Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting Back Into Action

It's not that we've been lazy; we just haven't tackled any big projects to show off. Photos of insulating the utility room just aren't that exciting. And while we enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal on the front porch while soaking up 72-degree sunshine, the chillier nights and earlier sunsets have slowed our momentum just a bit.

Then came that heavy rainfall you see above; rain seems to come down by the bucketsful here. The downpour finally inspired me to tackle improving some of our rainwater runoff issues. See these new driveway ditches?

This is how I spent Thanksgiving (and the day before and the day after and the next few days to come). Hmm, now that I look at it, it doesn't look like as much work as it was. Mason? He's been busy working on insulating and drywalling the utility room, fixing the generator, fixing the roof leak, cutting firewood, brewing beer (and the list goes on and on).

The return of rain has also brought our nearby brook back to life:

Beautiful, eh? It sounds great, too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A 75-Foot Whim

It was a glorious 70-degree day on Flat Top, and our chore list was slim. So, on a whim, we decided to take down the near-dead pine tree that loomed over our house, rising up just inches from the upper deck. See?

First, Mason got the extension ladder on the upper deck and fastened a 100-foot-long steel cable to the tree at about the 25-foot level. The other end of the cable was hooked to the bumper of the truck, which we then drove into the timberland south of us, after Mason chopped down a few small trees that were in the way. What could possibly go wrong, right? So while Mason put the chainsaw to the tree, I pulled with the truck, and wouldn't you know it, after a few good tugs, down came the 75-foot (yes, we measured it) beast.

Just another glorious, adventurous day on Flat Top. Too bad it's a pine and we can't burn it in the new wood stove. But that's a LOT of fire pit material.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's a Chick Day

We've lived in the Chattanooga area now for about 10 months, but we haven't spent any time exploring the city itself. Getting running water in the cabin always seemed more important. And heat. And electricity ...

Mom to the rescue.

City exploration isn't really Mason's thing. I mean, he likes a bit of it, if a beer joint is thrown into the mix, but ...

Today Mom and I DID Chattanooga. We started with the Hunter Museum of American Art, where Mom was able to rattle off all of the big (and not-so-big) artists' names and their reps. Then we did a quick tour of the Arts Bluff District (galleries, cafes and coffee shops) and lunched at the 212 Market, which is a local food/organic eatery. Dogs welcome. Big supporter of our local NPR station. You know, Nan's kinda eatery.

The city's free electric bus took us down to Warehouse Row, a high-priced shopping district that's half empty but features the super cool Revival home decor store, where we got some good ideas for the cabin that we're sure to steal!

Then it was up to the North Shore shopping area, so I could walk up and down every aisle of the new Whole Foods store.

And when we got home, we collected beautiful fall leaves while we took Nick the Dog on his nightly walk.

A girls' day out or what?

And as a bonus, Mason and Nick got to go to the landfill AND the Home Depot!! Everybody was a winner today on Flat Top.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Momma's in the House

Well look who's on Flat Top? Momma Gerri Williams! She arrived Monday, on her birthday, and will be here a week! Brave woman, willing to take on the rigors of off-the-grid living.

Today's goal was to let Mom completely unwind and breathe in the mountain air. We walked Nick, twice. Stacked firewood that Mason cut. Discussed the kitchen remodel. Then there was lunch. She sketched a drawing of the tractor...

... then took a nap. We even found time for a hand of Rummy. Is that not a good day, people? Flat Top delivers.

Did you check out those hip sneaks this hip grandma Mom's got?

Tomorrow we hit Chatt-town. The art museum and a few shops. Needless to say, Mason will be staying on the mountain. Wise choice.