Friday, December 31, 2004


"Tell the world which photo is your very best from 2004.  It can be one already published on your site, and it's perfectly alright if it's one you've already submitted to Photo Friday in a previous Challenge."

I was blown away when I saw this sunrise in October.  Everytime I see the picture it takes me back to that breathtaking morning!


Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Time once again to look back on another year winding down.  I look over the resolutions I wrote last December and it makes me laugh.  I think it would be better to make a list of things I dream about doing. Compile a wish list of outrageous wild and crazy stuff. I think I will enjoy that rather than an overly optimistic old list that makes me feel guilty in time.

On the other hand, a multitude of wonderful things occurred in 2004.  I got married to my sweetie of close to seven years (of getting to know each other).  My daughter moved away and began a life as a responsible adult.  (I never thought that was going to happen!)   My Mom had successful open heart surgery and is better than ever, fit as a fiddle. I realized one of my BIG dreams to go to Ireland.  It happened and could happen again.

I reconnected with a first cousin in LA.  I found a friend whom I worked with some 20 years ago, still living where she had always lived.  I have spoken on the phone to my very first childhood friend, who lived down the street until the day we shot off to college.   2004 was definitely about realizing how important friends and family are to me.

2004 was a stellar year.  So, what outrageous things would I like to do in 2005?  I'm toying with career change.  Just rolling it around in my head, getting a feel for it.

2005 is going to be very interesting.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Very Merry Christmas

KITTY AND ZORRO Dublin, Ireland MAY 2004

Sitting here this morning reading journal entries I realized I had not posted a MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE shout out!  How unthoughtful of me!

Actually, this has been the most screwed up Christmas ever due to the weather in the Cincinnati area where Zorro is stuck. He missed his families celebration Christmas Eve.  I went with his three children.  We spent most the evening realizing the life of the party was missing!

Bridget and her boyfriend Scott came over and received their gift  (B's father and I went in together and got them a Dell computer!!!!).  Then left to have Christmas eve with his family.

Christmas Day I woke up, packed up and headed North.  It is true! Love leaps over any barriers! 

I hauled his butt home this morning and he is sleeping on the couch right now. We go to my Mom's in about an hour for the celebration for my side of the family. 

I think I try and play it off, that I am so tough and so together that I can handle him being anyway for extended periods.  I am feeling so at peace right now, with him asleep on the sofa with the remote control clutched in his fist.  It is a wonderful Christmas with him home.

Kitty, my Aunt we visited in Ireland, sent a Christmas card...she is expecting us girls (me and my two sisters) this early spring!  Can you imagine!  A trip with three of "us"! 


Thursday, December 23, 2004



All day yesterday the alarm was out, winter storm coming! I was disappointed as it seemed the storm was passing us by. When my alarm went off at 430 am, I was greeted with the sound of ice pellets hitting the back of the house. I quickly found out they were bombarding all sides, including the roof! A thick sheet of ice encapsulated everything. As the weak sun appeared and cast down muted was a winter fairy land. So naturally, I called in took a personal day.

I grabbed my camera, bundled up and hit the sidewalks. I began my journey walking down Broadway. As I reached Main Street I realized that I was on a very familiar path. One that I took most mornings on my way to grammar school because I always missed the bus. The sidewalk led me to downtown, passing in front of the churches that line the street. First, the abandoned Catholic church (now a catering facility) followed by the large houses that sit back atop a hill with expansive front yards ending with the spectacular rock walls. In my graceful youth, I balanced myself from one worn round rock top to the next precarious rock. The Episcopalian Church, the Baptist church, the Presbyterian church and then you were in the center of town.

I took pictures of everything that I fancied. The empty lot where Hobbs once stood, the site of my first attempt at being a criminal...shoplifting.  Now a hole in the ground that will be the expansion of the library.  The library was at one time confined to the top floor of the adjacent building. The smell of moldy books all bound in that rich earthy maroon tone are my childhood memories of The Logan Helm Library. My Mom took charge of the archaic excuse for a library and changed it for all time. The new Court House built on the site of the old Court House that burnt to the ground in the early 1960's. The Corner Drug Store still there, on the corner, changed  though eerily remains much the same.

Through the scary park, behind the Methodist Church behind the town center, where I was not allowed to play because of bums living down there. Where did those so called "bums" go?

I ended up at the cemetery. For one brief moment the sun shone through a small break in the granite gray sky. The above picture is the result. Much more dramatic in person than I could ever convey with Photoshop

Sunday, December 19, 2004



I started off calling this Pandora's Box. Then I realized it was not that, but a magic box full of pictures from my High School years and early college. Each picture transforms the box into a music box, the sweet melody of the memories gently nudging my day dreams.

I saw C.F. this past week. There is no other like her. There never will be a replacement for her, the space she holds in my heart. She is the closest thing I ever had to a sister after my two blood sisters. Circumstance, alcohol, bad marriage, guilt and trauma, maybe post trauma stress syndrome accompanied with death, mental illness, denial, and loosing everything has transformed my best friend into someone I do not know. I will never have C.F. back the way she was before life and alcohol beat her down and rearranged her.

The woman was wearing a camel color car coat length jacket tightly belted at the waist. Around her neck was a long knitted scarf dramatically wrapped, the ends flying like wings on either side of her. Her legs appeared skinny under the long tailored pants, balanced on spiky high heeled shoes. On her head was a jauntily angled cap. Her hands were encased in leather gloves. Extended out for balance as she confidently jay walked across Short Street. A cigarette dangled between the fingers.

I never saw her face, but I know it was her. No one crosses a street with such astyle as she. No matter the amount of alcohol and regret that ravages her, she can still stop traffic.

Friday, December 17, 2004


NANA circa 1914

Sometime last year my Aunt surprised me with a letter from a cousin named Hugh. I was rather shocked that I had cousins I knew nothing about. It was then I realized there was a lot about my Dad's side of the family of which I knew very little. In particular, the multitudes of relatives I have in England, Ireland, and God knows where else.

Hugh and I have been sporadically emailing each other ever since then. Anyone who has ever pried the lid off a Pandora box will understand how overwhelming it can be. Yet thrilling.

My Grandmother was a beautiful woman. I found her listed on a manifest in 1913 coming to the United States through Ellis Island. She was to join her husband, who I will call R.P., who was already living in NYC.

It is a tale of woe. R.P. was an alcoholic who abandoned his family leaving Nana  to raise three children alone. Gerald, who is pictured above, died at an early age. Nana cried and grieved for Gerald to her dying day. Nana's family helped, opening the family house in NYC for Nana to stay and have a home for her three surviving children. When her mother died, the family home was overtaken by the oldest (unmarried) brother and Nana was literally put on the street.

Bad Blood was born.  They were never mentioned before I saw the letter from Hugh looking for us! That is why finding all these cousins is such a shock.

I'm writing about this because I am excited. Today I have been contacted by yet another she puts it LONG LOST COUSIN 16,000 TIMES REMOVED. She is English and living in Alabama!

Ain't Life Grand?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I have just popped my second hydrocodone of the afternoon because my latest outbreak of shingles is hurting like a mother! I have it in a most uncomfortable area! (Someday I may write about my first outbreak.) Last night I felt the tingling of the beginning, "Gads, that smarts ........oh freaking nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!" The only good thing is the supply of hydrocodone, which I do not need after the first 24 hours but save for those special times when I desperately need them. Such as giving to Zorro so he will fly! Bad pun, I mean to enable him to get on a plane.

So I may be a little loopy.

I'm home alone while my sweetie is up North working. I have my Irish music on the stereo, Lunasa, at full blast. I have spent all afternoon reading the greatest book, POSTCARDS by E. Annie Proulx. I have been practically unable to put it down since I started reading it the other day. Fantastic literature. Best of all, I am on the computer to my hearts content without someone shouting at me from the living room, "What are you doing in there? Blogging AGAIN!!!!!!!" So I should be in heaven, right?

I am so over the thrill of being able to do anything I want. I miss my sweetheart and I am melancholy...especially  so being so pumped full of hydrocodone. Some of the worst parts are looking for my "lost" stuff and having no one to immediately blame. Having no one to wrestle over the remote control...(why is it that men feel they should be in charge of the remote)? No one to come home to and cook dinner for.

Thinking I lived for the weekends before....?

I had no idea.

Friday, December 10, 2004




The colors are straight from the Caribbean. Pinks, yellows, soft sea blues. Two trees, possible paper mache, dominate the dining area. Reaching to the ceiling with white branches and trunk, as if winter is year round in Lynn's. Hanging from the trees are small miniature disco ball ornaments. The walls above the windows kicking out into the room are the bottom half of mannequins covered in psychedelic color 60's style pants and kooky socks. The tables in the center of the room are a hodge podge of mismatched Formica style art deco treasures found at yard sales, flea markets and Grandma's. The legs made of curved aluminum, are art in themselves. Against the wall, under the windows & dancing legs are bright booths upholstered in red vinyl. On the window sills are handfuls of mixed up Trivial Pursuit cards from the various versions for your challenge. Also a puzzle is available, one that is hand made and requires exquisite dexterity to maneuver the tiny silver ball across and over each bridge to the "win"spot. And the best of all, an army of small dinosaurs to play with and arrange.... ready to devour your meal once it arrives at the table.

Table lamps are everywhere. The type with ceramic bottoms painted with large cabbage roses, and fringed lamp shades. Everywhere you look is a magical and visual delight.

It is a treat to dine at Lynn's Paradise Cafe. I usually try to get in on those days where there is a 45 minute wait. Sometimes I'll just accept it, order a bloody Mary and wait. I was introduced to Lynn's after running my first 10K. It seemed to be the happening place afterwards as the room was filled runners wearing the T-shirts of the first leg of the Triple Crown.

I fell in love.

It was a treat to introduce Bridget and her sweetheart S. to Lynn's today.

They loved it too. (they love when I come to Louisville because we all eat well!)


Tuesday, December 7, 2004



It is time for my entry in Photo Friday. REFLECTIONS. I have waited the appropriate three to five days  pondering how to do it! Quite frankly, all the people who participate are very accomplished with a camera.  I like to sneak mine in after the rush.

It rained all day yesterday and half of today. Finally, the sun broke out and I jubliantly went to downtown Lexington to shoot one of the tall building with the coolest gold glass! The wind was horrific! I was almost blown down. My purse caught a tremendous updraft and nearly flew away with all my stuff.

I found a very quiet and uninhabited Friendship Garden. I walked around and took numerous pictures, wondering if what I was seeing would translate to the computer. It did. The above picture is the result.

Happily, I made my way home only to become very caught up in a Clark Howard topic discussion. It seems that it is being argued before the Supreme Court the right to purchase wine and have it mailed over state lines. You can only imagine my interest, as there is this lovely winery just over the Georgia border that has the most divine Plum Wine. (throw back to my BoonesFarm drinking days.) I was hanging on his every word and suddenly I noticed the police lights coming up fast behind me! Damn it all!!!!!!!! Caught speeding.  He was very nice, since I learned my lesson the last time and did not tell him that I do it all the time .........and I ended up with a warning.

When I arrived home I had waiting for me a letter (A REAL LETTER!!) from my cousin in LA!

Now if only I would win the lottery.

Monday, December 6, 2004


Our first weekend in Newport! So much to do, so much to see, so many places to go! On the trip last weekend I noticed that a "Luminous Lighting & Holiday Walk" was to take place at the Newport Levee. I thought it would be a nice event to attend and take my step daughter B. while Zorro worked. We studied the local event tabloid which promised the following. "The annual City of Newport Santa parade......."

When the time approached, we bundled up and headed towards the Levee. Small white bags lined the street, weighed down with sand and anchored with white candles. We wandered all around, sneaking into the candy shop and buying a bag of carmels and chocolate covered jellies (yuck! I hate them from the box but oh I love them fresh!) and sharing a secret together from Zorro who refers to us as "Chunky Monkeys".

The candles were lit and we shared a good chuckle as one of the bags erupted into flames and burned brightly for several moments. We walked up and down the street.....confused. Where were the crowds that usually accompany a parade? Certainly we were in the right spot! The candles blazing were a dead give away.

We took a seat right on a wall in front of the Levee and waited. And waited. And waited. B. Stood up and squinted into the street that sloped upward before landing infront of us. "I see police cars!" she excitedly exclaimed! And in a few moments, so did I. They roared down the main drag and stopped the traffic in front of us. The parade must be coming!

Wait....What is that? A horse drawn carriage. Clip clop clip clop clip clop. It turned infront of us, the driver wearing a Santa hat and sitting in the seat behind him.....not even waving at the handful of people .......... its SANTA!

We followed him to the bottom of the steps where he twice said thank-you to the driver and then proceeded to give out a few candy canes to the children who were struck dumb by the climatic arrival.

B. and I hurriedly ran back to the street thinking there must be a parade following.........nothing. We hesitantly returned to Santa and waited for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Everybody, all together now. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! Hurray!!!! Oops...Nothing. Then about ten seconds later..The tree lit up!

B. turns to me and in all her nine year old innocence says, "This is the lamest thing I have ever seen."

Ho ho ho.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004



Photo Friday challenge is PROSPERITY. I had a bit of difficulty coming up with subject matter. Prosperity means something entirely different to me depending on the context. If you are talking about prosperity in general, I immediately think of all the farm land that is being bulldozed so that larger and larger homes can be built. Ironically, they are then sold to people who love to say they live in horse country.

Today I went to buy a Christmas tree. I realized that I had found my little bit of prosperity on a tree lot. The trees were so beautifully tall and robustly full ...... with hefty price tags. Years ago when I was a single Mom with little money, Bridget and I would wait until a day or two before Christmas Eve to go buy a tree. They were so picked over by that time it was a miracle to find a nice tree. Yet we managed to do just that every year.

I know I can purchase a tree today without having to look at the price tag. I can buy it weeks before Christmas if I want. I walked among the richly scented trees and took pictures.

I decided to wait to buy the tree. I could not find the special one! I did not feel the magic just yet.

( totally playing around in Photoshop!)