The Heat Is On

      Becky asked how we manage to keep up with all of our work when the temperatures soar.  Good question!  The obvious answer is that we try to do as much of the outdoor work and heavy indoor work as we can early in the day while it is still cooler.  I try to get the laundry out of the washer and hung on the line before noon, and I will often just leave it on the line until evening when it cools down enough to make taking the clothes off the line and folding them into baskets more comfortable. 

     We cook outdoors on the grill, and we also set up a small table for our roaster oven in the garage so that the house doesn’t heat up with regular oven use.  As a matter of fact, the roaster oven was set up in the garage and used for the first time this season earlier this week. 


     Keeping the watering and irrigating going, though, is an all day, every day job, and it does mean that I am in and out of the heat quite often during the day.  I also take a medication that requires that I’m extra careful about spending too much time in the sun, so I keep my wide brimmed straw hat by the back door so I can put it on as I head outside.  I’ve been known to spray myself with a hose when I’m out and it’s really hot, too!

     There are days, of course, when there is just a lot to do outside, or even inside, and we have to keep on working right through the heat.  We’re careful to drink plenty of water on those days, and take frequent breaks in either the shade or a cool spot in the house.  We do have an above-ground pool to cool off in, too. 

     God ordained the seasons.  He knew that summer would be a busy time as mankind works to take dominion over the earth.  He has placed all of us in different areas.  Some of us enjoy rather temperate climates all year round. Some of you endure months of snow and sub-zero temperatures and some of you live in the desert where temperatures can remain in the high 90’s and even over 100° overnight.  (We spent one very sleepless night near Phoenix one July and it was 101° at 7:00 a.m. when we awoke!)  We all, each and every one of us, need to thank the Lord for our homes, wherever they may be and do what we can to do the work He has called us to in that place. 

     Do I like the heat?  Nope, not a bit, but I am thankful for my home and for the wee bit of land He has given us here.  The fact that I live in the central valley of California means that watering and irrigating are necessary from mid-Spring until late fall every year.  He has given me the work of tending this piece of land and He knows my limitations.  Yet He has provided us with a good well, filled with clean, fresh water, and an electric pump that does the majority of the work for me.  I only need to drag hoses, hook up sprinklers and/or drip lines, and turn on valves! 






     Thursday was a hot day, but all eight of my treasures – four children and four grandchildren – spent the afternoon in the pool together.  I sat in the shade, pool side, and enjoyed watching them play. 









     After a bit, my youngest granddaughter joined me in my comfy chair and she and I rocked and talked and watched the others.














     This precious girl loved the pool last week, but I think there was too much splashing and carrying on for her delicate sensibilities this week.  She enjoyed herself playing on the ladder in the shade, splashing the kids in the pool, splashing me, and giving those floating by on an inner tube a little push.







     Note – The six year old is practicing appropriate pool safety measures.  Red life jacket on (you can just barely make it out), floating on a tube and carrying a spare flotational device for extra measure.











     Dani made some lovely yellow cupcakes (from scratch, of course) and some yummy good chocolate buttercream frosting, decorated with “sprinklers”.  Now may I just tell you something?  Those cupcakes were served, outside, by the pool, on a vintage cake plate, with a very old sugar bowl upturned and another, smaller glass plate over that, to make a tiered server.  Yes, it was just “us”, and no, the little ones might not have noticed the special touch that Dani gave to her dessert.  But you know what?  I want them to remember, as they grow up, that Grandma served them on the good china (or the special Christmas dishes), and that we played with the child size china tea set, and that they ate cupcakes from vintage crystal servers in the back yard after swimming.  Yes, something might have gotten broken, but it didn’t.  I’d rather have a broken piece or two and have my family know they are special.  Treasured, in fact.

     Before swimming, we had our “library” time.  Uncle Aaron chose the books for the younger bunch today, and my grandsons thought that was great.  Here’s what we read:

     The Raft, by Jim Lamarche.  In this wonderfully illustrated book, a young boy must spend the summer with his Grandma, a self-described “river rat”.  He’s not too sure about the prospects of such a summer, but he soon learns the pleasures of watching the creatures that live on or near the river.  During the course of the summer, a raft mysteriously appears.  The raft is covered with illustrations of the animals of the area.  As the summer ends, the boy has developed a wonderful relationship with his grandma and adds an illustration of his own to the raft.  Not only is this a wonderful read aloud just for the sake of the story, it would be make a wonderful gift for a budding young naturalist!  The illustrations in this book are gorgeous!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen.  How many of you have chanted this tale around a camp fire growing up – “We’re going on a bear hunt.  We’re going to catch a big one.  What’s that up ahead?”?  Me, too!!!  This is the classic “going on a bear hunt” that we all know and love, but it is set down in story form with beautiful illustrations of a father and his four children as they go on their own bear hunt.  Of course you will want to read it with plenty of expression, and be sure to really pick up the pace once the bear has been discovered and you must retrace your footsteps through the cave, through the snow, through the forest, etc.!  My Will, who has heard this book many times, was enthralled today, right along with the littler ones.  The rhythm of the story and the repeated phrases make it a wonderful read aloud for even the very young.

     The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart.  How I love this book!  The depression is on, and young Lydia Grace is sent from her home on the farm to live with an uncle in the city who owns a bakery, just until Papa can find work.  Through a series of letters that she sends home to her parents and grandmother, Lydia Grace recounts her travel to the city on the train and her life as it unfolds there.  Grandma has packed several packets of seeds in Lydia Grace’s things and this little “gardener” does wonders to not only brighten up the bakery with her skills, but also to bring delight to an uncle who never smiles.  The full color illustrations, which are rather whimsical, are fun to peruse with the children. 

     These three books, along with several other read aloud books that I not only own but highly recommend, can be found at this link.  (This little store is still a work in progress.)


     All of us look forward to our Thursdays with Corin and the kids.  William starts watching for them at least an hour before they are expected.  He’s got his lunch plate there with him!







      By noon, even Dixie knows they are coming, and watches for them through the garage door.  She loves those kids!!!

     It was quite hot outside today, but my glass of sweet iced tea, along with holding a wet-from-the-pool child here and there, kept me comfortable.  I love my Thursday afternoons when all of my dear children and grandchildren are here together.  The time just flies by, but at day’s end I know what a blessed woman I truly am!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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9 comments to The Heat Is On

  • I LOVED this post Cheryl.  Thanks so much for sharing.  I feel the same way about the china.  My kids feel so special when I pull out the china for dinner.  We do it often, and they love it.  I have a treasured collection of teacups/saucers from my grandmothers, and frequently Morgan and I will choose one and have a tea party together.  I have decided to start a collection for her as well, and will begin buying one for her each year on her birthday.  Both kids love it when we do special things like that.  I’m grateful for the home God has given us, and the state we live in.  I’m grateful for my family, and the time I can spend with them. 

    You are such an encouragement…thank you so much for sharing your heart with us!

  • Love it! I want to be this kind of grandma!!! Thanks for sharing your special day and your encouragement about working in the heat. We just came in dripping with sweat. I think I’ll go make a special treat and serve it on something fancy! 😉

  • Hi, Cheryl…Thanks for taking time to answer my question–and for giving me a fresh perspective about the Lord knowing where He had placed us, knowing our limitations, etc. (For some reason, I always assume that anyone who lives in California, Florida, etc., must like the heat. It’s interesting to see that this is not the case.)

    You look SO pretty in the red dress in the photo where your granddaughter is sitting on your lap. That is a very nice color on you.

    I hope that you and your family enjoy the weekend!

    ~Becky in Vermont

  • I just heard (again) from my Caleb that it wasn’t only hot, it’s sweatin’ hot! And he said that at 7 am! I told him, you just wait. My days are starting at 5:15AM so I can get some exercise in, do chores and then get the kids up, fed and then out to the garden. I often think of you and Dani, making pies and jamming …. as I do the same. :sunny:

  • Sounds like a wonderful day, despite the heat. The cupcakes look yummy too.

  • I’m so glad you give us some book reviews!! I am going to look for “The Raft” at our library. Sounds like one my children would like!

  • Sounds like a great day for your family. Glad that you enjoyed it. Be Blessed.

  • Thanks for the reminder about being content where the Lord has us.  I live in Phoenix and I do not like the heat…I sometimes giggle and know that the Lord has a sense of humor.  I also told Him that I would go anywhere but someplace that was really hot…I have been in Phoenix for almost 16 years now.  LOL

    And yes, from about mid June until early September, we usually don’t dip below the 90’s at night…this is the reason that we do a lot of stuff before 8 AM and lots of stuff after 8 PM:sunny:

  • I just love reading about your library days with all your blessings! It makes me want to be a Meme! What a wonderful touch with the cupcakes. I also let my little ones drink out of my special tea cups and saucers. It makes them feel so special. I have a had a few broken pieces, but it was worse when I broke one! I actually cried when I dropped and broke a little espresso cup from Italy. The kids were surprised and confused by my reaction; actually I was too!