I am the queen of the segue. I can get there from here and justify all the while. Last week I noticed only one of my beehives had some activity on a particularly warm afternoon. Sadly, two of them are dead so I took apart their hives to store in the shed until next spring. I thought I would take a peek into the third one without bothering to clothe myself in the bee suit. You must know where this is headed? That’s right, I received several stings (rightly so) on my hands and fingers. Just because it is almost December doesn’t make it hurt any less. Honestly, I deserved it and was irritated that I couldn’t blame anyone else. At any rate, I had a bottle of expired generic aspirin. I concocted a soupy paste with several of them and soaked my digits. It is remarkable how well it works. I started thinking about joint pain from arthritis and if the same remedy would help.

Aspirin, as you probably know, comes from the willow tree. A twig of willow soaking in water will help other plants to root. Sumner Silverman passed out cuttings from his brown turkey fig tree at the last Homegrown meeting. I placed mine in a jug of water with a couple of willow branches. I am hoping for the best.

That’s all I’ve got for compliments to the willow. Let’s talk Tashmoo Overlook, shall we? Now that the leaves are down, one can see the water once again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get rid of the trees entirely for the scenic enjoyment of all? There is a petition to be signed on the counter at the Scottish Bakehouse, if you agree. While you are there, have a gluten-free melt-in-your-mouth brownie. You will be spoiled forever to enjoy any other chocolate. They are now serving local beef and lamb as well.

There are some adorable white azaleas in bloom at the handicapped ramp entrance to Grace Church. I don’t know the variety. They could be one of the Polly Hill cultivars. Someone let me know. I hate it when I don’t know everything.

When I arrived at a job site the other day I was delighted to discover an entire bed of pale pink impatiens blooming happily. There was also a simply breathtaking perfect Viking Queen rose. I’ve noticed quite a few roses about town, especially the Bonicas and Betty Priors. My own suffered from black spot this year and I admit I ignored treating them. Oh, well!

Every so often I like to take a commercial break. I am especially fond of my handheld blender. It can be taken to the stove to cream a soup while it is simmering. It is very handy when feeding children who are psychologically allergic to any vegetable. All sorts of healthy ones can be slipped into, say, tomato sauce and blended to within an inch of their lives. The child never suspects.

I’m proud to live in lefty blue-state Massachusetts, one of the most unionized states in the country. Once again, it ranks first in its education system. The state announced for the third time in a row that its students ranked or tied for first on the National Assessment of Education Progress mathematics exam. Also our students have one of the highest college attendance rates and some of the highest SAT scores. I do hear complaints of our high tax rates but isn’t it worth seeing our children achieve success in our school system?

Dana Perino, former Bush administration press secretary, was on Fox News (aka Fixed News) recently. She was criticizing (who else?) President Obama for the alleged terrorist attack by the psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Texas. She actually said that at least there was no terrorist attack during the George W. Bush presidency. Sean Hannity did not correct her. Who are these people?