Category Archives: Brandon

Selfie Project – September 2021

Yesterday I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. I don’t know I did a lot in September, but I guess the pictures will tell the story.

Here are my favorites from September:

Day 246 - September 3, 2021
September 3

Day 247 - September 4, 2021
September 4

Day 248 - September 5, 2021
September 5

Day 249 - September 6, 2021
September 6

Day 250 - September 7, 2021
September 7

Day 253 - September 10, 2021
September 10

Day 254 - September 11, 2021
September 11

Day 255 - September 12, 2021
September 12

Day 256 - September 13, 2021
September 13

Day 258 - September 15, 2021
September 15

Day 260 - September 17, 2021
September 17

Day 261 - September 18, 2021
September 18

Day 262 - September 19, 2021
September 19

Day 265 - September 22, 2021
September 22

Day 268 - September 25, 2021
September 25

Day 269 - September 26, 2021
September 26

Day 270 - September 27, 2021
September 27

Day 271 - September 28, 2021
September 28

Day 272 - September 29, 2021
September 29

There can only be one Selfie per day, but here are some of my favorite alternate selfies from September:







If you want to peruse all of the 2021 selfies for THE SELFIE PROJECT, click on the link below:


Hopefully October is a fruitful month as well.


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


A FLOWER image is simply a picture of a FLOWER. Doesn’t have to be a real FLOWER. But it could also be a real FLOWER.

Happy photo harvesting.

Town Sign Project: Cass County

A few weeks back I cruised around Cass County with Brandon and Logan harvesting the town signs of Cass County. We did a little more sightseeing in other counties than I normally do, so it was one of the rare trips where all the town signs are harvested were only in one county. It was a good trip.

Here are some facts about Cass County:

+ The population is 13,127 making Cass County the 58th most populous county in Iowa. Behind Allamakee County and above Wright County.
+ The largest town and county seat is Atlantic.
+ Established in 1851.
+ Named for Lewis Cass a Michigan senator and Democratic candidate for president in 1848.
+ Birthplace of Edwin Perkins, the inventor of Kool-Aid.
+ Major highways are: I-80, US-6, US-71, IA-48, IA-83, IA-92, IA-148, and IA-173.
+ Adjacent counties are: Audubon, Adair, Montgomery, Adams, Pottawattamie, and Shelby.
+ Population peaked in 1930 at 19,422.

The Cass County Courthouse looks similar to Boone’s City Hall:

Cass County Courthouse
Cass County Courthouse in Atlantic, Iowa.

The Cass County Freedom Rock is located in Lewis, Iowa:

Cass County Freedom Rock

Cass County Freedom Rock

Cass County Freedom Rock

Cass County Freedom Rock

With Cass County conquered, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 37 Counties

37 counties completed. 37.4% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Cass County (Population is 2020 Census. In parentheses is change since 2010 Census):

Atlantic, Iowa
Atlantic, Iowa
Population: 6,792 (-320)

Griswold, Iowa
Griswold, Iowa
Population: 994 (-42)

Anita, Iowa
Anita, Iowa
A Whale Of A Town
Population: 963 (-9)

Massena, Iowa
Massena, Iowa
Welcome to MASSENA
Population: 359 (+4)

Lewis, Iowa
Lewis, Iowa
Population: 357 (-76)

Cumberland, Iowa
Cumberland, Iowa
Welcome to Cumberland
Since 1884
Population: 215 (-11)

Marne, Iowa
Marne, Iowa
Population: 110 (-10)

Wiota, Iowa
Wiota, Iowa
Population: 91 (-25)

The worst town sign in Cass County is pretty obvious. It is Atlantic. Coca-Cola? We all know that RC Cola is the poo, so take a big whiff Atlantic*. However, if you get past how gross Coca-Cola is, Wiota’s sign or lack of sign was pretty awful. That Welcome to Wiota banner I found was hanging off some guy’s flagpole in his front yard. And what is with the handcuffs? Is Wiota the host to a big bondage convention? I guess only Dennis Andersen truly knows. But I like to think the gimp from PULP FICTION was originally from this little southwest corner of Iowa.

The best town sign is so completely obvious, I don’t even have to say it:

Anita, Iowa
Anita – Best in Show – Cass County

This was the rare Best in Show that I knew before I even got there. Carla went camping there earlier this year and sent me a picture of it. Anita’s town sign is so great, it could be the sign that goes on the cover of my future book.

Here are the alternate town signs of Cass County:

Marne, Iowa
Marne – Alternate

Lewis, Iowa
Lewis – Alternate

Lewis, Iowa
Lewis – Alternate

Cumberland, Iowa
Cumberland – Alternate

Atlantic, Iowa
Atlantic – Alternate

Anita, Iowa
Anita – Alternate

Anita, Iowa
Anita – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

New Hartford, Iowa
Best in Show – Butler County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Anita, Iowa
Best in Show – Cass County

Dougherty, Iowa
Best in Show – Cerro Gordo County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Beaman, Iowa
Best in Show – Grundy County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Britt, Iowa
Best in Show – Hancock County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Plover, Iowa
Best in Show – Pocahontas County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Nemaha, Iowa
Best in Show – Sac County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Joice, Iowa
Best in Show – Worth County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we hit the open road for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT we will make a stop in Adams County.

*Come for the high quality photography. Stay for the references to the 2000 Kirsten Dunst classic BRING IT ON.

Selfie Project – August 2021

Yesterday I completed yet another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. I was surprised how packed a month it was. When I looked back at some of the images, I thought, “that happened in August? It feels like such a long time ago!”

Here are my favorites from August:

Day 213 - August 1, 2021
August 1, 2021

Day 215 - August 3, 2021
August 3, 2021

Day 216 - August 4, 2021
August 4, 2021

Day 217 - August 5, 2021
August 5, 2021

Day 219 - August 7, 2021
August 7, 2021

Day 220 - August 8, 2021
August 8, 2021

Day 223 - August 11, 2021
August 11, 2021

Day 224 - August 12, 2021
August 12, 2021

Day 225 - August 13, 2021
August 13, 2021

Day 227 - August 15, 2021
August 15, 2021

Day 229 - August 17, 2021
August 17, 2021

Day 231 - August 19, 2021
August 19, 2021

Day 234  - August 22, 2021
August 22, 2021

Day 236 - August 24, 2021
August 24, 2021

Day 239 - August 27,  2021
August 27, 2021

Day 240 - August 28, 2021
August 28, 2021

Day 241 - August 29, 2021
August 29, 2021

Day 243 - August 31, 2021
August 31, 2021

There can only be one Selfie per day, but I’ve decided to start sharing some alternate selfies from the month, that just didn’t make the cut:














If you want to peruse all the THE SELFIE PROJECT images, click on the link below:

Selfie Project – 2021

Hopefully September is another successful month!

Selfie Project – June 2021

On Wednesday night I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. I don’t know that is was a particularly exciting month, but I think there are some good pictures in the collection.

Here are some of my favorites from June:

Day 152 - June 1, 2021
June 1, 2021

Day 153 - June 2, 2021
June 2, 2021

Day 154 - June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021

Day 155 - June 4, 2021
June 4, 2021

Day 156 - June 5, 2021
June 5, 2021

Day 160 -  June 9, 2021
June 9, 2021

Day 161 - June 10, 2021
June 10, 2021

Day 162 - June 11, 2021
June 11, 2021

Day 163 - June 12, 2021
June 12, 2021

Day 165 - June 14, 2021
June 14, 2021

Day 166 - June 15, 2021
June 15, 2021

Day 168 - June 17, 2021
June 17, 2021

Day 169 - June 18, 2021
June 18, 2021

Day 170 - June 19, 2021
June 19, 2021

Day 171 - June 20, 2021
June 20, 2021

Day 172 - June 21, 2021
June 21, 2021

Day 173 - June 22, 2021
June 22, 2021

Day 175 - June 24, 2021
June 24, 2021

Day 177 - June 26, 2021
June 26, 2021

Day 178 - June 27, 2021
June 27, 2021

Day 179 - June 28, 2021
June 28, 2021

Day 180 - June 29, 2021
June 29, 2021

Day 181 - June 30
June 30, 2021

I hope there are some great pictures taken for this project in July.


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


ADVENTURE! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

But what is an ADVENTURE image? An ADVENTURE image is simply any image that was taken while on an ADVENTURE or preparing for an ADVENTURE or going on an ADVENTURE. The theme reveal picture could qualify for all 3. The twist to this picture is that YOU have to figure out what you consider to be an ADVENTURE.


Happy photo harvesting!


There is a wide collection of images in the folder 2010-09-06. Some are of Jen and Derrick when she was pregnant with Evie. The others are from a Labor Day cookout I hosted at my house for the family. Also, some pictures of a toad I found in my backyard.

Labor Day Toad

Labor Day Toad

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

Test Run

Test Run

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

Clu’s Holiday


Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a turtle.

Selfie Project – April

So I’ve made a decision about THE SELFIE PROJECT. I’ve decided to start it backup tomorrow. Saturday, May 1.

I did a few selfies during the month of April. They weren’t for this suspended project, per se, but I threw them in that gallery and I will share them here, now.

Day 91 - April 1, 2021
Day 91 – April 1, 2021

Day 93 - April 3, 2021
Day 93 – April 3, 2021

Day 94 - April 4, 2021
Day 94 – April 4, 2021

Day 99 - April 9, 2021
Day 99 – April 9, 2021

Day 104 - April 14, 2021
Day 104 – April 14, 2021

Day 105 - April 15, 2021
Day 105 – April 15, 2021

Day 106 - April 16, 2021
Day 106 – April 16, 2021

Day 107 - April 17, 2021
Day 107 – April 17, 2021

Day 111 - April 21, 2021
Day 111 – April 21, 2021

Day 115 - April 25, 2021
Day 115 – April 25, 2021

Day 116 - April 26, 2021
Day 116 – April 26, 2021

Day 120 - April 30, 2021
Day 120 – April 30, 2021

Something I’ve noticed on social media is people badmouthing people that share pictures of them getting vaccinated or with their vaccine card. I just don’t get it. I didn’t share my vaccine-selfie on social media, but that is more because I just really haven’t been on social media much lately. Getting a vaccine is a pretty big deal and it is the key to getting out of this pandemic. Celebrating and marking this important event seems like a logical thing to do.

So if you are one of those people that posts things like, “Does the vaccine work without a selfie?” Get over yourself.


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


TRAVEL! Another great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

A TRAVEL image is pretty simple. It is merely a picture that involves TRAVEL. It could be the result of TRAVEL. You could TRAVEL somewhere and then take a picture of something. You could take a picture of things that are involved in TRAVEL. You could take a picture of things that are involved in preparing for TRAVEL. The possibilities are endless.

Think about the following quote while you are contemplating your TRAVEL image:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
-Marcel Proust

Meditate on this quote and I have no doubt your submission will help others see the world with new eyes.

Happy photo harvesting!

Mom’s Obituary

I want to share some of the words people have share about Mom, starting with her obituary.

Carla wrote the obituary and Teresa and I went over it.

Obituary for Charlotte Ann Bennett
Charlotte Ann Bennett
September 26, 1942 – March 24, 2021

Charlotte Ann Bennett, 78, lifelong resident of Boone, passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines of heart failure. Even though a failing heart took her from this world, her loving heart left a beacon of light in all the lives she touched.

Charlotte was the daughter of Lyle Ronald and Doris Irene (Majors) Paris. She was born in Boone on September 26, 1942 and attended Boone High School, graduating with the class of 1960. Charlotte married the love of her life, Gerald D. Bennett on September 4, 1964, in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlotte retired from working at Iowa State University Dining in 2010, after working there for 28 years.

Charlotte loved spending time in her kitchen making delicious meals and baking wonderful treats for her loved ones then delivering them with short visits to check up on everyone. Her kids would say that they couldn’t go anywhere that she didn’t stop to visit with someone. She also loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, attending all the activities they were in.

Charlotte was an active member of the First United Methodist Church including helping in the kitchen for funeral luncheons and large meal activities. She was a volunteer for the Boone County Hospital Auxiliary. Charlotte loved watching Iowa State University athletics, especially the girls’ basketball team of which she held season tickets for many years.

Charlotte was known as a “walking miracle” after beating cancer twice. Her family is grateful to have had nine years of borrowed time with her.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 20 years, Gerald D. Bennett, her parents Lyle and Doris Paris, daughter-in-law Olivia Bennett and grandson Samuel Bennett, sister-in-law Charlene Paris, brother-in-law Dean Walter, and nephew Alan Johnson.

Survivors include children: Teresa Kahler; Carla (Jason) Stensland, and Christopher D. Bennett; Grandchildren: Brandon (KJ Johnson) Kahler; Johnathan Stensland; Elainie (Sabas) Hernandez; Logan (Amanda Nichols) Kahler, and Alexis (Kupono) Baugher; Great Grandchildren: Kanoa Baugher; Dahlia Kahler; Anela Baugher, and Greyson Stolfus. She is also survived by her siblings Lyle “Butch” Paris; Delores (Richard) VanDePol; Sheryl (Terry) Johnson; Dianna “Annie” Walter; Gary Paris, and Lori (Roger) Sebring, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other family members.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at the Boone First United Methodist Church with Pastor David Swinton officiating. Burial will take place at Linwood Park Cemetery following the funeral service.

Friends may pay their respects at Schroeder-Stark-Welin Funeral Home after 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 29, 2021, with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Those attending the funeral service or visitation will be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Memorials are suggested to the family to use at their discretion.

It is so hard to sum up the life of anybody in a couple hundred words. Let alone somebody who lived so fully and loved so deeply. So there are so many things that are left out. One of Mom’s siblings contacted us and asked us why we didn’t point out that she went on to attend the junior college in Boone. It was a big deal because she was the first member of the family to pursue an education after high school. Everybody was so proud of her.

It definitely wasn’t a conscious omission, but I hope sharing some of the other words would help as well.

Alexis wrote the following:

I got the privilege to tell my grandma everything I needed to tell her before she passed. It was extremely hard at first, but then it was like talking to her how I always do.
I really can’t express how grateful I am for my grandma. She has been not only my rock, but our family rock. She has been my biggest motivator and cheerleader. She has loved me unconditionally and always made sure I knew it.
She always told you what she thought, even if you didn’t want to hear it. I have always admired how assertive she is.
She is the strongest person I know. She is all go, go, go. She never sits still, always has to check on all of her people (and dogs). She has BEAT cancer two times. Got part of her stomach cut out! She has told me numerous times that I am the one that saved her when she had cancer the second time.
I can’t describe how much I wish that this was the same.
I gave her a dolphin pillow pet when she had cancer the second time. She has had it on her bed since (9 years). I brought the dolphin for her yesterday, to have as she passed. I made sure to get that dolphin back, to keep forever.
She has done so much for me that I will forever be grateful.
I would give anything to have her make me pancakes one more time, go to an ISU women’s basketball game with her, see her hold my babies one more time (even though Noa doesn’t sit still either), go to Perkins and get 6 muffins, just one more time.
There is so much that I wish she could experience with me, but I know she will always be with me.
I have so many cherished memories with and of my grandma.
I love my grandmother. Anyone who knows me personally knows how much she meant to me. She spoiled me so much and I could never thank her enough.
I am going to live my life saying “what would grandma say”.
I hope to be 1/100th of a mother and grandmother.

Elainie wrote the following:

Philippians 4:4-13💜
Today I opened up my Bible, the first time in a very long time. A couple years, at least. I received this Bible from my Confirmation to the First United Methodist Church in Boone, IA. My Grandma B. was my mentor. At first I was assigned to someone else but I quickly lost interest and I stopped showing up to our appointments. My Grandma B stepped up and became my mentor when the other mentor quit. She is the one I learned a lot of my spiritual beliefs from. We hardly saw eye to eye, spiritually. I argued and gave her so much grief about what was written on the pages in the Bible. She was finally able to get me to come around when she explained to me that it wasn’t believing every word how it was written.. It was how I interpreted it and used it in my life. She was the one who told me when I was angry, frustrated, sad, or any other emotion or state of being that I should talk to God by prayer. When I didn’t get an immediate answer, to look for signs to point me in the direction I needed to go. And when I couldn’t find the signs, to flip through the Bible until a verse caught my attention. Only being about 12 years old, it was simple enough for me to follow and I still follow to this day. In fact, I try listening to the sermon no matter what church I attend and interpret it to my life. I look up scriptures on Google from time to time. I even listen to Gospel music because it helps bring comfort. I got confirmed to my church because of my Grandma B not giving up on me. I received this Bible from the church as a confirmation present. Grandma was so proud. I believe that these verses were how she tried to live her life. 💗

4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

She also wrote this:

This morning started out rough and got better over time. A memory of Grandma B popped up and I came out of the guest bedroom crying and went to hug my mom. Then we all went over the Grandma B’s house and met up with my Aunt Teresa and Uncle Christopher and went through hundreds of photos. Grandma B was big on photos. There are at least twenty photo albums. Photos of the past from her childhood all the way to the present year. Grandma B loved to collect photos and cards from everyone she received them from, I was amazed to see how many she kept from over the years. There were a lot of photos from all of us growing up over the years that brought fond memories and some that brought tears.
One thing no one will ever doubt is the love she had for her family. How she decorated her house, how many photos she took and kept all those years, how she spoke to anyone willing to listen about us. She loved each and everyone of us whole heartedly. She wasn’t just my grandma I’ve realized over the years. Anyone I brought around and introduced to her as my friend instantly she became a grandma to as well. My Grandma took in everyone and loved each one of them unconditionally because she decided if they were important to me, they were important to her, too. Grandma was always involved in our lives. I can’t think of a softball game, soccer game or any sporting event of mine she didn’t attend. She even took photos of a home run hit I had and wrote down the exact date and kept the newspaper article it was published in. I couldn’t even tell you any of that information, but Grandma knew. I can’t think of a time where she didn’t attend a dance recital or choir concert. Grandma was there for all the high school dances. I can’t think of any time where something important in my life was happening and Grandma wasn’t there. Grandma was extremely humble and proud of each one of her children and grandchildren. She could talk to anyone about anything and she would return the favor of lending an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on if you needed it. Grandma always seemed to pop by when you needed her to and you could always go to her house for anything, at any time and she’d had food made in a heartbeat. She loved her evening popcorn and to watch reruns of her favorite older shows on the tv. She believed in her superstition of keeping busy and not watching the ISU game and that they’d turn around and win if they were losing and she kept busy. She always knew the advice to tell you. Not the good words to tell you, the you needed to hear it whether you agreed or not with her advice. And she was right 99.99% of the time. She would hum along while doing tasks, sometimes it was a song stuck in her head and other times it was the tune she made up herself. She loved going to the bakery and McDonalds to meet up with her friends, especially on Friday mornings. She loved to take care of people and she would help out in any way that she could. Grandma was the best cook and baker and made the best food and goodies. She always made enough for leftovers and brought the leftovers to our house. Grandma poured her heart and soul into the food she made and she understood how food could bring everyone together and bring healing. Grandma believed in the power of family and togetherness. Grandma believed in the power of prayer. When all else failed, grandma would pray with you and the strength of her prayer was enough to make the room quiet and the “energy” felt. Grandma had the best hugs and believed in the power of touch. Grandma was the biggest supporter and was always in my corner. She was so proud when I joined the Navy and she came out to see me multiple times while I served. I loved giving her a tour on a US Navy ship, the Naval hospital I worked at and getting to travel to DC to see what she wanted to see. In Texas, she came to my graduations from military training and got to see the Riverwalk. When people came up to us because we were wearing ISU attire and ask if we were from Iowa, she’d proudly state how the best people came from Iowa and how great ISU was. Grandma always sent me ISU attire and always made sure I had the lastest game shirt. Even from so far away, grandma knew what to say when we talked on the phone. Grandma also made it a point to see me each time I came home to visit and spend a few hours with me, no matter what was going on. Grandma loved to take the grandkids out for dinner each birthday. When Grandma worked at ISU, she’d bring us pizza sized cookies from her work. Grandma made sure every holiday was celebrated together and that we each got a holiday card and presents. Even while in the Navy and living in California, Grandma sent me holiday cards. Grandma would also send just thinking of you cards too randomly throughout the year. Each card had paragraphs written inside and sometimes on the back when she ran out of room inside. And when she ran out of room on the back, she wrote notes on paper. Grandma was one of the first people to see my wedding dress and how her eyes lit up when I walked out and told me that my husband was a lucky guy to get to marry me twice. Grandma loved Sabas as much as she loved me, which meant the world to me. Grandma wasn’t hard on me for getting eloped because grandma also got eloped herself to my grandpa, so she knew what it was like and how it felt. Grandma was so proud when I told her I got accepted into ISU.
Grandma was a fighter. My Grandma battled cancer, twice and WON. She almost died three times during her battles, the doctors said she wasn’t going to make it and she beat the medical odds, baffled doctors and was said to be a walking miracle. She was gifted nine more years with us. Grandma believed in community and how important it was to give back. Grandma was a volunteer at the hospital, volunteered for the church, visited people while they were sick or recovering in the hospital or their homes, she baked for bake sales, she believed in the power of togetherness. Stronger together and strength in numbers. She could never let someone feel like they were alone and if they did, she was there to let them know that they weren’t. Grandma had wisdom from years of helping to raise her six younger siblings, raising her own three children (especially on her own after my grandpa died) and helping to raise her five grandchildren. Grandma was the rock of the family. Grandma had the patience to help or to listen but had no patience to just do nothing. Grandma was always on the go. There was always something to do, somewhere to be and someone to visit. Grandma couldn’t go anywhere in town without someone stopping to talk with her and if I was with her, telling me how amazing of a person my grandma was. I told my grandma once that she was a walking, talking encyclopedia of Boone because she seemed to know everything. And if she didn’t, she knew someone who did.
Grandma was one of a kind. Grandma had a heart of gold. Grandma will forever live on in my heart and I will always think of Grandma throughout everything I do in life. I am and will always be proud to be known as Charlotte’s granddaughter. ❤️
I’ll probably end up posting more memories as time goes on. I know that my family appreciates the memories being shared and it is truly amazing to see how many lives my Grandma impacted. 💗

Johnathan wrote this:

Last night, we lost our greatest treasure in our family, your prayers are appreciated but please by all means share stories with us that you have with our grandmother, I don’t think any of grandkids will mind I’m more than willing to listen to any and all stories, she was always doing something with someone or stopping by to see how everyone was doing, she was a great teacher if you wanted to learn how to cook and a great person to talk to and she’d always give the best advice, she will always be the best cook most people have ever tasted (if you have gotten to eat her cooking, you’re lucky.) But she was known as a fighter having beaten cancer twice, like who else do you know has done that, I can’t think of anyone.
But none the less she will be watching over us all and guiding us in her usual way, thank you Grandma B. You’ll be missed more than you know. But I’m glad to know that you’ll be happy with Grandpa Gerald and everyone else.

Kupono wrote this:

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to an extraordinary woman yesterday. I’ve only had the pleasure of knowing her for 3 years but she still had such an impact on my life. Alexis told me how much she means to her so I knew when I got to meet her, it was important to Alexis. What really impacted me was that from the day I met her, she treated me as though I was already married to Alexis. Almost like she knew what was going to happen before we even knew. From there I spent holidays at her home where she welcomed me with open arms, multiple days where we simply came over for pancakes (I’ve tried to make them as good and I can assure you it’s impossible,) as well as even taking me to some ISU basketball games which I honestly didn’t think I’d like but really ended up enjoying a lot. Alexis and I were also able to give you great grandchildren and knowing you got to meet them and spend some time with them means the world to us. While it was a short time, you still had such an impact on my life that I will never forget. Speaking for myself, as well as anyone else who’s had the pleasure of having you in their lives, we will all miss you. Love you grandma B 💜

I’ll share my thoughts at a later date.



The grand majority of pictures from the album are from my Mom’s Retirement Party. The other one if from Dickcissel.

I haven’t looked at the pictures from the Retirement Party in years and while it is sad that a few of the people in the pictures aren’t with us any longer, it still gives me a sense of joy to look through them again.


Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

Mom's Retirement Party

My Mom will turn 80 next year. I hope we are able to have as large of a party for her then as we did when she retired.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:



Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve flowers.

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Congratulations to Micky on winning this years Roundball Oracles Basketball Pool.

His name has not been etched on the list of immortals:


2021 – Micky Augustin
2020 – Tournament Cancelled
2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

And congratulation, I guess, to Rachel for “winning” this year’s “The Sara” for last place:

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2021 – Rachel Gildersleeve
2020 – Tournament Cancelled
2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

Both of your trophies have been ordered.

Here are the final standings:


1. Michael Augustin – 275 points
2. Jorge Rios – 252 points
3. Jordan Toot – 240 points
4. Corey Faust – 233 points
5. Tim Peterson – 229 points
6. Mike G – 228 points
7. Dawn Krause – 216 points
8. Joey Randazzo – 210 points
9. Elizabeth Nordeen – 204 points
10. Kio Dettman – 203 points
11. Humble Narrator – 202 points
12. Angie DeWaard – 202 points
13. Brandon Kahler – 199 points
14. Bill Wentworth – 194 points
15. Toby Sebring – 191 points
16. Carla Stensland – 188 points
17. Andree Jauhari – 187 points
18. Lowell Davis – 184 points
19. Dylan Groves – 179 points
20. Jesse Howard – 177 points
21. Derek Dohrman – 174 points
22. Joseph Duff – 170 points
23. Robert Henning – 168 points
24. Jackson Faust – 167 points
25. Sarah Karber – 151 points
26. Michelle Haupt – 143 points
27. Rachel Gildersleeve – 142 points

Hopefully in 3 or 4 years Iowa State will be good enough to make the tournament again.


This is your reminder that there are two themes to work on this week:


It was apropos that the theme was LOVE the week that we had to say goodbye to Mom. I don’t know anybody that embodied the various definitions of LOVE than my Mom. It is strange that the very next theme is SLICE OF LIFE. SLICE OF LIFE is a theme that was designed to honor my Dad. For those of you that don’t know, my Dad passed away when I was 9 years old. His legacy is a large part of the reason as to why I got into photography. He had started a postcard company called Slice of Life.

Therefore, a SLICE OF LIFE image is an image that looks at your local town and capture an image that could be used as a postcard. His postcards were black and white, if you want to go the extra mile.

The second theme to work on this week:


This theme isn’t very complicated. It is merely a picture of a DRINK or DRINK(S).

Happy photo harvesting!