Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

As 2011 draws to a close and 2012 begins, let me wish all my readers a very

Have a Happy New Year!  
Have a Happy New Year!
It is hard not to feel a surge of excitement when someone wishes us a Happy New Year! The New Year has traditionally been a time of new beginnings and resol...

New Years
John Wesley's New Year Prayer
I am no longer my own, but thine.

Nashville, TN
Artist New Year's Resolutions for 2007
Michelle Tumes, Fernando Ortega, Bonafide, Bryan Duncan, Janna Long and many more Christian artists shared their New Year's Resolutions for the coming year in December of 2006.

Dec. 29, 2009
Top 10 Christian Love Songs of the Decade
As the first decade of the 21st century is winding down to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at the best Christian love songs recorded during the past ten years.

Nashville, TN
Make Healthy New Year's Resolutions for 2012
The following list of articles and accompanying videos will help you make your 2012 New Year's resolutions and to have a happier, healthier New Year

Nashville, TN
Top 10 Songs for New Year's Eve & New Year's Day
This is not a gospel music list, but it is a current list of my top ten songs to help you ring in the New Year and celebrate a Happy New Year, and it includes a few gospel music artists like Relient K, Stacy Orrico, Cliff Richards, Kutless and more.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Where Is the Landmark Construction (Nashville) Tile Guy?

Once again I have wasted part of a day waiting for Landmark Construction in Nashville to show up to finish the small kitchen tile job they were hired to do in July of 2011 and started on November 3. It's been one delay after another since then, with one mistake after another added in for good measure.

As I mentioned in my last post, when I asked the tile guy on Monday if he thought the 3 bad areas I found after the tile was laid were all the bad places, he said, "Oh yes. Those were the 3 places I found when we were laying the tile, so that was all of them." What? They noticed the three areas with missing and cracked drywall BEFORE they laid the tile and just put the tile up with large bad areas behind them hoping I wouldn't notice?

The tile guy was supposed to finish this job on Monday and Tuesday of this week after repairing the drywall on Monday, but didn't have enough tile to finish the job, so he didn't come on Tuesday and had to come back on Wednesday with more tile. Then he said he wold have to come back to seal it on Thursday. I told him I had reserved Monday and Tuesday, had pushed things around on Wednesday to accommodate Landmark, but that I already had plans Thursday and part of Friday. I said he could come back after 2:30 on Thursday or after 1:30 on Friday. He said Friday would work better, and he assured me Eric Roper from Landmark Construction in Nashville, TN would call me if there was a conflict or a problem.

Yet, here it is 2 1/2 hours after he was supposed to be here... and no one has shown up or answered my phone call and email message. It looks like Landmark Construction won't finish this job until the New Year! This means all during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Year's Day, I have had a mess in my kitchen and appliances and hardware left out in my driveway. My dishwasher and misc hardware and cardboard sat there for months, and my oven has sat on top of the pile for the past week. Maybe in 2012 Landmark will finally haul them off.

Hey, Landmark Construction. This is not the way to do business.  I don't think "the Big Guy Upstairs" would approve one bit since He says to "let your yes be yes and your no be no." If you can't be reliable and responsible in little things like keeping appointments and doing the job right the first time, it doesn't say much for the company.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Electrical Issues in My Kitchen May or May Not Be Fixed

My kitchen wall where appliances were removed during pack out

Landmark Construction sent an electrician out today from Electric Bill's to check the mystery electrical problems I have experienced since the oven was put in incorrectly and the wiring was fried. He was nice as he could be, but I couldn't help but notice he would say one thing to me and another to Landmark when he had them on the phone. For instance, when I described the oven problems and he took a look at the old oven he said since I had such a major water issue that water/moisture could have easily gotten into the circuitry which he described as being housed in little "pockets." He said water could have not only have accumulated in those pockets and caused some corrosion to any exposed metal parts all the months the oven sat unused, but it could also have washed particles of grease and debris into the circuitry which might have accounted for some of the smoke I saw.

Later when he was talking to Landmark on the phone, he didn't even mention the "water accumulating in pockets" theory until I reminded him, and then he was much more vague about it than he had been with me.

He also found damage to my overhead lighting, and he said he didn't want to pick out an appliance without the customer since not all customers had his taste. I asked if he wanted me to go with him and he said he would prefer that. When we got to his truck and he didn't have room for me in his seat, I suggested I go get a fixture and bring it back. He said he would prefer to go with me. I then suggested we go in separate vehicles and he said no, he would clear out a spot. So we went together and I picked out a fixture which he said didn't look like a kitchen fixture. He showed me what he recommended and they were too expensive, so we settled on one in the middle and I paid for it. Later when he was talking to Landmark he said, "She wanted me to go with her" when he explained why he went with me. Yes, it was helpful to have him there, but it was as much or more his idea as mine that he accompany me, and I had, in fact, even suggested I go get one on my own.

It is a bit scary dealing with contractors. You never know if they are telling you things just because they think you WANT them to say it or just to jack up the price... which means they could change their story depending on what they think someone else wants to hear.

Unfortunately, other than his "moisture in pockets theory," the electrician didn't have much idea what happened with the wiring to my oven and microwave. Of course, the last contractors had already been in there to correct whatever wiring problems they did that caused my oven to smoke on May 11, and the oven could have been damaged by "moisture in pockets" or rough handling during pack out, storage and/or installation. We ran into the same issue with the light fixture. One of the sockets was damaged. Was it damaged when the cabinets were pulled out? Who knows.

As to what was making the microwave turn itself off and on, that was the same sort of issue. He had already checked the wiring and not found any issues, but after he spoke to Landmark, he decided to put a new receptacle in. I cautioned him NOT to do it if he didn't think it was necessary and that he couldn't say things like "She wanted me to" when he justified the expenses for things he was suggesting to me. I made it clear I was only asking for things to be repaired or replaced that were justifiably related to water dame or tear out/installation damage -- nothing that was simply old. He said until he saw the receptacle, he wouldn't know if that might be what was casing the microwave to randomly short out, and that anything from moisture to improper tear out or installation could have effected the receptacle, so he put in a new receptacle.

He said although he didn't see any problems with the wiring, when he took out the old receptacle, the wires were not wrapped around screws like professionals do and was loosely connected which could have caused the connection to be a bit loose. And when he went in to check the plug, because the cabinet company has not answered any of my emails over the past several months where I asked specifically HOW to get to the plug, he had to try to disassemble part of the cabinet, which caused a shelf with antique china on it to partially fall. Luckily, he caught it before the china fell and broke, and I had to climb up on the ladder with him while he held the shelf to remove my antique china pieces, one by one.

So we didn't find the "smoking gun" that has caused the wiring in my kitchen to be so wonky the past several months. He said each appliance had its own issues, and that all of them could  be attributed to water or improper/careless pack out or installation. And I still have to monitor the microwave to see if it continues to flicker. I just have to trust that there are not other issues with the wiring to my oven.

Landmark's tile guy came out and said he had identified the three trouble spots with missing, loose or cracked drywall the day he and Eric laid the tile. So, I guess they did know there were three bad areas when they were laying the tile and just chose to cover them up with tile. Eric didn't leave the guy any complete mats, so the tile guy had to piece together sections of mats and single pieces of tile, and he still ran out of tile. The results were just as bad as before -- crooked uneven rows -- and may tile still isn't completely installed and I still have no grout. So, I went behind him and tried to straighten the rows out using Eric's cardboard piece trick. I am now proud to say, I really can lay tile better than his guys, because my rows are much straighter than his rows, but it still WILL NOT LOOK GOOD because we had to piece it together.

Really, this whole thing has been so discouraging. Contractors need to be required to take and pass a required course in ethics. And I don't want to hear what the "Big Guy Upstairs" has been telling you if he hasn't also been telling you not to walk out on a job for 5 weeks, and oh yes, not to try to hide bad drywall patches behind the tile.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tile Update Dec. 23: More Problems with Tile

After posting photos yesterday,  I went in to look at my tile this morning before Eric Roper from Landmark Construction arrived. I pressed a place the looked a little off and discovered my tile pushed in much, much more than it should, Since it was next to a light fixture, I was able to peer behind the tile and discover a large section with NO DRYWALL behind it. I could reach part of my hand behind the tile from the fixture, and there was a large space of missing drywall several inches in both horizontally and vertically that I could feel, maybe even more space that I could not feel, with no drywall behind it.

I found several other places where I could push the tile way in as well as three different mat sections that seemed to have space behind them where all the tiles could be pushed in.

When I showed them to Eric at Landmark, he seemed surprised and said something to the effect that the drywall must have fallen away after they laid the tile, but I am hard pressed to figure out how space and missing drywall appeared behind the tiles after the tiles were put up.

Eric Roper at Landmark Construction says the drywall was not done properly by "the last contractor" who would be Drew Smith at Smith Construction. Landmark says Smith should have put a board up around the wall, I guess between the drywall panels. Landmark put pieces of boards up in the holes (damp lumber) - and said they would send someone out to drywall the three worst areas after Christmas.

However,I still don't know why such a major problem was not spotted BEFORE the tile went up or at the very least, during the tile installation. As my friend Sharon wrote on my Facebook wall: "Why did they not notice when they put tile up? Duh"

The last couple of shots in this video show what my kitchen looks like for Christmas 2011. Eric Roper's team at Landmark Construction in Nashville, TN, started laying the tile on November 3 or 4 (my 1st photo is dated Nov. 4 if you follow the links below). So, it will be about TWO MONTHS after Landmark's team started laying the tile before they get it finished IF they make it here right after Christmas and finish the work that week.

More at:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tile Update: Dec. 22

The tile is coming along. Too bad this batch of tile doesn't have as much translucence and sparkle as the last batch which was installed poorly had.

I was asked if the pounding and noise of tearing out the old tile was an inconvenience. I replied that, no, the noise wasn't an inconvenience, but the five-week wait sure had been.

Tomorrow I am supposed to get grout... and hopefully -- an oven! Stay tuned!

More at:


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Decking the Halls and Walls - Landmark Construction Is Finally HERE!

Eric Roper from Landmark Construction is finally here after 5 weeks of delay! As my readers may remember, I was left with no oven and a botched tile job as well as piles of tile, trash and debris in my kitchen when he stopped returning calls and never showed up after saying it would take 3 days to redo the tile. Now 5 weeks later, I won't have to look at this anymore!

 This is what my kitchen looks like 3 days before Christmas:

 Look at my festive snowy look! Don't be jealous!

Maybe they will also remove the dishwasher and hardware soon that they left sitting in my driveway for the past couple of months:

Nothing like having contractors working on a job a few days before Christmas which they should have completed before Thanksgiving, but at this point, I will take what I can get! I will definitely post the before and after photos to show how the tile looks after it is replaced as well as to document how long it takes to get this job finished and what my kitchen is left looking like at Christmas.

Happy Holidays!



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Events in Nashville: What to See & Do in Nashville for the Christmas Holidays - Yahoo! Voices -

These are some of the events you can find in Nashville over the holidays. Many repeat every year, so these articles should help you find something to do in Nashville over the Christmas holidays!

Christmas Events in Nashville: What to See & Do in Nashville for the Christmas Holidays
The Christmas holidays are here, and Nashville has been decking the halls and trimming the trees since Thanksgiving. More at: Christmas Events in Nashville: What to See & Do in Nashville for the Christmas Holidays - Yahoo! Voices

A Tender Nashville Tennessee Christmas
Christmas Music, Christmas plays, performances, parades, lights and more!

Christmas Eve Church Services in Nashville, Tennessee
Churches, candlelight, communion, chorals, choirs, carols, Christmas eve services and Nashville, Tennessee. What's not to love?

Orla Fallon, Meav, David Archuleta, and Mark Wills Bring a Celtic Christmas to Nashville
Orla Fallon, Meav, David Archuleta, and Mark Wills brought the Christmas spirit to Nashville for a PBS holiday special "Orla Fallon's Celtic Christmas" which aired Thanksgiving weekend on PBS

George Lindsey on the Secret of a Long Life | Skin Health Beauty

December 17 was actor George "Goober" Lindsey's 83rd birthday. At a gathering held for the actor during the week of his 83rd birthday, inspired by my recent series on “Aging Gracefully,” I had the opportunity to ask Lindsey the question “What is the secret of a long life?” As you might imagine, his answer was both unexpected and funny.

More at: 

George Lindsey on the Secret of a Long Life | Skin Health Beauty: Article

George "Goober" Lindsey - the Secret of Long Life - Video

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nashville Rodan + Fields group hosts holiday happening

Nashville Rodan + Fields group hosts holiday happening

About 40 ladies and gentlemen filled a meeting room at Parks Realty in Green Hills on Wednesday night, December 14, for a Rodan + Fields holiday party.

Hosted by Melinda Hickey and Donna Tisdale, the group was composed of people from all walks of life and many professional fields with one thing in common -- an interest in changing people's lives through changing their skin.

With all the food that was on hand, I am glad I recently spent some time thinking about Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain Blues!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas in Iraq - a Poem with Photos by Kathryn E. Darden - YouTube

Christmas in Iraq - a Poem with Photos by Kathryn E. Darden - YouTube

Skin, Health & Beauty editor Kathryn E. Darden wrote "Christmas in Iraq" in 2005 for a soldier and his troop she was sponsoring at the time. Since then the poem has been recorded on numerous radio stations and published on over 100 publications and websites. Merry Christmas to our servicemen and women wherever they are posted from Skin, Health & Beauty. We wish then a healthy and happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas! Read the poem:
Christmas in Iraq - a Christmas Poem for Our Soldiers

Friday, December 9, 2011

George Lindsey on the Secret of Long Life

George Lindsey on the Secret of a Long Life
Skin, Health & Beauty Editor Kathryn E. Darden asked actor George Lindsey the question: " What Is the Secret of a Long Life?" the week of Lindsey's 83rd birthday.
See his reply:

George Lindsey on the Secret of a Long Life

via George Lindsey on the Secret of a Long Life | Skin Health Beauty.

Find out more about aging gracefully at Email