Thursday, July 30, 2009

Very hot day

Today was the hottest day on record in Seattle. At 3.30pm it reached 103 F (39.4C) at Seatac although other unfortunate souls in the region got much hotter (107 - 41.4 in Vancouver WA and 109F/42.7C in Medford, OR). It was also relatively humid and windless which made the air feel like a thick hot soup.

We started the day at 6am with fans blowing and playing Noah's Ark with blocks and animals. Wren calls its Donna's Ark due to some confusion between Noah and our neighbor. It is hard to play Noah with Wren. He refuses to limit the number of animals on the ark so we have an overpopulation of elephants but a mismatched family of small African animals who would have to mate in unlikely combinations if they are to repopulate the earth. If Wren were the chosen upright boy he would have us living with wartdogs and cheetlions as well as some strange polar-monkeys.

After breakfast, Susan and Joshua came to take Frost to Lake Roesinger for the day. Its a small lake an hour north of here where they have a cabin. I drove up with Wren for the afternoon and as the day heated up it was good to be in the water and shade out of doors. Frost spent about 6 hours in the water - diving, splashing, squirting, bombing, sliding down the waterslide and generally remaining wet. Even Wren allowed me to take him out into deep water supported by his swim vest that gives him enough bouyancy to allow me to swim with him in safety. We also floated around on an air mattress and had a lovely time. There was one near disaster when Wren knocked Susan's Ralph Lauren sunglasses off the dock into the deep water. "LOOK, LOOK" he shrieked, to which Frost added "The glasses are going down."

Susan and I were the only ones to appreciate the gravity of this disaster while the boys felt it was a diving challenge. Luckily, both Susan and I had face masks and since Frost remembered where they sank we managed to retrieve them from the 10ft deep water and the mud and weeds on the bottom. After that I put the sunglasses on the roof of the dock to stop Wren from repeating the 'game'.

Right now, our living room is still 94 degrees and I am stuck to my chair and my arm keeps adhering to a magazine on my desk. Outside I can hear the sprinkler in the garden and the thrumming of the window fan in here. Its cooling down outside as darkness falls but the way they designed homes in the 40s did not allow for windows that opened or air that moved. The sunglass knocker is sleeping with a fan.

Potty Training
Thankfully, Wren is not sleeping with a hot diaper because potty training has been going well and is now on day 3 with few accidents. The only major blooper was during lunch at Third Place Books where Wren, standing on a chair while reading a book, made the statement "I am PEEING!" He was. The pants he had on were no impediment and the chair was puddled. I pretended that he had spilled his drink and wiped it all up with napkins but I suspect all but the most absorbed patrons would have heard him. Thankfully, the man sitting next to us appeared to have believed my ruse. He was reading a book with EROTICA in red cursive script so his mind may have been absorbed. I know he believed me because when I returned with the napkins he picked up his books on the table between us and checked they had not got wet. Now, he would not have expected Wren to pee upwards onto his books, right? That seems unlikely so I hope my quick exit was not followed by lots of "Did you see that baby pee on the chair?" and huffing and eye rolling and such social approbation.

Entrails in the Wading Pool
The only other excitement at home (beside Josh acting like a bear with a sore head due to the heat) is that this morning I discovered entrails in the plastic wading pool in our back yard. I looked for a long time hoping that the pink fleshy things were worm bits, that an earthworm had clambered from the earth in search of moisture and died in our tepid pond but there was no way it was species wormus. I also noticed lots of grass and dirt in the pond and suspected raccoons had been washing some fleshy bits there last night.

My suspicions were confirmed when Josh woke up. He reported various skirmishes with a racoon family of a mother and three babies who were playing in the wading pool after midnight. Josh watched the mother collect snails, break them, wash them in the pool and then eat them up. The babies ate apples and played in the water until he chased them off. We are concerned about raccoons becoming too comfortable here because they could decide to eat our chickens if they were hungry and the chickens were accessible. With the high heat today I left the chickens out in the yard while we were away but I fear for them without us home and do not want to take that chance in less extreme heat. My concerns are even greater after speaking with Susan who lives near us. Recently, her Labrador was attacked by a mother raccoon with a baby. The bites left puncture wounds and removed fur and the dog needed to see the vet for treatment. I don't want a fierce mother raccoon eating our chickens, hurting our cats or worse attacking one of the family because she considers our yard her turf.

Josh is doing his best to defend our garden.

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