august 11, 2018

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“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” ~ Marla Gibbs 

 

grandma & granddog

 

I’ve been looking forward to today’s Dachshund races at The Red Mile. I’d never been to the Red Mile grandstand or watched harness racing. Plus, Dachshund races! How could you not want to see that, especially when your BFF entered her dog! 

 

the fam

 

Crystal had been training her little bitty doxie, Mayzie, for the race over the past week. The enthusiasm grew, and so did the party. Crystal’s parents, her aunt Jeanette, grandma Lucy, and cousin Speedy drove down from Ohio for the event. Annie, Jen and Abby Bartlett, Stacy, and I were all in attendance, too. Then we ran into Tamara Bayer and her friend Hope. Mayzie’s entire fan club was on hand. 

 

heat three wasn’t to be

 

Mayzie was placed in heat three of four. The top winner from each would compete in the fifth race for the trophy: a bronze statuette of, wait for it, a dachshund. Did I mention there was a horse race between each doxie race? Bonus! It was shaping up to be the perfect evening of fun. Then the storm clouds gathered, the lightening struck, the skies opened up, and the track became a river. We waited nearly an hour for it to let up, but one by one we filed out of the clubhouse and into our cars as the rain continued. The event was postponed until August 23. That’s a Thursday and the Ohio contingent will not be able to make a repeat appearance. I’m determined to double the fan base to make up for their absence because I’m certain Mayzie is going to earn her mama that cute little bronze prize. Gosh, I sure love the Heis family. Rain or not, it was great to hug their collective necks. Some of the finest people I’ve ever known.

february 23, 2017

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“This week: Stop stressing over shitty people.” ~ Unknown

 

out of focus

 

The lunch ladies had special treats today. Mama Heis (Elaine) was in town and wanted to have lunch with the lunch ladies. She drove by campus to pick up Crystal, Marie and I, and we met Stacy at Ramsey’s. We enjoyed a few laughs, lots of hugs, good talks, and we all walked out without having pie in solidarity with my diet. I love my lunch ladies, and we all love Mama Heis. A good time – and full bellies – was had by all.

 

a gaggle of gals

october 7, 2016

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“Respect yourself enough to say ‘I deserve peace,’ and walk away from people or things that prevent you from attaining it.” ~ Jerico Silvers

 

party of four (snapseed)
party of four (snapseed)

 

Mama Heis (Crystal’s mom, Elaine) came to town and she joined the lunch ladies for a dining extravaganza at Ramsey’s. It was a gorgeous fall day in Kentucky, and with these three gals, life just doesn’t get much better. I hope you’re Friday was equally as special.

may 18, 2016

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“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

 

out of Africa
out of Siberia

 

Since I’ve been on the topic of iris’ lately, Elaine Heis asked at our Cinco de Mayo dinner how my Siberian Iris’ were doing. She gave me the first of the near-blue beauties not long after I bought my house. I’ve split the original a few times now. They bloom later than the more traditional horse farm iris, keeping a hint of royal hue in the yard for several months of spring. One of my favorite things about owning a house is sharing plants with friends and neighbors. It has brought me great joy.

 

tres beauties
tres beauties

may 5, 2016

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“As adults we try to relax from the never-ending quest for reason and order by drinking a little whiskey or smoking whatever works for us, but the wisdom isn’t in the whiskey or the smoke. The wisdom is in the moments when the madness slips away and we remember the basics.” ~ Willie Nelson

 

Olé!
Olé!

 

BFF Crystal Heis’ parents, Elaine and Steve, came down from Ohio and invited Stacy Yelton and I to Crystal and Ken’s for Cinco de Mayo fajitas and margaritas. I took the wrong lens with me. Pretend it’s a fish-eye lens. Anyway, we had a wonderful time. Stacy threw some of the funniest zingers yet. She had us howling with laughter. That’s just the way Cinco de Mayo is supposed to go. And it’s Steve’s first appearance in the outhouse – Bonus! I am so fortunate to have such good, honest, funny people in my life.

 

cheers
cheers

august 15, 2015

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“Remember that your natural state is joy.” ~ Wayne Dyer

 

we all scream for ice cream
we all scream for ice cream

 

I met Annie Bassoni at the Woodland Art Fair today. I had so much fun, and ran into so many people I love. It really did my heart good to hug all their necks. My favorite photo of the day, however, has got to be this little girl asking Bangaly Savané for ice cream. Or maybe she was just staring because he’s a totally beautiful human being inside and out.

 

new friends
new friends

 

I was crossing the street to meet Annie when I very nearly ran into Lori-Lyn Hurley, one of my all-time favorite people ever. She is such a light to the world, and just a joy to be around. She walked with us to Elaine Heis’ booth by the Christian Church where they met for the first time. Annie wanted to take our picture, and well, we had a good time with it (below). I love these women so much even though it’s obvious it’s time for me to drop some weight. I don’t care. I love the pictures anyway. Thank you, Annie, for taking the camera away from me and letting me be with my peeps.

 

funny gals
funny gals

 

The next people I ran into was Bangaly and Mamadou Savané. They had the brilliant idea of an ice cream booth at the fair. Sav’s Chill serves homemade gourmet ice cream, and what better for a hot summer afternoon than Bourbon Chocolate ice cream from these two sweet men? Not much, except talking to them, too. I’m so proud of them.

 

Sav's latest project
Sav’s latest project

 

And then there was all the other favorite people I saw and hugged (apologizes to Deirdre Scaggs for not having the good sense to whip out the camera to photograph her with the awesome door wreath she’d just bought). I spotted Elaine’s daughter, Crystal, from a ways off. Mr. Boyfriend, aka Ken Trainor, saw me but played along. The surprise shot wasn’t worth posting, but their shot together was cute. And surprise, there stood Marlon Hurst. More hugs, and what a sweet, happy smile he gave me. I was honored to meet his girlfriend, Cathy, too.

 

sweet peeps
sweet peeps

 

There were three exhibitors I intended to see at the fair. The last to be found was David and Rebecca Campbell. We always joke about my stealth photo ways. I manage to catch them unaware, the results of which are not always their best looks. They’ve become pretty attuned to my sneaky ways as a result, but I caught them anyway (above). And I thought I was going to have to resort to a telephoto lens – guess not!

 

Deb and Kale
Deb and Kale

 

Finally, we found Deb Chenault at her booth, Twelfth House Designs. Like Annie before her, Crystal grabbed my camera and popped a shot of me with my peeps. Annie did not want to be in the picture, as you can plainly see, but she was very quick to show her disapproval of kale. I can’t say I blame her. I can’t acquire a taste for it myself.  It was a great day. I loved seeing so many of my favorite people. I’ve included many photos in today’s post because I started my day having coffee over the phone with Angie Bliss Fanning. She wanted to see the festival. I wish she’d been here to go with us, so I hope the photos help bring her a little closer to The Bluegrass for a while.

 

self portrait
self portrait

february 23, 2015

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“Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.” ~ Prayer attributed to St. Francis

 

gift
gift (instagram)

 

Finally, a day back in the office after a week away for snow. Crystal Heis came bearing gifts. She passed on a toy bought especially for Wally by her mom, Elaine. How sweet is that? This after Aunt Crystal gifted him about a half dozen squeaky thrills when he first came home in December. Do you think he will be spoiled? I think most certainly he will. Me and The Wallster are sure blessed to know these wonderful Heis women. By the way, as with 99.5% of outhouse posts, it is coincidence that today’s quote is from the Patron Saint of Animals, St. Francis of Assisi. The same that it is coincidence I chose a photo of Wally today. This is, of course, if you believe in coincidence. I generally do not.

august 16, 2014

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“A brilliant young poet asked me once, ‘But how am I supposed to keep living with a broken heart?’ I laughed, not meaning to be cruel in any way, but answered, ‘How do any of us do it, son? If our hearts are open, they’re going to be broken. That’s the beauty of it… We cherish what is and go on.'”
~ Mary Carroll-Hackett

 

new friends
new friends

 

Elaine Heis is a glass artist. Here, you may know her better as my friend and Crystal Heis’ mom. Today, for the first time, she bravely showed her wares in a booth across the street from the Woodland Arts Fair. I met up with Annie Bassoni at Elaine’s booth. Unbeknownst to me, the two had never met. They recognized each other from pictures on facebook and here in the outhouse. By the time I showed up they were old friends, as you can see. One of the things I adore about both women is the ease with which they open their hearts. They remind me to stay open, and to ask the universe for goodness so that goodness will find me. There’s nothing but goodness every time I’m with these women, and it warms my heart that they’ve become friends. Goodness draws goodness.

 

art love
art love

 

There was more goodness to be had in my day. I ran into Rebecca and David Campbell at their booth at the main fair. And who should be shopping with them but long-time co-worker Tari Keller (bottom right). “Don’t believe a word she tells you,” I whispered to Tari from behind. Then, I snapped a picture of Rebecca and me just to make her laugh. Soon, David appeared with a great big hug, and off we went down the rabbit hole of photo-talk (he’s an awesome photographer). It was a delightful afternoon filled with fellowship, food, music (Louisville’s Bridge 19 was really good), and awesome art, although I was bummed to miss Deb Chenault, but she was too busy with her fans. (Ah, the life of a rock star!) The weather was perfect. The dogs, and babies, and whatever that white rat-looking thing was that one girl had, were all well behaved. I couldn’t have asked for a much better day. If you’re in Lexington tomorrow, go. I promise you’ll enjoy yourself!

january 24, 2014

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Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~ Francis of Assisi

big eyed mama and baby
big eyed mama and baby

Mama Heis was in town. We went for pizza at Mellow Mushroom because Winchell’s can be too loud. Mellow Mushroom makes Winchell’s sound like a funeral home. I don’t think we heard more than two words from each other. Apart from that, we all had a great time, and really, who wouldn’t have a good time with this bunch of gals? We even took Ruth Bryan along to meet Mama Heis. She got a big hug just like the rest of us. It was cute. That Elaine “Mama” Heis sure is a keeper. She’s got enough love for everybody. What a great example she sets for her friends.

kosmic karma waiting
kosmic karma waiting

march 15, 2013

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‎”When you know how to listen, everybody is the Guru.” ~ Ram Dass

survival of the fittest
survival of the fittest

This is my dear, dear friend Elaine “Mama Heis” Heis. We’ve become close over the last 2 years. She was a big reason for my starting the outhouse, and why I’m still doing it after that first year. 2012 was my year to take life by the horns and Elaine helped me do that. 2013 is Elaine’s year to do the same. She recently beat breast cancer. Even when she was in the thick of it, you’d have never known it. She was, and is, always upbeat, smiling, and oh-so-quick with a kind word and compassionate thought. I was blessed beyond measure to have dinner with her tonight on this, her first trip to Lexington since her treatments ended. Did I mention she also gave me one of the greatest gifts ever? Her daughter as my HRB (half right brain). She’s a chip off the old block, wouldn’t you say?

apple and the tree
apple and the tree