Learning to Latch Hook

I am so tickled! Today, I taught Kaleya how to do latch hook.  Latch hooking was the origin of my craftiness – I learned how to do it when I was about her age and would do it for about 10 years.  My sister gave Kaleya an old rug that she’d  made, so when I saw it, I realized Kaleya was about the right age.

Kaleya holds her new latch hook kits
working the latch hook
more hook work

She got a little bored with it, but hopefully, as we make it an activity we do together, she will become more interested.

Kaleya's first WIP picture.

Great job Kaleya!

A Night of Education

Earlier this week, Kalonji and I attended an informative lecture at Vanderbilt’s Black Cultural Center. We’d only learned about it after my sister sent me the link, but we were so glad we were able to catch it! The lecture was given by Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  The Schomburg Center is the premier place of research of African-American life and Kalonji and I are quite hopeful that we get to visit one day.

Dr. Muhammad’s talk was titled “Partners in Crime: Statistics and The Logic of Post-racialism” and was educational and interesting. His discussion started with the 1890 census, so you know my genealogical ears perked right on up! There were so many aspects to his talk that I couldn’t begin to do him justice here, but he has a book published “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America” so we plan to pick that up so we can read more.

Generally speaking, Dr. Muhammad talked from a sociological-historical perspective on how statistics have been used to argue viewpoints on crime statistics of blacks and how it is important to look beyond the numbers in search of the background context. After the lecture, we had a chance to speak to Dr. Muhammad and even Jihad got a picture!

Now, despite having been at Vanderbilt for close to 12 years now, I’ve never been over to the Black Cultural Center. Guess there’s a first for everything. :-) It is a nice building and I enjoyed the current art displays – art was by Tamara Madden.

We had an overall great night! Thanks Dr. Muhammad for the talk. Oh, did I mention that he is also a great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad? Kalonji got the biggest kick out of that!

A Childhood Dream Realized

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is one of my favorite rap groups. When Thugggish Ruggish Bone came out, I bought the EP and listened to that song over and over and over again in my college dorm room for 3 hours straight. Good times :-)  Along the way in my fandom, I passed the love onto my sister and she too is an avid Bone fan. Last night, she was able to go see two of the members, Krayzie & Wish, perform in downtown Nashville at 12th & Porter.  Kelli was SO excited and had a great time!

Krazyie, Kelli & Wish
BTNH T-Shirt w/ Krazyie & Wish signatures

To hear Kelli tell it, it was great music and great fun! I sent a Tweet to Krayzie to let him know she’d enjoyed it, and then Krazyie tweeted me back! How cool is that???

and he tweeted me back :-)

Maybe next time they come through I’ll be able to go. :-)

Museum Night

Kaleya’s school hosts a “museum night” four times a year and they are cool events. Last week, they held their third one of the year. The themes vary by grades and on Kaleya’s floor the theme was “Rainforests.”  Here are some pictures of the evening.

The Lorax - preserving trees is what it's all about
the water cycle
the kids and family friend in the Rainforest hall
love this pic! show me your leopard face Kaleya!
three well-placed eggs balance these textbooks

I’ve Been to the MountainTop!

And it was gorgeous!

What an amazing day we had on our day trip to Chattanooga today.  In 13 years of living in Nashville, we have done little to explore our surrounding areas. I’m determined to change that and today we started with Chattanooga; I’ve been wanting to go to Lookout Mountain for awhile.  So go we did.

I took many pictures, but here are some highlights.

Lookout Mountain – was our first destination. It is literally a small town up there, with churches, schools, and more. We drove up to the top to Point Park to look around.  We went to the Eastern Overlook and looked out upon Chattanooga. It was really chilly up there so we didn’t stay long; didn’t even go over to Umbrella Rock, but next time. The National Park Service’s Visitor Center has a nice mural depicting the “Battle of the Clouds” that happened there, so it was informational.

a sign to go up the mountain
kids in front of Point Park gate
view from the Eastern Overlook

Lunchtime at Hill City Pizza – it was time for lunch by the time we finished looking around Point Park, so we found our way over to Hill Street Pizza. Lunch was GOOD!!!

Hill City Pizza
my lunch - burger and baked potato salad

Covenant College – I’d done some reading prior to our visit and learned of this campus on the mountain, so I wanted to drive and see it. So glad we did. It was absolutely idyllic.  I could only imagine going to school in a setting like this – literally, perched on the mountaintop and tucked away.  It is the beginning of Spring Break so there was hardly anyone on campus.  The chapel was beautiful and the views amazing. What was really neat was that the main hall can be seen from the interstate below.  Go to the picture album (link below) to see.

Carter Hall at Covenant College
the boys wave
beautiful scenery at the college
Covenant College chapel

Hunter Museum of American Art - after Covenant College, we descended the mountain. Since the weather was chilly, we thought it best to save Rock City & Ruby Falls for another day.  The Incline Railway isn’t open for the season yet, so we couldn’t do that either. So down the mountain we went.

We were making our way to the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge and saw the museum was right next door. Free admission the 1st Sunday of each month meant we were going! It was 4:20 when we got there, so we only had about 30 minutes, but we made the most of it! The art we did see was nice; they had a great kids book for Kaleya, and I was even impressed by her interpretation of a piece of art (Elizabeth Murray’s “Rollin’ Stone” – while not what the artist says it is, I could see Kaleya’s point in that she thought it had something to do with the heart and the human body.)

the glass bridge
Kaleya's museum book
i don't think they wanted to take this picture

Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge – longest pedestrian bridge in the world. We walked across it and enjoyed the views. Afterwards, we had ice cream at a shop next to it, the Ice Cream Show.  They offered more than 17,000 flavors of ice cream – what?!? I had the Winter Wonderland – vanilla with oreos and peppermint.

view from the pedestrian bridge
on the pedestrian bridge
view from bridge of Lookout Mountain

Then, we made our way back home. Incredible day!! I checked in so many times on FourSquare that I became #1 of all my FourSquare friends – a first for me!

my FourSquare status - oh yeah!

All of the pictures are online here, but here is a slideshow.

Live Blog: Here Come the Tornadoes?

5:40pm – home now. seems the storms are passed for good. gonna stop the live blog now :-)  Here is a puddle we saw leaving campus.

4:43pm - 1st round gone, but 2nd wave coming.

4:33pm – back upstairs from the basement. Shuttles were all parked in the circle at work.

4:05 pm — the weather Was right on top of us. Am in the basement at work.

3:50pm – well, here’s a bright spot to my afternoon – Kaleya’s monkey from a school project.  Still waiting to go to the basement at work. Sirens going off at work.

3:38pm – the job just announced we are in “Standby” for the tornado.

3:30pm.  – This movie is part of the reason why I am scared of tornadoes.

3:15 pm

3pm – Okay – so, I am a bit freaked out right now. We have tornado activity (or very possible tornado activity) headed towards Nashville right now. Thought I would live blog it as I am tracking all that is going on.

  • cells on the other side of Memphis are what is coming our way; activity southwest of us in Lincoln County has hook echoes and at least one report of a funnel touchdown
  • The Weather Channel has reporters in town now prepping for the coverage. Not cool. Check out their spot - they can see downtown Nashville.
  • Kelli says this reminders her of the earthquakes
  • oh! brand new tornado warning to the west of Nashville – storms travelling 70mph

A Day Out

After a leisurely morning at home today, we ventured out for a few hours.  First, going to Edwin Warner Park, then stopping at our favorite used bookstore in town, McKay’s.

At the park we first went to the Nature Center to see what they had. It was fun! Stuffed animals, dead snake skins, a geological exhibit, a “tree-trunk” interactive area, and more awaited us in there.

We then went outside to walk around the trails some.  We didn’t stay long since it was more than a little chilly, but we’ll be back out there soon.

After the park we then went to the bookstore. Picked up a movie for Kaleya, and books for everyone else.

At the store there was a great book about comic-cons. Many, many pictures of the cosplay and one that had girls all dressed up like princesses.

Then, we picked up a fabulous book of New York Times newspaper covers spanning 1851-2009. The book itself has selected covers, but the DVDs that come with it have the full-text of ALL covers and the front page articles. This will make excellent educational fodder for the kiddos.

What a great day we had!