The Garden: Progress Report #4

This past weekend, I went back to Kentucky to see my extended family.  And, of course, I had to check on the garden to see how it was coming along. It’s not drastically different from the last report.  The garden … Continue reading

Eugene, can you take a picture for me please?

Last evening, as my sister and I were headed out to dinner, there was a very pretty sunset happening.  My camera on my phone had decided to black out on me and I didn’t have my big girl camera, so … Continue reading

Family Farms

I love farms.

Every summer as a kid, when I visited my extended family in Kentucky, I loved to ride around with Papa and my cousins and check out the family farms.  Because I only saw the farms once a year, I never really knew them that well.  Now that I live closer and can visit more often, I have asked Papa to take me around and show me the farms more thoroughly as well as some of the really beautiful spots around the county.

Last week, he took me to one of the farms that has been in the family for several generations.  Most of it is covered in trees, but it’s still fun to drive around hear Papa tell me the history of it.

Apparently, before there was a paved or gravel road to the farm, this was a back way through the creek to get to the farm.

I see you hiding back there, little barn.

Papa said this hollow goes for a mile or two.

Maybe I can convince my cousin Lauren to explore up to the head of the hollow with me this summer.  Perhaps we could fix up Julio for our journey. I’m thinking “Ain’t Skeered: Part 2” might be in our future.

Now, let me tell you a story about me and this fairly moderate incline.

Growing up, I was obsessed with cars and driving and could not wait to get my license.  In the summers before I was 16, I always looked forward to driving Papa’s truck around on the farm, where no other parties were subject to harm.

One day, I was having a grand old time driving up and down the gravel road when I decided I needed to go across this little ditch and up the hill to this barn on the left. I didn’t (and still don’t really) know how to drive a truck on this mixed terrain.  Evidently, I did not give the truck enough gas because I proceeded to get stuck just past the ditch as my wheels slid on the gravel/grass/dirt hill.  Scared for my life, I yelled to my Uncle Brian who was standing nearby and he instructed me on how to put the truck in 4-wheel drive.  After a few dicey moments, I made it up the hill, all 50 feet of it.  Thank goodness I didn’t start to slide backward because I could have been seriously injured as I ran into…..a grassy field.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t really a life-threatening situation.  It seemed very serious at the time.

For my farm touring adventures, I’m going to let Papa do the driving.

Y’all be careful,

Sugarlump

Hello, Nashville!

Hello, Nashville!

19 driving hours, 1150 miles and 8 states later, Amarillo, my mom, my dad, Gus, Scarlett and I arrived in my new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.   My dear mom and dad, as well as Amarillo (my moving truck that I grew attached to) were along for the journey to help me move.

Although my cat Gus meowed constantly for about an hour straight after we left, the cats traveled much better than I thought they would.  I think their pleasantness had a lot to do with my ingenious set-up for them in the back of my car.  I purchased the largest animal crate that would fit into the back of my Jeep and used the divider (intended to be used vertically) to create a mezzanine level so the cats wouldn’t be on top of each other.  Scarlett took the main floor and stretched out in the camper while Gus opted for the upper deck and was able to see out the windows and enjoy the scenery.  I realized about an hour into the trip that Gus’ blanket (“the mommy”) was outside the cage so at our first rest stop I put the blanket in his bed in the cage.  He snuggled right in and the meowing abruptly ceased.  What a weird cat.

They were much more relaxed when we were moving at a steady pace than when we were stopped.  I think the might have thought that a stop meant we had arrived at the vet’s office.   They do not like the vet.

The drive was especially beautiful in some of the states we passed through, particularly Virginia and eastern Tennessee.  This was my view for about 500 miles.  Not too shabby.

I love me some hills.

This was a very pretty sky.  I can’t remember if this was late Thursday or very early Friday.  It’s all a blur.

Here is my naked apartment right after I signed my lease and my life away.

Love the pale pink counter tops. Not.

I will be painting as soon as I have some energy after packing up, driving across the country and then unpacking my life.  Maybe I’ll feel up to it by the time my lease is up.

My seeeester, Eugene, and my cousin Lauren drove down from Lexington, Kentucky (where they both go to school with the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.  No big deal).

They were such great helpers and I really don’t think I could have gotten everything carried up into my 3rd floor apartment and pretty close to set up without them.  I think I’ll keep them around.  I tried to get them to stay at my apartment but they gave me some spiel about having to get back to school for class.  Lame.

Who could say no to this?

After a few hours of unpacking the truck and carrying my ridiculous amount of stuff up to my apartment on Friday, we were all starving and we went to one of my new favorite spots in Franklin called Sol.  It’s kind of funky Mexican or Mexico meets the South or something like that.   Whatever you want to call it, it is obnoxiously delicious.  We started out with some freshly made table-side guacamole.   YUM.   As our entrees were ready to be served, our waiter took the guacamole bowl and I was very displeased because I had not yet scraped the bowl clean with the homemade tortilla chips so as not to leave a morsel of deliciousness behind.

I quickly got over my outrage as soon as my dinner arrived.  I ordered one of the evening’s specials: chipotle honey pan seared salmon with herb and parmesan polenta (and some sautéed spinach that I ignored).  This was heaven on a plate.  I have a picture that will surely make you hop in your car and drive however many miles (it doesn’t matter how many) to taste a bit of this wonderfulness.

After dinner, we were all drifting off into food comas and wanted to pass out.  Eugene, Lauren and I had to make a quick trip to Walmart, however, because I had no food in the house and no couch for my sister or cousin to sleep on.  As with all Dyer Walmart trips, this was an adventure.  We were delirious at this point and must have circled the bedding department 43 times before I made up my mind on which sheet set and blanket would coordinate best with my décor (even though they were going on an air mattress).

I expected to find an air mattress in this section also, but I was informed by my cousin Lauren that such an item would actually be found in the “camping and recreation” section.  I mentioned to her that I was impressed by how well she knew the departments and that I was grateful to have her along because I never would have found it on my own.  Her response:

“Honey, I was practically raised in Walmart.”

Her parents might find this statement troubling, but I thought it was hilarious.

We got back to my apartment and Lauren blew up the air mattress (inflated it, rather.  She didn’t explode it.  That would have been real bad).  And then we all passed out at the thought of more unpacking the next day.

More to come.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump