What a difference a week makes in weather world. After the huge storm over Christmas weekend, it’s a balmy 50 degrees as I write on Tuesday. I have emerging crocuses and daffodils, for Pete’s sake.

I got inspired and dragged out the seed catalogs. I made a big order to Pinetree Garden Seeds, my all-time favorite company.

For starters, the catalog is on regular recyclable paper — not high gloss.

The best part is that a simple phone call to their headquarters in New Gloucester, Me. gets the job done. A real person answers the phone and there is no pesky menu to navigate.

I order the same things every year: heirloom old varieties that I trust with my taste buds.

Later on, I ordered from Sow True Seeds, which I mentioned a few weeks ago.

Then, for interesting flowers I use Select Seeds. They offer a nice selection of old varieties, both annual and perennial.

I’m not a big fan of salt. Rarely use it. But recently I put too much in a tomato sauce. This was a cook-down of my own jarred juice from this past summer’s harvest.

I’m loathe to waste food so I spent some time “fixing” it. I started with boatloads of caramelized onions and garlic, then some frozen zucchini and eggplant. I hit it with the hand-held blender, which is my custom to hide eggplant from my family.

It still wasn’t quite right so I trekked into the garden to unearth carrots. I put several into the VitaMix with the now-hot puree and voila: it’s perfect. I hope I do not have to repeat: I’ll end up with gallons of the stuff.

While in the garden, I pulled some radishes I had planted in the hoop house a month ago. Because they froze last weekend and then thawed, they were remarkably sweet without the usual “bite.”

I rummaged around in the freezer for the alfalfa seeds and located my jar with the screen top. Hopefully, I’ll have sprouts for a salad in a week.

On New Year’s Eve I polished off the rest of the Christmas cookies and candy. In the words of my friend Sharlee’s late mother. “I didn’t want them around to tempt me later.”

I have been enjoying the sun shining through privet hedges lately. They appear a reddish gold.

Privets are underrated. They do their job admirably as a privacy screen, can be cut down to an inch of their lives and will come right back stronger and have a lovely bee-attracting flower.

My son Jeremiah will celebrate his birthday on Jan. 6. We always thought of the day as when the Wise Men came to visit Baby Jesus; Little Christmas is celebrated in Latin countries and of course Epiphany is a day marked on the liturgical calendar.

Now, sadly, it will be remembered as a dark day for our nation and seat of our government.

My cousin Mark had his tenth birthday party canceled on Nov. 22, 1963.

How I digress!

Tuesday’s New York Times had a front page, above the fold article titled How Russia’s War on Ukraine Is Worsening Global Starvation.

It was both interesting and depressing.

For starters, the Russians have not only been targeting civilians and energy infrastructure. They are limiting grain deliveries through the Bosporus. These Ukrainian cargo ships loaded with food supplies are stopped on their way to Africa.

This quote really got my attention: “The United Nations World Food Program estimates that more than 345 million people are suffering from or are at risk of acute food insecurity, more than double the number from 2019.”

In other words, the conflict in Ukraine is of global importance. Ukraine is the breadbasket of the world. To top it all off, Russia is the biggest exporter of fertilizer and the have stopped the sales of it.

Let’s hope the incoming Congress understands the global crisis and continues to fully support Ukraine in its hour of need as, in fact, we are all in this together. It’s a small world, after all!