Nashville, Asheville, Shakerville

April 17th, 2016. Categories / Nashville

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Carpenter bees: haunting me.

Immediately after my return to Nashville, we planted three rose bushes, marked off the spot for a vegetable garden, bought a lawn mower, added some gravel and river stones to one section of the patio, put up some new tiki torches, and ordered patio furniture.

We also discovered that the holes in some of the wood on our porch were actually damage from carpenter bees.

Apparently, these large bees bore into the wood to dig galleries for laying eggs. The male bee hovers around outside the nest, guarding without a stinger.

We had about eight to ten of these holes, some oozing wax and sawdust and others abandoned. A few were in the load-bearing posts for our porch roof.

As much as I love bees, I will do my best to prevent them from destroying any new wood.

My first efforts involving packing tape and scouring powder were sloppy and left me feeling sad for the four bees I killed.

They haunt me in life and death.

Midweek, my mother flew out to visit, and we immediately set upon the garden.

We dug up the bed and planted a variety of plants: five tomatoes, one cucumber, two squash, rhubarb, four strawberries, a row of carrots, watermelon, pees, and a variety of herbs.

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Ginger.
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Mantle.
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Buying my own stones.
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Gift from LA.
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Salamanders.
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Tiki torches installed.
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Flower arrangement.
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Children’s pyramid.
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A family taco dinner.
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Beaver evidence.
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Mom and Cumberland.
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Percy Warner stairs.

Over the weekend, we drove to Asheville to visit old family friends.

The highway was at a standstill like at the start of a zombie apocalypse. Two hours passed before we could continue.

Our AirBnB in Asheville was a quirky little house on a hill with interesting decorations, plenty of scented products, and a greenhouse porch that I wanted for my own house. The ceilings were in rough shape though, and I noticed. I judged.

Beside socializing, we went on a pleasant walk around small lake in the hills.

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Traffic on the interstate.
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Our AirBnB.
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Cover shoot for Unsustainable Living Magazine.
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The biters.
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Lake view.
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Wild onion.
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Battle damage.
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Smoky mountain ice.

Back in Nashville, we got a behind the scenes tour of the old hotel J is working on renovating. Remodeling is a messy process. Old elevator mechanisms are greasy.

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A freshly planted rose.
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Light and shadow.
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Our new garden!
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VIP floor.
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Elevator room.
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Reflected tour.
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Main hall.
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Underworld 2-1.
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Nashville hot chicken.
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Hundred year old bricks.

The next weekend, J and I drove three hours north to a former Shaker village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.

We arrived at night, and I worried we had stumbled into a creepy, Shyamalanian experience.

Morning proved me wrong. We enjoyed walks on the pedestrian pathways between the historic buildings, seeing all of the farm animals up close, and eating a full breakfast.

A road through the fields led to a tight path above the river. It was lush with wildflowers, full of butterflies and one snake.

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Inside the West House.
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Shelf.
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Sunrise.
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The main walk.
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Broom.
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A village building.
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Chicken and pigs.
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Fancy horse.
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Tall trestle.
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Riverboat on lifts.
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Trickle falls.
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Verdant trail.

That evening, we took another hike around the property and discovered bee hives and feral asparagus. J was stung by the former, and the latter was some of the tastiest I’ve ever had.

We sat on a hilltop and watched the sun set. The air quickly chilled. One firefly blinked around a tree on the way back to the West Building.

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Open meadow.
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Barn cat.
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Rock wall, deformed.
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Bees.
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Sunset jumpers.
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Night moves.

We retuned to Nashville Sunday morning, and I had less than a day to get ready to fly back to the land of cash and sun.

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