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Our Late Summer Blues

We've been going through a bit of a rough time, Terri and I.  It seems as soon as summer hit, the whole world flipped upside down and we've been trying to set it right again ever since.  

If you've been following along at all, you know about Terri's recent diagnosis with eosinophilic esophagitis. This revealed such a slew of food allergies that just learning how to work around those things which she can no longer eat has had my dear foodie friend temporarily stumped.  We've had some close calls, too.  The most recent episode required the use of her now mandatory EpiPen and my rushing my friend to the nearest hospital.  We got there fine, the EpiPen did it's job, and the doctors seemed to know how to handle it all. Still... there's nothing fun about sitting in an office bathroom, watching your friend shudder uncontrollably and gag repeatedly, trying to keep her throat from closing up on her.  We tried liquid Benadryl, which did nothing, and finally decided on the pen, which she employed herself.  I feel a little guilty about that.  I was hesitant to stab her and I think she could see it in my face, even through her suffering, without me saying a thing.  If it happens again, Terri, I promise not to be too scared if I know it will save your life.  I won't say I'll like it, but I will do what needs to be done, I swear.  

In my world (the part of it that doesn't directly include Terri), time has been swallowed up by home renovations and trying to keep my garden from dying a sad, crispy death.  It's been a long, hot, exhausting haul, feeling always behind the 8 ball and dragging my sore, sorry ass to work with a groan every Monday after the weekend's work.  To say it's been hot is, as I'm sure most of you know, the understatement of the century.  We're at nearly 30 consecutive days of over 100 degree weather, and there's no sign of it ending anytime soon. 

Okay, maybe not THIS hot, but still...
Fight as we may, there have been a few casualties in the garden, though much fewer than we would have expected.  The tomatoes, for instance, are a topic of constant discussion lately.  People in our area are reporting that their tomato plants, while green, strong, and full of flowers, are bearing little to no fruit, and we are no exception.  One theory is that the excessive heat is causing the flowers to drop off without ever being pollinated.  I don't know.  That might be it.  All I know is, we've got over 30 tomato plants and the only ones producing with any fervor are the cherry tomatoes.  From the rest, I believe we've gotten a total of three tomatoes so far.  Maybe we're all just impatient and maybe the tomatoes will wow us in weeks to come.  I hope.  All I can do is hope...

Our other casualties, the onions, were victims of friendly fire.  We got a soaker hose, you see, to fight the heat and lack of rain, and this has done wonderfully well for most of our plants.  But, while the onions' tops looked lush and healthy, we discovered one day that the roots...the onions...were rotting.  In a panic, we pulled them all up and salvaged as many as we could.  Onions, apparently, do not like wet fee.  Sigh.  Live and learn.

All in all, as hot as it's been, and as little time as I've had to tend to the garden properly, the rest of the plants are doing well.  The sweet potato vines, of course, are in absolute heaven, since they like it hot--the hotter the better, I hear.  And we've even managed to start a late Three Sisters patch that is thriving under our nightly rainmaking ritual.  We planted corn, green beans, and pumpkins (big carvers and little sugar pie pumpkins) a couple of weeks ago, and I was so afraid that the scorching sun would kill our darlings.  But the nightly watering seems to be working.  The seedlings have all sprouted, big and strong, looking like they could take over the world.  That's one recent delight I am glad to have experienced.  Nothing brightens a tired heart like watching your babies grow.  

There have been a few more spots of joy in this long stretch of days...  

We recently learned that our favorite Garden Variety Mama is expecting a little one of her own.  We are so thrilled for you, GVM, and wish you a healthy, happy pregnancy.

Also, rumor has it that this very same bloggeress, GVM, will be getting her kraut on any day now.  We hope to see posts on her fermenting adventures soon.

Our kraut finished fermenting a week and a half ago (July 11), though the evil time-vacuum prevented me from posting about the blessed event.  Terri received a jar, which she devoured in no time flat, and I've got a jar and half left in the fridge.  At this rate, I'd better get krauting again soon!  

There will be more recipes to come, fellow devourers, we promise you that.  We thank you for your patience, we love you for your support, and we respect you for sticking it out with us.  You're all troopers, you know. When the world outside threatens to incinerate all your best laid plans, and your foodie world has changed the rules of the game without warning or apology, it's good to know you're not alone...and that this, too, shall pass.  

~ Angela

MrsSpock  – (July 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM)  

Oh wow- scary to have to employ the Epipen! We've had the same heatwave in Ohio, and have heard similar things about tomato crops.

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