July 2020 starting with a heat wave that totally BROKE me

Jul 26 2020
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July 2020. Every. Single. Year. I panic right now. Whether its because we hit the longest day of the year in late June. Or that the year is suddenly HALF over or its because I just got a flier in the mail about purchasing pellets for this winter. OR, the fact that we just put up the hay for the horses also FOR THIS WINTER. Every. Single. Year. I panic about everything that isn’t done yet that needs to be done before the snow flies. As if, suddenly, two days passed June, the count down begins. I lose my damn mind.

This July 2020 also included a heat wave which equaled to me not even wanting to live with myself.

Most summers I can sum up maybe a dozen sporadic days all together where its miserable to sleep in the master bedroom. (When I say miserable I mean 88 degrees or hotter. I have a great window fan up there that usually does the trick…)

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

This is northern Minnesota after all and we’re not exactly known for our heat… and I really love the heat! My favorite thing is opening all of my windows and doors as often as possible and usually have the windows in the master open for months.

My day job’s thermostat is set at “morgue” temperature so I freeze all summer long while looking longingly outside at our (never enough) gorgeous summer days. Which has made me HATE air conditioning.

For a change of pace… (like ever in history that I can remember) … I lost my mind in the heat.

Day after day of extraordinary heat and humidity, day after day of 90 degrees in our bedroom making it almost impossible to sleep.

Our lawn became a potato chip!

Trying to keep the plants and garden alive became a JOB.

No matter how many fans we added to the house all they did was move the heat around and I swear to god, somehow, the racket of roaring fans on top of the heat MADE IT HOTTER.

It was as if the heat suddenly had a voice like a damn furnace sitting beside me and yelling at me.

What made it all the worse was the almost constant threat of thunderstorms and watching one after the other miss us, day after day, week after week. We were this little spot in the middle of the state that became that episode in Super Mario Brothers where the sun is trying to kill you.

Compound that with the thousand things running through my head that I felt I should have already completed before winter…

I just broke.

We put in the air conditioner I’ve had out in the garage forever. Got the sucker cleaned up, plugged in and I sat in front of it like I was falling into a river after being lost in the desert for a month.

And then, not six hours later (I just can’t make this shit up) a giant storm finally hit us, broke the heat wave and we woke up in a FREEZING house. Not sure why I was surprised, it is July of 2020, this isn’t my year… this isn’t anyone’s year.

To be fair we had major heat after that so the air conditioner was a good call – BUT STILL!

July 2020 I will forever remember as the month even I gave in and put in an air conditioner – unprecedented.

Sadly my peonies laid their heads on the ground in mid June (when we saw ridiculous wind) and just gave up. So bummed. Probably not by coincidence my rhubarb along that same fence line didn’t do well either so, hopefully, its not gonna become a trend.

My Grandma’s perennial flower garden did not disappoint as it never does. Her day lilies and black eyed susans bloomed beautifully this July 2020. There is also the vegetable garden and the milkweed I planted a few years ago.

My milkweed brings all the monarchs to the yard 🙂

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

And it smells incredible!

I love walking by it every day when I come home!

(To make a donation and get your own perennial milkweed seeds you can check out where I got mine at the Save Our Monarchs foundation.)

If you look close you’ll notice the same milkweed is coming up wild throughout my grandma’s perennial flower bed too 🙂

Every year I put the garden in, take the time, the work, the effort and every year it surprises me with how much it makes me happy. And its not just the fresh veggies… though that is awesome…

Stepping into my little garden has made me happier ever year I’ve had it. I know now why my Grandma had a garden practically up to the year we walked her home.

We all wondered at her, scolded her, told her to stop with the unnecessary work. She didn’t listen to us of course and she even kept right on canning.

I get it now.

I ate her last jar of dilly beans a couple of years ago and just cried. My own dilly beans are not up to snuff yet but I look forward to many years to get it right. But probably not this year.

This year I think I’m going to take a break from pickling anything. I canned 45 quarts of pickles etc. last year so I’m still feeling a little burned out… We’re gonna enjoy fresh what we can, I’ll freeze what freezes well and the rest we’re going to share.

Many of you know my Mom was diagnosed with cancer last year and has also been on a strict keto diet since.

I made a point to grow things in the garden she can eat and loves. Cucumbers, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, bell peppers and green beans will all be heading her way as often as she wants them.

Not to mention the Oregano and Sage that are doing so well for us this year!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Oh and I have to admit because you guys can see it in the photos. YES THAT IS DILL. No I did not plant it this year lol I still don’t plan on pickling anything HOWEVER the fact that my dill returned and grew so beautifully…

Hell, maybe its a sign… maybe I should do a little pickling this year…

Its a sickness!!

Lodi and I (mostly Lodi) have been tackling the basement off and on. He gutted the place, cleaned it a thousand times, spray painted the ceilings and together we just finished the floors. BIG JOB. It will all be coming out in blog posts later this year as we’ve also got some things done on the yard etc. that I want to share first.

Next on the basement is getting the walls up. Lodi picked up beadboard so we’ll just be tacking them up with a brad nailer. Not a huge job but damn how some days motivation is SO hard to come by.

Some jobs just aren’t my favorites and I keep having to force myself to focus on the basement when I want to tackle other things. I HATE that.

Why am I not excited about the basement?

Well, looking back, it all makes a lot of sense. Starting back in 2014 during the renovation when I put thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours down here making the space into a rental suite to be stopped dead in my tracks by my ex.

He decided we wouldn’t be renting the basement.

Wow, could have told me that a little sooner?!

From there the basement became an unfinished sour note for me until I decided to put the work in and make it my workshop. Another several months and hundreds of hours later I wasn’t totally unhappy with it and it stayed my workshop for years.

After throwing my ex out I went back to the idea of it being a rental suite. So, I tore my workshop out of there so, once again, I had a space that I had put hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into with almost nothing to show for it.

Nothing kills me more than wasted time and effort.

The whole basement may always just be a pissy note for me honestly.

I’ve tried SO HARD to get excited about it! And now that July 2020 is basically over it is absolutely time to kick myself in the butt.

Until the basement is done our garage is unusable for this winter and I’ll be damned if, after so much work last year on my part, that I won’t be able to use it at all this summer/fall or this winter either. (Lodi’s furniture etc. is filling the garage.)

I’m going to take some advice from myself: dangle a carrot out in front of my nose of the things I am excited about and want to do right now as the gift to myself for finishing the basement!

Annie beat the Lyme’s disease with the antibiotics her vet prescribed her and she’s back to her zoomie self. Next up for her is dental surgery.

I hate with Covid I can’t go in with her!

Lodi and I have been putting in long hours at our day jobs wondering how it is our world up here in north country can be this busy with a pandemic going on!?

Random small chores I really want to complete besides the big stuff. (The big stuff being putting in more privacy fence and expanding the dog kennel, finishing the basement and finishing/insulating the back entry.)

The dozen or so bales of old hay from last year need to be taken out and spread over the pasture.

I am STILL hoping to get rid of that pile of dirt in front of the barn and I was just reminded by the picture of the garage that I totally forgot to frame in the new garage access door with J channel last year…

Also, I bought black dirt a couple of months ago to transplant a bunch of our local virginia creeper vine all along our privacy fence… Why I haven’t gotten that done yet I have no idea!

I am working on being easier on myself.

I think we’re all struggling to accomplish anything beyond “maintaining” in these weird times.

July 2020: Mask wearing in public became mandatory everywhere in Minnesota.

I feel like this is the time for us introverts. A friend of mine posted online: “I almost enjoy shopping now, I don’t have to fake smile or be cheerful or put up with people standing too close to me and most of the time I don’t even get recognized… Can we do this forever?”

I totally agree with her.

I can’t stress this enough: Employees and business owners DON’T HAVE ANY CHOICE – please be kind! Screaming at us will absolutely accomplish nothing – wear a mask, or don’t go in or call and see if we can accommodate you outside – we’re doing the best we can.

Meanwhile: I found some masks for Lodi, my mom and I on Amazon. (She was having a lot of breathing trouble with the masks she had.) I was convinced there had to be something better and I was right – decent masks make a huge difference! I forget I’m even wearing it.

These face cover scarves aren’t quite as comfortable but they’ve been a big help for me too.

July 2020: The year we all learned to roll with some VERY weird punches!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Comments

  1. Lace Faerie
    July 27, 2020 at 2:11 am

    I feel your misery about the heat! I just cannot tolerate it anymore at all. I cannot sleep if I am too hot. Especially if my feet are hot. I’ve taken to putting a double-bagged ziplock bag of ice cube between the sheets at the bottom of the bed before I wash up for bed. So nice and cool. If there isn’t a breeze coming through the window, I have to put my feet on the icebag to be able to fall asleep.

    I really cannot complain too much, tho’. I am in NW WA state and summer finally arrived this week. We had a cold rainy spring and first month of summer. I have never in my life ever just started harvesting peas in mid-July! Strange, strange, strange. We finally hit the upper 70’s (yes, that’s hot to me) and suddenly, the garden is taking off like gang busters! The zucchini, cucumbers, and butternut squash all succumbed to mildew and I think I’ll try to plant another round of each. Maybe we will have a long warm autumn?

    • July 27, 2020 at 9:11 am

      Hi there, thanks so much for coming by! Wowser it sounds like the weather is being weird all over the place. I’ve never experienced such prolonged heat and humidity here before. It was really odd for us in northern MN especially so early in the year!

  2. Peggy B Wilson
    July 27, 2020 at 5:05 am

    I live in Ga. and the heat here is worse than yours. People are having trouble keeping even small gardens going. The humidity is worse than I’ve ever known and I’m 63. Of course we always have heat and humidity but damn it’s bad this year. I loved seeing your gardens and I have a question. I’ve heard of voluntary milkweed but I’ve never heard of planting it yourself. Is there a difference between the two? Oh yes, I love how you are yourself and this introvert loved all this in the beginning but now I need a little bit of another human voice besides my husbands all the time. (lol)

    • July 27, 2020 at 9:12 am

      I hear ya Peggy! My poor hubby just about went out of his mind with only me to talk to for a couple of months there. I’m “essential” so I was working right through all of this craziness and all I wanted to do was get home lol!

  3. Sandra
    July 28, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Hey there Tara,
    C’mon down to Georgia, we’ll share our heat with you! Its so terribly hot down here; every year I berate myself for not moving somewhere cooler. Like North Georgia. Almost all of my family lives here and I can’t imagine leaving them but it’s too damned hot down here. I feel your pain, sister!

    • July 28, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Sandra I can only imagine the kind of heat you guys are seeing when we’re sweltering this far north! Crazy weather we’re having. Thanks so much for coming by!

  4. July 29, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    The year from HELL:0 No one will ever forget this awful year. I am glad you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Your AC story is hysterical since I live in Florida. We have on our AC almost the entire year.
    Hugs,
    Kippi

    • July 30, 2020 at 9:44 am

      YEP the year from hell lol weird weather too as if everything else being so crazy wasn’t enough!

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