Wow! It seemed like it would be spring forever and BANG! Suddenly it’s not. Suddenly it’s JULY.


What’s the first thing you think of when you think of July?


Independence Day, obviously.


Including hot dogs!


Or, as we say in 2023, plant-based frankfurters.


We do?


You bet we do, 9. We had one for lunch on the Fourth of July, wrapped in a soft corn tortilla.




Why not? I confess I don’t miss the fat and gristle in the beef (or whatever kind of meat) variety of frank.


Thank God you’re civilized.


Which may have originated with our eighth grade “natural foods” project for the junior high science fair, Lily.


For those of you who are new to the blog, Lily, 9 and I are three persons rolled into one. Lily is my inner fourteen-year-old- –


And I’m the inner 9-year-old.


Thanks for cutting to the chase, 9.


Shouldn’t you have made brownies with red, white and blue sprinkles or something?


Whether I should have or not, I didn’t. I did make a batch of Monster Cookies for an afternoon party.


July: monster cookie on a patriotic blue luncheon plate.



When evening rolled around it was duck and cover time for me and Hoosegow. We’d had a few practice runs- -starting July 1st our neighborhood sounded like a war zone from dusk until midnight. Hoosegow wisely retired to the basement, tentatively coming up the stairs every hour or so to give me the bulletin: Still too noisy to sleep!


In addition to hiding under the bed to buffer the noise of nighttime explosions, July 4th is also the best day of the year to wear my red, white and blue sundress. It would be appropriate for Election Day, too, if it wasn’t so darn cold in November.


July: time to break out the red, white and blue sundress!



it’s been hot, and it’s predicted to stay that way for the 10-day forecast. This means yard work and other outdoor activities happen in the morning, after it’s had all night to cool down. Highs in the 90s for the past four days and the next ten days- –


Except for Sunday when it’s supposed to get up to 100.


The best strategy is to play it cool, literally. By closing the windows and blinds early in the day I’ve been able to keep the indoor temperature to 80 without turning on the a/c. And it is nice to have coffee and breakfast outdoors before the sun starts beating down. Keeping the garden watered is a “thing.”


July: quick, harvest those snow peas!


Can’t let it dry up with peas coming in and beans about to flower. Zucchini and spaghetti squash are pushing through the soil, and I have a crazy idea for the weekend: work up a big patch of soil in the now-vacant south bed, throw in all the leftover seeds, and see what happens!


That sounds inefficient.

I think it sounds like fun!

Me too, 9. And Lily, what if we make some new discovery, like a radish cross-bred with a zinnia?


To what purpose?


The pursuit of knowledge! Also to answer the eternal question: will seeds packaged for 2017 still germinate?


Another thing that happens in July: routine medical appointments for Hoosegow and me. Yesterday he had his booster shots- -three-year rabies and feline leukemia. When I made his appointment I had no idea it was going to be 96 F when I carted the poor fellow off to Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic. Boy, can he holler in the car! Everyone there was wonderful to him, of course, and we were out in record time but he hasn’t forgiven me yet.


For me, July means annual exam and mammogram.


What’s a mammogram?


Something you’ll be glad you didn’t have to experience when you were nine, 9. It’s a preventative screening for breast cancer, and it detected a non-invasive form of that in me in 2004.



In addition to Hoosegow and me getting tuned up, I’ve also booked a session with my computer consultant for the laptop’s annual exam. The consultant cleans up bits and pieces of stuff that aren’t needed or are getting in the way, repairs breakages, and makes sure the drivers are up to date.


It’s all Greek to me.


Having a healthy computer keeps us in the blog writing business, and in the novel writing business, too. Speaking of which, I’ve lined up a radio interview date for my upcoming “G” series book. The interview is October 8 at KZPT, Port Townsend: details on this and other book events to come.


Hot, busy, dry July isn’t all about work and wellness, we’re having fun, too. This weekend our tap dancing teacher is having a barbecue for her students. Next weekend a friend invited me to an ice cream social at Smoky Rose Cellars, and the weekend after that we’re in a group Living History presentation.


It seems like July is extra-busy, but looking at my calendar I can see that every month in 2023 has been, too. The concept of summer vacation, or any vacation longer that four days, including travel, continues to elude me. But it is so much better than these past few COVID Julys, when everyone seemed to have more free time but couldn’t go anywhere or do much with other people. Hoosegow’s vet appointment was the first time in three years he’s been treated in an examining room where I can be with him, instead of in the surgery where pet parents are not allowed.


July 2023. A tangible measure of how much the world has opened up again.

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