The sun had dropped far enough to put the east side of the house in shade so Bess and I escaped the heat inside by going out on the deck. She went for a dip in the pool, and I started watering the potted plants. Picking off dead flowers as I worked down the line, I actually was thinking of farm-life warnings to give my grandson, a city kid all the way, when he comes to visit soon. The first two on the list are always, "Don't put your hand anywhere you can't see," and "Watch where you put your feet." Not taking my own advice, I reached under the lavender bush to break off some dead branches and suddenly felt a pain in my finger like I'd been hit with hot welding slag. I can speak of this with confidence, but that's another story for another day. A really mad hornet followed my hand from underneath the lavender. The water hose saved me from further attack, and Bess and I beat a quick retreat into the house. Holy Toledo! That one tiny injection hurt like blue blazes. A paste of baking soda and a few drops of water put out the fire, but it didn't stop the swelling. Icing my hand all evening after chores, by bedtime the puffiness was working its way up my wrist. Powerful stuff, that venom. Poor Clay; just before he came up last time, he'd been stung on his lip and hand. I'd been sympathetic then, but now I could truly commiserate. On the bright side, it's been years since I've seen my hand without wrinkles or ropey veins.
Placerville's only newspaper is a weekly. I'd checked it and the Sacramento daily for news about the Oakstone Winery fire without success, and there'd been nothing on TV, either. This morning I got an email from my friend in Seattle with a website, inedc.com/1-1263, an online El Dorado county newspaper. Who knew? There are plenty of photos showing the complete destruction of the winery, damages estimated at ten million dollars. I don't believe that takes into account the wine that has been aging for three and four years, waiting for perfection. What a loss.
Temperatures are predicted to go into triple digits this week. One way or another, it's been a hot time in the old town lately.