Our Backyard Nature Walk

A couple days ago, I got a much-needed pep talk from my close and dear friend Karen. I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump lately. Well, more than a bit.

So at the end of our conversation, she instructed me to get my camera and take five shots. So the next day, I took a lunch break and went out in the woods at the back of our property and took more than five shots… I took over a hundred! Exactly what I needed.

So below, is a few of the shots I took — but nothing artistic with these. I wanted to show everyone how awesome Mr. Basketmaker is! He cleared all these paths in our woods out back so me and the dogs could go on daily walks out from under the hot sun. He really is the best.

And because of these nice walking paths, I was able to find so many things to photograph. I will share some of them soon! I have a lot of sorting to do first!

chance-walking-wood-pathway tennessee-wood-walking-path-2  tennessee-wood-walking-pathtennessee-wood-walking-path-dogs

Petey’s Place Hit by Tennessee Storm

Remember when I posted about our new “pet” lizard, Petey, and his updated-curb-appeal pad? (see full post here.)

Well, here was the tree…


And here was Petey sunning himself…


Now Petey’s “hip-pad-with-sun-porch” is no more! During last week’s storms our beautiful, quirky old crab apple tree split in three and fell apart.


Before there was a branch to the right of Petey’s entrance, which was not that large. Now it just ripped right off and revealed a large hole.


It’s been days of cutting branches and cleaning up—All while mourning “Petey” (we hope she got away safely… Yes, we discovered that Petey was really a ‘she’ after we saw her hanging with the babies) AND the loss of this sweet tree which was the center of our back ‘courtyard’ area.

Mr. Basketmaker told me yesterday that he was a little depressed looking out and not seeing the tree. I have to agree with him. From my desk, through the glass door was a full view of this beautiful tree. Now I simply see the doors to our ugly shed. It was hard to be inspired the last several days…

Definitely will take us some time getting used to…

At The Grand Ole Opry

Now that we have been here in Tennessee for exactly a year now and have been busy with cleaning, clearing and recreating, it was time to start seeing this great state we now call home (other than our own 5 acres!)

So last night, we went to the Grand Ole Opry! Mr. Basketmaker has never been and neither have I. So we were excited to go and since it was approximately a 75 minute drive, we decided to make a night of it and cash in some hotel points we have been accumulating over the years of traveling to workshops and stay right in Nashville.


Before the show, we had dinner at a nearby Tex-Mex restaurant. Eric had never had Tex-Mex and I haven’t had it since moving from Texas to Maine back in 2001 so I was thrilled. But in the middle of our meal, Mr. Basketmaker announced that he preferred ‘MEX’ without the ‘TEX.”


So the show was awesome. Here’s us sitting in our seats during intermission, eagerly waiting for one of our favorite artists, Darius Rucker, to come on stage at the end of the evening.

And what was so great about our seats is that we had a small, flat railing in front of us where we could put our drinks! People who walked past us made note of our convenient fortune of not having to hold our drinks all night! Hey, it’s the little things that make life great, right?

The photo at top is Darius on stage (sorry not very detailed… it was with my cell phone!) while he played one of our favorite songs “Wagon Wheel” which I have dubbed me and my nephew’s “SONG.” Why? I’m not sure! I think after he was born, I was cradling him in my arms and I turned on iTunes and out came Darius Rucker, and we danced to it several times over.

While Darius was singing on stage his most famous song as a solo artist, he shouted to the audience to sing the next chorus. So I’m singing in a low voice since I know I cannot hold a tune and next to me is Eric, singing loudly. It was sweet, until he started belting out the wrong words! Instead of “… southbound train” Eric yells “… a wagon wheel”! I didn’t let him forget that for the rest of the evening and teased him about it until the morning!

If you have never been to the Opry, it is a unique experience. I like how  they present their show…. it’s broadcast live on the radio via WSM right on the stage (you can see the words “ON AIR” in the photo above to the right). Throughout the evening, a total of 8 different artists will perform — from regular Opry legends to new, popular artists. So the audience is comprised of young and old, with many songs from artists one may normally not listen to. I think it’s brilliant. And the energy in the entire hall is vibrant. Even if you are not a big fan of country—We certainly weren’t before we moved here. But it is a great experience no matter your musical preference! We cannot wait to go again!