Sunday, October 19, 2014


I am not a big fan of the long stemmed cut roses that you see in florist shops. They're okay, but nothing to get worked up about. But the rose bush in my backyard is a completely different story. These roses brighten my day every time I look at them. They change colors as they open, from gold to orange to faded pink. They are glorious!

See why I love these roses?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Old Junk

As I wandered around at our country party yesterday, I was reminded again that old farms are full of junk. Run down out buildings. Piles of wire. Rusty pipes. Old farm equipment. Enormous amounts of dust. More spider webs than you could ever imagine. But if you choose to ignore the big picture and just focus on the details, you can find the most interesting images. I happily entertained myself there with my camera, exploring line and texture and light. Here's to old junk...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Farm Friends

Katherine's good friend Henry lives on a farm about half an hour from our house. His family threw a big party today and invited everyone they knew. The girls and I went and had a grand time!

Kate was so glad to see Henry again. She loves her new school, but she misses her old friends.
There was a big picnic, with beef and pork raised on the farm and long rows of dishes provided by everyone else. We ate until we were bursting and then went off to explore the farm and its many inhabitants.

The farm has both dairy and beef cattle, but they wanted nothing to do with the party and spent their time hanging out on the far side of the pasture.
But there were plenty of other animals to see. Pigs...
cranky ducks...
baby chicks...
lazy dogs...
I saw plenty of uninvited critters, too. Like grasshoppers...
garden spiders...
and assassin bugs.
There were hay bales set up so that the kids could watch a cool science show.
Doc Gizmo was quite entertaining and very bright!
My girls were captivated.
Once the show was over, the kids all gravitated toward the giant hay bales. I don't know who helped Rae up on the bales, but once there she was fearless!
That's my Rae girl!
She was glad to give her sister a hand, too.
Then they could both jump from bale to bale.
And enjoy the feeling of being five foot in the air.
Kate always loves being on a farm and she loved hanging out with Henry again.
It was a pretty terrific way to spend the afternoon!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Festival Time

Yesterday we made our yearly trek to the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival, where we spent the day listening to music and seeking shade, along with 10,000 of our fellow festival friends.
Tie dye is VERY popular at the festival, so we always wear our rainbow brightest. The girls had new tie dye shirts this year.

I have been to "Bluegrass" for most of the past 20 some years in all sorts of weather - hot, cold, wet, windy, and the rare perfect day. This year was a hot year. A steaming, sweaty, miserable 94 degrees. We drank a lot of water and snacked on anything cold.

But we don't go to the festival for the weather. We go for the music. Lots and lots of music. There are four stages of musicians playing non-stop from 9:00 AM to midnight. And it's not just bluegrass music. There is folk, celtic, western swing, gospel, and assorted combinations - anything that can be played on acoustic instruments. Yesterday, I heard the Hallelujah Chorus played on guitar, Charlie Parker jazz on a fiddle, and more than one Beatles song on whatever instrument was at hand! My personal favorites are John McCutcheon, the marvelous singer/songwriter/story teller/folk musician,
and the celtic music. There was a celtic group with the goofy name Socks in the Frying Pan who were straight from Ireland and were quite entertaining. They were rather astounded by Kansas heat!
Seeking some shade in the afternoon, we left the festival proper and wandered into the campgrounds. It didn't take us long to find Carp Camp, a loose group of musicians that share a love of traditional celtic music. They set up a big tent and invite anyone who wishes to come and play with them, or just sit and listen. We sat for an hour just watching in awe, as various people wandered in and out with instruments in hand. They'd listen a moment and then join in the jigs and reels (and an impromptu Yellow Rose of Texas) without any music or often even the name of the tune. It was wonderful!

My parents and sister were there, and we saw lots of friends. We had a good time just hanging out together.
And despite the heat and the dust and the sweat, it was clear that the music was good for all of our souls.


I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way