Photo 365 #24

We took the kids to see Effigy Mounds today. This was the view from Fire Point:


It was a beautiful day on the Mississippi River.

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Photo 365 #22: The beginning and the end

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.  -Seneca

This post has been percolating for a good week now.  Last Wednesday, I attended my great-aunt Janice‘s funeral with a heavy heart.  She passed away the morning of August 17, after years of battling an assortment of health problems.

Wednesday, August 20, was her 66th wedding anniversary.

Her husband, my grandma’s brother, Calvin, is still living, and I couldn’t help thinking that burying your wife was a hell of a way to spend your anniversary.  And despite Aunt Janice’s stated wish that we celebrate her life instead of mourning her death, there was a fair bit of mourning going on.  She was a wonderful lady, after all, and we miss her greatly.

It was a lovely funeral – their whole family turned up to see her off to eternity, which is saying something because they had four children still living in addition to 18 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen some of those cousins that I couldn’t put names to faces – name tags would have been a huge help. 🙂  It was great fun visiting with them all again, but I wish the circumstances for the reunion could have been different.

Martha StahlThe strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows haunted me…

Photo Friday: Lasts

I had so many fun ideas for a photo post about lasts.  See, I’ve got this post that’s been incubating for a week now, and it would be a perfect lasts post, but then I thought of this picture:

Oh, Gretchen, how we miss you!

Oh, Gretchen, how we miss you!

This was my last official day of high school.  Graduation day.  Both bitter and sweet, I find it hard to believe that it’s been twelve years since this picture was taken.  I’d love to say we all stayed in touch, but we didn’t.  Well, three of us did, and I couldn’t be more pleased about that.

Here’s hoping I get to see you lovely ladies soon!

Don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog and check out her post.  Have a great Friday, and an awesome Labor Day weekend!

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Photo 365 #21

Can you believe I’ve been at this for three whole weeks already?  Neither can I.

Anyway, I was struggling to come up with a good idea for today’s photo post.  But after I put the boys down for their nap, I went out to check the mail.  Hidden among the various bills and other junk mail was this:


Last (school) year, Bubbles’ class did a project where they wrote a letter to their favorite authors.  At first, Bubbles wanted to write to me (cuz he’s a sweet boy), but his teacher told him that he had to choose another author, so he chose JK Rowling (big Harry Potter fans, we are).  I’d actually kind of forgotten about it till today.

I suspect that when he gets home, he’ll be a mite disappointed.  I mean, how cool would it have been to get a letter back from JK Rowling?  Still, even this returned letter will be a nice keepsake.  Someday he can look back at it and have a glimpse of the boy he used to be, a carefree, happy boy who loved football and reading.

And who knows?  Perhaps someday I’ll get to go to a conference or convention of some awesome sort and I’ll bump into her and not make a fool of myself when recounting this story, and maybe he’ll get his return letter then.

What?  It could happen. 🙂

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Photo 365 #20

Today’s photo post is accompanied by a little piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the humid heat of an Iowa summer combined with the indescribable heat of a hot flash.  It’s more an experiment in painting with words than anything else, and I hope I’ve achieved what I set out to do (which is to attempt to convey the misery of having a hot flash in high summer).  Comment away and let me know how I’ve done!


Impressive, no?

I stepped out of my perfectly climate-controlled office…

Photo 365 #19

It’s been a long day, thanks to another stupid headache and two grumpy boys, so I present you with a picture of Shadow, because everyone knows that looking at cat pictures makes you feel happy.


Shadow is a very silly, upside-down sort of kitty.  He’s also very soft and would make an excellent lap cat, if only Seymour weren’t so allergic.  Oh, well – at least now we can have cats, as opposed to before when we lived in town.

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Photo 365 #18

Seymour’s cousin came over Saturday night so that we could go out on a date.  It was utterly fantastic!


She stayed the night and had breakfast with us Sunday morning.  Happy fun family times!

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Photo 365 #16

Look at the beauty I found in my mailbox today:


I love getting mail that isn’t a bill. It’s such a shame that people don’t write letters the way they used to – there’s just something about a handwritten letter or postcard or what have you that lets the recipient know the sender really cares. I mean, how many emails and text messages do we dash off without really thinking about them? They’re quick and easy to send.

But a handwritten letter requires much more thought and effort, and the results are definitely worth it. It’s like Hallmark’s old slogan, When you care enough to send the very best. Anyone can type up a quick note. But a well-written and legible letter is something of a dying art.

I’d like to thank my friend, Alisa Sibrova, for this wonderful postcard. Las Vegas is a fun place, and one I wouldn’t mind visiting again someday. 🙂

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Photo 365 #15

Cricket likes to take toys to daycare.  “I have to share my toys at daycare, Mommy,” he tells me when I ask why he’s leaving the house with his pockets packed with toy cars.

I like him (and Thumper, and Bubbles in his younger days) to leave his toys at home, where they won’t get lost.  At least if they get lost at home, we stand a chance of seeing them again – not usually the case at daycare, and he’s lost several of his cars this way.


So we’ve reached a compromise: He can bring his toys with him, but they have to stay in the car, where they won’t get lost (permanently).  As a result, Thumper has become not only become Cricket’s bedtime defender, but also his carseat warmer.  He took his time this morning making sure that Thumper was in just the right position to keep his spot warm all day long.

And it worked, too – it was so hot in the car when I got off work tonight that my seat was warm! 😀

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