Category Archives: Life

Blessings 2020

Let’s face it. 2020 has been a terrible year. I could spend hours and hours polishing this turd, but a turd is still a turd.

I basically only see 2 other people on a regular basis right now. Willy and I haven’t held a Friday Night Supper Club since March 13. We went to Jimmy’s for their Friday the 13th sale. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen any of my nieces and nephews this year. I’ve been able to hold a couple of Union Street Theater Nights in the reconfigured Union Street Theater, but it isn’t really the same. The masks and the sound of the air purifiers makes conversation a little difficult and food is definitely a missing element. Since March, the only stores I have been inside are the Boone Wal-Mart and Boone Hardware. I go to Hy-Vee every other week. I’ve seen Bethany twice. Nate and Laura once. Becca, not at all. I haven’t seen the Lockners at all. I’ve seen the Gorshes thrice. I run into Willy around town now and again. Jay stops by here and there to work on his homework. I see Jesse now and again. I haven’t met Kalista’s baby. Baier, Russell, Andree? Distant memories. Since I left the Computer Mine with the belief that I would be working from home for a few weeks, the only co-workers of note that I’ve seen in person are Vest, Lowell, Kim, and Elizabeth. I haven’t met Jorge’s twins. My church has had maybe a dozen worship services and those are suspended again. The Mission Trip is cancelled. There will be no Mission Trip next year. Youth Group has been put on hold indefinitely. For the first time since September 18, 2004, they played football games at Jack Trice Stadium and I wasn’t in attendance. The Cyclones Women’s Basketball Season just tipped off. I wasn’t there. I will most likely, not be able to attend any Cyclones Men’s games this year.

All of that being said, 2020 has still been an embarrassment of blessings for me. In a time where the pandemic was horribly mismanaged by an inept and corrupt federal government, causing employment rates to go through the roof and food insecurity and evictions to sweep across the country like a second plague, I have not had to worry about my job. As these pandemic pounds can attest, I haven’t once had to worry about my next meal. I was in a solid enough financial position that when the $1200 dollar stimulus check hit my bank account I wasn’t sure what to do with it. We were supposed to put it where it would do the most good, so I donated some of it to Joe Biden’s campaign.

While the only people I see on a regular basis are Mom and Teresa. I am still blessed with a pretty incredible family:


Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

While I see them rarely, I still have a pretty incredible set of friends:


March 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019

LOSER - BLACK & WHITE

Self Portrait Project - 2012

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Honey Hollow

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

While we don’t get to worship an awesome God together right now, I still have a pretty incredible church family:


October 27, 2019

October 30, 2019

September 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

June 23, 2019

January 16, 2019

While I continue to work at home, I still talk to and try to stay in contact with my amazing work family:


August 30, 2019

December 27, 2019

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

And while Naima is becoming off the charts spoiled, I’m blessed to have her in my life as well:


Black and White Alternate

I hope to see so much more of all of you in 2021. In fact, I’ve started to compile a list of things that I look forward to doing when this pandemic subsides. It isn’t a glamorous list. But that is a sign of 2020.

Town Sign Project: Boone County

I should start the day by wishing Suzie a happy birthday. Happy birthday Suzie!


Des Moines Art Center

Day 2 - Things Start to Look Different

Pufferbilly Days - 2019

I hope your birthday was as amazing as you wanted it to be!

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I made a recent decision to start breaking down town in the TOWN SIGN PROJECT by county. I’ve used the Wikipedia and a Iowa Gazetteer to start this process. Well, it seemed rather obvious that the first county I should cross off the list is the county is the county I live in.

Here are the town signs from Boone County.


Boone, Iowa
Boone, Iowa – 12,661

Madrid, Iowa
Madrid, Iowa – 2,543

Ogden, Iowa
Ogden, Iowa – 2,044

Sheldahl, Iowa
Sheldahl, Iowa – 319

Boxholm, Iowa
Boxholm, Iowa – 195

Pilot Mound, Iowa
Pilot Mound, Iowa – 173

Luther, Iowa
Luther, Iowa – 122

Fraser, Iowa
Fraser, Iowa – 102

Beaver, Iowa
Beaver, Iowa – 48

Berkley, Iowa
Berkley, Iowa – 32

Mackey, Iowa
Mackey, Iowa – Unincorporated

Moingona, Iowa
Moingona, Iowa – Unincorporated

Centerville, Iowa (Boone County)
Centerville, Iowa – Unincorporated

Napier, Iowa
Napier, Iowa – Unincorporated

Ridgeport, Iowa
Ridegeport, Iowa – Unincorporated

Boone County has a couple of unincorporated towns that have no sign to mark their existence. These are Jordan and Logansport. Some people claim that Zenorsville is an unincorporated community, but I would consider it a ghost town. Same way I would consider Coal Valley a ghost town. Elk Rapids a ghost town. However, there are still people living in Jordan and Logansport.

The next county I plan on doing is either Story County or Greene County. Cause, proximity.

2010-05-03

The pictures from the folder 2010-05-03 are from a Mother’s Day celebration at Carla and Jason’s old house. We celebrated a week early because Teresa was going to Kentucky for Mother’s Day.

A few of the pictures in this collection were taken by Alexis:


Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

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

VACATION DAY 9B – MOTHER’S DAY EARLY

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a trip to Brookside Park among other things.

Happy Birthday Kanoa!

Back in August there was a small birthday party for Kanoa. I took a few pictures, but mostly just pictures of Kanoa eating his cake. Which he apparently enjoyed very much.

Here are some pictures:


Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

Kanoa's 1st Birthday Party

I did get to see Kanoa again on Saturday, but that is a topic for the future.

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


WEEK 270 - ART
ART

An ART image is any picture of a piece of ART or an ART supply or somebody making ART or a gas station attendant named ART.

Happy photo harvesting!

Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

I need to start today by wishing all veterans a Happy Veterans Day!


Veterans Day - 2020
Happy Veterans Day!

Here are some facts about the veteran population in the United States from the History Channel:

18.2 million living veterans served during at least one war as of 2018.
9 percent of veterans are women.
7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
3 million veterans have served in support of the War on Terrorism.
Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 325,000 were still alive as of 2020.
2 million veterans served during the Korean War.

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Here is the collection of flowers I took back in July:


Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

A Proud Assertion - 2020

Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

I have another collection of flower pictures from this very day in the hopper!

In the Cold October Snow

I need to begin today by wishing Elainie a happy birthday. Happy birthday Elainie!


Elainie & Sabas

06-22-08

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

9 Emotions Project - Elainie

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

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Back in late October, we got a bit of unexpected snow. I took a few flower pictures afterwards.


A Proud Assertion - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Fortunately, fall weather wasn’t done with us yet. But that snow pretty much did in all of my flowers.

2010-04-30

Happy Halloween! At the time of my writing this, the CDC has recently announced that Beggars’ Night should be cancelled. I have a feeling Boone will still be handing out candy, because if we allowed Super Nationals to happen… well the bar has been set pretty low and the greatest worry is not tripping over it. Either way, I’ll be sitting on my couch watching scary movies tonight. Maybe with a table of candy on my driveway. Maybe not. I guess we’ll see.


Happy Halloween - 2020
Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Which makes it time for me to reveal by 2020 Candy Bar Power Rankings. There are some changes from last year:

2020 Candy Bar Power Rankings
10. Baby Ruth
9. Rolo
8. Payday
7. Heath
6. Snickers
5. Twix Caramel
4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
3. Take 5
2. Peanut M&M’s
1. Whatchamacallit

No interviews at this time. Please respect my decision.

Still, Three Musketeers and Milky Way are the most garbage candy that you will never see me handing out to trick-or-treaters.
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The pictures in the folder 2010-04-30 fall mostly into two categories. Pictures of Willy running. Pictures of frogs. Two pretty great subjects in my book!


Firetub

Linden

Loneliness is Underrated Alternate

Loneliness is Underrated Alternate

Loneliness is Underrated Alternate

Loneliness is Underrated Alternate

Loneliness is Underrated Alternate

Vacation Day 7 - Couch Time

Vacation Day 7 - Couch Time

Vacation Day 7 - Couch Time

Vacation Day 7 - Couch Time

Vacation Day 7 - Couch Time

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:

Vacation Day 2 – The Tub

Vacation Day 7 – Couch Time

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK NO. 20

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve flowers, Alexis, and my Mom.

2010-04-29

Whew! This is a big one. Just by adding these pictures to the SmugMug Gallery from the folder 2010-04-29, I was able to fix 5 “An Artist’s Notebook” posts. I believe I added pictures to 14 different photo albums.

The pictures in this folder are taken from over several days of vacation I took back in 2010. Some in Minnesota. Some at Iowa State. Lots of flowers. A few of people.

Here are a few of them:


Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 3 - Guinea Pig

The 5-8 Club

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Where It Got Its Life

Where it Got Its Life

Vacation - 2010

Vacation - 2010

Vacation Day 6

Vacation - 2010

Vacation - 2010

Where It Got Its Life

Where It Got Its Life

Where It Got Its Life

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 4 - Cotton Candy

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

Vacation Day 6

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:

VACATION DAY 3 – GUINEA PIG DENIAL

VACATION DAY 4 – COTTON CANDY

VACATION DAY 5 – THE JUICY LUCY

VACATION DAY 6 – CAMPUS

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK NO. 21

In that collection of restored posts, is a very bad take on how well Fred Hoiberg would do at Iowa State.

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

Back in Black and White

Here is another collection of alternates for last week’s BLACK AND WHITE theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Some were taken on my way back from Manhattan, Kansas. Some were taken around my house. Some were taken around my Mom’s house. Some were taken out by Don Williams.


Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Back in Black and White

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

A Proud Assertion - 2020

Back in Black and White

I can’t wait for BLACK AND WHITE to be a theme in the next set of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE themes!

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


WEEK 267 - ANIMAL
ANIMAL

An ANIMAL picture is any picture of an ANIMAL or something related to an ANIMAL.

Happy photo harvesting!

2010-04-22, 2010-04-24, & 2010-04-25

The pictures in the folders 2010-04-22, 2010-04-24, & 2010-04-25 are mostly interconnected. The grand majority of the pictures were take on the first day I took of vacation back in 2010. A ton of them are tulip picture. But there are also some frog pictures. Flowertography and frogtography in one post? Get out of Dodge! Especially, if we’re referring to Fort Dodge. That town is terrible. They think Taco Tico is real food. As if!


Transmorgify

Vacation Day 1 - The Birds

Vacation Day 1 - The Birds

Vacation Day 1 - The Birds

Vacation Day 1 - The Birds

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Still Laughing - 2010

Theories Pass - Alternate

Theories Pass - Alternate

Theories Pass - Alternate

Theories Pass - Alternate

WEEK 16 - RULE OF THIRDS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

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:

Vacation Day 1 – The Birds

Transmorgify

Personal Photo Project of the Week No. 18

Personal Photo Project of the Week No. 19

RWPE #16 – RULE OF THIRDS

Next Saturday’s walk down Memory Lane will involve more from that same vacation. Including images from Minnesota and Iowa State University.