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  •    The  campaigns of those who hope to become the Republican presidential nominee keep reminding me of the Democratic primary in 2008, when I almost lost a friend or two. I had expressed a personal preference for Hillary Clinton as the nominee, and gone to an event in her honor. I admired Ms. Clinton, thought she was brilliant, and found the idea of a woman as president exciting . . . but I had a change of heart and let it be known.

  •    Ron Paul is the number-one member of the House of Representatives in the matter of diversity of vocabulary. I know this because I came across information about the words used in the halls of Congress from a blogger named Don Kozikowski. Mr. Kozikowski says his diversity score is based on how frequently one of the 3,393 different words that might be found on the SAT are used in a representative’s speech (compared to common words such as “are,” “they,” or “with”).

  •    Three big does are concentrating on tufts of early grass at the left side of the front yard this evening. They, or their sisters and brothers, have already dined on the snowdrops in the backyard, although they haven’t eaten up the small daffodils that are just budding, at least not yet.
        Sitting at my computer at the front of the house, I can see what they are up to. I spy on them as they come and go, mingling among what remains of the many-decades-old rosebushes they decimated last summer.

  •    It’s winter. The summer people are gone. But I still go around town expecting to recognize faces in the crowd. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way anymore.
        Let me give you an example.

  •    Making room for a better desk for my husband, shifting and sifting through towering stacks of papers, rearranging upstairs bedrooms where grandchildren sleep when they visit — and doing something about the heaps of toys, books, and games, which are clogging what is called the playroom — isn’t a bad way to begin a new year.

  •    How is the civilized world going to survive without books you can hold in your hand?
        Will a subgroup of educated elite stick with bound paper copies, even though the same texts are available electronically?
        I made a terrible face when someone (who shall be nameless) gave me a Kindle for my birthday last fall. It took months, and a trip by plane, before I gave it a try. Now, having read two books and a bit of The New York  Times on my Kindle, I remain reluctant to become a true convert.

  •    Maybe I decided to take part in a recent chain letter — by e-mail, of course — because it came from a cousin a couple of times removed, or maybe I’m just a recipe hound. I’ve got manila folders full of them that date back 30 years or more.

  •    On the Jitney, headed to New York City, doctors appointments all in a row. Equipped with allegedly waterproof boots and an umbrella. Rain is inevitable.
        Two women across the aisle; it is clear that they are heading to the city for fun. They mention the Museum of Modern Art and talk about lunch, whether at the museum or at a restaurant suggested by a friend.

  •    When Rick Santorum called President Obama an “elitist snob” for saying “every child in this country should go to college,” I found myself wondering how the Republican presidential candidates themselves stack up, education-wise. The former senator from Pennsylvania noted that he had seven children and, he said, “If one of my kids wants to go and be an auto mechanic, good for him.”

  •    The price of The New Yorker magazine if you buy it on a newsstand is $5.99, so it came as a surprise when I received a notice at the end of December telling me that if I renewed the subscription I get in the mail, I could send a second — free — subscription to anyone I chose.