december 31, 2018

posted in: art, photography | 3

“Self Worth: you can’t buy it, date it, drink it, or earn it from others. It’s an inside job.” ~ Anne Lamott


the inside job


This post marks the completion of the seventh year of the outhouse. Seven inconceivable years. I haven’t missed a single day in those seven years racking up 2,556 posts as a result. So much for a one-year project, eh? I’ve gotten much more from this little idea than I ever expected. There have been a few bumps along the way but there’s been way more good than bad. 2018 has been a tiring year for a lot of reasons, but that, too, is not a bad thing. It has caused me to reflect in ways that I might not otherwise. For those who’ve been with me from the start you might recall that after year two, having amassed over 34,000 images during that period, I changed the rules to allow images from the archives to be used in daily posts (prior to this all images had to be created the day of the post). Now, I think it’s time to expand the outhouse horizon again. It’s time to scale back on the number of posts I make – from the usual daily post to once, twice, maybe three times a week depending on happenings. This will allow me to concentrate on the depth of posts rather than the breadth offered by daily posts. Further, it will allow me to concentrate on a few other artistic outlets I’ve been entertaining, perhaps finally remodel the house (or part of it anyway), and pay some attention to my aging body. I was still 46 when the outhouse began. I’ll be 54 in a week. During this time I’ve lost and gained more weight than anyone one ought to. I’ve got more grey hair, more wrinkles, and a lot more age spots. I’ve been through natural disasters, deaths -some tragic, births – all glorious, surgeries (goodbye gallbladder), a few weddings, a divorce (maybe more), many fun travels, great food, great parties, reconnecting with dear friends, staying connected with others, wonderful family gatherings, and art. Always art. There must always be art; the act of creating something from nothing, or creating something new from something old; reimagining the world and one’s place in it; seeing God, the Great Creator,  the Universe in all things and channeling that into being. This is central to my existence. I celebrate the work made by others, too. Their visions and their places in this world are important to my own sense of being. In May, I received an unusual curio cabinet. I don’t collect curios, but I do collect folk art, usually of the small variety, along with small amulets, not always worn, of great personal significance. I began to assemble all of these into the cabinet and created something more outstanding than I ever imagined. In these few images you see work by Minnie Adkins, Michelle Shute, Sandy Davis, Rebecca Miller-Campbell, Julene Jones, Joe Molinaro, Ron Gevedon, Libby Barnes, Debi Horton, and Chris Terrell among others. You also see the spirits of Lance Hughes, Angie Bliss Fanning, Mindy Gaumer Cardenas, my parents, and my beloved dog Sadie. That’s just in these photos. There’s a bottom half of the cabinet not shown here. Every single day I look at this cabinet and it glows with love, compassion, integrity, and innovation. Above all I see inspiration and hope. My wish is that you, dear reader, find as much hope and inspiration in your daily lives throughout 2019 as I find in my art life cabinet every day. Here’s to us and an improved outhouse in 2019.



december 30, 2018

posted in: art, photography | 1

“Some days I’m a goddess.
Some days I’m a wild child.
And some days I’m a fragile mess.
Most days I’m a bit of all three.
But every day, I am here, trying.”
~ S.C. Laurie


look up


I didn’t have time (or the best lens) to snap a lot of photos inside Union Terminal, but I got off a few I’d like to share. I know I keep going on about it, but it is truly an architectural wonder and I’m thrilled that Cincinnati understands its historical significance. I look forward to going back one day soon. I’m taking the right lens next time.


from below


The mural spanning the circumference of the lobby is nothing short of amazing. The place is dripping art deco at every turn.


to taxis

december 29, 2018

posted in: art, photography | 0

“This world may never understand you. That is not your fault. That is your gift.” ~ CWPoet


strike a pose


Today I finally got caught up with work produced since November. Yes, I’ve been that far behind. It has been an extraordinarily busy fall; unexpected, fun, hectic, enlightening, inspiring. It’s been a time of uncertainty, confusion, and all the isms that come with real growth. After a fabulous Christmas, working on these last photos from the Silent Night Opera jarred my senses about just how spectacular this year has been. Not in terms of big wows, but in those little things that far outweigh the big things. Things like health and family and friendship; safe travels, warm hugs, sweet smiles, kind words, and bottomless compassion. I have a good job. I have good insurance. I have good health. I have a house with “good bones,” as the contractors like to say. I have a dependable car, two cats, one dog, and loads of books. I’ve even got a band to play with! I’ve been surrounded by all of this and more. And then there’s Terry Keys in a 100% wool WWI uniform singing like a bird and looking like a million bucks. If that doesn’t make 2018 epic, nothing can.

december 28, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“So yes, I want more, but not more stuff. I want more early mornings, more hiking and connecting with nature, more meaningful conversations and hand holding. More seeing the world. More creativity. More crazy ideas. More love. Always more love.” ~ Courtney Carver


hilarity in a bag


Last year I got a bag of reindeer farts. They were delicious. This year I got this. On the hilarity scale I know it’s hard to say which is best, but there’s something wrong with trump hair. It says it’s made with organic sugar and it’s bipartisan. Those automatically disqualify it as real. I’m sure it tastes as wispy fake and saccharin orange as the picture suggests. Nevertheless, she persisted.

december 27, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Stay close to people who feel like sunshine.” ~ Unknown


outside art deco


I mentioned that Union Terminal is a fabulous example of art deco. Here’s one tiny example of it from the outside just to whet your whistle for the inside. But if all you saw was this clock on the half-dome you’d have a good idea of the extravagant beauty that awaits. And in something slightly unrelated, in the bottom photo you might notice the enormous Cincinnati sign. Some moths ago, I bought a beautiful Jon Reynolds photo of Cinci fireworks with that sign prominent in foreground of the image. Until then, I had never seen the sign, and I’ve been through and in Cinci more times than I can count. I learned it’s only visible from the west side, even then only in certain places, and sure enough, from Union Terminal on the west side of downtown, there it was. My image of the sign is crappy, but the sign itself was awesome, but even it couldn’t hold a candle to Union Terminal. 


in the distance

december 26, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Use your thoughts wisely, respecting the power they hold.” ~ Terry A. Gordon


new things


Before the Nutcracker, mom and I went to Union Terminal to enjoy the art deco and the train exhibit. Duke Energy (formerly CG&E) has a train exhibit that used to be set up in the windows of Shilito’s Department Store in downtown Cincinnati. The first (and only) time I saw it was in those windows, and boy, did it set the Christmas mood. Now, at Christmas, the train is set up in Union Terminal. I’m not sure why the change, but it gave us a chance to enjoy the renovated terminal and obverse the whole set from a birds-eye view.


christmas display


Below, Mom found an old ’57 Chevy, which happened to be a police car in the set. It was the first car she owned. We really enjoyed the trains and Union Terminal. It made Christmas extra special.


old things

december 25, 2018

posted in: art, photography | 1

“The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school.” ~ Alice Cooper


christmas day


I have been sick since last Thursday. I thought it was just an allergy thing making me lose my voice. I had to skip a few things along the way to try to keep from getting worse. It finally caught up with me Christmas Eve. I was in bed by dark only to wake up this morning feeling even worse. Mom and dad went to Aunt Lois’ without me for Christmas day dinner. I hated to miss the family (many of whom have this same cold so I wasn’t the only one absent today). I slept all day. The folks brought me a plate of deliciousness this evening and I soon started feeling better. My point in all this is that, despite having been sick the entire holiday, it has been one of the best Christmases we’ve ever had. We were all happy. We were all grateful. We were all present. I’ll take a cold every year if it means we’re all together and happy.

december 24, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ~ Roy Bennett


Christmas Eve tradition


Stacy and I have tried to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve for so long that I’ve lost count of the years, at least 20 I’d say. Our usual ritual involves lunch at Red Lobster followed by a gift exchange and White Christmas. On occasion we attend Christmas Eve service. Some years are better than others of course but this year was special somehow. I remain ever grateful for all of it.

december 23, 2018

posted in: photography | 1

“Life gives us choices… you either grab on with both hands and just go for it, or you sit on the sidelines.” ~ Christine Feehan


happy mama


Sometimes Christmas doesn’t happen on Christmas Day. Today was just such an occasion. Aunt Lois came for dad at 10am. They went off for a day of Christmas services at church, dinners, fellowship, and more. Meanwhile, Mom and I also set out on a day-long adventure that ended with the Nutcracker performed by the Cincinnati Ballet in newly renovated Music Hall. Mom had never seen the Nutcracker before, and neither of us had been inside Music Hall. It was an absolutely perfect day start to finish. Christmas, I am reminded, is not about gifts, no matter how much our capitalist society would have you believe otherwise. Christmas is about this. Take joy in your loved ones and go have adventures as much as you are able.


brother and sister

december 22, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell


the hostess
a guest
another guest
yet another guest


When the winter Solstice arrives, the best possible event is a gathering of women who love me and love one another. You’d be hard pressed to find a hostess better suited for such a gathering than Jeanne Marie Hibbard. Many years ago her kindness opened the door and we all – Stacy Yelton, Annie Bassoni, Deb Chenault and I – walked through. There’s not been a single moment of regret. Our friendships have become a support system I didn’t know I needed. These women make me laugh, they enlighten me, they push me (in a good way), and they delight me.

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