Dear Sunday Letter friends,
I hope everyone had a safe Independence Day. We were invited to watch fireworks from the backyard of a friend of a friend. Spectacular fireworks, y’all, and we had a front row (bring your own chair and sit socially distanced) view.
While our country is divided and the news is enough to give me nightmares (Friday night I literally dreamed I was living in bombed out Syria!), I am feeling optimistic. Yes, 2020 has officially jumped the shark (Kanye West is now running for POTUS), but I’m still glad I live in America.
For a while beginning in early March, I was counting the coronavirus days. I stopped counting on June 19, which was Day 99 for us. I stopped counting because Day 100 was the first day of summer, and counting down to an indeterminate date felt fruitless. Certainly I could make better use of my chalkboard.
So now I am counting down to our lake trip.
As of today, only 34 days until I see my kids. Everything still feels a bit tentative, because ANYTHING could happen between now and then. Crossing my fingers.
Book Club in LA
Back in February, my book, Gene, Everywhere, was selected by a book club in LA. And I was invited to speak to the group in person.
Of course, like so many things lately, this event was postponed due to coronavirus. Yes, I was bummed it had to be rescheduled. The lady who organized this event had invited several other area book clubs to participate; she was expecting about fifty attendees.
That’s big time for me.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to go ahead with the discussion online. I was okay with this decision, since it seemed the safest option. Northwest Arkansas has been a virus hotspot lately, and I certainly didn’t want to inadvertently expose anyone in LA. (Not that I believe I have it, but really, you never know.) Plus, we Arkansans still aren’t supposed to be gathering in large groups. At least I don’t think we are.
So the book discussion happened online. And, it was a pleasure to be able to talk with readers again. This was the first book club I’ve spoken to since my new book launched. So thank you Lady Bookers of LA!
For those of you who aren’t in the know, around these parts, LA = Lower Arkansas.
New Garden Project
We’ve been landscaping the entire yard at our little house where my mother lives. This project has been a long time coming, and finally, our vision is taking shape.
A sneak peek!
We bought the yarrow, purslane, and mandevilla 50% off at Lowe’s. Lowe’s often has great deals on plants that need a little TLC but are otherwise perfectly fine.
You might remember we worked on the side bed last year, putting in three raised planters. (Read about it HERE.)
Here’s a look at that area today.
Yes, we are working during the hottest part of summer so far, but that’s how our schedule unfolded. On the positive side, I imagine we are becoming rather acclimated to the bone-scalding heat and sticky humidity. This will be beneficial to us when the whole planet catches on fire in August, because you know, 2020…
More on this project later.
My friend, Valeria, who is from Italy, gave me a few trombetta zucchini seeds this spring. Oh my goodness, what a fabulous plant! It may be the happiest, most lush plant growing in my garden.
I planted four seeds. All four germinated within less than two weeks. Something ate one of the seedlings immediately, but the other three plants are thriving.
Trombetta zucchini is a vining plant that grows vertically. I built a bamboo teepee for it, initially thinking the poles would be way too tall. Now, I suspect I may need to provide more support. I swear it grows half a foot a day.
It has grown a foot since I took this picture on Friday.
Here in our small garden world, we tend to over-plant. So, now coneflowers are growing up through the zucchini, which is actually a fun thing as the coneflower stems provide a sort of understory trellis for the vines.
Trombetta Zucchini is sweeter than the typical squash variety we grow and buy. It’s free of seeds too. Look how unusual…
More on this later too.
Things Momma Says:
We’re all gonna die.
(Well, there you have it. Straight from the BAT’s mouth.)
Thanks for reading, friends. Another Sunday Letter is in the books. And another 4th of July. Can you believe as crazy as 2020 has been, it is nearly half way over???
Time flies and someday gets here fast.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.