Even the most cut-throat, dirty games prove sentimental

Playing Monopoly at Thanksgiving 2009.

My 8-year-old daughter just completely destroyed me in Blokus, which is a strategy game won by good planning and strong spatial sense. She giggled as I feigned frustration, exchanging eye rolls with her father when I took too long to make a move. She put bunny ears over my head when she thought I wasn’t paying attention. She played a fourth hand on behalf of the cats, and “they” creamed me too. She ultimately lost, though, to her father. He wasn’t going to let the kid win just because she’s a kid. Good. She’ll remember that.

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Growing peonies requires science and faith

Peonies are the most feminine of all flowers. They are so big they will droop into the mud if you don’t stake them. Their fragrance is the boldest in the garden, a thick concentration of honeysuckle and rose. They are round, full and unstructured. They are like the most beautiful and complicated woman you know, at the end of a really awesome day that began as a really bad one.

Growing them  is a marriage of science and faith. Here’s how:

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Comfort from my daughter’s ‘present’ box

Residents are evacuated in Fieldstone Farms in Franklin on May 2, 2010. Photo by Mandy Lunn / The Tennessean.

Hidden in my closet is a box of small presents for my daughter, which I restock from the dollar aisle at Target and draw from when I think she needs a pick-me-up. This morning, which is the 12th after the floods began, I turned to the present box impulsively.  Continue reading

Nashville floods, work overwhelms, heart sinks

This is my neighborhood, Fieldstone Farms.

I’m a journalist with The Tennessean. Because of overwhelming flooding in our city the last four days, my “day job” has been more like a “round the clock” job. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while.

I’m not complaining. Getting information to people is an important part of helping my city overcome this disaster.

Here is a link to our ongoing Nashville Flood coverage. And here is a list of “dos” and “don’ts”, including what you can do to help.

I hope you and your family are safe and dry.