The daylilies are blooming beside the creek. The petals of this lovely hybrid remind me of peach-pink taffeta. If they remind you of salad, that's okay too: the petals are edible, either fresh or dried. And yes, they do make a lovely addition to a fresh green salad. The buds are edible too. Harvest them while they're green and firm and steam, boil, or stir-fry them. Or pickle them, if that takes your fancy. (Some people are allergic: if this is a new food for you, snack first to see how your system responds.)
In the West, daylilies never quite caught on, medicinally speaking. But in the East, in China and Japan, they have been used for centuries as a diuretic, and for urinary tract disorders, uterine bleeding, vaginal yeast infections--also to treat cancer. The next time you meet a daylily, remember that she's not just a pretty face. Treat her with respect.
Book report. Still chugging along on my current work-in-progress, The General's Women. This is a long book: about 120,000 words. That's some 40% longer than my usual mysteries--but understandable, since there's so much more to cover. I enjoy digging deep into a time period and a place--and this novel involves plenty of both. It covers the time period of America's engagement in WW II: 1942-1945, as well as the post-war lives of the three main characters: Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and Kay Summersby (Ike's WW2 driver). It is set in Washington, London, Algeria and Tunisia, and Europe. There's a wealth of resource material, of course. For me, the big challenge is pulling it all together into a coherent story that focuses on the emotional lives of the characters within a fascinating historical setting. I've been doing some chapter restructuring this week--hope to be finished with this run-through by the end of June. I'll make another, cleanup pass in July.
Reading note: I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.--Brenda Ueland