Weather has been a lifelong passion for me; while my husband and 4 kids all in college and beyond, one now married, have patiently gone along with me!
By: PugetSoundPost , 5:29 PM GMT on July 15, 2014
August 11, 6:50 AM
A HOT day is forecast here for us today. It could end up in the middle 90’s. It is starting out on track for that forecast. The low this morning has only been 61 – I think without checking that last night was maybe the warmest of the year. The sunrise is through a filter of haze (smoke?) that is making the early sun a blood red color, which also can portend the “flames” of a hot day ahead.
Another busy weekend complete – lots more deck work. The foundations are finished and the holes are re-filled. Whew! I did all of the refilling all of last week. Again, I wonder how many tons of dirt I have flung on my shovel? This weekend we worked on getting the ledger board up (as well as flashing and a chemical/moisture barrier) and attached to the house – the board where the deck will actually attach to the side of the house. Two 20’ x 9” boards to hoist and hold in place while the hardware was being put in to hold it. We rounded up our two kids still around to help (me only? Holding all of that up? Nah, we needed reinforcements) and as usual nothing is smooth like that. So it all ended up taking a good portion of the weekend. But progress was made.
Here is what the finished cement foundations looked like:
And a sample of the 8 all re-filled holes! So good to have that job done!
July 28, 3 PM
The rain of last week is gone and the HOT is back! It was heating up over the weekend and today is even hotter. It has hit 90 and is only a tad below it right now as I sit outside. Thankfully in the shade. But I haven't always been in the shade - either today or certainly over the weekend.
We did get going on the cement mixing and pouring into our deck foundation holes. After hauling 67 - 80 pound bags of concrete mix both from the store and out of the car and into the construction zone, and then mixing all of that and pouring it and all of the associated work to make it "right and finished" - all eight of the foundation holes are CEMENTED!! Mr. PSP and I did most of the work. Two long days in the blazing middle 80's+ sun (thankfully shade moves around to it by middle afternoon), LOTS of Gatorade for Mr. PSP especially, Popsicle breaks, and just slogging through it, we got the foundations set in cement by last evening. Now today (and the rest of the week) I am on duty to keep them watered as they "cure" and even that isn't too fun in the direct sun that beats off of the house and ground. But we are very pleased to have made it this far! Now not much more will happen until next weekend.
I see the CPC has us in the "above average" zone for temperature for the next while, along with the west. This has sure been a hot July for us.
As Briar commented below, you just never know what may happen with the weather. Last September was so WET and then the next month just turned it off with a switch. I kind of wonder if this heat will continue into fall, or if it may "burn itself out" more quickly and suddenly we are in the cool again?
Meanwhile, my little garden is producing some green beans and tomatoes are beginning to ripen but mostly those are not too near ready. I also have peppers ready to pick. We have tons and tons of wild blackberries all around the yard, wanting to encroach in places they don't belong and are hard to beat back. But it looks like this is a bumper crop for blackberries. Right now a lot of them are ripening up (but most are still green, but there are tons of them) and I think I will pick some. On my chores around the yard earlier today I picked a couple as I passed by and they are wonderfully sweet and ready to eat right now. Don't want to waste them!
July 24, 7 AM
Rain! After a hot and sunny first half of July, we have had a flip. The change began earlier in the week, but hit in full force yesterday. It poured rain for much of the day. And unseasonably strong system hit the state and brought some thunder and lightning to us (and many other parts of the state) but mostly a good soaking was the order of our day. By the end we had .91” at home. Officially it set a record for the date. We typically are in the driest part of the year for us now, and nearly an inch of rain is pretty wild.
The rain hit those mammoth forest fire areas too in north central Washington. So much rain on the burned areas that flash floods were the next disaster awaiting some of those folks.
After a quieter evening last night, the rain is back this morning. It is cool, heavily overcast, and raining again. It is supposed to slowly clear today and tomorrow and by the weekend be back to the 80’s. But for now it is a much different scene than the rest of July. Our high yesterday was only 63, which is pretty cool for July, and especially this late in July, even for us.
On the deck project, I can report that earlier this week we had the inspector back and we passed! The newly configured rebar (after a very long day last Saturday making the fix) was a success and so now we are free to pour the concrete into the forms. That is on the plan for this weekend.
July 15, 10:20 AM
The middle of summer is here, in my estimation, and these are the days we need to enjoy and appreciate. That hasn’t been too hard to do lately – lots of sunshine and HOT for pretty much all of July so far. Every day except one this month, for us, has been in the middle 80’s to middle 90’s! Pretty amazing weather for the “cool” Pacific Northwest! This is not all that common any time but would be expected a bit more later in the season. Usually the second half of July through middle August is when to expect the most “summertime weather”. Often in early July we are still battling the marine layer and possible rain. Not this year. Only sprinkles that have totaled a whopping .01” so far for July! Mainly blue skies and hot temperatures. We have hit 95 twice already this month and some years we never hit 90 at all, although I’d say those years are more rare.
Everything seems to be moving along a bit ahead of schedule. I see some ripening wild blackberries already around the edge of the yard – they don’t usually start to ripen for another month. I have a nice crop of set tomatoes and the peppers are coming along too. Soon we should have some zinnias blooming.
My son visited us the first week of July from his stint in Nicaragua. He has reached about the midway point in his expected term down there and came home for the first time since leaving in January. It was nice to see him, although we didn’t do too much that was amazing. He seemed to fit right back in like he never left – making the rounds of friends, holding meetings, etc. Just before he came home he spent a few days in El Salvador. Much of the city of San Salvador was “blocked off” as places to certainly avoid travel to because it is so dangerous. So that limited some of his excursion opportunities. He and his party asked many locals in different positions about how dangerous it was and he says that 100% of them agreed that you should not go there, or there, or there, or across that street, or over there and so on. That country has about the highest murder rate in the world. I knew some of this before but even more after he had safely completed the trip, which was good for mom.
Our son-in-law is gone now – off to Air Force officer training in Alabama for the month. He is already about half way through that requirement. Our daughter is still in town but her time here is dwindling.
The biggest new thing for us since I last wrote is that we finally began the rebuilding of our deck! We had “ground-breaking” on July 2 and have made good progress. But it was HARD work!! And hard, HOT work. We were having many days in a row of those hot temperatures and that is when we were out digging 8 deep and wide holes for the foundation footings for the new posts. I ended up doing a lot of the digging, with some off and on help from others in the house. Digging with a pick and shovel. Some very long days “in the holes”. And I was very wiped out at times! But we kept plugging away and got them done. Mr PSP built all the form boxes to go into the holes, we filled in gravel at the bottom, leveled them all up and are ready to pour concrete into them soon. We are awaiting an inspector today.
Here is a photo of our thus-far completed work:
This deck will be considerably larger than the old one and we will have 8 posts for it. Mr. PSP has designed it all and has taken every worst case possibility into account. The deck will long outlast the house, I presume. But it is very good to be underway with it now.
Here is a little quick recap of June for us:
Average High: 75
Average Low: 51
Highest Temperature: 87 (June 23)
Days of Measurable Precipitation: 12
Total Rain for June: 1.35"
Sunrise: 5:26 AM --- Sunset: 9:02 PM (PDT)
(losing 1 min, 54 sec tomorrow)
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