I had a large hoop house in which I stored garden-related items: tools, fertilizers, potting soil, stakes and ornamental pots. It was covered with a huge tarp. Last month’s big northeaster took it down, hoops and all.

I’ve been whining about it ever since — that is, until the news came out of Kentucky on Saturday morning. The total devastation is beyond shocking. Those poor people not only had the experience of it but now what? Where would a person even begin to rebuild a life? I really hope climate change starts to become a reality in the national conversation.

The weather has been so nice here on the Vineyard that it is difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. I’m a last-minute person about holidays. I love the hustle and bustle of shopping locally in the nick of time. Our family doesn’t go crazy. We will get the little children a gift or two, make a few things for the others, eat well, and go to church.

The garden world is very weird these days. I still have some bulbs to plant, beds to cut back, hoses to drain and general cleaning up before winter begins in earnest, if it ever does.

I still have some calendula blooming and the snapdragons look fabulous although I cut the flowers. They will come back if we don’t get a very cold couple of months.

I saw two tiny blue flowers in the front garden. One was the spring-blooming vinca and, surprisingly, a peach-leafed bellflower. I’ve never seen that in December.

I came across a clump of tiny garlic shoots. I must have missed harvesting it in July. I yanked it up to discover some small cloves. I re-planted them in the greenhouse in hopes of some spring greens. Soon, I’m going to go through some of last year’s seeds. Lettuce and spinach can be seeded now in a cold-frame situation for some salads by March. They can freeze at night but thaw enough by midday to prick.

Don’t forget: next week the winter solstice means the light will change and days will get longer. The hens will start laying again.

That reminds me of some news I heard this morning. After January 1, Massachusetts will experience an egg shortage. It seems the state wants to change the regulations on how much space a hen is given from one square foot to one and a half square foot. The egg industry is refusing. Just wrap your mind around that very sad fact for a minute the next time you fix an omelet.

For all the complaining I do about tending my farm animals, I sleep well knowing they got to have a life, walking around outside in the sunshine.

Since I do not have much to offer in the garden area this week, I may as well rant about the state of our world. Congress is about to pass a giant defense spending bill. Half of the money goes to corporate contractors and we have homeless veterans wandering around big cities.

Plus, there is doubt that Biden’s Build Back Better plan will pass the Senate. After all, lots of that money would help the poor and middle class when we need million dollar fighter jets.

Rand Paul voted against federal aid to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey but now wants it for Kentucky. Don’t get me wrong: Kentucky needs all the help we can give but, honestly, everyone wants government help for themselves but not for undeserving others.