Hot Peppers

Got past the urologist unscathed. The regular annual checkup is next month and I’m pretty sure nothing’s going on that an occasional glass of red wine won’t cure. George ended up with two operations but seems to be doing fine. The first operation removed the old pacemaker, hopefully all the surrounding infection, and attached the new pacemaker for external operation. Two days later the second operation installed the new device on the other side of his chest. He should be released early this week. So what started out as a simple checkup, ended up being a 10 day hospital stay and a couple of operations.

Still picking lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers and the whole garden remains almost bug free. The jalapenos are particularly nice this year – bigger and more deeply colored than I’ve ever seen. I’m not doing anything differently and suspect that the March freeze we got knocked the critters for a loop. Usually by mid June, we are splitting the harvest with a variety of worms, caterpillars, and leaf eaters but this year they are virtually non existent, at least so far. I’ve seen way more Cardinals flitting around but to the best of my knowledge, they don’t eat bugs. What I’ve noticed is that usually by early May, the garden is alive with small white and yellow butterflies along with the standard monarchs or other black winged varieties and that by late May, the little green or black caterpillars are making their marks eating through the garden. And there’s usually some kind of wasp flitting around that lays eggs in the cucumbers so the larva wakes up in a food hall. This year, very few butterflies and, sure enough, no caterpillars. I’m going out on a limb and planting some pole beans and new cucumbers along the new trellis. I would never expect anything from them prior to this year but maybe I can sneak in a bonus crop. All I’ve got to lose is a few seeds and self respect if fellow gardeners’ question my sanity. On the plus side, even if the veggies never materialize, I’ll get to try out the new trellis before the fall crop and see if any modifications are required.

jalapenos are extra special this year
jalapenos are extra special this year

The kitchen windowsill was full of ripe tomatoes so the first major batch of spaghetti sauce was constructed on Sunday. After that, tomatoes should be flowing in at a high rate – loads and loads of green tomatoes on the vines and once they start turning, it happens fast. We’re eating the cherries as fast as we pick them so they won’t be contributing to the sauce pot. Last night Nancy made a pasta dish using shrimp, corn off the cob, and cherry tomatoes as the main ingredients. Delicious.

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