november 26, 2016

posted in: art, drawing, photography | 0

“Never deny or waste an opportunity to be kind to others, even if some people have been unkind to you.
The two are not related.” ~ Unknown

 

Tom's outhouse (snapseed)
Tom’s outhouse (snapseed)

 

This is no ordinary outhouse. This is a Tom Whitaker outhouse; one of the finest Appalachian artists ever. And it’s not just any old Tom Whitaker outhouse print, but a gift from my old friend Tony Adkins. I’ve known Tony my whole life. He was my Uncle Ralph Paul’s best friend. He lives just down the road from mom and dad. He has really been a blessing to them, and to me, over the years. Little did I know he’d been following the outhouse until one day this appeared at my house, matted and framed (hence the reflection on the print). I’ve wanted a Tom Whitaker print for years, and suddenly there it was: an outhouse from Tony. I must be living right.

may 18, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Surround yourself with people who reflect what you want to be and how you want to feel.
Energies are contagious.” ~ Unknown

 

a selfie's selfie (snapseed)
a selfie’s selfie (snapseed)

 

Because sometimes a Monday just needs a little outhouse selfie. Cheers to a great week for us all!

january 20, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others. If you want love, give love. If you want honesty, give honesty. If you want respect, give respect. You get in return what you give.”
~ Unknown

 

outhouse in the outhouse (instagram)
outhouse in the outhouse (instagram)

 

Benita Clarke has followed the outhouse since it started. She was a big supporter then, and has continued to cheer me on three years later. Last Friday, I laughed out loud when I opened my mailbox to find a calendar full of outhouses from her. Now, to find a way to hang it in an office that takes a sledgehammer to hang a nail. I remain optimistic. Thank you, Benita, for your friendship and support.

january 15, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.”
~ C.S. Lewis

 

it really does last a month (instagram)
it really does last a month (instagram)

 

I’ve been fifty for a week when suddenly, boom, Gordon Hogg appeared in my office and gave me this incredible 1965 Kennedy half dollar. Last week he slipped a wonderful CD and card, replete with horoscope (it wouldn’t be my birthday without Gordon’s horoscope), into my work mailbox. That was more than enough, and like I said, it’s just not my birthday without Gordon’s horoscope. But this half dollar; what a thoughtful gift. It’s really special to me, like Gordon. He wasn’t out of my office ten minutes when BFF Crystal Heis came by with this birthday card that made me snort with laughter. She obviously remembers the story when, in my mid-thirties, I was carded for cigarettes. Come to think of it, that was the last time I was carded. It’s a story for another post, but knowing the story made the card a real scream. To top off my day, I came home to find this hysterically funny outhouse travel mug from rent-a-sister and rent-a-BIL, Kelly and Craig Barnes. 2014 was a hard year for those two, so for them to think of me was extra special. Truly, they are two of the finest people I have ever known, and I thought that before the killer travel mug! I feel so humbled and loved. I know that sounds sappy, but there’s just no other way to put it.

december 12, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

“I stand before you tonight to represent the people who do not count: The poor, the poets, and monks. As long as there are people who are trying to realize the divine in themselves, there shall be hope in the world.” ~ Thomas Merton

 

half sight (instagram)
half sight (instagram)

 

I got the best, and funniest, Christmas present in the mail today. BFF Angie Bliss Fanning saw a picture of this outhouse and knew I had to have it. She thought it would look awesome on my desk. Turns out it’s two feet tall – not exactly desk size, or what she had in mind. It has a function, too, though not what you’d expect. That’s where the second problem comes in. We don’t know what function it has. You see, the lid opens, but only half of it is on hinges, meaning only half of the lid actually opens. Inside the lid is a compartment with a dow rod that could maybe hold toilet paper, but the rod has a square board screwed into it so it can’t actually roll. Then, there’s a thin piece of white metal in the compartment that makes a ramp of sorts. I have no idea what that could be. There’s an opening from the compartment to the outside, as if something inside should be accessible from the outside….like toilet paper, except we’ve established that’s not possible. So, does anybody have a clue what this outhouse is supposed to do? I don’t care because it’s one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten. I will spend my evening laughing. I will wake up tomorrow laughing. I will laugh every time I see it, or even think about it. It is awesome, just like Angie. She insisted on a selfie with it, so that’s included below for continued hilarity. Did I mention it came with an Oklahoma spider, too? I can’t make this stuff up. My life is totally awesome in so many ways.

 

what am I?
what am I?

 

march 24, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending
.”
~ Maria Robinson

homecoming surprises
homecoming surprises

It’s a great day when I get a postcard so, I’m not sure what to call today. The first thing I read was a postcard from Brett, Lisa, and Jackson “Cincinnati Red” Bick, “I heard you liked postcards...” That just made my day, and it’s my first postcard from them: double bonus. A perfect handmade hat by my old friend Debra Bays, whom I haven’t seen in a month of Sundays, came springing from a yellow package. I put it on. I may never take it off. Its colors were custom made for me. My smile widened. The white envelope was heaviest. Inside I found two classic, colorful postcards both with outhouse themes, and two negatives, also of outhouses. Dan Kibler knows how to instantly put a smile on my face. Postcards and outhouses? He really outdid himself this time. I know it doesn’t look like I’m speechless, but I am. I’m overcome with gratitude. And my cheeks hurt from smiling!

warm and happy heart
warm and happy heart

january 9, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone.” ~ Buddhist Boot Camp

outhouse friends
outhouse friends

Think back to Christmas when mom got me an awesome little outhouse (on right). Last Saturday, I celebrated Christmas with my rent-a-sisters in Cincinnati. That’s when rent-a-sister and hubby, Kelly and Craig Barnes, gave me the totally awesome red outhouse birdhouse. Trouble is, I love it so much I won’t put it outside. I tried really hard not to squeal like a little girl when I opened it, I loved it so much. I love it almost as much as I love Kelly and Craig. They’re a blessing in stone for sure.

december 25, 2013

posted in: photography | 0

Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind;
Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.
~ Helen Steiner Rice

new house gift
new house gift

When we knew for sure that Aunt Janet would be getting her home replaced after the tornado, we said we had to spend Christmas in it. Last year the house was still a basic shell, but this year our tiny family gathered inside its warmth. We shared a delicious meal, exchanged thoughtful gifts, and played several rounds of Yatzee, which is what you play when there aren’t enough Rook players to be had. My mother wins the best gift award of the day (below). The family home place that sat on this spot for over 70 years had an outhouse that looked a lot like this one. There’s much to be thankful for this season. God bless us every one – and thank the lord we don’t have to use an outhouse in these temperatures! Merry Christmas.

the outhouse (instagram)
the outhouse (instagram)

december 6, 2013

posted in: photography | 0

A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.” ~ Charles Gordy

it's coming (instagram)
it’s coming (instagram)

Rain streaks the windows as creeks and rivers fill. This year’s snowmageddon is slated to land here tonight, but first comes the flooding and freezing rain. I suspect we’ll get mostly the former, a little of the latter, and none of the snow. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, their snowmageddon actually happened. It offered this perfect outhouse shot submitted by Angie Bliss Fanning of her grand-dog, Elvis the Great Dane in his Christmas green sweeter. The outhouse door was frozen shut, and Elvis was forced to go outside in the snow. Oh the humanity! This submission has teeth, for sure.

Elvis and the outhouse
Elvis and the outhouse

august 25, 2013

posted in: photography | 0

We either make ourselves strong, or we make ourselves miserable.
The amount of work is the same.
” ~ Carlos Castaneda

watcher
watcher

As the sun began to set I looked out to the porch and saw an enormous spider silhouetted against the blue and gold sky. He built himself a large web in which to dangle from the rafter. He looked perfectly content. I popped a few shots, but it was my sweet kitties in the door that captured my heart. They just love looking out the door.

osa in the outhouse
osa in the outhouse

For most of the weekend I’ve worked on my high school class website. I was scanning old photos, and came across this one. It’s not just any outhouse, but the outhouse at the old home place up Railroad Fork at Cannel City. It’s gone now, fallen to rubble like the house where my dad and his 14 siblings mostly grew up, but it was still standing in 1983 when Eugene Crase and I paid the holler a visit. I absolutely adore Eugene, and during high school we became like siblings ourselves. He was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.

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