Waking up Monday morning to a beautiful winter wonderland with light, fluffy, manageable snow was a real treat. It sure beat the clean-up disaster after the big wind and snow of the previous weekend.

Once again, this week there is practically non-existent garden material. Your indulgence is required.

The forsythia branches I brought inside more than a week ago have begun showing some yellow but have yet to open fully.

I also brought in some cuttings of lilac. They are the old-fashioned, pale purple variety. The bush is probably 40 years old. When forced, the blossom is quite small and an interesting lime green in color. A few twigs alone in a vase look very Japanese in form.

When it’s sunny, regardless of the outdoor temperature, the unheated greenhouse warms up nicely by early afternoon. I have several flats of onions and leeks that can be separated and transplanted. This is one of my favorite times in the vegetable garden year. I am comfortable in shirtsleeves and sit on a raised tractor seat, listening to the radio while I painstakingly handle the tiny seedlings. They are not much larger than a human hair and I need reading glasses for the task.

When and if I ever get back outside, it’s time to prune both fruit trees and blueberries.

Also, I plan to toss some lime around on the perennial beds. I’ve had several bags of it riding around in my car. I refer to the car as my barn, what with chicken food, hay and shavings. Good thing I don’t care.

A few bulbs are peeking up through the melting snow. In another week or so, weather permitting, they would love a sprinkling of Bulb-tone.

Back to onions, briefly. I still have enough left over to last until spring. They are the Patterson and Cortland varieties. It’s very encouraging now that I’m handling next summer’s infants. Nature is grand. Ailsa Craig, New York early and sweet Spanish all need to be eaten before Thanksgiving as they do not hold up in winter storage.

I also have a dozen butternut squash in a basket. That one keeps well, unlike some of its cousins that rot and take the finish off the pantry floor. I only say these things from experience. Pumpkins are not reliable much past October so either canning or freezing the pulp is the way to go.

There is so much in world news this week that I do not know where to start.

The book banning campaign going on in various school boards is alarming, as well as down right ridiculous.

When I was a freshman in high school, the book Exodus by Leon Uris was available. One of my friends’ mothers gave the book to my friend. The overly cautious mother had blacked out portions with magic marker. We promptly bought another copy and found all the offending passages. Swearing and/or sex was off-limits in those days. (As if.)

Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus jumped to the best sellers list after being taken from school libraries.

What’s wrong with these people? Their children are finding much worse material on the cellphones their folks bought for them.

I continue to be one of the baffled.