Monday and Tuesday’s cool, rainy days gave me a rare opportunity to tend to some indoor tasks and for some goofing off. I really enjoyed it.

I did go through the several baskets of apples languishing on my kitchen floor. I cut the cores out of ones who seemed tired and about to expire. After cooking the quarter pieces slowly for some time, I ran them through a press. As I write, I’m debating putting some pints into the canner. I’ll be happy when it’s done but I admit I’m running low on gumption.

Over the weekend, I pulled up an entire bed of black-eyed peas. It was one seed package from Pinetree Nursery. About half of the peas (they are actually beans) were already dried. After pulling the dried pods from the plants, I left them a couple of days in the pilot-light heated oven. Then, I opened the shells and was rewarded with almost a quart of dried beans.

The other pods on the plants were still soft and green so I boiled them and, after they cooled, removed the shelled beans. I froze some and ate a huge pot of them for several meals. They are creamy and delicious, way more tasty than reconstituted dried beans.

While I’m on the subject of drying food, I have an age-related confession. I had placed a couple of pizza pans covered in small, halved tomatoes onto the aforementioned pilot-light heated oven. After questioning my judgment, I turned the oven on for a short time -- which turned out to be a couple of hours, given my pathetic memory. At any rate, they turned out great: leathery, dry and not even burned. What are the odds?

I popped them into the freezer for who knows what later this winter. I’m thinking with olives, garlic and cheese on pasta?

I’ve never cared for Montauk daisies. They smell bad but I’m rethinking. Several places have them now and they look great. Could I possibly be developing an open mind?

Also still looking great is the annual melampodium. It is short, yellow and daisy-like. I’ve never seen seedlings for sale anywhere and it grows from seed. I got the seeds from Select Seeds, which has great heirlooms and rare annuals.

How I wish I had spent some time this week perusing the bulb catalogs. Every year, I put it off until some of my favorites are sold out.

I’m sure we all remember the scene in The Graduate when the Dustin Hoffman character is told to think about plastic. I cannot stop thinking about it. Why did they change the fold-open top of a milk carton into a little pull-out circle of plastic? How many of those little circles are floating in the ocean? It’s difficult to not be endlessly disgusted.

Speaking of disgusted, how about the Republican card Joe Manchin’s argument that Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill is too expensive? I did not hear them complaining about the hundreds of billions poured into the corrupt Afghan government. It’s rich that all our money and blood was defeated by the Taliban in less than two weeks.

Wait, there’s more. Didn’t we just give Israel boatloads of money for a defense system?

I actually heard Larry Kudlow complaining on Fox News that giving children free lunch at school would make them grow up to expect free stuff. As Seth Meyers put it: we got free books in grade school but don’t think books are free in stores. I wonder who raised these people.

God forbid that elderly got some dental care, little children eat, or we address our planet’s climate before it’s too late.