Sunday, January 31, 2010

The snow came

Early this month there was a prediction for a couple inches of snow... and Clarksville went into a frenzy. Ended up we only got about a half inch.

Thursday there was the prediction for 6 - 8 inches. There wasn't a parking space available Krogers. I wonder if there was any milk or bread by the end of the day. It was supposed to be here Thursday afternoon. But it didn't come. Then it was supposed to be here over Thursday night. But there was no snow Friday morning. It was supposed to come by noon. Not a flake.

Then at 1:30pm a snow bird came to the yard. And he brought the snow with him.

At first a little bit.

Then more...

And by evening it was piling up on the deck.

And Saturday morning I woke up to SNOW!!

The roads were a mess.

I didn't try to get out until around 4pm, and then only in 4 wheel drive.

It's amazing how snow makes ordinary things look pretty.

Even bark on a pine tree looks like art.

However, hawk was not impressed.

Neither were the girls.

But I like how the snow is like a canvas showing of details you'd normally miss.

Something that you'd never have seen...

Like a sunset on the snow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Hero for Today: Hector Mendez

Just one of so very many heroes in Haiti right now.

Rescuer was woman's last hope in Haiti: 'We told her we won't leave'
By Moni Basu, CNN
January 28, 2010 8:13 p.m. EST

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- A sweet sadness blankets Hector Mendez's face, appropriate, perhaps, for a middle-age man who has seen suffering and miracles at once.

Many other rescuers have left the Haitian capital, no hope left in their hearts 15 long days after the massive earthquake that ravaged this country and entombed so many in the rubble.

But not Mendez.

Every day for more than a week, he has stepped down into the dark crevices of a destroyed building to look for two people: Daniel Varese and his 4-year-old son Mateo.

Mateo's mother, Marylinda Gonzalez Davi, a United Nations employee from Guatemala who has been living in Haiti for four years, was at work when the earth shook violently on January 12. Rescuers pulled her 1-year-old daughter Fabiana alive from the rubble, but there was no sign of her husband and son. She refused to believe they were dead.

Word of her plight reached Mendez, who had arrived in Port-au-Prince with a team of 25 Mexican rescue workers.

"We told her we won't leave. We will stay by her side," Mendez said. He has a grandchild the same age as Mateo.

His orange jumpsuit dulled by dust, Mendez and his crew made camp adjacent to the rubble of the landmark Hotel Montana. They slept out in the open, with Gonzalez and her friend. They took short naps to re-energize. Then they went back in to search.

Each day, they pulled things from the place that Gonzalez called home: a stuffed animal, her husband's computer, a piece of carpet. It helped Mendez to know what room of the apartment they had entered.

He kept moving, deeper and deeper. In search of smell. In search of the slightest sound. Of an infant's whimper, a man's weak cry for help.

Mendez became convinced father and son might be alive. He knows well the science of rescue after doing it for a quarter century.

"There is no smell," he said. And that could mean they were alive.

Even two weeks after the earth shook, people were being rescued. Each gave Gonzalez hope. And that propelled Mendez.

He believes in the power of love. The strong bonds between a man and his child, trapped together. That link, he thought, could be enough to sustain them.

A veteran of many disasters

After a killer earthquake struck his hometown of Mexico City in 1985, Mendez, 46, felt a need to give back the humanitarian gestures extended to his own people. He joined a team called the Topos, or moles, named so because the rescuers wriggled through the deepest darkest corners in search of life.

He volunteered to rush to disasters: to Indonesian quakes, five times; to Latin American countries; to Iran, Turkey, India and Egypt; to New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina and to New York after the 2001 terror attacks.

Haiti, he said, is one of the worst situations he has seen. "People are very, very poor here." Much of the infrastructure and construction was so shoddy. This was the first time government officials paid for his flight. Usually, he finds his own way.

And that has left him penniless and jobless.

"Who will hire this old man now?" he asked. "People tell me I am mad."

He does the work because he loves to help people. "It's worth it to find one person alive."

Behind him, the incessant sound of a jackhammer deafened the ear. Above him, the roar of jets taking off from the airport. But it was below where Mendez belonged.

Time was ticking.

Sometimes, in the darkness, when he was crawling like a mole, the earth trembled. "Replica! Replica!" some of his men shouted. There was always the fear that whatever was left standing would tumble in the many aftershocks this city has felt.

"We laugh," he said. "We don't scream like ladies. There is nothing you can do inside. You only die once. It would be an honor to die in the rubble."

From other people, the statement might seem trite. But Mendez's eyes make you believe. He is called Chino because people say he looks Chinese. He says he has the look of a fierce Mexican Indian.

After so many days, Mendez was running on two hours sleep -- and hope. But late Wednesday his search finally ended. His men found two bodies buried deep in the apartment.

Mateo was in his father's arms.

In Haiti, Mendez had hoped for a miracle. Instead, he saw more suffering. This, too, will define the curves of his face.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


In an effort to improve my blog style I have started reading a variety of blogs other people have done. Wow! There are some really, really good ones out there. Several do giveaway drawings on their blog. I think this is an interesting concept. Definitely a fun thing to do.

One of the blogs I'm now following posted this question:

"Tell me about something you've inherited and/or would like to pass down."

Now THAT got me thinking! I have so many things from my family. A hope chest, quilts, Red Rooster dish set, various chairs, photos, linens and so on.

In thinking about those, I realized what my best heirloom was. Here's what I wrote in answer to the question:

"The most precious thing I have inherited is memories. I've always loved to listen to those stories told grandparents, aunts and uncles; especially the ones about family members who are no longer with us. I am working on a book that will combine those stories and photos. This book will be given to my niece so she will know the stories too and see the precious faces that go with the stories."

Monday, January 25, 2010

All the Cartwrights are gone

All the Cartwrights from Bonanza are gone.

Just read on that Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright) has passed away. He was my one of my crushes as a kid. Loved him in Bonanza and in Trapper John, MD.

He was multi talented; acting on both stage and screen. And he was a singer.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not enough wall space!!!

In working on my office I have gotten to the point where I couldn't avoid the "dreaded closet". The one under the stairs. The one crammed with tubs filled with frames and art. Four huge tubs...

So with a good stiff shot of milk to strengthen myself I got busy. After doing the first tub and the fringes around it I had filled my sorting table with small frames. The kind that holds 5x7 or smaller. FILLED it.

"My name is Teri and I'm a frame-aholic".

But that's not what is really getting to me. The thing that's making me sigh and run my fingers thru my hair is the incredible pieces of original art we have gotten in our travels.

And I don't have the wall space to display them.

So I am reconsidering what I have on the walls in every room of the house. These just have to be displayed.

What do you think?

These first two are watercolors from Bosnia by Chamil.

The above three pen & ink watercolors are from Budapest, Hungary.

An antique oil painting from Hungary.

An acrylic from Nairobi, Kenya.

An oil from Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

Oil on cloth from Nyeri, Kenya.

Acrylic from Kenya.

An acrylic from Vilnius, Lithuania. By Zita Masley.

Etched metal plate from Chelyabinsk, Russia.

An oil painting from Cap Haitian, Haiti.

Oil painting from Celaya, Mexico.

From Guanajuato, Mexico.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The young whoopers are home in FL!!

Time for some happy news on this blog!!! The class of 2009 whooping crane chicks are now safely in their two wintering locations in Florida. I'm going to miss the daily reports on their progress.

Here for one last time, the last log entry from the migration:

"Date: January 20, 2010 - Entry 3 Reporter: Liz Condie
Subject SAFE, SUCCESSFUL, SAYONARA Location: Citrus Co. FL

Safe - At 10:05am, 901*, 903, 904*, 905*, 907*, 913, 919, 924, 927, and 929 were all on the ground and OM's trikes turned for the return flight to their point of departure at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport. By the time you are reading this, the birds should be safely ensconced in their large wintering pen set five miles out in the marsh in a closed area of the Chassahowitzka NWR.

Successful - A great wall of emotion hit when I heard Walter's voice on my cell phone advising the last remaining birds in the Class of 2009 were on the ground and already checking out their winter residence. It is always a bittersweet parting. On the one hand it means we have to say goodbye to a group of birds that we've all come to know well, but on the other, it also means that before long they will be starting their new life as truly wild, migrating Whooping cranes, which in turn signals the successful completion of our annual mission.

Sayonara - The Class of 2009 are not the only ones we will be saying goodbye to. The balance of today, and most if not all of tomorrow, will be taken up with all of us - OM's migration crew - packing, organizing, and shuffling our belongings from one vehicle to another (no small job) in preparation for relocating the vehicles and and we occupants to our respective locales. After that, we will all be saying Sayonara to one another at our traditional End of Migration dinner, where some big grins and hard farewell hugs will be exchanged, likely along with a few inevitable tears."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Guest blog for church

I was asked to write a guest blog for my church about Haiti and why we should give to the aid relief.

Here's what I wrote:


The name doesn't bring up the best images: corrupt government officials, riots, child slavery, voodoo, police brutality, gang violence, deforestation...

You know what? What you pictured in your mind's eye is right.

Maybe you wondering if you should make a donation and how much. Asking yourself why we should help by sending our hard earned money to a place that change comes slowly to. A place that, in all probability, in 10 years will look about like it did pre-earthquake.

Because when Jesus looks at Haiti, He sees something different. He sees Maxene, my sweet little Compassion writing buddy. He sees Sonya, a lady who works hard cleaning for the UN Peacekeepers. And yes, He sees the voodoo witch doctor and He sees the government official who took a bribe.

He sees His children.

Some will be with Him in Heaven and some are lost forever. And His heart breaks for all of them.

We are all now given an opportunity "to do our Father's work". By giving to an aid organization who comes in the name of Jesus, we have the gift of helping spread God's kingdom.

On Sunday the 17th, Grace will be taking a collection for Haiti relief. There will be a display with a donation basket at the Serve table. The donations will be sent to World Vision - who is listed as one of the top ten "most fiscally responsible charities".

Now is your chance.

Do it for Him.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

Folks, a 7.0 earthquake hit the capitol city of Haiti yesterday. The destruction will be unbelievable. If there was ever a place that needs a show of Jesus' love... it is here, it is NOW.

Franklin Graham is already on the move to get aid down there. Please donate if you can. And pray.

Here is their news story.

>>>Catastrophic Quake Hits Haiti

Samaritan’s Purse sends team, resources to help disaster victims

Samaritan’s Purse is sending a disaster assistance team to Haiti after the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere was rocked by one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the Caribbean in decades.

Samaritan’s Purse dispatched a team just hours after the quake to help with water, shelter, medical care, and other emergency needs. We will focus on medical help, shelter, clean water, and hygiene supplies.

An initial shipment of emergency relief items including rolls of plastic shelter material, hygiene kits, and water purification kits are being loaded onto a DC-3 cargo plane to fly to Port Au Prince Wednesday.

Staff with Baptist Haiti Mission, our local partner, report severe damage throughout the area. Power is out, and there is no water.

The massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake was the strongest to hit the country in 200 years and was felt as far away as Cuba. The tremor sparked widespread panic as it brought down buildings including the presidential palace, hotels, a hospital, and the UN headquarters in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince

“It's really a catastrophe of major proportions,” Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Raymond Alcide Joseph, told CNN.

Thousands of people gathered in public squares late into the night, singing hymns and weeping. Many gravely injured people sat in the streets, pleading for doctors.

The death toll was expected to climb into the hundreds, but no official figure has been released so far.

“Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken,” Henry Bahn, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official visiting Haiti told the Associated Press. “The sky is just gray with dust.”

The earthquake was centered about 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares a border with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. Some panicked residents in the capital of Santo Domingo fled from their shaking homes." <<

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby, it's COLD out there!

We have some really cold weather (for Tennessee) setting in and the birds are frantic at our feeders. I have 4 feeders each with a different food. There is saffflower, nyger, wild bird mix and suet.

My visitors are titmouse, chickadees, juncos, gold finch, purple finch, house wren, sparrow, cardinal, mourning dove, nuthatch, red bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker, and hairy woodpecker. I was surprised to discover the gold finch are just MEAN with each other. Everyone else pretty much shares the bounty but the gold finch fight as much as they eat.

The feeders are set up so they can be seen from the window where the computer sets. They are so much fun to watch. This same area is the one we will be turning into a bird and butterfly garden this spring.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do the snow dance!!

Well, it looks like our 2-4 inches isn't going to be any more than a bit of sleety snow. Bummer!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Batten down the hatches!!

Clarksville is in a tizzy! Panic ensues. The dreaded "S" word has been uttered.

The weather forecast is for 2 to 4 inches of dry snow. But you'd think they had called for a blizzard like the one in the photo!

When Clarksville hears the "S" word, several things happen:

*Wrecker service owners get a big grin on their face.
*Wrecker drivers look forlorn.
*School gets canceled "just in case".
*Grocery shelves empty of diapers, toilet paper, bread, milk, and beer.

And wouldn't you know it, I just happen to be out of milk. Guess I'd better pick up some bird seed too.

I'm looking forward to getting some great snow photos.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Goal - Clutter Free Me!

January is my decluttering month. I am so close that I know I can get it done this time.

To finish the upstairs will only take about 3 more days. I've done the hardest part areas: the foyer closet which I am using to store bulky serving pieces out of the kitchen plus it has to hold some household items like my tool box and the kitchen cabinets & storage closet.

My office/hobby room will take about a week. It has been the dumping ground for just about everything. And "everything" is getting boxed up and set on pallets in the garage to be dealt with once I have control of the room. Is that cheating? Maybe. But it's what has to be done. Once I get every box moved out of there I am going to rearrange the furniture. I have someone who wants the bar and she can then come get it (and get it out of my way!). A little organizing of craft items and it will be done.

And I can get the garage finished up in a couple days (not counting the boxes I set on the pallets).

It's looking good!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Using One Word to Fight Your Personal Spiritual Poverty in 2010

An interesting blog from the Compassion blog sight.

Using One Word to Fight Your Personal Spiritual Poverty in 2010
Written by: Chris Giovagnoni
Posted using ShareThis

Do you talk with God? Or do you talk at Him or to Him?

How much of your prayer life, your conversations with God, is about you? You talking. What you want or need. What you think should happen.

When you’re listening, are you interested in what’s on God’s mind? Or are you really just listening for God to talk about the subjects you choose?

I mostly talk at God. That’s a 99-percent most. God usually can’t get a word in edgewise in “our” conversations. I’m talking. And I’m talking about what I need and what I want, as if they are somehow different, and as if I know better than God what I need.

“Hey God. I’m not interested in that subject. Why do you keep bringing it up?”

But once a year, at the beginning of December, I make an extra effort to get over myself. I ask God, “What do you have planned for us next year?”

It’s like asking your father, “Hey, Dad! What are we going to do this weekend?”

2010 in One Word

So, even though I’m not your father, you should do this:

Ask the Holy Spirit what He has in store for you in 2010. Ask Him to give you a one-word theme for the upcoming year. Not a phrase, not a statement, just a single word.
That last sentence is more for you than for the Holy Spirit. He knows what’s going on.

But this is for you – One Word. It’s a document for you to download, written by Dan Britton, Senior Vice President of Ministry Programs for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

One Word contains suggestions to help you make this “one word” thing a spiritual discipline rather than some nifty hoot of an idea that will quickly fade away like a worn out New Year’s resolution.

This practice of asking God for His yearly theme in my life gives me strength in the tough times. It renews my spirit, giving me a sense of purpose when I feel hopeless, annoyed, angry, afraid … anything but in control and confident.

It helps me stay connected with Christ and His plans for me throughout the year. Not perfectly, but definitely in times I probably would not.

Every year, with a little prayer time, I have found God eager to tell me what He has in store for me in the following year.

Remember this, and I can’t emphasize it enough, you’re not choosing a word. The Holy Spirit is giving it to you.

In 2009, the Holy Spirit laid the growth card on me. And when I told you about it last December, I said it sounded painful.

Well, 2009 wasn’t really painful. But it wasn’t easy either. I got to grow through a lot of old habits and immaturity.

And even though 2009 is almost over, the growth isn’t. The words the Holy Spirit shares with us each year establish the foundation for the words we get in the future, which means I’m going to be growing the rest of my life. Duh!

For me, 2009 was a year to begin getting beyond my “only child” behavior, which tells people the world revolves around me and they should wise up, stop resisting and get with the program.

It seems I’ve made a little progress, because for next year God’s word to me is:


It sounds promising.

ELITE LIST: 10 Most Fiscally Responsible Charities

ELITE LIST: 10 Most Fiscally Responsible Charities

Posted using ShareThis

The short list:


Saturday, January 2, 2010

12 Months... 12 Goals

This year I'm going to try something a little different than the usual "New Year's Resolutions".

I'm going to try meeting 12 goals over the course of 2010. Each month will have a focus of something I want to work on. I'm not even sure at this point what they will all be! I only have the first four months planned.

And once I reach a monthly goal I want to continue on with it through the rest of the year. Instead of mountains conquered, I want new good habits made.

Let's see how it work!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

What did you learn in 2009 that will help you make 2010 even better?

I learned that for friendship to happen it has to be a two way street.

Someone we knew died in early ’09. It was a relationship that we did 100% of the effort to maintain – we called, we went over to visit. They were very fun to visit and we always had a good time. But while they welcomed us and admonished us to come by more often, never once did they actually invite us. And they never accepted our invitations to our home.

Himself considered them friends. Apparently the lady who passed away considered us friends. I just couldn’t make that connection. For me, they were delightful acquaintances. I would have really liked to have considered them friends, but to me friendship is a gift given BOTH ways. BOTH parties make an effort to grow the relationship.

So I have learned that I need to make some more effort in a few relationships I have that I’ve let slip. And the relationships I have where I am carrying the weight, I’m going to talk with the person and let them know how I feel.

I have learned it is wonderful to be able to find something when I need it!
As I have worked on our home, I’ve been making serious efforts to declutter. Working in the garage and shed I found – to my irritation and embarrassment – 7 jugs of partially used windshield wiper fluid and 12 gas cans of various sizes. Obviously these things weren’t where I could get to them and I had to buy another. And that only a small example of too many other like finds. That’s just stupid.

My irritation gave me the motivation to really dig into my decluttering. By mid-January the upstairs will be absolutely decluttered and organized. By mid-February the downstairs will be done (my office has been the dumping ground lately). The shed will be done by early April (I only work out there when it’s warm!!!).

And I have learned that you have the choice to decide if you’ll live in contentment or frustration.

I have observed people in 2009 who have risen above what the world threw at them and had a joyful year (not to say that there weren’t difficulties and pain). Also I’ve observed people who made sure they wrapped those issues around themselves, making sure everyone saw their problems.

And I noted how each made me feel to be around them.

And I learned that I want to be content…