Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tennessee's State Flower

The Purple Iris was named Tennessee's State Flower in the 1930s.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weird Autumn

I saw this at the Farmers' Market the other day. . . .YIKES!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Signs of the Times

I saw these signs in a store window the other day. . . .

Saturday, September 27, 2008

House for Sale

If you are looking to move to Nashville, there is a great home for sale in our neighborhood.  It backs up to the cow pasture, is on the friendliest street in the subdivision, and has a great interior features.

Click here if you are looking for a great house.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Walk by the Lake

There is a small lake in our subdivision, and residents enjoy walks around the lake during good weather.  There are a number of geese that call the lake home, and they aren't afraid to come up to walkers because a lot of those who stroll by bring the geese food

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cow 147

Cows are quite curious animals, although they can be skittish.  This one seemed to think we had food for her.  Sorry, Elsie! 

PS. . . Gas in Ohio is a lot cheaper than in TN!  We've paid as little (I cringe using that word!) as $3.57/gallon.

NOTE:  We had to go out of town for a few days, and I have been without internet access (Horror of horrors!).  I'll post a number of photos when I get home manana.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Cheap" Gas

In May, I posted a gas station sign advertising gas for $3.38 (regular).  Sunday, the lowest price I found around Nashville was $3.89. . .*IF* a station had gas.  And, you have to have a Kroger card to get that price.  Without the Kroger card, regular gas was $3.89 per gallon.

Stations here are still experiencing a run on gas, and AAA estimates that more than 60% of stations in Middle Tennessee are OUT of gas.  The oil refineries that supply this area are running at full capacity, so that is not the problem.  "Authorities" think that our shortage is due to people buying more gas than they need, as well as the panic that the shortage rumor set off.  The AAA estimate is that area gas stations should all have gas again by Friday.

A side note:  Over the past few weeks, I have been working on my MFA field study, http://nashvillewordadventures.com.  Since I don't know HTML, I had to rely on a site builder, so the capabilities were pretty limiting.  I tried, though.  ;-)
If you have a chance, I hope you'll check it out. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gas Relief

While I was shooting the photo I posted yesterday of dozens of drivers waiting to get gas, a tanker showed up to keep this particular Kroger station filled with gas.  We're hoping that tomorrow will bring a little more calm to the city when people realize that there is enough gas.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nashville Has Gas

Have you heard that we are having a gas crisis in Nashville?

Friday, a rumor that area stations were going to run out of gas started going around, and Nashvillians headed to the closest station.  An area Kroger gas station had cars lined up from the pumps and back around the parking lot.  Sam's Club had cars lined up through the lot and down the entrance drive.  Other stations had cars lined up along the street.  

Some people waited over an hour to fill up.  Others waited over an hour to get to the pump and find out that the person before them got the last drop of gas.  Some people ran out of gas while waiting to get gas.

As of yesterday evening, over 75% of area stations were dry.  

This morning, a Kroger gas station that received gas last night opened at 6 am, and people started lining up.  As of 9:45 when I took this photo, the line was still about 30-40 cars long.  One man about 2/3 of the way back told me he had been in line about 10 minutes.  Five Kroger employees were directing traffic, and one told me that the average wait at that point was 20-30 minutes.

While I was taking the photo, a tanker arrived to refill the station.

Gas here ranges from $3.89 (the least expensive that we've found) to $4.29 per gallon for regular.

We have not waited in line to get gas, by the way.

How much is gas in your area?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Viridian

The Viridian was one of the first urban condo towers completed in Nashville (2006).  The condos, which occupy floors 10-30 (Only penthouses on the top floor.), have one or two bedrooms and range in square footage from about 618 SF to 2600 SF.  The condos feature floor-to-ceiling windows, maple or cherry cabinets, stainless appliances, and more.  On the street level, there is a grocery store, the first in the downtown area.

What is interesting to me is that some of the condos look right into the offices in the building next door.

Friday, September 19, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Rural Sky

The earth is my altar;
The sky is my dome.
The mind is my garden;
The heart is my home.
~ Eden Abez

There is nothing more beautiful than the rural sky.

There are over 200 blogs participating in SkyWatch Friday. Click here to get links to them, and see the sky around the world!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Centennial Park

Centennial Park, as I told you yesterday, is a 132-acre urban park about two miles west of downtown Nashville.  Formerly farmland, the area was a racetrack from 1884-1895 but became a park when chosen as site of the state's centennial celebration.  I took this photo from the portico of the Parthenon.  The Vanderbilt University campus is where the buildings are in this photo.  (The tree that was the subject of yesterday's photo is to the left of this photo, just out of view, although you can see a few of the branches.)

There used to be a lot more mature shade trees in Centennial Park, but the tornadoes that blew through Nashville in 1998 damaged or destroyed many of them.  A Vanderbilt university student, the storm's only fatality, was killed when one of the trees fell on him.  Since then, the park has been equipped with warning sirens.

In 2005, Centennial Park entered the hi-tech world when it became the first metro park to offer free wi-fi access to park patrons.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saturday in the Park II

Centennial Park is a wonderful Nashville treasure, and there is no better place to spend a nice, sunny Saturday.

Located about two miles west of downtown and across West End Ave. from Vanderbilt University, Centennial Park was originally farmland.  The 132-acre park was the site of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition in 1897, and the full-scale Parthenon has been the centerpiece of the park since.  (Click here to see my post on the Parthenon which is to the right of the guy sitting under the tree.)  The park is the site of dozens of activities every month, including craft festivals, open-air concerts and dances, Shakespeare in the Park, picnics, and more.  

TOMORROW:  I'll show you a view of the park from the portico of the Parthenon and tell you another little-known fact about Centennial Park's entrance into the high-tech world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palette Gallery 'N Cafe

Located in Hillsboro Village, the Palette Gallery and Cafe is a place to enjoy good Colombian coffee while viewing the work of area artists. It features work by Jorge Yances as well as other area artists.

For more information on the Gallery, click here.

For more information on Yances, click here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Bottle of Red. . . A Bottle of White

A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of rose instead.
We'll get a table near the street
In our old familiar place . . . 
~ Billy Joel

I forgot to post my photo for today last night, and since I couldn't sleep, I got up to do it now.   After finding infomercials on most cable stations this morning, I think I need a glass of wine, but it's too early, so I'll just look at the photo.

Here's the thing I've noticed about late-night (or early morning, depending on your perspective) television:

I can find any goofy gadget on it.  If I need something to help me with my awful hair, the InStyler is the thing!  I can get it for $14.99 (plus shipping).  And, if I order RIGHT NOW, I'll get extra gifts.

If I need to "lose" some inches off the waist, I can be "working out with Tony" with the 10 Minute Trainer withing 3-5 days for two small payments of $39.95.  And, if I call right now, they'll enter me in the $10,000 drawing.  AND!  I'll be more energetic!  It will change my life!

Or, how about Bowflex machines?

If I need to look better, I can buy the Chic Shaper.  Not only will it help my shape and make my waist look smaller, it will make me stand up straighter and help my posture!

Once I take care of the body, I can help the face with Bare Minerals Makeups!

The Magic Bullet will help me crush garlic, chop onions (and nuts), blend my own frozen coffee drinks (in *their* own glasses), make a delicious, ready-to-eat salsa (FRESH!) or chicken salad, make and cook parmesan cheese sauce or pesto sauce for pasta (in 5 seconds!!), or grind my own coffee beans, and more!  I'll get a number of different size cups (microwave-safe!), the Magic Bullet blender, two blades (One whips!), shaker tops, resealable lids, a recipe book, four party mugs!  I could spend hundreds and hundreds on several different appliances, but if I order NOW, I'll get a blender cup AND a juicer attachment FREE!!  And if I call within the next 18 minutes, I'll get a SECOND Magic Bullet FREE!!!  And, it will be just $99.99 (three easy payments of $33.33!!!!).

I can find out how to MAKE MONEY on eBay by buying Options for Incomes for just $39.95!  And, I'll get free access to this guy's members' support site!  (Hey!  One couple made over $500,000 on eBay using this system!)  And, if I call within 10 minutes, I get upgraded to FREE EXPRESS DELIVERY!

The BEST thing is that if I need a home, I can own one "FREE & CLEAR" for as little as $10 (with NO payments!)  I just have to use the tactics in some guy's real estate system and purchase them through government tax foreclosure programs that very few people know exist.

And, once I get that house, I can clean and sanitize it with the Monster Cleaning Machine!

Excuse me. .. . I'm going to go buy a house. . . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sheep Thrills

While we walked through the Sheep Barn at the State Fair the other day, we saw these guys shearing a sheep in preparation for that evening's competition.  Instead of using electric shavers, they did it by hand using shears (above).

There were a lot of other sheep already sheared when we walked through, including the guy below.  The shorn sheep wear hoodies to protect their coat until they go into the ring.  If you look closely at two sheep, you'll notice that the one above has a white face and body while the one below has a black face and white body.  I noticed two or three other breeds of different colors/sizes while we were in the barn.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rhino Booksellers

I've been busy working on a website for my MFA field study project, and in doing research for it, I happened to stop by Rhino Booksellers.  A used bookstore with two locations in Nashville, Rhino is owned by Fred Koller, a songwriter and author.  Fred, who has penned songs for Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Michael Murphy, Leon Russell and others, opened the store by Lipscomb University about five years ago, and the one on Charlotte Pike (above) about two years ago.  He named the stores Rhino Booksellers because the rhino is in danger of extinction as are, he thinks, books.  In this electronic and tech-savvy age, many people have switched to audio and electronic books.

I really liked both stores.  Like most used bookstores, they are chockfull of books.  However, they are both very comfortable and inviting.  The Charlotte Pike store has a number of first editions and signed books that are collectors' editions.  

For more information on Rhino Books, click here.  For more information on Fred Koller, click here.

I'm reading a lot of nonfiction for class right now since it's my genre of choice.  

What is the last book you've read?

Gooey Goo-Goos

If you go to a fair, you will undoubtedly see almost everything you can imagine fried, including candy bars.  Last year, I saw fried Twinkies, Milky Ways, Snickers.  This year, I saw Fried Goo Goo Clusters.  In case you've never tried Goo Goos, they consist of a mound of marshmallow covered with caramel and peanuts covered with milk chocolate.  

Here are a couple of Goo Goo Cluster Facts for you:

*  They were invented in Nashville in 1912 by the Standard Candy Company.
*  They were the first combination candy bar invented.
*  They had no name in the beginning because the company could not agree on a name.
*  The candy bar originally had no wrapper and was sold from casses in stores.
*  The candy bar company is one of the longest-running sponsors of the Grand Ol' Opry.
*  There are now three kinds of Goo Goo Clusters:  Original, Peanut Butter (with peanut butter added to the center), and Supreme (Georgia Pecans replace the peanuts.).
*  Standard Candy Company will ship Goo Goo Clusters anywhere in the world (You can order online.).

For more information on Goo Goo Clusters, click here.

So, have you ever tried fried candy bars?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fair Time In Tennessee

Today we volunteered our time to help take special needs students to the Tennessee State Fair.  We pushed two of the 150 students around the fair, enabling them to see animal and general exhibits.  The little gal whose chair I pushed was overjoyed to see the sheep and goats.  We think it's great that the State Fair admits these students free of charge as it gives them the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and enjoy the fair.

Considering the fact that schools are back in session, there were quite a few people/children at the fair today.  One of the food vendors told us that it was the busiest weekday that she's had since the fair opened last week.

Tune in tomorrow for a Tennessee specialty!

When was the last time you went to the fair?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Is It Wednesday?

We saw this YELLOW car at Bellevue Cruisers the other evening, and I couldn't find the owner to ask him what it is.  I thought it would make a great What is it Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Morris and Midget

When I was growing up, everyone in our neighborhood drove BIG cars.  My father had an Oldsmobile 88, and others had Chryslers, Pontiacs, Chevrolets, Fords, etc.  New neighbors moved in one summer, and they had an older son who was the first "child" in our neighborhood who was older than early teens.  That kid had an MG Midget, and that was the first "cool" car most of us had ever seen up close.  I don't remember that guy's name, but I do remember that his car was small, burnt orange in color, and very cool. . . . or so we all thought!

The photo on the bottom is an MG Midget, and the one on top is its predecessor.  Both were produced by Morris Garage (Hence the "MG.").  Morris Garage, a British company, started manufacturing cars in 1924.  Unfortunately, they went bankrupt in 2005, although I read that a Japanese firm has bought them and will start production soon (if they haven't already started).
For more information on Morris Garage and MGs, click here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tootling About in a Tudor

How would like to ride around in this red auto?  It's a 1932 Ford Tudor.

I read somewhere that the price of a Tudor in 1932 was around $ 600.  Depending on where you lived in the country, you could pay more or less.    Tudors averaged about 20 miles per gallon, costing about 3 cents per mile at the time.  The top speed was in the neighborhood of 40 mph.  

What is the fastest you've ever driven a car?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cute Car!

The Bellevue Cruisers, a club for car enthusiasts, holds a "cruise-in" monthly (April-October) in a local mall parking lot.  There are usually over 150 cars on display, including antique and late model cars.  I'll show you a number of the cars (and trucks) on display over the next few days.

The "cute car" is a 1954 Hudson Metropolitan owned by Pat Ziegler.  Pat and her husband, Bob, bought the car about 2.5 years ago and have completely refurbished it.  Pat told me that her great car is one of the first 700 Metropolitans produced by Hudson Motors (Great Britain) in 1954.  Not long after their production, Hudson merged with Nash Motors, becoming Hudson-Nash, although the dealerships remained separate.  The Metropolitan came in coupe and convertible models.  A station wagon was planned, but never produced.  

Since I own a Mini Cooper, I think the Metropolitan is its great grandmother.  ;-)  

For more info on Hudson-Nash, click here.
Click here for more information on the Bellevue Cruisers.

What color car would you like to have if you could have any color?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

My dogs are getting older; Kasey is 13.5 years old, and Decker (featured) is 12.5 years old.  As dogs age, they develop health problems, as do people.  Kasey, the female, is in early kidney failure, although the medication and prescription dog food that we've been giving her for the past five months seem to help keep it in control.  

She is not wild about the prescription dog food, so she won't eat her food in the morning.  Decker doesn't like to eat first thing in the morning, so he usually leaves his food until 10 or 11 am.  If we don't watch, Kasey will go over and eat Decker's food.  Decker is not crazy about that, as you would imagine.

Lately, we have noticed that he tries to cover his bowl in what we think is an attempt to "hide" the food from Kasey (above).  I happened to catch him in the act a few days ago (below).
The funniest thing, however, is that Decker is attempting to hide Kasey's food.  Since we have hardwood floors, we have heard little "dings" on the floor.  I've caught him taking her food out of her bowl, piece-by-piece, dropping it on the floor, covering it with her placemat, and turning her bowl upside-down.  Unfortunately, I haven't had the camera with me, but I'll catch him!

Do your animals do anything quirky?

Friday, September 5, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Corn Fields and Clouds

I'm cheating a bit today.  I took this photo when Nashville Daily Photo visited Plain City, Ohio about two weeks ago.

As you can probably tell, this is a corn field.  As we drove up I-71 from Cincinnati, we were amazed at all the corn fields we saw this year.  Most years, we see soy beans planted all over the place with a few corn fields here and there.  This year, corn was king due, we think, to the push for ethanol.  The corn looked great - tall and green, and my brother-in-law said the crops were pretty good this year.  This corn, by the way, is field corn, meaning it won't make it to your table, although animals might enjoy eating it!

A couple of facts about CORN (in case you were wondering):
*  Corn is about 6000 years old.
*  Corn is America's #1 field crop.
*  Corn is a member of the grass family (No kidding!).
*  Farmers plant approximately 27,000 seeds/acre (WOW!).
*  There are approximately 800 kernels per ear of corn.
*  Over 50% of corn produced in the US is grown in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota.
*  Over 50% of Iowa's crop is exported.
*  Over 50% of the US corn crop is used for feed.
*  Corn and/or corn byproducts are used in numerous foods.

There's more, but I don't want you to get bored! 

SkyWatch:  Today is SkyWatch Friday, and bloggers all over the world are showing us their bit of the vast sky.  Click here to get the links to other participating blogs (over 240 when I signed on!).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Curious and Curious-er

Oh, the humble cupcake! 

On the offside chance you haven't seen any in your city yet, cupcakes are *IN* these days. Actually, they've been getting more and more popular over the past few years, so much so that:  bakeries are designing and baking "signature" cupcakes; cupcake-dedicated bakeries and cafes are popping up all over the place; brides are now choosing "cupcake wedding cakes" instead of the huge sheet and tiered cakes; you can order cupcakes on the internet; you'll find cupcake biscotti and cupcakes in a jar; there are probably as many new and different flavors as there are cupcakes (Think Sweet Potato, Banana Split, Nectarine, Snickerdoodle, Fat Elvis, etc) and there is a company the makes cupcakes for canines (YES!!), calling them dogcakes.  (By the way, have you heard of frosting shots?)

The Curious Gourmet Cupcake Cafe (above) recently opened in downtown Franklin, and I got a chance to stop in last weekend when we attended the Jazz Festival.  They offer different flavors daily (Peanut Butter Cup, Strawberry Shortcake, Pretty Pretty Princess, Italian Cream, Red Velvet, and more!), but always have Vanilla Bean, Devil's Food and Dulce de Leche.  Since I don't eat stuff made with sugar (That leaves out sooooo many great desserts. . . .and calories!), I didn't try them.  One of my friends bought a dozen for her adult daughter's birthday, and she said that the Red Velvet was delicious.  You can read more about Curious Gourmet by clicking here.  The cupcakes run $3.25 each, although a dozen will cost you $36.

HISTORY OF THE CUPCAKE:  The humble cupcake has been around since the 19th Century.  The original ones were quite a bit smaller and not as decorated as the current cupcakes.  Originally, they were called number cakes because of the ingredients:  one cup each of butter and milk, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs, one teaspoon of baking soda.  The origin of the name "cupcake" is disputed.  Some say it is because they were baked in cups, while other say it is because the ingredients were measured by cups.

It's believed that the "new" cupcake craze started in 2000 when a cupcake was the featured dessert on Sex and the City.  Whatever started the craze, it's still going strong.  Now, if someone would come up with a sugar-free cupcake that tastes as good as the "real" thing.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Don't Know How True This Is

If anything, bumper stickers tend to tell us a little bit about the person who owns the car that they adorn.

I saw this on a car a few weeks ago. In truth, I know quite a few people who should have this bumper sticker on their car.

My bumper sticker reads LIFE IS GOOD.

What does (or would) your bumper sticker say?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Think Green

While we were walking the streets of Franklin before the Jazz Festival the other night, we saw this electric car parked on Main Street.  A two-seater, it has a bit of room behind the seats for packages and other stuff.  The car was parked, but we saw the cord rolled up in the back, and where the gas cap would normally be (toward the back on the passenger side), we saw a cap that we assume was where one would plug in the cord to power up the car.    

I don't remember the cost. . . . I think it was about $17,000.  What I do remember is that the sunroof on this car ran about $1200 extra.

If you want to read more, you can check out the website by clicking here.  Their site is being developed.

Personal observation:  We think you could probably park this car perpendicular to the curb and still be within the parking stripes.  We also think you could park two of these cars comfortably in one space the regular way.

So, would you drive an electric car?

Monday, September 1, 2008

THEME DAY: Nashville's Sister City

Today's Theme Day showcases the Sister Cities of our hometowns. Nashville's Sister Cities are Caen, France; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Edmonton, Canada; Taiyuan, China; and Magdeburg, Germany. Crouy, France became Nashville's Friendship City earlier this year. There are several other cities in the process of becoming Sister Cities with Nashville, including Mendoza, Argentina, and cities in Nigeria, Italy, Turkey, Russia and South Korea.

Developed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Sister Cities International promotes goodwill between cities and nations through the diplomacy of participants' cities. Nashville joined the Sister City organization in 1990.

Caen, France is in the province of Normandy. Unfortunately, I haven't been to Caen (or any of our other sister cities), but I have been to Paris and Le Havre. Since a bunch of people have Paris covered, and since Le Havre is also in Normandy, I'm posting a photo of the Church of St. Honorina of the Abbey of Graville. The priory is the oldest surviving building in Le Havre, and the stones from which the church is made date back to the time of the Normans (12-16 Centuries). The nave of the church was built between 1100-1300.

Today is THEME DAY in the City Daily Photo World. Check out the other blogs around the world participating in this exciting Sister City Theme!  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants