Some Sensible Choices

Did you enjoy your Fourth of July? Ours was boiling hot. We opted to be sensible rather than patriotic and went to see a movie instead of a paradeI can only imagine how hot and sweaty all of the parade-goers were that day. It was beastly And, I kept thinking of all of the people who had to be in the parade – the Shriners in their hats and blazers, Mrs. Massachusetts perched on the back of a convertible (all of that hot, reflecting metal!), the musicians in their polyester uniforms, the gymnasts turning cartwheels on the hot asphalt….I felt sorry for all of them.

Later, I put together a nice meal with an angel food cake for dessert. Half of the family likes frosting, the other half does not, so, I made another sensible choice and only frosted half the cake:

If you’re interested, the recipe for the frosting I used can be found HERE. It was light and fluffy and perfect for topping an angel food cake…and easy too. I definitely recommend it.

On Friday, the girls and I drove north to Yankee Candle headquarters. Normally, we go in the fall, but Piper had a hankering for fudge, and I was eager to see what sort of landscaping they’d put together for summer.

The plants were flawless – the mulch abundant – the lawn edged to perfection. “Why doesn’t my garden look like this?” I wailed (via text) to CPT A. He came back with a sensible reply: “Because you don’t have a team of ten gardeners.” Which was just a guess. We don’t really know how many gardeners Yankee Candle employs, but certainly they have someone who can devote his or her full attention to the project. Someone who doesn’t have to stop working to make lunch for people, or delay weeding to walk the dogs, or run to the store for milk when they discover they’ve run out. I also assume they’re using chemicals. Really, though, whoever is responsible has done a lovely job of arranging everything and the gardens are an absolute joy to behold.

In my own garden, the first of the pumpkins are appearing.

These are “Cinderella” pumpkins, a French heirloom variety which, according to the seed packet, were the inspiration for the pumpkin-turned-carriage in the fairytale.

Not far away, the bell peppers are coming along nicely.

I’ve never grown these before, so it has been a treat to watch them develop.

And, in the rock garden, the hens and chicks are…blooming.

Did you know hens and chicks bloomed? I had no idea they could do that. I should have shot the flower in profile as well so you could see how tall the stalk is – a good nine inches!

In the front yard, the hydrangeas are looking lovely –

such a gorgeous shade of blue, and so nice next to the green of their leaves.

And here is an herb that I almost pulled out thinking it was a weed:

It must be a descendant of last year’s borage which grew in the same spot. This plant is enormous, though, so I didn’t think to link the two until it began to bloom. I’m so glad I didn’t yank it out.

Something that did need to be yanked out:

Can you see the wasps’ next in the top right corner of the barn’s upper door? Pepper discovered that Sunday, and CPT America smoked the wasps out early Monday morning and disposed of the empty nest a few hours later. I slept through the whole business…which is probably for the best. I’m so glad he didn’t get stung.

From the dining room table, pleased to report that the coming week’s weather will be much cooler than last week’s was – warm enough for swimming, but mild enough for sleeping (Hooray!),

Mrs Smythe