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Late October Lawn Style. . .

 Said fleece, a Christmas gift last year from m y wife, The Grand Duchess.

While the now ubiquitous fleece is hardly 'classic' in the same sense as a jaunty tweed sports jacket, a well-tailored suit, or high quality leather dress shoes, it does have its uses.

First, they are great as a top layer for any sort of outdoor winter sport when a sweater would be too bulky.  We are avid cross-country (Nordic) skiers in the winter, weather permitting here in Mid-Michigan, and a fleece worn over some long silk underwear and a wicking middle layer will be all you need on the upper half for all but the coldest days.  Second, fleeces are ideal wear during a chilly fall day like today whether your outdoor activities include preparing the lawn and garden beds for the coming winter, or a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

The fleece pictured above features the logo of my alma mater, the might University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I completed two degree programs before moving onto a third just up the road in Minnesota where I met my wife a little over 19 years ago in August 2000.  

But that's another story.  Let's get back to fleeces for a moment.

Typically, I avoid any garments that feature logos, not-so-clever sayings, or other graphics of any kind.  The one exception, however, is this bright red fleece, which is ideal to toss on for outdoor work in the yard once the weather cools off and for fun atop some skinny skis once the snow flies.  It's worn here over one of several Rugby tops and some corduroy jeans (a pair in tan today), both of which comprise my 'at home' uniform, in one way or another, between late October to mid-April each year.

The point here is that even when taking care of manual chores outside, in the garage, or in the basement workshop, it is possible to look reasonably pulled together and avoid looking as though you have somehow fallen through the cracks of society to the absolute rock bottom of existence.  Cue UFO!  

-- Heinz-Ulrich

 The front yard just after mowing earlier this Friday afternoon.  I mow at about 4.25 inches, the highest setting on my Toro pushmower.  There are still a few beds where I need to clip away the dead and dying foliage of our perennials before truly cold weather arrives. 

And a photograph of the backyard for good measure.  The lush growth and deep green color are the result of frequent mowing since mid-May and applications of organic fertilizer about every 6-8 weeks.  Of course, the return of regular rains since the start of September has helped immeasurably too.  I know, I know.  I am nothing if not easily entertained.  Watching the grass grow and all that.


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