Monday, August 17, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Joey, Joey
Not so showey.
How does your garden grow?

With this much rain

And forecast sun...
Maybe more will come up in the row?

Here it is past the middle of August, and I’m still waiting for some of my sweet peas to poke through the ground.

Ever the optimist, I guess…

The ones that came early are finally starting to bloom.

And, joy of joys, the lavatera is blooming, too.
We’ve been enjoying garden produce in every meal. Potatoes, beets, peas, carrots, lettuce, onions, Swiss chard and spinach. And LOTS OF ZUCCHINI!

Of course there is always an abundance of that. So far, I’ve used it in stir fries, salad, casseroles and muffins.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to give zucchini away? Everyone has lots of their own.

Several years ago, I enjoyed a 4-H speech on this wondrous vegetable. The speaker had several strategies for getting rid of zucchini. The only one I recall is, “Take it to church and after the service starts, put one in every vehicle. This works best if you attend a church with a large, trusting congregation. Large because you’ll need a lot of cars – Trusting because they have to leave the cars unlocked.”

Hmmm…might have to try that next weekend….

In the meanwhile, I hope your summer is going well…

By the way, how are you fixed for zucchini? What church did you say you attend?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I can’t believe I did it again. How many times do I have to experience the same unpleasant outcome before I learn??

If you share this type of learning disability (the utter disregard for all the behaviourist theories ever written), read on…

This one started with a quick trip to a nearby city. He had to get machinery parts; I had a few errands to run, and offered to pick up a shirt for him to wear to a wedding the next day.

“What size should I buy?” I questioned.

He responded without hesitation, “Extra Large Tall.”

I didn’t believe him. “I’m sure it’s not ‘Tall’. The sleeves would be too long.”

He assured me that he knew what size he last purchased.

I assured him I would have noticed when pressing his shirts.

As certain as I was, I took him up in his offer of, “Betcha”.

“How much do you have?” he queried.

“Five bucks,” was my response. (I would really enjoy a Caramel Macchiato while at the mall. And with an extra $5.00, I might even make it a Venti.)

This was followed by the ritual handshake -- the official and solemn clincher to a bet.

“Okay,” he replied, as he turned up the tag in the back of his shirt.

Sure enough, there it was. ‘XLT’ (and the sleeves were not too long).

“Well,” I calmly told him as I reached for my wallet, “They obviously made some mistake on the tag, but you go ahead and enjoy a cappuccino on me.”

“You know what PT Barnum said,” he replied as he quickly bolted before my elbow collided with his ribs.

“Yeah, yeah – There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Why or why don’t I learn??

It all began in the early years of our marriage, over a badminton match.

I’d played all winter and had done pretty well in our adult badminton club.

He claimed he’d gone to ‘zones’ in Junior High.

I said, “Junior High was a long time ago.”


I agreed to wager the first paycheque from my new job.

He was better than I thought.

Goodbye paycheque.

Then there was the time I noticed a neon cross on a church. “How odd,” I commented.

To which he replied, “Oh, neon crosses are very common.”

“No way, only here, only one,” I knowingly assured him.

He pushed out his hand in an offer to shake mine and uttered that dreadful word, “Betcha.”

“You’re on.” I shook the hand. Then he turned my head 45 degrees to the left where I saw not one, but TWO other neon crosses.

You’d think I’d learn…

Apparently not…

Last year, I was very sure about the name of a vehicle I’d seen and considered buying. “Have you seen the new Focus?” I asked.

“A Ford? I thought you wanted an SUV,”

“No, it’s a Jeep. And it is an SUV,” I said.

“Then it’s not a Focus,” he replied in his ‘teetering on expert’ tone.

“I’m sure it was called Focus. I can still see the letters on the back of the vehicle in my mind’s eye.”

“Betcha,” was his response.

“A million dollars,” I agreed.

(Short note to the reader: Unless the bets are $5 or less, I don’t pay. So the ‘million dollars’ I offered, was simply an indication of my certainty of being right – not a foolish risk that might result in my having to actually pay that enormous sum.)

An interested hotel desk clerk overhead our conversation, so I included him in the discussion.

He awkwardly offered, “Do you mean the Jeep Compass?”


“Well, I knew it ended in the ‘s’ sound,” I sheepishly replied (a desperate effort to nurse my wounded pride.

Dear reader: I bet (I mean I suppose) you’re wondering if I’ve ever won a bet with this guy.

I am happy to say that I have. However, he denies it, so I’m still waiting for my thousand dollars.

He thought Lou Ferigno had a Brooklyn accent. I said he had a hearing loss. I know I’m right, but until I provide ‘proof’ he’s holding on to the cash.

Note to self: The next time he offers his hand along with that little word, “Betcha”, keep your hand to yourself and keep quiet. Unless, of course, you are really, really sure. If you are really, really sure, make a noble effort to recover all your losses.