The first installment.

Obviously with 441 boxes (still have not located #280, though) filling the house, roaming about Knoxville or Tennessee is well, not a priority. Eau du Cardboard is not a pleasant home scent.

This is my morning view, after I leave the house and walk up the little hill around the corner. There are a few of us out with our four-pawed, but sadly still too many owners here who believe in the electric fence. Dogs are social creatures; it is in their DNA to sniff butts and leave pee-mail everywhere. Let them be dogs!

By last Friday the bar gang was mostly in place and the spa was heating. This particular personal Happy Hour was entirely warranted. Because unpacking sucks so very much.

And yeah, I’m no longer in love with the bamboo wallpaper. I am meeting with a design consultant in a couple of weeks who I hope will bring La Maison into the 21st century style-wise. There will be snaps of the transformation, natürlich.

The changing colors in the spa took us by surprise! Seemed a little soft-core to us so Tony set about disabling this feature. We don’t need to feel like we’re in Studio 54.

We have also ventured out to the lone (at least, I think) Asian/Russian supermarket in the city and were quite excited to find that it exceeded my needs. Don’t look for a dish featuring duck heads on the blog any time soon, though.

Speaking of grocers. There is a Kroger Marketplace near our house that is akin to Tesco overseas. American grocers have been objects of wonder for me since our return, with entire aisles devoted to simple items for which there should be no more than four choices yet are dozens, alongside items that should not exist at all. Like Dirt Cake.

Which brings me to my next two observations, for which a Venn diagram might bring to light a correlation.

  1. There are many, many seriously overweight people in Knoxville.
  2. Their grocery baskets are filled with crap like Dirt Cake.

Full disclosure. I did have a bag of this amazingness in my basket. Because firstly, I am way not overweight and secondly, Jalapeño Cheetos are awesome.

Back to the house. It’s not what you think. There’s Toy Story for children. This is my Toy Story. 

This box lovingly stored my American slow cooker that did everything but obtain the groceries from the market and was my lifesaver whilst working full time and raising two children (and a wily Foxhound.)

I am giving the slow cooker a whirl today for my glorious Pulled Pork Nachos because Rufus Teague Made Some Sauce. It is okay to be jealous.

I should probably designate an entire blog category to Barbecue.

Barbecue sauce in half-gallon bottles. I really am living in the South. And I really do need that Barbecue category.

No, no no no, no. Stick to writing and online recipes and your Food Network show, PW.

Diving into the items we put into storage one afternoon in search of “Dish Pack” boxes for my beloved Cuisinart.

Found it!

This was the one item on our wedding registry that we did not receive, though we were graced with a mighty KitchenAid so I am by no means complaining. Shortly after buying our first home I picked this up at a tag sale in the ‘hood for $30 (the sticker is still on!), with a guarantee from the seller that it would work or I would be refunded my cash.

That was in 1996. This ’70s era workhorse has blended and pureed everything without fail. So happy to be reunited.

What the…?

On my return with CTF following an afternoon constitutional I witnessed a flurry of golf carts heading to the school bus stop for the afternoon pickup.

Among those, our neighbor, WHO LIVES ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE BUS STOP.

HE DROVE ~70FT!

The entire loop through our cul-de-sac is little more than 0.75 miles/1 km.

“Is walking banned in Knoxville?” I ask myself.

Finally, let us talk about the nature on our acre. Coyote cries and fox yips in the early morning. Chipmunks everywhere. Tufted Titmouses who love to bathe in our fountain. Ginormous insects. Curious Squirrels and Squirrels who moon, too.

And, a first Woodpecker feather for my collection. #Home.