october 10, 2018

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“Be polite. Be blind to the shortsightedness of others. Walking away is not necessarily weakness; sometimes it’s real strength. Very few confrontations are worthy of a line in the sand. Don’t seek to rule others and don’t live as if you’re being ruled. Live a life that’s honest to yourself. Love isn’t what you feel. It’s what you do.” ~ Steven Roth

 

riverside

 

The Rental Sisters and I were not alone in Augusta our first day and night. Rental Nieces Cassie and Lisa joined us for a rare young mother’s day away from their toddlers. Along the way we caught wind of George Clooney’s side business. We kept seeing signs for Casamigos Tequila throughout town, and eventually learned that this was George’s side business. (Get your minds out of the gutter!) The local pub featured Casamigos straight up and in a variety of cocktails. After a long day that ended with a nice dinner at Moyer Winery, we retired to our respective rooms. The nieces waited for us old gals to go to bed, as we learned the next morning, and then high-tailed it to the pub to try some of George’s side business. The thing I love about these two is how easily they fit in with the old crowd and still want to go out on their own. I’m so glad they came with us. Time spent with them is never time wasted.

 

fancy pose

october 7, 2018

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“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ~ Audrey Hepburn

 

store front

 

The Rental Sisters knew a lot more about Augusta than I did. We walked into an adorable antique shop on Main Street, of which there are many, to be immediately greeted by a delightful woman and her tiny shop dog named Nate (I think that was his name). Apparently, Nate had had a long day by the time we arrived. Ordinarily, so we were told, he’s at your feet as soon as you come through the door. He greeted us with a yawn from his basket behind the counter. We fawned over him just the same and continued our perusal of the Donny Osmond vinyl, vintage books and toys, and assorted celebrity photos and magazines. I was eyeing a mural-size canvas photo of a young Nick Clooney and colleagues behind an early 70’s-era CBS news desk when Stacy leaned in and whispered, “This is Nina’s store.” “Oh,” I said, as if I knew who Nina was. Stacy, who knows me all-too-well, was quick to recognize that I had no clue who Nina was. “Nina Clooney,” she whispered again, “George’s mom. Nick’s wife. That’s her at the front desk.” “Oh!” I replied, now understanding who Nina was. By the time we left Nina’s shop we’d been treated to smiles and kindness and sweet conversation. Nina was beyond adorable! We assumed that would be the end of Clooney connection for the weekend. Sunday morning, while I was taking pictures of river fog, the sisters had gotten a table at the General Store for breakfast. The first person I saw when I walked in was none other than Nick Clooney. He raised his fork to me with a smile and nod as if he’d been expecting me. And maybe he was. I found the sisters at the table next to he and Nina and two others. (What an opportune time to photograph the sisters, I thought) When The Clooney’s left the General Store, waves and goodbyes were exchanged because, of course, they and the sisters had been chatting with each other before I showed up. Nick, like Nina, was as honestly warm as could be. The Clooney’s are sweet down home Kentuckians that you can tell are pleased as punch to live in their tiny river hometown and show kindness to everyone that visits. It was an honor to be in their company.  

 

with the stars

may 22, 2018

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“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” ~ Unknown

 

date night #1

 

Cassie dropped me a note asking if I’d snapped any pix of her and hubby Jeff at the wedding. She was having so much fun that she forgot to take a pic of them on their night out. They’ve got a toddler and an infant now, and date nights like the one they had for the wedding are super rare. Naturally, I didn’t pop-off the typical couple photos of them, but hopefully I caught enough of their happy to count. In case I haven’t mentioned how cool The Whitehouse’s are, let me rectify that. They’re way cool. Plus, they’re sweet as the day is long with the most beautiful babies imaginable. It’s always a pleasure to be in their company.

 

date night #2

march 13, 2017

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“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” ~ James Thurber

 

meeting

 

It’s heartening to see the joy and hope new lives bring to a room. Just yesterday the girls (Annabell whom I call Apricot, and Lucy) were exposed – so to speak – to me and my camera. They weren’t quite as enthusiastic as the boys. In fact, they weren’t amused at all. On the other hand, Jackson AKA Cincinnati Red and Grier are becoming increasingly enthralled with the camera. This bodes well for future images I think, and it also means we’ll have a blast along the way. The girls may never warm to the camera. I’ll take my chances.

 

babies

march 12, 2017

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“Don’t promise when you’re happy.
Don’t reply when you’re angry.
And don’t decide when you’re sad. ”
~ Unknown

 

cousins

 

I joined the Yelton sisters at the family cemetery in Burlington, KY to view their father’s recently placed headstone. Beautiful day as it was, bone chilling wind made short work of our visit. We drove to Pam Yelton Bick’s in Milford where we were joined by most of the remaining family. The cousin count has nearly doubled in the least two years. It was a hoot with these little ones around. The boys are both walking, running actually, so there was loads of fun to be had on the floor while the girls oooo’ed and awwwww’ed and compared hair bows. I’m awfully lucky they let me hang out and watch their babies grow up.

april 9, 2016

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“Spread positive energy wherever you go. It all begins with a positive attitude.” ~ Unknown

 

happiness
happiness

 

I saw five-month-old Grier Whitehouse at his auntie Tay and Ash’s baby shower today. If his beaming smile doesn’t fill you with happiness, there’s no happiness to be had. I’ll just leave this here to complete your day. He certainly completed mine.

november 16, 2015

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“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~ Pema Chödrön

 

baby blue eyes
baby blue eyes

 

If baby Grier hadn’t brought us all together Saturday, rental nephew Brett’s birthday would have. Brett’s son, Jackson, aka “Cincinnati Red” has not been quick to warm up to the camera as you can see. Despite aunt Cassie’s coaxing of a smile, he was having none of it. In Jackson’s defense, however, he hasn’t seen enough of me to really understand what’s going on. I’ve noticed how little kids reach a point of aggravation with cameras at a fairly early stage. You may recall my photographing Riley Morrow every month during his first year. I can see his progression from fascination to annoyance from one month to the next. It started around his seventh month and he hasn’t gotten over it yet. He’s three and a half now, just a few months older than Jackson.

 

one for each year
one for each year

 

Besides, there was daddy’s birthday cake waiting to have its candles blown out. Who’s got time for pictures when there’s ice cream cake? I’ll tell you what, Jackson is so stinkin’ adorable you just want to squeeze him and never let go. And after he had a bite of the icing he said, “De-lish-ous” in the most adorable voice. Every heart in the room melted with joy and every voice rang out with laughter. It was an unforgettable moment.

 

blood brothers
blood brothers

 

At the end of the day Jackson kissed his new cousin Grier goodbye. If this picture doesn’t warm your heart you don’t have a heart to warm. These two handsome boys are going to either love me or hate me when it’s all said and done. Then again, most people in the outhouse probably feel the same way. <insert smiley face> I’ll be keeping my camera charged. It’s just what I do.

november 14, 2015

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There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
~ Buddha

 

cousins
cousins

 

Meet Grier Ryan Whitehouse. Today, he’s nine days old. He spent two and a half hours being passed from person to person to person all while being photographed. He took it all in stride. He’s pictured above with second cousin (first cousin once removed) Connor Barnes.

 

grandson #2
grandson #2

 

Grier is my rent-a-great-nephew, son of rental niece Cassie and RNIL Jeff Whitehouse. He is the second grandson of rental sister Pam Bick and husband Joe. His great aunt Stacy Yelton and I got to meet him for the first time this afternoon. He is, of course, as beautiful as I expected he would be.

 

for scale
for scale

 

Grier is small. His facial features are chiseled, quite unlike other infants I’ve seen. His nose, lips, and chin are so perfectly formed I can see him as an adult already. His hair is thicker than most adults and shiny like silk. He is sweet natured and calm, not grumpy at all (unless he’s hungry, but adults are like that, too). I’m pretty sure if he could have stayed awake he would have conversed with us fully. Cassie said he was born talking instead of crying.

 

in the fold
in the fold

 

Grier has brought so much love to a family that just ten months ago lost a member. He is a healer. As true a blessing as ever there was. I look forward to watching him grow up. I’ll keep my camera at the ready.

august 5, 2015

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“Bless everyone and spread love, we never know when our time is up.” ~ Erin Chandler

 

peace and then some
peace and then some

 

I’m not the only rental sister in the Yelton/Bick/Barnes clan. Stacy Jansen (peace sign) and Corinne Connor (flowery blouse) have been Kelly Yelton Barnes’ BFFs for decades. In fact, Kelly’s son, Connor, is named after Corrine. These two color photos: the facial expressions crack me up. When it wasn’t Stacy making me laugh, it was Corinne. If nursing doesn’t work out for them they could always give comedy a go. And, yes, they’re both nurses.

 

midwest deligation
midwest delegation

 

Corinne and Stacy drove to Milford, OH from Chicago and St. Louis respectively for Cassie’s shower last Sunday. They love this family as much as I do. They bent over backwards to help when Taylor, Kelly’s daughter, got married last year (could be two years now, I’ve lost track of time). I had so much fun with them at that wedding. Likewise, I had a great time at Cassie’s shower thanks in no small part to Stacy and Corinne. They made me laugh out loud. There’s never a dull moment when they’re around.

 

Stacy
Stacy

 

Nurse Stacy has two beautiful grown children who are as smart and fun and kind as their mama. And you won’t find a more accepting human being or bigger champion for animal rescue than Nurse Corinne (except maybe Robin Dalton, who, now that I think about it, should meet Corinne because they’d be instant friends). Stacy and Corinne kept their eyes on me Sunday, feeding me red velvet cupcakes and checking on my progress with a funky camera meter problem. So, you see, I actually have five rental sisters. It’s the Yelton/Bick/Barnes/Connor/Jansen/Terry clan. I love them each and every one.

 

Corinne
Corinne
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