great smoky mountains institute at tremont - val in real life
Photography

Bad Weather and Good Friends at Tremont

Let’s face it, life dishes out the unexpected and undesired. A lot. The only thing we’re in control of is how we respond, right? I just returned from a whirlwind […]

Val in Real Life
Photography

Turning Misfortune into Opportunity: A Photographic Journey

Each April I return to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the spring photography workshop led by the fabulous Bill Lea.¬†While it’s largely a family reunion for me […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Mentor

Today I’m back in the Great Smoky Mountains for my photographic family reunion. It’s time for the Autumn Brilliance workshop again and this is where I come to get rejuvenated […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Sanctuary

Today I’m nestled in one of my favorite places in the world. It’s spring photography workshop time again at The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and I’ll be immersed […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Contact

I’ve talked a lot lately about how much I appreciate the connections I’ve made during my life as a blogger. I’ve made some great friends in various communities and I’ve […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Appreciation

Through my blogging and travels, I’ve gotten to meet some truly remarkable people. Some have become friends, others are mentors, some are both. All of them, I cherish for their […]

Outdoors

Tremont’s Naturalist Certification Program: Discover the Great Smoky Mountains

You all know by now that I love the Great Smoky Mountains and that I’m obsessed with the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. In fact, I’m a Junkie. I’ve […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Inspiration and Friendship

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to be in the Great Smoky mountains again after two anxious weeks of park closures. I’m back at the Great […]

Photography

Guest Post: Lost in the Dark at Crater Lake

Dear readers, help me welcome a special guest blogger to Val in Real Life. You might recognize Steve Zigler as a Friend of Camp Granola and today’s post is brought […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Why?

Today I head off yet again to my home-away-from-home, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. This trip marks my final class in the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification program so […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Delight

My time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been sparing of late but today, in spite of the current downpour, I’m glad to be back. This weekend I’m joining […]

Photography

Shameless Self-Promotion…

Two things are upon us my friends… and they’re both about the fabulous Great Smoky Institute at Tremont. This week marks the beginning of their annual photo contest as well […]

Outdoors

Postcards from Real Life: Winter

We’re in the thick of winter finally. It was beginning to look like we wouldn’t have to break out the heavy coats here in Georgia this season but it is […]

Life

Another notch on the birthday belt…

Today I get to tick up my age another notch. Of course, we all know that age is as much a state of mind as it is number on our […]

Life

Holiday Shopping, Granola-Style….Again

Last week I shared the work of some special folks for your holiday shopping pleasure. But let’s continue to spice up the season with some alternative gift ideas. So for […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Possibilities

Today I head back to Tremont for the next class in my pursuit of the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification. It’s a little trip, just a weekend, but it is travel […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Artistry

It’s time! Time to head back to Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance workshop. As I set forth this morning, it’s more about getting a break from the house-selling insanity than […]

Photography

Time to Get Your Tremont On…

In just a few short weeks I will again set off to the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance Workshop with Will Clay. My thoughts… Just […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Curiosity

I’m back to Tremont today for the next installment towards my Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification. A short weekend full of study that will not satisfy my curiosity but fuel it […]

Outdoors

Going Solo

I know you parents out there feel my pain. As rich as our kids make our lives, sometimes you need a little adult time. And when you spend as much […]

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