Category Archives: Mom

Journal Entry #4,250

Can you believe that this is the 4,250th post in this crazy little thing called “An Artist’s Notebook’. 4,250 posts! It has been 5,549 days since I took keyboard in hand on August 9, 2006 and typed these words:

So here is the first journal entry.

The name of that first journal entry was “First Journal Entry”. I really started out with a bang!

What was that first journal entry?

A set of goals:

+ To write in this journal. Mission accomplished.
+ To be truthful. I’m sure there are some that would disagree, but I’m calling that mission accomplished.
+ To record my achievements and failures in the world of art. Mission accomplished.
+ To produce something that makes me “worthy” of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook. Jury might still be out on that one.

In that first entry I also wrote about attending the Photography Salon Reception with Sara. I go on to complain about the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest and tell a tale about how Jay convinced me to enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest that year.

That was it. A simple beginning for a simple man. 5,549 days ago.

When I hit these milestones, I like to check in on a few statistics, to see how things are trending. I like statistics cause they seem to bring order to chaos. It is like the saying goes: “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.”

Here are some damn lying statistics.

I use “Categories” to help organize this blog. There are 194 of them and the 100 most used Categories can be found on the sidebar of every page on this website. The 100th most used Category is a 3 way tie amongst “Jaycees”, “Vacation”, and “DaeHee”. I’ve use those 3 Categories 65 times each. The 2 Categories that have the greatest shot at breaking into the Top 100 are “Kelly” at 61 current uses and “Town Sign Project” at 59 current uses.

These are the 10 Most Used Categories (Post 4000 Rank and entries):

10. Art – 408 (NR)
9. WPC – Submissions – 417 (8 – 381)
8. Mom – 422 (10 – 363)
7. Carla – 435 (7 – 391)
6. Portrait – 450 (5 -472)
5. Shannon – 458 (6 – 421)
4. Jesse – 529 (4 – 495)
3. Animals – 665 (3 – 620)
2. Flowers – 754 (2 – 693)
1. Black and White – 819 (1 – 698)

These are the 10 Most Used Not a Person Categories:

10. Photoshop – 368 (8 – 327)
9. Nature – 379 (6 – 349)
8. Macro – 390 (7 – 332)
7. Road Trip – 394 (9 – 326)
6. Art – 408 (10 – 314)
5. WPC – Submissions – 417 (5 – 381)
4. Portrait – 450 – (4 – 472)
3. Animals – 665 – (3 – 620_
2. Flowers – 754 – (2 – 693)
1. Black and White – 819 (1 – 698)

There are the 10 Most Used Person Categories (Post 4000 Rank and entries):

10. Vest – 274 (9 – 258)
9. Jen – 277 (10 – 254)
8. Willy – 278 (8 – 268)
7. Derrick – 311 (7 – 295)
6. Jay – 329 (6 – 320)
5. Teresa – 405 (4 – 364)
4. Mom – 422 (5 – 363)
3. Carla – 435 (3 – 391)
2. Shannon – 458 (2 – 421)
1. Jesse – 529 (1 – 495)

The Non Person Categories most likely to break into the Top Ten are “Naima” at 323, “Formal Portrait” at 320, and “Candid Portrait” at 303.

The Person Categories that are most likely to break into the Top Ten are “Kim” at 263, “Logan” at 248, “Sara” and “Micky” both at 239.

After 750 posts, “Photography”, “Friends”, and “Life” were my three most used Categories. I’ve since tried to de-centralize those Categories and they have fallen. I’m trying to do the same with “Portrait”, so It should eventually fall out of the Top Ten as well.

After 1,000 posts, “Jay”, Jesse”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories.

After 1,500 posts, “Jesse”, “Jay”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories”.

After 2,500 posts, “Jesse, “Teresa”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories. It was the same after 3000 posts.

After 4,000 posts, Top 3 had changed to “Jesse”, “Shannon”, and “Carla”. I’ll be curious to see where these number are in another 250 posts.

If you are wondering how to increase your Category usage, it is simple. Submit to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Be a photo assistant. Show up in THE SELFIE PROJECT. Go on road trips with me. It doesn’t hurt to be related to me either.

But this is a photography online journal, so let’s look at what are the most popular images and galleries on my website?

Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries of the last 365 days:


#10 Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 25,192 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2013
#9 Daisies 26,286 Views

Punch Myself in the Face
#8 Christopher D. Bennett 31,665 Views

9 Emotions - Bill
#7 9 Emotions Project 49,215 Views


#6 Iowa 59,724 Views

Soccer with Evie and Layla
#5 Gorshe Family 60,179 Views

Xenia, Iowa
#4 Town Sign Project 72,850 Views

WEEK 293 - HANDS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#3 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 8 82,681 Views

Day 162 - June 11, 2021
#2 Selfie Project – 2021 128,029 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1 Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 236,976 Views

At post 4,000 The most popular album was “WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 7”. #2. Was “Christopher D. Bennett”. #3. was “9 Emotions Project”. I’m impressed with the sustained popularity of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. I haven’t taken a new picture for it in years. Although I do want to fire it up again.

Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the last 365 days:

Maven's 2021 Birthday Party
#10. Maven’s Gift Table – 2,013 Views

Moingona, Iowa
#9. Moingona Town Sign – 2,029 Views

Iowa State Fair - 2010
#8. Alexis Cheering at the 2010 Iowa State Fair – 2,177 Views

Mom's Retirement Party
#7. Mom’s Retirement Party – 2,669 Views

Day 73 - March 13, 2021
#6. Mom and I at John Wayne Birthplace Museum – 3,716 Views

Youth Group Family Portrait Fundraiser - 2010
#5. Andrea, Josh, and Kids at Youth Group Fundraiser – 2010 – 4,221 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#4. Alexis Pregnant with Anela – 5,485 Views

Day 51 - February 20, 2021
#3. Selfie in Ackley – 6,369 Views

Day 0 - December 31, 2020
#2. Selfie in Front Yard – 6,587 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. Alexis Pregnant with Anela – 10.355 Views

That picture of Alexis was also #1 at the 4,000 Post Mark, but the other 9 Pictures are completely different. Last time #2 was a picture of Taylan and #3 was a picture of me and Scottie D. at the Pufferbilly Days Parade.

That leads us to my most popular individual posts.

Most Popular An Artist’s Notebook Entries (by Comments)

#10. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: HAMILTON COUNTY – 21 Comments

#10. POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT – MAMIE DOUD EISENHOWER BIRTHPLACE – 21 Comments

#10. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: DALLAS COUNTY – 21 Comments

#7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 43 – SUNRISE/SUNSET 22 Comments

#7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 9 – FOOD – 22 Comments

#7. POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT – SOME CHURCHES – 22 Comments

#3. THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE – ROUND TWO – 24 Comments

#3. TENDERLOIN APPRECIATION SOCIETY – WORKING AT HOME – 24 Comments

#3. CARROLL COUNTY AND CRAWFORD COUNTY AUXILIARY IMAGES – 24 Comments

#3.WPC – WEEK 283 – WIND – 24 Comments

#2. LIPTON CUP OF ZINNIA – 32 Comments

#1. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: JASPER COUNTY – 37 Comments

I have to confess that I haven’t been very good about responding to comments left on my blog lately. I swear that I will get better at this again.

The final statistic I want to share are who my most loyal email subscribers. Loyalty isn’t probably the most accurate term, but it is all I have.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

5. Jeanette Duff – 96.4%
4. Angie DeWaard – 98.5%
2. Michelle Haupt – 99.7%
2. Joe Duff – 99.7%
1. Kio Dettman – 100%

Jeanette, Angie, and Kio are new to the Top 5. They replaced Corey, Sara, and Shannon.

Linda and Tamara are the two most likely to break into the Top 5 in the next 250 posts.

We’ll have to check in on these statistics again in another 250 posts!

Mom’s Birthday

Today is my Mom’s birthday. I considered writing about what an amazing person she was and how she was so good at being a Mom that it still makes it hard for me to relate to people who had subpar parents. It just doesn’t calculate in my head what it would be like to have a Mom that wasn’t your biggest supporter, didn’t always put your needs before her needs, or always made sure that there was a roof over your head and delicious food in your stomach.

Instead of writing about her many merits, I decided instead to share some pictures from what was sorta (but not exactly) my parents’ wedding. I don’t know many of the people in the pictures and maybe only a few of them are still with us, but it is still an incredible snapshot in time that I want to share. A day of love shared between my Mom and my Dad:



Something I will tell you about these pictures is that they were taken in the old house at 415 Greene Street. The house I lived in from second grade until shortly after I got out of college. It is weird to see how in many ways, the house didn’t change much from the time of these pictures until we moved into that house twenty years later. That house was torn down a couple years ago.

01JANUARY2011

At the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 I seem to have lost a ton of pictures. I’m grouping all the pictures that are in the folder 01JANUARY2011 together for this post:


WEEK 1 - REFLECTIONS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

WEEK 2 - LONG EXPOSURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Nuclear Library Redux

Nuclear Library Redux

Nuclear Library Redux

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

The Story

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:

RWPE Y2 #1: REFLECTIONS

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #53

RWPE #52 – EYE

RWPE Y2 #2: LONG EXPOSURE

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #49

I’m not sure what next week’s walk down memory lane will cover. My files from 2011 are a complete mess. Just a complete mess.

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

On Tuesday when I opened up the Twitters looking for any new Iowa State or Big 12 expansion news, I saw this post from Nick Bassett that made me smile so big:



For those of you that don’t follow sports, College GameDay is a pregame show on ESPN on Saturday mornings for college football. It is a huge deal when they come to your town and they are in Ames for Iowa State’s game this Saturday. It is awesome that they are interviewing Nick.

If you don’t know Nick, you are missing out. He did Speech stuff with Logan in high school and Elainie used to go out to his place for their bonfires. He is a great guy that sits a section from me at the Iowa State games. The Des Moines Register recently ran a story on him. You can read it by clicking on the link below:

Inspired by Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, Cyclones fan to return to Jack Trice Stadium after having legs amputated

I will share just a small chunk of the story:

Bassett was given about an hour to mull over the biggest decision of his life: Whether to amputate his legs or keep them and risk further infections. Both of Bassett’s legs had sores caused by poor circulation. If Bassett opted against amputation, he’d have to go through skin grafts and operations. After discussing the options, his doctor left the room and told him he’d be back in an hour.

Bassett didn’t need that long.

Bassett called his parents and told them to come to the hospital. He was going to have his legs amputated. His doctor scheduled an operation to remove them just above the knee for later in the week.

After making the decision, Bassett logged on his Twitter account and announced it, along with a plan for the future to followers.

He wrote that there was “no clear line on recovery but my goal is to be healthy enough to watch” Campbell and the Iowa State football team at Jack Trice Stadium this fall.

He ended it with this: “Two words keep racing through my mind…”I Will.”

Once again, here is the picture I took of Nick at the game on Saturday:


Iowa State vs Northern Iowa - 2021

College GameDay is on ESPN from 8 AM to 11 AM, in case you want to watch.

+++++++

This Saturday from 8-12 we are going to have the final sale at my Mom’s house. There is still lots of glassware and collectibles for sale. A few tools. Many decorations. Maybe some furniture. Some other stuff will be added this week as well I’m sure. The address is 111 South Benton Street. The sale is in the garage and in the garage only. The garage is on the alley. The alley is a dead end, so don’t come down the alley and try to park. I’ll let you know if any of the details change.

+++++++

Here is another collection of pictures of flowers from my Mom’s yard. These pictures were taken on May 16, 2021.


The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

Many more flower pictures to share. Many more!