Finishing touches
You're almost ready to retreat indoors and not poke your nose out again until May. First, though, take a walk around your house. Are your gutters clean? Clogged gutters can fill with rainwater which can then freeze and split gutters and downspouts, giving water access to parts of your home where it shouldn't be.

Have you attended to the winter needs of your plants and lawn? It will be hard to enjoy your warm fire inside if you know that your beloved dahlia bulbs are freezing to death in their beds outside.

If you have an outdoor dog, check his accommodations as well. Be sure he's got a doghouse with plenty of warm bedding and a heated water bowl to ensure he doesn't go thirsty. Of course, if the temperatures plummet too far, you'll want to bring Fido inside, or at least into a nominally heated garage.