"Hot enough for ya?" is no longer even slightly amusing. It is hot. And dry. And dry. And did I mention dry? I am so weary of watching the plants die, our normally lush pastures turn into barren lands, and the hay situation is enough to make me want to cry. Yes, I know, there are others worse off than us. I have never quite understood why that is supposed to make me feel better. I don't want anyone to endure what Texas is enduring not to mention Africa. Uggh. It all starts to feel a bit heavy.
So, on the lighter side, I thought I would turn away from deep spiritual matters or politics and just share some fun stuff that has helped us to endure this hot summer:
Herbal Iced Tea
If you have a garden, odds are fairly decent you have some mint. Prolific is a word that just goes naturally next to mint. If you are lucky enough to have some lavender then you have the makings of a really refreshing drink. I put a sprig or two of mint, and a sprig or two of lavender in a pitcher of water and stick it in the fridge for a few hours. Believe it or not this makes an extremely refreshing drink on a hot day. Feel free to be creative with the herbs you use. I have added rosemary for variety and today I am trying the addition of lemon thyme.
Fun with Berries
The fruit along with most other produce is going to be pretty punk this year in this area. But for some reason I had a bunch of boysenberries. Berries aren't just for jellies anymore. I made a berry crisp and my personal favorite was Berry Shortcake topped with Homemade Ice Cream. YUM! I had some gooseberries earlier,too. I let them ripen to almost black and tossed them in a fruit salad. So,if you have some fruit that has managed to survive the drought (or flood or whatever the conditions are in your area) try using it in your favorite fruit recipe even if that is not the fruit you would normally use. It doesn't have to be Strawberry Shortcake to be delicious.
Turn a Chore into a Treat
Weeding is not my favorite task. It has been dry enough even the weeds have suffered but in the spots where I water, the weeds are grateful for the moisture too. They express their appreciation by growing with enthusiasm. Being freshly watered, these weeds are greener and juicier than much of what is in the pasture right now. So, I put the weeds in a bucket as I do my weeding and then take them as a treat to the goats or bunnies. It is satisfying to see them slurp it all up and provides a little bonding time with the animals. In fact, if I were a little quicker with the camera I would have a great picture of my daughter with a big pile of weeds in her lap and the bunnies nibbling away. I realize not everyone has the critters to be able to do this. But maybe there are other ways you might be able to make life more bearable for the animals who are suffering in this heat. Let your dog run through the sprinklers when you are watering. Set out a pan of water for the deer. I don't know. Or maybe when you do your weeding you can simply derive satisfaction from how quickly the pulled weeds dry up in this incredible heat.
What do you do to make the hot summer a little easier to endure? We could all use some good ideas. Please share.