Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th of July!

It’s 101 degrees here today. That’s actual air temperature. I don’t want to know what the heat index is.

We brought our picnic inside and pitied the poor soul who had to stand by the grill and cook it for us.
Juicy Burger, Chips, and Greens
We opted out of the parade later this afternoon – although there’s some talk amongst the kiddos about fireworks just over the border tonight.

But not me.

After celebrating all weekend with my family at the hottest family camp-out in recent history – I plan on enjoying this mid-week holiday in the comfort of my AC.

I’m going to lay on my couch sipping my ice tea fondly remembering the sweat dripping down my back.

Yes – I do mean fondly.
It was a wonderful weekend – despite the heat.

We just had to be more creative to stay cool.

Like spending the afternoon sitting in the creek with my sisters, enjoying all 3 inches of water and talking.

Or sitting around with our feet in the wading pools watching the kids have water balloon fights.

Or – for the more desperate ones – sitting in the walk-in cooler drinking raspberry lemonade.
Nope. A little heat didn’t stop us from making memories. We just drank more water, threw more water and played with more water.

But now I’m played out.

My couch is waiting, my tea is icing, and I am smiling.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Fruit Basket Upset

What a crazy weekend!

You could describe it a bit like fruit basket upset.

Let’s start with Friday,  Pedro’s 15th birthday.

Matt is gone to Summit for 2 weeks, Dagmar is on the couch with a 24 hour bug, and Jan & Pedro are frantically trying to get some hay baled before the rain comes.

Oh – and the heat index is about 101.

We pause in the craziness to sit around the dining room table in the air conditioned house with Nana and Poppa, eat grilled chicken and birthday cake, and watch Pedro open his presents, before heading back out to the hay field.

Crash's birthday cake

Saturday morning – Dagmar’s 17th birthday.

She’s feeling better so we prepare for her noon birthday party.

Jan is back in the hayfield. Buddy is on the couch with a migraine. Matt is still at Summit.

The heat index is 103.

We pause in the craziness to sit around the dining room table in the air conditioned house with Nana and Poppa, eat sweet and sour chicken and birthday cake, and watch Dagmar open her presents, before getting back to work.


Nana and Poppa head home.

The girls and I clean up the kitchen as fast as we can.

My friend Cinnamon drives in with some of her crew and a couple of extras. The teens disappear, the little’s disappear, and I get to relax a few minutes, play with baby Rosie and chat with Cinnamon.

Cinnamon packs up the crew –  leaving Gunnar and Daniel to spend the night with Pedro – and offers at the last minute to take Angel Girl to their house.

Okay – so I now have 3 teen boys in the basement, one 10 year old with a migraine on the couch, an exhausted husband on the tractor in the excessive heat baling hay, one daughter at a friend’s house and another daughter who is supposed to be celebrating her 17th birthday.

And Matt is still at Summit.

Sunday morning. The hay is baled. Nathan is better. The teen boys finally wake up.

The heat index is 105. We drive to church with no air conditioning (you may remember last weeks adventure!).

Daniel and Gunnar go home. We collect Angel Girl and head home in the excessive heat in a van with no air conditioning.

My sister Tee and niece Mil are waiting when we get home. We pause in the craziness to sit down at the dining room table in the air conditioned house and enjoy ham and potatoes and ice cream cake.

The kids disappear and I get to relax a few minutes and visit with my sister.

Jan and Pedro head out in the van with no air conditioning in the excessive heat to the fairgrounds to pick up all of the 4H and open class exhibits.

Tee and Mil take Dagmar home with them head for a few days in the big city.

Jan and Pedro return, hot and tired, just in time for our traditional Sunday night meal of popcorn and sandwiches.

I now have one tired but happy  husband who spent a long weekend baling and missed his Sunday nap, one happy daughter in the big city celebrating her birthday with cousins, one tired but happy daughter who had a great overnight with friends, one tired but happy son who had a lot of fun with his buddies, one tired little guy who was just glad his migraine was gone, and one tired mom who would be quite happy to singlehandedly finish off the left-over ice cream cake.

And Matt is still at Summit.

I told you it was a fruit basket upset!


Staying Cool with Fruit Slushies

It’s hot. Really hot.

And humid.

So hot and humid that an extensive heat advisory is old news.


So hot and humid that your glasses fog up when you walk out of the house.

So hot and humid that you fight over who gets to wash the dishes so you don’t have to go out and spread mulch in the garden.


So hot that you just dump the water gun on yourself, rather than wait for a sibling to hit you with a spray of water.


It’s so hot that it’s time for Fruit Slushies.

Back in the days when we lived in the hovel with no AC – we would try to “celebrate the heat” with special cool treats in the afternoon.

These Fruit Slushies were always a favorite!

We’ve discovered that they are still a treat – even with the air on!

The recipe couldn’t be more simple – or more versatile.

Fruit Slushies

Blend together in a blender:   (I blend these in batches because my blender isn’t big enough for everything at once.)

1 can fruit cocktail
1 can apricots
1 can peaches
1 can pears
4 medium bananas
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate

Pour into a plastic container and freeze. ( I use an ice cream bucket.)

To serve – let the fruit mixture sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Using an ice cream scoop, place scoops of the mixture into a glass and fill it with lemon-lime pop. (We’ve used 7 Up, Sprite, and even store brand – it’s all good!)

I have substituted almost any canned fruit in this recipe and it’s always worked. It doesn’t matter what size cans you use – whatever is in the pantry or on sale will work. Make sure you use the juice and the fruit -just dump it all in!

It’s an inexpensive and fun way to celebrate the  last days of summer.

Stay cool!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam,  Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

Dog Days of Summer

We are definitely in the dog days of summer!

You hear that term often, but what exactly are they?

According to Wikipedia “the dog days of summer”, refers to “the hottest, most sultry days of summer… They are a phenomenon of the northern hemisphere that usually falls between early July and early September…they  can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress.”

Yep, that would be right now. High humidity (we call it “air you can wear”) and high heat.

The old-timers say, “It’s so hot you can hear the corn grow”. You almost can.

The weather makes doing anything hard. Our minds feel stagnant, or bodies heavy. Our days are definitely marked by a “dull lack of progress!”

What do we do to beat the heat?

You don’t. You simply learn to work with it. We get up early and accomplish everything we can before it gets really hot. Then we stop and rest in the heat of the day. When it starts to cool a little, we start working again.

And we listen to the corn grow.

Staying Cool on a Budget

It’s hot in my house today. I’m afraid the weather forecast doesn’t give much hope for the rest of the week. It’s gonna stay hot and humid.

What do you do when you’re living in an old farmhouse with no A/C?

You adjust.

We have.

We usually wake up early and work in the cool hours of the early morning, and then rest in the heat of the day.

We let the kids play outside after supper until dark so they get their fresh air when its cooler.

We try to keep fans running on us when we are inside.

We don’t run the oven. I use my crock pots, the electric skillet, or the stove top, or even just eat a cold meal.

I try to do something special in the afternoons so the kids have a treat to look forward too. It might something cold and special for snack time in the afternoon, like a homemade popsicle or pudding pop, a root beer float, a slushie,  or just even a glass of cold lemonade.

When the kids were younger it was time in the wading pool under the shade tree (mom, too!).

Now we sit and watch a movie in the heat of the day, with the shades pulled and fans blowing on us. It’s a nice rest and by the time the movie is over, things have cooled off a little and we’re ready to work again.

Most of all, we have learned to give ourselves a little “grace” during these hot spells. We accomplish what we can and know that our energy level will be better as soon as the mercury lowers.