It has been awhile, has it not?

They’re here. Way better than those awful Stink Bugs that would mysteriously appear in our Vienna flat, but still ewww. Cletus’ predecessors ate them; thankfully he does not.

I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt here. That the broken window just happened, and they’re on their way to have it repaired. Otherwise I’ve got to go with it being a Redneck Repair.

I went to the DMV to (finally) obtain my Tennessee driving license. Do not judge me. The parking lot was teeny tiny and packed, so I had to park the way I did adjacent to a driver I jokingly suspected was Austrian.

Nope. The Rasta Hippie was the driver. How do I know this? Because he was called for “License Reinstatement” and was there to retake his driving test. I hope he wasn’t graded on parking.

Yes, her doggo is in the blanketed child seat. No, dogs are not permitted at the grocery here.

Christmas in July is real at Hobby Lobby. Where is the “shaking one’s head” emoji when you most need it?

I fell hard for the marketing at the grocery, though. An entire kilogram of CANDY CORN! In JULY! Of course, I’ll still be enjoying this cloyingly sweet treat in Autumn 2021, but CANDY CORN.

Wrong on so many accounts. Not even a good attempt.

Not more than 96 cans of soda per store visit, y’all. 😲

Tony and I went out for breakfast one morning following a sunrise hike around our nearby shoals. I was in the mood for the diner breakfast tradition we had in our previous life from Bob & Edith’s Diner. My order never varied from Corned Beef Hash, White Toast with the little Smuckers packet of Orange Marmalade, and an Unsweet.

Finding a diner serving Corned Beef Hash is a bit challenging here in Biscuits and Gravy Land. But I had success with a charming homestyle place that has not fallen victim to hipsterification. See for yourself.

And…whoa! Corned Beef Hash with a side of potatoes. Those potatoes? Flecked with capers! But for not having Smuckers Orange Marmalade (they did offer the Mixed Berry packet, a respectable alternative), I might rank this diner above Bob & Ediths. Definitely returning.

Let’s talk about HOAs. A prominent member of our neighborhood posted this photo on our social media platform, disavowing the “rude punks” or something like that who not only broke our flagpole but apparently stole the flag, too.

Comments ensued.

A day later the “culprit confessed.” A neighbor had seen the broken pole (from a wind and rain storm) and had “rescued” the flag. Said neighbor informed the head of the HOA. Our HOA is woefully lacking in the communications department, so of course this information was not shared with anyone, resulting in the assumptions of the initial post and the many comments that followed.

The latest meeting minutes on our neighborhood website date from November…2018. Just saying.

Our particular HOA dues are expensive, too, as we newcomers are expected to pay for the saltwater pool installed at the clubhouse a few years ago (annual dues are nearly four times that of pre-pool homeowners.) Beyond that, in the 11 months we’ve been here I have yet to find the HOA useful. Should we desire to attend a monthly meeting we are required to inform our “Unit Warden” in advance (the neighborhood was built out in 10 “units”), as meetings are rotated between board member’s homes and ostensibly they want a head count. Basically the HOA folks don’t want any of we dues-paying riffraff “disturbing” their wine and cheese parties.

One of our board members is particularly arrogant, too. Local utilities have been in the neighborhood for a few weeks, tearing up lawns doing something. Yet, when the question was proposed to this HOA member as to what was going on, he dismissed it with, “Ask the Town” about these goings-on. Jackass.

Moving along.  We joined our neighbors for dinner at a lakeside tavern a couple of weeks ago. Good vibes all around: the corkage fee was nominal (their wine list is atrocious, alas); the trout was quite good, though it is taking some time to get used to non-whole fish again; and the setting was pretty.  The waitstaff did not hover or rush the courses; and the portions were European-sized, too. Civilization.

Before I wrap up this episode, you know I squee-ed aloud with each snap. A jumbo SUV taking two Compact Car spaces (at the hospital, no less)* and an XL Gas Guzzler crowding a Handicapped space.

SO. AUSTRIAN. 😍

*So why was I in a hospital parking garage? The long story is that Teenage Tony had a hiking accident that resulted in a broken hip. The surgeons literally “pinned” his hip together. Our seven years of hiking took its toll and he/we decided it was time for a new hip. He is one week and three PT appointments post-op and doing great! Obvs we will not be hitting the hills for a while.

Pain Level: 1.  Boredom Level: 10.