Have I complained on this blog about the horrendous Arizona heat? Well, if I haven't, consider this a LOUD complaint! I have lived here for 31 years. Most who know me hear this statement followed by "and I've spent 32 years trying to leave." Don't get me wrong-this state offers a beauty of the desert type unparalleled by any other. The problem is that in order to make all those cool looking plants grow, the climate must be unfit for humans. Even my dog complains from time to time and she spends almost no time outside in the summer. One great benefit of all this wonderful sunshine is the plethora of garden veggies. We have only tomatoes, onions and herbs this year, as the heat in early July fried our squash, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers and other plants. The remaining fruits of our labor are simply delicious. Even after 3 months of having fresh vine-ripened tomatoes every day, I just have to utter "m-m-m-m-m-m, these are sooooo good" every time I take the first bite. These 'maters are so sweet they could give berries and peaches a run for their money. So, as I sit and lament the length of our summer, I am reminded that as the days become shorter our fresh garden eats will go away for another winter. I just thought of one other reason to live here-we continue to get tomatoes on the vine until November. I doubt there are many places in this country where this is true, so today I am thankful for the (choke) long, (sob) hot, (howl in agony) summers of Arizona. Our garden window becomes the Tomato Ripening Center for those little suckers who fall off the vine a bit too soon. It's fun to see how quickly they go from green to bright red. And just for the record, we have noticed no difference in flavor from the vine-ripened to the window-ripened.