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