Friday, May 20, 2022

The Merry Month of May

Tulip season came and went, fast and furious. When tulips are ready to be picked, they are ready, kind of like avocados. If they stay outside too long in the heat, they'll blown open in the sunshine which negatively affects their vase life. So at times, I was harvesting tulips 3 times a day. They're kind of a pain in that way but oh, I love them! They come in almost every color, and there are many fancy types with fringe, multiple petals, and stripes. I planted about 460 this year and I'm trying to decide if I can handle 700 next year.

After tulips, things calmed down a bit, but then it was time to put in all the seedlings. I've planted between 600-700 seedlings which (not surprisingly) is hard physical labor. I forgot that I am 40 and not 20, and kneeling, squatting, and bending might not be as easily shrugged off as it once was. It will all pay off in a few months when I'm questioning my sanity. By that point I'm sure the weather will have "improved" to 90+ degrees and 100% humidity. 

It has not been a nice spring, weather-wise. It has been cold and gray and wet; and then immediately it's warmed up to what is supposed to be a 105-degree heat index tomorrow. I'd rather be hot than cold  though, so I don't mind. 


As soon as the weather warms up, I find that I want to read summery, lighter books. I always return to mystery series around now, with some thrillers and modern romance sprinkled in. One of my favorite things in the world is sitting outside in my hammock chair reading as the sun goes down. Here's a few books I finished lately:

The Bat is the first book in the Harry Hole series. The Snowman is one of the more well-known titles, but I always like to start series at the beginning and read them in order. Apparently this was a mistake in this case, as the books are supposed to drastically improve after the first few. I'll say it: this book was bad. Don't read it. The main detective is extremely bad at his job and there's homo/transphobia at the core. The only reason I finished it was because I wanted to know who the murderer was.

After that bad reading experience, I immediately checked out The Man Who Died Twice, which is the next book in the Thursday Murder Club series. (Right now there are only two, with the third coming out later this year.) I loved this book even more than the first! It's funny, the characters are all unique and developed, and Richard Osman has such a talent for writing that I hope he lives forever and writes 1000 books.

I picked up The Diamond Eye on a whim, since I've heard good things about Kate Quinn. The book is about the real Mila Pavlichenko, a female Russian sniper during World War II who killed over 309 enemy soldiers. It was fascinating, and shocking, and sad to read how a "regular" young mother could go from historian to sniper, but that's what war does. The first half of the book is about her time in combat, and the second half focuses on Mila's tour of America and friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt (also true!) The second half was not as interesting to me and was a little slower, but overall it was a good read. There are also some photos in the back of the real people in the book, which were pretty heartbreaking.

How about you - does your reading change with the seasons?