Cucumber experiment

I am once again a temporary bachelor. Nancy is making her trek to Utah for heavy duty bridge, quilting and yakkety yak. I don’t have anything special planned but one thing I don’t have to worry about is eating. Nancy stuffs the refrigerator with leftovers and does everything but place a post-it note on each to make sure I eat them on the proper date and at the proper time. My job is to make sure they’re all gone by the time she gets back, one way or the other. I made sure we had finished all the normal Netflix selections so that my special blend starts arriving today. I’ll breeze through season 2 of Deadwood and maybe a couple of Tarantino movies. Other than that, just tend the garden and double down on the fishing. Tough, but I think I can deal with it. I did have a bachelor party the other night with John Bachmann and my neighbor Rick. We grilled wings, burgers and put away a few libations. The dancing girls never showed up and my 90 year old neighbor, Mae, wouldn’t sub.

While on the garden – holy cow, I’ve created a grape tomato monster. I mentioned earlier that the plants were growing bigger and bigger and now they’re loading up with grape tomatoes. I’ve been pretty much a bust at growing regular tomatoes this year but I’m making up for it with grapes. Thinking ahead, how about sprinkling grape tomatoes on my cereal instead of strawberries; grape tomato wraps for lunch; sauteed grape tomatoes and eggplant as a main dinner entree; a vanilla ice cream and tomato sundae. OK, problem solved. By the time Nancy gets back my complexion will be somewhere between pink and red.

I’m in the midst of a cucumber experiment that could be a breakthrough. A couple weeks back Tom called and said he had accidentally broken off one of his cucumber plants right at the base. I sympathized with him and two days later did the exact same thing on one of my cucumbers. I decided to try something and took the broken piece inside into a cup full of water, wondering if perhaps it could root. It sure looked dead but never looked worse than in the first day and after a week, the tip perked up and actually looked alive. The rest of the leaves were green but dead looking and I expected they would eventually drop off. A couple did fall off but the majority held on. Now all of the leaves look alive, the tip is showing new growth and I can actually see roots growing. My plan is to plant it in potting soil on the screened porch to protect it from direct sunlight and, if it takes, transplant it in the garden to see if it will actually produce cucumbers.

I was really disappointed in one result from Tuesday’s elections – the mayor of Washington DC went down in flames. That means the school superintendent, Michelle Rhee, will be history as well. She was making great progress in turning around the worst public school system in the nation but stepped on union toes to do so. The folks in Washington deserve exactly what comes. I’m sure Ms. Rhee will have job offers galore to grab hold of failing school districts elsewhere.

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