july 3, 2015

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“There’s nothing in this world that can trouble you as much as your own thoughts.”
~ David Wolfe

 

family
family

 

Meet Diane Rickey. Not only has she laid every tile in Angie Bliss Fanning’s new house, among many other things that have been done in the house, she unknowingly supported a woman in a time of need. These are the kinds of things that bond people for life.

 

Starbaby
Star Baby

 

Copper Money was Star Baby’s sire. Angie and I have discussed this as if I know the significance of Copper Money, the horse. I don’t, of course, but it doesn’t matter because Star Baby greets all visitors to the new Two Pony Palace. Angie’s new house is so incredibly special that words escape me. So, I’ll just leave these photos here for you to enjoy.

 

Two Pony 2.0 (iPhone)
Two Pony 2.0 (iPhone)

april 5, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
~ William Jennings Bryan

 

on the freezer (instagram)
on the freezer (instagram)

 

Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of Angie Bliss Fanning on my refrigerator door and giggle. That day at the creek in Proctor, Oklahoma some twenty years ago was pretty dang fun, as you might imagine. My strongest memory from the day, besides Angie making faces at me, was being held at bay by an angry turkey from across the creek. Regina Barnett, Carol Drake, Kate Michael Gibson, and Tammy Jo O’Neal joined us as we cooled our heels in the crystal clear, cold water that offered protection from said angry turkey. I keep an old Polaroid that Kiya Heartwood took next to Angie on the fridge to remind me of what a special, golden place Oklahoma is. The photos bring me much joy.

 

so pretty
so pretty (instagram)

december 12, 2014

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“I stand before you tonight to represent the people who do not count: The poor, the poets, and monks. As long as there are people who are trying to realize the divine in themselves, there shall be hope in the world.” ~ Thomas Merton

 

half sight (instagram)
half sight (instagram)

 

I got the best, and funniest, Christmas present in the mail today. BFF Angie Bliss Fanning saw a picture of this outhouse and knew I had to have it. She thought it would look awesome on my desk. Turns out it’s two feet tall – not exactly desk size, or what she had in mind. It has a function, too, though not what you’d expect. That’s where the second problem comes in. We don’t know what function it has. You see, the lid opens, but only half of it is on hinges, meaning only half of the lid actually opens. Inside the lid is a compartment with a dow rod that could maybe hold toilet paper, but the rod has a square board screwed into it so it can’t actually roll. Then, there’s a thin piece of white metal in the compartment that makes a ramp of sorts. I have no idea what that could be. There’s an opening from the compartment to the outside, as if something inside should be accessible from the outside….like toilet paper, except we’ve established that’s not possible. So, does anybody have a clue what this outhouse is supposed to do? I don’t care because it’s one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten. I will spend my evening laughing. I will wake up tomorrow laughing. I will laugh every time I see it, or even think about it. It is awesome, just like Angie. She insisted on a selfie with it, so that’s included below for continued hilarity. Did I mention it came with an Oklahoma spider, too? I can’t make this stuff up. My life is totally awesome in so many ways.

 

what am I?
what am I?

 

august 9, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” ~ Mother Teresa

 

done did do
done did do

 

One of the ways America has changed during my lifetime is the model of family. When Angie’s husband died, her biological family was front and center, and so was her chosen family. We drove in, flew in, and came across town to lend a hand and walk her through the opening moments of her new life. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by such love and light in their darkest hour (or when they’re having their hair done for a funeral)? I feel extraordinarily blessed to be part of her chosen family.

 

(pictured above: 1. Angie Bliss Fanning, Kevin Edmondson, Dawn Ward
2. Robin Jackson, David Orr, Larry Ash
3. me and them)

july 16, 2014

posted in: photography | 1

“Turn your smile up before you go out in public,
you may be the only light in someone’s day.”
~ Deni Fearman

 

a strong woman
a strong woman

 

Even with a broken heart Angie Bliss Fanning appreciates a good Oklahoma sunset. A steady, slow rain moved through. As it moved out it made a beautiful painted sky. We took a ride to the fence in the golf cart to see it set and have a long talk. The rain left a rainbow somewhat visible just to Angie’s left. Rainbows are a sign of hope. There is a lot of hope left in this world… for Angie, for Judge, and for all of Jerry’s family and friends.

 

go west
go west

 

judge keeps looking
judge keeps looking

april 22, 2014

posted in: photography | 2

No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.
~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

a tree named Carol
a tree named Carol

 

Carol Hart loves my little Japanese maple. I posted it twice in November; first extolling its virtue of fall beauty and again with our first snow. Carol thought it was one of the most beautiful trees, or at least photographs of a tree, she’d ever seen. Her remarks about the outhouse and my work lifts my spirits. That’s Carol. She’s a spirit lifter. She’s funny as all get out, inquisitive, genuine, and blessed with one of the biggest hearts on this planet.

 

best of fronds
best of fronds

I’ve known Carol almost as long as I’ve known Angie Bliss Fanning, and that’s a long time, but we never had a chance to really meld until Facebook came along. As ridiculous as Facebook can be, it has the ability to draw folks together that would otherwise never have the chance. Like me and Carol; she was in Oklahoma, and I was in Kentucky. She loved the outdoors, the Illinois River, Lake Tenkiller, her friends, music, anything fun really, and she especially loved photography so, we always had a lot to talk about. We also loved a lot of the same people, like Lance Hughes and Angie Bliss Fanning who had the unfortunate task of telling me about her passing this morning. Five weeks ago Carol discovered her body riddled with cancer. Today, she joined Lance for a big welcome home party in the sky. Visit with your friends and family often. Tell them you love them even more than that. Open your heart to everyone because you never know where you’ll find a kindred spirit. In honor of Carol, here’s my little Japanese maple in springtime’s golden hour. As Angie said, “it’s somehow fitting that Carol died on Earth Day.” It’s all about the light.

december 23, 2013

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Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything.
Between these two our life flows.” ~ Jack Kornfield

perfect fit (instagram)
perfect fit (instagram)

There’s nothing I love more than seeing Angie Bliss Fanning’s name on something in my mailbox. Well, that is, until I pulled out a beautiful Cherokee Nation T-shirt that’s my size! Last year she gave me a similar shirt, but I’d lost so much weight since she’d last seen me that it swallowed me. Well, no more! I must be living right because this Christmas is blessing me in spades.

august 10, 2013

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People don’t run out of luck. They run out of try.” ~ J. Hackett

cousins
cousins

I met my cousins for breakfast. We’ve tried to meet for dinner a number of times, but between my usual too much to do, and their having young kids, dinnertime is hard. We found this morning, however, that breakfast is pretty doggone perfect. We always have so much fun laughing and talking. It was totally worth the calories. We’re going to try to do it once a month from now on. (L-R: Renee Terry Watkins, son Adam, husband Aaron with son A.J. in the Champions cap at bottom, along with Mike and Missy Wilson Moore whose two daughters didn’t join us)

outhouse with a front porch
outhouse with a front porch

Meanwhile, we’ve had a new entry in the outhouse contest. These come from Mindy Cardenas in Wisconsin. They feature the outhouse that inspired the name of this blog. It was the outhouse that serviced the big farmhouse north of Stamping Ground, KY where I lived for a short time along with Angie Bliss Fanning (seated), Kiya Heartwood, and Miriam Davidson (with camera), all pictured here with Mindy and my beloved dog, Sadie (circa 1998). Let me tell ya, it was a beautiful little thing, but most unpleasant in winter.

Mindy leaves a load off
Mindy leaves a load off

Sadly, the outhouse is no longer standing, but the new farm owners saved this fabulous stained glass window that offered a fantastic view from the seat across a rolling ridge. It’s now hanging in their home.

april 14, 2013

posted in: art, photography | 0

Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.” ~ Unknown

a mildly interesting photo (instagram)
a mildly interesting photo (instagram)

James Duckworth regularly posts ‘a mildly interesting photo’ on facebook, and they are always, in some way, mildly interesting just like he says. I pulled this root from the bag and immediately thought of Jimmy. The only thing missing is a nice pair of pumps and an upper torso. I looked in the bag. Neither were included.

january 2, 2013

posted in: photography | 2

‎”The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it.” ~ Joseph Campbell

protector
protector (snapseed)

When I earned my BA, Angie Bliss Fanning gave me this totem to mark the occasion. 16 years later it still hangs from my rearview mirror. It is Cherokee in nature, yet I don’t remember what she said it represents. Tradition says that the mountain lion is one of two animals (owl being the other) that achieved spiritual purity because only they were able to stay awake during the seven days of creation. It’s a symbol of leadership, loyalty, and courage. In this configuration, it has a beetle riding its back and a fish hanging from its belly. Tied together I don’t know what they mean, but I know that it has brought me joy and protection the way Angie said it would. I respect it, and I’m grateful for the help. I’m more grateful still for the true friend that gave it.

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