August

      August has always been the most depressing of months to me.   Summer is already half over and the threat of cold weather looms in the distance, heralded by chirping crickets, cooler nights, and heavy morning dew.  Those hours of evening lightness are no more – it’s dark at 8 pm, a warning of much worse to come.   A bit melodramatic maybe, but hey, it’s Canada, we live for summer here.     

      It starts with the clouds.  You may wake up to a flawless blue sky, but soon those big puffy August clouds come rolling in, spoiling a perfectly nice beach day.     

seagull

Oh, they’re pretty in a way – it’s best to look at things from Both Sides Now.  (Musical interlude – Joni Mitchell wrote this song on an airplane looking down at the clouds, although it was first made famous by Judy Collins.  I find the lyrics gloomy, but then it’s become such a strange world, I really don’t know life at all….) 

Then you start to see the odd tree branch dipped in paint.  There’s a big maple tree on the main street which always starts to turn in early August.

fall leaves tree

Then there are the back to school ads, a perfect dilemma this pandemic year, although some kids may be looking be looking forward to returning and seeing their friends.   Classes don’t resume here until Sept 8 after the Labor Day holiday weekend.   

While the stores may beckon with fall clothes, I really can’t justify shopping for anything but essentials when there’s nowhere to wear it,  but just being in a store for some hands-off browsing cheered me up immensely.    

It hasn’t been the best of summers, with my health issues in May/June (my favorite time of year), the hot humid weather, July’s multiple catch-up appointments and the isolating pandemic solitude.   The normal distractions which might bring joy – street festivals, summer theatre, concerts – have all been cancelled.   

Plus, August is my birthday month, which is depressing enough, as I’m wondering how I ever got to be that age?

Yes, that age.   (BTW, Paul McCartney wrote that song when he was just 16, but it was not recorded until the 1966 Sgt. Pepper’s album, the year his father turned 64.  The lyrics reflect his view of old age – gardening, grandchildren, an annual vacation on the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear….but even that is out this year.)      

I remember my father when he turned 65, saying he wished he was 16 again and looking at him and thinking, you’ve got to be kidding, they’re paying you to stay home!   Yes, it’s nice to be retired and collecting the old age pension but it also means you’re old!   While I wouldn’t want to be 16 again (too much angst), my stress-filled 30’s are looking pretty good, and someday I may look back and wish to be my current age.  I know I should be grateful to be still alive, relatively healthy and COVID-free, when so many are not.  (End of whining). 

Although it may feel like summer has slipped away without much in the way of enjoyment, there are still a few weeks to relish the rest of the season.  Here are a few things to love about this time of year.

A trip to the Farmer’s Market is always fruitful…. 

Plums yellow

Plums, peaches and nectarines.

Peaches

The glads for sale are a riot of color but the pinks are still my favorite.  

glads

It’s melon season.

Watermelon

melon

And tomato season.

Tomatoes

And cherry pie season.

Cherry pie

And let’s not forget corn on the cob, slathered with butter for those lucky folks who can eat it.  

corn on the cob

The new ice cream place is doing a booming business, although they don’t have gelato.   Does anyone really need all those weird exotic flavors when chocolate reigns supreme?

chocolate ice cream cone

Note these are mostly food related, but it’s mostly healthy food and food can be enormously cheering!    You can walk off the ice cream and cherry pie with a stroll On The Waterfront. (see future blog)

seagull water beach lake

and watch the boats go by.

water boats lake

Having the beach to yourself on an August day can be a reflective type of solitude,

waves canatara

with only the annoying screech of seagulls to interrupt your thoughts.  seagull

You can go beach-combing and gather enough shells,

seashell wreath (4)

                                               The Inspiration…

to make a souvenir of summer! 

The Beachcomber - AMc

                                                     The Beachcomber

PS.  WordPress congratulations me on my third anniversary of blogging (once a week, Wed/Thursdays, 154 posts, 84 new followers give or take a few persistent vitamin sales people).  This was posted in the classic editor but I’m wondering why the photo captions are no longer centered?  And why I can’t shrink photos?  And where is the word count so I don’t ramble on?  I couldn’t post video either?   It seems like some of the basic functions are gone.   Onward and upward to the dreaded block editor, eventually, but for now I’m enjoying these last days of summer.        

 

        

32 thoughts on “August

  1. Ally Bean says:

    I know what you mean about August. It is not my favorite month either, especially without the “normal distractions which might bring joy.” Well said. I do like all your photos of colorful foods juxtaposed against the blue gingham. Quite stylish, I do believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    I would love to have you round for tea! So, you get those vitamin pedlars too – wonder who they think they are fooling? Your photographs are lovely and, given your harsh winters, I am not surprised you are mourning the end of summer in advance. Yet, it is your birthday month: I hope you will find a way of celebrating it well in these strange times. I love melons of all kinds and are looking forward to having them around December. Chocolate ice-cream is welcome even in the dead of winter as far as I am concerned. Look on the bright side and squeeze every bit of advantage out of the warm, sunny weather while you have it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Anne! I would love to drop by for tea….and you could take me on a tour of the elephants and all the exotic animals after! My birthday was very subdued this year. Normally I would go to my favorite steakhouse and I always have chocolate cake for dessert, but this year it was Chinese food takeout and cherry pie – still good though. I envy you your spring/summer still to come and am dreading winter but trying not to think about it too much – the Farmers Almanac predicts a particularly bad one with “a snow train” which I think means one storm after another. But you’re right we still have at least another good six weeks, and fall can be nice sometimes too…or at least pretty when the leaves change.

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  3. Dave says:

    Congrats on the milestones, Joni! (the blog anniversary AND the birthday). Homemade cherry pie, oh my. That alone makes the shortcomings of any month melt away. My wife recently indulged in some “retail therapy” herself, and like you the normalcy of the experience was so uplifting I couldn’t even complain about the stack of receipts. No comment on the WP Block Editor (other than I’m holding out on Classic until my fingers are forced). Finally, this line: “Then you start to see the odd tree branch dripped in paint”. Beautiful + poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Dave! Birthday supper was takeout Chinese food this year and cherry pie instead of my favorite steakhouse and chocolate cake, but it was still good. I did get some of my questions answered this morning with one of the WP tech people. As I’ve never used the classic editor, just the one they retired, both classic and block are new to me. He was quite helpful, but really didn’t know why the video wouldn’t post when I did copy and paste, so he put it in a block. I did not know you could combine the Classic editor with additional blocks? to me that’s like combining two editors? But then I have not really played around much with the block editor. I’ll save that for some day when the weather is miserable.

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  4. Linda Schaub says:

    This is a very Summery post Joni, even if it is a goodbye to Summer as we get to Labor Day weekend soon and wave goodbye to all that this season has to offer. Once Winter is here, we long for Summer, even though you and I complained about the endless heat and humidity. I like your mom’s painting and all your farmer’s market finds, especially those lovely looking tomatoes; I like the gingham tablecloth too … all very Summery looking. My mom/I got “Woman’s Day” and “Family Circle” magazine for years and I’m positive I remember that blue shell wreath.

    I am salivating at the cherry pie and remember it is almost a year since you defiantly made your own cherry pie after you didn’t care for the cherry pie at the Harvest Festival. How different this year since that day has been, devoid of everything that we usually take for granted. I have already turned 64 in April and thought of that song on my birthday, even hummed it a little. It seemed a little unreal to me too but truthfully, turning 60 was more monumental than any other decade birthday. Then just turning age 60 made me feel old. When I was in junior high school, I had a friend at school who lived and breathed Judy Collins. She even called herself “Judy” even though her name was Sharon. They had a talent show at school and Sharon played the guitar, had long blonde hair and had a voice as sweet as Judy Collins. She did a very convincing “Both Sides Now” and sounded the exact same as her idol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Happy Belated Birthday Linda! I didn’t feel old at 60, but I do at 64….it’s the half decades that seem to bother me more. At 60 you can still kind of convince yourself you’re just starting the decade, but now I’m almost half way through! 40 and 50 didn’t bother me either, but 45 and 55 did. The blue gingham is actually just a tea towel, because I was quite into blue for my kitchen and still am, although it’s more neutral now that I’ve renovated. That’s funny re the wreath! My mom always got Women’s Day and Family Circle, but stopped quite awhile ago. She used to buy them when she got groceries. I don’t even see them around anymore – I wonder if they were discontinued. They always had lots of receipes and were quite cheap to buy. I actually made two versions of that wreath – but I didn’t dye the sea shells with blue dye. I think that’s what it called for? Instead I wrapped a blue ribbon around a foam circle and glue gunned the beige shells onto the form and then tied a ribbon around it. It was quite pretty, the the foam eventually came apart from the weight of the shells and it got thrown out. I also made a beige one with beige seashells which is still hanging in the downstairs half bathroom. It had a straw circle so was sturdier. I think I’d like to try the blue dye next summer maybe. Rain again today, torrential and wind but short-lived but still so humid out. I did have some success with the Classic editor this morning and got some of my questions answered by the H.E. He couldn’t figure out why a video wouldn’t copy and paste like it did yesterday, so he put it into a separate block?? I didn’t know you could combine the two editors? Now I’m really confused. You use the block editor – Is the classic editor what you use to edit a block of writing or does it have it’s own different toolbar? I still had a few drafts started ahead, so that’s what I’ve been working on. I haven’t actually attempted a block post using just block, as WP converted the current drafts to classic when I was switched over. I guess I’ll just muddle along….

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        We used to get the “Family Circle” and “Woman’s Day” magazines for years too. I think we just picked them up at the grocery store checkout lane too, plus another one called “Woman’s World” as they used to have knitting patterns occasionally and my mom made me a sweater one time from it. Those first two magazines were great – very cheap and full of crafts, recipes that my mom was always cutting out, plus the coupons often paid for the price of the magazine. I remember my mom saying she used to buy it for a quarter years ago. I never tried that wreath as I had no shells but made several of their other crafts through the years.

        We had a horrible weather day and I am going to get off here shortly as we have another storm coming to the area by 9:00-ish. I awoke to the first storm at 4:00 a.m., lots of rumbling, a terrific clash of lightning, torrential rain, and it was non-stop rain for at least three hours – we got another inch of rain tonight, making it four inches of rain altogether according to the meteorologist I follow. I am glad the sun has gone down as I was worried for a volatile storm to roll through during the heat of the day. Still supposed to get storms this evening, as mentioned, and a few overnight. It’s been a long day worrying about the severe weather – the weather radio came on several times about flash flood warning.

        I have not used the any part of the Classic Editor since switching over to the Block Editor in April 2019 so I am afraid I am not much help to you. I one time wanted to insert a slideshow as the Gutenberg Block Editor as it does not have slideshow capability and I could not do that unfortunately. I have never inserted a video like you did here – I like how you did it. I have a lot of things to learn here on WP yet as an example.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        We had that storm this morning too about 5am….the thunder was so loud I got up and read for half an hour, but not as much rain as you. But I just checked and we have a severe storm warning for tonight too overnight…..this must be the remnants of huricaine/storm Laura. Looking forward to 4 days of sun and cooler weather when this is over.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I was ready to shut down as we have a storm coming in the 10:00 o’clock hour – I will unplug the computer. I unplugged the new and old one this morning and the A/C hours ago as we had another storm late afternoon. We have a stormy overnight too. Not liking this volatile weather. The official report for our city was 3 1/2 inches of rain but that was before the last rain which lasted an hour. I know earlier in the week we were not to get remnants of Laura but I can’t see how it can’t be Laura. This was a terrible weather day. I’m looking forward to the same forecast as you Joni. I wish we were done with the heat for good.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Diane. I did get some help from one of the H.E. tech guys this morning, but even he didn’t know why the video didn’t copy and paste as usual, so he put it in a block, which is like combining two editors classic and block which I wasn’t aware you could do? but what do I know……nothing! The word count was stuck up in some little circle under content – how would we know that?

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      • J P says:

        Happy birthday, both blogging and personal. For years I hated August too, as I watched summer ebb away before the start of another school year. But now autumn has become my favorite season, so there is something to look forward to. Of course, I’m not in Canada, which probably makes autumn a whole nuther thing (as folks say in my area).

        I have not yet done sweet corn this year – Marianne avoids starches like corn, but I could make a meal of the stuff. And have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks JP! I like autumn too, but winter is a whole nuther thing! And the Farmers Almanac says it will be a bad one this year, a “snow train” I think they called it, a term I had never heard before. But then they’ve been known to be wrong. My parents grew sweet corn on their farm and that sometimes could be a whole meal in itself. If you’ve ever had an attack of diverticulitis, sweet corn is a thing to avoid, along with raspberries, seeds, nuts etc – not worth the risk and the subsequent pain! But we are gorging on peaches now… in fact peaches might just be a post soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. mphtheatregirl says:

    I feel as if Fall is coming too early. Just this week, Starbucks brought back their Pumpkin Spice Latte- that is a Fall drink not a Summer drink.

    Living in North Carolina- the weather is crazy. The seasons don’t exactly line up that well

    This entire year- since the pandemic- has been one of the hardest

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ruthsoaper says:

    I know how you feel about summer ending. It’s always hard for me to see it go. I especially love the long days and when the chickens start going in at 8:30 or earlier I know it’s coming to an end. But late summer does bring good eats so I guess we can’t have it both ways.
    Congrats on three years of blogging. I hope you don’t get too frustrated with the changes because I always love reading your posts.
    I hope you had a great birthday! Was that chocolate ice cream on the menu?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Ruth! I was just remarking today, what an abundance of good food we are having right now – yellow butter beans, new potatoes and steak for supper, with peach trifle for desert, and the kitchen is stocked with nectarines and melon too. No the ice cream cone was a treat on the hours drive to pick up the peaches. Birthday supper was Chinese food takeout only and cherry pie!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      PS. I’m doing okay with the classic editor so far, a few frustrations, but am going to give the block editor a try when I do a new post. I still had some rought drafts prepared which WP switched over to classic when they switched me over. I hope you are doing okay with it too.

      Liked by 1 person

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