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August 1st, 2011

Lately, I’ve been trying to write, get #2 son ready for college, and experiencing a bunch of other things in my personal life that can be best described as a class 4 fecal hurricane.

But one of the spots of stability for the summer was going to be my vegetable garden.  In getting ready for the graduation party, earlier this summer, I forced #2 to weed and till a little patch of earth close to the house.  I figured, at the very least, it would look less like an abandoned property, when company came.

The first plan was to have flowers.  But then, it occurred to me that I can’t eat flowers.  At least, not all of them.  And I really like fresh vegetables.  Mixing a few of them (ok, a lot of them) into the flower garden could be seen as forward thinking and stylish.

I read an article in at the orthodontist’s office, while waiting for #1 to get rewired.  There were pictures of a cottage garden with vegetables mixed right in.  It looked classy.  And this is a really nice orthodontist’s office too.  The magazines are current.

So, I’ve got flowers, an assortment of peppers, a few beans and peas, one zucchini and one yellow squash.  There are also 2 potted cherry tomato plants and one potted eggplant.

It is August.  So far, I’ve had 10 cherry tomatoes, a handful of Hungarian wax peppers and 2 peapods.

This cannot be natural.

I understand that the tomatoes went south after being over watered, and then falling off the porch.  I hate tomatoes, so I don’t really mind.  But I have grown peppers before and do not remember it’s being particularly difficult.  The eggplant was showing promise, with one dark shiny fruit the size of a shooter marble.  And then, one day that disappeared, as did the few tomatoes left on the bush.

I am now keeping the egg plant inside, in the kitchen window, watering regularly and praying over a few sickly white fruits that are not yet up to chicken egg size.

And I do not have any zucchini.  I have enormous squash plants with huge leaves and lots of yellow blossoms.  I could have planted them as ornamental shrubs.  They are the only things strong enough to block out the weeds that usually grow in that spot.  But they have no vegetables.

But I do seem to have an unusually successful crop of chipmunks.  They are fat and glossy.  I also have a cat with a perpetual wheeze that is on a long course of antibiotics and may or may not have asthma.  He likes to sun himself on the porch just above this garden.  I have caught him, at least once, a scant two feet from a frightened chipmunk.  Mohawk’s eyes were closed, and I swear he was muttering “Don’t make me have to come down there.”

I have spent the last three weeks preparing little plates of amoxicillin laced smoked oysters for this cat and begging him to eat.  Why smoked oysters?

Because ice cream is not good for him.

I should be rubbing the medicine on the backs of the chipmunks and kicking Mo off the porch and into the garden.  Everyone in America has zucchinis to spare.  All I have is fat chipmunks.

Of course, every other author who is getting into self publishing seems to be picking up money in buckets right now.  And although my reviews are good, my sales are not.

I am beginning to suspect that Amazon is full of chipmunks.