Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

My porch thermometer registered 24 degrees this morning – first hard freeze of the season.

A day or two ago we pulled in off the porch a pair of hanging basket ferns and a potted palm.  I don’t know what we’re going to do with the ferns, but the palm lives in the basement for the winter.  Meanwhile, I went out this morning and chucked the rest of the porch plants, all of which plainly gave up the ghost last night.

I also wrapped up a pair of boxwoods in urns we keep down on the patio, first with layers of bubble-wrap around the urns and then double layers of tarp.  I did this last year (with bubble-wrap and burlap) and was able to keep the boxwoods alive, but then again last winter was pretty mild, so I don’t know what will happen if we get a colder one this year.

I’m also patting myself on the back because a couple weeks ago I took the rose, a Double Knock-Out that we keep in a pot on the porch stairs, and planted it out in the garden.  I’ll leave it there and simply get another rose for the pot next spring.

Finally, I took down the hummingbird feeder.  I reckon they’re long gone by now.  On the other hand, I’d swear the other birds were waiting for me to fill up their feeders. (Chickadees in particular, it is said, are quite intelligent.  I’m pretty sure the locals know me and know what it means when I come out with the bag.)

Then Ol’ Robbo got to spend a couple hours this afternoon moving leaves, which is always fun.  (It looks like we’re going to have another meh foliage season, by the bye.  I can’t remember the last time we had a really good one around here.  Must be Global Enwarmening or something.)

Finally, there’s the issue of when Ol’ Robbo is going to put the rear side-windows back on La Wrangler.  You’d be amazed at how comfy the cockpit can be with just the door windows up and the heater going, even when the temperature is below freezing.  (Of course, you need to be bundled up somewhat as well.  Youngest Gel insists that I keep a couple blankets in the car so she can cocoon herself whenever she rides with me.)  The real trouble is when the weather turns nasty – rain and snow.  Then you really need to bite the bullet and put on the rear sides.  Once I do put them on, they’ll stay on for the season, because cold canvas and zippers are a real pain to deal with.  I’ve gone so far as to bring them inside to clean and heat them up, although I still haven’t decided when to commit yet.  As for the rear window, I leave that rolled up for all but the worst weather (I’m talking blizzard conditions here).  Indeed, last year, I didn’t roll it down once.

So there you have it.

UPDATE:  And yes, Ol’ Robbo knows it’s Veterans’ Day.  In fact, Middle Gel’s school choir sang at a local event honoring the day, at which she got to meet our Congress-critter.

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