Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 9, 2016

I seem to start out each entry with a weather report or a realization how fast time is going.  This is both..it has been a pretty hot summer and it is August already.  I knew when I planted the garden that it would seem like no time before it was time to clean up the garden.  Cleaning up the garden has already begun.  I started cutting down some plants and will do more today.  The rains have dried up and things are pretty dry now.  We haven't had any real measurable rain in a couple weeks now so I will have to spend time and water dollars by watering parts of the garden this morning. 

The last two years have been pretty awful as far as the vegetable garden, but this year has been exceptional.  There were no terrible spring floods and the weather has been warm.  This is the best year I can remember in a long time for tomatoes and peppers.  The garlic and onions have been pulled up already. 

The beets have also been pulled up and pickled.  The snow and snap peas vines were dying off so they were removed and the lettuce bolted, so that has been pulled.  There seems to be a lot of open raised beds now which is a good thing, less to water.  I have made cucumbers into not only two kinds of refrigerator pickles, but have also made homemade relish which turned out really good.

Butterfly monitoring is more or less done for the season.  I will likely get out one more time before the season ends.  This year was not a very good year for butterflies.  The Monarch situation is pretty grim also.  Where last year I was up to my eyeballs in monarch eggs, cats and chrysalis, this year I have little.  I have raised only 2 adults and right now I have two chrysalis and only one cat.  I search for eggs a couple times a week, but have found little. 

I haven't been out at the prairie doing work much the last couple of weeks as it has been too hot.  I hope to start getting out there a bit more once the weather moderates.  A couple of us did go out this past Saturday morning to collect some seed at Brightway.  The seed that was collected will stay in Hickory Creek Preserve by giving it to Paul, Mark and Bernie for dispersal at their HCP sites. 

I only did one Star Wars event the past couple of weeks and that was the Bolingbrook Library on 8-1-16.  I chose to wear the Episode 7 X-Wing Pilot and found that to be way too hot for summer events.  It was a warm night and I was sweating so hard that I soaked the orange flightsuit which bled orange on to the white flak vest.  When I tried to wash the vest to get out the orange dye, color from the wood inserts in the flak vest bled also into the vest and stained it.  I am now trying to remove that.  I may have to re-do those pieces which will be a real bummer, but at least I have a template to follow this time.  I washed the flak vest again with a bleach to try to get the stains out, but don't know if it will work till its' dry. 

Still have to figure out what I am going to do about retirement and health insurance.  I will be signing up for Medicare part A and B and now just have to settle on a supplemental insurance.  I need to update all my financial stuff and go see the retirement planner by next month for sure.