Gluttony – Day 183

Day 183
Listening to:  Believe
Thought for the day:  Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

I came. I saw. I conquered.  Mission Thanksgiving Gluttony accomplished.  Thank you Mom!

HEY!  I’m officially half way through the 365.  Let me take this day of thanksgiving to thank ALL of you who read, comment, like, and/or talk to me about my 365 effort in person.  There are days this project is difficult.  Other days it’s a breeze.  Either way, it’s YOU who keep me motivated.  I am thankful for each of you.

Daughters and Zombie Christmas Trees – Day 182

Day 182
Listening to: My Favorite Things
Thought for the day: The soul is healed by being with children. ~Old English Proverb

December and I have not gotten along very well since my parents divorced when I was eight and I was immediately shoved into the bright harsh light of THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS. I recently decided I was going to fight tooth and nail to have a good holiday season this year no matter what. What better way than to kick all off the holiday season with my hilarious daughter, Christian. She helped me pick out my Christmas tree today. This photo features my tree being shoved through the Christmas tree netting device. In my opinion it is one of the coolest inventions; so simple yet so useful.

Christian and I laughed almost the entire time we were together today. From me telling her my theory that cut Christmas tree zombies will rise up and eat all of humanity to her fearing I was going to ninja chop the Lowe’s employee for carrying the tree to my car (I am a control freak and she knows it) to hunting for her an ugly-ass Christmas sweater at the Goodwill to discussing my love life………. we giggled like two long-lost friends. In a way we are. If today is any indication of what December holds for me, I stand a very good chance of overcoming any holiday malaise that comes my way. I do love my children more than anything.

Zebras and Peeping Toms – Day 179

Day 178
Listening to: Great is Thou Faithfulness
Thought for the day: Gosh that takes me back… or is it forward? That’s the trouble with time travel, you never can tell. ~Dr. Who

A few weeks ago, while I was walking Pearl, she decided to stop in front of this house. It was built in 1918 to house one of the upper-level managers of the gunpowder plant built in Old Hickory, Tennessee to supply munitions to the Allied forces during WWI. This photo was taken ~1940 (the house looks a bit different today). While Pearl was poking through the leaves for kitty Roca, I looked in the front window (from the side walk mind you). The photo that was hanging over the fireplace looked similar to the photos that were taken by a photographer hired by DuPont to document the construction of the gunpowder plant (the photos are a distinct size). I, along with a friend of mine, have been trying to locate these photos. They are scattered to the four corners of the planet. I started asking around to find out the name of the occupant of the house so I could ask about the photo. I found a name and an email address. Risking being called a Peeping Tom-ette, I emailed him. He promptly responded and attached a copy of the photo hanging over his fireplace. The photo over the fireplace is a photo of African zebras…………. not 1918, Old Hickory. ONLY ME! I ended up sending him this photo as a peace offering. That was several weeks ago.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting zebra photo man. The minute he started talking, a strong and beautiful German accent fell out of his mouth. Immediately, I started thinking. In 1918 Old Hickory, German spy paranoia was intense. People were regularly detained and questioned for suspicions of being a German spy. Zebra photo man would have been skewered. How cool is it that a German lives in a house built specifically to house a worker of a gunpowder facility built for a war against his country? What if he falls into a worm hole into 1918? I should probably warn him not to speak should he wake up in his house in 1918? Maybe I could go rescue him. I think I have the makings of a book.

A Godless America, a Childless Mall Santa – Day 180

Day 180
Listening to:  Anything Can Happen
Thought for the day:  I gave in, and admitted that God was God.  ~C. S. Lewis

Yesterday, Pastor Jay told the congregation that the fastest growing religion in America is the “Nones.”  Of course, when spoken it sounded like he said “nuns” and I was all like “hey that’s me!”  He had to clarify.  More and more people are choosing to not believe in God or any other superior being.   I was reminded of the Nones today when I saw the mall Santa sitting childless in the mall.  Have the number of children who have stopped believing in Santa decreased?  Probably not.  It is easier to believe in a Santa who brings toys than a God who does not answer a prayer.   I sometimes pray to God like He is Santa.  In the end I know that the prayers he does not answer are sometimes bigger gifts the ones He does answer.  I never felt that about the Santa that didn’t bring me what I asked for.

I smiled at the mall Santa when I passed by.  He waved back at me relieved to be jolted from his mall hell Christmas song looped boredom.    I should have had my photo made with him.  Should have, would have, could have.  Next time.

Engineering a Halo is Tricky Business – Day 181

Day 181
Listening to: Hark the Herald Angel Sing
Thought for the day: Engineering a halo is tricky business.

Ingredients for a Halo

2 wires
1 headband
1 cup of compassion
2 cups of light
10 cups of love

Bend 1 wire into a circle. Attach a second straight wire to the circle. Wrap the end of the wire not attached to the circle around the headband. Wrap the tinsel around the wire. Mix the compassion, light, and love and then sprinkle generously over the entire halo.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher announced around Thanksgiving we were going to do a nativity scene-based play for Christmas. I feverishly wanted to be Mary. It was not to be. I was relegated to the angel brigade. I scoffed. One of my angel friends (there were 3 of us) convinced me that being an angel was a bigger deal. I bought it hook line and sinker and embraced the importance of angelhood with serious intent. My mom made my costume………………….and the halo. I have no doubt she sprinkled it with compassion, light, and love. I wore the halo long after the play was over and until it fell apart. These days I try to wear a metaphorical halo every day. It doesn’t always work out. I made a real halo this week to serve as a symbolical reminder.

Thank you Lori Nutt Browning (one of my kindergarten co-angels) for reminding me of this wonderful childhood experience. I don’t remember who convinced me that it was better to be an angel than Mary, but it is entirely possible it was Lori.


Angels, Fairies, and Cousins…..oh my…. Day 176

Day 176
Listening to:  Holiday Road
Thought for the day:  I’m not THAT kind of angel. ~Michael


Some days Facebook makes me want to punch something.  Then there are the days it makes me laugh.  Other than getting to see what my children are up to in their college lives, one of my favorite things about Facebook is getting to watch my cousin’s lives unfold.   I’m talking first cousins, second cousins, and even third cousins.  Typically, I get depressed looking at their happy lives.   That was not the case this week.   For some reason, this week, I slowed down and really looked at some of the photos they were posting.  EPIPHANY!   In every single photo, I could see a shadow of at least one of my four grandparents whether it be the eyes, jaw, smile, or overall demeanor.  It was absolute magic!   God, I love family.  I immediately shared my epiphany with the Facebook world.  Laura, the wife of one of my first cousins, commented that she thought her daughter resembled me.  So, today’s photo is a photo of her daughter next to a photo of me around the same age.  We are without a doubt related and I see my grandparents in us both!

I’m a Joker, I’m a Smoker….WOAH….Fly Like an Eagle – Day 174

Day 174
Listening to: The Joker
Thought for the day: I found out that talking about cats vs. dogs with neighbors can be as dangerous as politics and religions.

It’s been one of “those” days. I’ve been surrounded by people suffering from anxiety, anger, misunderstanding or pain today. None of it mine, yet all mine. At lunch, fighting the dregs of depression, I hauled myself out of my cave of an office and forced myself into the bright sunlight for a lunch-time walk to the lake. The cool air stung my face. I suddenly felt alive. Halfway into the walk, as I was singing Steve Miller’s song “The Joker” obnoxiously loud, I saw them. Two bald eagles gracefully swooped by me. Suddenly, I felt my spirits soar. I felt hope. I felt happy. I screamed aloud, “THE EAGLES!” They are truly a sight to behold. Beauty defined. I grabbed for my phone camera quickly, but was too slow. I was not to be denied, however. As my walk ended, I saw the heart bush, a reminder not to lose the heart I felt at the sight of the eagles.

A Veterans Day NFL Assignment – Day 171

Day 171
Listening to:  <whispers>  Christmas music
Thought for the day: When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? -George Canning

REMINDER!  DON’T FORGET!  This is what I am doing tomorrow.  I am helping to honor my neighborhood’s veterans.

Since the Old Hickory Veterans Day ceremony will consume Titans viewing time, my Make Kris a Fan coach, Sabrina Kronk, gave me an assignment this week that would not take me away from my training.  She instructed me to research NFL athletes who have served in the military.   I think she forgot my very own coach for Football 101, Collin Mooney #42………..make that 1st Lt. Collin Mooney, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery.  I had no idea who he was when he threw me my first touchdown pass.   Now I feel honored.   He said when he left West Point that the NFL was not his end goal. His grandfather had influenced him to be an officer and that was his initial goal.  Alas, in 2012, the Titans signed him.  I look forward to seeing where his career takes him.   He definitely holds a special place in my new Titans fan heart! 

Spider Nation Foreclosures – Day 170

Day 170
Listening to:  Catch Me I’m Falling
Thought for the day: The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.  ~William Blake

I call this photo “Haunted Morning.”   This web was one of my sights during my walk with Pearl this morning.  Why, when you see a web like this is there no spider?  Spider webs seemed to be a theme for me today.

As I settled into my Friday night, I started doing a little light cleaning.  In the process, I spilled an entire bottle of Windex under my bed. I’d like to tell you there was nothing under my bed, but some things from childhood just don’t change.  What a mess!   My  Windexageddon dominoed into a cleaning effort of epic proportions.  I found spider webs everywhere, but no spiders.  I wonder if Spider Nation is having economy issues causing tons of spiders to loser their homes to spider foreclosure.

The Best Hazmat Relief for Scrooge Brain Leakage – Day 168

Day 168
Listening to:   The Escape Song
Thought for the day:  The power of strangers can be equivalent to that of the stars that illuminate the sky.

Wednesday Night Dinner Club – Urban Grub Fish Pit & Southern Cantina

I absolutely love this place.  The atmosphere consists of gobs of fireplaces, low lighting, and the kind of food that makes you long for winter nights.  Me?  I ate lobster spaghetti (slurp-recommend).  My love for several fireplaces, good food,  and dear friends was compromised by the view from my seat (photo).  MOTHER EFFIN CHRISTMAS! Yes. It is a Christmas tree stand………..on NOVEMBER 7th!!!!  I don’t like Christmas.

Despite Ebenezer Scrooge hazmat liquid leaking into my brain, my group talked me into joining them at the bar after dinner for a dessert drink. At one point, a very handsome stranger across the bar bought my whole group a drink.  As we were leaving, I introduced myself and he told me how beautiful I was.   Sigh.  It made my night.  My day.  My week.  He didn’t want anything from me or my group.  It was a true act of kindness.  Some day I’ll be like him.

Oddly enough, tonight’s experience wasn’t too different from the last time I was at Urban Grub.  Remember?  If not, here it is…..