june 19, 2019

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“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” ~ Paul, Philippians 4:8


pontification face


Today, I got to do something cool that I rarely get to do. I attended a community workshop for a new oral history project in London, Kentucky. The project is being spearheaded by Appalachian Center Associate Director Kathryn Engle (above) and director of the Laurel County African American Heritage Center, Wayne Riley (not pictured). The first phase of the project looks at the African American community in the tri-county area around London as part of a larger project focusing on the race riots of the 1910’s in Corbin, Kentucky. Kathryn and I have been working with an intern from Berea College on the project who’s splitting time between our two departments. We also share the talents of PhD student Emma Kiser (below). During the last few months I’ve gotten to know both ladies much better. Not only was today’s event an important first step for the project, but we three shared a few laughs along the way, which is always a plus in my world. It was a truly excellent day, start to finish. I’m excited about the project and the lives that can be touched by the group’s good work, and I’m especially grateful for the meaningful, honest conversations that we shared with a community of volunteers. I look forward to a lot more laughs with these two.


the big reveal

june 18, 2019

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“Within every seed is the promise of thousands of forests.” ~ Deepak Chopra


toys, valentines, and Grant (snapseed)


I may or may not have mentioned that I’m finally, after 12 years, remodeling my house. On the first day of demolition they found this cache of delights from a bygone era in a wall. At one time the house held five, perhaps seven, children; all boys. Mind you, it’s only 1400 square feet, so that’s seven kids and two adults in a pretty tight space. They made the most of the attic space, squirreling away toys, an old valentine from “Love, Debbie,” and a really small bracelet that belonged to “Grant.” I’ve kept these toys as well as the army men, old newspaper  clippings, a shoe, and a nativity scene from 1963 that were also found in the walls and attic. I want to find something creative for them so I can put them back into the house where they belong. As far as I’m concerned, those boys helped give my home the safe, loving vibe it has today. They need to stay with it.  I’m open to creative suggestions for their return to the house.

june 17, 2019

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“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” ~ Les Brown


two wildcats (snapseed)


There was some serious freshman orientation happening today on campus, and wherever there’s a large gathering of UK students, The Wildcat is sure to be found. True to that, he made an appearance at the Student Center just as we arrived for lunch. Naturally, as an alumna, Crystal needed to be photographed with him. C-A-T-S cats cats cats!

june 16, 2019

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“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” ~ Colin Powell


girls just wanna have fun


These gals joined me to give Marietta a grand send off last week. Ya know, sometimes we all get a little down at work for one reason or another, but when I see these gals -alone or together- they remind me that I work with some of the best folks Kentucky has. Just being in their presence makes me feel like a champion. I’m really lucky to call them friends.

june 14, 2019

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“My mother is a big believer in being responsible for your own happiness. She always talked about finding joy in small moments and insisted that we stop and take in the beauty of an ordinary day. When I stop the car to make my kids really see a sunset, I hear my mother’s voice and smile.” ~ Jennifer Garner


here lays the Judge


You first met Judge in 2014 when his person, Jerry Fanning, was called back to the beginning and we framily converged to help Angie give him a big send off. If memory serves, a couple of years earlier, Judge, came to the ranch. He was a pup. I guess he knew Jerry needed an outdoor companion, and Angie a guard. He was a very faithful companion. He helped Jerry around the ranch, always on hand for copious grilling duties. His favorite job, however, was chasing butterflies. This big, beautiful creature was perhaps the most gentle heart on the planet. So it was very sad when Angie told me Judge had to go home to Jerry. Back to the beginning. She said he was fine yesterday, but gone today. The worst thing about loving dogs (or cats or horses) is that we outlive them. The best thing about loving them is, well, everything. 

june 13, 2019

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“Believe in yourself even when no one else will.” ~ Sasquatch 


a light in the world


The plan for this week was originally to attend a large meeting of IFLA officers in Den Haag The Netherlands. Last week I got notice that friend Marietta Watts would be retiring (for good this time – she’s tried twice before but got dragged back) this week, so I sent my regrets that I couldn’t attend. Well, the universe saw this week differently, what with mom’s accident, so I was able to attend Marietta’s send off after all. If I couldn’t be in Holland, I’d want to bid her farewell, so as consolation prizes go, I think I won the lottery.




Marietta has been more important to the University than you can possibly imagine. Athletes, coaches, and the occasional business success always get the glory for the University, but it’s people like Marietta with visionary ideas and enduring work ethic that really make a long-term difference. She has touched hundreds of people over the years in deep, vital ways. Most of us are replaceable. Marietta is not. As much as we’ll all miss her, I know she’s goin g to enjoy retirement. She’s earned it.


Humanity Academy lite

june 11, 2019

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“You’ll be amazed at what you attract when you start believing in what you deserve.” ~ Tiny Buddha


morning lines (snapseed)


After many days of questionable stability we finally have some good news from Shero. No surgery! The complications have either been fixed or will heal on their own, including the internal bleeding. As soon as she no longer needs red cell replenishment, it’s off to rehab for an unspecified amount of time, though we’re told recovery is long at 8-12 weeks. She should eventually recover enough to return to her regularly scheduled program, which was new windows, new roof, quarreling at dad, and asking me about my home remodel. I look forward to having her back in the saddle. Not nearly as much as she looks forward to it, I’m sure. Thanks to each and every one of you who have reached out in some way, called, sent texts, posted on facebook, Instagram, and twitter, kept the dog, fed the cats, brought me ice cream, played Farkle with dad – all of it matters in ways that the words thank you don’t quite cover. I’m grateful things are looking up and I’m grateful to go back to work.

june 10, 2019

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“You are the average of five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn




Dad thought it was funny that I caught all three of us in the photo. We were waiting with mom for her endoscopy. “But wait,” you say, “I thought she broke her pelvis?” Why, yes, she did, but I believe I mentioned complications. I’m happy to report that the scope returned good results and now we’re on to solving the next complication. Meanwhile, surgery still hasn’t been ruled out and I think dad is enjoying staying with his sister Lois Nell. She’s got him playing cards and board games, and tomorrow, she’s going to put him to work spreading mulch. He’s looking forward to it, too. Mom was stable enough for me to finally leave, so I get to sleep at home tonight. I will not miss the recliner-that-makes-a-bed. I’m here to tell ya, no, it does not. A bed makes a bed and I’m headed for one right now.

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