Monday, August 3, 2020

July 2020–The Heat Goes On

July 31, 2020                                                   Most Recent Posts
Pandemic Quarantine in July                      June 2020 – Covid 19 Hits Home
                                                              A Birthday Brings a Roadtrip Without Winnona

Well I’m up to day 132 of the Pandemic Quarantine as of July 31.  But who’s

IMG_20200720_071701666_HDRcounting?  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.

IMG_20200708_105039338Many 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”?


IMG_20200719_132254886My 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.


paramount (2)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”.


IMG_20200803_205310369That’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.

Many Rivers to Cross

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??


  1. Hot everywhere, in central IL it has finally cooled off for a few days. Reading has been a constant here for me, mostly light but it takes the mind off of all that's going on that's out of our control. We walk early in the morning, then sit on the patio till it gets too hot, then again in the evening when the sun goes down.

  2. I feel your pain. I love summer, but this heat has pushed my limits. Your pictures are great and remind me to find the beauty right around me. Nothing exciting to report from here. A trip to Richmond to see the "contextualized" Lee statue (didn't want to have to say that I missed the revolution!) and a long hike on Shenandoah National Park are my summer highlights. At least it's one we will never forget. Take care of yourself. - Pam

  3. I can't even remember how hot and humid it could get in Pennsylvania when we lived there. Good thing you are an early riser to get those walks in. Love the Echinacea flowers, I should plant some!
    Our July has been the same. Our county has shut down again due to our numbers. Can't believe that the summer is almost over.

  4. So good to have a walking the SMILES!!! Thanks for "taking the heat"😵🥴🤪 We were dreading spending the summer in South Florida but it was not as hot as you!!! Hope you get the estate settled and can move on...very tiring and trying. That lobsters looks SOOOOO Good...maybe next year?!?!? We are walking, biking, playing pickleball, doing puzzles, raising money for the local food bank and a new craft called Gem Art. Ready to get back to "Normal!!!"

  5. I am so lucky to have you to talk to daily (and whine) and, on occasion, go out to eat. YEA! The echinacea are so pretty. I have never had success growing them. I love the pictures of your hazy morning on the farm road.

  6. Beautiful flowers and so glad to see friends and smiles! Lovely farm road. So surprised that in such a wide radius there is no one to take care of Winnona! I hope you can find someone and that Grandfather's estate is settled soon! Love you everyday & always ❤

  7. I so love seeing your smiling face, for whatever reason. Like maybe eating fresh blackberries or enjoying all the life around you, big and small. I sympathize about lack of paid laborers as I have several projects on each RV. LOVE that last shot of the farm, even though I could feel the moist heat radiating off my screen. Hang in there, it can't last forever.

  8. I love that last photo, too. It's nice to see you doing a few semi-normal things, like dinner out and a movie. We haven't gotten that brave yet!

  9. I love your flower photos! And I love that you're getting out and enjoying a bit of 'normal' life. I'm longing for some sense of normal, but it's not possible in Florida where the governor is an idiot and cases are skyrocketing. You don't want to be here, trust me. Your photos of the road to your farm are just gorgeous.

  10. Yup, I feel your pain as trying to get your Dad's estate settled. I'm going through the same tough issues, and the pandemic has made it so much harder with courts being closed. Hasn't stopped the lawyer bills, though. At some point I'm going to have to go to NJ from SC (where my Dad had lived) to do some business. But even with everything done, I can't go without self guaranteeing for two weeks once I get there.

    We are not doing too much, I get to ride my motorcycle once a week with a group of folks. It's not as much fun as I'd like because the heat is very tough and the air conditioner on my bike doesn't work. :cD

    I do get the Journey out for a spin every couple of weeks. It is so dirty and it is just too hot to spend a bunch of hours washing it. There are a number of small issues I need to fix on it but that is going to have to wait until this summer heat is gone. I used to not be bothered too much by hot weather but those days are over, I've turned into a wimp!

  11. I miss our North East flowers - thanks for the pictures - and also the blackberries and raspberries. Of course it got really hot up in Maryland too. But here in Texas, we've had more than 40 days over 100 degrees (not feels like). It's unrelenting. Can't complain too much though because I have a half hour yard to mow and pool to jump into afterwards. Good to see you have several things to keep you occupied. Who would have ever thought this would happen? Can't wait for a vaccine.

  12. Wearing masks, walking hiking trails and paved city trails. Temps 50's to mid 70's. Camping trips to Denali and Kenai Lake keep us busy.

  13. That Winnona.....she needs do all of the things that bring us a portion of joy. Summer used to be something I looked forward too.... but now with lack of moderate has become something to endure! Still as I see your trees and wildflowers, I am reminded of the beauty of Virginia....and Maryland. Love that you have gotten out for a dinner of lobster with Pam....and for the production of Amazing Grace....with Whitney Houston's beautiful voice. These are little joys that we need to continue to steal back from Covid...which is trying to keep us all prisoners. Winnona needs her fiberglass outershell repaired for her voyage....sometime...back up to Maine. I often look back at your older posts before I post....and the photo of David in the hospital bed...with his smile...believing again....that he would walk out of there. It fills me with hope....that although his journey was a long and arduous was yours walking alongside him....that there was still hope. Hope is the flame that we continually need...even if it is sometimes false hope. Thought you might enjoy knowing that Amy and Angela are in the process of restoring an be used as an Air BNB in the Big Bend National Park area of west Texas. Roger is pulling it out there next week for them. They have 40 beautiful acres to put it on out there. We will all go together....and enjoy the freedom of getting away.

  14. Hey, I think I fixed the problem! We are now in your loop!:-)

  15. Sorry you haven't found any answers for Winona. You might try looking on some boat sites, as they are fiberglass too. I've seen boats buffed out to look like new.
    I also love echinacea and recently discovered I can grow then here. A lady across the street has a huge garden full of them along with many other beatutiful flowers. I copied what she did last year and although my echinacea garden is not as pretty as hers, it's getting there.
    We got to to 89 yesterday and it was mowing day. We waited until late in the day but it was still very hot. Not so bad for me on the rider, but poor Al used the walk behind to get the areas the big mower can't get to. I'm looking forward to fall, but then we'll head to Florida and it will be hot again.

  16. Well I'm caught up and was hoping your temps had cooled......hope that happens soon! We've also had record heat in southern Arizona but get very few days over 100 which is a blessing. AC is definitely our friend! Love your pretty flowers and tasty berries. I read 4-5 books a week and only recently discovered I enjoy the simplicity of cozy mysteries. Highly recommend the Patricia Fisher Mystery Adventure series by Steven Higgs for delightful escapism!!


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