Gone Walkabout...

This blog was going to be about my travels and impressions I had from them. But my attention span went walkabout. And like with any good walkabout I discovered unexpected things. I invite you to come explore with me...

You can contact me at teri-gonewalkabout@live.com

Friday, April 30, 2010

Go Brown!!

 I ordered a computer from Dell this month and I was told it would ship NO EARLIER than 26 April and no later than 30 April. That was perfect because I was going to be out of town thru the 23rd with family responsibilities. The Dell rep promised it wouldn't ship any earlier.

Low and behold, I get a call on my cell phone on the 23rd from Fed Ex saying they had attempted delivery THREE times and now had my parcel at their Nashville location! So now I have to go pick it up SOON -- 40 miles away!! I told her I would go down and get it Monday, which she said was fine.

OK, I understand that it isn't FedEx's fault that Dell can't ship when it agreed to. (It had shipped on the 19th!!!)

However, when I got home there were three sticky labels on my front door dated 20, 21, and 22 April. Terrific. Just advertise I haven't been home to an intruder!

So Monday Himself and I head down get it. Couldn't find the location by the directions given to me by the person I spoke to earlier so I called the 800 number.

Uh... "Undercover Boss" producers, I have a suggestion for you of a company that NEEDS to have Boss Man see what is going on!

That 800 number is the worst I have EVER called. After almost 5 minutes of a computer telling me it did not understand my response, I finally get a real live human. Glory be! But my happy is very short lived because she tells me the office is closed on Monday and I need to go tomorrow.

Hissy fit commences.

She agrees to have it redelivered on Wednesday before 5:30pm... in consideration of the trouble they had thus caused me.

Now Wednesday comes. And my computer does not.

Checking the tracking number on the FedEx web site, I see it had been put on the truck at 6:30am-ish and taken OFF at 8:01am!!!!

I call the wretched 800 number again and speak in pig Latin until it transfers me to a human. Only took a couple minutes that way!

Had to talk to two people before I found out that the driver had taken it off the truck. Why? Who knows!

Another hissy fit is pitched. This one bordered on a conniption fit.

So the station manager promises to bring it to me personally on Thursday morning - early.

Next morning at 9:30 am-ish he phones and says he is "on his way" for the 40 minute drive up. Perfect! I have to leave the house by 11am for a lunch date and even if he pokes coming up I'll still have a half hour before I have to leave.

At 11am I tell Himself to go to the lunch date without me...

FedEx dude shows up at 11:30am-ish. Two hours to make a 40 minute drive.

Maybe I should rent him "Cast Away".

"First thing it's two minutes, then four, then six, then the next thing you know, we're the U.S. mail."

Then he presents me with a rather beat up box. Steam starts coming out of my ears at that point. I made him stand on the porch until I had started up the computer and made sure it was alright.

And I didn't rush.

Fortunately the computer was fine, I signed his delivery paper and sent him on his way.

In the future if I have a shipping option... I think I'll be asking for UPS!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Eats - Savannah Tea House in Nashville

Earlier this week Himself and I were doing some errands in Nashville when we came across this little restaurant called "Savannah Tea House".

I was hungry and cranky, so it was decided it would be a good place to stop.

It was a very good place to stop... So cute inside and the food was wonderful.

 We started with our tea selections.

I had 'Pralines and Cream' and...

...Himself had 'Ginger Bounce Rooibos'. Both were excellent.

For lunch I had chicken salad and Himself had the tuna salad. Starving wolf that I was... I forgot to take a picture of the entrees! Take my word for it, it was good!

And to finish off the meal we splurged and had dessert. Himself had a "tuxedo cake"...

...and I had a cheesecake. We were not disappointed.

If you're in Nashville it's worth trying out. Here's the web site for more info and directions to get there.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guest Blog: Kristen Welch - Heroes Don't Always Wear Capes

This was originally posted on the Compassion bloggers web site. It's a beautiful post about how much your sponsorship means to your sponsor child.


I sat in a crowded, dank space and listened to the rain water dripping.

I squinted in the dark and leaned in to hear the quiet voice of Vincent, a sponsored child, living in the heart of Kenya, in the middle of Hell, known as Mathare Valley. He was an orphan, a child thrust into adulthood too soon, leading his family of siblings, alone.

He answered our questions with a kindness in his eyes, eyes that lit up when we asked about his sponsor. He said his sponsor’s name in a revered tone and told us words he’d memorized from his last letter. Someone in our group asked if he had a copy of a letter.

He sat on the edge of his couch/bed and reached behind the thin, tattered sheet that divided a small sleeping place and pulled out a much loved, worn letter from under his blanket. Vincent held the paper and grinned as he held up a picture of his sponsor, lightly touching the edges, pride evident on his face.

In that moment I realized the significance of sponsoring a child through Compassion International. Child sponsorship is a small part of our busy lives, but in many ways and circumstances, it is a child’s life. Without sponsorship and the concern and involvement of Compassion, Vincent, in his words, would probably be dead.

In my busy American life, child sponsorship was a dedicated $38 that I didn’t even miss. It was an occasional letter and maybe $10 for a birthday gift. Maybe. Sponsorship was something I did without thinking about every week or even every month. It was another thing, albeit good, that was on my long list. But I couldn’t help think how insignificant it had been to me: a few letters a year, little prayers whenever I remembered …

In many ways, child sponsorship was like an ending for me, something that made me feel good about myself, my contribution, a check off my list. But it is a beginning for a child, a new chance.

Seeing child sponsorship from both perspectives changed mine as I watched Vincent cherish his letter. It came alive to me in that tiny shack. In his soft voice he spoke sincere words I’ll never forget. They echo in my heart: “I pray for my sponsor. I pray for him every day.”

Vincent’s sponsor is a blessed man.

It was something we heard every time we asked a sponsored child about his or her sponsor. They would run and get their letters and say, “I pray for my sponsor.”

If sponsorship rescues a child from poverty, that makes a sponsor a hero.

It’s time I started acting like one.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bonsai Show

April was the spring show for my bonsai club. This one is mostly for the club members, tho it is open to the public for viewing. It's held at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville.

Here are a few of the trees that were entered this year:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Amish Plant Auction

Last year Best Friend went to a plant auction in the Amish community north of here in Kentucky. We've been planning for a year to make it in '10. I'd made up a list of what I wanted for this summer's yard work so I would not get distracted.

Yesterday was the day!!

Despite the fact we had severe thunderstorms (and a nearby tornado!) there were a lot of people there.

There were Amish folks who came in many kinds of conveyances...

...and "English" with their autos to buy trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants.

 It was held in an open pavilion about the size of 2 gymnasiums. At either end there was a platform where plants were being sold. There were so many plants being sold so fast it was crazy.


 Plants were on pallets that were wheeled up to the auction area. There would be a line of 4 or 5 pallets waiting for a turn. They were steadily brought up to the auction area by Amish boys. I was impressed at how responsible they were and how hard they worked with no attitudes.

There were so many beautiful plants being sold.

I'd look over what was in the line-up, then head to the other end of the building to check out what was there. I must have trotted 5 miles yesterday going from one to the other.


Some prices were crazy good and some were crazy bad (you could get it cheaper at Walmart or Lowes!). Since I've been pricing out what I wanted, I stopped bidding on a lot of things. All in all, I think I did pretty good.

And it was as much fun to "people watch" as it was to bid on plants.

Here's what I came back with:

Seven 5 gallon azalea bushes for $8.50 each.

 Twelve 1 gallon forsythia bushes for .50c each!!

 Two smoke trees for $8 each.

 One patio peach tree for $15.

 Two hanging petunia baskets for $5 each.

A BUNCH of herbs for about $2 each.

Ten upright mystery flowers for .75c each. I gave half to BF and she gave me half of her cascading mystery flowers. So now we can make several planters.

Plus 4 birdhouses for only $5 each.

So pretty soon I'll be doing some planting! (Gotta finish with that shed first!)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Waiting out the storm - boy style

Himself, Best Friend, BF's Sweetie and I went out to a plant auction in "Amish Land" today.  Just before we got home a storm blew into town.  The Pirates called to 'inform' us that the tornado sirens were going off and we had BETTER be home soon!!  Best Friend told them the bad weather was to the north of town but to get into the downstairs bathroom (which is in the center of the house under the stairway) and wait for us to get there... and yes, we were going as fast as we could.

I was the first one inside and this was what I found... "tween" boys idea of how to ride out a tornado warning...

Bring the X Box game, a radio, a blanket, some munchies, the dog and her food all into the little bathroom.

You can see how their priorities lay...  LOL!!! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Noteworthy Blogs

I've not been online much the last couple weeks, but these are some of my favorite blogs from recent postings:

I appreciate Selena's thoughts on how frugality is different for each person. What is valuable in one person's life should be the guide to how you do and do not spend your money/resources.

Too funny!! I've met those angry hornets Layla talks about! The whole post is a delight.

Another laugh... some people are just too stupid to be living outside a padded room.

A great idea from Quinn and one I practice constantly.

A wonderful post from Michael, who is sweet tho he'd rather you not realize it.

This is just too cute!  I'll be making several for my yard.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mount Kenya Safari Club

"The up country Mount Kenya Safari Club has been a Kenyan tradition since American movie star William Holden fell in love with its blend of romance, history, and extraordinary scenery and bought it with friends in 1959. ... Its casual elegance harks back to earlier days as a private club, when its roster of celebrity members..." -- 1000 Places To See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz

Ever since Himself stayed here during one of his military trips (yeah... rough life, eh?), I've wanted to see the Mt Kenya Safari Club. So when planning our trip 2006 Kenya trip I looked into staying there.

OUCH! That idea ended up being more spendy than I was willing to do; tho in hindsight I realize I should have done it. Seriously... what was I thinking? But I digress...

Second best option was to book lunch.

In "the old days" one "dressed" to dine at the Mount Kenya Safari Club and according to my guide books the tradition continued. So we brought jackets and nice slacks outfits to wear for our meal.

I wonder how old the info in those books was? Or was there just an invasion of Huns that day? But let it be said, we were almost overdressed. That is sad. THE reason to come to the Club is the elegance. If you're not going to partake in the atmosphere... book somewhere else!

However, the experience provided by the staff was wonderful. The level of service had not been backed down a bit. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The dining room was lovely.

And the view was impressive. That's Mt. Kenya - the highest peak in Kenya at 17,057" (the second highest in Africa). In 1998 Himself climbed it to the summit of Pt. Lenana at 16,355".

After dinner we walked around a bit. This is the back of the main lodge of the MKSC.

Back inside, this is one of the sitting rooms. They were very elegant.

Back in '98 Himself was allowed to play their piano and they allowed him to do so again while we were there.

At the "equator". I don't think that is really where it is but it makes a photo op for the lodge. (According to Google Earth, it's about 2' south of the equator).