Coffee heat rising

Heat-Soaked, Heat-Tired…

Two in the afternoon. It’s 112 in the shade of the back porch. Running up the power bill by leaving the thermostat at the night-time temp: 78 degrees. I keep fading, coming back, fading. Feel OK for and hour or two, then feel like I need to go back to bed. Just finished eleven (count-’em, 11) sentences in the Ella’s Story chapter that needs to go online tomorrow. Have no idea where the thing is going.

What next? How about back to bed?

Why, you ask, do I feel so tired, other than that the fine enervating effect of prolonged 112-degree heat? Why, indeed:

  • Up at 4:30 a.m.
  • Read email, answer messages.
  • Read news, grind teeth.
  • Get dressed, more or less.
  • Out the door with the dogs: 5:15 a.m.
  • Walk dogs one mile
  • Feed dogs
  • Mix up large container of Roundup (yeah, I know, but if you want to come over and pull fire-hazard weeds out of the alley by hand, be my guest!)
  • Unlock iron bars that span the back gate to discourage transients from using the gate alcove as a loo.
  • Don heavy garden gloves.
  • Drag wheelbarrow and dog pooper-scooper through back gates, up the alley, into front yard.
  • Use the scooper to lift a very prickly piece of prickly-pear cactus off the ground and into the barrow.
  • Lift the pot with the dead prickly-pear cactus off the ground and into the barrow, trying not to touch the plant.
  • Roll these to the garbage can in the alley.
  • Lift pot (very heavy, even though dessicated) into the shoulder-high trash can. Toss.
  • Toss dead prickly-pear pad in after it.
  • Peel ruined gloves off and throw them and the myriad stickers they’ve collected into the trash can.
  • Drag wheelbarrow back into yard. Close and lock back gate.
  • Pick up dog mounds; deposit in dog poop/junk mail container — another device to discourage transients, who will go through the trash looking for things with your name and address…especially credit-card offers.
  • Carry dribble-bottle of Roundup into the front yard
  • Drip Roundup on weeds on east side of house.
  • Down the alley: Douse the idiot neighbor’s butt-high crop of fire-hazard weeds with Roundup.
  • Drip Roundup on the few weeds that have broken through behind my house.
  • Put away the Roundup gear.
  • Lubricate the wheelbarrow, whose squealing probably woke up the idiot neighbors (one can only hope…)
  • Put wheelbarrow back in its place.
  • In bathroom, dig out tweezers. Pick (painful!) hair-thin prickly-pear stickers out of fingers and out of a toe (!! HOW???)
  • Back outside: water potted plants.
  • Turn sprinkler on bedding plants and rose on west side.
  • Check pool chlorine.
  • Jump in pool, swim around.
  • Rinse incipient growth of mustard algae off steps.
  • Wash self and hair in hose.
  • Turn soaker hose on cat’s claw vines.
  • Dry off.
  • Comb out tangles and put up wet hair.
  • Fix and consume coffee and breakfast.
  • Put away dishes.
  • Pick up dog dishes, too.
  • Write to correspondents.
  • Begin trying to write Ella, chapter 28.
  • Daydream.
  • Read news.
  • Think how fricking TIRED I am.
  • Worry that weight continues to fall off despite effort to end diet.
  • Write to correspondents at some length.
  • Write and publish a short Quora essay. Watch with amazement and amusement as a flurry of “likes” flashes up on the screen, forthwith.
  • Consider, in awe, that 17,200 people have read one of those Quora essays!
  • Make note in relevant Facebook discussion as to how you can use Quora to guide traffic to your website or author page.
  • Think how fricking HUNGRY I am.
  • Decide to fix slumgullion, using US-made pasta, which seems to be more fattening than expensive Italian pasta guaranteed made with European wheat. Ooohhkkkayyyy…
  • Think how much I do not want to drive to Sprouts to buy one (1) onion.
  • Realize I have a bunch of frozen mirepoix.
  • Exhume this from the fridge.
  • Start mirepoix sautéing. Throw in some frozen chopped spinach.
  • Defrost hamburger.
  • Set large pot of water to boil.
  • Mince garlic, add tbat and a fistful of walnuts to mirepoix.
  • Sauté hamburger.
  • Start pasta boiling.
  • Toss browned meat into mirepoix, adding dash of nutmeg, sprinkle of cinnamon. Simmer.
  • Add half a box of leftover Pomí tomatoes to frying pan. Approve: an acceptable sauce, even absence a splash of red wine.
  • Retrieve pasta; mix with sauce. Dump some on a plate; put the rest in a refrigerator container.
  • Sprinkle generous amount of Parmesan over the chow on the plate.
  • Eat.
  • Feel a lot better: maybe I’m not dying of liver failure after all?
  • Start writing.
  • Procrastinate, racking up large numbers of game points.
  • Read Facebook.
  • Write.
  • Think how fricking TIRED I am.
  • Lift the dogs onto the bed.
  • Climb on after them.
  • Write this.

So it goes.

Overlazied and Underpaid…

LOL! Not exactly underpaid, but not doing enough work to matter! Which in Arizona’s summer heat is probably the best way to survive: not working.

Truth to tell, today’s summer heat is not as advertised. It is not going to reach 117 today. Not a chance: at noon, it’s only 110 out there.

The hounds and I rolled out at 4 a.m. so as to get in the mile’s dog-&-human walk before the predicted blast-furnace heat rose up. It was only about 87 at that time — we were told the low would be 90. The morning was actually rather pleasant. We encountered about ten of our fellow dog-walkers, all of whom apparently had the same idea. Arrived back at the Funny Farm around 5:40, fed dogs, watered plants, refilled the pool, tossed in some more chlorine tabs, went swimming.

That must have pleased the neighbors, because Ruby barks hysterically every time I get in the water. Apparently she thinks the human is going to drown. Then (horrors!) she won’t get fed anymore.

Since the neighbors were the cause of my spending the Fourth of July working myself up to a near heat stroke and having to opt out of my favorite party of the year so as to stay home and guard the Farm from the risk of nitwit-initiated fire, I do not give one thin damn if my dog barks them out of the sack on a 90-degree morning. 😀 Bay away, little dog!

All that notwithstanding, the heat and the humidity begin to wear. Just now — along about two in the afternoon — it’s about 115 on the back porch. Not intolerable…but somewhat warm.

Where creative and productive work are concerned, I do best in a cool, fairly gray climate: San Francisco and London are ideal. All this sunshine is a distraction. Actually, what happens is that it puts me in zombie mode. I just do not feel like working.

As in I cannot force myself to do ANYTHING.

Last week I had seven days in which to scribble the current installment of Ella’s Story. Did I write it last week? Was it ready to go come Monday morning?

Hell, no. Of course not.

But I did rack up 50,810 points on the set of games I’ve been playing.


So it was the middle of the afternoon before that got done, and then (IMHO) not very well.

Yesterday the place was overrun with various workers, which rendered writing or editing much of anything…problematic, shall we say.

Happily enough, though, I was rescued from having to pay some batsh!t amount of money to repair the propane grill! Its main knob — the one that turns on the primary burner — was stuck somehow. I thought the tube it attaches to had somehow got bent, and was silently blaming it on one of Gerardo’s cousins, whom I suspected of having whacked it with a leaf-blower.

BBQ repair dude was supposed to show up between 2 and 3 p.m. — try to imagine throwing yourself around with a heavy gas grill, in the sun, in 112-degree heat!

Not surprisingly, this poor fella called in sick. Along about 7 a.m., the office called and asked if they could send someone between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

This put the eefus on my plan to hit the grocery story as soon as rush hour ended. But without an oven, I’ve gotta have that grill working.

Well…”someone” was the company’s owner, an interesting and entertaining man. Forthwith, he discovered that nothing serious was wrong — a little rust or, he thought, just dirt, was jamming a part, He cleaned and lubricated the knob assembly, whilst entertaining me with conversation.

So that was good. Even better: he only charged $68 to fix it!

Man! I was expecting a $200 bill. The original appointment included their whiz-bang cleaning service, which I really did not need and would prefer not to get until after the weather cools off. So he opted that and barely charged enough to cover the gas to drive his truck up here.

So, even after yesterday’s junket to the grocery store, I still have $58 left in this month’s budget, with only a week to go.

At said grocer, I picked up a roll of dog food, meaning the doggy meals are now covered for the rest of the month and then some. Got a very nice watermelon — paying lots more than would have been required at Costco,. but obviating an extra trip to an extra store through the heat.

I may have as much loot as I need to make it to August 1 without having to buy any more food or household items. Possibly not. But whatever comes up surely will not cost $58.