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When it comes to photography, novice doesn’t begin to describe my knowledge or technique. In my rare moments of spare time, I have been doing tutorials and taking online free courses in order to learn some basics to up my Insta game. So when the opportunity arose to be involved in a styled shoot came my way, I was beyond excited! Not only would I get to be a part of a group of amazing artisans all working toward a common goal to be publicized (which we were VERY excited and honored to be a part of Artfully Wed’s publication), but it was an amazing opportunity for some high quality, beautifully professional photos of my work (keep scrolling for a look).
I highly recommend you getting involved with a styled shoot if the opportunity arises. Typically these are non-paid collaborations, but the payment you receive in seeing your work in print and getting your name out, is well worth your effort; not to mention getting some amazing photographs. The amazing photographs below (along with all the work from the rest of our amazing team you can read about if you follow the link above to Artfully Wed’s blog) was photographed by the amazingly talented, witty, kind, and beautiful soul’d Brandi Cutshall of Unbound Images.
And just like that, August has rolled into September. I am still not sure where August went. Our schools here started school on August 1st again (the premise being that the earlier start date allows for a full week off to enjoy the Fall break). In any case, it literally ATE the entire month. There are still so many things I had wanted to get accomplished this summer. A trip to the lake…(why is it that NONE of my friends own a boat?!?!?!), another long hike with the family, a picnic, and some painting of furniture that has been on my to-do list for too long to be novel.
However, with my ever-increasing dizzy- nausea- headaches from needing a surgery that we cannot find a surgeon to do in my particular circumstance, and a few other ailments that often times keep me from being as productive as I am used to being or want to be; a hubby dealing with his own issues with health, and work, the days that we could get busy, we don’t always get to be busy doing the things on our bucket lists, as it were.
So, today, we made a marked decision to go sauntering in our neighboring town of Abingdon, Va. It was a beautiful day, weather wise, and we needed to get out of the house, as the children have been at each other’s throats, quite literally, and I was feeling an itch to blog, and an itch to hone my photo taking. Yesterday was such a yucky day, both rainy and cold. Our only excursion was the dreaded grocery store visit. I have never understood it, but car riding provides some of the best talk time also. It was a good time for the hubby and I to discuss some important things, to make some plans, and to examine ourselves. That was a hefty obligation to place on a little car ride, but it really does provide the best respite in which to hash any emotional chow-chow, I have always felt. Am I the only one that does my best thinking and talking in the car?
Now, I am a BIG fan of Abingdon, Va. Blog-worthy? Check. Photogenic? Check. Plus, going there provides the best (albeit, bittersweet) trips down memory lane for me. My late mom and I used to go several times a month often times just to “Sunday drive”. It is such a beautiful town, with its old brick buildings, its old-fashioned feel, its antique feel. But my very favorite part of Abingdon has always been its brick sidewalks with moss, and the real shuttered windows. Often times, the windows are still the old, handmade ones with the beautiful wavy glass. I LOVE the historic part of downtown. Something about it speaks to my soul, whispering secrets from times long-past. You can read some of the history of Abingdon, Virginia here .
One of my favorite things about upcoming fall is Halloween. I just love a good ghost story. Especially one of local lore. One of the best ghost walks I have ever taken was the one in Abingdon. It was just a surreal experience walking the same bricks on which the people in the stories the docent was relaying to us travelled. You can get a good idea about it on this page.
So, without further ado, walk with us, friends…
The first building I will show you is my favorite, The Tavern. It opened its doors in 1779. It has had an interesting, storied past, as often times old buildings do. During the past two centuries, the Tavern has served as a tavern bank, bakery, general store, cabinet shop, barber shop, a private house, post office, antique shop, and, as it is now, a restaurant. It also served as a hospital for Confederate AND Union soldiers during the Civil War. Most importantly to those of us that do love a haint, it has a ghost attached to it.
Next on our little Abingdon tour was the Martha. The Martha Washington Inn is aptly named after our first president’s wife. It was built in 1832, and it too, has a storied past. Its history includes a women’s college, a private residence, and a Confederate hospital. You can read more about it’s history on this page.
The Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, Va
From The Martha, we travelled around the rest of downtown, taking random pictures. Following is a selection of the ones we took today. Enjoy!
Thank you for joining my family today on this little excursion. Its always good for the soul to wander. “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
― Anita Desai
All photos on this post belong to Lisa Jones, greylilyco. Please ask permission before using.
I am going to share some real-life drama stuff today here on the blog. As you know, I have two children, Grey and Lily. Normally, cherub faced angels that fulfill our lives as much as a Hallmark movie would portray. And then there are days like today. Days that leave me crying while hiding in the bathroom on the toilet days.
It started declining pretty much as soon as I opened my eyes. My son (who is almost 8 and is a highly-functioning autistic) is standing in front of me in tears crying because he got banned from his favorite online game for using a less-than-child-like word that he picked up at the end of the school year when another little boy shared it with everyone. My tactic with things like this is to down play it so as not to make it seem more interesting to him by making a big deal of things. Apparently, this is a word I should of dwelled on the fact that is a B.A.D. word. So, after dealing with the fallout of this (punishing him by taking away his computer privileges for two days), I get further bombarded with hearing him screaming in his room, “I HATE MOM!!” Ok. So, this adds insult to injury. I confess, I didn’t know how to handle it, much less what to say. This is something I hear other parents deal with, not us. In my naivety, I never thought it would EVER be something we would be facing, much less having to deal with. So, I cried. I stood there and cried. With “normal” kids, they see a parent doing this, they deal with the issue in the moment, and more often than not, kids get over things quickly. Not my son. Not in his little mind. He sees me cry (or any emotion, really), and it sets off a tail-spin of fits, stemming, and o.c.d. behaviors in him. Its almost more than I can bear on a good day, much less a day that was already hard.
He is such a high-functioning, that most everyone do not see what he is enduring trying his best to “fit-in” or be “on” as I call it. It drains him. I am still trying to determine if our putting him in public school was the right choice. On one hand, I knew he learned best from a small amount of peer pressure. But as he has just finished first grade, it is already becoming a little more than “a small amount” of peer pressure. Yes, most of the children treat him wonderfully, he rarely gets made fun of, but what is changing is the fact that he is aware of the difference and the patronizing. It seems an impossible choice most days. We just pray. Pray over him, pray for him, pray ahead of him, and behind him. And we try to go with the flow the best we can, and most days, we get through just fine. Then there are days like today that end in tears: mine, his, sissy’s, dads. Tears and feelings of failure and frustration. Did we do the right thing? Did we address it the best we could? Did he understand what we were saying? Should I have talked to him more than I did? Less? Days like this are ones that I truly wish came with a manual.
I have been wanting to delve into the world of holistic health for many years now. Something has always held me back…wasn’t the right time, too busy, children too young for me to divert my attention… you see where I am going with this. But I have decided that no time is like the present, so after much research and asking questions of companies that I respect and love, I have found the proper fit for my online continuing education.
I am excited to be applying to the American College of Healthcare Sciences. I am already a college graduate (in 2004, BS Criminology). I have been out of school many moons, and this is a little intimidating for me, but I am excited to get this journey on a roll. My interests lie in both herbalism and aromatherapy. I threw around the idea of obtaining two MS degrees, but after speaking to the advisor, I think the best fit for me right now is the certification in natural product manufacturing. I plan to make my little tinctures and salves at home, and sell in my etsy store. Ah, the old etsy store. That is another entire blog post on it’s own. Tell me friends, are you finding selling in an overly-saturated marketplace exhausting, intimidating, frustrating, time consuming? Is it just me?
I have busied myself trying and reaching out to other all natural companies whose products I love and appreciate, and use. I am excited to try a few new ones. I received one in the mail today, from Herbivore.
I hope to begin this journey this summer. My plan is to begin manufacturing all-natural (organic when possible) products and using my calligraphy for my labels, packaging. This opens a whole new world for greylily. We hope to help fill a niche in the market for educated holistic skincare. Wish me luck friends!
I am going back here, to how it all began for me. This is a little bit of my journey to how I arrived here, today, writing.
It has been hot here. East Tn. is not known for temperature fluctuation the way we have been experiencing it the past couple of years. I can only guess climate change. And our a/c unit picks the hottest day to caput on us. So, we (the children and I) decided to use the opportunity to get outside for fresh air & a scenery change.
It is so true that nature heals- the soul along with mind & body. We really enjoyed Spring’s beautiful abundance this weekend. There was so much beauty, I feel I must share it with you, friends.
There is so much folklore about the area in which we live. I adore history, and especially folklore, so I read up as much as possible. This island we visited is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the Native Americans that lived in this area who thought this island to be sacred. I am not certain of that as fact, but it sure adds to my love of this place. Is it not beautiful? I hope you all are keeping cool in the oncoming heat, and getting out into beautiful nature.