Herb Benham

Monday, Sep 03 2012 05:39 PM

Perhaps she isn't exaggerating her injury

By Herb Benham

I discovered that Sue has supporters. After I wrote the column suggesting that Sue walk off her knee injury (before she knew it was a tibia fracture) and I intimated that she was hamming it up a bit on the crutches, she received several get-well cards, and I got a phone call.

"I suggest that since Sue cannot risk further injury to her knee by kicking you in the backside that she take one of her crutches and bring it square across your britches," the caller said.

The only thing that makes my disastrous tomato crop palatable is that my father-in-law, John, had fungus or wilt decimate his tomatoes, too. I spoke to several people who were left with yellow, wilted leaves, cracked tomatoes and blossoms that never took.

The cherry tomatoes are fine, but anybody can grow cherry tomatoes. They are the zucchini, along with the thick-skinned romas, of the tomato family.

I recently finished a book called "The $64 Tomato" by William Alexander. Alexander, who lives in upstate New York, put in a huge garden on his property. Alexander is a serious gardener and after harvest calculated the cost of each tomato -- $64.

He knows, as we all do, that you don't want to do the math. The math you do in gardening is the aesthetic and spiritual math -- how does the garden look and how does the garden make me feel?

I can answer that.

Right now my garden looks terrible and I don't feel good about it. If I had pumpkins growing, which I don't, I might get that fall feeling. That's what pomegranates are for and a couple of days ago, I noticed that the Western leaf-footed bugs have returned and are stalking my pomegranate crop.

Solutions include hosing off the tree or picking them and feeding them to chickens. I have a chicken next door and if I can convince Martha that these bugs are like dessert for a chicken, maybe I can get some purchase.

Kenny Wong Jr. (son of the doctor Kenny Wong) wrote a nice email after my column about going to Idaho. He's been living in the Boise area for 16 years. I had said in the column that my sister promised a nice, easy, four-mile hike, which was closer to eight miles.

"When it comes to hiking and cycling, people in Idaho tend to underestimate distance," Wong wrote. "To longtime residents, every hike or ride is 'not too bad.'

"Another nice aspect of living here is ski in the morning and be in the office by 12:30 p.m."

James Ehteshami, an 18-year-old freshman at BC, was honored recently for becoming an Eagle Scout. It takes 21 merit badges to become an Eagle Scout and only 4 percent of Boy Scouts achieve this. Ehteshami earned 52 merit badges (and what they call six Palms) and is one in 100,000 scouts to fly that high.

A note from Chuck Olsen on the search for the perfect pillow:

"So what is the verdict on your pillow? My wife is a tri-pillow sleeper and is dying to hear the results of your sleep study," Chuck wrote.

I still like the pillow I ordered from Mypillow.com. It's a funny-looking pillow and when you put your head on it, you wouldn't think that it could deliver a good night's sleep, but it does.

In the column on attending my high school reunion, I said that Kevin Ernst, one of my classmates, lived in Oregon and worked for Herbalife.

"Herbie -- you almost got it right. I'm living in Washington and I work at Trout Lake farm, which provides raw herbs to Nutrilite Amway -- oh my God!), not Herbalife (a fierce competitor). Life is good." -- Kevin Ernst

I made a mistake in attributing the story about the late Hans Einstein, the doctor and valley fever pioneer, who gave a generous deal on a car to a newly moved-in neighbor and her family. I'd said the neighbor was Michelle Willow, marketing/communications manager at Mercy and Memorial Hospitals, but it was somebody else.

"My son was surprised to learn I had a secret daughter, too," Willow wrote.

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