Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Whelp, the annual clean up out by the street in front of Port Swiller Manor is now just about complete. Ol’ Robbo spent the morning cutting back the low, grassy plantings in the beds lining the sidewalk and then gathering up all the leaves that had become stuck in them. The maples are completely done, and Old Man Oak only has about a quarter of his leaves remaining, which will continue to drop in small batches until spring, but I won’t really need to deal with them until then. It all almost looks neat for a change.

When I think about all the time, money, and effort I put into keeping up street frontage that isn’t even my property, the more I consider charging the County a maintenance fee to be a good idea. Or maybe I’ll just give myself a credit on my property taxes. What could go wrong?

In the “Watch out, Fred! Here it comes again!” Department, trudging back and forth to the woods to dump leaves, I noticed (now that the magnolia masking it has dropped all its leaves) just how thoroughly the ivy has taken over the end of my garage roof. I’d had no idea it was that thick. I love ivy on brick walls (I know, I know), but on the roof it’s definitely no bueno. Yet another task. Fortunately, I won’t have to try and climb up there, but instead hopefully can undercut it from the ground and let it wither away on its own.

As for the sundry, those of you keeping up with the great lamp rewiring project mentioned below will be interested to learn that Ol’ Robbo took apart the doings and was gratified to see with his own eyes just how easy switching out the sockets will be. Even I can manage screwing in just two wires. Alas, I wasted a perfectly good hour or two yesterday going over to Home Despot, only to find that they didn’t carry the replacement parts I need. Not wishing to chase all over the place looking for other possible sources, I succumbed and ordered them from the devil’s website, and am now sitting about impatiently waiting for them to be delivered so I can finally clean up my temporary workshop on the kitchen table. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Whiskey for My Men and Beer for My Horses UPDATE: Success! The new sockets showed up late this afternoon. Ten minutes later I had all three lamps rewired and working just fine. A minor triumph, to be sure, but there’s a certain satisfaction to any DIY success, however small.