Powering Down and Catching Up

If you’ve noticed I haven’t written at all this month, I apologize. And if you didn’t notice, well, I can only assume that you were as consumed with current events as we have been. It has been an incredibly long — and, to our minds, disorienting and sad — week.

None of that has been made any easier by the fact that we are still without heat. I mentioned it in passing in my previous post, and our furnace is still broken.

This is no fun at all. 

So far we have managed to muddle through with space heaters borrowed from generous friends, and the house hasn’t dipped below 50 degrees inside — yet. We are still anxiously waiting for National Grid to send a crew to put in a gas line so we can switch from oil to natural gas. This will all be incredibly expensive, though we do live in a state with an excellent rebate program for energy-saving upgrades. But if we have to replace a furnace, we figured we should at least get a better fuel choice in the bargain.

In the meantime, it’s been a long, cold wait.

We’re lucky that it hasn’t been that cold at night — we’ve only had one real frost, and a bunch of days in the 50s and 60s. At this point, if it’s warm enough to have to open the cold frames, we also open the house windows to let in the heat in the afternoon:


We’ve definitely been distracted, but I did finally manage to plant all of our bulbs:


This year I covered them with netting or chicken wire in many spots, but when I ran out, I just used leaves. The squirrels haven’t been very interested in digging things up this year, save one attempt on the hyacinths in the photo above, but the gave up at the chicken wire. 

The reason for this could be that we can expect a mild winter (fingers crossed!), but it’s more likely that Smithy is on the job:


In the past few weeks, our very skittish barn cat has come a long way as far as human interaction is concerned. He’ll now hang out with me in my office in the afternoons, and he’ll accept affection in the form of cat treats, face rubs, and minimal eye contact.

In other good news, it’s been cold enough to kill off the yellow jackets, but not so cold that the remaining fall raspberries were ruined, so we were able to get the last little bit of our harvest:


This photo is from a few days ago, and today we picked what I assume will be the last raspberries of the year — in mid-November! This is very late, but it seems only fair that we should enjoy a little windfall, since we missed out on most of our fall raspberries due to the nearby yellow jacket nest, and so much of our harvest of other staples due to the drought

The garden year isn’t quite through, but it’s definitely winding down. We’re actually looking forward to closing things down and enjoying a winter rest this year — hopefully in a warm house.

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