Playing in the Ditch

I've posted milkweed pictures before and I will most certainly post them again.  They are magical and beautiful.

We had a little bit of time on Sunday to stop and play a bit in a ditch on a dirt road.  I had tried on Saturday, but was pulled right down into the ditch when I pulled over on to the deceptively somewhat dry looking road side.  I was able to drive out with our four wheel drive engaged, but very slowly and very carefully.

Thinking another day was needed for things to dry, I waited for Sunday to try again.

Ditches, creeks, and milkweeds.  ♥

(But we were careful for mud, itch weed, and thistles.  Exploring doesn't come without risks, ha!)

These girls are always ready to play and explore. And, thankfully, so is my husband.

Now I have a couple more bags of fluffy seeds and pods.  I don't really do too much with them, except put them in a jar to enjoy. (And plant them!) I used one pod once to needle felt a baby Jesus in.  My own milkweeds that I had in my tank garden got all dark and almost oily and I had to pull them.  They apparently prefer growing in the wild!

September: Scene and Story

Hello October!
I switch from loving it to feeling emotional about it.  Fall affects me oddly. How about you?

Once again I'm linking up with Sarah for Scene and Story.  Although I have many favorite photos from this past month of still lifes and Claire's Senior pictures, this is a favorite with a good story.

Claire was a candidate for Homecoming this past Friday and the older kids were able to come home for it. :)  Lauren brought our oldest granddaughter too and it was her first football game so everything was exciting for her.  Then when her aunt got a flower she was thrilled to hold it!

Claire was so afraid she would trip in her high heels or sink in to the field as they had to walk across while the spiel of their high school career was read.  No tripping and no sinking I'm happy to report!

Of course after the very brief coronation we had to take photos.   Will, is wearing my first husband, Jim's, coat that was gifted to him by the school 20 years ago as he used to be the unofficial football team Doctor.  He took the coat a couple of years ago when he went to college and loves it.  I love seeing him wear it especially here on the football field.

I can't say I'm a fan of Homecoming coronations. I believe it to be unnecessary stress and stirs up unhealthy competitive feelings in our high school students. Thankfully, Claire just kind of slides with it all.  But, I am a big fan of school spirit and of seeing the gifts that came from where you grew up.

~happy fall to you all~

Petals and Lace

Oh gosh, flowers.  So much to enjoy and even when they are spent, the beauty lives on.

I dry a lot of the bouquets I create and also make little bundles of blooms to hang throughout the summer.  Now, that it's fall, I'll gather more before they are gone.

They pair magnificently with these pieces of crochet work.


Vine Wraps

Back in May I posted here about the garden wreaths I made.  In early August, after we had done a LOT of trimming and chopping and cutting in the periphery of our back yard I spent a couple of hours making more wreaths.  Which are still hanging yet today as you see them here.  :)

Then I thought maybe jar wraps would be fun to make.

And, they were!

So now I can adorn the jars that I keep seeds, pods, and "what not" in.

Very simple, but really adds a little something!

Making them is just rather relaxing, especially the day I formed these, it was so nice outside.  

Now, maybe I should form some vines into Christmas trees.   Little table top ones perhaps.

~enjoy the rest of your weekend~

Looking Ahead

Two weeks ago, my daughter and I went out to take the first round of her senior pictures.

Oh look, an abandoned church.

Let's take pictures there.

Yes, let's.


We took the second round this past Saturday in between the ACT test, Husker football, and celebrating two of my kids' birthdays.  It was a full day!  I'll post more pictures soon I hope.

Scene and Story: Aunt BonBon Dresses Up

Here it is September and I see it's time for another Scene and Story hosted by Sarah and Leon.

This was just a quick photo taken after we had celebrated our second granddaughter turning 2.  She received some dress up shoes as a gift so of course the dressing up followed.  Aunt BonBon, as the grands call my daughter Bonnie, was joining in.  The photo is busy, poor lighting, etc. but that is part of the story.  Their house was busy and everyone was enjoying themselves. If you look in the back you can get a glimpse of the other Grandma giving our youngest granddaughter a bottle. My son in law was showing her the photo book they had just made from their trip to Germany. 


Pictures of the "things" and the "goings on" are as important as the group shots and individual poses I think and we often overlook taking those.

Because dress up is so fun: here and here are a couple of older posts on the same subject. My heart got all fuzzy revisiting them. :)

~have a great week~

Sunflowers That Are Sunny

Oh my.  I am so enjoying the sunflowers this year!  I think I have five different varieties and hopefully will photograph each separately to document and remember them.  I have a dream of a garden journal~even if just utilitarian and not all pretty like I envision. Just so you know, they don't look all that pretty in the garden.  It's full of weeds, but they bloom in spite of that.  Probably why I love them so much.  I posted this same bouquet as a black and white image on Instagram.  Either way, the fowers are really something to enjoy.

By the way, the title of the post?  I really miss reading kids' books to my girls!  The voice of many of those wonderful books is still with me and I enjoy it.

~happy friday~

Eclipse 2017

So, where were you during the total eclipse of 2017?  Nasa had this fun print out with a pin hole to print out so you could photographically mark your location.  We were a little south of where the star is in the path of totality.

The idea was that you could take a photo of the print out and the resulting shadow of the eclipse and the shadow of your state.  I thought this was such a fun idea.

The Nasa web site also had instructions to make an eclipse projector using a pair of cheap reading glasses.  I just happened to have a pair that I don't use since I quit wearing contacts, plus I just happened to have the perfect box to build the projector out of, so I made one for us.

We went to my in laws' home as they lived in the path of totality. We picniced while we waited and watched it evolve.

My daughter wasn't taking any chances with her oldest's eyes!

My youngest granddaughter, had no idea what we were doing, but was ready to hang out with her youngest aunties and smile for me. :)

We saw quite a few planes that were watching it from an even closer vantage point.

And, it began to get darker.  The girls pushed the stroller of my youngest grands around so they wouldn't look up at the sun (or lack there of).

It's getting closer to completion as viewed through the projector.

Very Cool indeed.  This is underexposed to show the ring better.  The sky was not this black.

The view around during our 2 plus minutes of totality. (slightly underexposed yet) It was a little surreal.

It was neat, really neat.  I'm glad we drove the hour and a half to see it.  But, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go further than that.  It was a special moment of awareness of the space around you and how it "all works" so to speak.  

But, truthfully, if you look around you where you are and pay attention, God gives you those moments anytime and you don't even need special glasses to see them.

Come As You Are

My son, soon to be a mechanical engineer.

He goes back to college today to finish his last semester. It's been so nice having him home for the summer! He is certainly ready though to finish up college and get back to his own space in his apartment.
By the way, engineering students occasionally come across some fun swag as they say.  (note the great t-shirt from a company)


I've have set up some studio lighting in my basement and am really excited to explore this new realm of photography.  As I think about portraiture, I realize that a "come as you are"  approach will be my favorite.  As in "Hey, before you go back out to finish the siding on the barn, will you come sit for a few photos?"  Truly, love this approach and this photo of him.

From One of My Favorite Places

at the farm where i grew up
my grandpa's old house turned shop for my dad
now in full decay
and falling in
i'll keep visiting it
until it's gone

Scene and Story: July

The morning was cold and the bride was nervous.
The groom finished chores and went in to his parents' home to take a bath, and put on his one and only suit.
The pastor was jolly and welcomed the guests to the wedding.


The children came with cries and giggles.
The rains came.
The droughts came.
The children grew and the son came home one morning and took a bath.  Then put on his one and only suit.
The morning was warm and the bride was excited.


The day was cloudy and grey and the husband's heart was heavy.
The grandsons carried the casket out to the cemetery across the dirt road.
The great grandchilden played near the iron gate.
The pastor was peaceful and full of hope.


The afternoon was hot.
The woman with a camera stopped and peaked in the door gasping at what once was.
Children were baptised here.  People were wed here.  Souls were prayed for here.
She didn't let the ruin instill depair but enjoyed the beauty of the decay.
Because she knows the word is alive and still  full of hope.



I've wanted to stop at this abandoned church forever.   A few weeks ago, it finally happened. :) 


This year I planted what I called a "cutting garden".  By naming it such I knew I'd feel more free to cut the flowers from it.  

I have about 8 short rows of flowers in with the vegetables.  So when they get weedy it's not so bad.

When I hesitated to cut these sunflowers, I told myself that I planted these to cut.  Cut them!

So, I did.

The green flowers...are a variety of Amaranth called Green Thumb. Truly, I thought as they began to bloom, that they were ugly and looked like the common pig weed amaranth.  But, then I gave them a go at cutting them and decided they are pretty wonderful in a bouquet as a filler. I've had to prop them up because after watering heavily, they just laid over on the ground.  The other varieties of Amaranth I planted haven't displayed that same behavior. 


Yesterday, the girls entered a few of their projects in the fair and today the baking and their theater arts projects were entered.  We did a lot less projects this summer and had a lot less stress....So, I give us a purple ribbon in the self proclaimed "Life Choices" category.  It may be the only purple ribbon awarded this year for our house.  This morning when we cut Audrey's Chiffon Cake to get ready to enter it, she tasted it and said, "Hmmm, it tastes like bread".  And it does.  A delicious bread.  Should a cake taste like a bread?  Maybe not. But, hey it all came out of the pan!  Mostly. The tiny bit that didn't was able to be the 25% of the cake that didn't have to be entered. Whew.

Stay cool. We are praying for all the animals and kids taking care of them at the fair. 

It Was Golden

Two weeks ago, my husband showed me a picture of their first wheat field on his phone and he said, "Maybe you'd like to come up and take pictures of it."  Oh yes I would!!

You can see the steeple of the rural Catholic Church that my husband grew up going to in the distance.  They still have one Mass a weekend there and my Father in Law's funeral was there.  He is buried in the cemetery right next to it.

Corn and beans are mostly planted around here so we don't see all that many wheat fields. 

Generally they plant a field of oats, but for various reasons, decided on wheat this year.

The old "outstanding in your field" phrase came to mind.

By now, the field is gone and just the stubble will be left.  I'm grateful that it worked out for me to get there yesterday to take a few pictures.

We have a little tub of wheat here now too. I think I'll put it in a jar for fall decor.  It's funny because I did not even think much about the fact that I had never held wheat in my hand until he brought a sample home.  (He was taking it in to the coop to have the moisture tested.)  

As they say, it's the little things.

Look at that texture. :)

You know I do have more pictures of it....but, I'll stop with this one. Ha!

Okay, one more.  

I took pictures while he conducted business in chore boots from the middle of a wheat field.

But, this photo is my favorite.  
Because he knew how much I'd like to see this field. ♥

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