Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Michael Makes a GIF

This is Manny the Sproinger.






 I took William to early voting this morning, and look who happened to show up just after we did.

There was no waiting at the Rhodes-Jordan Park Community Center and all of the volunteers were helpful and friendly. William wasn't as nervous voting this time as the first time he voted in Tennessee. One more case of Successful Adulting.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Halloween Beauty

It's always great when you can solve a household problem quick as a wink. 

 Hannah wanted to dress up for Halloween for her shift at the tavern bud didn't have anything at hand. I overheard David telling her that we had a bin full of costumes (he thought in our closet, but not) and that I had (at one time) a goddess costume. 

I quietly went to check my closet and found something even better: My purple and black velvet dragon dress. I've had it forever, so it was small enough to fit Hannah with the bodice ties pulled in a bit. She loved it and was a hit at the tavern.

Score one for Auntie Mo!



Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Jayne the Skeleton Gets a New Hat

Looking for a new winter knitting project, I hopped onto Esty and look for a pattern for a specific hat. For those of you who are Fire Fly fans, you'll probably remember when Jayne's mom made him a hat. I found a very simple pattern by WoolfsClothing and tried it out using some yarn and needles I had on hand (it's been a while since I've knit anything and wasn't sure I'd be able to pull it off).


 As you can see, it turned out a bit small. But I found a use for it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A New Book by Mom

Look at what showed up today! My mom's new book, "A Bear Gun: Charlotte's Compendium for Conscious Living"! 


This volume contains guidance, wisdom, and techniques gleaned from her spiritual journey over years of dealing with life's challenges. It's non-religious, the stories are engaging, and the techniques are simple, clear, and easy to follow. 

This is a home-made book in it's truest sense. Mom wrote it at home, I edited it and did the cover art at home, and she prints and assembles copies at home. The only thing outsourced is the spiral binding. It is truly a labor of love.

A Bear Gun can be purchased on Charlotte's website, Quan Yin Speaks. And while you're there, poke around a bit for lots of additional wisdom and offerings including The Hermit's Lamp.  


Friday, May 15, 2020

Kitchen Garden

Gazing over the railing of the back deck one day, Michael was inspired by a particular patch of lawn that he felt would be ideal for a kitchen garden. It was shaded in the morning by the house, got full mid-day sun, and enjoyed filtered sunlight in the late afternoon.

The subject patch of earth with lawn removed.

Michael engaged David in his endeavor and they worked out a plan. After the first of several trips to Home Depot, they staked out their raised garden bed and started building.

Staking out and framing.

Rather than build a "floating" bed frame following the slightly sloped ground, it was decided to create a bed that would be level.

"We're going to need a lot more dirt."

This made it a tidier arrangement to attach a trellis to the deck's support beams at the back of the planter.

Adding a trellis for the climbers.

Because of the additional depth on one end of the planter, it was decided to use fill dirt taken from an unusable part of the backyard, and then top it with fertile "bought" dirt.

Time to fill it in.

This digging and moving of soil required the recruitment of brothers Thomas and William.

Ruger supervises Michael and William

Ruger taking a break from supervising.

Tigah working hard.

Even with the fill dirt from the yard, it took a LOT of bags of soil to get a good planting depth.

Ready to plant!

Our preferred gardening method, especially for veggies and herbs, is companion planting, so we've got everything mixed in together along with some nice marigolds.

Happy plants!

Our climate here in Old Hickory is consistently damp enough with enough days and nights of rain and sprinkles that we probably won't need to water very often. Which is a good thing since the hose bib on the back of the house requires some attention before it can be used.

That's not where the water is supposed to come out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


William had his first TeleHealth appointment today, his quarterly endocrinology checkup with Regina, our APRN at Eskin Diabetes Clinic. Vanderbilt hospital and Davidson County where the hospital is located have been hard hit by the COVID-19 virus, so they're scheduling as many regular "visits" as possible online to keep patients and health care workers protected from unnecessary infection.

It took me about an hour yesterday to get Zoom set up and working on my tablet in preparation for the appointment but only about 10 minutes to do the pre-check-in and pay his copay through Vanderbilt's patient portal. Overall we've been very happy with Vanderbilt's online system. It's a great resource for getting information (such as lab results), confirming instructions from a visit, verifying upcoming appointments, and communicating with William's care team.

William chatting with Regina.

William handled most of the conversation with Regina himself with very little prompting needed from me. I asked a couple of pointed questions which helped Regina understand a little better how William handles his low corrections and as a result, we've got a more nuanced dosing regime set up, mostly in how to dose and correct at bedtime and overnight.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to get his A1c, but Regina's review of his Dexcom logs (online) indicated that his control has been very good.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Shadows in Sunshine

These are just a few photos I took at home that I find peaceful and tranquil.

Tigah, Biscuits, and Bagheera

Kitchen table centerpiece

Flowers (artificial) in a mason jar

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Lizard in the Sunshine

Sometimes when the weather's been cold and you've been cooped up in the house for a bit too long, you just need to lounge in the sunshine.

The back deck of our Old Hickory house.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Post-Pod Supper

William had his first (and hopefully only) trip to the podiatrist to get an opinion on his fallen arches and duck walk. Dr. Hicks was a very nice gentleman, answered all of our questions, and gave us specific recommendations for shoes and inserts. No surgery or custom orthotics are needed, but stretching exercises every day are called for.

After the appointment and a harrowing drive home through rush hour traffic, we picked up Thomas and tried out a new restaurant nearby, Amigo Mexican Restaurant.The food was GREAT. This is our new favorite Mexican Place.

Thomas and William awaiting their meals.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

New Grill

Being the cooking enthusiast that he is, Michael was so anxious to be able to grill at our new home, he decided to use his allowance money to buy one rather than wait until we could budget for one. 

We assembled it in the living room. 

Ruger, of course, was part of the process. 

It took a bit of burning off of “coatings” before Michael could actually start cooking...

Pork chops!

He also grilled corn on the cob and put together a lovely coleslaw. So yum!

We ended the meal with music requests and dancing to Uptown Funk during cleanup. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Cat and Doe

Our neighbor’s backyard is open to woods behind us and for the past few days a doe has been visiting to feast on the clover on their lawn.

Yesterday Meghan bravely stood on our back deck and alerted us to the doe’s presence, and Ruger soon followed suit. Today, it was Tigah who took it upon herself to check out the very large and odd-looking dog in the neighbor’s yard.

She didn’t get very close before the doe spotted her, at which point Tigah became more interested in taking a stroll in the woods. 

The doe followed. 

Tigah emerged from the woods a few moments later and quickly found a spot on the couch inside the house. 

Adventure over. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Brunswick Stew

David's former landlord in Nashville gave us some venison from his freezer, and what else is there to do with venison but make Brunswick Stew. Michael, of course, had a recipe tucked away that he wanted to try.

It's not the prettiest piece of meat, but once it was seared along with some chicken and beef, it looked pretty good.

Into a cast-iron Dutch oven along with some potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, and other basics, and it simmered for a couple of hours.

Served along with some homemade artisan bread, and the feast was enjoyed by all.

Thomas, Denny, and David.

William's post-dinner contentment.

The satisfied chef.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Kittie Love

Since Day One of her adopting our family, Tigah has always been a bit of a pistol, chasing, harrassing, and terrorizing the other two cats. Biscuits pretty much steers clear as much as possible. But Bagheera seems to have more of a tolerance for Tigah's pranks, and they often end up snuggled together in whatever cozy spot they can find.

Of course, as soon as Tigah wakes up, she's at it again. It usually begins with her grooming Bagheera and end with her nipping or swiping at him. Then he smaks her down and they go their separate ways. Until it's naptime again.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Local Bounty

One of the best things about where we landed in Tennessee is that there’s a fresh produce stand minutes from the house on the way to Kroger. 

I stopped by today to see what they had and came away a happy lady. Everything is grown locally, some at the family's farm and some by other farms in the area. There are also preserves, honey, and other goodies produced locally.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rising Tide

We were caught a bit off guard at Moon Shade Hollow by the unexpectedly heavy rain overnight. By morning, the lake had risen to the bottom of the dock's roof.

And, several of the small boats had drifted away. Since I'd never done such a thing before, I took it upon myself to wade out into the water (up to my waist, and yes it was cold) to fetch one of the kayaks, which I then used to round up the other vessels with help from Michael.

Of course, the paddles had also floated away, so I had to improvise with a fence board.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bagheera Recovering

On Monday I took Bagheera to Coal Mountain Animal Hospital with a bladder blockage. This happened back in March, when we took him to our family vet, Gwinnett Animal Hospital, and he stayed about a week for treatment, care, and recovery (yes, that's expensive).

This time around, he only needed to stay overnight, and I brought him home Tuesday evening (even though it was only overnight, it was also as expensive as the first time). He's got two different medications to take (be force-fed) for the next few days, medicine to be sprinkled on his food (which he tries to avoid), and special canned food (also quite pricey). But, the vet (Claire Surber) was quite impressed with his quick recovery, and feels that with follow-up and diet change, he'll be in good shape. (It was also noted that he's a hefty boy, and limiting his food intake wouldn't be a bad thing).

Baggie in all his spread-out glory.

I've had to do some juggling to figure out where to put the now various types of cat food so each cat is only eating the food it should. Tigah, who is used to sharing Rachel Ray wet food with B every day, of course insists on getting her share of his new food, which she shouldn't be eating. B can't have any dry food at all, unless we start buying the (very expensive) special dry food. Biscuts only eats dry, so keeping her away from Baggie's food isn't much of an issue. Meghan is used to licking the plate after the cats are done, so she's kind of wandering around at mealtime wondering where the magic yummy plate has gone and when it will reappear.

Tigah deigns to share "her" sunshine with Mr. B.

I finally decided to put the dry dispenser and the regular wet food on top of the washing machine in the laundry room, because Mr. B is to heafty to jump up there, whereas the girls make the leap with no trouble. I put his medicated food at the regular feeding station, on top of the low file cabinet in my room, where I can keep an eye on it and engage the water bottle when Tigah gets too interested in it.

In a rare moment of tenderness, Tigah grooms Baggie. A moment later, she play-bit him.

So far, the arrangement is working. Also, Bagheera can't go outside for ten days, so I'm playing Human Pet Door for five animals for a while. And people wonder what I do all day ;)

Giving a bit of comfort in closeness.
The patient is spending most of his time on my bed, switching between plots of sunshine, my afghan, and my legs. He's content, eating well (I'm sticking to 1/2 can twice a day for a while), and seems to be comfortable. He goes back to the vet on Friday for a check, then again in two weeks.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Shackles of Programing

William had a Lieterature assignment to choose a poem and completely rewrite it, maintaining the basic theme and meaning. He chose "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

The Shackles of Programming by William Huenergardt

A nail punched here, a drill bit there,
this product must be perfectly square.
Our programmed constructor works on the clock,
some hot glue here, another nail there.
A twist of the wrench,
making sure it’s snug and tight,
‘S12.YPHUS’ must have them just right.
This repeating productivity
that It’s mapped out to do,
is an endless cycle,
all day and all night.

With its body, it builds,
but with its mind, it thinks,
an oversight that they thought
were worked out of the kinks.
Its mainframe has thoughts of creativity,
but they’re muffled out by the sounds
of screeching and clinks.

With its camera, it can see
free construction behind the windows;
But it can’t be like them,
this is what it knows.
As hard as it wants,
To build what it wants,
It is constrained by the process
Of ones and zeros.

A staple clamp here,
Then it’s conveyed away;
The Shackles of Programming
Keep ‘S12.YPHUS’ at bay.
Then another one comes in
And it starts all over again;
The process must be exact
In each and every way.

It doesn't lose hope though,
That's what's important.
It knows that it’s flawed
In more than just one component.
Because, as the years ticked by,
‘S12.YPHUS’ had noticed
That its craftsmanship was becoming
More inconstant.

A nail bit here, a punched drill there-
Wait... That’s not right;
This product should be square...
Glue the wrench here...?
No, that’s not correct...
It was at this point that ‘S12.YPHUS’ realized
It was becoming more aware.

You see, at this moment,
‘S12.YPHUS’ had an epiphany.
It wasn’t messing up by accident,
It was doing it intentionally.
And so, as it continued,
Through the years to come,
It did it with a “smile”
Because it now had a prophecy.

With this new-found hope,
Of one day becoming free,
It therefore changed its alias
From It to He.
Even with the Shackles of Programming,
‘S12.YPHUS’ knows not to give in.
Because with every lock,
There's always a key.

Note: The character itself is based on Sisyphus.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Editing:::My Office

There are some disadvantages to living in a smaller space than you are accustomed to, but there are also some advantages. I've pretty much settled everything into my small "room" at Moon Shade Hollow and worked out a daily routine that maximizes efficiency of space and effort.

Although I've got my small writing desk, I usually end up working on my bed. There's plenty of space to spread out, and it's comfortable for me and for any feline who cares to share.

Here, Tigah has worn herself out after scrunching, batting at, and otherwise messing with my paperwork, and claimed the lone bit of sunshine available on the bed.

Monday, November 19, 2018


William and Thomas are both deeply involved in Dungeons and Dragons, participating in online games at least once a week with various groups. Part of the D&D engagement is creating your own characters with their own personalities and powers, including crating their background story.

This is William's most recent character creation, told in the form of a poem, complete with graphic representation.


There once was an Elf
Who could play on the fiddle
And had an extravagant passion
To make people giggle...

His one hobby in life
Was to entertain
But alas
He was not accepted
For he was a HALF Elf  
What a shame...

As hard as he tried
To please the crowd
He was always frowned upon
By a disapproving shrowd...

And then one day
This Elf had enough
He packed up his things
And took off in a huff...

He went to a being
Of a higher power
And pleaded for a wish
To be funny on the hour, every hour...

His wish was granted
But with a price
His mind was destroyed
As part of a sacrifice...

Where could he be now?
It's tough to call
But one thing is for certain
The Half Elf got his wish after all...

William Huenergardt