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!

The Care and Feeding of Email

 

In 2012, I started my year with approximately 800 messages in my inbox alone!  That is a LOT of email.  I would go through spurts throughout the year when I would try and reduce the number, but don’t think I did better than a few hundred.

Well, this year, I’m going to do much better. Thus, I began the process of cleaning up my inbox.

 

 

This meant:

  • deleting email messages I no longer needed
  • archiving email messages that had labels but were still in my inbox
  • applying labels to emails + archiving them
  • putting my “To Do” label to use and archiving those messages

In less than a month, I was able to reduce my inbox from 800+ messages to around 30.  I am pleased to report that for the past two weeks, I’ve been able to maintain around 30 messages in my inbox on average.  The ones that are there, are ones that I REALLY need to address and don’t want to lose sight.  It also helps that I’ve been using an application called “The Other Inbox” to help move messages out of my inbox and into a separate folder.  Now, when I check my email, I check my regular inbox, then I check my “Other” Inbox. It really helps!

Aren’t you proud of me?

Over the next few months, I want to continue decluttering and plan to do the following:

  • organize my Google Docs account
  • whittle my “To Do” list emails down from 400 (this may take awhile….)
  • transition to cleaning up my email address that I use for the NCGenWeb Project – I have about 300 emails in that inbox.

Progress report in a few more months.  Meanwhile, this does not help the fact that my gmail account is 94% full!

Trip to the Children’s Hospital

But not for a medical emergency.  :-)

Last night, we attended an event hosted by the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee – their Summer Opportunities Fair.  My youngest stepson, Q, is autistic and we are trying to make sure we stay aware of what resources are available for him.  Though he does not live with us, we want to be prepared for summertime visits. Let me tell you, this fair was AMAZING! I’ve already known that we have access to a plethora of services for him, but to be able to personally interact with representatives from all the agencies, non-profits, services, etc. that attended last night was so incredibly valuable.

Being that it was at the Children’s Hospital, Kaleya couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play on their outside statues.

Kaleya and a family friend

The grand staircase in the hospital is lovely.

kids on the staircase

Kaleya also loves the Butterfly Garden

Kaleya at the Butterfly Garden

And, then we say a cool Gingerbread Town – a holiday initiative done at the hospital.

GingerTown

Kaleya kept saying she wanted to eat it. :-)

The Fair itself was held in the Theatre Room in the Children’s Hospital and the event was hosted by the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee and the Junior League Family Resource Center of the Children’s Hospital. There were many, many places represented and I couldn’t even begin to list them all.  Kalonji and I spoke to all but one of them I think! Among the attendees were representatives from camps, art programs, music therapy agencies, applied behavioral analysis therapies, various recreation activities, and research options. Kalonji collected every business card he could find – he is planning to volunteer with a few, and it is always good for him to have contact information for his work in our community.

not the best pic, but some of the material we picked up

Thank you to the hosts for a great & educational evening!

Updated Website

New year, new look!

Updated the website today to use a new theme.  The old one used the theme New Balance of Blue and my header image had pictures of the kids from about 4 years ago.

The new on uses a theme called Picolight and I updated our family images. I added Social Media stream icons for Kalonji and I, along with a graphic for our Family Genealogy and for Kalonji’s store.

I’m quite pleased with the change. :-)