Well THAT was a long bout of silence from your favorite mountain dwellers. First, I assure you that all is well on Flat Top: The blackberries are ripening along the roadsides, and my "gardens" are looking fuller by the day. My utmost apologies for no updates. Let me list all of my excuses for our blogging silence:
1. Work. Add in my hour commute each way, and the day is basically shot. But now I'm only working three days a week, so I've got more free time!
2. Visitors: First was a surprise visit from our former newspaper co-worker Ken Chia, who had been in Atlanta watching his beloved Twins playing the Braves when he found himself with a spare three hours and somehow persuaded his fine travelmates that a side trip to Flat Top would show them the real Tennessee. Then came my sister Maggie and her family of men, who took quite well to life in the woods, especially when it came to splitting firewood and military-style (i.e. short) showers. We also dragged a few of my new garden nursery co-workers to come see where we live. And last week, our old boss from the L.A. Times National Desk was vacationing in the area, so we kidnapped her and brought her up to our shack.
3. That pesky septic system: It waited until the first week of 90-degree temps to give us trouble, and we ended up having to dig a trench (60 feet, in hard Tennessee clay) and install a new drain line. At least it was kind enough not to break down while the visitors were here.
4. Solar success: Our solar "system" has been such a success that a neighbor hired Mason to install the same thing at his cabin, keeping him busy while I've been working at the nursery.
Well, that's enough excuses. It won't happen again. And I leave you with some photos of spring's bounty!
|My front porch "color"|
|My only rhododendron, so far.|
|Caesar's Brother siberian iris. Only three blooms for their first spring, but I'm remaining confident in continued success.|