No more Mrs. Nice Guy! I have had it with the voles in my vegetable garden. I have tried several deterrents for the little pests. Nothing has worked. The last straw has been finding every single paste tomato with at least one bite in it.

I marched myself down to the Animal Shelter and was fortunate to find two barn cats. They want to live outdoors and hunt small rodents. It was a match made in heaven. If you want a dog or cat in good health to fit your individual needs, the Animal Shelter at Pennywise Path is the place for you.

Since all the August-blooming perennials seem to have seen better days already, I am, once again, enamored by Snow Fairy caryopteris. It is the white and green variegated-leaf cultivar. It will be covered with small blue flowers in a few weeks. It is hardy in a drought, completely deer-resistant and reliably long-lived. I’ve had some for years. It can get quite large — three feet tall. Because it has a not-too-pleasing aroma and is hated by deer, I plant it next to some of their favorites like phlox and day lilies.

Last Friday’s Gazette had an article about hurricane preparedness. Just a word to the wise — find every plastic container, fill them three-quarters full with water and pack them into your freezer. Not only does the freezer work more efficiently, but if, heaven forbid, we lose power in a storm all those ice packs will keep your food for a few days. I always save my bleach bottles for this purpose. If things take a turn for the absolute worst, you could drink the water as the residue of chlorine would keep the bacteria from growing in that water. I might have made that up but it makes sense to me and it wouldn’t be the first time.

While on the subject, why do we find the need to buy bottled water? Our tap water is perfectly fine here. I fill several glass jars for the day. If you leave a plastic bottle of water in the hot sun or in the car, the bottle will off-gas chemicals into the water. Don’t forget that the case sat in hot delivery trucks coming from who knows where!

In the interest of never eating one’s seed corn, I sorted through my abundant garlic harvest. I separated out the biggest and best to plant for next year. I will wait until October or November to separate the cloves and plant them. They need to be treated like tulips or daffodils. Planted any earlier, they could put on growth that may not make it through next winter.

Speaking of next winter, I am longing for its arrival. Have I mentioned that I hate summer? This humidity thing is becoming quite intolerable. At least I’m not in Oklahoma City — 107 degrees, OMG. I love it when folks say, “but it’s dry heat.” I don’t care. I hate anything above 85 degrees. Here I am, talking about the weather and not doing anything about it.

Take a last look at the lovely field across from the Agricultural Hall. It is loaded with Queen Anne’s lace. It will be mowed down any day now to prepare a parking area for the upcoming Agricultural Fair.

A week ago Peter Wells and Sally Snipes hosted a remarkable evening on the Chappy Ferry. We column writers were the lucky guests. We were treated with a nearly-full moon rising as we cruised down the Edgartown harbor. Thanks, Peter and Sally. It was a great reprieve from a hot busy summer.

The looming presidential election has caused me to rethink our entire political system. I used to think we lived in the greatest democracy in the world. I’m not so sure any more. The news came out about this month’s money raised for the campaign. The Romney group beat out the Obamas 107 million to 75 million. This is one month, mind you.

Then we have the antiquated electoral college. The popular vote can be defeated as it was in the 2000 election. Al Gore received 500,000 more votes nationwide than Bush 43.

Don’t even get me started about Congress. A recent poll showed that both houses of Congress have a lower approval ratings than Hugo Chavez. There you have it!