I loathe and despise leaf blowers. Who came up with such an invention? They are ear-shatteringly large, ecologically unsound and remarkably stupid. Now that I’ve told you what I really think . . . it seems every time we are working quietly on a job site the “mow and blow” crew shows up. I understand they can be handy to get leaves out of tricky places but, honestly, a rake and a broom can manage the job. I’ve watched workers blow tiny pieces of grass from dirt driveways, for Pete’s sake.

The most remarkable thing is only a small number of workers use ear protection. Will they be totally deaf by 40? My Dad was completely deaf in his later years as a result of guns during WWII and years of machine use. How sad for all of us. He couldn’t hear Violet on the phone.

At any rate, my crew uses rakes. We have the best rake ever ­— $8 from Home Depot and the narrow 18” bamboo to fine tune a lawn.

People have been busy putting out the Christmas decorations. All the towns are festive and inviting. I like to shop locally and at the last minute I feel more in the spirit.

As far as trees, I always prefer a sad-looking Charlie Brown type. I like the idea of an unattractive, crooked little tree having a shot at glory.

It’s so difficult to imagine that we are into December. I’m still working happily in my vegetable garden. There is a wonderful variety of foods still available. Radishes, lettuce, celeriac, leek, kale, chard, beets, carrots, spinach, tiny fennel bulbs and tons of herbs, even dill. There will be a fine selection at the Winter Farmer’s Market at the Agricultural Hall on Saturday. Hopefully, several of the farms will be selling local meat.

Now that the Good Farm is renting from the Craig Kingsbury place, one can enjoy watching some heritage pigs from the front porch of the Scottish Bakehouse. Craig would be delighted to see the place used for meat production. I recall Craig, a town selectman, wandering barefoot behind some local restaurants seeking scraps for his pigs. What a guy!! He was always available for a quip or two.

Now that Island Entertainment has moved across the street, we get to enjoy their holiday arrangements once again. I loved the three little pigs and scarecrow, but nothing tops Santa driving tractors sporting antlers. Both the elk and moose ones remind me of our hunting camp back home. Dad had various animal parts hanging on the wall including an entire black bear.

I was wandering around the flower beds beating myself up for neglecting the fall cleanup. I came across a summer pastel Achillea in full bloom. Hard to believe, but wonderful to behold. If I had cut the plant back in a timely fashion I would have missed it. Go figure!

A word to the wise. Do not pile mulch up around the trunks of trees. You will eventually suffocate them. There should be a slight flair at ground level. New trees should be planted at the depth that they arrived from the nursery.

Ezra Klein filled in for Rachel Maddow last week. He’s pretty much a policy wonk but he ran a segment on the world situation — Israel/Gaza, constitutional change in Egypt, chemical warfare possibility in Syria and, of course, anything involving North Korea. It made our looming fiscal crisis seem small potatoes. Here we are at Christmas. Will we ever have peace on earth? Goodwill to men?