Here in N.E. Oklahoma we've been in the high 90's for awhile. Not a surprise really, I mean it IS summer. Here's an interesting thing though. While over half the country is being blasted with higher than normal temps, we have a COLD front moving in from the North. The weather guys are all talking about this being a freak thing that they've not seen happen before. Freak or not I say "Bring me cool weather!"
We finally got around to "summerizing" (look Ma, a new word!)the RV. Some of you already know that our main a/c took it's final dive last year. We've got a little window unit in the bedroom but it's not big enough to cool much more than that room. Well, last year we got a "swamp cooler" for the house. So yesterday we took it out, cleaned it all inside and out (it spent the winter in the barn). We've got a box fan (well its round but... ) that was due a cleaning too.
Then it was time to install the solar reflectors for the season. In other words, the foil is back up on the windows. The little ac is on in the bedroom with the fan in the hall blowing the air in the direction of the rest of the RV. And then there is that awesome swamp cooler blowing in the main room. It might be a bit of a redneck way of doing things but it works! I have to say.... it's really really nice in here. This makes me a happy camper for sure! It get's rough when there is no escape from the 100+ degree days.
Summer always seems to bring on a whole new mindset here on the homestead. For one thing it get's too hot to be able to cook much or bake at all in the RV so we adjust how we do our cooking. The grill and the bbq pit have been getting a workout already. So has the slow cooker. Last summer I made all my bread in the old thrift store bread machine. It baked it's last loaf of bread just at the end of the season. A sad day. I'll tell ya what though, I sure got my money's worth out of that $4.00 machine! I guess I'll need to find another way to bake bread this summer! Possibly learn some Dutch Oven baking. I've not tried my hand at that before. Come payday I'll take a couple of propane tanks and have them filled. Then we'll break out the "summer stove" and Mars will get it set up and ready for the season. I just love this three burner high btu stove. I think they call it a Cajun Cooker? It puts out an awesome amount of heat and that makes it a great "canning" stove. I'll be able to use both canners when I need to now. I think it should save a ton of time once I start canning.
Mars is getting ready to build me an outdoor vegetable wash station. We found a sort of broken discarded bathroom sink out back in the woods. It's not in the best shape but the basin is good and it will sure work for veggie baths. I'll take some pictures as he's building it because I think you (and I) will be amazed at how it comes out! He's got a plan to use old pallet wood to build the stand with. He'll be adding a couple of new faucets in the same area and I'll have a hose run to the sink, and a bucket under the sink to catch the water. That will go to water some plant in need around here. We've been needing the extra faucets done anyway since there's only one right now. What that means is that if we are using the drip irrigation there's no access to running water anywhere close. It's amazing how often you find yourself thinking "I'll just grab the water hose and....oh dang.... the water's hooked up in the garden."
With things being so hot, the work on those unfinished rows in the garden has been a real slow go. With this cooler weather moving in we might actually get them back in action. It seems every time I get out there and try to fight the Bermuda devil I find something else that really needs to be done. You know? Like this morning. I got up early (early for me) and headed out to work on digging out that blasted grass. Then I noticed that my Lemon Basil had really taken off and it needed to be picked and dried. So I wandered over and picked a bunch of it. That's when I noticed that the regular Basil could use a trim as well. So I did. The basil is right next to the dill so I gave it a bit of a haircut as well and took them all out to the barn. I keep my dehydrators out there. It's too hot to run them in the RV and besides there's no room for them so the barn is the next best thing. I put everything in the dryers and since I was out there already I checked on the baby chicks and freshened their water. That's when I realized the water faucet wasn't being used so I drug out the hose and watered all the flowerbeds, herb beds and the new trees.
Ok. Then I thought I really should be out there digging those blasted Bermuda roots up. It's just been SO hot and since it's the garden spot the sun beats down on it most of the day. I swear I'm like a kid with A.D.D. when it comes to finding things (anything) to do to keep from being out there digging that grass out of that row! I should be ashamed. I'm not, but I'm sure I should be! I've made myself a promise though. With this cooler weather headed our way and staying for at least a week it seems I've been given a second chance. I WILL FINISH THESE ROWS! No, really. I will.... Do those peppers look ready to pick?
Believe it or not, around here in just a few weeks, it will be time to start planting the fall garden. Time flies. We're talking about trying to have a rather large fall garden this year. A sort of compensation for the smallish spring garden. Like many other folks this year, our spring was wet and cooler than normal so we are just riding the tide out there in the garden. I wonder if this cold front will instigate the tomato's to start setting some more fruit? That would be awesome!
I hope you all have a great weekend. I know we are going to try. I'm off to fight that Bermuda Devilweed. Hmmm..... I wonder if there's a cucumber out there this morning?