August Thoughts


Under sail on a sunny windy afternoon

Inspiring reverence or admiration, of supreme dignity or grandeur, majestic; the eighth month of the Gregorian calendar.

Today is the first Sunday in August, another long summer month. It is the eighth month of our calendar—the one I currently wish I could flip to maybe October. Then it should certainly be cooler at least at night.

In Wisconsin we often refer to the heat and humidity of August days as the “dog days.” According to Wikipedia, “Dog Days…very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.”

I didn’t know that. My guess was that August was a time the dogs were so hot even they didn’t have any energy or maybe were more likely to become rabid because the heat tended to make everyone and everything crazy.

I probably read that somewhere, maybe when as a child I’d go to the neighborhood library which had thick walls and lots of shade produced by the huge old oaks surrounding the building. That place was always cool in temperature during summer. Also cool were all the wonderful books I’d read there in addition to all those books I borrowed and brought home. To read while sitting on the front porch of our home waiting for what my grandmother would refer to a 25-cent breeze. Hopefully, from the east off Lake Michigan which would always be cooler than from the south or west which brought HEAT.

Anyway, I may have read something then about how ages ago people believed that dog days were “an evil time when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing …burning fevers, hysterics, and frenzies.”  (Wikipedia)

Now, what impressionable 8 or 9 year-old reader wouldn’t think what I did?  And in this information-overload world when I try constantly to read to keep up on new knowledge, why would I look up the meaning of something I’d used every year and heard others use?

Until today, when I realized if I was posting about August and dog days, I’d better know more about both of them.

Canoeing on a hot evening

So I’m thankful, I guess, that August is here now. It’s still dog-days-hot, but I’ve learned a few totally unnecessary tidbits to support a never-thought-about-before but an often used term. One never knows when information like this might be useful, such as playing Trivial Pursuit  with my nieces and nephews and impressing them with my useless knowledge.

So what about you, what totally irrelevant but somehow meaningful piece of information or fact have you learned this week?  Please post it and share your useless fact with me. Who knows how I might use it?

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10 Comments on “August Thoughts”


  1. I learned that I miss my mother even more than I thought I did. Well, that sounds bad, but you know what I mean. *grin* I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. She was my biggest fan, calling me her “little author” and making me feel like the greatest writer since Kathleen E. Woodiwiss…LOL I could use some of her encouragement and support this week with my recent release. I guess it’s a good thing I have so many wonderful friends like you. 🙂

    And our birthdays are coming up (hers Aug. 19, mine Aug. 21), so I have a feeling I’ll be crying a lot that weekend. I may have to make steak for supper and a chocolate cake, her favorites. She really loved chocolate cake…she loved to eat period, which is funny since she was 5′ 10″ and weighed 100 lbs soaking wet…LOL

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Oh, Donna, my mom was short and very slender alll her life–and could eat anything she wanted. I got the short.

    Well, Woodiwiss was a wonderful author and I loved her books. But I love yours also, in many ways, even more as they are so real-life and genuine. That’s a gift. And one your mother must have instilled in you because you’ve become such a great writer.

    Just purchased GO yesterday. It’s my treat for this week. 🙂

  3. Edie Ramer Says:

    My mom’s birthday was Aug. 15, and she was slender and short (but still taller than me).

    We saw the Jersey Boys today, and loved it. Then we made the mistake of deciding to take Lake Drive homeward instead of the freeway. Traffic was awful. We think they were having an airshow, and it stopped, with people leaving in droves just as we were driving that way.

  4. caseyclifford Says:

    Edie,

    Everyone I know who’s seen Jersey Boys loved it. I’m so glad you got a chance to see it. The air show was today and that probably caused lots of traffic, plus that area had a couple other big festival like gatherings going on. Seems like traffic is just becoming more of an issue any day and any time.

    Have a good week!


  5. I am not sure if this is “useless” … but one of Al Pacino’s best movies was Dog Day Afternoon and I remember the hot day in August when the real life event took place in Brooklyn.

    In JK Rowling’s HP series, Harry’s Uncle Sirius is a shape shifter who becomes a gog. Just a little movie trivia to add to your “dog day” examples 🙂

  6. caseyclifford Says:

    Love your examples from the movies. Thanks bunches! 🙂


  7. This may not be an irrelevent fact, but your post reminds me of how I feel about summer and the heat.

    I try, however, not to wish my days away like I used to. Instead, I tell myself that nothing lasts forever. Your post was a reminder to tell myself that when the sun beats down and I’m wishing for clouds to cool the air. Nothing lasts forever…

  8. Anne Parent Says:

    Thank you for sharing new information about a term I have always used but never knew its origin. You have provided me with a new fact this week.

    The other thing I’ve learned this week is when you miss your turn on the road, don’t worry because there will be another one down the road.

  9. caseyclifford Says:

    Lorna,

    You’re so right; nothing lasts forever and that another useful thought to keep in mind.

  10. caseyclifford Says:

    Anne,

    So glad I was able to give you a new fact. It’s amazing how little things we take for granted but then one day decide to learn more about can be so very interesting. I’ll never say “dog days” again without thinking about these few fact. 🙂

    Glad you stopped by; I know how busy you are!


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