the murderous weeks

peachblossoms2

forsythiaSome blooms from my yard.

Took those pics on Monday? Tuesday?  Anyway, earlier this week–and it was so cold and snowing that day.

East Tennessee could be such a great Fruit Tree Land, if it weren’t for, literally, about two weeks in March.  Pretty much every year we have these blasts of really warm weather.  Balmy, wonderful, weeks-long.  All of the peach and plum and pear, and magnolia, etc think it’s spring for realz and they explode with blossoms.

Only to be deceived.

Because then deep dark skies, like slate, move back over the foothills and snow falls down, murdering the meek, naive blooms.

Some live, some die–their dead, droopy petals hanging on, brown, almost as if Autumn has come.

And the fruit of summer harvest is scant.  We get our big, juicy peaches from neighboring Georgia, our strawberries from Florida.  Even northern states send us their bounty–their plants were not tricked into an early spring, see.

Just an oddity of here.  All the trees, a small fraction of potential harvest.

Every once in a while, though…every loooooong once in a while, spring comes and holds.  And those infrequent years find women canning preserves and pie fillings and jams until their fingers ache.  County fairs at Labor Day have three times the entries in the Canned Goods category, and, man, to be a judge!

But not this year.

Not this year.

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i ran up a lot of stairs

Loudon2Loudon1Loudon5My friend and I did a crazy stair step workout a few days ago.  Run, then go up one hundred stairs by a parking garage, run, repeat.  Repeat.  I overdid it.  My kids and I hiked yesterday and I was sooooooooo slow.  My calves hurt so bad I felt like crying.  I’d stop and pretend to be taking a picture of something.  They’d be way ahead yelling at me to keep up.  I’d psyche myself up, massage my calves, then plunge forward walking like a robot.

Durn stairs.

East Tennessee is coming alive with color.  I want to take more pics today.  Also we are having major allergy symptoms.  There are snotty tissues all over my house.  Basically, our home and vehicles are just huge bio-hazards.

But it’s so pretty outside.

Hope you have a swell weekend!

chickens, middle-schoolers

chickens2014 eggyolk2014Yay. Two chickens still alive.

We don’t have enough eggs now since the chicken theft.  Having to supplement with eggs from the store.  Gasp.

In that there bowl are two of mine, two of a stranger’s.  Mine are orange, with distinct edges.  The ones from the store are yellow with a strange cloud issuing forth.

Ew.

Get your own backyard chickens, people.  It’s no big deal.  (As long as you don’t live near mountain lions.)  Just feed them, tell them they’re beautiful, collect their eggs, be healthy, repeat.

OK, so I’m really enjoying having middle-schoolers.

My house is full of middle-schoolers every day, and they make me laugh.  My son is 14, my daughter is 12, and all the stuff that’s going on with them is so typical.  Acne, braces, voice changes.  I find it amusing.  They don’t, but I do.  Every day I’m like ooo, what will he sound like today My daughter has to put those wee rubber bands on her braces like thrice a day, and food bits sometimes get stuck in her mouth and she gets really frustrated.  They grow out of jeans in like a month so they get embarrassed about their shins showing.  All their friends are tall and skinny and hungry and they look like gangly clumsy wiggly giants.  They have a hard time getting their words out.  The thoughts form, then there are a lot of uh’s and um’s and and’s before the actual sentence emerges.  Their brains are growing faster than their tongues can keep up with.  Their understanding of humor is changing.  Things are funny now that weren’t a year ago.  Things are not funny now that were a year ago.  When one of a group of them manages to sum up a thought in concise terms, they all pounce on it–repeating it, repeating it, laughing, laughing–because someone has spoken what they’re feeling or thinking, and what a relief, knowing they’re not alone.  My niece is in 8th grade.  Her teacher made them all sit down and shut up and write an encouraging note to the person sitting in front of them.  One of the students wrote a note to the person in front of her that said, “You have a nice butt.”  I laughed and laughed.  I would be so encouraged if someone wrote me that note.

I like middle-schoolers.

That’s all I got for now.