Monday, March 31, 2008

Making Fast Friends

Our pets run
42 miles per hour.

If you can't catch them,

Don't let them out!

~ Sign in a house for sale

Meet Nicky (l) and Calypso (r). Along with Hendrix(below left), they greeted the public at Saturday's Greyhound Event held at the new Pet Supermarket in Bellevue (west Nashville). Greyhound Pets of America/Nashville Chapter sponsored the event to educate the public on what great pets greyhounds make. The group does greyhound meet and greets often throughout the year in different venues.

There are greyhound race tracks all over the country, as you probably know. While the dogs are profitable, their owners keep them racing. If they start losing or are injured, the owners either try to adopt them out or have them destroyed. Believe it or not, many of the race greyhounds don't make it to five years of age. Within the last 10 years or so, greyhound rescue organizations have cropped up to save these "retired" racers.

All retired racers, the Nicky, Calypso and Hendrix now reside with Nashvillians, living the life of Riley. The owners tell me that they don't shed as much as some dogs and would rather spend their days lounging around. They have great temperaments, are very friendly, and are generally good with children. They can, however, run FAST. If they see prey, they can reach 45 mph in three strides, and they won't stop until they either tire or get the prey.

The sign I quoted at the top of the post was an actual sign in a home I visited recently. The owners had three greyhounds. Since I can't reach speeds of more than 2 mph, I made sure not to let them out!

If you want more information on greyhound adoption, click here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sons of Lwala II

The Kenyan musicians shown above performed at the reception before the premiere of Sons of Lwala the other evening. In addition, Jars of Clay, a Christian rock group, performed one of the songs they had written and performed for the movie. And, former Senator Bill Frist gave the introduction to the movie.

A couple of final notes: Milton and Fred's older brother, Ormondi, manages the clinic. Their two sisters, Flo and Grace, are in still in school. One is a senior in high school, and the other is in nursing school, both in the United States. The youngest Ochieng' brother, Solomon, is a freshman in high school in Kenya.

The clinic sees a lot of children, and most of them are under the age of 5 years. Believe it or not, 80% of the children in the village are infested with intestinal parasites because of the lack of running water. The clinic itself doesn't have running water, although they hope to install a system in the next year.

Health care in this country, as we all know, is very expensive. In Lwala, $180 will supply a baby with clean water and formula for six months. . . $300 will pay the salary of a community health worker for one year. . .$3300 will pay the salary of one nurse for a year. It makes you think, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sons of Lwala

In Lwala village,
you really don't belong

to your parents,
you belong to everybody.

- Milton Ochieng'

Today, I would like to tell you a story about two brothers (medical students at Vanderbilt University) and their dedication to help the people of the village that helped them.

Milton (small photo right) and Fred ( below left) Ochieng' were born in Lwala, Kenya. A rural village that lacks both electricity and running water, Lwala is located in Nyanza province bordering Lake Victoria. The 1500 villagers rely on rainwater and water from local springs and rivers for their water. The economy relies on farming, and most villagers grow a variety of crops and keep chickens, goats, cows, etc. The village's remote location and lack of infrastructure make it difficult for villagers to access good health care. The main mode of transportation is by bicycle, making the more than 25-mile trip to a doctor extremely difficult.

Milton and Fred are the second and third children of Erastus and Margaret Ochieng'. They have one older and one younger brother and two younger sisters. Their parents, both educators, took out loans so that the boys could attend the top boarding school in Kenya. Milton was one of two students from the high school to come to the United States through an exchange program with Brooks School in Andover, MA. He later applied to and was accepted by Dartmouth. The problem was he didn't have the plane fare to make the trip to the States. The people of Lwala sold crops, chickens and cows to raise the $900 for Milton's ticket. Their one request was that he not forget the village. The following year, Fred joined Milton at Dartmouth.

Their father, a biology and chemistry teacher, wanted to build a health clinic in Lwala to help area residents fight preventable diseases and bring health care to those in such desperate need. Unfortunately, both he and Margaret were dying of AIDs (Nyanza province has one of the highest rates of HIV in Kenya.), but he discussed it with Milton and Fred. When Milton became a medical student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville (class of '08), he began working to fulfill his father's vision, enlisting the help of various organizations and obtaining donations while taking a full class load. Fred joined him in medical school (class of '10) and also helped in fulfilling the promise they made. It was not easy for either of them.

Erastus and Margaret got the village and surrounding area behind the project, forming a committee comprised of members of all area tribes. Unfortunately, Margaret passed away early in 2004. As sick as he was, Erastus continued to work on the proposal but passed away one week before they broke ground for the clinic in 2005. Milton and Fred continued to work toward their goal, and the clinic finally opened in April, 2007, staffed by a few nurses and one physician's assistant. In its first eight months of operation, the staff treated 12,000 patients.

There is much more to this story than what I've told today. Two years ago, television reporter Barry Simmons met Milton and decided to quit his job to work on a documentary about the Lwala clinic. He left his job at WTVF-TV and, working with photographer Ian Montgomery (who still works at WTVF), traveled with Milton and Fred to Lwala and other places to document the fulfillment of the Ochieng' dream. Thursday evening, the documentary, Sons of Lwala, premiered to a crowd at TPAC (Click here for my post on TPAC.) in downtown Nashville.

The Kenyan musicians in the main photo performed at the premiere.

For more information on Sons of Lwala or to view the film's trailer, click here, and for more information on the project, click here.

Aside: Milton was the first person from Lwala to ever fly in a plane. After he graduates from medical school this year, he'll become a resident at a hospital in St. Louis.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Cranes, Cranes, Cranes

There is a lot of building going on all over Nashville. Developers are putting up high-rise condominium towers all over the downtown area, or they're renovating old buildings and turning those into condominiums. Cranes dot the downtown skyline.

Here's an interesting fact: It takes a crane operator so long - almost 60 minutes - to get to his post (the white box just below the horizontal arm) that he stays there the entire day, even during break time. You can see in the smaller photo that the cranes tower over buildings that have 13 or more stories.

I took these photos last evening as we were on our way to a downtown event. For most of the day, the sky had been cloudy and grey, but around 5:00, the sun came out, and the then-cloudless sky turned blue.

For a link to more Skywatch Friday photos, click here.

COMING TOMORROW: I have a heart-warming and important story to share with you. Please stop back!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Midway Plantation Slave Cemetery

In the middle of a road about a block away from Brentwood High School is the Midway Plantaion Slave Cemetery. Approximately 38 slaves worked the farm during the mid-19th Century, and many are buried on this site.

The 1000-acre plantation, owned by Lysander McGavock, got its name because it was located approximately half-way between Nashville and Franklin. More than 600 acres were farmland and produced corn and tobacco. During the Civil War, armies from both sides camped on the plantation at some point, and generals from both armies occupied the home at different times.

The slave cemetery sits in the middle of Murray Road which is flanked on both sides by exclusive subdivisions.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Parade on the Greenway

While Easter Day in Nashville was pretty chilly, it was sunny and pleasant, so we decided to take the dogs for a stroll on one of Nashville's greenways. We ended up at the Brookemeade Greenway at Kelly's Point Battlefield (a Civil War site).

Greenways are linear corridors of land on which the city has paved trails for public access. The land itself remains undeveloped, but the trails are perfect for walking, running, cycling, jogging, skating, or just enjoying the natural beauty. Most of the greenways run along rivers, streams, ridges, etc., making these areas accessible for everyone to enjoy. There are about 10 greenways in Nashville/Davidson County, including one that runs along the Cumberland River downtown.

Kelly's Point Battlefield is on the Cumberland River at Bell's Bend on the westside of Nashville. It was on this site in December, 1864, that the largest sustained battle between the Confederate land forces and Union naval forces took place. The site had been forgotten and was under consideration for development until about 10 years ago when the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and the city agreed to include it in the greenway.

Please note: While I would normally crop this in a bit, because I had to upload it differently, I left it as is today. Hopefully, third time is a charm, and it's showing up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Problems Persist

I am still having problems uploading photos with Picasa or Blogger or both. Thanks to a few of you who have answered my cry for help in the Forum. I'm still trying to resolve the problem and have uploaded a photo today a little differently to see if it works.

So, if you see no photo, please stop back. I hope that, at some point, I can fix the glitch.


Monday, March 24, 2008

First Church of Christ, Scientist

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is located in Green Hills about 1/2 mile from the Mall at Green Hills. They hold two services weekly - Sunday and Wednesday - as well as a youth service. The Christian Science Reading Room is in downtown Nashville, which is probably about 8 miles or so from the church.

I know very little about their theology, and most of it I've gleaned from the whole debacle with a certain actor within the past few years. If you wanted to find out more about this church and/or its tenets, you could click here.

Aside: For some reason, Blogger keeps eating the original photo I posted this morning. I'll try to post it tomorrow if I can figure out what's going on.

Blogger is at it, again

For some reason, Blogger is not showing my photos this morning. I'm trying to remedy the situation. Please stop back if you don't see a photo. Thanks!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Twas Easter Sunday.
The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with
fragrance and with joy.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Easter, everyone.

(This Bradford Pear tree is in our backyard.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Isn't it Dandelion?

Two weeks ago, snow covered the grass in Nashille. Today, dandelions have popped up all over the area. I much prefer the sunny, yellow flowers as they are so cheery.

While many people consider dandelions to be weeds, the leaves and blooms are actually edible. Young leaves are good in salads, while older leaves are better cooked. Raw dandelion leaves do tend to be a bit bitter. The blooms are also edible, but their most popular use is in dandelion wine or dandelion jam. There is a dandelion drink - Dandelion and Burdock - in the UK. An interesting fact is that one cup of dandelion greens provides 54% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A while the same amount of broccoli provides only 12%. It also provides more calcium, iron and Vitamin K than broccoli.

If you're interested in trying out some dandelion recipes, you can get some good ones here.

Have you ever eaten dandelions?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Skies-SkyWatch Friday

Sunshine and blue skies have joined together to welcome spring to Nashville. The weather seems to be warming up a bit, too. As I drive along the freeway, I see the beautiful, spring green color popping up between the craggy rocks that line the side of the road. Most Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom, and the singing birds wake me up in the morning.

I took this photo on West End Blvd., just west of downtown and near the Vanderbilt University campus. The two towers in this complex house a variety of businesses. Interestingly, there are not a lot of all-glass buildings in Nashville, at least compared to other cities in which I've lived.

Do you like the glass towers?

For a link to more Skywatch Friday photos, click here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Window Display

Walking through the Mall at Green Hills the other day, I saw this window display at Louis Vuitton. I thought it was pretty interesting, but I forgot to pay attention to what it is. . . .fabric or paper. (Aside: My husband did not buy me anything from the store for my birthday.)

Yesterday, the Nashville area received between two and three inches of rain. It literally poured buckets most of the day. The cow pasture behind our house is once again flooded, and as I write this, a bunch of geese are swimming around back there. The girls and their calves, however, are in a higher pasture today. The temperature, which had been in the high 60s on Tuesday, is in the high 30s this morning. But!! It is sunny.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adding Another Año(Year)

How old would you be
if you
didn't know how
old you are?

- Satchel Paige

March 19 is the 78th day of the year (except during Leap Year when it is the 79th). It's also my birthday.

I don't like this business of getting older. Depending on the day, I either lie about my age or just avoid the subject completely. I do like celebrating my birthday, however, because it's better than the alternative. I guess if I go by what Satchel Paige asks, I'd be 25.

The year I was born, my mom and aunt were pregnant at the same time. My cousin, who was supposed to be born around March 17, arrived March 10. I was actually supposed to be born at the end of February, butI waited around until March 19. I think it did that because I didn't want to be born in winter. Oh, I know some of you will say spring starts on March 20, but there is no way that you'll ever convince me that it doesn't start on March 19. (Of course, if I lived in the southern hemisphere, today would be the first day of autumn or the last day of summer, either of which would be okay with me.)

March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph, who is a favorite with Italians. Because I was born on March 19, my Italian grandfather wanted my mother to name me Josephine (or Pasqualina because it was the Easter season). My parents decided they liked Christine better. No offense to anyone named Josephine or Pasqualina, but I like Christine better, too.

The March flower is the daffodil, and the gemstone is aquamarine. I like both of those.

Famous March 19 birthdays:
Wyatt Earp (1848)
William Jennings Bryan (1860)
Chief Justice Earl Warren (1891)
Novelist Irving Wallace (1916)
Actress Ursula Andress (1936)

Actress Glenn Close (1947)
Actor Bruce Willis (1955)

Famous March 19 Events
The first bank robbery on American soil took place (1831).
The planet Pluto is photographed for the first time (1916).
The first American air-combat mission is launched (1916).
Gambling is legalized in Nevada (1931).
The Academy Awards are first televised (1953).
Elvis Presley buys Graceland (1957).
Bob Dylan releases his first album (1962).
Tommy, the film version of The Who's rock opera, opens (1975).
The US House of Representatives starts broadcasting via C-Span (1979)
Operation Iraqi Freedom begins (2003). (This event is a huge thorn in my side, and I'll leave it at that.)

The photo today is from my second birthday. I had two cakes and two candles on each one. My cousins Marge, Loree and Paul (left to right) have dibs on the chocolate cake.

Happy Spring, Everyone!!
Happy Fall To Everyone South of the Equator!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is Nashville's art museum. The building it occupies started out as Nashville's main post office (built in the 30s), but after a larger, state-of-the-art post office opened near the airport in 1986, this building became just a branch post office.

In the early 1990s, the Frist Foundation, working with the City of Nashville and the US Postal Service, began a move to convert the old post office building into an art museum. The city took control of the building from the Postal Service in 1998, and the museum opened in 2001.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is not a collecting museum. In other words, it does not house a permanent collection of its own works. Instead, it brings in traveling exhibits and creates exhibits through loans from other museums. Its goal is to educate the public about art , and it offers a variety of educational programs such as summer camps, teacher education classes, and community outreach programs. The Martin ArtQuest Gallery has 30 interactive stations offering the opportunity to learn about art by making art.

This past Sunday, the Frist offered free admission, which they do occasionally. In addition to the exhibits (Aaron Douglas and Monet to Dali), the museum offered a jazz concert and other activities. As you can see from the photo, the place was packed, and the line to get into the main gallery wound through the building and out of the back door. The people in this photo were watching a juggler entertain on the back lawn.

In case you're wondering, the Frist family from whom the museum gets its name includes former Senator Bill Frist.

To read more about the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, click here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Who's Your Paddy?

An Old Irish Blessing

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shrimp on Sunday

Area restaurants, bakeries and caterers supplied food for The BirdHouse Thing the other evening. All of it was very good, and we really enjoyed it all. Included were samplings of canapes, tapenades, Hummus dips, red beans and rice, and sweets galore (which I didn't sample sine they all contained sugar).

One of our favorites was the grilled shrimp with mango red pepper salsa by Kristen Winston Catering. It looks good, doesn't it? It was!

What kind of salsa do you like?

By the way, in case you want a mango salsa recipe, click here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ghost Ballet Neighbor

On the east bank of the Cumberland River close to Ghost Ballet (Click here.), there is another sculpture of sorts (above). The rusty-looking gears and bars jut out of the ground, pointing west toward downtown Nashville across the river. Unfortunately, I can't find any information on it, so if anyone knows anything about it, email me.

What do you think it is?

Friday, March 14, 2008

The BirdHouse Thing Auction

Last evening, the WO Smith Community Music School held its birdhouse auction at the Mall at Green Hills. Last month, I featured a few of the birdhouses that were auctioned last night. The majority of the more than 100 birdhouses sold via silent auction (left), while about 10 other items were the highlight of a live auction. In addition to the birdhouses, other auction items included jewelry, wine, Nashville Speedway tickets, paintings, and more. Area restaurants and caterers provided some great food and beverages, too.

Joe White (above), who happens to be my neighbor, was the auctioneer. He's showing off This is Music Row, one of my favorite birdhouse entries and one of the live auction items.

A side note. . . The birdhouse that I designed was in the silent auction. When we left the event, it was still in the auction, and the bid at the time we left was over $100.

If you didn't see my three original posts on the WO Smith School and/or The BirdHouse Thing, click here, here and here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Songs of Life

Spring is on its way. A bird built this nest in the crook of one of our Bradford Pear Trees in the backyard. I haven't seen a bird there yet, but I hope to catch one soon. What worries me is that it is quite close to the ground.

I have been seeing signs of spring for the past few days. The grass is quite green. . . Daffodils are in full bloom. . . The Bradford's buds are ready to burst open. . . Tulip stalks are out of the cold ground. . . The willow trees are starting to get that beautiful, spring green tint. . .The calves are chasing each other in the field behind our street. . . The air is warming up (and hopefully it will stay that warm!).

Less than one week of winter!
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Little (yn) To Start Your Day

Ed Fryer likes wine. Ed Fryer likes good wine. Ed Fryer likes to share what he knows and likes about wine with others. Ed Fryer opened his kind of wine store in Nashville a few weeks ago.

Not that long ago, Ed Fryer was a radio disc jockey. Like everyone else in the business, he spent a good amount of time moving as stations changed ownership, format, or both. He moved from his hometown of Nashville to other markets, including Miami and Atlanta. The last time he moved (back to Atlanta), he and his wife decided that if they experienced major changes at that station, someone was sending them a sign. Within a few months, they got their sign.

As I mentioned yesterday, Ed (above left) opened (yn) in Hills Center in the Green Hills area of Nashville. He wants (yn) to be the store for someone who likes wine but doesn't want to break the bank buying a bottle. Therefore, the majority of the wines in (yn) are well-priced at $20 per bottle or less. While he does stock some well-known brands, he also stocks wines from the smaller, artisan wineries. And, he doesn't have boxes and boxes of the same wine on the shelf (right) like the mass-market liquor stores do. While he has some European wines in the store, he said that the tumbling dollar has made getting affordable Spanish, French, German and Italian wines a bit difficult.

While we do drink some wine, we are not experts by any stretch of the imagination. I know what I like (Riesling, Piesporter, Cava, Pinot Noir, White Zinfandel) and what I don't like (Merlot). I have not tried these wines, but two labels that caught my eye in (yn) were Good Pinot Grigio (a white, of course) and House Wine (a red). A friend of mine has had both, and she said they're pretty good.

The two guys in the main photo today are (yn)'s owner Ed Fryer (left) and Andrea Danti, from 100% Italiano. Andrea, who has been in the US only two years, represents small, Italian wineries. He brought the Vespa into (yn) so I could shoot the photo of the two of them with it.

One small note: Ed is in favor of the pending legislation that would allow groceries to sell wine.

What kind of wine do you like to drink?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No "Wining" Allowed

A new store has opened in Hills Center (Click here for my post on HC.) - (yn) (pronounced wine). A very sleek and modern store, (yn) sells . . . wine, wine, wine. The owner, Ed Fryer, has filled his store with good wines, and most cost less than $20 per bottle. I'll tell you a little more about (yn) tomorrow, but I wanted to elaborate on Tennessee's wine laws to give you a little background before you see his store.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that state laws prohibit grocers and other stores from selling wine. Actually, the state laws regarding alcohol sales are among the most stringent in the US.

* If you want to buy wine or hard liquor, you must go to a liquor store.
* It is a felony for state residents to buy wine from a winery or over the internet and have it shipped to their homes.
* Wine retailers must buy wine directly from state-approved distributors.
* There are no wine/liquor sales on Sunday. (There used to be a law prohibiting the sale of beer before noon on Sundays. I think that law changed when the Titans started playing in Tennessee so that they could sell beer before noon games. However, I'm not sure about that.)
* In an effort to curb underage drinking, the state passed a law requiring that everyone (no matter how old you look) who purchases beer in a store in TN provide a photo ID. Clerks now scan your driver's license at checkout. This is not the case for wine or liquor. Click here to read about that law.
* Groceries may sell beer but not wine. If the liquor store sells beer as well as wine and liquor, the store must keep the beer in a separate establishment with its own outside entrance. In other words, one cannot go directly from the section of the store that houses the wine/liquor into the section that sells beer. You have to enter each from its own separate entrance from the outside.

Legislators are currently considering a law that would allow grocers to sell wine. A statewide campaign backed by the grocery lobby is in full swing right now. You can read more about it here. Called "Red White and Food," the campaign started last week. (Click that for more information on RWF.)

Tomorrow, I'll tell you a little bit about Ed and (yn).

Monday, March 10, 2008

World Market Finally Opens in Nashville

World Market (Cost Plus) finally opened in Nashville last week. I have liked the place since I discovered them in San Francisco years ago, mostly because I like the fact that they sell foreign foods that you can't find everywhere. In addition to the foods, they offer housewares and furniture made all over the world (similar to Pier One). One of my friends was happy that they opened because they sell foreign beers and allow you to build your own six-pack with an assortment, if you wish. However, current state laws prohibit them - and other grocers - from selling wine. That, however, is a different story (and one I'll discuss with tomorrow's post).
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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Icy Remnants

As I noted in my update yesterday, the snow melted pretty quickly. Water from the melting snow poured from the gutters, watering the lawn. With all the water (and snow) that we've had lately, the grass is not only green, but is also growing. My husband thinks he's going to have to mow the lawn by mid-week.

Since we moved here in 1995, we have seen heavy snowfalls twice - in 1996 and 2003. In 1996, we had three big snowfalls - one each in January, February and March (on my birthday, so I wasn't too happy!!!). In January, 2003, the snow started to fall around 8:00 am, and in the next 10 yours, we received about 10 inches of snow. When schools and businesses started closing mid-morning, the snowy/icy roads were so clogged that it took people hours to get home. My store was exactly four miles from our house, and it took me over one hour to drive home that morning. I was one of the lucky ones. Some people were in their cars five, six, eight, 10 hours. The city was, in a word, paralyzed.

It is interesting to note that Nashville has averaged about 2 inches of snow annually, down from an average of 5 inches in the 1980s.

Got Snow?

The Nashville area did get snow last night. While our area of Nashville received only about 2 inches, other parts of Middle Tennessee got 10-12 inches. Interstate 40 west of downtown was a parking lot for a good part of the night, and there were numerous accidents all over the mid-state. There are a lot of cancellations due to weather today, including a job fair, all weekend classes at area schools and universities, consignment sales, and more. We did go out this morning so I could take a few photos for the blog, and in the hour we were gone (8:30-9:30), the sun came out and the snow on the roads melted. The fear is that the temperatures will go down again tonight, and the roads will ice over. Some area churches are considering canceling Sunday services if this happens.

Whenever I leave our subdivision and drive down a certain road toward downtown and/or shopping areas, I pass by the property where I shot today's photo. The straw rake sits on the property as a lawn decoration, and most of the time, I hardly glance at it. However, the snow really dressed it up today.

UPDATE: Not too long after I posted this photo this morning, the sun came out. As of 11:00 AM, most of the snow was melting away. As I write this at 8:00 PM, there is very little snow left in my part of Nashville. I'm not sure about the rural areas and the other counties near us, but from what I have heard, the roads are pretty clear most places. Freezing temperatures tongiht won't hurt us too much because the sun dried snow that had melted on the roads.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Not Quite Yet

Outside tables at Pei Wei present a good seating option if the weather is nice and the dining room is packed. And, as nice and sunny as the day appears above, the temperature was below 40 degrees when I took this photo the other day . . . not exactly the best weather for enjoying an open-air meal.

Nashville weather continues its roller coaster ride. Monday, the temperature reached the high 60s/low 70s. Tuesday, the temperature was in the 30s. Yesterday, the high was near 60. Today, we're expecting rain in the morning and snow in the afternoon.

Do you enjoy eating outside?
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Salad Cravings

Since Pei Wei (pay-way) opened in the Green Hills area a few months ago, I meet friends there occasionally for lunch. Pei Wei is part of the PF Chang's line, but instead of sitting at a table and ordering, you place your order and pay at a counter. They prepare the food and serve it to you. The menus is not as extensive, but they do offer similar menu items at a reduced cost due to the set-up. It is very popular, and if you get there at crunch times, tables are full.

Because I swear they put something in the salad that makes me crave it almost constantly, I always get the same thing - Asian Chopped Chicken Salad, NO ONIONS, NO SCALLIONS, and substitute the lime vinaigrette for the soy ginger vinaigrette (bottom left in photo). (Those little black and white sprinkles on my salad are sesame seeds, by the way.) My friends, who are more adventurous than I (and who don't have the same salad cravings), always get something different like the Spicy Chicken Salad (above right in photo) or Pad Thai.

If you're interested in seeing what they serve, you can check out their menu by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Pond for the Girls

Last week, we had snow all day Wednesday. Sunday and Monday, the tempertures were in the 70s. Monday evening, it rained and rained and rained. My husband, who was in NYC called to tell me that the weatherman up there said we got 1.5 inches in just a few hours. I said I didn't think we had that much. HELLO! When I woke up yesterday morning, the cow pasture was flooded, and the girls had their own pond. (I have no idea what I was doing that I missed all of the rain.) It rained almost all day yesterday (Tuesday), so the pond is still back there. To top it off, the temperature dropped more than 34 degrees in 24 hours.

If you compare this photo with the one from last Wednesday (Click here.), you'll see that I took it from about the same angle. I used a wider lens so that I could get the one cow and some of the water in the photo. What you cannot see in the photo is how much of the field flooded and how many geese (and cows) were out in the back.

I am getting really sick of this roller coaster weather. We may have snow (NO!!) again by the end of the week.

Are you ready for Spring?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Green Hills - The Mall

When we first moved to Nashville 12 years ago, one of the first malls we visited was the Mall at Green Hills. Located in an area of Nashville called, "Green Hills," the upscale mall has undergone a couple of renovations since we moved here, most recently adding a new wing that houses boutique-type stores like Coldwater Creek, Brighton, Cole Haan, and more. A number of other high-end chains (Apple, J.Jill, Z Gallerie, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Papyrus among them) as well as the usual Dilliard's Macy's, Victoria's Secret, etc. occupy other store fronts. This is one of the few restaurants that doesn't have a good court, although if you're hungry, you can stop by Panera, Starbucks, Cheesecake Factory, or a few other little places for sustenance.

When we moved from Las Vegas to Nashville, the one thing that struck me when we walked into almost any mall was the fact that during the week, the malls do not have a lot of traffic. There are times (holidays) that this is not so, but I notice that Monday through Thursday, shopping at most malls is relatively easy.

In the Nashville area, as well as in other areas of the country, "life-style centers" are replacing malls. The LSCs are basically the old-style plazas or streets lined with shops, all open-air. While I understand the esthetic appeal of having the sentimental, Main-Street-America look to these centers, the appeal vanishes when I have to walk in the rain or snow or cold weather. . . although the likelihood of my subjecting myself to those elements just to shop is pretty low. ;-)

What is your favorite mall store?
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Monday, March 3, 2008

Islamic Center of Nashville

The Islamic Center of Nashville is in the middle of the 12 South district of Nashville. The Center participates in a number of community events made to strengthen ties between the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities. You can get more information on the Center by clicking here.

In addition to participating in classes (Click that link for more information on Olive Tree Education.)in Islam, the Center offers tours, holds open houses, offers a variety of workshops, and hosts visits from individuals and groups. Center members were part of an area interfaith community that partner with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for those in need.

What most people do not know is that Nashville has the largest Kurdish population in the United States. Nashville was one of the sites where Iraquis could vote in their elections a few years ago because of the large concentration of Kurds here.
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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ghost Ballet

Last month, I published a photo of Ghost Ballet, a large sculpture that sits on the east bank of the Cumberland River. You can see the original post by clicking here. I took this view of GB from across the river and post it so that you get another view of the piece. It looks like a different sculpture, doesn't it?

Sorry I'm so late in posting today.
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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Theme Day - Street Art

The first day of the month means it's THEME DAY! The theme this month is Street Art/Graffiti.

Unfortunately, I was way behind in shooting something for this month's theme. Luckily, today when I was walking from my car to Hillsboro Imaging, I saw an electric box with a bit of "street art" on it. Apparently the artist had cut a stencil, taped it to the box (You can see where the tape was.), and spray painted it black (You can also see the excess spray where the edge of the stencil must have been.). Las ciudades invisibles translates to the invisible cities. I assume that Lugaro is the artist. (?) I have no idea what the meaning behind this is, so if you know, please let me know.

It was raining like crazy, and that smear is either a raindrop on the lens, or it was on the piece itself. I didn't notice it when I took the photo, but I was in a hurry.

Today, there are over 140 blogs participating in theme day. Be sure to check them out:
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,