Help Us Rebuild Nashville


Shortly after the catastrophic Nashville flood 2 weeks ago, a local graphic designer came up with a design for a t-shirt that she hoped to sell and put all the profits toward flood relief and clean-up. She partnered with a company called Render Apparel, which is co-owned by a friend of mine. The idea exploded via facebook and they’ve already sold more than 12, 000 shirts!

You may notice that I added a button on the left side of my blog that links back to Nashville Flood Tees. I realize not many people outside of Nashville will be interested in these, but I still wanted to spread the word. Buy one if you’d like to help rebuild us Nashville. They come in mens, womens, kids and baby onesies!

Our Vegetable Garden – May 2010


A few weeks ago we had the first “harvest” from our vegetable garden: a handful of tiny, delicious strawberries. This weekend we shared our first small cherry tomato. Isn’t it cute? It was yummy.

The raised vegetable bed with 4 varieties of tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, brussel sprouts, arugula and romaine.

Baby green pepper:

Better Boy tomato plant:

Looking forward to these in a few weeks! Thanks to our greenhouses, we should have an early crop!

The herb garden:

Raspberry bush:

Peach tree:

Yesterday we bought two blueberry bush stems on clearances at Lowes. Not expecting any harvest this year but I’m looking forward to blueberries in the future!

I forgot to snap a picture of the Key Lime tree Jason bought a few days ago. We’re also considering adding some more fruit trees this year to make a mini orchard – maybe pear and fig. I’m so excited to have all these fruits and vegetables right from our own urban backyard!!

Phone Photo Friday


Cheating this week. This photo was actually taken by my friend Leila’s iPhone during our post-flood clean up last Friday. I was stuffed in her back seat with bags of dirty clothes and she thought it was pretty funny.

Eating Out: Drifters


Drifters BBQ
1008-B Woodland St.
Nashville TN 37206

Dinner for Two: $15.27 + tip

Cuisine: pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and baked beans, brisket with coleslaw and baked beans

Impression: Jason and I were pretty thrilled when a nice sit-down BBQ place opened up in East Nashville. The staff was very friendly. The food came out in 5 minutes … I guess that makes sense since good Southern barbeque requires hours and hours of cooking time. The brisket was delicious. Jason started picking pieces off my plate before I even took these [horrible, poorly lit, cell phone] photos. He said his pulled pork was also good. The server brought out a caddy of 5 kinds of barbeque sauces: Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and Drifter (a mix of TX & TN). We liked Texas the best but it was fun to be able to sample. NM was HOT, really HOT. The waiter wasn’t kidding! The baked beans were FABULOUS! I’ve never really been a fan of baked beans until I had homemade slow cooked beans made by my Arkansas/Lousianian friend Laren. These were just as good. (Why can’t they replicate that goodness in the canned variety?!)

Cost Saving Tips: The brisket plate that came with beans and coleslaw was something like $4 cheaper than the platter that came with bigger sides. The cheaper dinner was more than enough food. Additionally, we had just water with lemon to drink.

Come Again? Yummy, cheap, in the neighborhood, and maybe best of all, the kitchen is open LATE! Midnight Sun-Thurs and 4am on Fri & Sat. 4am!

Note: Paper plates and plasticware are because of the water conservation in effect in Nashville due to the recent flood.

Wise Words


“But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior”

Isaiah 43:1-3a

I like how it says when not if.



Tonight my mom and I went to see the movie Babies. On the way we talked about babies, getting pregnant, cooky baby names. It was a funny girls night. I wish my sister could have been with us!

The documentary was cute – lots of oohs and awes and chuckles at baby antics. If you delight in watching babies play and learn and interact, you’ll enjoy watching this. There is no plot or dialog so it’s tempting to keep whispering back and forth about this antic or that observation.

The style of documentary reminded me of March of the Penguins (I’m one of the few who enjoyed that movie and didn’t fall asleep watching it.) I’d recommend it for what it is.

Hope is Rising


I took this picture because I was going to write a reflection on the kind of week I’ve had, based on the contents that I’ve been accumulating in my purse (rubber coated work gloves, bandaids, augmentin for dog bite injury, receipts for groceries, cleaning supplies and tools for our friends, medical tape, iron supplements, journal of thoughts on scrap paper, disaster area supplies list …) but the explanation of these items would sound like complaining. Perhaps discouraging.

And I was going to share about each of these photos

… something sad about my friend sorting through her drying photographs

…and why my husband is sleeping on a bare mattress

But the truth is, though it was a very difficult week, things are looking up around here. Energy levels are returning, the sun has been shining, smiles are back, there are blessings all around and plenty to be thankful about. The pain is not gone but there is a new level of joy coming. We’re going to be OK down here. 🙂

Thank you all for the prayers and encouraging words!

Phone Photo Friday


Seriously – get yourself a pair of rain boots. They come in handy all the time but they were so much better than sneakers or flip flops or crocs during a flood. In water up to 1′ anyway.

More craziness


I’m tired of typing and retyping this story so I’m going to copy this from an e-mail I wrote Tuesday. In short, Lucy was attacked by 2 pit bulls who got loose Monday morning. In trying to rescue her, while the owner was trying to get control of her dogs, my right hand got cut, punctured & bruised and my right knee got scraped up. Lucy is miraculously unhurt. (Seriously, this must be a miracle!) and I’m confident my hand and knee will be fine in a few days. It could have been so much worse. Thank God it wasn’t!

Here’s long story of what happened. Our friends Leila and Jeremy live down the road and around the corner from us. Their house was slowly flooding on Sunday. J is out of the country but on his way home now. We helped Leila on Sunday get out some of her most important items out, move most of the cars/scooters out before they got flooded, etc. Sunday night at 11pm the water was just about at the foundation line (but several feet deep in the yard). Monday morning when I woke up I decided to walk Lucy down to their house to see how things had changed. The water had come up about 4′ and stayed that way most of yesterday.

Right after Lucy and I got down to the edge of the water a neighbor’s two pit bulls got loose out of their back yard and starting charging at Lucy and I. The owner was in her front yard. She yelled “Pick up your dog!” as she took off running after them. In my 2 or 3 seconds to react I decided that picking up Lucy would probably result in me being knocked down by the two dogs that probably each weigh as much as me. They just sniffed for a second and then started jumping on her and biting. It was so scary. I just kept yelling “No! No!” at the dogs. It was probably only a matter of 30 seconds before the owner got her dogs under control. I was trying to pull Lucy away. She was trying to pull her dogs back and at one point, as I tried to pull one of the dogs off of Lucy my right hand made contact with teeth.

I scooped Lucy up right away. Another friend and neighbor was there and I asked if I could put Lucy in her car so she could take us somewhere. Right about that time Leila and her brother Nate pulled up (coming to check on the house). I asked them to take us back home to survey what had happened. Blood was dripping and I was sure Lucy had been cut somewhere. I mean – I could see the dogs mouths around her – I was right there! But we couldn’t find any cuts or puncture wounds on her anywhere. Besides being in shock and pooping and puking for a few minutes, she seemed totally fine.

My hand stopped bleeding pretty quickly and within a few minutes my parents came over and my nurse-mama cleaned me up and bandaged up my hand. I also scrapped up my knee pretty bad on the concrete. This morning Lucy and I are both pretty sore and moving a little slow but she still seems to be fine. My fingers are a little bruised and swollen and I’m taking antibiotics to prevent inflection. It could have been so much worse and I really think it’s a miracle that Lucy is OK. I’m confident my hand will be fine in a few days.

Nashville Flood – May 2010 – pt 2


As I mentioned, we are so thankful that our house was spared. We live on a hill. Our dear friends and neighbors down the street and around the corner had to watch their house get swallowed by the Cumberland River. These are the same friends that were just trying to decide on a color to paint their house. The friends that stayed with us for months while they were renovating their home from gutted to a liveable beautiful home. It was almost finished. All their hard work for nothing. Our hearts are breaking for them. Much of their belongings will likely be a total loss. Here’s the house before:

Sunday afternoon Leila called and asked if Jason could come down and help her move the cars. I could tell by her tone of voice that we both needed to go and it was urgent. Jason moved a pick up truck out of their driveway minutes after we got there. From their house all the way back to the tree line was water. It was the strangest thing to see. The water was already almost a foot deep in their driveway. Their garage was getting flooded quickly. We had a small window of time (and shallow enough water) to get her scooter and Leila’s brother’s scooter out of the garage and around through the side yard up to the road. It was too late for her husband’s car. (He was out of the country for work.) We cut off the circuit breaker and started stacking power tools up on tables in their garage-level bonus room, rescued her already wet wedding dress and waited around a bit to see how high the water was going to come. Their house was up several feet from the yard and garage level and we hoped the water would stop as the rain was stopping.

At one point I decided to mark a spot on their patio and time how fast the water was approaching the house. About a foot a minute. Before long we realized it was going to come in the house. We stacked up everything we could onto tables and countertops. Leila grabbed a basket of her clothes, shoes, her iMac (thank God we got the Mac!), photos, toiletries, etc. Once the water started to come through the crawlspace into the front yard and around the sides of the house, we figured we didn’t have much time before the front yard would start to fill up also.

When we left in the evening the water was not quite to foundation level. Sunday night at 11pm when Jason and I drove past to check the water was starting to overtake the street and was at least 6″ above their foundation level. Monday morning, less than 12 hours later, the water was about 4′ over their foundation level. It was bizarre and horrific and sad. We are thankful that everyone is OK. All of that is just stuff and can be replaced. It’s all very traumatic and still very fresh as I write this Tuesday afternoon. I hope I’m communicating clearly! Pictures will probably explain better than words anyway:

When we got there on Sunday afternoon

Still in unbelief and wondering if it’s going to stop before it reaches the foundation level

Leila, her sister-in-law Kala and brother Nate taking the last few things out of the house before we gave up

Leila and Kala were able to laugh at the absurdity of wading through the front yard with L’s wedding dress and faulty umbrella

A few more as we drove away Sunday afternoon, taken with my digital camera (others are my phone):

Monday was sunny and beautiful weather.

This is as close as we could get. That’s their house on the right.

Neighbor across the street

This water was flowing with the flow of the Cumberland River which is about 1/2 a mile from their house, straight back from the tree line.