Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Volunteers for Arbor Day

As is typical on Wednesday, you all get two posts. This post is about volunteer work and our community. I have done volunteered quite a bit over the last four years when I retired from the Army. I worked one year with John Ragan and Alan Brisendine of Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) one year. This was my most rewarding volunteer job. I also volunteered as a reading tutor for my son's fourth grade year at Woodlawn Elementary School. Mrs. Harmon was a super teacher to work with and I enjoyed all of the students and the school very much. Then I got involved with some gardeners and Karla. All this volunteer information is leading me to let you know about some upcoming events in our community where you may like to help out.

Two years ago I went through the Tennessee Tree Steward Course, taught by Karla Kean, who was at the time the Clarksville City Forester. I have remained involved in the Tree Steward Organization and am proud to be a certified Tennessee Tree Steward. The Jimster should also be one, though he didn't attend the training. I think of the Jimster because last night, at the Tree Steward class, where I had the opportunity to teach 15 motivated folks about site selection for urban trees, there was a very nice young lady attending the training with her grandparents. She was knowledgeable and able to show her care for the environment. Seeing this from kids makes me very happy.

Two summers ago when I had to complete my 25 volunteer hours in order to become a certified tree steward, the Jimster came down to Riverside Drive and aided me in pruning those Chinese Elms lining the road. He was so cute! Most people are familiar with this road and they know it as a VERY busy road. People would ride by and toot their horns at us. I didn't pay any attention, but the Jimster said, "They must be honking to thank us for helping out!" Out of the mouth of babes. I am not sure if this is why drivers were honking or not, it doesn't really matter, what does matter is how our community does care, even though it is not always obvious.

March is a good time for all gardeners to show their support for their community. The season isn't FULLY upon us, and there are great garden related activities going on you all might not be aware of. I am specifically speaking of Arbor Day activities.

Sterling Morton, a newspaper journalist from Nebraska is generally regarded to be the 'Father' of Arbor Day. He and his wife were nature lovers from Nebraska and began planting trees. He wrote many newspaper articles encouraging the planting of trees and in 1872 addressed the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture to enact a statewide holiday for planting trees. His proposal was adopted and Arbor Day came to be.

In 1875, Tennessee adopted an Arbor Day holiday as well. Initially it was to be the first Friday in April, but was changed to the first Friday in March in 1946. This law calls for educators, civic societies and government officials to create "a better understanding of nature and the importance of protecting wildlife, planting and cultivating flowers, and setting and protecting trees." States have adjusted their activities based on the best dates for planting trees in their own communities.(

This year's celebration will take place at the Custom House Museum on Saturday between 10:30-12:30. There will be a tree seedling give away, and all sorts of children's activities, all sponsored by the Clarksville Tree Board. Then, on March 15 at 1:00 pm, there will be several large trees planted at Barker's Mill Elementary School. Volunteers are needed.

In preparation for the seedling give away on Saturday, several folks will be bagging seedlings at the Museum tomorrow between 3-5 pm. The Jimster and I will both be there to help (albeit a little late though because of school for him). It is the perfect opportunity to get together with other gardeners AND to have fun helping the community with its Arbor Day activities. Hope to see you all there! And you know what?! I think the Jimster just may have been right about those Clarksvillians honking their horns at us-they were saying thanks and hello at the same time! So for all you volunteers out there, I want to honk my horn at you and say thanks in advance!

in the garden....


  1. Nice post Tina.

    I am sure the Jimster is right. Also am glad he is helping you out as it is a good way to learn about giving.

  2. See you at the museum. Should I wear MY boonie hat? heeeeee he

  3. yes mom, the jimster definitely knows about giving. he loves to volunteer with me which i think is GREAT!

    ginger-looking forward to meeting you! you have a boonie hat too?! how cool! i truly don't feel out of place anymore. as dorky as they are-they are SO comfortable and really work as great garden hats. you can't shake them, they shade you and are indestructable! see you this afternoon!

  4. Thanks Tina for all the nice words! You are a great asset to the community!
    Oh, I never could figure out why all the honking when pruning trees and pulling weeds! Smile!

  5. Volunteering is rewarding in many ways! My favorite Volunteer task was throwing an American Christmas party for German orphan children while in Germany. They had never seen candy canes before and none were left on the tree when they left! It was a very rewarding day for me and the Saint and our many friends who helped out….

    Tina, were you bent over when the horn honked??? Tee hee...

  6. dawn with peachesMarch 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Skeeter, tooooo funny to tease my sister like that. double tee heee

  7. karla! finally i hear from you on here! i get your emails each and everyday but am ever so excited you said something! YOU are a great asset to the community, and folks know it, i was just emphasizing it and all you do!

    and yes, everyone honking at you was saying THANKS! as i know i have seen you outside on more than one occasion planting and pruning-though i said hello, i may have honked! thanks anyhow for all you do!

    skeeter, you volunteer all the time. i am surprised your most rewarding time was in europe-and not here with the animals. it is good you all help out-especially the saint-and we know he is!

    skeeter and my sister dawn with peaches. i TRY EVER SO HARD NOT TO BEND OVER WHILE OUTSIDE! that being said, does it always work? no! then i try not to aim at the roadway! hard though sometimes when digging or pruning. isn't it?
    that just may have been it...they were honking to tell me to STAND UP-PLEASE!:) what do people do in that situation? you just gotta bend over sometimes when working!

  8. Hi Ginger, have not heard you talking for a while, it is good to know you are still there.

    Hi Karla and welcome, welcome, welcome. Do join us often.

    Skeeter and Dawn with Peaches, Good one!!! Is it pick in Tina day? Since I have done it a time or 2 thought I should join in on this one. LOL

  9. I can't help but to laugh --that was a good one Tina:) Me and lil man were outside but now we are back inside. The chimney guy finally came earlier today --they have to order the part:( But, it's all good since we can still use it. The chimney guy is from out your way --really nice person. He is very helpful and always chats with us for a bit.

  10. mom, i met ginger yesterday at the bag the tree session. will post on it soon. very nice lady!

    anonymous, hope the chimney cap comes in soon. did he even climb up to the tall tall chimney to look at it?

  11. Anonymous, I am watching your chimney story closely. Ours is rusted and only a matter of time before it needs to be replaced. Not looking forward to that expense as it will be over $500 to replace. But will be nice to have an updated one to keep the critters out of the fireplace! Every fall I make the Saint open the flu for the first time as we never know what will fall out! We have had dead chipmunk, baby squirrel, birds, lizards, frogs and live wasp!

  12. dawn with peachesMarch 7, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    The chimney and the heating system is also a perfect place for bats.

  13. We had the bats in the attic vent by the chimney! We had new siding and vents installed two years ago and the bats took off like crazy when the guy took down the old vents. I was afraid he was going to fall off the ladder! It was funny to see a big burley man like him get scared over a few little brown bats. Well, okay about 14 of the things!

    I have some neat pictures of the baby bats when they fell from the vents. I must do a posting on the Pet People about them some time… We would carefully pick them up, okay the Saint would while wearing gloves and put them back into the vents. One year we lost about 10 babies to falling out of the vents and dying. Was a bad year for bats...

    The group (dont now the proper name for more then one bat, brood, gaggle...?) that we had, all left us the day the vent was replaced. We now only see about three in the dusk of the night. We like our bats as they eat so many bugs. They like to swoop the bugs that are attracted to our outside light on the telephone pole....

    We put up two bat houses but so far, no bats interested in them. One we placed on the chimney wall and one high in a pine tree next to the flower garden.

  14. Hi Skeeter --just to give you some info --the chimney cap blew off --they could just put it back on or order one that will keep all birds/reptiles/animals out. The new cap should be close to $250 but the chimney sweep man said that all new regulations recommend replacing the older type we have with this newer model cap for that reason to keep out animals/birds/bugs. etc. And, to answer Tina he didn't even climb up a ladder to look at it, lol. He could see the old one --on the ground and the top --guess he is old pro at it:) We've been keeping it burning with all this cold and snow/sleet. Skeeter --try calling around for a price --if it's just the top chimney cap $500 sounds so high since our quote was 1/2 that --kwim? I'm happy all the kiddos are safely at home --now to worry when the hubby goes into work:(

  15. skeeter-bats in the bellfrey! let us know when you post about it.

    anonymous, what does kwim mean? hope hubby stays safe in the snow tonight. short day at school today. but at least they went! that is important.

  16. dawn with peaches, how many bats does jack of all trades run into? do you have them in your yard?

    i love bats at my house. like skeeters, mine come for the insects attracted by my security light. they eat bookoo bugs. right skeeter?

  17. Yup bats are great at eating all sorts of insects. Terri-Lynn bought me a bat house one year and we put it on the back of the south end of the house but I never saw a bat!!! It is now lost in the house here somewhere :). The instructions that came with it was followed to the tee but still no bats. Placement is susposed to be very important, height, sun, shade,
    direction, ect.

  18. dawn with peachesMarch 7, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    We have run into many, funny when a homeowner calls for some sort of scratching from the stack pipe, people are astonished when I tell them they have bats, "no, not me!". Mice have arched out controls and been found fried across the oil sprayer, can render and system into complete freeze up.
    Yes, we have lots of bats, I see plenty of eye shine at night on hot humid days, we like them also, eat plenty of annoying bugs. Houses are very touchy, mainly needing 10 hours of direct sunlight. Most of our bats roost in old stumps where decaying comp makes it warm for them. They have sorta a cute face don't ya think?

  19. Tina, have you read the book by Lewis Grazzard "Don't Bend Over In The Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes"? Fuunnnnny!!!!

    Skeeter, you could start a zoo with all those animals. lol Had any flying squirrels in the attic? That's fun too.

    Wish I could get bats here to eat some of the mosquitoes, some big enough they discuss whether to eat you standing or take you home.

    Anyway Anonymous, I hope you get the cap replaced & all's well.

    Welcome Karla. Hi Ginger. Hi Jean.

    Hope all have a good night.

  20. I gotta do something about this.
    l aka Lola

  21. bats are cool. last summer i came home in the middle of the day to find a brown bat on my front door step. it was flopping around. i called mr. fix it to ask what i should do. he said put it out of its misery. of course i couldn't. it expired on its own. we all got a close up look at bats. not cute in my opinion.

    in iraq we had one crawl in through the broken windows during the day. not sure what finally happened to it. when bats do this you know something is wrong. you do need to be careful around them. a 12 year old boy died in tennessee a few years ago. no one ever knew he had been bit by a bat. on the hand and it was so small they didn't catch it. he had rabies. so tragic.

    but, we do know they do do a good service eating the bugs. never heard of a bat house working but they do need lots of sun, that's for sure. never heard of a butterfly house working either, but folks still have them. for decoration i suppose.

  22. We are careful with the bats as we know they can be carriers of rabies.

    We do have flying squirrels also. But they have not been in the chimney, as of yet anyway.

    They need to replace the entire top of our chimney. The one up there now was put on when the house was built in 1980 (or there abouts) and it is rusted and the top is totally open to the chimney. So we know the entire thing needs to be replaced for more reasons then just the rust. So $500 is about right for the entire thing in our area. We live in an area that is booming with construction, (no recession here) and it is hard to get anyone to do repair work as they have plenty to do for the contractors to mess with a small time project like one chimney when they can put on several at a new development and make more money. So to make it worth their time, they will charge more to a single home.

    People would not give an estimate over the phone on how much to cut down a tree. They come to your house and size up what they think you are worth and then give you an estimate. We live in a nice house in a nice area but we live a simple life therefore we can afford this place but we are not rich by any means nor do we have money to blow. We just save here so we can spend it there so to speak. Well, they saw our house and land and told us they would charge us $1,000 to cut down one tree! Now you know why we cut down our own trees with the neighbors help! We cut down 8 trees to the tune of the cost of a rope for our neighbor’s tractor and a chain saw for us! One day all the building will stop here and they will be knocking on our door to give us help for hardly any pay, but until then, we must do what we can by ourselves but with a chimney, we will have to pay them as it is too high for me to let the Saint do it... I will gladly pay someone else to do that dangerous work as long as they are Bonded and Insured!

  23. dawn with peachesMarch 8, 2008 at 11:06 PM

    And the big burley men will have to hold their own! That is my guys, only in their 40's.
    Have ta watch any home contractor, its good advise.

  24. Go with the bonded & insured for sure. Gotta watch anybody these days. If they come to do repair they may be looking to see what they can take or tear up so it costs you more money. Like the plumber I had to have, told me I needed a new toilet {installed} because the old one was the problem of stopped up drain. Guess he figured I had plenty money as he knew my deceased hubby. Won't have him in my house again.

  25. We do have a problem with what they call the Traveling Gypsy. They all live over the border in SC and dont cause problems there. They come to GA and rip people off. They will drive up to your house and offer a service for a cheap price because they are in the area doing work and have left over supplies. Then if you hire them, they will do some work, and then ask for money for more supplies and then you never see them again!

    They live in nice mansion houses and their wife’s all wear the best of clothes and teach their daughters to be models with big hair and lots of make-up on their faces. They look like clowns in public and people stare at them but they are sure that people are looking at them in envy of their beauty! I had never heard of the Traveling Gypsy before moving here but they are well known around this area and have been here ripping people off for years! I dont know how they get away with it but by living in another state helps them I am sure plus they are sure to not have a contract with a person either which makes it a he said, she said deal....

  26. never heard of traveling gypsy. there are people of all kinds i guess...