Friday, August 03, 2007

The Farm Report

Inasmuch as this blog is part communication and part diary, and days have gone by without blogging, I can't expect my memory to contain all the events that have transpired since moving in to our new place.

Monday was our first night and while I did say that all went well at closing, it was tense, since we never heard from our banker that the mortgage loan money was disbursed. It was, of course and we closed with no problems. Then we skedaddled to the house and began to unload boxes, and mowers and beds and even though it was late, we did manage to reconstruct both beds and had a great night's rest.

Good thing. We were aroused at 3:10am on Tuesday by the Big Rooster. I have never seen chicken lungs, but they must be huge. Not being a country gal, except in my imagination, I wasn't prepared to hear the volume turned up so loud, so early. But ha! I was already awake when he crowed for the first time. Too excited to sleep and wanting to see and experience everything all at once, I got up and wandered around. Motion detector floods on the porch flashed on at my entrance like cops at the crime scene. So much for the serenity of the moment.

We keep repeating exclamations of wonder at the beauty of all this scenery and the denseness of the vegetation. Although I have been stating that we were moving to the Smokey Mountains, it says on the map that we are not in them. We are farther west, in the Cumberland Plateau. Yeah right. Remember that as you drive up the steep grade surrounded on both sides by rock walls and vistas filled with repeating mountaintops fading from dark to lighter to lightest off into the distance. Our road is hilly and winding and alternates between dense forests and new forests that have been previously logged with the regrowth in the ten year range, and farms with cattle, and respectable well kept homes, and a few shall we say neglected abodes. Intermixed with views of misty valleys and corresponding hilltops and you have the 8 mile drive from the main road to our house.

On Tuesday we went back to town, Dunlap, where we left Popeye in the motel. Yes, we paid to have our cat stay there until we got the truck unloaded. He was happy to see us and equally happy to crawl under the bed for the entire first day in the new house.

I unpacked the kitchen stuff and loaded up the pantry and found the coffee maker which I sorely needed. My schedule starting so much earlier made my day sort of off kilter and a nap was necessary around 3ish. I slept for three hours! Dave was just as busy as I was, but outside. He mowed the grass in the orchard and as he finished the task, the mower sputtered and died. He started it again and drove it to the garage, but then it died again. Solenoid, he pronounced. We'll have to get a new one. Another shopping trip! We had done some shopping before getting Popeye, at the Super Wal-Mart but of course I forgot a bunch of things. This is the closest real grocery/dept. store for 19 miles. We had started a list and we added this solenoid thingy and a vacuum cleaner to it, as well as a wheelbarrow and ibuprofen for my sore everything.

Wednesday's tasks included establishing the phone service, and buying a new washer and dryer. Another shopping trip but this time we went to McMinnville. There we found a Lowe's and the solenoid (which didn't end up working) and the washer/dryer. They wouldn't deliver because neither of the set was expensive enough to qualify. No problem. We have the truck! So we bought a cheap dolly and the salesman helped Dave load the laundry pair on the truck. Off we went, with the incorrect electrical plug for the dryer. Not our fault.

Phone/internet/cable TV service had to be established in Tracy City, and we managed to find that office without trouble. Tracy City is an exaggerated title. The phone company is a co-op and we have to buy a membership. Cute. We were asked what numbers we would like for our last four digits and I chose the same numbers as our street address. Double cute.

On the way home from the phone company it began to rain. Buckets at first and then blinding torrents. The laundry pair was securely strapped down but their cardboard boxes were getting drenched. The rain dissipated slightly by the time we arrived at home and we got the ramps in place at the back of the truck to unload the two appliances. Getting them off the truck was easy compared to getting them up the stairs and into the house. I am too old for this. And the wet cardboard was just so slippery. We tore most of it away from the base of the dryer and got it up the stairs pretty easily, since it doesn't weigh much. The washer was another story. This was a case of the Two Stooges in action. No blood was shed but it may have been washed away by the returning rain. Let's just say that the cackling hens in the peanut gallery didn't make it any easier.

Eventually all the wet cardboard was removed and the connection directions were found and Dave began to install the washer. It turned out that the water lines were reversed and the hot line was actually cold and vice versa. We can switch them, but it is funny because the shower in the master is reversed the same way. When it came to installing the dryer, we discovered we had been sold the wrong plug, a three prong, when we needed a four prong.

More shopping!

The trip on Thursday took us to Chattanooga. We were sightseeing along the way and I was the navigator. I got us off to a bad start by insisting we take the I-75 ramp toward Atlanta, when it should have been toward Knoxville. I was wrong and we ended up in Georgia for a few miles. Nice drive. We did know where we were headed, and we got there finally. Another Lowe's. We returned the solenoid for the mower and exchanged the three prong plug for the four prong and set out to Target to get our phones. The previous owner has phone jacks everywhere in the house so we could finally have phones next to the bed, in the great room, kitchen and living room. In our Cary house we had only three jacks, never in the bedrooms. What luxury. But who would be calling us? We communicate via email so much more than by phone. Nevertheless Target had Slimline phones for $5.99 so we got four! While in the electronics department we were seduced by the big plasma, lcd and flat screen TVs. There were some with huge price tags that didn't have the picture quality of the less expensive models. I know this is a tuning adjustment situation, but still. $1600 vs.$799? The Magnavox model was crisp and clear and reduced in price, with the added incentive of 10% more reduction if a Target charge account was opened. Can you believe we passed up this bargain? I can't. But it is stewing.

The real reason, I cannot lie, to go to Chattanooga was to buy wine and some decent beer. The counties in our area sell only beer. And for good reason. Driving these hills under the influence has no doubt resulted in the reduction of many a wild and crazy guy, over the edge, pickup and all, never to be seen again. Finding a liquor store was not easy, and when we finally did, we were surprised at the high prices. Nevertheless, I stocked up. Well, I had saved all that money by not buying a TV.

With the correct plug in our possession Dave finished installing the laundry pair and I did two loads. Sigh. Such a relief. He then toddled off for a nap and I decided to reassemble the Poang chairs from IKEA. I am pretty good at this stuff. I usually insist that Dave be out of the room when I reconstruct. It is too stressful on him.

As I was about to finish the second chair I heard the sound of a car coming up the drive. A VISITOR!!! Yes, a woman was at my front door. Her name is Chris *****, and she lives in town, Palmer that is. She knew the previous owners and wanted to welcome us to the area. Isn't that nice? Almost the very next words out of her mouth were "What church do you plan to attend?" Ha! That's the country for you. Good thing I had already stashed the liquor in the house.


25 comments:

  1. All sounds pretty familiar.....Here I been in my place since July 3rd and I'm still dealing with furniture deliverys and electricians and my handy man......I haven't even made it to the Post Office today (I live in the village so no home delivery- at least the rental on the PO Box is free).

    teri

    ReplyDelete
  2. Least ya had a pickup! On our 1st moving trip we only had my VW convertible (Moving truck & men went back home) - funny site - us with a huge "herby curby" rolling trash can in the back seat w/the top down and my Hubby holding on to it w/ death grip while I drove home giggling madly! Still makes me laugh. :)

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  3. Well, well, welcome to the country. Ha, I thought you were going to try all the churchs. Can't wait till you come "home".
    Love
    Freebe

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Just reading this 'adventure' made me very tired. Sounds like you are settling in nicely. Any more pictures of the hills and countryside coming this way?

    ReplyDelete
  5. bonnie1:52 PM

    I remember a VW convertible...top DOWN...WATER bed standing tall...going down the freeway in NOVEMBER in WISCONSIN...crazy or what. These are the fun memories. If you try this yourself...wear warm clothing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mel, if you need clothing or school supplies or a computer under $1500, this weekend is Tennessee's tax-free weekend. Georgia's will be coming up. Very restricted on what's tax-exempt, but if you're going to buy it anyway, this is the weekend to save a little...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous2:08 PM

    We live in McMinnville....Oregon, named after McMinnville, Tennessee!
    Enjoy reading about your adventures.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Melody...

    The "What church do you plan to attend" line made me laugh out loud. As I was reading about your "visitor", it was as if I was hearing a drum roll...waiting for that line!! I've lived in the country for a long time...I KNEW it was coming!!

    OH...BTW...you'll get used to the rooster crowing. I have two of them myself and I don't even hear them anymore, but any visitors sure do!! One funny thing is that if you ever go out at night with the flashlight...the roosters will begin to crow..thinking it's morning. If the crowing bothers you though..DON'T buy any goats or sheep!! I have 5 of them and they MAAAAAAA at me ALL day!!! It's like having 20 LOUD children calling Ma at me all day!!

    Carol - who's nearest town has a population of 451...but only 40 miles from the 4th largest city in the country.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My grandmother's family is from McMinnville. They own a pizza parlor there - or at least they used to! Glad you are getting settled into the country life!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your church question occurs everywhere in the South - city, country, all the same.

    You'll also find that every time you're in a group having a meal, someone will say 'the blessing.'

    Welcome to the bible belt!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does this mean you have your internet connection at home now?
    The washer and dryer story had me laughing. I can remember pushing double bed mattresses and box springs up curving staircases.
    Wanda

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Melody
    This is the weekend for the the worlds biggest yard sale. It goes from Alabama to KY on Hwy 127. http://www.127sale.com/

    So if you have the energy or the time after moving, you might want to check it ou.

    Congratulations on the move. You will love TN.

    Jennifer from NE TN

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mel, thanks for the peak into your life and your move. I have enjoyed reading about your adventure and admire your strength in your adventure! Keep up the great stories. I'll be reading and enjoying them!

    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad to hear from you. Can't wait until your blog routine is re-established. I'm thinking about all your sore muscles and broken fingernails. But it sounds like the minor setbacks are not yet driving you crazy. And I'm sure you will get used to the rooster.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so exhausted after reading your post. I hope you will be settled in and making quilts, soon!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm exhausted from reading. Is it time for cocktails yet?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Okay, Mel, promise me that you and Dave will head over to Big River Grill(restaurant) in Chattanooga for your next special occassion. It's within walking distance of the aquarium and the theatre.

    Also, Greyfriar's is down the street, very close to Sticky Fingers, which is the best bbq you're ever gonna have.

    Can't believe you're close to Dunlap...be careful of the fireworks stores which are everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  18. dan C1:03 PM

    Fireworks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh yes, I, too have been enjoying the heck out of your transition from the North to the South and hold so much admiration for you and Dave for keeping some humour in the mix of such a drastic change and pursuit of a dream.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Judy from Northport9:49 AM

    I cannot believe how much you have accomplished in the one week that I have been away.
    If you will not write a book on dyeing/quilting, then write this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous12:52 PM

    OK- how many truckloads have you found at the world's biggest rummage sale?
    I'm guessing that's where you are since you haven't posted yet today! KS

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just love following your new adventure! And OMG imagine my surprise when I'm watching PBS and THERE YOU ARE! I'm like "OMG I KNOW her!" LOL Even though of course we've never met! LOL Awesome...you and the Chicago Iron Maidens. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I had never, ever been asked what church I attended until we moved to Memphis. It would often be the first question out of their mouths. Being a Catholic, our answer never went over too big!

    Now that we moved back to the northeast no one ever asks us this again.

    Good luck on such a wonderful move. I am teaching up in CT in October where you are also. Hope to hear more stories of country life.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can somebody please tape that episode where Mel appears on PBS and upload it to YouTube? Her sister living in Singapore has never seen it!

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com