That was some serious wind and rain on Monday night. I think I slept about two hours. I do my best worrying in the middle of the night. Nevertheless it was nice to have a couple days of unseasonable warmth during it all. Here it is the beginning of hunting season. It will be nice to reduce the exploding deer population on the Vineyard. Our family owned a hunting camp. It slept about 12 people. Dad had people from all over, as far away as Pittsburgh, stay for a week or so to hunt. There were always the day’s harvests hanging around in the barn. I wish I could say I love venison but chili or spaghetti sauce was about all I could take. Mom did make a mean sausage, however, mixed with some pork.

I grew some Kalibos cabbage this year. It was pretty and I watched it do nothing all summer and fall. I finally picked a tiny head on Dec. 1. Good thing I’ve long ago accepted that nothing is on my time schedule. It is fun, though, to have such a year-round garden.

I still have aphids. How is that even possible considering we had a 16-degree night recently? I never take chances with cole crops. I always soak them in salted water as part of the preparations. This is simply the reality of organic gardening. It promptly removes and kills the tiny pests.

Violet’s photo this week is my attempt at some Christmas arrangements. As you can see I went crazy with the silver spray paint on the spent flower heads of P.G. hydrangeas, astilbe, and beech twigs which kept some of their leaves. The other silvery leaf is from my still lovely cardoon. I cut it to the quick wearing gloves but no matter. I spent a considerable amount of time wearing two pairs of reading glasses trying to remove the tiny spines from my fingers.

As luck would have it, I was perusing the Pine Tree Gardens seed catalog and came across Port Spineless Cardoon. I promptly ordered some. Cardoon is a cousin of artichoke. It is a popular vegetable in Europe. The stalks are blanched and are supposedly similar to artichokes in taste. One year, my friend Marie and I ate some. They weren’t wonderful but as an ornamental it is spectacular. I highly recommend it in the perennial bed for structure and a beautiful silvery foliage. The flower is a huge purple thistle.

The tiny nativity scene in the glass box was a gift from my late aunt Shirley. She made it in her ceramics class. Always a favorite, she and the five children came to Rew, Pa. every summer for a visit. We loved to see her coming. She made us fudge every night and we were allowed to drink Coca Cola when she was there. We never had it the rest of the year.

I am a complete failure at the growing of Brussels sprouts. No matter my timing or the lack thereof they never develop into the wonderful tiny cabbages. Rather they immediately open up an into stalks like so many pea-sized flowers. I do have the personality of a pit-bull and never am able to let go of something so I’ll try again next spring.

Speaking of never letting go — how about the now former President? My favorite story this week is the GOP’s push back on Joe Biden’s pick for the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden. The Republican senate says she my not get consideration and confirmation because she has a history of sending “mean tweets.”

Honestly, you could never make that up. Just think, soon we won’t have to think about the President every waking moment.