Last week’s wonderful spring weather failed to prepare me for the rude awakening Monday morning. The cold and wind made the day downright unpleasant. Opening the hen house was my only outdoor activity of the morning.

Laster in the day Violet and I took a drive up Middle Road to Mermaid Farm for their fabulous feta cheese. We spent some time enjoying the view of Brookside Farm with its oxen and the impressive Witch Hazel. We got a laugh seeing the old-fashioned sofa in the sheep pen at Mermaid Farm. We wondered if the sheep enjoy it.

Last column I mentioned the sap dripping from a cut branch on my sugar maple. I put a bucket under it. It wasn’t the most efficient method of collection but managed to save eight quarts.

How I wish I had paid more attention to my Dad’s yearly harvest of maple syrup but I did my best on the kitchen range. The eight quarts reduced to about two cups of very thin, almost syrup. Violet and I poured some of it hot onto ice cream for breakfast. Can life possibly be better than that?

Speaking of Violet, she completely lay down on the ground to get the photo this week. The early crocuses have filled an entire bed and have escaped randomly into the lawn.

I have been looking mostly in vain for signs of returning life in the perennial beds. The sedum is all I can see for now, however, the early perennial candytuft

(Iberis) is budding and about to bloom.

I’ve been spending the past sunny afternoons in the greenhouse transplanting tiny seedlings into larger containers. So far only the hardy vegetables have been seeded — collards, onions, kale, beets and perennial herbs like lavender, thyme and sage. I confess I save every one. I sit on a stool wearing reading glasses. It is very meditative.

I listened to an NPR segment on food waste. Over a quarter of our food is wasted either in the field, the market or in our own homes. The interview subject commented on how food waste contributes to climate change. He offered this advice: buy only what you need, eat what you buy, the freezer is your friend when it comes to leftovers.

I’m a terrible housekeeper and have too many character defects to count but one of my redeeming qualities is that I never waste food. Growing one’s own food convinces a person how important it is. This reminds me of my oft-quoted advice from the Depression era: use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

This is an important week for me. I’m getting my second shot. It’s starting to feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is no longer the oncoming train.

Recent polling revealed that 50 per cent of Republican men do not plan to get the vaccine. I cannot figure out if it is a male ego thing or are they simply following the example of the man whom Joe Biden refers to as the former guy? DJT had every opportunity to model good behavior at the start of this pandemic from the encouragement of mask wearing to a public vaccination. He chose unwisely. All the former Presidents including ancient Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter got together and showed the public their willingness to follow doctor’s orders. Donald and Melania, who both had Covid by the way, did it in private with no press coverage for weeks later.

I guess his power of example is just an example of power.