Bare Naked Landscape

I haven’t written in a few days, simply due to a lack of: new political scandals to rant about(!), any garden news (it’s cold and wet out), or inspiration.  I’m preparing to start indoor veg seeds, as soon as my last seed order arrives, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, E has been concocting culinary creations, like this excellent fruit crumble pie, and these yummy breakfast croissants, from scratch.  I’ll need some serious gardening to work all this off.

Not to get too metaphorical, but the way winter strips away leafy façades and exposes the bare bones landscape in all its naked truth, reminds me of the way 2020 did the same to the evil ex-pres. and cronies.  It looks barren and bleak, with no redeeming qualities, but it’s an absolutely necessary transition from dormancy to rebirth.  It also reveals the environmental weaknesses and vulnerabilities that will need to be addressed come spring.  Things look ugly and unpromising now, but given time and work, the natural balance and order of things can be restored.  That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.


Refugee Islands

I don’t understand why people insist on chopping down the few tall trees they have left.  Worse, it’s the properties around us, eliminating the dwindling shade, protection, and bridges between shrinking habitats.  This endangers native species essential to environmental balance and health.  Then the damage is completed by planting non-native invasives that crowd out the plants and animals that belong here to keep that balance.

Along with climate change, we’re destroying our own human habitat.  Pretty shortsighted.  Frustrating as it is, I’m not giving up; if anything, I’m more determined to make up for habitat loss by planting as many critter-friendly native trees and plants as I can in the short time I have left.  What people do when I’m gone, I can’t control, but I can try to restore a small island for wild refugees of human demolition.

At least we now have a President and cabinet that believe in science and can address our crises decisively, without having to answer to the medieval Inquisition.  It’s unbelievable that we still have mobs of deniers, whether of climate change or coronavirus severity.  It’s a relief just to have civilized leaders again, who can speak openly and factually, and move ahead with solutions.

Here are some “cravens” in “their” tree, one of the few left.


Spring Day in January

I’m not gloating when I say it’s headed for 65º while much of the north is covered with snow.  Or am I?  I’ve actually been out puttering in the garden.  Crocuses (and the little blue “weeds”) continue to bloom and spread, and there was even a bee.

While I was at it, I filled most of my seed pots with starter mix, in preparation for germinating veggies soon.

I had to go in though, because they’re chainsawing trees down at a neighbor’s behind us, and it’s too depressing.  I’ll just have to plant more trees myself, to make up for some of the ravaged habitat.

As always, Misu spent the day lazing on a sunny windowsill.  She makes hard times look good.

Data Feast

I watched a daily press briefing by the new press sec Jen Psaki, and it was a total refreshing change.  Each question is answered respectfully, factually, and in depth. Can you imagine?

Unless you’re a political junkie, press briefings are typically boring and routine, as perhaps they should be, but compared to a self-important Barbie doll spewing propaganda, cutting off questions, and flouncing off, this was smart, informative, and inclusive.  Not only are crucial matters being addressed with concrete expedited strategies, but we the average people get to hear about it!  We’ve been so deprived of info and plans, just a regular briefing by intelligent people is like a data feast!

Misu sleeps through it all, as she should, not being a junkie.


Daily Life in Mutating Times

What do you post about when The Nightmare on PA Ave. is almost in the rearview, and the virus is mutating into more contagious deadly strains?  More homey mundane trivia, of course!

Here is a thick fog the other day, and a colorful sunrise this morning.

Here’s an excellent pumpkin pie E made from scratch.

And here we have mushrooms coming up among ginger shoots, and orchids at sunrise.

It’s the small revelations that keep you going during strange, mutating times.



Darkness and Light

The difference is literally night and day.  One night you’re tossing and turning with anxiety and nightmares; the next morning you wake up to unaccustomed good news of normal, decent, competent leaders doing their jobs.  You’re not cringing at the latest atrocity or dereliction; you’re breathing in relief and optimism that finally we can resume desperately needed mitigation and recovery, maybe even progress.

Sad that it took such catastrophic events to make “normal” look so miraculous, and shake us back to sanity, but anyway, here we are.  I for one felt so much better overnight.  I’m getting more sleep and having fewer nightmares, and I don’t dread each new day.  I know I’m not alone.

True to his word, President Biden on Day 1 hit the ground running.  He signed a tall stack of executive orders dealing with crucial priorities and rolling back trump crap.  COVID mandates, vaccines, and relief, climate change, immigration and the hateful Wall, economic relief, racial justice, extending eviction/foreclosure moratoriums, etc. are just some of the many issues he got right to work on.  That’s on top of all the other transition processes that were obstructed and delayed.  What a contrast.

Not that vindictive idiots and conspirators are going away, but their extremist faction is like a chicken with its head cut off, now that their evil cult leader has “abandoned” them.  They’ve been exposed for what they are, a delusional rabble, without true leadership or power.  They will be held accountable and be brought to justice, as they should.

Imagine–Dr. Fauci and other experts can now get up and speak the facts openly, and reporters can ask legitimate questions freely and get answers, without fear of attack or insults or threats.  This used to be the routine status quo, not fascist propaganda and intimidation.  It will take a while to reacquaint ourselves with basic civil behavior.  It’s like our country has had Stockholm Syndrome for four years.

We’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, but the fog is clearing enough to find our way back.



A Collective Sigh of Relief

It seems like forever since I’ve felt patriotic, or indeed this relieved.  I think many of us forgot to breathe for four long dismal years, most notably this last one.  Big breath of fresh air.

It’s hard to believe we have a legit president and VP again, who literally began getting to work undoing the damage, however symbolically, immediately after the inauguration ceremony.  It was refreshing to see actual civility and respectful behavior between attendees from opposing sides.  At least they showed up, unlike some.  Just having actual grownups in charge will be a huge improvement.

I’m thankful I lived to see this moment, and feel some hope again.  We have so much lost ground to recover on every front, but I believe Pres. Biden/V.P. Harris are determined to return us to a civilized state and membership in the world.  We need all the help and hope we can get.


No Going Back

Did I mention CROCUSES blooming?!  Just after I posted the previous, they opened!  Intrigued, I looked around and found tiny shoots of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, many of which I just planted last fall, not to mention masses of crocus shoots and columbine seedlings.  No going back now!  Spring Is Coming.  I just had to share.


Crocuses and Other Signs

Before I go any further, crocuses are blooming!!  In January.  It’s pleasant out and headed for the 50s, so all hope is not lost.  Birds are happily doing bird things, ‘shrooms are a-‘shrooming, and if you squint, the “prairie” almost looks inviting, despite it being winter.  Even this Asian stir-fry I made looks springy.


Tomorrow, barring another armed insurrection by idiots, our new President Biden and VP Harris will be inaugurated.  The evil ex will be skulking away to his cave to sulk and plot.  No matter; he’ll be busy being accused and tried for high crimes, along with his henchpersons.  We can’t be more pleased and relieved.





Improv During Quarantine, or, Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

It’s a cold January day, so naturally it’s time to prep all my veg seed-starting paraphernalia.  I cleaned up pots, set them up in flats, and reorganized the plant racks.  Even Misu got a new bed on her window shelf, from which she could supervise the operation.  I rearranged cat-friendly plants around her.  I even improvised these clever pots out of saved coffee bags, a trick I borrowed from the internet.  In early February I’ll fill them with starter mix and plant seeds.

Meanwhile, E made one of her famous savory pies, featuring tons of cheese.  We really do like cheese (and pie).

Even more serious crimes and negligence connected to or implicating the trump admin are surfacing daily.  Again, not surprising, but still disturbing.  Did I mention he got impeached twice?!  I hope they get put away for centuries.  Maybe on Mars.  Some of the new crop of repubs are pretty vile, too, but hopefully sanity will trump stupidity.