Cucuzza Decides

After last year’s bountiful cucuzza harvest and part-time laugh riot, (a portion of which still remain high in an unnamed pecan tree), I decided I would skip planting the tasty giant Italian squash/gourd this year. For one thing, I was pretty much out of garden space – and cucuzza can take up your entire garden.

It turns out, however, that once you begin a relationship with cucuzza, you forfeit the right to decide. Cucuzza decides.

I was walking around the backyard in late June shortly after a downpour, when I noticed a very familiar young seedling growing up through the St. Augustine grass near the center of the yard. It was cucuzza. OK, I thought. So I pulled the grass from around the plant, then stuck a tomato cage over the top so the dogs would have at least a little difficulty before destroying it.

The didn’t destroy it. But how, I wondered, can I get the vine to grow up off of the ground so that I can still mow (and use) the lawn, and so the fruit will not rot in the grass? Two fence posts and a couple of lengths of rope later…

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Posted in Food, Garden, Nature, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be

The Blue Ridge

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I finally put together a new gallery from our trip to Asheville, North Carolina earlier this summer. Asheville is a great little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with an abundance of recreational possibilities, and a thriving arts community. We stayed just out of town in a vacation home overlooking the mountains and, as the entire month of August here in Texas has consisted of identical days hovering around 100 degrees without precipitation, I have thought fondly and often of the cool misty woods and mountains we enjoyed during our stay. Check out the new images here.

Posted in Photography

Get This Out Of My System

God knows I have come to hate politics, but here we go again.

It doesn’t matter if you personally dislike Hillary Clinton, because in your heart of hearts you have to admit that she is capable of serving as Chief Operating Officer of the United States without tearing the country and its people apart figuratively or blowing nuclear holes in the globe literally.

And in your heart of hearts, you know the same cannot be said of this guy:

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I’ve already called out Trump once, so my conscience is clear on that count. And even though I am aware I am essentially without influence, I just feel obliged, after watching what this guy has done over the past few days, to take this opportunity to urge people to vote in November. Don’t consider it voting for Mrs. Clinton, if that really is so objectionable to you. But for the sake of our country, cast aside mere political party partisanship and vote against Donald Trump.

The world will thank you for it later.

Posted in Politics

Anybody Home?

Wow, no one’s been here for weeks and the places is full of cobwebs and stacks of junk mail. Sorry about that. Let me move these papers out of the way, have a seat, I’ll get you something to drink.

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We came through the flood merely inconvenienced – yards and a shed full of mud, the tomato garden and fig harvests pretty well ruined – but it was and remains painful to watch as neighbors up and down the street haul their damaged furniture, carpet, appliances and rotting wallboard out onto the curb. Giant garbage trucks with attached metal grabbers were on patrol for weeks, lifting the roadside refuse and hauling it out.

Our house, and those of about 12 adjoining neighbors, sit high enough on the banks that even this last historic river flood failed to seep into our homes. However, dozens of other housess and trailers suffered damage of varying severity, with some taking on as much as 7 feet of water. Whether the owners can rebuild, and how they go about doing so, is in the hands of city inspectors or, outside city limits, in the hands of Federal Emergency Management Administration officials. You do what you can to help, but recovering from a disaster like this one is beyond individual effort. Great sustained work by volunteer organizations and government agencies all have helped, but I suspect the neighborhood never will be the same.

Long before the flood, we’d scheduled a vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, which provided some welcome relief and perspective. We rented a home for a week, in the mountains outside Asheville, and rested in cool breezes and the hot tub in between trips to the city’s excellent restaurants and arts community and parks and street performers.

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Now I’m back slogging through the Texas steam-heat, rebuilding the gardens here and repairing the watering system at the farm, where parched rodents or rabbits have taken to gnawing holes in my plastic irrigation tubes in search of water.

Soon, very soon, I’ll haul out a few of the Asheville photos for a new gallery, and give the place a good dusting. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Brazos River, Family, Travel