Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Cruel Summer (Heatwave)


Love that song by the Bangles!

Anyway, despite the three-digit heat index and lack of any breeze whatsoever yesterday, I ventured out to the garden because I hadn’t been out there for a few days (because of our tropical heat and other more enjoyable things going on, like hanging out with a couple friends). First …


The human body sweats to cool off–the action of sweat leaving the skin cools us. When the humidity is tropical, sweating doesn’t work so well. The air’s too wet to accept the sweat.

Imagine muggy, humid air thick around you. Toss in no breeze and lots of hungry mosquitoes. Or just imagine Florida in July. After about 30 seconds, you’re covered with a thin sheen of sweat that has nowhere to go. After a minute, that sheen is now a coating of sweat drenching every inch.

Thank goodness we only get this kind of weather once or maybe twice per summer in MN. (We just like to complain about it πŸ™‚ )

Anyway, the garden wasn’t too bad considering I haven’t been paying much attention to it lately. The weeds are back, and they’re supercharged, but in fewer numbers than I expected.

The zucchini are now in full-production mode. I picked 6 that needed to be fed to the chickens (I’m sorry, when they’re the size of small children, they’re too big to eat), and about a half-dozen more. My grab bag of seeds surprised me this year with one plant each of 4 different varieties. Here are the light green ones. (yes, I know 4 zucchini plants is just asking for trouble. The chickens like them.)


I picked a whole lot of green beans too, but the mosquitoes didn’t help. They just buzzed around my ears and found ways around the bug spray I’d applied. Have I mentioned how much I hate mosquitoes?


The white panel is there for my sugar snap peas. After reseeding, I got a grand total of 3 plants. (and yes, I used fresh seeds) The white flowers everywhere are the radishes I let bolt. I do that for the bees, so they have a reason to hang out. You can see the bean plants as well, and the corn.

Speaking of, we had our first sweet corn from the garden last night. Mmmm! Much to my dismay, however, someone else is also enjoying the corn.


The scattered cornstalks and trampled onions are evidence the dogs have been helping themselves. Yes, the dogs. They pull the stalks out and strip the cobs to eat them. What you can’t see is the evidence it’s not just the dogs. Raccoons or chipmunks or squirrels have been invading as well. Normally we put a fence around the garden to prevent this, but this year, well, I’m tired. Now, the fence has jumped up the priority list. It’s too hot yet to put it up, but next week it’ll have to go up. It’ll give the cucumbers something to climb on, anyway.

Most everything else seems to be doing well. The tomatoes continue to be unruly. I don’t know who thought tomato cages (the cone-shaped ones) were a good idea, but they are failing miserably at their job. The tomato plants have surpassed the supporting capacity without even trying. And that’s with trimming. I’ll have to stick with the hog panels like I did last year. They’re way sturdier, and if I tie the tomatoes up, they’re happy climbing on the panels.

There you have it, a quick update. My sister’s in town this weekend, so the garden is on its own for a few days.

Two weeks until the reunion! I’m still hammering on what I’m hoping is the last revision before I send my WIP to the agents waiting. Of course, there will be more revisions; Pitch Wars is coming up, and I want to enter it there. I’ll lose time this weekend, but I only see my sister a couple times a year, so I’ll bring my computer, but anticipate getting little done.

Have a great weekend. Stay cool and write on!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

Pen names: J. M. Holmes, J. M. Goebel A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I've been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. In real life, I am a technical writer with a family of two teens, a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, two chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

8 thoughts on “Cruel Summer (Heatwave)

  1. The amount of work you put into your garden is mind boggling to me, but I envy you all those fresh veggies. Apparently dogs and other critters know a good thing when they see it too πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your time with your sister and it sounds like the WIP is almost in shape. I’ll be cheering you on when Pitch Wars roll around.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Mae! Every year I wonder why I insist on planting a garden when it’s so much time taken from my writing.

    Then I pick corn fresh, cook it up, and taste it. I pick sun-warmed tomatoes, slice them, and eat them. And they taste like tomatoes, not like the ones in the grocery store. It reminds me why I do it.

    Thanks for the cheers! Pitch Wars is coming soon. Crossing my fingers for a mentor this year. Last year missed it by that much πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The garden looks great, Julie. Almost time to start harvesting! The warm weather is finally arriving here, and the garden likes it, though I don’t think tomatoes are going to make an appearance this year. Yesterday was my first day without a sweatshirt and the trees are starting to turn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Diana! Are you serious? It’s been that cool there? Wow. Kinda makes me want to share our tropical heat wave with you:-) Bummer on no tomatoes. Mine are all green, but there are a bunch of them. If I could only keep them from tipping over. So much for the cone-shaped tomato cages. I should know better….:-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, the garden pics are great. Blah. Blah. They’re still not orange kittens. πŸ˜‰ And we’re having a heat wave here, too, and just last night I was reading to the kids Little House on the Prairie where they’re having a heat wave in MN. My hubs does not miss MN, but especially the winters. How do you hold up with those?

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I’ll have to start substituting pics of our adult orange cat πŸ™‚ Winters suck, but then again, I don’t have to weed the garden in the winter. I love spring and fall, when the weather is just right for the most part. I get more time to write in the winter. As long as I don’t have to drive through snowstorms, I’m okay with it. πŸ˜€ Have a great rest of your weekend!


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