In case you were beginning to think I'd dropped off the planet, I thought I'd share with you what I've been up to lately, beginning with several road trips.
On the Road Again
Since January, I've been in the following cities making appearances: Roanoke, VA; Montgomery, AL; Milwaukee, WI; Allen, TX; and Augusta, GA. Today I'll be in Wichita, KS, Friday I leave for Abilene, TX, next week I'll be in Los Angeles, and at the end of the month I'll travel to the Baltimore area, then to Dallas. Whew! I sometimes wake up in a hotel room and have to check the area code on the phone to remember what city I'm in. Feeling sorry for me yet? I didn't think so.
The trip to Roanoke was great. I'd never been there before, but I was impressed with the city and its people.
In Montgomery, where due to weather I was stuck for two days more than planned, I visited the Hank Williams Sr. museum, which was a treat. I'm not a big fan of modern country music, but I love the old stuff, and the old Hank stuff is incredible. I also saw a concert featuring Tommy Emmanuel, one of the most amazing guitarist in the world. He sat next to me later that night at the bar and we had a chance to visit. Tommy was actually the warmup act, and I'm not sure that many people in the audience were familiar with his music, but he blew them all away. The headliner was Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, and they were great too. I enjoy the sheer musicianship of bluegrass pickers, and Ricky and the boys played their asses off.
In Milwaukee, I met Tre Wilcox, who was a contestant on season three of Top Chef. My son, Dalton, and I really liked Tre's style of cooking, and although he didn't win (primarily because he wasn't willing to throw everyone else under the bus) he definitely showed his stuff. Tre and I had two dinners together, and we discovered that we had a lot in common. I mentioned that I was going to be in the Dallas area the following week, and he invited me to visit his restaurant in Plano (north of Dallas) called Loft 610. He cooked me an amazing multi-course meal. If you're ever in that area, go by his place and tell him I sent you.
Augusta was great, although it irks me that the officials at Augusta International won't let me in to tour the golf course. I did have a memorable dish of gnocchi with braised short ribs at a place called Bistro 491 -- yummy!
The crowds at these gatherings -- Home and Garden shows -- have been incredible, and naturally the key topic of discussion has to do with HGTV dropping my show altogether. However, the official word from the network is that the show is on hiatus, but will likely return soon as part of a new block of landscaping programs. We'll see.
I've been talking lately to another publisher, and so far so good. The editor totally gets what I have in mind in terms of the book's content and style, and that's encouraging. I expect an offer within the next few weeks, so I'll keep you posted.
Triscuit and Me
I recently agreed to participate in a program with Kraft Foods and their Triscuit brand that I'm really excited about. I'm still not at liberty to divulge the details, but within a couple of weeks I'll make a formal announcement. For now, all I can say is that Triscuit and I are about to take home farming to a whole new level.
In My Garden
I'm beginning to see a few faint signs of spring here at my place. The snow has finally melted, and the ground is no longer frozen. Yesterday I planted potatoes and onions, and soon I'll be sowing seeds of cool-season crops. It's always great to get back in the garden, and I look forward to keeping you updated on what I'm up to.
P.S. The website has been updated for March. Check it out.