The little we had of winter seems to be over. Marie has a reseeded pansy blooming in her yard. There are a few daffodils flowering in protected locations. All of my crocuses are in full color — both the early ones and the jumbos. The spring birds are singing. I wish I knew them better. In my perfect life I would know everything.

I hauled in several large mandevillas last fall. I completely ignored them in a back unheated room. They are covered with yellow/orange aphids. I’ve noticed and choose to continue neglecting them. I may have mentioned Laurie Clements gave me a praying mantis egg case some time back. I put it in a pot with the aforementioned mandevillas. Don’t you know, they hatched. I can barely see them wearing two pairs of reading glasses. Violet discovered them. She said, “Mame, can’t you see their tiny arms?” I think I remember having young eyes that precise. Oh well, those were the days. At any rate, the mantis are busy chowing on those aphids. As they grow I’m going to take them to my various greenhouses. Call me if you want a few!

I took the seven o’clock ferry last Monday morning. What an incredible picture of our harbor in the morning light. As we moved along the various homes on West Chop apeared to catch fire as the rising sun hit the windows. There were some appropriate oh’s and ah’s from fellow passengers.

Traveling along the Woods Hole Road I saw a dark brown shingled house. It triggered a memory of my Dad and my home in Rew, Penn. This memory goes back to the time before everyone in town covered their homes in aluminum siding. Dad used to make a mixture of brown house paint and he used motor oil from cars and tractors. He sloshed it on our shingles every few years. I clearly remember the smell. Just so you know, Rew was in the heart of Pennsylvania crude oil country. Everything smelled of oil, including the water. We had a well in our back yard as did most folks in town. Of late, Mom says, they are reopening some of those wells that were closed by the E.P.A. a couple of decades ago.

It’s definitely time to direct seed popppies. They tend to resent transplantation. I try it most every year with only moderate success. This is clearly a case of do as I say not as I do. Two years ago I seeded a huge number of red annual poppies in the Brussels sprout rows. It was quite impressive and certainly photo-worthy, although I never get around to photography.

Sweet peas can be started as well. They like 55 degrees to germinate. I put them into large plug trays in the hoop house. It gets awfully warm in there duing the day so I am hoping for the best.

I’m a big fan of buttons — the political ones. I’m not a wearer of jewelry at all but do love a good button. My favorite during the Bush presidency was “I never thought I’d miss Nixon,” in a patriotic red, white and blue. I’ve always loved “subvert the dominant paradigm.” Another favorite is from a United Nations report. It seems fitting once again since we seem to be back to some sort of war on women. “Women constitute half the world’s population, perform nearly two-thirds of its work hours, receive one tenth of the world’s income, and own less than one hundredth of the world’s property.”

Always a hit at a dinner party is “what good is being at the top of the food chain if everyting you eat is bad for you.”

I wear “question authority but not your mother” to family gatherings.

I suggest wearing “I’m only doing it your way so I can blame you later” with your significant other.

Most importantly, remember “spandex is a privilege not a right!”