Thursday, December 18, 2014

There's Always Love

 Hi there Strangers,

I really should have posted this in my Brutus Blog, but I was about to lose my photo blog if I didn't post on here soon, so I am sharing my Brutus boy here.

We had a simple bit of playtime yesterday afternoon, and even though he has become very camera shy, I was able to catch him on my cell phone. He was standing right on the edge of our yard and our neighbor's yard with that look on his face that said "hmmm....should I be a good boy or run?".
Thankfully he made the right decision! I had had a very busy day and really didn't feel like running after him. As much as I love seeing him run loose, there's always that fear that he will make the decision to go visit ALL of the neighbors. Some days that takes up to an hour. There are just way too many shrubs to pee on, and not only is it something I don't allow him to do, but it's something he knows I don't allow him to do which makes it all the more fun to be one step ahead of me. The stinker!

We came back in to the house through the downstairs porch, and when I turned around I noticed the coolest thing. I have had the same pair of boots down by that door for years and never noticed this. I love love, and this is just the coolest. (picture below)

So, thanks for listening. Some day I will actually get back to blogging for real, but I haven't regained the strength in my right arm yet since having my neck fused, AGAIN, so it will be a few months before I can get back to my passion of having dates with my Canon. Believe me, it's calling my name! And no offense to my Nikon using friends. I have just only used a Canon. I have a feeling they are equally great in many similar and different ways. OK. That's enough for soothing the feelings of those big babies. lol! Just kidding!

Sending love to you all. May you find love wherever you look. ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Fun of Giving

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Our cabin is on a very small lake in Wisconsin, and that lake is all held in by a dam that is technically
owned by one farmer. The time had come for the dam to be inspected, and the property owners on the lake knew that we would need to all come together to do something to help with the cost.Without the dam, none of us would enjoy the quiet beauty of the lake, and our homes' value would drop considerably. It would also cause irreparable damage to the vacation spots on the lake. In this type of situation, as with most in this community, we are one big family.

Birch Point Resort, which is a resort, bar and restaurant on our little Marsh Miller Lake has offered to host a fund raiser at their resort, and with that news many many very hard working and generous people have started giving their time and energy to track down donations for raffles, games, drawings, and food for the party. There will be a delicious chicken dinner served at Birch Point, and trust me, their chicken is amazing! Tickets for the dinner are $10.00, and it will be well worth the cost!

If anyone reading this is interested, the fund raiser is being held on August 23rd, 2014 at Birch Point Resort in Bloomer, WI. They have a Facebook page which will hopefully be updated soon, and fliers should start showing up around town too. Please spread the word to anyone that you know. It will be so much fun, and hopefully a great day to bring the whole family out to the lake!

Anyway, I have never been good at this kind of thing (just ask the people who used to want me to help with the children's school carnival)! I wanted to think of something to do that was within my comfort zone, and the first thing that came to mind was my photography. Many of my photos have been taken right around the lake, and beautiful pictures might be something that people will have an interest in buying raffle tickets for or bidding on. I'm not sure how the fund raiser is going to be run yet, but it will either be one or the other. I will have 5-7 framed 11x14 prints and 8x10 prints, and I will also have a couple unframed prints of each photo available. Below are the pictures that I ordered professional grade prints of. The only one that I'm not quite sure about is the "Blue Water Sunset" photo that I took from the end of our dock. It turned out a little darker than I had hoped. If I can frame it so you can see that it's actually a sunset with a beautiful reflection on the rippling water, then I will go for it.

So, I'm hoping for a wonderful turn out! I know that a lot of people are doing a lot of really hard word behind the scenes to make sure that everyone has a wonderful day. Lets show up and show our support.

First Framed Photo (11x14)

Photos Waiting to be Framed

Not a Marsh Miller Photo, but a cool bird none the less.

I wonder how many years this old guy has lived in our lake!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I was in Barnes and Noble book store yesterday and saw a book that contained inspirational quotes. The cover was very simple and quite beautiful. It said "just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly...".
Available at Barnes and Noble

For some reason this proverb just touched me to my soul. I would obviously apply it to the growth of a person and their endeavors in life, but since I happened to have a picture of a butterfly, the pixel lover in me couldn't resist.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Bluebird of Happiness

I am so filled with happy memories right now, and it's all because of a sweet little bird. A Bluebird to be exact. I was sitting out on the deck at our house in the city today and I heard the tweet of a bird that sounded familiar, but it sounded more like a bird that we normally have at the lake. It's rare that Bluebirds will decide to nest in one of our bird houses at home. At the lake we have "nesting boxes" for our Bluebirds all over the yard, and most of them are full every Spring. Some have Tree Swallows in them, but they are beautiful and eat a lot of bugs too, and seem to get along just fine with the Bluebirds.

So, on to the wonderful memories. You see that adorable bird house in the picture above? My dad made that for me, and how cool is it that one of my all time favorite birds decided to make it it's home on Father's Day weekend! Honestly, they may have been there before this weekend, but since I just noticed them, I'm pretending it's some kind of sweet way to connect with my dad who passed away thirteen years ago.

My mom and dad always seemed to be working on a project of some kind. Dad would do the building, and mom would do the finishing work. Dad had very work worn hands, and it was the hard physical work that made him the most happy. He was a bank president by day, but as soon as he got home he switched in to his "play" clothes. Much to my mother's dismay, the pockets were usually full of sawdust and more often than not there was oil or grease on the outside of his pants. He almost had to be forced to put them in the wash. When I think of my dad, I think of a combination of sawdust, Old Spice and a swirl of cigarette smoke. He started out every single day of his life with a fresh shave and a splash of Old Spice. If he was out cutting wood (for fun) with his chainsaw, he would smell of fresh cut wood. If he felt like moving some dirt around (again for fun) with his bulldozer, he would usually smell of exhaust.

I know it seems strange to talk about "smells", but I associate so many memories of my dad with those different aromas. They all mean something to me.

Dad was taken from us at the very young age of 65, and he is dearly missed. I didn't feel the need to take any of his "things" after he was gone, but there was something that was a treasure to me. I kept his bathrobe. It's the same robe that he would sit in every morning, after putting on his splash of Old Spice. For the first few years there was still a faint smell of that after shave on his robe. If I was missing him, I would pull his robe out of the bag and hold it to my face. Now that the scent has faded, I just hold it. It will never be washed. I know that he was warm and cozy in that robe, and that makes me happy.

I wanted this to be a happy post, so I hope that I haven't made anyone sad. I am over the sadness, and have moved on to acceptance and wonderful memories. And that sweet little Bluebird sitting on the bird house today reminded me of so many.

Happy Father's Day to all of you daddies out there.

Much Love,

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An Update of Pictures

Hi there my friends. It has been so long since I have done any updating on either one of my blogs, but I have taken a few pictures lately. I thought I would just stop by here and do a picture update. I hope everyone is having a lovely spring. I feel like we are drowning, but I'm sure the sun will come out one of these days.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

True Beauty is Timeless

I should probably give a forewarning that I reread this after I was done writing it, and I'm not certain that it all makes sense or comes together. If I had to bring it all together, I would say that I am feeling Thankful.

I spent this past week with my lovely Mom while she was in the hospital. Unfortunately, she had a second (in
the past three years) pulmonary embolism, with the embolism landing in her lower right lung. It's always kind of a double edged sword when Mom gets really ill, because she is a diabetic. I'm sure there are many diabetics out there that could attest to this; when there is something wrong somewhere else in your body it tends to throw your diabetes out of control. So chances are, part of the time you are in the hospital is going to be spent trying to get your  blood sugars regulated again. Apparently it is just the stress on your body that causes this to happen.

I love my Mom, I mean I REALLY love my Mom. There were definitely a couple years that we didn't have the best communication (teenager anyone?), and I couldn't wait to get out of small town Wisconsin to spread my wings. I'm sure that she was probably paying the weather man to bring in as many windy days as possible to get me to fly out of town to grow up! But absence and maturity made my heart grow fonder and also gave me the ability to look back with 20/20 vision and realize what a safe and loving home I grew up in.  There are many gifts that my parents gave me, but the gift that I am most grateful for is their gift of unconditional love. No matter what happened, I was loved. I was sometimes too scared to admit to my transgressions, but now my lucky Mom gets to hear about everything. Oh, my poor Mom!

Janey (Mom) and Carsten
As age has crept up on my Mom and sprinkled more beautiful gray in her naturally curly hair, gently painted some soft smile lines on her incredibly beautiful skin and caused her body to not work quite like she would like it to, her spirit  has never failed her. While in the hospital, she would get a little fussed up about not being able to be home, near "her" Carsten, but after a phone call to say "hello" to her sweetie, we were back to playing Scrabble and teasing the nurses. She had absolutely amazing care at Mayo's Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, WI. She couldn't have been more pleased. There were some pretty seriously ill patients on her floor, so she felt very fortunate to know that she would heal, and that she could be nice to the staff in the process. Those nurses ran their bums off! She was also very happy to not have to listen to the woman down the hall who pushed her call button every five minutes and yelled for the nurse. She had some major issues, but the beeping would make anyone crazy!

One week before my Mom got sick I had purchased a bouquet of grocery store flowers for myself. I had
no problem spending $4.99 on a bouquet of flowers that were certain to bring me a week of happiness. Well, these little babies are going in to their third week. They too are starting to gently show their age. Their strong pink color has faded considerably, and their centers are slowly turning white. I honestly think that it makes them even more beautiful, filling their faces with more character, proving once again that true beauty really is timeless.

OK, here comes the strange connection. When I saw the graceful aging of these flowers, and how the centers were turning white, it made me think of my Mom. Sometimes there is just no explanation for how my brain works, but in all honesty they are both timeless beauties.

My two lady loves
My daughter, Ashley, has this crazy connection with my Mom. She always has. When she was only two years old I heard her on the phone trying to bribe my Mom with margaritas and chocolate if she would just PLEASE come out for a visit. Ashley has an old soul, and that's the only way that I can explain how she knew what a margarita was. Just kidding. Well, about the margarita part. She does have an old soul. She also plays a very MEAN game of scrabble, just like my Mom, so I know that when I am older and stuck in the hospital for some silly thing, I will have someone to come and challenge me. And if she's anything like me, she will probably get even with me for all of the things that I have put my Mom through!

Much love to you all!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Yesterday was a wonderful day. I was lucky enough to have a lunch date with my son Andrew whose life has gotten so busy that I rarely get to see him. It was so fun to catch up, and I truly could not be more proud of that boy. I was given a private tour of his new office where he is working as a Mental Health Professional with school age children, and he was so excited to show me his class room and some of the projects he was working on with the kids.

After lunch it was errand running time, and last on that list was groceries. To backtrack a little, I have a photo friend/blogger, Deanna, who writes Snippets from Springdale. She takes the most beautiful tulip pictures, and when I saw the tulips in the floral department of the grocery store I instantly thought of Deanna, and suddenly felt inspired to take some pictures. Minnesota weather is anything but uplifting, at least this time of year, so it was time for a picker upper. I picked up a bouquet of pink tulips and a bouquet of white tulips. I was so excited to get these little buds home and into a vase of water. I knew I would need to let them sit overnight to open up a little bit.

This morning they were just starting to slightly wake up. I carried the vase to the dining room table where I always get the most natural light and positioned them where I usually put vases of flowers. After that I headed off to get my camera. I set my ISO and adjusted the shutter speed, lifted my eye piece to my eye, and what did I see? Sophie! I swear that this little girl photo bombs me on purpose. I have so many photos with Sophie in some of the preview shots. I put this photo up on Facebook this morning with the suggestion that I was about ready to make an album titled "Sophie Photo Bombs". I was joking, but many of my friends love to see what kind of mischief Sophie can get herself in to next. I may have to consider it.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a single decent tulip picture. I just don't understand. Sophie's picture was completely in focus and the lighting looked good. This is what I ended up with for my tulips; blurry and dark. Not good. I will try again tomorrow. At least I had a good laugh from Sophie.

Not worth editing.