Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Welcome to the backside of July. As we slip-slide into the dog days of summer, I find myself looking toward fall. Once 4th of July is over and my birthday comes and goes, the rest of summer feels like Side B of a record I was just dying to have.
Remember Side B?
We saved our money and begged our Mommas to drive us to town so we could hand over a few waded up paper bills. Then for the rest of the summer we played Side A over and over until we memorized all the lyrics or made up the words we couldn’t quite understand. Side A was everything we thought it would be, but the flip side? It was just okay. Not the reason we doled out the money in the first place.
One Bucket and Done
As I find myself on Side B of summer, I’ve implemented my bucket-a-day garden maintenance program. Here’s how it works. I pull one bucket of weeds a day. My beds stay relatively clean, and I don’t have a heat stroke. Skip a day and the weeds grow like Jack’s beanstalk.
This bucket a day plan includes not only pulling weeds but also trimming roses, deadheading flowers, pulling debris from beneath shrubs. It’s the one bucket and done plan.
The bucket plan comes with bonuses. While getting Vitamin D and a little exercise, I become intimately familiar with my plants. I know where cardinals and robins have built nests and learn when their eggs have hatched. I know when the Japanese beetles return to devour my roses. I discover a varmint has tunneled yet another escape hatch under the porch. I notice the first signs of an early fall (maybe?) in the zipper spiders spinning orbs.
Try it. If you have a small space, this plan may work for you, too.
National Somethingornuther Day
Even during side B of summer, there’s always something to celebrate. Today is both National Ice Cream Day and Cow Appreciation Day. Related? Most definitely.
If you need something to look forward to this week, party on with Raspberry Cake Day, Spinach Day, Ugly Truck Day, Hug Your Kids Day, Yellow Pig Day (something to do with math and the number 17), or Hot Dog Day. And speaking of zipper spiders, National Save a Spider Day isn’t until March 14.
I don’t know who decides these wacky holidays, but I vote we have a Gracie Lee Day. Wouldn’t that be fun? We could all ride our bikes around the schoolhouse, make mudpies by the ditch bank, blow dandelion wishes into the muggy air.
The heat, the humidity, the cockleburs and mosquitoes—none of that bothered us when we were kids. We were too busy enjoying the simple, joyful things like sand and dirt and sunshine and water streaming from the hose. And we never, no-way, ever got tired of summer.
The girls went to the beauty shop this past week. And it was long overdue. Now they look like schnauzers again. I imagine they feel better with summer cuts as they keep watch over their front yard kingdom.
There’s nothing like a fresh hair cut and a new leopard print bandana.
Jesus and Tomatoes
Since it was my birthday week, I bought into the idea that I could be extra lazy. And I enjoyed the heck out of lounging around on the back porch drinking coffee and reading back issues of magazines that have been piling up. Don’t you love a porch with a breeze and a day with nothing much to do other than think about Jesus and fresh tomatoes from the garden?
School Kitchen Tip:
Recipe No. 200, Rhubarb Water
1 small stalk rhubarb
1 c. boiling water
1 strip lemon peel
2 tbsp sugar
Wipe the rhubarb, cut into pieces an inch long. Add lemon peel and boiling water. Let it stand until cold. Add sugar, and when dissolved, strain it.
(The School Kitchen Textbook, Mary J. Lincoln, 1917)
Thank you everyone who participated in my Grace Grits Birthday Giveaway. Out of 197 entries, the winner is Rhonda F from North Carolina. Thanks for playing along!
Bye for now, Sunday Reader friends. Don’t forget to have a scoop of ice cream today.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Three Dog Night, Joy to the World (Side A)