I love rain. Unless it is torrential or there is lightning. I can put on appropriate clothing and be outside. I never mind being wet. Last Sunday morning was simply lovely. A light rain and mist combination. The plant world was smiling. Once again I have compassion for the poor folks living in drought conditions throughout the world. Day after day of relentless sun would certainly take its toll on both nature and human. I could never live in Arizona. I am more the Seattle type.

I am planning and planting a fall garden. Hope springs eternal. I’ve had it with bugs. I pulled up my bean crop. These were Romanos. The beans were very “beany” and not very attractive. After pushing them around in the fridge for several days I was about to toss them to the hens. Hating to waste food, I opened a few and found them to be perfect shell beans. I sautéed with plenty of onion and some Nip ‘N’ Tuck breakfast sausage. Prudy is selling local meats at the renovated farm stand.

Back to the pathetic bean plants. They were covered with the disgusting yellow fuzzy larvae of the Mexican bean beetle. I put them into a covered trash barrel to cook in the hot sun. Then I covered the bed with some tar paper. Again I’m hoping for suffocation or death by roasting.

It does make me worry about produce purchased in the supermarket. How much poison was used in the production of that food?

On the job sites we have been dead-heading the hydrangeas like crazy. The Annabelles have collapsed from the sheer weight of their blossoms. The blue ones have faded and dried in an unpleasing fashion. The Endless Summer variety will continue to bloom but the old fashioned Niko Blues will not. All varieties need quite a bit of watering, hence the name “hydra.” They all look pretty sad at midday. Soaker hoses are a good invention.

Received a call from Cynthia Aguilar. She was answering my question about the women with the neck rings. It seems I was correct. They are from the Padaung tribe in Burma. Over 300,000 have fled into Thailand to escape the unstable political situation in Myanmar. Thanks, Cynthia!

The chicory and Queen Anne’s lace blooming right now are beautiful. They seem to be everywhere left alone by humans. There you have it. They are even pushing up in the cracks between Beach Road and the sea wall. The true blue of the chicory is a color found rarely in the plant world. Agapanthus and Plumbago are the only two I can recall. I am thinking of digging some for my own gardens. I have already left the early summer fleabane and the wild asters during the very infrequent weeding of my perennial beds.

I have finally started eating peppers. They haven’t ripened yet, but the green ones are large and thick-walled. I planted dozens of plants in a hoop house with the sides rolled up. Hopefully as the nights cool I will remember to roll the sides down and get a few more weeks to harvest.

Speaking of harvesting, every horizontal surface in the guest bedroom is covered with garlic and onions. In the past I have hauled them outside during the day to cure in the sun. Then they need to come back inside before the night air gets to them. I know some folks cure in the greenhouse. After several days the tops need to be removed and then leave a few more days to seal the wound before winter storage.

I’m fed up with politics in general. What’s the huge deal about the downgrade to the U.S. credit by Standard and Poors? If my personal credit score goes up or down, I still get to have my life. Then again, I actually try to live within my means. I’ll never understand (nor wish to) the workings of Wall Street. I get that people make money for nothing. Money makes money or whatever. I’ve said many times, the people getting screwed the most are the biggest supporters of Big Buck Republicans.

Please indulge me with one more weekly news comment. While it is incredibly sad to lose more fine men and women in the Afghanistan helicopter crash, why are we so surprised? War is hell. We’re at war, war kills men and rapes women and children. I admit I’m hesitant to leave those people at the mercy of the Taliban and I pity the President with his painful decisions. Is world peace ever possible?