Well, I may have to rake my yard after all. I'm not sure my lawn mower will be able to mulch a carpet of leaves that is a good four inches deep. Poo. But that's a story for another day.
Today I will first tell you about my Dr. Seuss tree. That's what Kathy calls it, and the name fits. Here's a picture from earlier this summer.
See how it's all sticks at the top and leafy at the bottom? The sticks are leftover from last year. It was just sticks until end of June and I thought the wickedly cold winter had killed the whole tree. No buds, no nothin'. Then it started to leaf out at the bottom. Here's another picture with a poodle for scale.
Those new sticks grew over a foot every week. And the leaves? Whoa.
THAT picture is from late July. The previous owners called this an Elephant Ear tree, so I googled that and now I think it may be a paulownia tomentosa which, according to wikipedia, is the fastest-growing tree in the world. Mine didn't have any flowers or any fruit, so maybe I have mis-diagnosed its species, but there were images online that look just like this one. Look it up and let me know if you agree. Here's a picture from mid-August.
The leafy sticks didn't grow as tall as last year's sticks, but those leaves were ginormous. They still are. We had a hard frost ... early last week? It wrecked some of the top leaves, but the rest are still huge and green. I would run outside and take a picture, but it's almost midnight and although the moon (bella luna!) is one day from being full, there's still not enough light.
So now let's talk Crime Rib. Remember my friend Leslie's first mystery novel that was published last summer? Crime Rib is the second in the series. And remember how I begged Leslie to kill me off in one of her books? Crime Rib is where that doesn't happen. HA! But I DO get introduced as a character. I don't have my copy of the book in front of me because my mom borrowed it and now it is working its way through her bridge ladies (or her tennis ladies, I can't remember). So here is the bookmark Leslie sent me with the book.
Now, there are SO MANY things to be excited about with this book. First, an aside to Leslie: I forgot to tell you that over the 4th of July weekend when I was in Connecticut with family, I was talking books with my cousin Jennifer who is a manager or an assistant manager at a Barnes & Noble somewhere in Connecticut. I told her about Crime Rib and she said, "I know that book - I just shelved it yesterday!"
Okay, next, go here and take advantage of the "look inside" feature. (Not that I want you to buy the book at Amazon - I would rather you find a local independent bookseller and support them. In fact, buy seven copies from your local independent bookseller. Just because.) So anyway, scroll down to the cast of characters. I'll wait.
Who did you see? I'll give you a hint, in case you were too lazy to hit that one hotlink and do the work yourself. IT'S ME! Leslie named the character after me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! She is awesome. And I am famous.
So next click on THIS link and read the article in The Missoulian. Seriously. Do it.
HAHAHAHAHA! Famous again.
Now, follow YET ANOTHER link to Leslie's blog, and click on the link SHE has in that post. Not to spoil the surprise or anything, BUT I'M SO FAMOUS!
Rock and roll.
When I read Crime Rib this summer there was one spot in the book where Christine is described as wearing dorky black glasses and I thought, "Hey! I've got dorky black glasses." Refer back to my selfie with minion from the other day. Then in another spot Christine was wearing purple glasses and I thought, "HEY! I've got purple glasses!" Refer to selfie below.
It's crazy being famous. I can't wait until the third book comes out next year. I would say it is tragic that I have to wait that long, but in reality it just means I get to have my 15 minutes of fame all over again. Awe. Some.
Speaking of minions, if you're my friend on Facebook you've already seen my new minion.
That's my girl. Minion goggles. Or doggles, as the case may be.