january 3, 2019

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“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose.” ~ Bob Goff

 

still brook

 

I had such a restful break last week that I’m having trouble getting up before dawn again. For those who don’t know, I’m so not a morning person. I never have been and I never will be. I’m just not made that way. I’ve always been at my best in the late, late evenings, but the only time I can stay up that late is during the Christmas break. Otherwise, I’m so tired that I’m no good any time. That’s neither here nor there except to say my lack of sleep means I’ve already finished a novel this year and it’s only January 3. This morning, bleary eyed coffee in hand, I was thinking about how important reading is to me. Plus, I love it so much. So, I decided to write down the books I’d finished in 2018. I say finished because I’ll bounce between three or four books at once until I finish all of them, or until I fall in love with one that I can’t put down until it’s done. Knowing that I am currently reading as many titles as listed here, the books I actually finished in 2018 were (in no particular order):

    • All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
    • Southernmost – Silas House
    • Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders
    • Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
    • Melmoth – Sarah Perry
    • From Here to Eternity – Caitlyn Doughty
    • Just Us Kids – Patti Smith
    • Country Dark – Chris Offutt
    • Birds of Opulence – Crystal Wilkinson
    • Night Garden – Carrie Mullins
    • Stardust – Neil Gaiman
    • Dodger – Terry Pratchett
    • Above The Waterfall – Ron Rash
    • One Foot In Eden – Ron Rash

     

    I’m disappointed in how few books are on this list, though I am hardly surprised. If you’re as busy as I was in the fall, watch too much TV as I do, and are generally a slow reader as I am, you’re not going to finish a lot of books, especially if you read four at a time (I don’t recommend it). Part of my goal in 2019 is less TV, less extracurricular work, and fewer posts. That should help make time for more reading. One of the reasons reading is important to me is because good writers read a lot. I’m a slow reader and an even slower writer, so it’s already an uphill battle for me. Add a billion other distractions and things churn like molasses. But what I really want from reading is to absorb the goodness of language; the poetry of a single sentence; the essence of thought; so that maybe one day I create my own beautiful sentence that inspires and provokes others. As far as this list, every one of the books was awesome in one way or another (or I wouldn’t have finished it) so I’ll just say this; All The Light We Cannot See is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, the characters from Birds of Opulence and Country Dark will stay with me forever, and Sarah Perry is an unexpected extraordinary storyteller. I’m looking forward to more characters and great stories in 2019.

december 18, 2017

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“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” ~ Anne Lamott

 

Russell Cave

 

The first time I lived in Lexington, way back in 1984, I lived on the north side of town in an apartment off Russell Cave Road. I never gave the road’s name much thought. In fact, I didn’t give it any. One day, when Sharon was here in September, I picked her up from Maggie’s office at Mt. Brilliant. It’s a sprawling picturesque thoroughbred farm bordered on one side by Russell Cave Road. Maggie gave us a brief tour of the farm, which includes Russell Cave and the spring that emanates from it. The cave is gorgeous and nature has cleverly disguised its enormity. It must have been an extraordinary place when Kentucky was still wilderness. It’s pretty spectacular now, and fitting that it’s part of a farm named Brilliant. 

 

downstream

july 10, 2017

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“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon…
must inevitably come to pass!” ~ Paul J. Meyer

 

water dog

 

Bree and Eric’s corner of paradise is bordered by two creeks. We followed Wally down to one creek bed; the one that has produced gold. Real gold, not fool’s gold. In fact, Wally discovered a few folks out panning for it. I was fascinated by the whole idea. When one thinks of gold, one does not generally think Southern Ohio. I’m telling you, it was one of the best days ever!

 

confluence

october 3, 2016

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“Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

 

from here
from here

 

The following is the original post made on October 3, 2016: the outhouse has another clog, so I’ve put up the ‘out of service’ sign and I’m over here using the Port-O-Potty aka tumblr – Thank God for good ‘ol tumblr! This isn’t the first time the outhouse has backed up thanks to a crappy – ha ha – theme that breaks the site every time they push an update. In any case, I’m not sweating it. I’ve been wanting to update the site for a while, so as soon as I can make some time in my life (soon I hope), I’m going to migrate to give the ‘ol gal a facelift (with a stable theme this time).

 

water's level
water’s level

 

In the meantime, here are two shots from dad’s Birthday. We pulled down Warix boat ramp off highway 801. I often see the sunset from this direction on my way back to Lexington. We were a bit early for a sunset on Saturday, but the cloud cover made a nice image just the same. And the little boat dock was just cute as can be. I’m blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty.

november 30, 2015

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“Your attitude really does have an effect on how things work out. When you can’t change your life any other way, you can still change your attitude. When you do, your life changes.” ~ Bernie Siegel

 

dreary
dreary

 

Some of the trees high in the Pisgah Forest of North Carolina are weighed down in lichen and moss. It’s a moss that looks like the short, green cousin of Spanish Moss in the Southern states of the U.S. It’s easy to see in the fall when the leaves are off and the rain heavy clouds drape the mountain tops in mist. I tried to take a walk this morning to get a closer look, but those rain heavy clouds unloaded on me, and my excursion was short lived. I’ll say this though, if I ever have the chance to have a home in the mountains, I may never be heard from again. Beauty and peace beyond words in these high places.

 

water only flows this way once
water only flows this way once

june 18, 2015

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“The Axial Age, from about 800 to 200 years B.C. where you had Socrates, Plato and the birth of three religions: Judaism, Confucianism and Hinduism…there is one sentence they all have exactly in common and that is ‘treat others as you want to be treated.'”
~ Bob Sadler

 

sweet nectar from heaven (snapseed)
sweet nectar from heaven (snapseed)

 

In April we thought we’d drown. Area lakes were at record capacity. Fields grew untenable with stagnating water. Then May came, and with it came the dry spell. It sure is nice to get the summer rains like the one we had today. I barely made my escape from Six Flags Over Euclid, aka Kroger, before the clouds burst open with water. I didn’t care, though. If I’d been in the middle of the parking lot with my arms full of groceries I would have still been happy. It’s summer. It’s hot and humid. It’s supposed to rain. What’s not to be happy about? The lightning bugs appear quite pleased as well.

 

rooftop parking (snapseed)
rooftop parking (snapseed)

february 16, 2014

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Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” ~ Unknown

beside the tunnel
beside the tunnel

More shots of Cave Run Lake from Valentine’s Day: the water’s emerald color glowing under the ice in the shallows here where the tunnel used to be. The road they carved over the hill to replace the tunnel now provides a perch from whence to view the rising and ebbing waters. From the sign to the water is probably 300-350 yards. At that level, water would have flooded the tunnel nearly floor to ceiling. Although the tunnel was long gone by 2011, I don’t remember it being entirely impassable, though I’m sure it must have been at some point. I miss the tunnel. What a beautiful place it was to make memories, but what a glorious day this was to make more.

high water mark
high water mark
straight to the tunnel
straight to the tunnel

 

march 9, 2013

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With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” ~ William Shakespeare

spring fed
spring fed

The rolling fields of the Bluegrass dip and curve until their waters collect into small streams, growing bigger at each confluence. En route to the Kentucky River, they carve deep hollows with wide, shallow movement. Craig’s Creek in Woodford County is one such place. The centuries-old rock wall, camouflaged in deep green moss, appears for just a few feet before the lichen swallows it whole again. It stands as a reminder of a bygone era, when Craig’s Creek was one of the most traveled paths in Kentucky. My little Happiness Project gals met at Sandy Davis’ house in “the holler” on Craig’s Creek. Annie Bassoni and I wasted no time exploring the gentle waterfalls. They don’t call this God’s Country for nothing. It was a special day.

doing what it takes
what it takes

january 24, 2013

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Stop making yourself afraid and nervous and anxious with your own thoughts.
~ Unknown

color of winter (instagram)
color of winter (instagram)

Photographer friend, John Snell, commented recently that color is hard to find in winter. He’s right, of course. Then, he posted his beautiful photo of a leaf encased in ice. Leaves, whether they’re green just off the tree or piled into a brown heap, are gorgeous, delicately shaped beauties.

march 23, 2012

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‎”What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.” ~ Steve

 

beauty in the rain (snapseed)

This pond: It’s in the middle of campus, a busy street just beyond the foliage, bustling students 20 feet away. Yet, there is peace at its edge. Water soothes me. It comforts me. It washes away any negativity that’s attached itself to me. It cleanses my mind and renews my energy. I will build a meditation pond in my yard. Maybe a duck friend will call it home.