March 22, 2013
It is that time of the year in Asheville. Larry purchased bags of grass seed and fertilizer this last Spring. Spending hours aerating the acre and a half, he meticulously spread the seed over our back and side yards. His timing was perfect and before the crows could gobble up the seed, Mother Nature provided us with a gentle thorough rain and our wild guardians.
For the last five years the Chicken Hawk family makes their nest in a special Pine tree in the front. They take over our back yard perching in our huge trees. They scare away black birds and crows, therefore if Larry spreads the seed after they come back for their Spring mating ritual, these Chicken Hawks protect the lawn.
I thought Maine seagulls are big, well the Crows out weight Maggie and Lila by a few pounds! They are noisy and bossy. They do not even run away when Maggie and Lila are outside. I think they know the girls are afraid of them. The Chicken Hawks, on the other hand, just sit and watch and do not bother the little Silky Terriers. They rid our yard of snakes, rodents, and like.
So again, Mother Nature co-operated and provided us with plenty of gentle nurturing moisture. The yards began to green and appeared lush. Soon the seedlings began to take on a non-grass appearance…and then even to flower. Upon closer inspection we suddenly had a yard of clover with pink and white flowers. Any and all bees were in ‘bee-heaven’ and littered the yard gathering pollen (someone must have a bee hive near by). Besides the clover, we had purple wild violets, another yellow tiny flowering plant and WILD STRAWBERRIES!
I have to admit it was fun to go outside with the Silky Terrier girls and count all the tiny red strawberries that would spring up over night. I tasted some and that was not pleasant, relatively no flavor and a lot of grit. So we always had a lush green yard but not with that longed for grass but all kinds of little plants.
I am sure any wild rabbits, chipmunks, field mice, moles and other creatures that live around our yard appreciated the daily new crop. By the time the tiny strawberries appeared the Chicken Hawk Family had moved on.
So now that Spring is soon here, Larry just aerated and fertilized again. I wonder what we will grow next? I bet it will be green but not necessarily the hoped for lush grass.
Next time you are visiting Asheville stay with us and I promise Larry won’t put you to work in the yard.
December 1, 2012
We are not so sure the term ‘happy‘ is always the case in the morning. Some times it is more about thoughts of MURDER crossing our minds in our morning efforts, but cooperation and coordination is a definitely a state of mind we always strive for. We have our separate duties. Performing them without crashing into each other, without burning something or without screwing up the number of guests ready for a certain course; for us is indeed been an accomplishment. In fact our experience together in the kitchen, years before this Applewood Manor Inn B&B adventure, was what one would call a WAR ZONE! The only truce we could jokingly negotiate was whomever was not cooking had to stay away from the kitchen to remain alive-take no prisoners!
When we met, Larry was/is quite accomplished in the kitchen and did his own cooking (he does laundry too). He is the opposite type of cook than I am, and this difference quickly became evident. He is more inspirational, ‘tried & true’ and most importantly, relaxed. Gosh, he is so good he rarely uses a timer. Nothing bothers him except when he lays a spoon/spatula down, he rightfully expects to reach in the same spot for it again….and I always moved them! He and no one else makes a killer sausage gravy and you should see the guests drooling to taste it. This Christmas, 2010, we served an Old Fashioned TRUE Southern breakfast of which the crowning glory was Larry’s sausage gravy and biscuits, our guests even came to breakfast early to not miss out!
So this adventure of working together forced us to compromise and make a truce. I have learned to curb my impulsiveness and not touch cooking equipment unless I was using it (man, that was hard). We work together smoothly almost like a ballet. After we got our two new ovens we did burn the morning bread more than once, which our sweet guests always found funny…but we have made it through that. So if you hear deep breathing coming from the kitchen, just smile and be patient. Larry will eventually come into the dinning room grinning and tell you what he just did to tease me.