At this time of year, many gardeners are wondering what to do with the tons of zucchini they have growing in their gardens.

Tip: stockpile them! Keep one by the front door, others next to the bed or in the car. You never know when one of these green monsters will come in handy, as it did for this resourceful gal:

Montana woman fends off bear attack with zucchini

The Associated Press
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 9:20 PM

HELENA, Mont. -- A Montana woman fended off a bear trying to muscle its way into her home Thursday by pelting the animal with a large piece of zucchini from her garden.
Blame it on the moon. The publishers of Mature Landscaping and Time Goes By went on a parallel tear this week:

At the same time, ParsleysPics linked readers to a similarly pointed column ripping apart arguments floated by right-wingers, on The Saturday Afternoon Post, at, in case you’re looking for that perfect gift for your favorite Tea Partier. Warning: TSAP is not for the faint of heart.

Pickles, fruit, veggies, quilts, sheep, cows (one getting a shower), fried dough, food stands, bees, milk bottles (remember them?), a 781-pound white pumpkin AND the Flying Wallendas!

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife wants to see more regular folk in positions of power in the US. Whether or not she's suggesting we put Joe SixPack on the Supreme Court is not clear.

Here are a few sentences selected from a NYT story about the September 12 Tea Party demonstrations held around the country:

Ginni Thomas, a founder of the Tea Party group Liberty Central and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, continued the theme of anti-elitism, declaring, “Every day citizens make a difference, it’s not the elitist rulers.”

“Let’s not let this country be destroyed by the elitist politicians with bad ideas,” she added.

...Speaker after speaker complained about portrayals of the Tea Party movement as extremist.

But signs in the crowd did not shy away from outright anger. “By ballot or bullet, restoration is coming,” read one sign, held over a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

Did I read that right?

The wife of a Supreme Court justice founded a political party whose mission is to overturn government as we know it? 

The wife of a government official paid $213,900 a year (according to Wikipedia) wants the non-elite (whoever that is) running a very small government on a perfectly balanced budget? In other words, we'd turn government operations into a kind of giant ATM machine, which – without any thought, discussion or overdraft privileges -- would spend only what it has on hand. Does that include her husband’s paycheck?

According to the story, the crowd called for an end to spending cuts, but also to income tax. They want to boot out illegal immigrants and stop the proliferation of mosques. And, most of all, repeal that odious health care reform law, the one that gives everyone some of what the Thomases get in government benefits.

I can hear it now:

    “Uh sorry, soldier, but we don’t have money for ammunition this week. Maybe you can improvise.”

   “Harry, after this truckload, there’s no more asphalt. We can probably finish this road after April 15.”

   “Oh, by the way, we’re putting you and all other air-traffic controllers on unpaid leave for a week. Those planes will just have to fend for themselves. Enjoy your time off!”

    “Stop the surgery, doc!”

    “We’re sure you and the other justices won’t mind working without pay for a few weeks, right? Right?”

Yeah, right.

But, what’s really disturbing is it looks like she’s associating with—if not advocating for---people who call for violent revolution. I remember when that was a very big no-no. 

I wonder how this would play if she were involved in, say, a radical, left-wing group comprised of African Americans calling for the heads of government officials (including Supreme Court justices) it accuses of crimes against blacks?

To read the full story in the Times, go here.


This morning, I got up to a crisp, clear day.  Bright sun, not a cloud in the blue northeastern sky, just like it was on this same date, nine years ago.

For the past eight years, I’ve spent September 11 alone, doing almost nothing, listening for the voice of ghosts.
In 2001, 53 people from my former hometown died in the towers that day. The planes that killed them flew over our heads after they left Boston. 

I knew people in the towers who made it, and a few who did not. Several friends should have been there, but luck took them elsewhere. A friend almost suffocated in the rubble of the second tower, risking his life to photograph the event. Two of our children were close enough to see the carnage but, thankfully, not in it.

Three years ago, my dad died on that day, making it even more significant as my annual day of rest, grief and restoration.

Don’t expect any great words on the subject. I have none. But, I have no hatred, either. Just sadness and the hope that our grandchildren’s futures are not held hostage to the memory of that date or the threat of another attack. 

When people misunderstand my politics and accuse me of not caring for this country, I tell them I gave at the office. There are those who attack with planes, and others who attack with words. Who is to say which does the greater evil?

I love this country, and I want it back!  


September 1 has come and gone, marking the unofficial end of summer. It could go on, but somebody flicked the switch! Night temperatures have dipped down into low 40s, cooling off water and land, if not the inhabitants.

Blessed rain came just in time, but nothing dampens the spirit of those determined to wring out everything they can from what’s left of the warm days of the year.

Now is a good time to catch an afternoon on the road or on the water. Take the kids to a downtown street fair, a ballgame or out for a hot dog at the drive-in that soon will shut down for winter.

Fruit growers have started bringing in their crops and cleaning them up for town and county fairs that go on, rain or shine.

Here are some shots taken in southern Vermont, western Massachusetts, Boston, Washington DC, Lake George and Long Island, NY.