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Validity Teaching & Breathing Art

Complimentary

December 2016 Vol. 6, Issue 12


Christmas in Hohenwald First 2 weekends in December!

Trolley Rides, Light Displays & More • FREE Events Downtown!

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594 Garrison Rd. Hohenwald, TN

Holiday Gift Giving Time! Schedule Your Own “Bling Bash” TODAY to shop for FRee & 1/2 Price Jewelry! Follow Me for More Great Deals! Sita Rayburn

“Your Favorite Jewelry Lady!” 941.812.6325

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year From The Martinez Family Open Mon. - Thurs. 11-9 Fri. - Sat. 11-10 • Sun. 11-8

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Lewis County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center A cornerstone of comprehensive, high quality healthcare and rehabilitative services.

We take quality seriously. 119 Kittrell St, Hohenwald, TN 38462 (931) 796-3233 www.tnhealthmanagement.com


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Inside this issue of

Validity

Table of Contents

New This Mont h!

When you can’t make a Chocolate Meringue Pie By Melissa Wickline Friends and sour dough bread to the rescue. Page 10

Muddy Grove By Luke Newbold Siblings making memorable music. Page 13

DECEMBER 2016

When in Rome

Vol. 6, Issue 12

By DeeGee Lester Forrest Whiting’s travels abroad enhance his foresight. Page 17

Muletown Artist Eileen Moore Of Men and Mules.

Page 19

Image left, and cover Image: Cari M. Griffith

In Love With The Wheel Page 14 “...seeing my students overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence through art.” By Cari Marye Griffith

In Every Issue: Validity Recipes By Cari Marye Griffith and Katie Taylor Taters, eggs and kale. Page 6

Ask A Lawyer

Ornithology Report

By Landis Turner

By Bill Pulliam

Air freshener in the court room.

50 common birds, part 4.

December Gardens

By James Lund James recommends five for gifts.

By Cassandra Warner Page 12

Letters to Editor, Page 5

The Believer’s Walk

An extended fall garden finally gives way to winter.

Validity Magazine is published monthly in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Validity Magazine reserves the right to edit editorial and advertising submissions for appropriateness of the publication. Reproduction of any part of Validity Magazine without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of information, products or services. Views expressed in Validity Magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions. Publishers Notice: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.

Hohenwald, TN 38462-0516. Address Service Requested. Subscriptions are available on an annual basis at $20 per year. Mail check or money order to: Validity Subscriptions, P.O. Box 516, Hohenwald, Tennessee 38462.

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Lookin’ Back, Page 24

By Charles Newbold

Reality Perspective, Page 26

Receiving versus taking. Page 24

Page 21

Validity Magazine, Published 12 times per year, monthly, Vol. 6, Issue 12 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Validity Magazine, P. O. Box 516,

From The Publisher, Page 5 Page 23

Page 18

December Book Review

Also in this Issue:

Publisher Becky Jane Newbold, info@validitymag.com, 931-628-6039 Managing Editor Shane Newbold, info@ValidityMag.com, 931-628-6039 Contributing Writers, Bill Pulliam, Cari Marye Griffith, Cassandra Warner, Charles Newbold Jr., DeeGee Lester, James Lund, Katie Taylor, Landis Turner, Luke Newbold, Melissa Wickline Contributing Photographers, Abigail Perrigo, Cari Marye Griffith, Cassandra Warner, Katie Taylor, Melissa Wickline

Our Mission Validity Magazine exists to reflect rural lifestyles of rural communities along the Natchez Trace Parkway in both storytelling and photo journalism. This local publication is designed to promote positive life experiences by delivering authentic, relevant content on healthy living, nature, outdoors, technology, gardening, entertainment and travel to the people who enjoy the small town experience.


From The Publisher

Catfish in a box

have fed her family a meal purchased at a convenience store. But this was different, I argued (with myself ). Behind the counter, near ne Friday evening, I the source of the alluring arofound myself doing ma, Harv hovered over baskets the unthinkable. Hands on the wheel and of catfish and trimmings. It hesitant to go forward, I won- was mom’s favorite and she no dered at the absence of a knot longer cared if food came on a in my gut. Were my grand- plate or in a box, as long as it mother still living, I feel cer- came at the right time. Why do we do it? Our tain she would have offered a mamas taught us better. The “tit, tit, tit” accompanied by kitchen is the focal point of a a ever so slight shake of her head. She would NEVER Southern woman’s home. It

O

By Becky Jane Newbold

From Our Readers Dear Shane, Even tho (sic) we have never met, I feel I know you through your writings; hence the Shane instead of Mr. Newbold. I am writing this with two young cats asleep on my lap. God forbid I should disturb them. Your “OTG” article (November, 2016) was delightful and brought forth memories from my past. I grew up in Shelby County out past the airport. We had a privy. My step-father and mother bought a book, Five Acres and Independence. After the war ended, their rental house was put up for sale. Lots of males coming home needing places to live. Neither of them knew much about living off the land. At 12 years of age, I learned quickly what hard work was. We had lots of chickens, some geese, some ducks and a huge rooster that was a threat to the whole of humanity. It was a long walk to the privy. We had slopjars for night time use, as no one would venture down the path at night. Daytime use was hin-

Bates Garage

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is the sun and everything is drawn to its magnetic pull. Yet here I was. Inside, Harv's “How’s your old man?” caught me slightly off guard, but I quickly recovered, and we talked fishing for a few minutes. The formerly stand-offish girls behind the counter immediately accepting of me with Harv’s accreditation. “Here ya go, hun,” they chimed, flashing knowing smiles. Sliding back into my seat, the crinkle of the plastic bag led to a sudden realization: In

dered by mean geese, snakes, wasps and that rooster. He would hide in the tall grass and fly at you with talons pointed! To get to the point of this letter, my husband built a log house here in Lewis County, which Becky has seen. Eight inch logs. We have never had to use the AC. I open the sliding doors in the dog run for a cool breeze. A few 100 degree days, we would watch TV in the basement room. The room is built into a hill. I would recommend a basement for shelter during storms, for storage, etc. We had a 100 gallon holding tank with water pumped to the house for years. Very little pressure and you had to watch usage. Now we have a well. Things we learned the hard way: Fruit trees (5,000) eaten by deer and our soil is useless. The property owners have two creeks, a three acre pond with a water fall and there is absolutely no man-made noise. At night, I can hear three different owls. Wild geese land on the lake and no one hunts here. More than half the house is in the shade, although I had to have eight trees cut down yesterday. Your road will be an ongoing expense. Four wheel drive with any kind of a grade. We cannot

get cell service here in our valley. You are welcome to come see the cabin and area if you like. Love your sense of humor, Catharine Hess

Dear Catharine (aka, Caty Lou), Appreciate your letter and will set up a time to come visit your way-cool abode. Becky Jane and I are in the process of gleaning ideas for our little OTG experiment. It sounds like you can teach us a few things. We will make sure to avoid perpetually testosteronally-potent, unruly, barnyard fowl. Warm regards, Shane P. S. Your handwritten letter sent by snail mail was a pleasant reminder of how we all used to communicate. We love to hear from our readers! Email us at info@validitymag.com or send it regular mail at Validity Mag, P. O. Box 516, Hohenwald, TN 38462.

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some, strangely twisted way, this was comfortable. Pulling out in the soft light of a early winter sunset, my rearview mirror captured one of the best southern cooks, texting from her parked car. No doubt collecting an order from her family on her way home. We, along with half the town, succumbed to a quiet man’s ability to serve a perfectly crafted, southern standard from a deep fryer in a gas station. Served in a styrofoam box.

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487 E. Main • Hohenwald, TN • 931-796-2565 Validitymag.com

5 .


Validity Recipes

Katie Taylor

Smashing Sides Roasted Winter Root Salad

Katie Taylor

By Katie Taylor and Cari Marye Griffith

Roasted Winter Root Salad

W

hat are your holiday traditions? For my extended family celebration, we all bring side dishes and have a casual appetizer party, since most are scattered about and already doing large meals with immediate family. It has become such a fun tradition, and I always look forward to tasting the delicious sides my aunts and cousins bring! I like to bring a dish on the healthier side, but also something I know everyone will enjoy (even the picky eaters). This month, we are sharing some side dishes that have typical “Holiday” ingredients (think beets, yams and deviled eggs), but with a twist. .

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Serves 6-8 Ingredients: 2 lbs root vegetables (sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked

chickpeas) 6 cups raw kale 1 recipe Creamy Apple Cider Vinaigrette (below) Ingredients for Vinaigrette: ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 shallot Sea salt and pepper 2 tablespoons Tahini 1 tablespoon maple syrup


Katie Taylor

1 teaspoon garlic powder Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions: Peel hard-boiled eggs, slice in half, and remove yolks. In food processor or mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients, and mix until smooth. Stuff the egg-halves with the Sriracha mixture, and top with a small squirt of Sriracha for an extra kick. Recipe slightly adapted from lifesambrosia.com

Recipe, photos and food styling by Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor

additional 10 minutes. Serve warm. Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Chop the Recipe adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow root vegetables, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Roast for 25 minutes. Sriracha Deviled Eggs While vegetables are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all Makes a small platter ingredients in a food processor and Ingredients: blending until smooth. Pour the 6 hard-boiled eggs vinaigrette over the chickpeas and 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise kale, and “massage” the salad with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard your hands, to soften the kale. ½ -1 tablespoon (depending on Remove the pan of vegetables from desired spice) Sriracha hot sauce the oven, add the kale and chick1 tablespoon dried, minced peas, and return to the oven for an onion

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

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Validity Recipes

Crispy Potato Medley

Cari Marye Griffith

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Crispy Potato Medley Ingredients: 4-5 potatoes of choice (sweet potato, yukon gold, red potatoes used here) 2 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons butter 1 shallot (diced) ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary ¼ teaspoon dried parsley ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or equivalent diced garlic) Salt and pepper Parmesan (optional) Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cari Marye Griffith

E

very Christmas table in America probably has a potato dish as one of it’s main sides. Often sweet potato dishes are loaded with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and even marshmallows, which probably contributes to that need for a post-holiday-meal nap time. This year, lighten up the meal by using some of our favorite ingredients in a new (and a little bit more healthy) way! This crispy potato medley is not only delicious, it’s a colorful and beautiful addition. Any sort of potato you have on hand will work just fine, and can be made ahead of time and reheated if necessary. It takes a few minutes to assemble, but once you take your first bite into the crunchy and savory goodness, you will realize it was worth it.

Cari Marye Griffith

2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and slice into thin pieces. 3. Place potatoes, diced shallot and herbs in a bowl and toss with oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. 4. In a pie plate, or other fancy dish, arrange potatoes in a swirl, placing them flat side down. You can make any sort of design you


Validity Recipes Recipe, photos and food styling by Cari Marye Griffith

Wishing You and Yours a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year Thank you for your patronage this year. We look forward to serving you in 2017

Cari Marye Griffith

would like, just make sure to fit as many potatoes in the dish as possible, pushing them closer together as you arrange. 5. Sprinkle any remaining shallots on top, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 6. Cook at 375 for 20-30 minutes, rotating often so the potatoes don’t burn on one side. Then turn the heat up to 400, and roast for another 10-20 minutes until crispy on top. 7. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of butter on top and garnish with more herbs, sea salt or freshly grated Parmesan.

The Duncan Hardware & Building Supply Family

Crispy Potato Medley

Spend Your

Holidays Enjoying South Central Tennessee We Hope this season You can Get Out and enjoy Our Backroads and support Our Local Businesses

Cari Marye Griffith is a photojournalist turned urban gardener with a deep love for good food, culture and community. Her comfort zone is a cup of Earl Gray, bright morning light and far too many house plants.

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Hardware & Building Supply 1220 Squirrel Hollow Drive

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Melissa Wickline

struggled in the past with my delivery. My husband’s favorite desert is Chocolate Meringue Pie, to which I replied, “No problem.” An hour and a half later, I delivered that pie, as promised, in a drinking glass with a crazy straw. Solely used for effect, as I had hoped the crazy straw would distract him from the fact that the meringue and the pie crust were missing. “What’s this?” he asked. “It’s your pie,” I replied, and there was

Love Letter to A Friend

W

Holiday Bread Baking

hy don’t we write love letters to our friends? Friends are the life savers and the cheerleaders of our lives, the pickups where we left-offs, the greatest of forgivers and the smallest of takers. And By Melissa Wickline friends are always there. True friends are game changers. With them we get through this life with fewer scratches.

Marcus Cicero once said, “What sweetness is left in life, if you take away friendship? Robbing life of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun. A true friend is more to be esteemed than kinsfolk.” My friend, Debbie Whitehead, is the quintessential true friend and Renaissance woman, qualities to marvel in anyone. Debbie is a painter, a lover of thread art, embroidery, a quilter, and she cranks out more handmade toys for her grandchildren than Santa’s elves. Most important to her grandchildren, Deb takes great pride in her cake decorating skills. Her granddaughter gets to chal-

lenge her each year to design and decorate a really difficult birthday cake. Deb has created everything from a hamburger and fries birthday cake to a skull. Deb is also passionate about food and her friends and family are grateful. Deb is that “cook,” the one whose food you ask for specifically at the party so you can be sure and taste it before it’s gone. I have delighted in learning from Deb, but if there’s one gift she’s given me that I’d like to pay forward this holiday season, it would be the gift of baking bread. I’ve always wanted to be a formidable baker, but I’ve

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silence. My spouse knows the look of defeat and he does not question it. Needless to say, I conceded to the chocolate pie, but I’ve done well to supply my spouse with chocolate pie from Southern cooks all over the great state of Tennessee. You can bet that Debbie Whitehead’s chocolate pie makes my sweetheart forget about the fact that I turned one of the South’s most beloved treasures into a kid’s beverage. It’s true, the pie left me feeling a little intimidated. If you’re like me, there are a lot of variables that come with baking a good, quality loaf of bread. Not to mention, too much talk of humidity levels, rising times, etc. I like a full-proof recipe - I’m not really interested in a meteorology lesson, as I still can’t explain why the weather kept my chocolate pie from setting or my meringue from stiffening. Deb’s recipe avoids the fuss. There are a lot of directions, but the motions are quite simple, and once you’ve made a few loaves, you won’t believe how simple and enjoyable the process really is. I forgot to mention that Deb harvests her own yeast. Now that’s truly Renaissance-level bread baking. And so dear readers, I’m sharing the gift with you today, from a friend I shall always hold in the highest regard. Debbie was there to pull me up from the depths of my baking despair, and she has taken every last ounce of guess work out of making the perfect loaf of bread. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Validity readers. I hope you’re kitchen will smell as wonderful this season as ours. God Bless!

Sourdough Loaf Bread

Ingredients: ½ cup warm water ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup starter 1 teaspoon yeast 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon Knox unflavored gelatin* 2 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons water 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour ¼ cup mild, white shredded cheese** 1 cup bread flour

Directions: If using a bread machine, put the ingredients in the machine pan in the order shown in your machine’s manual. If mixing by hand, put water and starter in a bowl. Add sugar and yeast, then flour. To measure the flour, spoon it into a measuring cup, then scrap off the top, level with a knife. Add the salt to the mixture and stir the flour in with a wooden spoon. In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let it “gel” a few minutes. It will start to thicken. Add thickened gelatin and melted butter to the mixture. Then add the shredded cheese and mix until you have a soft dough. If you need more water or more flour, add it slowly, a tablespoon at a time. If making by hand, knead several minutes until the dough is smooth and holds its shape. Place dough in greased bowl and let rise about one hour. Or, let the bread machine run through the dough cycle. When the machine stirs down the first rise, remove it. Knead dough enough to get a lot of the air bubbles out, shape and place in prepared bread pan. If mixing by hand, punch the dough down and continue with shaping. Let the dough rise in the loaf pan about an hour, or until it has risen a couple of inches above the top of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 and bake another 10 minutes. Cool in the pan 15 minutes before turning bread onto a rack to cool completely before cutting. *The original recipe called for 1 large egg. I discovered that using unflavored gelatin dissolved in water instead, makes the bread softer and allows it to stay fresh-tasting longer. **Adding ¼ cup of white cheese to the dough is another discovery that happened quite by accident, but doing this was a game changer. Bread made with mild, white cheese in the dough will be as soft as commercial bread and it will stay soft and fresh-tasting for several days. The first time I did this I used cheddar. It worked and tasted great, but there was a little bit of the cheddar taste. So, I tried a mild, white cheese and it gave the bread all the

benefits without interfering with Find More the taste. I’m not sure how this would work if you make the bread www.ValidityMag.com by hand. I use a bread machine and it heats during the initial rise, so the cheese melts into the dough. If you don’t tell anyone that cheese is in and store in the refrigerator. If you want to make more starter or maythe bread, they may never know. be share starter with a friend, just feed it more often. If you leave it Sourdough Starter out of the refrigerator, it actually Ingredients: needs to be feed every day so build2 cups warm water ing up your supply or sharing isn’t 1 tablespoon active dry yeast a problem. (not instant) You can also capture wild yeast to 1 tablespoon honey make sourdough starter. Yeast is in 2 cups unbleached all-purpose the environment everywhere and flour it’s different everywhere. San FranDirections: cisco sourdough bread is famous for Pour water into a 2-quart glass jar its unique flavor. Likewise, where or bowl. Stir in honey to dissolve. you live is going to have a differStir in yeast. Gradually stir in the ent strain of yeast than what grows flour. Cover loosely with a kitchen here. I don’t know what kind of towel or paper towel (not plastic wild yeast is in Hohenwald but it wrap) and place in a warm area. makes very good bread. Be aware Let mixture ferment 2-5 days, though, if you decide to go on a stirring daily to recombine. It will wild yeast round-up, you have to be separate, don’t skip this step. Always patient. It took us about 3 weeks stir with either a wooden spoon or a of feeding it everyday to have starter plastic spatula, never metal. It will that was vigorous enough to use in rise and bubble like crazy for a few baking. If you stick to it and if you days, then settle back down. take care of your starter, it will last After 5 days, discard all but about forever. There are people baking ¾ cup and feed again. Let it stand bread today with starter that’s been at room temperature overnight and going for generations. repeat. It should then be ready to See directions for capturing use in baking and can be stored in wild yeast and recipe variations the refrigerator. The liquid that online at www.validitymag.com forms on the top of the starter is called hooch. Just stir it back into Melissa Wickline is a lover of histhe starter before feeding or using. toric places and funny, interestFEEDING: Sourdough is a liv- ing people. She enjoys exploring ing organism (yum) so you have to and restoring old homes, art and feed it. I always feed the starter be- discovering new places, cultures fore I use it to make bread. Pour and food. about ¾ cup starter into a bowl or jar. Add 1 cup Beautiful New Apartment Homes unbleached all purpose flour and add a scant cup of water. Stir well and leave it on the coun• Featuring Open Floor Plan ter until it’s bubbly and • Spacious 2 & 3 Bedrooms is increasing in volume. • 2 Baths Stir down before you • Walk-in Closets measure it for the recipe. • Laundry Room Property Name Property Address. • Washer/Dryer Hook Up If you aren’t baking, City, State, Zip XXX-XXX-XXXX 107 Beech Street • Energy Star Appliances the starter is good for Linden, TN applications for all• Individual Patios & Balconies Now taking two weeks without beunits. All electric heat and central • Gorgeous Fully Furnished Water, sewer and trash Petsair.Welcome ing fed; maybe longer (Weightincluded. Limit & FeeRental Apply) assistance MAY Club House w/Computer be available. Metropolitan vouchers Room Avail. to Residents but I wouldn’t take the accepted. On-Site Property Manager • Tot Lot/Playground chance. Just pour out • Laundry Facilities – XXX-XXX-XXXX Please Call CallToday Lisa Trout all but about ¾ cup, • Grilling Area for your personal tour: and feed as usual. Af(931)213-2221 • Professionally Landscaped ter several hours, cover “This institution is an equal opportunity provider, and employer”

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Notes: - All Ads for 538 and 515 properties MUST have the EXACT highlighted statement in the ad. (Punctuation included) - If the property is Senior the ad must say “ age requirement”

11 .


Validity Book Review

2016 Christmas Gift List

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he most wonderful time of the year is upon us. Our friends in the north share with us the frigid air as we dust off last year’s favorite sweater and strike the season’s first fire. The smell of By James Lund fresh cut Christmas trees and cinnamon fill our homes as the Christmas standards of Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole flood the airwaves. We give. We give of ourselves. We give of our time. We give to causes important to us and we give to those we love. If we are lucky, very lucky, we witness the childlike awe on the face of a friend or loved one overcome with joy and emotion after receiving the perfect gift, whether that be a present, a kind word, a necessity or a surprise visit from someone dear. This year, we bring you a few gift ideas for the people closest to you. Author Sarah Dessen says “The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.” But if you use your heart while at the store, isn’t that pretty much the same thing? (Did you really think I could get through an article without making a joke?)

Because of Bethlehem By Max Lucado

In Such Good Company By Carol Burnett

Midcentury Christmas: Holiday Fads, Fancies and Fun from 1945 to 1970 By Sarah Archer

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras & Ella Morton

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With over 120 million books sold, Max Lucado, author and pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, is one of America’s most popular Christian writers. Because of Bethlehem discusses the meaning and consequences of the birth of Christ and the enduring promise of Christmas.

Carol Burnett tells hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from “The Carol Burnett Show.” She rewatched all 276 episodes while writing this book and tells us about her favorite moments. A musthave book for Carol Burnett fans everywhere.

Order online at: www.cornerstonehs.com

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over 600 odd and strange destinations throughout the world. This is an entertaining collection of facts about fascinating places hidden in plain sight. With 470 pages and hundreds of exquisite fullcolor photographs, Atlas Obscura translates to hours of fun for the curious mind.

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A wonderful collection of Christmas memories including recipes and advertisements from popular magazines, classic Christmas cards, and even advice from ALCOA on decorating your aluminum Christmas tree. Midcentury Christmas is sure to evoke fond memories and wonderful stories of Christmases past.

The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots By Beatrix Potter w/ CD narrated by Helen Mirren

Beatrix Potter sent the manuscript for this book to her publisher in 1914. Over 100 years later, in September 2016, the book was finally published. The Tale of KittyIn-Boots is the story of a kitty who sneaks out at night to go hunting and meets many wonderful characters while prowling the countryside. This beautiful, fully-illustrated edition comes with a CD narrated by Helen Mirren. We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday season. You can find copies of these books at Duck River Books on the square in downtown Columbia, Tennessee, or at your favorite indie bookstore. Remember to support your local indie shops, restaurants and publications. We appreciate each one of you. James Lund, along with his wife Heather, own Duck River Books in downtown Columbia, Tennessee. A native of Nashville, James moved to Columbia several years ago to get away from crowds and promptly opened a business whose purpose is to attract crowds.

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R Music of

How have your motivations changed from the beginning of your music careers to date? They are more focused, and more motivated. Leslie: In the beginning we were just seeing if we could do it, just testing the waters. Johnny: We never really thought about pursuing, it but now we factor in everything. We do our taxes around it. Leslie: In our song writing too, we challenge ourselves more. We used to just write when we were inspired. Now, we make a point to write a song almost every week. Good or bad, we still write a song every week to make sure we take it seriously.

M

uddy Grove is a ‘must hear’ band comprised of Johnny Cornell and Leslie Francis. They currently have two records and when I talked with them, they were leaving for a show in Illinois. After hearing this sibling duo, their tight harmonies and unique but powerful song writing, encouraged the conversation to find out; just who is Muddy Grove? So I asked them some traditional questions as well as a few off-the-wall questions. (Group answers unless otherwise specified) By Luke

What is your favorite pastime outside of music? Laughing. We like to go out to eat with friends, but wherever we are, we tend to be the loudest group of people. We’re both extroverted, so wherever we can be with people, that’s where we want to be. What is an instrument you wish you played but maybe do not? Leslie: Piano Johnny: Piano or Pedal Steel Name one animal to best describes each of your personalities. Johnny: Well... ok on the count of three, 1-2-3: Both: Pug! (Followed by good laughter) Leslie: Stick up for us though. They are funny, they are social, they enjoy a good nap, they love to eat… I’m not sure if that is sticking up for us at all.

Newbold

Who are some of your main influences? Johnny: We are definitely a Beatles family. Every family get together, if we pick up a guitar and start singing, there’s bound to be at least one or two Beatles songs that we do. Leslie: Fleetwood Mac for sure, Alison Krauss is also a huge influence.

You have to name your child after a city, which would you choose? Leslie: Boston Johnny: Austin

Abigail Perrigo

What is the biggest hurdle you guys face as a band? Leslie: Allergy season in Nashville, 100 percent. Allergy season in this town is a valley of pollen. If you were stranded on an island, what meal would you choose to eat for the rest of your life? Leslie: Gouda cheese slices, with crackers. Johnny: Buffalo Chicken Wrap from Stadium Grill, Mattoon Illinois.

We are Validity, what is the most valid thing in your life today? Johnny: Honestly, we have a deep faith in Christ, and I’d say we would not be doing this without Him. Leslie: Just to love on people. Considering this political season, the media made it seem like the other sides did not have anything in common, but we all want to love each other, get along, and be peaceful. How do you typically say goodbye? Leslie: See Ya! Johnny: See you in the Promise Land Leslie: Honestly, I’m still recovering from the Pug question.

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Kristen Parke Ceramics Story

of

Simplicity Ceramics

Photos & Story By Cari M. Griffith

N

estled into the hills of East Nashville, Kristen Parke’s home studio is a quiet oasis right off the interstate. Light floods into every room, and the quiet hum of her pottery wheel is a soothing sound in comparison to the bustling noise of city life. Parke is a full time Visual Art Teacher for elementary schoolers at the Lockeland Design Center. She and her husband, Aaron, were drawn to Nashville after they graduated from college in Jackson, Tennessee, because of the flourishing art scene, since her husband is a musician. They both quickly found community and creative outlets and

.

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have loved being part of the growing arts movement in the city. “Growing up, I always loved art and knew I wanted to pursue it when I went to college,” she said. “It wasn’t until my sophomore year of undergrad that I fell in love with ceramics.” She took her first ceramics class with no prior knowledge of clay as a medium, and was quickly enamored and changed her emphasis right away. “For me, the creative process fills me with a sense of curiosity and wonder. It gives me an outlet for my ideas and emotions while letting me connect to others in a unique way,” said Parke. She uses her skills in multiple artistic mediums to encourage her students to


Kristen Parke at the wheel in her East Nashville Studio.

pursue the things they love. “The most rewarding aspect of teaching art for me is seeing my students overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence through art.” She said even at the elementary level, students often feel a lot of pressure to perform and create certain outcomes, whether through testing or competitions. But art provides a place they can be themselves, explore their innate curiosity and creativity. “I believe it is important to nurture the whole child in education, and art plays a vital role in the development of higher orders of thinking, collaboration and learning to communicate their own ideas.” When asked about her goals for her future in ceramics, she said right now she is practicing to refine her skills to create vessels that will better serve and connect with the user. She is currently finding inspiration in Scandinavian interior design, focusing on soft and minimalistic designs, that will fit gracefully and effortlessly into someone’s home. You will see these ideals reflected in the neutral and subdued colors she uses in her work. Taking hues and tones she finds in nature, her vessels bring about a sense of calm, dignity and solid functionality. Eventually, she would love to be

able to pursue ceramics full time, both in creating her own work, and teaching others the skills and methods she has learned. And until then, she is learning to live in the delicate balance of working a full time job while trying to keep her creative outlet alive and thriving. See samples of her current and past work featured at www.parkeceramics.com. Validitymag.com

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Expansion & Exposure F

orrest Whiting is aware of two crucial components to a rich, educational experience: expansion and exposure. In conversation with this young man, a junior at Heritage High School in White House, Tennessee, these words emerge again and again as he By DeeGee talks about Lester his life and education. “Students should take challenging classes and really get involved in their school and community,” says Forrest. “When you get more involved, you’re getting exposed to other people’s mindsets and the way they think. You develop a people personality which is a great quality for leadership or doing interviews.” Both of these qualities are needed for his chosen career path in health care, with an eye toward anesthesiology or radiology. He is preparing for the long road ahead: Four years of college, four years of medical school, plus years in residency through his current selection of high school electives including health science, cardiovascular services and diagnostic medicine. His involvement in school expands beyond the classroom to include running cross country track and his selection of clubs. “I select clubs based on my interest. ‘Oh, that would be cool,’” he admits. “I usually pick clubs focusing on leadership in order to build those qualities.”

Forrest serves as vice president of HOSA Future Health Professionals (formerly Health Occupations Students of America), and vice president of Senior Beta, in addition to serving on Student Council and the Academic Team. Each organization brings opportunities to develop skill sets. “HOSA provides more information in the health field, while Beta or Student Council helps build teamwork and leadership skills,” says Forrest.

care professionals, communicating with patients or propelling a career forward through writing or presentation skills. Travel has likewise played a significant role in Forrest’s education and awareness of the world. While growing up, the family moved around following his father’s job as a pipeline worker before settling in the White House community when Forrest was in 4th grade. The later addition to the family of Forrest’s Hispanic step-dad’s, rich, cultural heritage again expanded the young man’s world. But it was his Travel Club’s trip to Greece and Italy last summer that exposed Forrest and his friends to other cultures and expanded their world views. “It was awe-inspiring,” Forrest says. “Such different cultures opened my mind to what life outside the U.S. is like.” In Athens, students marveled at the Parthenon dominating the city skyline. “We could see it from our hotel. You would see it from everywhere. We were able to get right up beside it. It was so beautiful at night with the lights on it.” Close encounters with the artifacts, ancient architectural elements and statuary at the New Acropolis Museum were enhanced by the unique architectural feature of sections of glass flooring allowing Forrest and other students to view archaeological excavations below. Their Greek adventures also included a side trip to Delphi. “It was so cool; such an amazing experience, seeing it for yourself instead of in pictures,” he says. Students also enjoyed Pisa, Italy, “We got to see the Leaning Tower and Rome. The Coliseum was amazing. The tour guide told us that in ancient Rome, they sometimes flooded the Coliseum and had navy battles. I did not know that. I thought it was crazy!” Forrest says the benefit of such travels offers exposure to different cultures and lifestyles. “In Greece, people

f o o r P

“All of these clubs are student led,” he explains. Our teachers step back and we set the agendas, plan the activities, so that we develop things like communication skills and public speaking skills.” It is exposure to these opportunities and the expansion of 21st Century soft skills such as teamwork, project development, presentation and leadership that are highly valued and sought by colleges and in the business world. In healthcare, Forrest is aware of the necessity of soft skills in addition to medical expertise in working with teams of health

Forrest Whiting

drove their motorcycles right up on the sidewalks. We learned quickly that you have to get out of their way,” he laughed. He points out, that such exposure “gives you an open mind. I am considering going outside the U.S. for college. Right now, it’s 50-50. I’m more comfortable with that option. If I hadn’t gone on that trip, I wouldn’t have considered it before.” It’s evident that opportunities for further expansion and exposure lay ahead for Forrest. He says, “Knowledge is one thing, but if you also know how to get along, how to interact with people with respect, that’s more.” DeeGee Lester serves as Director of Education at the Parthenon in Nashville and is the author of several books.

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One Lawyer’s Opinion

Merry Christmas & A Rose by any other name Happy New Year! would smell as sweet I From Your Friends & Neighbors At

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By Landis Turner

called them hippies, and the place was named The Farm. They had not gotten around to building houses, so they lived in old school busses and similar places of abode. Three men and one woman lived together in one of the buses. The young woman had mental troubles and would sometimes attack nearby people for no apparent reason. Her cohabitants learned through trial and error, that if she were immobilized, the episodes would pass. On the fateful night of her death, they put a blanket over her head and she got quiet. Unfortunately, it was a military blanket with a rubber center between two sheets of wool. She suffocated. It was obviously an accidental death, but the district attorney, Lon Bates, did not see it that way. He had the

three men indicted for murder. Also charged was the group’s leader, Stephen Gaskin. Of course, Stephen was not at the scene when the episode occurred, but a young woman told the grand jury that he had taken the deceased off her medication. I was retained to represent the defendants. I was able to persuade the judge, John Henderson, that the action was too remote from the alleged crime for Stephen to be tried and the charges against him were dismissed. At that time, there was, among local people, a lot of prejudice against the hippies. Many thought they would sell drugs and try to persuade youths to join the commune. Neither of these things ever occurred. There were no bathing facilities at The Farm. It was too cold for them to use the nearby Buffalo River. Also, it was their belief that it was immoral to use cosmetics as long as anyone in the world was starving. And they considered deodorant a cosmetic. As a result, my clients smelled awful. Whenever they came into my office to discuss the case, they would stink the entire place. When they left, my

senior partner’s secretary would run around with her Lysol spray. I was worried about this because it was bad enough that there was so much prejudice against them, and it would be worse if they had such a bad odor. One night before the trial I was working late when Janet, my wife, came in. She said she had a solution to one of the problems. She cut into half dollar slivers, solid air freshener. At the time, I had a key to our courthouse. We went across the street and taped air freshener under the judge’s bench, the council table and under each juror’s seat. The following morning the room smelled like a rose garden. The defendants were acquitted.

This column discusses legal issues of general interest and does not give legal advice on any reader’s personal situation. The law is not a one-size-fits-all hat. Consult a lawyer of your choice. Landis Turner is a graduate of the University of the South-Sewanee and Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is a former president of the Tennessee Bar Association.


Mule Art

R

ecently, Columbia artist, Eileen Moore’s “Mule Twain” was accepted for display at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. An exclusive Validity interview with the artist, follows.

Q. How long have you been doing your art? I have been pursuing art since grade school. I took private lessons on Saturdays and entered my work at the local fair and was thrilled to win first and second place in painting. My drawings for Biology class got me A+ excellent which helped immensely in high school. While attending college for business, I thoroughly enjoyed evening art courses which were very inspirational. Q. Tell us how your artwork came to be included in the Mark Twain Museum? The curator from the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut saw and purchased the card from James Lund at the Duck River Book Store and commented that it

Mule Twain

would be on permanent display at the museum. After he told me of their intent, I offered them a gift of the original painting which they have graciously accepted. Q. How do you work? I begin by sketching a small, loose drawing of the subject. Size,

“Gone With The Mules” and Mark Twain to name a few. For the musicians and art lovers, I painted “Vincent Van Mule” and “Willie Nelson Mule.” An assortment of my cards can be seen at The Balloon Shop and the bookstore on the square in Columbia Tennessee.

Artist Eileen Moore with Mule Twain

Q. What inspired you to combine the mule with famous characters, people etc.? Mule Days got me to thinking about different characters including Elvis Mule because of his Tennessee connection. James Lund, owner of the Duck River Book Store in Columbia also mentioned literary characters for his shop, so I did Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Validitymag.com

19 .


Happy Holidays

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shape and tonal value have to be in place first. capture the feeling. I also tend to work in multiple Working in my studio with good daylight is pre- layers and patience is a must for watercolors. ferred to artificial light. Taking frequent breaks to look and assess your work from a distance is es- Q. Why do you do what you do? Because I love it! I called it my “Art Therapy” long sential. before that became a popular theory. I have always loved mixing colors and seeing what the outcome Q. What medium do you enjoy most? That is a tough question seeing that I enjoy ev- would be. My interest in art has never ceased, and erything from oil to watercolor to mixed medium. to see the pleasure it can give is a wonderful gift. Some paintings call out for a certain medium to

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F

all’s last fling in the garden transitions as early winter will bring many changes to the landscape and gardens. Oh, yes, we will surely be missing those days of juicy, sun ripened tomatoes, cool crispy cucumbers and all of summer’s luscious fruits. Those days are in our future though, and the future happens one day at a time. Sometimes bringing drastic change, sometimes By Cassandra Warner slow and hardly noticeable, but change none the less. Discoveries lie ahead on the path each season, each day, each moment for us to embrace and enjoy. So serene is the garden on a late fall day. Although there has been much change going on in the garden, it is still rewarding our efforts

Cassandra Warner

Embrace And Enjoy Change

with fall food for us. The birds are delighting in all the seed heads of summers flowers gone bye. These are precious times in the garden. Take comfort and joy knowing you have given time and energy in participating in the wonderful miracle of growing food. Creating and nurturing beautiful beds of flowers for yourself, your family, friends and neighbors to enjoy along with the birds and bees. Fall has been dry so far this year, and some days almost seemed like an extension of summer. It was not until November 9th that I harvested the final green beans, tomatoes, peppers and okra in my garden before we had our first killing frost. Pretty drastic changes are in store and much fall clean up and maintenance can now be done. Maintenance

*Give evergreens a good soaking since it has been dry to help them going into winter. *Prepare garden beds by digging

Cut back asparagus ferns, apply compost, composted manure or worm castings and apply mulch 2-3 inches. After the ground freezes, mulch roses, perennials and bulbs to prevent heaving during freeze/thaw cycles. Harvest

Leeks, onions, mustard, collard and turnip greens, parsley, spinach, winter cabbage, cilantro, chard, kale, parsnips, harvest as needed, sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), and any root crops that are mulched in for winter protection. Planting

Spring flowering bulbs. Garlic. Sow seed of culinary herbs to grow indoors over winter in 6 inch pots. Place in a sunny window. As long as the soil is workable, not water-logged or frozen, trees and shrubs can still be transplanted. It is a great time for planting trees. Maybe you should go NUTS?!

It does take a few years to go from sapling to first harvest. So there’s no better time than now to get them planted and growing. Nut trees are not only a beautiful addition to an edible landscape but a really delicious and nutritious one. Among the possibilities are pecans,

Cassandra Warner

December’s Garden

in as much organic matter as you can. Forking over helps to prepare the soil for next year and exposes pest for the birds to eat. Before the ground freezes, I like to mulch the beds for the winter, covering them with 2-3 inches of organic matter. This will lessen frost penetration, conserve moisture and prevent erosion. Cover strawberry beds with straw, pine needles, shredded leaves or wood chips. Mulch garlic, shallots and leeks. Add to the compost any plant debris left in the garden that has no disease or pests. Basic needs for pruning are to take out dead, diseased and damaged branches. Prune to maintain size and shape for increased light and air at the crown of the tree and to enhance the flowering display of some plants. In early to late winter, you can prune broad and narrow leaf evergreens and azaleas late winter or during growing season. Prune most deciduous trees before they break dormancy. Some exceptions are maple, beech, birch, crab apple, chestnut, cherry and walnut. Summer flowering trees and shrubs (those that flower on new growth of the current season) can be pruned in the winter. Pruning is not necessarily rocket science, but when it doubt, do not prune. Leave it alone. Choose the right tool and have it sharp enough to avoid tearing and damaging a plant. For branches up to one and one-half inch, consider anvil pruners and bypass loppers. For winter interest and to feed birds, you can wait till spring to cut back purple cone flowers, sedum and rudbeckia. Also, leave until spring, ornamental grass which can also provide food and shelter for birds and structure and texture in the winter gardenscape. Be sure to clean up any fruits or nuts on the ground beneath these trees to help reduce pest and disease problems next year.

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walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, hardy almonds and pine nuts. Pecans are a southern favorite. A container grown grafted pecan tree will produce nuts in 5-7 years from planting. “Pawnee” is a good cold hardy, early ripening cultivar that produces large flavorful nuts. “Kanza” is a good pollinator for “Pawnee” as it is cold hardy, disease resistant and has excellent flavor. Pecans live and produce nuts for more than 100 years. So go ahead, reward yourself and maybe your great grandchildren will go nuts too. The breathtaking colors of fall are inspiring to your heart and soul, so consider now where you might want to add some more of that majestic color for next year. Just a few beauties to consider are burning bush, kousa dogwood, forsythia (whose flowers are also delightful to

Garden Quotes

see in the spring). Plant Ka-bluey If you never experienced the joy blueberry for spectacular fall color. of accomplishing more than you And then you will also be rewarded can imagine, plant a garwith luscious berries in early sum- den. — Robert Brault mer. Everyone must take time to sit and watch the Flower Power And…. An Herb In leaves turn. — Elizabeth The Garden Lawrence Roses are one of the most recogWe can complain benized flowers. They are associated cause rose bushes have with so many celebrations in our thorns, or rejoice because culture and in cultures around the thorn bushes have roses. world. Though a most exquisite — Unknown flower, it may also be considered Compost is proof that as an herb. “Herb is any of various there is life after death. often aromatic plant used espe- — Mary Neil Jackson cially in medicine or as seasoning.” The gardening season American Heritage Dictionary, Sec- officially begins on Januond College Edition. ary 1st, and ends on DeIn many areas of the world roses cember 31st. — Marie are used for flavoring much like we Huston use vanilla and cinnamon. In Asian Everything that slows countries, rose ice cream is a com- us down and forces pa-

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tience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. ­— May Sarton We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us. — Jenny Uglow WOW! It is almost a new year. That’s a big change! Hope your fall season has been fabulous. As the garden and season changes, enjoy those moments of precious, peaceful pondering. May all be well with you and yours. Originally from Texas, Cassandra Warner is a transplant to the garden of Tennessee. Gardening has been one of her passions for forty years. “Gardening connects you to the miracle of life and provides healthy exercise and stress relief.”

Cassandra Warner

mon flavor. There are many ways to eat a rose. I use the petals in salads and for teas. A refreshing cool drink is rose water added to spring water. I have used roses to garnish drinks and deserts. These are simple ways of using roses but you can find many recipe’s for using roses such as jellies, jams, sauces, rose sandwiches, rose salad vinegar, rose sorbet, rose petal cake, rose cookies, basil and rose petal pesto, even rose petal wine! Fragrant roses, grown organically are the best to choose for food and flavoring. The old fashioned shrub or antique roses, such as rosa rugosa and others work best. So remember, you can have your flowers and eat them too. Oh, yes, and your cake!


Ornithology Report

50

Common Birds

Part 4

C

ontinuing our survey of 50 common birds in this area, we’ll begin with three that like to climb on tree trunks. For starters, I would like to add that I just intend these articles as an introduction, and you should best use them in combination By Bill Pulliam with one of the many, good, comprehensive bird books available! Way back in 2013, I wrote a series of three articles about woodpeckers. There are seven species of woodpeckers in Tennessee, but here I’ll talk about the two that are the most common and widespread. The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a medium sized bird that likes deep woods, yards, parks, bird feeders and most anywhere else with trees. This woodpecker has three distinguishing features: red on back of its head, narrow horizontal blackand-white barring on its back and whitish underparts. The Red-belly is a prime example of how bird’s official names can be misleading. It is the Red-bellied Woodpecker even though it has no visible red on its belly. It has red on its head, but it is not the Red-headed Woodpecker. All of our local woodpeckers have some red on their heads. The real Red-headed Woodpecker has a full red hood on its head, front and back, down the neck. The other of our two most common woodpeckers is the Downy Woodpecker, a small black-andwhite bird with a bold white stripe down the middle of its back. The males have a small red spot on their nape. The Downy is our smallest, local woodpecker, and like the Redbelly, it is likely to be found anywhere that there are trees. All the woodpeckers make a variety of sounds, with their voices and with their bills drumming on trees. These caws, croaks, pecks and

whinnies are difficult to describe, so they are best learned by listening to the woodpeckers you find around your place. There are two other mostly blackand-white striped woodpeckers in our area, the Hairy Woodpecker and the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. The Hairy is a less common, larger version of the Downy, and is best learned by comparison after you

often as it is upright, its habitat and habits are similar to the woodpeckers. It also likes bird feeders. This nuthatch’s voice is quite distinctive. It makes a nasal tooting, a bit like a cheap, tiny old-fashioned bicycle horn or a single note on a kazoo. When several are gathered they will often be tooting enthusiastically back and forth to each other. There are two other nuthatches in middle Tennessee, the Brownheaded and the Red-breasted. The Brown-headed is a bird of pines, and in middle Tennessee it is common only around Pickwick Dam, in the grounds of the State Park Inn and at the TVA campground below the dam. It is tiny, with a brown cap and a “squeaky toy” voice. The Red-

Wikipedia

can recognize the Downy easily. The Sapsucker has differences in the patterns of stripes on its back, which are pretty easy to spot after you know the Downy well. The third species highlighted this month also climbs on tree trunks and limbs. But unlike the woodpeckers, it is as likely to do this with its head pointing down as pointing up! This is the White-breasted Nuthatch, and it is not at all closely related to the woodpeckers. It is much smaller even than the Downy Woodpecker, and has a short tail, slate gray upperparts, whitish underparts with a reddish cast towards the tail and a crisp black cap. Other than being much smaller and being inverted as

water. Its upper parts are slate gray, and it is whitish gray with sometimes a yellow or greenish tinge below. Otherwise, it is pretty much devoid of distinctive markings. But, it is almost always wagging and pumping its tail, and is also frequently calling its name in a raspy voice, either “Fee-bee! Fee-bee!” repeatedly, or a fancier alternating “Fee-da-bee-bee! Fee-bo! Fee-da-bee-bee! Fee-bo! From the fences we now move into the brush piles and hedgerows where the Brown Thrasher hangs out. The Thrasher is about the size of the closely related Mockingbird, but it is not as conspicuous. Thrashers spend much time in brush, scrub and thickets. The Brown Thrasher sports a long tail and is generally bright, warm reddish brown. It is handsome for a brown bird, with white wingbars, bold yellow eyes, and a spotted white breast and belly. Two of the things that distinguish the thrasher from other brown, medium-size birds are the long tail and longish down-curved bill. It also has distinctive behavior, digging about noisily among the dead leaves and twigs searching for food. Like its cousin the Mockingbird, the Brown Thrasher is an accomplished singer. This is the one time you will likely see it up on a high perch, with its tail down and its head up. The song is open-ended, lasting as long as the bird desires, which can be quite a while. Like the Mockingbird’s, the Thrasher’s song consists of a series of highly varied phrases, some of them original to the Thrasher, others imitations of other birds and natural sounds. But the Thrasher’s song is delivered at a more leisurely pace, with each phrase usually being sung only twice, and with discrete pauses between the phrases. Next month we’ll continue this survey with four mostly black birds, and another conspicuous and colorful favorite.

breasted is an occasional winter invader. It is smaller than the Whitebreasted and redder below, but most distinctively it has a while line above its eye breaking up the black cap. Leaving the tree trunks for the wires and fences of more open country, we find the Eastern Phoebe. The Phoebe is a plain smallish gray bird. I also wrote about this species in 2013, describing it as one of Bill Pulliam got started in birdwatchour most often misidentified birds. ing by his junior high science teacher 1974, and has been an avid birder The Phoebe is a member of the Fly- in ever since in 48 U. S. states and 7 forcatcher family, the only one in this eign countries. He is currently the group that spends the winter here. Tennessee editor for eBird, a online The Phoebe is plain drab gray, but project that compiles millions of obdistinctive in voice and actions. It servations from tens of thousands of sits upright on fences, power lines, birders around the world. bushes and trees, often near fields or Validitymag.com 23 .


Taking Jesus Into Your Heart T he Christian who is zealous to share the good news of Christ might ask someone, “Have you received Jesus into your heart?” It sounds good, but what does that mean anyway? I heard the story of Andrew and Jenny who had been dating for a couple of years. Andrew decided it was time to pop the question. He bought a ring and was about to spring his surprise on Jenny. Just before the big event, she deBy Charles E. cided to break Newbold, Jr. it off. She had done it once before. I was told, that it appeared Andrew had taken her into his heart and was ready to commit, but apparently, Jenny had not taken him into her heart. Applying the word “taking” Jesus into my heart instead of “receiving” Jesus suddenly made more sense to me. I can say with certainty that I have taken my wife into my heart. I dearly love that lady and am committed to her. I believe she, too, has taken me into her heart. If you have ever taken someone into your heart and been deeply hurt by him or her, you will tend to guard your heart from ever being hurt again. Nevertheless, failure to risk taking another person fully into our hearts to avoid being hurt again may leave a void in our hearts that can actually set us up to being hurt again. Taking Jesus into our heart is somewhat an emotional decision. It is, well, a heartfelt decision—a decision that is felt in the heart. It plunges us deeper into our love relationship with the Lord. True, we make a profession of faith and are born again, but we need to likewise make sure we have taken Him fully into our heart. God has taken us fully into His heart and proved it by the gift of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who died in our place as a ransom

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for our sins—removing the barrier between us. There is no doubting His love and devotion for us. “For God so loved…” John 3:16. We can trust God with our heart if we allow ourselves to be open. Taking Jesus into our hearts, changes the whole dynamic in our relationship with Him. It puts us in a love relationship that cannot be easily breached. The word heart is widely used in the New Testament. It is the Greek word referring to a physical organ, but according to Strong’s Concordance, it is used in reference to one’s soul or mind, such as our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites and affections. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. He, knowing their thoughts, asked, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Matthew 9:4. He taught, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:35. He noted, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8. He summed up the commandments, teaching, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37. Paul prayed that, “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Ephesians 3:17. This couple’s story helped me to see what it means to ask someone if they have received Jesus into his or her heart. Yet, instead of asking “Have you received…,” ask, “Have you taken Jesus into your heart.” A piercing question for us all!

Charles Elliott Newbold, Jr. has served as pastor, teacher and is an author calling forth Christians to live the laid-down life for Jesus Christ. He and his wife, Nancy McDonald Newbold, live in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Charles continues his writing. www. CharlesNewbold.com


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Sharing a Heartbeat T wo souls joined in holy matrimony become one entity, a singular unit moving through time and space. The bond, when formed altruistically, is as strong as the carbon atoms linked in a diamond. The rhythmic sharing of a heartbeat. My three oldest kids operate as one when performing and creating music. Each is instinctively cogBy Shane Newbold nizant of one another with regard to where the music is going. The harmonious blend of their voices proves the sharing of a heartbeat even more so. Only recently did an awareness of a

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literal sharing of heartbeats come to light. Since birth, the three year old grandson has been in my lap, head pressed against my chest for hours upon hours, week after week. Becky Jane and I are fortunate to spend a great deal of time with the little guy. And even luckier for me, his comfort zone is Papa’s lap. He awakened the other night, out of sorts for whatever reason, standing in the dark, holding his “bladgy” (blanket) and pointed to the leather recliner and simply said, “Chair, Papa.” Subconsciously, I gathered him, sat and covered us both. His head pressed against my chest, he slumbered off in about thirty seconds. My heartbeat was in his ear and his life was in my arms.

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