Ohio Pumpkins in Tennessee

I can’t believe I’m growing a pumpkin!  Multiple pumpkins!  When we first moved in, we scrambled to just throw some seeds in the ground for this season, and hoped for the best.  These particular seeds I had saved from a local Ohio farm pumpkin, not knowing if they were even viable.  I planted them everywhere here–the veggie garden, the fence, even the compost pile, and they went crazy.  The vines are climbing the fence, and the large yellow flowers are cheery along with the tall sunflowers I planted along the fence.  (I stuck some corn in there for laughs, too, but the soil here needs some serious amending before anything will thrive.)  The morning glories are finally exploding into color along the fences, so it’s like a Pride rainbow out there.


Birthday Bash on the Town

My son’s birthday was spectacular on all counts.  I believe he had a good day and evening, and he certainly showed us a good time on the town (Knoxville).  We were honored to be able to share his day.

First we went over to his house, and with lots of help from the kids, set up and decorated for his party, while he got stuff done and took a break.  Here is the apple pie I baked for him (“we really do like pie”), and flowers from our garden.

Later, we drove (with E as D-Driver) to meet his friend C. at UnCorked wine bar for drinks and dinner.


Next, we experienced the unique Peter Kern Library, an authentic sophisticated speakeasy at the Oliver Hotel, with their distinctive crafted drinks in an historic prohibition atmosphere.

Then we took a stroll across the colorful walkway to the iconic Sunsphere, rode to the top, and looked out at the bright city panorama at night.

Next, we checked out the World’s Fair park play fountains, and ran around in them, which was a blast.


Then, we sat up on the Moonshine Roof Garden of Preservation Pub, with the Magic Beer Tree and flamingoes under the stars, overlooking Market Square with all its pubs, cafés, and shops, drinking beers.  There was music, a nice breeze, and good conversation.

Finally, we strolled past the graffiti art alley, talked to some strange street people, and stopped into Clancy’s (Irish)Tavern and Whiskey House for some final drinks.

It was already after midnight when we all said our goodnights and went our separate ways.  I hope Avdi’s birthday was as wonderful for him as it was for us.  I wish for many more together.

The DIY State

No, that is not a gargoyle on our roof.

One thing we’re learning about our new home–if you want something done, you do it yourself.  So far, each contractor we’ve tried to give business to has totally flaked out on us.  It’s either broken down equipment, employee screw-ups, or just plain lack of business professionalism.  Not unlike the so-called medical “professionals” we’ve dealt with so far.

In this latest case, the roof, which was shoddily done by the contractor under warranty in the first place, was leaking into our bathroom.  Long story short, E had to go out and buy a ladder, get up on the roof herself to see what supplies she needed, go back to Lowes (our other home) to get the parts, then back up on the roof to fix it in a few minutes.  Job done.

We (i.e. E, while I hold the ladder) do most of the repairs and maintenance needed on our house anyway, to save money, but as it turns out, we’re better off, here in the DIY State.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work with healthcare, but you do what you gotta do to survive.

Not complaining, just stating facts.  I think the “volunteer” in Volunteer State means you volunteer to git’er done yourself!  You’re on your own.


More Wild Firsts

Finally, the first tomatoes are ripening.  And this little red mushroom was sighted among flowers.

The first year in a new home has to be the best, as you’re discovering new plant and animal life each day.  Today we saw another new-to-us bird, I think a cowbird of some sort.  Our birdbaths were crowded with all kinds of bird-bathers, including some bluebirds I believe, all splashing around together.  Lately, big fat chipmunks bravely join squirrels at the “waterhole” out on the exposed deck.  At night the crickets and cicadas(?) are almost deafening.  It’s a new, wild world down south.


On High

As promised, more photos…here we have some more flowers, my son sleeping through yet another kids’ movie (in this case Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which takes some serious exhaustion to sleep through), a beautiful sunset, and best of all: he and we finally actually made it out to Public House on High for some late night excellent craft beers and conversation.  There were the requisite extreme kid meltdowns along the way, so a well-earned and deserved time out for him.




Today we got to meet our neighbor, whose mother owns the adjacent field and property, mowing her lawn.  We all talked for a while and had a lot in common.  It was a very worthwhile exchange, literally–I found someone else to share produce with, and she gave us very helpful info about the local area.  I see some pleasant craft beer sessions in our future.  It’s nice to be surrounded by mostly decent folks.

As is our custom, we’ll be spending the evening with my kids, which means more photos of course, but for now, here are a few flower specimens roasting in the broiling sun, including the opening sunflower overseeing our neighbor’s freshly mowed field.  And finally, the first tomato is starting to ripen.


More Firsts

Here’s a new one for us–we moved a heavy concrete object, to reveal a mother skink sitting on seven or eight eggs!  They looked like tiny bird eggs.  She just stayed put, so we carefully placed a board over the family to keep them protected.  So exciting.

Also new–the first sunflower bud getting ready to open, and of course no post would be complete without yet another…poppy! Each one is like a first, for me.