Category Archives: Amanda

Selfie Project – July 2022

This is a reminder that tomorrow there is a dog and exotic animal pet show for Pufferbilly Days. A person could also enter a cat, but people don’t, cause… cat. I mean, it explains itself.

However, I give this reminder with the caveat that it is possible that the Dog and Exotic Animal Pet Show could possibly be cancelled due to heat.

Here is the information you need if you are interested:


Pufferbilly Days Pet Show Flyer - 2022

If it goes down, I will be there to photograph it. If it doesn’t go down, I’ll probably be eating ice cream, in the air conditioning.

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It is time once again to check in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. One of the things I like about THE SELFIE PROJECT I get to take a quick look back at everything I did last month and be like, “that was last month? I thought that was forever ago!”

I think I had a pretty busy July, but you can be the judge of that.

Here are some of my favorite images:


Day 182 - July 1, 2022
July 1

Day 183 - July 2, 2022
July 2

Day 184 - July 3, 2022
July 3

Day 186 - July 5, 2022
July 5

Day 187 - July 6, 2022
July 6

Day 188 - July 7, 2022
July 7

Day 189 - July 8, 2022
July 8
Day 190 - July 9, 2022
July 9

Day 191 - July 10, 2022
July 10

Day 193 - July 12, 2022
July 12

Day 194 - July 13, 2022
July 13

Day 195 - July 14, 2022
July 14

Day 196 - July 15, 2022
July 15

Day 197 - July 16, 2022
July 16

Day 198 - July 17, 2022
July 17

Day 199 - July 18, 2022
July 18

Day 200 - July 19, 2022
July 19

Day 201 - July 20, 2022
July 20

Day 202 - July 21, 2022
July 21

Day 204 - July 23, 2022
July 23

Day 208 - July 27, 2022
July 27

Day 209 - July 28, 2022
July 28

Day 210 - July 29, 2022
July 29

Day 211 - July 30, 2022
July 30

Day 212 - July 31, 2022
July 31

Obviously there were lots of selfies that couldn’t make the cut for this month’s THE SELFIE PROJECT. Here are some of my favorite alternates:


SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

My August calendar is pretty loaded up with Pufferbilly Days, the Iowa State Fair, and numerous TOWN SIGN PROJECT road trips all planned for the month. I’m even going to take some time off work. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not going to work for a few days. I’m looking forward to it. I hope when we reconvene to look at my August pictures that there are some great new memories in there as well.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is PEOPLE:


WEEK 360 - PEOPLE
PEOPLE

PEOPLE! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a PEOPLE picture? Well, it is simply a picture that has a PEOPLE or multiple PEOPLE in it. (Somewhere an English teacher is hanging their head so low right now.) I know. PEOPLE are vile and disgusting subjects. They are a failed species that are responsible for 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the evil on this planet. Completely susceptible to propaganda. Responsible for the complete and utter raping of our planet. Avarice. Greed. War. Genocide. Racism. Homophobia. Transphobia. Misogyny. All unique products of PEOPLE. What I’m trying to say is that in the coming war between monkeys and humans, I am hard core #TeamMonkey*. I’d like to say we’ve had a good run, but all the evidence is to the contrary.

I have to admit that after some of the events of the past week, I’m still 100% #TeamMonkey in the coming Human vs. Monkey War (where do you think Monkey Pox comes from), but I think slightly better of our doomed and failed species than I did on Monday.

While thinking on possible subjects for your PEOPLE picture think on the words of the Law Giver:

“Beware the beast man, for he is the devil’s pawn.”
“Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. ”
“Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. ”
“Let him not breed in great numbers for he will make a desert of his home and yours. ”
“Shun him. ”
“Drive him back into his jungle lair. ”
“For he is the harbinger of death. “

Happy photo harvesting!

Christmas Treats – 2021

The July image from the 2022 Calendar is a picture of an Easter lily.


2022 Calendar - July

Tomorrow I will share the August image.

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Last Saturday a few people got together at Teresa’s house to make Christmas treats. I stopped by to take a few pictures.


Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

Christmas Treats - 2021

I think next year Johnathan, Logan, and Brandon might get an invite. However, I’m not in charge, so we’ll see.

WPC – 327 – CANDID PORTRAIT

The January image for the 2022 Photography 139 Calendar is an image I took for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. It is of a corn crib (methinks) that was blown askew by the derecho. It is slightly east of Boone on US-30.


2022 Calendar - January

Tomorrow I will reveal the February image.

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Thus far, CANDID PORTRAIT has proven to be a very popular theme.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensely-Gorshe

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEL 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 327 -CANDID PORTRAIT - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner

WEEK 327 - CANDID PORTRAIT - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 328 - HOLIDAYS
HOLIDAYS

HOLIDAYS! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE! But wait, I thought the themes were random? Seems also convenient that HOLIDAYS is the theme the same week as Christmas? Yeah, it does seem convenient. Perhaps even desperately random…

But what exactly is a HOLIDAYS image? Simply put, a HOLIDAYS image is just any image that suggest the celebration of a HOLIDAY. Opening presents, decorations, making treats, hanging with family or friends or co-workers. There are so many possibilities! And yes, Christmas is this week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go to the basement and pull out your favorite Arbor Day decoration and take a picture of that.

While considering your possible subjects for your HOLIDAYS image, consider the following quote:

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
-Garrison Keillor

RULES

The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of HOLIDAYS in this place that is little more than where I go for my personal holidays next Monday.

Sneaky Snake Root Beer

This year for our family Thanksgiving I wanted to attempt to make root beer. I had Glenn Peterson’s recipe in hand and I also fruitlessly pursued another recipe, but I’m not really sure how different root beer recipes can get.

Glenn’s recipe was a little vague on a couple things, but it goes like this:

Recipe for homemade root beer (X 2 for 10 gal water cooler)
4 lbs. sugar
3 ½ gallon water
1 bottle Root beer extract
1 bottle Root beer flavor
4 lbs. dry ice.

Add 4 lbs. sugar to 3 ½ gal water. Stir until sugar dissolved. Add 1 bottle root beer extract and 1 bottle root beer flavor. Stir until mixed. Add 4 lbs. of dry ice ½ to 1 hour before serving. Use gloves when working with dry ice. Dry ice will cause the container to look like a witches’ caldron. Do not stir nor put a lid on container. When “steam” from the dry ice disappears, root beer is ready to drink.
This recipe was shared with Glenn while in the Army. He started sharing it with Pack 150, Madrid at the Blue & Gold Banquets/ Crossovers and Arrow of Lights Ceremony from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

Glenn’s widow Tamara shared the recipe with me a couple years ago.

The one thing I didn’t know is how much is 1 bottle of root beer extract and how much is one bottle of root beer flavor. I compared it to other root beer recipes and determined Glenn’s recipe calls for a 2 oz bottle of each. I changed his recipe slightly. I used 1 4 oz bottle of Shank’s root beer extract.

Johnathan and Logan assisted in the making of my first batch of what I am calling Sneaky Snake Root Beer. Here are some pictures:


Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022
Logan is wearing some of my Mom’s old dish gloves.

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022
This is one of my favorite family pictures ever.

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

Thanksgiving - 2022

I decided on the name for my root beer on Saturday while cruising around Monroe County with Teresa. I was originally going to name it after Naima sorta and call it something like Gold Dog Root Beer, so I could put her mug on the bottles. However, I decided to name it after an old family memory. Maybe I was feeling nostalgic because Thanksgiving this year was obviously bittersweet at it was the first major holiday we’ve had without Mom. But I decided to base the name off the Tom T. Hall song “Sneaky Snake”.

When I was a kid and we would go down to my Dad’s darkroom, the music was mostly provided by his 8 track collection. My favorite of his 8 tracks was blue. It was Tom T. Hall’s Greatest Hits Volume II. I can’t swear that it was Volume II, but it was pretty close. My favorite song on this 8 track was “Sneaky Snake”. I still love that song, even though next to nobody outside of my family seems to appreciate its greatness.

The lyrics are:

Boys and girls take warning
If you go near the lake
Keep your eyes wide open
And look for sneaky snake
Now, maybe you won’t see him
And maybe you won’t hear
But he’ll sneak up behind you
And drink all your root beer

And then sneaky snake goes dancing
Wiggling and a-hissing
Sneaky snake goes dancing
A-giggling and a-kissing
I don’t like old sneaky snake
He laughs too much you see
When he goes wiggling through the grass
It tickles his underneath

Well sneaky snake drinks root beer
And he just makes me sick
When he is not dancing
He looks just like stick
Now he doesn’t have any arms or legs
You cannot see his ears
And while we are not looking
He’s stealing all of our beer

And then sneak snake goes dancing
Wiggling and a-hissing
Sneaky snake goes dancing
A-giggling and a-kissing
I don’t like old sneaky snake
He laughs too much you see
When he goes wiggling through the grass
It tickles his underneath

So this is what the label on the bottle should look like, or would look like if I could get it to print correctly:



I’m definitely not a graphic designer, but I do like the picture part. The picture of the snake is from about 10 years ago, when I found a snake in Shorty and Doris’ flower bed. I photoshopped it up a bit though.

I might not explain everything about this under normal circumstances, but my nearly professional labeler Elizabeth is concerned that people might think it is name after the “I’m a Snake” guy of YouTube fame. It definitely is not. So don’t even try thinking that!

I have a few bottles of Batch 001 left. I’ve earmarked a few for December Movie Night. And the rest, well they might go to Elizabeth’s progeny. They apparently are big fans of Sneaky Snake Root Beer!

I’m going to continue to experiment with the recipe. Try different brands of extract. Try Glenn’s original recipe. I want to try mixing in some vanilla at some point too. I definitely need to figure out a way to capture more carbonation. I’m not sure how to do that yet, but I have some theories. Batch 001 will be followed by Batch 002 and 003 and so on and so forth more hopefully.

The Stenslands 2020- Alpha

Today is the second Sunday of Lent. I’m going to share a devotional by Reverend Ron Carlson:

Giving up and letting go

Rev. Ron Carlson
John 2:13-22

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.
Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”

Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

It is ironic that the communications folks asked me to develop a devotion based on this passage, known by many as Jesus cleansing the Temple. It is ironic because I can have a bit of a temper and have at times in my life gotten pretty upset. Many times, in an effort to calm me, my wife has reminded me that Jesus did not operate out of anger, but love. I believe that every time she has tried to hold me accountable in this way, I have brought up this story. While many of us have used this story to justify a moment of anger, I don’t necessarily believe Jesus was angry.

Our passage takes place in the temple, as the time of Passover is approaching. When I look at the picture the writer of the Gospel is laying out for us, I imagine more of an open-air market than a sacred space. I picture crowds of people, fast talking vendors, loud noises and enough cattle to keep some of my rural neighbors very busy. It is no wonder that we find it easy to think Jesus was upset when he experienced this in his Father’s house.

We need to remember that Passover was a feast where many traveled to the temple from great distances. We also need to recall that cattle, sheep, and doves were required for burnt offerings, and that the required offerings needed to be perfect. It would not have been possible for travelers to have brought with them the proper offerings. Also, the Roman and Greek coins the pilgrims would have brought along would not have sufficed for their temple tax. Due to the human images on their coins, they needed to be exchanged for Tyrian currency in Jerusalem. While the atmosphere might seem awkward to us, it was needed for worship to occur.

There are some scholars who see Jesus’ actions as an attack on those who are taking advantage of the worshipers. I think we see something broader in scope, In my opinion he was confronting the systems of worship, not the abuse of those systems. Jesus complains that his father’s house has become a place of business. Since this business was necessary to maintain the system of sacrifice and tithes, I see this as Jesus issuing a powerful challenge to the authority of the temple and its worship.

In doing this, Jesus echoes the great tradition of Old Testament prophets who cried out about sacrilegious activities in the temple, against corrupting the worship of God, and substituting ritual for devotion. Prophets who usually began their addresses with “This is the word of God…” Their messages were filled with God’s judgment and grace, they often pointed out where God’s people had strayed from God’s way. Like many prophets before, Jesus’ message is not understood initially, we see that it is only understood through the lens of his death and resurrection.

In the words of Gail R. O’Day, “Jesus challenges a religious system so embedded in its own rules and practices that it is no longer open to a fresh revelation from God, a temptation that exists for contemporary Christianity as well as for the Judaism of Jesus’ day.” What does this challenge mean to you and me? Where are we closed to the idea of something different and what are we holding onto so tightly that we will not be open to the idea of reformation, change or renewal?

Lent is a perfect time for us to reflect on these questions and others like them. Others in this space have noted that Lent is traditionally a season of giving up. Giving up and letting go is an important individual spiritual discipline in this season, because it allows us to draw closer to God. What do we need to give up and let go so that we may draw closer to God? What idols are we clutching so tightly that we are losing feeling in our hands? Would Jesus take the whip and chase these things from the temple?

Almost a year ago we were just beginning to truly understand the pandemic that was upon us as people of this world. Since that time, there have been many things that have changed about Sunday morning. In this time, we have learned to let go of some things that we would not have ever dreamed letting go. Things like responsive readings, singing with gusto and even fellowship time. At some point we will pick some of those things back up because we can, and they are important to us. Are they important to God? I am quite sure there will be other things we will look back on and wonder why we thought they were so important. The important thing is that we have still been able to worship God.

There are many things that we do in our lives because that is just the way we do them. These things may not be important to the desired end result, but they are important because they feel comfortable. I am pretty sure the vendors and coin changers in the Temple were comfortable. They were making a good living, and it looked like nothing would get in the way. They were doing God’s work, helping others to worship God. Then Jesus pointed out where change was needed.
What is Jesus pointing to today in your life? We need to be open to change. To be open to change we need to let go of our idols. What better time than Lent to begin that process. Through Christ and by Christ we can go where we need to be, closer to him.

As we go our separate ways receive this blessing – may “The Lord bless you and protect you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.” Amen.

Next Sunday I will share a devotional from Rev. Dr. Heecheo Jeon.

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A few months back when Sabas and Ealinie were back from California for Christmas, I met the Stenslands up at Amanda’s office to do a quick family portrait photo shoot. I only got to see Elainie and Sabas twice while they were back because of the incredibly mismanaged pandemic, just another reason I can’t wait for this to be over. Or at least until I can get vaccinated.

Any ways, here is my first collection of favorites from the photo shoot:


Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

If you want to see more pictures from this photo shoot, click on the link below:

Stenslands – 2020

Also, if you have any kind of real estate needs in Boone or anywhere near Boone, you should 100% hit up Amanda and iHome Realty!

Walking the Floor Over You

It was a bittersweet Christmas for the Bennetts. As always, there was much joy when the family gets together, but while the 2019 Christmas will always be known as the first Christmas with Kanoa. It will also be the Christmas when Amanda and Logan announced that they are expecting a new bundle of joy in 2020. It will also be known as the Christmas where Grandma passed away.
The good outweighs the bad though.

Here are some pictures from the Bennett Christmas, some are cruddy cell phone pictures that I took while experimenting with a camera phone app:


Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

Christmas - 2019

I don’t usually dwell on the names of my blog posts. I either figure that people don’t care or that they google it and figure it out. Although Google won’t always unravel the riddle.

This riddle is a reference to Ernest Tubb, who was my Grandma’s favorite musician. I’d like to share the lyrics to one of my favorite Ernest Tubb songs to close this post out:

Yesterday’s tears are still fallin’ yesterday’s dreams are still broken
Yesterday’s love is still livin’ a love that will never be spoken
I’ve tried so hard to forget dear tried not too smart everything
You are the one who has given but all you’ve received dear is pain
My life has been such a sorrow my world has crumbled like clay
My heart has slowly been dying since you told me goodbye that day

Long weary years you have suffered to keep from hurting someone
If only I could repay you for all of the kind things you’ve done
You haven’t spared me my darling everything to you I owe
All I can say is I love so much more than anyone know
So yesterday’s tears are still fallin’ yesterday’s dreams are still broken
Yesterday’s love is still livin’ a love that will never be spoken