Live and rarely learn. Once again my eggplants and peppers were started too late in the spring and did not get into the ground in a timely fashion. Now that the days have shortened and cooled there is not much hope for them. It is a pity because the plant is just beautiful and covered with blossoms. Unless it is hot until Thanksgiving I doubt that I will harvest more than a few fruits. I did pick enough the other day to sauté with some leeks, basil, cherry tomatoes, a touch of balsamic vinegar and tons of olive oil. I put the mixture on a thin Boboli bread and finished in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Yummy! Eggplant requires lots of olive oil. It keeps soaking it up. It also absorbs oil in the digestive tract and moves it along. Cool, huh?

The only peppers which amounted to anything were my cayennes. Who cares? I am not fond of them. They are beautiful in arrangements but I’m a wimp about eating them in quantity. One handy hint form the late Marsha Campbell — a quick cure for diarrhea is one cup of plain yoghurt with 1/4 teaspoon of dried cayenne pepper. It tastes remarkably like ranch salad dressing and really works.

Last week I was irritated because one of my customer’s dogs tore up the entire dahlia bed. Not my dog — such a good boy! When cleaning up all the ruined stalks I discovered that all the tubers were simply gone. Then I found several mouse nests and tunnels under ground. I know that mice will eat the tubers during winter storage but have never had them do it during the growing season. I had to forgive the dog. He was simply on duty. I have a few barn cats on my property so mice have never been a problem in the beds. One year rats and mice nibbled the portion of beets above ground. I have plenty of rodent stories at the ready but am loathe to share because of the possible delicate nature of my readers.

Big doings at the Baptist Church next Saturday, Oct. 10. In conjunction with the weekly homegrown farmers’ market and bake sale there will be a yard/rummage sale. Plan to attend. Some of the proceeds will help in the restoration of the beautiful stained glass window on the Spring street side of the church building. It is a real work of art and an addition to the beauty of our town.

The green beans I planted just over six weeks ago have begun producing. I was able to coax another canner load of dilly beans. My new planting of dill had not formed heads but I used the fern instead.

In the perennial border I have been taking up monarda and Goldsturm rudbeckia. They both are quite aggressive and can be moved around and given to friends. I love the raspberry wine monarda. It is a blue-purple-red and fits with pastels better than the fire-engine red Jacob Cline. Monarda is the flavoring in Earl Grey tea, also known as bergamot or oswego tea. It is a member of the mint family.

How about Sarah Palin in Hong Kong? Now I recall that when the Dixie Chicks disrespected the sitting president George Bush there was quite a backlash from the conservative right. We’re talking cd burnings here! Fox News, aka Faux News, seems to agree with the former Alaskan governor in her remarks about President Obama. I find her to be just plain lazy. It was too much to finish her term as governor. She couldn’t be bothered to do a bit of homework on foreign policy to run for the vice presidency. She never seems to actually take care of her children but just tells everyone else how to do it. It is frightening to live in a country that values lies and ignorance more than reasonable discourse and actual facts.