Farmer Small, the Grumpy farmer and the mystery squash in happier times.
"Good news, Farmer Small! One of my friends has identified the mystery vegetable."
" Really? said Farmer Small. "What is it?
"She thinks it's a Kuri Squash."
"Is she sure?"
I thought about her report. "Well, she was drinking oat stout at the time. Nonetheless, she says it looked like your squash. It's supposed to taste like butternut squash. I was thinking of making it into a soup or maybe ravioli - you know with a nice sage - maple cream sauce. . . "
"No!" cried Farmer Small. "You can't eat it, I'm going to live in it!"
We went outside to see whether the newly identified Kuri squash was destined to be eaten or inhabited. At a distance, it looked both structurally suspect and unappetizing. When we got closer, we saw the tiny bite marks of a chipmunk and some rot. Farmer Small lost it.
"This is lousy!" he cried. "You wouldn't let me keep the golf cart from one of your friends - too expensive to maintain - or live on your window sill, or have a gun in the house and I COULD HAVE SHOT THE CHIPMUNK . . . "
Farmer Small was making some excellent points. I would have been fine with him shooting the chipmunk.
"Would you like to live inside for the rest of year? "
"With you and Susan?" he asked.
"Is the dog still going to be living inside?"
"Can I do activities?"
"What kind of activities? I asked.
"I was thinking of taking Zumba classes. A lot of people are talking about them."
Yes, they are. I see an akward conversation with Farmer Small about Zumba classes in my future.
A small arrangement for Susan with a rose, argeratum and some other blue flower.
Yes, I know - according to traditional calendars summer came to a close in September. For me, the true end of summer is signaled by the last blooming rose and the "last mowing of the lawn." There are still some rose buds defying the inevitable but the lawn has been mowed. Some visiting voles have decided that ours is the best lawn in the neighborhood to build their tunnels, so it is always a relief to complete this task without breaking the lawn mower or an ankle.
I've tried to talk Trinity into getting the voles to relocate, but she is not interested. Her priority is to chase off any bird that has the audacity to land on the property. When she was a puppy, a sparrow flew by, and she snapped it out of the air - apparently God's eye was not on that sparrow. Susan puts up birdfeeders in the fall and when the birds swoop in to feed, Trinity sprints and lunges at them. No leisurely resting at these feeders; it really is survival of the fittest. Maybe it's bad karma, but I don't mind because that dog is saving me cash on bird food.
This past weekend, Farmer Small and the Grumpy Farmer got together to discuss farming techniques, and to identify the mysterious vegetable.
The visit began with an exchange of gifts. Farmer Small gave the Grumpy Farmer his biggest watermelon.
The Grumpy Farmer brought a festive pumpkin for Farmer Small.
There was a tense moment when the pumpkin slipped. The Grumpy Farmer pulled it off Farmer Small.
Farmer Small excused himself to check his parts. They were all there. He felt better.
When he returned, the Grumpy Farmer introduced Farmer Small to his friends.
Excited and hoping to impress, Farmer Small serenaded the ladies with his tuba.
Luckily, one of the women really liked tuba music . Farmer Small really liked her. He was worried that the other women would be upset.
They didn't seem to mind.
The identity of the mysterious vegetable remained a mystery. But Farmer Small and the Grumpy Farmer decided that it was a succesful visit nonetheless.