“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.” ~ Unknown
I pulled up to the house and saw a package sitting on my porch. I hadn’t ordered anything. I looked at the label but didn’t recognize the sender. I took it inside, looking at it over and over to be sure it was my name and my address. I hadn’t ordered anything. I opened it and knew immediately who sent it. Santa Stacy nailed this year’s Christmas gift and it’s only October. And look at the gorgeous gold vinyl of this two-disc set! I invited her down for a listen after supper. This recording is so disgusting beautiful that I now need new speakers because I can hear their flaws. Jason Isbell is one of the most gifted songwriters America has ever produced. This live recording shows off the incredible tightness of his band, and the feel of the Mother Church, The Ryman, is deep in the grooves of every single song. I feel like I won the lottery. Thank you, Santa!
“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
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.
“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.”
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.
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ~ Audrey Hepburn
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.
“Be who you want to be. Be who God has created you to be.” ~ Tayvis “Tayvho” Akpan
In all the birthdayness and busy of this week I’ve not had time to even look at what I shot in Augusta last weekend. That is, until this evening. There are some okay shots, but the photo above of Pam Bick photographing the sunset stood out to me. The river is peaceful. Pam is peaceful. The sky, the sunset, beautiful. Beautiful like Pam. She’s a special person to so many. I don’t think her sisters could love her any more than they do. They adore her. And I’m very lucky she adopted me. What an honor.
“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” ~ Jillian Michaels
Ya’ll first met Leeza Gordon way back in January of 2017. She was in town this past weekend and I couldn’t let that happen without a visit, even if it was a quick one. As you can see, we made the most of our time together. Leeza can make me snort unlike anybody I know. After we did our impromptu photo booth, seen above, I snorted so hard I’m pretty sure I swallowed my tonsils. I haven’t belly laughed like that in years. But it isn’t just Leeza’s funny bone that makes her awesome. She also does massage, accutonics, and cupping. Let me tell you, I’d never had cupping before, but I will happily endorse it’s miraculous properties. I’d woken with my usual Saturday headache, and spent all day with it. Nothing could make it stop. Then Leeza said, “Let me try something.” She put three cups that looked like breast pumps on my back, sucked my hide up into them with some sucking gun thing, and instantly my headache was gone. I’ve never experienced relief like that, and I’ve felt great ever since. As if Leeza wasn’t already my shero, she has my undying love forever more. Ya’ll go find someone that does cupping. It’ll cure what ails you (mostly).
“Start doing something good. It could be just cleaning out your old closet, or calling your Mom and give her a pep talk. Just anything you can do that is outside of yourself. It will make you feel a bit better.” ~ Yoko Ono
Stacy’s helping Big Boy get a leg up after Frisch’s on Harrodsburg Road got a major facelift. Tonight was their grand re-opening, so naturally, we stopped in to help celebrate because we love our local Frisch’s, and who doesn’t love Big Boy, the mascot or the sandwich? I like what they’ve done with the place and they’ve got a mostly new wait-staff as well. We had great food, great conversation, and a great celebration of a restaurant Mamaw would have eaten at. Today was her birthday. Celebrate your people with more of your people and a Big Boy.
Ann Bassoni may be the queen of practical jokes. Yesterday, we’re driving home from the Distillery District when she says, “Hey, Catherine and Susan live right here. Let’s stop.” Naturally, we all say okay. Then Annie says, “Okay, listen. We knock on the door and ask if they have any fresh baked goods. If they say no, we just leave. Don’t say anything. Just get back in the car.” Naturally, we all say okay. We go to the door and knock. A totally disheveled Susan answers. It was obvious that she’d been trying to enjoy a Sunday afternoon nap. “Do you have any fresh baked goods?” Annie asks with a straight face. Bleary-eyed Susan replies, “Uh… no,” and the four of us immediately turn around and head back to the car…except Stacy. She took maybe four steps before I heard, from behind me because, you know, I’m headed to the car with Crystal and Annie, “Wait, are we really gonna leave her?” Well, yea, we were. That was the point. Stacy’s reaction was as funny as Susan’s. So we go inside for a few minutes, and before we left, we tried a self timer picture since none of us had had showers and four of us had been in the scorching heat for hours. Yes, we were all looking our very best. Perfect time for a photo. My friends love me, but they do occasionally give me no small amount of grief over the photos I choose to post of them. Of all the pictures I could post from our drive-by visit yesterday, I chose this one because I owe my friends a little something in return for not killing me over their photos. I think it’s my best side. <snort>
“As always, the message is the same: make today count.” ~ Vicki Caroline Cheatwood
I spent 90% of Saturday working, either on work work or chores around the house. This morning, after coffee, I clipped Wally (a really good job I might add) and resigned myself to another day of work. Then I got a text from Annie Bassoni. She had a plan that included ice cream. She picked me up, we drove to Stacy’s and picked her up, then drove to Crystal’s and picked her up. Off we went to Crank and Boom in the Distillery District. It’s a favorite for three of us, and Stacy had never been. Now, she has!
Our day ended up being far longer than just an ice cream social. We enjoyed our ice cream, as you can see, but we laughed and perambulated about the district until we wandered in to Goodfella’s Pizza where we were treated once again to deliciousness and laughter and conversation like balm for the soul. We even had a hysterically funny sidetrack to Catherine and Susan’s on the way home (a post for another day). When I did finally get home I thanked God and the Universe for this day and these women who made me stop working and laugh. They are keepers.