june 23, 2014

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“Positivity is contagious!” ~ Beth Burden

 

Lemurian light
Lemurian light

 

You might recall that recently Deb Chenault and I traveled to Camp Chesterfield, Indiana. In the bookstore there was a basket of lovely crystals. They were Lemurian seed crystals, so named for the ancient civilization said to inhabit the Earth millions of years ago. In the healing world, they’re used to aid one’s higher soul chakras, to facilitate spiritual deepening. I didn’t know that at the time. I just thought they were lovely and said to Deb on the way home that I regretted not buying one. Yesterday, she presented me with a Lemurian crystal she bought that day, but she had gone one step further and suspended it in delicate wire to be worn as a necklace. Gifts like this are worth more than all the gold in Fort Knox. It’s just beautiful, like my friend Deb’s giving heart. Color me blessed.

june 22, 2014

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“Believe in your dreams people. Step out of your comfort zone. Dare. Never lose hope.
Trust God’s timing and process. It is not easy, but it is so worth it.”
~ Elke Krueger

 

summer porch
summer porch

 

Stacy Yelton, Deb Chenault, and I met at Sandy Davis’ house in Versailles for an afternoon of laughter and pizza. The ever delightful Harriette Swart (top), whom I rarely get to see, was also there. I’ve been sharing my purple iris with friends, so I took a bag for Harriette. I told her the story of the iris, how I got them from my old landscaping boss, Joe Calhoun, who got them from a horse farm in one of the surrounding counties. Then they went to my parents’ in Appalachia for 15 +/- years before they came back to my house in Lexington. Now, seven years later, I’m thinning and sharing. The rhizomes are estimated to be 120 years old at this point. But all I really had to say was, “I got them from Joe Calhoun,” because once again Kentucky proves to be a small place. Harriette knows Joe and his partner, Jamie, and she has for years. Plus, she adores iris. It was one of those perfect moments. Combine her enthusiasm with a really sweet southern summer afternoon of cucumber water, Bassett hounds, and BFFs, and yours truly had a pretty perfect Sunday.

may 27, 2014

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“Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating.
Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”
~ Ram Dass

 

traveling companion
traveling companion

 

I’ve had the most interesting day. Deb Chenault and I traveled to Chesterfield, Indiana, home of Camp Chesterfield “A spiritual center of light”. I knew spiritualist camps became very popular in the Victorian era, but apart from that, I understood very little. Deb’s good friend, Normandi Ellis, has a home at Camp Chesterfield. She was sweet enough to explain spiritualism and allow me to pop off a few photos. I found the whole day fascinating, and the company could not have been kinder. Blessings abound. I want to go back.

 

established in 1886
established in 1886

may 17, 2014

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“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

Bluegrass in the Bluegrass
Bluegrass in the Bluegrass

 

Blackberry winter offered a wonderful day of gratitudes and fun. Happy 50th Anniversary to Uncle Greg and Aunt Virginia, and Francisco’s Farm arts festival in Midway was perfect. The crowd was small, the company fantastic, the art exceptional, and this young man gave me hope for the future of music. Then, California Chrome won the second leg of the Triple Crown by winning the Preakness Stakes. I call this a winning day.

 

style, by any means
style, by any means

 

laughter
laughter

 

 

march 8, 2014

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A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” ~ John Burroughs

looking forward
looking forward

After a wonderful brunch with my cousins, long overdue thanks to the brutal winter, I met up with Judy Sackett (mirror) and Annie Bassoni (left) for a twirl through Kentucky Crafted: The Market. Our first stop of course was Deb Chenault’s booth where she was being assisted by Sandy Davis, seen here showing off her new bourbon barrel stool. It was so good to see and talk with them. Even though it hasn’t been quite two months since we last met, it feels like six, which feels way too long. Judy and Annie gave me a wonderful afternoon, and they reminded me how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such compassionate, intelligent women. Good friends and art: the perfect day.

happiness friends
happiness friends

november 17, 2013

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You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now
.”
~ Joan Baez

smiles
smiles

The Happiness gals braved high winds for a much needed gathering at Jeanne Marie Hibberd’s in Berea. JM is not only one of the best cooks ever, but her home and hospitality are equally warm and comforting. There’s never a bad time with these women. The world’s problems float away, or get solved, and there’s laughter; always laughter. Even the cat gets in on the action. I wouldn’t take nothing for these times, or these friends.

all smiles
all smiles

september 26, 2013

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How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
~ George Washington Carver

moon and sun
moon and sun (instagram)

I saved my money to buy a beautiful piece of jewelry by my friend Deb Chenault. At Woodland Art Fair in August it caught my eye. I knew it would be perfect for my presentation at the Library of Congress a few weeks later. After all that excitement, I got on the plane without it. I was so bummed. This morning I’d had enough of the beautiful artwork staying at home, so around my neck it went. There’s just something about a fine piece of artwork on your body that makes you feel extra fantastic. Part of that might be all the good energy artists like Deb put into making it. Thanks for the goodness, Deb. It got a lot of compliments and I felt like a million bucks.

august 31, 2013

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Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person
or event to control your emotions.” ~ Unknown

lines
lines

For many years most of my best friends have lived far away. I’ve missed all that food and hilarity and talking over one another I used to experience. Over the last couple of years, however, there is a group of us gals that have melded into something that’s equal parts support group, art group, laugh group, and sisterhood of the middle aged cool chicks. I wouldn’t trade these women for anything. Every time we meet is enriching. The conversation is never the same. The jokes are never the same. The need is never the same. If my life went to hell in a hand basket they’d lift me up. Being in their presence is like going to the filling station. The fuel is love.

we see you
we see you

july 28, 2013

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Living well is not wishing or hoping, or even fondly remembering.
Living well is living well now.” ~ Ralph Marston

happy reflections
happy reflections

My Happiness Project gals were overdue a meeting, so we had lunch at Ramsey’s. For all of us it seems there are many wonderful happenings wrapped in difficult circumstance. Big life changes in one way or another: things that are both scary and exciting and somehow more intense at this age. It’s a very interesting time. These beautiful women, I feed from their bottomless wells – their keen minds, creative spirits, compassionate souls – today and every day they inspire me. I hope I’m able to repay them in kind. I’ve grown far more fond of each of them than I ever expected. It’s an honor to be at their table. [L-R: Stacy Yelton, Sandy Davis, Annie Bassoni, Deb Chenault]

january 19, 2013

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Beauty is alive in every moment, riding the breath of life to remind you of the flower that is your heart.” ~ Aine Belton

protectors
protectors

Stacy Yelton, Sandy Davis, and myself paid a visit to Deb Chenault at her stunning home in Berea. It was a glorious day, beginning to end. We ate delicious food, had deep, thoughtful talks, and shared art ideas with laughs aplenty. There was a chance to venture outside and behold the beauty of the day. The sky was pristine and the air crisp as the sunshine cast long shadows across the close valley. I came away with a few beautiful shots, but the one above may be my favorite (for now anyway). A hillside full of tall trees reaching upward to the heavens took my breath. Every Saturday should be this enriching.

get your happiness on
get your happiness on
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