From Garrison Keillor: “Cheer up. Make yourself useful. Mind your manners. Avoid self pity.”

I love anything that comes out of Lake Wobegon. However, I am not avoiding self pity this week.

I got into a few major scuffles with Mother Nature and she won. After last week’s snowfall I was hell bent on shoveling the driveway. This was for no reason I might add, since I was completely able to get the car in and out. I injured my lower back which sent me whining to the chiropractor. Taking it easy is not my style.

Last year a Cooper’s hawk killed a few of my hens. I had my workers help me put netting over the entire chicken yard. Problem solved until a few weeks ago when the snow brought the netting to the ground. The chickens and I could not get around at all. Monday morning I went at the net with Felcos and scissors. Did I mention there is a stand of bamboo and multiflora roses in the yard. You probably know where this is going.

It’s fortunate that Violet was not at home since I would have filled the cuss bucket with quarters. The good news is I had some germination in the unheated greenhouse and not on the propagating mats. I filled several huge pots with good soil and planted bok choy, lettuce, spinach, kale and spigarello. It took a few weeks but all the babies emerged. The onions I started on the 60 degree mats are ready to be transplanted into larger flats.

I never use plain garden soil to start seedlings indoors. The risk of fungus and/or damping off is too great. Back in the 1970s I had the bright idea of sterilizing my own potting mix. I put several flat pans of dirt into the oven at about 300 degrees. It took several days to get rid of the smell in the kitchen. As I’ve said many times, everything I have ever learned is from mistakes. Take my advice, I’m not using it.

My seed order arrived on Tuesday. What is wrong with me? I have everything and then some! Naturally, I will be starting boatloads of them too soon.

Marie sent me some paperwork from EcoWatch. The latest is Latin American doctors suggest Monsanto-linked larvicide could be the cause of microcephaly, not the Zika virus. Larvicide is a pesticide put into drinking water to kill the larva of the Zika-carrying Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Wow! This could be a huge change of events. It remains to be seen.

Since I cannot even start about the Supreme Court vacancy I think I’ll go back to my lead statement and quote from more Garrison Keillor. It seems fitting in our present political world.

“The urge to be top dog is a bad urge. Inevitable tragedy. A sensible person seeks to be at peace, to read books, know the neighbors, take walks, enjoy his portion, live to be 80, and wind up fat and happy, although a little wistful when the first coronary walks up and slugs him in the chest. Nobody is meant to be a star. Charisma is pure fiction, and so is brilliance. It’s the dummies who sit on the dais, and its the smart people who sit in the dark near the exits.”

That is the Lake Wobegon view of life.