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Milkweed

I still haven’t been able to do much gardening because of my hand but my knee is almost healed up so in a day or two I will be able to kneel again and really, you only need one hand to weed so I will be good to go again!

In the meantime, the garden is going crazy. We had just enough rain followed by heat, sun and humidity to send the warm weather plants into overdrive. I think the sunflowers grew a foot taller overnight! The pole beans we planted with them are climbing and starting to flower. And the pumpkins are starting to flower too. The zucchini is a riot of flowers. Bookman is happy about that because we are on our last jar of zucchini relish. The potatoes are flowering which means they are starting to make potatoes under all that mulch. I like growing potatoes. It is so easy and then in late summer/early fall you get to dig (carefully!) for treasure.

I planted so many different kinds of beans this year and they are all doing great. Only problem is, I neglected to put in markers so I’d know what beans were where! Yellow wax, red swan, green bean, black beans, a couple different kinds of pole beans. Two kinds of black-eyed peas. Some of these are beans for drying, some are for picking and eating when still small in the pod. It’s going to be a good trick figuring it all out!

Zucchini

Meanwhile the raspberries continue to ripen and I am picking a big bowl every day or two. We are still getting lettuce and peas. The kale and arugula goes and goes and goes. The cabbage is coming along too and looking like it will soon be making little cabbage nuggets that will hopefully grow into big cabbages. I’ve never had success with cabbage so even getting this far is a great success.

Herbs are starting to flower – catnip, winter savory, and thyme. The summer perennials are also beginning to flower – coneflowers, Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera), self-heal, wild bergamot, butterfly weed and milkweed. The bumblebees are everywhere and today a monarch butterfly stopped by for a little while.

Self-heal

There is a mountain of free woodchips from the city at the lake near my house and Bookman has made two trips in as many days, filling containers he stuffed into the back of the car. Then he spreads them out along the garden paths. One more trip, possibly two, is in the works.

We have not done anything about our garden gate and arbor yet. We’ve talked about it and have made a plan that involves rebar posts (no concrete required and no worries about it rotting in ten years), lots of twigs and branches from trees in the garden (pruned and dropped naturally), and chicken wire (to cover over the gaps between branches). In my mind I have it all imagined and it will be an interesting combination of urban and rustic as well as utilitarian. Now, if we can only pull it off!

Bookman and I have been watching the Tour de France. It’s been full of drama this year, that’s for sure! Because it is not broadcast in the US unless you pay for cable, we have been using a vpn connection to watch a UK broadcast so we get to see what UK commercials are like. They are pretty much just as dumb as American commercials. From the commercials I have learned about “pyjama mamas.” Is this really a thing? Mothers delivering their kids to school dressed in fancy silk or satin pjs? And then stopping at the market to pick up a few groceries on the way home. The commercial has not revealed their footwear so I am super curious whether they are wearing heels or pink fuzzy slippers, sandals or sneakers. I am not an owner of fancy pjs and even if I were, I wouldn’t wear them out. What sort of footwear does one pair with them? Or maybe they are barefoot?

Wild bergamot and butterfly weed

Friday Astrid and I went and had a professional bike fitting. My fitter, Mike, was great and did a thorough and awesome job. He took all sorts of measurements, tested my flexibility and core strength (I had to plank for as long as I could or 90 seconds whichever came first and I made it the full 90 and was just starting to sweat when he called it), and took video of me on the bike. He was then able to stop the video at the right frame and take angle measurements. What it all comes down to is my feet no longer go numb while riding, my shoulders no longer hunch, my elbows no longer turn in, my back is flatter and my glutes are fully engaged. I am more stable, comfortable and efficient.

Riding yesterday everything felt weird and wrong and muscles that weren’t working as much before are suddenly complaining that their free ride is over. It will take another day or two to get used to the new setup, but I am looking forward to seeing how much of a difference it makes in my power output and my ability to sustain different levels of output. I know, bike geeky, but just having my feet not go numb anymore was worth the price of admission!

Bookman came along with me and while we were there we tried out an e-bike. OMG! These bikes are amazing! You still have to pedal but there is a rechargeable battery that gives you an assist. Depending on how much assist you require, the battery can last up to 95 miles. Bookman was thrilled. If he had one of these bikes he could bike to work, go on long rides with me, bike to do grocery shopping, bike instead of driving a car. The battery takes 2-4 hours to charge, depending on how much charge it needs.

This is super exciting because after we saw the Ikea bike and trailer not long ago, we’ve been talking about getting a bike trailer so we could do things like grocery shop or go to Target or the hardware store. The only thing is, an e-bike is kind of spendy. The one we test rode was the top-of-the line all-road bike and had a price tag of $5,000. Luckily, Bookman doesn’t need that model. He’s looking at the Conduit which is still spendy but much more reasonable. He’s decided to start saving his pennies.

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