Saturday, May 31, 2008

See What??

A lot is going on around Nashville Daily Photo these days, so I'm posting a photo that I took before I closed my store last year.  Decker (L) and Kasey always liked to help me while I was doing store work, but as they got older, their eyesight started to go a bit, and they needed reading glasses.  Now that they don't have to help with the store stuff, they don't need the glasses.  One of these days,  I'll show you what they wear now.  ;-)

Tomorrow is THEME DAY.

Friday, May 30, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Fountain Against the Sky

A few weeks ago, had lunch with friends who had been our neighbors when we lived in Atlanta in the 80s.  We hadn't seen them for 20 years.  We met in Chattanooga since it is about 90 minutes from each of our homes.

While we were walking along the river, I saw these fountains shooting water against the blue sky and couldn't resist putting them in for SkyWatch Friday.

There are over 100 other bloggers participating in SkyWatch Friday.  For links to others, click here.

P.S.  The wood in yesterday's photo was from the top of a picnic table in Centennial Park.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Is It?

For a bit of a change of pace today, I thought I'd post this photo that has no special meaning to anything except that the wood is part of something located in Nashville.

Any idea what it is?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The condo craze has hit all areas of Nashville, including the West End area, which is a little west of downtown and close to Vanderbilt University.  The main entrance to Centennial Park is on West End Avenue.

On the westside of Centennial Park, developers have razed old homes and are putting up a number of different condo complexes.  Artesia (above) is about a block away from the west entrance to Centennial Park.  There will be 17 condos in the development, ranging in size from 1100+-2300+ square feet and costing from $400,000-1,200,000.   You can read more about it by clicking here.   

This is a nice area as it's close to two parks (Directly across from Artesia (where I was standing when I took the photo) is another smaller park.  That park has a fenced dog park which was, if I'm not mistaken, one of the first dog parks in the area.), Vanderbilt, hospitals, businesses, downtown, Music Row, the freeways, and restaurants.

I have, perhaps, given the wrong idea about all this construction.  I am not against condos at all.  I do like the idea that developers are bringing new life to certain areas.  However, I just cannot fathom who is going to buy all of these condos . . . and who can afford some of them?  I also wonder, with the current mortgage crisis in this country, how many of these towers are going to end up being 1/2 completed.  At least one developer has lost funding for his tower, and all construction has stopped.  Luckily, they had done little more than clear the land and start digging before the stoppage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Yesterday I mentioned that I remember veterans and other service-related groups selling poppies around Memorial Day as a tribute to those who died in service to the U.S. and to raise money for servicemen in need.  Have you ever wondered why?
In 1915,   a Canadian soldier, Lt. Col. John McCrae wrote In Flanders Field after witnessing the death of a close friend.  Many casualties were buried in Flanders, and poppies grew wild in the field there.  McCrae, having witnessed the death of a close friend, wrote the poem:

In Flanders Field the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still singing bravely, fly
Scarce heard among the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Field. . . 

(Note:  Flanders Field is in Belgium.  There is another stanza to the poem.)

American Moina Michaels, inspired by the poem, wrote her own version:

We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Michaels then started wearing the poppy in memory of fallen soldiers and sold them to friends and co-workers to raise money to benefit soldiers' families.  A French woman, Madam Guerin, heard about the program while she was visiting the States, and when she returned to 
France, she started making paper poppies to sell to raise money for the widows and children of soldiers.  The tradition started to spread around the world, and in 1922, the VFW in the U.S. started selling the paper poppies nationally. 

The poppies shown in my post today are growing wild along a creek on the westside of Nashville (right).  There are thousands of them, and I had never noticed them before.  There is a lot of new construction in the area as developers are building Nashville West, a shopping plaza, in the area.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Formerly called "Decoration Day," Memorial Day is a day for Americans to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service of the United States.  There are a number of theories as to the origin of the holiday, but many believe Decoration Day began when survivors decorated the graves of soldiers killed during the Civil War.  The first official observance of the day was May 30, 1868, and for 100 years May 30 was the official date of the holiday.  In 1967, Congress authorized moving the holiday to the last Monday in May.  For years, groups sold paper poppies to give profits to servicemen in need.  On the Thursday before Memorial Day, the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry place flags on more than 260,000 graves in Arlington National Cemetery.  It is tradition to decorate the graves of ex-military with flags, and most cemeteries hold a service.  In 2000, Congress approved a National Moment of Remembrance, and ask that all Americans observe a moment of silence at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day in memory of the veterans.  

Over 1,000,000 men and women have lost their lives in service to this country.  The conflict and the number of deaths:

Civil War . . . 498,332
World War I . . . 116,516
World War II . . . 405,399
Korean Conflict . . . 54, 246
Viet Nam . . . 58, 209
Gulf War . . . 1972
Afghanistan . . . 506* 
Iraq . . . 4079*

* As of May 24, 2008

Regarding the "flag" in today's photo . . . I found this piece of art in an office building on West End Blvd. in Nashville.  It's all wood, three-dimensional, and quite large.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Construction City #7-Ladder to Nowhere

I took this photo the other day outside of Icon in The Gulch.  Anyone care to guess what these construction workers are working on with the ladder?  It's open, not leaning against the building.  I couldn't figure out what they were doing since there aren't any lights or decorations in the vicinity of the ladder.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Construction City #6- Germantown Lofts

Last month I introduced you to Germantown, an old area just north of downtown Nashville, and showed you some of the old homes there.  (Click here to see one of the Germantown posts.)  The condos shown above are also in Germantown.  I'm sure you'll agree that the architecture is quite different from the older homes. 

I've noticed that the colors they painted these buildings seem to be popular all over.  I've seen homes, condos, and businesses painted orange, olive, brown, crimson, mustard, etc.  Depending on my mood, I can like these colors or dislike these colors.  I'm not sure that I like them in this setting, though.  

Do you like these deep colors on houses?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Construction City #5- Werthan Lofts

Located in the Germantown area north of downtown Nashville, the Werthan Lofts are located in the 100+-year old Werthan Mills factory.  A $30-million project, the lofts have 20-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, and refinished hardwood floors original to the mill.  A mere five or six years ago, the place was a rundown building a few blocks away from Bicentennial Mall.  The development is in its fourth phase now, and future plans include more green space, a bocce ball court, and an outdoor stage with seating for more than 250 people.  Lofts on the south side of the building have a great view of the downtown skyline.

One of my former customers and her husband purchased one of the original released lofts a few years ago, and from what she told me, they bought an open space and then had a lot of say as to how the floorplan was finished.

Werthan Mills, by the way, was a burlap bag mill.  The Werthan Mill building opened in 1872.

To get a look at the Werthan Loft development, click here.

Tomorrow:  New lofts in Germantown.

I would love to live in a refurbished building.  Would you?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Construction City #4 - Icon

Also in the SoBro district, The Gulch is a mile or less west of the Rolling Mill Hill area.  The area is close to the railroad tracks that once carried trains to the Union Station Hotel (Click here to see my post on Union Station.  The hotel and tracks are just a block or so north of The Gulch.).  Also just a few blocks west is Music Row.

Once a forgotten part of town, The Gulch has once again become popular with Nashvillians.  Several good restaurants operate in the area (I've been to Sambuca, Watermark and Radius 10.), and there are a few condo towers in development, including Icon (above) and Terrazzo (yesterday).  Both towers have plans to add retail space to the street level, and Urban Outfitters just signed a lease to take over a building currently occupied by a bar.

For more information on Icon, click here.  For more information on Terrazzo, click here.  You can look at floorplans and such on those sites.

Just to give you perspective. . . .I shot this photo from the west side of Icon.  Downtown is to the north (left) of the photo.  Terrazzo is to the south (right), directly across the street behind Icon.  Rolling Mill Hill is to the east.

Tomorrow:  Factory lofts. . .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Construction City #3

For the next several days, I thought that I would continue my construction series and show you a number of projects (and workers) in the area.  I shot this photo of a construction worker the day of the Music City Marathon.  He was watching the runners whose route took them past the corner of the building on which he was working.  It was very early on a Saturday, and a couple of crews were already at work in The Gulch, another area in SoBro.  Tomorrow, I'll show you his building and tell you about The Gulch.

A couple of people have mentioned the cost of the condos downtown, so I thought that I would throw out a couple of facts:

* The building sizes vary from project to project with some having fewer than 5 floors while others have more than 20 floors.
* Square footage in the condos also varies greatly, although many developments have condos that have less than 1000 square feet of living space.  In fairness, there are some that have 1200, 1300, and over 2000 square feet.  The smallest that I found was 615 square feet**, and the largest was 2672 square feet.
* Most of the buildings have common areas that feature pools, workout rooms, etc.
* Many of the developers plan to add local retail space.
* The costs vary greatly from building-to-building as well as from condo-to-condo.  The lowest price that I found was $194,700 for a 744 square-foot condo, and the highest price (that I found) was $799,900 for 1829-square feet.  The median price is probably in the mid-$300s.

** Included in that 615 square feet is a kitchen, living space, bathroom, bedroom and closets.  That is not a lot of space.

Could you live in a condo that had 615 square feet of living space?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Construction City: Rolling Mill Hill

I thought that since I started a construction thread yesterday, I would continue by showing you a number of the projects going on around Nashville right now.

The photo above is of the Rolling Mill Hill development which is in an area of Nashville called SoBro.  SoBro is comprised of the area that is south of Broadway, the main street in downtown Nashville.

Once home to Metro General Hospital (above) which was built in 1890 and the city's trolley barns (not shown), Rolling Mill Hill is now developing into a mix-used community that will include residences, businesses. greenways and streetscapes.  Available homes will include lofts, townhomes and flats, and most will have views of the Cumberland River or downtown Nashville.  While some of the existing buildings are being converted to living spaces, there are plans for new towers, also.

The unique part of this 34-acre planned community is that it is a collaborative effort between the Nashville Metropolitan Development Authority and select developers.  For more information, click here or here (This is the Metro Government site which has great aerial views.)

You have your choice:  View of the river or view of downtown?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Construction City

There is so much construction going on in Nashville that it is hard to drive down any major street and not see a crane or the shell of a new building or something related to building.  Saturday morning, workers were busy with construction of some new building downtown. I'm not sure if it's another condo tower or a parking garage, but streets were partially blocked so the guys could work safely.

What amazes me is how HUGE some of the machinery and things they work with are.  A few weeks ago, I was stopped at a light next to a semi-truck that was hauling a number of spools similar to the one in this photo.  I drive a Mini Cooper, and I swear those spools are bigger than my car.  I imagine the guy in the photo is at least six-feet tall, so that spool is close to seven feet in diameter.

Re:  Construction of condo towers . . .  I have mentioned this before, but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out who is going to buy the condos in the towers being built both in Nashville and other large cities around the country.  I heard over the weekend that a few developers have decided not to build the previously approved condo towers, which I think is good because there are so many already in different stages.   

Would you rather have a downtown condo or a home in the 'burbs?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Recycle Event

This is not the best photo in the world, but I wanted you to see the scope of the recycling event from this weekend.

Vanderbilt University, in conjunction with the University of Memphis and East Tennessee State University, sponsored a free statewide electronics recycling event over the past four days.  The general public was welcome to bring any type of old electronic item to collection sites May 14-17.  Included were all computers, printers, copiers, televisions, fax machines, cell phones, electronic game consoles, and any other electronic item that was outdated or no longer in use.

We brought our old computers, televisions, the store's old credit card processing machine to LP Field (Home of the Tennessee Titans), the Middle Tennessee Collection site (above) early Saturday morning.  At the time we were there, we noticed pallets of old televisions, computer monitors, computers, radios, etc. waiting to be packed on semis for transport to destruction sites.  All collected items will be destroyed safely.

Remember I mentioned that I was able to take part in this year's state tax-free weekend?  Today I got rid of the Dell computer I had been using for store business for years.  During tax-free weekend two weeks ago, I purchased a MacBook.  I have always been a Mac-ophile, and I am happy to be back to Mac!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday in the Park

Walking through the park last week, I saw this little flower.  I'm not sure what it is -- a periwinkle, perhaps?  I remember seeing these in the brush around our neighborhood when I was growing up.  I used to pick them and put them in glasses of water when I was little.  There is such beauty, even in weeds.

Friday, May 16, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Blue and White Wonders

I post today's SkyWatch in honor of Tom's post of a couple of weeks ago when he was looking at the sky and almost met with the front side of a moving car.  The day I took this, I was looking up at the completely blue sky and saw this cloud formation in the middle of nowhere.  Luckily, I was in my yard and the only thing I almost ran into was a small bush.

Today's Nashville sky is quite the opposite of this one.  It appears that we're going to have yet another cloudy day, although the rain may hold off for a bit.  Of course, since we had the drought last summer, we're in need of the precipitation, so we can't complain too much.

There are over 140 others participating in today's SkyWatch.  Click here for other links.

My question today is this:  How often do you notice just one or two clouds in an otherwise completely blue sky?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lonely City

It's very unusual to find an empty downtown street. One day last week, I saw this guy walking toward one of the state office buildings, and there was no one else around.  Very odd!

Are there a lot of people walking around the downtown area of your town?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

John Thomas

One thing I like about Nashville is that one finds statues honoring a variety of citizens or events dotting the urban landscape.  That is not the case in a number of other cities in which I've lived.

This statue of John Thomas (1830-1906) sits in Centennial Park (Note the Parthenon behind it.).  A 48-year employee of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway, Thomas was also president of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition and was instrumental in obtaining the land on which the Exposition was held and which later became Centennial Park.  Employees of the railway erected the statue in Thomas's memory.

Two things:  First, I find it odd that the part of the statue facing the park is the backside.  It is not located at the main entrance (or any other entrance, really) to the park, so I wonder why it faces that way.  I, personally, would think the guy would want to look at the park.

Also, there is more to the display than what I've shown.  There is a stone/cement platform under the statue, and one has to climb 4-5 steps to get up to the "deck" area.  Right under the statue is a small ledge on which one can sit.

Are there many statues or monuments where you live?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hail Damage

In February, I did a few posts on the storms that came through the Nashville area.  In one of them, I mentioned that the wind had been so strong that we lost over 100 roof shingles.  A few days later, I posted a photo of the large pieces of hail that hit our neighborhood.  (Click here to see the hail.)

What I didn't know at the time was that the hail can do some pretty hefty damage to roofs.  Our neighborhood, as a matter of fact, was so hard hit by the hail that it was officially declared (by whom I don't really know) a "disaster."  The majority of the homes in the neighborhood qualified for roof replacement due to the hail damage.  And, because our weather has been so unpredictable, roofers are *still* working on re-roofing homes here.

I took this photo yesterday, and when I started to take it, a guy was standing on the highest part of the roof.  Unfortunately, I guess he saw me and slid out of sight.  Note how steep the roof is.   It's worse in the back because this home sits on a yard that slopes down in the back.  The horizontal boards on the garage portion are for footing in case the workers start to slide.  You wouldn't catch me up there!

So, have you ever been on a roof?

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Amendment Center

Congress shall make no law respecting 
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; 
or abridging the freedom of speech, 
or of the press; 
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,  
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
- United States Constitution
  Bill of Rights
First Amendment

Founded in 1991 by John Siegenthaler, the First Amendment Center serves to educate the public on their rights as afforded by the First Amendment.  In a speech given during the announcement of the Center's founding on December 15, 1991, Siegenthaler said that the Center would be a "catalyst" for studying the values protected by the First Amendment.  He made the announcement on the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

The John Siegenthaler First Amendment Center (left) is located on the Vanderbilt University Campus in Nashville and is associated with the Freedom Forum and Newseum in Washington, DC.  As I mentioned, the First Amendment Center strives to educate the public on its rights as American citizens.  There is a display (above) in the upstairs hallway with papers and photos documenting some of the fights for freedom various citizens have faced over the life of this country.  In addition, the Center sponsors workshops, speeches and concerts (See yesterday's post.).

Many people don't realize the Center even exists, much less that it is in Nashville.  If you get a chance to visit the area, I highly suggest a trip over.

For more information, check out the website by clicking here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Freedom Sings

Musical innovation is full of danger
to the whole state and ought
to be prohibited.
- Plato

Yesterday we attended Freedom Sings at the First Amendment Center in Nashville. Freedom Sings highlights songs that have been banned for one reason or another over the years. Seven artists performed yesterday, and there are 13 others that perform with the troupe at other times.  Freedom Sings began in 1999 with annual performances at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.  In 2001, they took the show on the road, and  last year, Freedom Sings performed 22 times across the country, usually on college or school campuses.

The five artists in the photo above are (left to right):  Bill Lloyd, Don Henry, Jonell Mosser, Jackie Patterson, and Jason White.  On keyboards and drums respectively (and not shown) were Michael Webb and Craig Kramper.

The First Amendment has guaranteed US citizens the right of free speech (and four other freedoms).  Music has long had a role in free speech, attempting to serve as a means of protest or enlightenment.  Not everyone has always agreed with the use of music for these means, and at times, different groups have attempted to control what we hear.

If Freedom Sings is in your area, I highly recommend attending if at all possible.  For more information on Freedom Sings and their appearance schedule, click here.

A couple of interesting banned songs (and interesting tidbits):

*  During the Civil War, Auld Lang Syne and Home Sweet Home were banned because they made soldiers homesick.  One banned song (and I don't remember the name) was so popular that the composer sold 54,000 copies of its sheet music.

*  Wake Up, Little Suzie was banned in Boston in 1957 for being too suggestive.

*  The FBI spent countless man-hours trying to decipher the words (and meaning) of Louie Louie, and they played the song at different speeds to do so.  They eventually sent out a memorandum that stated the lyrics were undecipherable at any speed.  It's interesting to note that the lead singer on the original record had just had braces put on, and his mouth and gums were pretty swollen, thus impeding his speech.

*  Elvis Presley appeared on Ed Sullivan two times before Ed noticed Elvis's "moves" while performing and ordered that cameras shoot Elvis from the waist up during his 3rd appearance.

*  You're a Grand Old Flag was originally titled You're a Grand Old Rag, but George M. Cohen was forced to change "rag" to "flag" because of public outcry.

*  In 1954, Houston formed the Juvenile Delinquent Commission which, in turn, had several rock songs banned from airwaves for their bad influence on kids, including Elvis's Everybody's Rocking Tonight.

*  In 1978, the Maryland State Legislature tried to pass legislation banning Randy Newman's Short People as a hate song.  They failed.  

*  Spiro Agnew gave a speech in California in the late 60s saying rock songs were relaying subliminal messages to kids.  One song he mentioned?  The Beatles' I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.

Other songs that have created controversy or have been banned include:
Puff, the Magic Dragon
Yellow Submarine
This Little Light of Mine
The Times They Are A-Changing
Annie Had A Baby
Red Rag Top

And who, these days, can forget the Dixie Chicks controversy of a few years ago?

Do you know the five freedoms awarded by the First Amendment?  

Tomorrow, I'll introduce you to the First Amendment Center and Freedom Forum, both headquartered here,  and tell you a bit about them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Giving the U.S. Gas

I know this post may set off some of you who live in other parts of the world, but I cannot help but post this today.

Last weekend, we were driving to meet friends and needed to stop for fuel.  We passed dozens of gas stations during our drive, and prices ranged from $3.61/gallon to $3.38/gallon.  I realize that in Europe and elsewhere you are all paying a lot more than we are . . . In some European and Asian countries, the cost of gas is over $7/gallon.  (By the way, in Venezuela, the cost is 12 CENTS/gallon.)

This leads me to wonder a few things:

First, why are we (all over the world) so dependent on oil?  Why must automakers put us at the mercy of oil?

How can a station charge $3.38/gallon in one location and $3.59/gallon in a different location a mile away?

How can a station change the price of a gallon of gas THREE TIMES in one day?

Why is it that when the price of a barrel of oil goes up, the price of a gallon of gas goes up; but when the price of a barrel of oil goes down, the price of a gallon of gas goes up? 

Did you know that a barrel of oil in the early 70s cost $3?  In the mid-90s, the cost of oil fluctuated between $10 and 20+/barrel.  Today, the cost of oil is $126/barrel.  (Add 20% or so to the first numbers to account for inflation.)

Did you know that in 1978, Americans were paying an average of 65 CENTS for a gallon of gas?  Today the nationwide average is $3.67.  (Again, adjust for inflation by adding about 20%.)

Did you know that some airlines are now flying their planes at lower speeds to save gas?  Southwest estimates it saves millions of dollars by doing this.

What can we do about this???

I need a horse.

Friday, May 9, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Spring View

In February, I posted a photo of a snow storm assaulting the cow pasture behind our house.  (Click here to see the snow.)  Here's how the pasture looked last Saturday afternoon.  Instead of snowflakes, buttercups adorn the field.  (Note:  I cropped the snow photo a bit, but have left this one mostly intact so the buttercups show up.)

There are always more than 75 bloggers posting SkyWatch photos.  To see others, click here.

THANKS & UPDATE!  Thanks to everyone who has emailed me or left comments about my shoulder and my dog, Kasey.  I'm writing an update on the comment section of my blog today.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Victims of Violence-Children's Memorial Garden

On the westside of Centennial Park in Nashville is the Victims of Violence Children's Memorial 
Garden.    Filled with beautiful flowers and plants, the garden is a perpetual memorial to area children who have lost their lives violently. Blocks on the walkway are paved with the names of the children (left).  Unfortunately, there are too many names engraved on the pavers in the garden.

Tomorrow:  SkyWatch Friday and an update (of sorts).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Walk in the Park

Last fall, I posted a photo of Nashville's Parthenon (Click here to see the original post.).  Loated in Centennial Park, the Parthenon is a great backdrop for all of the park's activities.  On Sunday, people enjoying the TACA Arts Fair also had the opportunity to enjoy the sun by walking around the fair and the park's extensive lawns.

Just for orientation, I took the original photo of the Parthenon from the east side of the building looking west.  I took this photo from the southwest side of the building looking north,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

These beautiful rockers are the designs of Alan Daigre.  Made complete of hardwoods, the conform to the body's shape because of how he puts them together.  He hand-carves each of the pegs, joining them with one rope that runs the entire length of the rocker.  When you sit on the rocker, the pieces conform to your body, making the chair extremely comfortable.  Alan started out making Shaker-style rockers, but finding them uncomfortable for most body styles, he worked on this process.  

Most of the wood he uses in his rockers comes from indigenous Tennessee hardwoods, usually found on his 70-acre property SE of Nashville.  The rocker above is a mix of different woods including maple and black walnut.  The rocker below is black walnut.  My photos don't do justice to the grain of the woods Alan uses.  

I like the black walnut chair.  My husband likes the other.  How about you?

Monday, May 5, 2008

TACA Spring

This weekend was the spring edition of TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists) at Centennial Park.  Exhibitors from all over the country participate in this juried show, and the variety of artists and mediums is great.  In the past few years, we've noticed a lot of metal artists, and this year there were woodworkers of all kinds (one of which I'll show you tomorrow).  There's something for everyone, from folk ar (above)t to fine art.

The metal yard art shown in today's photos are the work of Major Hall of Bethpage, Tennessee.  I do love the moose (above), but I think my dogs might prefer the giraffe.  What do you think?

Tomorrow:  If you think you know rockers, you haven't seen the kind we saw at TACA.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wall Part II

This is the second part of the Habitat for Humanity HomeStore wall that I showed you yesterday.  I love the colors and the energy emitted through the painting.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wall Art

This is part of a mural painted on the Habitat Homestore in the downtown Nashville area. Operated by the Nashville-area Habitat for Humanity, the store (which is one of two in the area, by the way) sells new and used building supplies and home-related items to the general public at a discount. The Habitat Homestore that is home to the wall above sells building materials, while the other store sells home furnishings.

All proceeds from sales at the store go directly to Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for people who cannot afford a conventional mortgage. In the first five years of their existence, the Habitat Homestores have provided enough capital to build five homes in Nashville.

The wall art shown above is just a portion of the piece. It actually extends the entire length of the building. Tomorrow, I'll show you another part of it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Dominican Convent

The Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Cecilia came to Nashville in 1860. Their convent (above) is in the same location, and parts of the convent are original to 1862 when the first buildings were complete. The convent's location is just north of downtown Nashville in an area now called "Metro Center," and it is so close to downtown that, during the Civil War, the sisters and their students could actually see the fighting near the state capitol.

A couple of interesting facts:
* The congregation is named for St. Cecilia, the patroness of music. St. Dominic founded the original Dominicans on the feast of St. Cecilia.
* The congregation of St. Cecilia is a teaching order. In addition to teaching at schools in Nashville, they staff a number of schools in 15 other states and in Rome.
* The sisters of the order still wear a traditional outfit: long, white dress and black veil.
* At a time when most religious orders are losing members, this congregation is growing. There are currently over 225 sisters in the order, and they get 10-15 new vocations annually.
* The average age of nuns in the US is 70 years of age. The median age of the nuns in the congregation of St. Cecilia is 35.

To read more about the Dominican Sisters or to take a "tour" of their motherhouse, click here.

SkyWatch Note: I took the photo I posted yesterday a few minutes after I took today's photo. I was standing in almost the same spot. However, I was facing west when I took yesterday's photo, and north when I took today's photo. Note the difference in the sky in both photos.

There are over 70 other photo bloggers participating in SkyWatch this week. To see other SkyWatch photos, click here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Theme Day: ONE Sister and the Irises

UPDATE & APOLOGY:  My arm is obviously not the only part of my body suffering these days as I completely forgot that this was the first of the month and theme day.  Since I really have not been able to shoot very much, it just slipped my mind, and I profusely apologize.

However, since this month's theme is NUMBERS, perhaps ONE sister amongst thousands of irises can count?

Last week, I drove by the Dominican Convent and happened to see one of the sisters enjoying the spring afternoon sunshine.  I was quite a distance from her, but I did want to share the shot of her walking to the iris garden.

Tomorrow, for SkyWatch, I'll show you the convent and give you some interesting information about the Dominicans.

If you would like to check out the blogs participating in Theme Day, click on the appropriate link:  

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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by Mo, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Malaga, Spain by Paula, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Medan, Indonesia by KT, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Montpellier, France by Marie, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the 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