I admit I’ve been lulled into denial about January weather. Last week’s lovely days up into the 40s did not prepare me for the cold blast of last weekend. I heat with wood without the benefit of a back-up system. I did a bit of grumbling for several days. There is no lazing around in pajamas in my house.

That bit of whining out of the way, the light has definitely changed. The hens do not head for the coop until almost 5 p.m. and are producing a few more eggs every day.

I made my seed order from Pine Tree Gardens. I love that company. A real human being answers the phone so there is no pesky menu to navigate. I’m a slave to tradition and make the exact same choices every year. I always get the heirloom varieties and no hybrids. I am guaranteed to have luck with seed saving if it becomes necessary.

It’s taken two full weeks for some very iffy germination to take place in my unheated greenhouse. Using my reading glasses I can see the tiny beginnings of some spinach. It inspired me to set up the propagating mats. I can set the thermostat on them for 60 degrees and should get some lettuce, kale and sprouting broccoli to emerge in a few days. Hope springs eternal.

I dug all the celeriac before Thanksgiving and left it in big pots with the dirt attached in an unheated room. Last year I left it in the ground too long and it went all mushy. I was pleased to make several meals with this year’s crop. I must say, it is a real pain to peel and prepare but very tasty. I prefer it to its cousin, celery. It has all the flavor with none of the strings and it remains crunchy in a hot dish.

Everything I like gets discontinued. I’m beginning to take it personally. This year I’m unable to find seeds for Copra onions, Amigo celosia and Little Buddy gomphrena. As is everything else in my life, complaining does absolutely no good.

Since the sighting of a coyote near Goodale’s pit, I’ve been very anxious. I have an elderly barn cat who lives in my big hoophouse in that area. He hates being inside — tries to jump through the window. He has lived happily in my garden for 15 years, dispatching voles. I doubt he could outrun a coyote even though my own dog is afraid of him. Then again, she’s a wimp.

Since it’s still off-season in garden world and I’m running out of material, I found some old organic gardening magazines from the 1970s and started re-reading them. I’m getting a huge kick out of the advertisements. They offer 20 large Dutch Iris bulbs and 25 giant crocuses for $2. This is alongside the world’s most comfortable shoe of genuine leather for $14.99. It’s hard to believe the incredible inflation that has occurred in the last few decades. When I arrived on-Island in 1970 I cleaned houses in the morning for $2.50 an hour. That $10 bought supper, gas for the car and some form of entertainment. Now it barely gets a person coffee and a sweet.

What’s interesting about the magazine is the relevance of the articles — solar grow frames and water heaters, amaranth growing, compost piles and protecting oneself from pesticides. I’m so happy I saved them.

I am too depressed to comment about the so-called impeachment trial in the United States Senate so let’s talk about Virginia. Finally the state legislature has ratified the ERA — way to go! It’s the 38th state to do so. It’s only been 48 years in the making.

Then over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday a huge gun rally took place in Richmond. It seems the gun owners are upset that they cannot carry in government buildings, need reasonable background checks, and can only buy one handgun a month. Don’t get me wrong, I have guns, grew up with guns and am not opposed to them. However, which of those new regulations can possibly harm a law-abiding citizen? I remain one of the baffled.