In the garden this week, the apricot gladiolas have come into full bloom. There are a bunch of them dotted over the mountainside behind our home. Some, I think, were planted by the previous owners of this house, but some must be squirrel planted as there are more of them every year. I have dug some up and transferred them to the front flower bed, but they still persist in the back. The first blooms on the bottom of the stalk have faded, but there are more buds to come.
Lovely color, aren’t they? Some years they bloom at the same time as the hostas, and they complement the purple stems of those well. This year, the hostas were done before the glads began.
Oliver didn’t seem to notice the flowers. He came up to beg on the veranda, waiting patiently, paws folded, on the mat until someone noticed him. Yes, he got his treat, as long as he went down to the sidewalk to wait for it.
Our local young bear came by to attempt a raid on the bird feeder. You can see him standing up on his hind legs, paws on the pole, but he isn’t tall enough to reach the feeder itself. The actual feeder is about 10 feet off the ground, and he is only about 5 feet tall standing up like this.
He gave up pretty fast, and I stepped out to the veranda to get another picture. He is small and skinny, but will fatten up fast over the next two months with the abundance of food coming into harvest season. It has been so hot, some of our apple crops are ripening a month early.
Inside, reading has been delightful with the last few books. The titles are linked to Amazon if you’d like to read the synopsis, or look at getting the ebook for your Kindle. Some of these are also available for Audible.
Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl is an interesting behind the scenes look a powerhouse Gourmet magazine’s rise and fall in the epicurean foodie wars. Ruth Reichl is a great writer and the book flows easily with her prose. Her stories include how the magazine chose her to lead it and her fumbling first year as a newbie editor with a steep learning curve. She transitions to an innovative leader who took the staid publication kicking and screaming to a new generation without self congratulation or self aggrandizement. The last chapter tells how the Christmas issue of 2009 was to be another step forward in cover design and innovative recipes, but was never published. The magazine closed with the November 2009 issue. It is a fascinating memoir, and recommended reading for foodies who remember Gourmet’s heyday.
About the Author by John Colapinto – A very different kind of story, with an ethical question – who owns the rights to your life story? This is a thriller with twists and turns as a man gets more and more involved in a cover up of his own making. The story is complicated, with the protagonist making what seems to be justifiable decisions, but that come back to haunt him in unexpected ways. The story is well paced, starting out slowly and accelerating as the novel progresses to a pace that the reader will find impossible to put down. At one point about 2/3 in, it gets a bit heavy handed with a bit of piling on of calamity, but it picks up again in a surprising way. The ending is unexpected as well. Overall, an interesting premise, and a fun read.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan – Young adult, fantasy novel of 498 pages, it seemed like there were three novels here and might have done well as a series of shorter novels. The story is based on a Chinese myth, and was told in an imaginative way, peppered with Chinese cultural influences in the manner of dress, descriptions of places, customs like a Lantern Festival, honoring ancestors, and descriptions of flowers and food. The protagonist, Xingyin, is forced to flee from her home on the moon to the earth where she becomes involved with a prince of the Celestial Kingdom. Action and intrigue follow, with many tests of her skill and cunning, as she tries to win the talisman that will help her free her mother from her imprisonment on the moon, sentenced to an immortal life of lighting the lanterns in the evening to make the moon shine. Charming, easy reading, and suitable for younger audiences.
In the sewing room, I have some exciting news coming next week! But for now, this is all I can say. The sleeve is made. This fabric is a polished cotton from Art Gallery called Decostitch Elements.
In the kitchen, I plucked some fresh basil leaves from my garden to put with my market tomato and the Amish Butter cheese I got on our last MINI run. Yum! A caprese salad just says summer!
What’s blooming in your garden? Read a good book recently? Do you have a favorite summer salad?