Wednesday, September 1

A Change in Seasons

A few days ago I came home for lunch to this:
Mountain of tree limbs in my front yard.

Needless to say I was a bit taken aback at first--until I realized that AEP must have finally returned to cut down the trees they marked for removal back in March. Being proactive. Preventing another disaster like the ice storm in 2007. I can appreciate that.

That doesn’t mean that watching them shear limbs from my beautiful trees and hack down the overgrown bushes along my back fence didn’t make me cringe and think, “That’s enough! You’ve cut down plenty!” My yard, once a shady, mostly screened area, became sunny and open in the span of a few hours. And now my trees are lopsided.

On a more positive note, I guess sun-loving plants will grow in my yard now.

The jury is still out on whether I like the landscaping change, but it does give me some peace of mind with winter on it’s way. While this isn't the first winter season I'll be preparing my home for, I'm still compiling a checklist of things I need to do to get ready for winter. Here's my list:
  1. I need to have the furnace serviced. Apparently getting your heating and A/C units serviced every year before using them is advisable.
  2.  I have double-paned windows, so I'm not worried about cracks or loss of insulation there, but I do need to seal my front door with some caulk. Last winter the wind whistled through, which I'm guessing meant my precious heat slipped out.
  3. Once the leaves start falling I'll not only be raking, but mulching. It's also important to clean the gutters one last time after the trees are bare. I read an article that said clogged storm drains and gutters can lead to flooded basement space. I'm guessing that would go for my crawl space too (something I would rather avoid).
  4. Once the gutters are clean I'll need to bring the hose inside. Last year I didn't put an insulation cap over my outdoor faucet, but what I've read advises doing so. I also read that in extremely cold temperatures leaving cabinet doors where pipes are located open will help prevent them from freezing. If the cabinets are open the warm air will circulate through the space.
  5. Some articles suggest covering crawl space vents (especially those facing north) by leaning a board against the house. I'm not sure the weather is severe enough in Oklahoma to make that necessary. However, some of the vent screens need repair to prevent rodents from moving in.
Of course I have other project goals that I'd like to complete before I say good-bye to our beautiful summer days. I'm hoping to finish my deck (after all I have a long-promised blog post to complete), my new flowerbed is nearly done (although I likely won't plant anything until spring, cold weather tends to doom plant-life), and I want to make a container for my firewood. The only part of cooler weather that I'm anticipating is lighting up my chiminea in the evening. And the lack of insects, of course.

Enjoy these final days of summer--although in my opinion September means it's officially fall.

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