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Between late buses and general stuff to do I’ve not had much time for blogging lately. I am not sure why the buses have been late every single day by 20 – 30 minutes. It is super frustrating and makes a big difference in how my evening goes! But you don’t want to listen to me complain.

The poor Dashwoods have not been out and about for sometime. The ground is cold and covered with snow and when given the option of leaving their dry, straw covered, wind protected run for what must look like the Arctic to them, they make what can only be interpreted as sour remarks about the ^*&#$@! weather and turn their backs on the door to the garden. They have been getting treats now and then to ease the sting of being “cooped up,” including today a purple cabbage swinging on a string from a rafter in the run. Last year they’d venture out across the snow now and then but this year they are older and wiser and will have none of it.

Meanwhile I am into garden planning for spring. I already mentioned I ordered most of my seeds on Black Friday because sale. The other place I get seeds from has sent their catalog. Baker Creek sells heirloom and rare seeds, the more unusual the better. I came pretty close to ordering atomic grape tomatoes because are they ever gorgeous. However, after reading the reviews, thank goodness for reviews, I decided not to. Beautiful as they are, they are really slow to ripen and they don’t have all that much flavor. Since I live in a climate where I have no idea what my growing season will be like anymore — short or weirdly long, blazing hot and humid or coolish — I need something more reliable in both growth and flavor.

What I did order, however, are two things I have not grown before. One is tendril peas. Tendril peas are sugar snap peas, meaning you eat the pod kind of like snow peas. The variety I am going to try gets a lot of tendrils and few leaves and the curly tendrils are also edible. And, supposedly the vines can grow up to 8 feet! Excited to see if I can have success with them and to see if they taste good!

The other new thing I am going to try is Hopi squash. This is a winter squash that has a thick, hard rind making it great for long storage so I won’t have to eat it right away or cook it and find a place in my freezer. The squash gets up to 10 pounds with orange flesh that is reportedly sweet and tasty. And yes, it comes to us from the Hopi. I am looking forward to the vines taking over the garden at the end of the summer.

Solstice is coming later this week and as many of you know, it is the one day each year that I do the cooking. For this year’s menu I went for a kind of upscale diner meal: creamy carrot-ginger soup, marinated peanut tempeh sandwiches with homemade vegan mayo and homemade vegan cheese on homemade sandwich rolls, baked sweet potater tots, and roasted broccoli. Dessert is vegan mint chocolate ice cream cake.

Maybe the bus will actually be on time this week and I will actually have time to write a post or two about some of the fabulous books I have read lately!