“F” is for…

Fall. What did you think F was for?

Fall cleanup perhaps? You’re right. That, and vet appointments. The last couple of months have been over the top with dog wounds. Seriously. Porter with a cyst and torn nail, ratchet with a sliced open paw and a swollen face. All separate incidents mind you. Super strange, and eye-roll worthy. It’s a good thing I work from home, because these dogs would probably…oh I don’t know…die?

One of the major contributors to Porter’s torn up claw and consistently bloody paws, was the back of the dog run…


It’s ugly, but it works…Lot’s of wide open space to run, bark, poop, sniff stuff, and jump at the back fence at the neighbor dog, because…Porter’s an ass. We love him, but he’s a bit of a neighborhood dog bully, and if given the chance, would totally take candy from a baby. Your baby even…and without hesitation.

Candy. Branches. Basically the same, according to Porter.


So what did we do? We divided the dog run, and smashed Porter’s dreams of tearing through the back fence to actually lay hold of the neighbor dog, who by the way is a super sweet little puppy. Now the dog run is for business only. No fun allowed. Problem solved.

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Fall for the Beard’s doesn’t just involve building fences in a poopy dog run, but also involves skipping church to cut door frames in the hall, because 1950 strong, remember? And also Fall yard cleanup. Oh, and football.

The Backyard…

I don’t even know.


Is this normal? I mean, holy hell it’s ugly.

The vegetable garden became a hot mess sometime around the end of August. Honestly, I think I over watered…again. The squash got moldy, but still produced, and the tomatoes were strangely tiny. Like little red shrunken heads.

My Blue Hubbard squash totally faked me out, with all of the squash blossoms, but produced just one real, adult-sized squash.

The only Blue Hubbard of the year means…pie.

The string beans were my favorites this year, and the aphids favorite as well, because damn. They went forth and multiplied again and again…all over my beans. I won’t show you. It will make you blush.

My experimental melon patch took off after I cut my first three muskmelons the beginning of September. Currently, this is the last bed that might be growing something edible. There are about 7-8 melons soaking up the last bits of fall sunshine and warmth, before I harvest them. Really, it’s Marianne vs. the squirrels with the screen and bricks. It’s an experiment, but by god, if anyone’s eating these melons, it’s me.

Usually melons need warm sunshine. Right now, it’s a weather mishmash in Colorado. They could be sour, or bland, or salty, or sweet and salty. I’m still not sharing with the squirrels.

The major question for the backyard? What to do with the x-dog run dead space.

Tearing out the chain link for sure, but…planters? Water saving plants like lavender? Xeriscape that no one will ever see, minus the cute puppy behind the fence? I’m open to suggestions.

The Front Yard…


This tree is my favorite in fall. The color of the leaves were gorgeous. Like take your breath away gorgeous. Its beauty lasted a single week, and then it was naked as the day it was planted.


Mike was onto something when he pulled the leaf blower out to get the leaves off the fence…except I’m old school. I grew up in southern Michigan, with over an acre of yard containing massive oak and maple trees. I remember those fall weekends of my childhood where my mom would have us, rake and rake and rake some more…without gloves, mind you. We called it “child labor”, but really, it was just a chore, and helped create in me an appreciation for good ole’ yard work.  My tiny yard has nothing on it…but it still managed to kick my ass and cause blisters…even with gloves.


I used quite a bit of leaves and grass clippings and dried shrub flowers as mulch for the vegetable garden.

What about the ugly melon patch you ask? I have a few construction sized bags of leaves tucked away for when those melons are good and ready to be picked.


Nothing like a good days work…man, do I like tidy.


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