Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Glimpse

This morning the boys slept in. I got to take a desperately needed shower, start the coffee, and brush my teeth before the littlest one woke. I knew he had awoke from the banging of his wooden turtle and airplane landing on the floor. I came in and he was wowing over Elspeth's quilt hanging on the wall. Then he moved on to the chicken picture, then to hugging his pig, Kelsey's old teddy bear, and an owl, before jumping in to my arms. I love being a mother and watching my son grow, it is a great pleasure to be apart of something so special. Here are a few clips of our days. 
Kelsey and Fletcher reading 'Mr. Brown can Moo', courtesy of Mrs. Daisy

We've been helping Kelsey move cows and sheep several times a week. We have a new dog name Lilly and we we make it to the pasture Fletcher starts yelling 'Lilly,Lilly,Lilly'

Watering shoes

I made Fletcher a chicken out of an old wool sweater I had, I think the comb is fabric I had gotten from Miss Elf, thanks!

Riding Butternut, his best friend. We're real lucky with how gentle Butternut is with Fletcher, he'll be so rough with her sometimes and she seems to just love the attention.

Outdoor bath time

We've been going on lots of bike rides these days

Taking a break from helping Papa

We've got a few ewes and their lambs here on the farm 

The house in it's current stage, if you want to see more pictures Kelsey started a blog kelseykeener.blogspot.com and he's been adding some good pics and comments lately.

Hope everyone is well. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Letters to Everyone

 Hey y'all,

Are you there? Is anybody out there? Does this echo? (echo, echo, echo...)

I thought I'd write y'all a little letter in my free time tonight. I am so glad we have this space (even though we may only visit occasionally). So I want to say how lovely it is that I know everyone reading this. You! Let's start with up north. Elspeth. You have disappeared from physical life but it makes little glimpses of you all the sweeter. Like a sweet note in the mail, or news over email. I love that you are chasing your dreams and living in the big ol' city. I admire your courage. Whenever I see beautiful script or garlands or a hundred other things, I think of you.

Ashley. Sweet Sequatchie Ashley. I think about you a lot because even though I'm in North Carolina, I eat Cumberland cheese (which is easy to find here!) and I think about the hands that milked those cows and the wonderful place they live. You moving out there to start a family and devote your life to what you love is inspiring. I miss your handiwork. Your baskets and threads. I hope that you and your adorable family are well and that your house is coming along! Also, is the little one walking yet? He must be so big now! And y'all have been parents for a whole year!!

Ann, I just wrote you some comments about your wedding photos. I love them. Before I left, Mike gave me a tour of y'all's restaurant-to-be, and suddenly, being there in that space, I was filled with awe for the vision you have. You are starting a business! Doing something you are passionate about. And you have such great support for it because people really believe in you, and that says a lot. Also, I miss saying hello at the market. It's market day today...hello!

And Daisy! We just spoke on the phone, and it was so nice. You would love the pine trees here. So many tall trees, and the colors are great. The sky is very blue, the puddles silvery, and the sunsets are golden. If you ever come, you should bring your sketchbook. I hope you find somebody great to sell your piano to. If I had a gazillion bucks lying around, I would buy it right away. I miss your good cooking. You know that sandwich you made me right before I left? Well, I've made it a few times here it was so good.

So, I think that's all, am I leaving anybody out? I hope not. You guys are welcome to visit if you get the hankering. I've been playing a lot of fiddle out here because there are old time jams practically every night of the week. Between that and reading and talking to Trae, that's what I do over here! (aside from work). I hope I haven't bored you with such a long letter.  Please pick up the phone and call anytime. I miss you lovely lovely ladies.


Trae & I took this photo in Asheville a few weeks ago.
When my cousin saw it, she asked me if we got engaged! Not yet, I told her...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Then We Were Married

Dear Ladies,

Not too long ago/an eternity ago the Love of my Life, the Sugar of my Dreams, the Sweetest Thing I Ever Met, and I snuck off and eloped (which means the same thing, I know).  We had a most professional photographer who goes by the name if Tree Stump, or Car Roof, and sometimes Rope Swing Ladder.  Not one to be tied down to the formalities of names, that one.  Nor was he equipped with the finest of photography instruments.  But we didn't mind, as I'm pretty sure that's not what matters in times like these...

I wore my white dress on my legs...

We drank some champagne 

We got in our first (married) fight

And then we watched the sun go down over Tate lake

And as if that's not enough of a project, I've started another....  Sort of.  

When we got "engaged" I nervously doled out a big acorn hat to Mike, and kept the little one for myself.  Acorn engagement hats.  Mike sweetly carried them, intact, all the way down Lookout Mountain, and I decided to make heads to go under them...

Mike has an atomically correct body attached to his, but I have yet to make my own...   After I made the faces, I realized I should have made the entire body/head at once.  But I wasn't going to remake the faces.  So now we've got weird neck folds.  Getting us ready for the distant but wrinkly future...  

One day, maybe, there will be a body on me and I will finally get to make my teeny wedding dress (which I can't promise will be white...)

  -Mrs Ann Middle

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Checking In

Back by popular demand...
We were going to do a holiday card... but the computer would not comply, so here is a modified version.

Here's the other

And the star!

Love to you all!
Good Reading: A Christmas Story by Truman Capote

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas decorations

Hello Ladies, near and far! I've been a busy bee trying to add some decor to this ol' house in Highland Park, and I've started with a wreath. At Trae's parents' house in Jasper, I chopped a small cedar down (while Trae watched. big help!) and we're going to use it for our Christmas tree. I've never ever decorated for Christmas before, but now that we're in a house together, it seems like more of an occasion. What are y'all doing for Christmas? Anything big or small?

p.s. - some good listen'ins:
Lay My Burden Down by Caroline Herring; Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daisy's Garden Stir Fry

Plus some.

Hello Ladies!

I am garden-sitting for our lovely Daisy while she is up in New York, and it is truly a treat to tuck myself up in that quiet, lush space for half and hour every few days.  It's twice as nice because it's right up the hill from the Farmer's Daughter.  I was down there the other day, feeling a little panicked and a little frustrated for various reasons, but up the hill I went to pick Daisy's luffa and snip off yard-long beans.

As soon as I'd stepped over the chain onto her dratted burmuda grass, I felt 3/4 of my stress drain away, and the last thread was gone by the time my arms were in the luffa vines, sniffing their singular nutty smell.  It's like my own private Urban Farm.  And best of all, it's not mine.  I can reap the benefit of all her hard work (plus some of Jesus') and use it purely for my own relaxation   She's got it all- flowers, bees lazily buzzing, herbs, bird baths galore,  exotic Asian veggies, rocks, rabbits....

Since she was so sad to miss her bolting Baby Bok Choy (although I'm trying hard to save some for her- it's truly precious), I thought we'd all share it in a virtual one-dish potluck....  No pictures of the garden; I may snip snap one next time I'm up there- it's Magical though so it may not take to (extremely) amateur photography...

I rarely make stir-fry, but I sure do love to eat it... Plus, it take to time at'all... What's my problem?

Daisy's Garden Stir Fry
with shiitake, tofu, and some other stuff too

  • 1 inch of baby ginger (I got some at the mkt in ATL!) (this is a very baby-focused meal), thinly sliced 
  • 1 small hot pepper, minced
  • 1/4 hubbard squash, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, cut into your favorite-sized squares
  • 5 shiitake, destemmed and sliced
  • 1 luffa, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 heads of baby bok choy, rinsed, and broken apart
  • 1 cup of rice, cooked like you know you know how 
I marinated the tofu in a bit of fish sauce, soy sauce, tofu water, honey, and vinegar for about 10 minutes.

Heat a wok or skillet til hot with about a tablespoon of oil.  Toss in the ginger and hot pepper, stir briefly, then add the squash.  Cook til the squash begins to soften- about 7 minutes.  You can add the mushrooms with the squash, but I actually prefer to cook them separate in a dry skillet, as I think this makes them taste more mushroomy.  Add the tofu and luffa, cook a few minutes, and then, at the very last minute, wilt the baby bok choy.  Season with salt or soy sauce and serve right away.

-Ann Middle

Sunday, October 14, 2012

missin y'all

Hello lovely ladies, wherever you are.
My cousin just had a baby, and my mind is filled with thoughts of wonderful ladies and healthy babies and good home cookin. I wish we could be together more often, but...since we can't, here are some pictures of the lovely prairie that I've been seeing these past few days in North Dakota. Thinkin of y'all!


readin:Unaccustomed Earth by Jumpha Lahiri

listenin to: The Blues Run the Game by Jackson C. Frank