Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yesterday, Ol’ Robbo dropped by the local hardware store to pick himself up a big bag of Holly-tone, with which to give the Port Swiller Manor shrubbery its annual fall feeding today.

As I hoisted the bag up on to the counter, the check-out lady said, “Oh! This stuff smells so bad!”

“Oh, yes,” I replied, raising an eyebrow, “it certainly does.  But at the same time, it kind of grows on you, doesn’t it?  Sort of ‘so bad, it’s good’?”

She laughed…ever so slightly nervously.  (It’s moments like this, by the bye, when I find myself flirting with middle-aged women, that I realize I’ve become my own father.  You may get off my lawn.)

“It’s okay,” I smiled, “I know I’m a weirdo.”

She laughed again…..ever so slightly nervously.  And I casually strolled out the door.


(I was only half-joking.  I do like the smell, as awful as it is.)

Today’s second task has become another annual ritual.  For the past four or five years now, I’ve bought Mrs. R a double knock-out rose for Mother’s Day.  It spends the spring and summah in a big pot at the top of the porch stairs, and then I plant it out in the fall.  This year I’m doing a little experiment:  All my other roses are in wire cages to keep off the beasties.  I’ve never much liked this, as it gives that particular bed such a Teutonic look.  At the moment, I don’t have the fixin’s to fortify this one, so I’m just going to see what happens.  The deer don’t seem to come into the yard anymore since we got Decanter Dog, but I suspect the resident woodchuck might try and have a go at it.   If so, then more wire.  If not?  I might consider liberating the rest of them.

Finally, Ol’ Robbo recently bought himself a pole trimmer with which to deal with the riotous Virginia creeper on the backside of the house, as well as to tidy up the holly hedge out by the street.  It’s going to take every ounce of self-restraint to keep me from running amok with the thing, clipping everything within reach.  Bwahaha!!