Season of mists and mellow fruitiness

Today was a day for fall chores, as I’ve got a big project coming in tomorrow and they’re forecasting frost on any given night this week. I think it’s unlikely to frost this early here on the coast, but whatever, I’ll use it as an incentive.

Alert readers will recall that I made my first foray into the world of gardening this year, so this winter is a big one for me: What will live? What will die? Matt and I have agreed that a 60% survival rate come spring will be considered a success. He’s a bit of a greener thumb than I am, having worked as a landscaper while in his formative years.

I mostly planted heathers of various varieties, and the nursery told me all I had to do was give them a nice layer of mulch before the frost, prune them come spring, and they’d be fine. I am, in this as in most things, sanguine. If they live, cool. If they don’t I will find some front yard planty tenants who aren’t such goddamn primadonnas. And yes, I hope they are listening right now.

What I’m really looking forward to is going back out to my patch of heather in the spring, assessing the casualty rate, and saying loudly “What’s your damage, Heather???” … because that’s one of the best movies ever.

And because I love raising the collective eyebrows of my neighbors by conversing loudly and incoherently with myself in the front yard. Tends to keep away the petition signature seekers and girl scout cookie pushers. Masspirg still visits me every year, because they always come by after I’ve had a few glasses of wine and feeling groovy and I used to canvass for them one awful summer so I’m a really easy mark.

So after mulching my little heather babies I put up the storm windows in the front and back doors and cleaned all the windows, inside and out. Naturally, our house is only one floor. I don’t exactly get along with ladders. Then I put all the Paddy O’Furniture (thank you, Carol Wasserman) back in the shed, coiled up the garden hose and tucked it onto the porch, and prepped up the garlicky beef stew and roast potatoes we’re having for dinner tonight sometime around the seventh inning of the Yankees/Twins playoff game.

Also, because this just happened in my town, I put fresh batteries in my smoke detectors, and strongly urge everyone else to do the same in their homes. Just do it.

Then make a pot of tea, hide your checkbook, and ignore the doorbell. The season of the hermit is here.

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