Cue Autumn

Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn. - Marilyn Monroe

Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him. - Hal Borland

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. - George Eliot


After moving to our mountain homestead in the summer of 2013, I was hesitant to make many seasonal modifications for fear of killing a perennial or stunting next year’s growth. Objects around the property which seemed in disrepair went untended as I didn’t even know what some things were used for. This year I am rolling up my sleeves, no longer afraid to make this place my own. I told the mountain, “I’m not afraid of you anymore.”

My first task this fall was to address several of the tall front beds where lilies and other brilliant bulbs had bloomed all spring and summer and could now be cut to the ground for the winter. Since I was recently authorized to operate the big STHL gas powered string trimmer, I felt empowered to tackle this chore. And it went pretty well for a bit. However not far into the second bed I must have disrupted a nest of bees in the ground....and they were not happy with me. My cutesy little mantra of “go away little bee” was out the window and the rest of the bed is still waiting for cooler weather and calmer bees to be cut.

bee nest

We have finally cleared the last of the summer garden. Cog was kind enough to till it for me with the big Husqvarna. One of the many advantages of having someone twice my size and strength was obvious as I watched him finish the task in half the time it would have taken me. We still have a portion of the old garden fence standing inside the new garden fortress, but we can pull that down in between other more pressing fall tasks.

garden tilled for winter

Always busy with projects, Cog has spent various blocks of time over the past two weeks on a ladder waterproofing and caulking the log cabin, specifically the south side which has been hammered by the weather and was far overdue for treatment. In the midst of this the new sliding glass door arrived, and over several days he installed, stained, polyurethaned and re-insulated the entryway.

I am waiting for a few finishing touches to be completed such as the interior trim to be installed, but it is fully functional and provides a spectacular view through a glass pane which in the old sliding door was fogged from a broken vacuum seal.


Although we have begun cutting wood to heat with for the winter, and certainly have enough dead wood and trees that need to be thinned to keep us warm for many years to come, we have ordered a few loads of wood to be delivered this weekend. We did this in order to maintain a local firewood relationship we established last year when we were not yet cutting our own wood. With temperatures expected in the 40°s and 50°s this weekend, it is perfect wood stacking weather.

Transitioning into chilly weather mode I made time in the evenings to get back to some crocheting. I've decided this fall’s early fashion from the mountain are fingerless mittens, more commonly called texting mitts. I whipped up a pair to match each of the scarves and headbands I made last winter. I suspect more of these will also be distributed in a few holiday packages this year.

evening stitching

We may be accepting the change of seasons in stride, but I am finding new blooms of whispy purple summer flowers in several beds. One I put into a pot of dirt and then forgot for a week and it grew even more brilliant. Someone forgot to memo the petunias that winter is coming.

Mrs. Cog

October 2, 2014

Volunteers keep popping up here and there.
Volunteers keep popping up here and there.

3 thoughts on “Cue Autumn”

  1. Hi, Mrs. C:

    Delicious! The place looks fantastic – good work, you two! And – crocheting, too. :) You remind me of my long-gone Gram; she could do everything with practically nothing and never stopped producing: managing kids, chores, meals, gardening, preserving, feeding the help at the farm, milking/egg-gathering, laundry, housekeeping, etc. etc. etc. . . and, in the evenings, her hands never stopped – crocheting was her ‘keep-busy’ hobby and I still have the doilies, throws, hot pads and covered hangers to show for it. A perfect thing for the off-moments. Of course, she didn’t have a website to tend, or essays to write, or Husqvarnas to run :) – but otherwise I think you very much qualify as having successfully leapt the fence, so to speak, between city-dweller and country girl.

    Well done, Mrs. C.! I salute you! :)

  2. Mr and Mrs Cog,

    It’s truly amazing what you guys accomplished this past year. I’m in awe with every post. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next year:)

    Mr Pepper

  3. …and a hearty thank you to the co-captains of the varsity cheerleading squad. :-) Your encouragement is very much appreciated.

    The natural and always transitioning beauty of this place does the hard work, we just endeavor to keep up. I have been to exotic cities, traveled up and down the Mediterranean, played in the Swiss Alps and was once a confirmed part time beach bum. In all my days I have never been so inspired as I am now by the environment I’m in. Not only does the energy here have a magical feel, but it varies with each season. And when we are several months into a harsh and brutal winter, our place has gifted us enough tomato soup to get us through until it starts all over again.

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