Friday, June 01, 2012

Feeling Summer

Reading: Since last post, I have finished the Hunger Games trilogy.  Catching Fire went quickly, in just a couple of days.  It moved the story along nicely but really just felt like filler between the first and last books.  Mockingjay was better than I anticipated.  Most people that had read this, at least that I had talked to or saw discuss it, thought it was not the best of the series, so I had pretty low expectations for it.  It exceeded those expectations.  Overall I enjoyed the trilogy and am not sorry that I read it.

Next up is Hit by a Farm - How I learned to stop worrying and love the barn by Catherine Friend.

Eating: It is grilling season, though we need to clean off the grill before we can do that.  I like that part of summer - a couple burgers or brats on the grill, a little salad, maybe some taters cooked up in foil - dinner is served.  We will be cleaning off the grill this weekend, so watch for some recipes for outdoor cooking to follow in the next several weeks.
The CSA will also start delivering in a couple weeks so there will also be veggie reports. 

We are having a potluck at work in a couple weeks (yes, I am going in to the office so those of you thinking it would be a pretty sad potluck with just me in my home office, you can just hush!) and it is a "Take me out to the ballpark" theme.  I love to bring dessert to potlucks and if I can't bring dessert, I am often at a loss as to what to bring.  But what dessert goes with ballpark food?  My first thought was crackerjacks!  It isn't technically a dessert but when I make homemade caramel corn, it is so tasty and sweet, it may as well be dessert.  My coworker was trying to think of ideas of what to bring so I was suggesting a few.  I think I probably got a little obnoxious with my ideas towards the end but here are a couple of them:  Cheese BALL served with pretzel rod "bats", cake or cookies decorated like a baseball, diamond or hat, cotton candy, peanuts, sunflower seeds (or salad with sunflower seeds in it), anything served in a batting helmet, Chips and queso dip (nachos appear to be very popular at the ballpark), hot dogs or other sausages, chewing tobacco (haha!) or Big League Chew bubblegum. What other ideas do you have?

Weeding: We have the veggies and herbs all planted: tomatoes (cherry, roma and beefsteak), peppers (red, yellow and orange bell peppers - still need to get some hot peppers), corn, carrots, potatoes, arugula, lettuce, basil, rosemary, spearmint, garlic chives, oregano, thyme and cilantro.  Hope it all grows!

We spent much of last weekend up at Camp Amnicon in northern Wisconsin, volunteering our time to get camp ready for the summer.  I was pleased because I got to do some weeding and planting there too.  I had done a little walk around when we first got there and thought, "Yikes!  That little flower bed could use some weeding!" so was happy that they asked me to work on that. 

The plant swap 2 weeks ago went pretty well.  I helped to have some pictures of the plants I was offering so people could see what they look like in bloom.  I wish more people had pictures or at least would label their plants.  Oh, well.  I took 15-16 plants and came home with the same amount, but different ones.  I have to get them in the ground this weekend. 

Here are some photos of what is blooming today.  Enjoy!
Painted daisies (pyretheum) in the 'kidney bed' (so named for its shape)

sedum, hardy geranium and lamb's ear on side of the garage

Clematis 'Polish Pride'

Anemone are growing like weeds in the "stump garden" (so named because we used to have a stump there)

Columbine along the deck

Fringed bleeding heart - still blooming though the other bleeding heart are done

Peony - the loveliest of June flowers

Stella d'Oro daylily and some unknown plant (if you know what it is, please tell me!)

Corn flower

close-up of penstemon flowers, just the faintest pink blush on the white flowers

Penstemon 'Husker Red' (I think that is the type anyway)

Perennial salvia (I think)

Front garden

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