Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Story Part 6

Every entry on this blog, as well as pictures and photos are the property of Mary Bennett, copyright 2010. Violators will be prosecuted. To use any part of this blog elsewhere, please contact me prior for permission. Items used without prior permission for any reason will be prosecuted. The conclusion of this story may be to mature for younger children. Parents are strongly advised to read these blog posts first before allowing their children to read it.

Ria was angry at her brother Thomas for allowing Reagan to get out of the house, especially on a night that was so dangerous for black cats. She grabbed the open can of cat food and a small penlight and left the house.

She checked all the deck furniture before venturing into the back yard. Reagan wasn't in the yard, including his favorite napping spots inside the bird bath or on the wood pile.

Ria checked her neighbor's yard for Reagan before admitting to herself , with a shudder, that the only place left to look for the cat was the woods on the other side of a dirt road near their home.

Their street was the last block built before the building developer had run out of money to build any more houses. Behind Ria's house was woods. On the other side of her neighbor's house was the developers supply road. The road was barely wide enough for a truck to drive on. It was dirt and had sand and ruts in areas. It ran in the woods from the oldest part of the housing development to the abandoned part of the housing development for a few miles.

During the day, the woods were a friendly place for the neighborhood children to play. There were tree forts in some of the trees, and in some of the natural clearings the neighborhood children had picnics. The woods were a quiet place to do nothing more than walk and think about the day.

Even on moonlit nights, the sandy road was peaceful to walk on, and not threatening in anyway.

But on Halloween night? Ria's imagination ran wild, and she did not want to go into the woods at all.

Never the less, tonight she would have to because Reagan was most likely in the woods. Who knew what could happen to him if she didn't.

The last Snippet of the Development

This is the last snippet of Chapter 9, the Development, a book that I am writing. I hope as you have read, you have started to feel the misgivng that Theresa had turn to fear. Please leave a comment, I'd love to know your thoughts! Would it be too much to ask you to share these latest blog posts with your friends?

By the way, are your kids going Trick or Treating this year? I bet now, you'll be going with them!! Bwahahaha!!!!

It was after ten, and Teresa Meyer felt like she had been a good sport for long enough. Mia was definitely taking advantage of her good will now. Whether it embarrassed her daughter or not, she was going to call her cell phone and demand her daughter come home right now! And if it mortified her in front of her friends, good! May-be it would inspire her to use some common sense next time around!
Teresa pushed the send button, and almost immediately Mia's phone went to voice mail.
"Hey! This is Mia, I'll call you right back!" Beep!
Teresa tried again, with the same result.
She didn't understand why her daughter's phone was turned off. May-be she had it set to vibrate so her friends wouldn't know when her mother called? It was so easy to embarrass a teenager.
Teresa made herself a cup of tea, carried it to the livingroom and turned the television to the local news, while she waited for Mia to return her call.
Mia never did. It was now after 10:30. She would do the capital sin of all capital sins in a teenagers life, call Mia's friend's parents.
She called the Adam's home first. What she heard made Teresa's heart jackhammer in her chest, the kids were cold, and had come home a little after nine.
Teresa asked to speak to Steve directly. She knew that Steve had been the pirate trick or treater.
"Steve, she's not here." She said after picking up the phone. "You didn't come here after Trick or Treating, so how do you know that Mia came home?" She was trying to remain calm, not to break down in tears.
Oh God! If only she had listened to her feelings and braved the teenage scorn that Mia would have heaped on her!
"Well the girls got cold, so we broke into groups and headed for home."
"What groups Steve?"
Steve thought for a minute. "Well, I went home with Sarah Rockney, she was the witch and my little sister Selena, she was the washer woman. For some reason, my sister Samantha didn't want to go Trick or Treating this year. Then my friend Bobby Morgan, he was the baseball player and his sister Dawn, she was the waitress went home. The girl in the baby doll outfit was Lilly Hogan, and she lived right next to the last house we Trick or Treated at, so she went home alone."
"What about Mia, in the pink princess costume, did you let her walk home alone?" Teresa fought the panic in her voice that made her voice rise into a shriek. She had to keep calm so that Steve wouldn't freak. He had to think coolly, rationally.
"Oh yeah, she went home with the kid in the screaming ghost costume."
Teresa almost lost her breath. There hadn't been a kid in a ghost costume when Mia had joined her friends. She tried to calm herself. May-be someone had joined the kids while they were Trick or Treating?
"Steve, who was the kid in the ghost costume? I didn't see him when you all came to pick up Mia."
Steve thought for a minute. Teresa wanted to scream in frustration at the long pause but silently counted to ten to keep her patience instead.
"I don't know who it was." He finally said. "He joined us while we were Trick or Treating."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Development, Snippet 3

Please leave me a comment! I'd love to know how you like this!

"Yes. Be careful. No candy before I check it. I mean it!!"
"What's with your mom tonight?" Teresa heard one of the boys ask. Steve Adams, she recognized the voice,
"I don't know." Mia mumbled. "She's doing the mom thing. She's probably reading a true crime book or something."

They'd done a ton of Trick or Treating, and the girls in their short dresses were getting cold.
"We'll do this last road, and then head for home." Steve Adams announced. He could have continued trick or treating, but without the others, it wouldn't have been much fun.
"My house is that way." The washerwoman said. "After this house, I'm going home."
The witch agreed. "I'm cold and I have enough candy." Sarah Rockney said. "I'll go with you."
A few of the other Trick or Treaters announced that they had enough candy, and were going home also.
After they had rang the doorbell of the last house, the teens broke into separate groups and headed home.
The pink princess left with the black figure with the screaming ghost mask.

A Halloween Story Part Four

Tina looked as though she was ready to cry. Ria handed her a bit of cloth from her costume to wipe her mouth.
She still looked sick. "I think I better go home." she stammered. "Go ahead and Trick or Treat without me."
"Oh no, I'm walking you home." Ria said quickly and Erin agreed.
"We really have enough candy already. My mom steals candy from my bag, so she'll actually thank you." She laughed and Ria joined her because it was true; parents and older brothers always took candy from the Trick or Treat bags.
Tina gave a half smile. "I don't want to ruin the night on you. Go on with out me. I can make it home by myself."
Her friends didn't leave her side the whole walk home. After making sure that Tina was safely home, they decided to walk to Erin's house together and ask Dave to drive Ria home, but he wasn't home.
"Look, it's not far from your house to mine. I'll walk home as fast as I can, and then I'll call you to let you know that I made it home."Ria decided.
"I don't know........." Erin argued.
"I'll be fine!" Ria said as she headed out the door. "Really, I'll call you in a few minutes!"
Ria saw her brother Tommy's tail lights disappearing down the street just as she was getting home.
'It figured!' Ria thought as she took off her necklace to get to the house key she always wore around her neck.
Once inside she hurried to the phone and called Erin. "Home just fine!"
"Are your parents home?"
Ria listened for a minute and didn't hear a single sound. "Nope, home alone."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Development, Halloween Snippet

I hope you enjoyed yesterday snippet. Here is today's. Let me know how you like it!

Safety from what? Teresa again wondered to herself. Then she gave herself a mental shake and told herself not to be silly.

"Does this dress look right?" Mia asked, tugging down on the pink gossamer skirt. She was dressed like a fairytale princess, all in pink, even down to her ballet style slippers.
Mia did look like a princess. The way she looked reminded Teresa of her daughter when she was younger, so much younger, when she had enjoyed dressing up and Trick or Treating was done with her friends, parents, and before it got dark.
Teresa missed those days.
"You look absolutely beautiful, but I'm really worried about how thin that outfit is. It's getting cold. Bring a jacket with you and a pair of sweat pants."
"Moooom!" Mia whined. "That will totally ruin the look!"
It would too.
"Fine, but next year, I want your costume to be the Wookie from Star Wars! Promise me you'll come straight home if you get cold?"
"Promise!" Mia replied with a smile and mother and daughter hugged.
The doorbell rang. When the door opened, they saw Mia's friends; a pirate complete with black eye patch and a stuffed parrot on his shoulder, a baby doll in a too short dress - she'd be cold this night too Teresa noted, a baseball player with a bat, his treat bag hanging off of it, a waitress - in a dress that was too short also, a washerwoman, and a good, old fashioned, green skinned, hooked nose witch.
Since most of the girls wore short skirted costumes, Teresa was sure that the girls would be cold and Mia would be home early. They all would be. Then Teresa could start to breath normally again.
Before Mia left, Teresa checked to make sure that the girl had her cell phone, on speed dial to her own cell phone, and that Mia was one of the group that had a flashlight with her.
"Now can I goooo?" Mia asked in that suffering voice that teenage girls have perfected.

A Halloween Story, Part Three

Reagan's antics were quickly forgotten. Dave dropped Ria and his sister at their friend Tina's house and left.

The girls were stunned by Tina's outfit. She was an ice princess. Her costume had not been put together at home from bits and pieces, but had been professionally made. Her ice blue dress had an overlay by a light tulle that was studded with glass crystals and drops. Her beautiful blonde hair was up swept, and cascaded in curls along the nape of her neck. Her face was made up by a professional hand, probably her mother who was a cosmetologist, and even though her lips were an icy blue, and her eyelashes apparently had ice crystals on them, she looked completely natural.

Erin's red clown lips formed a perfect "o" at the sight of their beautiful friend. "Wow!"

Ria finally found her voice. "You look like you should be going to a party, not Trick or Treating."

"You are stunning! I bet you'd win a prize." Erin agreed.

Tina's face grew red under her white makeup. "Uh, thanks. C'mon, lets go!"

After getting Tina's curfew and saying goodbye to Tina's mother, the three girls left the house.

The neighborhood sidewalks had groups of costumed children. Adults had joined together with friends and guided virtual herds of children from house to house.

The sky was getting darker as the moon was slowly rising. The street lights were coming and Ria noticed that most of the little children were no longer Trick or Treating.

Pools of light came from the un-curtained windows of houses. More and more lit Jack O'Lanterns appeared on the porches of houses.

The girls met up with another group of friends from school and they all began to Trick or Treat together.

"Did you hear about Mrs. Robinson's cat?" Ria heard a scarecrow say.

"Isn't that your neighbor's black cat?" a gypsy asked the scarecrow.

"Oh, that's unique, a black cat story on Halloween. Boooooooo!" a boy dressed like a fedora wearing gangster said sarcastically.

"What about Mrs. Robinson's cat?" prompted a clown that wasn't Erin.

"He's missing. He's been missing since last night. Mrs Robinson has posters up at the supermarket, and she even offered to pay me to look around the neighborhood."

"Did you do it?" asked the fedora wearing gangster.

"I did it for free before I bought my little brother Trick or Treating. I didn't catch even a glimpse of him." the scarecrow replied.

"If I had any colored cat, I wouldn't let it outside anytime near Halloween." opined a girl dressed like a bag of jelly beans. Some of the children agreed and Ria was glad that Reagan was safely underneath her parents bed.

Tina was walking more slowly, and she waited on the sidewalk while the other children Trick or Treated. The second time she did this, Ria and Erin waited with her.

"What's up?" asked Erin. "You look kind of like you are in pain."

"Are your shoes hurting you?"

"No, but I'm starting to feel sick."

"Do you want to go home?" Ria asked.

"I think I'm ..... gonna toss my cookies." Tina said, and then she did.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A snippet from The Development

I am still working on my book, "The Development." I thought for Halloween, I'd share some snippets from it.

Chapter 9

Teresa Meyer had never felt this way before. She didn't want her fourteen year old daughter to go Trick or Treating with her friends this year. She had a nagging feeling, an awful feeling that something terrible was going to happen. Not necessarily to her daughter, per se, but ….
She felt irrational because she had nothing to base her fears on, just feelings and yet she was ready to forbid Mia from going Trick or Treating.
"Mia, finish your supper!" Teresa called. Mia would hurry to the kitchen and snatch a little food from her plate, and then go back to the bathroom or her bedroom to perfect the costume she was wearing this year.
Was she being a smart mom, or a paranoid one?
Paranoid, she decided. After all, it wasn't like her daughter was collecting candy in a strange neighborhood, or even alone. She'd be with a large group of neighborhood friends, just like every year.
And Mia had a cell phone for safety. How Mia loved her cell phone! It was pink and she had hand embellished it with rhinestones and acrylic paint. It was an original creation. Unique, just like Mia.

Scary Mondays - A Halloween Story 2

Erin and her brother Dave came soon after. Erin wore a home made clown costume and lots of face paint. Ria could hardly recognize her. Her brother Dave was dressed, as he described it "like a big brother."

"I'll only be a minute!" Ria told them. "I just have to find Reagan and close him in one of the bedrooms." She began to look for him in all of his favorite places; on the living room windowsill, on her parent's bed, even in the pantry next to his cat treats. He was no where to be found. Erin and her brother joined the search.

They finally found him on the floor behind the drapes. Erin was petting him when all of a sudden, Reagan looked toward the back door, pulled back his ears and yowled so loudly that it scared them all.

"Yikes!" Erin looked scared herself. "What bought that on?"
"I don't know, but I'm going to go check out your back porch." Tom told them as he headed for the kitchen door.
"I'm going to go put Reagan on my parent's bed and close the door." Ria said. "He loves their bed."

The whole time Ria carried the cat, he licked his lips nervously. "There, there, kitty." Ria tried to soothe. "It's alright." But as soon as she put him gently on her parent's bed, Reagan slunk off and hid under the bed. Ria had never seen Reagan act like that before and she half wondered if she should not go Trick or Treating with her friends and stay home wi th the frightened cat.
She got down on her hands and knees and lifted the bedspread. Reagan looked like a giant poofball, his eyes large, round black circles with the smallest outline of green.
"Rrrrrrrooooooooowwwwwwrrrrrrr!," he half growled, half howled.
Ria decided it would probably be better to leave Reagan alone and allow him to calm down in a quiet house.

Please check out more Scary Mondays at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are costumes racist?

My daughter hasn't decided what she's going to be for Halloween this year. We are unusual, because unlike the recent trend, we don't buy a "finished" Halloween costume. In other words, my kids don't pick up a box at WalMart, with all the pieces to be Lady Gaga in it.
Not that we never did that. Way back in the 80's, when my kids were young, we bought the Care Bear, Voltron etc costumes. But we stopped after a while, and I began to pick up what I called "pieces" at yard sales. An apron here, a moth eaten stole there, a scarf, a hat, and long zippered, robe-y things.
Now my daughter has a trunk of pieces that spans over 20 years for her to pick through. And even when she has finished her Trick or Treating stage, I will probably continue to add to the trunk. You just never know when a bank manager might need a boa and a fedora, or a librarian might need a few strands of long beads!
So my daughter might be a gardener, a dancer, an old woman etc. A student group is complaining about different pre-packaged costumes, as an example, geisha and another costume that has as components a long mustache, a poncho and a sombrero as being racist. Is it?
I remember as a kid in school, studying continents and then being assigned one of the countries on that continent. On due day, many of my fellow students would dress in their assigned countries ethnic clothing while reading their report on the country. Were we being racist back then?
Are some people just too politically correct, or do some of us need to learn to be more sensitive?

Scary Mondays - A Halloween Story

It was the 31st of October, so it was Halloween. But everybody knew that Halloween didn't officially start until after school was out, and after it started getting dark.
Ria was happy, this year her parents had finally agreed that 12 was old enough for her to Trick or Treat until 8:30. This year, she would Trick or Treat by the light of the full Harvest Moon with her best friends Erin and Tina. Ria's mother insisted on the buddy system any time she went anywhere.
When Ria got off the school bus that afternoon, she scanned the yard for Reagan, her cat, before she dropped her books inside her bedroom. Reagan was a completely black cat, and some people had some sick ideas of what to do with black furred animals on Halloween. Reagan had been kept inside the house for the last few days, just in case. He was going stir crazy and was trying harder and harder to escape to the freedom of the outdoors.
Their yard sided a wooded building lot on one side and on the other side was a narrow dirt road that led to a housing development that had gone bankrupt before any houses could be built. Reagan loved the woods. He would climb the trees and keep their yard free of squirrels, which Reagan considered Public Enemy Number One.
As Ria walked down the hall to her bedroom, her sister Katie said "Reagan is sleeping in the living room window. Mom says before we go Trick or Treating to make sure that Reagan is closed in a bedroom so there's no chance of him getting out."
Ria dropped off her books and then opened a can of cat food for Reagan. It stunk to high heavens, but Reagan didn't seem to mind. He came running from the living room to the kitchen as if he hadn't eaten in months instead of just hours.
When it came to eating, Reagan was finicky at all!
Ria called her mother to let her know that she was home. Then she and Katie went into their parent's bedroom to start getting their costumes ready. Their parents had a footlocker in their bedroom that had belonged to their mother since she was a teenager. Inside the trunk was pieces of every costume her mother had ever worn from the time she was a teenager until now. Even now, their mother shopped the after Halloween sales picking up more costume pieces and props.
The girls never had an actual, bought costume. Instead they had choices of one piece "cat suits" that they could accessorize with almost anything imaginable; ropes of plastic beads, cat ears, clown hair, a bald wig, a wig of long black hair, pompoms, grass skirts, pirate hooks, grass skirts and more. All they needed was imagination, and Ria and Katie had that in abundance!
After they decided on what they were going to wear that night, Ria popped a microwave dinner into the microwave oven. The family usually ate dinner together, but tonight they wouldn't. Their older brother Tom was still at football practice, and their parents wouldn't be home until just after they left to go Trick or Treating.
Reagan sat on the floor next to Ria as the girls ate their supper. Reagan was a polite cat. He wouldn't jump onto the table, or pull on their clothes as they ate. He just sat quietly, looking at them with friendly eyes that seemed to say "Won't you share?"
Suddenly, Reagan's ears pricked forward. His pupils grew so wide, that his eyes looked black instead of green.
"What is it Reagan?" Ria asked when she noticed him. "He must have heard something, look at his tail!"
"It looks like a bottle washing brush!" Katie laughed. "I wonder if Tommy is home?"
They waited a minute, but Tommy didn't come in the house.
"Tommy?" Ria called.
No answer.
Reagan's tail de-poofed and they finished their dinner. Then they hurried back into their parent's bedroom to put their costumes on.
Soon after, their was a knock on the door. Reagan jumped and landed with his claws out. He hissed at the door.
"Silly cat!" Katie scolded. "It's only my friend Suzy! You know Suzy." She let Suzy and her mother into the house. "I'm almost ready, I just have to get my Treats bag."
"Reagan looks scary." Suzy observed.
"I think it's more like Reagan is scared, but of what, I have no idea." Ria replied.
"I'll be bringing Katie back at about 8." Suzy's mom stated. "Will there be someone here?"
"Oh yes, my parents should be home by 5:30 at the latest."
"Will you be going Trick or Treating too?" Suzy's mom asked.
"Yes, I'm going with my friend Erin, and then we're going to be picking up my friend Tina."
"Good, I'm glad that you won't be out alone."
"Nope! My mom insists on the buddy system too."

Suzy's mom was satisfied, and they left.

For more, click below


Today, Nate and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I feel reflective.

In 32 years of marriage we:

had 6 kids and fostered one for 5 years

lived in 3 states

bought 3 homes, including one in the Hamptons, and one we bought outright

had innumerable cats, a dog, two bunnies, a snake and a few tankfuls of fish

traveled to Canada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Niagara, Amish Country, the Poconos, and a Renaissance Faire.

owned a van furnished for travel, numerous cars, 3 mini-vans, trucks, and a extended cab truck

we've raised chickens for eggs

Nate and Matt found a haunted house on property we owned.

Nate has had many operations

Nate has been licensed and certified for driving commercial trucks and tractor trailers as well as running a wastewater treatment plant and potable water

I have had a column in a newspaper, sold photo's I took, my artwork and jewelry I made.

We've had children grow to adult, and move out of our home

We've endured through serious illness and it's after effects

We grew a huge pumpkin for Halloween this year

I can only wonder what the next years will hold!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What's Up With Clowns?

Clown's were a big part of my life growing up.
They were hobo's, and traveled by trains that they hopped onto. They were kind to all kids but especially to run aways. Runaways that found the hobo clown camps next to the train tracks not only got to share a meal of hotdog's cooked over a fire, but also got quarters pulled out of their ears - and quarters were worth a lot back then, before they were walked home and seen safely inside. Only then would the hobo clown return to his camp.
I loved it when the circus came to the city. To the best of my knowledge, the circus never came to my town. The television would have the most wonderful commercials. They would start with strong strains of music, and on would come the elephants, trapeze artists, and the clowns. Clowns that smiled and waved. Clowns that wore squirty water flowers in their lapels.
One year my mother and grandfather bought us to see the Ringling Brothers circus at Madison Square Garden. It was huge and hard to really see the many act going on in the three rings. Later in life, I preferred Cole Brother's Circus because they played in a smaller arena and so the acts were easier to see.
And then there was Ronald from McDonald's. Another cool clown
that took kids for rides on his flying hamburger or on trips through McDonald's Land. McDonald's Land was a pretty cool place! It had things like hamburger patches and shakes falls and neat, muppet type critters that liked french fries.
But my favorite clown was Bozo! He was another clown that just loved kids! He never talked down to kids, he honestly would scoot down on his heels in order to talk face to face with kids.
Bozo had a show that was part cartoon, featuring Bozo and his child friend Butch, dressed like a Ring Master. The show also featured Bozo clowning around, and one lucky kid each show was picked to be Ring Master that day. What a lucky kid! Boy or girl, it didn't matter, and they received piles and piles of gifts!
And then the climate changed. Why? Was it because of all the recessions of the 1970's? Was it the disillusionment of the Kennedy assassinations, Watergate and the Vietnam War? I don't
know, but suddenly, the kid loving clowns were no longer kid loving, trustable or even funny. We were inundated with movies like "Killer Clowns," "It" and many others. I can't tell you how many people I've met who think that clowns are creepy!
Why? Is it because the makeup of clowns obscures their emotions? Or is because the makeup obscures the very identity of the clown?
And then there was POGO the Clown
Pogo was a clown that serial killer John Wayne Gacy invented after he joined the Moose Club. A group within the Moose Club invented their own clown persona's, name, make-up, and costume. Then they would appear for free at charity events, visit children in hospitals and do other charitable things. You'll notice that Pogo's makeup isn't rounded like Ronald McDonald's, Bozo's, or the circus clowns did. It was as if Pogo didn't care if he scared children. Contrary to some reports though, Gacy never used Pogo to capture children. Pogo was a scary clown, but at least he wasn't a killer clown.
God Bless all the circus clowns that remain friendly and entertaining through these times we live in!
I still like clowns, but I do admit, I do keep my eye on them these days.
And that is sad.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Remembering Green Stamps

Recently on my friend Gena's blog, , she was blogging about our tv houses. There were plenty of votes, but was it really surprising that so many of us picked the Brady Bunch House?
One of my favorite episodes was "54 40 or Fight." The time was the late 1960's, early 1970's and the Bradys are sad to find out that their trading stamp redemption center is about to close. The girls have been saving the stamps, but the boys didn't know. And of course, the boys have been saving the stamps, but the girls didn't know. Now with the redemption center closing, the Brady's need to redeem the those stamps, pronto!
The boys want a rowboat, the girls want a sewing machine. Neither group has enough stamps on their own to get what they really want, and neither side wants to compromise. The answer to this dilemna, build a card house. Who ever knocks the house down loses the stamps.

Thanks to Tiger the dog, the girls won and head to the redemption center for their new sewing machine, but come home with a portable color tv that they can all enjoy.

As I've said many times, I really miss the customer loyalty programs like S and H Green Stamps and Plaid Stamps.
I remember going grocery shopping with my parents and them being handed a few pages of stamps after paying for their groceries. To my eyes, it looked like a bonanza and that we could get whatever we wanted from the premium catalog right away.
My mother took it in stride, and when we got home, she would put the stamps into the bread drawer that every 1960's kitchen used to have.
Every so often, Mom would take a night after us kids were in bed, and sit at the kitchen table with her sponge top water bottle and put stamps into the books. Once, around Christmas, when our family had grown to seven, Mom even allowed me to put the precious stamps into the stamp book. What a show of confidence!!! I was nervous doing it, wondering if I really was capable, but still so proud.
And the premiums were top of the line! Mom used the stamps to buy my first, and only, doll house and I suspect many other Christmas gifts. I know that appliances like electric hair curlers, dryers and toasters were all offered, as well as pretty dishes and serving pieces.
Today I found out that S and H Greenstamps have grown along with the times. They are available for online shopping and called Green Points now. I had trouble with the site, but if you purchase over the web often, it might be worth checking out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Summers Over

Summer is over. I feel cheated. Just as my garden was ripening and looking like I was going to have a nice bounty of vegetables, Hurricane Irene blew in. We didn't get a whole lot of rain, but we did get a great amount of twisting winds. It snapped my egg plant, it tore out my cucumbers and zucchini plants, and just generally beat on my tomatoes. So my summer bounty was mostly tomatoes.

We thought the Russian Black tomatoes were neat to have in our garden, but the taste was really nothing to write home about. The heritage pinks were good, but the best tomatoes were the paste tomatoes we got for free!

I planted six pumpkin seeds this year. Out of that, I got one small, perfect orange pumpkin that was rotting away on the bottom, numerous false starts that rotted away on the vine, and one 50 pound pumpkin that has so far survived.

Now if it doesn't rot or get stolen until after Halloween .......


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