Ah, signs of Spring!  Here are daffodils sprouting up alongside our house.


Early in winter, our garden was plowed. Several times in the last month or so, hubby and I have dug rocks out of the soil. Every time it rains, more rocks work their way up.  And some of them are darned big.

This morning, the garden was disked.  And it hit sixty degrees today.  So it was the perfect day to grab the rake and get rid of roots, dirt clods, and yet more rocks in preparation for planting.

The soil in East Tennessee is good for growing crops, but you wouldn’t believe how rocky it is.  Or maybe you would.  Here’s the proof — the accumulation of rocks we’ve dug out over the last month or so.  The dirty ones to the left are the rocks we got out today.


Here I am, raking out roots and dirt clods:


And here’s what the garden looks like now:


Still plenty of work to do, but it’s getting there.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so after that, we’ll work on getting rid of yet more rocks, roots, and dirt clods.  It won’t be long before we start planting.

We’re still figuring out what we want to plant, but it’ll run along the lines of potatoes, green beans, corn, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and perhaps some squash and broccoli.  Yum!  Maybe some herbs, too.  I’m sure the Ballicai (otherwise known as cats) would love homegrown catnip.

And speaking of cats, here’s Snowball, who lives with a neighbor.  She spends a lot of time hanging out here, though (yup, I’m a Cat Magnet), and she was a most helpful — and adorable — Gardening Assistant.


Now it’s time to return to writing:  I’m working on a rewrite of Occam’s Razors, a novel I completed a couple of years ago.  The story will change in one significant respect, which necessitates a change of title, and last night, the new title came to me:  Patchwork Stained Glass.

Those of you who have read the first version of the book might remember the story-within-the-story of the patchwork stained glass, which I find relevant to the theme of the novel and its characters and their struggles.

27 Responses

  1. bunnygirl February 26, 2009 / 7:04 pm

    That’s a nice big garden you’ve got there! I wish I could have one that big, but our yard is small and our oak is ginormous, so there’s not much space for gardening. Everything is in shade.

    I’m intrigued by all the rocks because New England is the same way. Are stone houses and stone walls a common feature of your area? All over New England, you can find the remnants of such on hikes in the woods.

  2. Wylie February 26, 2009 / 7:54 pm

    I’m jealous of your daffs… Ah well, ours will be poppin’ soon enough I suppose 🙂

    I like the new title!! Clever, catchy and perfectly suited!!

  3. thommalyn February 26, 2009 / 8:38 pm

    Yeah, Bunnygirl, we’re pleased with the garden-in-progress! This property used to be owned by hubby’s grandparents, and they gardened for years and years and always did really well. It’s the first time in about 15-20 years that there’s been a garden of significant size plowed here, but we’re going to make it an important feature of life here again.

    And hehe, the rocks — when my hubby was growing up, there used to be a stone wall all along the back of this property, four feet high and two feet thick. And what’s more, down the highway, there’s what we call the Rock Church — a Baptist church built not out of cut rock but out of the kind of rocks you see in my picture of our rock pile. The rock church has been around at least fifty years, and there are some very old houses here and there in the community which are made of rock.

    Hi, Wylie! I was very surprised to see the daffodils this early, but they were a welcome sight. 🙂 And I’m glad you like the new title! I played with calling the book Patchwork Stained Glass for the first version but ultimately went with Occam’s Razors. Guess when PSG popped into my brain some years back, I was trying to tell myself something, ha! And I’d forgotten about PSG again until last night during my A-HA moment.

  4. Susan Helene Gottfried February 26, 2009 / 9:30 pm

    Holy huge gardening, my friend! You’re not about to go off the grid, are you? (and if you do, can I come play, too?)

  5. thommalyn February 26, 2009 / 9:58 pm

    Hiya, Susan! hehe, living off the grid as much as reasonably possible = great thing in my book. And of course you can come play! 😀

  6. The Querulous Squirrel February 26, 2009 / 10:08 pm

    Looks like great exercise and the kind of rocks around here but an earlier spring. Still ice and snow here. Hate to move, But a warmer climate is looking appealing.

  7. thommalyn February 26, 2009 / 10:15 pm

    Hi, Squirrel! You read my mind — I’ve been thinking today about what great exercise gardening is. It’s really enjoyable. And so rewarding: I’m looking forward to having many, many home-grown yummies to put in my stir-fries and casseroles!

    You ought to check out East TN. I’d be happy to call you neighbor! 🙂

  8. Leah J. Utas February 26, 2009 / 10:39 pm

    Gardening?! It was -20C plus a biting wind here this morning and we’ve just had some fresh snow. I long to get out and dig in the good green earth, but it’ll be May before that’ll happen.
    Snowball looks like she knows her way around a garden.

  9. thommalyn February 26, 2009 / 10:54 pm

    -20C? Brrrrrr, Leah!! A cold front will be pushing in tomorrow, cooling things down for a bit, but we won’t get anywhere near -20C. Keep snug and warm!

    Yeah, Snowball’s a great little cat. An excellent Kitty Supervisor, and everybody knows how humans are in need of Kitty Supervision (or is that Kitty Snoopervision?). 😉

  10. Dorothy February 27, 2009 / 2:17 am

    Okay, KS, now I’m jealous! Your daffodils are beautiful, too.
    I love big gardens, especially the veggie type. Those days are past for me, of course, apartment living doesn’t give room for such things anymore. I still plant tomatoes in pots and sometimes squash among the flowers. I’m also a rock nerd. I love to collect all sizes of rocks. I suppose if I lived in Ireland or England I’d be busy making rock walls excavated from my garden plot. Fairy gardens, too. 🙂

    I can’t wait to see pictures of your garden’s progress!
    ((((hugs a bunches, BGF/KS))))

  11. Dorothy February 27, 2009 / 2:19 am

    Oh, I forgot to mention that beautiful white cat. What a wonderful assistant. At first I thought you let Marilyn outside.

    hugs, again, KS….D

  12. Annie Wicking February 27, 2009 / 9:36 am

    How lovely to see more of your home, Thomma Lyn. Every time I visit you I feel I know you more even though we have never met or spoke to each other I feel we are truly friends.

    Is your writing cave made out of the same rocks?

    Best wishes as always. ((((Hugs)))

    Annie & Orocarni

  13. thommalyn February 27, 2009 / 11:47 am

    Hi, Dorothy! Yes, Snowball is a wonderful assistant. 🙂 She has a boyfriend, too. A big grey tomcat I call Bukowski. They both have homes, but they like to hang out here, and boy do Snowball and Bukowski love each other!

    This is the first time I’ve done big gardening since I was a kiddo. It’s going to be fun. I’ve already discovered how much I love working in the garden. And hehe, yeah, those rocks! Hubby and I are gonna figure out something cool to build with them. I’ll definitely keep you posted on how the garden is going! It’s a work in progress, kind of like a novel (except you can’t eat novels, lol) and will be wonderfully rewarding. Big (((((((((hugs)))))))))), dear BGF/KS!

    Hi, Annie and Orocarni! Thank you so much; what a sweet thing to say. I feel we are truly friends, too. And you betcha, my writing cave is made out of those same rocks! They’re big and sturdy, and Grendel feels at home in them, since he’s an East Tennessee dragon. 😀 (((((((((hugs))))))))) from me and Grendel!

  14. Beth February 27, 2009 / 12:15 pm

    I love your garden space! I won’t be planting this year, with our impending move occurring May 1. I will miss it, but I look forward to a TN garden soon!

  15. thommalyn February 27, 2009 / 12:33 pm

    Thanks, Beth! You’ll enjoy your TN garden. And best of luck with your move. I hope things go smoothly. 🙂

  16. julia February 28, 2009 / 7:41 pm

    Your signs of spring are lovely to those of us expecting yet another winter storm. And what a humungous garden!

  17. thommalyn February 28, 2009 / 7:54 pm

    Thanks, Julia! We’re really looking forward to working in the garden. A cold front is pushing through today, so temps are going to feel like winter for a while here, too — but as the daffodils attest, Spring is getting closer and closer!

  18. kimmi February 28, 2009 / 10:02 pm

    drive by hugs, Thomma. Lovely flowers!

  19. thommalyn February 28, 2009 / 10:32 pm

    Thanks, ((((((((Kimmi!))))))))) Spring isn’t here quite yet — a cold front is moving in even as I type, and we might get snow tomorrow. But it won’t be long ’til the flowers are here to stay, at least for a while. 🙂

  20. Marwa Ayad March 1, 2009 / 6:49 am

    Okay, so you have spring over there whereas we’re going through the most horrible winter weather here?

    Did I mention I have one of the worst colds ever? *sniff*

    (((Hugs))), sweetheart.

  21. thommalyn March 1, 2009 / 1:10 pm

    Marwa, I’m so sorry you have a bad cold! How awful. I hope you’re rid of it and feeling better soon.

    Winter is back here for a little while — it’s chilly and we might get a bit of snow.

    (((((((((hugs)))))))))), dear!

  22. This Eclectic Life March 1, 2009 / 9:23 pm

    Do that many rocks grow every year? Maybe you should just grow rocks for construction companies? No wait, the economy is too bad for that right now. Snowball is a lovely gardening friend to have. I envy your industrious nature in planting that garden.

  23. thommalyn March 1, 2009 / 10:14 pm

    Hehe! That’s what we’ve got: a rock garden! That isn’t far off the mark. 😉 We’re lucky the soil is good, even though it’s plenty rocky.

  24. Amy Ruttan March 2, 2009 / 7:18 pm

    I finally made it here TL! The new site looks great, and that garden … WOW. You’re making me hungry thinking about all the yummy fresh veggies and stuff.

  25. thommalyn March 2, 2009 / 8:36 pm

    Hi, Amy! Glad you made it. 😀 And I can’t wait to plant — then pick and cook with — those fresh veggies.

  26. Annie Wicking March 3, 2009 / 3:56 pm

    Hi Thommalyn.. Wow what a weekend! But now I’m sorted I much happier. I thought I had lost everyone. I’m so glad to have you & Grendel back too.

    I emailed Dorothy so I do hope she will join us all soon for tea and cakes.

    Lots of Love,
    Annie & Orocarni

  27. thommalyn March 3, 2009 / 6:40 pm

    *whew*, Annie! I’m so glad things are sorted out again for you. Grendel and I are so relieved! We love your blog. And I’m sure Dorothy will be aboard very soon, too!

    Love and best wishes and ((((((((hugs))))))))) to you and Orocarni!

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