Category Archives: Dahlia

Fat Mum Slim – July 2022

A quick heads up. If you were thinking of going to or entering an animal into the Pufferbilly Days Dog and Exotic Animal Show, because of the extreme heat of today it was postponed. It is now tomorrow at noon at the park on 9th and Story.

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I have another month done in the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenge. This month wasn’t as difficult as last month because they were just standard themes. I think the images I took are a fair record of my experiences in July.


July 1
July 1 – Reflection

July 2
July 2 – Letters

July 3
July 3 – Human

July 4
July 4 – I’m Working On This…

July 5
July 5 – Wall

July 6
July 6 – Bright Colours

July 7
July 7 – A Fave Place

July 8
July 8 – Out of Focus

July 9
July 9 – A Boomerang

July 10
July 10 – Behind Someone

July 11
July 11 – Interior

July 12
July 12 – Exterior

July 13
July 13 – Life

July 14
July 14 – Create A Postcard

July 15
July 15 – Where I Stood

July 16
July 16 – Pattern

July 17
July 17 – Water

July 18
July 18 – Street Photography

July 19
July 19 – A Cylinder

July 20
July 20 – Hug

July 21
July 21 – A Church

July 22
July 22 – Current Interest

July 23
July 23 – Still Life

July 24
July 24 – A Metaphor

July 25
July 25 – Beauty

July 26
July 26 – Beauty

July 27
July 27 – Countryside

July 28
July 28 – An Old Car

JULY 29
July 29 – Black and White

July 30
July 30 – Happy Days


July 31 – Sunday Morning

I think there was some pretty good work in July. Hopefully some good work to be done in August.

Here are the August prompts:

August 1 – I Am…
August 2 – I Love This Colour…
August 3 – I Walked Here…
August 4 – I Like To…
August 5 – I Love This Time of Day…
August 6 – I Love…
August 7 – I Made This…
August 8 – I Work Here…
August 9 – I Held This…
August 10 – I Wrote This…
August 11 – I Saw…
August 12 – I Like To Drink…
August 13 – I Stood Here…
August 14 – I Do This On Sundays…
August 15 – I Once…
August 16 – I Never…
August 17 – I Went To…
August 18 – I Read This…
August 19 – I Did This Good Thing…
August 20 – I Love This View…
August 21 – I Don’t Life To…
August 22 – On Mondays I…
August 23 – I Sat Here…
August 24 – I Like To Eat…
August 25 – I Have To…
August 26 – I Wore This…
August 27 – On Weekends I…
August 28 – I Watched This…
August 29 – I Can…
August 30 – I Can’t…
August 31 – I Believe…

I guess people will get to know me better this month… unless I can help it.

If you want to follow this project on the daily, they are posted on my Fat Mum Slim Instagram account.

@fmsbennett

Otherwise, we’ll check in on this next month.

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!

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 – Stop #7

About a month back, I finally started my journey on The Tenderloin Trail 2.0. If you don’t know what the Tenderloin Trail 2.0 is, here is some information on it from the Iowa Pork Producers website:

Iowans’ favorite pork dish is the breaded pork tenderloin. You can be rewarded for traveling the state and sampling these delicious sandwiches at 10 of 14 designated locations on the newest version of the Iowa Tenderloin Trail.

Inspired by the success of the original Iowa Tenderloin Trail, the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has launched version “2.0,” an update of the 2017 trail.

“It was time to feature more areas of the state that weren’t represented in the first trail,” said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA’s marketing/programs director. “There are many places to enjoy a delicious, handmade, breaded tenderloin in Iowa. After all, we are blessed with them being represented on almost every menu across the state.”

The tenderloin is an iconic food in Iowa—the nation’s No. 1 pork-producing state. The new trail includes restaurant recommendations from IPPA President Dennis Liljedahl, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and athletic directors at Iowa State University in Ames; Drake University in Des Moines; and the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

The trail also highlights restaurants’ signature drinks, side dishes, and desserts, and promotes nearby attractions as possible side visits. Sutter hopes consumers incorporate the trail into vacations, weekend getaways, or day trips.

“The Tenderloin Trail encourages Iowa tourism across the state, supports local restaurants and businesses and, of course, celebrates Iowa’s delicious pork and Iowans’ favorite way to eat it,” said Trish Cook, chairwoman of IPPA’s restaurant and foodservice committee. “I absolutely love a good tenderloin and knowing where to find one!”

Trail explorers will receive a stamp on their passport when they order a tenderloin at any of the restaurants on the new trail. If they earn 10 stamps within a two-year period, they will be awarded an “I Conquered the Iowa Tenderloin Trail 2.0” T-shirt from IPPA.

To participate in the Iowa Tenderloin Trail, diners need to download and print the official passport at www.iowapork.org/tenderloin-trail. Passports also can be picked up at the IPPA office in Clive, or at any of the restaurants along the trail.

The original trail was completed by more than 400 pork-loving connoisseurs, from June 2017 through July 1, 2021. Sutter estimates that more than 20,000 people completed some part of the trail. She noted that a Google map with the original trail locations was viewed more than 250,000 times.

The new Iowa Tenderloin Trail includes the following locations:

Birdies, Burgers & Brews at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club, Graettinger
The Buffalo Tavern, Burlington
Bump’s Restaurant at Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa City
Darrell’s Place, Hamlin
The Emerald Isle, Imogene
The Feed Mill Restaurant at Waspy’s Truck Stop, Audubon
Grid Iron Sports Bar and Grill, Webster City
Iowa Taproom, Des Moines
Jethro’s BBQ Drake, Des Moines
PrairieMoon On Main, Prairieburg
The Pub at the Pinicon, New Hampton
The Stumble Inn, Bradford
Whatcha Smokin? BBQ + Brew, Luther
Wood Iron Grille, Oskaloosa

I’ve been meaning to get started on the Trail 2.0 for quite sometime, but you know, pandemic. But back in January I finally hit the place that is closest to my homestead. Whatcha Smokin? BBQ in Luther. I’m not going to review the tenderloin because it has been covered on a previous “An Artist’s Notebook” entry. It is sufficient to say that it is a great tenderloin.

Here are some pictures from my trip there after church with Teresa, Logan, and Dahlia.


Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

I don’t have any current plans to hit a tenderloin joint, but ideally, I should hit one a month, in order to get that shirt! I’ll probably at least try to get up to the Webster City one this month.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is BELIEVE.


WEEK 335 - BELIEVE

BELIEVE! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!
I’m going to be 100% transparent on this theme. It is 100% inspired by TED LASSO. Let’s face it, if you aren’t watching TED LASSO, then you are watching television wrong! You better do something about it. Like start watching TED LASSO!

All of that being said, what is a BELIEVE image. While on the surface, this seems like a very abstract, conceptual streak killing theme, it is really quite simple. All you have to do is take a picture of something you BELIEVE in. BELIEVE in Jesus? Take a picture that reflects your Christian faith. Or whatever religion you practice. BELIEVE in your favorite sports team. Take a picture that reflects your rooting interests. BELIEVE that education is the foundation of a successful life, take a picture of that. BELIEVE in your children? BELIEVE in gravity? BELIEVE the world is flat? If you think about it, you BELIEVE in a lot of things.

Happy photo harvesting!

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.

Selfie Project – October

On Sunday I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. One thing that always happens when I look back at a month’s worth of pictures I’m always surprised at some of the things that all happened in the same month. That? That happened this month? I thought that was like 2 months ago.

Here are my favorites from October:


Day 274 - October 1, 2021
October 1

Day 275 - October 2, 2021
October 2

Day 276 - October 3, 2021
October 3

Day 277 - October 4, 2021
October 4

Day 278 - October 5, 2021
October 5

Day 280 - October 7, 2021
October 7

Day 281 - October 8, 2021
October 8

Day 282 - October 9, 2021
October 9

Day 285 - October 12, 2021
October 12

Day 287 - October 14, 2021
October 14

Day 289 - October 16, 2021
October 16

Day 290 - October 17, 2021
October 17

Day 291 - October 18, 2021
October 18

Day 293 - October 20, 2021
October 20

Day 295 - October 22, 2021
October 22

Day 296 - October 23, 2021
October 23

Day 297 - October 24, 2021
October 24

Day 298 - October 25, 2021
October 25

Day 301 - October 28, 2021
October 28

Day 303 - October 30, 2021
October 30

Day 304 - October 31, 2021
October 31

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


Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Selfie Project - Alternate

Hopefully November is a good month too.

Congregation

This collection of images is cleaning up some random photos from January and February. The highlight and the majority of these images are taken from when Logan brought Dahlia over see Mom and Teresa.


Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

Congregation

That was a good day!

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


WEEK 302 - COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION

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

But what is a COMMUNICATION image? It is simply any picture that shows a type of COMMUNICATION or people COMMUNICATIONing or things that are used for COMMUNICATION. For example, in the theme reveal there are several things being COMMUNICATIONed. The business is a carwash. The phone number to reach the proprietor is 515-890-1900. Somebody fears the commercialization of Christmas. They also must like fish. Signs are a great form of COMMUNICATION, as just an example.

Happy photo harvesting!

Mom Video Pictures

When we met with the funeral home to plan my Mom’s funeral, they told us to bring them some pictures so that they could put together a video to play in 3 places during her visitation. I asked how many pictures and they said around 35. I asked what if we could do more than that. They said the max was 50. They didn’t want the video to go too long as they wanted people to keep moving as much as they would. Plus most families don’t even have that many pictures.

I did a cursory look around and without digging too deep my initial collection of pictures was around 140. I went through them with Alexis and Elainie and we were able to trim it down to about 51. Here is a collection of the images from Mom’s Visitation Video and an explanation of why it made the video.


Visitation Video
Mom with Great Granddaughter Anela

Visitation Video
Mom with Great Granddaughter Dahlia

Visitation Video
Mom with Great Granddaughter Anela

Visitation Video
Mom at the Stensland Family Photoshoot in 2020

Visitation Video
Mom picking up Dahlia

Visitation Video
Mom’s Baby Picture

Visitation Video
Mom, Logan, and I after making grape jelly last September.

Visitation Video
Last Family Portrait from 2017.

Visitation Video
Picture I took of Mom while Testing Lights

Visitation Video
Mom with Teresa, Carla, and I at her Retirement Party

Visitation Video
Mom with Teresa and I at a Cyclone Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Logan taking a Picture of Mom with one of Dad’s Lenses

Visitation Video
Mom and I at the Badlands

Visitation Video
Mom Feeding the Feral Donkeys at Custer State Park

Visitation Video
Mom being Honored as a Cancer Survivor before an Iowa State’s Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom with Logan after his Graduation from Iowa State

Visitation Video
Mom with Carla and I at the Indianola Balloon Festival

Visitation Video
Mom with Johnathan and I at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom Modeling a Shirt Teresa Made her at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom with Alexis, Carla, and Anela

Visitation Video
Mom at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game with Elainie and Sabas

Visitation Video
Mom with Alexis, Carla, Elainie, Grandma, and Kanoa

Visitation Video
Mom with Dahlia

Visitation Video
Mom with Alexis and Kupono at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom with Kanoa

Visitation Video
Mom with Dad, Carla, and Teresa at Christmas 1971

Visitation Video
Mom Graduation Picture

Visitation Video
Mom Celebrating a Cyclone 3!

Visitation Video
Mom Taking a Picture of one of my Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entries

Visitation Video
Mom Planting Flowers at My House

Visitation Video
Mom with Me, Teresa, and Carla down by the Des Moines River

Visitation Video
Mom with Teresa at the 415 Greene House

Visitation Video
Mom in the Rocky Mountains

Visitation Video
Mom with Me in the Rocky Mountains

Visitation Video
Mom School Picture

Visitation Video
Mom with Dad – their Wedding Picture

Visitation Video
Mom with her Grandkids – Johnathan, Alexis, Logan, Elainie, and Brandon

Visitation Video
Mom at the Oklahoma City Memorial – Alexis and Elainie really wanted this picture in because they have so many memories of Mom taking pictures with that little silver camera that I gave her.

Visitation Video
Mom with her Grandsons – They wanted this picture in because while they were supposed to be out their helping her, she was the one doing the work.

Visitation Video
Mom at Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party

Visitation Video
This was one of the Last Pictures I took of Grandma and Mom

Visitation Video
Mom with her Siblings at Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party

Visitation Video
Mom in her Living Room with her Family – Thanksgiving 2015

Visitation Video
Mom and I at Mount Rushmore

Visitation Video
Mom with her Friends at Church

Mom's Phone
Mom with her Siblings and their Spouses and Grandma

Mom's Phone
Mom with Elainie and Carla at the Lincoln Memorial

Mom's Phone
Mom with Carla at the Atlantic Ocean

Mom's Phone
Mom with Carla on the Beach in Virginia

Visitation Video
They Concluded the Video with this Picture of Mom Serving Communion

Visitation Video
This is the Last Picture I ever took of Mom – We were at the John Wayne Museum – She loved John Wayne Westerns, but not his war movies. What you can’t tell from the picture is that she is wearing a shirt with the names of her 4 Great Grandchildren on it. It had become one of her favorite shirts and she seemed to wear it on all of our most recent road trips.

I have more tributes to my Mom to share. But the remaining ones will be more words than pictures.

Thank you again for all the thoughts, prayers, support, and everything else that you guys have given my family during these times.

To Catherine

It has been several years since I have done anything with the grapes in my yard. This year there was such a bounty of grapes, it felt like a waste to not make some grape jelly with them. Logan really wanted in on this because he has increasingly been getting into cooking. The only problem is that neither of us knew how to make jelly, so we had to have my Mom teach us.

We did it at Logan’s house because, he has a wide open kitchen and because he needed to watch Dahlia, and as an added bonus, we didn’t mess up my kitchen.

Here are some pictures from the process from back in early September:


Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

Grape Jelly - 2020

The secret to a great jelly… lots of sugar. So much sugar. I pretty much bought Hy-Vee out of sugar. But hopefully, there are enough grapes next year to do this again.