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Let’s let leaves lie

I am officially designating myself as the “leaf monitor.”

This is a lovely time of year as the trees offer up their loads of priceless organic matter for nothing more from us than a little physical work. I want to convince you to use this free garden gold instead of raking it to the curb or burning it.

Shredded leaves are invaluable in increasing the organic matter in a landscape and garden, and I would like you to consider moving them into your garden beds, much the same as nature would do.


Let’s let leaves lie

I am officially designating myself as the “leaf monitor.”

This is a lovely time of year as the trees offer up their loads of priceless organic matter for nothing more from us than a little physical work. I want to convince you to use this free garden gold instead of raking it to the curb or burning it.

Why didn’t hydrangeas bloom?

Question: Some of my hydrangeas did not flower. Do I cut them back now or could it be because I cut them back last fall? — P.E.

Answer: It’s tricky giving advice on pruning hydrangeas without knowing what type they are. Most hydrangeas don’t require regular pruning except removal of old brown flower clusters in fall or early spring.

Restful retreat

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We spend about 10 hours a day on average in the bedroom. That’s a good part of the day, so why not make this retreat one of the best rooms in the house?

To do the job well, it’s important to understand that bedrooms aren’t just for sleeping. They serve many purposes. Televisions and Internet connections make this room well-suited for a secondary TV monitor and maybe a home office.

Prep your soil now for success in the spring

Question: I’m preparing for a new vegetable garden in my back yard. I’ve removed the sod and tilled the soil. What else can I do this fall to get ready for next spring? T.S.

Answer: A soil test is the next step. You can use home soil test kits, but I prefer the reliability of a commercial testing lab. Soil test kits and instructions for the University of Wisconsin Soil Testing Lab may be obtained at the Kenosha County UW-Extension office or http://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu. You don’t need an “official” soil test bag. A new zip top plastic bag works fine. Written results arrive in about two weeks and list soil type, pH, phosphorus, and potassium. Recommendations for fertilizer are included.

Bring herbs into the kitchen and save them from impending frost

Having freshly dried herbs from your own garden will make your late fall and winter meals so much better, not to mention the possibilities of giving herbs as holiday gifts. And, having fresh herbs on the windowsill lets us keep the growing spirit alive through the doldrums of winter.

Basil is pretty much gone from the garden, but you can certainly start some from seeds for the windowsill. Other herbs such as oregano, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, chives and sage are still in pretty good shape to clip and dry or divide and pot up. Also, now is the time to bring in your rosemary because it won’t survive the winter outdoors.

Outdoor decorating for fall

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Homes in the northern U.S. are treated to a measure of effortless outdoor decorating for fall: Nature does most of the work by turning the trees a vivid palette of reds, oranges and golds. Add a pumpkin or two on the doorstep and the look is complete.

Before the weather turns too harsh, consider using some creativity to add to the season’s colors and textures by decorating your home’s outdoor spaces. But be careful, as Halloween decorating has become increasingly popular, many homeowners aiming for a festive fall look go overboard with big decorations and harsh shades of orange.


Love My Ride

Parts & projects

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

About seven years ago, Kenosha resident Steve Schneider held a family vote to determine whether he should keep or sell his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, which he had owned for more than 30 years.

Deere Hunter

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Ever since his childhood, John Serzynski has been a big fan of John Deere tractors and riding mowers.

“My stepfather (George Paulausky) owned a landscaping business, and I used to play out in the sandbox all the time, all day long, with my cousin,” said Serzynski, a Waukegan, Ill., native who moved to Kenosha County in the late 1990s.

‘Kenosha Cadillac’

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

A bit of nostalgia prompted Peter Wenglowsky to obtain his 1961 Rambler Classic about 20 years ago.

Wheeling through Wisconsin

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BY JEREMY REEVES

jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Mercedes-Benz makes driving painless

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If there’s anyone who appreciates having a luxurious car like a black 1999 Mercedes-Benz S420 more than David Gregorski, good luck finding him.

Gregorski, 56, was a local barber for 28 years who was forced to retire about a decade ago because of back problems. He’s since had eight back surgeries.

Masi the Matador

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Jim Masi, his older brother Jeff Masi, Dennis Curnes and Butch Funk were all Kenosha teenagers in the early 1960s. And their passion was cars.

Taking flight: ‘As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating’

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Whenever John Munson gets behind the controls and lifts off in his 2006 AMD Zodiac CH601XL factory-built, special light-sport aircraft, he experiences emotions unlike any other.

“As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating,” said Munson, 66, a Kenosha resident. “You’re airborne, and it’s a whole different feeling. It’s the most enjoyable recreational activity I’ve had. I like it a lot.

British imports become part of family

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

KENOSHA — What started as a gift for his wife, Mary, more than 30 years ago has evolved into a type of extended relative for Kenosha resident Jim Hawkins.

Skully’s ‘Last Ride’

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Kenosha resident Jason Beiser, 30, has been welding for about seven years and started his own business, “Skully’s Welding,” a couple years ago.

Firebird fulfills promise

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

SALEM — It took Mike Vandeville about 25 years but he finally made true on his pledge to himself.

A lifetime of Nashes

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — When it came to his first car, Eric Nelson Jr. didn’t have many options.

Proud Centurion

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Kenosha resident Florian Kreft, 84, has owned about 25 cars in his lifetime, covering most American manufacturers (Chevy, Ford, Buick, Chrysler and Dodge).

Jeff and Mary Albrecht’s 1991 Four Winns 325 Cabin Cruiser

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Whether on Lake Michigan, inland lakes or even the Gulf of Mexico, Jeff and Mary Albrecht have been boating enthusiasts since they were kids.

‘Regular guy’ drives a Mercedes

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Wayne Walker isn’t the type of person you’d immediately expect to own a Mercedes Benz, especially one imported from Germany.

This ’72 Chevrolet Monte Carlo even better than first one

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

SALEM — Judy Grasser said her husband of 26 years, Mike, isn’t much of a sentimental type.

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