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 8, 2018

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“May you be at peace.
May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your own true nature.
May you be healed.
May you be a source of healing for all beings.”
~ Unknown

 

the house of Clooney

 

Staying with the Clooney theme from yesterday, the Rental Sisters and I made our way to a wonderful riverfront house in Augusta, the former home of Rosemary Clooney. She is one of Kentucky’s finest exports. Until George came along she was the most famous of the Clooney Clan and rightfully so. Her voice was simply transcendent. Still is, actually. She lived in Beverly Hills of course, but she eventually returned to her home town of Augusta. As the adorable tour guide below told us, Rosemary called her brother Nick and asked for help in finding the right home to buy. This house was flagged for demolition when Rosemary swooped in and saved it. It’s so close to the river that it has flooded several times (you can see it in the last photo from Friday’s post), but they always do a good job putting it back together. Today, it’s owned by former Miss America, another Augusta native, Heather French Henry (also the wife of former Lt. Governor Steve Henry). The house is filled with memorabilia from Rosemary’s career – from the hit songs to the hit movies. Naturally, one room is devoted to White Christmas. One of the fans from the Sisters routine may have been a highlight for me. Bing and his baby blues in pseudo-drag waving that fan just tickles me every time. The tour starts in what used to be the dining room and it’s here that they display a really interesting Clooney family tree – an incredibly talented family – and some George memorabilia as well (note the football uniform behind Pam). It was a delightful tour and I was really pleased to see how nice they’ve kept it. Augusta sure has a lot to be proud of.

 

the best

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 25, 2018

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“We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart.” ~ Jack Kornfield

 

the latest couple

 

While the newlyweds were off being photographed by the professionals, a much shorter and younger couple was being photographed by everyone else. Remember I said Lucy loved everyone? She may have loved her cousin Jackson Bick a little more than the others during the wedding reception, Gigi notwithstanding. It was the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. She wrapped her little arms around him and they seemed to dance a slow waltz without music. “The look on his face is like he’s not sure if this is okay,” giggled Jackson’s proud dad, Brett. 

 

come with me

 

Everywhere Lucy went, she had hold of Jackson’s hand and took him along. Not too reluctantly, he followed. And when she stopped to get Gigi for a walk (last night’s opening photo), Jackson grabbed his Gigi, Pam, too. The four of them walking down the hallway was just about as beautiful a thing as I’d ever seen (photo below). Pictures couldn’t do it justice, mine certainly don’t. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful thing to see adults and children engaged in soul-level bonding, and it should not be overlooked that most of my favorite men also have/had important grandmothers in their lives. It’s not a girl thing. It’s a grandma thing. 

 

cute overload

 

I gotta say that photographing tiny people is hard when you’re not a tiny person yourself. They’re really tiny and I’m really not. But, boy, what fun!

 

let’s get our Gigis

may 24, 2018

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“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.” ~ Joyce Meyer

 

audience with the Princess

 

Lucy Barnes-Gilbert loves her grandmother Kelly “Gigi” something fierce. She loves everyone else, too, but she really, really loves Kelly and hardly leaves her side when they’re together. I think this bodes well for Lucy as an adult. Virtually every woman I know had a strong grandmother in her life. Someone who could dispense nothing but love with all the sugar and spice and everything nice a little girl can handle. Someone she loved like Lucy loves Kelly. It’s adorable. There will be more on Lucy in the coming days, but for now, just let the light of this little girl brighten your day and remind us all to not sit on the cactus.

 

madonna and child

 

little person

march 24, 2018

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“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d like to see you in better living conditions.” ~ Hafiz

 

gigi safety

 

This might be my favorite image from the wedding shower. Kelly’s granddaughter, Lucy, followed her every move. I stalked her most of the day with not much success. On the other hand, I got this. I think I won the day.

march 11, 2018

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“This is not your practice life.” ~ Unknown

 

Woman of the Year

 

Remember I said Connor and Corinne’s shower wasn’t ordinary? It was coordinated by Martha Barnes, that’s why. I’ve been to two or three (I’ve lost count) showers Martha has spearheaded, and let me tell you, the invitation might say “shower,” but really, they’re super awesome parties with incredible food, fun games, and Martha. She manages to think of everything down to the smallest detail. The food is always spectacular; the games hilarious. She’s attentive to every guest’s need with a smile and warm heart. **Clarification: I got a note from Martha thanking me for this post, but she said she only coordinated the games. The shower was hosted by Connor’s sister, Taylor Barnes-Gilbert. In highlighting Martha I certainly did not mean to diminish Taylor’s role because she’s equally as awesome (and slated for a future post). Hostess or not, I maintain everything I said about Martha because 1. it’s all true and 2. whom better to learn cool shower etiquette from than Martha? And now, I return you to the original post.** If you don’t believe me that Martha is all that, maybe you’ll believe Notre Dame Academy who, just last week, awarded Martha and her twin sister, Amy, the 2018 Women Making a Difference Award for their service to family and community. Martha is tirelessly active in her world, and we are the recipients of her efforts. I’m honored to know Martha, and I’m so proud of her.

 

four women making a difference

january 22, 2018

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“What’s past is past, nothing can change that. But the future can be different if we choose to make it so. We have to cultivate a vision of a happier, more peaceful future and make the effort now to bring it about.” ~ Dalai Lama

 

triple threat

 

I’m not even sure what to say about these three. They’re always a joy to be with of course. Every once in a while, they get these little silly notions, and the next thing you know, the camera comes out and shenanigans are caught. I’ll tell you the truth, the Yelton sisters have enriched my life beyond measure. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I’m sure glad I did.

october 28, 2017

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“Embrace the inner teacher and know you have something very valuable to offer everyone.” ~ David Bennett

 

sisters

 

The rental sisters and I traveled to Loretto and Maker’s Mark distillery to see the incredible Dale Chihuly outdoor exhibit. Adding to the special event was the opportunity to view the work in the dark. 

 

inside

 

In addition to the outdoor exhibit, Chihuly has a permanent piece leading to the gift shop. Pam is a huge, huge fan of Chihuly, so catching her in awe of his work was special. The whole evening was special. The artwork was exquisite, the company delightful. I couldn’t ask for a better day.

 

from the deck

october 21, 2017

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“One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm.” ~ Unknown

 

happy sympathy (snapseed)

 

I’d planned a photo of Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters for today’s post. They were scheduled to play Rupp Arena tonight. Unfortunately, they had a family emergency and cancelled the show. I’m really sorry something happened so bad that they had to cancel. It’s not an easy decision to cancel a show. It’s been a bad October for a lot of people. Earlier this week old friend Leon Briggs passed. He was loved by so many wonderful people in Oklahoma because he was really a one-of-a-kind guy. I’m thankful to have known him. Today, I got this beautiful sympathy card for Uncle Greg from rental sister Kelly Barnes. She knows plenty about grief with her father passing last October. (what is it about October?). I adore my rental sisters. They lift my spirits all the time. Whatever happened, I hope the Foo Fighters get lots of spirit lifting in the days ahead.

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