some exercise before it gets too hot to move or even breathe. This is my walking buddy Mary and I. Not sure what we are so happy about. That it’s not in the 90’s yet I guess.
I wish now I had planted big bunches of echinacea like these when I first had to quarantine here. But at that point, I didn’t realize I’d be here for more than 6 months. The goldfinches really like them.
Pretty easy to tell which of these pictures was taken with my phone.
Even though I didn’t plant anything, I can still enjoy what nature has provided for me free of charge. One of those is July’s ripening blackberries. Free snacks!
Another is Queen Anne’s Lace. Not sure how the plant came to be named Queen Anne but it is certainly lacey. It’s also known as wild carrot though I’ve never tasted it. Have you?
Morning Glory is free but a bit of a dilemma. It’s difficult to know whether to pull it up before it grows all over everything or just enjoy its pretty flowers. They can get out of hand very very easily.
I do like the deep purple throat on these. I assume that must be a big come on sign for pollinating insects.
Many years ago – over 40 – when we bought the farm, there were three trees on it that I loved. An huge ancient red maple on the edge of the stream, a beautiful willow on the edge of the field and a gorgeous full flowering Mimosa in the yard. This time of year, the mimosa would fill the air with the most magnificent scent from the fantastic delicate flowers.
Sadly, time changes all things. Luckily the old maple is still here. The willow was struck by lightening and fell over. The Mimosa succumbed to a fungus called mimosa wilt. It was so sad to lose that tree and especially not to be able to replace it in its commanding spot in the yard. It provided such beauty and so much cool shade.
I miss it anew every time I see one blooming or watch its delicate leaves close up when the sun goes down.
Ever since the gypsy moth ravaged the Oak Forests around the farm I’ve been on the look out for the caterpillars. And they always make me concerned even if I know they aren’t gypsy moth or Monarch. Who is this I wonder? Is he “good” or “bad”?
My friend Pam and I took a chance once this month to go out for dinner. I was feeling sorry for myself that I was not in Maine where I’d had reservations before the pandemic. In addition to the water and the wonderful hiking in Acadia National park where I had planned to be for all of July and August, a big draw for me is the LOBSTER.
Was I ever happy to find that Burton’s Bar and Grille had Maine Lobster Rolls right here in Charlottesville. Amazing! Mmmmmmm – delicious!
In addition to walking daily and going out to dinner once, I spent most of my time reading endless instructions for filling out forms for settling my father’s estate. I also made enough phone calls to get cauliflower ear. I tried to limit this “work” to 3 or 4 hours a day at most but my advice is DO NOT agree to be Power of Attorney, Executor or Trustee for anyone. This is a continuing task.
I also continue to be very very worried about Winnona whose fiberglass spots are getting worse and for whom I have been unable to find anyone in this area to wash and wax her. This is a job David and I always did together but it is just too big for me alone. Still I tried to do the roof for as long as I could early in the morning just after walking. I could only stay out until 10:00 at best and even then my clothes were so wet it was as if I’d gone into a pool with them on.
Sure wish I could find a fiberglass restoration expert and an RV Detailer within 3 hours of here. It’s so frustrating to be willing to pay for the work and not be able to find anyone to do it.
Our local restored 1931 theater recently reopened for old movies. So friends and I decided to go and see the 1971 film Amazing Grace which was done in an historic church as Aretha Franklin taped a her gospel album of the same name. The social distancing was strict. 6 seats were roped off between each patron. The music was great. Aretha and the gospel choir were rockin’ and in addition to Aretha’s fabulous voice we got to see a young Mick Jagger in the audience. It felt so nice to do something sort of “normal”.
That’s pretty much it for my July. Thankfully, I’m still having the weekly book club with my friend Laurie. We finished discussing The Overstory and we both felt it was one of the best, most well written and important books we’ve ever read. We highly recommend it. Here are a couple of other things I’ve enjoyed as well as some mindless cozy mysteries on my Kindle.
I also whiled away my time some evenings watching Louis Henry Gates Documentary “Many Rivers to Cross”. It was excellent and like The Overstory I highly recommend it. History they didn’t teach me in school but should have.
I bought the DVD since I wanted to watch it when I wanted to watch it and that’s cheaper than paying for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon or other streaming services that I don’t have the band width for anyway. Not very happy with Verizon in this quarantine.
Of course I’ve been eating and way too much comfort food junk. Being alone all the time seems to make me want to eat. Cooking for one is not so much fun. If I could only stick to my healthy vegan main meal I’d be fine. Here are some sweet potato chips and a pasta avocado, tomato broccoli red pepper and I can’t remember what else I threw in combination. But it was good.
I’ll close with a series of pictures of the sun’s rays hitting the valley on my early morning walk. You can almost feel how hot it is getting as the steam rises up from the over night dew.
Look at that white hot sun clearing the mountains and burning down by 7:30 in the morning.
A hazy summer heat look at the farmhouse.
So what have you been doing this July while quarantined??