Here we are - more than halfway through July already. Insane.
I've realized that doing regular updates on the blog in the summertime is difficult because we're just so darned busy. When there IS down-time, I'm usually too exhausted to think straight, much less write well. But, darkness is coming all the more early already - 9:00 and almost completely dark last night - so that does force us in sooner in the evenings (and, theoretically, allow me more time to write).
Stress also plays a part in not writing: Tom's been gone quite a bit lately due to sudden, unwelcome medical news. Tom's dad called the ambulance for himself on July 10th due to unbearable pain. A transfer to a large hospital in the Twin Cities followed by tests and visits from the oncologists resulted in the diagnosis of a massive, malignant, and inoperable tumor. The prognosis is not good. Tom spent a week from July 11th to the 17th at the hospital with his dad. Then, Tom's brother was able to step in and provide the physical and emotional support while Tom continues sending the same from home. Their dad was transferred back home to southwestern MN on the 19th . . . but into a nursing home. His spirits are up and he's maintaining as much activity as possible, but we're playing a daily wait-and-see game.
On the up side and as of last week, Tom has an entirely new, hand-picked staff at work! So, that should provide some much needed relief as well as aid in implementing the large projects they have upcoming.
We belatedly celebrated my July 5th birthday with my folks last night (the first time we'd all four been able to get together), but there was a slight bit of excitement when Tucker was attacked by the neighbor dog! Mom and I were inside working in the kitchen while Dad and Tom were outside loading some grain into our pickup. All of a sudden, we hear a scream (Tucker) followed by Tom shouting and my dad RUNNING into the woods after (towards?) something. Fortunately, Maisy had come to her little brother's defense, and Tucker's coat is so thick, anyway, that there was only slobber where there might have been puncture wounds on a lighter-coated dog. But, while not physically injured, Pooper (Tucker) was a bit shaken up: he jumped up onto the couch to be in Tom's lap once everyone was inside (something he's never done), and then, as soon as he was settled in the pickup on our way home, he threw up. Poor guy. But, all's well today.
Unfortunately (but necessary), the event will result in some follow-up to the owners considering this was the second attack by this wide-ranging dog who is never kenneled (even when the owners are gone): Zoey - my folks' dog - was BADLY injured earlier this year when the dog came right into Mom and Dad's yard and attacked her. She had multiple puncture wounds on her back and was moving slowly for several days.
Other than all of that . . . (!) Tom got more work done on the slate walkways over the weekend. Now we need just one more pickup load of slate, and that should finish the project.
The Purple Asters have begun blooming which only means one thing: fall is not far away. They're the last flower to bloom of the summer and last well into fall. Scary. We're trying NOT to freak ourselves out by the fact that the summer has GONE like it has and we haven't made one ounce of progress on the garage . . . nor gotten the fascia and soffits on the house or garage painted . . . nor a million other things done that we "knew" (ha!) we'd accomplish this summer. And, one can't forget that we haven't started putting our wood up for the coming winter yet! (We're hoping for a l-o-n-g fall!)
On the up side, the passing of time and prime mosquito and blackfly season means that we were able to sit out on our deck Saturday morning with our coffee and fresh bread for the first time since bug season started at the end of May! And, believe, me: we enjoyed it!