Sunday, July 31, 2016

That's the Way Summer Is

The week was a busy one; thus I totally missed posting last week.

That's the way summer is.

I took a couple of days to go visit my dear friend in  northeastern Colorado, a two hour drive away. She is still recovering from her shoulder surgery, so we didn't do much other than having lunch in Sterling, visiting my favorite junk store and a trip to Walmart, but that was plenty. Since I have an account with, we looked up her long lost relatives one evening.

Back home there were weeds to pull, laundry to do, and a dollhouse to finish. All week I had planned on going out to the garden to take photographs. The gladiolas were blooming. The zinnias were opening up. I needed to pull the second crop of rhubarb, planning on making rhubarb jelly. The tomatoes were coming on strong, despite a seemingly rough start. I had picked the first of the zucchini before they became foot-longs.

I kept putting off the photo session. There would be tomorrow.

That's the way summer is.

We did pick the first of the tomatoes, surprised at the little orange ones. Did we buy them instead of the Sweet One Hundreds that we usually buy, we asked each other? Too late to worry about that.  I finally tried out a Christmas gift, a peeler/slicer that attaches to my Kitchen Aid mixer. Handy gadget. I made spaghetti zucchini and onions for a stir fry. Next time I use the gadget, I'll take photos to show you.


We had a lovely meal. I actually cooked. Lasagna with sauteed vegetables. And garden fresh tomatoes.

With dinner over, we settled in to relax for the evening, despite the dark clouds gathering in the northern sky. The weather ladies had warning of severe storms. At 4:00 Cheyenne, Wyoming (30+ miles north) had golf ball sized hail. The Head Gardener began watching the clouds. So often those storms miss us. I was visiting with my friend on the phone when I heard a loud bang. I called out to the HG asking him what the noise was. Before he could answer there was another loud bang, and another, and more. By then I was off the phone, looking out across the lawn watching the golf ball sized hail stones bounce on the lawn, crash into the side the side of house, pound the trees, slam into the barn roof. The sound as they hit the roof of the house was deafening. They came down with such force that I had never seen before, nor had I ever seen hail so big.

                   The Hockey Puck                                                                  The Gum Ball

The Egg

The garden wasn't totally destroyed, but looked pretty ratty. We were surprised that there wasn't more damage.  The big stones don't do so much damage to vegetation because there weren't so many of them.


The boys rode out the storm. When it was over, they wandered back out to pasture, backs wet from standing in the rain, making me think that they may have stood out in storm because of the racket that the hail made as it hit the barn. Sundance doesn't like loud noises. The old Ford didn't fair so well. While we don't drive it much, it still has full insurance coverage, so we hope the insurance company feels that it is worth it to fix it. It still have has plenty of miles left.


. . . But that wasn't the end. A second storm hit after 10:00 P.M., causing worse damage and destruction. This one brought the pea sized hail combined with hard rain and wind that shreds everything.


 I've waited all summer for the Glads to bloom and waited patiently for the Heritage raspberries to ripen. The peaches and the apricots are turning color. I was so hopeful that I would harvest my first fruits. They are so close to ripening. The peaches are very small, but there were a lot of them. The apricots looked like they were doing so well, and then the storm.

The water lilies bloom so vigorously. The gold fish have finally come out of hiding after being terrorized by the green heron that visited early in the summer. The hail reduced the lilies to shreds. Perhaps they will recover before summer's end. After all there is always next summer.

While the center circle doesn't show much damage, certain plants didn't fare so well, like the corcosmia.

We wait all year long for our very favorites to bloom for only a few short weeks. Such is the way it is for gardeners. The pale pink lilies are rare in the garden with only 3 plants. Look at them now. Gladiolas are always a crowd-pleaser and we tended them so carefully. 

Looking like lumpy snow next to the courtyard water fall, the hail shredded everything there, too.

The zucchini that was so delicious for supper that night will have some healing to do, but it will recover.

The rhubarb looks so sad, but I'll pull it, cook it, and eat it.  It will recover.

That's the way summer is.


The peach tree and the apricot tree survived the first round of hail. Those giant hail stones don't do so much damage unless they hit you on the head. A few fruits were knocked to the ground.

As back yard gardeners, we tend to take these weather conditions for granted. Weather happens. Can't stop it; can't change it. We do have to put it all in perspective for there are far worse things that can happen. We don't make a living farming, so we just have to get it over it, giving thanks for our many blessings and remembering those who suffer real loss, weather related or not.

That's the way summer is.

On a happier note, we gained a new family member. Meet Hazel.

Oldest grand daughter Ellie decided that she needed a dog, despite the fact that the family has two dogs, a doberman and miniature Schnauzer. The Head Gardener suggested that she look online at Pet Finder where he found Boone. She found a cute little dog and wanted to go see him at the pound despite the fact that her parents had already told her no dog. I was once again A-Foot while the SUV was getting its computer fixed, so I spent the morning with the girls which included a stop at the Humane Society to see the little dog.  The girls had already told me that there also a parakeet there, so I prepared. How could I resist? I couldn't. She is a young bird probably less than 8 months. She doesn't have tail feathers, so I think she has had her first molt. Parakeets older than about 8 months have a white ring around the iris of their eyes; Hazel's eyes are still all black, so I assume that she is very young.

I asked why she was surrendered, but there was little known except that someone found her, which means she must has been caught in the wild, probably escaping her home. She has her forever home now.

As for the little dog. His record recommend that he not be placed in a home with children under 12. Mom lucked out this time, for she has 3 girls under 12. Ellie took the rejection well, but I know she was disappointed. Cute little dog, just not suitable for children.

That's the way summer is.

Already the kids are getting reading to head back to school. They have a few weeks of freedom left, but it seems like the summer has just scooted away. For me now that I am retired, the days just come and go. The end of summer signifies not much more than cooler weather and fewer weeds.

That's the way summer is.

We have another full weekend ahead. The HG has a 10 year class reunion on Friday, 1964-1974. I may go for I began my teaching career in 1970 here and the school is just down the the street. Saturday is the Ault Fall Festival Parade. I'll take lots of photos of the HG pulling the museum committee's float with his tractor. Then we will celebrate Lucy's 8th birthday. So lots to do this week. 

I am excited to be linking with Maggie at Normandy Life for her first Mosaic Monday on August 1st. I've even added her badge to side bar. Join us, won't you?

Thanks so much for visiting. I've been trying to spend time reading and commenting, but I get busy.

That's the way summer is.


  1. Yikes, what a disappointment! We haven't our usual summer storms, which you think would be a good thing, but what it really means is that we haven't had much rain. It's very dry here, and I'm tired of watering.

  2. You do have some frightening weather! How sad to see your precious plants reduced to ribbons.

  3. Sigh! I knew there were storms in your state and there was an ominous feeling in your first paragraphs. Oh no! The hail stones that big are frightening and it's really sad to see the damage made by the storms. I hope your plants will recover well. Such lovely flowers!
    We don't usually have heavy hail storms, but who can now about the future when the weather seems to become more and more unpredictable.
    Your cooking looks very tasty. :)
    Have a happy and peaceful August!

  4. Hello Ann, sorry about the hail storm and your beautiful flowers and veggie plants being damaged. We have a Honda that has hail dents all over it. I hope they can recover. Hazel the parakeet is pretty. Some day I hope to rescue a dog. It is hard toe believe it is August already! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  5. My goodness that was a lot of hail, so sorry that it wreaked such havoc in your garden, the before and after mosaics tell the story so vividly. Looking forward to hearing more tales about Hazel and how the rest of your summer plays out, hopefully your veggies and flowers will come rampaging back soon. Thanks for joining me for my first MM today.

  6. The climate is very unpredictable nowadays. Sorry to hear about the damages... But plants are tough, and gardeners as well. Your zuchhini spagetti looks delicious!

  7. I've never seen hail that big Ann and I can only imagine the damage to cars, buildings and our precious gardens.
    It's been a disappointing summer for gardeners but I think everyone else is happy, sun and heat with no rain.

  8. The weather is unpredictable, here summer started wet and cold and suddenly it became terribly hot, but I have never seen such big hail stones. Yes, it's just what you say : 'That's the way summer is".

  9. How disappointing to see your beautiful garden shredded by the hail. I'm glad some of it will recover. Those are huge hailstones and would hurt a person, I would think.

  10. I couldn't believe the size of those hailstones and the damage they did. I love your philosophical attitude - I would have been weeping and moaning and wringing my hands :). Hope August is a bit kinder to you.

  11. Wow, those are some big hailstones that came down. Beautiful photos as always Ann.

  12. Ann, Wow that is big hail stones. Too bad about the damage to plants and other stuff. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

  13. I hate seeing things get beat to death by a storm too. Hope this week is better and plants get some new leaves! Hugs, Diane