Almost Fall


Can you tell which window pane just got replaced?  It was kicked out “accidentally” a couple weeks ago and the chickens quickly figured out that there is cat food just inside that door.  (I am pretty sure they had some help.)  I heard, “Chicken in the pantry!” more than once. Now that the window is fixed, they just stand there looking confused.

Early mornings have finally started to cool off a little, and I laughed seeing Larkspur outside in her mud pie kitchen wearing a wool hat the other day.  Totally unnecessary, but a sign that she’s ready for summer to end.  I am too, though fall has a tendency to make me sad.  I think it’s a combination of seasonal depression and too much going on in general.  Busy schedules overwhelm me.  When I am stretched thin I start finding myself on the verge of tears frequently.  September is always the worst. If I can just get to October, things will calm down and I’ll be able to exhale.

Our old cat Winifred disappeared last week.  We knew she was in her last weeks (longtime thyroid issue) and kept debating whether or not we should have her euthanized.  She was still happy to eat and be pet, and she was Larkspur’s favorite, so we kept holding out.  Now I regret it.  She must have died, and we can’t find her anywhere (outdoor cat).  We are in a similar spot with our even older cat, Silas.  He’s seventeen years old, and while he isn’t ill, he is just plain old.  He’s thin and totally deaf.  He sat in my lap the other morning and I cried thinking about the first year Jonny and I were married, when Silas was a kitten who would sit in my lap purring while I studied.  It’s hard to lose the pets that have such a strong link to our youth, I think.  I’m going to try to convince Silas to move inside before it gets cold outside.

Oh man, sorry that this blog just became the most depressing thing you’ve ever read!  Just a couple more weeks, and all will improve.  In the meantime, I’ll try not to write about elderly and dying pets!

On a positive note…

Just kidding.

But seriously, I promise I’m laughing.  Even if I don’t have a positive note to end on.

(edited to add, because folks are asking:  the peg toy is a Montessori color sorting activity.  You can get them (affiliate link) here.   And here is a link to Larkspur’s hat pattern.)


  1. I just wanted you to know that we recently were the caretakers of a skinny, sickly, aged cat who spent his last days in our laps. He wandered onto our property one day, we fed him and he promptly curled up in my 8 yo’s lap. He was so sweet, we had to love him! We took him to the vet that day (I may have made it sound like more of an emergency than it was!) and she said he had probably wandered off to die, as cats do. He held on (to the vet’s chagrin) for two weeks before giving up the ghost, but was adored for every second he was with us. Think of this end for your little lovie and bless those who had the priviledge of loving him last! 🙂 And bless your precious heart for always making us feel like girlfriends sharing coffee and truth.

  2. I was nodding along while reading, and then burst out laughing at the “Just kidding!” I love you, dear friend. Xoxo

  3. So sorry about Winifred, Ginny. As a veterinarian, I know that the decision of when to make the decision to euthanize a beloved pet is the most difficult one a family has to make. I hope you find out what happened to her.

  4. Oh yes — elderly pets. It’s a topic around our house as our Basset Hound is 14 years old and everyday we wonder if it will be his last. Such a sweet dog. We always had outdoor cats when I was growing up. I remember our momma cat living like 17 years and one day she just disappeared. My mom told me, either just to make me feel better or maybe it’s true, that cats will go off to die because they don’t want to bring sadness to their owner. Well maybe it’s true – I don’t know but I’ve never forgotten my mom telling me that (I was probably 19 at the time). I understand your fall being busy. I’ve got 2 sons in sports right now & until Nov – life is full. Fun but full. 😊 I love fall and can’t wait to wear knit hats. I can’t knit like you but I can make a simple hat on a round loom & I’ve been busy getting one made that matches my boys sports teams. That’s fun! The chickens looking inside cracked me up!!!🐔

  5. I hope you find Winifred, one way or the other. It’s so hard to lose a cat.

    I was just showing my 10 year-old (11 in Oct.; I can’t remember when Larkspur turns/ed 11) the mud pie kitchen and was telling her how much she needs a pair of overalls, and she exclaims: “I need MUD!” We live in the city…sigh.

  6. Love this post, Ginny. I always feel the rub of the seasonal change…not yet ready to give up the long days and warmth of summer (and all of the things we love like motorcycling and camping) but loving the coolness of autumn and the wearing of hand knits. Knowing that you and others feels similarly makes me feel less crazy. I love the black walnuts; I just dyed my first bare wool with black walnut and also a batch of poke berry and I LOVE THEM. You have inspired me immensely. I continue to treasure your honesty and realness. We just experienced kitty hospice with our 18 year old rag doll, Sarah, the last of our kids’ childhood pets. We were fearful that she would walk into the woods and never come back as is so common with cats. I’m praying that your fears and anxiety are comforted and relieved. It’s a hard, hard thing.

  7. praying that your cat comes home and the one that is outside gets inside. I think getting a new pet is the best thing ever and as they near the end of their life it’s the worst thing ever. I was so terribly sad when we put our sweet Zoe down after her brief battle with bladder cancer (vets best guess). Within two weeks we bought Frodo, and while I mourned Zoe I loved Frodo and was thrilled to hear dog jingles and foot steps.
    Sorry, I’m being a downer…..anyways. I love the hat wearing mud pie kitchen madness!! I made tons and tons of mud pies as a child and my gram always had a “slice”. She declared mine was the best every single time.

  8. Love that photo of little Job! Such mischievous expression. Is he doing that constructive activity just to humour you a little do you think?

  9. Your honesty is one of the things that make your blog so fun to read. Can totally relate to being overwhelmed in September and trying to get back into the swing of school and realizing that summer is inching away and cold will be here with short days sooner than I want.

    We have a cat from 1988 or 1987. Getting old and skinny and deaf, but she still likes life and acts young sometimes. It is hard to know when to let them go. And like you mentioned, so many memories are tied to them.

  10. Ginny,
    My daughter’s school (public) doesn’t teach cursive writing (3rd grade) at all, ever.
    I plan to teach her at home.
    Do you teach your kids cursive? If so, can you recommend resource? Thanks 😃

  11. I love your blog and read it often but have never commented . but this post, it was like I could have written it. September is my most difficult month too!! I’ve never really been able to pin down exactly why – but a combination of feeling so overwhelmed with the busyness of getting back to school, sad with the ending of summer and slow lazy days and maybe just some seasonal depression as well. I also have a very old cat, she’s 20, that I keep thinking maybe its time, but I’m not ready to tell her goodbye, I got her in graduate school, before I even knew my husband or had my children. September is hard…

  12. Is Mabel wearing a Milo by Georgie Hallam?

  13. Now I feel more happier and content when Fall comes. I get depressed in the Summer.
    I can’t stand all the heat and humidity, it just depresses me.
    I love Larkspur Mud Pie Kitchen. I use to make mud pies when I was around her age.
    Brings back so many memories.
    Love all your photos.

    • I am the same in regards to heat and humidity. I am always thrilled and relieved to welcome September.

      Mabel’s vest is adorable! I love it that Larkspur is wearing her Jane hat, I can’t wait for it to be cold enough to need mine.

  14. Your life is real as is your blog and that is why many of us read it! If you only mentioned happy tales and yarn, we would know that wasn’t the whole story. Thank you for mentioning your senior cats. I lost my two senior cats about a year ago and went through the same questioning process as they aged and were in pain-it is SO hard.

    I love the hat! What pattern is it? I make charity hats for babies and the homeless and am always looking for new patterns to keep my hat knitting interesting.

  15. Haha, ya thanks for the depressing post. Just kiddin’. Thanks for giving us a look into your life, the ups and downs. I like the idea of a mudpie kitchen, my kids would love that. We are ready for cooler weather too – I keep trying to force sweaters on the children 🙂

  16. Oh Ginny, I just cannot express how much I adore your pictures and your genuine voice and honesty. I love this place of yours – sad or happy. Thank you for sharing and I send a thousand good thoughts your way today!
    Lena x

  17. Circle of Life, Ginny. October will come and you will manage everything. 🙂 Enjoyed the post, even with the reality checks.

  18. Hi Ginny! I love your photos! Could you tell me the name of the baby sweater your littlest is wearing? I love the yarn color. Thank you!

  19. You know, your blog doesn’t have to be all about fun and joy all the time. I love reading your blog, no matter if you’re updating with good news, bad news, or no news at all, because I like YOU. It’s like being with a friend, you know (I know that’s a stretch, since we don’t *know* each other, but it’s the best analogy I can come up with): you don’t expect a friend to ALWAYS be cheerful either, but that doesn’t mean you like them any less :).

    Having said that, I’m sorry to hear about Winifred, and I can understand the dilemma regarding Silas. That’s a difficult decision to make.

    On a more positive note (but really!) I love the pictures of the mudpie kitchen, and Larkspur looks so cozy with her hat on! I’m ready for hat-weather too, but since I’m in Florida I’m afraid I’ll have to wait a little bit.

  20. Cindy in NC says:

    As so many others have said, thank you for keeping both your words and your pictures real.

    I love the hat that Larkspur is wearing in her mudpie kitchen. Could you share the pattern name? And that copper mold! I have one just like it — a real relic from the 70’s!

    My sweet dog, Emmie, is 13 now. Although she is healthy, basic math tells me we won’t have her much longer. I try to tell myself to enjoy the time we have now rather than dwell day when we will no longer have her. Your words have reminded me that when we have her blessed for the feast of St. Francis I should not pray for her to live long as much as I should pray that her passing, when it happens, is peaceful.

  21. I think I too have seasonal depression! I love SUMMER but Fall is my next favorite. Once October gets in full swing I start dreading winter! Depression sets in with the long hours of darkness. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that life slows down which gives me more knitting and reading time but, the sun is so vital to my mood. Love all the pictures you shared here today!

  22. I feel the pain of old cats…..we just had to make the decision to euthanize a cat we have had our entire married life….and another (outside cat) keeps randomly disappearing. We don’t know how old the beloved animal is, as she came to us and chose to love with us….so every time she goes missing we fear the worst. Hugs to you and your family!

  23. rita collie says:

    Thanks for being real. Autumn reminds me of time passing and I count how many years or months till I will be too old to even knit or sing songs. Probably not the smartest thing to do -but natural change of seasons of the earth and seasons of life can bring both tears and joy.

  24. I just love that toy – the wooden one with the color squares and figures. Where did you get it?

    I’d be sad, too… my cats.

  25. Thank you for this post as many others have expressed. There is something very comforting to know that other women experience sadness at the end of the summer – I know I certainly do. Also, the loss of a pet is truly a painfully time for the family. I think sometimes we all tend to compare our insides with everyone else’s outside so we think no one else feels the sadness we do. Then we feel odd and a lime a misfit when in reality we are all so similar. This was a great post showing the reality of life – thank you🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓 love the chickens!

  26. Ginny, I’m so sorry your cat has wandered off. We have two inside girls, and they are inside mostly because I’m terrified they would wander off. It’s crushing to lose a beloved family pet.

    Please don’t apologize for sharing your real self with us. I think that is what makes coming to read your posts so calming and reassuring. “Look, here is another mom who has picked her battles, let some details go, and still gets teary-eyed and overwhelmed now and again.” Also, I always feel down at the end of Summer. The light boxes or happy lamps people have mentioned really do help me feel better.

    I’ll pray for an extra dose of God’s rest and assurance for you as we all wait for October to arrive. Twelve more days…

  27. Poor kitty. I know how that goes. I love the picture of the chickens!

  28. Lovely post, I thought I was the only one who teared up at the sight of orange and misty days.
    I have the same question as others, what isthe color matching game you have pictured?

  29. Becky Barry says:

    Sorry for the families loss of the cat! I hope Silas moves in and stays warm. Our family said goodbye to a 17 yr old Visla. His sistervus starting to go down and its heart breaking! Hurry October! Hang in Jinny…😢

  30. Oh goodness we have a chicken that loves cat food. She’s so naughty and has been know to just eat out the bowl with the cat! He did nothing to stop her, haha.
    So sorry about your old cat and even more sad about your older cat. We do get so attached and sentimental. When my girly cat dissapeared I cried myself to sleep every night for over a month. She was only 2 and my best girl.
    The change in season……well this too shall pass.

  31. As a homeschooler, the last week or 2 of Sept. were always terrible. Reality sets in & you realize that no matter how neatly written & color coded your calendar is, you can’t drive your kids in 2 different directions at the same time, nor can you cram 12 hours of ‘school’ in before lunch, the super expensive curriculum that looked so good in the catalog was an utter waste of paper & ink and you haven’t had clean underwear in 3 days. October was always better because by then, most of the kinks had been worked out/given up on and we’d go back to being happy, relaxed unschoolers.

    I’m sorry about your cat. Hopefully she’s just out having some sort of Red Hat Society adventure & will come dragging home soon. I agree though, the not knowing is awful. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Btw, I love your photography style. Such beautiful photos of such simple subject matter.

  32. I’m glad you share the sorrow along with the beauty. So many people don’t. They act as if their lives are perfect making the rest of us feel bad. So sorry about the cats, I know it’s so difficult, they are family members.

    I love the photos of Larkspur in her mudpie kitchen. I was just telling my daughter in law that my granddaughter needs to get outside and make a mudpie kitchen. It’s one of the great joys of childhood.

    The chickens looking through the window, oh my, poor things.

    My seasonal sadness will come along in December if it comes at all this winter! The summer has been so hot and I am just completely tired of it.

    With the business just remember to take only one step at a time, breath deep and relax. Drink in the beauty and wonder that your children are. And thanks for sharing your beautiful life with us.

  33. Hang I there, Ginny. And know that seasonal depression is very real and fixable without antidepressants. I know, because I have it and so does my mom. Lightboxes can be really helpful and you can always sit and knit while you ‘get lit.’ 😉

  34. Not depressing, “real.” I am not fond of what I call “plastic” people, i.e. Kind of fake with their lives all together and never a struggle. I can relate to real and how else would the Lord change us without the struggles? Thank you for being honest and real!

  35. It’s so hard to lose beloved pets. My dog passed in the spring and I still look around for her in the morning. Hope Silas makes the wise decision to move indoors for the season!

    I’m curious about the pattern for the hat your daughter is wearing – is that one of yours or can it be found on Ravelry?

  36. As always, your posts seem to show up right when I need them. Just hearing that someone else gets overwhelmed when the demands seem so high let’s me know I am not alone. I have a one month old (as of yesterday) and I’m homeschooling. Granted – I don’t have as many children as you do (we’re at four kids) but they are mostly still young. It’s still very much on me to hold the fort.

    Sorry about your cats. It is always hard to lose pets! The chickens crack me up though. Chickens are funny birds. We had one perch up in the kitchen window and just peck at it every day at the same time. I don’t know what she was after…

  37. It is encouraging to read about someone else who gets pushed to tears when her schedule gets too full. Lately I’ve been feeling like the “water department” and then feeling guilty for having so little faith. But your comments reminded me that perhaps it’s just a normal way. And now I don’t have to feel so guilty.

  38. Reading this I realised that the same happens to me – that I feel tearful a lot when I am stretched too thin. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, and not just an emotional basket case! (although I think that with five children rollercoastering me along I probably am an emotional basket case anyway … little and not-so-little people you love will do that to you!). Trying to carve out some time in the midst of everything; it’s going to mean quite a bit more saying “no” I think. x Hannah

  39. Your post wasn’t depressing! It was real! You are fine and will continue to be fine! You are a remarkable, strong young woman, both physically and mentally and emotionally or there would be NO way you carry out all your responsibilities. I’m sure you know your help comes from the Lord. Give Him thanks and keep looking to Him for your strength! You amaze this “grandma” with all you do. Life is NEVER one continuous mountain top and there’s always going to be “weepy” days over one thing or another! You’re amazing!

  40. Cute color matching game with the peg people. What is it called? Or did you make it yourself?

  41. What is the game called that has the colored squares and matching pegs?!

  42. This time of year can be so rough! We started our homeschool early this year so we could take some time off right about now, it’s hot today but cooler weather is coming. Produce is coming in and the fall color in the mountains will peak soon, and we will enjoy it and try not to be stressed out by everything else. 🙂

    I love the color matching with the peg dolls! Is it homemade? Etsy? What a great idea!

  43. I LOVE the chickens! We just got our first 3 this summer – and I sit with them every afternoon – just chuckling at their antics. We have lots of coyotes and hawks so it is hard to let them free range on their own. Our animals all seem to become dear pets. We lost our darling lab this winter and it is so hard. But all of our animals, like all of us, are cared for individually and completely by God. He is always aware of each of His ideas – so find peace in that. On a more colorful note – love the color block game(?) the boys are playing with!

  44. This was not a depressing post so much as it is one that I can really relate to right now. So much going on in September with the garden still, and the house is a shambles inside from getting just the rudimentary care all summer, yet there is so much to do before the cold weather gets here. It can be so overwhelming. Especially on a nice day when I just want to relax and enjoy the season; but there is always the little voice in my head wrecking the moment by reminding me of all that I should be doing.

  45. I always love your posts no matter what. You just have a way of saying it and your pictures are great. Could you please tell me what the color matching peg thing is? I think that would be great vision therapy for my son.
    Thank you in advance.

  46. Our cat just disappeared this past week. Unfortunately he was not an old cat. I fear he became a meal for another animal and I’m so sad thinking about it. Our children haven’t noticed yet (he was mostly outside during the summer months). My line is going to be “he must be off having an adventure” and I’m going to do my best to believe that.

  47. I do best with a relaxed schedule too!

  48. Fall is my favourite season but it is bittersweet. I am done with the hot summer but a tiny part of me is sad to see it go. I love fall but I know what comes after it… Longing for cooler days but not the cold yet please!

  49. If your blog consisted entirely of beautiful yarn, beautiful children and happy fluff, I would not visit it every day.
    The way that you keep things real, touch upon the sadness and the struggle that we all trudge through in life, as well as the joy – THAT is what makes you amazing. Keep doing exactly what you are doing. You are an inspiration to us all!

  50. Really ready for summer to end here as well. It’s Florida, so there’s not a lot of cool weather coming our way yet, but occasionally something about the light or a slightly-cooler-than-normal breeze will give me hope that fall really is coming soon. October is our crazy month, with birthdays for me, my husband, all of our siblings, and both kids, plus this year a bunch of Girl Scout stuff for our troop, so I keep telling myself if I can make it to November it will be okay!

    The photo of your chickens made me laugh–they look like they are laying siege to your door, determined to find their way in to the food!

I love to hear from you!