Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I was able to accomplish something yesterday which I thought was going to permanently elude me; I walked without crutches or cane or any kind of aid. I also found out I have a very long way to go to get it done right. Just a few steps is a beginning.

Jeremy sent us a set of coasters with some of my flower photos on them. They are beautiful and we are very grateful that he thinks of us. Granny was all teary-eyed again. We love Jeremy and Courtney and wish we could see them.

It has once more turned winter in the knobs. Carolyn’s daffodils are just now out of the ground but this time last year they were in bloom. It is going to be a great spring!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coming soon to a forest near you: Spring!

Olympic Ice Dancing and Skating: All contestants should be required to use Judas Priest music for their performances. It would darn sure even things out and make the event at least a bit more tolerable to watch. I was fortunate enough to see these guys in concert just before they made it big. I don’t remember which band they opened for but it was probably REO Speedwagon or KISS.

I am glad to see some smaller nations win many of the medals in these Winter Olympic games.  Jola’s Polish team has won four medals so far and all have been gold. Russia, Canada, and the U.S are doing well as is China, a country which will someday dominate  the games both summer and winter.

We are having a touch of spring-like weather this week but I don’t expect it to last long before winter again closes its icy fist on the hills.

The boys are doing well and not having a lot of winter sickness. Sammy and Mason were with us Sunday and all three were here yesterday.

There is a bill before the Tennessee legislature to cause the state to have daylight savings time year round. I am all for it

Leviticus 19:33-34
33 When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself,  for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bad Grandpa

Thanks to Jeremy, we just finished watching watching Bad Grandpa. We both laughed our butts off. Thanks, Jeremy!

I succumbed to boredom and watched some of the Olympic events on TV. I saw curling, various skiing, speed skating, and some individual women sliding down an icy path on a board, an event known as “Skeleton”. Curling seems like a cross between a game of darts and a game of marbles we used to play as kids except the marbles a flattened, round stones. They must get dirty easily because there is always two people skating ahead of them sweeping the ice as they slide toward the circle and bulls-eye. None of it makes sense because if you knock an opponent’s “stone” out of the circle you don’t get to keep it. Carolyn likes figure skating but it is the ultimate in boredom for me.

We endured Wednesday’s snow storm but there is another due tonight. This winter is trying to make up for a bunch of mild ones we had over the past decade or longer.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ready I Am

I’m ready for the snow storm! Got a candle, a one cell flashlight and extra battery, and kerosene for the space heater; I think there is a strike anywhere match left in the box.. I’m good for the duration.
It was sad to learn about Mark’s dog Summer passing. I was always glad he adopted an older dog from the shelter and he gave her what were probably the best years of her life. Like so many of her breed, she was a gentle soul and even tolerated cats.

I received an interesting comment on my Smokin’ blog from last week. Here is a link to a blog about ginseng and its cultivation. When I was young, I tried to cultivate some of the wild root but all I ever got was stunted plants that died after the first year. Ms. Woods seems to know how to make a good crop and has written a book about it.

A couple of days ago I saw my first robin of the year other than the local wintering flock. One lone male was scavenging in my back yard. Any sign of coming spring is a good sign even if it is tempered by the coming storm.

It has begun to snow as I write this.

Thursday, February 06, 2014


I am happy that CVS pharmacy has decided to refuse to sell tobacco products any longer even though it is a huge financial hit for the huge company. Personally, I use a local, minority owned pharmacy for my prescriptions even though sometimes I pay a little more than I would at CVS or Wal-Mart. My long-time pharmacist is an immigrant from the middle-east and attends a Muslim mosque. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Rush Limbaugh. I am a sixth generation Scots-Irish-German-Swedish American but it makes no difference because I am just plain happy I was born here and allowed to live my life in these East Tennessee hills of America. Brotherhood, y’all.

Weather is a bit crazy which is getting to be the norm since we screwed up the stratosphere. Yesterday we had high winds which—at this time of year—normally means that spring is trying to horn in on winter’s time. No telling what it means these days but it is cold and gray today. Give it up, old man winter and allow baby spring to have its way.

Winter Olympics begin today but I won’t be watching much of it except maybe speed skating; I hate cold and darn sure don’t want to look at it on TV.

New “reality” series on TV about harvesting ginseng. I knew the plant was becoming rare but I didn’t know it was bringing up to one-thousand dollars or more for each pound. I used to sell a bit of it back in the day but the price then was seventy-five to one-hundred twenty dollars per pound and it had to be dried. It takes a lot of the dry roots to make a pound. The big prices these days are for fresh out of the ground product and nearly all that is harvested here is exported to China. I also harvested may apple root and bloodroot. I occasionally see ginseng plants when I am in the woods making photos.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

In perfect harmony

This Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial brings me unbound pleasure in the superb multilingual lyrics and the diversity of American cultures shown. The part which pleases me most about it is that it has pissed off so many conservatives, including rednecks, Jim Crows, and tea partiers. These jerks claim that all Americans should speak nothing but some form of English. Many think “America the Beautiful” is the national anthem of the United States of America. It isn’t. Some decry the ad because it shows gay Americans. Little do they know that the woman whom wrote this wonderful song, Katharine Lee Bates, was an American lesbian. I suppose that some folks lives are so poorly lived that they have to find someone to hate so as not to dislike themselves so much. To them I say “have a Coke or a Pepsi or whatever you prefer and enjoy whom and what America stands for and whom and what it really is above your lowest wishes and highest expectations”.

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