Wow, that was some serious snow last Sunday afternoon. Rarely have I seen such enormous flakes. I admit, I spent most of the day looking out the window and enjoying it. It, however, turns annoying very quickly. It took more than an hour to get the car back in operation. Some of the slabs of ice were downright impressive. It is now dirty and unattractive in parking lots and along the roadsides.

It has been relatively uneventful in the garden world. I did purchase a pallet of seed-starting mix. There were 45, 50-pound bags in the back of my dumptruck when a tire went flat. Lucky for me, Violet was available. She unloaded all the bags onto my other truck. It took two trips. Honestly, life is challenging most of the time. Though, I will say it was a change from the usual Groundhog Day feel of the pandemic.

The snow has turned to ice on the tree branches. I spent some time with a garden rake trying to free some that clearly were about to break. The bird feeders need replenishing more often. Poor things are hungry.

The hoophouse was in need of water but the hose did not work. I have a couple of 50-gallon barrels inside the house but the water was frozen. Violet and I busted it up and lay it along the Alpine strawberries. The sunny day slowly melted it. We patted ourselves on the back.

A few weeks ago I mentioned starting some sweet potato slips in water. A couple have sprouted. They are a mere half inch but look promising. I think the trick was the large cut I made on the end, putting them in water and the very warm room.

After harvesting and drying my hot peppers, I put them into a cloth bag in the fridge. Of late, I’m tossing small handfuls into stock. It’s nice to haver a little zip in the resulting soups. They last forever if properly dried. I use the pilot light in the oven for the job.

I love seeing the children on their sleds. Sled-riding in Rew, Pa. was a life-threatening adventure. We would lay down on our steerable wooden sleds and head down either the rat slide or suicide hill. These were roads plowed for the oilman who tended the pumphouses down the mountain. Some roads were almost two miles downhill. We went so fast that often we would drag our feet to slow down or simply plow into an ice bank. Sometimes our faces would be bloody when we started the long trek back up. One ride a day was all we could manage after school. Wonder if I could get up from a sled now. Maybe if no one was watching.

I’m not much of a baker with the exception of bread. Cakes and cookies rarely happen. I did, however, rummage in the freezer and come across some bags of my rhubarb. It was cut into one-inch pieces and frozen raw. I made a rhubarb cake for Violet’s birthday that made us very happy. The sour bits of rhubarb were a pleasant surprise in an otherwise sweet cake.

I am entertaining no hope whatsoever that the Republicans in the United States Senate will vote to convict Donald John Trump. He gets away with everything, like he has during his entire life. Plus they are cowards. The Capitol policeman, Brian Sicknick, risked and lost his life defending our democracy and those senators will not risk their political future to do the same. The good news, however, is no matter what, we do not have to see DJT or hear him nonstop anymore.

On the bright side, it seems that the vaccine effort is succeeding. One can only hope.