Sandy and I enjoyed roaming around downtown for First Friday. I had decided not to set up a table at the Indie Market for July and August. Of course, if I had had a crystal ball to tell me that the weather would be cooler than May and June’s events, I might have done well to jump on it. I’m sticking to my decision to wait until at least September to sell again, though. For one thing, I’d like some play time. For another, my hands are going numb as I type this.

I’m going to visit my chiropractor next week. During a visit down home with my old friend Cristy, she told me that she had identical symptoms and it turned out to be a spinal issue in her neck. She saw a neurologist and had surgery to correct her problem. I hope that won’t be the outcome here but wouldn’t it be nice if Dr. Lewis could fix it? I had a neck problem a couple of years ago in which I couldn’t turn my head to the left, so this really is plausible.

On the Back Forty front, we were beyond dismay when every single last damn green Cherokee Purple tomato disappeared over night. The only one I found was on the path half-eaten. I was so looking forward to these tomatoes, and if it is raccoons, it will probably take a lot of work to stop them from getting to them again.

On the positive side, I harvested my first batch of butterbeans and added these to the field peas that I picked down at my mother’s farm earlier this week. (I also got enough corn from Mama’s garden that I cut two quarts off the cob.) We have lots of basil and the field peas here will probably be ready next week. The peppers are producing well and one of my potted eggplants is putting out little tender ones. I made an omelet yesterday with green peppers, Vidalia onion, eggplant, basil, and feta cheese.

Over at UNCG, they tilled up the iris bed where I have been gleaning iris leaves over the winter and planted a tree. In early July, they planted a tree. You’d think that they would have learned from the experience of all the other dead trees from their previous summer plantings, but enough said about that. It was an unsightly bed for their campus, so I suspected that it wouldn’t last much longer. I snagged some of the bulbs on my way home and planted them in the strip between the sidewalk and the street at home. I guess I’ll plant more irises because the leaves make great paper.

We put in a lot of work outside and around the house yesterday, taking advantage of the cooler temperature. Sandy is not supposed to do any outside activity when it is over 85 degrees outside. He did a lot of pruning that I can’t take care of, and we cleaned up the front porch and inside the house too, although someone who doesn’t live here probably couldn’t tell it. Now Sandy is fretting because he thought that Fun Fourth was today, and he’s ready to go play somewhere. I’m very happy at home right now – I have artwork to do, peaches to slice and put in the dehydrator, and I’m getting rid of about half my clothes to donate to charity. The studio is a wreck and I’m trying to be ruthless about getting rid of most of the stuff I’ve hoarded for collage, papermaking, and mixed media uses. No wonder my hands are a mess today.

Okay, coffee’s gone and I’m ready to start my day. When I remember that I have tomorrow off too, it makes me smile.