crying kids and apples


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We have cool friends who just take the initiative and do stuff, and without them we would be inert.  They took us to an orchard high on a mountain in western North Carolina yesterday.  The best part was just being with our friends, but the orchard was nice too.  The thing is, and what these pictures do not convey, is the amount of people there.  I estimate a thousand.  Just swarming the orchard, baskets in hand.  Lines at the fried apple donuts section, lines inside the barn to pay for their apples, apple cider, apple pies, apple butter, apple jelly, apple everything.

The animals, who no doubt love the feed people give them from the little gumball-machine feeders, were just standing far back from the fence in the middle of their field like yeah no.

I passed a lot of moms and dads reading their small children the riot act because their wee kids wouldn’t cooperate amidst the 1000 people on this hot September day.  The ambient sound everywhere was something like, “…or so help me I will…”

I think what was going on, judging from the matchymatchy outfits on the tiny human siblings, was that they were to be props in an idyllic Fall orchard photo shoot, and they would’ve been better off taking a nap.  One lady had a kid who was trying to break free from the wagon she was supposed to be sitting in, and the person I assume was her mother was grabbing her with one arm while the wagon full of siblings was rolling down an incline, and that little girl wasn’t budging, and the mom was spitting threats at her, and the wagon was still going, and I thought maybe the mom, combined with the weight of the wagon, was going to rip that little girl’s arm off.  Other matching children squirmed as their parents shoved apples into their hands and commanded things like, “Look up at the tree! But smile! Look up at the tree and smile!”  or, “Sit still! Turn around! Quit crying! Smile!” or, “Look at that apple you’re holding!  Can you smile at the apple? You like apples, don’t you?”

But from the way a lot of those little kids were acting, I seriously doubt they’ve ever eaten an apple.

It was fascinating.

And also I got miniature honey bears, so.


i guess not really about yellow

I’m using a different camera/lens now, and trying it out.  It will take me awhile to get the hang of it all.  I just spoke to my husband on the phone.  His mind is full of software specs and deadlines and algorithms, and he’s driving from one place to another, and he asked me what I’ve been up to today, and I’m like, “Really important stuff, just like your stuff.”

But I was just taking pictures of yellow things.





…and his friends…



Sometimes I feel like God is going to find me out and suddenly take notice of me, here, taking pictures of yellow things in my house on this rutty mountain, knitting and sewing and learnin the kids whilst my good good man works so hard to provide, and be like, “Um, no.  You’re fired.”

So I just say “thank you”, to Him, and to him, as sincerely and as often as I can, and my heart still does that skippy thing in the late afternoon when I hear the rumble of his truck crunching down that last stretch of road to our house, and then the big creaky door opens and there are those blue eyes, and the briefcase gets chucked onto the boot bench, and his arms open up to give me a hug, and he’ll tell me things I can’t tell you–things that are just mine, sorry, and


this was just supposed to be about yellow things.

Dream tinder,

is what it is.

All those cabins up at Elkmont.  My hand was in his, and my mind was chasing shadows.

GreenShackWho stood at that window and listened to the creek?

P1080101Who picked out those yellow linens? Somebody I’d like, probably.

P1080078Did she stand there, washing dishes and watching black bears, and missing a friend?

P1080073Did she sit here for hours, alone in the stillness, with the laurel moving gently outside, and her heart beating, beating?

P1080069Or lay here and dream?

Perfect day.  Perfect hand to hold my hand.

It’s just branches

We’re watching The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Our TV stopped, so I came in here to write silly stuff on this blog.

I do hope the Russian spy and the girl get together.

I put up a Christmas “tree” today.

It’s not a tree.  It’s branches. See?

ChristmasWeddingI needed a break from the silver one.

And I wanted a real one.  But cut trees make me sad (so do zoos), and we haven’t a great place to plant a tree with roots (pretty much our entire place is trees), so I made Millie traipse around the woods with me looking for branches this afternoon.  We talked about what if we were fairies.  I thought maybe in Heaven we could be fairies.  Minis of ourselves, and flying capabilities, and beds on moss.

And then Millie and I took pictures of this toy car with a twig on it.

ChristmasVWcolorI don’t really buy a lot of stuff.  And certainly not toys. And certainly certainly not toys from grocery stores.

But last year I saw this VW bus toy at a grocer and asked my husband to get it for me, and then he did.  Just like that.

So now I have a VW toy.  Look what all I can do with it!

I’m decompressing a bit from science.  And other things.  No chemistry, biology, physics for a month.  Today was the day when I let that sink in.

I have big plans to knit, and take pics, and do some carpentry.  And read Villette.  Again.

I wish it was January already, because of this.


McCloud Mountain


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That’s McCloud Mountain, up near the Tennessee/Kentucky border.

We don’t often go that way, except to drive my daughter to horse camp.  And then go to parent night at horse camp.  And then pick her up at horse camp.

I didn’t even know that kind of beautiful was there.

On one side of McCloud is this insane panoramic view of mountains and pasture and horse farms and cow farms and subdivisions and highways and activity.  And that’s kind of cool when everything looks to be the size of Legos and cows look like ants.  At one point my mother-in-law said, “Oh, look at that dog!” and we were like, “That is a car.”

Then we went to look down the other side of the mountain.  That was the impressive side.  Mostly the red leaves were left, with some oranges and yellows that had cooled to champagne-ey.  A rouge solitude.  Lovely.

early november, all in a row















Kind of a grey day.

The dogs went on a little walk with me.  My dogs are not fenced in.  They could go anywhere they choose.  They could go to Canada or Mexico.

Mostly they just stay in our yard, though, waiting on dinnertime.

I find it funny, though, that when I go on a walk they chase after me and wag their tails and bark and make this huge loud deal out of it, and run down the road and through the woods, heralding us to all quiet nature, as if they are now free from their containment and chains and are finally able to go somewhere.


Oh, I see The Home Depot has had a data breach.


Sorry, what? Oh, yeah, the walk.  Well, I was done.   That was it.  We just went on a walk, and it was kind of cold and grey, but pretty, and it sounded like dogs.


I did?

I don’t know a lot about Sam Houston.  But apparently he once taught school near here for a few months, and now there’s this entire place dedicated to him.  I suspect that if I could talk to Sam Houston right now our conversation would look something like:

Me: So…you taught school in TN once?

Mr. Houston: I did?






My requisite seasonal collection of pretty debris:


prettyprettypretty debris


and then there was a random totem

smokin a wet stub

goodness what a furrowed brow

SamHoustonSchoolhouse4I hope Fall finds your brow unfurled.

I hope you, person, are breathing deep and holding your face to the waning sun, preparing for the joys ahead.

oct, maybe kisses







oct is here

plenty of jerusalem artichokes from the looks of it

my friend told me she’s heard of people having to move, they’re so invasive

flower patch still spittin out zinnias; fine with me

another hen is laying.  saved from the stewpot {not. not that i’d do that}

i have to wear my ugly apron into the woods when i feed the goats because they hop up

they hop up with their mud and muddy my pants

not anymore

now the apron

unflatteringest apron which ever was ever

and the boots

the pink boots that will survive the apocalypse

all bad deeds are done in the pink boots

just lovin these early oct days

windows open

a bit of rain here, some rays of sunshine there

a cool breeze here, a stillness there

the cat sleeps as if near death; this is what she does at the equinoxes, her hair either falling out or filling in

interesting about cats

maybe we will hike tomorrow

maybe we will kiss in the woods

maybe he will take my little hand, maybe i will take his freckly one











Our day:

Lalala lovely day pretty yellow flag big fluffy clouds.

People buying fish for bait and everybody has them but we don’t know what kind they are because we’re tourists, and oooo it’s like Sharknado hahaha can I take a picture of your fish on it’s hook there? Uh, sure, I guess.  Is it alive? Is it dead? I don’t know, but it’s in the sky.  And a dragonfly.  We have dragonflies in TN, but not against a sea green background we don’t.

And a dolphin or maybe it’s a porpoise?  I want to hold it.

Look, there we are, our reflections, in the water.

Then very worried man, very worried, on the beach like, “There is a tornado.” And we moved so fast, we were like booking it across the sand, and I actually thought we might die this day.  My daughter asked, “Why are all those people still just sitting there on the beach?”  And I said, “I don’t know, but that’s their choice.”  Even though I thought they were all making very, very poor choices.  All those innocent children.

And then we were like spinning out of the parking lot speeding past people going toward the tornado, and people standing around.  I was all like these people are idiots!!

But then my husband’s phone somehow told him it was a waterspout.  That waterspouts dissipate quickly once over land, and it did, it did dissipate, in front of our very eyes.

We were out of breath.  We were so wet and sandy, cause, you know, you don’t take the time to rinse or dry off when a tornado is coming.

People were probably either like:

Why is that minivan streaking out of here like that?


[laughing hysterically]


the finest of afternoons


My mom told me once that (someone had told her) our minds seek harmony.

I think that’s true.  Balance, balance, balance.  One can never rest for danger of tipping the scales in one destructive direction or another, not truly, not completely…not here.

But there are moments, for me at least, when I can relax and breathe and everything feels fine, just fine.

Yesterday afternoon was fine, walking around a friend’s garden, seeing her point out Japanese varieties of this and that, and her wee tea tree, and nasturtiums, and then her vintage Shasta camper.

And this afternoon was fine.  Walking through the woods with another friend and her little boy and little girl, and my not-so-little-anymore girl, all the while collecting mushrooms and exploring these tiny secret worlds of color in decaying trees and poking their way up through packed-down leaves.  The color and beauty and sheer exquisiteness take my breath away.

Beautiful people, beautiful places, and beautiful, wonderful things.