This Week’s Old-Fashioned Pleasures August 3, 2018

“Week” is kind of generous…let’s call it “this summer’s old-fashioned pleasures” since these pictures go back a bit.

  1. Lakes
    From walking along the Big Lake (Michigan) to swimming and boating on smaller lakes, this has been a watery summer. I took this picture of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline on a particularly idyllic day at Montrose Harbor in July. 
    Lake Michigan and Chicago skyline viewed from Montrose Harbor
  2. Gardens
    My little victory garden plot is doing well so far.  This is the first year I’ve harvested more than one cucumber, but squash is still a bust. Here’s a sunflower that grew from a seed I started in March, finally showing her face.

    Sunflower with unfurling petals.
    This sunflower is peeking out from behind her fingers.


  3. The Loop
    A new gig has taken me downtown more often this summer, which allows for old signage sightings like this one.
  4. Monarch Butterflies
    I’ve seen more milkweed than ever in my neighborhood, and this year, that seemed to directly correlate to an uptick in monarch butterfly sightings. There were at least three in the community garden the day I took this picture, and I was seeing at least one a day for a while.
  5. Midwestern Goodness
    The middle of the country gets a lot of flack, sometimes for justifiable reasons, but look at this landscape. Summer in the midwest means wildflowers, and sunshine,  and cherries, and living outside, and birdwatching, and jumping into lakes. It means nature trails, and red-hot pavement, and sliced melon from the fruit stand, and the bells ringing on the ice cream carts. It’s a good place to be in the summer. 

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Victory Garden: In the Garden!

Saturday was opening day at the Peterson Garden Project.

photo (1)
“Woman with Onions” sounds like a Renaissance painting.

Saturday was rainy and cold, and still, I was excited.

The day began with a work day. I helped weed around the fence, and place welcome signs in the new gardeners’ plots (including mine!), and weeding and picking up trash around the fence. My plot came with a surprise–onions! Leftover from last year, they’re tall and fragrant and lovely.

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What to Grow in a Historically Accurate Victory Garden


Since my last post, I’ve done a little research on varieties of seeds available during WWII, for the utmost historical accuracy. I anticipated this being a research hunt of epic proportions, leading to visiting museums and calling people on the phone, and analyzing photographs of gardens.

It was much, much easier.

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