april 20, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

two gooduns’

 

Apollo Pizza in Richmond is a groovy little pizza and beer joint that also happens to have a big brain. Their Pages and Pints gatherings feature a variety of local and regional authors who read from their works while patrons enjoy pizza on handmade crust, or cauliflower crust if you need to go gluten-free, or in my case, you’re on a diet. A bunch of us Happiness Gals met last night to hear readings from Ronni Lundy, author of the James Beard Foundation Award winning Victuals, and my old friend Robert Gipe whom you met back in March 2015 signing his first book Trampoline. Here’s a great little video of Robert talking about Trampoline and how he came to create it. You ought to watch it. Last night he read from the second of his trilogy released last month called Weedeater.

 

happiness

 

In virtually every writing class I’ve had the subject of writing an accent, specifically a mountain or southern dialect, always comes up, and without fail everyone says the same thing: don’t do it because it inevitably reads like a bad face job looks. It’s extremely rare to find a writer who can make it work. But there’s one writer who can and it’s Robert Gipe. His books are transformative in several ways, not the least of which is his ability to stay true to the regional vernacular without losing his reader. Plus, if you ever have the chance to hear him read his work, take it. You will be changed. And ask him to read his ghost sex scene (tell him I told you to ask). His brilliant words will make you howl with laughter, raise an eyebrow, and most importantly, think hard about the lives and circumstances of his characters. He just gets better all the time. I’m real proud of him.

 

old friends

 

Then there’s Ronni Lundy. She’s sweet as the day is long. I heard her read for the first time last night, and what a delight she was. Though Victuals is touted as a cookbook, it’s far from your run-of-the-mill Betty Crocker tome. The description reads; “Victuals is an exploration of the foodways, people, and places of Appalachia. It explores the surprisingly diverse history–and vibrant present–of food in the Mountain South through recipes, stories, traditions, and innovations.” Ronni’s insights into how food is a gateway into the larger Appalachian culture is as thought provoking as any prose out there. I’m a fan for sure. Remember I said last night was awesome? Robert and Ronni are just two reasons why. 

april 19, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.” ~ Tony Robbins

 

pleasents (Hipstamatic)

 

These things right here topped off a wonderful evening adventure at Apollo Pizza in Richmond with most of the Happiness Gals. I’m exhausted, in a good way, but there will be more about this fabulous night in another post. Suffice it to say, I’ve had a string of fantastic days here lately. Throw Ronni Lundy and Robert Gipe into the mix, and I’m feeling pretty dang happy. 

april 18, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“For the ways that I have harmed another in any way,
either knowingly or unknowingly,
through ignorance and confusion,
I ask for forgiveness.

For anyone who has harmed me in any way,
either knowingly or unknowingly,–
through ignorance or confusion
I offer my forgiveness.

For all the ways that I have harmed myself,
either knowingly or unknowingly 
through ignorance and confusion,
I heal these wounds with forgiveness.”
~ Traditional Buddhist Prayer

 

redbud

 

What a beautiful day we had today (redbud photographed during Monday’s snow). Once again, I saw many people full of goodness, and I relished their presence. I’m feeling good these days. If I was a gambler I might buy a lottery ticket. I’m not, so I’ll just remain grateful for the good days.

april 17, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.” ~ Unknown

 

web of snow

 

The snow stopped, the wind slowed, the sun came out, and the temperature rose. It was a beautiful day inside as well. Everyone I encountered was in a sunny disposition, and the universe in general seemed to be throwing nothing but good fortune on many who crossed my path, including me. Any day you’re surrounded by the best of people is a good day. 

april 16, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t.” ~ Unknown

 

hurrumph

 

Yea, so, according to the calendar it’s April 16th. According to Mother Nature it’s January 16th. The whipping north wind was cold enough to slice your face wide open, and the snow vacillated between big and fluffy to something called graupel that looked for all the world like tiny styrofoam packing balls. It was over eighty degrees on Friday, and today it was just bone cold and mean. Nevertheless, I had a fabulous day, and a good portion of it was outside walking across campus. I do feel bad for the poor little apple blossoms though. They’re quite sad and cold tonight.

 

April snow 

april 15, 2018

posted in: photography | 1

“We are each other’s pastors.” ~ Laurel Anderson Reid

 

reverse zoo (Hipstamatic)

 

For the past two days this little robin has parked herself in my window. I know she has arrived when I hear tiny pecks on the glass. It seems once she has my attention she settles in. It’s not like she’s the only bird to make her way to the window over the years, but she is the only bird to stay. She watches me. I wave at her. She stares intently. I’ll walk from room to room and she watches. She will even let me get close to the window before she flies away. Each time I try I get closer than before. She’ll leave for a time, but she always comes back. Native Americans believe birds are visitors from ancestors. Some believe them messengers, others guardians. Regardless of role, they’re benevolent companions. I’ve named her…Robin (creative, I know), and I’m thrilled she comes to see me. She’s welcome on my sill anytime.

april 14, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” ~ Henry Miller

 

the hunter

 

I don’t like to let the cats out for a variety of reasons, but sometimes when I’m home, and it’s a gorgeous day, I can’t deny them. Their cries to go out can be heard in Tennessee I’m sure. When I give in, I try not let them out at the same time. You know the term “herding cats?” That’s why I don’t let them out at the same time. Of the two, Leo is the most photogenic, or rather, the least likely to throw me a kitteh middle finger and walk away before I can trip the shutter. I love a wide angle lens, especially for something like this where I can put it near the ground and get a sense of what his point of view might be. I’m thankful he’s feeling better without his sore eye, and he healed very well. He’s back to being feisty and brave. Leo the Pirate Lion King prowling his kingdom. That makes me happy. Makes him happy, too.

 

triptych

april 13, 2018

posted in: photography | 1

“Nothing is permanent in this world, not even our troubles.” ~Unknown

 

the dude

 

A couple of weeks ago when our Hero and Shero were in town, we three had a nice meal out. I try to take advantage of booth seating for a selfie because you never know when you’re sharing your last meal. I’m happy this wasn’t it, and I got a picture out of it. I call that a win.

april 12, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand how unlikely you are to change others. There’s plenty of work for all of us to do internally before we can even think about setting out to change others.” ~ Timber Hawkeye

 

go team

 

We’ve been working with a project called Jewish Kentucky for a couple of years. To date, the project includes 78 oral history interviews, most on video, and a growing archive. Tonight, the project hosted a wonderful dinner, bourbon tasting, and program to show their appreciation to the interviewees, donors, students, and well, us. It was a heartfelt thank you that I really appreciated. I’m sure everyone did. A project leader, Jan Fernheimer, above, wasn’t aware of my unusual selfie style, but that didn’t stop her from playing along. She’s got the right kind of spirit for sure. Jan is one of the most brilliant professors on campus. She’s got more ideas than time, but she manages to do a lot extremely well all while raising one of the cutest tiny humans ever. Jewish Kentucky is just one of her successes and I’m proud to help her along the way. 

april 11, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“The hands that made the stars are holding your heart.” ~ Unknown

 

new (snapseed)

 

They may not look like much, but they’re mighty. I sowed grass seed back in March the night before I thought we were to have our last snow. That was, of course, three snows ago. Today, finally, the winds shifted from the south, and by this evening it was warm enough to sit outside. The tender grass is nearly 1/2″ high. This morning it hadn’t broken the shell. Nature is simply amazing. I called dad to tell him the grass was finally growing. The only thing I’m more grateful for than the grass is dad still on this plane to take my call. 

1 2 3 4 230