I’m a big fan of bad weather. Monday morning’s unexpected rain gave me a much-deserved day off. Working outdoors and being the boss has a lot of perks.

I spent the morning unlike me: reading. I usually read in bed. I’m halfway through the Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker best seller, I Alone Can Fix It. It’s an ambitious dive into the last year of the Trump presidency. So far, all I have to say is OMG.

It’s been a productive week in the vegetable gardening world. I’m finally eating my better-late-than-never-planted tomatoes. The first to ripen were the Sun Golds. Trust me: one or two plants is plenty. They produce like crazy.

Honestly, I know what to do and when to do it, but never seem to follow through. For example, both my tomatoes and dahlias are past due for staking. Once again, both are sprawled all over the ground and their neighboring plants. Rodents and/or slugs will eat the tomatoes off the ground before I get to them. Then, I’ll whine about it for a couple of columns. I’m so predictable. What I really hate is that I can blame no one but myself.

Speaking of rodents, they are starting to help themselves to my bumper crop of melons. Hopefully, they will share a few with me.

The good news: I have some beautiful zucchini. I saute it with boatloads of onions, hit it with the hand-held blender, and freeze containers of the puree. In mid-winter, it’s great to add to soups and sauces. By itself, it’s makes a great soup with some chicken stock. I’ve tried freezing the slices in the past but find the texture less than wonderful.

Also made my first pickling of green beans. They were planted late, a mere 50 days ago, and are happily pest-free. I am troubled by the Mexican bean beetle when they are planted right after the last frost.

My Lacinato kale is very nice. I inter-planted it with German chamomile this year. This was suggested by a column in The New York Times as a foil for the cabbage worm. Wonder of wonders: it actually worked. I froze several baggies raw to be used in smoothies later on.

The flower beds are exploding. The annuals are at their very best. Crape myrtle is blooming in several yards. There aren’t many late-summer blooming trees so this one is especially notable. There are a couple of large ones on Cleveland Town Road, just leaving Katama Road.

FYI: the Gazette has some quirks concerning capitalizing. Often, the proper names of plants are not but I am learning to accept this. Just saying!

I’m sick of stupid people. Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, is threatening to withhold pay to schools that mandate masks. I feel like Forrest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Second, the climate change deniers are really starting to annoy me. How can we look at floods in Germany and China, fires in California, and 90-degree temps in the Arctic Circle, and think nothing of it?

I’m old so, honestly, I won’t be here to see the worst of it but what of my grandchildren and two little great-grands and not be both sad and ashamed that we left this mess for them?