mountain men cracking themselves up

Mid-September 2018 “You know…they make good saws, too.” Darrell punctuated his assessment of Sam’s Stihl chainsaw by spitting on the ground, a smirk playing about the left corner of his mouth. Sam lowered the saw he’d been trying to start and shot mock daggers at Darrell from under the brim of his baseball cap before…

inroads: construction (and destruction)

Late August, 2018 “You know I’m going to cry the first time I see all these trees down,” I told Sam, the man I’d hired to excavate my land. He chewed his lower lip a little, glancing sideways at me from under the brim of his baseball cap. “I’ll get over it,” I continued, “but…

the perc test that launched a thousand dreams

slow beginnings The thing delaying all the other things related to living on my newly-purchased mountain land was the road. The thing delaying the road was finding an excavator. I’d spent most of the winter months trying to get a road guy — any road guy — to answer or return my calls to no avail….

collecting soil samples on my mountain land

Wherever I go, I grow things. Flowers. Ferns. Hostas. Berries. Vegetables. Whatever the soil will take and hold. It’s my gift: to myself, to my neighborhood, to the land. I learn the land by putting my hands in the soil. I pick out and collect the stones. I wrap my fingers around the roots. I…

reblog: a word about “unrestricted use” land

…and that word is: %&#?@! The situation is actually kind of funny, in a way — and a cautionary tale, in another. It certainly highlights my inexperience (and naïveté) with buying raw land. The land I bought — The Boot (my nickname for it, based on its shape from the air) — was listed for…

reblog: surprising perspectives on invasive plants

“I can take those out for you when the machines come through,” Sam offered. He was referring to two huge multiflora rose bushes at the mouth of the tractor road he’ll be improving for me. Their long, densely-thorned canes claw at my vehicle every time I turn up the road onto the property. “Multiflora rose…

reblog: the quest for home, part 4: the boot

Have you opened your email yet? came the text. I’d heard the notification, but I was still snuggled up with Bodhi, my big red Golden Retriever, and hadn’t wanted to dive into the day just yet. Nope, I texted back. Well, hang onto  your hat, came the reply. I just sent you some information from the seller’s…

Reblog: The Quest for Home, Part 3: Follow the Signs

“Found it!” Pat called out to me, waving a piece of paper over his head without taking his eyes from his computer screen. Bodhi, my big, red Golden Retriever, reached him first, all wags and smiles, and Pat reached over to scratch his ears and give him a good thump before handing the paper to…