‘We have already had a taste of cold weather’

It is only a month until the official day of winter arrives, but we have already had a taste of cold weather. Are you ready for winter? Actually you should have been doing things to get ready for freezing times. If you haven’t, this can be a reminder to get at it. Proper attention now can save you some problems later on. It is not much fun to make outside repairs in freezing weather.

You should have already checked the radiator for antifreeze on your vehicles. But good tread on your tires and the right amount of pressure are important things to check now and keep aware of instead of just driving and hoping it will be good. Check all the fluids like oil, windshield washer and brake fluid. Steve has been so good during the past years that I almost take it for granted.

Don’t forget the small gas engines like lawn mowers, tillers, chain saws and weed eater. It is best for those engines if they are run dry of all gas to avoid moisture in winter months. Have you checked all your water hoses to be sure they are no longer hooked to the faucets? It is a good time to check to see that there is no standing water around the plumbing. It is time to check where the hoses or pipes come into the building that they will not freeze. I am a real believer in sacks of leaves to protect cutoff valves and exposed water lines. I also use sacks of leaves to block the cold under doors or walls.

K U reminds us to use caulk around windows and cracks to keep the cold out. The cold wind will find every place to invade your cozy house. One way I make my barn warmer is the long hay rack along the north wall. I keep it full of hay in winter for warmth and empty in the summer to cool the barn. The cows can come in and eat or go out to get water. Likewise most of the hog pens have doors that easily swing both ways allowing them to go out and in as they wish. The idea is to keep the barn warm and dry so a little straw can keep them warm.

Now is the time to uses leaves or other mulch to give your flower bulbs and tubers a chance for warm hibernation. It is good to cut away dead stems and flowers; they would like protection also which can turn into fertilizer the next spring.

Do you have blue bird houses, now is the time to clean them out. They like a clean place to nest in the spring. It is good to have bushes around the house for the birds. It is even good to place your Christmas tree near the house for shelter for birds.

Oh, yes, there are things to do to be ready for winter besides taking care of yourself.