Category Archives: Uncategorized

To Love and Protect?

It mortifies me that some humans can be so cruel. They take on a dog or cat, and at least cats retain much of their natural hunting/survival instincts, and then, when they decide they’re tired of it, or they can’t have a pet in their new apartment, or it’s just too much trouble, or (this is one of my favorites) they have a new baby, they put it out on the street. Maybe they drop it off in a neighborhood they’re convinced is the kind where “someone will take her in and give her a good home” or maybe they just drop her on the side of the highway – near the woods, perhaps, just sure “she’ll find food, and she’ll survive.” Unfortunately, most of these stories end very badly.

According to an article from The Animal Rescue Site, “Around 7 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year, about half of which are believed to be abandoned, and according to a study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners after arriving in shelters. These poor animals are at a higher risk of euthanasia, and often suffer from separation anxiety and other, similar issues. It’s hard to imagine what type of monsters would simply cast aside their animals, but sadly, it happens.”

This video from the site may shock you, but it certainly drives the point home: https://youtu.be/JMs7dkdO4YY

The article goes on to say, “While the majority of abandonment stories end badly (a sad but true reality), the capacity for love that many animal lovers show can also save the day. Sometimes a kind heart can overcome the most disgusting abuse.”

This came to be the story for a loving little Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix now known as Winnie. Her owners decided to toss her out into a Brentwood, TN neighborhood. After a few weeks of wandering and nearly starving to death, her owners were found. Their response: “We don’t want her anymore.” This landed her in the Williamson County Animal Center and she was one of the lucky ones. Noah’s Ark Society pulled her from the center and put her in foster care.

Winnie’s mug shot

Now I am the lucky one. After 16 years together, I lost my Gracie almost two years ago. I was finally thinking it might be time for me to open my heart (and home) to a new “furever” friend, but I had no definite plan yet. While helping to foster this poor baby temporarily for her foster mother, well, you can guess the rest.

Please make this an opportunity to help spread the word about this abhorrent human behavior. PETS’ LIVES MATTER.

About Jan Schim

Jan Schim is a singer, a songwriter, a licensed body worker specializing in CranioSacral Therapy, and a teacher. She is an advocate for the ethical treatment of ALL animals and a volunteer with several animal advocacy organizations. She is also a staunch believer in the need to promote environmental responsibility.

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Did You Miss Us???

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Yes, we are back, and we want to tell you again how much we appreciate you. We’re cranking HerSavvy up as promised and we look forward to offering you insights and information from our group of savvy women to all you                 savvy women!!!

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Thank You So Much for Your Readership

We women of HerSavvy truly appreciate you…

We are taking a little break for some spring housekeeping, but HerSavvy will resume this summer.

 

Until then, be well and enjoy lots of sunshine!!!

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The Other Side of the Couch – Does Marching Matter? 


Following hard on the surprising election of Donald Trump, marches and protests have taken place across the United States and, indeed, across the world.  Beginning with the Women’s March, which took place the day after the inauguration, and which saw record crowds in almost all the areas in which it took place, most of these marches have been buoyed by a spirit of hope and connection.  The march in Nashville, Tennessee was described by the Tennessean as follows:

“About 15,000 people marched in downtown Nashville Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington.  Middle Tennesseans marched for one mile from Cumberland Park to Public Square in support of a myriad of social justice issues, including women’s rights, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, environmental justice and access to health care.”  The Tennessean, Jan. 21, 2017

Since that march, other events have taken place, including town hall meetings with legislators, such as the one held on February 21, 2017 with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R).

The question for me is this:  Does any of this matter?

Andreas Madestam, Daniel Shoag, Stan Veuger, and David Yanagizawa-Drott say that it does.  In a paper quoted below, “Do Political Protests Matter, Evidence from the Tea Party Movement,” the authors suggest the following:

Abstract

Can protests cause political change, or are they merely symptoms of underlying shifts in policy preferences?  We address this question by studying the Tea Party movement in the United States, which rose to prominence through coordinated rallies across the country on Tax Day, April 15, 2009.  We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance.  We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policymaking was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress.  Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above one. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policymaking, and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences.

  1. Madestam, et. al. The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2013) 128 (4): 1633-1685

The authors’ analysis shows that protests increased the turnout in the following congressional elections.  Thus, protests and marches DO affect legislators and affect turnout.  Keep on marching – but don’t forget to do the work of organizing and getting out the vote!

About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP:

Susan is a communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, and proud native Nashvillian. She has been in private practice for over 30 years. As she says, “I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts.”  Contact Susan at http://www.susanhammondswhite.com

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The Secret, a Perspective on a Book

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Currently, I am reading a book titled “The Secret,” written by Rhonda Byrne. Released in 2006, I remembered hearing about it at the time. I’m listening to the author narration, and she sounds like she grew up in the same neighborhood as Nicole Kidman, with a pleasant Australian accent. At the time of release, the book was championed twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and it spent 146 weeks atop the New York Times bestseller list. The message is about the law of attraction and subscribes to gratitude and visualization as keys. Intriguing and controversial in its message, it has been widely questioned and parodied.

In my life, I feel much more connected and in a positive flow when I am grateful and determined to have a joy-filled day. It is especially helpful to remind myself to treat everyone I come into contact with in kindness. Everything is better when I do this.

The book claims that if you act-as-if and feel-as-if you already have what you are seeking, you put yourself on the same frequency as the thing you seek and doing so attracts it to you. The book references other books written over time and claims that Plato, Leonardo, Galileo, Napoleon, Hugo, Beethoven, Lincoln, Edison, Einstein, and Carnegie all knew of “The Secret” and used its power. The book includes quotes about using faith, including “‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive’ (King James Bible, Matt. 21:22)” and, “‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours’ (New International Version Bible, Mark 11:24)”
I don’t know that I can believe everything I have read regarding visioning my way into wealth, health, and relationship success, but it certainly is a good reminder to practice the golden rule and to continue to have faith.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville. Renee is inspired by nature and enjoys hiking, birding, and the garden. She contributes to HerSavvy, a blog featuring writings from a group of well-informed women wishing to share their support and experience with others. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, enjoying flora and fauna is a family affair.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

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Thoughts for a Savvy New Year

new-year-2017Lucky me, I get to write the very first post of 2017! Most years I find it pretty easy to anticipate the New Year with excitement and optimism. I confess, this time it’s been much tougher. In many ways I feel worn out and beaten down. My usual sunny outlook has been dimmed by disappointment and shock at the anger and pain that bubbled just under the surface of our American psyche.

I’m trying to remember how I felt exactly one year ago. Was I excited? Optimistic? Joyful? Yes, yes and yes. Why? A new year is an unwritten story, a chance to start fresh, blah, blah, blah. No! Last year I was excited to usher in a new era in our history. There was the promise of more progress for women, minorities, LGBT, the differently abled, indeed for all of us. Because when one of us rises, we all rise together.

Today I feel afraid that the progress made in my lifetime could be pushed back and that my children and grandchildren will have to fight all over again. Irrational fears? Perhaps. But since there is only one way to go, forward, I am mustering my powers of optimism and hope. I’m practicing gratitude for my life, my good health, my family and friends and for all of the Savvy women who paved the way for me. Their fight was not in vain. I, and the women of my generation, will not forget and we will share the stories of those struggles with our daughters and granddaughters, and with our sons and grandsons. And the time will pass, and we will all be watching, working, safeguarding and remembering so that we can write the next chapter in our American history.

This is a new era, perhaps not the one we anticipated, but it is here nonetheless. Be vigilant, savvy readers, be hopeful, be joyful and most of all, love one another. Happy 2017 to all!

About Barbara Dab

Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant.  She is the creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation.  The Peretz Project, named for her late father-in-law who was a Holocaust survivor, is collecting testimony from children of survivors.  Check it out at http://www.theperetzproject.com.  If you are, or someone you know is, the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and you would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

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Women’s Policy

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With the recent presidential election, I have become more interested in human rights. Women’s rights and our impact upon government are particularly top of mind. While looking for information I came across the website, StatusofWomenData.org, a project of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.  Compilations of information about women’s lives nationwide are ranked state by state on topics of employment & earnings, poverty & opportunity, work & family, violence & safety, reproductive rights, health & well-being and political participation. For Tennessee, our highest ranking among these topics was 34th, with a C- for employment & earnings. Yes, our highest ranking.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialog, and strengthen families, communities, and societies. IWPR works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and families and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research. I invite you to explore its resources.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville. Renee is inspired by nature and enjoys hiking, birding, and the garden. She contributes to HerSavvy, a blog featuring writings from a group of well-informed women wishing to share their support and experience with others. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, enjoying flora and fauna is a family affair.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

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The Other Side of the Couch – Memorial Day

Memorial Day
This past Memorial Day weekend was perfect in its blue-sky, cotton-cloud beauty, in its breezes that tamed the almost 90-degree heat in Nashville, and in its opportunities to gather with friends and family.  This ushering-in-of-summer weekend, this celebration of all the things like watermelon and burgers and kids running around and fireflies and even fireworks, seemed light-hearted in its easy and breezy fun.

And yet – and yet – this day also carries undertones and overtones of other days, days that were darker, full of other kinds of feelings and memories.  This is a day the origins of which are disputed, but no matter where it began, it in some way began as a remembrance of those who died when this country was rent by civil war.  Whether begun by Southern women, freedmen, or Northern generals, the day evolved over the years into what it is today:  a memorial to those in this country who lost their lives in defending the lives of others.

I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s.  As a child I read the Cherry Ames: Student Nurse Series enthralled by the tales of bravery involving WWII.  As a young teen I read Janet Lambert’s series focusing on the Parrish family, whose parents were military and whose young men aspired to join the service and attend West Point.  As I entered college, our country was beginning to face the struggle of Vietnam, and my patriotic ideals began to become mixed up with the war protests that were common in my northeastern college.  I was uncertain about what to think about the whole idea of the military.  For a time I turned to pacifism, but then I realized that if attacked I could not condone doing nothing.

These confusions continue, but what I know today is that I hold in high esteem those men and women who choose to serve their country by joining one of the services.  I am thankful for these men and women, and I hold the memory of those who died in the service of others with gratitude and thanks.

At the same time, I continue to struggle with the need for war, the reality of war.  Although I was never a great fan of Dwight David Eisenhower, I have recently come across some things that he said, and they make really good sense.

Eisenhower said, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.  War settles nothing.”

He also said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  This world in arms is not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

I hope that the words of this old soldier will be heard.  At a time when war seems endless, let’s remember that, as Ike said, war settles nothing.  In the meantime, we remember, and we are grateful.

About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP:

Susan is a communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, and proud native Nashvillian. She has been in private practice for over 30 years. As she says, “I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts.”  Contact Susan at http://www.susanhammondswhite.com

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

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How an L.A. Girl Weathers The Storms of Winter

hot cocoa by the fireSome people claim there are no seasons in California. But having lived the majority of my life there, I can honestly say those people are wrong. Sure, the changes are subtle, particularly in Southern California. With the shorter days come frosty mornings and chilly, damp afternoons. The midday sun sticks around for just a few hours rather than blaze all day. Some days the fog hangs around only to lift at noon and reappear just before dusk, and some days it never leaves. The irony is not lost on us native, beach loving Californians. And yes, the trees lose their leaves, unless of course you can witness the majesty and grandeur of the evergreen giant Sequoias in the High Sierras. We even had a lawn that was…wait for it…Kentucky Bluegrass, meaning it goes dormant in the cooler months of the year. Perhaps a bit of foreshadowing?

Since moving to Nashville, I have made many changes and learned new habits. But the toughest, by far, is learning to adapt to the cold winters. It is all relative, I know. My friends from the Northeast and upper Midwest feel like they have died and gone to heaven. But for me, the cold months are my own private H#@@! In fact although I simply adore the Fall here, by October I am already counting the days until the beast of Winter will arrive and in January I begin the countdown until the buds appear on the trees.

But lest I sound like I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (at least I don’t think I do), I have developed some tools for getting through the dark cold winter:

  • Shopping: Yes, I will find just about any excuse to enhance my wardrobe and what better way than adding a splendid array of coats, jackets, sweaters, scarves and boots. I confess I do not love bundling up in layers but if I have to, I am going to look fashionable doing it! In fact, my favorite purchase is the plaid coat I found last year and absolutely adore.
  • Go outside: The first few years I avoided going out unless absolutely necessary. But a couple of years ago we brought home a new puppy, which necessitated taking him out for potty training and exercise. I learned that by braving the cold, I am actually adapting, just a bit, to the sensation. Last winter I even trained myself to bundle up for outdoor runs with the dog. It only really hurts the first few minutes until I start to sweat. I also find the time spent in the sunshine, even when it is cold, helps lighten my mood and I feel strong and brave.
  • Embrace cozying up inside: On those icy, wet days when I just cannot bear to bundle up, get out and face it, I hunker down with a blanket, a hot cup of coffee and some great music. On those days I find I am at my most creative and can spend hours at the computer writing. I have learned that rather than fighting what I cannot change, I can find the gifts in the opportunity to stay inside and lose myself.

Happy Winter everyone! And, let the Spring countdown begin!

How do you deal with Winter?  Are you like me, just getting through or do you thrive in the cold?  HerSavvy women want to know!  Send us your comments and suggestions.  

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Sharing What You Know

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I had a painting workshop recently that moved me a lot. The teacher told us flat out, “You need to be teaching. Share what you know with others, it solidifies what you have learned.” The teacher also shared their opinion that we are creative beings designed by a creative Creator who delights in our work. I learned a lot that day because I opened my mind to possibility. Wasn’t it Emily Dickinson who said, “Dwell in possibility”?

Over the course of my short time as a painter, I have taken a lot of workshops from several different teachers and though I am sure on some points I was instructed in the same information more than once, I learned new things in each and every class. With all instruction, being gentle on myself and accepting of the truism,”I hear it when I am ready to hear it, and I see it when I am ready to see it,” is helpful.   Taking lots of instruction exposes me to new and old ways and different techniques of transferring and applying information. Each of us has our own learning style.

Another truism I embrace, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” So, I opened myself up to the idea of teaching and call it fate, destiny, chance, whatever you will but in November I was visiting an art show with a friend and from it came an opportunity to teach for the first time, coming in February. I am grateful, I am challenged, and I am happily collecting the basic tenets of what I have learned about oil painting for the class. We are going to focus on opening up, turning off the “what I think it should look like” image in our heads and explore what we actually see to transfer it onto canvas. I hope to help turn back the clock in our heads to our young six-year-old selves, to a time before what other people thought about what we drew or painted became so important and limiting and shut down many of our creative leanings. I am grateful and think that I will likely learn as much as the students. If you are in the Nashville area and would like to explore creativity with us, you are invited to register: USN Evening Classes, Beginning Oil Painting. The class number is #701.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville. Renee is inspired by nature and enjoys hiking, birding, and the garden. She contributes to HerSavvy, a blog featuring writings from a group of well-informed women wishing to share their support and experience with others. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, enjoying flora and fauna is a family affair.

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