december 31, 2017

“The best things in life are the people you love, the places you go, and the memories you make.” ~ Tiny Buddha   This post concludes year six of the “one-year-project” outhouse. I thought little could compare to the roller coaster that was 2012, what with the tornado and all, but I was oh so wrong. Regardless of the trials, the losses, the let-downs, and the setbacks in 2017, I’m

december 30, 2017

“For true happiness to arise, compassion is necessary.” ~ Dzogchen Ponlop R.   You first met AJ back in 2014 albeit briefly. To recap (for those keeping a family score card), AJ is the oldest son of my first cousin, Renee, and the oldest grandson of her dad, my Uncle Phillip, dad’s brother. AJ is 16 years old now and he’s starting to drive. Renee and husband, Aaron, bought mom’s cool

december 29, 2017

“The best things in life aren’t things.” ~ Unknown   Due to illness, we delayed our cousin Christmas party until tonight. We ate, we exchanged gifts, we laughed, we watched the end of the UK Bowl Game, and we managed to take this family photo. The older I get, the more I love this bunch. They’ve raised great kids and they’re a pleasure to be with. “The best things in

december 28, 2017

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson     I did some Christmas shopping at the Bread Box. It’s a section of the old Rainbow Bread factory where artists now have studios. The other section is West Sixth Brewery. A

december 27, 2017

“I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong… Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh   Sure enough, it’s magical, majestic, and merry…and it actually tastes like peppermint. Stacy Yelton finds the funniest stocking stuffers and this one might be her

december 26, 2017

“My to-do list for today: Count my blessings. Practice kindness. Let go of what I can’t control. Listen to my heart. Be productive yet calm. Just breathe.” ~ Tiny Buddha   Back in late October, when mom was just able to get around without a walker, I took her to the outlet mall near Shelbyville where she discovered Chico’s. We had a delightful time as we bought many Christmas presents.

december 25, 2017

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale   I believe dad had one of the best Christmases he’s had in 30 years. His sisters love the game Farkle. It’s a dice game mostly of chance. He played six games and won the last four. In one game, he rolled six of a kind. My aunts have played

december 24, 2017

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” ~ Colin Powell   Another Christmas Eve has come to the Springridge Lodge and these two crazy kids were sporting their matching UK wear that Santa brought them. Then we ate, and cooked, and ate some more. We watched Christmas movies and watched two flakes of snow fall. That last part didn’t last long. Tomorrow, we’ll enjoy more family festivities, but for tonight, the

december 23, 2017

“The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.” ~ Lee Iacocca   Today, I played Santa Klaus (see what I did there). I met Maggie for a little gift swap and a wonderful, long meal. When she gave me a tour of Mt. Brilliant, she took me to Man-O-War’s barn. Mt. Brilliant absorbed much of Faraway

december 22, 2017

“I always say joy is the happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.” ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast   Christmas is just around the corner. So, let’s deck the halls, or the fence as the case may be, and be of good cheer as we stuff our gullets with sweets, watch our waistlines grow beyond all reckoning, and tryptophan our way into the new year. Who’s with me?