Your yard needs a checkup before the snow season arrives. Aerate the soil to allow nutrients and water to reach the roots. Put out grass seed in bare spots, and next spring, you'll never know they were there.

Over the summer, rot around windows can go unnoticed. Poke the trim with a screwdriver. If it goes through, it's time call in a repairman before winter hits. (Or if you're handy, whip out the caulk and reseal the weak spot.) Your house will be watertight all winter long.

Flu season seems to arrive with the first cold front. Stay well by avoiding close contact with people who are obviously suffering from flu symptoms, and wash your hands often if you can't.

It's only weeks until Halloween. Begin decorating now to reap the full benefit of your time and effort. One caution: Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns away from steps and walkways. Small children love to stick their hands inside. No burned fingers allowed!

Before that first freezing night, carry your sensitive plants to your greenhouse or sunporch. Don't have a greenhouse? You can make a temporary one with clear plastic sheeting or by cutting off the tops of milk jugs for smaller plants.