PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Summer score: gardening – 0 good books – 5

Patsy BrumfieldIt’s August, how did that happen?

Summer’s been eventful, perhaps that’s why it’s flown by.

The worst thing? My garden went to heck in a hand basket, let me admit it now.

I blame the weather gods. I wasn’t antsy about getting my tomato plants into the ground. I even used my pent-up energy to help my son and daughter-in-law get their raised beds planted in Jackson a full three weeks before I bought a single plant for my own turf.

But no, Mother Nature struck me down. My tomato plants accepted every micro-sliver of fungus floating anywhere in Northeast Mississippi. Finally, I just said, Patsy, if the Forces of the Universe intended for you to have your own tomatoes this year, this wouldn’t be happening. Go to the Farmers’ Market.

And so, I immersed myself into reading. My sweet neighbor, Tina, gave me one of those electronic reading tablets for Christmas and I continue to have a wonderful time without the TV, just piled up on the couch or in my bed reading until I’m sleepy.

I got hooked on “Game of Thrones,” which is a five-book (now six) series of lusty warriors, beautiful strong women, political intrigue and beheadings.

Sure, that sounds a little difficult to stomach, but frankly it’s been fabulous. Each one of those books would shame James A. Michener by the size – 3 inches thick at least. Hundreds, yea maybe a thousand pages each.

But I didn’t let that stop me – I took to them with full intentions and knocked out one a week until I’d plowed through the five. I even spent extra money on the fifth as a hardcover, only to discover it wasn’t the last one.

Now, I find out I’ve got to wait until next year for the author to complete number six. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there’s a seventh or eighth, this guy’s found a steady income stream.

As for Grandpup Bonnie, she’s still doing well with her Mama and Incumbent-Dad in New Orleans.

They’ve done a bit of traveling, so she’s worked the crowds at Camp Bow Wow on Tchoupitoulas Street. Conveniently, I can watch her via video feed. She’s learning to take long naps in the midst of anarchy. Bon had a small setback in her fitness regime recently when the Bow Wow staff thought she was supposed to get fed twice a day across one weekend. Margaret said she needed a forklift to get her into the car upon their return to the Crescent City.

This week, Margaret is working out of town, so Daddy Chapman has sole pup-care responsibilities. I am sure he’s doing fine, although he’s not likely to be such a drill sergeant as Margaret on those jogs around Uptown New Orleans. Next time they plan a long jaunt, I’m going down and get her.

I’m still having fun with my cooking blog for my friend Carlie’s “New in Nola” website. This past weekend I made meatloaf, took photos of the process and dispatched it for electronic publication.

I checked her website and realized I’ve contributed nearly 30 recipes about how to make this or that. The first recipes were the most essential – red beans and rice, and gumbo. Without those skills in New Orleans, you’re always a newcomer.

As for my garden disaster, other than the asparagus and cucumbers, I’m going to take garden guru Felder Rushing’s advice: Just stand back 20 feet and take off your glasses!

<b>PATSY R. BRUMFIELD</b> writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

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