Another long stretch…

Let’s just say I’ve been busy.

So, one of the “busies” was to take a road trip to Wisconsin. Weyauwega, to be exact. Dad has fond memories of his grandparents’ home there. He has been wanting to get back there for some time, and, I figured, “why not?”.

I had the trip planned via Google Maps, and because it’s Autumn, and I am tired of taking the same ol’, same ol’ route (when we make our apple trips, we usually travel Hwy. 9 to Lansing), I decided to try the Scenic Highway 60 route. Google Maps said it should have taken five hours and 15 minutes. Riiiiight! Not with ME navigating! LMBO! Let’s just say that between the Garmin, and Google Maps, I was soooo “lost”.

I won’t bore you with the whole trip, but somehow, it ended up taking us about 11 hours, according to Lloyd. Yep, you read that right! Eleven hours!

Let’s just say that we had a “plot twist!”, and instead of driving directly to Weyauwega, we went to Neenah, where I had booked rooms for us. We did, however, drive a scenic route! 😉 I couldn’t tell you where we had driven, for certain. But, along the way, we got to see this very cool barn.


I don’t know if the name of the people who lived in the house nearby was Miller, but, this looks like the Miller beer font, and since Miller was my favorite beer for a long, long time…

So, a while back, I believe I may have posted about Serif’s Affinity Photo software. (If not, I apologize. But, I’m too much in a hurry at this time to go back and check.) I have been using Adobe Photoshop for years. But, with their release of the CC version, I no longer really want to use it. I refuse to pay a subscription! I also do not care for their practice of not supporting your .psd images should you choose to no longer subscribe. And, they will no longer support the older versions (of which I have PS5), so…

Any way, I digress (I’ll get off my rant, now), and will continue onward!

I was signed up for a challenge on my Scrappin’ Peeps message board, and decided that I would do the challenge using Affinity Photo. I must admit that I was a bit frustrated. However, I think once I get used to where things are, and how things work (don’t you like those technical terms?), I will enjoy using AP.

So, here is my first scrapbook creation:


And, here is one I created to post on Facebook (because of all the Christmas ads I’m seeing there, and on television.):


I’m thinking I need to do some touching up with that one. I would like to put it on our church’s website, and want it to be “perfect” before I do so. But, I think it isn’t too bad for my first creation in AP!

And, another opportunity missed – the Autumn season is about closed. Most of the leaves have fallen. The weather is turning colder. I didn’t get to go out and shoot like I wished I could have. *sigh* But, there’s always winter!

Go! Shoot!


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?What IS that?

I was walking up to the door of Dad’s house, and saw what I thought was a leaf on the screen. As I got closer, I figured I’d brush it off, but saw LEGS! Um, what is that???

I took another look, close up, and saw it was a butterfly! I don’t ever recall seeing one of these strange looking creatures, and of course, I had to get a picture!

After taking several shots, I wanted to see what the upper side of the wings looked like, so I barely touched it. It quickly, and I do mean quickly, opened its wings. Just barely long enough for me to see orange.

What appeared to be an oddly shaped, brown, drab leaf turned out to be a Polygonia Interrogationis, or “Question Mark” butterfly. NEAT!



Upper side of the “Question Mark” butterfly. (Wikipedia)

Striking, huh? Nature never ceases to amaze me! Who would have thought “underneath” that drab brown was this brilliant orange?

And, of course, I had to make a layout!


So odd! That shape is what caught my eyes in the first place. I thought, “leaf”, but, also, “oddly shaped leaf”. “WHAT is it? What kind of leaf?” And, now I know!

So, I’ve been busy. Did a brief stint as a temp employee at Principal Financial Group for ManpowerI made it through one week of training, barely. I caught Lloyd’s cold, and Thursday and Friday were very difficult for me. Concentration was spiraling downwards. Throat was sore, head was sore, nose was getting sore. So, I quit. Yep, I’m a quitter. I feel like such a failure, but, I just wasn’t catching on – because of the cold, perhaps? It wasn’t happening, though.

So, it was either a good thing (my thinking preference), or a “punishment” for quitting, but, whatever it is, my truck died about 760 feet from home last night. I turned the corner onto our road, and it just died. No warning. I let it coast a way because I wasn’t sure that it was NOT running. (Remember that cold? My ears are also plugged, so… ) I turned off the CD player, and stepped on the gas a bit. NOTHING! BLAST, BLAST, BLAST!!!

I was on my way home from dropping Lloyd off to pick up HIS truck after it had new tires put on, and the ball joints worked on. It does not rain at our house, it pours! (Yes, I’m venting!) So, is it a good thing that I quit, or, am I being “punished” for quitting??? Seriously, God does NOT work that way, but, sometimes I feel like it. 😉

Okay, off my rant! I’m hoping to be able to get out and capture some of the color before it all leaves (Get it? Leaves! Okay, I’ll quit!). I really need to practice, practice, practice!

Go! Shoot!

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Beauty – how I see it

I admit it. I am a bit strange. I see beauty in things most others do not. For instance, I think broadleaf (curly) dock is beautiful in the fall, after it has turned dark brown. (I know many farmers who would like to shoot me about now! LOL) I also think creeping Charlie is pretty. (Lloyd thinks I’m absolutely nuts!) I can’t help it! I like some of that “odd stuff”! I also enjoy the fact that I can find beauty where others may not see it. That’s a part of who I am. Can’t handle it? *shrugs* Your problem, not mine! 😉

So, I was out for a shoot for a purpose one day. Trying to find an “abstract” for a monthly contest for the local photo club (did you see that post?), when I spied an every day, ordinary metal field fence post with a weed climbing on it. (Here I go again with weeds!) And, I couldn’t help but to see the beauty in it.

Now, I admit that this may not be the best composition, but, in order to get the post, with the weed, but NOT the distracting house/cars/mailbox background on the left, and the gnarly “weed” tree on the right, I had to shoot from this angle. Still, I like this shot, and, as I’ve said before, I shoot for ME. I shoot what I like, and hope others see that beauty that I see. So, do you see it?


God made this world, along with all the beauty in it. Find that beauty and shoot it! Have fun! SEE!

Go! Shoot!

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I create and maintain the website for our church, Messiah Lutheran. I’m constantly trying to find material to use on the site. I’d like to “zhoozh” it up. So, yesterday, I was hunting around for something to go into the Bible Studies page, which I had just added so the members can prepare for the classes. The theme for the next six weeks is, “The Unexplained:  Miracles, Mysteries, and More”. So, I figured a nice picture of a “miracle” would be super. After doing some surfing, and making a request to use a proprietary image, I decided I could make my own image. DUH!

So, off to the hunt in my pictures. I have a LOT, btw. I need to do another clean-out, and put most of them to a flash drive. (My poor ‘puter! I’ve filled the 1TB HD once, already, and had to delete a bunch of stuff off it. I now have a 1TB external HD that is almost filled with scrapbooking stuff, and many pictures on a 5TB external. Can you say, “hoarder”??? LOL) Any way…

For a digital photography class in college, I needed a landscape picture. I happened to be driving by a ditch full of pampas grass, and, the sun was setting. Opportunity knocked! With my faithful little Canon PowerShot A710 IS, I got a couple shots of the pampas grass with the sunset behind it. However, none of them really presented the mood I wanted. Sooooo… I took off my polarized sunglasses, lined up a lens over the camera lens, and took a couple shots. Voila! (YES! That DOES work! Give it a try. In a pinch, if you don’t have a polarized lens filter, your polarized sunglasses may give you the same effect!) Don’t you love creativity??? LOL

Now, to make this long story short, I took the best image of the “Pampas Grass Sunset”, and made this for the website.


Granted, the image isn’t as sharp as it could, or should, be, but, I like it nonetheless. To me, it looks like a miracle, and that was my intent for the site. My small inspiration gave me a pretty shot, and now that will be seen on the church website. (Free advertising!)

Hope you enjoyed this little “tutorial”. Go! Shoot!

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Okay, I admit it. I have a “thing” for worn out, falling down, grungy-looking buildings. I don’t know why they hold such a fascination for me, but, they do. I’m always on the lookout for picturesque barns, and now, for ruined buildings.

A few weeks ago, on a rainy day, Mom and I went to our favorite “local” scrapbook store, Backroads Plum Crazy (don’t you love that name?), and we passed an abandoned farm along the way. I said to my mother that I should have stopped and taken pictures of it. I didn’t stop, and have thought about that place since.

So, a week ago, I once again found myself on the way to BRPC, and, it was a rainy day. The weather was cooperating with me when I stopped to shoot that place. If you look closely enough at the pictures, you can see the raindrops. (View larger images in the Photography section.)


I really like these pictures, and am happy with the way they turned out. I think they come awfully close to conveying the feeling I get when I see that abandoned beauty.

So, here is the scrapped version (of course I had to scrap them!):


Wait! There’s more!

I am a “member” of our local photography club, North Iowa Photo Club. The club hosts a monthly contest, and September’s theme is “Abstract”.

I admit, I don’t really shoot abstracts, as the the Photokonnexion site defines it. (BTW, check that site out! FUN stuff!) But, I figured I need to get out of my own little photography world, and give it a try.

So, I’ve been on the lookout, and on the way home from town, we passed a cornfield that has pretty much turned that wonderful tan that dying field corn turns. The sun was hitting it just right, so that there was a lot of patterning, colors, and “abstraction”. I really wanted to holler at Lloyd to STOP! so I could shoot. But, that is a busy road, and he was in a bit of a hurry to get home. I did, however, keep an eye on all of the corn fields along the way.

When we got home, I grabbed my camera, headed out the door and to the corner of the cornfield across the road. Ha! Along the way, of course, were other distractions. I made a few quick stops to check some things out, but really wanted to get to the corner of the field before the sun quit cooperating.

So, I carefully made my way into the ditch (a trick in itself, but, I won!), and up the other side. I shot the corn, but wasn’t impressed with what I got.


It just wasn’t what I saw. Perhaps I should have gotten more “into” the field? Shown less sky (not that you see much as it is), maybe shown less of the tassels? Don’t know, but, I wasn’t happy with it.

So, the next picture I took, just because this caught my eye:


…isn’t really what I wanted as an abstract. But, I like it!

Then, I took some of the thistle flowers I spotted along the way. I like this one because of the little bug “peeking” out at me.


Do you see it? It’s that little yellowish spot under the bee’s antennae. Cute, huh?

Next, I spied this:


…which is the one I submitted. I like the way the grasses looks like a sort of haze. I like the colors, too. So, we’ll see. The members vote on their favorites. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get at least some votes.

Any way, that’s what I’ve got for now.

Go! Shoot!



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Iron Stump

Once again, time has gotten away from me. We have been busy with Dad’s house. Hopefully, we will be starting on the “adding” phase, rather than the repairing/cleaning up phase. It’s been a trip!

We did get to take a short break over Labor Day weekend! On Friday, we just plain took the day off. Saturday, we picked up Dad, went to breakfast, then went on to the Cedar Valley Engine Club‘s 51st Threshers Reunion. It started out as a nice day to be outdoors, thank goodness! The temperature was quite pleasant, the breeze slight, and it was mostly cloudy.

Later, however, it started to get quite warm, and that breeze turned into down-right wind. And, it started to get mostly sunny. That made for a hot, humid day. Luckily, we left before it got miserable.

So, after Mom and I did some shopping (WOOHOOO! BARGAINS!!!) at the flea market, and Dad and Lloyd did their round of looking at vintage cars and machinery, we took a break and got some homemade ice cream. We parked ourselves on the bleachers and listened to a wonderful gospel group, Restored, perform on the stage. I wish they had a website so I could direct you to it, but, they don’t. They were really good! I asked about them possibly coming to our church for a performance, though, and am hoping to be able to get them there sometime soon.

After finishing our ice cream, we decided to make our way back to the vehicle. But,,, on the way, I spied this tree stump! I’ve been to the reunion multiple times, but, do not recall ever seeing this. Of course, I HAD to get pictures! And, I had to scrap at least one.

Here is the result.


I don’t know how long those iron pieces have been locked in that tree, but, it sure makes for an interesting picture. I adore shooting this kind of thing! Hope you enjoy my layout!

Go! Shoot!

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Sorting Hats?

Once again, I found myself being bored in Mendards. We have been in that store almost daily since we started working on Dad’s house. I can stand only so much of it! Seriously, Lloyd can spend HOURS in there!

I usually wander (aimlessly?) around, trying to keep myself entertained, and trying to keep my poor, sore feet happy. On this occasion, I was once again on a “wandering” walk, when I spied these roofing flashings.
sorting hats

Innocuous enough, right? Except, LOOK at them. Remind you of something (hint:  Harry Potter fans…)???

Well, they immediately reminded me of the sorting hat in the Harry Potter movies. And, I couldn’t resist taking shots of them to use on a layout.


The flashing in the layout particularly caught my eye. After I had taken several photos, I stood there looking at them, and pondering… Pondering the layout, and pondering why those pieces of metal were in the shapes they were.

Eventually, Lloyd, and an employee, made their ways into that aisle. I asked the employee what those pieces were. He said they are roofing flashings. Made of lead. And, he said that because they are lead, they are malleable, and people could not resist playing with them. So, the store opted to put them on that top shelf so they would not get further misshapen.

Sorry, that makes me angry! I mean, WHY do people insist on damaging others’ property? If I had been in need of one of those flashings, I would have been very disappointed to not be able to get one in the shape it was intended. And, I can bet that those who “played” with them, should they have been in need of one, would be the FIRST to make a HUGE stink about the shape in which they found those. WHAT is WRONG with people???

Any way, off my rant. So, I find weird things fascinating, and sometimes scrap-worthy. I have a feeling I will enjoy this layout for a long time. It’s just “different”, with a different subject. Odd things. I enjoy shooting them!

Go. Shoot!

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