Dreary Dog Days Of Summer

August is a month when nothing much matters but the heat index.

It's what people talk about in passing in the supermarket, relishing the cold air conditioning before they sweat their way to the car with their purchases.

Is that why they call it the dog days of summer? 

Wikipedia: Dog Days Of Summer...

...The dog days are the hottest, most uncomfortable part of the Northern summer. Additionally, they also refer to promotions by American baseball ball parks to boost ticket sales during mid-afternoon games... 

Almost forgotten are the patio gardens, where only the strongest and most resilient plants still stand. The others have withered under the heat until they could bear it no more.

The heat has even pretty much dried up the moon flowers I look forward to glimpsing at night, though I get out first thing every morning and give everything a good soaking before my cup of coffee.

I went to the grocery store today, strolling the aisles for things to eat at meals when all I feel like doing is lying under the ceiling fan on my bed reading books on my Kindle.

I went to the local supermarket, Reasors, where they are kind enough to help me put my things on the conveyor belt. Kind enough to sack it for me. And finally, kind enough to take it to my car. 

"Get in and turn the air conditioning on," the nice woman said as I helped her put it all in the Pathfinder. "I'll finish with this."

I could have fallen at her feet and kissed the tips of her shoes in sheer gratitude.

 ...The American weather and farming annual, The Old Farmer's Almanac, explains that the phrase "Dog Days" conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer, coinciding with the heliacal rising of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major...

I gave myself the gift of a $4 bouquet of yellow flowers, bright as sunshine. 

Someone sending you flowers on Valentine's Day or your birthday is also grand. But there's nothing quite like giving yourself this little treat during times when you feel like something the cat dragged in. Bedraggled and not worth spit.

Yesterday was a beast of a day. I've had a problem with mice for months. Maintenance has plugged holes, put down traps and sticky things I don't want to touch. And yet the mice somehow get underneath my refrigerator and find their demise. 

Last night was brutal because I had to listen to one screeching (ever heard a mouse screeching? It's like fingernails on a blackboard, I tell you), for three straight hours.

I did feel sorry for the little rodent, but I have a terrible phobia of mice and I wasn't moving that refrigerator out and picking it up. (Give me spiders any day of the week and I will gladly pick them up and put them outdoors without an ounce of dread.)

As evening fell, I took the dogs and their food and water and we went to the bedroom and closed the door. I turned on the sound machine and air purifier to cover the noise of the screeching, and happily finished a book on my blessedly back-lit Kindle.  

My body today feels like I was holding my breath for an indeterminate time. My limbs feel like I've been pushing a huge rock up a hill, all because my nerves are worn ragged from yesterday's experience. 

I don't need a single person to tell me that I'm being silly or over-reacting. I realize the ridiculousness of my fear. But it doesn't do a thing to assuage it. 

The only thing concerning mice I ever appreciated was the book "Of Mice And Men" by John Steinbeck. 

I think somehow the month of August makes everything hard. People argue, emotions are more volatile. And I imagine there are more domestic calls during this dreary hot month when nerves are frayed.

Yes, fall is within a stone's throw now, but will not tamp down the heat for several more months. I always look forward to fall because the heat has drained me. I'm not a summer person. Give me snow and blankets and hot chocolate any day of the week.

And so I got all my groceries inside, then stood at the kitchen counter and played with my $4 yellow bouquet. I got out my tallest white pitcher and arranged the flowers, even tucking a few in the bottles in the kitchen window.

After I was finished tweaking the flowers, I felt much better. There's just something about flower arranging that is beneficial to your mental and emotional health. 

The dogs are flopped across my legs on the ottoman, snoozing away the afternoon. 

And all is right with the world.

Have a great evening,  mouse-free I trust. And I sincerely hope that your air conditioner holds up like a soldier in combat until the weather cools.


  1. OHMYGOSH. I HATE THESE HORRIBLE HOT SUMMER DAYS. Today it's over 100 again, we don't have your humidity which is certainly better but 100 is not great. Plus our air quality is bad right now, living in a valley, the smoke has accumulated from the fires in California so it's brown from the ground up around here. I cannot even express my gratitude for a/c. You're lucky to find cool stores, around here every one is set to save energy so during the peak hours of the day lights are dimmed and a/c is set high so basicially every store is a muggy hot box. But again, thank goodness for air conditioning. I am inside and while it's not set on super cool, it's cooler than 100! Enjoy your flowers!

  2. It's been so hot here, Brenda, I leave the a/c to dip in the pool and then retreat back to the a/c. I know it's wrong given the conditions, but I am not ready for fall...a little less heat and humidity, but no pumpkins...yet. ;)

  3. Ah, but how very lovely August is in the depth of winter, and how our hearts yearn for it then... "O Spirit of the Summertime, bring back the roses to the dells; the swallow from her distant clime, the honey-bee from drowsy cells. Bring back the friendship of the sun; the gilded evenings, calm and late, when merry children homeward run, and peeping stars bid lovers wait... bring back the singing; and the scent of meadowlands at dewy prime... oh, bring again my heart's content, thou Spirit of the Summertime!" It is usually during those cold days we so wish for now we learn that within us there lay an invincible summer... How I love summer...


  4. There's a quote "We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art-we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones."

  5. I think your flowers were restorative for you. You were reaching for comfort through them because you are a visual person.

  6. Oh i so agree, I am more than ready for fall and cooler temps. Hopefully soon.

  7. This heat wears me out so fast. I'm glad you treated yourself to some flowers. I've been reading a lot this past few weeks, yes under a fan!!


  8. I really do not enjoy the scorching hot days of August, but a drive on a country road with the windows down on an August night can be a pleasant time.

  9. The high heat and humidity just wear me out. I've been relying on the air conditioning more than I ever have. I'm so looking forward to the cooler temperatures of September! Wonderful idea to treat yourself to flowers. I'm so happy that you're enjoying them!

  10. Treating yourself to flowers, how wonderful! I do that every now and then, too, and it always makes me feel upbeat and cheerful, and they bring a smile to my face for the next week/10 days that they last (I buy the carnations and baby's breath, they seem to last the longest). I sometimes have to water my hydrangea three times a day to keep it from wilting in the bad heat this time of year. Fortunately I live practically on top of Lake Michigan so getting water isn't a problem, but the expense of watering lawns and gardens has increased dramatically over the years. As I can budget for it, I plan on having the flower beds enlarged and fill them with more drought tolerant plants and cut down on the lawn areas, front and back yards. I can't stand the look of letting a lawn that is supposed to be green in the summer go brown and "dormant." What's the point of having a lawn in SE Wisconsin in the summer if it's not green? I'm not living in Death Valley, for pete's sake! But the weather pattern in this part of SE Wisconsin seems to have permanently changed -- definitely noticeable over the past several years now it is less rain, much more humid (tropical level dew points above 70) and hotter all summer long; we no longer get reliable rains once a week to 10 days; we get torrential downpours and then nothing for six to eight weeks at a stretch. Geez Louise! With a skippy heart and weak lungs, I spend a lot more time inside in the AC (which I am grateful I can afford to run as much as I need to), and wait for those rare days when the weather systems break and the winds blow strong out of the NE off the lake or out of the NW and cool everything down enough to turn the AC off and open the windows up! Soon enough the bitter cold and dampness will come, and seemingly endless shoveling of snow, so I take the heat while its here. I work outside in the gardens and yards at the crack of dawn before the Sun gets too high in the sky and starts to burn me, and go out to the backyard after 6 p.m. when the Sun has moved around to the front of the house, so I have shade in the back (no shade trees like I had at my former home). I recently did a major splurge and bought one of those steel roof gazebos with mosquito screening, so I can now sit outside at night and be bug free, and enjoy the relatively "cooler" air once the Sun goes down. I could do that because I own my home and could have a permanent structure erected on the patio. I know a lot of people can't because they are renting, and/or the cost. I weighed the cost of a dreamed-of trip to Paris that I had saved up for during the past few years since I retired versus the every day summer practicality of having that Shezebo in my backyard, and the Shezebo won. I could have gotten a less expensive gazebo that isn't anchored down with bolts in the concrete patio, one that has a canvas roof, but the cost of hiring someone to put it up and take it down every season -- and what do you do if a storm is coming, or does come, and blows it all down because I can't do the raising and lowering myself? Even with such a structure, though, there are nights where it seems the temperature is not dropping, and the air is still and dank with tropical levels of moisture, hard to breathe even just sitting still outside and you break a sweat just moving your arm to reach for your cool drink. You wish it would rain but it never seems to; the city gets trapped under one of those "heat domes" that I never heard about 30 years ago but now happen every summer, and seem to get worse as time goes on. Or maybe it's just me getting older and more "frail" than I used to be, not a pleasant thought. I love autumn, but I hate it too because it means winter is coming, and the only thing worse than a relentlessly hot and humid summer is a bitterly cold and snowy Wisconsin winter that ends in June and starts again on October 15 (only a slight exaggeration). Geez, I'm depressing myself, LOL!

  11. My mum was an avid birder and was always battling mice due to the seeds that would fall from her feeders. Tried moving the feeders to the farthest corner of the garden but then she couldn't see the birds fron the window. The exterminator said as long there was seed there would be freeloading mice.

  12. I love summer, but it hasn't been too brutal here in northern IL this year. Our weather lately has been in the 80's and high humidity, but that's not too bad. I'm definitely not a winter person - I hate the cold and the never-ending gray skies and bare trees, not to mention it getting dark by 4:30.
    No, I have never heard a mouse screech and I'm glad I haven't! Sounds awful. :-(

  13. Exactly...my dog across my legs and all is right with the world!!!! I say this exact thing!


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