Joel Vernier

Ah – summer! Lazy days, dog days, long naps in the cool of the morning or evening, or when the air conditioning is on. Health care professionals on television telling me to drink plenty of fluids or hydrate myself, also to stay out of the sun, and get plenty of rest. 

Americans need to learn from other countries how to handle hot weather. In Mexico you take a siesta in the afternoon. India takes the entire afternoon off, quitting at 11 a.m. and resuming the day’s activities around 7 p.m. Much better plan than to air condition most everything so we can keep up our work schedule. Not true for many Americans working in warehouses, factories or construction of course, they take the heat! But for me, napping during the heat of the day offers a nice break from the summer sun. 

As I rolled over a bit in my “Comfy Chair”, my wife yelled out, “Joel, you promised to take care of the weeds in the lawn and the garden today!” 

I replied, “But it’s hot out!” 

She replied, “Yes it is – dress light and drink plenty of water, besides it’s only 8:30 a.m.!” 

“OK, I’m on it!”

Weeds, unwanted growth always in the places you don’t want it. Hmm seems like the hair growth in my nostrils and on my ears that started when I hit 50 years old! Weeds, the scourge of the gardener or the lawns keeper. How to do I get rid of them? I suppose I could use chemicals. They have chemicals that kill every thing (but supposed to be safe) chemicals that kill only weeds (but supposed to be safe) and chemicals that only kill certain types of weeds (but supposed to be safe). I could pull them all by hand, and look forward to back and knee pain. I could hire a neighbor kid to take care of the weeds, but we don’t have any around. I could hire a lawn service, but I promised not to do that until the house is paid off.

I think I have some old chemicals in the shed; I’m not sure how old they are. I picked some up and it said to make sure you water the lawn and wait for it to dry before you let the animals out on it. The question is will they wait for it to dry? With my doggies it wont be dry for long, nope not his one. I picked up another one and it said not to use within 100 feet of the water, I live on a lake so this one is out. All of them have some scary warnings, which I guess is why I never used them. I read on the Internet that vinegar, Epsom salts and Dawn dishwashing detergent works – mix it up and spray it! Sounds like a salad dressing. Maybe I’ll try that. My neighbor said he sprays bleach on the weeds, does he use color-safe bleach or regular?

We have not gardened vegetables for years. I like to buy local supporting our farmers market, vegetable and fruit outlets and roadside stands. We don’t have a flower garden, just annual plants. Last year I went behind a big box store that tossed out dead plants with the tags on. I did some “dumpster diving” and pulled off all the tags, and stuffed them in a bag. I came up with a creative idea and decided to put the tags on different weeds instead of pulling them, they now have a fancy name with proper care instructions, so if people come close enough to see the weeds, they will see the tags, read them, and think I am a “Master Gardner” with an incredible collection of expensive fauna and flora.

And the reality is that when you mow the lawn the weeds and the grass all seem to blend in, and after all it’s all green! Now that the weeds are taken care of, time for my summer siesta!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others!” – Joel Vernier, author of “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer!”

© Joel M. Vernier, June 13, 2017

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