Tag Archives: Vegetable garden

Lawn Mowing and Weed-Eating are Coming to a Halt

It’s getting to be that time of year in my part of the country, where the leaves change colors, falling off the trees, save for evergreens. Vegetable gardens cease producing items such as: tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, melons, and numerous varieties of peppers unsuitable for anything other than warm weather. Lawn mowing and weed-eating are coming to a halt. Wild and man-cultivated vegetation become dormant.

One bounty we’re able to plunder is root vegetables: beets, carrots, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and onions, along with a few hearty above ground vegetables (peas, kale, leeks, and collards.)

With a little work, we can keep home-grown produce coming in, pretty much all year long.

Unless you make your living in landscaping, isn’t it nice to know you have a seven or so month pardon from using a lawn mower or handling a weed-eater?

Of course, there’s always raking leaves or snow-blowing that will need doing . . . I guess there’s no end after all, but aren’t we blessed to have a yard to mow, walkways to shovel, and driveways to blow?

Take good care and enjoy God’s blessings. They’re everywhere!

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I Acquired my Love for Hot Peppers from My Grandfather

We are approaching the time to begin planting our summer vegetable gardens. I remember as a young fella spending summers in the dirt with my grandfather. We would plant everything from Asparagus to Zucchini to Hot Peppers.

As a matter of fact, I acquired my love for Hot Peppers from my Grandfather. Every year we had a bumper crop of Cayenne Peppers, which is still my favorite Pepper today. Coming in at 30,000 Scoville units, they’re about as hot as I want to get.

How I came to love the oil that gave Hot Peppers their sting (capsaicin) is a funny but painful story. When but a toddler, during a cookout, I happened to notice a bright red long thing sitting among the food. It looked pretty good to me, so it was an easy matter to grab and insert it into my mouth. The next ten or so minutes were excruciating for a little one such as I. Once the pain subsided, my love affair with “hurts so good” had begun. It seems eating hot peppers releases endorphins in the brain which is why pepper lovers seem a bit masochistic

After us men had toiled for months to produce the crop, my grandmother would work her fingers to the bone canning the summer’s harvest producing numerous jars of vegetables. The one thing I still cannot understand, is why do we put vegetables in jars and then call them canned?

Something to think about while you plan your Pepper crop.

Have a fantastic week, and may God bless!

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Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave When Sloppy Writing We Conceive

Have you ever written the ultimate scene so exciting that you found yourself on the edge of your seat until the story’s climax? Only now has your cardiac and respiratory functions begun to retugnomern to normal?

It doesn’t matter the genre or sub-genre you write in; whether a battle on the dying world of Kroth or a horse race where the underdog wins by a nose or maybe a heroine is rescued in the nick… no, in half the nick of time.

Or perhaps the garden gnomes smash the heads of all the cute and cuddly bunnies as the precious little cottontails methodically destroy each plant in turn. You may find this murderous rampage a bit over the top, but consider the family’s hard work as they toiled in their garden to provide food for the upcoming year. Now, because of the selfish cute and cuddly bunnies, mommy, daddy and all six children have nothing but dirt to eat. They’re separated and placed in foster homes around the world. Due to a strange turn of events, they are united 12.7 years later. They form a national chain of restaurants that serve cute and cuddly fricasseed bunny rabbit exclusively. The youngest girl shunned the cute and cuddly bunny rabbit restaurant business and became a mercenary. Her specialty: tracking poison dart frogs in South America and under the cover of darkness assassinating them with poison darts.

Once the excitement of that perfectly penned sequence is over; your heart is no longer pounding; and your respiration is at an acceptable level, you pick up where you left off.  It was at this point that I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned this lesson because I did something really stupid. Through three-quarters of the book the pace was good, it kept your attention, it flowed well, had plenty of excitement and then it happened…that sudden attack of stupid.  The group of people I had just plunged into the muck and mire, through page after page of life-threatening situations, barely escaping by the skin of a scraped frog’s fang, emerged hardly unscathed, unbeaten and yes, victorious.

Then, I take these soldiers (male and female), chosen by God, while the reader is chomping at the bit for more action; the masses chanting (in my mind), “What next? What next? What next?

What next?” and I answer that question by taking these champions and placing them back on their safe ship (here’s where it gets really embarrassing) and have them talk over plans and make sandwiches.

Now, here’s where it gets really, really, unbelievably embarrassing. As ashamed as I am to share the details, I feel as though I must to prevent a travesty such as this from ever happening again.

These brave warriors talked and ate the aforementioned sandwiches for nearly 40 pages, and the sad part was that I didn’t realize what I was doing until it was, too, late. In all actuality, it was past, too, late. It had to be brought to my attention…Oh, if I could only flog myself.

My editor came close to having me committed, but settled for a complete psychiatric examination before allowing me to write another word.

Don’t let this become you. Oh, I know you’ve made mistakes, glommed up plots, destroyed story lines and shredded entire manuscripts just to achieve what physically equates to killing a character in the writing world.

I implore you to keep your characters in the moment. Don’t let that burly man slip away and slide into a pair of pantyhose. Crack the whip from the first word until the last.

And most importantly never forget that friends don’t let friends write stupid.

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