I try to make the illustrations match the written word. I give Seniel a word or two hint and she comes up with something appropriate. It is always a surprise to me when I get the Gazette on Friday. She e-mails to the Gazette, while I, on the other hand, typewrite the content and someone is kind to pick it up. Two weeks ago I mentioned raking until my arms no longer worked. The picture did not make it until last week. I cracked up to see the rake with dismembered arms.

I, for one, hate the time change. I dislike it being dark in the morning again. I know I am in the minority. I am always amused when people say it was done originally for the farmers, as if cows could tell time. It was instituted during World War II to save energy. Supposedly people would do more in the daylight hours at the end of the work day. Ironically they have found folks tend to drive more and use more gas. Also more shopping takes place. I guess that is a good thing now that we are getting stimulated by the federal government.

I told this story a couple of years ago but it bears repeating. My forebears, Gideon Irons and Lydia Page, traveled from Connecticut in the late 1700s to western Pennsylvania. After a hard winter and spring planting they left a daughter, one Dorcas Irons, on the farm to head back to New England to gather more family members and belongings. Hard times struck and Dorcas dug up the newly planted potatoes, removed the eyes, replanted them, and ate the insides of the tubers. I have always admired that story of resourcefulness. True to my long Irish ancestry I like to plant some potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. This past year the crop was meager. I came to the end last week so I cut the sprouted sections off the last of them and left them to dry on newspaper for a few days. I will get them underground on the 17th. I managed to get one last batch of mashed. Very comforting!

The seedlings are coming right along in the greenhouse. I transplanted some yellow yarrow and Russian hollyhocks as well as Princess Victoria Louise, a salmon-colored oriental poppy. They were so tiny that reading glasses were required but I didn’t mind. Violet, my granddaughter, joined me in the task of making mud pies while singing happily. Talk about all being right with the world!

Last Saturday, March 7, my first crocus bloomed. I put the date down so I can finally have it noted somewhere. I’m tired of saying things like, it was earlier last year. I have no idea what I am talking about most of the time. It was in a protected location, and you have to admit last Saturday was a fabulous day.

A big thank you to Laurie Clements. She facilitated the mail delivery of two female canaries. The two boys (which I had purchased as a pair) were desperate for mail-order brides. They are nicely settled in honeymoon suites and hopefully will produce families.

There is no better indoor pet. Canaries have been in cages for 400 years, since seafarers discovered them on the Canary Islands in the 600s. Talk about indefinite detention!

I never trimmed my privet hedge last summer. It produced bee-attracting flowers resulting in black berries. I enjoyed watching a few fat robins eating every one of those berries the other day.

A word to the wise — write down those numbers stored in your cell phone. I lost mine and tried to get the company to retrieve the phone book. As if! Perhaps the government without a warrant can make it happen?