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It has been a while since I did a post on famous Kentuckians.  This man needs to be added to my ongoing list. 

Dwight David Yoakam was born in Pikeville, Kentucky on October 23, 1956.   He learned to play guitar at the age of six and loved the music of Johnny Cash,  Hank Williams, and Buck Owens.  Dwight attended Ohio State University but dropped out to pursue a career in country music.

Yoakam hit Nashville in the 1970’s and found out his type of country rock music was not accepted.  Dwight headed out to California  and struck gold in the 1980s as a songwriter and country/rock artist.  His first full-length album, Guitars and Cadillacs,  was debuted in 1986 and was an instant sensation going platinum.  In 1988, Yoakam had his first number one hit with Streets of Bakersfield recorded with Buck Owens.

Dwight Yoakam branched out and began acting as early as 1993 in Red Rock West where he played a truck driver.  Dwight played a rodeo clown in the movie Painted Hero and an abusive drunk in Slingblade.   He wrote, directed and starred in South of Heaven, West of Hell. Dwight was in the movie Panic Room with Jodie Foster as well.

Some people might not know that Dwight Yoakam along with Modern Foods launched his own line of biscuits, chicken lickins fried chicken bits, and several other frozen foods based on his grandmother, Earlene’s Kentucky recipes.

I wrote another post earlier about this man and country music in Kentucky where I mentioned seeing him on our Kentucky Educational Television.  He told about his Kentucky roots and his aunt that moved away from the “holler”, did well and bought herself a cadillac.  When she drove it back to Eastern Kentucky everyone thought she was rich!  This was his inspiration for writing the song, Guitars and Cadillacs.  You can read the earlier post here:  Country Music in Kentucky.

We are proud to call Dwight Yoakam a famous Kentuckian.



 If you want to see your children’s eyes light up with excitement during the holiday season, visit the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington when it presents the “Southern Lights”. 

Southern Lights is a 3 mile driving tour that serves as the biggest fundraiser for the park.   The displays include lifelike horses streaking across the finish line at Keeneland and Churchill Downs racing courses, thousands of twinkling lights, arches, and southern hospitality and entertainment at its best. 

The Southern Lights tour is open each night from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. from November 20 – December 31.

Southern Lights is one of Kentucky’s largest Christmas displays and appeals to every age group.

New figures are added each year for thousands of visitors to this spectacular event. 

Children are amazed to see all the twinkling lights and displays.  It will be the highlight of the season for a child.  Once the driving tour is finished visitors leave their car and enjoy a petting zoo, gift shop, refreshments and a photo and visit with Santa!

So folks, if you are ever in Kentucky during Christmas don’t miss this delightful holiday sight.

The following is a link to the Southern Lights website where you can watch a video showing some of the driving tour:  http://www.southernlightsky.org/media.htm

Hope everyone is enjoying preparing for the holiday season!


This is written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.”

I enjoyed reading this and thought my readers might like it, too.
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone..

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks..

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34.. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s,we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”


Kentucky has been home to this castle since it was built by Real Estate Developer, Rex Martin, back in 1969. It is located on Versailles Road in Woodford County near Keeneland Race Track.

I will never forget the first time I saw this structure. I had moved back to Frankfort, our capital city, and gone back to work for state government. I had been away from this area of our state for almost 30 years. I was on my way to a meeting in Lexington with several co-workers. I could not believe my eyes! A real live castle on a hill with turrets, and a fence surrounding the place. I was mesmerized and could not stop talking about it. Of course, they all thought it was so funny that I had never seen it before.

Anyway, the castle set empty for 30 years and was a topic of conversation for Kentuckians as well as tourists that happened to pass by and stopped to take photographs.

It was purchased in 2003 by Tom Post for 1.8 million and has gone through extensive renovation and been renamed, “CastlePost“.

CastlePost is now complete with lodging fit for a king for overnight guests, weddings, and charity fund-raising events. There are 16 guest rooms, 21 bathrooms, a library, dining room for 40 guests, ballroom, game room, 20′ x 50′ pool, tennis and basketball courts. There will be bowling lanes and a putting green on the roof. Cost of a room is from $375 to $475 a night or $1,250 for turret suits!

This link will take you to their website: http://www.thecastlepost.com/ If you scroll down to the spot that says: Check out the CastlePost on KET News, there is a very interesting video there that gives information about the castle’s history and how Tom Post’s dream is finally coming together.

So, if you want to stay in a real castle and live like a king while you are here visit us in the heart of Bluegrass Country.

Do you have an unusual place or structure near where you live that has been a curiosity to visitors?


Tom T. Hall was born May 25, 1936 in Olive Hill, Kentucky. He was the son of a Baptist minister. Tom was 11 years old when his mother died. He joined the Armed Forces and spent most of his time in Germany during his four year stint. He attended Roanoke College and is known as a storyteller and songwriter.

Tom went to Nashville in 1964 with very little money and a guitar and quickly made the charts with his songwriting talents. Artists such as Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Faron Young, Jeannie C. Riley, and many others have recorded his songs.

Tom T. Hall wrote such hits as Jeannie C. Riley’s, “Harper Valley P.T.A” and Alan Jackson’s, “Little Bitty” but his biggest money making song has been, “I Love”.

He is also an author and has written several books including The Storyteller’s Nashville (1979) and the novel, The Laughing Man of Woodmont (1982).

Tom was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in February 2008.

My favorite song of his is, “Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine.


Those of you that read my blog all the time know that I like to write about famous Kentuckians. This lady is Kentucky’s most well known country music artist, Loretta Lynn.

I plan to write about several of our songwriters and musicians in the future.

Loretta Lynn was born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky on April 14, 1935. She was the second of 8 children. That part of Kentucky is known for its coal mines and a lot of poverty.

Loretta married Oliver Vanetta Lynn at the ripe old age of 13 in 1948. Oliver’s nickname was Doolittle or Mooney. Mooney was from his early career of running moonshine. Loretta had her first child at the age of fourteen and four by the age of seventeen. She was a grandmother at thirty two. They were married for almost 50 years and had 6 children all together, including a set of twins, Peggy and Patsy. Peggy was named for her mother and Patsy was named after the great Patsy Cline.

I am sure most of you have seen the movie, Coal Miners Daughter or read the book by the same name. If not, they are both worth your time.

Loretta has written over 160 songs, released 17 number one albums, and had 16 number one singles on the country charts. She was the first woman named, Entertainer of the Year, by the Country Music Association and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She ruled country music during the 60s and 70s.

Loretta and Doo bought the entire town of Hurricane Mills, Tennessee and their 1817 plantation home there is billed as the 7th largest attraction in Tennessee. She filmed her famous Crisco commercials from the kitchen of the big house.

The Lynns had a son, Jack Benny, that drowned in 1984.

Doo died in 1996 and Loretta moved to a smaller house behind the big one where she resides today. The big house is open for tours.

I heard Marie Osmond say once that she started out singing country music because Loretta was one of her idols.

A favorite saying is supposed to be, “Honey, life flies by so you have to make every day count!”

A few years back, I made a trip to Butcher Holler to see her childhood home. It was an experience!

Finding the place was like looking for a needle in a haystack. We went to Paintsville, Kentucky and began asking directions. Everyone knew where it was but there was no roadside signs or anything at this time. The first thing we finally found was a rock with an arrow pointing down a country road.

Finally, we came upon a country store that was run by her brother, Herman. He told us he would lead us up to the old house and it cost $5 per person to enter and look around.

We followed him up a gravel road to the house. His dog ran along beside his car all the way up the road. The house sits on top of a hill and was worth the $5 to have a look around. There was an old wishing well in the yard and a lot of the furniture, according to Herman, was the original furnishings during the time they grew up. He said the wood cooking stove was original, too. There was lots of family pictures and photos around the place and pictures of her after she got famous.

This lady has endured poverty to become a major star and is a staunch survivor today.

I am proud she is from my home state of Kentucky!



According to the March 2009 issue of Prevention Magazine there are seven super spices that just might minimize the aging process. These spices could also help with diabetes. The University of Georgia findings show that the antioxidants in these spices help to block compounds associated with aging and may inhibit tissue damage caused by high levels of blood sugar.
I have always been a great fan of spices and love spiced tea. My spice cabinet runneth over. I add spices to most dishes I make in my kitchen.
Below is a list of the seven super spices that fight aging along with brief paragraph about each one and other healthy uses recommended by herbalists.

Cloves – Used to treat indigestion, diarrhea, hernia, and ringworm, as well as athlete’s food and other fungal infections and toothaches. This spice has antioxidants that help prevent cell damage that eventually causes cancer.
Try in cakes and bread for a spicy sweetness.

Allspice – The consumption of allspice with meals results in stronger digestion, reduces gas and bloating, and can ease nausea. It also has blood sugar regulating effects, and controls appetite.

Add to ground beef for unexpected twist to hamburgers or meat loaf.

Sage – Useful in treating diarrhea, colds, and excessive perspiration, hot flashes, to dry up phlegm, and you can gargle with the tea to treat coughs and tonsil or throat infections. It can
be used as a hair rinse for dandruff, oily hair, or infections of the scalp. It reportedly restores color to gray or white hair.
Try in tomato sauce recipes.

Oregano – This herb has been used to relieve bloating, gas, urinary tract problems, painful menstruation, rheumatoid arthritis, and swollen glands.
Great on homemade garlic bread or pizza.

Thyme – Used for respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. An easy homemade remedy can be made by finely chopping thyme with a spoon of local honey. It soothes the lungs and air passages. Can be used in baths for neurasthenia, rheumatism, paralysis, bruises, swellings, and sprains. In a salve it is helpful for shingles. Use in scrambled eggs for a flavor boost.

Marjoram – Great for blood circulation, water retention,muscle spasms, fatigue, insomnia. Use in tomato soups, sauces, oriental salads.

Cinnamon – helps ward off diabetes, good for heart health, has anti-inflammatory qualities and helps reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Try on whole wheat toast drizzled with honey.

So now we can be younger and cure all our ills with just a few simple spices.

Evidence shows the use of herbs and spices dates back to before recorded history and has been passed from one generation to another. My mother used to drink sassafras tea and thought it to be medicinal. I hated the taste of that tea.

Do you use spices in your recipes or have one special spice you like better than others? Do you think spices are medicinal and can cure certain ailments?