Sunday, June 08, 2008

Let's not use the Swiffer and say we did.

Anyone agree?


A rare sighting. More clouds, please? A little rain shower, perhaps?

Welcome to the Licker Sisters’ summertime faces gallery. (More to come.)


Eeeks. That old face makes me laugh. Chloe would rather be inside, sprawled out under the ceiling fan.

Sorry, Bella. Your swimming pool sprang a leak. We’ll buy a new one at Toys R Us real soon. Promise.


It only takes a few steps into the outdoors that make their tongues wag. Intestinal gas again, Chloe?

So, what do you do when the heat index is 105F? It’s shocking, especially after the chilly spring just left a little over a week ago.

What I do…

Move the coats and jackets from the rack in the laundry room to a back closet.

Sneak photos outdoors for five minutes at a time but not too often.

Stay inside, vacuum the lazy way and promise to use the Swiffer another day.

Imprint the correct spelling of “vacumm vs. vacuum” in my brain instead of relying on spell-check every time. Two u’s, two u’s, two u’s. Now, maybe I’ll remember.

Wash lots of laundry.

Watch Julia Roberts’ weekend on movie TV. Cry hard and laugh hard at Pretty Woman and Steel Magnolias for the twentieth time, watch Big Brown lose the Triple Crown, watch Olympic trials, and feel sad for the loss of dear James Kenneth McKay, better known as Jim McKay, the host of Wild World of Sports. Have I known him all my life and watched him in front of a black and white TV in a tiny living room since childhood? Yes. He was a highlight of our week.

Use the garden hose on wilting flowers and shrubs and work around the pond and yard, only from 7-9pm. Intend to read blogs. Listen to a Cicada for the first time this year.


Promise to plant a flat of Snapdragons soon.

Promise to get into the pond with the Koi, tadpoles, and snakes to organize overgrown plants. Maybe in a few days…

Give the dogs a bath in the guest bathroom and marvel at the black, oily ring around the tub when the job was done. Let them air-dry in the sunroom. Take Advil for the aching back.



Arrive at the garden center early in the morning, with camera. Piss off a mean, ugly old lady who was annoyed that I took up two feet of walking space in front the butterfly bushes when there was eight feet behind me. In her haste, she trudged in front of me and my lens, knocking into the butterflies and their bushes. She must hate photographers and butterflies. Poor woman, maybe the heat made her mean.

On the way home I stopped to fill my gas tank and saw a sweet, young mother ask for three dollars of gas. My gut feeling told me she was a single parent, with a young son and a toddler girl on her hip. I reached into my handbag and drew a five dollar bill, handed it to the cashier, and asked her to make it eight. This is critical. Someone has to help.


Miss numerous hummingbird photo opportunities and become disgusted, but giggle at the sleepy bumble hanging on the nectar feeder.

Stop at the big pond for only three minutes or until my scalp starts to burn.

From inside, watch the birds splashing in my backyard pond

then watch the sun dry them from my shaded front porch.

Listen to a favorite radio station on the Bose and think about this post while remembering that sometimes, summer heat brings out the worst and the best in people.

And, I thank you for your comments on my “Cool Camera…” previous post. You’re all fabulous photographers. My new camera options are overwhelming!


PJ said...

You are so sweet by taking that opportunity to help someone out with the gas. She will hopefully always remember that and she can 'pay it forward' when she can. gosh..if we can all take that chance! Love your photos around the garden just sweet garden happenings! I hope you get some relief soon from the heat...afterall, the cuties have to keep cool!!!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

What a very kind thing to do to contribute to the gas for the mom. $3 won't even buy a gallon today.

It's a good reminder for me to practice a random act of kindness. Thanks, Mary!

Robin at Bumblebee

NCmountainwoman said...

Mary, I love this post since it pretty much reflects my days as well (except I didn't take the opportunity to help someone else).

We're running about 18 degrees above average and when it's hot in the mountains, it's really HOT. I hate being indoors and I hate the air conditioning.

My son lives in Indianapolis where they have flooding, my daughter lives in Milwaukee where they have flooding. And we are bone dry again with no relief in sight.

Your post has inspired me to remember there are folks who don't have air conditioning to "complain" about, who can't afford gas, and who are much more uncomfortable than I am. I'm going to stop bitching now.

Stay cool.

NatureWoman said...

No swiffers, not with this heat. We went from 30 degrees to 95 degrees in what felt like overnight, sigh. I love your photos, as always!

Anonymous said...

Such a stunning series of photos and your puppies are soo cute! Butterflies are great having fly around also!

Sherry at the Zoo said...

Swiffers? NEVER! LOL! Just kidding, I have one and I try to use it....sometimes....

We went from 5-10 inches of rain in our county to 90 degree heat today. I'm MELLLTTTINgggggg......

You know that $5 will come back to you many fold.....

BJ said...

You are a really special lady to help out that mom! If only there were more people like you.....a good lesson for all of us.

Your pictures are wonderful! You dogs are the cutest. I really love the pond shot.....I think that you showed it earlier and the growth is amazing. I especially love Koi. Not sure I'd be getting in there with the SNAKES though. Ewwww! Do you put waders on? Oh my!

I am trying to catch-up with my blogging friends. Getting there. Haven't forgotten about writing you either......Gawd!

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention it: I can't use the Swiffer, because Tito ate it yesterday. Which meant I had to instead hose-water the trees and flowers, then myself in this inferno, then the dogs, then the flowers. And watched a trio of thrasher fledglings work their way through the yard. And did I mention the heat? Ohmygoditshot.

Kerri Farley said...

Mary, your kindness shows in all of your posts! What a wonderful thing to do for that young mother.

Those shots of the butterflies are absolutely stunning! You can't get much better than that...with any camera!

Fabulous post!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Mary!

Annie in Austin said...

It's hot and dry here, too, Mary - you have my sympathy for that part...and my admiration for helping the young mom.

Are you sure the plants and turtles and snakes actually need organizing right now? Be careful, please.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Alyssa said...

Awful heat again! I don't think you'll ever be able to get used to it. But it sounds like you filled your day with some good times. Better get that kiddie pool for the girls real soon - they look like they are suffering. (I have to admit it - we leave the air conditioning on for the pugs when we go to work.) I would say the heat has brought out the best in you and the worst in that unhappy old lady. She should have just stayed home! Ugh. I really like see the girls' summertime faces - they are so expressive and they look very smart. I hope your week cools down and becomes bearable for you.

Owlman said...

Showeeee, busy day!

Alan Pulley said...

Hi Mary!

Your neighbor here in VA is feeling the heat as well. It hit 100 degrees here today! The birds here are panting. Stay cool!

Enjoyed the photos.


Jayne said...

Mercies, but it was h*o*t this weekend, wasn't it? We are also socked in by the tripe H's (heat/haze/humidity) and it's too hot to breathe outside. I love the way you spent your weekend Mary. I love the way you write with your heart. You always bring such a huge smile to my face... thank you. :c)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It sounds like you had a very productive weekend for how hot it was. Great pictures. I love the drunk bumblebee.

You are a great reminder to us all to help others.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Ditto what Liza said-


Here's a big smooch and a squashy hug for the nicest gal in blogland!


Q said...

Dear Mary,
You are the Goddess of the Endless Summer. My goodness it did get hot fast.
Hope those gorgeous clouds brought you some rain.
Butterflies are pretty. I do love them so.
Sleepy bumble bees and Licker Sisters makes summertime delightful.
Stay cool and drink lots of water.
Hummers will come when you have camera at the ready soon.
You have a good heart.
So happy you are my friend,

Angie said...

Hi Mary...I've been a lurker here at your blog for ages...even got my sister started on you! :) Lovely lovely photos and your prose is hilarious!! We are always 'talking' about you---do your ears burn? :) We are green with envy over your camera talent--and we keep trying. :) Just wanted to let you know that I spent the day---93!!!!---ALL DAY taking a gazillion photos of Swallows and their babies fledging. Have never been lucky enough to witness it before. If you are interested (and my sister and I would love to share these photos with you!), just let me know. My email addy is on my I would love to send you an invite to view these at my Kodak EasyShare page. :) Here's hoping you and I BOTH get some much needed rain and relief from the heat SOON!!! :)

beckie said...

Mary, you always bring a smile to my face with your pictures, gentle thoughts-and sometimes not so gentle thoughts. We had the heat and humidity this weekend too, but with lots of rain and flooding in the area.

I was saddened too, by the loss of Jim McKay. His voice lulled me to sleep many Sunday afternoons when I was a kid, listening to sports on TV. I also watched Steel Magnolias this weekend and having lost a grown daughter almost 2 years ago, felt the pain and suffering of Sally Field. I knew it was going to happen-but had to watch. Does that make sense. I agree that we all need to practice much more acts of kindness in these stressed out times. You did good, girl! Thank you as always, for your pictures and your wonderfully keen sense of humor.

The Quacks of Life said...

love the flutters!!

Cheryl said... are a kind soul...if only there were more like you in this world. Petrol is so expensive, I suspect there are many struggling.

I adore the bee photograph, I couldn't stop looking at it.

Beautiful butterflies, grumpy lady and the adorable licker sisters (its cool here, tell them they are welcome anytime. Their beds are ready,) made this a great post.

entoto said...

Oh! Your heat! We have had such a slow, cold spring, I cannot even imagine your heat. So sorry.

Mary, you have such a big heart. You are an inspiration.

JeanMac said...

Another great post.

Mary said...

Hi All, I didn't intend to garner compliments here. But thank you. If you were standing behind a nice young mother who could afford only $3 of gas, wouldn't you reach into your wallet? It wasn't really a random act of kindness, it was instead a reaction to a very dire situation we are all facing. I applauded that young mother first for bringing her toddler and young son into the store instead of leaving them alone in the car, if only for just a minute...

Wendy said...

Absolutely glorious pics, Mary. I haven't been by in a few days and I've missed a lot.
You sure put in a busy day! How sweet of you to help that young mother.
Somebody helped my son at the gas pumps a year ago when he left his wallet at home. It makes your heart sing to know there are thoughtful people willing to help a stranger - oh, and get this - my son had just put a quarter into somebody's parking meter because it had run out.

KGMom said...

While you are learning that vacuum has two U's, could you also repeat many times--must stay cool, must stay cool.
Whew--if it is roasting here in central PA, I can't imagine the temps in NC.
Must stay cool.

Corey said...

Did you know that in some states it's actually legal to punch grumpy people in the neck? But only if they're really old. Unfortunately, NC isn't one of them.

Good for you for helping the single mom.

The Quacks of Life said...

just to make you feel better a gallon of petrol is about $10.5 over here.

of course the fact that the dollar is on the floor exacerbates that. When the dollar is $1.50 to the £ it would be nearer $7.6 a gallon

its mostly tax.

oh if you want clouds and rain we've got them!!

Anonymous said...

Mary, you may have only given $5 to that young mother but your act of kindness (although you perceive it to be small) has inspired me to be more aware of others needs in my own daily life, and I am sure that you have inspired all of us, your faithful readers. Your $5 could very well have a ripple effect and go on to help many more people than you ever imagined. Every journey starts with one small step...!
hugs, gretchen

Crayons said...

Hi Mary,
Your photos -- well, your view of life -- always fill me with extra radiance. My favorite is the stand of flowers. They look like peonies. I'm sorry it's so awfully hot.

Susan Gets Native said...

I love you even more than I did a few minutes ago, Mary.

I have, in the past, been that young mother (being married to a writer isn't as glamorous as it sounds) and if I had been shown the kindness you showed that woman, I would have broken down in tears.
Have I mentioned that YOU ROCK?

Get in the pool with the dogs, Mare. And don't forget your camera.
: )

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, bravo for helping out that young mom! I think that bumble is drunk!

Anonymous said...

You know I adore pics of Bella and Chloe, just as much as I adore Julie's Chet. Black and white is the color for summer this year. the rest of the pics are so good.
Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K]