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If we were having coffee: Heat wave edition

Life of the Dunes trail. Assateague Island National Seashore.
Life of the Dunes trail. Assateague Island National Seashore.

Landscape is the first born of creation.  It was here hundreds of millions of years before the flowers, the animals, or the people appeared.  Landscape was here on its own.  It is the most ancient presence in the world, though it needs a human presence to acknowledge it.

~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

At the farmers market this morning.
At the farmers market this morning.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, lemonade, or something more potently potable, I would be delighted to see you again.  Hugs if you’re open to them.  Come on in out of the heat!  It’s awful out there, isn’t it?  Like a lot of areas in the U.S. on this sweltering Saturday, we are under a heat advisory.  It was 114°F on the deck recently.  The current temperature is about 94°F.  Those who calculate such things say it feels like 111°F.  I think we’ll stay put inside today and enjoy the air conditioning.

Through a fogged lens.
Through a fogged lens.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Taken a staycation?  Learned anything new?  Have you gone on any good walks or hikes?  Read any good books or watched any good films?

Trying to beat the heat (and the bugs!).
Trying to beat the heat (and the bugs!).  Wild horses on Assateague Island (Maryland end).

I recently finished reading The Liars’ Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr.  It was so engaging that I decided to read her next book, Cherry.  Not right away, mind you.  I’ll have to wait until I obtain a copy either by purchasing it or by borrowing it through the local library system.  In the meantime, I’m reading Revival: A Novel by Stephen King.  It’s been a good and fast read — perfect for a busy summer — and I should finish it today.  The subject matter is interesting, and King does a good job, as usual, of moving the plot along.

A tree on the edge by the bay.
A tree on the edge by the bay.

This week or next, when things slow down, I am also going to start reading Within Easy Reach by Jane Tims of nichepoetryandprose.  I’ve had the book for a couple of weeks, and haven’t started it yet because I want to be able to take my time and savor it.  I love Jane’s poetry and artwork, and I’m looking forward to reading her book.  I first met Jane through blogging, and we’ve exchanged a few letters and cards here and there.  I was hoping I might have a chance to meet her in person when M and I traveled to New Brunswick, but we had so much packed into such a short trip that I was unable to.  Next time, for sure.  (And there will be a next time because I love the Canadian Maritimes and plan to visit up that way again in the next few years.  Or maybe I’ll move there if U.S. politics drive me to wanting to leave for a while.)

It was a hot and buggy day.
It was a hot and buggy day.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I went to Assateague this week to meet up with a friend and her people (or “peopling” as she calls them, and those peopling consist of a boyfriend and his children) .  It was hot and muggy, although not nearly as hot as it is today.  It was also quite buggy.  Even so, we managed to have a good time although I’m not sure the kidlets who were with us appreciated the sun, the heat, or the mosquitoes and green head flies.  The wild horses looked uncomfortable, too.  Fortunately, we did find some horses, including one of the new foals (there are four this year).  It probably wasn’t the best introduction to the island.  I’m hoping the children and their father make it back again someday when the weather is more agreeable.  Late fall, winter, and early spring are, in my opinion, the best time to visit Assateague Island but, as we all know, I’m biased towards cold weather.  Bring on winter!

Looking at the marsh from the Life of the Marsh trail/boardwalk.
Looking at the marsh from the Life of the Marsh trail/boardwalk.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, you might have noticed the scent of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, red wine, and spices in the air.  It’s harvest time here at the ranch, and I’m making a pasta sauce for freezing.  I was going to call it a “marinara” sauce, but there’s more to it than a classic marinara.  The sauce has been cooking down, and I suspect it will be perfuming the air in the house for a few days to come since we won’t be opening the windows any time soon.  I suspect M and I will be constantly feeling hungry just from inhaling the scent.

I also have a vegetable stifado (stew) simmering.  You might not think of stew for a hot summer’s day meal, but this is filled with summer vegetables and it’s one of my favorite dishes.  In the pot you’ll find onions, garlic, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, and dill.  Almost everything in the stew comes either from our garden or from the local farmers market.  Only the lemon juice and black pepper come from Elsewhere.  (If you want to know more about it, you can find a post I wrote on my old blog that included the recipe here.)

On the beach by the bay.
On the beach by the bay.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am getting set to start another challenge on Monday just to get myself back in gear, so to speak.  This summer has been so filled with ups and downs and all-arounds that I’ve gotten off track with my usual routines including a good exercise program, yoga, and meditation.  Well, maybe not the meditation because my walks are often meditative.  I also need to clean up my diet.  I’ve been overindulging in a lot of junk, cheese, and meat.  I need a good challenge to get back on track.  I’m going to start with what used to be my regular morning routine:  exercise (cardio or strength, depending on the day), yoga, and meditation.  My eating habits might take care of themselves since we are harvesting tons of vegetables right now and the farmers markets make up for whatever we haven’t grown so that there is variety in my diet.  There is still some cheese in the fridge that will have to be taken care of (eaten).  Once that’s gone, we’ll go back to the occasional strong cheese for those occasions when we’re craving it.  A vacation from alcohol may be in order, too.  Since blogging about my challenges seems to bring out success, I’ll probably be writing more about the specifics of my challenge once I get started.

A jellyfish comes to shore.
A jellyfish comes to shore.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would tell you that it’s probably time for me to turn this over to you.  I need to get the pasta sauce into freezer containers, and then I’m going out for a swim.  You’re welcome to stay for a while and join me in the pool.  In fact, head on out there now if you like.  Later we can see about the sunset.  It’s so hot, muggy, and buggy that I’m not sure I feel like heading over to the Point, but you never know.  I might change my mind.  Sunset is at 7:58 PM now.  The days are growing shorter, and I’ve also noted that the sunlight streams in the windows in the evenings at a different angle now.  I’m excited to see the change in light.  It means an eventual end to summer, a season I try to appreciate but I’m always glad to see depart.

Swishing away the flies.
Swishing away the flies.

Thank you so much for visiting and joining me for another coffee chat.  Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Hot sand.
Hot sand.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post.  So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community!  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

A flower growing on the dunes.
A flower growing on the dunes.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

22 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Heat wave edition

  1. What a beautiful quote. Landscape is so essential. And your jellyfish–like enfleshed light! Goodness! I wish I had a nearby pool to dive into as well. Good luck getting back on track. I bet you’ll do well with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’ll pass on outdoor activities until it cools. I’m a wimp when it comes to weather – hate humidity, heat, and cold. Temps between 65 and 75 would be perfect, although I would tolerate an 80 every now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a wimp in hot temperatures, Carol, but tolerate cold pretty well most of the time. My ideal temperature ranges from about 55 to 65, but like you, I can tolerate an 80 occasionally. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am staying inside the house too to escape the heat. I watched an excellent movie on Netflix earlier this week, The Painted Veil. Wonderfully rich and satisfying movie that was like reading a great novel.
    Have a cooler week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s great to enjoy your beautiful landscapes through your photos–without actually feeling the mugginess or bugs. 🙂
    It’s so hot here, too. Still muggy at almost 9 PM. We’re pet sitting our “grandpets,” so we were just over there walking the dog.

    I can smell your sauce and stew–well, I can imagine it. Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m going to have to go get that sauce recipe. Hot here too though not as hot as where you are. We had a great sunset tonight. Katie and I ran over to her park quick to catch it. Have too many trees here at home.

    Nice that you’re getting so much produce out of the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really have a recipe, Dawn. Just sautee chopped onions and peppers, add some minced cloves of garlic (as little or as much as you like) and swirl it around, throw in some oregano, basil, fennel seeds, and some crushed red peppers, swirl it around some more. Then add about a 1/4 cup or so of a good red wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it), and cook it down so you cook off the alcohol. Add lots of peeled, chopped tomatoes. Cook it for a while, then add tomato paste to thicken a bit, and if you like, puree the whole lot with a hand blender or in a food processor. If you’re going to puree it, be sure to let it cool a bit first. Unless you’re not klutzy like me. In which case, puree when it’s good for you. 😀 Voila! It’s sauce.

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  6. Such a delicate beach flower – never seen one like that before. Beautiful horses… do they swim to cool off? Poor things get no relief from the bugs. I’ll be glad when this heat wave passes. We’re getting thunderstorms right now, hopefully cooling things down a bit. The humidity will probably linger…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never seen a flower like that at the beach before, either, Eliza. I keep meaning to look it up, but haven’t had a chance yet. I have seen the horses walk in the water, but I haven’t seen them swim. They force the horses to swim down on the Virginia end when they do the pony auction, and from the pictures I’ve seen, the horses don’t look happy about it. Some of them look downright terrified. According to the film they should about the horses at the visitor’s center, the horses stand on the beach and catch the sea breeze when they want to cool off. We rarely see them on hot days, and I often wonder if they hide in the shade of the woods.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The humidity has been rather miserable, even I, Ms. Summer, can admit that. I still had to get outside for a while yesterday tho – sometimes I get a bit chilled in the AC. All your veggies and such sound fabulous. Your recipe sounds a little like rataouille – ages ago I used to make that with cheese tortellini. Thanks for the book recommendations, I’d like to read a couple that you mentioned, however I fear my time for pleasure reading is running short as summer feels like it is rushing to a close and my new adventure is on the horizon. Best of luck with your new challenge! Don’t feel bad about the summer indulgences – that’s part of enjoying summer. I’m guilty of my share! Need to get back to yoga myself – I can feel it.
    Sorry to have rambled on in this comment. I think it is my inner bloggess speaking telling me to write!

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  8. Well, imagine by delight at finding my name in your post! I hope you enjoy reading ‘within easy reach’ as much as I did writing it. It sounds like it has been too hot for berry picking but you will find lots of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries in my book. I am also starting on a challenge this week, re-commencing my ‘virtual bike ride’ along the St. John River here in New Brunswick! Jane

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  9. So nice to see you Robin! Wow, that is hot!! I love love love the pictures. especially the jelly fish.
    I’ve been away for a while. I hope you had a wonderful visit with your Little Wookie.

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  10. The friend and her peopling would LOVE to come back! Well, I can guarantee the friend would like to come back, and I know the father of the smaller peopling is definitely interested in seeing the landscape again in more temperate weather. My green head bites are all scabbed up now, and no longer itchy 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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