Home and garden

Our bathroom renovation is about 98% finished. Pictures will follow as soon as we finish the last 2%, which is mostly caulking and cleaning. In the mean time I will be reveling in the very, very nearly done quality of the project.

For example, you can use the bathroom inside of our house now. And, you don’t even have to announce that you are going to be peeing so no one had better walk through the hallway unless they want an eyeful. Because we now have a toilet (that flushes!) in a room with a door (that closes!).

I have done my fair share of squatting in the woods, which I don’t mind too much when I am actually in the woods. And, I know that huge chunks of the world’s population would love to only have to walk next door to use indoor plumbing. But, oh glory, is it good to have rejoined the first world.

Now, though, I no longer have the excuses of travel and disruptive home improvements, and I am forced to admit that my garden is just not what is used to be. Partially, an entire month of high temperatures hovering in the upper 90’s low 100’s with almost no rain has taken it’s toll on the plants.

Mainly though, an entire month of brutal heat and travel and demanding projects has taken it’s toll on us. We water, but that’s about all we can stand to do, since even such a relatively undemanding task leaves us dripping sweat and covered in itchy insect bites.

So the weeds are mostly unchecked, and the fall crops are unplanted and the insects are unsquished. Squash bugs killed all of my squash except for a single volunteer pumpkin, which they are working very hard on right now.

Powdery mildew took out my purple podded pole beans (which were quite productive), and it is working on my scarlet runner beans (which flowered nicely, but never produced a single bean).

My cucumbers are barely hanging on for dear life and producing only the occasional misshapen fruit. A sad step down from giving them away and eating cucumber salads every night.

The peppers are all alive, but they look  wimpy and weak compared to my neighbor’s lush specimens. The dill went to seed and dried up, the rosemary died mysteriously and the parsley is looking sunburned.

Basically, the only thing we are harvesting in any quantity is tomatoes. Oh, and basil. Which, I have to admit, is pretty great, especially together. Unfortunately, most of my tomato plants seem to have some sort of wilt that is slowly strangling them. Luckily it doesn’t kill them outright, but it does seem to take a toll on tomato production.

I will have to have The Art Director take some pictures, so you can see the carnage for yourself.  Maybe the shame of posting pictures of an ugly garden will inspire me to get my act together and do some weeding/planting.

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