Nashville Rising: The Great Flood of 2010

May 12, 2010 at 9:42 pm (blog, helping, nashville, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, reflecting, sadness, storm, struggle, suffering, support, tennessee, TN, Uncategorized, weather) (, , , )


If you don’t live in Nashville, the recent flooding may be news to you. Unfortunately, it has been overlooked by much of the national media until recently. We are now a week out, and the level of devastation is really starting to sink in.

Many people have completely lost their homes. Much of the downtown area was underwater. The famous Opryland Hotel has had to decline visitors at least through October to get the cleanup process underway after the 10 feet of water that swept through and left a thick layer of mud after the water receeded.

When you drive through the suburbs, you see endless piles of trash and debris that was once the makings of people’s homes. It’s a sobering reminder of just how easy life can change in an instant.

The great thing about this tragic event has been the action of countless volunteers. People are driving in herds to the other side of town to help people they don’t know. It’s an amazing thing to see, and it says a lot about this grand city we call home.

You don’t have to live in Nashville to help. There are plenty of ways to make monetary donations or item donations to those who lost so much by this event.

One thing I love about Nashville is the graphic design community. In a matter of a day or two, multiple graphics were created for tshirts and posters all to benefit the flood victims. Here is a list of some of the items available.  I did not create any of these… just passing it along for the greater good

Click on the image to be taken to the purchasing site:









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home, sweet home

February 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm (ambulance, asthma, blog, depression, emergency room, health, life questions, monday, questioning, rant, sadness, struggle, suffering, support)

I am back home now, sleeping in my own bed. It’s a great feeling. They released me from Vandy on Saturday evening. The Dr said that if they were to keep me there until I was feeling 100% better that I would probably be there all next week. Since my oxygen levels and lung functions were pretty stable, they felt like it was safe for me to be at home, with the understanding that I am not to do much of anything at all for the next week. I was a little shocked and horrified at that statement. One more week out of work and school… one more week of boredom and restlessness. I tried to negotiate something with them, but I guess Vandy Docs are supposed to know what they are doing. They are pretty smart like that.

So I’m regaining some strength slowly, not needing to depend on my breathing treatments quite as often, staying on all of my gross meds that make me feel unhuman. I tried to do some stuff around here yesterday.  I washed the two sinkfuls of dishes and started tackling the huge laundry basket full of towels that seems to be ever present.  I think I tried to do too much, but maybe it was good for me.  I feel so restless and stir crazy.

I am also having a lot of anxiety.  I know the meds do this to me, and I am somewhat anxious on any given day, but this feels a little more than usual.  A lot of it is from trying to figure out the practical things in life.  How in the world am I going to pay my bills after being out of work for 2 weeks??  What can I do to prevent another bad flareup like this so this never happens again?  There are just so many things I’m going to have to figure out.

So, if anyone has any suggestions on anything at all, let me know!  I can definitely use all of the mental assistance I can get!  Anyone need any photos done so I can buy some groceries? 🙂

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It’s all downhill from here

January 28, 2008 at 7:27 am (asthma, blog, Blogroll, experiencing nashville, health, historic nashville, journal, monday, nashville, photo, questioning, rant, struggle, support, weight, weight loss, work, workout)

I’m starting to feel like a person again.  These meds do weird things to me, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  I’ll be glad when I can stop taking them all together.

I don’t have much to write about, I just wanted to make a post for the sake of consistency.  My weekend was uneventful.  I did get to spend some time with Melinda and Alexander on Saturday, so it was nice to see them.  I hadn’t seen them since before the holidays.  I watched a handful of movies over the weekend, which I may do some reviews on.  I wasn’t impressed with any of them.  There seems to be a lull in good movies these days.  Anyone know of any decent ones?  Thank goodness the redbox is only $1 a day

This week I’ve really got to push myself to get in all of my hours at work.  My bank account is just now feeling the effects of me being out sick around the holidays, then off for two weeks when the office was closed.  I have to be uber-careful about my spending until I can get back on my feet.

I have two Dr appointments this week.  I’m glad about that, just to be able to have peace of mind.  This whole asthma attack thing really shook me.  I’m going to see a pulinologist, as well as my regular Dr, so maybe we can get some sort of management going.

One thing I do know, I’m not going to sit here and let this limit my life as much as it has been.  This is for the birds.  I’ve got to really take a hard look at my health, as whole, and determine how to start tackling the things that keep me in this state.

In other news, I’ll be doing another “Experiencing Nashville” review soon.  I’d still love to hear any suggestions from the peanut gallery out there.  I have some things in mind, but it’s been way too cold to get out and take photos lately.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I need to head into work and get lesson plans done for the week.  It’s Monday, yet again.

Until  next time…

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taking suggestions

January 23, 2008 at 8:17 am (blog, Blogroll, civil war, experiencing nashville, historic nashville, history, journal, nashville, support)

I would love to hear from anyone that has an idea on what the next “Experiencing Nashville” post should be about.  If you know of any interesting places and would like to see them featured, let me know.  It can a historic landmark, an interesting event, an over-looked hotspot in town…anything really.  I’ll add it to my list of topics for review.

I’m making a mental note to myself that I’m going to be productive today.  That might be nice for a change.

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desperately needing normalcy

January 22, 2008 at 2:01 pm (asthma, belief, blog, Blogroll, depression, health, journal, life questions, nashville, questioning, struggle, suffering, support)

It’s sort of strange to sit down and try to think back to the time when things felt “normal”.  After all, it is a very relative idea.  What is normal for me may not be normal for you.  I guess that is the first step, figuring out what normal should look like, then figuring out how to get there.  It seems like such a gradual process that life runs on.  Things creep along, until suddenly it’s out of control.

I’m feeling pretty down and out today, for some reason.  I guess it is the effects of all the meds.  I hardly slept a wink last night… lots of weird, shaky, anxiety-type feelings.  I’ve read that the medicines can do that, as well as contribute to the fatigue and mental confusion/brain fog.  I hate that feeling.  I’m also dealing with muscle aches and pains from the physical tension of everything.  It feels like I ran a marathon… jello legs and all.  Geez

So, I’m going to lay low for one more day, and hopefully tomorrow I can resume life.  I’m really nervous as to try and jump back in, since I usually have the tendency to sort of  push myself when I shouldn’t.  I need to learn how to recognize what my body is telling me, and respond accordingly.  I guess that is a lesson that should apply to most areas of life.

I’m battling extreme cabin fever, but I know that I really can’t chance doing much of anything right now.  I may leave the house for just long enough to get out, but that will be the extent of it.  Maybe a visit to the bookstore wouldn’t hurt.

I’ve also got some photo assignments that I need to do for my classes.  We are starting with black/white photography, which I love.  I’ve gotten so out of the habit of taking random photos.  I need to work on that.  Maybe I’ll take my camera with me, just in case I run across anything particularly interesting.

I guess that is all for now

Until next time

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Beware Blue Monday

January 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm (746, belief, blog, blue monday, christian, depression, god, introspective, judging, judgmental, life questions, nashville, reflecting, sadness, struggle, suffering, support)

read the article here if you’re interested

I’m a sucker behind the psychology of this sort of thing. I wonder how much the power of suggestion is going to play into our feelings about Blue Monday. I know I am going to take some additional proactive steps, just to try and head it off. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Tomorrow is also MLK Day, which means a lot of people are off work (sorry to those of you who aren’t!). Let’s all try to remember the teachings of MLK and the idea of equality that he was so focused on. We still have such a long way to go.

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time for change

January 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm (asthma, blog, Blogroll, christian, god, gym, health, journal, life questions, nashville, normal, potential, questioning, struggle, support, video blog, vlog, weight, weight loss, workout, ymca)

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Reflections on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2007 at 6:45 pm (belief, blog, Christ, christian, christmas, friendship, god, helping, introspective, jesus, journal, life questions, reflecting, support)

I hope most of you are in the company of people you care for, and who care about you.  Something about Christmas makes everyone take a moment to reflect.  Whether they believe in the power of the birth of Christ or not, people are someone taken by the spirit of this season, and all of the good that goes along with it.  We all seem to embrace the idea of giving to those in need, in appreciating the things we have, and of celebrating the relationships we have.  I feel some sort of common ground with everyone at this time of year.  It seems to strip away our differences and leave us with nothing more (or less) than the knowledge that we are human, and in need of each other.

I was on my way home from doing some Christmas shopping the other day.  As I came around a curve on a small, residential road, I pulled up right upon a wreck that had just happened only a second before.   One car (we’ll call this car #1)  was sitting sideways in the middle of the road, while smoke billowed from underneath the hood.  The other car (car #2) had skid across the road, through someone’s yard, and into a tree.  I quickly pulled over and rushed to the cars to see if anyone was hurt.  An elderly African American couple were the occupants of car #1.  The older gentleman was getting out from behind the wheel, limping along with his cane to examine the damage as I came up to them.  Thank God everyone was ok.  I’m so surprised there weren’t at least some minor injuries.  I chatted with the older couple, and finally convinced the guy to have a seat since it would probably be a while before the police would get there to write it up.

Emerging from car #2 was a middle-aged “soccer mom”.  She was visibly shaken up, almost to the point of tears.  She had, thankfully, just dropped off her 4 year old son with her husband and was on her way to work.  She called her husband, who was there in a matter of minutes, with 4 year old in tow.

As all of this unfolded, a few neighbors from nearby came out from their various houses.  One older hispanic looking woman directed the traffic around the car #1 that was still in the road.  A young African American dad  and his daughter came out, bringing snacks and toys to occupy the busy little boy that was much more interested in anything within close proximity to the street.

I started pulling out things I had in my car:  a classroom calendar with little velcro dates you can place accordingly, a counting matching game, and most importantly, marshmellows.

It seemed like forever before the cops actually showed up.  Since I had no where I needed to be, I stuck around and, if nothing more, tried to keep the kids involved in something.  Over two hours had passed before I finally offered to run down the street and pick up some lunch for everyone.  I sped over to McD’s and ordered a sackful of burgers.  As we sat around and ate our picnic lunch, I was struck with a sense of overwhelming gratitude.  Here I was, in the midde of a potentially chaotic situation, but was able to witness people from all walks of life offering all that they had.  I really have no idea what social status anyone belong to… and it really doesn’t matter.  It was quite a site to see everyone come together, despite the many differences that has the ability to separate us from each other.

I think this is how it was meant to be.  This captures the true spirit of Christmas, reaching out to those in need, regardless of whether or not you feel like what you have is enough to offer.  I have a feeling there is rarely anything that is not appreciated.

I hope I have the opportunity to do that more.  I want to be able to love in spite of circumstances.  I want to be able to reach out and touch someone in a positive way, regardless of how inadequate I may feel.

May we all have these opportunities in our lives.

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Going back in time

December 24, 2007 at 3:12 am (belief, blog, Blogroll, christian, god, introspective, journal, judging, judgmental, life questions, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, support)

Like so many other people around the world, I am visiting my family for the holidays.  They live in a tiny little mountain town in north Georgia.  I actually grew up in Atlanta, but we moved farther north at the end of my 7th grade year (what an awful time for any kind of life transition!  Junior High years are hard enough as it is!)

Is it just me, or does everyone seemingly go back in time when they are around family for an extended period of time?  Suddenly, I feel like I’m 14 again.  All of our silly little neuroses that are endearing and amusing when simply experienced from afar make me want to find the nearest heavy object to bash into my head repeatedly.  The nagging and excessive worry on my behalf nearly sends me over the edge on a regular basis.  I guess I just don’t know any other way.

I’m the first to admit that I have really grown up a lot over the past several years.  It has taken a really intentional effort to take some small steps in, well, any direction really.  It’s not a pleasant experience to be stunted in any sort of way.

So, imagine my horror when all of the steps I’ve taken go out the window, with only the utterance of a single word.   It’s not necessarily the word that brings out my inner adolescent, but the tone and underlying unspokens that go along with it.

Dang, it sure takes a lot to grow up.  I’m still learning, and still messing up.  But, I guess any progress at all is a good sign, indeed.  Though still, it makes it really obvious to me just how much I need the one and only One that’s bigger than myself and my situation.  That repeated realization can only be a good thing.

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I guess it’s time

November 26, 2007 at 6:48 pm (belief, blog, Blogroll, god, introspective, journal, life questions, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, questioning, rant, reflecting, support, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

First of all… there are some new photos to check out. I did my first pet photoshoot with my cousins’ dogs. Surprising enough, there are some really cute ones. I didn’t think the dogs sat still long enough to get anything at all, but they sure were cute in their little Christmas outfits. Take a look:

You can see larger images at





Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve updated this here blog. I am back from my Thanksgiving trip to the north GA mountains. It was the first time since I’ve lived in Nashville (almost 9 years!?) that my parents haven’t come to Nashville for Thanksgiving. I guess it sort of became a tradition without us really meaning for it to. At first my mom was so anxious and worried about me traveling alone that she didn’t want me to make the drive for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was the compromise we came up with.

I am so thankful for so many things that I can hardly put it into words. If I start, then I might not stop. I am constantly astonished and amazed at the good things I have been given in life that I don’t at all deserve.

I think that is what makes me hold back when I am having to face such contradicting emotions. The past couple of years have been difficult, just because of having to watch my mom’s health decline. It is something none of us were prepared for. Yet, still I am so thankful that there are people, and skilled doctors, and believers out there that have had the wisdom and knowledge, and energy to do things when I have not.

So, all of that to say… even when I don’t have the energy to give thanks, I am thankful. If you are out there, and you are a part of my life in any way, know that you are on the list of things I am thankful for.

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