Category Archives: Mom

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.

WPC – WEEK 289 – LOVE

For those of you that haven’t heard, my Mom passed away about 10 days ago. Because of that, I have not been in a state to reveal the submissions for LOVE on time or reveal the new theme for last week. Because of that, I don’t know how steady my posts are going to be in the next few weeks, but this site might just turn into a fan page for my Mom for a little while. However, I will do my best to get back on track with THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Because of that, there will be two themes for this week to get back on track with the Photography 139 Calendar.

Sara’s submission was not exactly an intended submission, but its message was a perfect encapsulation of what I needed to see when it came through. Thank you Sara!

Here are the submissions for LOVE:


WEEK 289 - LOVE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 289 - LOVE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 289 - LOVE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 289 - LOVE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 289 - LOVE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 289 - LOVE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 289 - LOVE - STEVE WHITE
Steve White

WEEK 289 - LOVE - STEVE WHITE
Steve White

WEEK 289 - LOVE - STEVE WHITE
Steve White

WEEK 289 - LOVE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 289 - LOVE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 289 - LOVE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 289 - LOVE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 289 - LOVE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 289 - LOVE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 289 - LOVE - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner

WEEK 289 - LOVE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

Here is the first of two themes to work on this week:


WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE
SLICE OF LIFE

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:


WEEK 291 - DRINKS
DRINKS

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

THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE RULES:

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

Good luck!

WPC – WEEK 287 – PICTURE IN PICTURE

I need to start today by wishing my sister Carla a happy birthday. Happy birthday Carla!


05-12-08

Slice of Life Volume 1

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Stenslands- 2020

Canvas No. 10

I hope your birthday is as wonderful as you want it to be!

+++++++

I also need to wish Monica a happy birthday. Happy birthday Monica!


Monica

04-10-08

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Cheaper than Therapy

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

+++++++

We did it! 76 straight weeks of double digit submissions! I was worried about PICTURE IN PICTURE for a bit, but we came through!

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


WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - AARON BARNETT
Aaron Barnett

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

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 288 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

It is here. Judgement Day. The last theme that didn’t get double digit submissions. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 76 weeks ago. September 23, 2019.

There were only 7 submissions from 7 people:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe
+ Andy Sharp
+ Kim Barker
+ Humble Narrator
+ Stephanie Kim
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jesse Howard

But what is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY? Why is it so scary and intimidating?

Sorry, Chris from 5 seconds ago. I reject your premise. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY isn’t scary or intimidating. It is awesome!

Some of the best and most famous photographers in history were STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers.

+ Dorothea Lange
+ Helen Levitt
+ Diane Arbus
+ Robert Frank
+ Fan Ho
+ Vivian Maier
+ Robert Doisneau
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, great, you are thinking, but you still haven’t defined STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. Is it pictures of a street? No, but it is photography that often takes place on the streets.

Here is the best definition: “conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.”

The 2 most important things. RANDOM and PUBLIC. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is often mistaken for CANDID PORTRAITS. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY has to be done in a public place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. It can be a piece of art. It can be a building. It can be a sign. It doesn’t have to be on a street. It can be at a sporting event. It can be at an art festival. A farmer’s market. The most common place would be a business district. It only has to meet those 2 criteria: public and random.

What is public? I mean that is pretty obvious. It can’t be in your house or in your friend’s house. It has to be somewhere in the public. Where other people can be.

What is random? That simply means that you didn’t go to wherever you went with the intent of taking that picture. Something about the place you went to compelled you to take that picture. You may have went there to take a picture, but not a pre-planned picture.

Some people think of STREET PHOTOGRAPHY as candid portraits. It isn’t, but it certainly can be. However, the picture can be of street art like the example. Egene Atget, was the first STREET PHOTOGRAPHYer. He took pictures of buildings.

I’ll make one last comparison. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is to photography what jazz is to music. It is all about improvisation. This is perhaps why I love it so much.

Okay, one last thing. Most of the great STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers worked in black & white. I’m not saying your submission should be in black & white, but it is something to think about.

Also, think about this quote before thinking about your STREET PHOTOGRAPHY creation:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
-Robert Doisneau

Meditate on this before you go out looking for some STREET PHOTOGRAPHY images.

Then send me your submission(s) by 11 AM CST next Monday. 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 PICTURE IN PICTURE in this place that was born on the streets next Monday.

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.

+++++++

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!

Town Sign Project: Guthrie County

I need to start today by wishing Andy a happy birthday. Happy birthday Andy!


May 17, 2016

June 25, 2019

Soup Supper Fundraiser

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Boone County Fair - 2018

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

+++++++

Last weekend I got to get out and harvest more town signs. This time I hit up Guthrie County.

Here are some facts about Guthrie County:

+ Population: 10,954
+ Guthrie Center is the county seat.
+ Stuart is the largest town, but is partially in Adair County
+ he county was formed on January 15, 1851 and named after Captain Edwin B. Guthrie, who had died in the Mexican–American War.

Guthrie County has one of the ugliest courthouses I’ve ever seen. Right up there with Story County:


Guthrie County Courthouse
Guthrie County Courthouse

The Guthrie County Freedom Rock is located in Guthrie Center.


Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Here is the Guthrie County Photo Map:


Guthrie County Photo Map
Guthrie County Photo Map – Boundaries, not close, I’m sure.

With Guthrie County knocked out, here is the updated Photography 130 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 14 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

14 counties completed. 14.1% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Guthrie County signs:


Stuart, Iowa
Stuart, Iowa (Partially in Adair County)
The City of Stuart Welcomes You
Population: 1,648

Guthrie Center, Iowa
Guthrie Center, Iowa
Welcome to Guthrie Center
Population: 1,569

Lake Panorama, Iowa
Lake Panorama – Census Designated Place
Lake Panorama
Population: 1,309

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids, Iowa (Mostly in Carroll County
Coon Rapids – In the Heart of Corn Country
Population: 1,305

Panora, Iowa
Panora, Iowa
Welcome to Panora and Lake Panorama
Population: 1,124

Adair, Iowa
Adair, Iowa (Mostly in Adair County)
Adair Iowa – Home of the Bombers – Welcome to Adair – It’ll make you smile!
Population: 781

Bayard, Iowa
Bayard, Iowa
Welcome to Bayard
Population: 471

Casey, Iowa
Casey, Iowa
Welcome to Casey Iowa – Since 1869

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo, Iowa
Welcome to Menlo – A Town of Few & Friend of All
Population: 353

Bagley, Iowa
Bagley, Iowa
Welcome to Bagley – 1882
Population: 303

Yale, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Yale – Est. 1882 – Not the Biggest, But the Best – Annual July 4th Celebration

Jamaica, Iowa
Jamaica, Iowa
Welcome to Jamaica – Est. 1882
Population: 224

I think there is a chance that some people might consider my picks for Guthrie County to be controversial this week. It turns out my Hardin County picks weren’t controversial, but Guthrie is an entirely different county.

Adair and Coon Rapids are not eligible for Guthrie County awards as they are mostly in other counties.

Guthrie County has a pretty good collection of town signs. However, there are a couple stinkers out there. Stuart’s is awful. But Guthrie Center has one of the worst signs I’ve seen so far.

It was a little harder to pick the best sign. I enjoy the roughness of the Bayard sign. I enjoy the tropical feel of the Jamaica sign. I like the festive nature of Yale’s sign. I like the fun of Casey’s sign. However, it Menlo. Menlo clearly has the best sign in Guthrie County!


Menlo, Iowa
Menlo – Best in Show – Guthrie County

There are a couple of towns that had alternate signs:


Adair, Iowa
Adair Alternate

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo Alternate

The famous White Pole Road runs through Guthrie County. Many of the best signs are on that road.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

Here is the updated BENNETT POWER RANKINGS:


Ricketts, Iowa
#10. Ricketts

Dexter, Iowa
#9. Dexter

Menlo, Iowa
#8. Menlo

Templeton, Iowa
#7. Templeton

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#6. Farnhamville

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#4. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#3. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#2. Coon Rapids

Ackley, Iowa
#1. Ackley

The next county we will visit is Audubon County.

Selfie Project – February 2021

Another month of 2021 is in the books. Which means it is time to share my favorite selfies from last month’s SELFIE PROJECT collection. I don’t want to break my arm patting myself on the back, but I am pretty pleased with the February collection. I didn’t get out that much, but I did get a little bit, and unlike January, I was able to incorporate a few other people in my selfies. Not many people, but a couple people are sprinkled in here and there.

Here are my favorites from February:


Day 32 - February 1, 2021
February 1

Day 33 - February 2, 2021
February 2

Day 34 - February 3, 2021
February 3

Day 35 - February 4, 2021
February 4

Day 36 - February 5, 2021
February 5

Day 38 - February 7, 2021
February 7

Day 39 - February 8, 2021
February 8

Day 41 - February 10, 2021
February 10

Day 43 - February 12, 2021
February 12

Day 45 - February 14, 2021
February 14

Day 46 - February 15, 2021
February 15

Day 47 - February 16, 2021
February 16

Day 49 - February 18, 2021
February 18

Day 51 - February 20, 2021
February 20

Day 52 - February 21, 2021
February 21

Day 54 - February 23, 2021
February 23

Day 55 - February 24, 2021
February 24

Day 57 - February , 2021
February 26

Day 58 - February 27, 2021
February 27

Day 59 - February 28, 2021
February 28

If you want to check out all of the selfies so far this year, click on the link below:

Selfie Project – 2021

Hopefully in March, a couple other people can percolate into my selfies.

Anela Chapter 1

It is the first Sunday of Lent. It is possible you couldn’t get to church today for a wide variety of reasons. To help you out I’m sharing a devotional by Reverend Melissa Drake.

“Knowing our Identity”
Mark 1: 9-13:
By: Rev. Melissa Drake, Southwest Region Superintendent

We are in the first week of Lent—and this Sunday begins our journey of the next 40 days, leading the church up to Easter. The Lenten season is designed to be a mirror for us: it’s a way for us to witness to Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, as he prepares to begin his ministry.

For Christians, Lent has historically been the yearly season for us to examine ourselves in that same mirror: to spend time in deep personal reflection and preparation as we get ready to commit ourselves to living into the way of Jesus: the way of his baptism, life, death and Resurrection.

For the church it is our season together of reflecting and preparing for the ministries of sharing the Good News of the Resurrection with the world that so desperately needs to hear and see and touch and feel that they are beloved of God.
Lent, this season always known for its austerity—the season where the days are getting longer, but not necessarily getting better—always begins this same way: with Jesus’ baptism and then immediate temptation out in the wilderness. And this year we hear from Mark, chapter 1, verses 9-13:

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

Lent always begins this very same way, and I think sometimes, we, in the church get obsessed over the temptation and the wilderness part, and not so much over the baptism and the naming and claiming part.

And this year of all years, it is a year for us to remember the naming and claiming part: The way the clouds split open and the sun must have been dazzling; the way the wind must have blown, maybe in that wild spring way that makes us adventurous and crazy and ready to go out in the world again, or maybe it blew in that soft spring way that wraps us in the warmth of better days coming; and then the voice. That voice coming from the heavens that says, “You are mine. You are beloved. In your very being I find happiness.”

As Bishop Laurie shared in her devotion last week, Lent has historically been a season to give something up: and that can be such a powerful discipline. We need this time to examine ourselves, to pay attention to what we need to give up and let go so that we can follow Jesus more nearly and dearly. This is a season of giving things up and letting things go as we practice our faith; but it’s also a season of holding on as well. Throughout his time in the wilderness,
Jesus held on to the identity and relationship with God that was so clearly expressed at his baptism.

Friends, as we recommit ourselves to living in the way of Jesus, we need this time of holding on as well. A holding on to what cannot be changed, but what can so easily be forgotten or overshadowed or lost: that deep KNOWING of identity: that deep knowing of belovedness. That deep knowing of relationship, of who we are and who we belong to. And that deep knowing of being absolutely enough, at our very core, for God to delight in us without having to produce anything or accomplish anything.

What would happen to our church communities if we spent the next 40 days holding on to this identity, within our own spirts, during our own times of temptations that tell us that we aren’t enough. That other people have it more and better. That if only we worked a little harder, we’d be more worthy.

And I wonder, what would it be like in our church communities, if we could do this for each other, even in these longer days that don’t always seem to be getting better? If all of our words and all of our work in the next 40 days were about reminding each other, showing each other that we are beloved of God—to remind each other that there is nothing, neither height, nor depth, nor zoom church, nor sub zero temperatures, there is neither pandemic, nor politics, nor temptations or just plain old fatigue that can separate us from the love of our God. And our care for each other.
Friends, this is the promise we made to each other at our baptisms: this is our work of the church: to be connected together. To watch over one another in love. To remind each other of who and whose we are. So that, out of our union with Christ, in his baptism of death and resurrection, we can take this good news out into the world and say and show: World: you, too, are God’s beloved.

May you be blessed; may you hold on.

And may “The God of all grace, who has called us to eternal glory in Christ, establish you and strengthen you by the power of the Holy Spirit that you may live in grace and peace. Amen.”

Next Sunday I will share a devotional from Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado.

+++++++

Around Thanksgiving I went over to meet my new grand niece Anela and photograph her. As I’m sometimes asked to do. Here is the first collection of those images:


Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

Newborn Anela

These are the first pictures of Anela that I’ve shared. Meaning there is now an Anela category on this website!

There are at least two more collections of Anela pictures to share in the hopper still!

Webster County Auxiliary Images

Today feels like a good day to share the images I took while I was prowling around Webster County harvesting their town signs with Mom and Teresa several weeks ago.


Webster County

Webster County
I truly love this sign so much!

Webster County
I do love small town water towers.

Webster County
Stumpy’s Finished Top 5 Tenderloins in the State of Iowa in 2016 – What, you don’t think I have that list memorized?

Webster County
Business Opportunity!

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County
Stop… You had me at Charlie Brown. You had me at Charlie Brown.

Webster County
Badger, Iowa in case you were wondering.

Webster County
Whenever I hear people say God Bless America, I think of Rob Bell’s “Rich”.

Webster County
Also “Noon Specials”.

Webster County

Webster County
Insect sculptures? Yes please!

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County
Don’t you even think of invading Clare, Iowa!

Webster County
Best Wishes T & Morga!

Webster County

Webster County
Tell me there is a better mailbox in the world and I will call you a liar, straight to your face!

Webster County
The church where T & Morga tied the knot appears to be out of business.

Webster County

Webster County
Now this is what I call outreach! Too bad coffee sucks!

Teresa’s co-worker Eduardo gave us a couple tip on places to see in Webster County. Apparently Vincent and Badger are his old stomping grounds. It was his tip to visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park near Badger that lead to the discovery of those sweet, sweet insect sculptures.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is USE OF SPACE:


WEEK 282 - USE OF SPACE
USE OF SPACE

USE OF SPACE is an important theme historically for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. It was the very first theme ever for THE WEEKY PHOTO CHALLLENGE. All the way back when Vest and I invented THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE in the build area of the Computer Mine. Back then it was called THE RANDOM WEEKLY PHOTO EXPERIMENT and the theme was determined each week by a program that Vest wrote. Back then we both received submissions and he also published submissions on his website.
Much has changed back then, and not just the name. While that little bit of history is fascinating, it doesn’t answer the question, what is a USE OF SPACE picture?

It is possibly a confusing theme on the surface, but couldn’t be simpler in reality. All you have to understand is that in an image, there are two types of “space”. Positive space and negative space.

Positive space is the area in the photo that attracts the viewer’s eye. It’s the main subject that commands attention in the composition.

Negative space is the space in the composition that is typically the background. It usually doesn’t attract very much attention. It is used to define or contour the positive space.

In the example, my hand is the positive space. The brick wall is the negative space. In a USE OF SPACE (or negative space) photo, the photographer uses the space that is usually not the primary focus and uses it to fill in most of the composition. The negative space commands more attention than the positive space and creates a unique perspective. It also adds definition and can create strong emotions.

The challenge of this week is to make an image that is mostly negative space.

It is a counterintuitive way to compose an image. The natural instinct is to fill most of the frame with positive space. But you can really ratchet up the emotional impact by putting more negative space in an image than you normally would.

Of course, there are other ways to define USE OF SPACE. You can meditate on this quote by Bob Dylan, while you think about how to compose your USE OF SPACE picture:

Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.

Meditate on these words while you thinking about how you are going to create your USE OF SPACE photo.

Happy photo harvesting!

Town Sign Project: Jasper County

A few weeks back, I loaded up into the car with my Mom and we drove around the enormous county that is Jasper County harvesting the signs that I was missing. It was a good trip that include the traditional breakfast from Hardee’s. If the TOWN SIGN PROJECT has a sponsor it would be Hardee’s breakfast. I’m waiting Hardee’s. Just open up the checkbook!

Here are some facts about Jasper County:

+ As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,842.
+ The county seat is Newton.
+ The county was organized in 1846 and is named after Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero.

Here is a look at the Jasper County Photo Map:


Jasper County Photo Map
Boundaries are approximate at best.

Here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 12 Counties
PUPRLE=COMPLETED

12 counties completed. 12.1% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the Jasper County Town Signs:


Newton, Iowa
Newton, Iowa
Newton
Population: 15,254

Mitchellville, Iowa
Mitchellville, Iowa (Mostly in Polk County)
Welcome to Mitchellville
Population: 2,093

Colfax, Iowa
Colfax, Iowa
Colfax – Est. 1866
Population: 2,093

Monroe, Iowa
Monroe, Iowa
Welcome to Monroe – Home of the PCM Mustangs
Population: 1,830

Prairie City, Iowa
Prairie City
Prairie City
Population: 1,680

Baxter, Iowa
Baxter, Iowa
Welcome to Baxter
Population: 1,101

Sully, Iowa
Sully, Iowa
Welcome to Sully – Est. 1882 – Home of the Jasper County Freedom Rock
Population: 821

Kellogg, Iowa
Kellogg, Iowa
Welcome to Kellogg – Founded 1865
Population: 591

Lynnville, Iowa
Lynnville, Iowa
Lynnville – A great place to live
Population: 379

Mingo, Iowa
Mingo, Iowa
Mingo
Population: 302

Lambs Grove, Iowa
Lambs Grove, Iowa
Lambs Grove
Population: 172

Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres – West
Population: 156

Reasnor, Iowa
Reasnor, Iowa
Welcome to Reasnor – Founded 1877 – Population 190
Population: 152

Valeria, Iowa
Valeria, Iowa
Valeria – Town of a Railroad Romance
Population: 57

Ira, Iowa
Ira, Iowa
Ira – Est. 1883
Unincorporated Community

Jasper County covers a lot of space and has 14 communities and 1 unincorporated community that I stumbled across. Once again, I no longer pursue unincorporated communities. That being said, I think Ira is more of a town than Valeria. And Oakland Acres. I don’t think Oakland Acres is a town at all. I think it is a bunch of rich pricks that live around a golf course that probably founded a “town” to escape paying their fair share of taxes. I could be way off base on that one, but I mean, prove me wrong. There is no city hall even. They have their city council meetings in the maintenance shed of the golf course. I’m going to give Oakland Acres, dead last for the worst town sign in Jasper County.

Best in Show. Hmmmm… I really like the town sign for Lambs Grove. Although I’m not really sure Lambs Grove is an actual town or just a neighborhood in Newton that doesn’t want to admit it is part of Newton. Monroe has a really nice sign. For an expensive town sign, I actually like it. I also like Sully’s sign. I’m not sure what the word Sully is supposed to be on, but my guess it that the blob is supposed to represent the Freedom Rock. I’d give it more points if it actually looked like their Freedom Rock a little bit. Newton’s sign is okay. There is an alternate Newton sign that I would consider the best town sign in Jasper County, which would be the first ever win for the best town sign in a county to go to the biggest town in that county, but I’m not 100% sure it is a town sign. So I’m holding it back. Best in Show in Jasper County goes to…


Lynnville, Iowa
Jasper County Best in Show – Lynnville, Iowa

Although, I could probably be talked into giving this award to Ira.

There were a couple of alternate town signs in Jasper County:


Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres – Alternate

Baxter, Iowa
Baxter – Alternate

Newton, Iowa
Newton – Alternate

Kellogg, Iowa
Kellogg Sign – Backside

Kellogg, Iowa
Kellogg – Alternate

However, there was one sign that bothered me. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It was Valeria:


Valeria, Iowa

What is this “railroad romance”? The railroad has long since left Valeria. There is a trail nearby where the railroad used to be. There aren’t any historic markers in Valeria. There is nothing to indicate what this is all about. My mad Google searches found the story on what appears to be a now defunct website called Iowa Backroads:

This modest metal sign welcomes visitors to the Jasper County community of Valeria, highlighting the railroad romance that led to its establishment. In the early 1860s, the William H. Johnson family left the South to escape the atmosphere and attitudes of the Civil War, and settled at the present-day site of Valeria. William’s son Nicholas and his sister Edna Valeria would play key roles in the birth of the village.

Edna fell in love with a young civil engineer named McBride, who worked for the Chicago and Great Western Railroad. She and her beau convinced her father to allow the tracks to cross the Johnson land. An agreement was reached based on the condition that the community’s depot would be known as Valeria. The couple ultimately married, though McBride left the railroad to become a dentist.

I’ll assume it is true because I could find no other information on the story.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

No change to the BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

I’m not sure what county I will visit next. The last couple of weekends the weather has been rough, so I haven’t done any sign harvesting. The hopper is clear. Hopefully I get out on the open road this weekend!

Town Sign Project: Wright County

I need to start the day by wising Anders a happy birthday. Happy birthday Anders!


9 Emotions Project - Anders Runestad

PHOTO JOURNAL - PAGE 121 ALTERNATE

LOSER - BLACK & WHITE


I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

+++++++

A few weeks back I loaded up into the car with my Mom and Teresa as they joined me as I went around and harvested the town signs in Wright County.

Here are some facts about Wright County:

+ Wright County is a county in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,229.
+ The county seat is Clarion.
+ The county organization became effective in January 1851, and is believed to be named either after Silas Wright, a governor of New York, or Joseph Albert Wright, a governor of Indiana.

Here is a look at the Wright County Photo Map:


Wright County Photo Map
Boundaries approximate at best.

And with Wright County completed, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project -11 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

11 counties completed. 11.1% of the state conquered.

Here are the Wright County Signs:


Eagle Grove, Iowa
Eagle Grove, Iowa
Eagle Grove – Chamber of Commerce – Summerfest – June 18-20
Population: 3,583

Clarion, Iowa
Clarion, Iowa
Clarion Welcomes you
Population – 2,850

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond, Iowa
Belmond Welcomes You!
Population: 2,376

Goldfield, Iowa
Goldfield, Iowa
Welcome to Goldfield
Population: 635

Dows, Iowa
Dows, Iowa
Welcome to Dows – A Friendly Community
Population: 538

Woolstock, Iowa
Woolstock, Iowa
Woolstock – “The Friendly Town” – Birthplace of George Reeves – Humanitarian, Veteran, Actor
Population: 168

Rowan, Iowa
Rowan, Iowa
Rowan
Population: 158

Galt, Iowa
Galt, Iowa
Welcome to Galt – The Little Town That Won’t Give Up!

Holmes, Iowa
Holmes, Iowa
Holmes
Unincorporated Community

Wright County only has 8 communities, but it has a solid set of signs top to bottom. There isn’t any that I think are terrible, with maybe the exception of Eagle Grove. Their sign is more of an advertisement for the town festival. Which is fine, but the sign doesn’t even welcome you to town.

Dows and Woolstock must have a healthy rivalry. A friendly rivalry though. Cause one is a “Friendly Community” and the other is a “Friendly Town”. I also really like Galt’s sign. It is a little surprising that a town of 32 has such a nice sign. There must be some money in that town. There probably is, because they murderize a lot of chickens in that town. No joke, 15 million chickens in that town. Also lots of salmonella in that town. But you probably don’t want to talk about having to recall 380 million eggs due to salmonella on your town sign. However, their can only be one Best in Show and it goes to:


Woolstock, Iowa
Wright County Best in Show – Woolstock, Iowa

We will discuss George Reeves when I publish the auxiliary images from this road trip. I can say though, thanks to Jodie Cue for the tip on Woolstock.

There are also a couple towns with alternate town signs:


Belmond, Iowa
Belmond – Alternate

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond – Alternate

Dows, Iowa
Dows – Alternate

Dows, Iowa
Dows – Alternate

Galt, Iowa
Galt – Back of Sign

Also, on the way back home to Boone, I discovered that Roland had updated their Gary Thompson sign:


Roland, Iowa
The Roland Rocket

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

No change to the BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

The next county we will visit is Jasper County.