This Week’s in the Bag—#SoCS

It’s Saturday, and that means it’s time to stake out a corner of the bar where we can drop our masks, enjoy an adult beverage and spread droplets—less than six feet—as we struggle with Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘ring.’ Use it as a noun, a verb, an adverb, or an adjective…use it any way you’d like. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, you’d be questioning my judgment…again.

“Well, Dan, we finished another week in pandemic purgatory, did you manage to do anything interesting?”

“I did some shopping, and I raked some leaves, although you’d never know it to look at my yard.”

“Raked leaves? That sounds like work. I thought people relaxed after retiring.”

“I find it oddly relaxing.”

“Relaxing or not, it sounds like you need a cold Corona, Dan.”

“Haha, yes Cheryl, I have to agree with your assessment.”

“David, how about you?”

“How about what, Cheryl? Do I want a beer? No, I prefer John Howell’s Bourbon. Does raking sound like work? Yes, that’s why I avoid it.”

“Sheesh, you’re in a mood. I’ll be back with the drinks. Dan, see if you can loosen him up a bit.”

“Will do Cheryl.”

“I don’t see any reason for that comment.”

“David, you are twisted kinda tight today.”

“Here you go, Dan, an ice-cold Corona with a juicy wedge of lime for flavoring. David, your bourbon, your seltzer, your ice.”

“Thanks Cheryl. Cheers David.”

“She didn’t give me any cherries, Dan.”

“What did you expect? Perhaps you should be reconsidering your response.”

“Oh, Cheryl.”

“Yes, David.”

“I would like to apologize for my surly response earlier. The pandemic is bothering me with these damn restrictions.”

“The pandemic has everyone in a foul mood, David. We prefer that you leave your mood at the door before entering. Is there anything else?”

“Well, now that you mention it, I was wondering if I might have a few cherries for my bourbon.”

“Of course. I’ll bring those right over.”

“Do you think she’s OK, now, Dan?”

“I don’t know, David. Considering all she has to put up with, hearing that tone from you might have been tough to take.”

“Here you go, David.”

“Thanks Cheryl. And I do apologize. I did come here to unwind, not to be overbearing.”

“It’s OK, David. I know. It’s just that it’s been a long day. You boys want any food today?”

“I could go for a bowl of your mouthwatering clam chowder, Cheryl.”

“Hot soup on a cold rainy day. That’s one way of conquering the blues. Would you care for a bowl, David?”

“You know, Cheryl, that sounds like a great idea.”

“Two chowders coming up.”

“So, David, since you don’t rake your leaves, what do you do with them?”

“I have people, Dan. I know you’re averse to paying people, but I prefer to leave tasks like yard cleanup to the experts.”


“Yes, Dan. When the leaves have all fallen, I call my landscaper. I go to the gym, run my errands and come here while he and his crew are gathering my leaves.”

“I rake mine, a little at a time during the month, and I save myself the cost of a gym membership.”

“Raking leaves is not the same as working out, Dan.”

“I disagree, David. It’s hard work, and it actually helps my shoulders feel better.”

“Wait, when you say raking, do you mean using—a—rake?”

“Well, two rakes, but yes.”

“Why two rakes?”

“I use a big one for the wide-open spaces and a little one to get between the bushes. Then I pick the leaves up by sandwiching them between the two rakes and then I dump them in a bag.”

“You don’t use a leaf-blower?”

“I do, but not until all the leaves have fallen. There’s no point clearing the yard completely while the leaves are still coming down.”

“Here we go, piping hot clam chowder. Made fresh this morning.”

“Mmmm, thanks Cheryl.”

“Yes, thanks. This looks wonderful, Cheryl.”

“It’s good to see you’ve crawled out of your funk, David.”

“Conferring with Dan over the exercise value of yard work has cheered me up a bit.”

“Personally, I hate yard work. My hubs has clearing-the-yard duty. I’d rather be laboring here.”

“How many bags do you fill, Dan?”

“Between thirty and forty.”

“Yikes, Dan. How many trees do you have?”

“Only one that drops a significant number, but our neighbor’s oak tree drops half its leaves in our yard and a bunch blow into our driveway off the street.”

“Why do you end up harboring the neighborhood leaves?”

“We live at the vertex of the curve in our street, David, and we have a fence along the driveway.”

“So, if you didn’t have the fence, the leaves would be entering your neighbor’s yard instead of gathering in yours?”


“Then why not tear the fence down, Dan?”

“It’s our neighbor’s fence.”

“You boys want another round?”

“I think we could have another round without us ending up staggering home, Cheryl.”

“OK, then. We’re nearing the end of my shift, who’s getting the tab?”

“I’ll spring for that, Cheryl. Let’s try to keep David in his good mood.”


  1. I raked leaves yesterday morning for a little while. In the fall, I rake in the back, and in the spring I rake in the front. We have large trees and so does our neighbor so there are a lot of leaves. We have one space between a neighbor’s decorator fence that is like leaf alley and they all blow into our yard so I put up a 4′ high green plastic fence with some rebar and they stack up several feet high on her side. Her landscaper isn’t too thrilled with my system, but the key words here are ‘her landscaper’ which in my case is me. :-) Happy Saturday, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Good idea, Judy. I’ve seen people doing that around here. It wouldn’t work for me because I’d have to block our driveway. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t mind raking (and we have a small yard). I hold you enjoy the weekend and get a break from the rake.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to do the same thing today. Since WVU and TCU play at 11:00 my time, I have to get moving this morning. Loved the chowder photo. I think I could smell it from here. The rest of the photos looked terrific too. I have the same problem in that all the leaves in my yard are imports. We have a mountain laurel and it doesn’t drop leaves. Have a great day, Dan. Go Mountaineers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, so I really want to rub MiMi’s belly. I know it’s a trap, but I can’t help myself whn it comes to cute cat bellies. 😻😼

    That’s a lot of leaves, Dan, but I understand when you say it’s oddly relaxing. I felt the same way when I worked in the in-law’s yard years ago, even when pulling weeds. I called it mental therapy. Your Costco bags of leaves designates a good session of clearing the mind and readying yourself for a cold brew and clam chowder.

    Have a wondeful weekend, hope you see the sun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, we only have one red maple tree. BUT, neighbors have ginormous oak trees and maples, along with an assortment of others. Why, I ask, do the leaves on my one maple fall into our yard and stay there until I rake them up? Yet the leaves from the neighbor’s trees fall into their yards, then proceed to blow into our yard and stay there until “I” rake them up! 😳 Shouldn’t there be a law against this?

    Love the shot of Smokey. And Maddie trying to figure out how to stop you from using her deck as a catch all. MiMi and MuMu look quite content. Laughed out loud at the ‘shadow’ photo. Maddie just HAS to photobomb these shots! She is definitely a diva Dan. 🤗

    Hope you and the Editor and Faith can continue staying safe. Wishing you all a terrific weekend. Murphy sends smooches and belly rubs and brushings to some of you. You know who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would think the law would be the law of gravity, Ginger, but it doesn’t work that way. I fail to understand how we get leaves from neighbors on both sides on the same day. I have to rake with a pocket full of peanuts, but Smokey is just so adorable, I can’t refuse. None of the squirrels look like they’re going to starve anytime soon, but they put on a good act.

      MuMu is on her shelf (in the sun). MiMi is in her cradle. Maddie and I have walked. They all seem ready to take a long nap while I’m getting ready to rake leaves. Somehow, I got the wrong end of this deal.

      We all send a scritch and a smooch to Murphy.

      I hope you have a nice weekend. Stay safe.


  5. I’ll have a bowl of that chowder, please. It looks so good. Glad it’s New England style. Your pictures invoked nostalgic memories of when we lived in Ohio in a house with lots of trees. We raked and it’s definitely good exercise! We’d rake leaves onto a tarp in the back and drag them to the front to deposit on the tree lawn until the city came around and sucked them up. It was nice not to have to bag them. One of our neighbors hired a landscaping crew and they also did the leaves. But I saw them blowing leaves onto our property which needless to say didn’t make me happy. Called our neighbor who was also upset and it didn’t happen again!


    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a leaf dump. I could suck them up with a machine that we have, put them in my trailer and dump them at the dump. But, due to Covid, they only allow 3 cars at a time in the dump. It’s backed up a long way. They pick them up at the curb if they’re in bags, so I’ll bag. I’m glad you complained about the landscaping company. My neighbor across the street hired one to plow snow, and he plowed it onto my sidewalk. I met him with a shovel. It never happened again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You were doing pretty good on the ring words before you got to spring. Excellent finish. In the not leaving well enough alone category I forgo the rakes mostly and the bags completely. Them leaves are great fodder for the compost pile. The battery powered lawn mower while it does not have much of a VORTEX for cutting grass does have enough for picking up most of the leaves. So ‘raking’ rings up a victory for the compost pile and the garden. Good one Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We used to fill a compost bin, John but we don’t have enough uses for the compost and stuff started growing there. The town composts the leaves and I can get some there if I need it. I have a leaf-sucking/chopping machine. The results are great for composting but make for very heavy bags.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve found that tone can spark a lot of things these days. People are worn thin and someone says something snarky is just the right way…well, one thing leads to another and next thing you know you’ve got drama. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Our new tree doesn’t have that many leaves to fall so raking them won’t be too much of an issue. We do get neighbor’s leaves and my front door entry is a vacuum for leaves! I have to sweep it after every windy day of leaves. One day I’ll have to take a photo of all the leaves it catches.

    I love the long shadows and little pink paws!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That clam chowder looks DELICIOUS! Do you brush MuMu with a special cat brush? Soft bristles or stiff bristles? My cats had an infestation of fleas after the last time Tipper snuck out. I found the flea comb I used on Mom’s cat and tried it out on them. It’s battery-powered, and electrocutes any flea it catches in its teeth. Chickie LOVES it, and comes running when she hears that high-pitched whine. Tipper used to run from it, but he got to like it, too, though not as much as Chickie. Flea collars and many combings later, the fleas have departed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I switch from side-to-side, and I stop raking frequently and bag a small pile. I try to use/abuse different muscles and I have given up on trying to get everything done in one day. It hurts my shoulders before my back, but neither pain is welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree that raking can be relaxing and good exercise. The relaxing part for me happens when I get into a steady rhythm, and just being outside in cool weather. For the exercise part, I switch sides to balance the load. Of course, preferring natural landscaping, I mostly just rake the sidewalk. Smokey looks darker. I wonder if that’s a winter coat.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, okay, it’s New England Clam Chowder as opposed Manhattan Clam Chowder, which is red. Not that I’m a connoisseur; actually, I think both are kind of gross.

    That black squirrel is adorable, and what a tail…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love New England Clam Chowder, John. Manhattan Clam Chowder is gross. I will try NE clam chowder anywhere where it’s on the menu. These guys make it really well.

      The black squirrels are the favorites around here.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. David has people. Gosh, I loved that line, but then I am a David fan. The photo of the leaf bag with raindrops…excellent, Dan! MuMu…she has that look that I’d start to pet her and then pull back, “Nah. She looks good.” People next door moved in and took down the only tree they had in their backyard–a beautiful ages old oak– to expand their house. Their yard is pristine throughout hurricane season and autumn. I am not a fan of pristine. But your yard the day after you raked…!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois. A David fan, huh? I’ll try to keep that in mind. Our yard is never pristine, but I get it clean enough. Now, when it snows, I tend to get the driveway clean enough to use that word. As long as you were petting or brushing, MuMu would be OK. She’s actually pretty easy going, as long as she’s been brushed. MiMi swacks at us with those pretty little pink paws.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ahhh we feel ya Dan. We have had several homes where we ended up as dead leaf collection stations. I used to love raking leaves with the boys. But I had to use gloves or-ouch-blisters between my thumb and forefingers. We always lived in the rural no restriction areas so normally burned them. But hubby has done more than his share of bagging. I always had to douse myself in Off to ward off the redbugs/chiggers that live to hangout in dead leaves. That chowder looks good although I don’t eat it. Stay warm!


  14. We rake up the leaves using one rake, but lift them with two giant bear-claw-type plastic ‘hands’ that make a kind of closed clamshell shape when put together – they’re surprisingly effective for something so cheap and cheerful! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s quite the haul, Dan! Hope the muscles are not too pained today.

    When I was a girl, mom assigned me and my two brothers to leaf collection. Not only to rake our yard. It had only one medium sized tree, but to go across the street to the church yard, and down the road to the school yard, and anywhere we could gather enough leaves for the raspberries and roses. She mulched her gardens with a good foot or two of leaves every fall. She sewed together two old sheets to make a bag and set us off with our rakes and wagon. We would make two or three trips before she took mercy on us. Or the sun set.

    Let’s just say, I am grateful that I don’t need to rake leaves any more. The wind takes care of what few do fall, and the yard is mostly wild anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, Maggie. I think you raked all the leaves you ever need to. I have picked up leaves from our neighbors in years when my wife wanted to till them into her garden, but we’re done with that. Now she plants in containers.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. WOW – that’s a lot of raking. I agree, it is exercise – lots of arm work, and squats, that’ll keep you trim for your physical in the spring! I can tell that I rarely rake where I live (the wind carries all of the leaves off into the fields) because I’ve never seen paper bags for raked leaves? Does your garbage service pick those up for you or do you have to haul them somewhere? Cheers to your surviving another week of the pandemic with chowder and Corona!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The town picks up the bags once a week, or we can take them to a compost bump that’s about a mile away. When I do the last cleanup, I shred the leaves (a machine is involved) and dump them into my trailer. I take that to the dump. I would have done that with these leaves, but they’re only letting 3 cars in the dump at a time, and the lines was forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So sorry I laughed when I saw the morning after picture. LOL Dan, OH yes we can relate. Hubby raked three major times and then two other times when he went back out there to clean a little bit. Never ending. Now the limbs are bare so bye bye rake. About restrictions ….. first it was called lockdown now it is restrictions. Different word same outcome. SO done with this! How many doctors and studies have proven lockdowns do NOT work? In fact they are detrimental to our health in more ways then a virus is. sighs Stupidity and greed and corruption …. oh no! This too shall stop! I have faith that what we don’t see behind the scenes is setting the stage for this tyranny to stop. Stop. Stepping down from podium. Your gallery was a show for my soul …. NORMAL. There have been times when I have been watching light movies when I find myself crying when I see NORMAL. I believe we all crave to be human again without the restrictions. How did Sweden and S. Dakota manage without lockdowns? Oops, I must have stepped back up on the podium. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll do my best to live with the restrictions, Amy. I think I’d rather have that than the outcome in SD. I’ve been to museums, stores and restaurants, and it seems to be working. The staff at the restaurant prefer having the restrictions. They look forward to getting back to normal, but they’re in no hurry to relax the rules.

      I’m just trying to go with the flow.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Good thing you helped David out of his funk. Raking leaves and yard work feels good when you’re in the groove…for the first two hours. We have done two major yard clean-ups, probably one more to go when the last of the leaves drop. It always feels sad to put away the tractor and bring up the snow blower. Gorgeous photos – what is the bush with the bright red leaves?


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