In our part of Kentucky, an autumn harvest task is "hickory nut hunting". But most of us here in the country pronounce that as "Hicker nut huntin'".

Hickory nuts are small nuts that are plentiful here most years. The taste is the greatest - but the nuts are so small and it is so difficult to remove the fruits that I don't know of any commercial operation that even bothers with selling shelled hickory nuts.

Some people here in Central Kentucky gather hickory nuts to use in cakes and pies. But for me, those little shelled delicacies never made it that far...the only way I've ever had hickory nuts is just eating them fresh out of the shell. Crack them and eat them! I remember sitting on our back porch when we were kids...we all had big rocks in hand and we were all just sitting there cracking open those hickory nuts and eating them as we went. So good! 

If you want some hicker nuts, you have to know where to find them. This past Sunday afternoon, my husband knew just where to Cloyd Brady's farm... 


 Stephen is asking Cloyd permission to hunt hickory nuts on his farm. Cloyd's telling him which trees have the best nuts.     

 Thanks, Cloyd! 

 Cloyd poses for me next to his nice white pickup truck before we go pick up nuts. 

 Above is the tree where I picked up hickory nuts that day. You can't really tell from looking at it that there are treats all over the ground, below. It was a shaggy barked tree...

Below are pictures of nuts as found on the ground under the tree. They were just everywhere! We left so many behind, even after picking up 4 gallon buckets full! The nuts are whitish, and they come out of those hulls you see there. I'm surprised all the squirrels left so many for us!

If you've never tasted Hickory Nuts, you really must put that on your bucket list. They are the greatest.  





You just never know what you might discover among your Facebook friends' photos.

I am departing from my usual posting of my own photos and making an exception for this one...because I found a photo this week from long ago that simply took my breath away!

Charlotte Fenwick posted this photo of her sister, Monica Hayden, on Face Book, and mentioned that the little girl dressed in her first communion finery and standing next to the open coffin in the graveyard (so very unusual) was Sis Clayton - Chuck Clayton's wife.

That's when all oxygen left the room for me.


"Sis" (Agnes) Clayton is my great aunt. She died just a few years ago. Many people all over Kentucky have examples of her art work, a passion she discovered rather late in her life.

Sis' daughter tells me that Aunt Sis spoke several times through the years of her sad First Communion experience. Her "partner" in First Communion died unexpectedly, so Sis had to go through all the First Communion events and ceremonies alone -- and she felt very alone, indeed. I imagine the unexpected death of her classmate and friend was devastating to many in the community.

Aunt Sis' daughter remembers her mother telling her that her friend was buried in her first communion gown. But her mother never mentioned that she'd been at graveside at her friend's open coffin!

Most likely, Aunt Sis never knew that this moment in her life was captured on film. Think about how unlikely that would be...unlike today's digital world, back then film and development was an expensive luxury for most people in this vicinity of Kentucky. And for a photographer to risk a shot like this (most people would not approve then of photography at a funeral) and actually come out with a half way successful image was really something. Sis' daughter expressed a wish that her mother would have been able to see this picture before she died. I wish the same thing. I am sure this image would have brought everything back to Aunt Sis of that day, and she could tell us all about it. But that wasn't to be.

After a little research and collaboration I've learned that Monica Hayden died on May 18, 1926, at the tender age of seven. She fell ill the week of her first communion; it was advised that she be treated with some sort of laxative - not a good idea. Little Monica died in a Louisville hospital after her appendix ruptured.


The photo itself prompts more questions than answers. What was Sis about to do that prompted the adults around her to put their hands on her shoulders as if to hold her back from some action?

Was she about to put some sort of trinket in the casket with her friend?

Was she trying to reach out and touch her?

Was she standing there so long with hands folded in prayer that the adults had to finally lead her away so they could get on with the burial?

I guess we'll never know for sure.

To me, this is a priceless image. Even without the family ties, an early funeral photo like this one from our part of Kentucky is a very rare find, indeed. Bonus for all the first communion finery going on. That may be a first in the poignancy of passing department.

Just an accidental find on Facebook.

Thank you, Charlotte.







In the spirit of Central Kentucky's favorite fall festival, I offer you this photo of my grandson, Cooper, enjoying his very first Ham Days.


Yep. It was all fun and games under the Ham Days breakfast tent for Liz and Cooper until THIS character showed up.


Maybe Cooper will enjoy "hammin' it up" more this year. I sure hope so!

Meanwhile, if you'd like to learn more about the greatest fall festival in Central Kentucky, check out the schedule of activities at:

Come on down and spend the weekend with us in beautiful downtown Lebanon, Kentucky!




DAY 249: LEFT BEHIND: Lebanon Medical Solutions

It was the best of times.

It was the worst of times.

It was a dark and stormy night.


Lebanon Medical Solutions arrived on the scene in Lebanon Trade Center with not the least bit of fanfare.

Kind of sad, really.

There was no traditional "ribbon cuttin' thang" by the Chamber of Commerce.

There were no known photo ops between the principals and Lebanon's most well-connected.

No politicians stood to announce their coming nor claim credit for same.

Tourism didn't even have the usual email blitz touting out this business that - from all published accounts - brought a lot of visitors to our town from far away places. Medical tourism is a godsend for some locales, but not even our hungry tourism department seemed anxious to publicize nor welcome this newest business to the Marion County area.

I am betting nobody even sent them a potted plant to care for. : (  (wopwopwahhhhhh).

But I guess they might have been just fine with no local publicity.

One thing that raised a few eyebrows in the community about this business is that they did not advertise locally. What?! No Enterprise ad? Nothing on the local radio?! Why, the nerve of them!!!

Lebanon Medical Solutions operated here and reportedly advertised from afar as a center for "complete pain management" for just a little while, and until Jim Higdon raised questions about it on his Marion County Line, the community at large seemed oblivious and none the wiser.


Once Jim broke the story, the local newspaper gave it front page coverage and fleshed the story out with additional research and details from ace reporter, Stephen Lega.

(google: Lebanon Enterprise)

I think they've about covered it all. Jim even counted down what they took with them...the office furniture...the corkboard and messages with the errant grammer...


Well. Before we put this to bed, let's take a look at what they DID leave behind, shall we?


Yes. Back behind Lebanon Medical Solutions was their personalized Lebanon Medical Solutions trash can. Beside it was a collection of cheap wood. In my mind, I am thinking those wood pieces may have once been a particleboard desk of some kind. It split into pieces when someone read Jim's blog or Stephen's article and - in a rage - pounded their fist down too hard on it. In my mind they would also have said, "D*mn IT!", really loud.

So anyway, since I was perusing the area and spied this personalized trash can I thought, "What the heck", as I am wont to do.

I opened the lid.

OH! What would I find sheltered under that trash can lid? What clues had the Lebanon Medical Solutions disposed of in their harried Labor Day weekend get-out-of-dodge meeting?

Well, here ya go.

They left a very small foot print. Move along -not much to see here. Plus, that garbage can looks like brand new. This might be the virgin garbage tossment from LMS. Yes, it very well might be. Kind of sad looking, really, despite the jauntiness of the red tie. And no evidence of remains of any welcoming potted plant, whatsoever.

Just as I was about to leave it at that, something stopped me. I couldn't resist my curiosity about how a business only a mere month or so old could leave such an environmentally small foot print in what appeared to be a virgin trash can. What in the world could they not eat, use or recycle?

My curiosity got the best of me, and I opened that bag! 

(It was really scary too, because of all those kids they say trade drugs in the parking lot! - Egad! What if they saw me lingering there? Plus, they must've been really mad about that Lebanon Medical Solutions drug competition if they were really drug dealers, right?) 


Oooo, ooooo Domino! And a peanut container...and...

Oh man?! They left a half container of coffee? With two scoops still in it?! That shows they left in a hurry, for sure! But wow. That other item I wasn't familiar with...I had to get a closer look at that...


Oh my goodness. There it is.


Right there.  That says it all.

I'd never heard of Fast Hide Ultra before. But then again, I'd never had reason to. And if I'd opened a business in Lebanon, I am sure someone would have sent me a potted plant. But Fast Hide Ultra? Hmmm.... Yep. That's really all we need to know.

Mmm hmmm.



Well. I put the lid back on the can and rode around the building to leave. But oh wow....look at this... it could have been a great "drive thru" window if Lebanon Medical Solutions had stayed longer. Too bad. Take a gander to the right of it - kind of looks like a really REALLY sad Herman Munster-type face, doesn't it?

 Goodbye, Lebanon Medical Solutions. Someone will be scraping your name off those windows real soon.


But...HELLO REHAB BUSINESS!!! You are just in time! I'm seeing your signs everywhere now and people are even handing out fliers for you at the area stores.

How about that?

I don't know a lot about choreography, but...

It's just crazy how riled up the whole community is now over that big pain clinic. But ain't we all just so darn lucky! That Rehab business showed up just in time!
















Some moments in life are too special for words.


This was one of mine.