Our month long heat wave finally gave way to 3 days of cooler, wet, Monsoon here in Florence. It helps me and my dry, suffering garden feel better. I managed to walk around Toad Haven, without falling down,with the help of my gorgeous Aspen walking stick, handmade for me by granddaughter Mandy. I took lots of photos and even got to pick some ripe tomatoes, eggplant, squash, cucumbers and lettuces. The Romaine lettuce was great as the base of a lemon- dill tuna salad.
Thanks to Dave and Carl, the yardmen who I finally gave up and hired to help me when I couldn't get out to the garden this past month, the worst of the weeds and elm seedlings are gone and I can sit and admire and enjoy the garden without feeling overwhelmed by the work that needed to be done.
It's wonderful to be happy and hopeful again instead of so beat down as I have been. Hopefully, this weak, shaky body will be able to come back from the terrible punishment it has had, due to medication side effects, the past 15 months. I have lost 30 pounds and my clothes are beginning to hang on me. Ain't it Wonderful! Now only 65 more pounds to go. It is much easier now, to not want to gobble the junk I had been stuffing down. I think I was craving more energy and, somehow, thought that more food would help. Of course, it didn't.
I even managed to drive to Canon City today to shop at the health food store and City Market for a few things, and drove home the back way and took lots more photos of the refreshed countrside and the fantastic monsoon thunderheads in the sky. By the time I got home and carried the 2 bags of groceries in, I was shaking and had to collapse to recuperate a while, but it was worth it.
Before the "you know what" hit the fan in early July, Joe and I purchased a vintage, small travel trailer from a neighbor. It is so old it actually has real wood paneling, instead of pressed board or
plastic. Outside it is white with a retro turquoise band around it. June's fat quarters packet of the month from Grandma's Attic Quilting consisted of lovely retro looking turquoise, brown and
cream prints that I thought would be perfect as curtains and pillows for a refurbished camper, so I ordered enough to replace the odds and ends that the fisherman who owned it before scrounged up to cover the windows. Now I have to get Joe to tear out the hideous orange shag carpet and put down something more suitable. As soon as I feel up to sewing again, I will turn that little camper into the cutest thing you've ever seen. [The camper was where I was sleeping the night I had the first mini stroke; and I reveled in the luxury of a bed instead of a camp cot in a tent, even though it wasn't very attractive, yet.]
Maybe we will be able to go camping in the mountains with some of our kids over Labor Day weekend. It's wonderful to be human again, even if tottering!
The first landscape is of a great thunderhead building over Pikes Peak with Castle Rock (next to the Arkansas River) in the foreground. This photo was taken from the back road into Florence from Canon City.
The second landscape is of Florence, down in the River valley, behind the Southfield Coal Mine sign. This bluff has been mined out underneath the ground. We no longer have an active coal mine in the area because the cost of underground mining is prohibitive and we don't want open pits. Wyoming can have all the open pit coal mines they want out in all that empty land. For 150 years good quality coal has been mined in this area and we still have retired miners with Black Lung disease.
You really need to click these landscapes, to enlarge them, to really get an idea of what you are looking at.
The not so great side of the August Monsoons is that there is quite a bit of flash flooding and lightning along the whole front range corridor. On Wednesday, lightning hit the 90 year old steeple of the Catholic Cathedral in Pueblo and started a fire. They are now in the process of determining whether it can be repaired or will have to be removed. I'm hoping they can save it as it is a beautiful, historic feature of Pueblo.