As I’ve noted before, the universe seems to store up its oddities so it can dump them on me all at once.  Apparently this week its goal was to leave me just slightly disturbed.  (Some might argue that I’m already permanently disturbed, but pshaw.)

The first thing that left me feeling a little off-balance was the fact that I’ve been calling friends and family to see if ANYBODY wants some zucchini.  There’s only so much I can eat, freeze, and dehydrate, and I passed that limit after the first thirty zukes.  (And that was only two pickings.  I’ve been picking every second day since the beginning of July.  Math majors, don’t bother adding that up – it comes out to “far too many”!)

So I phone.  I always get voicemail.  (Is that a hint?)  I leave my message offering free zucchini.  And then…

*sound of crickets*

They never call back.

This leaves me feeling just a bit… odd. Ordinarily I’d consider it rude if somebody completely ignored an offer of free food; but after all, we are talking about zucchini here. Zucchini is like that overly friendly coworker who keeps proposing weird-bordering-on-creepy social activities every weekend. Maybe it’s the thought that counts; but you’re not sure you want to encourage those thoughts.

(And that leaves me wondering whether I’m that coworker and I’m just too oblivious to realize it. These are the things that keep me awake at night.)

My next “Um… what?!?” moment came when I was doing some research for Book 15.  I began typing ‘Is it legal…’ into Google, and this is what popped up:

Seriously? Marrying yourself is the top Google search? How would that even work? And why?  (And don’t get me started about all the animal questions.)

My next ‘Uh-oh’ arrived while I was picking another big basket of cucumbers, as I do every… second… day.  (I may have to start breaking into people’s homes and leaving fresh produce behind.)

Anyway, there I was on my knees in the patch with all the bees working away at the blossoms… which were very near a certain place that’s quite dear to me. As I eyed the large bumblebee buzzing millimetres away from my crotch, I was reminded of the old joke about the guy in the dentist’s chair who reaches over to gently grip the dentist’s testicles and say, “We wouldn’t want to hurt each other, would we?”  I lack the testicles, but now I understand the trepidation.

And last but not least: I usually drink my morning cup of tea outside on our front porch. We still haven’t got our concrete poured, so my chair sits on a piece of plywood. And the other day when I glanced absently at it, I realized that it contained the face from Edvard Munch’s The Scream:

Am I right?

I’m here to tell you that it’s seriously disturbing to glance down and see that between your knees.  But I guess it’s better than an irate bumblebee.

So I’m slightly unbalanced as usual, but I’m still staggering forward.  How was your week?

Book 15 update:  I’ve almost finished Chapter 1!  And I’ve made another attempt at book cover redesign — what do you think? (See below.)


39 thoughts on “Hmmm…

  1. This might help with your zucchini problem…
    Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup cocoa
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 4 eggs room temperature and lightly beaten
    • 1 cup oil
    • 3 cups finely grated and drained zucchini
    • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcakes pans with liners. (Yields roughly 26-28 cupcakes)
    2. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. With a whisk gently sift ingredients.
    3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and oil. Mix by hand. Batter will be fairly thick. Add in grated zucchini and chocolate chips and fold in with spatula. Batter should loosen up a bit with the moisture from the zucchini.
    4. Using an ice cream scoop, fill up cupcake liners 2/3 full.
    5. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed mostly clean.
    • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • pinch of table salt

    I made these once when a friend foisted on me, er, I mean, gave me a zucchini. They were very good.


  2. Diane, I wish I could visit you and take the zucchini and cucumbers off your hands. Love cucumbers and I make a great zucchini and watercress soup. I literally could eat it every day and I’m much more a pizza and taco kind of woman! But I feel your garden pain because one year the cukes were out of control and we ended up with 10 jars of bread and butter pickles, not to mention the cucumber we lost track of until my mom walked inside holding something and I said…”Mom, where did you get that bat?” She laughed and said, “This is a cucumber that got lost under the leaves.” Picture googly eyes at this point. Too bad it was bitter to taste. If you get too desperate, I live in South Carolina. 🙂


    • LOL! I can just imagine trying to cross the border with a load of zukes and cukes. It might not go well. 😉

      My game with the cucumbers is to try to pick them ALL at tiny pickling stage. The cucumbers participate by willfully concealing a few of their number until I spot them several days later when they become too large to hide. That way I end up with a nice mix of slicing size and pickling size… and the occasional baseball bat!

      So far I’ve made 17 pints and 14 quarts of pickles. After the last batch, I announced to Hubby, “I’m DONE!” I sure hope all my friends and neighbours want some pickling cukes.

      Your zucchini and watercress soup sounds yummy!


  3. I like the new covers!

    Greetings from Utah, where I am safely hidden among the rocks and away from any random courgettes you may be plotting to hide in my luggage to transport home. I had thought about a single plant when I was growing a garden, but even that is overkill for our needs. I used to plant three cucumber plants and couldn’t give enough of them away either–the extended family can only consume so many of those!


    • Oh! And another thing. I tried “is it legal to” in The Googles and came up with:

      is it legal to own a monkey in utah
      is it legal to grow hemp in utah
      is it legal to own a fox in utah
      is it legal to smoke weed in utah
      is it legal to record a conversation in utah

      So what is it about owning monkeys or foxes? At least they can marry themselves. Or each other. But they can apparently get the munchies together it seems (at least if it’s not in Utah)…


      • Okay, Google is just messing with us. There’s no way that many people have a burning urge to own monkeys and foxes.

        Now I’m imagining a small but demented enclave of Google employees smoking weed in a dingy lair and coming up with a new batch of weird and worrisome ‘common’ search terms each week:

        “Ha! How about this one? ‘Is it legal to ride a unicorn naked’!”

        “Aw, man, no way. Everybody knows you gotta be naked when you ride unicorns. How about this? ‘Is it legal to spray-paint your grandmother naked’.”

        “Dude! That’s awesome! Okay, how about…”


        • Maybe these are from the Colorado office of Google, where sativa and Doritos are consumed at an alarming pace. 😁 Although the visuals of one of my grandmothers being spray-painted naked might be a little disturbing.

          So for research, I had to try Google again. “Is it legal to spray-paint your grandmother….” amounted to two results here. “…your grandmother’s house” and “….your grandmother’s eyes.” I kid you not.

          Oh, and a note to myself–avoid BC next year during zucchini harvest season. I have this odd feeling you’ll find our vehicle parked at some random place along the way, and take advantage of the open sunroof to dispose of a bushel or two of your finest. (But I think it’s illegal to bring it across international borders, or something…and I know we’d never eat our way through them on a two week trip!)


          • Don’t worry, I’ll stuff it under the seats. They’ll never find it. (Come to think of it, neither will you, until it turns into soup. Maybe I won’t do that after all.) But it might be better to keep your sunroof closed, just in case.

            And ‘your grandmother’s eyes?!? Good Lord. Google results always make me anxious about the state of humanity.


            • Zucchini soup under the seats? I’m afraid our vegetable drawer sometimes creates its own primordial soup when a few of those small cucumbers, a mushroom or two and half a bell pepper get lost in the bottom. So I can totally relate.

              But as for finding surprises in the car, one of our cars, several years ago, had a terrible odor in it. A kind of sour smell, with a bit of “dead something” pungency on top of it. There was nothing in the car, but I opened the trunk one day and the smell hit me. I found one of my better half’s lunch bags, with half a leftover container of lasagna I had made a couple of weeks prior. And this of course was in the heat of summer, where the lasagna became more than “twice baked” in a hot trunk with the sun beating on it–more like, baked daily for a day and a half. I would guess the ricotta cheese probably made the most stink of anything in that mess!


              • Yikes! I can only imagine the stench! Those are the times when I eyeball the container and think, “Do I actually like that container enough to clean it, or can I just sneak the whole thing into the garbage…?”


    • Aha, you’re smart! I’m pretty sure Utah is far enough away to evade the scourge of the courgettes. (Scourgette?) And I totally overdid it on the cucumbers, too — this is the first time in over 30 years that I’ve grown a garden in fertile soil, and I had no idea what to expect. Next year I’ll scale it back!


  4. I’m thinking maybe you clicked on the is it legal to smoke weed because I have to tell you it takes my mind some serious imagination to see what you are seeing. Just saying But then you are far more creative than I.
    Do you have a Food Bank near you by any chance that would like some fresh produce? Calgary’s Food Bank has got the word out looking for fresh produce that people aren’t able to use. Not that it’s much help to you but that might be an answer in your own area.


    • That’s a great idea! So far I’m keeping friends and neighbours supplied, but I definitely won’t let any go to waste. If I can’t find “homes” for my produce, I’ll call the service clubs in the area.

      And, hmm. I wonder if weed would make me more creative. Probably not — when I drink and write I think my work is brilliant until I sober up, and then it takes twice as much time to edit it into something intelligible. Weed would probably only make things worse… but it might be amusing. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love some fresh zuccs and cuces. If I send my phone number you can leave a message on my answering machine. I’ll call your answering machine back. Sadly I’m too far away to actually accept them, but would definitely say yes if I could. As for the rest; you are spending far to much time making silly random observations and not enough time writing. Just kidding. I feel certain your silly random observations are what makes your books so wonderful . #veggiestalker #hendersgroupie


    • LOL! Thanks, @laurap316! The silly random observations seem to occur without any effort on my part; but writing about them uses up time. I have actually considered reducing my blogging schedule to once a month, but I’ve found that if I don’t fit an activity into a weekly schedule, it doesn’t get done at all. I’d love to have more book-writing time, though. Hmmm…


  6. The new covers are groovy. I like them, but to vote I’d need to see them side by side again. I remember really liking the ones that had an image of you in the mirror. Special. But these do stand out!

    I wish I was your neighbor (temporarily anyway as I can’t be in one place too long) – I’d take some of those zucchinis and cucumbers off your hands.

    I never call anyone (don’t have a phone), so I don’t have that problem about having to leave messages and not receiving calls back. But, I hate it when people don’t respond to my emails. Of course, I’m not offering free food in those.

    Also, when my husband’s phone rings, he never answers, because of the high volume of spam calls. That being said, if anyone would leave a message – especially containing free produce – he would return the call. Or send a text.

    A Canadian blogger friend of mine claims that all the funny stuff going on right now has to do with Mercury’s Retrogade. Mid-August, things should turn back to normal. Although, I can’t see your (or my) life ever be normal/boring.


    • Nope, I abandoned ‘normal’ about five decades ago and it’s not really an option anymore. 😉 But I actually lead a pretty boring life when you consider that I spend most of my time behind a computer keyboard. Watching ‘a day in the life of Diane’ would be only slightly more exciting than watching paint dry. (And that’s only because, unlike paint, I get up and walk around occasionally.)

      Anyway, Mercury seems as good a scapegoat as any for all this weirdness!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m jealous of your veggie garden! I have a neighbor who leaves me bags and bags of fresh veggies from her boyfriends farm(they’re both in their 70’s, drink quite a bit, and are so totally cute!). I have aspirations of growing my own but that requires a lot of effort and for some reason I get lazy in the summer. If I could get them to grow in winter I’d be set for sure- I think my seasonal clock needs resetting, lol.
    Have you made any pickles with your excess cucumbers? Those are an addiction for me(but only dill pickles). My mom sends me any recipe having to do with them and last year I even tried the local Sonic’s pickle slushy. Yes it was pretty bad but I had to try it, lol!
    Bumblebees are my nemeses. Sitting out in my yard they are constantly doing their flyby’s around my head. Once, I got fed up and chased one around the yard cussing at it loudly and emphatically, much to the shock and glee of my neighbors four children. That day I went from “neighbor lady” to “crazy neighbor lady”. It was a proud moment.
    Have great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well done, Crazy Neighbour Lady! Every neighbourhood needs at least one of you. 🙂

      And I don’t think you’re lazy — it sounds to me as though you’re simply efficient. If your awesome neighbour delivers fresh veggies, why duplicate the effort?

      So far I’ve made 22 pints of pickles, and now that the cukes are in full swing I’m picking nearly 4 pints every second day. My poor dill is all used up, and I’m starting to give away pickling cukes, too, just because I don’t have time to make pickles twice a week. Once a week, though… yeah, maybe. We like pickles!

      You have a great week, too! 🙂


  8. Use the zucchini as ribbons or as spiral zoodles to replace regular pasta. I used the recipe at the following link, but added a little more pesto and lightly tossed the chicken in the zucchini/pesto mixture right before serving. Also, I use grated parmesan cheese instead of the chunks of mozzarella. Made a pot of rice, just in case, the first time, but nobody wanted any, we loved the zucchini ribbons.
    Be sneaky, invite guests and serve this, then send them home with armloads of zucchini.


    • Oh, yum! That sounds fabulous! Unfortunately, it contains a whole bunch of Hubby’s least-favourite foods: Garlic, zucchini, pesto, and parmesan. I’ll have to wait until he leaves on a business trip and then cook it for myself. 😉


  9. I can just imagine you dressed in green like a veg ninja, sneaking into other peoples houses leaving baskets of veg and sneaking out laughing the horrid look on the owners face as they see zucchini multiplying on the counter.

    I’m sure we discussed this last year too but I could be wrong


  10. As a child some prolific summers visitors to our home were not allowed to leave without a bucket of fruit/vegetables. Which led to a drop off in visitor numbers. Which my introspective father loved.
    And yes, sometimes the world is seriously weird. Or I am. Or we both are.


    • I like to think that we’re all weird — it’s fun to speculate on what secret oddities really sane-looking people are hiding. 😉

      It sounds as though your dad had figured out the perfect strategy: Get rid of excess food and visitors at the same time. A perfect win for him!


  11. Wine? Is there a zucchini wine? I mean just go to extremes – earn the scream. Be the reason people fear zucchini … and in England they call them courgettes. Maybe if you left messages that you like to give them some courgettes, they’d call you back.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Zucchini is one of the few domestic edibles that will grow around here. Zucchini harvest season is the one time of year I lock my car doors to prevent people from leaving me “gifts” of zucchini when my back is turned. Now I find that this may not be just a local phenomenon.


  13. Meanwhile I can’t grow zucchini. Talk about being jealous! I bought a transplant and it ended up having powdery mildew on the leaves. The leaves keep dying and the little zucchini just shrivel up before they’re and inch or two long. Wah! I wonder how long it would take Canada Post to deliver a truckload of your zucchini to the east coast? haha

    That Munch Scream in your plywood is awesome. I see things like that in our wallpaper, in the hardwood floors, in the drapes, in the trees . . . it’s a gift, Diane 😀 (although I see more mundane things like fish and faces, not famous paintings!)


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