Last week’s record warmth, although wonderful, felt wrong somehow. Now I feel unable to get into a long winter’s rest. Marie came over on Sunday and we poured over seed catalogs together. What fun! I got all inspired and planted both spinach and spigarello into large containers in the greenhouse. The last few years spigarello has moved close to the top of my favorite vegetable list. It is an heirloom native of Italy and probably a parent of broccoli. Its leaves are more tender than kale and are wonderful raw. It makes an edible nondescript flower. Since it comes from Southern Italy, as does Lacinato kale, it is not as hardy as kale or collards but holds its own both spring and fall.

It’s disturbing to see the deer damage on various properties. They are eating things I’ve never noticed in the past, for example coral bells. The bells usually look decent all winter but now are chomped off at ground level. Hunters have mentioned that the deer they have taken have no fat this year. I guess this is a result of no acorns. Hopefully, the poor things will not starve this winter. However, it would be nice if they stayed away from our shrub borders and ornamental trees. They have taken the top buds from all the hydrangeas. There is simply not enough Bobbex and/or fencing. I hate needing acceptance. It implies something is unacceptable.

As long as we are on the subject of wildlife, rabbits have eaten all my parsley and leek tops. I always assumed a member of the onion family would be unpleasant for them. I know nothing.

I pulled an entire row of carrots. There is nothing to compare to a carrot that has experience a few freezes. They are incredibly sweet.

I made my first trip of the year to Ghost Island Farm last Saturday morning. I didn’t have the time or need to shop there this summer. I purchased several bags of spinach and have been enjoying it barely steamed with a little blue cheese and walnuts. Yummy. I need to ask Rusty when he planted it. The leaves were huge and perfect.

I’m determined to spread some lime this week. My perennial beds have not had its benefits in years. I will avoid the evergreens, hydrangeas and ferns. They are acid-lovers and won’t like it. Maybe I’ll actually bust open a bag of fertilizer and toss it around the shrub border.

Gardening has become a year-round pastime here on the Vineyard. This is a good thing since writing material gets pretty slim this time of year. What’s really slim is my patience. I’m sick of Iowa all the time. How come no other states get such concentrated media attention, not to mention every candidate basically moving there. I realize it’s the middle of the country but certainly not a microcosm culturally.

I forced myself to stay up past my bedtime on Tuesday night to watch the debate from (where else) Iowa. I seriously hate the debates. There is the constant interrupting, the tooting of one’s own horn and the endless arguments about how to provide health care. Any of them would be better than what we have now.

I’m amused by the criticism of Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg for having their own money. Let’s face facts, people, it costs a gazillion dollars to run for office. Why can’t everyone pool the funds and give it to DJT in exchange for him stepping down. He’s only in the job for the personal money anyway.

I love how New York Times columnist Gail Collins calls him a thousand-aire and it drives him crazy.