There is nothing quite like a couple of pre-Christmas snowfalls. It is so pretty with all the lights. I will admit I am happy it does not stick around. It tends to lose its appeal when a person needs to deal with it. Cleaning off the vehicle is way low on the enjoyable task list. Garden material is pretty slim this week. I have a few more clean-ups to do at some properties but cannot force myself when the ground is so wet and slushy. Here it is Tuesday with Christmas a mere week away and I have yet to catch the spirit. Thankfully, our family does not go crazy with the purchasing and giving of gifts. Our little new addition, Zappa, is just a year old and is happy looking at lights. Hopefully, he can grow with reasonable expectations of the holiday.

I hope I do not sound too Scrooge-esque but, honestly, haven’t we been doing Christmas since Halloween? There is a handsome holly tree at the bottom of the Edgartown Road. It certainly is advertising the holidays. It puts mine to shame. For some reason my own refuses to become a tree but rather a squat little bush with measly berries.

Speaking of trees, this weekend Violet and I will search out a tiny Charlie Brown one on the property, one that has little hope of maturing. It can have a place of honor next to the nativity set. I have the creche of my childhood and am fond of every piece. Baby Jesus is in a three-legged manger that has to have its legs repaired most years. For some reason we have always had four wise men but no one seems to mind.

Never wishing to waste food and needing a quick salad dressing, I tossed a jar of pickled beets into the blender with an equal amount of olive oil. It was interesting but nevertheless very tasty. The beets were pickled with white onions, apple-cider vinegar and honey. I enjoyed the mixture over some Farm Hub lettuce with some walnuts and blue cheese. Life is great. The Farm Hub lettuce is a bit pricey but there is a hefty amount in the package and it is super clean. In my own vegetable garden there is still plenty of kale, leeks, carrots, collards and woody herbs.

I discovered a forgotten row of sugar beets. They have bright green perfect tops that are just right in a smoothie. The beets are tiny but extremely sweet. Just a few are all one needs in a dish.

I usually keep a few books going at the same time. I can only read one chapter of Blowout by Rachael Maddow at a time. It’s really good but very intense. It’s an expose of the gas and oil industry and the global greed connected to it. We’re talking Russia, Ukraine, Rex Tillerson, fracking in Oklahoma, and equatorial Guinea. She’s clearly a genius who does her homework. As a counter balance, I’m enjoying The Joy of Gardening by V. Sackville-West.

The following is a quote from the book jacket: “The experienced horticulturist will recognize in the author a good companion with whom to share experience on selection, color and design. The novice can follow the author’s guidance with full confidence on her taste and knowledge, either kind of reader will quicken to the pen of a poet who is also a working gardener.”

Merry Christmas to all. My present to you, dear reader, is a Trump-free week.