Goodbye Christmas 2013

Day 31
Listening to : Your Kiss Is On My List
Thought for the day: Goodbye Christmas 2013! You were good to me this year. Thank you.


Last week at this time there were hundreds of discarded Christmas trees at my local recycle site. Today there were none. Though the trees had been removed, the sky around the site clung to the scent of Christmas like an aging person trying to cling to their youth. The smell of pine was overwhelming and I was flooded with memories of my own holiday as I inhaled the heady scent. It made me wonder. How many memories went to the chipper with these discarded trees (mine was among them)? How many memories are now lost forever? How many people were sad to say goodbye to their tree? How many think the chipper was the proper place for Christmas 2013? So many questions, but here’s the main one. What if you could download everything your Christmas tree saw or everything you felt during the holidays. Would you want this option?

Where is Will Ferrell When You Need Him?

Day 30
Listening to: Cavatina (them music from The Deer Hunter)
Thought for the day: Only that day dawns to which we are awake. ~Henry David Thoreau


Today has been one of those days where reading Facebook has brought me nothing but great sadness (and in one instance extreme sadness). Though I love how Facebook has reunited me with many of you, some days I wish I could go back to the Facebookozoic period (pre Facebook days). I was going to write about today’s sadness, but I just can’t and some of you know why. I decided to post something that would make you and me both smile, so here it is.

Behold. An early example of a photo in a photo almost as epic as Will Ferrell’s as seen here . Who invented this technique? Who thought it was breaking ground in portraitography? NOT ME! By the way, I found Will’s photo by Googling “Will Ferrell Olan Mills.” Most peeps from my generation are in possession of at least one Olan Mills photo. Don’t lie! Show us your #TBT #THROWBACKTHURSDAY Olan Mills photo in all its photo epic-ness! I Throwback Thursday Dare You!

Actually, the “serious” me in this photo sums up my day.

It’ll Make You Forget Your Name

Day 29
listening to: Boys of Summer
thought for the day: The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. ~W. C. Fields (happy birthday W.C.)

SAMSUNG Wednesday Night Dinner Club*** – Pomodora East –

HAPPY BLOCK OF CHEESE DAY!! BOCD was made popular by an episode of West Wing which proclaimed Andrew Jackson kept a two-ton block of cheese in the foyer of the White House as a populist symbol; anyone who was hungry could pop in to the White House for a quick bite to eat. Of course the true story is a tad bit different (Google it if you’re curious). Still. It is a day and it is glorious. Did I celebrate by eating cheese tonight? OF COURSE! I ate a margherita pizza and it was awesome. You cannot go wrong with fresh mozzarella! Obviously, this is not a photo of my pizza. THIS, my friends, was brought to our table to go with the pre-dinner bread. You have to ask for it. It’s not their usual bread dipping goo. It’s some kind of lemon butter sprinkled with magic and a little something, something. It will make you forget your name. Pomodora East is a wonderful restaurant and one of those places that feels like a warm sweater on a cold fall day. It doesn’t hurt that they have a FABULOUS appetizer and cocktail happy hour.

***Wednesday Night Dinner Club – a group of people I eat dinner with ever Wednesday who are loving, loud, and always make me laugh. I grew up in a split family and never experienced eating dinner as a family at a table. This is my reward. The group has been in existence since the 1990s. I joined in 2009.

Where there are Fireballs, There I’ll Be!

Day 28
Listening to: At Last – Etta James
Thought for the day. Two years ago tonight, by invitation, I attended a Tweetup at the White House during the State of the Union! I will never forget it.


On Sunday, I embarked on a 4 mile trek through my neighborhood. During the course of my walk, I noticed at least 10 empty mini Fireball bottles strewn near the sidewalk at random places along the 4 miles (today’s photo is of one of them). Though my dad is a Jack Daniels squire, I’m not a fan of whiskey. It is very rare that I drink it, but when I do it is a Fireball miniature and it is always with a friend. Usually, that friend is Sabrina Hopkins-Kronk, the person who first introduced me to Fireball. When we drink it, we only drink one shot, but that one shot is packed with meaning. The moment is always steeped in ceremonious gratitude for life and friendship. In addition to our love for sharing an occasional Fireball moment, Sabrina and I also share the belief in the old wives’ tale that the discovery of a randomly placed dime is a sign a departed loved one or angel is letting us know they are present. I’ve informed Sabrina that if I die before her, I will leave empty Fireball bottles for her to discover instead of dimes just like I saw Sunday. She loved and approved of my idea! If she comes to Old Hickory Village, she’ll have no trouble finding my presence.

For those who don’t know, Fireball is a cinnamon whiskey that tastes like Red Hots with a kick.

Look! It’s FDR in a 1928 Chevrolet!

Day 27
Listening to: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21 – Andante (happy birthday Mozart!)
Thought for the day: Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~Lewis Carroll (happy birthday to him too)

Jan27 - Tennessean credit

Photo credit: Tennessean 1934 – Roosevelt visits Nashville.

This morning I awoke to the news that President Obama would be visiting the high school where I attended, my children attended, and many of the children in my neighborhood attend. Most of my Twitter and Facebook friends were expressing a mixture of excitement, disdain, and thoughts on potential traffic issues. I suspect the high school was chosen because of the progress the principal has made in the last 5 years. This principal helped me personally keep my sanity during my daughter’s senior year. He’s the real deal.

The whole prospect of a presidential visit made me remember a story that 95-year-old Earlene Jenkins shared with me last year about another presidential visit. In November of 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt came to Nashville. During his visit he made a trip to the Hermitage. His journey to the home of Andrew Jackson brought his motorcade through the heart of Old Hickory Village. With excitement village residents lined the sidewalks of Hadley Avenue (the main road) to await his motorcade. Meanwhile, Earlene’s sister-in-law and husband, clueless to the impending presidential parade, guided a green 1928 Chevrolet on to Hadley and began to proceed down it. Those waiting to catch a glimpse of FDR thought the green Chevrolet was the president and began cheering wildly. When everyone came to the realization of what was happening, there was a lot of laughter and embarrassment. Presidential security was obviously a little bit different back then!

Here is a link to Earlene telling the story: .

Note: I did a little research post interview to get the correct date and reason for his visit.

A Couple Of Good Women

Day 26
listening to: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
thought for the day: The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay


Today the officers for the United Methodist Women’s group in my church were inducted into their leadership roles during our Sunday service. As each woman was called to the front, it dawned on me that I knew half of them before I even began attending this particular church. Their involvement in the community is humbling, without judgment, and reaches past religious boundaries. For me, this means everything. I’m a Christian, but I’m not the greatest in behaving as Jesus would have me behave. The good news though is that I am surrounded by women, not just in my church but in neighboring churches as well, who set a standard that IS Jesus-worthy. The world needs more of these women. I’m grateful they are in my life and it really has nothing and everything to do with being a Christian.

The Threads of Community Care

Day 25
Listening to: Happy (Pharrell Williams)
Thought for the day: History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley


I have to give a history presentation to my coworkers at DuPont in a week’s time (currently working on it). No big deal right? I have to cram 96 years’ worth of Old Hickory-DuPont history in 15 minutes……….not so easy. Most of you know, but if you don’t DuPont was contracted by the United States government in 1918 to build a gunpowder plant and a village to house workers in Old Hickory, Tennessee (my hood) to provide ammunition to the Allied forces in WWI. Thousands of people were employed. It was and still is a truly special place. In the quest to find one particular statistic for my presentation, I stumbled across a book I haven’t seen. The section of the book I stumbled upon focuses on the extreme level of poverty and the community care that existed at that time. Amazingly enough, threads of this care still exist among residents in the neighborhood today. I pray these threads always remain strong. Here is a section from the book that touched me.

From: The Social Origins of the Urban South: Race, Gender, and Migration in Nashville and Middle Tennessee
By Louis M. Kyriakoudes

The poverty of workers arriving at Old Hickory often mirrored that of the southern countryside. So many destitute women were arriving at the plant that the quartermaster department had to set aside dormitory rooms for transient women “stranded without any funds. “ Large numbers of women workers arriving at the plant lacked proper clothing. At first, welfare workers employed by the plant solicited donations of clothing from other women workers, but the need quickly outpaced donations. Old Hickory’s welfare department eventually established accounts with Nashville stores “for the purpose of buying the necessary clothes for girls who reach the reservation destitute. Large numbers of men and women at Old Hickory did not have proper shoes, either. The prevalence of inadequate footwear was not only a sign of the poverty of the recently arrived workers; it also posed a safety hazard. Plant officials estimated that “poor shoes” accounted for one third of the accidents at the plant, as workers slipped or injured their feet stepping on sharp objects.

Trees Give the Middle Finger to Cold Too

Day 24
Listening to:  Sinfonia in C major – Leopold Hoffman
Thought for the day: We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.  ~Herman Melville


Who knew? Trees give the middle finger to the extreme cold too!

When I walked out into the 5 degree air this morning to get in my car, the grips of winter snatched my breath from me in an instant. I said a few curse words and then repeated a few. I don’t know about you, but my brain is convinced that if you curse, you’ll feel warmer. While my brain was busy simmering in a cursing stew of F and S words, I looked across the street to see my retired neighbor walking slowly to get his morning newspaper.  He was smiling, inhaling deeply, and looking up at the sky. He has had a rough go at life lately so his composure made no sense to me. I said, “What on Earth are you looking at?” He looked at me with the warmth of a June day and said, “It’s a beautiful morning. I’m grateful to be alive.” Dumbfounded, I stood there with a small icicle forming from the exposure of my mouth to the atmosphere. Then, I found myself smiling back and I said, “I like your attitude.” The curse words went away and suddenly I felt warm as I saw what he saw.

Snorting Tootsie Rolls? I’ll Stomp You!!!

Day 23
Listening to: September
Thought for the day: The positive side of extreme cold? NO ONE looks thin in a puffy coat.


I want you to look at this! JUST. LOOK. AT IT! My grandmother’s milk-glass vase never looked so good!

Many of you have an equivalent in your lives to my Tootsie Roll/Oreo hang-up. For my coworker, Emma, it’s Smarties.

Today, Emma walked into my office with the most disturbed look on her face. I thought to myself, “OH NO……..poo is about to hit someone’s fan.” I said, “What’s wrong?” She took a deep breathe, released it slowly, looked at me sternly and said, “Girrrrrrrrrl. I just saw on the news that middle school students are snorting Smarties.” I, of course, burst out laughing. Smarties are not my thing. She then said, “NOOOOOO….what if they pull Smarties from the shelf? What will I do?” I said, “You need to start stock piling em now!” I doubted her story, so I Googled it in her presence. It gets worse. Not only are kids snorting Smarties, but snorting Smarties can also lead to nose maggots. NOSE MAGGOTS. WHAT THE HELL!!! All I’ve got to say is……………….KIDS……… do not even entertain the idea of snorting Tootsie Rolls. I will come after you. It will be ugly. Kriszilla will emerge and I will stomp you.

Here is the news story if you are curious.

Cher? No. Karen Carpenter? NO! WHO?

Day 22
Listening to: Revolution
Thought for the day: It’s Restaurant Week in Nashville! If you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know about this week, GO FORTH YOUNG FRIEND AND PARTAKE!!! Here’s a link to the 411


Wednesday Night Dinner Club*** (WNDC) – The Yellow Porch

I’m not going to talk to you about The Yellow Porch’s food. You can’t go wrong with their main menu and their Nashville Restaurant Week menu highlights the best of their main menu. What I am going to talk about is their featured art. The Yellow Porch art selection spotlights artist Shon Hudspeth’s black and white renderings of iconic celebrities (Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe). My WNDC peeps and I figured out the celebrities in all of the paintings except for the one in today’s photo. I guessed Karen Carpenter. Another WNDC peep guessed Cher. The waiter heard the “Cher” guess and responded, “Cher BEFORE plastic surgery.” It’s not Cher or Karen. Any guesses????…………………………… It’s Bo Derek!!!! I would never have figured it out in 100 years. Maybe that’s why they put her painting next to LOVE, a mirror and all of the alcohol!

***Wednesday Night Dinner Club – a group of people I eat dinner with ever Wednesday who are loving, loud, and always make me laugh. I grew up in a split family and never experienced eating dinner as a family at a table. This is my reward.