“The real test is being kind to unkind people.” ~ Unknown
Don’t you feel happy when you look at this picture? I sure do. A couple of Saturdays ago I met Annie Bassoni downtown for brunch. Afterward, I was finally introduced to Limeborghini, her fabulous bicycle. If memory serves, she took up the University’s offer to trade in her parking pass for bucks toward a bike. And what a bike she got. Like Annie, it has the best, most fun personality. She posts about it all the time, all the fabulous downtown places it goes, all the people it meets. Limeborghini has taken on a life of its own. It’s a star, just like Annie. How can you not love this? This idea, this bike, this person. Nothing but love.
“You do not become good by trying to be good,
but by finding the goodness that is already within you,
and allowing that goodness to emerge.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Way back in 2009 I attended the Humanity Academy (I talked about it in a 2013 post). Every couple of years our fearless leader, Marietta Watts (far left), brings us together for continued discussions. Today was just such an event with around 40 graduates in attendance. We did some serious work, but we also laughed…a lot. I was snorting. In fact, everyone at our table was snorting at one time or another. Admittedly, and I think all the attendees would agree, we were the fun table (I know you find that hard to believe).
Two-thirds of our table went through HA together in 2009; Annie Bassoni, Di Black (above far right), Ella Muhovic (below), and myself. (Marie graduated in 2013.) I hadn’t seen Di and Ella since we graduated, but it didn’t make any difference. We picked up where we left off, although I had forgotten just how funny Di is. I’d also forgotten that she sounds oddly like Comedianne-turned-Tea-Partier Victoria Jackson (except Di’s actually funny). She and Annie had us in tears most of the day. A co-worker’s husband, Beau Steenken, a graduate of the most recent HA class (below with Ella), was a brave man. Not only did he sit with us, he fit right in. He was a real treat to get to know, too. He’s one of the girls now; a keeper. The Humanity Academy helped me grow as a person, and from other graduates I was given some of the most meaningful friendships I’ve ever had. For many of us the Humanity Academy experience continues to enrich our lives at work, at home, and the world at large. We’ve got Marietta Watts to thank for that. The University of Kentucky is privileged to have her on the team, and we’re all better people because of her.
“Every encounter we have with another human being
offers the opportunity for profound connection and transformation.” ~ Unknown
Today, was a rare treat of late. I got to have lunch with Jeanne Marie Hibberd. She, Annie Bassoni, Stacy Yelton, and I met at Willie’s Locally Known. I had not been to Willie’s new location even though it’s within walking distance of my house. The decor is fabulous, and despite the large, open seating, we could hear one another: Bonus! But more importantly, I got to spend time with JM whom I rarely get to see these days. Is she not one of the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen? She’s got the spirit to match her looks, too, and that’s what I adore most about her. She’s thoughtful, smart, conscientious. She works at being a better person. She tries hard to be good to everyone, and she tries hard to be good to, and for, the world. She’s a positive contribution to our society and I’m proud of her for that and so much more. Our visit was way too short, but any time I get to spend with these gals is time well spent indeed. I’m grateful for every moment with them.
“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” ~ Ron White
I’d been waiting months to see the Chihuly exhibit at Maker’s Mark Distillery with Marcie Christensen and Annie Bassoni. Our night finally arrived, and off we went into an absolutely beautiful, albeit chilly, evening. You might recall that I’d seen the exhibit last month, but that just meant I could be their tour guide tonight. It also meant I could be a bit more prepared for photos since I knew what to expect. And, as a bonus, the distillery had decorated for Christmas. Very pretty.
As Marcie pointed out, photographs of Chihuly’s work don’t do it justice – none of it. Doesn’t matter what piece it is. I’ve yet to see a photo that’s even close to the experience of actually standing before a piece. The wow factor defies description. The work is so intricate and fluid that no two elements, no two angles look the same. There’s always something new to discover. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Marcie and Annie take it all in. I imagine I looked very similar when I first saw the exhibit.
On top of all this, during our ride to Loretto (where Maker’s Mark is located), we had great conversations about spirituality and books and travel. Marcie told us all about her upcoming trips. She’s leaving soon for Africa, then Hawaii, then Scotland with a little Texas and California thrown in for domestic pleasure. Annie and I, and her many other friends, will live vicariously though her travel adventures, but one thing’s for sure: we three won’t be forgetting Chihuly night at Maker’s Mark anytime soon. This was a gift!
“Surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas, not other people.” ~ Unknown
Here are a few friends that talk visions and ideas all the time; Catherine Brereton, Susan Stewart, Annie Bassoni, and Stacy Yelton. This morning we converged for brunch (deliciously prepared by the Brereton/Stewart family), a couple hands of Cards Against Humanity, and a wonderful visit on the porch. These women inspire me every day in a variety of ways, and we never fail to laugh when we’re together. We also never fail to eat well, and bread and/bread-like foods are usually involved. What amazing minds I’ve been fortunate to call friends.
“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin
It’s been almost a week since we convened to hug Sandy Davis’ neck. I wish we could meet every Friday for dinner, or just laughs. Jeanne Marie’s phone says all that needs saying about my Kentucky tribe. I love them all so much, and I’m so lucky to have them as friends.
“The key to happiness is to focus on what you can control and make proactive choices for joy every day.”
~ Tiny Buddha
Just in case you missed the fact that we had a lot of laughs at the annual Derby Day BBQ yesterday, here are two reminders. Three radio personalities and one Annie Bassoni guarantees you’ll laugh until you cry. I’m so lucky.
“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” ~ Karen Maezen Miller
It was Derby Day and this year’s Springridge Derby Day Garage BBQ almost didn’t happen. First, time got away from me, so by the time I sent invitations, almost everyone had other plans. Then, the weather was absolutely horrid. It rained up until about 2 pm, which wasn’t so bad, but an Alberta Clipper dipped into Kentucky overnight and made it a very cold, dreary rain. A few people bailed last minute, and who could blame them with conditions like that, making this year’s crew small. A small but mighty crew we were. We had a blast. We moved the party indoors where John Lumagui managed to make us laugh until we had tears. I don’t get to see him nearly enough, and I’m reminded of that every time he comes around. Not only is he sweet as can be, he really might be the funniest man alive.
Wally and Lilly (the black blob behind the couch) joined in the fun as John spun joke after joke. I snorted and laughed so much my throat hurt by the time everyone left. We still grilled out. The clouds broke long enough for us to soak up a few rays before moving into the house for the race. I even managed to figure out how to set the self-timer on the camera so I could catch us all together doing jazz hands. I love these people so very much, and their presence in my world today was just what the doctor ordered.
“Think positive and positive things will happen.” ~ Unknown
It was finally time for Ky Crafted: The Market. It was a totally rotten weather day; perfect to be inside soaking up lots of good art. I met Annie Bassoni, fellow art soaker upper, and off we went. We were on the lookout for a few people, and sure enough, we found them. Our first victim, I mean, friend encounter was the ever beautiful Deb Chenault. As usual, she shied away from my camera. Annie somehow thought that this silly symbol would stop me. pfffftttt We continued our meandering ways when we spotted Rebecca Campbell, sending Annie into recon mode looking for David so I could spring the paparazzi on him. It was not a successful mission for David saw us first. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all. It does my heart good to visit with my people however short the time. And visiting among art? As good a day as it gets in my book.