Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
After yesterday's sad post and my deep dive into into the history of country music earlier this week, I'm ready to switch things up.
I discovered a few weeks ago when I posted a Snow Patrol song that many of you are fans, which makes me think you have great taste and makes me wonder why they aren't more popular, but that is another story.
For all of you, like me, who love a little Snow Patrol, here is one of my favorites, "Just Say Yes." Hopefully it's just the thing to switch things up around here. How many times have you wished someone in your life (or even yourself) could just let go and say yes?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
He had a knack for remembering to do the little things that showed you how much he loved you. I love raspberries, so anytime I was going to be home he'd pick all the raspberries he could find in his garden and bring them straight to me (to the chagrin of the rest of my family who might have wanted some.) In his later years when he moved slower he sometimes spent the entire day before I arrived picking them just for me. He also made a point of always wearing a shirt, sweater or hat I had given him anytime I came home for a visit, in fact the 49ers hat he's wearing in these photos has to be the one I have him over a decade ago. He not only wore it when I was home, he took such great care of it that it still looks nearly new.
I stole the title of this post from one my sister wrote yesterday. For some reason when my niece was born we started calling him grandpa great instead of great grandpa. I don't remember who started or why, but it always felt exactly right. He loved his little M & T.
Last summer my grandpa was at my parent's house while I was there trying on a dress to get my mom's opinion. I thought he had dozed off, but as I walked past him to change back into my regular clothes he stopped me to tell me how beautiful I was and that I looked just like my grandma. As he had lost his sweetheart just months before it is probably the most lovely compliment anyone has every given me. I don't know that I've ever looked much like my grandma, but to him in that moment I was as beautiful as the woman he spent over 50 years loving.
I'm so grateful for my belief that he is once again reunited with my grandma. I hope today they are enjoying a good catch up and that he is celebrating the return of a strong body and mind. And I am eternally grateful that he was a part of my life.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I feel a bit as if my entire week's post so far have fit in with this week's prompt - you don't get much more traditional than the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry or country music. When I saw the prompt on Sunday, I immediately thought of the photos I captured at the Ryman of those little architectural details that made it unique.
The stained glass windows are a major feature of the Ryman and I love the way the builders took the shape of the windows and incorporated this traditional feature throughout the building. From the carvings in the pews to the iron work on the table sitting in the lobby.
Its been a week of very traditional country music on the blog, so I've decided to continue the theme and use today's post to mark the passing of one of country music's greatest songwriters, Hank Cochran. You may not know his name, but I promise you've heard his music. From Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces, " Eddy Arnold's "Make the World Go Away," to George Straight's "The Chair."
I remember my mom playing a version of "Make the World Go Away" when I was a very little girl (in fact it is one of my earliest musical memories.) I don't know that I can get much more traditional than this song and the Ryman.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Not only did we tour the Ryman while we were in Nashville, my friend scored us amazing tickets to the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night. The Opry has temporarily moved back to the Ryman due to the damage of its regular theatre due to the flooding in Nashville this spring.
I'll admit the audience did lean towards the gray-haired, but we all were in awe of the talent up on the stage, from the newcomers like Jaron and the Long Road to Love (I've blog about him here and here) to the old guard like Charlie Louvin and slightly more recent old guard, Ricky Skaggs. Charlie Louvin is currently battling pancreatic cancer, but you couldn't tell from his performance. He thanked his wife for coming and said it was the first time she'd accompanied him to a show in a long time. As he exited the stage he stopped to give her a hug and a kiss. I heard a few ahhs in the audience. Later that evening as we left, there he was, with his wife and son, standing just outside the auditorium visiting with the everyone as we left (and taking a smoke break.)
The show was incredible and is a must for anyone going to Nashville - even if you don't think you are a fan of this style of music. I've decided to leave you with a little Sam Bush, one of the performers that night. He is an amazing bluegrass musician, and since it isn't often that I get a chance to share bluegrass music here, I'm taking the opportunity as it comes (and as a bonus I'm throwing in a little Emmylou since I forgot to mention her yesterday in my list of heroes.)
Monday, July 19, 2010
As I mentioned Friday, I spent some time in Nashville recently and while I was there I toured the Ryman Auditorium, a.k.a. the Mother Church of Country Music. I'm not exaggerating when I say that visiting this building was a bit of a religious experience for me. I was raised on country music, and while, like many kids, I had a period where I rebelled against my parent's music for a time, I came to my senses. I turn to country music for its storytelling, its talented musicians and the way it connects me to my small town roots.
The Ryman was originally a church and is said to have some of the best acoustics in America (second only to the Mormon Tabernacle.) For 30 years the Ryman was the home of the Grand Ole Opry, a show I grew up watching with my parents and grandparents, and which is the world's longest running radio show.
In recent years the Opry moved to its own, larger location (but is currently back at the Ryman, more on that tomorrow.) After the move of the Opry the Ryman has continued to host some of the world's best musicians. The tour guide told us they have approximately 250 shows a year at the Ryman. I think I might go broke buying tickets if I lived closer.
The list of my heroes who have played from that stage would fill volumes. Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, June and Johnny Cash, George Straight, Keith Whitley, Trisha Yearwood, I could go on for days. The best part of the tour for me was the fact that they allow you to walk right up and stand there on that stage right in front of the microphone. To stand in that spot, where my heros have stood, literally produced cold chills.
There really is only one song to accompany this post, the classic, "Will the Circle be Unbroken." The problem was picking the version to share because there are millions of versions of this one. Check out YouTube for proof. In the end I went with a recent version performed at the Ryman by a some of my favorite pickers (Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Steve Wariner and Brad Paisley) these guys can PLAY.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I spent last weekend connecting with two of my best friends in Nashville, one who was visiting for a conference and one who lives there. My life means I spend most of my time away from friends and family so I truly cherish those opportunities to sit down and catch up. I've been blessed with amazing people in my life and I love spending any time I can with them.
I'm planning to post some of the photos of my adventure at the Ryman Auditorium next week, but today I had to share the photo I captured of my friend's twins. This adorable boy and girl are so fun to be around and are just the most beautiful babies. I can't think of people who are more connected than twins - so capturing them holding hands felt like the perfect picture for this week's assignment.
I've been listening to mellow music at work this week - hoping to keep calm as things get busier. Joshua Radin has been on the list, so I thought I'd share his beautiful "Everything'll Be Alright."
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Last week the oh-so-talented Tammy, of The Blogging Bradley's, selected my little blog for the Cherry on Top Award. Tammy is one of my favorite photographers, I eagerly await each new post to see what she's captured that day. Her mad skills with the camera inspire me to keep working, so it was incredible honor that she mentioned me - a huge thanks Tammy!
The rules of this decadent award are to:
- Thank the person who gave the award to you - done.
- Copy the award and put it on your blog - done
- List three things about you
- I have super fair skin that never tans, burns easily and freckles but never tans
- I grew up in a town my family lived in for generations, but since leaving home for college and moved nearly every two years - including a couple of stops abroad
- I'm a very proud auntie who is always looking for an excuse to get home to play with my niece and nephew
- Post a photo that you love
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
One last post from my trip to Cumberland Falls. I can't resist sharing some of the oddities I found while exploring. First up - spider webs that appear to be holding up the branches.
When I was a kid I was convinced a small mountain near our house was actual an entire dinosaur skeleton. I was sure the largest hill was the body, the smaller one which was connected with a ridge was his head and a small mound at the other side was the leg joint. With that kind of imagination I'm sure you can see why I thought the rock in the photo above looked like a snake's head.
Does anyone know what could cause this strange growth on a tree trunk?
And my favorite - this cool root that looks just like an old man's hand.
I'm feeling the need for a little more Marc Broussard in my world - his soulful, rootsy music makes me happy.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
After my hike I decided I needed to see something a bit different, so I got in the car and took the back roads to Sterns, KY a former mining town. The town has a cool old train that takes tourists into Big South Fork Park. I missed the train by a couple of hours, bummer, but still had fun checking out some of the remnants of this former company town.
I loved the old General Store, which was HUGE and is now used as a sort of Auction House. It was across the street from a place called Coal Miner's Jamboree with dances every Friday & Saturday and church services on Sunday. I was there Sunday and they were broadcasting the music outside as well as in, old time Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn. What surprised me is that they had bouncers outside - I get bouncers for the evening events - but it made me curious about the type of service that needed bouncers, if I hadn't been alone I would have gone in to check it out.
There was one spot where you could literally stand underneath the train tracks - would have been a cool way to see a train.
But my favorite was this wall with its "graffiti" made with a pencil. Tagging has reached Southeast KY.
I considered several great train songs for today's post - but in the end could pass up an opportunity to share a little Loretta Lynn. I thought about going old school, because I do love old school Loretta, but instead decided her more recent duet with Jack Black was just the thing. Could have to do with the fact that I'm feeling a little homesick for the Pacific Northwest after watching a certain movie last week.
I thought I was done with this post, but then I saw a link to Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down, the exact song the Coal Miner's Jamboree was broadcasting while I took my photos.
Monday, July 12, 2010
While at Cumberland Falls I decided to commune with nature and do a little hiking. I researched and found a 1.5 mile hike (3 miles round trip) to the smaller Eagle Falls. I didn't want anything too adventurous since I was hiking alone and haven't done any hiking recently and this trail seemed just the thing.
I had such a great time. It was so nice to have that time to just be in my own head and appreciate the beauty all around. My only regrets - not taking a telephoto lens with me, leaving my iPod in the car (you know me, music is a must) and most importantly not thinking to bring water.
It was so much fun I'm determined to find more opportunities for a little hiking. Do you have any favorite trails?
If I had remembered my iPod I might have listened to a little Ryan Bingham while I walked:
Friday, July 9, 2010
Long weekend? For me that equals an excuse to get away from the city.
I wasn't in the mood to go far - but I knew I wanted to get closer to nature.
Plan one - Red River Gorge died when there was a black bear sighting last week and they closed the park. Option 2, Cumberland Falls, was up. What a cool trip. I took several hundred photos - don't worry you don't have to look at all of them - but it will take a few posts to get through some of my favorites. I was a week lake for the moonbow (one of only two places on earth that experience regular moonbow sightings) but it was still a glorious sight.
I'm not feeling creative today so I'm going with the obvious song choice - Griffin House's "Waterfall."
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I'm guessing you've all eaten at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) at some point in your life. It's not a huge accomplishment, but I can now say that I've been two the first two stores. For those of you who don't know your KFC history, the first actually Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is South Salt Lake City. I've visited a time or two, but KFC actually got its start as Sander's Cafe in Corbin, KY. I stopped by this original store while I was in Corbin to see Cumberland Falls. It's a charming little cafe.
One of my favorite new groups of the last year is the Zac Brown Band, the title of their first single turned me off - I thought it was just another one of those songs where the list all the things about living in the south or a small town. But this one was a bit different - had a bit of soul. I started listening and have loved all of their singles, each a bit more than the last. I also have to admit I have a bit of a crush on Zac Brown - he's adorable with his beanie hats and beard. Plus I hear he's a great cook - what else does a girl need than a cute guy who makes awesome music and cooks.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I used the long weekend as an excuse to get away from the city and back to nature. I needed an unplugged weekend to de-stress and to prepare for a busy period coming up. On my way to my ultimate destination, Cumberland Falls, I stopped in Berea, KY. I'd read about Berea and the strong artist community they have built there. I'm glad I took the time to stop - such a charming little town.
This is Berea's Farmer's Market - isn't it picture perfect?
When I first started noticing barns with large colorful signs with no words, I thought maybe it was the stable's racing colors. But then I noticed the colors weren't always what you would call "sporting" colors, so I started asking questions. Turns out the squares have nothing to do with racing but are instead painted quilt squares. When the Shakers helped settle the area they brought the tradition of decorating barns with these colorful signs and it continues today.
When I packed I made sure to include road trip music, including my latest purchase the debut album from Jaron and the Long Road Home. I've posted the current single, "I Pray for You" before, so today here is my personal favorite from the collection, "That's Beautiful to Me."
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Last week the team I'm working with decided to "walk the park" so we could figure out how long it took to walk from one point to another. We picked a perfect day for it - sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s with a slight breeze. It felt amazing to get out of the office for a morning, to visit with everyone without computers in front of us and to laugh and enjoy a beautiful summer day.
The park is amazingly lovely this time of year.
I won Chely Wright's new CD, "Lifted off the Ground" a few weeks ago and it finally arrived, her song "Heavenly Days" is the perfect fit for our glorious day spent at the park. Pin It
Monday, July 5, 2010
I'm a day late, but couldn't pass up an opportunity to wish everyone here in the US a Happy 4th of July. I hope you were able to celebrate in a way that made you happy. While my escape to Southern KY wasn't quite as good as being in Aurora for a small town fourth, I'm happy to be an American and for the dedication and sacrifice made by all those who serve our country.
The prompt this week for Maegan's Sunday Creative was denim. I spent the weekend getting back to nature so there were plenty of opportunities to work on the assignment. My first attempt was a simple shot of me (in my favorite jeans) sitting on the shore of the Cumberland River. Notice the jade green toes.
I would have considered myself done, but later that same day I found myself exploring the Levi Jackson State Park. What says denim more than its most famous brand - Levi.
Today's song really takes me back. When I was young I slept at my grandma & grandpa's house every Friday night. They'd let me stay up late and watch shows my parents would have outlawed, and let me get up early and watch all the cartoons I wanted. Because even then I like to listen to music, my grandma bought me a little record player and a few records to keep at her house. To go along with my Strawberry Shortcake and Smurf records somehow a 45 with Conway Twitty's "Tight Fittin' Jeans" made it into my collection. I can't remember now which one of us loved it most, but my grandma used to put that record on and dance around the house me, we'd dance ourselves silly. What sweet memories - music does have the power to take me back.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Last week I participated in a Mixed CD swap - it was fun coming up with a conept and putting together music to go along with it. I used an old Carpenter's song for my theme "Rainy Days and Mondays" and then tried to mix it up with genres and classics versus newer songs. Now I'm patiently waiting to see why my swap partner came up with - I'm hoping to discover some great new music.
I thought I'd share my mix:
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I was tagged by Kate of Lazy Kate Creates to share some random facts - its an easy one, so here goes:
1. What is your staple meal (i.e. what do you cook when you can't be bothered to be adventurous.)
Since I usually can't be bothered my staple meals get eaten A LOT - during the summer it is usually yogurt and fruit. When I'm actually willing to turn on the stove it is typically an omlet.
2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Happy - that feels like a big enough goal.
3. What book are you reading at the moment? (if any)
I bought the new Janet Evanovich yesterday - a guaranteed laugh.
4. How do you relax?
Reading (books, magazines, blogs) and listening to music.
5. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Watching shows about cakes - Ace of Cakes, Cake Challenge and Cake Boss. I can't believe the time I can waste on these shows.
6. What time is bedtime and getting up time?
Between 11 and 12 at night and 6 in the morning. Which isn't working well since my body needs 8 hours.
7. How long do you spend reading blogs per day?
Too long - but I can't stop because I enjoy it so much.
Now I'm supposed to tag a few people - but instead I'm just going to throw it out there for anyone reading who is also looking for a quick post idea.
Because its been much to long between posts with an Avett Brothers song, here's their "Murder in the City"