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.


Monsoon, Continued…

Yesterday evening we watched the kids so my son and granddaughter could go see my oldest granddaughter’s band perform in Nashville.  The monsoon let up a little, but then resumed in force overnight, with intense thunderstorms.  I didn’t know this far inland we’d need boats to get around!  Fortunately, both our places are up on hills.

Lots of flowers (and a baby toad) were out in force up in the woods, during one of the rare breaks in the rain.

My oldest Gson (not pictured) and I got to spend some good time talking and hanging out.  I always enjoy his company and insights (he’s intelligent beyond his years), and will miss our little sessions when he’s gone.  So I try to get the most out of our visits while I can.  I wish all the best for all my Gkids, older and younger, in whatever they pursue.


Rain Gardening

It’s still raining, so guess what I was out doing?  It’s the perfect weather for gardening–cool, refreshing, and easier to weed.  It also got the morning glories blooming, finally.

After harvesting yet more squashes, chard, and the first pole beans, I tied up the tomatoes better, and then started cleaning up the last of the beds around the house.  Eventually the sunny area closest to the porch (and kitchen) will be my herb garden, and the shady part will have native woodland flowers.

I know, boring, but it keeps me occupied and creative, and demons at bay.




Tennessee weather is full of surprises.  This week it seems we have monsoon season.

In between gushers yesterday, I worked on cleaning up more garden beds around the house.  Now all we need is some plants (i.e. $$)!  I found my first little toad here, and relocated it to a safe place.  Some baby birds sat nearby and watched me work.  Every morning “herds” of rabbits ignore me as they graze on the lawn.  (Sorry, no zoom lens.)  I know my raven friends are moving in closer to eat the yummy scraps I leave them.  It’s good to see more wildlife making itself at home.  My evil plan is working.

Meanwhile, the rain is allowing the veggies and fruits to finally advance beyond stunted to doubling in size.  I even spotted a few pole beans on the fence, finally.


And your daily obligatory poppies, etc.–

Today it’s back to monsooning, which is fine by me!  I can’t be contained when it’s raining.  It’s my element.



Rain Days

I love gardening in the rain.  I love how thunderstorms just materialize out of nowhere here and turn everything into a rain garden.  Suddenly it’s a tropical monsoon, next it’s a perfectly sunny day, with a sparkly rain curtain.   Totally unpredictable, but never dull.

E baked this very nice oat/cranberry/raisin bread yesterday.  We ate half of it.

Today I harvested all these squashes and the never-ending chard.  I tried out a southern collards recipe, only using chard.  I can’t reveal the recipe, or Myrtle’s Knoxville will have to sue me!  Let’s just say, needs more experimentation.  But I see potential.

While it rained, E continued to work on the front porch, while I planted more herbs and cleaned up flower beds.  We put the domestic in partnership.



My Own Private Pride

After PrideFest, and a break to catch our breath, we met up with my son and kids in Maryville.  His power had gone out, so we holed up at a pizza place with the kids, then checked out the lovely little Pistol Creek Wetland Center as the sun was setting.  We walked (or ran) down the well-built boardwalk, tasting ripe berries, catching fireflies, and observing wildflowers and wildlife.

It makes me proud to watch my son and Gkids interact with each other and nature.  It’s my own private Pride.  Each moment I can spend with them during this sad countdown toward their exit is one I will treasure later.  I hope it will make some small positive difference to them, too.

(Side note–K. was feeling a little anxious and chilled, so he got to wear the magical “Sacred Hoodie”, a privilege only special persons get!  It seemed to help.)


Knox Pride

The Knox Pride Parade and Fest, our first here, and my first ever (yeah, I know, better late than never) was fabulous.  I believe 30,000+ turned out for it, their largest yet.  I was so impressed by the calm, diverse, festive atmosphere of the crowd, and especially the friendly civility and respectfulness of the large police security and fire presence, and their orderly handling of the event.


The only disruption I know of was, unsurprisingly, by a typical small hateful group of white nationalist protesters, who got aggressive at one point and were contained and removed by the police.  I was glad for the tight security checkpoint at the large outdoor fest area.  The police we asked directions of were very helpful and laid back, and just before the parade we ran into two extremely friendly fire dept. dudes who invited us to sit on their little emergency vehicle, wear their hat, and get our picture taken.

Everyone we met was like this–friendly, respectful, and helpful.  Later we met and talked to various LGBTQ community resource reps, and gained some useful contacts.  All in all, a good experience in our new town.

Here are lots of random, colorful parade shots (appropriately) along Gay Street, culminating in the large crowd moving toward the Civic Auditorium/ Coliseum lawn.  Many local groups, orgs, candidates, and companies were represented.  This is just a small sampling.

So far, the pros have far outweighed the cons we’ve encountered in Knoxville.  There’s room for improved resources and services for the community, but there is also encouraging advocacy and activism.  We hope trumpism will self-destruct and burn out before it manages to undo the great progress and success this city is achieving.

After Welcome Rain

I’m tempted to title a post “Our Own Private Gitmo”, considering the human rights travesty our so-called “leader” is perpetrating upon us, but I said I was avoiding political commentary right now, so thought better of it.  Draw your own conclusions.

Here at home, we’ve been hard at work improving the property.  E has made progress on the new porch railing, and I’m cleaning up the flower/herb beds, and E’s “memorial corner”.  After yesterday’s heavy rain, the garden looks a lot happier.

All I’ll say is may justice ultimately win out, trump’s depravity backfire on him and his thugs, and each of us search our conscience and support the humanitarian rights our country is supposed to stand for.

Erev cheers.