Wednesday, July 27, 2016


  After six LONG weeks without internet, I have reconnected with the world, and though it's slow going, with an intermittent connection--because I live in the middle of a beautiful nowhere--I feel so...modern!
  Three months ago, I applied for the job of Executive Chef at John C. Campbell Folk School. Check it out:  Now, you all know that I'm a pastry chef, not a chef of cuisine.  YOU know that, but they didn't know it.  I'd been teaching cuisine this spring, that's true, and I'd learned a lot, mostly that I already knew how to cook better than I thought I did.  But I applied, and had an interview in May.  At the end of the month, they offered me the job, and offered to pay me what I was making at both jobs I was working in Knoxville. 
  So, the pets and I relocated.  I started on June 9, and I won't lie:  It's been a rocky road.  I inherited a staff that was hired quickly when everyone walked out with the former chef, and a couple of people who'd been rapidly promoted out of their depths to run the kitchen in his absence.  Three of those people have left since then, for various reasons, and I'm desperately looking for cooks and dishwashers, but I've promoted two really strong people, and the menus are becoming my own.  You crafty friends out there are very welcome to come to the folk school, take classes, eat my food, and come by to say hi.  
  The pets have settled in, mostly.  Since Carol took the kittens to live with her, Weftie has become very affectionate, and I'll say it, a little needy.  But he's never moved before, and considering all the changes that happened to him in just a few months, he's doing well.  Leo's always a cool cucumber.  He's done a little too much exploring, running outside, into the woods, and not returning for hours.  Scares the be-jesus out of me!  He's too slow nowadays to outrun danger.  
 Bella and I have been making almost-weekly trips to Knoxville, to check on the house, and to bring things I miss back to Brasstown.  This week, she had to ride in the front seat, and got this picture of her, as she stared at me while I drove.  She's evolving into a country girl, enjoying the walks up and down the mountain we live on.  The deer freak her out still, but she loves to hang out on the deck.

Ruby Suby has had trouble adjusting, and had to have her brake rotors polished to stop the annoying squealing she was making as she made her way down mountains.  There is not straight way from Brasstown to Knoxville, and it's all up and down the Appalachians.  It's beautiful, but it's hard on a girl's brakes.

Without the looms, I've been knitting a lot.  I've finished a sweater, almost finished a pair of socks and have knitted a lot of fussy, tiny lace.  

 But mostly, I've been working.  Even though the kitchen has been very challenging, being surrounded by artists has been wonderful.  I needed new soup bowls, and I called the resident potter, who whipped up 15 new bowls in a week.  And they're gorgeous.  His name is Mike Lalone, and his stuff is sold in the Craft Shop at the folk school.  You need some of his work in your house, don't you?
 And the ladle on the right was made for me as a thank you gift from one of the blacksmiths when I made some baked potatoes and baked beans for their cook out.  It is so lovely!  It now hangs by my front door in a place of honor.  

  This past week, LouAnn and her sister, Joyce helped me move two looms to Brasstown, but I haven't had time to work on them yet.  This Saturday, I turn 59, and haven't decided how I'll celebrate yet, but some time might be devoted to getting the turned overshot warp re-wound and woven.  I will definitely take time to enjoy the deck, with the flowers I've rescued from the Near Death Plant Rack at Lowe's.  Here are some examples:

I promise to be in touch more in the future, and hope you can all take a class at the folk school in the near future!