|All the leaves are finally down, except for a few of the oaks, which wait 'til spring to shed.|
The tipoff that winter was nearing came this morning, as we readied for Nick's walk. I use the word "morning," but in truth it was noon. OK, 10 minutes after noon. Twenty-plus years of working nights has many lasting influences, like never moving too fast in the morning. Besides, we had delicious homemade yeast-raised waffles to enjoy. (Cindy and Dean: We have greatly improved our recipe; you must come again to see how damn good these are.)
The tipoff to winter wasn't the layers of clothing we needed. Today we kissed 60 degrees, thank you very much, Minnesotans.
The tipoff came when Mason gave his boots a routine shake-out -- because we get some pretty good-size spiders around here, not to mention scorpions -- and about 15 acorns came pouring out. Apparently the resident squirrels felt his thermal-lined boot would make for great storage come January's chill. The second boot was stocked full, too. We immediately transitioned into our panicked squirrel voices to imagine his/her dismay when he/she comes calling in January.
After our "morning" walk, I spent two hours picking up acorns that fell by the bucketful this fall -- an alleged sign of another hard winter to come. Oh, joy to the world.
In other news, we enjoyed four days at Thanksgiving down in the Florida Panhandle, where we visited a buddy of Mason's and our Chattanooga friends who just bought a very impressive boat, which Nick almost seemed comfortable on.
Highlights of the trip? A 50-inch rattlesnake relieved of its life on Mason's buddy's farm (yes, we're snake magnets), and eating an insane amount of seafood. Lowlight? When we got home on Thanksgiving night, our fridge was empty, so Mason ate a Boston Market turkey and dressing dinner that was in the freezer ... and it gave him food poisoning!
Now, we're back to our usual antics: brewing beer, slinging plants at the nursery and puttering in the yard. I'm back in the kitchen, too, sparing Mason from the evils of processed food. Nick's scoring too. I've taken to making him homemade dog treats from the spent grains we use in our beer-making process!
|We had to chop this guy's head off before he finally stopped writhing on us.|