The heat, humidity and lack of rain are removing whatever is left of my cheerful nature. I have much for which to be grateful, however – an outside job requiring less mask time than some poor folk, food, a somewhat cool house and, so far, a Covid-free family.

I’ve been harvesting and putting up the fruits of my vegetable garden. I finally pulled all the onions. Usually, when more than half are lying down, they are ready. I remember it being earlier in the past. I spread them out on the greenhouse benches for a few days to cure, cut the stems, dry a few more days and store in a dark, cool place for the winter. I am pleased for the most part as I started them from seed in January and have been doing my best to nurture them along.

I have two separate tomato stories. I grew a few varieties of paste a.k.a. canning types – one, Amish Paste, is an indeterminate heirloom. The fruits are eight to 12 ounces and very prolific for a long time.

The other two are both determinate, which means they produce all at once hence giving a big harvest for canning projects. One is another heirloom, Martino’s Roma. It’s a small plum shape that produces hundreds of fruits. The Principe Borghese, known and loved by Italians, is the one used for sun drying. I use it in sauce since it is very meaty with hardly any juice.

I planted the aforementioned pastes in black plastic on top of very rich soil. So far, I’ve processed 10 quarts and every horizontal surface in my kitchen still holds some plus a few more pickings are necessary.

The other story is not nearly so great. In a separate area, I halfheartedly staked the heirlooms, Brandywine, Nebraska Wedding and Mortgage Lifter. They are huge and beautiful except for the big bites out of most including the green ones. I hate to say or even think it but I think it’s rats. My elderly barn cat is apparently in semi-retirement.

Violet has been feeding some baby turkeys. She can’t help herself. They are so cute. We made a discovery. Both of the “mothers” of the two differently-aged flocks turned out to be males. They are immature but are beginning to display. It’s so odd that we’ve been speculating that the real mothers are on another nest somewhere or the males are the babies from last year and still hanging around. We will most likely regret this whole thing. The males may turn aggressive. I don’t care – I’ll eat them if so!

Last week’s tropical storm did nothing at my house but the area where the vegetable garden is located is in some sort of a weather anomaly. It freezes before anything else – there may have been a miniature tornado as the roof was torn off the greenhouse and the corn and hollyhocks were flattened. Let me reiterate my first paragraph. It’s difficult to remain a good sport in times like these.

Speaking of times like these, it appears that there is no end in sight for the coronavirus. No matter what D.J.T. says, we do not have this under control. The Biden campaign put out an impressive ad this week. It is several clips of Trump bragging about the big, beautiful wall he is building. It then shows all the countries which have basically put up walls against us. An American passport is no longer a good thing. Even the Bahamas don’t want us – no matter how much money we bring.

Oh, and how about his big plan to cut payroll taxes? Donald, people are not even on the payroll and those who are don’t need a cut – plus it takes money from Social Security and Medicare. Does he even want to be president?

One more thing… how will people be convinced to get a vaccine when they will not even put on a stupid mask?