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As planned last weekend, I did a lot of garden work. On Sunday, I spent seven hours in the garden mostly doing container planting. But somehow, I also managed to get poison ivy on the inside of two fingers on my right hand when I touched something in one of the gardens. It is cross-eyed painful and has made typing pretty challenging. I will do a product shout-out here. Zanfel really works; I should have remembered this and bought it as soon as I was infected. Actually, I should just buy it at the start of every season since I am so allergic!

Right on schedule, the peonies are bursting their blossoms. And of course, also on schedule, just as the early blooms came out, we had a forecast of severe thunderstorms. So I raced out to the garden and clipped enough for three bouquets before they became petals on the patio. You can see them above. Also, we inherited a peony plant from my mother-in-law’s garden, and this summer it bloomed with a lovely yellow flower. Years ago, my mom and I spent a lovely afternoon at Peony's Envy in Bernardsville, NJ, where they had some stunning species of peonies. It made for a wonderful memory.

These last couple of years, I have not spent much time in New York City. Since we closed our office and went remote, there has not been much reason to be there. Events on Wednesday night and the next two weeks are more the exception rather than the rule.

There was a cocktail party on Wednesday night for Paula Hawkins to celebrate her forthcoming thriller, THE BLUE HOUR, which will be out on October 29th. It was held in a private book-lined room at the Whitley Hotel, which was just perfect. Amusingly, many of us dressed on point in various shades of blue. I loved that fashion moment in publishing and coveted Paula’s dress.

My husband texted our younger son the other day to remind him that Mother’s Day is Sunday. He wrote back, “I will forget the Alamo then. I only have so much that I can remember.” This is classic Cory and so indicative of his wry humor.

For years, I shared Mother’s Day with my mother and my mother-in-law. Two years ago was the last time I celebrated with them both. I am much better at celebrating others than being celebrated. When asked what I want for dinner or what I would like to do for the day, I typically overthink it and come up with nothing. For the latter, I would love a day of reading in peace. The weather does not look like it will cooperate with reading on the deck or poolside. For the menu, I found a few recipes in the New York Times last weekend that look interesting. We shall see!

I am trying to remember how I juggled multiple assignments when I was in college. I have a number of books to read that are May and June releases --- and many authors who I would like to interview. I am going to resort to my shelving system that is not by color or genre, but by release date. And I will read in order, which reminds me of a class I took where we read a book a week, discussed it and wrote a paper about it. I will follow my shelves like the syllabus for that class.