Summertime...and the living is easy...

Well, it’s been an entire Oklahoma summer since I’ve started this neglected little blog. A summer that started off with rain, rain, and more rain. So much rain in fact, that most gardeners were concerned we might not have tomatoes. Or cukes. Or much of anything really. I only know a few “gardeners” so take me with a small grain of salt, a few fresh basil leaves, an heirloom tomato or two, and some buttery mozzarella. The professionals were just fine I’m sure, but my friends and family were sorely disappointed with their crops. This was my first time to plant a few things. I was aiming high in May; I wanted tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, arugula, jalapenos, and some Anaheim peppers. I ended up with plenty of basil, that stuff pretty much takes care of itself, about 6 tomatoes, about 6 jalapenos, and 4 Anaheim peppers. The cucumbers and arugula never even made it into the ground. Heck, one of my tomato plants wouldn’t even produce; I splurged on a pretty purple heirloom plant and got bupkus, nada, nothing. Early on I had stunning visions of salsa and gazpacho, bold and different right?!?! Or, basically the same thing. I’ll let you be the judge. Ok, I know they’re pretty much the same thing, but, I could eat salsa every day and never get tired and my desire to go to Spain consumes me. Consumes. Me. I think it might have something to do with Javier Bardem and my love of eggs and potatoes.

Then came the heat. Oklahoma heat is difficult to describe. It creeps up on you, quietly, stealth like and then…..then it hits you. Hits you like a 2X4, first strike across the back of the knees to take you down quick, second strike across the kidneys making you suck in your breath and look for Jesus, and third strike across the back of your skull making you cry for mama before you pass out seeing stars. I don’t know when I stopped watering my veggies, but I did. They were mocking me and I wanted to punish them. After all the rain, the heat hit. I was feeling confident that something might come of my mini vegetable jungle, but alas the heat hit and hit hard. I’m calling a calf rope and cutting my losses. Basil abounds, and the rest can just suck it. But, this IS Oklahoma, and it IS August so while the heat was bearing down we also had some rain and cool 85 degree temps. For the first half of a day at least, and then it was 106 degree heat and oppressive humidity all over again. He only gives us as much as we can handle, I have faith in that.

Speaking of heat. My air conditioner. Can I just tell you, my air conditioner is a wall unit. A loud, obnoxious, musty wall unit. It works effectively, but man is that motherjack loud. People in Chicago and NYC have nothing on me, the subways may rattle the window panes and knock art off the walls, but this air conditioner sounds like a 767 taking off a short runway. I might need to see a doctor, because hearing loss is becoming an issue. I’m hoping the weather can get down to a consistent 95 degrees so I can possibly give my AC a rest. And my brain.

Highlights of my summer….Camping in Tahlequah, the friends floated the river, I made camp and yummy food and drank refreshing cold barley beverages while lying in the sun. Multiple trips to Grand Lake to see the mother person, pretty sure we had fires, fishing, cold barley beverages, outstanding meals, and many many many laughs. A weekend in Eureka Springs, with plenty of shopping and hill walking and geode crushing and cold barley beverages.

Have I mentioned my love of cold barley beverages? Specifically, Fat Tire Amber Ale, from the New Belgium Brewing Company. If you haven’t had a Fat Tire, let me just tell you, you are missing a key component to enjoying life. And of course, you can’t get Fat Tire in Oklahoma. I’m not sure why, but the devil that regulates Oklahoma’s beer and wine laws says you can’t. So in summation, while in Eureka Springs Arkansas I picked up a case of Fat Tire and bootlegged it across state lines. Arrest me, I can take it, I like the cuffs.

Highlights cont’d….An outstanding night of bowling and laughter with some of my oldest and dearest lady friends and a gentleman. I will admit, I almost peed myself riding go karts at the end of the night. I was laughing hard. Those are some funny ladies and a gentleman. Many good books were read. The Help. All of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, if you aren’t a book snob these are mandatory summer/beach reading. And many more. My name is Brooklyn, I am a nerd. A book nerd.

I still have a few things I’m looking forward to; to round out this thing called summer. A concert and weekend in Oklahoma City, the Zack Brown Band is playing at the OKC Zoo Amphitheater and Robert Randolph and the Family Band will be the opening act. I really enjoy concerts at the Zoo, it’s pretty much a free for all as far as seating is concerned and in the quiet moments you hear the lions roaring and the elephants trumpeting. It’s really quite pretty, especially as the sun falls behind you and the night rises behind the band. It’s in mid September, I’m gonna bring a hoodie. Cause we live in Oklahoma, don’t blink cause the weather could change and you might miss it.

Tonight I’m heading out to the new Drillers Ballpark with old and interesting friends. It’s Thirsty Thursday. I will be drinking refreshingly cold barley beverages for $1 each. Let’s hope they don’t have to cut me off. Maybe I’ll take a picture or two to share. New stadium, old friends, cold beer. Summer in Oklahoma, it doesn’t get much better than this.


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