Copyright © 2007-2015 Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse and Other Dabblings

Hello from the foothills!  
Well, we survived the total solar eclipse and lived to tell the story.  I don't have any eclipse day pics to share (so I inserted this tasty Cherry Galette instead ;), but we did see (or rather not see) the sun disappear for a bit yesterday.  I didn't bother about getting the approved eclipse glasses so on eclipse day Goodman rounded up a couple of welding helmets and some of those old folks glasses they send you home wearing from cataract surgery, and we were set.  Sure, we probably looked like a couple of bobble-head corn nuts standing on the back deck gazing afar in those clunky helmets, but we witnessed the extraordinary event in our own style. ;)  

I've been busy making a few herbal preparations for our home apothecary and to give as gifts.

The recipe for this Polysporin-like ointment is over at Joybilee Farm.

 It's a wonderful anti-microbial salve to have on hand for cuts, bites and scrapes.

Last week we took the grands to Tic-Toc Ice Cream Parlor in Loudon, Tenn. for a mini birthday celebration for the eldest.  The old-fashioned parlor was featured in Southern Living Magazine several years ago.

They serve wonderful homemade ice creams. Their famous Cardiac Arrest has 5 scoops of ice cream and as many toppings plus whipped cream, cherries and nuts.   We all considered the Cardiac Arrest but opted for hot fudge sundaes instead.   After ice cream we browsed a couple of antique thrift stores.  These girls know where to find the good stuff.

A peek at one of the butternut squashes growing on the Hugelkultur mound I made.  (Click if you're really sure you want to know, lol.)

The soil is really rich on that mound and should be productive for several years.

We love Chicken Parmesan but had never made it from scratch until I tried this recipe, and I have to say it was DELICIOUS.

I'll leave you with a pic of this Imperial Moth hanging upside-down on the dog lot fence.  Yeah, it's a mecca of excitement around here...


Hope your summer is the best. :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

June in the Foothills

Hello from the hills of Tennessee!

I've been doing my usual watching-things-grow routine and collecting the harvest.
There are no ripe tomatoes yet, but we have lots of green for fried green tomatoes. These are the Heirloom Beefsteak variety.

Bee-balm.

When we bought our place there were five holly trees posing as bushes in front of the house.  They required a lot of trimming to keep them in check and had outgrown their space so Goodman cut them down then dug out the stumps.

We replaced the holly trees with Peach Drift Roses.   If you're not familiar with them, Drift Roses are used to fill in lateral garden spaces.  There are different colors, but this one is the only variety that has a rose scent.  And what would a rose be without the fragrance?   (Someone else's, not mine ;)

Lavender from some new plants that have deeper color but less scent than a variety I've had for years. I planted the lavender behind the roses.  I have to say it's a relief not having to trim those holly bushes this year. 

I made a few more project bags for needlework projects.  They're great to have on hand for gifts, too.

Goodman loves a good salad and likes to see all the ingredients at a glance.

I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day Celebration.   General Washington and his men crossing the Delaware River in December 1776 - Liberty Blue platter.

Monday, May 29, 2017

All Gave Some, Some Gave All


O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!


One section of the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.   Brave soldiers, you're not forgotten...