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Downtown Dickson







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MARCH 2011

Vision joins history and charm on this Main Street














Three Months

Champion Chihuahuas

Old Currency

Pam Pastrana’s Cove Creek Kennels



OUR Place

Renee Armand writes of winter into spring


Bob Duncan shares insight on 19th century treasure

“I Prefer Home”


We are committed to making your choice possible. Since 1984, the Founders have built a reputation of providing quality senior care at affordable prices, starting at $9.25.


Private Studio Appointments Available Located Near Leiper’s Fork

•Meal Preparation •Dress/Hygiene Assistance •Medication Reminders •Housekeeping •Transportation/Exercises •Companionship •Alzheimer/Parkinson Care •Live-In, Hourly & Facility Care



Serving Nashville and Middle TN 615.599.4278 or 931.381.3313

Licensed, Bonded and Insured

Dreams Come True wiTh The oxforD Company Featured Land Listings in Leiper’s Fork

5710 Quest Ridge Road— Leipers Fork $739,000— Charming Cottage minutes from the Village of Leipers Fork! Beautiful serene setting in the woods with pasture for horses. 3 car garage with guest house. Full basement w/media room/wet bar; Master on main level, custom library, too many extras to list! Call Jennifer or Heidi for more information.

3378 Sweeney Hollow Road— 5000 sq ft log home, 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 half baths, 5.01 acres, hardwood floors, granite, stainless steel appliances, 2 stacked stone fireplaces, panoramic views from wraparound decks, home theater, full finished basement and just minutes from the village of Leiper’s Fork. $969,000.

5422 Leipers Creek Road— $599,900 Wonderful custom home minutes to the Village of Leiper’s Fork. Over 3000 sq feet, large rooms for entertaining, stacked stone fireplace, granite, custom cabinets in chef’s kitchen, beautiful screened in porch overlooking 6-plus lush green acres. Call Heidi!

5462 Parker Branch Road— $895,000 Jerome History House’s “Builder’s Home,” this house is amazing and has it all. Hardwood floors throughout, gourmet kitchen, crown moldings, seven (7) fireplaces, sunroom, two creeks, two barns, deluxe charming potting shed, all on 10.27 acres. Bring your horses and live your dreams. Call Heidi!

• Lot 3 Sweeney Hollow— $249,900 - 15.01 acres mostly wooded and private with hilltop building site. Perked for 4BR! Call Heidi or Jennifer for more information! • 0 W Lick Creek— $149,000 - Wonderful 16.07 acres with rolling pasture and trees. Perked for 4 BR house. Call Heidi for more information. • Maury County—$269,900 - 75.29 acres with small barn/apartment, 2 ponds, creek, mix of pasture and timber with great building sites. Call Heidi for more information.

4154 olD hillsboro roaD 5561 Parker Branch Road—$849,900 Gorgeous River Birch custom home on 5.54 acres, minutes to Leiper’s Fork. Hardwood floors, granite, SS appliances, crown moldings, 2 fireplaces, screened porch, built-ins, wonderful entertaining floor plan. Visit Please call Owner/Agent Jennifer for more information!

7512 Brown Hollow Road - $375,000 BEAUTIFUL 4BR, 3BA home w/in ground pool on 10 AC!! Tankless hot water heater, full unfinished bsmt (approx.1620 sq. ft), large laundry/mud room, sunroom (currently used as office) overlooks pool. Large master suite and 2nd BR on main floor- call Heidi or Jennifer for more information!

5594 Parker Branch Road Great cozy log cabin minutes from the village of Leipers Fork on 10+ AC on a private road w/year-round creeks! Wide plank heart of pine floors, barnwood cabinets, 2 outbuildings on property. Perfect weekend getaway or secluded home close to downtown Franklin! Additional building site on property! Call Jennifer or Heidi for more information.

Jennifer Bickerstaff

Heidi Green

Marty Chiaramonte

Durward Blanks




Kathy Bitzer

Managing Broker Associate Broker Associate Broker Associate Broker


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615.715.9423 615.496.1368

Mariah Telez

Af f iliate Broker


franklin, Tn 37064


Lisa Miller

Af f iliate Broker

Tracey Maddox

Affiliate Broker

Christopher Murrey Affiliate Broker

615.243.7199 615.347.9361 615.585.7557 w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m



Catherine T. Anderson A s s i stant

Jane Rigsby C r eat i v e D i r ector

Shea Williams

Il l u st rat io n

Laura Foote C o ntr i b utor s

Richel Albright, Henry Ambrose, Renee Armand, Becky Bauer, Marty Bell, Ana Christensen, Wayne Christeson, Nathan Collie, Anne Goetze, Kegan Hurley, Mimi Johnston, Larry Kane, Robin Lockwood, Stuart Moore, Sherry Paige, Sherlene Spicer Adv e rti s i n g / Ma r k eti n g

Even though the vibrant flowers shown in Kay Keyes Farrar’s “Crimson Reflections” (24x18 oil on canvas) are not seen in Middle Tennessee gardens this early, our yearning for real spring weather overcame any desire to reflect the true season on this month’s cover. This work is found at Laurel Leaf Gallery in Leiper’s Fork; Farrar’s work is also available in Columbia at Loblolly Interiors Market and The Tennessee Artisan Market inside The Renaissance Center of Dickson. Dickson Mural provided Cove Creek Chihuahua by Ana Christensen Pretty Currency provided by Bob Duncan Published monthly 4208 OLD HILLSBORO ROAD, SUITE EIGHT Franklin, TN 37064 PHONE: (615) 790.9036 ALT: (615) 799.8586 Fax: (615) 595.0060


Hills & Hamlets™, Copyright ©2009. All rights reserved, no duplication without express written permission of Hills & Hamlets, its editor and staff. This publication is owned and copyrighted by Hills & Hamlets and its pages may not be used on Web sites or digitally copied without express permission of the publisher.

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David Green 615.495.8812 D i st r i b ut io n

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DEPARTMENTS, COLUMNS & STORIES THINGS TO DO Ma³ch...................................................................4 a closer look Chuck Simp²on...............................................5 opportunities...............................................................................5 ANA'S Corner Cove C³eek Chihuahua²..................................6 Nature Guide Winte³ Adventu³e²..............................................7 From the archives Old Cu³³ency........................................8 SUSTAINED LIVING Step by Step..............................................10 destination Downtown Dick²on...............................................11 HORSE SENSE Mo³e than Mule Day...........................................12 Our Place Note² on Janua³y th³u Ma³ch...........................14 ORIGINS By Nathan Collie........................................................15 Good Food That Ta²te² Good!.................................................16 Robin's Remedies The Abelt².................................................17 FROM THE HAMMOCK Hei³loom T³adition².........................18

Wesley Hutton 615.799.8586

e Put t he Sparkle in Your Det ails

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Wedding & Event Planning & Coordinating Services Large or Small Events Complete Packages & Minor Details Services “Day Of ” Coordination Services Your Preference Determines Our Level of Involvement •

Visit our online photo gallery and become a fan at Subscriptions To subscribe to Hills & Hamlets for one year, mail $24.99 or $44.99 for two years, to:

4208 Old Hillsboro Road, No. Eight Franklin, TN 37064 or go online to to pay with Visa or MasterCard. You may also call 615.790.9036 to order with Visa or MasterCard. w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

Why Pay Retail? Get the Best for Less Tennessee’s Furniture Outlet All New Sofas, Love Seats & Sectionals In a Variety of Easy Care SuperSuedes and Bonded Leathers Beginning at $599 a Set! By Appointment

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Located in Franklin Grab & Go • Delivery Available


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Every Wednesday


friendly evening of dancing and fun. No alcohol or smoking; concessions available. 615.797.3204

Music City Roots WSM’s two-hour live radio show broadcast from the Loveless Barn, 8400 Highway 100. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Drinks, food and concessions available. 615.646.0067 or www.

Every Thursday

Creole Shrimp & Open Mic Night at Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork, 4142 Old Hillsboro Road, from 6 to 8 p.m. 615.794.1308 or www.

Every Friday

College Grove Country/ Bluegrass held at the College Grove Community Center, 8601 Horton Highway from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Every Friday night enjoy a variety of local musicians and a spacious dance floor. 615.330.8757 Live Music at Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork, 4142 Old Hillsboro Road. A variety of songwriters, musicians and bands; Cover charge is usually $10; reservations required. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., music begins at 8 p.m. 615.794.1308 or www. Square Market & Café Free Live Music on the square in Columbia. Dinner begins at 5 p.m. and entertainment is from 6 to 9 p.m. 931.840.3636 or www.

Every Sunday

Vance Smith’s Grand Old Hatchery Live Music & Dancing at 113 South Main Street in Dickson. Doors open around 4, music begins at 7 for a family

MARCH 2011


See these listings and more at hillsNhamlets.coM

Live Music at Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork, 4142 Old Hillsboro Road. A variety of songwriters, musicians and bands; Cover charge is usually $10; reservations required. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., music begins at 8 p.m. 615.794.1308 or www. Square Market & Café Free Live Music on the square in Columbia. Dinner begins at 5 p.m. and entertainment is from 6 to 9 p.m. 931.840.3636 or The entire “Annie, Jr” cast. Photo provided by The Renaissance Center.



Arbor Day Celebration The Nolensville Trees and Trails Committee begins activities at 10 a.m. by gathering at the historic district’s Nolen House to plant two southern magnolias, then moves to the ball park to mulch and label 75 trees and plant seedlings of native persimmon, oaks and more. 615.776.2073


“ A n n i e , Jr” at The Renaissance Center, 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, a Broadway Junior production cast entirely with kids from 1st through 12th grade. Opening night is March 11 with continued weekend performances through March 20. Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are Adults/$15, Seniors/$12, Children/$8. Group discount available. Call 615.740.5500 for reservations or for more information.

Spring Break. Pack a picnic lunch and load the family in the car in the Owl’s Hill orchard. Fort Cedar, the  Willow Teepee  and the People Nest will be open for creative play; picnic tables await. $5/person. 615.370.4672 or


Antique Appraisal Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Athenaeum, 808 Athenaeum Street in Columbia. Knowledgeable appraisers from Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood and Columbia will be on site to offer facts and information about your family heirlooms and yard sale treasures. $10 per item. All proceeds support and maintain the Athenaeum Rectory and go to the

ongoing restoration of the original Smith family artifacts. 931.381.4822 HRA Fundraiser presents an evening of entertainment at Hillsboro-Leipers Fork Community Center, 5325 Old Highway 96 in Leiper’s Fork, to benefit its Youth Sports Programs from 4 to 9 p.m. Barbecue dinner plates at $10 each provided by Smokin’ Joe’s BarBQ, bake sale and auction to be topped off by the live music of Leiper’s Fork Bluegrass Grass & Cole Degges. 615.594.5954 Y To place a calendar listing, send e-mail to by the 15th of the month preceding your event.

I Spy by The Eye


Owl’s Hill N a t u r e Sanctuary Play & Picnic at 545 Beech Creek Road in Brentwood from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday during

Hillsboro United Methodist Church Servant’s of God’s love, grace, hope, and promises. All for the Cause of Christ

Sunday School (all ages) 10 a.m. • Family Worship 11 a.m.

Professionally Staffed Nursery Provided Youth Meetings on Sundays 10a.m. & 4 p.m./Wednesdays 5:30 p.m.

Ash Wednesday Service March 9th ∙ 7 p.m. Everyone is Welcome!

Reverend Tom Herring, Pastor • 5313 Old Highway 96 in the village of Leiper’s Fork • 615.595.0155 4 HILLS & HAMLETS

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Oh, I’m not a licensed therapist. I just play one in the neighborhood. w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

A Closer Look

Shining the light on our advertisers

Oppo∑tunities Buttercup Festival

Beginning at 11 a.m. on April 2nd, this celebration of winter’s end is held in Nolensville’s picturesque historic district. All shades of yellow adorn the buildings, booths and hundreds of visitors who arrive for the music, food, crafts and fun. 615.776.1279.

Artisan Demonstrations

Chuck Simpson of Johnson & Thompson Realtors


ashville born and raised, Chuck Simpson left Middle Tennessee as a young man and had a long, successful career with Ford Motor Credit and CitiFinancial Auto. He moved back to the area in 1996 and bought some acreage deep in the countryside of Williamson County. “I love the country,” Simpson says. In the meantime, a new marriage and an eventual move to Brentwood occurred. Then, came the economic crash of 2008 and the real estate trade made sense. The man who loves the country figured he’d make his living by being back in the hills, forests and fields, so he approached Clarence Johnson, Williamson County’s legendaary 40-plus-year veteran broker of estates and large acreages; Simpson asked him to mentor him and Johnson agreed. In September of last year, Simpson went solo. Confident from his time spent under Johnson’s tutelage, he continues w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

as a team member at Johnson & Thompson, Inc. Realtors and was named the company’s 2010 Realtor of the Year. Simpson says his time in the financial services world is a background that serves him well, now. He uses the experience to manage the tedious research required to carefully study large (15-plus) acreage sales patterns in Williamson and Maury Counties. He shares his research in printed reports and through his website at His time as a large acreage property owner serves him equally as well, providing valuable insights and skills that are unique to rural life. When asked what his greatest asset is, Simpson doesn’t hesitate. He answers, “Full time service. I’m completely devoted to my clients and always there for them.” Chuck Simpson can be reached through the J&T office at 615.790.3400 or his mobile at 615.973.9986. Y

Inside the Artisan Market at The Renaissance Center in Dickson, free demos are offered the first and third Thursday of every month. Whether their medium is fiber, metal, clay, wood, pencil on paper, paint on canvas, or any combination imaginable, selected Tennessee artisans present their processes to the public. 615.740.5600

Teatime at Rippavilla

The elegant ritual of teatime at Spring Hill’s Rippavilla Plantation museum resumes on April 14th and will be offered the second and fourth Thursday of every month. For menus, reservations and more information call 931.540.0741.

Laurel Leaf Gallery Outdoors Art Event

April 16th is this Leiper’s Fork gallery’s first anniversary and to celebrate its artists and artisans will set up on the lawn with special presentations of their works from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rain date is April 23rd. 615.861.0569

“Art of the Horse”

Also on April 16th, The Old Natchez House in Leiper’s Fork presents an exhibition featuring the bronze equine sculpture of Janel Maher. The day also includes a demonstration by the artist from noon to 4 p.m. 615.491.3668 M AR C H 2 0 1 1



ove reek �� � �hihuahuas Ana’s CORNER


he drives a big yellow truck. Wears cowboy boots and lipstick. She coordinates construction crews and building sites. Pam Pastrana also raises Champion Chihuahuas. Her Cove Creek Kennels in College Grove is a great example for breeders and dog lovers alike— full of innovative and spacious rooms where her Chihuahuas run and play. Actually the kennels aren’t kennels at all—the dogs and puppies are part of the family and their special places are integrated into the home itself. There’s the comfy couch, of course, and inviting chairs but also their own day spa room, nursery and play pens. The verandah and garden with fenced yard are great play areas where a mob of healthy, happy little souls tear around like there’s no tomorrow. The Chihuahuas are gorgeous


sto ry a nd P hotog r a phs B y a n a c h r ist e ns e n

and very affectionate. Their dispositions are nothing like some of the snapping, snarling, possessive little buggers I have come to know and fear at the vet clinic where I work. Pam has a lot to do with that. She has a cool website where you can see her canine family and view puppies that are available for new loving homes at www. By the way—a trick to getting dogs to prig their ears for a photo is to have your husband jump up and down behind the photographer with a bicycle pump. Thank you, Victor Pastrana. Y

Ana Christensen is a writer/ photographer/singer/songwriter who lives in College Grove. Originally from the United States, she grew up in Australia and Papua, New Guinea.

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Adventures of a NATURE Guide S to r y a nd photog r a ph b y S H ERLE N E S P I CER

Nearby Winter Adventures T

his winter I’ve spent a great deal of time over in the south eastern part of the state. When snow started falling, we headed out, with cross country skis loaded on the car racks. We were looking for some fun. The Ocoee River area got good snow a couple of times this winter. Cross country skiing at Chickamauga Campground was a beautiful experience. Quiet, peaceful, secluded; only falling snow and a rushing stream were heard. It is what snowfall is all about, a time for reflecting and resting the mind. On another occasion, our Audubon group drove over to the Sandhill Cranes Festival at Birchwood. The Hiawassee Wildlife area had around 16,000 sandhill cranes on the day we visited. The sound was tremendous. This location is where the Hiawassee meets the Tennessee River and the two rivers joining together create a number of shallow areas where the cranes feel safe. Of course areas of grain fields also help in attracting the birds. The sandhills have been threatened with hunting threats. At this time, I’ll happily note that the decision to hunt these majestic birds has been delayed for two years. More than once, I’ve had the sandhills fly across Boy Scout Road. This year we heard them coming and looked up to see around 75 birds flying in V-formation above us. They came from the south and were headed north. The first week in February seemed awfully early to us, but these birds knew it was time to get back to their nesting grounds. hile venturing over to the Ocoee area, Greg and I also took road trips down into North Georgia. We’ve checked out a number of small tourist towns that were reachable in a day’s drive from the Ocoee area. Blue Ridge, Georgia has a number of interesting shops for browsing. Helen, Georgia looks like a German village. We checked out Dahlonega, Georgia, just after Christmas and their


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collection of Ansell Adams original photographs. ut now the buttercups are blooming. Lenten roses in white, blue, red and pink are all in bloom. Yellow crocuses, dwarf tête à tête daffodils, blue reticulate iris and white with green tip snowdrops are like old friends attending my garden party. Eastern bluebirds and red shouldered hawks are both nesting now and thrilling me with their happy chattering above me as I work in the gardens Oh what a relief it is. Early spring is finally here. Y


Sandhill cranes photographed by the writer at Hiawassee Wildlife Refuge.

decorations around the square were exceptional. We took several hiking trails in the area including the Appalachian Trail which starts in Springer, Georgia. We visited the Neels Gap store where Highways 19 and129 intersect. The trees out front were decorated with abandoned hiking boots. These boots were dangling from the branches and spoke to me of the time I hiked the Smokies section of the Trail and how much fun it would be to fling those boots away. While traveling one of Georgia’s scenic back roads, we came up to Raven Cliffs scenic area. Here we encountered ice climbers, two men totally geared up and having a good ole time climbing ice that clings to the bluffs along this high stretch of North Georgia. The gentlemen spend a good deal of their time climbing in Colorado and other parts of the country. They, however, couldn’t resist being allowed this pleasure right there in North Georgia. Lastly, two friends and I also drove down from the Ocoee area to Cartersville, Georgia. We visited the Booth-Western Art Museum where we were captivated by two galleries filled with a breathtaking

Williamson County native Sherlene Spicer shares her travels in remote and nearby areas through her writing and photography.

Jump into the Food Revolution! Raw Food 101

Join us for the easy and appetizing workshop Introduction to Raw Food Cuisine taught by Intentional Food’s Dorothy Bauer of Berkeley, California.

Class includes hands-on steps to prepare a delicious and appealing Orange Mint Coconut Crème Cake with no eggs, dairy, wheat or … oven.

April 2nd 1 to 4 p.m.

April 9th 1 to 4 p.m.

Unbelievable & Delectable

Held in Green Hills at 3938 Crosscreek Drive Nashville, Tennessee 37215

Held in The Kitchen 5155 Firetower Road Franklin, Tennessee 37064 $35 per Student Register by March 25th or April 1st

GoodWorks of Leiper’s Fork Members Receive $5 Discount!

Register through 615.345.4580 or Space is Limited Don’t Delay!

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F≈om the A∏CHIVES B y bob d u n c a n

Old Currency A

Hindsight—There might be treasure in that old trunk

s you are going through the pile of stuff that your Aunt Gertie left you, look carefully. We all keep treasures that find their way to the bottom of the pile. As a wise man once told me, “There has been more history destroyed by ladies cleaning their closets than by all the wars ever fought.” I recently bought a book on eBay that might help you identify some of those old treasures. The book, self-published by Paul Garland in 1983 probably never sold more than a couple hundred copies, hence it is rare and hard to find. I got lucky. The title is “The History of Early Tennessee Banks and their Issues.” It is Even then, pretty girls were a selling point. In this case, “Bonnie Kate” Sevier, wife of our first governor, is on the left, and Dollie a compilation of the author’s passion for Madison, wife of the president, is on the right. Note that this bill is not numbered or signed, as it was never issued old money—in this case, issued in the 1800s by early Tennessee banks. Encyclopedic in its narrow field of study, Garland’s book is copiously illustrated with images of these early bills. He also rates the individual bills according to rarity so that collectors can get an idea of its value. While some additional pieces of currency have surfaced in the years since Garland published his book, his system still holds great merit. Each of these old bills is a miniature work of art, and depicts scenes that the issuing banks considered to be important. Since the actual value of money in those days was somewhat suggestive, they wanted to portray strength, financial soundness and good management as their themes. Money in This bill, issued by the Bank of Tennessee at Columbia, is known as “fractional currency” in that it is for less than a dollar, in those days consisted of coins, known as this case, five cents. It also shows the image of a Spanish Milled Dollar in the upper left, which implied that the bill was based on “hard money,” or “specie.” Banks could hard money, or specie. issue paper money based upon the assets of the bank. Many early banks got carried away and issued far more paper money than could be secured by specie deposits. This caused untold misery across the state as bank failures were frequent. Here are some examples, but the book is at the Maury County Archives if you would like to identify your old money. Y Bob Duncan is the Maury County Historian, a Sunday feature columnist in the Columbia Daily Herald, and the author of eight books. This column was first published on Sunday, November 9, 2008. Images courtesy of John Abernathy.


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The Phoenix Bank was established in 1894 and lasted until it went broke during the Depression. This bill from 1905 was standard U.S. currency printed by the Bureau of Engraving. Local banks could order these bills with their bank’s name as something of a marketing tool. The face on the bill is of Hugh McCulloch, former Secretary of the Treasury. w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

Rare Books & Documents Bought and Sold

Specializing in: Rare Books, Documents & Ephemera

A Rare Book & Document Gallery L O C AT E D I N H I S TO R I C L E I P E R’ S F O R K , T N

4216 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin TN Wednesday thru Saturday 10 - 5 | Sunday 1 - 5

1-877-936-6261 ph: 615.983.6460 fx: 615.515.9060

Williamson county farm

Loblolly Interiors Market 810 Walker Street Columbia, TN 38401

Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m. or by Appointment


0 Big East Fork Road Williamson county farm open, level pastures, springs, creeks, pond, old growth hardwood forests one mile from Davidson county line. City water. 237 acres. MLS# 1204302 $3,900,000.

RACHEL PRICE REALTOR® Office: (615) 771-6620 Cell: (615) 330-7996 Fax: (615) 778-9595 w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

24/7 Info Line Dial 615-661-5800 or 1-800-404-9874 and enter the street address or media code.

Antiques • Fine Art • Gifts M AR C H 2 0 1 1



Sustained LIVING

B y S T UART M O O R e

Step by Step Kevin and Katie Guenther Believe in Regenerative Design


very little bit helps. One step at a time. Do the best you can. A little here, a little there, it all adds up. The construction of homes and businesses in this country requires the harvesting and mining of vast resources of timber and minerals and then a tremendous consumption of energy to turn it all into something one can build with. It is estimated that 5,833 million metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted into the earth’s atmosphere by our country in 2009. What happens today will remain for anywhere from 70 to120 years, and 20 percent of that will linger and affect the earth’s climate for 1000 years. At least say those that study these things. A little digging goes a long way to understanding that the amount of information “out there” regarding all things pertaining to sustainability is vast and often contradictory. Who can we trust to impart, impartially, the facts? One thing is certain; no single human being is capable of stopping the burning of coal that electrifies our homes and businesses. All we can do is thoughtfully plan and build smart and turn off the lights. A little here, a little there, it all adds up. evin Guenther is a landscape architect with 20 years’ experience. He spent the majority of those years working for large firms doing mostly cookie-cutter design. All that ended in April of 2006 when Guenther and his



wife, Katie, started Design Resource, a firm dedicated to landscapes with the focus on sustainability through regenerative design. They endeavor a collaborative effort with all parties involved in the design and building process from start to finish. “Sustainable design to me is finding a way of doing things where you regenerate better than it was. It’s about learning how to integrate with the natural systems that are already there in a way to make it even better. It means taking the resources in hand and reusing them for perhaps some other purpose. There should be no waste, and everything we do in the landscape should have more than one purpose,” explains Guenther. One aspect of the landscape that Guenther places great emphasis on is water. The amount used monthly in one capacity or another in this country is 3.9 trillion gallons. “Water is a resource. It’s not a waste product. Water is not something that we should heat up on the asphalt, contaminate and then pipe back to the river only to draw it out of the river again, retreat it and then put it back into the potable water system. This is a hugely inefficient way to treat water. A lot of projects we work on have rain water catchments and rain water harvesting through rain gardens and infiltration,” says Guenther. Using plants for natural screens instead of building fences is another approach to

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The Guenthers walk the talk as evidenced by their suburban home’s combined rain harvesting/solar pump system, raised-beds garden and greenhouse salad greens grown in December. Photographs provided. conservation. A nice big maple or oak on the west side of the home shields it from the intense summer heat, consequently decreasing cooling costs. Berry-producing plants attract birds and wildlife. Guenther’s philosophy is holistic in the sense that the landscape is not an appurtenance but a natural extension of one’s home. “How do you organize the spaces so that when you move through a landscape, it is a part of your daily lifestyle?” questions Guenther. To find answers to this question and share them with a larger audience, the Guenthers are planning a series of workshops titled, “Sustainable Living Guild Regenerative Design Workshops.” Says Guenther, “Design Resource has functioned as a design business. But we are also starting something that I think is just as important, which is doing classes. The emphasis will be on that triple bottom line. Everything we do should be thinking about economy, about environment and about people. I call it the sweet spot—you find that sweet spot in everything you do. It can’t be lopsided in

any one of those categories.” According to Guenther, the topics will be applicable to everyone’s lives, no matter where they live or on what scale they wish to work. “The first one I think we are going to do is on seeds and companion planting, and how to organize your garden for even small spaces. We want people to feel encouraged, feel like they have enough information to do a little or a lot. It must be achievable,” states Guenther. He adds that there will be lots of hands on opportunities. The participant will leave understanding principles of why and when and how, but most importantly, Guenther says, “They must feel that they can do these things themselves in their own environments. We will break down sustainability into bit size pieces.”  A little here—a little there, it all adds up, and we all must do our part to ensure a sustainable world for those that follow in our footsteps. Y      Stuart Moore lives in northwest Williamson County and is a landscaper, writer and advocate for planet-friendly lifestyles.

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Downtown Dickson


he 840 leg that connects the town of Dickson to Williamson County’s Pinewood Road— and nearby access to the Natchez Trace Parkway--opened in October and the drive time is a smooth 15 minutes from point to point. Pair that with a two million dollar grant to enhance the historic downtown’s Main Street, sprinkle in progressive retailers, restaurants and museum management, then factor in the nearby visionary Renaissance Center and there is a formula in place for a travel-worthy destination. Dickson’s charming downtown—35 minutes from downtown Nashville— mixes antique shops and fashion boutiques with a variety of retailers that specialize in books, art, clothing, fine jewelry and coffee. It’s rounded out with a high quality breakfast and lunch diner, a fine dining restaurant and various long standing small town traditions including the Grand

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Old Hatchery with its family friendly Saturday night live music, dancing and concessions. A large jewel in the crown of this downtown is the Clement Railroad Museum, rich in the area’s historical significance; its exhibitions are beautifully presented and entertaining. Housed in the former Hotel Halbrook and in spitting distance of the tracks, it’s a must-do for American history buffs in addition to railroad enthusiasts. Additionally, downtown Dickson is five minutes drive time from The Renaissance Center, the town’s cutting edge fine arts and technology learning center that draws visitors from around the world with its variety of events, exhibitions and courses. For anyone looking for fun exploration, an excellent meal or worthwhile shopping, a visit to Downtown Dickson is time well spent and easily traveled to from every direction. Y

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B y S H ERRY PA I G E | P hotog r a phs b y a nn e go e t z e

More than a Mule Day

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. —Unknown


ew celebrations bring opportunity for going back in time as the one about to happen in Maury County. At least, according to Larry, the Cable Guy on his new show “Only In America….” And whether you’re from this neck of the woods or not, just from the photos here, you’re likely to guess it’s time for Mule Day. From March 31st through April 3rd, Columbia, Tennessee will host this renowned event which began in 1934 and led to the town’s nickname, Mule Capital of the World! How do we wrap our minds around this strange “freak of nature” as the mule is sometimes called. Noted regional historian and author, Bob Duncan describes one as “…a curious combination of the jackass and the horse, with the qualities of neither, excelling both….his fibers are tough and his endurance is wonderful…he performs tasks of which no other animal in the service of man is capable….” Just one look at the Schedule of Events on will prove this description true. Monday, March 28th Longtime Wagon Train Director DeeCee Neeley passed his torch this year to new director Gary Thrasher who will lead the mule-powered carriages and wagons out of Leiper’s Fork at 9 a.m. after a night of camping. Expected to be some 30- to 40-strong, the wagon train will make its way south as it travels through Bethel, staying two nights there before continuing on to arrive in Columbia on Wednesday, March 30th. “When you see them, take a deep breath and imagine how wonderful life would be if we could all take a more leisurely pace,” advises Duncan. The hardy nature of the mule, which rarely goes lame, makes a trip like this doubly enjoyable. 12 HILLS & HAMLETS

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Thursday, March 31st The log loading competition starts at 11 a.m. in the main arena at Maury County Park. This is a chance to see how logs were loaded before machines were invented. Mule teams under the guidance of their handlers will show audiences the truest meaning of teamwork while being judged in competition on their skill. Friday, April 1st Both the Mule Driving Show and the Gaited Mule Show will be held in the Old Arena at noon and 6 p.m. respectively. According to Louise Mills, PR director for Mule Day as well as longtime member of the Bridle and Saddle Club, the Gaited Mule is the product of a male donkey and a female Walking Horse mare. These gaited mules are more refined and less akin to their historical counterpart while also commanding a higher price due to their teachability. Watch them strut their stuff as they vie for the Gaited Mule Tennessee State Championship. Saturday, April 2nd This is the original Mule Day itself. Featuring not only the Mule Pulling and Draft Mule Show, but the Downtown Mule Day Parade, it is the biggest family day of the week. Starting at 6 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, kids are sure to be in place by 11 a.m. when the parade makes its way through Downtown Columbia. Then, back at the park by 2 p.m. for the Draft Mule Show, families will be just in time for the crowning of the 2011 King Mule, the best of the Draft Mule breed. PR Director Mills says they used to parade the King Mule through town in a truck with a crown on his head, “but the mule didn’t much like that, so we quit.” Now the King Mule is crowned after the parade has taken place and according to Mills, “Everyone’s happier.”

Celebrity Mule

Amazing Grace is owned by Steve and Pam Foster from Virginia, and has been on the Today show and starred opposite Robert Duvall in the film “Get Low.” Hired for only one week, she was asked to stay for the entirety of the shoot. On the final

day, it’s reported that Duvall pulled out his checkbook to buy Amazing Grace from the Fosters, to which Steve said, “Put your checkbook back in your pocket.” Money, evidently, cannot buy Amazing Grace. But you can buy a ticket to Mule Day and see her performance with Foster. There’s

View from the driver’s seat in 2010. Photo by Anne Goetze w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

Adve∑ti∂e∑ Spotli◊ht

Will T Tenpenny of Edward Jones Investments

The wagon train as it leaves Leiper’s Fork for Bethel. Courtesy of Bill Johnson, HorsePix Photography


Amazing Grace and Steve Foster bow in prayer in front of a cross. Courtesy of Bill Johnson, HorsePix Photography

one show every day in the Main Arena and according to Dave Skillington, it’s worth seeing. And he should know. The Skillington name in Maury County is as closely tied to the mule and to Mule Day as is the harness that holds them to the plow. Mule Day is a reminder that what takes our breath away is always a moment that becomes more than what we expected. To watch a community prepare for a week of 40 to 100 thousand visitors who come to celebrate what we call a common man’s way of life, and to celebrate an animal who is bred primarily for its ability to work long and hard without needing much of anything,

is becoming a rare commodity. Breathtaking….a mule who bows her head …owned by a man who won’t sell her for any amount of money…joining a family event that celebrates in every other way what we used to think of as ordinary… this is more than a mule day. See for yourself! Y Sherry Paige is a writer, a producer, a musician, an equestrian and the owner of PenPoint Productions, a full-service video production company in Nashville. Sherry can be reached at spaige@

The Mule Day program Southern Comfort features page after page reflecting the amazing relationship that folks have with their mules. These animals, while having the reputation for being ornery and stubborn, are touted by their admirers to have more common sense than many humans. There’s no question as to their preference for kind and patient treatment. Mules don’t ordinarily show their tempers without being provoked. They don’t like to be rushed—and they don’t like to be asked to do something they don’t understand. If a mule doesn’t think it’s worth doing, he won’t do it. If you don’t respect him, the mule won’t respect you. It’s uncanny how the mule knows all this. It’s amazing what the mule is capable of accomplishing. w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

ver the coming months, Financial Advisor, Will T Tenpenny, plans to meet many residents in his neighborhood. That is because he has assumed the leadership of the Spring Hill office of Edward Jones and he wants to get to know the residents and business owners in the surrounding communities. Will T has spent the last two years with Edward Jones Investments and he has a passion for service excellence

and wise financial strategies. “One of my passions is to serve my clients well to help them achieve their financial dreams,” he says. Will T has enjoyed his lifelong residency in Tennessee with family members and friends.  He enjoys being active in the community and looks forward to getting to know local business owners and their families. Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliates in Canada.  Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work.  Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today. Welcome Will T by contacting him at 615.302.4598 or email him at will. Y

NEWS ‘Music of the Masters’ Performance May 1


n Sunday May 1, at Lipscomb University’s Willard Collins Alumni Auditorium the

Williamson County Youth Orchestra (WCYO) presents “Music of the Masters.” Three ensembles of the student orchestra will perform, beginning with the Beginner Reading Orchestra, a group of 17 beginner string students conducted by Stephanie Dickinson. They will be followed by the Junior Orchestra, a group of 44 intermediate string players, conducted by Melissa Edgington. The concert finishes with a performance by the 62-member Youth Orchestra, a full orchestra conducted by Anna Maria Miller. Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 4 p.m. To know more go to www. williamsoncountyyouthorchestra. org.Y M AR C H 2 0 1 1




Notes on January, February and March January




Dr. Jeffrey C. Abelt Dr. Susan Abelt

Full Service Mobile Clinic

Dogs, Cats, Horses, Avian & Exotics Phone 615.595.8545

his snowy night. This night under a half moon. I look out the laundry room door from the couch. Blue light on the ground, white on the black tree limbs. I pull on the day’s coveralls again and head for the barn. Glass ice snaps under my boots, the black pup following, leaping. I get the cheap orange plastic toboggan leaning on the church pew. There is yesterday’s flat path in the snow to follow up the pasture through the gate I left open into the woods almost to the pond. Looking down the hill, the two big trees to miss, easy maybe in the dark. If I don’t miss them, I’m broken, but I don’t care. I really don’t care. The ride goes so fast and so crazy on the ice there is nothing to do but yell at the pup and the goats in the way all the way down to the bottom. Then I do it again.


Seven snows. The day bluebirds dash in the sky over their old boxes, singing their sweet song, fighting off English sparrows, starlings, each other. One sits in the rosebush one freezing morning outside my bedroom window, shivering. He shouldn’t be here. Have bluebirds been hanging out in the barn all winter with the filthy raccoons in the hay loft and the groundhogs in the woodpile? Every evening in the stillness, the noise from the ridge across my little valley is startling, wild turkeys nesting

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in the tops of trees, making enough commotion to wake a drunk. Settling in the bare branches, the complainers look like ink splotches on the sky. U One frozen morning Billy is found lying on the slope outside the goat’s shed, dead. He was almost 15. He had cried out to me for three days before, but I hadn’t listened. Now I’m sorry. One more being I didn’t listen to in time to hear what they wanted to tell me before they were gone. The other goats stand the doorway staring at him, terrified. Oh, Death. Billy looks rather regal except for the strange open eyes. Later, his final babies are born, first one pure white one and then shiny black twins, tiny and strong. They all faint. U A break in February long enough to weed the gardens in a flannel shirt and get a light sunburn before the winter returns to finish itself off. I dig up the violently pink peony that has been here since early in the 20th century and move several parts of her to a southfacing bed against the house so I can lean out the window this summer and stick my head in her flowers when I wake up. There are three gardens to tend, the white one for night, the vegetable kitchen garden below the orchard that has herbs and roses lining the paths, and the rest of this place, my wild garden of God. U Two Sufi masters came through The Wisdom House at Scarritt Bennett for a weekend retreat to speak about the mystic poet, Rumi. Leaders of some

of Nashville’s churches and mosques were there. It was more beautiful and extraordinary than we could have known.


All through March, one night a week will be spent back at the Scarritt Bennett Center listening to Rabbi Rami Shapiro give a lecture series called Celebration Of Faith, a “five week introduction to the world’s major religions to help people broaden their understanding of the human spiritual quest,” and to help me get through this next year with less ignorance about the faiths of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and more tolerance for some local church preaching that seems definitely unChrist like. Unless they’re right about the Rapture coming on May 21st. Is that for sure this time? Gotta check the billboard. And make plans for what to do if I’m left behind. U So this winter, which seemed at its beginning almost unbearable, turned out to be milder than expected after all. Now the world is opening right in front of us on the Internet, and the waters of freedom are spreading like the ocean across the entire Middle East, while here at our place, only a change of season is the reminder of how inexorable life and death are, and how lucky we are to be here, now, in our blessed knowledge and ignorance of it all. Y Renee Armand is a singer/ songwriter, who lives on a farm in Williamson County. w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m


B y N ath a n Co l l i e

S e e Mo r e in th e g a l l e ry at hi l l s N h a m l e ts . c o m w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

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good FOOD

Ooh�ommie…That Tastes Good!


op quiz: Name the five tastes that the tongue can sense. Easy…sweet, sour, salty, bitter and… wait. It’s on the tip of my tongue. It is…umami. Since 1985 umami has been recognized by science as a flavor sensation detected by taste receptors in the tongue. Its flavor can be described as “savory”. Examples of this are browned meat, mushrooms, tomatoes, soy, tamarind, aged cheeses and anchovies, just to cite a few. The impact of this discovery on cuisine is enormous. So we have this “new” flavor, but it has always been there and we are just now able to identify it. What does it taste like? Difficult to define. Umami is not a strong flavor like garlic (bitter) or lemon (sour), but it rounds flavors, coming from behind the forward flavors to help finish them. Think of it like the bass rhythm behind the melody. The forward flavors are what you first perceive in a forkful, but then the umami follows and is what lingers on your palate. For example: shrimp scampi in tomato sauce. The most forward flavor is first garlic, followed by the shrimp, then the tomato resonates and lasts, while the strong garlic still echoes. Umami is the long lasting flavor sensation from the tomato sauce in that dish.



ow did this discovery occur? A century ago in Japan, a chemist named Kikunae Ikeda was experimenting with edible seaweeds. He discovered that a dried seaweed that was crumbled and added to a mild broth increased the flavor of that broth significantly. Moreover, adding another type of seaweed to the broth increased the flavor incrementally. Ikeda named this sensation umami, which means “savory” in Japanese. The science of this is tied up in protein strings, peptides and glutamates. Now before you flip the page to Robin’s Remedies (she never gets into chemistry) hang with me for a moment. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is key to the umami flavor. To oversimplify, MSG is a salt-like protein that tastes really good. We have seen this in meats that have been nicely browned, in the Maillard reaction—a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat. The beef proteins alter to create excellent flavor. MSG brings out the flavor of soups and savory dishes of meats and vegetables. It does this by reacting with the taste receptors in the tongue that are sensitive to sour, salty and bitter flavors. It does not react with the sweet receptors in the tongue and therefore umami does

not play well with sweets, desserts or naturally sweet products like fruit. Umami flavors are found especially in aged products, where long protein strands break down to shorter strings. Aged cheeses like parmesan, bleu and provolone, aged meats like prosciutto or country ham, aged fish like Asian fish sauce (Nuoc Nam) and aged vinegar like Balsamic are all rich in umami. Likewise with concoctions like Worcestershire sauce, barbeque sauce, soy sauce, A1 and even ketchup. Most Asian condiments like oyster sauce, hoisin, shrimp paste, black bean sauce and the like are excellent sources of umami. As Ikeda discovered, the umami flavors can be compounded. It works like this: take an umami component, like tomato sauce, and another component, like anchovy, and yet another, like aged parmesan cheese, the three flavors combined pack a wallop of flavor. Next, grill a New York strip steak over high heat until well-browned and cooked mediumrare. Sauté sliced mushrooms with a pinch of fresh garlic and a splash of lemon juice with a touch of sea salt. Top the steak with the mushrooms, drape the tomato sauce over this, and top with shredded mozzarella. Pop this assembly under a broiler for one minute until bubbly and browned. This is umami to the sixth power. Tannins in red wine have umami. Wash down this creation with a nice Chianti and you will be in umami heaven. Not a meat eater? Substitute tofu for the beef and you will not be disappointed. A dish like this is redolent with long lasting flavors that define umami. Umami is not a new thing under the sun, but it is new to the human level of awareness. Embrace this sensation. Become familiar with it. Learn to recognize it and inform others. Be a harbinger of new things to your friends. They will be grateful for you for your insight. Ooh, mommie! Y Larry Kane received his chef training in Boston, Massachusetts. A 2001 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner, Kane can be found

at the Publix at Bowie Commons in Fairview, Tennessee.

Shrimp Scampi

(Serves two) Ingredients 1 tbsp. olive oil 2 ea. Anchovy fillets 1 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic pinch crushed red pepper flakes 12 ea. 16-20 pink shrimp, peeled & deveined 2 c. marinara sauce ½ c. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish 8 oz. cooked linguini


In a large skillet heat the oil for one minute. Add the anchovy, garlic and chile pepper. Heat one minute until fragrant. Add shrimp and cook for two minutes. Add marinara sauce and cheese. Cook for about five minutes until thoroughly heated. Serve over warmed pasta dusted with additional parmesan cheese.

Steak Pizziaola (Serves two)

Ingredients 2 tbsp. chopped shallot ½ c. red wine 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1c. beef broth 1c. tomato sauce 2 ea. 8 oz. New York strip steaks, trimmed of fat 1 c. whole milk shredded mozzarella ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese


In a small saucepan combine shallot, wine, Worcestershire sauce and broth. Simmer until reduced by half. Add to tomato sauce and reduce further until thickened. Sauté, grill or broil steak until to desired doneness. Cover steak with sauce. Top with cheese. Bake or broil until cheese is browned. Serve with a highly tannic red wine like Zinfandel or Shiraz.

Back in the 1970s MSG was a four-letter word. A short-lived phenomenon peddled by the press was “Chinese restaurant syndrome” or CRS. It was supposedly linked to people susceptible to a reaction with MSG, causing chest pain and other minor symptoms. This resulted in an anti-MSG wave that lasted for years. Fortunately, research revealed that MSG was harmless to the population at large, but to this day many people remain wary of glutamates. Fear not. MSG/umami is good. 16 HILLS & HAMLETS

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Unique, Inclusive and Mobile—The Abelts


y relationship with the Drs. Jeff and Susan Abelt of the Leipers Fork Veterinary Services, LLC began with a Pig Rodeo in my back yard. I own a pot belly pig of mixed heritage that weighs around 400 pounds, named Jethro. Jethro needed his toe nails cut and shaped and his tusks cut. This would not be easy because Jethro requires anesthesia and he is an anesthesia sponge. Before the Abelts arrived, finding a vet who would work with pigs was unheard of here in Williamson County. Upon arrival, Dr. Jeff requested a bucket, then jumped upon Jethro’s back with a syringe between his teeth, firmly put the bucket over Jethro’s head and gave him a shot, while riding Jethro holding the bucket in place. Meanwhile, Jethro was squealing and running all over the place trying to dislodge Dr. Jeff, who, to his credit, stuck to the back of my pig like he had Velcro on his pants. During the hullabaloo, Dr. Susan took a picture of Dr. Jeff for future publication, to which he strenuously objected while I was laughing so hard my sides were hurting while tears streamed down my

cheeks; I was no help at all. Eventually, Jethro succumbed to the medication and took a nice nap while his tusks were trimmed and toe nails cut and nicely shaped. And I had a veterinary service for life. r. Jeff and Dr. Susan met each other during the first day of student orientation at the University of Minnesota Veterinary College, in the fall of 1982. Dr. Susan was one of very few women enrolled in the vet program at the time. In fact, there were no sororities in the veterinary college because there were very few women until 1982 on campus, so she pledged to the Alpha Si as a fraternity sister, with Jeff who is an Alpha Si fraternity brother. Might as well, right? The Abelts married in 1984, graduated in 1986 and from there, they went to Cloquet, Minnesota where they opened their own clinic and began the work they love. After buying a farm, they had two boys, Jason and Nathan. They later adopted two more children, Shaquisha and William, half-siblings who had never lived together until Susan and Jeff opened their arms and


took them into their family. A quirky set of circumstances— laughingly referred to the Eternal Joke—allowed them to sell their farm in Minnesota for twice the selling price and buy a farm near Leiper’s Fork. That’s when Abelts began to research a way to work within their new community and provide a service to meet the needs of clients with a higher level of service than found in a large clinical setting. Their research led them to understand that technology had evolved to the point that every diagnostic tool needed to effectively treat animals could be put into a truck and thus, the mobile vet service was born. Between the two doctors, they have 48 years of experience ranging from horses, cattle and other livestock, to exotic animals, to domestic dogs and cats. Their delightful sense of humor and ability to work together as a team builds a solid foundation for trust in their expertise. hen asked about the most important thing that folks need to know about their critters, Dr. Jeff put special emphasis


upon re-emerging diseases amongst our animal friends. Several diseases like cat scratch fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever from tick bites and even Bubonic plague  from flea bites have resurfaced  in the United States. There is a significant rise in upper respiratory infections in cats and in general infectious diseases in dogs. Many preventable infections are seen due to complacency about vaccinations especially in puppies and kittens. While a lot of attention has been paid to the risks of vaccination in the media, there has been little discussion of the consequences of vaccine avoidance to the overall health of our pet population. It’s something to seriously consider as a pet owner. For more information about the Leipers Fork Veterinary Services, go to The basic cost of a home visit is affordable for any budget and your beloved animals will receive excellent care. Y Robin Lockwood is a Master Herbalist, a Plant Spirit Medicine practitioner and a Dagantu (weather worker) in the Cherokee tradition.

LEIPER’S FORK SPECIAL AREA PLAN PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETING Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. Hillsboro Elementary School Cafeteria 5412 Pinewood Road The Williamson County Planning Department and the Leiper’s Fork Citizens Advisory Committee invite the public to continue the Special Area Plan process—part of Williamson County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan—for the Village of Leiper’s Fork. Please attend this meeting to review and discuss the draft Vision Statement, Goals, and Objectives created through previous citizen participation and input.

For questions or comments please contact Leiper's Fork Citizens Advisory Committee

Catherine Anderson Mark Cantrell Cindy Garvey Holli Givens John Hancock, Jr. Tom Herring Betsy Hester Pam Hood Shannon Martin Aubrey Preston Rob Robinson Deborah Warnick

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Williamson County Planning Department

Robbie Hayes 615.790.5725 1320 West Main Street, Suite 400 Franklin, TN 37064

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From the Hammock A Ga r d e n e r ’ s M u s i n g s


Heirloom Traditions T

he legend of the Old 84s began with a small envelope with a return address from North Carolina, sent to my grandfather, Ernest Walker. In the envelope was a tiny brown envelope with the number 84 printed on it. Within were a handful of tiny tomato seeds. My grandfather, Ernest Walker, was an organic gardener before there was such a title. He and my grandmother, Lurie Walker, moved to Nashville in the West Meade area to the third new house on a new street named Fleetwood. Utilizing his wheel hoe, he broke ground that he described as the “rockiest piece of ground he had ever experienced.” Surrounding the garden were the flower beds my grandmother lovingly tended. Granddaddy built two cold frames from scrap lumber and old windows. Using paper cups filled with dirt from the garden (packaged potting soil didn’t exist then) he carefully placed one seed on top of the soil, and using his index finger, buried it in the soil up to his second knuckle. He watered those cups

and set them into the cold frames to grow. “Tomatoes have to be planted deep to be strong,” he told me when I helped him plant. He could no longer see them by then. From the first, he produced tomatoes like none other had ever been seen before, huge, meaty and rich in flavor. One slice made the perfect tomato sandwich. The largest one he ever grew was 2.25 lbs. Recently Old 84 seeds traveled to Australia with my sister, to be grown by a 95-year old gardener who tends to them with the dignity and honor they deserve. Granddaddy would be proud to know that the Old 84s are now growing there and his two granddaughters continue the Old 84 tradition. Y Robin Lockwood lives in the southwest section of Williamson County and is a founding member of the Leiper’s Fork Garden Club. She is also well known as an herbalist and her column “Robin’s Remedies.”This article was first published on


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YOGA AVAILABLE AT THE BELLEVUE STUDIO & BARRE CLASSES COMING THERE SOON Spectacular gated estate on 35 acres just 10 minutes from Leiper’s Fork! Gorgeous 4800 square foot one-level brick & stone custom home with a three-car detached garage below a fantastic 1200 square foot guest suite! Truly immaculate, this home features ash and cherry hardwood floors throughout, five fireplaces, extensive moldings with no detail missed. The chef ’s kitchen offers cherry cabinets, granite countertops and stainless appliances. Fantastic master wing includes main bedroom with a sitting area with fireplace, separate office, two HUGE walk-in closets, elegant bathroom with over-sized Jacuzzi tub and its own private, covered patio! Offering four bedrooms and four & one-half baths, each bedroom is a suite. The guest suite above the garage offers hardwood floors, full kitchen with granite countertops and large bathroom! This wonderful gated home offers the privacy of country living but is only 10 minutes to Leiper’s Fork and 40 minutes to downtown Nashville! — $1,499,000

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Call 615-579-3959 Visit Carter’s Creek Pk @ Bear Creek Pike – Franklin, TN (MLS # 1223483) 42+ acres w/good frontage on Carter’s Creek & Bear Creek Rd. close to downtown Franklin. This property includes a gorgeous building site with super views and overlooks a large pond. Terrain is rolling with excellent fenced pasture. There is a lovely year-round creek at the back; land is mostly open with some nice timber. Call today for additional information and to schedule an appointment to see this great property. 5439 Leiper’s Creek Rd – Santa Fe, TN (MLS #1249520) 176 panoramic & rolling acres joins the Natchez Trace. This farm includes a large complex which boasts a very nice 2BR 2BA home, guest house, super horse facility w/8 stalls, huge loft, work shop, storage shed and professional landscaping. Fully renovated tobacco barn completely converted into a working cattle barn. Large machine shed, numerous paddocks, springs, plank fencing, creeks, mature hardwood timber, great views, long road frontage and numerous building sites fully enhance the value of this property. See it to believe it. Check it out at www.5439LeipersCreekRd. com Call me today to schedule an appt to see this wonderful property.

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No No One One Knows Knows the the Country Country Like LikeWe We Do! Do!

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Private & Peaceful!

Gorgeous Victorian with 3,824 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 3 half baths. This home was built with modern amenities, lots of little extras & old-fashioned style! Nestled in the woods on 10.68 acres - this property is ready for your horses with a 3 stall horse barn, 2 separate pastures, creek, riding arena & all board fenced. 3 car garage is detached but has a covered walkway to home. Minutes from Leipers Fork & Historic Franklin. $825,000

Large Country Home on 15 Acres

Perfect country home on 15 acres, no more than 5 mins from Leipers Fork Village. This 3 BR, 2.5 BA home has a contemporary style w/many other amenities. The master bath suite features a whirlpool & an in-ground pool, as well as tennis court, are adjacent to the home. Located mid-way down Southall Road, 15 minutes from historic Franklin & 45 minutes from downtown Nashville. $739,900

Linda Earwood 615-519-7165

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Brand New Ready 4 Your Finishing Touch 42.5 Acre Farm near Franklin City Limits

Brand new home with about $50,000 more to finish. Approx. 2500 sq. feet - 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath. Custom fir doors with antique hardware. Custom built kitchen with flush frame doors on all cabinets. Windows are double glass panesLow-E and Argon filled for energy efficiency. Freestanding curved staircase. $448,000

Approx. 32 acres of pasture, 10.5 in hard woods - all fenced and cross fenced. Barn and stud barn have water and electric. Creek on property. Restore existing 1900’s cottage for your guest house and build your dream home on the perfect, little rise toward the back of the property for a great view. Your drive could meander through woods near the creek. $1,499,900

Luxurious & Secluded Country Living! Peaceful Setting with Incredible Views

Immaculate 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath home on 27 gorgeous acres. This home features a top of the line kitchen with fireplace, master on the main with his and her walk-in, custom closets; 4 bedrooms up with walkin closets, & jack & jill; an in-ground pool; a pond & creek. A 4 car detached garage includes a 4 stall barn. $849,900

Impeccable William Powell built home on 39.26 beautiful, rolling acres. House sits high on the land with great, accessible creeks. This 4,538 square foot farmhouse features an over the top kitchen with antique built-ins, antique doors & red wood floors throughout, the master & guest suite downstairs, 4 bedrooms upstairs and 5 full baths. Amazing views of the countryside from the relaxing front & back porches. $1,598,000

20 Wooded Acres with Beautiful Creek!

Conveniently located in Southwest Williamson County, minutes from Leipers Fork Village and Historic downtown Franklin. Approximately 20 acres with large creek on property. This land will be a wonderful asset to any buyer.

Extremely Unique Log Home

5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths on 3 acres but privately nestled amongst 200 acres with common area, 2 stocked lakes & hunting allowed. Relaxing screened-in gazebo and heated & cooled barn. $599,000


Imagine your home, totally organized! Custom Closets, Garage Cabinets, Home Offices and more‌

25% OFF

Any order of $1000 or more at time of purchase only. Financing Plans Available One coupon per household, for new orders only Offer expires 04/30/11

Call for a free in-home design consultation and estimate

615.261.8700 Major Credit Cards Accepted. Licensed and Insured.


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w w w. h i l l s N h a m l e t s . c o m

March H&H 2011  

Spring issue features stories, art and photos of rural life in middle Tennessee