PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Leapin’ hops, sleepin’ Bon, keepin’ busy

Did you, too, have to pull out the long johns again?
I thought I’d seen the last of mine just after Easter, but Mother Nature likes to fool us any chance she gets.
This past weekend was so miserable, all I could do was walk around the garden and try to convince everybody that it would be 80 degrees before they knew it.
Frankly, the cool snap’s probably given me an extra week with my sugar peas so maybe there’s something good about it after all.
What I really need now is some bees, but what self-respecting honey bee is going to come out on a 44-degree morning to check out my cucumbers, zucchini and butternut squash?
Oh sure, I could self-pollinate – and I’m not too high and mighty to resort to such a base act – but I’d sure rather have the bees do it, you know?
Tuesday, I made my first major garden decision since I got everything all done: I pulled up the corn.
Don’t scream. It was going to get blown flat anyway. I just saved myself a lot of anguish and work later.
Now, it’s given me space to move my eggplants, which weren’t getting enough sun because the hops have gone berserk.
I tell you, this is my third year with the hops – and you know what they say about vines sleeping, creeping and leaping.
I’ve actually got rather substantial blooms on the plants and I have every reason to think an early harvest is likely.
Understand, basically I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve read just enough literature to look like I know, but I don’t.
So, I’m hopeful that I get it right, pluck them at the appropriate time, dry them properly and then freeze them for my-son-the-brewer, who has plans for some kind of all-Mississippi nectar.
Meanwhile, I’m going through an adjustment period known well by many other women my age when the daughter makes a new-life decision and leaves the baby behind until structure is in place.
She, the engineer, blissfully returned to Houston, Texas, on Monday for an exciting opportunity with some kind of consulting company, which does things they don’t teach you about in journalism school.
I am delighted for this happy change and for her proximity to Neiman Marcus. I also am guardedly happy to have full, temporary custody of grandpuppy Bonnie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
It’s just that while I love Bonnie, I’ve lost my complete freedom.
No more midnight adventures across the Northeast Mississippi hills.
No more moonlit boat rides down the Tenn-Tom.
No more last-minute dashes to Viking cooking classes at the Alluvian.
What? I must be thinking of somebody else!
In truth, Miss Bonnie and I will cuddle up every evening on our comfy sofa and watch repeat episodes of “The First 48,” and I’ll comment to her about the silly scrapes some people get themselves in.
She’d likely agree with me, but most likely she’ll be asleep.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

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