Monday, April 30, 2012

Amis Mill Eatery, or, don't go here because I don't want it to get all crowded and whatnot

This place in Rogersville pretty much kicks ass. I reviewed it on Yelp here (and first, too boot!). Get the ribs. 'Nuff said.

The salad was delish, but I'm a moron for making it the center of attention instead of my jambalaya or Jay's ribs.

So yea, if you're anywhere within a fifty-mile radius of Rogersville, TN and are looking for someplace new to grub, GO HERE. Pronto.

~ Mitsy

Friday, April 27, 2012

the grass was a bit grownup

As we anticipated, our lovely lawn was somewhat of a wild tangle when we were able to take a good look at it after the sun came up the day after we arrived. Jay diligently assembled my reel mower that was waiting for us on the front porch courtesy of UPS and fine tuned the blades for me, but after a few valiant pushes and the tall grass gracefully bending over and popping right back up again, we headed for the nearest Devil-Mart and forked over the cash for their best gas self-propelled push mower.

Sorry, buddy, but you're confined to the shed for the time being.

I should mention that the reel mower did do a fine job on the narrow strip of grass on the side of the house that was blocked by drainage pipe that Jay didn't bother moving out of the way since he had about a zillion other square feet to mow. I used my reel mower there. I'm ashamed to say I became slightly out of breath. It was maybe three hundred square feet total. Yes, you can laugh.

In the meantime, we have secured the mowing services of our neighbor's brother to keep that wiley grass in check until we get out there permanently.

I WILL use that push mower once we get the garden established to keep the paths manicured.

Jay learned the hard way to wear a t-shirt and sunscreen whilst mowing almost an acre of lawn
with a push mower. Blisters surfaced. Solarcaine was purchased.

That second picture is a bit misleading. The weather decided to become an asshole for the majority of our visit. Apparently we brought shitty Cali weather with us, and it's all nice and warm at the holler again now that we've left. I decided to be positive about it and enjoy the coolness because I know that even though I enjoy hot weather, I will probably melt during our first few summers until my body acclimates to the southern heat and humidity.

Next up, being incommunicado kinda blows (but we'll figure something out)! 

~ Mitsy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

panorama 1

Too... tired... to post anything meaningful just yet, but thought I'd leave y'all with a panorama in the center of the finish-mowed area, which includes a double sighting of Jaybird mowing. Forgive the watermark - I like DoubleTake so far but haven't decided to splurge yet on the $25 for the full version. Yes, that's a gas push mower, and yes, my reel mower definitely did not make the cut (HAR), and yes, we will be purchasing either an ATV and a pull-behind mower or a ride-on mower. My non-fossil-fueled reel mower aspirations proved to be quite... ludicrous to say the least. However, I do still plan to use it for mowing the future garden paths. for now

We missed the animals dreadfully, but it was melancholy to come back to Cali.

You clearly need to click here for the full version.

More lates on the interwebs issue (hell, communications in general), lots and lots of eye candy, mass mowing, mucho plans, Melungeons, flora identification, local eats, laundry the old-fashioned way, my shitty art, and snoooooooooooze...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

we're here!

The grass is a bit grownup, as we expected, but not too bad. Putting the reel mower together today, and headed to Kingsport for some necessities, like a new coffee pot since someone got a little over zealous cleaning it last night. There are a few cow patties in the grass so either someone appears to be  grazing their bovines out here or maybe we just have a clever cow that discovered the gold mine of ungrazed pasture we have. The birds welcomed us as we drove in last night, the fireflies waited for us and gave us a late show, and all is right with the world. Pardon the lack of formatting - posting this from my phone on the front porch (our booster is waiting for us at the post office since we have no mailbox).


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

boosters + rotary telephone + adirondack chairs + dolly parton

Kids, you kinda get a barrage of posts from me instead of neatly sprinkled mind farts throughout the month because I tend to fixate on ideas that then lead to other ideas, and then it all spills forth via the interwebs and you are forced to digest my BS in large doses.

Anyway, Jay asked me a couple weeks ago or so regarding our upcoming trip, "So, what are we gonna do out at the holler this time?" Which, of course, prompted me to compile the Last Trip Before We Move list of things we might want to do while the holler is still our vacation getaway and not yet the survivalist paradise that we are planning.

Numero Uno in terms of priority is to get our Wilson Electronics DB Pro signal booster set up. We previously bought the Wilson SignalBoost DT repeater kit and hauled it out with us on our last trip in November/December, and while it definitely worked to boost the signal on my phone (I'm normally able to text from the front porch but have to walk toward the barn to make a call - the booster gave me 2 to 4 bars of 3G inside the cabin), it did absolutely nothing for Jay's phone, which makes no sense because our phones are identical and we both have Verizon service. Jay would get bars but no 3G or 1X icon. This made him very angry, especially when I would flaunt my texting capability (and then when I actually got a phone call from my Ma on the front porch, which is when he just about threw his phone in the creek).

[ amazon link ]

I was told by the sales rep that sold us the previous kit that we really needed something stronger, so we returned it and are gonna give this new kit a try. We're hoping to use our phones as Wi-Fi hot spots for internet access from our laptop and desktop in addition to phone service. If it still doesn't work, we'll return it and have to resort to satellite internet, which I've heard sucks in a major way. I think having a landline phone again would be kinda fun because I would get a sick old rotary model like this one:

I have character but take forever to dial.
[ etsy link

Alas, we'd rather have internet access than a bitchin' landline phone, so fingers crossed that this booster finally works.

The other item we have ordered through lovely Amazon and its fabulous free super saver shipping is the push reel mower. Even if it doesn't work well on the grownup grass, I think it will get a lot of use once we get it tamed. Which brings me to the next item: securing a mowing service so that things stay neat and tidy until we move out there.

We plan to bring several checked bags again (up to three free with first-class service) chock full of miscellaneous crap we don't really need right now but can't bear to part with. Like my clothesline, some decorative throw pillows, and my halogen landscape lighting. Don't laugh. I already yanked the latter up this past weekend and hosed it off and plan to package it up somehow this weekend (because we leave on Tuesday, woot woot!).

I'm going to experiment a bit with rearranging furniture, like maybe floating the sofa in the middle of the living room and using the cheap-o plastic dressers we got from Devil-Mart as a headboard of sorts and positioning the queen bed in the middle of our bedroom. I don't know why I always want my furniture to be floating - maybe it's partially due to the awkward layout of the cabin. I have furniture arrangement issues.

I want to build a simple a-frame level and mark the contours of the finish-mowed area so that I can get a better idea of where swales and terracing will need to be used for the future garden. As I plot them them out, I thought of using the reel mower to mark the contours instead of flags or inverted spray paint because the biodegradable stuff is really expensive and I can only find it online.

I'd like to tidy up the porches on the cabins and stow some of that stuff in the barn for now. Speaking of which, I think it would be fun to do some organizing in the barn, but I don't think Jay considers that kind of stuff fun or vacation-worthy, so that may need to wait.

Those resin adirondack chairs that were impossible to find on our last trip are finally back in season at Home Depot and Lowes so I plan to get two pairs of those - an orange pair for the big cabin and a red pair for the small cabin. 

A few local attractions we might be interested in are Elrod Falls, Bays Mountain and its fire tower lookout, Lawson Falls, Wake Forest Falls, and Natural Tunnel State Park. And.... DOLLYWOOD! I love Dolly Parton, and the guy that leases the hunting land above ours called the other day to find out when we'll be in town and to tell us that he scored us some free passes, woo hoo! So we hope to hit that up on the Monday of our trip.

I've bookmarked some restaurants that we'd like to try, mainly based off reviews on Yelp, a few of which include:
  • Amis Mill Eatery in Rogersville
  • Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview (VA)
  • Scratch Brick Oven in Johnson City
  • Ridgewood Barbeque in Bluff City
  • Purple Cow in Kingsport
  • Cafe Jubilee in Rogersville
  • Rain Restaurant in Abingdon (VA)
  • Cootie Brown's in Johnson City
Of course, this week seems to be crawling by at a snail's pace, and Tuesday can't get here any faster.

~ Mitsy