I am on day three of a four-day Bookman birthday weekend. Yesterday was the actual birthday and it turned out to be a mixed bag that involved burning a pot of pinto beans, being attacked by bees, a delicious birthday cake and the start of a new tattoo.

Bookman's birthday cake

Bookman’s birthday cake

The cake. I baked it. Bookman wanted chocolate cake with strawberry jam between the layers and vanilla “buttercream” frosting. I baked the cake Friday and made the frosting Saturday. It all came out great even though I read the recipe wrong and didn’t put enough sugar in the cake. Due to the amount of sugar in the frosting, this really was not a problem. All I can say is, it is a good thing we don’t eat cake like this very often because — holy cow! — so much sugar and vegan butter it made me cringe.

We spent time out in the garden yesterday. Bookman was weeding the pumpkin patch and came around to a grassy corner of the patch and inadvertently disturbed the home of ground nesting bees. They hide the entrance to their nest so well and we have bees flying all over the garden all the time it is hard to notice a nest anywhere. But Bookman found it and when he did the bees attacked him. Nine stings. And one that came into the house with him unbeknownst to us was discovered by Dickens who pounced on it and himself got stung. Bookman and Dickens are both fine, though Bookman was a little worse for the wear. No allergic reaction, thank goodness!

He had a tattoo appointment last night for the start of a new tattoo that will cover most or all of his arm. The work is to look like tree bark. I joked and asked him if he is going to want me to start calling him Groot. One of the bee stings is on the arm that was tattooed and it hurt a little extra when the artist worked on that spot. The art is not done, there will be another two appointments at least. But a good beginning was made and Bookman is pleased with it.

The garden is crazy wild right now and we can’t seem to catch up with all the weeding that needs to be done. Of course the bee attack didn’t help. The zucchinis are looking great. We have a tiny pumpkin starting already. All of the garlic is picked and we will have enough to last us for months.

A bowl full of cherries

A bowl full of cherries

The bush cherries are ripening and I am picking regularly. This is the first year there has been enough to bother picking, and goodness, there is a lot. Or maybe it just seems like a lot since I’ve not had any before so I’ve no comparison. It is quite exciting though. I thought drying them for use in cereal and muffins and cookies was a great idea but Bookman insists a pie is in order. Perhaps there will be enough for a pie and leftovers for drying. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but cherries are the new superfood. They are showing up on nutrition blogs and cycling websites. It is cherries, cherries, cherries! I guess goji berries are no longer that exciting. I don’t follow the superfood trends, I think it is rather silly actually. Just eat a variety of whole foods and not so much cake and all will be well. The superfood thing is nothing but fadish and that is not a good way to eat. However, that cherries are the THING right now, means lots of tasty recipes floating around the interwebs so there’s that.

So many beans!

So many beans!

It is bean harvesting time! The beans this year are doing great. I’ve got yellow wax beans and purple bush beans and masai green beans and rattlesnake pole beans. The pole beans were a let’s plant them and see what happens thing because the seeds were a couple years old. The past few years I grew them in the corn patch and they never did all that well. but this year, on their own in a patch with bush beans they are going crazy! I have rattlesnake beans coming out me ears. They are bigger than the bush bean/green bean type of bean and are crunchy and more substantial in the mouth. Quite tasty and saisfying. I will definitely make these beans a garden staple from here on out.

We are about to get our first slicing tomato. It is almost ripe. There have been cherry tomatoes for a couple of weeks, sungold is the variety. They are about the size of a grape, ripen to a yellow-orange and sweet as can be. They are a hybrid variety, something different for us since we usually only grow heirlooms. But I have heard raves about this one so figured we would give it a try. Not sure if we will grow it again, but it is a good one, we just can’t save the seeds to plant next year since hybrids do not grow true. If you are not a seed saver though and looking for a sweet little tomato, give it try for sure.

Green roof - weeds are green right?

Green roof – weeds are green right?

Part of yesterday’s gardening was to be weeding the green roof but that didn’t happen due to the bee incident. It did not happen today because it is laundry and chore day and was too warm by the time I was done with everything else to do any weeding. But one of the nice things about taking extra days for a long weekend is that it isn’t over yet. Tomorrow morning there are no chores or errands planned so directly after breakfast it is out into the garden until it is too hot or I am too tired or hungry.

The forecast for the week promises a return of heat and humidty, not like the heatwave of a couple weeks ago, but hot and humid enough to be steamy and generally uncomfortable outdoors. The garden will love it. I will not. The chickens will get more popsicles. Tuesday evening is National Night Out so we will spend a bit of social time with our neighbors at a block party just down the street. Maybe Bookman can come up with a potluck dish of beans from the garden. Or we will just bring cookies like we did last year.