Knitting Notes

Here’s the sky scarf, as of 5/31/15.     You can see in this picture that I was finally able to introduce the dark gray I bought to represent thunder.     I’ve used it four times so far.     For one thunderstorm that happened in the middle of the night, I decided to make an exception and add a single row of just that gray to represent that storm.    Any more middle of the night storms, I’ll record that way, since they don’t really effect the sky, but I’d like to track the raw number of storms I at least hear.

Garden Notes

In which I include a single, pathetic image taken from inside my garage because it’s raining cats, dogs and probably a few sheep outside…

I did make it out on Friday (took the day off) to buy some herbs: basil, Thai basil, lemon thyme, oregano, chocolate mint, nasturtiums and parsley, as well as a token coleus.      They’re hanging out still in their greenhouse pots in the side garden right now, probably leeching out whatever nutrients were left in what little potting soil they have.     Other than the mints (the new one, and two older ones), which I put in larger pots this morning, when it was still only raining cats.    I also pulled in the bigger pots, so they could dry out a bit, and I can maybe get my seedlings in with some mid week planting.    It’s set to rain for the next couple of days, so we’ll see how that goes.

At the least the new tenant should be settled by the end of the day tomorrow…

Parallel Myths – J. F. Bierlein

Read for the Once Upon a Time IX Reading Challenge.

I started a tradition a few year back to try and read a more scholarly book in one of the Once Upon a Time challenge categories.     Here’s this year’s selection – a collection and comparison of similar mythological themes across world cultures.

If you’ve studied mythology at all, the obvious story to be included in this list is Flood myths – turns out they have them in both the Middle East, and American Indian cultures.    But there are others, stories of Love, and Heroes, and how we all universally struggle to explain death and what happens after that.

There’s also a section about more modern interpretation of myth – that’s the driest reading in the book, but still interesting, if you’re into this kind of thing.   That is really what this book comes down to – if you’re really interested in this subject matter, it’s a good overview.   If you’re not so interested in thinking about why mythology stories are the way they are, you’re probably best off skipping this book.

Garden Notes

I’m in a weird kind of holding pattern with the garden at the moment.   One issue is that Memorial Day (one of our planting benchmarks) is on the early side this year, which had not lined up very well with my other benchmark – blooming iris.     I actually do have one blooming, but it’s one of the hybrids, which have never before bloomed before my old fashioned iris.    So it’s been a weird year, definitely.    The old fashioneds are at least quite full of buds, so they should be blooming any time now.

The other issue is that the apartment downstairs is turning over at the end of the month, and my back yard garden is directly in the way of the path to the basement stairs.    So I really can’t set that up until the turnover is complete.    (The old tenants are practically moved out already, so hopefully the new tenant can come on the last day of May, which is the Sunday, and get that the heck over with.)


So in a fit of optimism, I bought two cherry tomatoes from the same sellers at the Farmer’s Market that last year’s monsters came from.    And managed to snap off about half of one when wrangling the cage on.     There are still plenty of leaves left, so I’m going to keep an eye on it this week.   Hopefully, I won’t have to replace it, but there’s another Farmer’s Market on Saturday that I’m sure will still have seedlings, if I do.

I also planted the nasturtiums and calendula my mother gave me, as I started hardening them off earlier this week.    My seedlings are smaller, and also in a larger container, so I just started hardening them off yesterday.     They should be set for next weekend.

In a French Kitchen – Susan Herrmann Loomis

Librarything Early Reviewers book.

I very much enjoyed this book for the recipes, but not so much for the chapter content.      Each chapter is arranged around some aspect of French home cooking, with the author using various friends and neighbors as examples.     I think the best way I can characterize those chapters is a magazine piece stretched unnecessarily long – I found myself hurrying through the content to get to the recipes at the end of each chapter.

The recipes are why I’ll keep this book around – they’re simple, with fresh ingredients – some interesting twists on items I’ll be able to find at my farmer’s market soon enough.

The Silver Rose – Susan Carrol

Read for the Once Upon a Time IX Reading Challenge.

Have you ever accidently found yourself several books into a series, with no labels to tell you that, leaving you to wonder exactly why you’ve been missing something, and not knowing exactly what that something is?     That was my experience with this book.

Miri Cheney is the youngest daughter of Evangeline Cheney, the legendary Lady of Fair Isle.   (Youngest daughter, so it turns out you’ve already gotten the stories of the childhood of the sisters, as well as the two older daughters’ adult stories, if you’ve been keeping up.)    Like her mother, she’s a Daughter of the Earth, but her magic is more with animals than people.     When she was younger, she fell in love with the witch hunter Simon Aristide, who used her to get close to her sisters.   (Yep, more back story.)    Her sisters were forced to flee France, and Miri’s heart was broken.

It’s years later, and Miri, the only one of the sisters not convicted of witchcraft, has returned to Fair Isle.      And it’s there that Simon finds her.    He’s very much a changed man, much humbled, having been seeking the Silver Rose, an evil sorceress who has proven to him that many of the women he persecuted in the past were not the evil witches he believed them to be.    He very much wants Miri’s oldest sister’s help, but Ariane has left France, and only Miri is left.     Miri doesn’t believe she can trust Simon, but she knows the Silver Rose must be stopped.

Surprisingly, this book actually doesn’t do too badly as a stand alone.   You definitely get the feeling you’re missing some good character development, but the actual action of this book makes sense.    It plays out against the larger back story of France during the reign of King Henry, and his mother, Catherine de Medici, in this world, also a dark sorceress.      I’d say this book tilts more romance than straight fantasy, but I enjoyed it, and I wouldn’t mind meeting Miri’s sisters.