Got any summer plans? No. But I’ve got a canoe.

Summer’s here and time is measured in drops of sweat and changes of damp clothes. Last night, the heat woke me from a sound sleep for the second time. It’s stifling when you can’t open the windows for fear of the blackflies.

It’s cool and bug free on the lake. and the moon has been enormous and golden, floating like a reflection in the sky full of glittering water beetle stars. In the evenings, we’ve seen the sun set twice over the water and it’s filled a part of me that I didn’t know was drained. We’ve explored some of the coves and creeks nearest to the boat dock by day; we’ve seen herons, turtles and a snake that slipped through the water silently. We’ve managed to cram four people into the canoe and not flip it, and to mostly avoid sunburn. I don’t have summer plans, but I do have a canoe, and I could pull a Huckleberry Finn from here.

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It’s only fifteen minutes from sitting on the couch to floating on the lake. Bonus points: the canoe has a built-in cooler.

A neighbor is delivering a round bale of old hay sometime this week and we’ll use that to mulch the garden. It’ll be a tremendous help for keeping the garden moist and minimizing hose-dragging. We had a soaking six inches of rain last week, but the summers here are not wet, and dragging a hose around in the heat is a torture I’d prefer to reserve for my enemies only, when possible.  We’ve managed to clear the weeds around the cucumbers (we’re getting several every day now) and in some of the aisles, but we have a long battle ahead of us. Little green tomatoes and winter squash are appearing on the vines, and we’re looking forward to blackberries in a few days. Cabbages and some garlic came in today, and carrots and turnips yesterday. We’re moving into the hot months where nothing new is planted and we just weed and harvest and try to keep the bugs and coons from eating everything we grow.

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We brought in our first batch of garlic today. Drying isn’t really a thing here, but we’re hoping for the best.

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I was taught to not pick up hitchhikers, but his pack looked so heavy and he seemed harmless. I gave him a ride from my cabbages all the way to the woods.

We’re heading up to Forrest City to watch a World Cup game at the Mexican restaurant this evening. If we’re lucky, we’ll pick up a few pullets in Wynne to keep poor Freckles company. In other livestock acquisition news, Sean is seriously scheming to buy a feeder pig and drag it to North Carolina for a luau in a few weeks. His Granny is turning 90 and we’re going to help celebrate. My partner is seriously nuts. Who does that?!

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