Once again, I was ready to complain about the raw, chilly weekend weather when I switched on the Weather Channel. The huge winter storm out west caught my attention — feet of snow and hurricane-force winds. Yikes! I guess the good news is the melting snow pack come spring may help with some of the extreme droughts in the area.

The Water street Black Dog Bakery has some very nice Christmas arrangements out front. They have white ornamental cabbages (or maybe kale) that set off the greens. Those ornamentals survive several frosts and perk up an otherwise dismal bed. However, it seems that the deer have taken a liking to them lately. Honestly, I don’t even feel sorry for them anymore. There are simply too many. I saw four standing on Music street midday. They would not even move until I blasted them with the horn.

It’s a perfect time for soup. I canned quite a few jars of chicken stock last year. It is much easier than it sounds. Because meat, unlike vegetables, will not grow botulism, it takes less processing in a pressure canner. A jar or two can be set on the back burner with some seasonal roots and cabbages.

My cabbage crop was processed late spring into sauerkraut so I did not have any at the ready in the garden.

As luck would have it, Grey Barn has plenty. They have bags of small Wakefields. These are cone-shaped, small heirlooms. One can purchase seed for either the early Jersey or Charleston variety. Both were developed in the 1800s, are slow to split and are small enough to polish off in one meal.

In the nick of time, I rolled up most of the hoses after a sunny day, which allowed the water to drain out properly. Allow me to put on my advertising hat once again. All-rubber, American-made Goodyear hoses are the way to go. Mine have lasted for years. Home Depot has 50-footers for around thirty dollars.

Also, I finally rolled the sides down on the hoop house. The house was purchased as a kit from our own Dan Sternbach and has served me for many years. Hardy greens can be grown all winter with little effort and no supplemental heat.

Last week I mentioned the amazing number of crows at Five Corners. I hear my column neighbor Robert Culbert of Bird News has an answer for us this week, so move on over and check it out.

I love those little sayings, often rhymes, that offer sensible advice. One, for example, to help in the selection of Christmas gifts for a child: “Something they want/Something they need/Something to wear/And Something to read.”

We are coming to the end of yet another year. It is always a time of reflection both personally and as a community.

I feel pretty good about another year on the Vineyard. There is nowhere else I would rather be.

Nationally, however, remains a big question. Donald Trump, although significantly weakened by legal woes and big losses during the midterm elections, is still a constant presence in the news. It’s downright exhausting. Even more tiresome is the changing of hands in the House of Representatives. Wonder what all lies ahead? Wait, I know: revenge investigations endlessly.