I just finished taking our Christmas lights and decorations down. They are back in the basement, in storage boxes, waiting until next mid-December,
It has been chilly lately, so last night we lit the first fire of the season in the fireplace.
The wood was from the trees in the front yard. The former trees, I should say. We had a couple of really dry summers, and the trees were never quite the same afterwards. Back in the spring, John gave them both pretty severe trims… the idea being that maybe if we got rid of all of the dead and dying branches they would perk up a little. Well, it didn’t really work.
Then a month or so ago one of our neighbors had some yard maintenance folks over to tuck their flower beds and such in for the winter, and one of the workers came and knocked on our door. He wanted to make sure that we knew that the trees were, in fact, dying, and that his company could give us a deal on their removal. So for $300 we had the trees taken down, chopped into rounds which were stacked in the garage, and the stumps ground out. Pretty good deal.
We let the rounds dry out for a little bit, and then John rented a log splitter so that we could take the rounds down into a size more convenient for the fireplace. While he was splitting them, he found a lot of grubs bored into the wood – emerald ash borers. I guess we know why those trees died.
(We will just have to remember not to transport the wood anywhere.)
For the past couple of Halloweens, we have avoided the entire holiday by going camping in the Smokies instead. However, since we were home this year, we decided to “do” Halloween.
We carved the pumpkins, we roasted the seeds, we laid in a supply of candy.
And on Halloween it rained, and then it sleeted, and then late in the night the sleet turned into the first snowfall of the year.
We don’t really have a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating at the best of times – there are no streetlights (though all of the houses have lamp-poles in the front yards) and there are no sidewalks. But this year was especially bad. We got a total of 15 trick-or-treaters before we turned off the porch light and blew out the pumpkins after 8.
We did have caramel apple martinis while we watched Beetlejuice, so it wasn’t all bad.
There is a stray cat who has been coming around our house since early in the summer.
A couple of weeks ago I noted how skinny he was, and started to offer some food whenever he came by. It took a little while but eventually I was able to approach and pet him while he ate. And he really is just skin and bones under a lot of main-coon-style fur (which is rather matted and tangled). I am pretty sure that his front feet are declawed as well. For sure he was someone’s pet. And going by his current state I don’t think that he is an indoor/outdoor cat either…
We can’t keep him for many reasons. Not least of which are Percival and Veena, who do not think much of his occasional presence at the front or back door.
An Ohio winter is no place for a homeless cat, so as soon as he trusts me enough that I can pick him up, he will become a temporary guest in our garage… at least until we can get him to the Dayton Humane Society or another local no-kill shelter.