The Gardener, the Salsa, and a Day at the Ranch

Written by Rich Showalter

Once Upon a Time... A Gardener's Daydream The Gardener,repparttar Salsa, and a Day atrepparttar 118272 Ranch Article by Rich Showalter Copyright © 2003 by ProGardenBiz ProGardenBiz, an online magazine

This is a tale of a landscape contractor and his quiet getaway inrepparttar 118273 mountains. Now, I'm no gardener myself, but I swear that this isrepparttar 118274 true tale as related to me as we relaxed onrepparttar 118275 front porch on one of those long, summer days spent with a cool one and watching our neighbors mow their lawns.

Rachel Louise Carson authoredrepparttar 118276 book "Silent Spring" alerting mankind (which includes you gardeners and landscapers) torepparttar 118277 long term destructive results of certain pesticides and toxic chemicals. From my own personnel experience and observation, I wish to add one more insidious ingredient torepparttar 118278 expanding list of dangerous substances polluting our gardens. It is called "salsa picante" or "salsa muy caliente" (Hot sauce to you gringos).

Long, one ofrepparttar 118279 favorite lunch choices of many a landscape contractor and gardener, you may want to read on... there is more to that salsa then you've been told.

An obscure legend suggests thatrepparttar 118280 Aztec God of Fire captured repparttar 118281 essence of salsa fromrepparttar 118282 bowels of a raging volcano when a high priest prayed for a cure to cleanserepparttar 118283 Aztec people of plague sweepingrepparttar 118284 land. The priest placed a single drop of salsa inrepparttar 118285 food bowl of every inhabitant. The plague vanished fromrepparttar 118286 land and so didrepparttar 118287 Aztecs!

From personal experience, I know better than to touchrepparttar 118288 stuff (as you will soon see), but my landscape crew often indulges. I've related this story to them on many a landscape job, but they laugh it off, much like Boy Scouts aroundrepparttar 118289 campfire hearingrepparttar 118290 scary tall tales. Unfortunately, this tale is true...

One Friday night not long ago found us rolling towardrepparttar 118291 family diggins inrepparttar 118292 mountains near Julian, CA. After a hard week of building, planting gardens, and irrigating lawns, I was ready for a relaxing weekend atrepparttar 118293 ranch... building, planting gardens, and irrigating lawns. After two yearsrepparttar 118294 house and surrounding landscaping were nearly half done.

We were almost there when my wife Gerry,repparttar 118295 blanket burglar, wanted some Mexican food. She should have married a Mexican chef (or gardener in my case) because her craving forrepparttar 118296 stuff is almost insatiable.

I said, "No."

She replied, "I will invite mother to spend another month."

I said, "Oh."


Poor old Cricket, our midget female drip-dry dachshund, was darn near catapulted throughrepparttar 118297 window by a 90 degree turn into "Pancho's Taco Y Salsa" stand.

Pancho asked me, in broken English, how much hot sauce I wanted forrepparttar 118298 beef and bean burrito. I told him a half dozen of those little plastic tubs would be fine. They look like miniature "maintenance free" batteries made ofrepparttar 118299 same materials.

The expression on his face can only be compared to a war movie whererepparttar 118300 pilot of an enemy plane dives out ofrepparttar 118301 sun onrepparttar 118302 helpless victim. He put on a pair of heavy leather gauntlets, welder's helmet, and reached for a pair of long, steel tongs. A lead lined steel box was set inrepparttar 118303 concrete floor with a radiation alert label onrepparttar 118304 lid. He reached in withrepparttar 118305 tongs and removed six tubs; neatly dropping them into my bucket, as I jumped back to avoid flying sparks.

Onrepparttar 118306 way out, I glanced over my shoulder at Pancho who was stenciling a new miniature American Flag on a board hanging from repparttar 118307 wall. This guy was an ace many times over, judging fromrepparttar 118308 number of flags that coveredrepparttar 118309 board.

I pointedrepparttar 118310 old Chevy pick-up forrepparttar 118311 mountains again with my window rolled allrepparttar 118312 way down, as Gerry,repparttar 118313 masochist, tears streaming fromrepparttar 118314 cherry red eyes, happily munched on her burrito. Cricket had buried herself in a pink asbestos blanket, knowing that a careless spark striking her fur coat could transform her into a crispy critter in a flash.

What happened next was my fault. Normally, after arriving atrepparttar 118315 ranch, I bury any unused salsa tubs inrepparttar 118316 open field, six feet under and 100 yards from any living plant or critter. It'srepparttar 118317 closest thing to a toxic waste dump in these here parts. I should have known better because despite many years as a landscape contractor I have never been able to get a lawn, a tree, or any kind of plant or flower to grow on that spot. I hoperepparttar 118318 critters who make their home here will forgive me someday.

When I first saw Snuffy and Stumpy together they reminded me of Laurel and Hardy. They are a pair of grey field mice who are roommates sharingrepparttar 118319 bottom file drawer located inrepparttar 118320 garden shed. Snuffy was so named because he has hay fever all year long; and Stumpy for obvious reasons – lost his tail in a hunting accident. He was being hunted by Russellrepparttar 118321 rattler at repparttar 118322 time, who misjudgedrepparttar 118323 opening that Stumpy was squeezing through. Old Russ was pretty sore, having broken his nose and fracturing a tooth with nothing to show for it except an inch of Stumpy's fat tail.

After we settled in and beforerepparttar 118324 pick-up was cold, Snuffy, led by Stumpy, made a thorough inspection ofrepparttar 118325 cab looking for tidbits and scraps of food.

Stumpy wasrepparttar 118326 first to spotrepparttar 118327 eerie pulsating light emanating fromrepparttar 118328 glovebox. Upon inspection, he came across a single tub of salsa that I had forgotten to bury. Being somewhat of a selfish glutton, he tore open a corner ofrepparttar 118329 tub and gulped downrepparttar 118330 whole thing.

Too late, he realized he must have gotten into whatrepparttar 118331 humans call "a stash." Gasping for air, he could not imagine human or beast snorting and shooting this stuff into their bodies. By now, Stumpy was deaf and blind. Little Snuffy took his friend byrepparttar 118332 whiskers leading him towardrepparttar 118333 garden shed. With only 25 feet to go, Stumpy gave uprepparttar 118334 ghost, rolling on his back with his little fat feet pointing towardrepparttar 118335 moon, that great orb of cheese where he would rest for eternity.

Snuffy dashed for safety when he heard Russell, who had been attracted by allrepparttar 118336 noise, coming out from under our old riding lawn mower. He rattled to himself with unexpected pleasure as he realized his good fortune. Dessert and settling an old score in one gulp!

Tribute to Delores

Written by D. Gustafson

Summer’s almost here and it’s that time. Yes, you need a new bathing suit.

No, no, no, now come on back here. That’s it. Just sit down and relax. Take a few deep breaths. C’mon, breathe in through your nose, now out through your mouth. Good girl.

I understand completely. Why,repparttar mere thought ofrepparttar 118271 “Suit Ritual” used to send me running torepparttar 118272 pantry for a container of Betty Crocker’s Rich & Creamy Frosting. Of course, that was before I knew how to buy a bathing suit.

Bathing suit shopping doesn’t need to be painful, stressful or emotionally devastating.

Department store statistics show that over eighty percent of all women shopping for a bathing suit will leaverepparttar 118273 store empty handed. Of that eighty percent, a full sixty-five percent will leaverepparttar 118274 store empty handed, and require sedation. Those are sad, shameful and totally unnecessary statistics.

Findingrepparttar 118275 perfect suit is simply a matter of understandingrepparttar 118276 logistics, then following a few simple guidelines.

Understand your body type. Not every suit suits everyone. What suit to pick? Well, if you’re a busty gal, look to an under wire for support. If combined withrepparttar 118277 vee neckline of a surplice bodice, your ample bosom will look perky and proud. Avoid support that pushes up and together, lest small sea creatures become trapped.

Love a two piece, but have a tummy? No problem. It’s a peek-a-boo tankini for you. Pullrepparttar 118278 top as high or low as you dare. Inrepparttar 118279 water a little air, trapped inrepparttar 118280 top, will give you a sexy, buxom look, and double as a flotation device.

Kissing thighs never “kiss and tell” beneath a flirty skirted suit. A pristine white pleated skirt is justrepparttar 118281 thing this season to hide past sins. Paired with a jaunty sailor’s cap, worn at a perky angle, you’ll berepparttar 118282 belle ofrepparttar 118283 beach.

Think we’re finished? Not even close. Deciding your body type is onlyrepparttar 118284 beginning. The preparation for your big day should begin at least two weeks prior to shopping.

Two Weeks

Cut out all salt, sugar, white flour, animal flesh, processed foods, and fat from your diet. Eat natural foods, like celery, high in water content. If possible, eat only celery. This will enable your body to flush out allrepparttar 118285 built up toxins. To speed uprepparttar 118286 cleansing, drink at least twenty glasses of water per day. At first glance, this may seem an excessive amount of water, and it is. It’s rather high. However,repparttar 118287 more time spent inrepparttar 118288 bathroom,repparttar 118289 less time standing in front ofrepparttar 118290 fridge. Nuff said?

If at all possible, have your doctor prescribe a high dosage diuretic. The foot and leg cramps may be annoying, but just keep your mind focused onrepparttar 118291 big day, and you’ll barely notice them.

Checkrepparttar 118292 back of your legs. After being bundled up in pantyhose and tights all winter, some women develop a rash. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and is easily cured. Your face deserves a facial, so why not give your legs a legcial?

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