Coming from her phone, Karen Grubb’s photos could be displayed in even the most respected travel magazines. Her feed became a visual odyssey recently when she took a trip through the southwest part of the States where the landscapes and rocks resemble scenes from the red planet. She has a super talent for capturing landscapes and doing it in dramatic ways. Her editing is bold, with lush blues and reds showered throughout. Her style is polished and consistent. A hidden blessing of Instagram is the opportunity to see beautiful relationships blossom. Through Karen’s daily photos we catch glimpses of a lovely connection between her and her daughter. Using Instagram as an avenue to adventure together, they photograph pretty places side by side, sharing memories in front of a screen that actually gets them out of the house. This sort of family interaction and hobby sharing is inspiring, even as much as Karen’s own dynamic mobile photography portfolio. This is @mrsgrubby, and she is an Instagram Legend.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness stems from good health, both physical and mental. What do you have in life, if you don’t have good health? And love, both giving and receiving. Being content with who you are and where you’re at, at any given time or situation in life. There is always something more to wish for or aspire to, and that’s great, just as long as you can live a life of gratitude for what you do have. To know the difference between what you ‘need’ and what you ‘want’. For me, happiness is the understanding that this life is a gift and every day you are given it is your choice to be happy and grateful for that gift.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing a loved one…still figuring out how to come to terms with the finality of that inevitability.
Which living person do you admire the most?
My dad, Bernie Troy. To know my dad is to love him, ask any one of my friends. He’s led such an interesting life and can tell stories like no one else I know. He is the kindest, wisest, most generous, selfless, supportive and patient person I know. There aren’t enough positive adjectives in my vocabulary to describe how wonderful of a man and father/grandfather he is.
What is your greatest extravagance?
It used to be boots, I couldn’t own enough. But now every time I see a pair that I want, I remind myself that money could be spent on travel. So, I guess it would have to be travel.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
When it’s positive encouragement. Unless, of course, someone asks for my honest opinion. Then I can’t lie.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I don’t know, I’m pretty comfortable in my skin. If I had to pick something, at this very moment, I’d have to say the middle fingernail on my right hand. On Halloween, I was pulling up to our driveway and there were already kids heading up to our house for candy. I rushed out of my car and closed the car door before the message got from my brain to my hand that it was time to let go. I had a solid black nail for a few months and it just fell off a few weeks ago. Trust me, it’s gross.
Which living person do you most despise?
I can’t say I despise anyone. I try not to hold on to that type of negative energy. But I do have an opinion about certain TV or radio personalities whose only purpose in their public lives is to spread hate and prey on the ignorance of others. Thank goodness the elections are over. The negative political rhetoric in this country can get so out of hand sometimes.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Wit and a great sense of humor.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Honesty and integrity.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Babe, will you do me a favor?” and “Pull over, I want to take a picture.”
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My daughter, Skye (aka “Piggy Pie”). Not just because she’s my daughter, but because she is such a special soul. She is so talented and yet so self-effacing and she is wise beyond her years. From the time she was little, she has always had such a big heart. When she was about 4 or 5 years old, I remember sitting her down to have the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ conversation with her. When I tried to explain to her that there are bad people in the world that want to do harm to others, her response was “Well, we just need to give those people more love then.” And that’s how she lives her life, she is so loving. At an age when most girls turn snotty and it’s somewhat ‘cool’ to be arrogant and disrespectful, I am constantly reminded how blessed I am to have her as a daughter. She is so solid in her faith and has a strength of character that I think is so uncommon at her age. I am enjoying watching her grow up to be such a beautifully smart and creative young woman.
When and where were you the happiest?
I’m pretty happy right here and now. Past tense happiest time would have to be when I was living in Europe. While I was in college, my father really encouraged me to study abroad. I am forever grateful to him for understanding how much that would benefit my personal growth. I studied in London, Dublin, and Granada. During the school breaks I’d travel around Europe and North Africa with friends. I think that’s when I caught my incurable case of wanderlust. I’d love to go back and do it all over again but this time with Clint & Skye.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to learn to play violin.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Patience. I can be pretty impatient sometimes.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Probably giving birth to Skye and finishing college while she was still just a baby.
What is your most treasured possession?
My external hard drive and my printed photos albums. Last month my drive failed and I nearly had a breakdown at the thought of losing all my digital photos from the past decade. That’s Skye’s entire childhood in photos. Luckily my friend was able to recover all but 2%.
What do you most value in your friends?
Positivity and sincerity.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Insecurity, in whatever form that comes in.
What is your favorite occupation?
Travel photography would be a dream job.
What is your most marked characteristic?
That’s a tough question to answer about yourself. I asked my girlfriend Shelly to answer instead. She said: “Your high energy! You are always up for anything and can keep up more than anyone i know!”
Who are your favorite writers?
I was an English major in college so I have a pretty eclectic taste in writing, and the list is pretty long. Kerouac, Bukowski, Tolkien, Dorothy Parker, David Sedaris, Thoreau, Emerson, Muir, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Krishnamurti, to name a few.
What is your favorite film?
It’s hard picking just one favorite. Movies that I’ve probably watched the most: The Royal Tenenbaums, I Heart Huckabees, The Life Aquatic, Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
John Muir, for obvious reasons.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My family. My dad for being the most altruistic person I know. My mom for her work ethic. My husband Clint for teaching me patience and unconditional love. My daughter Skye for her pure and authentic soul. My 3 older brothers for turning me into the tough smartass that I am. I’ve been blessed with a really great family.
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t think I’m old enough to claim one yet.
What is your motto?
There is always something to be grateful for.
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