Wednesday, August 23, 2006

By The Way...

...a fourth tooth has pushed through, again, on the bottom. For those of you keeping score, that's bottom 4, top 0.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Some Final Thoughts On My Visit To Nashville

..."Nashville is the buckle on the Bible Belt of America"...Sarah the Dog's name is pronounced "Say-RAAH"..."my sleepy cow town that was Nashville is no more"...

...a polite southern way to insult someone is to restate what they did, followed by a sympathetic "bless your heah-art"...for example: "You returned your rental car without filling the tank and paid $5.99 per gallon, bless your heah-art!"...there are a fair number of "pecker-woods out here in Joelton"...'s almost exactly 20 miles between Aunt Sue's place and Aunt Vicki's place...we bet on seeing more cars or wild animals at night on the final 4 mile stretch of those 20 won, but not by much... place to get a steak: Sperry's...the museum at the Frist Center closes 5 minutes early on Sunday's...the chickens in Aunt Sue's yard are free range, too bad they are not her chickens...same thing with the cat...when it comes to holding Nate, Aunts Vicki and Pam and their brother, Grandpa Matt, behave like juveniles...

...Vicki and Charle's kids sleep very late, so much so, that they run the risk of completely flipping their sleep cycles before going back to school...speaking of school, man do they start early in Nashville with cousin Michael back in the saddle by August 16th...

...cousin Jason has a magnetic little business going...(sorry, couldn't resist)

...only one person referred to Daddy as a "yankee" and it was just a joke...didn't hear the term "cessesh" once during the whole trip, and that's probably a good thing...

...getting around is real simple: go down this road and make a right, stay on that road for a looong time and when you get to the one stop light in the town, turn left, and take that road for, oh I don't know, a good 6 minutes or 10 miles and then turn right at the other stop light in town and it's right there...(paraphrased, but pretty close)

...Possum's Pizza don't take kindly to people takin' pictures of the restaurant...

...Daddy was prevented from buying beer on Sunday before 12 Noon...that doesn't quite beat Massachusetts where it's only in the last few years that you could buy beer at all on Sundays...puritanical New Englanders could learn something from their southern bretheren...thanks to Betty Bunch for the puzzles...I plan to drool on them profusely for quite some time...

...lots of Orange in a state that is very Green, what's up with that?...thanks to Vicki and Pam for some really cool toys...of course, they went home with Grandpa Matt, so I'm sure he'll have figured out the air pressure needed to float those balls in Busy Ball Popper, I would expect nothing less...apparently there is something called the Swan Ball for the the upper crusts of Nashville...the lower crusts have a Swine Ball and that sounds like more fun...a short musician at the Grand Ole Opry described himself as "Willie Nelson, after taxes..."

Awesome Possum

File under: Only In Tennessee.

Sisters & Me

Grandmom Lin and her sister, Aunt Sue. I actually have two "Aunt Sues" -- one, of course is a Great Aunt, but both are truly GREAT AUNTS. Although, one is an "ant" and the an "aunt" according to regional dialects.

Enough About The Red Sox, Back To My Nashville Dispatches

Some cute shots of me...what would be the point of the blog without posting cute shots of me? See how long I'm getting--I take up most of Grandpa Matt's torso!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Quick, Someone Get Me A Yankee Cap!!!!

Swept! 5-0! I can't believe it. They lost big. They lost small. The starters, the middle-men, the closer, the veterans, the rookies, all of 'em. Heck, they were soooo bad, the guy that blew the Sunday night game (on ESPN nonetheless) was back in AAA on Monday. How embarrassing!!! Sorry to interupt the Nashville recaps, but hearts, big and small, all over New England and the world, are broken today. The Red Sox started the five game series 1.5 games behind the Yankees, still in contention for the division title and a spot in the playoffs. As of today's loss, brought to you by a wild pitch, yes, that's right, the winning run scored on a wild pitch, the Sox are now 6.5 games behind the Yankees. Their post season hopes are on life support and the attending physician has gone home for the night and told the nurse, "just make the patient comfortable until the end." I hope I'm wrong, but, I'm told this is how it went down in '78 when the Yanks came to Boston for four games with the Sox, four games behind them, and left town tied for first, having oblitterated the Sox in what was referred to at the time as the Boston Massacre. That season ended with the Sox rallying to tie the Yankees for first. A dramatic one game playoff at Fenway was decided by light hitting Bucky Dent, prolonging the eventual 86 year curse that continued to haunt the franchise for roughly 2 more decades. I fear, or at least Daddy fears, that we may be witness to the beginning of another prolonged and anguished drought of winning...when do the Patriots kick off?

[As an aside: there have been four Boston Massacres, including the original in the 1770s, the '78 series noted above, the Celtics 30-point route of the Lakers in game one of the '85 NBA Finals and this most recent massacre-slash-debacle.]

A Grand Ole Time

Grandpa treated many to a night at the Grand Ole Opry (I stayed home, too late and loud for a youngun' like myself). Daddy called it a cultural experience and everyone had a good time. There was some kitch, some style and some down home quality entertainment. Yee-haw! Although, neither Aunt Vicki (the local, bless her heart), nor Grandpa, master organizer, were very adept at directing the group around the sprawling facility that is Opry Land. But, in light of their graciousness, hospitality and unmatched love for me, all is forgiven. Especially since the booth agent was kind enough to let us out of the $10 parking lot for free when we plead our pitiful case.

Cousin Jo...One of My Biggest Fans

It was revealed to me recently that Grandmom's cousin, Jo, is one of my biggest fans, checking my Blog frequently and becoming concerned when it's not updated regularly. Because of her loyal and devoted readership, she gets a whole entry devoted to pictures of her with me...afterall, being pictured with me is a quite a treat. That's her in the dark striped shirt.

Making A Splash and A Fashion Statement

While I was splashing about with Mommy, Daddy decided to hit the big pool and try his luck off the diving board. Talk about poetry in "demotion." I think I'll teach myself the cannon ball. Also, check out Grandpa's black socks--trend setting for the back to school fashionistas on Madison Avenue for sure!

Pool Time

Aunt Vicki took us to a neighborhood pool for some refreshing splash time. Mommy and Daddy played with me in the pool and Daddy even rolled some "one-day-embarassing video footage" of me as well.

Cheeky Times At Cheekwood

We joined Grandpa, and Aunts Vicki and Pam on an excursion to Cheekwood, an impressive museum and garden set-up in Belle Meade. A fun time had by all, especially when Grandpa strolled me away from everyone else in the museum, leading Daddy to ask a guide, "Have you seen an old man and a baby?" which made Grandpa's (younger) sisters laugh. We even took a picture inside the museum, apparently a no-no Daddy found out later. After the museum, we strolled through some of the grounds over to the gift shop where Aunt Vicki bought be an "I Love Tennessee" Beanie Baby to match the UT outfit she got for me as well. Daddy says he's going to try to 'cuse them up and pass them off as souvenirs from his central New York college days.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More Dispatches from Nashville to Come...

More to come later in the week once we unpack. Until then, remember, if you desire pizza in the greater Joelton area, check out below. It's sooo good, they were concerned we were after their proprietary pizza recipe as we took this picture!

Hanging At Aunt Sue's Place

That was our view from the cottage of Sue and Jeff's place. We also had the unique privalege of chickens roaming through their yard from the neighbors coop. First time in my 6 month-plus life that I've had a wake-up call from a rooster...come to think of it it, I'm usually the wake-up call for Mommy and Daddy! Aunt Sue also let me "take a tub" in her sink. I love sink time and let's face it, it makes for cute pictures, too.

Belle Meade

Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa and Aunt Pam visited Belle Meade, a former plantation and race horse breeding and training farm from waaay back when...Actually, Aunt Vicki and Uncle Charlie live in a development on what used to be Belle Meade's fox hunting grounds. They toured the mansion, some of the out-buildings and walked the grounds before chatting-up the authentic "smithy" about how hot his metal about a rough job, wearing authentic period clothing in August outside playing with a fire and molten metal all day. And speaking of hot, Daddy took the opportunity to relax, southern style, by rocking on the front porch of the mansion.

Not Quite Spelunking

Grandmom's cousin, Betty, and her husband, Nick, came to visit us at Aunt Sue's house. While Sue, Betty and Grandmom fussed over me for a time, Nick, who is the state archeologist for Tennessee, took Grandpa, Uncle Jeff, Mommy and Daddy to a cave to see recently discovered Indian drawings which are apparently over 1,000 years old. It was about 40 degrees cooler in the cave, which was a welcomed relief for the "notherners" in the group. And, as you can see by one of the photos below, National Geographic will not be calling daddy for his cave photography skills anytime soon.

Uncle Roy & Me

After this trip, I am expecting to walk before I crawl. Everyone took some time to stand me up and see if I could wiggle my little legs in a walking motion. Uncle Roy spent some serious time teaching me the ropes as well as letting me play with his shoe laces. Next time, I'm going to tie them together and see what happens when he stands up!

Downtown Nashville

Aunt Vicki led us on a tour of Broad Street in downtown Nashville--the nightlife center for folks looking for good times, good food and good music. First time in my life that I have bar-hopped, but it was worth it. I was strolled through a store that sold cowboy boots while live music played on stage at the front. We even got our picture taken with Elvis--the King lives! And as you can see, despite being under-aged and confined to a stroller, I enjoyed it!

Aunt Sue and Uncle Jeff

Sue and Jeff (and their dog Sarah) were kind enough to let us stay in their guest house. What a place! Central air, my own room, even a full kitchen and bathroom for Mommy and Daddy. I was quite comfortable and rumor has it that Daddy is eyeing the cottage for future visits!

A Heart-Felt Thank You!

On behalf of mommy and daddy, I wanted to thank Aunt Sue, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Pam, Uncle Roy, Aunt Vicki, Uncle Charlie, cousins Katie, Laura and Michael and Grandmom Lin and Grandpa Matt for their hospitality, help and open-arms in welcoming us to Nashville. Let's face it, I'm quite a production, needing to be bounced, walked, fed, bathed, soothed, and otherwise comforted and everyone was so helpful and happy to keep me occupied, stimulated, "binkied" and otherwise entertained. Thank you so much for everything. In fact, we were so comfortable, we think we're coming back!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nate's First Family Reunion

I recently attended the Sells Family Reunion in Concord, Mass. I have more relatives from more places than one could possibly imagine. I met all sorts of people, young and old, large and small, even a dog. The Sells Family is part of Grandpa Matt's family, but beyond that, I get hazy trying to figure out who's who on which branch of the family tree. What I do know is this: I was the cutest baby at the reunion. (ok, so I was the only baby at the family reunion, it's still true, right!?)