Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The 4 Seasons of 2014



In Iowa we are fortunate to experience winter, spring, summer and fall.  Well, honestly, during the long, cold and snowy winter, I don't feel so fortunate but rather captive to this often harsh display of inclement weather.  Nevertheless, as we look back on 2014, enjoy a view from each of Iowa's four seasons.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Popular Dolls

As you may know, any item related to the movie Frozen is very popular and this holiday season many Christmas gifts featured a character from that well-known film.  Featured in today's photo is a tiny tot with two of her favorite gifts -- Elsa and Anna dolls.  And, from what I heard from parents of young children, these dolls were sought after by many but not readily available; hence, you can understand what outrageous prices might have been paid for this pair with the supply being low and the demand so high.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Busy Beavers

Well, no shots of the thick, furry creatures but rather proof that they remain active despite the cool temperatures.  While wandering along the river that passes through our town, I easily spotted the work of these large rodents as tree trunks were on their sides after being gnawed to a point by the beavers' powerful front teeth.  For these semi-aquatic and mostly nocturnal animals, the wood is used to construct dams, canals and lodges (their homes).  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Lost in Lights

"Bethany:  Is your house on fire, Clark?"

"Clark:  No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights."
                                                 --National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Parody for Christmas Eve


Enjoy this take on "A Visit from St. Nicholas" -- that familiar poem by Clement Clarke Moore that we have all known since childhood.  And from me to all of you far and near, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We'll Take It!


Here in Iowa the price of a gallon of gasoline hasn't been this low for a very long time.  Just two days ago while in Dubuque I spotted this amount and snapped the picture as proof.  Honestly, as the owners of two trucks, my husband and I are thrilled for a break at the pump.  A little gift, even though it may be short lived, for us all to enjoy just in time for the holidays.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lights at Night

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the 
simplest things -- not the great occasions --

give off the greatest glow of happiness."
                                 --Bob Hope

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Holiday Welcome

"At Christmas, all roads lead home."
                                   --Marjorie Holmes

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Sea of Color

Strolling through the aisles of a local greenhouse is a feast for the eyes as the poinsettias are in full bloom and stunningly beautiful in so many varieties.  Even if you don't intend to make a purchase, the vivid colors of the large leaves will instantly brighten your day.  Honestly, if you live in the Manchester area, I highly recommend paying a visit to this local producer just to enjoy the remarkable collection of these popular holiday houseplants.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Need a break from the craziness associated with the holidays?  This photo allows you to get lost in a dreamy summer evening at dusk.  A delightful pause in your hectic schedule -- ahhhhh....breathe....

And, for those that want to know, the photo is of West Lake Okoboji looking to the lake from the public docks in Arnold's Park.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Birthday wishes

A special happy birthday to my wonderful husband.  
Truly, to know him is to love him.  
Many happy returns.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
                                          --Marcel Proust

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lights at Night

"Christmas is a necessity.
There has to be at least one day of the year
to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves."
                                    --Eric Sevareid

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Tree

"The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money.  
There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds 
anything all the money in the world could buy."
                                    --Andy Rooney

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gotta Take a Selfie

"N = S/h"

"Scientists have announced a new unit to accurately measure narcissism:
the Selfie per hour."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Show Opens

Last week I posted information regarding the opening reception for the ART @ YOUR LIBRARY Holiday Art Exhibit at the Dubuque Carnegie-Stout Public Library.  These images share a few of the scenes from that night plus serve as a reminder that this show is open now through the end of the year.  Stop in during any of the library's regular business hours to see numerous pieces of sculpture, glassware, paintings, photography and more.  The library is easy to find in downtown Dubuque at 360 West 11th Street.  Check it out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Photo Recognized

November Rain by Stephanie Funke

In a recent online art exhibit with an "open" theme, November Rain earned the special merit designation.  To see many other outstanding entries, visit the following site:

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lights at Night

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."
                                              --W.T. Ellis

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pretty in Pink

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, 
everything is softer and more beautiful."
                                                    --Norman Vincent Peale

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Jackpot!  Whenever I see a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak I feel like I won the lottery.  If you have been fortunate enough to spot one, I am sure you won't soon forget its strikingly bold colors and brilliant red chevron.  Unlike the males, the female counterparts are brown with dark streaks on the breast and white stripes on the head.  Because they easily blend in with their surroundings, noticing the female may be much more challenging than identifying the male.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Humor


A couple days ago I saw this item ( a wall hanging ) advertised in a Black Friday ad, and, since I laughed and laughed, I decided to take a photo and share it with all of you.  Hope it makes you chuckle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Show to Open

When:  Friday, December 5
5:30-7:30 pm

Where:  Dubuque Carnegie-Stout Public Library
360 West 11th Street
Dubuque, IA

Plan to attend!

Monday, December 1, 2014


"As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart."
                                                                                          Proverbs 27:19

Friday, November 28, 2014

Be Creative

Have today off?  Instead of heading to the nearest retail outlet to mingle with five thousand other holiday shoppers waiting in check-out lines, do something just for fun.  Let yourself be creative and don't worry about the outcome.  Devote some time to a favorite hobby or explore one of your passions and simply enjoy yourself.  And, seeing the pictures of a Ferris wheel made of balloons always remind me of the notion that if you can dream it, you can create it.

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."
                                               --Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Be present in all things and thankful for all things."
                                                       --Maya Angelou

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks: Mother Nature

"Just feel the magic in the air and the power in the breeze,

Feel the energy of the plants, the bushes and the trees,

Let yourself be surrounded by nature at its best

Calm yourself, focus and let magic do the rest."
                                              --Sally Walker

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giving Thanks

Not only is this Thanksgiving week but today is also my birthday -- double the reason to be grateful!  Therefore, the featured image is one of my favorites and perfect for the occasion as it contains some of the special people who give me plenty of reasons to smile.  No, my husband and I don't have children but we have a great time in the company of our nieces and nephews -- can't you tell from their faces that this is a lively group!  Never a dull moment, and I am grateful for the way they enrich our lives.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
                                            --Marcel Proust

Monday, November 24, 2014

Badgers Visit Kinnick

With the Wisconsin Badgers in Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes, we expected several fans from the neighboring state to be present for the football game.  And, yes, there was a healthy dose of red and white sprinkled throughout Kinnick Stadium along with those tailgating in the surrounding parking lots.  While approaching the stadium, my husband and I encountered this particular fan who proudly adorned his head with a badger-skin hat -- and, of course, I had to take a picture.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Child's Perspective

"Children are happy because they don't have a file in their
minds called 'All the Things That Could Go Wrong'."
                                       --Marianne Williamson

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Gobbler

"If you want to soar like an eagle, don't hang out with turkeys."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Day in the Sun

Here in Iowa the cold has arrived with frigid temperatures, snow, wind and icy roads....So, now you probably understand why I intentionally sought out a shot of a tropical destination that, just for a moment, takes me away to sun, fun and the beach.  Actually this photo was taken two years ago while we enjoyed time at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico.  As for now, it is back to brrrrrrrrrrr.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November Fog

"November comes 
And November goes, 
With the last red berries 
And the first white snows.

With night coming early, 
And dawn coming late, 
And ice in the bucket 
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn 
And the kettles sing, 
And earth sinks to rest 
Until next spring."
                              --Elizabeth Coatsworth

Monday, November 17, 2014

After School

Remember walking home from school amid beautiful fall foliage and moderate temperatures?  As a youngster I often walked to and from school but I recall being especially fond of the return trip as it was often relaxing and part of my daily routine.  Of course, I had a particular route that took me past the public library, the office building where my grandpa worked, some familiar homes, a park and the church where my Girl Scout meetings were held.  Even today, as an adult back in my hometown, when I head out for a jaunt on my bike or a stroll on foot, I often find myself back on that same, familiar path -- some things are just comfortable.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ground Level

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
                                                    --Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Did you know...

...that as each goose flaps its wings in the 'V' formation, it creates an uplift for those that follow? 

"It is good to know our universe.  What is new is only new to us."   
                                              --Pearl S. Buck

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Not quite twins but who doesn't enjoy images of pet owners and their beloved furry friends dressed similarly?  Thought it would make you smile.  And, honestly, from what I've read, one important benefit of having pets is that they lift our spirits and brighten our days.