Delusion, by Degrees

Groucho Marx mugs as Ko-Ko from The Mikado

Me, August 2011. Husband says I was singing

Stormy Weather over and over again.



    Current Temperature: 80°
    Weather: Cloudy, 60 percent chance of rain.

What a beautiful, overcast day! You’d hardly know it’s South Texas. Time for my yearly list. Let’s see… this summer, I’d like to learn how to make French sauces, and isn’t it time for me to consider studying French afresh? Oooh! And embroidery! I’ve got that hoop and some embroidery floss. I should talk to The Husband about the archery thing this year. Haystacks?


    Current Temperature: 89°
    Weather: Sunny, overcast. 20 percent chance of rain.

I’ve got that great old sauce book out of the cupboard and put it by the bed. I don’t want to end up in the same pickle I did last year, wearing jeans in the middle of summer and sweating and complaining and complaining and sweating. Didn’t M— mention something about some cunning sarongs? Look up Balinese Men’s sarongs. They come in plaid, don’t they? Lovely. I’ll go to the library later today— French books! Sauces! Embroidery manuals! Yaaaaaaaaaay!

    Current Temperature: 93°
    Weather: Sunny, sunny sunny! .00003 chance of rain.

It’s awfully bright out there. Whose genius idea was it to slave over a hot stove this summer learning sauces? Isn’t this a winter thing? Also, the French stuff. Who the Dickens tries to learn a language when her brain is melting? Cross both of those things off of the list. Okay. What can we salvage?

Late June

    Current Temperature: 98°
    Weather: Sunny, dammit!

Ate an entire summer sausage yesterday for lunch and dinner with some melon slices because looking at the stove makes me break out in prickly heat. Use of English language is deteriorating. I want a crossbow so I can fire a warning shot over the neighbor’s pool the next time he sings a Celine Dion medley at 3 a.m. whilst swimming. I will have satisfa—


    Current Temperature: 101°
    Weather: Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooot.

Wore wet clothes out of the washer because they will dry immediately on body. Dogs refuse to move from the couch except to go outside to bark listlessly at other listlessly barking dogs. Am eating food right out the refrigerator. Mark down court date for crossbow incident. Lawyer says that seasonal insanity plea will not fly.

Late July

    Current Temperature: 105°
    Weather: *$($*% this $*%#ing heat! Also, cloudy. Ha-ha! Just kidding.

Today, wore sarong made out of bed sheets. Post office complained, but what are they going to do? Neighbor dropped lawsuit after he chucked his stereo over another neighbor’s fence because they were singing a Barbra Streisand medley at 4 a.m. Looked at an embroidery book this afternoon. Going to embroider a skull and crossbones flag to run up over the house. I want to become a pirate because it is obviously cooler out on the seven seas than it is in this house. Dogs agree. We have a three-way consensus. The Husband abstained.


    Current Whatchacallit: 109°
    Weather: Hot as H-E- DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK.

Husband complained about me drinking bottled steak sauces from their containers. What’s the deal? Heinz 57 is part of a complete breakfast! Pirate flag is done. I’m going to go starboard on that neighbor with the pool. Will claim pool and surrounding vicinity in the name of Bluebirdistan. The Husband stopped speaking to anyone after A-1 sauce argument. No matter. I am now embroidering many whimsical eye patches.

Late August

    Hamburglar! 110°
    Weather: Khleck? Qkft.

Everyone in the entire neighborhood has become pirates. The neighbors have joined forces to claim ownership of the two backyard pools on the block. It’s not mutiny if you have consensus, right? All of us are wearing eye patches and shorts around here. Embroidered crossbow strap for fun. We will attack the house one block over at dawn. THEY HAVE A DIVING BOARD.


    Current Temperature: 94°
    Weather: Sunny, slightly overcast. 20 percent chance of rain.

What a summer! The Husband keeps gabbling something about neighbors and pools and pirates? Where did I put that book on sauces? When it cools off a bit more, I think I’ll make some sort of late season fruit based reduction to go with some lean chops. Won’t that be lovely! Distressing thing— I found a crudely made eye patch under my pillow this morning embroidered with skull and crossbones. Did the dogs steal this from a neighborhood child? Make note to ask husband about this item.

*THIS ESSAY is part of the SHOW US YOUR WEATHER! Blog Carnival. “Delusion, By Degrees” is dedicated to Metan of Buried Words and Bushwa. Thank you for sharing your lovely Australian winter weather with me this summer, my friend.

*The picture up top is actually Groucho Marx doing a bit from the Mikado. I’m not nearly that pretty in the summer.

*This story originally ran on August 1, 2012.

About Courtenay Bluebird

Courtenay Bluebird is the creator of Bluebird Blvd. and The Bluebird B-Side. She is a published writer, career journalist, and professional photographer who likes books and sweets. She laughs loudly and sincerely both in public and in private.
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  1. Very funny post! Sure hope you make it until September!

  2. Great post, Courtenay. I could feel your brain melting as the temperature increased.

  3. I love this!
    I could tell it wasn’t you in the photo, no pirate patch, no plaid sarong stained with the neighbours blood… That glint of insanity though… well, that bit could have been you :)

    If you get the Husband out there with a shovel right now you will have a pool yourself by next summer!

    Cold here right now, freeeeezing. 3.3deg C, sorry….

    • *Grins* I’m so, so, so, so, so, so glad!

      Someone really should have taken a picture of me with the embroidered eye patch and the sarong, but then there’s the blood and the evidence, so maybe it all works out?

      Our house is placed at an odd angle on our lot. The pool would have to be in the front yard. I want a lap pool! *Shouts over shoulder* “HUSBAND! Start digging a lap pool, will you?”

    • Don’t be too mean to the Husband, you might find that the lap pool is 6ft deep and you are asked to check the bottom late one night when there are no witnesses… thud… *dirt being shovelled back in quickly* 😉

    • *Laughing like a loon* (New note to self: Ask husband not to build lap pool.) *Still laughing*

  4. Hyperventilating and feeling yer pain…

    • This piece reflects more of the sentiment of *last* year which was freakishly hot. This year has been freakishly mild! For us. For other parts of the country, not so much mild, I’m afraid.

  5. I love this too!
    In so many ways. Particularly all the punning goodness in the title. It sounds very much like my experience of the summer. The last few years I’ve decided it’s best to sleep in, go and swim 2km in the pool (quite how i do this is anybody’s guess) at which point I am barely able to stand and can sit in front of the tv, glassy-eyed, watching bbc replays until the sun changes sides of the building – leaving my room in shade – and i can have a nap. At the start of summer the swim knocks it out of me so much I can get two days of lethargy out of one swim. At least this year I start work much sooner and therefore have to be in the a/c before the mercury rises.

    Had a busy week, working up to a weather post for you, but the weather in itself is not giving me much to work with… It’s like the crispy clear eye of a storm around here… v.pleasantville.

    • How do you swim 2k in the pool when it is so hot? I am amazed!

      When does the summer really start to arrive in Australia? Which month? Which week of that month? Is it different depending on where you live? So curious!

  6. Okay, I don’t know how you did it, but you actually made me laugh about the hot weather. :)

    Loved this!

    (Of course, that might be because it’s actually comfortable here now and I’m not trying in vain to make the different parts of my body stop touching me.)

    • I am SO GLAD! We all need to laugh about this weather. Really and truly. And you made me laugh too— the diff. parts of your body touching you? I TOTALLY know what you mean. I am the summer rash gal. Was that TMI? :)

  7. Brilliant Bluey! I’ve made a note to self to invite neighbours over on really hot days next summer. My pool is just an above ground thing too small to actually swim in but by god it feels great to get in there and just splash around.

    Maybe if I invite said neighbours they won’t hijack the pool….

    • Invite meeeeeee! Oh, that’s right. I’m, like, 8 billion miles away. *Sigh* I promise to help you keep cheery in December!

      Also, invite them over. You don’t want neighborhood pool pirates! We are armed with very strong water guns! (And thank you!)

    • lmao – Consider yourself invited Bluey, even if you are at the other end of the earth!

      To be honest I would have invited the neighbours over already but my pool really does look like a five metre long metal bathtub! I bought it mainly because it was the cheapest way of getting an extra 18,000 litres of water for my fire-fighting system. Using it for paddling purposes involves climbing a horrible, rickety plastic ladder in and out. I’m hoping to be able to build some sort of decking around it to make life easier for them…and me!

      The wild ducks seem to like it though. There’s nothing quite like going out on the deck at midnight with the temperature still high and looking down to see two ducks swimming round and round. 😀

    • OH! There are people I know here who, instead of getting an above ground pool, went and got those big metal tubs— for feeding cattle. They call them stock tanks. They come in different sizes. Is that what you’re talking about? Because I love those! We actually use them for cattle, but they are an inexpensive, but pretty, solution for adding a water element to your personal yard/property!

    • That sounds like fun but no, my pool is a ‘real’ pool just kind of ugly.
      The one sticking up is almost exactly what mine looks like.

      I’m learning to love it because it does give me all that extra water for firefighting /and/ a place to get cool 😀

    • I think it’s great! And you don’t have to go anywhere to swim! You just walk out of your house! (Plus, the extra water for firefighting is great!)

    • -cough- swim = paddle. 😉

  8. Thank you for the merriment. We have to laugh, otherwise the alternative is to…what? Burst into flame? Whee!

  9. Wow, talk about hot! I am so sorry. I’m sending over some of the ice cold water from our river here. That might help! (wouldn’t it be great if I could?) :)

  10. Giggled my way through this post. And then I remembered our winter is ending. Next will be spring, followed by our version of the Dante’s Inferno. Stopped giggling. Why can’t we just have spring, autumn and winter?

    • *SiiiIIIiiigh*. For that, I’m afraid, you and I would have to move to Los Angeles, which has a rainy season everyone forgets about until it rains for three weeks. Everyone says, “Oh, L.A. has no weather.” But it has loads of weather in two varieties— mild and very scary. 😀

    • lol – I spent all of about 1 hour in L.A. many years ago. We were waiting for a connecting to flight to a computer convention in Las Vegas. All I can remember of L.A. was that it was late at night, but still hot and muggy!

    • I started to say, “oh, that must have been in the rainy season!”, which is around the end of January, February, but then I realized that I don’t have a good frame of reference for the different ecosystems of Australia and couldn’t possibly comment on what might feel humid to you as compared to me. (Gosh, what is the humidity like in/around Australia?) I come from a really humid part of Texas, so most of the time, L.A. felt really mild to my body. Oh, and that flight you took? I used to take that exact connecting flight to go back and forth from Texas. When I went back and forth, I tried to get a non-LAX to LAV to Texas route though because I finally had the worst flying experience I’ve ever had, and, as a result, I swore off LAX from then on. I used to fly into Burbank instead— quite hair-raising going in or out. It has, like, this extra tiny runway. Sometimes the pilot misses and ends up in the street. If I had to fly in-or-out now, I’d still do Burbank. Did you have fun at your convention? Was it the big Consumer Electronics thingy?

Hey there, cupcake! How are ya?