Thursday, January 31, 2008

6o Degrees? HAH!

Over the weekend, we had heard that the temperature was going to reach 60 degrees earlier this week, and that the weather might warm up a bit. Negative on both accounts. The heavy (and I do mean HEAVY) rains that we experienced Tuesday brought in another wave of cold weather. (Cold is a four-letter word, you know.) The upside is that frost on the few leaves still adorning bushes in the area is pretty. I think the bush above is a burning bush, so its green leaves turn red when mature.

How frosty is your world?
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You Big Turkey

While I was working on something for my writing class yesterday, I glanced out of the office window and noticed dozens of wild turkeys in the pasture behind our house. There were at least 100 back there, and the small photo (right) gives you a better idea of how spread out they were.

We have lived in this house for 12 years, and in that time, I have seen one other wild turkey in the back. There are flocks in our area, and I have seen two or three together in other fields a few miles away. They left about 20 minutes after I first saw them, and then returned a few hours later. I didn't see them arrive or depart either time, nor did I hear them make any noise. And, while I have no idea whether this makes any difference, it was storming both times that they were in the back. When the rain let up, they were gone.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Have you ever noticed how much stuff restaurants and hotels put on tables when you go to a formal dinner? In addition to silverware galore and centerpieces, there are cups and saucers, water glasses, wine glasses bread baskets, butter plates, charger plates, bread plates, and more. Add to all of those your personal beverage glasses, and there's no room for anything else.

By the way, when you sit down, do you know which bread plate (the one on the right or left?) and which coffee cup/drink are yours (the one on the right or left?)? Here's a clue on how to remember: Put your hands on your lap, palms facing each other about 5 inches apart. Touch the tip of your index fingers to its corresponding thumb. Your left hand is forming a "b," and your right hand is forming a "d." Bread plate (b) is on the left, and drink (d) is on the right.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tiramisu for you?

As I mentioned yesterday, the Regional Emmy Awards were held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center last night. The featured dessert was tiramisu, accompanied by the huge, chocolate musical note. (Sorry the photo is a little blurry. I was handholding, again!)
My husband said they were both pretty good. Since I eat only sugar-free desserts, I wouldn't know.
So, do you like tiramisu?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Icy Fountain

Last evening, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held its Regional Emmy Awards at The Schermerhorn Symphony Center. As we walked in, I noticed that water landing on the sculpture in this fountain had frozen over a bit. It's been very cold all week, although they were predicting that it will hit 60 degrees here today. I don't mean to disagree, but I think it is highly unlikely!
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Saturday, January 26, 2008


This truck adorns a weed-filled field in the middle of a commercial area on the west side of town. Other items of trash are in the field, too. There's a fast food restaurant on one side of the field, and a brew pub on the other. The manager of the hamburger place told me that the owner has put all of that stuff there.

So, what are the eyesores in your area?

Side note: When I was in Las Vegas last week, I got to meet Mo of Another LV Daily Photo. It was very fun to meet someone from CDP, and we really felt like old friends immediately. However, we should have shot a photo of us together, but we forgot. Next time I go out, we'll have to do that!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Follow Me

The little calf I showed you yesterday took her first steps not too long after her birth. She took a few minutes to get her balance, and mom did keep an eye on her. Once the baby was steady enough to walk, mom led her over to the rest of the group.

Note the bird at the top of the photo. Always present when calves drop, the turkey vultures go for the afterbirth. If they get too close to the new calf, the mother - or one of the other cows - will chase them away. It's very interesting to watch the group dynamic and see how the cows relate to each other and how they watch out for each other. The cows have a strong maternal link with their calves and keep an eye on the calves, even as they grow larger. If the herd moves from one field to another, the mothers make sure the babies are moving, too, or they stand and call for them. All life is so amazing!

I took this photo through a window, also. Since the cows were so close to the fence line, I didn't want to stress the mom and baby with my presence.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welcome to the (Frosty) World

Our house backs up to a pasture, and the "girls" hang out back there quite often. Having lived in this house for 12 years, I have been fortunate to witness hundreds of the cows giving birth. Not too long ago, I happened to be looking out of the window when the calf in the photo above dropped. I ran for the camera and was able to catch "mom" immediately after she stood up and faced her baby for the first time. My understanding is that the mom licks and smells the calf so that she can identify her calf from the others in the field.

Tomorrow I'll show you the first steps.

Note: I did take this photo through a window.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Springhouse door

To get water from the spring below the Mallory Springhouse, people would enter through this door and fill their buckets with water from the spring. Today, the planks are still there, but the door and pathway to it are both overgrown.

As a point of reference, the door is on the east side of the springhouse. Yesterday's photo shows the north and west sides of the building.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mallory Springhouse

Located in Williamson County, this old springhouse sits above a creek that area residents used for over 200 years. Native Americans used the spring before , in 1788, Thomas Sharp Spencer received the land (and over 300 acres) through which the creek flows for his service in the Revolutionary War. John and Sarah Mallory purchased 100 acres of land from Elizabeth Spencer in 1813 and built the springhouse. For years, the springhouse supplied water to nearby families, a dairy, and the Mallory School. Until 1949, the school's students carried buckets of water from the springhouse to their school daily.

If you were to walk up the hill behind the springhouse, you would be in the large parking lot of Cool Springs Galleria, one of the major malls in the Nashville area. Behind me is Mallory Lane, a major, four-lane road.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the door to the springhouse.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hard-headed Reader

Inside the Curris Student Center is this huge statue of a man reading a paper. Pretty interesting, no? He seems to be made from the same piece of wood as the bench.

Curris is also home to Student Services, the bookstore, several food venues, lounges, and more computers.

Tomorrow, we'll return to Nashville and look at an old springhouse.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Frap House

In a town the size of Murray, KY, one will not find Starbucks. :-( However, there is a great coffee shop - The Frap House. Located across from the Pogue Library, it's a popular hangout for students. And, the coffee is great! :-D

In addition, let me answer a question from yesterday: Yes, Murray State's sports teams are the Racers.

Also, I would like to thank Greg and Janet for giving me a "Make My Day" Award. Since I am out of town yet again, I will post my versions when I get back home and have access to my own computer.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Faculty Hall

Faculty Hall houses the English Department (and several other departments) at Murray State.

Because regular classes were not in session while the Creative Writing residency was on campus, the sidewalks around this usually busy building were pretty empty.

Friday, January 18, 2008

MSU Libraries

The Pogue Library (above), was the school's main library from 1931 until Waterfield (below left) opened. Today, the Pogue Library houses a number of special collections, including the university archives and documents relating to the history of the western region of Kentucky. In addition, the Overby Law Library is on the first floor of Pogue. The Pogue Library is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Named for Harry Lee Waterfield, MSU alum and a former lieutenant governor of KY, the Waterfield Library (left) opened in 1978. In addition to books and other reference materials, the library is home to over 180,000 government documents and over 2000 periodicals. There are dozens of computers on the first floor of the library, and students (with proper ID) can use them for research, writing, and surfing the 'Net (of course!).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Murray State University

Although Murray State University is not in Nashville, it is about two hours north in Murray, KY., a lot of us consider it the mid-state area. ( If you come from wide-open spaces, you know what I mean!) I thought I would show you a little of the campus where I attended classes for my 10-day residency.

Murray State calls itself Kentucky's Public Ivy University and receives high marks from college-ranking publications. The university offers more than 64 undergraduate and 42 graduate majors. A unique program included in the graduate school is the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing in which I am enrolled. As a note of explanation, a low-residency program is one where students attend classes, workshops, lectures, etc. for 8-12 days on campus a couple of times each year. During the rest of the semester, students complete work at home, sending in packets electronically or via snail mail. In our program, we read 7-10 books per semester, write papers about those books, and hand in 20-30 pages of work in our genre (nonfiction, fiction or poetry).

Tomorrow, I'll show you the school libraries.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Your News & Information Leader

The other day, I posted a photo of the control room during a news broadcast. Today, I show you what you do get to see on air - the anchors on set.

Newschannel5 is the award-winning, CBS affiliate in Nashville and is the only local station broadcasting in high definition. The station unveiled the set last January with the first broadcast in HD (SuperBowl Sunday, 2007). In the next few years, more stations will be switching to HD as analog broadcasts phase out. When a station switches to HD broadcasts, there are a number of logistics that change, including the lighting and camera work. Of course, the average viewer really doesn't notice these changes at all.

The Newschannel5 anchors on set are, from left, Ron Howes, chief meterologist, Rhori Johnston and Kristin Priesol, 5 and 10 PM anchors.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Green Hills

The Green Hills area of Nashville is located south of downtown and straddles Hillsboro Road (above). Green Hills is home to the Mall at Green Hills and Hills Center (which I featured the other day). I took this photo from Hills Center. The BlueBird Cafe is in a plaza across the street from where I was standing, and the mall is up the road about three blocks (same side as Hills Center). Highly commercial, Hillsboro Road is always jammed with traffic.

Green Hills is not incorporated, although there was talk of doing so in the 1950s. There is a town of the same name - Green Hill, TN - in Wilson County, about 20-25 miles from Nashville.
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Monday, January 14, 2008


Located in a strip plaza, this non-descript building houses one of Nashville's most famous music venues, The Bluebird Cafe. Originally opening as a gourmet restaurant in 1982, the Bluebird added Sunday evening "Writers' Nights" as a way for performers and songwriters to showcase their talents. The success of those Sunday evening performances changed the restaurant's focus to a daily dinner and show. Patrons arrive early to eat dinner and then enjoy the show. The diners are very close to the performers, and any amount of talking is distracting. Therefore, "Shhhhh!" is the cafe's slogan.

Make no mistake. The songsters do not jam. Many times, the only instrument accompanying the performer(s) is a single guitar or a piano. Numerous stars perform at the Bluebird (Kathy Mattea, Garth Brooks, Kris Kristofferson, Paul Williams, to name a few), and new performers do their thing on Sunday evenings. Annually, the Freedom Forum holds a concert featuring songs that have been banned around the world.

Founder Amy Kurland recently sold the Bluebird to the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). They have pledged to keep the Bluebird as it is . . . small, intimate, and fun.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Red, White and Blue Skies

Driving by this flagpole recently, I saw the flag flapping in the breeze. I pulled over, grabbed the camera and stood beneath the flag just as the breezes stopped blowing. I waited a few minutes, and one slight breeze started up. I snapped the photo, and the breezes stopped, again.

Tomorrow, we'll continue our tour of Green Hills by looking at a famous landmark.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hill's Center

Malls are out.
"Lifestyle" centers are in.

Are you wondering what that means? Shops line both sides of the street, reminding one of the old, downtown shopping areas. . . Main Street. Hills Center (above), which opened last fall in the Green Hills area of Nashville, is home to such stores as Anthropologie (See yesterday's post.), Swoozie, Whole Foods, and Whole Body. Restaurants include PeiWei, California Pizza Kitchen, and Five Guys.

I really like these centers. . . .until it rains. . .or snows. . . .or gets too hot. . . .or humid. . . . .

Friday, January 11, 2008

Let It Snow (NO!!!)

While walking through a new shopping center in the Green Hills area of Nashville recently, I saw this wonderful window display of paper snowflakes in Anthropologie*. I like it for several reasons: In this very high-tech day and age, the display is simple and beautiful. I also like the fact that they used all kinds of paper, including color papers, newsprint, magazines, etc. What nice way to recycle! And, the snowflakes, while undoubtedly machine-made since this is a chain-store window, remind me of the snowflake chains we made as children.

*Anthropologie is a store that features clothing and home decor items.

Please note: I have today and tomorrow left on my MFA residency, the reason why my posts have, as of late, have been quite short and why I have been unable to visit other sites. I will catch up!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Behind The Scenes

When you watch a news program, be it local or national, you see the anchors and reporters. However, behind the scenes, a number of people work to bring you the news. Every newsroom has assignment editors, photographers, tape editors, and producers. During the newscast, there are camera operators in the studio with the anchors, and in the control room, the producers, directors, chryon operators, and others face the numerous computers and monitors (above).

Please note: Sorry I'm late in posting this today. . .I have two days left in this first
MFA residency at Murray State.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And, Now for Something Completely Different

Forget Coffee!
Think Tea!!

Tea is the "IN" drink right now. Shops such as Teavana are the Starbucks of the tea world and sell all types of tea leaves, teapots, cups, and more. In downtown Franklin, TN, the Franklin Tea Company sells dozens of types of tea (Have you heard of "chocolate" tea?) and tea products. The different teapots are very popular with collectors. My favorite was the porcelain pumpkin (above). Note the rooster teapot behind it. (I used natural lighting, so the pumpkin's handle is "in the dark."

Please note:I am still attending the on-campus residency for my new MFA program at Murray State University. Therefore, I haven't had the opportunity to elaborate as much as I normally do for my posts, nor have I been able to visit other blogs. I will catch up!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Going Topless

As we were leaving Leiper's Fork, Michael noticed this line of trees. Note that the tops have no leaves, but that the bottoms are bedecked. Before we moved to Nashville, we had never seen this occur with any trees. If I'm not mistaken, these are Bradford Pears, which are quite popular in Middle Tennessee.

Please note: Until this weekend (and since last Friday), I am attending an intensive residency for my new MFA program. Therefore, I haven't had the opportunity to elaborate as much as I normally do for my posts, nor have I been able to visit other blogs. I will catch up!
And, I've been tagged by Wayne from Dunedin Daily Photo. I'll post my answers in the next day or so.
I've been New Year's Resolution tagged by Wayne of Dunedin Daily Photo. It goes something like this: When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions we seem to fall into four categories: 1) quite serious about them, 2) flippant about them, 3) pressured to do them, or 4) do not do them.

So, the purpose of this little game is to let us know which category you are in. Now I am going to tell you about my New Year's resolutions, and then tag a few others for the same thing!

I very rarely make New Year's Resolutions because, quite frankly, I break most of the ones I make. However, this year, due to my new "grad student" status, I thought I would make a few:

1) Read more.
2) Write more.
3) Be more patient (Like I said, I tend to break them quickly! :-) )
4) Try to slow down a bit. (See comment above.)

I'm tagging Quint (Portugal), Janet (Selma, AL) Jim (Terrell, TX &who enjoyed Las Vegas, I hope!), and Steve (New Orleans). Check them out!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Leiper's Fork Stage

Before we leave Leiper's Fork, I wanted to show you the outdoor stage the town built. From what I understand, they use this venue for a number of cultural activities. On the day I took this photo, the stage was decked out for a holiday reading. Note that the stage's architecture mirrors the quaint architecture of the homes shown in previous posts.

Please note: For the next week (and since last Friday), I am attending an intensive residency for my new MFA program. Therefore, I haven't had the opportunity to elaborate as much as I normally do for my posts, nor have I been able to visit other blogs. I will catch up!
And, I've been tagged by Wayne from Dunedin Daily Photo. I'll post my answers in the next day or so.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Leiper's Fork House #2

This is another of the quaint homes located in "downtown" Leiper's Fork. I love the style of older homes and sometimes think that some modern houses they build today lack the character of the old ones. There are neighborhoods in Nashville and the surrounding areas where contractors are bulldozing older homes to build HUGE houses.

Please note: For the next week (and since last Friday), I am attending an intensive residency for my new MFA program. Therefore, I haven't had the opportunity to write the usual amount I write for my posts, nor have I been able to visit other blogs. I will catch up!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Leiper's House #1

As I mentioned the other day, Leiper's Fork is home to some of the only remaining 19th Century architecture in the area. This is one of the houses that sits on the main drag through town.
Tomorrow, I'll show you another of the quaint homes in town.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Where's Barney?

This old Ford (Many of you might know what year it is.) still runs, and when I looked inside, I saw a police radio, handcuffs, and a few other items belonging to the "law." My understanding is that the Leiper's Fork Police Department still uses the vehicle, although mostly for parades and other town events. The tag on the front of the car reads, "This Vehicle Protected by Fife."

Tomorrow, I'll show you a few of the old houses in Leiper's Fork.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Puckett's Grocery

Located in Leiper's Fork, Puckett's Grocery has been around since the 1950s. The Puckett family opened the country store and offered not only groceries and sandwiches but also a popular gathering place for the community. People from all over Middle Tennessee - as well as visitors from all over the country - would go to Puckett's for the hamburgers.

When the current owner (Andy Marshall) bought Puckett's in the late 1990s, he gradually expanded the food offerings in response to customer demands. Many of Puckett's customers are songwriters and performers, and in 2002, Marshall decided to feature them in a weekly dinner and show. The Friday night dinner and show has grown in popularity, and reservations are now necessary. A few years ago, Marshall opened a second Puckett's in downtown Franklin which offers the dinner show on Saturday nights.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Leiper's Fork

Located south of Nashville on the Natchez Trace, Leiper's Fork is a small village that offers, according to their website, "a rural atmosphere and charm of a country life." A Registered National Historic District, Leiper's Fork was settled in the late 1790s and gets its name from the family who settled most of the land beside the creek that runs through the village.

The village's main street (above) is only a block or two long, and most of the buildings contain art galleries, antique stores, and other shops. The village still has several examples of 19th century architecture that was popular in the area at the time. There are also several horse farms in the area.

Tomorrow we'll look at a popular Leiper's Fork gathering place.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Theme Day: Best Photo

We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.

We are going to put words
on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity,
and the first
chapter is
"New Year's Day".

~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy 2008!

Today is Theme Day for the CDP community, and the theme this month is our best photo. I'm not sure this is the best one, but I do like its feel a lot, so I'm using it.

There are over 115 blogs participating in today's Theme Day. Be sure to check them out:

Paris, France - London, England - Hyde, UK - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Grenoble, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Riga, Latvia - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - New Orleans (LA), USA - Wichita (KS), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Francisco (CA), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Mainz, Germany - Melbourne, Australia - Portland (OR), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Toulouse, France - Naples (FL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Brussels, Belgium - Stayton (OR), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Nashville (TN), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Prescott (AZ), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Evry, France - Trujillo, Peru - Arlington (VA), USA - Denpasar, Indonesia - American Fork (UT), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Coral Gables (FL), USA - Montpellier, France - Joplin (MO), USA - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Boston (MA), USA - Torun, Poland - New York City (NY), USA - Dunedin (FL), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Chateaubriant, France - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Budapest, Hungary - Austin (TX), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Cypress (TX), USA - Bicheno, Australia - Wrocław, Poland - Brookville (OH), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Cheltenham, UK - Wellington, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - London, UK - Haninge, Sweden - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Arradon, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Mumbai, India - Terrell (TX), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - Delta (CO), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Saigon, Vietnam - San Diego (CA), USA - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Belgrade, Serbia - Auckland, New Zealand - Seguin (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA - Oslo, Norway - Singapore, Singapore - Las Vegas (NV), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Torino, Italy - Susanville (CA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Memphis (Tennessee), USA