What an abrupt change in the weather. The weekend was downright tropical and by Tuesday morning everything was frozen. I spent a good part of the day on Tuesday yanking sad-looking annuals. I’m amazed that coleus and impatiens lasted as long as they did. It’s mid-November, for Pete’s sake.

I spent some time sitting in the car in my driveway recently, watching birds eat the crabapples. They most likely will move on to the winter berries that are tempting.

There are some annuals that survived the low temperatures. Both variegated felicia and white alyssum still look great in their pots. I never have the heart to pull anything with a bit of life left.

I always have mixed feelings after a significant frost. It’s sad to see the end of a season but yet a relief to move on to another.

Finally got the garlic planted with help from my daughter. I’ve had it sitting around for a couple of months. In the past, I’ve planted it too early and it comes up almost immediately. The same is true for most bulbs: daffodils, crocuses, etc. I’ve planted the aforementioned flower bulbs way into January and had them bloom in the spring. I think they need six weeks of cold to set their roots, so not to worry if you have yet to get to it.

In the shrub border, I like to attack some of the unruly bushes. Budleia and pee gee hydrangeas both bloom on new growth, so have at it. Rose of Sharon and Annabelle hydrangea also fit into that category. I take the Annabelles right down to the ground.

Be careful with the big leaf hydrangeas. The old-fashioned lace caps and Nikko blues bloom on old growth so just dead wood should be removed. I also cut any branches rubbing on the house or dangling on the lawn. Feel free to take the spent blooms. They will continue to look ghastly and end up all over the yard.

I’m fond of beech trees this time of year. Their fall colors of green and gold hang on for dear life most of the winter. Even after they brown, they stay on the tree. I like to cut a few branches and spray paint them gold to tuck into Christmas greens.

I’m a big fan of cold weather. As I write on Tuesday evening, I have a cozy wood fire and a soup bubbling along on top of it. This is a classic wood cook stove purchased from a company in Kentucky that caters to the Amish. It doesn’t last all night, so its quite chilly in the mornings. But it starts right up and heats the kitchen in no time. It has a regular oven that is temperature controlled by the type of wood and opening and closing the oven door. The burners are regulated by moving pans around.

Having used it for several decades, it’s an old friend — plus I’m crazy.

Speaking of crazy: have we maybe turned a corner in the country? The midterm election did not turn out to be the bloodbath predicted by the pollsters and media.

I’m a little weary of the Ron DeSantis show already. I think the real winners last Tuesday night were the women in Michigan. The Dems swept the state legislature and kept Gretchen Whitmer and Jocelyn Benson.

I guess most folks are tired of re-living 2020. Also: way to go, Pennsylvania.