Are you a “Life is a Journey” person or a “Git ‘er Done” person?
It’s not an idle question. How you answer it will help you choose an approach to the Leaf Dilemma.
The turning leaves are either splashes of vibrant color in a gray and drippy Oregon fall, a gold and red royal carpet, or they are the hostile offspring of scheming trees, deliberately hand-shaped for the purpose of strangling to death a perfect lawn or forming a slippery trap for the innocent and unwary.
There are strategies for each, to make the job both efficient and as enjoyable as possible.
Let’s begin with the “Journey” people, who wait as long as possible to tackle the job and, truth to tell, don’t want to spoil the lovely tableau. For these, necessary leaf management can be made into a treasured yearly ritual, beginning with Preparation for the day:
Set some cider to slowly simmer on the stove for when you’re finished.
The Music: Vivaldi’s Autumn, delivered in your ear buds, or, if you want to keep your ears warm, try a wireless headphone set.
The Tools: The lawn rake (can there be any other more perfect instrument for the task?) and a tarp or a heavy (canvas) painter’s drop cloth. Both can be secured to the ground with metal lawn staples. When full, they can be poured into your recycling container, hopefully by someone else.
Done: Enjoy your well-earned hot cider!
The Git ‘er Done folks, by contrast, want this chore to end quickly but also prize the lawn and therefore may in fact mount a battle more than once during the fall season rather than waiting for the very last leaf.
Preparation for the day: What prep? You’re only going to be out there for a few minutes, right? Even so, slam a quad shot of espresso, give the knuckles a crack, and head out.
The Music: Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild, of course, on the headset.
The Tools: Oh, the wealth! Choices abound. If the leaf cover is light, consider the mulching mower, which shreds the leaves and renders them harmless. Even better, it makes them into a snack for the lawn. A good mulcher is a slasher/trasher, the great equalizer in the fight against nature.
Choice #2 is the leaf blower. Much harangued as a noise polluter par excellence, the battery-op version is less annoying to your neighbors.
Choice three is a hybrid of #1 and #2, the leaf blower/vac. Yes, it exists! This baby can be used as a traditional blower OR as a super-charged vacuum that sucks the wily offenders into a mulching chamber and then (as if it couldn’t get better) shoots them into an attached bag for you. It is to make one weep. Because the vac is high powered, be careful around delicate plants and, well, small animals.
This little treatise would not be complete without an ode to the bona fide benefits of leaves. Used whole on top of raised beds, they will suffocate existing weeds and prevent new ones. You can also use them around your plants as a mulch. They are more easily spreadable if shredded first. #
Principal Broker | REALTOR
RE/MAX Equity Group
It’s time for something nice to arrive in your mailbox. Starbucks coffee, Subway sandwiches or dinner at Red Robin. Yes! It could happen to YOU!
Just refer your friends to me and I’ll not only take great care of them as they shop for a house or market their houses with me, but I will send You a gift card for something delicious, too!
Is that a great deal or what?!
Covid has unleashed TV bingeing like no other recent calamity.
The good news is, some of these TV shows can be mined for deep and important content.
Okay, not really. But the detective shows can be very instructive if you have unsavory ambitions or you fear being the target of someone with unsavory ambitions.
They provide counsel on What Not to Do if someone is after you and What Not to Do if you are after someone else…
So here they are, carefully gleaned from that beacon of wisdom plugged into the wall: Top things NOT to do if you are being targeted by a killer.
Do Not Enter a dark house without turning on the light, or browse the contents of the refrigerator with your back to the darkened room, or, please no, prepare to take a shower without turning on the light!
Do Not, upon hearing an eerie noise, call out in a freaked-out voice, “H-hello? Who’s there?” Honestly, what’s the would-be murderer going to say? “Well, hello, it’s just me, your killer…How was your day?”
Do Not, upon noticing an open door that you did not open, close and lock it. What, you’re hoping to trap the killer and his really sharp knife inside with you?
Do Not Hide in a stupid place. Under the bed, behind the door, in the coat closet…really?
Do Not Run to the nearest dark alley.
Don Not run poorly and fall down a lot.
Do Not Stop to find a phone. This is a math question – one that k-12 schools should teach: How long will it take for an axe murderer traveling at 2 mph and dragging a limb to catch up to you while you go stop at every house to find a phone? Second math question: If you manage to find a phone and call the cops: How long will it take the cops to get to you (especially given the current labor shortage and a speed limit of 20 in most residential neighborhoods) and apprehend the bad guy who is now 50 feet away?
Do Not Investigate any creepy shadows outside. Yes, it could be someone stealing the mums from your harvest display (rude!) or it could be that killer guy.
Do Not get in your car, which has been parked in the dark alley (seriously?) without even looking at the back seat.
Do Not agree to drive with your captor to the nearest dark alley/forest/lonely road. Instead, insist that he kill you in a well-lit, populated place, like police headquarters.
Do Not be predictable. Think serpentine. If you left through the front door this morning, use the back window today.
Do Not turn your back on an attacker who appears to be unconscious or dead. This should be obvious. No bad guy is ever dead or unconscious.
Let’s say you avoid all of the above risky behavior and even so, someone manages to stab/shoot you anyway and your life is nearing its end. You manage, with every ounce of your last moment of consciousness, to write, in your own blood…
A code that will need to be broken by a team FBI encryption experts?? Nooo! How about the killer’s name? Include home and cell numbers if you have time before, well…
Now, if you have a large collection of enemies, maybe you should be proactive and leave a full list of them in your sock drawer.
Top Ten Don’ts for Aspiring Murderers….
Don’t be unprepared for a fight. Consider the Soccer Bubble. Fully inflated, it’s a complete defense in close combat situations — the worst thing that could happen is you will bounce down the alleyway unharmed. Disclaimer: If knife play is possible, choose a more sturdy method of encapsulation – suit of armor, maybe?
Do Not write a list of murder supplies on a Post-it note on your ‘fridge. Corollary: Do not argue coupon value with a cashier when you are buying ropes, knives, guns or poison.
Do Not leave your cell phone on if you plan to skulk, stalk or sneak. The last thing you need is the ringtone version of Call Me Maybe heralding your arrival.
Do Not leave bodies in your trunk, even temporarily. If you have to murder someone on short notice and the car is your only option, don’t forget to feed the parking meter.
Do Not print out your murder plans. First, it’s not a very eco-friendly practice. Second, the printer buffer never forgets. In fact, neither does the computer, even if you delete it. Ditto your phone. They can always find something on your phone!! Get rid of the phone! In fact, if you’re going to kill someone, you should really be analog.
Do Not be easily identifiable. Don’t get a tattoo that says KILLER on your forehead or walk around in a hocky mask when you’re Not playing hockey. Consider the sweater vest. No one wearing a sweater vest ever killed anyone.
Do Not be lazy. Get in shape! Not everyone can be Michael Myers: Some killers actually have to run to catch up with the target. Strive for excellence! After all, you don’t want to pull a hammie.
Don’t get fancy. If your plan requires man-eating sharks, slow-slicing pendulums, perfectly calibrated remote lasers, (or, really, any mechanical know-how), iffy poisons, or timed avalanches, it’s too fancy.
Do Not delegate. Incompetent henchmen are the rule, not the exception.