I am pretty grateful that we were spared once again from possible disaster from another hurricane. I enjoyed my day inside. I cut all the tops from my garlic and onions. I sorted them according to size and storage qualities. The hard-necked garlic should be used first. I admit it is my favorite. It has only four or six large cloves easily separated from the neck. The soft-neck varieties will last well into winter. Some folks like to braid the necks for an ornamental wall hanging to be cut as needed. I’m too lazy to bother but like the idea.
I did have one rather terrifying experience during last Sunday’s Big Blow. An extremely loud noise along with a huge orange flash surrounded my house as the power shut off. I feared electrocution in my own home. Others called in an explosion to 911. It seems a tree broke a line down the street, causing the problem in the pole outside my kitchen. I’ll never think of those electric lines the same way again. I wonder why we don’t bury them? It would be pleasing to the eye and would eliminate all the repair work during and after storms.
Irene wrecked havoc in the vegetable and flower beds. Sunflowers, zinnias, cornstalks, and amaranth took quite a beating. Those left standing had tattered leaves. Because we got so little rain some of the leaves actually looked burned.
Let me refresh your memories about Hurricane Bob. He, too, brought us a scant amount of rain. The vegetation was left looking as if it had been through a hard freeze. The salt wind took its toll. Lilacs and azaleas actually bloomed in October that year. Guess they thought spring had arrived early.
I wandered around feeling sad for awhile on Monday. It didn’t last long. I rummaged in my freezer for the last of a 50-pound bag of field peas. I tossed them heavily into beds still empty from onion and garlic harvests. They improve the soil as does winter rye. They have the added attraction of producing pea shoots in a few weeks. My family is quite fond of them. We have them raw in salads or quickly sautéed with garlic as a side dish.
I am finally getting some tomatoes. It would have been helpful had I weeded and/or staked them. Those ripening on the ground were eaten by voles. I used two boxes of Juicy Fruit gum with, I believe, some success. All the pieces have disappeared. I just unwrapped and tossed.
My second planting of green beans is producing. It’s a good thing since all the Kentucky Wonder pole beans were ruined in the storm.
It was sad to see all the pears on the street going into Vineyard Haven. They simply could not hold on during Irene. There were hundreds. My friend Sharlee and I try to haul out the cider press every year. We scrounge around for apples that aren’t necessarily perfect for eating. One year we used pears. The resulting cider was really delicious. Sharlee has a large press that is well over 100 years old. It takes a bushel of apples at a time. You may have seen one at an antique store. They are the model for the newer ones. I have one purchased from a store that serves the Amish. It is half size and not nearly as pretty.
Speaking of the Amish, they are notorious for producing puppies which often end up in kill shelters. I was told this fact this past week by a woman who arranged my adoption of five-year-old beagle mixed breed, Lucille. My ancient dog, Jackson, has a new lease on life with his new “girlfriend.” He actually jumped in the truck without my assistance for the first time in a couple years. Lucille is a sweet little dog. I have closed the door on ever getting another puppy — too much work! Also, as I age my dogs get smaller.
Between Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann, it is a banner year for political cartoonists. The people at fact check will be working overtime. Rick Perry keeps bragging about job creation in Texas (8.4 per cent unemployment). He says it’s because there is no state income tax. Oddly, Governor, North Dakota has state income tax and enjoys a three per cent rate of unemployment.
I can’t wait for the $2 per gallon gas price promised by Ms. Bachmann!