Monday, January 20, 2020

Milliron Monday: TREFA 1 20 2020

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

One of the Smith's cats, Trefa was a favorite. Traveling with the Smith's from Colorado to Ohio, Trefa was well-known for her antics! 
From Milliron, The Biography...


Pete worked at Kraxberger’s Diary vetting cattle. Trefa was a barn cat at the Dairy and Pete brought her home. One evening Pete was taking his usual bath and Trefa, now the family housecat walked by. Pete gently picked Trefa up and put her in the bathtub. Distressed, the cat jumped out, shaking her feet. Jody watched the entire incident in disbelief, she recalls.
“You are going to pay for that,” she told him.
    “Nah, she wouldn’t dare.”
    “Trefa sashayed out of the bathroom,” Jody continues, “and we went to bed. About three in the morning, I heard Pete cussing away! Pete jumped up and then started laughing. The cat that never urinated in the house jumped onto Pete’s shoulder and peed. Pete thought it was hilarious. He went to take another shower while I changed the bedding. Trefa ruled the house. I tried to introduce two kittens, but Trefa swiftly disemboweled them. Pete was out on large animal calls at the time. I rushed them to the Athens Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Bratton repaired them. I was able to find the kittens a new home.”

Enjoy the week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Milliron Monday: The Rocking Chair 1 13 2020

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

At the onset of writing Dr. Smith's biography, I wanted to connect with as many of Dr. Smith's family and clients as I could. With the help of the staff at (the former) Milliron Clinic, Jody, and Dr. Smith's family, I was able to create a list of people to interview. In the meantime, I began writing an outline and trying to get on the right track and timeline. I delved deep into the sense of the story, spending time alone and asking for spiritual help. I am not a big believer in mediums/psychics, etc., but I do not take what they say lightly either. Every time I visit one (which is not often), they always have something to say that is relevant to my situation. 

This particular day, my friend asked if I would like to visit a psychic. I thought it would be interesting, and since my friend was going, it might be fun. When we arrived at the psychic's table, she proceeded with the tarot reading and told me things about my life. I have the event recorded on my cell phone. She said she saw my life in a successful and loving "blue" with my guardian angel always beside me. When she asked me to ask her questions, I asked her about Dr. Smith. "Oh, he's here," she said. "He's wondering why you are writing about him. He says he was no one special - just doing his job. He wants you to know that Jody is sitting in her grandmother's rocking chair, reading by the window."

At that point, I had never been in Jody's houseso I wasn't familiar with what Dr. Smith was referring to. After the session, when I arrived home, I called Jody and asked if she had a rocking chair sitting by a window, and if she had been reading that afternoon. "Yes," Jody said. "It's my grandmother's rocking chair. It's a good reading chair. It looks out over our meadow."

Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

An Interview with Celeste Parsons: Nelsonville from A to Z

 

An Interview with Celeste Parsons: Nelsonville from A to Z
by Gina McKnight

It is a great opportunity to reside in a community where the arts take center stage. Meeting Celeste Parsons for the first time in my barn office, I knew she had a lot of creative ideas to share. Since that meeting, Celeste has seen her creative idea for Nelsonville from A to Z come to fruition. It is a collection of poetry by local poets celebrating local iconic places and people. The book was launched in collaboration with Stuart’s Opera House and the royalties from book sales help their Arts Education Program. Local artist, Hannah Sickles, created stunning illustrations, adding aesthetics and integrity to each poem.

Celeste lives outside of Nelsonville, Ohio, in a log house built on a former dairy farm, with her husband Jim, her Westie dog Spook, and a revolving population of deer, turkeys, chipmunks, hummingbirds, and other wildlife. She enjoys gardening, anything having to do with fabric or thread, reading, and bicycle touring with Jim on their tandem bike (64,000 miles since the year 2000, and counting). She is also an enthusiastic member of the ABC Players and thinks of Stuart's Opera House as her second home. She has written poems, plays, technical documentation, and newspaper articles since childhood. Nelsonville from A to Z is her first published book.

Welcome, Celeste!

GM: How did you come up with the idea for Nelsonville from A to Z?
CP:  My husband and I visited Berea, Kentucky for his birthday trip a couple of years ago, where I bought the alphabet book A is for Appalachia.  My first thought when I saw it was, "What a lovely book."  My second thought was "We could do something like this for Nelsonville."  I talked with Hannah Sickles, the illustrator, and with Emily Prince from Stuart's Opera House, and things just developed from there.

GM: The artwork is beautiful and follows each poem perfectly. Do you have a favorite poem in the book?  
CP:  I hate answering "what is your favorite" questions, because I have such a hard time picking just one.  I love the maturity and depth of the thoughts expressed in "M is for Mine," especially the last three lines:  "M is for the mines / For the history that runs through our veins / Like the endless tunnels below our feet."  I love all the different viewpoints of the different poems--many of the subjects seen from outside, but some reversed.  For example, in "N is for Nelson House," the house talks to the reader, and in "Y is for Yesterday," the poem "speaker" is one of those buried in Fort Street Cemetery.  I love the way that some poems focus on the past and some are looking at the future.  And I absolutely love the way Hannah's illustrations capture all of the subjects.

GM: Do you think the book has been well received? What feedback have you heard about the project?
CP:  Everything I have heard has been very positive.  I've been amazed that some readers from other cities have asked about placing the book in their local libraries!  There really is something here for everyone, whether a local resident or a visitor.

GM: Working with you, Celeste, has been a great experience. I am excited for future collaborations. What is on your literary/creative horizon?
CP:  I'm working on a children's book, When I Run Away from Home, that's a re-work of something I gave my parents years ago.  I'm illustrating this one myself, using colored pencils, and it has been both a challenge and a lot of fun getting my hand back into that kind of art.

GM: What is your advice for novice poets/writers?
CP:  I don't think there is any one way to start writing.  One thing I found out while working on Nelsonville from A to Z is that it is quite hard to write a poem about a specific subject!  Most often, I find that a particular phrase pops into my head or out of my mouth--sometimes serious, sometimes not--and I say to myself, "That needs to be a poem."  But whatever your source of inspiration, you have to love language, playing with it, expanding your vocabulary, feeling the rhythms even when you don't use a strict meter.  And you have to be willing to rewrite and rewrite until the result finally feels whole.

GM: In your opinion, what makes the perfect poem?
CP:  Oh, gosh, that's another question that's very hard to answer.  Probably the joining of a thought, an emotion, and a phase in a way that seems new and encourages the reader to think about what you've said beyond  the time it took to read it.  An example that pops into my head is from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T. S. Eliot:

I grow old . . . I grow old. . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
  Shall I part my hair behind?  Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have always thought the last two lines are a perfect expression of sadness and resignation.  Prufrock can hear the mermaids, but he knows he is not the kind of man for whom they will sing.  There is nothing "poetic" or high-flown about the words Eliot uses; it is just the juxtaposition of word and thought that touches me.

M: List 10 things your fans may not know about you...
CP:  1)  I love anything to do with thread--quilting, knitting, embroidery, bobbin lace.
2) I read constantly and omnivorously.
3) I never thought I would like kale, but I do. 
4) My husband, Jim, and I do as many errands as possible riding our purple tandem bicycle. 
5)  Between errands and annual trips, we have ridden over 67,000 miles since 2001. 
6)  I love puns, the more outrageous the better (inheritance from my dad).  7) I have a West Highland Terrier who likes to eat carrots and green beans.  8) I collect pigs and owls. 
9) I am an enthusiastic member of our local community theater group, ABC Players. 
10) I want to take a donkey ride into the Grand Canyon on my 90th birthday.

Nelsonville from A to Z is available in hardcover edition locally from Stuart’s Opera House, Rocky Outdoor Store, and Nelsonville Emporium (all of Nelsonville, Ohio); Little Professor Book Center (Athens, Ohio)
And online from Amazon and Barnes&Noble


From LIVE LOCAL, Athens, Ohio December 2019


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Monday, January 6, 2020

Milliron Monday: The Witches Handhold 1 6 2020

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Dr. Smith's widow, Jody, is a good storyteller. As a veterinarian's wife, she has many endearing stories of animals (mostly horses), children (her own), Dr. Smith, etc. The story of Pat and Tinker Toy's mane is a favorite. Here's an excerpt from Milliron...

Horses are a Smith family icon. Jessica’s Shetland Pony, Tinker Toy, traveled from Colorado to Ohio with the Smith family. When Jessica outgrew Tinker Toy, she gave him to Pat who would ride him alongside Pete through the Milliron Farm trails. “Tinker Toy was rotten with adults, but good with children,” Jody recalls. “Pat came crying into our bedroom one summer night.  He could hear the horses galloping in the pasture by the farmhouse. He had asked the day before why Tinker Toy’s mane had a ‘hole’ in his tangled mane. I told him it was the witches handhold. Pat didn’t want the witches riding his pony! I explained that I untangled Tinker’s mane and no witch would be riding. Pat finally went back to bed, comforted in knowing that Tinker Toy was okay.”



Have a great Monday! 

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

An Interview with Fine Artist Deborah Hayhurst


An Interview with Fine Artist Deborah Hayhurst
by Gina McKnight

From Ohio, USA, Deborah Hayhurst brings new children’s literature Twillaby Pond to life! Hayhurst’s renditions of the Twillaby Pond characters – from the little wee pock to the water-blue pret - are endearing and kid approved! Hayhurst is a talented illustrator, creating fine art for all generations to enjoy.

Welcome, Deborah!

GM: Your art is beautiful. What mediums do you like to use?
DH: I love watercolors.  I’ve been working in this medium for almost 40 years and still learn something with each painting.  In Twillaby Pond I also used pen and ink to give the characters definition and an illustrative quality.

GM: Describe your studio and where you like to work...
DH: My studio .... Well I had my attic converted to an art studio and my third bedroom could be a studio, but I prefer to paint at my kitchen table.  The natural light is excellent and I like looking at my pond and back yard garden.

GM: Your illustrations for Twillaby Pond are beautiful. How did you come up with characters, concepts, and ideas for the illustrations?
DH: I was thrilled and nervous about creating the 13 imaginary characters in Twillaby Pond. I read and re-read the passages many times and the images just came to me from their names and personalities portrayed in the poem.

GM: Of all the characters in Twillaby Pond, who is your favorite?
DH: My favorite is the little wee pock.  I saw a very shy, naive and trusting friend.

GM: Do you feel the author, Patricia L.H. Black, allowed you to have creative license to create the characters the way you imagined?
DH: Yes, Patricia was so generous and gave me free reign to create what I envisioned in her prose.

GM: Do you have advice for novice artists?
DH: My advice to novice artists is too never judge your work too harshly.  If you create something and don’t like it, tear it up and start over.  It’s quit freeing and you’ve learned something for your next attempt.

GM: What plans do you have for future projects?
DH: In the future (being newly retired), I hope to write and illustrate several of my own stories.   

GM: Besides illustrating children's literature, what other artistic endeavors do you have?
DH: I also want to explore other avenues of art such as glass and metal, but I’ll always paint!

Twillaby Pond... Available from Amazon and Barnes&Noble




Milliron Monday: TREFA 1 20 2020

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M. June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010 Welcome to   Milliron Monday  where every Monday we c...