We have reached that point in the gardening season where . . . things can change FAST. One day, you’re reading on the patio, enjoying the incredible fall color, and contemplating where you might want to plant bulbs. And the next day? BAM! Snowflakes are in the air!

It happens every year. I’m really not surprised. Although it always surprises me anyway. (And there is PLENTY of time left to plant bulbs! I don’t usually get bulbs in the ground until late November.)

This year, though, as the cold front moves through, I am without my usual garden helper.
Because this guy . . .

. . . is living it up right now down in Louisiana. (This is a red fish.) (Which always makes me think of Dr. Seuss.)

Not to worry — a couple of weeks ago, we did most of our buttoning-up-the-garden work together. We put away the garden furniture and emptied the containers and took in the hoses. But we left one hose attached to the house so I could still have access to water for my remaining outdoor plants. (It’s that evil coiled hose that I WILL get rid of next year, by the way.)


Uh.Oh. (You can probably see where this is going.) Tom is away. The temperature is plummeting below freezing. I need to get that hose off the spigot! STAT! But . . . that hose is on the spigot really, really good. Too tight for my arthritic hands to budge.

I could call on one of my young and helpful neighbors for an assist (and I have two sets who would be happy to do so), but I decided to try it myself — with Tom’s favorite tool (but my personal nemesis) . . . the channel locks. I never can figure out how to use that tool! It always locks up on me (thus the name) and I can’t get it to do anything.

So I turned to YouTube. And, oh friends. If you haven’t watched any how-to-tool videos on YouTube, you might be as surprised as I was to find they are . . . hotbeds of testosterone and chest-thumping male-ness. So. Gross. But . . . I persevered!


Channel locks skillz . . .  UNLOCKED!

My lessons for you here?

  • Get your hoses off your houses before it freezes.
  • If you must turn to YouTube for tool-how-tos, be ready for a lot of toxic masculinity and bad assumptions about who might want to learn to use, say . . .  a channel locks.
  • And . . .  you still have plenty of time to plant your spring bulbs (unless you’re in Michigan’s upper peninsula – and points even further north – where it actually might be too late).


Also . . . Happy Halloween!