The days fly by and somehow it became hot, I mean hot. It seems a month ago we were below freezing. That's how it is in the Northland. We freeze, then we cook long enough to get the hay in, then we get ready to freeze again. I confess I prefer the cold to the hot. Still acclimatizing. I have to train myself to get barn chores done early AM, before the oppressive heat comes up. This is officially my first day of vacation, but I haven't felt it yet. There was a ridiculous rush to finish up the new oppressive Dept. of Education paperwork (thanks to all the teachers who are marching in Albany to protest it.) Then the rush to clean up my art room so that a summer school class can set up in there. The teacher lunch on Friday was okay, too bad the Italian food at Nina's was downright mediocre compared to our own local pizzeria in New Berlin. I should have known better and ordered a chicken sandwich. My unhappy aide seemed to enjoy herself, and was able to say goodbye to me and something about starting over in the fall. I will if she will. Would have been a spectacularly successful year if she had not gone wobbly on me. Granted, working with a teacher who gives you work sheets to correct is much easier than working in a chaotic, yet wonderful, art program where there is a big mess to clean up on a daily basis. Saturday morning and we were up early heading for the farmer's market, where I had a great helper, my spouse. He can set the tent up and get the goods out in no time flat, but it can be awkward with the barking of orders and hurry up scolding I get from him. I see the other vendors rolling their eyes and waiting for me to slap him upside the head. Traffic was slow but steady and I sold $80.00 worth of handspun yarn. That was enough to get me back on the wheel big time. I just took the dogs out to pee and saw storm clouds rolling in. Good, I thought, it would break this awful heat. Funny, I was just having a talk across the driveway with my neighbor, Chris, about storms and lightning hitting the barn. He cautioned me to pound the rods that are connected to the lightning rod system into the ground at least once a year. Chris also said, with his keen farmer's insight, that we are in for a stormy season ahead. So later on in the day I take the dogs out and suddenly a very loud crack of thunder over my head rocks me to the core. I was bent over double holding on to dog leashes, with the loose dogs huddled up against me shaking with fear. We ran into the upper hay mow for cover as the big doors were open and waited a few minutes, with me talking to them telling them mommy was here and everything was okay. Over the giant door to the mow was the barnyard light, hanging by a wire, from the time the barn was hit by lightning five years ago and the big metal light blasted off. That light was screwed into metal plates, screwed onto the door frames and it was blown off the door. Yikes. So we decide to run for it back into the house. Another crack over our heads. My poor dogs ran for their sofas, the islands of comfort and love in our house.