One Week

It hasn’t been the best week, but on the upside, I’m still alive, unlike some, and I’m fortunate in that I can be sick and exhausted in peace, unlike many.  It feels like a lost week, I’ve been so out of it.  One can’t afford to lose weeks at my age–there’s not a surplus to begin with, as I’ve been so disconcertingly reminded.  I hate feeling unhelpful, unproductive, and bed-bound, it’s unnatural.  Even my garden is out there being productive, with no help from me, thanks to all the rain.  But I’m not disabled or out of the game yet.  GKids to indulge, wildlife to observe, bad news to ignore, so little time.

Under the Rain

No day is just another day, if you think about it.  For example, last Thursday a very good friend died, suddenly.  Coincidentally, since Thursday, I’ve been steadily getting sicker.  I guess if you compare the two, I could have it a lot worse.  It’s all relative.

Meanwhile, it’s been raining on and off for days.  More like flooding, for some folks.  My friend who died would have been saddened to witness our beloved historic Ellicott City, MD once again being devastated by flooding, barely two years after the last catastrophic flood wiped it out.  They had just about rebuilt it.  I guess that was a small mercy for her.

Here, the rain started conveniently right after I planted all the trees, and then got too sick to go out and water them.  So that works out.  I can watch all my flowers, veggies, and trees busting out, while  coughing my heart out.  When I think of my poor son valiantly juggling sick and restless kids while trying to work, with little respite or sleep, it puts my small troubles in perspective.  He never gets to rest and recover.

“Oh it can’t rain all the time.
The sky won’t fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
Your tears won’t fall forever.”
Jane Siberry





While I was playing with my grandkids the other day, a dear friend died.  (For the sake of her family’s privacy, she shall remain anonymous.)

She was a great neighbor, friend, and daughter/mother/grandmother.  I always hoped I would get to see her again, when we could afford the trip.  It was very sudden, and I’m somewhat in shock.  Just a reminder to never take anyone or thing for granted, they could be gone in a flash.

This is just my humble tribute to someone who was very kind and thoughtful to me, almost like family.  We met literally over a white picket fence while gardening in Maryland, my home for decades, so live flowers seem fitting.  Whenever I finally see the ocean again, I will always think of her.


Growing GrandKids and Greens

Yesterday found us watching the grandkids while my son got work done.  For the most part it was a successful day, other than the parts where “Nomi” (me) didn’t know the house rules and got it wrong, but it all worked out, and we’re all still on friendly terms.  It’s amazing how kids can be furious at you one minute, then begging you to sleep over the next.  Some of us grownups could stand to learn that trick.

Mostly they swam in their pool, or hung out on the deck with us.  Now if only we had their energy, but that’s what grandparents are for, to let the kids do all the work, and just keep them from killing each other, while we catch our breath.  Later the youngest girl organized a tea/coffee party for all of us.  Not too shabby of a job description.

For some reason (?) today I’m feeling more run down than usual, but I did manage to harvest these mountains of snow peas, chard, and pak choy from our garden, so a simple Asian stir-fry is on the menu.

Erev cheers.


Tennessee is so full of strange surprises, it takes some time to acclimate to all the crazy.

If you think your weather is unpredictable, you ain’t seen nothing ’til you’ve lived here.  There is literally no way to predict what will happen.

The so-called healthcare/medical field here has proven to be extremely incompetent and uneducated, from what we’ve experienced so far.  It’s very scary and discouraging, especially for vulnerable individuals.

As I understand it, a Repub/Libertarian wrestler with no experience won the Knox Co. Repub mayoral primary with apparently lots of popular support, and will probably be our next county mayor.  Yes, we have a county and a city mayor, go figure.

Naturally, the Dem city mayor who did so much for  Knoxville faced a lot of Repub backlash, and her term is ending.  Unlike the weather, we can predict with some certainty that this brief moment of growth and progress will probably suffer a setback and relapse.

On the brighter side, we keep meeting enlightened young women who get what’s happening and advocate for civil liberties.  Inner Knoxville exhibits a robust entrepreneurial spirit and social consciousness that hopefully won’t give in without a fight.

I want to believe that positive values and actions will ultimately outweigh all the degeneracy.

Here are some new flowers bursting out after yesterday’s unexpected rain, and a beautiful sunset.





Scenes of Our New Scruffy City

We don’t get out much, being old po’ folks, so for us it was a treat to celebrate our anniversary with our first solo outing to Knoxville’s famous Market Square, with all it’s historic iconic sights, art, shops, and eateries.  We explored a bit, and ate at Downtown Grill and Brewery on Gay Street, home of Woodruff Brewing Co.  I couldn’t even finish my generous flight of seven craft brew samples!  We met and talked with some fantastic women working there, and at some of the import crafts shops, and learned more about our adopted home, both good and not so good.  It was nice to find some like-minded intelligent people here.  It’s sad that progressive leaders are being pushed out by the trump-rabble, but hopefully reason and progress will prevail.


Ups and Downs

On the upside, yesterday we got to spend time playing with my grandkids, who are now done with school, but the littlest one developed a severe bout of coughing, fever, chills, and fatigue.  Another worry added on to my son’s impossible caregiving workload.  They’ll be okay, but there’s never a break to catch his breath.  Even if I could be there more, I don’t think it would ever be enough help.  Even so, he’s doing an incredible job of raising them and teaching them positive values, essentially alone.  I’m constantly in awe and wonder.


Meanwhile, back at the homestead, today I planted the hollies from our friend and the anniversary dogwood from my bros.  E worked on removing nonfunctional gutters that need replacing.  Our work is never done, it seems to come with the territory.


The trees we got from our friend are now happily installed as of yesterday.  It was a hard day’s work, but we of Lowes Nation git’er done.  Then as if on cue, it started to thunderstorm and water everything in.  Perfect timing.  We look forward to watching our tree screen fill in over time.  That’s our screen speed.

Lots of little flowers are starting to bloom.

Today I harvested some young swiss chard, pak choy, and spinach to make an Indian vegetable curry, along with tikka masala/tandoori-spiced chicken, and basmati rice.  I made a peach cobbler for dessert.

Then out of the blue, a beautiful dogwood tree from brothers Robert and Bob arrived for our 4th  anniversary!  We have a place of honor right out front picked out.

Erev cheers.


Harvest P. 3

Today we had our first salad of baby mixed greens from the garden.  It doesn’t get any fresher than that.

The veggie garden is all planted and thriving, and promises to provide enough to share.

All the flowers I planted are starting to bloom, slowly but surely.

The first year of a garden in a new state is like a stab in the dark, with so many unknowns, mostly faking it.  It’s how you learn what works and what to avoid.  I’m just happy to even have some land to grow things on.  I keeps me somewhat sane.

Tree Volunteers

Thanks to a new friend we made on Love Trumps Hate:Knoxville, we are now the proud owners of many free tree saplings, which we dug up at her house.  We got: cedars, pines, tuliptree poplars, hollies, hickory, and some perennial plants, black-eyed susans and yarrow.  Soon we’ll be able to start screening our yard and making it more private and wildlife-friendly.

Speaking of varmints, we must have had some raccoon visitors last night.  Our recycle was on the porch, and they got into everything.  Another TN first.