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  •     If federal sharpshooters show up here and pick off some deer, they won’t be acting on my behalf even though a resident deer family devoured the Christmas cactuses that were outside for the summer. The cactuses had gone out and in for years, flowering for Christmas, so I’m particularly aware of their loss this week. If I had known how hungry the deer were going to be, I might have been more watchful. Four small cactuses of the variety that blooms nearer Thanksgiving have taken their place, but they’re scanty substitutes.

  •     On Monday this week I awoke — I won’t say like Ebenezer Scrooge — to the awareness that the year was rushing to an end. Two and a half weeks till a new year. . . . And so I hurriedly began getting ready for it.

  •       Our family doesn’t like to throw anything away. This is a problem, given that I and one of my sons have inherited houses that were full of things to begin with, and given that my daughter used to haunt yard sales and the Ladies Village Improvement Society’s Bargain Box looking for interesting household implements and china and doodads.

  •     Thank goodness President Franklin D. Roosevelt convinced Congress to set Thanksgiving permanently on the fourth Thursday in November so that we can follow an annual routine. If Thanksgiving were allowed to fall pell-mell on any random day of the week — like Christmas does — I am not sure how we would get ourselves organized.

  •     The talk of Montauk last week was that Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News political commentator and best-selling author, had come to town. Not only was it news that he had bought a spectacular property on the oceanfront, but that he had torn down two small houses that longtime Montaukers considered part of the community’s heritage.

  •     Going to Buffalo, of all places, wasn’t my idea. But my husband’s notion of trying to see every house Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed is infectious. Chris had learned that Buffalo was the site of a number of Wright houses and other buildings, so going there had been in the cards for some time. It turned out to be a fascinating few days.

  •     My friend A.J. has a mission. As a leader of an organization called Solar Cookers International, which encourages the use of solar thermal cooking in sunny parts of the world, she has proposed that the United Nations make solar cooking — as a  “renewable, freely replaceable fuel for the daily preparation of food and safe water, without contaminating the environment” — a basic human right. “All people should have access to that right,” a document she recently submitted to the U.N. states.

  •     Let’s hear it for longevity. I’ve been at The Star for more than 50 years. Yikes. At least I haven’t been at the same desk or even in the same room in the building all these years. And, of course, we work differently now.

  •     At first blush, it was hard to understand why Southampton Town officials would fight a lawsuit brought by a group of churchgoers who claimed their civil rights were violated when they went to Southampton Town Hall on July 26, 2011, to protest against same-sex marriages on the first day such marriages became legal in New York State.

  •     The letters to the editor in The East Hampton Star, to me, are the icing on the cake. I was about to say they are the spice in the stew, but stewing is not only a method of getting a batch of foods together and cooking them, but also means fretting or fussing . . . and maybe making a fuss isn’t quite what some letter writers need to be further encouraged to do.