Prepping For Winter

The leaves are starting to fall in North Texas. They won't completely drop until January which is when we do our clean up. But it's our cue to batten down the hatches, move plants, and get the homestead ready for chillier days.

Nuts are dropping like cluster bombs. I'm careful walking under trees lest I get beaned on the head. This year there is a huge crop of nuts. Arborists call it a mast event when trees drop more nuts than usual. It happens every 3-5 years. 

Folklore says that when trees produce more nuts than usual to expect a hard winter, but meteorologists haven't seen a correlation to the mast events.

The only thing I've noticed is that squirrels can pick and choose from the best, so lots of acorns are left on the ground. Maybe some of them will become future oaks.

We're still struggling with Odin. He has one more eye surgery next week. This one will tweak a piece of eyelid that still wants to turn down into his eyeball.

Nana's allergies seem under control. The antigen treatment she's getting seems to keep her on an even keel. She acts happier too, so it's been worth the cost. Sadly, she'll be on antigens the rest of her life.

My poor vet shattered her leg! To add insult to injury, it was her horse that broke it. She's just a tiny little thing so that horse did some major damage. Her and I think alike though. She's chomping at the bit to get back on her feet. I hope her sister will insist she rest and heal. But I know how she feels. People like us can't sit still even when we're broken.

Since I'm not getting my greenhouse this year, I opted to buy a small pop up greenhouse. It's just the right size to house my citrus trees for the winter.

I brought my hot weather plants like tomatoes and peppers indoors under lights. Overwintering them will give me a head start for next spring.

I'm feeling a little sad. Friends keep dying on us. My mother has put all her affairs in order. (She's in perfect health. Just old.) Her only joy is hearing from her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. That's all that matters to her.

It's made me more aware of my own mortality. When I buy something now I need to know if it's going to be something I really want or something I have to dust. I hate dusting.

There are a few more things I want to do around the house to make it more elderly friendly in years to come. For instance, our back yard has some uneven ground. I'd like to make a flagstone patio so it's easy to step off from the back steps. 

In the house, we need a handrail going up to the attic. Greg has been sluggish on that project.

We really want to age in place, so I want this home senior-friendly. 

Winter-wise, we've got windows and doors with good weatherstripping, even the garage doors got new seals to keep the cold air out.

Greg's good about keeping the chimney in good shape (including chopping wood), and we've already blown out the outdoor water pipes with compressed air in case of a freeze.

Gutters. Ugh. The gutters around the house are screened so they should be good, but the gutters at my feed and tool shed will need to be cleaned out.

Animal Feed: This is the time of year I make sure all the bird feeders are full. We even put out corn for the deer and other small critters. Much as the deer torment me in the garden, I don't want to see them struggle for food during the winter.

Every home is different depending on your location and the type of home. Having been surprised by sudden freezes and a one time week of rolling black outs during the worst freeze we ever had in Texas, we've become quite adept at getting ready for winter. Plus, it's made us wary of utility companies. They really dropped the ball two years ago.

We may not get as cold as our northern neighbors, but it's cold enough for me.

How's the weather by you? Do you have to do much to prepare for winter? Do you feed birds or other wild animals?

This week is Thanksgiving. I am not cooking since we've been invited to celebrate with friends. I will be baking though. Italian cream cake. Yes. It's as decadent as it sounds.

Fall Cleanup


Luba said…
Me thinks that you are ready for the coming winter season, Maria. I am now ready too! Saturday I covered my central air with tarp on the outside. Plus, I had the chimney checked and fixed. That was an expensive experience and now I won't have to do it ever again! #tucked.

Otherwise, like you, I heard it is going to be a cold, cold winter. I hope the "sages" are wrong!! BTW: I hate dusting too among some other little household chores...๐Ÿ˜† Nonetheless, I do keep the house neat and tidy!!! Maria, I'm cooking for Thanksgiving and I'd like to wish you and Greg a very Happy Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿ— Be safe! ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ๐Ÿงก
Maria Zannini said…
Happy Thanksgiving, Luba!

Even though we don't get very cold, as soon as the nights get chilly, I love sitting with a fire going. It's so pretty.
Mike Keyton said…
Interesting and informative post, Maria, a nice snapshot into a busy life. Ref feeding wildlife in the winter, we conscientiously fed the birds, int we discovered an adventurous rat. Now we salve our conscience by looking at our berry laden bushes and hedges ๐Ÿ˜Ž
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: We have the best bird feeder I've ever seen. It came with the house. It's got a two domes, one over the feeder and another below it. Even the most accomplished squirrel can't get a bite.

I've tried to find another one like it but there's nothing near as good.