I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Our weekend was quite quiet, mostly because it was so hot and humid that the energy melted out of us. Sunday was especially hot, with temperatures in the 90s. There were heat warnings out. Seriously, I don’t know how people in the South survive. I think it’s much easier to deal with cold weather than hot weather. In cold weather a person can just put on another sweater and blanket, and turn up the thermostat. But there’s only so much a person can do when it’s supper hot. I mean, you can air condition your house or business, but you still have to go outside. Whenever I walked outside this weekend, sweat immediately started running down my body.
EJ and I agreed that if he ever retires and we sell this place, we are moving further North into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where it’s cooler, with even more beauty and fewer people. When we moved to Northern Michigan from southern Michigan, I told EJ that I would never again go south of Highway US-10, which is where I think Up North begins. Michiganders have different opinions about where Up North begins but everyone considers Up North to be a magical place of beauty, and rest, and fun, and escape from the stresses of life. It is miles of beautiful forests, beautiful huge lakes, camping, campfires, billions of stars, pasties and fudge, water sports, history, hunting, fishing. Up North is paradise. Actually living Up North is an impossible dream come true. I told EJ, “You know, if we ever move to the U.P., I’m not ever again going south of the Mackinac Bridge.” He totally agreed.
I don’t set my alarm on weekends so I tend to sleep a little later, but EJ still finds himself waking as early as he does on a work day. While I slept in on Saturday morning, EJ did most of my morning chores for me. I thought that was very sweet of him. I only had to fill the duck pool and water buckets. He said it had rained really hard while I slept.
We try to have quiet, relaxing days on Saturdays, but this time we had to go to a local feed store called McGoughs. We have several feed stores in our area that have good prices on different products. We go to TSC for our poultry feed, dry dog food, and other items like garden hoses. Unlike the other stores, it’s open on Sundays. One local feed store grows its own grass seeds and we can buy it at bulk for a great price. McGoughs is furthest away but it sells 40 pound bags of dry cat food for a really good price. We bought two. We store our dry pet food in large trash cans in the pantry so we don’t have to buy it often. McGoughs also grows and bags their own wild bird seed for a great price so we tend to buy it there each autumn. I haven’t been able to find any local wildflower seeds at any of the feed/farm/nursery stores, so I’ve been buying nonlocal commercially packaged bags of seeds which has both annual and perennials seeds in it–probably more of the former than the latter. Even garden centers in home improvement or larger grocery stores sell these bags. But on Saturday I found bags of the feed store’s own local perennial wildflower mixes. It’s more expensive but the seeds are local, and it’s all perennials, which is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I like perennials because I don’t have to buy them every year. I bought a bag and a packet of seeds. I plan to buy the wildflower seeds from here each Spring now until I have enough wildflowers. Hmm….is it possible for a person to have enough wildflowers? I’ll find out.
Since this was our only stop and we didn’t plan to be in the store long, we took Hannah along with us. After the feed store, EJ took the long way home along “roads less traveled” on dirt roads lined with beautiful pine forests. Hannah loved it.
Sunday morning I filled the wheelbarrow with organic garden dirt, mixed in the wildflower seeds, and scattered them along the driveway. I hope they will grow this year, but if they don’t, maybe they will grow next Spring, but whether they do or not, I will buy more wildflower seeds from the feed store next Spring. I am not really an expert in gardening. I just sort of do random act of gardening. I figure if I plant enough seeds or plants, something is sure to grow. Although I went out relatively early in the morning to plant my seeds, the day was already heating up.
When I got back inside and cooled off in front of the fan and had a cup or two of coffee, EJ got out his whiteboard and we listed and prioritized the projects we want to get done. We have a lot of things we want done, but limited money. We need to get more gravel for the driveway, we would like to get a tractor with a lawnmower and snowblower, I would like to paint the master bathroom…but we decided that the priority is getting the septic pumped out this summer and EJ has been wanting to get the living room floor out ever since we decided to buy this place. It is threadbare and stained from the previous owner’s dog. Since we have so many pets, we prefer not to have carpet. Carpet is less sanitary and harder to clean than bare floors.
After our “business” meeting, we hopped in the Xterra and drove off to Lowes to look at flooring. Hannah really wanted to go with us, but we felt it would be too hot for her in the vehicle so we left her home.
We almost decided to get a wood-floor looking laminate sheet, but it would require a seam in the middle of the floor because our room is wider than the sheet. The laminate planks look better than the sheet, is more durable, will not have a seam, and is only a little more than the sheet so we decided on the planks. We are getting flooring called “rustic hickory.” At our other house we put in flooring ourselves to save money, but EJ has been struggling so much with his chronic back pain and other health issues that we decided to just have Lowes do it for us. All we will do is tear out the old carpet during the week that EJ has off in early July. I’m not sure when the flooring will be installed. I am waiting for a call to make an appointment for the installment guys to come out and measure our room and give us an estimate of the cost, and then we will go from there.
On the way home, I told EJ that getting the flooring was his Father’s Day gift. I reminded him that I give awesome gifts. Three years ago I gave him the birthday gift of living Up North. For Father’s Day that year, I gave him a new house. These awesome huge things our lives tend to happen around these days so I claim they are my gifts to him. Of course, he gifts me awesome gifts too. Every year for my birthday he gives me Memories–we take a long drive through the beautiful autumn.
When we got home, we did quiet things that required little movement. The heat and humidity were oppressive and sapped our energy. We had a light meal that required no baking so we wouldn’t heat up the house. The only other thing I did was gather eggs in the afternoon and shut up the ducks and chickens in the evening. While I was gathering eggs, I stepped on something in the coop that went “crunch, crunch” under my chore shoots. It felt like egg shells. I looked down and saw that I had stepped on a dead, flattened chipmunk. It obviously had come into the coop and the ducks killed it. The ducks tend to flatten critters that they catch in their bills. It’s gross. I picked the body up with the garden rake that I keep in the coop and threw it into the forest.
I woke in the night to the tapping of rain on the roof and it has been raining all morning. It’s not a stormy rain, but a steady soaking rain. Yay! I am so glad it’s raining! We need it so desperately! Unlike us, southern Michigan has had a very wet Spring/Summer but I feel especially bad for the Yoopers (residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) who have gotten torrential rains in the last few days. EJ said he read they received 7 inches of rain in 7 hours. We’ve seen photos and videos of floods and ruin roads. Here is one photo shared by John James in Houghton, Michigan, at the Facebook page called Michigan Weather Authority. There are many other similar photos/videos of the destruction.
I feel very bad for those poor people up there. I think they are expecting even more rain.