My least favorite weather is windy. Last Saturday afternoon was pretty impressive. At one point I ducked down beside the truck out of fear. Branches were blowing all over the place.

Sadly, all the beautiful leaves were stripped from the sugar maple right before my eyes.

The yard lost its spectacular fall color in a matter of hours. Luckily, the beech trees hang onto their leaves for dear life. In fact, they tend to remain for most of the winter.

I usually cut a few branches for Christmas decorations. That is after I douse them with some gold spray paint. Don’t even get me started on the subject of gold spray paint. I love the stuff.

It is especially nice on the flowers of Tardiva hydrangeas. They will last for years in a dried arrangement alongside some cardoon buds.

I never got around to taking soil tests. I do, however, believe in a sprinkle of lime on all the beds before each season. The Vineyard is especially acidic, hence the proliferation of hydrangeas. (I do avoid any application of lime around them.) I only mention this to remind myself to get the garlic planted this week. I prepared the area with both lime and progro a few weeks ago and need to get to it.

I am planting the largest bulbs from this past summer’s harvest. I had a bumper crop and it will be nice to avoid the expense of purchasing any.

I cannot say enough for sugar beets. I planted a small package this early spring. Some of the roots are now softball size. The greens are absolutely perfect, unlike their red cousins. I had some sort of pest decimate all the greens of the Detroit Red and Early Wonder.

The sugar beet is so sweet that one is sufficient in a dish. I cut it into tiny chunks for a vegetable saute.

The caterpillar of the white cabbage moth is still feasting on the collards. What’s up with that? We have had a freeze but it did not seem to deter them. They seem to prefer collards over kale. Who can blame them?

I’m still finding baby lettuce plants in paths and am moving them into the hoop houses where they will be cozy all winter. Speaking of cozy, I need to give a big shout-out to son, Reuben, who keeps wood ready by the stove. I ordered bulbs. They have yet to arrive. Hopefully, I’ll get them into the ground before a jackhammer is necessary.

As most of you know, I handwrite this article and my Gazette editor picks it up at my house on Wednesday morning.

I usually write on Tuesday evening but I was sucked into the midterm election vortex. So, here it is, the morning after.

I like to think of myself as an optimist but that ship has sailed. Disappointment would be an understatement. The fact that the Democrats won the House of Representatives will actually embolden Trump. Now he can stop picking on Hillary and shift to Nancy Pelosi. He works best when he is aggrieved and his followers can see him and themselves as victims.

They were victims when they controlled all of government, for Pete’s sake.

It’s so sad that a man who is basically cruel and lies all the time can influence so many. The Senate race was “won” by him.

The fear-stoking around the refugees from Central America was the winning argument.

People, seriously–smallpox, lepers, gangs and Middle Easterners?