We had this glow sand instead of fireworks for our cookout last week. It started out as an art project that escalated into a sand fight. It was much prettier in person.

Last week the pruning knife and pocket knife for Charles came in the mail. Charles liked both knives and I mentioned to Matt that he would almost like a collection of knives. Matt's brother also collects knives, but of a different sort. Seth likes knives that look dangerous, combat knives. Charles likes knives that are utilitarian, beautiful, and have a bit of history. His knife is a magnum by Boker. You can find the history on Boker here. It is a quality knife that can hold a fine edge, the bolsters are engraved, and the Damascus blade is ornate and uses a technique that was used for over a thousand years. Of course you can't have a collection with just one knife. He has his eye on a katana.

The previous two Fridays there have been disturbing events in the news. July 13 two local girls have gone missing. After thousands of search volunteers and draining the lake they have come to an conclusion. They believe the were abducted, likely by a family member. I hope the girls are returned safe.

This past Friday there was something even more tragic on the news. A man walked into a midnight showing of Dark Knight and opened fire onto the crowded audience. My first thought was, " how did he get in there? Don't they secure the doors so they only open from the inside?" 

Then I started hearing the stories. Four out of the twelve dead died protecting their girl friends. One woman had been a survivor of a previous shooting. Then there were the parents with their children, including a three month old. It is bad enough, the sudden confusion and terror you feel when when something like this happens, but I can't imagine the horror when you realize your loved one is in danger too. The stories of those four boyfriends and the father with the infant who cradled his son in his arms who dove to the floor and crawled to safety drive that home for me. 

If this story was disturbing enough their have been others who have used the story to intimidate others in other showing and another man who was arrested on the way to kill his boss, he claimed to be inspired by the shootings. My heart breaks for the familys and victims. 
I picked some vegetables saturday. As I had a bunch of tiny potatoes and a few small carrots and onions I made a vegetable soup at Becky's. Ruben loved it, he is really getting into trying things from the garden. Ramon started to help make the soup , but missed out on tasting it as he was busy playing video games. 

I decided to try something different with the beets. I made a cold borscht soup. The reviews were not so great. I still have a mess of greens that I plan to saute with onions. 

I still have three potato plants, beets, herbs, onions, and the tomatoes are just getting started. I also have a cucumber plant, but am not sure if it will produce. I added the seeds after pulling what turned out to be false strawberry. 

Previously, I have gotten a handful of strawberries from my hanging plants ,but none from the herb barrel. The radishes did well and the carrots moderately well. Next year plant more, I ended up sharing more than I had planned. 

As of last week we are in severe drought conditions, as shown here. Luckily I have a small garden and am able to water frequently. Still some of my plants have suffered. Mainly the daylily, the popcorn, and the drought sensitive fushia. The fushia was so pretty when I first bought it. Now it looks almost dead. I think I am going to try perking it up by setting the pot in a tub of water then transplanting in the side bed near the bleeding hearts.

The farmers have fared worse then me, however. They are not able to water on such a large scale. My favorite sweet corn seller has not been out this year and only time will tell how the seed and grain corn shortage will effect us. We did have rain sunday night, but it was too late for much of the corn production. The US has approved relief for corn growers and the price of corn has gone up.