Monday, August 01, 2011


My husband's water troughs and very large plant pots garden are producing tomatoes and green peppers as our water meter spins and spins. He uses very little critter killer powders or sprays so I have to do some carving on the tomatoes, but the green peppers are perfect if sometimes ill-shaped. But the crop is nearing its end,  as these varieties seem to mature by the end of July and taper off production. This year seems a tad early. There are still some cherry hot peppers to be harvested.
Sweet Green Peppers-2011
I carefully wash and dry them, using an easy touch of a soft towel, so as not to bruise them. We have shared with several people.

This week I made a call to the local food pantry to see if they accepted home grown garden produce, which is ungraded. Food pantries usually belong to a food bank which has its own set of regulations. However, I was delighted to find our local pantry does accept surplus home-grown garden produce.

In fact a local retiree is growing a good sized garden, all of which is being given to the local food pantry. He has asked for help with his water bill from local citizens. Due to the heat wave and drought in Arkansas [not nearly as severe as Texas] water bills for lawns and gardens are high and recent city needs, are going to make the bill still higher.

Should you have excess vegetables and fruits from your garden, check the food pantries, be they church or some other organizational structure. If the demand on these charities of basic necessity is anything like ours, the shelves are emptied every day. Ours is open only 3 hours per week, and is bare at the end of the day. It does not have to be bushels--even a small bag may be a meal for someone else. Or consider a monetary donation.
Earlier Tomato -Already Ripened and Eaten
But the title of my blog, EASY TOUCH, reminds me of a certain gullibility that sometimes is the side effect of those who have a propensity to help others.

When I was much younger, working as a pharmacist, I became calloused to not believing just about any story a customer espoused. This attitude developed long before I married. I also did not loan money as most personal friends never kept their commitment to return payment.

I soon learned to recognize forged prescriptions, There were customers who marched from physician to physician and pharmacy to pharmacy to gain the medication, usually narcotics, sedatives and certain other mind altering drugs. Then there were the persons who purchased certain legal drugs and ingredients to make illegal drugs; hence today, you probably cannot buy Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) or ephedrine anywhere, or with restrictions. Recently, I saw a sign in WalMart where  pseudoephedrine sales are suspended for the year. It was a very good decongestant. A legitimate need for this drug is denied by abusers.
Small Tomatoes
(example of  Macro where center
of focus should have been the
red tomato, but I missed a
smidge and it wasthe leaf in
front of the tomato! Macro
focusing is difficult because
of very narrow focus length.)
After I retired, these memories slowly faded; I had made several changes in my life and our overall financial condition was considerably improved. We were actively participating in church and charitable causes; the joy of helping others returned. We had loaned substantial funds to others and been repaid. We never signed papers and often exchanged services instead. My husband often initiated these efforts and led the way, as he knew what it was to be the recipient of others' kindness as a youth.

But there is always someone who perceives kindness and charity as opportunity for ill-gained advantage or profit with convincing pleas for some believable purpose. I call it "conning." The "conned" person is often described by the perpetrator as an "easy touch."

I've filled prescriptions later proved forged. I recently loaned money for a late electric bill which was misappropriated for illegal purchase of a prescription drug. My husband has loaned small amounts to persons who paid him back regularly, but at one point did not. It did not help to find out said person, too, was involved in illegal drug trafficking.

While on council I helped persons jump through hoops for building or other permits to find out they violated other regulations, by side-stepping procedural loopholes which are now being closed.

It only takes one such misappropriation to sour an attitude. I know it will not last long but I must remember to handle my judgement of merit decisions with more prudence. Being charitable is not being a fool.

Since we changed our personal idea of commercialized Christmas giving and other holiday and birthday excesses, we have tried to channel what we spent in these activities into giving to others, both formally and in other ways. It is a joy and lifted what over the years had become a burden. We had no children, so we had no prospects of grandchildren, etc.

Yet the true meaning of each holiday, has not changed, but I speak for myself. I have a few table decorations I put out a Christmas. The other holidays I simply observe quietly.
White Snail, or Is It a Snail?
Now for the hors d'oeuvres of a photo today. It is a sad one. This small little snail appeared in an area of my newly renovated front yard near the entry steps two days ago. The white pearlized snail lay atop the moist mulch near a small hedge bush; it never moved so it must be dead.

Where did it come from? Probably from nearby Bull Shoals Lake. IS a terrestial snail? Why did it choose to move here? The moist mulch upon which it apparently died contained chemicals to deter grass and weed growth which may have been toxic. Snails make errors in judgement, too.

It may not be a snail at all. I did not touch it. Nor have I ever seen snails on the property, but then they are some what shy creatures. I have seen slugs, one very old looking toad, small frogs, lizards and snakes.

The "green" fanatics will call me a murderer, I guess. Stay tuned for the trial.....


Arkansas Patti said...

That is a great idea about giving to the food bank. The only crop I have had in abundance are my cantaloupes and sadly, I have processed my excess. Next time I will know. Thanks.
I have always been an easy touch except for family and friends. I have seen too many close relationhips tank through that route.

faye said...

If I had a garden then I would
most definitely share the produce..
but I have trouble even growing
the hardiest of plants.

I am an easy mark .. something I wish I could some day overcome.

Lorna said...

I find it hard not to be an easy touch but it would be harder not to give to someone who really is in need. I may be a soft touch but I stand by my right to be so.

Lovely pictures today

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Well as low as some of the sentences handed out maybe you want be in jail too long. haha
Wonderful idea about giving to the food bank. This was my first year to grow veggies out here in clay pots because of my back and I so enjoyed it. I share with Gretchen and can't wait to do more next year.
Loved my visit here today
Stay cool

Pat - Arkansas said...

Love your garden photos, Carol.

I'm going to try to get an earlier start on my "pot gardens" next year. I fear I will have no tomatoes at all in 2011, as I planted too late into the growing season; I have only vines, no blooms. My entire harvest of veggies to date is two jalapenos and two sweet banana peppers. Pitiful! My basils are doing great, but I don't suppose there's much demand for basil at the food pantry. :(