I was surprised after the days-long wind and rain last week that there was not nearly as much tree and plant damage as I feared. It was actually nice to be forced indoors for a few days. I caught up on some goofing-off time.

Since the boats did not run, people began commenting about the grocery shelves emptying. Most markets nation-wide have about three days worth of food in the event of a natural disaster. This fact should give us all pause. It’s always prudent to have a few things on hand in the freezer or pantry.

Since I am the daughter of Gord and Betsy Irons — both children of the Great Depression — we always had a stocked larder. It’s impossible to change habits of childhood, it seems. I do not even bother. If times get tough, come on over.

The fall colors are presenting themselves. Especially nice are the maples and the vine, Virginia Creeper. Nothing, however, can match the view from my childhood bedroom window in Rew, Penn. I could see seven mountain ranges and in the fall my brother and I joked that it looked like a giant box of the cereal, Trix. As I recall in the 50s it was a new introduction with very vibrant artificial coloring. Oh, how I digress.

An interesting fall bloomer is the beach-side Baccharis. I see it everywhere. Beware, though, it will spread like crazy and gets quite large. It has lovely white flowers so it’s difficult to see it as weedy. I planted a seed package of cow peas very late in the season. They grew into a beautiful plant and I ignored them. After the storm last weekend I noticed they were covered with thin round green beans. After I opened one I realized they were, in fact, black-eyed peas. How fun is that? I boiled them all and broke open the softened pods. I enjoyed several meals of the fresh shelled beans. Despite the name they are actually beans not peas.

In the latest edition of Edible Vineyard, there is an article about Tatiana Schlossberg and her new book: Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You have. One thing that jumped from the page for me was that 2,900 gallons of water are used to make one pair of bluejeans. Cotton growing is a huge environmental destroyer.

Then on NPR on Monday morning there was a similar alarming segment. One T-shirt uses the same amount of water that a person drinks in 2.5 years. Yikes. Think how many T-shirts we own? Then, I thought, how many poor workers are employed in sweatshops making that clothing. Honestly, I scare my own self once I head into a subject.

Speaking of scared, DJT has, once again, made a snap decision that affects the world. His abrupt withdrawal in northern Syria has enabled hundreds of ISIS fighters to escape and, most likely, regroup.

I did watch the Democratic debate in Ohio. Frankly, everyone but Cory Booker irritated me. Why do we need the same old arguments about how to enact policy? Any of those 12 people would be a better president than DJT. Cory seemed to grasp the fact that we need to stick together. I saw a bumper sticker: “Any functioning adult 2020.”

Nothing in Washington will change as long as Mitch McConnell and his team of cowardly Republicans hold the senate. I am endlessly astonished that Donald Trump owns those people and they forgot the U.S. Constitution.

I cannot imagine Barack Obama getting away with any of the present nonsense.