While this has been fairly mild, as winters go, we are all yearning for spring. Cold, windy days and dirty snow do little for the soul. Antsy, like children with Christmas still two weeks away, we await sunny skies, light jackets, pastel colors, luscious green grass and the joy and delight of witnessing the beauty of nature via masses of flowers swaying in the gentle breeze.

And so, we wait.

Dang. An apparent malware invader – on BOTH of our laptops, no less – prevents me from doing more than hunt-and-peck on my cell phone’s keypad. (I despise texting and / or otherwise typing via this restricting device).

In any case, I will be on a brief hiatus until we are able to corral said bug and return to ‘normal’.

Happy blogging everyone!


On a state-wide barn tour excursion one Sunday afternoon, we stumbled across this tiny little burg that time forgot. This gas station was built back in the 1920’s along the historic Lincoln Highway. We ate at the Niland Café (great cheeseburgers!) and enjoyed the loving restoration of these old structures. If ever you find yourselves in central Iowa, check out the old time charm of this state treasure!

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #7

An old favorite of mine. With the Oscars just around the corner, I thought it might be fitting to reblog this post, originally published last July.

A Sawyer's Daughter

I love quirky movies.

The majority of these kinds of films, while also admired by many others, are often shrugged off by an equal number (or more) of my family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. Most of them have a) never heard of these movies or b) think they’re weird. Now I’m no movie critic but I know what I like. When a film employs symbolism or unusual characters or creative cinematic devices to tell the story – and throw in clever dialog, double entendre and twists and turns in a thrilling plot with a powerful musical score (and dancing!) – or anything, ANYTHING that’s unexpected, well, I’m hooked.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of the films that most readily come to mind:

  • Harold & Maude
  • All That Jazz
  • Bambi Meets Godzilla
  • Blood Simple
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • I Am Legend
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Dogma
  • Oh Brother Where Art Thou

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I want to climb a mountain.

Certainly, to do so implies reaching the summit, trekking to the very top and gazing full circle, all 360 glorious degrees, upon the landscape both beyond and below. After hiking in Colorado last fall, someone suggested I try to ‘bag’ a 14er – a mountain peak that’s 14,000 feet or higher above sea level. And so, my husband and I now have a trip planned this summer to hike the beautiful trails and mountains there again and, of particular interest, to attempt to reach the crest of Gray’s Peak, the tenth highest mountain in Colorado. Whether or not our attempt at mastering such an ascent culminates in a stopping point where ‘down’ is the only option, I’ll still be content to just try, where the beauty and magnificence of this incredible wilderness state will be reward enough for our efforts. Still though, the pull of that moment, imagined in my mind’s eye, spurs me forward. I want it. I want it badly. I want to climb this mountain.

I’m told many factors will come into play. Only a select few will be under my control. Others, such as the weather, are conditions that will be calling the shots that day, one that will begin before the sun comes up. We’ve been advised to leave early, preferably around five AM, so that we can reach the top and begin our descent before noon to avoid getting caught, totally exposed at the top of the mountain, above the treeline, in summer storms that can quickly develop in the early afternoon hours.

My elliptical workouts during these cold winter months, with spring hikes planned in Iowa state parks, along with healthy eating, eager enthusiasm, photographic inspiration and technical skills are my contributions to the effort and I do what I can. I have no illusions. I turn 58 next week and while not terribly out of shape, nor am I a lean, mean fighting machine. Living here in the Midwest, where bluffs and hills provide weak to moderate vertical challenges, I realize that being a ‘flatlander’ will put me at odds when it comes to the elevation and thin air of Colorado terrain. A few days of acclimation will be required before we try the climb. Storms, wind and rain might derail us. There’s a lot to consider and some planning will be required if our venture to the top is be a successful one.

So be it. It’s my mountain and I want to see what she – and I – are made of.


And so, the last day of the Five Day B&W Photo Challenge. I’d like to thank my friend Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photography for inviting me to play!

Day Four displayed the exit from the grand ballroom in the Temple of Performing Arts. Here is a shot of the ballroom itself. I don’t know that I’ve done it justice but I post it for two reasons. One, to convey the size and magnitude of this space and two, to try to express the feeling of being there, by myself, with no one around. It was quiet and still, dim and yet illuminated from above via the beautiful stained glass skylights in the ceiling high overhead. It was a small but pleasurable adventure for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

Two rules for this challenge:

1. For 5 days create a post using any past or present photo in black and white.
2. Each day you invite a new photographer to join the fun.

Day Four Invitee: Meredith @


Just one more to go. Day Four of the five day B&W photo challenge, courtesy of invitation by Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photography/.

This shot was taken from the interior of an enormous ballroom in the historic Temple of Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The ground floor of this building houses a Starbucks shop where my husband and I spent the good part of the afternoon on Sunday. The upper floors were empty so with camera in hand, I did a little exploring. I especially like the way the light reflects off the music stand and the top of the magnificent wooden door.

Two rules for this challenge:

1. For 5 days create a post using any past or present photo in black and white.
2. Each day you invite a new photographer to join the fun.

Day Four Invitee: Allan G. Smorra @


It’s Day 3 of the 5-day black and white photo challenge. Cee Neuner asked me to participate so here I am. She’s put together a wonderful photography blog. Please, stop by and check it out: Cee’s Photography. She hosts a number of photography challenges every week which are both fun and inspirational. Give it a try!

I must admit – I’m drawn to mundane, every day objects, those things we see and handle and use and walk by a hundred times a day and never really pay much attention to. Case in point: this pottery catch-all (made by my son when he was just a child) filled with clips, die and assorted odds and ends.

Two rules for this challenge:

1. For 5 days create a post using any past or present photo in black and white.
2. Each day you invite a new photographer to join the fun.

Day Three Invitee: Debbie Smyth @