Monday, August 17, 2015

Gardening in Tennessee

Every time I add a new book to the blog, I say, "I need to write a post". Week after week goes by and I don't take the time. Mostly because I'm just living a "normal" life. I'm not traveling the country living in 350 square feet with all our possessions and pets. Just living a quiet life on a nice private piece of property in TN...a good life but not a blog worthy life. I now post this simply for my family and for the curious who want to learn about me as they would otherwise not know this part of me.

We have been settled for a year now! I still love our property and grown to love our house. I sit out on our porch as much as possible when the weather permits, meaning not too hot/humid, buggy or cold. I have been known to stay out there until 10:00 at night when the weather is wonderful. Scott has installed many lights, both electric and solar so we can see the dogs out in the back area of our yard. The porch light is bright enough for me to knit under, but not glaring, nor bug attracting. Thank you hubby!

I am very content with my life although it can be spoiled by my need to EARN my place on this Earth. Just recently a dog rescue acquaintance lost her husband to brain cancer. A couple in their 30's with a 4 or 5 year old child. Why? Why am I allowed to live when no one really depends on me. I'm sure Scott would be upset if I died, but he'd be happy living his TN life with the dogs. Why does a young man, with a young family die? They are religious folks also. Oh sure, they'll say God has a reason. I can't accept that. Just makes me feel all the more unworthy of living a long and happy life. Then I become afraid that I am asking to die. Around and around I go....

Back to life in Tennessee. I have managed to not fill the house with knick knacks. The house is kept simple. I just pulled out some framed photos from a storage box and thought, "what should I do with this?". I feel they are just dust gatherers. I can look at photos on my computer with just a click! No dusting required. I guess time to put my doggie photo frames on ebay for sale.

Our small piece of property in NJ was full of hostas. A great way to cut down on edging and to fill in small areas so you don't need to mow.
I just couldn't resist the end of season sale on hostas. About $1.50 each at Walmart. I bought 5 and planted them along our fence line. NEVER AGAIN!!!!! I will admit wholeheartedly that I miss NJ shore soil!!!!!! The whole section you see full of hostas and flowers in the photo on the right, I dug up by hand with just a spade type shovel. I took up all the grass, added manure/soil, mixed it in and planted and planted and planted.
All I did here in TN, was plant 5 small hosta plants and I'm done with gardening in Tennessee! The soil is red clay and you have to poke and poke and try to little by little make a hole big enough to fit the plant. I just found out from a dog rescue friend that she uses a pitch fork to dig in her Georgia clay soil. Scott has since bought a pitchfork, but I already told him, I won't be helping!!!! I'll stick with the hanging flowering plants on the porch, as I call "house jewelry". Scott, being the "girly man" as I affectionately call him, has since planted some flowering bushes which I'm sure I'll appreciate as they mature, but I do not plan to ask for or plant any more.

Starting in July, an extension to Tennessee’s “Good Samaritan law” that allows people to break into cars to save children makes it legal to do the same for animals. Specific steps, including searching for the owner and notifying law enforcement, must be taken to qualify for protection under the law.

“If you act reasonably, as any reasonable person would respond, you will not be at fault to save a life,  and/or animals,” Nashville Fire Department Chief of Staff Mike Franklin told Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN.

This weekend is the annual Fried food fest in Milan, TN. We went to it last year because of it's uniqueness. Now, we are no longer newcomers and the fest has lost it's appeal. I'd rather stay inside in the AC. As I said, a year in TN and we are still loving our decision to settle down here. Of course, we do get melancholy when we see Susan of Beluga's Excellent Adventure Blog post photos of where they are now on Facebook. To travel or not to travel...been there, done that. Very happy to stay at home looking out over our private asylum! This is when I wish to clone myself to be in two places at once. We have too many dogs now, which would prevent our RV travel.
We have been regularly fostering, which I didn't plan since we adopted our first two foster dogs a month after moving to TN. We officially have 5 dogs of our own, but seem to always have a foster dog.

I believe I have achieved all 10!

Our last foster, Oscar was adopted to a very senior couple. I had mixed feelings about adopting to an 83 year old. The only reason I gave the ok, was because he was very experienced with Eng Setters and I felt that even if something happened to the adopter, Oscar would come back a better dog.

We currently have Sassy, a 6-9 year old. I thought we would have her for a while, since she may be older. We paid to have 3 lumps removed from her legs. One was golfball sized. Luckily, all benign!

We've only had Sassy a couple of weeks, but she already has an adopter! She will be traveling to VT sometime in September.
Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle $15.00 from Amazon
My rating 5 out of 5
In my post of July 4, there is a photo of our last foster dog, Oscar sleeping with his muzzle on.
Great muzzle. Durable, strong. Fit the dog well. Stayed put even when he tried to get it off. Can drink easily with it on. Can also eat, although a bit more difficult.
The muzzle did what we needed. Oscar was attacking our other dogs and instead of always keeping them separated and also the danger of a fight, we put the muzzle on him and made our life so much better. Oscar was able to interact with our dogs without hurting them and was finally getting used to them and not attacking as much.
It did cause a small abrasion sore on the top of his muzzle/nose, but Oscar was wearing this product at least 8 hours a day.
Great product for peace of mind.
Another Mystery Knit-a-long finished. This was to use up scraps of yarn. I thought I had plenty of scraps, but actually I don't and had to ask my knitting friends to donate their scraps.
This was a very odd constructed "showl" meaning a shawl and a cowl combined. I was disappointed in the finished product simply because I don't know how to wear it, but I do love the striping and a great way to use up scraps. We'll see if in the fall I figure out how to wear it.

Also finished our Jackson Underground knitting group Summer knit-a-long. This was not a mystery. This was a summer t-shirt, that only 2 or 3 ladies knit out of the 15 in the group.

It was called Feather & Fan Ribbed Tee. If Diane from the "What's the Scoop" knitting group in NJ still follows my blog, she knows that I'm not a fan of feather & fan, but it's growing on me.

This tee was knit with "Den-M-knit" cotton yarn. From the Elann website...“Washes and fades like your favorite pair of blue jeans - the real thing!"
I like this finished sweater and think it will get a lot of use. Especially since it is machine washable and dryable!

A Good Man Gone (Mercy Watts Mysteries #1)A Good Man Gone by A.W. Hartoin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It COULD have been a much better book. The double murder/stalking mystery...very good! But oh my gosh...on and on and on about what a slob Aaron is and all the stuff he eats. We get it! Then about how hot Mercy and her Mom are. Big boobs and looks like Marilyn, Marilyn Monroe that is because no last name seems to be need, especially when she is mentioned over and over and over again.
Her descriptions of the characters are detailed enough to really get a feel for their personalities. But the gluttonous of Aaron and the constant sleazy remarks towards Mercy were just overdone. Get past that and it was a very good storyline.
Also what irked me was that Mercy is a nurse, but the only way you'd know that is because she said so. She never seems to work. She is constantly being talked in to doing things for the family. She has to learn to say no.
Since there was a snippet of her next book in the series at the end of this one, I thought, ok, maybe she's learned her lesson. NOPE! Within 5 page of the beginning of the book, she describes the ill fitted dress that opens up at her bustline and splits up her thighs and the guy in the room can't stop staring. I see where this book is going. Even though I'd like to read more and would like to find out what happens to her Aunt's money, I just can't take anymore sexual harassment.

The Gray and Guilty SeaThe Gray and Guilty Sea by Jack Nolte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I LOVE the main character Garrison Gray. Being a woman of "mature age", I enjoyed Garrison's 40 something maturity. I'm a softie for a man with a slight disability, whether it be a limp, stutter, etc. Garrison's character was beautifully depicted in describing his struggles with his past vocation and the consequences of it and how he is still dealing with it. If you've watched Downton Abbey, Garrison reminds me of Mr. Carson. They are both frustrated by their needing a cane, but they are strong men when need to be. They are usually somber looking, but both want love in their quiet way. I know they both would protect their mate with all they have. Garrison is a "real" man, meaning, there is no describing him as still handsome with graying hair to make him look distinguished. No describing him as still having a 6 pack and hard muscles for a man of 40. I can so relate to him as someone I would be drawn to. Enough about Garrison. I guess I really do like his character!
This is a murder mystery with many characters that could have "done it". There are characters that you wonder if they are trustworthy or not. Things seem questionable, but really in another situation we wouldn't be questioning.
Not action packed, but definitely kept my interest. I was able to imagine myself living in this little town on the Oregon coast.
I DEFINITELY plan to read this author again. I hope there are more books with Garrison's character.

Bum RapBum Rap by Paul Levine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Better than 3 starts, but 4 stars is generous. Pretty good legal drama, although it's so upsetting to hear about all the deals. Each side is not really thinking of their client, they are just thinking of strategies how to win.
Likeable characters, that can be annoying, immature, but still likeable. Main character, Lawyer Lassiter is a somewhat sad misfit, but I look forward to learning more about him in future books.

Long Man: A novelLong Man: A novel by Amy Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was drawn to this book because we have moved to TN in the past year. Behind our property is an 80 acre lake made by the TVA.
The story was somewhat long winded, but full of details of the lifestyle of the community that was being evicted for the dam.
Mostly sad...a hard life, a struggling community prior to the dam.
We see into the thoughts of both the town folk and the progressive thinkers and the impact of progress.

The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The HolocaustThe Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am fascinated by slavery and the holocaust. I cannot understand the arrogance of a people that think they are better than another race, religion, financial status, etc.
This is a true story but reads like a great novel. Instead of hearing about the concentrations camps, they are merely just mentioned in this book. This is about a female Jew who lived among the Germans and Nazi's fooling some, trusting others and surviving. Fascinating story.

Shantaram Part TwoShantaram Part Two by Gregory David Roberts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I listened (part way) to the audio book. If this was a "normal" length audio book, I would have been able to state I finished it. I thought his story was quite interesting. Learning about the underground world of India, about the day to day life of the people. Knowing nothing of India, I do not know if the characterizations of the subjects were correct. I agree with a previous reviewer, Mayuri  who looks to be of Indian descent that Prabaker seems to be a cartoon character, always happy go lucky and innocent in a childlike way. Prabaker seemed very stereotypical.
I actually was enjoying the quasi biography for a while. But after that long while, I wondered what the point of this book was. I wouldn't call it "drivel" as others have stated but it certainly goes on and on and on and on. Like reading from someone's diary. 17+ hours of listening through part II, I thought that was going to be the end, but knew it didn't sound like an ending. Ugh! There is a part III. I'm just not looking forward to listening to the same day to day goings on. Well, I'm this far, maybe I should finish, but let me make sure Part III is also the final part...NOPE! There are 5 PARTS. A total of 43 hours!!! I gave up.

A Stolen Life: A MemoirA Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are interested in Jaycee Dugard's true ordeal, then go ahead and listen to this book. This is just the story told by her. No feeling sorry for herself, no great dramatizations to make it more readable. Jaycee is a strong woman. She describes her time in captivity year by year and what happened & what her thought process was. Sometimes it was frustrating because I wanted to yell, take the girls and run when she had opportunity, but being taken at 11 yrs old and "taught" this is the way life is, it seemed as if she didn't realize that she could or even should run.
Very sad, but her attitude is wonderful. She cannot dwell on the past or it will ruin her present and future.
Best wishes to you Jaycee.

We Need to Talk About Kevin: A NovelWe Need to Talk About Kevin: A Novel by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I tried to listen to the audiobook. Very depressing, but I expected that. I listened to 2 hours and just couldn't go on. The mundane details of Kevin's mother's life lost my attention. The narrator was almost too perfect in her reading. Perfect voice, perfect annunciation, with no emotion. This woman is trying to deal with going on living and dealing with her son's crime, although 2 hours into the book, I don't really know what he did except from reading the description of the book. She has to deal with the stigma, the judging, the looks while going about her life. Should be a great heart wrenching story. But the narrator just did me in. Maybe she was supposed to sound monotone. Maybe the Mom is so broken that her life is just the straight line on a heart monitor. But this does not make for good listening. I needed to hear some hesitation in the narration, some emotion and it wasn't there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our Travels