Because I work outside all week, there’s nothing like a rainy Sunday to put things in order for me. I’m sorry for you folks who count on sunny weekends. I like to wash and prepare produce for the week. This past weekend, I made some refrigerator pickles, cooked and sliced beets to add to salads and peeled and chopped garlic. If the food is at the ready my evenings are much smoother. I’ve often joked that I spend all day making tomato sauce from scratch but send out for pizza in sheer exhaustion.

The Gazette is quirky. For some unknown reason proper names only randomly receive capitalization. For example, often when I mention a cultivar of a particular plant it is not treated as a first name. I’m just saying.

Fennel, especially the bronze one, is a prolific re-seeder. There is a patch of it in a day lily bed on the corner of Spring and William streets across from the First Baptist Church—one can smell fennel from twenty feet away. I wish I used it more. I love the smell.

I finally got around to staking dahlias. Don’t do as I do. They were sadly sprawled on the ground and on other plants. Hopefully, they will settle into their new positions and give me some nice blooms to cut in the next couple of months. Sometimes we get such a late frost that I’ve had dahlias decorating the Thanksgiving table.

Scientists should spend time studying weeds. It is fascinating how fast and well they grow. I’ve mentioned before the pigweed and lady finger growing in my never greenhouse. I never water them and you can’t believe how hot it gets in there. Fortunately, when times get tough, these weeds are edible. Pigs, especially love both of them.

I have a stand of false bamboo, AKA Japanese knotweed. I’ve spent almost 40 years trying to eliminate it, but I have managed to keep it somewhat contained. Recently my son Reuben went at it with a Bobcat. In just two weeks time, though, the entire area is covered with re-emerging babies, now over two inches tall. Supposedly the British brought it home from their far eastern travels and our ancestors brought it here. I guess if you didn’t know any better you could call it pretty. I’ve noticed they’ve removed it from along the Tashmoo Overlook. Believe me, it’s only temporary. Take my advice, although I rarely do, get rid of it at first sight. Cousin Mark has arrived for his annual visit. He is laboring in the garden for me, a perfect houseguest. He has the hoophouse ready to receive seedlings. I started quite a few fall and winter greens which will be ready to transplant soon. Hopefully, I can keep them over the winter in the hoophouse with the sides down. It should keep things several degrees warmer and out of the driving wind. For decades I have received the National Geographic magazine —

I wish I could claim that I read it. There is never enough time. However, the photographs cannot be beat. The September issue has a huge article entitled “What’s up with the weather?” You global warming deniers should take a look. There is a photo of a mile high dust storm hitting Phoenix that is downright astonishing. Once more, I must express my gratitude for living on the Vineyard. I would hate to depend on an earthen levee to keep a river out of the house.

My memory fails to serve me. I do not recall the nice roses along the fence of the Congregational Church in West Tisbury. Have they always been there? Have I lost all my observational skills?

If you have the loathsome hornworm on your tomato plants, don’t kill it if it has white eggs on its back. They are the eggs of a parasitic wasp. As they hatch they will eat and destroy the worm and then go on to another worm and lay more eggs.

I love Bill Clinton. What’s not to love? Bubba rocked The Democratic National Convention. I have a fun experience to share about him. When he first came to the Vineyard as sitting president, I waited on him at The Black Dog. It was quite the night. I had my own Secret Service agent following me around. President Clinton could not have been more personable and kind.

Several days later the motorcade stopped across the street from my house. My friend Sharlee and I managed our best Lucy and Ethel impersonations and were jumping up and down waving at the car. Hillary rolled down the window and said, “Oh! Look! It’s our waitress.” Bill acknowledged us with a flashing grin. We were impressed that I was memorable given the crowds he encountered daily.

Back to his speech. He speaks directly to, not at, each person. His genuine love of people shows.

Next week I need to take on Paul Ryan in earnest!