We didn’t want to go outside in the brutal afternoon heat so EJ and I waited until about 7 p.m. yesterday evening before we walked Hannah–with Josette following–down the driveway to get the mail. On the way back to the house, I noticed a mullein plant drooping. It wasn’t that way earlier. As I shut the poultry up in the coop for the night I also noticed many of the plants in my garden looking wilted. They had looked fine in the morning. The heat was brutal to them. Although I usually just water the plants in the morning, when I saw how wilted everything was I watered last evening as well, including the poor wilted mullein.
Mullien is an interesting plant with a two-year growth cycle. It grows tall–up to 7 feet. Mullein can be used for cough, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bronchitis, hoarseness, pneumonia, earaches, colds, chills, flu, swine flu, fever, allergies, tonsillitis, and sore throat. Other uses include asthma, diarrhea, colic, gastrointestinal bleeding, migraines, joint pain, and gout. You can read more about it in this article titled “Herbs to Know: Mullein.”
The overnight low was about 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) last night. Ugh. It was very difficult to get comfortable, and neither EJ nor I slept well. I woke shortly after 6 a.m., took care of the pets and poultry, and watered the garden, the trees, and the poor mullein, which looked much better than yesterday. After everything was watered, I went back to bed for a little more sleep.
The Excessive Heat Warning continues today. There is a very strong breeze which helps make the heat somewhat bearable. We have all our fans going. Last night I put frozen liter bottles in the coop to cool the it for the ducks and chickens. This morning I put a half-gallon carton of water in the freezer intending to put it in the coop tonight. Hannah seemed irritably hot, so I decided to put the frozen carton in front of a fan. A fan blowing over ice can help cool the air. Hannah had other ideas–she stole the carton and began chewing on it. We were concerned that the plastic wouldn’t be good for her, so I cut open the jug and gave her the carton-shaped ice. She carried it around with her and gnawed on it like a bone. When the cats got too close to her ice, she growled them away. She sure is a funny dog. This video is of Hannah stealing the carton.
EJ decided to call a repair service to fix our central air condition. Our heating/cooling is geo-thermal, which means we get heat/cold drawn up from the earth. Propane is only our back up system. The repair guy says we need a new compressor–and that probably we were heating with propane all last winter instead of the geo-thermal system. It will be quite expensive to get a new compressor installed so we decided we will have to wait to get new flooring until next year. A disappointment, but heating/cooling is much more important. It’s probably best anyway because the flooring cost more than we expected and we would have had to pay part of it with our credit card. This way I can save all year and we can probably pay cash for the flooring next year. It’s going to be rather tough on EJ because the carpet is old and not good for his breathing…but, we can only do what we can do.
The repair guy said our best bet for cooling right now is to get a window air conditioner, which EJ hopes to do tomorrow–if the stores still have any in stock. I’m sure they are in high demand right now.
Storms are moving in. EJ is sitting on the porch watching the storm blow in and listening to his radio and he heard we could get about 70 mph winds with this storm. Great. First we bake in the sun, and then we get blown away by the wind! The good thing is that the storm should cool things off a little bit. Tonight and tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler (65/82) but the the temps will climb near 90 again the next day. Ugh.
EJ called me outside for a moment before the storm arrived and I saw the Mama turkey and her babies walking up through the tall grass along the driveway. You can just barely see the babies. They are so cute!