What started as a food blog has morphed into more or less a personal journal. My marriage, my parenting, my life journey is as likely to appear now as my kitchen work... but there's more than one way to feed a family.
In my house live a man and a woman, a boy and two girls. Elsewhere on my property live three bunnies, a cardinal family (and other less colorful birds), the occasional black squirrel passing through and countlesss chipmunks.
They are entertaining to watch and do not hesitate to make their homes rights up close to the house. I remember the first time I heard loud and persistent chirping on the stoop at the door right behind my seat at the computer. I peered out the window to find the bird in distress, but it was no bird. It was a chipmunk, leaning against the brick, smoking a cigarette and calling to all the other chipmunk street toughs, letting them know the time was ripe to trot over and destroy my flowers.
These ruffians don't actually bother the blooms, but they love to dig through the soil and throw it out over the shoulders as they burrow.
Years ago, I had some bunnies sampling my marigolds. The plants were large and impressive. I kept noticing that there were always buds swelling and promising to burst forth, but there were never any blooms. On closer inspection, I saw that there were several places where a stem would rise, presumably to present a bloom, but something had snipped it off. I blamed the bunnies that I had seen sprinting from beneath the marigolds numerous times. (I don't know if they just waited for the blooms to get nice and swollen before they took them off, or if they managed to get to a freshly sprung blossom before any of us got to see it.)
Without inflicting real harm on the sweet-looking creatures, I wanted to protect my flowers. I visited my gardening store and found this product:
After sprinkling hot pepper sauce all over their buffet line, the marigolds filled out with yellow blooms within a week. And this year, I sprayed it on the container garden that was being bothered, and it is now lush and full. Or at least, it HAS been lush and full. Currently it is in another kind of distress, in this extreme heat and drought. Sad little things...