Friday, February 29, 2008

Leapin' Lizards!

Leaping' Lizards, Lady! What are you doing in that white stuff?

While I was outside shooting snowdust, my two dogs decided to check out why I had disappeared. (If you look at the reflection in the door window, you can see snow on the roof and ground across the street. ) I keep telling them curiosity killed the cat, but they need to know everything!

Decker is wearing the E-collar because the groomer accidentally clipped his skin a few weeks ago, and last week he decided to start clawing at it. I put the collar on him, but since it wasn't getting better, I ended up taking him to the vet the other day. Now he's on antibiotics (oral and cream) and the E-collar for another week or so. It's pretty funny to watch him walk around with it as he lumbers wherever he goes, and the thing just bounces along with him. Kasey has had to wear it at times, and it always freaks her out for the first day or so, and she walks around as though she were embarrassed to death.

Because it's so big, occasionally it will catch on a wall or table leg or something when they walk by. Decker will just plug on, either forcing the collar to move with him, or he turns his head enough so that it unsticks. If Kasey is wearing it and it catches, she stops and stands there as though someone had put up a blockade.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, E-collar is short for Elizabethan collar because it resembles the collars of dresses women wore during the Elizabethan Era. Its size prevents the animal from clawing at a sore on its face, or from chewing on a sore somewhere else on its body.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

White Out

We awoke both yesterday and today to another dusting of snow on the ground. Very little snow stayed on the ground, as usual. The flakes would fall. The sun came out. The snow would melt. The snow would fall. The sun came out. The snow would melt. The cycle repeated itself at least seven or eight times yesterday. I took today's photo in the early afternoon during one of the snow storms. You can tell how big the snowflakes were just from how they look in the photo. It was quite amazing.

Early in the day, a thin layer of black ice covered roads in a lot of the Middle Tennessee area, so most area school districts closed. I know that makes a lot of you who live in the snow belt laugh since schools stay open even if the snow is a foot deep, but icy roads are a different matter. While we do have salt trucks and some snow removal equipment, they do not always get to the rural routes. Icy roads, which are hazardous for cars, can be lethal for school buses and trucks.

On I-24 north of Nashville, there were several accidents that caused a backup of over 40 miles. One of my husband's morning anchors lives in Hopkinsville, KY (a little over an hour north of Nashville) and was stuck in that traffic jam for over four hours. She mentioned that it took almost three hours for her to go a mere five miles.

Most of the ice really did affect only really rural (hilly) areas and the counties north of Nashville. I had an 8 AM doctor's appointment at one of the Vanderbilt Medical Clinics and encountered only dry roads all the way from home to the university area. Apparently I was the only one of about 20 patients scheduled for the group's morning appointments to brave the weather, though.

We did have snow on the ground this morning, about the same amount as is visible in the photo above. It's almost all gone now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Close To Everything

Situated west and north of Nashville and Davidson County, Cheatham County advertises that it is "Close to Everything, but Away From it All." Formally established in 1856 by dividing up several other counties, Cheatham County was home to manufacturing, mills, resorts, and a thriving railroad community. The county purchased 50 acres of land from James Lenox, founded Ashland City and made it the county seat in 1859. The Cheatham County Courthouse (above) replaced the temporary courthouse in 1869 and sits in the middle of Ashland City.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Little Crema With My Coffee

Rachel Lehman officially opened Crema last month (Jan., 2008). A nice-size, Crema has the bar (above) with a few seats (They're right in front of the guy who's talking with Rachel.), a few comfy chairs (to the left of where I'm standing), and a few tables and chairs (behind me in front of the window). Crema is currently hosting a display of artwork by Aaron Grayum (Click here to see some of his work.), a Nashville artist.

What I found interesting about Crema is that Rachel, who has spent 10 years in the coffee business, is only 25 years old. Her great-grandfather immigrated from Italy and passed his love for wine, good food and coffee down through the generations.

The other thing that I find great is that Rachel and Ben (her husband) tried to use recycled materials in building Crema. The counter shown above is renewable bamboo, and holding it up are recycled doors (right). Whenever possible, they bought stuff from the local Habitat for Humanity store. They're also using green lighting and trying to recycle (not something done by the metro trash pick-up).

While Crema is all about coffee, they do offer a few pastry options - cookies, scones, etc. - although they get them from a local bakery.

Having owned an independent store, I know how much work and love go into a place like this. And, with franchises competing for business, survival can be hard. But, I think that Crema offers great coffee (It was the best latte I've ever had.), good service, and a comfortable place. I think they'll do fine.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Morning Coffee

Monday morning is a great time for coffee. Well, actually, any morning is!

One month ago, Crema, an independent coffee house opened in the Rolling Mill Hill area, an up and coming district of Nashville. The owner (an barista), Rachel Lehman, named her shop for the foam that's produced when making a good espresso. I ordered a non-fat latte (above) and was delighted by both the foam art and the beverage.

By the way, I had no idea that coffee art existed as that isn't a specialty in Starbucks. Apparently, though, there are a lot of independent coffee houses that take pride in the designs they make with frothed milk. If you're interested in seeing more, click here .

Tomorrow, I'll show you the inside and tell you what makes Crema unique (besides the great coffee).
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Little More of the Snow Dust

While on our quest to find some good snow shots yesterday, we drove on some roads that are not too far from our house but on which we had never been. Actually, we didn't even know some of them, including the one in today's photo, existed. This road runs along the ridge of a small hill, and it ends very close to where I shot the photo of the barn that I posted yesterday. All of this may look very rural, but there are thousands of suburban homes within a mile radius of where I shot both photos.

Regarding what I found odd when I looked at both yesterday's photo and the one I posted in August: The horses are in the exact same positions, leading me to believe they are huge, wooden cutouts. I'm going to have to drive by there, again, to check it out.
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snow is a 4-Letter Word

It was supposed to warm up in the Nashville area today, but we awoke this morning to find a dusting of snow on the ground. Knowing that it wouldn't remain too long, we went out so I could shoot some photos. By lunchtime, all the snow was gone, although it's still pretty chilly.

Those of you in the north, midwest and/or east are probably laughing at what we call snow. Admittedly, our snow is nothing compared to what falls other places. Having grown up in the snow belt in NE Ohio, I had enough of the white stuff to last me forever. ;-)

By the way, you might recognize this farm as I posted a photo of it in August when we were suffering from the drought. You see what it looked like then by clicking here. Note the water levels in the pond, and there's something else a little odd. Do you notice what it is?

Friday, February 22, 2008

NDP Celebrates #200

We are all travelers
in the wilderness of the world,

and the best that we can
find in our travels

is an honest friend.
~ Robert Lewis Stevenson

As Nashville Daily Photo celebrates its 200th post today, I thought it appropriate to post a photo of the marble globe floating in a fountain in Bicentennial Park. All of us who post photos of our cities or who visit the blogs of posters from around the world are reaching out and introducing others to our daily lives. We are teaching each other a little bit about our cities, our countries, our cultures and ourselves. In doing so, we are hopefully doing something that our governments sometimes cannot do . . . We are becoming friends.

I'll point out that Tennessee is the white spot on the globe, and the lines emanate from Nashville.

If you missed my first post about the globe and want to learn a little more about it, click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Birdhouse Thing III

Decorated by Taylor Swift, the birdhouse above is shaped a little differently than most of the others. Artists have the perogative to change the birdhouses however they like by pulling them apart, adding bases or legs or knobs, changing shapes and putting them back together. Both of the other two birdhouses retained their original shape while adding a bit to the base.

The birdhouse to the right, donated by Brad Paisley, sits on a post and resembles a rural mailbox. The red birdhouse (below left), donated by the country duo Sugarland, sports red feathers and glitz.

As I wrote in my two previous posts, the W.O. Smith School offers private and group music lessons to children of low-income families. The classes, taught entirely by a volunteer faculty, cost 50 cents per child per lesson. The school, through donations from the public and other means, is able to loan over 150 instruments annually to children who cannot otherwise afford them. The students do not pay extra for the instruments, music or instructional materials. NBC weatherman Al Roker, donated a truckload of instruments to the school last year through his "Al Lends a Hand" segment of the Today Show.

Over 350 children attend the more than 500 classes at the school. Unfortunately, the school has to turn away students due to space limitations. For years, two old houses have served as the school, and they offer only a total of about 2000 square feet of space. Fortunately, they have been able to start construction on a larger site. School administrators expect to be in the building later this year.
If you would like to watch a brief video on the school, click here to go to the school's website. At the bottom of the home page, click on the television.

Tomorrow is a special day for Nashville Daily Photo. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The BirdHouse Thing II

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Nashville-area artists, celebrities and musicians decorate birdhouses which the W.O. Smith School auctions the birdhouses to raise funding for the school. The birdhouses I'm showing you today were all decorated and donated by Country Music stars. Some of the birdhouses will be on the Country Music Television Auction website from March 7-21. Kenny Chesney's birdhouse has a pirate theme going, while Rascal Flatts (right) is a little more into Las Vegas with the card/dice decorations. One of the other artists told me that Wynona (left) and her two children decorate a birdhouse every year.

William Oscar Smith, from whom the school gets its name, graduated from NYU in the early 40s, but continued his education at University of Texas and University of Iowa, where he received his PhD. After serving as a band director in the US Army during WWII, he was a back-up musician to Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie and played at the Cotton Club and Savoy Room. However, once his children were born, he moved his family to Nashville so that he could teach at Tennessee State University. In addition to his work at TSU, Smith was also the second African-American to play with the Nashville Symphony, playing viola and bass. During his 30 years at the university, Smith saw the need for music education for children who couldn't afford it, and two years after his retirement from the university, the W.O. Smith School opened. Smith passed away in 1991.

Tomorrow, I'll show you a couple more celebrity birdhouses and tell you a little more about the school.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The BirdHouse Thing

Since 1984, the W. O. Smith School has offered music education to students who could not afford lessons or instruments. The school offers classes in all band and orchestra instruments, guitar, piano and voice, as well as composition, theory, technology and recording. The faculty includes over 100 area musicians who donate from one to four hours weekly to instruct the more than 350 children who attend classes.

The school receives funding from art councils and foundations, gifts and grants from corporations and individuals. And, for the past seven years, the school has raised funds through The BirdHouse Thing (Click for more information.) Every year, interested area artists, musicians, officials and individuals decorate birdhouses that are then placed on display and finally auctioned. The event organizers provide the birdhouses (which differ in size and shape each year), and each artist decorates his/her birdhouse however he/she wishes. No two are ever alike.

I decorated the doghouse/birdhouse at the top of this post. Included with my birdhouse are a number of dog-related snacks and items as well as a handmade scrapbook for the "TOP DOG" in the buyer's life. The roof (lid) comes off to reveal a place to hide dog treats.

Tomorrow I'll show you a few of the birdhouses donated by some people whose names you might recognize and tell you a little more about W. O. Smith.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ghost Ballet

This beautiful sculpture, Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks is the first of what should be a number of projects funded by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission. Artist Alice Aycock designed the piece which stands on the east bank of the Cumberland River, across from downtown Nashville. Ghost Ballet is 100 feet high, 100 feet wide, and 60 feet deep, and, depending on the angle from which you're viewing it, it takes on a different appearance. It sits, by the way, on what remains of a crane from which the Nashville Bridge Company built and launched bridges.

Ghost Ballet is stationary, but Aycock says that it evokes "static movement," meaning you can see movement in its structure. Aycock, whose works have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as at the Philadelphia Airport and San Francisco Public Library, used steel, industrial metals and neon to build the piece.

COMING TOMORROW: The Birdhouse Thing

Sunday, February 17, 2008

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church is located on TS Jackson Ave. N near the campus of Tennessee State University. Founded in 1898, St. Andrew's is a member of the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee (Presbyterian Church -USA). This beautiful, colonial church sits on a hill with a commanding view of the surrounding area.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is part of the James K Polk Cultural Arts Center in downtown Nashville. The Center occupies an entire city block and includes four performance theaters, the Tennessee State Museum, and an 18-story office tower. TPAC (pronounced T-PAC) offers over 500 performances annually, including Broadway productions, performances by the Nashville Opera, Nashville Ballet and Tennessee Repertory Theater, and other musicians and performance artists. In addition, private groups can rent out the venues for dance recitals, concerts, plays, and more. Prior to its move to the Schermerhorn Center in 2006, the Nashville Symphony performed at TPAC.

TPAC is also home to Humanities Outreach in Tennessee, an award-winning program that offers arts-in-education programs for the students and teachers in Tennessee.

This weekend, the popular Broadway show, Spamalot, is playing TPAC.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blue Skies, Smiling at Me

Blue skies, smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see
Blue days, all of them gone
Nothing but blue skies,
From now on. . .
~ Irving Berlin

Over the past two weeks, the Nashville area has experienced some very weird weather shifts. Last week was rainy, windy, cloudy and grey. At the beginning of the week, temperatures were in the low 70s, After the tornadoes last Tuesday, temperatures dropped dramatically. The wind did do a good job of chasing the clouds away, and for the past few days, we've had beautiful, blue skies.

Here are a couple of interesting statistics about Nashville weather:
* Nashville averages 102 clear days, 106 partly cloudy days, and 156 cloudy days annually.
* The average, annual daily temperature is 59 degrees.
* The average annual rainfall is 47 inches.
* Since 1954, there have been 20 major tornadoes in metro Nashville - 10 of them since 1994.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Harris Music Building

This beautiful, Italianate-style home was built in 1876 for Richard Harris, owner of Harris Furniture Company in Nashville. In the late 1880s, Harris became the first African-American on Fisk's Board of Trustees. W.G. Waterman, a Fisk professor, bought the house from Harris and eventually donated it to the university (1909). In 1927, the university named it the Music Annex, and in 1991, they rededicated it as the Harris Music Building.

A couple of facts about Fisk:
* Over 800 students attend Fisk University.
* Fisk has a graduation rate of 77.7%.
* Over 70% of Fisk's graduates go on to graduate and/or professional schools.
* According to the National Science Foundation, more Fisk graduates obtain PhDs in natural sciences than African-American graduates from any other college or university nationwide.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery

When Fisk opened its doors in 1866, its first priority was educating newly freed slaves who had been denied even the most elementary of educations. Its first students ranged in age from seven to 70 years. The building shown above, completed in 1889, was the first gymnasium built on the campus of a predominantly black school in the United States.

As Fisk grew, the arts became an integral part of the school's curriculum. African art and artifacts have always had a place in the school's collection. In 1871, Queen Victoria donated a painting of the Jubilee Singers to the school - its first major piece of art. Over the years, Fisk added an art department and added to the university's art collection.

Fisk sociology professor, Carl S. Johnson, commissioned the Fisk Murals for the school's library in 1930. When Johnson became Fisk's first black president in 1947, he and his friend, noted photographer, art critic and collector, Carl Van Vechten were instrumental in the school's receiving works of art from the collection of the late Alfred Stieglitz. Georgia O'Keefe, Stieglitz's wife, donated 101 pieces, including photographs, drawings, paintings and sculptures, from the late photographer's collection. In 1949, the gymnasium's was renovated and rededicated as the Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery in his honor.

In 1984, the building reopened after another extensive renovation. Its collection today includes the work of several well-known and upcoming artists. Included are works of Aaron Douglas, Picasso, Renior and others, as well as archived papers of W.E.B . DuBois and Langston Hughes.

Unfortunately, Fisk University is suffering financially. The condition of the art gallery has deteriorated in recent years, and the O'Keefe collection has been in storage since 2005. Even with student tuition and mortgages on the university's buildings, the school is struggling. Fisk has tried to sell two of the paintings from the O'Keefe collection to boost its operating revenue. The O'Keefe Museum has blocked these attempts saying they violate O'Keefe's stipulation that the works not be sold.

On February 9, a judge blocked another attempt by the school to sell partial interest in the collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. The agreement would have sent the collection to the museum owned by Wal-Mart heirs for six months annually. The judge, in ruling against the deal, said O'Keefe's stipulations against sale and that the works remain on display in Tennessee.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fisk Memorial Chapel

Well-known New York architect William Bigelow designed the Fisk Memorial Chapel. Built in 1892, the chapel honors Clinton Fisk, the university's namesake. Home to the Fisk Jubilee Singers, it is still the religious and cultural center of the university. "Arise shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee" is inscribed above the chapel's entrance doors. And, the chapel is home to a Holtcamp Pipe Organ, estimated in value at $2.5 million.

In addition to lectures and presentations, other activities held there include the Spring Arts Festival, convocation, graduation, dance and dramatic presentations. Guests who have spoken from the chapel's stage include Booker T. Washington, Eubie Black, Merle Haggard, Duke Ellington, Jesse Jackson, Robert Altman, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1992, Congress appropriated funds for the Chapel's restoration. Since its August, 1992 rededication, Fisk Memorial Chapel has received awards from the Victorian Society of America, the Tennessee Historical Commission, and the American Institute of Architects (Tennessee).

Tomorrow, we'll continue a look at Fisk and discuss its famous art collection.

Side note: Today is Kasey's 13th birthday. Find out more about her here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fisk University

Six months after the Civil War ended, Rev. Erathmus Cravath, John Ogden and Rev. Edward Smith founded Fisk School, named for Clinton Fisk, first head of the Tennessee Freedmen's Bureau. Fisk provided former Union Army barracks for use, and in January, 1866, the first students began attending classes. Fisk has always been affiliated with the United Church of Christ (originally known as American Missionary Association). In 1872, the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools gave Fisk its Class A Rating, the first for an African-American School. Current president of the university is Hazel O'Leary, former Secretary of Energy during the Clinton Administration.

Jubilee Hall (above) was not only the first permanent structure built on the campus but also the South's first structure built for the education of black students. This Victorian-Gothic structure is named for the world-famous Jubilee Singers, a group of students who traveled the world bringing the world a new musical genre - the spiritual. They set out in 1871 and raised enough funds to build the hall and save the fledging university. The current Jubilee Singers still perform regularly, and with upcoming performances scheduled for Knoxville, Roanoke, Chattanooga, and Nashville.

There's a lot more history to Fisk, and tomorrow we'll look at another of its historic buildings.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Nashville Donates

Nashville-area citizens came out in droves this weekend to donate food, clothing and other essentials to those affected by Tuesday's deadly tornadoes. The Mayor's Office of Emergency Management teamed up with the Tennessee Titans to collect donations from Middle Tennesseans. Also participating in the effort were the Adventist Church, BridgestoneAmerica's Emergency Response Team, Pallet Warehouse and Hands On Nashville. Yesterday, donations completely filled four semi-truck trailers. I got there an hour or two after they opened this morning, and they had already filled almost half of another trailer.

The process ran very smoothly. Cars pulled up beside pallets loaded with cardboard boxes. Each box held specific items . . . crackers, soup, diapers, soap, sugar, water, paper towels, men's shirts, shoes, etc. Volunteers unloaded the cars and placed items in their appropriate boxes. Once the car was empty of donations, the driver could leave. It took about 30-60 seconds per car.

Tennesseans take the state's nickname - The Volunteer State - very seriously.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What's an LP?

Thos of you old enough to have been around before CDs, iPods, MP3s, digital recorders, iTunes, etc. probably remember LPs (short for long-playing). Remember the great covers that most of the albums had? I know a few people who frame and display their favorite album covers even today.

I found a wall filled with old album covers (above) in McKay's Used Books and CDs in Nashville. McKay's has quickly become one of my favorite places to browse. They have thousands of books, all neatly arranged on plain, wooden shelves (nothing fancy). In addition, they have CDs, audio books, books on tape, movies, and video games.

Because they are used, the books come in all kinds of conditions, but I've yet to find one in really bad shape. Most of the ones I've bought have actually looked almost brand new. Prices are great . . . I've paid as little as 10 cents for a paperback. One book that I need for my class is running $5-7 used online (plus shipping), and I found it in like new condition at McKay's for $1.

They buy books, CDs, audio books, etc. You can get cash or trade for your stuff. Of course, what they give you depends on the condition of the item, how old the title is, etc. They don't buy everything, but they are fair.

And, they have a bin in front of the store where they put "FREE BOOKS." Anyone can take anything out of the bins. While you might not want some of the stuff in there for reading, you could use it for paper art. There are a lot of paper artists out there that use book pages in collage work.

Back to the album covers. . . .How many do you recognize?
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Friday, February 8, 2008

NDP Editorial Assistants

I thought I would lighten things up a bit today and introduce you to my two editorial assistants, Decker (l) and Kasey (r). In the 8.5 months since I closed Paper Moon, they have been happy to have me home (probably since they don't have to spend the day into the downstairs office with only each other!) and follow me around like little shadows.

They get up early with my husband, and after their morning constitutional and breakfast, they come back upstairs and sleep with me until I get up. When I go downstairs to get my coffee, they trudge down with me. As I head for the stairs to go back up to my office, they race each other to see who can be the first under the desk. They are always ready, willing and able to help if I need their editorial advice on a photo or written piece (right).

And, under the desk is where they stay while I'm working on Nashville Daily Photo, email or my class assignments UNLESS I happen to get up for any reason. Should that happen, they get up and follow me. If I go back downstairs, they run back down. If I go into the bedroom, they follow me there. If I mention the "R" word (ride), they go nuts and knock each other (and sometimes me) over trying to get to the door first.

They are Welsh Terriers. Kasey, the female, is a puppy mill rescue who will celebrate her 13th birthday next week. Decker, the male, is a retired show dog who celebrated his 12th birthday in December. Being small dogs and terriers, they have aged very well. They are both quite active (which you wouldn't know by the photos), vocal (which you would know if you were here and a leaf blew by the window) and funny (which you would know if you were here about two minutes).

Do you have a pet that follows you around?

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures;
they give unconditional love.
For me they are the role model for being alive.
~Gilda Radner

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Storm Aftermath

Because of the tenuous weather conditions still today, I didn't venture too far from home to look for storm damage. Dark, ominious clouds, as you can see in the photo above, rolled through Middle Tennessee all day, and heavy winds continued to blow, also. The storm dumped a lot of rain on Middle Tennessee, and the cow pasture behind our subdivision (and house) flooded in areas. (Those black dots on the water are ducks.)

While Davidson County (Nashville) had little damage, counties north and south suffered a lot of damage. The EF2, super-cell tornado, as officials call it, followed a path that stretched more than 145 miles from Memphis to Lafayette. By the time the tornado reached Macon County, which is a little northeast of Davidson County, it was a mile wide. The tornado devastated Macon County, killing 10 people, destroying over 200 homes, and damaging over 1200 homes.

Winter tornadoes are rare and occur when warm, moist air moving up from the south collides with cold air moving down from the north. Temperatures in Tennessee had reached the 70s earlier this week, but tonight temperatures are in the 30s, again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Oh, Hail

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, severe weather was heading our way late in the day. When the storms hit the Bellevue area (west of downtown and where I live), high winds roared and threw HUGE balls of hail around like styrofoam peanuts. The hail in the photo above is just a portion of what landed on our deck. The largest pieces were 2-inches in diameter, and the smallest ones were 3/4 in. in diameter. We are expecting two more lines of storms to come through the area before morning. . . .One is due to hit around 3, and another is due to hit a little later.

Severe storms and tornadoes attacked the entire state with a vengeance, leaving a path of destruction from west to east. Officials in the Memphis area had to move several polling places to get them out of the storm's path. Tornadoes hit the Jackson, TN around 7 PM, snapping metal power poles and devastating Union University. As I write this shortly before midnight, officials had finally rescued three women caught in the destruction of the women's dorm at the university. In Middle Tennessee, the storms caused a lot of damage in Fairview and a few other smaller towns, and a gas main has blown, causing a huge fire in Sumner County. Worst of all, we have had at least 4 fatalities in the state confirmed at this point.

Meteorologists are saying this is a "significant tornado event" around the Middle Tennessee area, and they expect more damage with the arrival of the additional storms. I'll get out tomorrow and see what kind of damage I can find.

Glad we had the shingles we lost last week replaced. Hopefully, they stayed up during the winds today! ;-)

UPDATE: Sumner County, which is north of Metro Davidson County (Nashville), and Williamson County, which is south of Davidson County, were hit hard by last night's storms. There are were over 24 fatalities (5 in Sumner County) and 150 injuries statewide. To see photos of the damage to the area, click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Duper Tuesday

Today is Primary Election Day in Tennessee and over 20 other states. Pundits are calling this the "do or die" day for a few of the candidates.

While election officials are calling for a record turnout, rain and stormy weather are expected to keep some people home from the polls. A record number of voters already turned out for Tennessee's early voting. Of the more than 3 million registered voters in the state, over 380,000 voted early - more than three times the number of early voters in previous elections.

One advantage to early voting is that the lines are usually very short. The disadvantage is that some of the candidates drop out of the race, so an early voter may end up voting for someone no longer a candidate. I usually early vote and did last week. The lines were short, and my candidate is still in the race.

Regarding weather: When I took this photo around 7:00 AM Central Time this morning, the sky was already ominous, and the temperature had already reached 63 degrees. We're expecting severe storms this afternoon, accompanied by strong winds (The National Weather Service advises they could reach 70 MPH.).

Is your candidate still in the race?

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Little Winter Sunshine

If you have ever been in WF, you know that they have the most wonderful produce departments. Every time I go in, someone is straightening and/or restocking the vegetables and fruits, and every item looks absolutely fresh and bright and delicious. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the tomatoes. Good tomatoes are so hard to find in the winter, and these looked and smelled great. I didn't end up buying any, however, as I thought the price a little too high.

What fruit or vegetable do you miss most in winter?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Java Time

It's grey.

It's chilly.

It's raining. Again.

It's time for coffee. . . .extra hot. . . .2 Splenda. . . .half and half. . . .

How do you like your coffee?
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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Drought? What Drought?

Over the past few days, we have had quite a bit of rain. High winds Tuesday played havoc with roofs (We lost over 100 shingles!), fences, cars, signs, lights, and more. I'm not a fan of driving in rain at any time, but at night, I dislike it even more. I had to attend a function Thursday evening, and traffic was heavy but, thankfully, slow. I thought the glow of the lights on the pavement and through raindrops on the windshield was interesting.

We have not yet hit 60 degrees. . . .We're supposed to be there by Monday. Time will tell, but I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Theme Day: When People Think of Nashville, They Think of

This town is about music.
It's about the kind of music I like.
~ Otis Blackwell

And, when people think of Nashville, they think of country music!

I find that when I tell people I live in Nashville, the first thing they mention is country music. Most people think that's the only music played on radio stations or in clubs.

But, as much as Nashville is the homestead for country music, we are also home to other kinds of music. I read somewhere recently that only LA tops Nashville in the number of music recordings of all kinds made annually. All kinds of music are popular here, not just country. Nashville isn't called MUSIC CITY for nothing!!

The photo of the mural showing legendary country music stars is from the window of the Legends Bar on Broadway in downtown Nashville. (For more information on Legends, check out my earlier post about Legends here.) How many of the stars do you recognize?

There are over 100 other blogs participating in today's Theme Day. Be sure to check them out:

Portland (OR), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Memphis (Tennessee), USA - Manila, Philippines - San Diego (CA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - New York City (NY), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - San Francisco (CA), USA - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - Mainz, Germany - Weston (FL), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Turin, Italy - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Bicheno, Australia - Durban, South Africa - Joplin (MO), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Brussels, Belgium - Chicago (IL), USA - Montpellier, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mazatlan, Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Toulouse, France - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Susanville (CA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Helsinki, Finland - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Lisbon, Portugal - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Trujillo, Peru - Dunedin (FL), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - London, UK - Baziège, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mumbai, India - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Stayton (OR), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Arradon, France - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Athens, Greece - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Jackson (MS), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Budapest, Hungary - Rotterdam, Netherlands - St Malo, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cleveland (OH), USA - Nottingham, UK - Kansas City (MO), USA - The Hague, Netherlands - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Wrocław, Poland - Chateaubriant, France - Cheltenham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Monrovia (CA), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Toruń, Poland - Grenoble, France - Lisbon, Portugal - New Orleans (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Boston (MA), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Wichita (KS), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Christchurch, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Wailea (HI), USA - Aliso Viejo (CA), USA - St Francis, South Africa - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Seattle (WA), USA - Pasadena (CA), USA - Vienna, Austria - Orlando (FL), USA - Torun, Poland - Delta (CO), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Paris, France - Stavanger, Norway - Niamey, Niger - Le Guilvinec, France - Bogor, Indonesia - Saarbrücken, Germany - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Juneau (AK), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Glasgow, Scotland - Chicago (IL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Sydney, Australia - Riga, Latvia - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Terrell (TX), USA - Terrell (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA