july 12, 2019

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“We meet no ordinary people in our lives. If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.” ~ Unknown

 

the dude abides (snapseed)

 

The last two weeks have been especially tense around these parts for obvious reasons so I decided some self care was in order. I did what I do every year at this time and made my way to the Berea Craft Fair with Stacy Yelton, stopping for a delicious high-caloric breakfast along the way. This time, however, I got a great big surprise when I arrived. You know how I like to stalk Rebecca and David Campbell with my camera, sneaking up on them and snapping when they least expect it. My childhood BFF Ron Gevedon turned the tables on me. While I thought I was being clever snapping Becs and Dave, Ronnie was snapping me! He absolutely made my day. I have loved this man since we were children, and I admire so much his undying devotion to art, the making and appreciation of the craft, his own and that of others. He’s the real deal. 

 

old friends (snapseed)

 

West Liberty contingent (snapseed)

 

miss sweetness (snapseed)

 

Ronnie told me straight away that he’d run into another friend of mine earlier. A woman with a jewelry booth. I knew immediately it was Deb Cheanult. Stacy and I made our way to her booth, and upon seeing me she said, “Hey, there was a guy here that…” “Ron Gevedon!” I exclaimed. One of my all-time favorite things is when friends meet friends. One day, when we all have more time together, Ron and Deb will be BFFs, too. And that day is not too far off. Ronnie and I compared our countdowns to retirement today. I’m beyond proud and grateful that he and I have walked this journey together.

 

honorary Morgan Countian (snapseed)

june 1, 2019

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“Be a safe, trustworthy person. Love others by listening well. Weep with those who weep. Light up their life with your face of love.” ~ Br. Luke Ditewig, Society of Saint John the Evangelist

 

eyes

 

Aren’t these cool? It’s an antique European street sign signaling the optometrist’s office. Deb found it when she was in Amsterdam, bought it for a song, and managed to fly it back to the states intact. Now they watch you wherever you go in her house. That Deb is pretty crafty with her home security.

may 26, 2019

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“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

 

best friend and protector

 

Stacy needed to install some gear for Deb, so I tagged along to see her new house. It’s absolutely fabulous. In fact, it’s spectacular. I also got to see her beloved Banjo, best friend and protector, and her 16 year old cat, Sophie who met us at the door and welcomed us in. Banjo, well, he’s just a ball of utter delight. No wonder Deb loves him so much, and he obviously loves her, too. I’m like Banjo: I love and adore Deb. A good time was had by all, including the pets.

 

queen of the house

 

a girl and her pets

may 4, 2019

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“The best part about life? Every morning you have a new opportunity to become a happier version of yourself.” ~ Unknown

 

win
place
show

 

What a strange Kentucky Derby we had today. Another dreary first Saturday in May – though last year’s 3.5″ of rain was worse – and for the first time in 145 years the winner was disqualified. We were so stunned that no one spoke for a while. Up to that point, however, much laughter ensued. John, Bryan, and Stacy – all radio personalities – make me howl with laughter. Each on his/her own is hilariously funny, but put all three in a room, and it’s better than the best comedy show going. I love these people so much. 

march 30, 2019

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“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ~ David Steindl-Rast

 

vacant stare

 

This was a real interesting day in case you couldn’t tell from the photo alone. Lots of love. Lots of laughs. Lots of photos. Some spit, a bottomed out ride, and loads of mistletoe in the trees. It was all good. All of it.

march 16, 2019

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“Never trust someone who isn’t kind to animals.” ~ Unknown

 

KY Market

 

1. Annie Bassoni and sweet, sweet artist friend Katie Swartz from Mason, Ohio.
2. Artist and BFF Deb Chenault selling her wares as Annie and Jeanne Marie Hibberd (and my forehead) look on
3. The totally awesome maker of the coolest crows ever, artist Steve Heartsill
4. Longtime BFFs and artists David and Rebecca Miller Campbell were surprised that I didn’t have the large camera. I like to keep them guessing!
5. The Morgan County Corner of Kentucky Market was more than well represented with photographer Dean Hill next door to David and Rebecca. They make Morgan County proud.
6. Mary Barber, whom I had not seen in easily 40+ years, recognized my name as Annie yelled “Kopana, I’m going to the restroom.” I grew up and went through school with Mary’s youngest sisters, and graduated with the baby of the Barber Clan, Cynthia. It was absolutely wonderful to catch up with her.
7. Yours truly entered these photos in the KY Arts Council’s Veterans traveling exhibit. This is the second time I’ve had work in an exhibit that ended up at The Market. #proud
8. Annie and an adorable cup made by Katie. It was a gorgeous day in the Bluegrass, a perfect day to see beautiful art and wonderful friends. I call this day a win.

february 15, 2019

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“One way to pray in a fear-filled world is to choose love over anxiety.” ~ Henri Nouwen

 

galentine

 

Sometimes, I feel totally out of the loop when it comes to modern-day pop culture. Thank goodness for friends like Deb Chenault to keep me from being perpetually dense. Before Deb and I went to the Hall of Fame induction the other night, she gave me a sweet little heart box of Russell Stover chocolates and a handmade Galentine’s Day card with a handmade brass bookmark. (she made the card and the bookmark, naturally) She said,”Happy Galentine’s Day,” and I just thought that was so clever of her. Deb is very clever and super thoughtful. Then she explained that it really was Galentine’s Day. Okay, so it wasn’t her clever idea, but she’s still clever as far as I’m concerned. By night’s end I see all the women Happy Galentine’s Daying all the other women across facebooklandia. I thought, “Oh, this is a really sweet way for gals to appreciate one another through Valentine’s Day.” Valentine’s Day rolls up a couple of hours later and I run into Crystal Heis at work. “Happy Galentine’s Day,” I say, to which she immediately and matter-of-factly replies, “That was yesterday. It’s always February 13th.” Seriously? Somehow feeling the sentiment of Galentine’s Day was just squashed like a ladybug underfoot. Crystal explained, as heard on NPR earlier that morning, that Galentine’s Day comes from an episode of Parks and Recreation. Amy Pohler’s character on the show set Feb 13 as a day for ladies to celebrate ladies; female friendships. Unbeknownst to me, obviously, the idea took off for real after that episode aired. Any excuse for a holiday I guess, and hey, I’m on board with this one. We gals can’t celebrate friendships enough. Thank you, Deb, for helping me navigate American Capitalism more splendidly and for being my Galentine. And here I thought I’d been watching too much TV. 

december 22, 2018

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“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell

 

the hostess
a guest
another guest
yet another guest

 

When the winter Solstice arrives, the best possible event is a gathering of women who love me and love one another. You’d be hard pressed to find a hostess better suited for such a gathering than Jeanne Marie Hibbard. Many years ago her kindness opened the door and we all – Stacy Yelton, Annie Bassoni, Deb Chenault and I – walked through. There’s not been a single moment of regret. Our friendships have become a support system I didn’t know I needed. These women make me laugh, they enlighten me, they push me (in a good way), and they delight me.

june 9, 2018

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“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters of our lives won’t have a title until much later.” ~ Unknown

 

we love corn

 

You might recall that I had to cancel my Derby party this year, but I promised we’d get together in the summer. Stacy suggested we gather for the Belmont Stakes, which ran today. That turned out to be a brilliant idea as Justify won the Triple Crown. He ran a flawless, stunning race and we erupted in screams of joy as he crossed the finish line. We then retreated to the backyard where our salt water soaked grilled corn (John’s recipe) had cooled to perfection. We also took a few moments for the funny group pic. The only problem today was being reminded that I only see John once a year, and that’s just not enough. I adore him. I love all these people so much. Every time we’re together we laugh and talk and eat very well. What more could I want? They fill me with joy.

 

we really, really love corn

june 7, 2018

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“The life in front of you is way more important than the life behind you.” ~ Unknown

 

holding space

 

Some of the Happiness troupe met at Brier Books for Silas House’s reading of his latest novel, Southernmost. There were so many people that the event was moved outside. Because a few of us have issues with direct sun for long(ish) periods, we opted out of the reading, and instead went to dinner where we proceeded to spend two glorious hours clucking like the hens we are. The food was good, too. Annie was on a mission to photograph Silas with Limbourghini while we were still at the bookstore. Sadly, it was not to be. Way too many people demanding his time. Plan B was to photoshop him into the photo. But really, now that I think about it, I think they were holding a space for me. If I had a picture of myself standing up I would have photoshopped myself in. Since I don’t, you’ll just have to imagine that I did, and that’s almost as funny. Like so many times before, I had the best time with these women. We always have great talks and lots of laughter. They get me. Balm for my soul.

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