Dogs in the Choir (and they sing better than me) – Day 129

Day 129
Listening to:  God and Dog by Wendy J. Francisco
Thought for the day:  If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.  ~St. Francis of Assisi

Today my church hosted a community service to bless our animals.  I took Pearl.   She wanted to leave as soon as we got there.  A neighbor of mine suggested that Pearl may have thought we were attending a last rites ceremony.    I’m not sure what she thought.   Anyway, Pearl and I joined other neighbors and their pets in song, prayer, and special blessings for each pet.  Oddly enough, when we began to sing a song about dogs and God, several of the dogs joined in with their own praise via barks and howls.  It was surreal and perfect in a divine way. There were a few cats in attendance too.  None of them sang.  It was a song about dogs……..duh.    I didn’t see a single dog lose their mind over the presence of the enemy.  Pearl even maintained composure!

Thanks to Jay Voorhees for planning this special event.  I have no doubt that Pearl is a gift to me from God.  Today’s ceremony was more about me saying thanks to God than about ensuring Pearl is blessed.

My Marching Band Melting Pot ‘O Friends – Day 128

Day 128
Listening to: Whatz Up……… what’s up, what’s up, what’s up…… (I be rappin’)
Thought for the day: Music is what feelings sound like. ~Author Unknown

It’s 1:30 a.m. and I just got home to find a message in my inbox from a good friend that said, “Didn’t see your post today. Just checking in on you. You not having a post up is kind of like…an Amber alert.” He is RIGHT. If y’all don’t see me post, you should worry. I am committed! It’s nice to have someone check on me! For the record, I’m safe and sound.

I spent the day and night with my marching band friends at the Traveller’s Rest Marching Invitation at John Overton High School (on Jo Ann Hood field). My pot of marching band friends is a melting pot. I think I know someone from just about every school that competes. Young and old! Among those friends are the two in today’s photo. They represent Columbia Central. Most of you already know Sean Murphy, Rick’s son. The young woman is Sean’s adorable girlfriend Brianna. They are such wonderful young adults and I’m glad I got to spend a little bit of time with them today. BTW – if you see CCHS’s show, this is the couple that does the awesome partner’s dance in the middle of the field. Dancing With the Stars! SIGN THEM UP!

I love all of my band friends……………. A LOT. Their friendships feel like home to me.

Riding on Top of Trains – 1918 – Day 127

Day 127
Listening to:  Greatest American Hero
Thought for the day: “I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”  ~Yogi Berra

This is a special (and long) historical post for my Old Hickory peeps, especially Jerry Barnes who has been a good friend to me.  I’m taking this information directly from the 1971  thesis of David E. Brand.  I can’t write it better than him!

Trains – 1918

Photo:  One of the many trains in Old Hickory, Tennessee during the 1918 effort to construct a munitions plant during WWI.

In many ways, the Old Hickory community extended far beyond the reservation boundaries.  Fewer than half of the employees were residents of the village; especially in the early days of the project, the majority of the workers lived in Nashville. For them, commuting to the plant site was a lengthy and often uncomfortable chore.

Workers could board a special train in downtown Nashville at Union Station and travel from there the seventeen miles to the plant.   Workers who had to travel great distances to get to Union Station often spent as much as four hours daily getting to work and home again (on top of a 10 hour shift).  As early as April, 1918, nearly 10,000 workers traveled to work via railroad

By June and July, when the construction was at its peak, trains hauling building materials and equipment clogged the railroad lines and spur tracks running to the plant.  By that time there were nine passenger trains with a total of nearly 160 cars running daily to the plant.

On at least two occasions there were riots or near riots at Old Hickory.  Both of the incidents were related to commuter trains returning workers to Nashville in the evening.  Because of the long work day and the length of time it took to get back to Nashville, there was always competition to get out of work rapidly and onto the first train heading for Nashville.  In the summer the trains were very hot ad some men began riding on top of the cars.  DuPont officials decide this was unsafe and ordered the guards to forbid any train to depart while men were riding.  One evening approximately a hundred men refused to move inside the cars.  They threw stones at the guards and attempted to take over the engine and operate the train themselves.  The guards arrested twenty-three men for their participation in the fracas.

Kris’s comment?  AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR COMMUTE WAS BAD………….. says the woman who only drives a mile to work every day!   AND CAN YOU IMAGINE the train whistles?

David E. Brand
Thesis  – Vanderbilt University – May, 1971 – READ THIS IF YOU CAN!  It is excellent.  I really want to find this guy.


Day 126
Thought for the day: About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
Listening to: Africa


I went in for a mammogram today. Statue chickens behind fences have nothing to do with boobs and X-rays, I know this. However, I drove by the chickens on my way to the exam and took a photo of them. I drive by the imprisoned chickens all of the time. They were intended for a blog on another day. However, when it was time for my mammogram, I had to put my cell phone in a locked cabinet. I couldn’t capture a photo of “the moment.” After locking up my phone and stripping from the waist up, I donned a teensy cape. No hospital gown………a mere slip of fabric. When I stepped out into the waiting room, I wasn’t thinking about my barely covered breast. I was so upset that I couldn’t take a picture of the boob smashing machine that I didn’t realize one of my boobs was hanging out of the cape. I sat down, one boob saluting the world, and I started thinking about the chickens and how cool one would look on my porch with Christmas lights on it………..and how it would piss one of my neighbors off. I had a sudden need to free the chickens. It was at that moment I realized I’d freed one of my boobs instead. I bet I’m the only person on the planet who has flashed a boob and thought about caged statue chickens simultaneously……….ever.

The chickens, by the way, are prisoners of a run-down ghost town of store that closed a long time ago. It’s chock full of crap waiting to be treasurized. I drool at the thought. It sits along one of the main roads through my community. I drive by it all of the time and  yell, “FREE THE CHICKENS.”

My Dog, the Sommelier – Day 125

Day 125
Listening to: Moon River (RIP Andy Williams)
Thought for the day: “Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness…” – Richard Bach

Pearl wanted to show you what a friend of mine left on our doorstep today. She says this wine has a beautiful bouquet. She can smell it through the cork you know (we didn’t open it tonight). I’m going to start calling her Vanna White Pearl if y’all keep giving me stuff.

I’m having a bad week. Monday was the worst. It sucked like a caveman catfish vacuuming up its first meal on the bottom of the lake. I cried a lot. I know. It is difficult to believe I could be sad considering how wonderful my weekend was. Nothing went right on Monday. In fact a few things went horribly awry. I’m not particularly fond of this time of year anyway, but it’s like Monday poked a hole in my Sunday gas tank of happiness. A very good friend of mine witnessed my struggle. There is no doubt in my mind this friend cares about me. Despite this fact, the friend left me a bottle of wine on my front porch today………….. a simple gesture to remind me they care. I’ve witnessed more than once during the past week the definition of what a friend should be. I’m probably beginning to sound like a broken record here, but thank God for the quality of friends I have!


Day 124
Listening to: Double Dutch Bus
Thought for the day:  A friend accepts us as we are yet helps us to be what we should.  ~Author Unknown

Pearl wanted to show you what we got in the mail today!  NFL TITANS FACE TATOOS!!!  Beth, a very good friend from my childhood, mailed them to me in response to her role as one of my “special teams coaches” in the Make Kris a Fan effort.

Last week, I made the comment that it takes a village to raise a fan. ‘Tis true, ya know.  If I had known how wonderful becoming a fan was going to be, I would have done it a long time ago!   You football fan people are FUN!


Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky – Day 123

Day 123
Listening to: 10:00 news
Thought for the day: Excuse me while I kiss the sky. ~Jimi Hendrix

Deep blue skies herald the change of a season. One of my favorite things about the beginning of autumn is the color of sky. It is so blue that I am convinced I could dive upward and go swimming in a giant sky swimming pool.

Today is my Granny Sally’s birthday. She has severe dementia and no longer knows who I am. I miss her. These days her world is mostly imagined. She invents new people and events every day. It is my hope and prayer that in her mind she sees blue skies like the one we had today despite being a prisoner of her body.

My First Titans Fan Experience – Day 122

Day 122
Listening to: Pain Train
Thought for the day: GO TITANS!

I had a blast today. Every football game fan experience must begin with tailgating. My game experience started in a tailgating mecca with complete strangers. On Thursday, a friend of a friend ( Lori LeFort ) saw my post about my red neck jersey and decided to invite me to join her tailgating group. That’s exactly what I did. I met some wonderful people and made many new friends. Lori happens to be the chairperson for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure taking place October 27. She is pure inspiration with a heart full of infinite kindness.

As tailgating ended, Sabrina Hopkins-Kronk met me and we began our journey. First up? Buying tickets from a scalper.

When I was younger, my dad took me to Tijuana, Mexico with intent to teach me bargaining skills. When we got there, all I saw was poverty. I had no interest in bargaining. I wanted to give them all of my money. I failed miserably. The same thing happened today. When Sabrina and I went to buy tickets from a scalper, she was working the deal hard. Then I had to open my mouth. I wanted to give the man money. Sabrina kept sssshhh-ing me. SHE KNEW WHAT SHE WAS DOING. In the end she won despite my efforts to give the guy more money. Some things never change.

Thanks to Lori and Sabrina both for helping to make my day so wonderful!

A Fish’s WTF Moment – Day 121

Day 121
Listening to:  St. Elmo’s Fire
Thought for the day:  The grass is always greener when you water it.

Awhile back I posted a picture of the fishing boats lined up in my employer’s parking lot like they were contestants in a boat beauty pageant.  The guys I work with designate one day a week throughout the summer to try out-fishing each other.  Their efforts always come to a close at the end of September with a “fish-off.”  After the fish-off, they hang out, weigh their fish, and then celebrate with a lunch worthy of a fisherman.  I decided to join them for the lunch.  Today’s photo features the weigh-in of the day’s catch.  As I stood and watched, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through the minds of the fish.  They’re dumped in a laundry basket, weighed, and then released back into the lake.  If I was a fish, it’d definitely be a WTF moment.  Just for the record, if I ever start fishing, y’all need to seriously do an intervention.  I hate to fish.


Vampires Who Suck Symphony Energy – Day 120

Day 120
Listening to:  Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Thought for the day:  I am excited.  I can’t tell you why yet.

It’s 1 a.m.  I just received a compliment on Twitter from one of the artists of the TV show The Simpsons concerning a Photoshop job I did where I combined Mitt Romney and Sideshow Bob.  At first I thought I was in trouble.  Basically, he ended up patting me on the back.  What a weird world social media is.


Nashville Symphony!  TWICE IN TWO WEEKS!  I must be blessed.  Two weeks ago, I sat on the very front row.  Tonight I sat in the very top balcony.  It was no less spectacular.  I love music.  I feel so much energy from it.  As I sat listening tonight, I decided that there has to be some way to turn the exertion and beauty a symphony emits into an alternative energy.   Then my mind wondered into the realm of the need to  write a book about zombies/vampires/cubicle workers who must suck the energy off a symphony to survive (versus blood/brainz/or cubicle chocolate).    What do you think?  If I tossed some illicit sex into the story, would you buy it?

Thanks to my beautiful friend Carol for allowing me to use her extra ticket tonight!