Saturday, September 23, 2023

first day of fall

Happy first day of fall! While summer is my favorite season, I do admit that fall can be beautiful. 

Fall gets a little depressing for me though because my oldest son, Philip passed away on September 25th (2009). My dad, grandpa and mother-in-law also all passed away in the fall. I also hate seeing all the flowers dying and perennials withering, packing away all the summer yard decor and covering up the patio furniture...all reminders that the dreaded winter is right around the corner. (Ignore the bag of potting soil, plant pots and gardening gloves lying on the porch. I repotted several houseplants today.)

But back to the good stuff: Brian bought wood and stained it, and built a raised bed in back of the house for an herb garden. I had herbs back there in the ground for years, including mint, which I was always having to prune and dig out. The little area served us well during the past years, but with the french drains being put in the ground a few months ago (you can see one of the drains behind Brian), the area was looking scraggly. And I was sick of taming the mint. So Brian dug out all the herbs except for what I wanted to save ~ chives and red veined sorrel. I'll plant other herbs next spring.

Some color still abounds around the yard. Black-eyed Susan in the butterfly garden is drying up, but still lovely.

Plenty of color on the north side of the house with hosta blooms, coleus and impatiens.

I picked the last of our tomatoes today ~ even the green ones ~ and roasted them until they were saucy. Added to my pot of chili for dinner.

Another snapshot of my day: Clementine is my loyal companion. She follows me all over the house. I was making dinner, so she had to supervise, of course.

Even though it was warm and sunny today, I was craving chili. I don't use a recipe. This is my own creation. I taste and add things as I go along, though I do use some basics: half ground turkey, half ground beef (organic, grass-fed), onions, red and orange bell pepper, poblano pepper, garlic, a can of black beans, tomato sauce, dark beer, a little chicken broth, seasonings (chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano, salt, pepper, chipotle red pepper), a tablespoon of cocoa powder. I doubled my usual recipe so that I could bring a container to a friend whose Significant Other just got home from the hospital.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend to celebrate the Autumn Equinox, I hope it brings you joy.

PS ~ still having trouble with my blog header. Designed a simple graphic through a website (can't even remember which one now), but I can't get it to center. That's what I get for using a freebie site, I suppose. I'm still not wanting to pay for a photo editing site since I will rarely use it, but I might have to bite the bullet.


  1. Melanie, I loved the adorable drawing for Comfy House! Maybe one of your readers will know how to center it. I know that Fall, and especially September, is a difficult time for you and I admire your courage in making Comfy House a lovely place to be in autumn. Your new herb garden will be wonderful next year. We too made the mistake of planting mint in the ground when we moved here instead of in a pot. Your black-eyed Susan patch is still beautiful. Ours is now mostly seed heads but a week ago when it was in full bloom surrounded by large patches of garlic in bloom and white perennial snapdragons and pink zinnias it was a treat for our eyes. Your tomatoes look gorgeous and I would be putting the green ones in a green tomato pie with brown sugar and spices, a September treat. You look so cute in your Fall T-shirt and Clementine is an adorable sous chef! I'm hungry for the first pot of chili now after seeing yours but may hold off for October. I have begun to light candles more in the evening, as your Fall calendar suggests. I've changed to Rake, Pile, Leap now that is my favorite fall candle. Instant mood setter. It all helps, doesn't it?

  2. How sweet that Brian framed out the garden area for you. I am a summer girl to but I am looking forward to our fall weather. Have a great new week. Hugs Kris

  3. Such a tender time for you. The bitter and the sweet.

  4. Hi Melanie. I love your new garden box for herbs. You have a nice yard with lots of beautiful flowers. Clementine is still hanging in there and looking pretty good! That chili looks absolutely delicious. It is so kind of your to share with a friend. The end of September is understandable melancholy for you. Virtual hugs and tender prayers for you my friend. See you again soon I hope.

  5. First, I love your new header. It is perfect for your blog!
    Second, I understand why you don't love the idea of rushing into fall and winter. It makes so much sense.
    I am sending you so much love, my friend. I hope you can feel it. 😘

  6. Happy Fall, Melanie. Love the photo of you in your fall tee shirt. While it is a lovely season, I can understand the depressing feelings it brings for you. Sending a virtual hug your way today.
    Your chili looks yummy. So nice of you to take some to your neighbor too.
    I think your herbs will be very happy in their new home. I will soon be relocating my chives, oregano and thyme. They have been in a garden with my blueberry bushes for a few years. Now everything has gotten so big that I am going to dedicate that garden to blueberries only. I think my herbs will be moved into pots and moved to the patio right across from my kitchen.

  7. My herb garden needs a good cleanout. The mint has taken over. I don't know why I ever thought it was a good idea. I do love the new header. I wish I could advise you on how to center it. I've struggled with it myself. I'm glad that you are finding some beauty in the fall. Sending you a big hug, my friend.

  8. I'm excited for you having that lovely new herb garden . . . Such a thoughtful hubby :)
    Clementine is such a little beauty. I'm sorry that this season brings sad memories. We have to count the years we had as blessings and remember that so many people never have the love that we have to look back and treasure. That does not make it easy, by any means, but we have experienced great love.
    That in itself is a blessing.
    Bless you sweet friend.

  9. I know how hard it is for you when winter comes, so I’m sure you didn’t like the snow today. I lost my flowers last night, first frost. It’s sad, but I actually like the rest. But first, I have to clean up the mess made by the frost.

  10. Sending a hug for you. I cannot even imagine the heart break of losing your son. We mothers know our love of our children so my heart breaks that you have to deal with that kind of loss. I love this time of year. It is January through March when winter sets in that I dislike. Dark at 4:30 ugh! Little Clem is hanging in there because she knows how much she is loved. Just getting my life back after covid this week. Oh my gosh this was a hard one. Have a good Thanksgiving. Hugs. Kris

  11. I hear you, Melanie. My heart aches for you every time I think of the loss of your son. No one can really understand that pain unless they have been through it themselves. I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Christmas. xo Diana


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