Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Finds and Random Facts

 I've been home to much lately, so yesterday I just got in the car and started driving with no destination. After I left the house I decided to see if I could find a historical home I've been wanting to photography. I found it and in front of it I found this old fence. Isn't it just wonderful! I love fences that have been around for years. I love the pealing paint and lichen growing all over them. I love the cracked and broken boards. Most of all I love that gate!
Fact  #1
The home I was looking for is called the Ten Mile House, a rare example of a largely intact rural home of the early nineteenth century. Ten Mile House is billed as the oldest brick building in Arkansas (built circa 1820). The house was commandeered by Union troops during the Civil War. It was also thought to have accommodated travelers on the Southwest Trail  stagecoach line, earning it the alternative name “Stagecoach House."
Fact #2
I took 561 pictures yesterday in my travels. What does that say about me?  I probably should think more about what and how I'm shooting and not take three or four of the same shot!!  My favorite photo of the day is of this old split-rail fence and log building. It looks like it was taken in the fall, but I promise I took it yesterday. We have certain trees that don't loose their leaves until spring. They just turn brown and hang on the tree all winter.
Fact  #3
With the civil war on my mind I decided to tour the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. This flag at the top of the main staircase is  a "42-Star 'Unofficial' 1890 U.S. Flag."  The 42-star flag was never an official star count and only produced for eight months from November 1889 through July 4, 1890. It was hard to take this picture. It's hanging over a very large window!
Fact  #4
I believe God puts little things in my pathway each day to delight me. Honestly, I do. I feel even though there are millions of people that God watches over, he spends time with each of us. He know what delights me. One thing in nature that delights me more than anything else is heart shapes. This heart-shape is in a huge root of a very large tree. I'm grateful for these little winks from God!
Fact  #5
It snow this week. It was lovely to stand at the window and watch the snowflakes gently falling. The snow only last a short while and the only accumulation was a little bit on my vehicle. I've always wanted to capture a snowflake. I'll be honest, this one was only visible after much cropping and I'll never be able to print it. But, I can certainly see it and I'm quite proud of it!

Happy Friday evening to you!
I hope your weekend is wonderful! 
Linking with Kim for Friday Finds 
Linking with Nancy for Random 5 Friday

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Passion Tree

Remember this?
A puzzle started on a cold winter's day.

It's now done.
I put in the last piece.

It's finished
On another cold winter's day!

There's a story behind this puzzle. While in Branson, Missouri, my daughter and her family wandered into an art gallery at Silver Dollar City and discovered the beautiful artwork of Jake E. Dawson. I was delighted when she gave me one his puzzles during the Christmas season. As  you know from previous posts our Christmas this year was rather hard; Mr. H recovering from surgery and my dad falling and breaking his hip. Anyway, I did not get to open the box until January 2.  That night I began to sort the pieces; outside pieces from inside pieces. That is the way I work a puzzle. Outside border and then fill in the rest.

There's also a story in this puzzle?  Yes, "IN."  This puzzle is part of Mr. Dawson's "Seek and Find" series. Quoting him rather loosely, because I was watching a video, these paintings "challenge the viewer to look beyond just the obvious and look deep within the painting and find either a hidden message or hidden images that that might be tucked away in the painting." This painting called "The Passion Tree" follows the story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

The bottom twelve ornaments on the Christmas tree illustrate events from the Old Testament and top twelve illustrate events from the New Testament. The one in the photo below depicts Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. If you look back up at the whole puzzle, the red ornaments down the center and across form a cross. There are three larger ornaments that represent the trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The red garland represents the crimson thread of Jesus Christ woven through the entire Bible.
There are 33 candles, one for each of the years that Christ spent on earth in the form of a man. You can see a suggestion of Christ in each candle flame.

A star representing the glory of God crowns the tree.

Under the tree some people are walking in darkness.

Others are carrying the light.
Jesus is the light.
Those of us who have light need to share it with others.

It was quite enjoyable putting this puzzle together and watching as the hidden meanings appeared. If you'd like to see more of Mr. Dawson's work his website is:

Since the puzzle is finished, I guess I'll have to find something else to do this week while the cold wind is blowing outside!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Finds and Random Facts

I spent a couple of hours in a flea market this week. I needed to get out of the house for a while and since it's been so cold again I choose a nice warm place to walk around in!  In the back corner stood this rocking horse. I loved it. If I had a place for it, it might have come home with me. Anyway, this find brought back memories of an old saying that my mom said to me repeatedly. You see, as a child I was always wishing for this or that. She'd say, "If wishes were horses, we'd all ride away."

Fact #1
"If wishes were horses, we'd all ride away." It seems there were many different wordings of this quote that can be traced back to the 16th century. The first version that is close to the modern wording was in James Kelly's Scottish Proverbs, Collected and Arranged in 1721, with the wording "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". I'm fascinated with the picture below. It looks like I did something painterly to it, but I didn't. It's pretty much SOOC. I did bump up the color a little and add just a smidgen of HDR.  

Fact  #2
I have three sewing machine and I use each of them. My old 1972 Sears Kenmore doesn’t run real smooth, the motor is slipping, but it still appliques beautifully. My 2005 Viking is my go to machine for almost everything else. I love, love, love the sound of this sweet purring machine. And, my 1952 Featherweight Singer I use for all my quilt piecing. This little machine sews such perfect straight stitches.

Fact  #3
The average January temperature for Arkansas is 30.8°F (low) /49.5°F (high). We are well below average this morning...10 degrees. Can you see why I don't mind winter so much? I think and pray for those of you in the extreme cold. I pray that you are safe and warm!

Fact  #4
These annoying little acorns come from a Pin Oak tree. They're tiny and there are bazillions of them! I didn't pile these up, this is the way they cover the ground. I've been trying to get them raked up so I don't have bazillions of tiny oak trees next spring. Only a very small bush rake will gather them up, because they're so tiny they fit between the tines of a regular rake. The leaves are also hard to rake, they're thin and slick.  They're well shaped and shade-giving trees, but they are a lot of trouble. So, if anyone ever asks you if you want a Pin Oak tree...say NO! Although, they do make the squirrels happy.

Fact  #5
I very strongly dislike people who dump their trash along trails and roads. They are just too lazy to do the right thing.  That being said, I think this picture of the sky makes a nice abstract image. It's a broken mirror I spotted beside the trail I walk on.

 Instructions for living a life:
pay attention.
be astonished.
tell about it.
~  Mary Oliver  ~

 Kim is not linking her Friday Finds this week. Her husband who has been in the hospital for an extended period of time is coming home today. I went ahead and posted my finds anyway. I'm so thankful this family will be together at home again!
Linking with Nancy for Random 5 Friday
          Kim Klassen dot Com    

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is there beauty out there?

in the midst of winter
the days were sunny but cold
everywhere she turned
there was starkness
bare limbs
dried leaves
faded flowers
the earth was resting
could she find beauty
she wandered through the woods
her eyes searching the ground
was there anything out there
a touch of color
a shape
tiny details
standing in a row
along the rotten tree
near the water's edge
that sparkled like diamonds

and there
touches of pink
surrounded by green
oh, look at the textures

rising above the golden leaves
curling toward the sun
gritty sand
on petals tinted with purple

stripes of brown
one on top of the other

lovely shape
in reddish tones
clinging to a log

Then she found the one
the one that made her gasp
a little bit of wood
dressed in a winter coat
She knew
she knew all along
it was out there
beauty in winter
she only had to look
slow down and look
beauty was found
May you be blessed by the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth
Psalm 155:15

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Finds and Random Facts

My Friday Find this week wasn't discovered until I uploaded my day's pictures to my computer. I found that if you're pointing your camera slightly toward the sunset and if you haven't focused yet and if you accidentally hit the shutter button you get a lovely sky abstract!
To follow that lovely find are my Five Random Facts.

Fact  #1
I baked Christmas cookies this week. Yes, you read that right! Due to uncontrollable circumstances I didn’t do any Christmas baking this year. So, this week I made my favorite Christmas cookies.

Fact  #2
I still have a crystal dish that I got out a Quaker Oatmeal box. Does anyone else remember these? As a promotion cups, saucers, or bowls were packed in oatmeal boxes. It was always a you dig through the oats to see what was packed or do your wait until it's uncovered.

Fact  #3
Fungi has become my favorite thing to photograph in nature. Mushrooms are my second choice.

Fact  #4
Power poles keep getting in my way when I'm shooting out of the car window!  By the way, if you want to buy this barn...its for sale!

Fact #5
I'm glad I don't live at 5th and Goldsmith!

Guess what I'm singing...

 (Ah, ah) Oh, no, don't let the rain come down
(Ah, ah) Oh, no, don't let the rain come down
(Ah, ah) Oh, no, don't let the rain come down
My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown
Oh, yes, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown

There was a crooked man and he had a crooked smile
Had a crooked sixpence and he walked a crooked mile
Had a crooked cat and he had a crooked mouse
They all lived together in a crooked little house

 Well, this crooked little man and his crooked little smile
Took his crooked sixpence and he walked a crooked mile
Bought some crooked nails and a crooked little bat
Tried to fix his roof with a rat-tat-tat-tat-tat

 Now this crooked little man and his crooked cat and mouse
They all live together in a crooked little house
Has a crooked door with a crooked little latch
Has a crooked roof with a crooked little patch

 (Ah, ah) Oh, no, don't let the rain come down
(Ah, ah) Oh, no, don't let the rain come down
(Ah, ah) Oh, no, don't let the rain come down
My roof's got a hole in it (my roof's got a hole in it)
My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown
The Serendipity Singers ~ Don't Let The Rain Come Down
Sorry, I hope you're not singing it too!

 Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking with  Kim for Friday Finds
and Nancy for Random 5 Friday
Random 5 Friday          Kim Klassen dot Com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Delightful Finds!

The wind is blowing. It seems it's always blowing lately. It could be that I'm more aware of the wind blowing because moving objects are hard to photograph. I've been sticking with things that don't move.

I ran out this morning to take a picture of fungi for a flickr group I belong to. I was hoping to find some with frost on them. That didn't really happen, the sun was too far up. Even though the sun was up, it was pretty chilly; 39 degrees, but feels like 31. I'm bundled, I'm warm, I'm happy.

I did find a little frost...

and of all things a dandelion.
Seriously, little dandelion, it's only January!

I wasn't going far, just out in the yard, but the next thing I knew I was deep into the woods. I just couldn't stop walking. I wanted to see what special treasures I could find today. These woods are so familiar to me, I walk there constantly, but each time is a new experience. They're not the same and I'm not the same.

Some days, like today, I find seedpods with amazing textures and shapes.

I also see reflections and abstracts.

I look up and see the sky above me...


and look down and find smallest of things.
Each and every day there's more treasures to be found!
Have you found anything that delighted you today?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Change Is Good!

A change in the weather
is sufficient to recreate
the world and ourselves.
          ~ Marcel Proust
Those words have never been truer than they were this past week. Our weather was simply unbelievable. It's not always a good thing to talk about the weather. That can actually get rather boring, but trust me, this week's weather was anything but boring and it was fantastic for photography.
Wednesday dawned with a cold north wind blowing and temperatures in the low 20's. By afternoon freezing rain had begun to fall. The drops on this leaf even outshined the red berries!
Rain turned quickly to sleet and ice began to accumulate on the trees and bushes. Considering how dangerous ice can be, we were fortunate. This was a light coating of ice, the roads were mostly passable, and we kept our power. It was the perfect conditions for finding a few ice creations, which are always beautiful. This looks like a leaf made of ice, but there's really a leaf buried in there somewhere!
These little berries, on just a plain old hedge, were amazing. I love the way this one seems to be peeking our of it's ice coat to see what's going on!

I think my favorite berries to photograph were the dogwood berries.

By Friday the temperatures had begun to rise melting the ice and creating dense fog.
We climbed to the low 50's by afternoon. That was 40 degrees warmer than Monday and Tuesday. I went for a lovely walk in the misting rain. Believe it or not, I was wearing a short sleeve shirt. That was quite a change from the insulated underwear and multiple pairs of socks I wore the day before!

Saturday brought a beautiful, sunny day with temps in the mid 60's.

Our weather man gave the weekend a "10" on the weather scale. It was perfect!  A little muddy from all the rain, but I didn't mind sloshing around in the mud!

I think I'll stick around and see what kind of weather we have this week. I believe it's supposed to be warm and sunny Monday and Tuesday. I'm already planning where my camera and I will go.
I hope that wherever you are and whatever the weather is, you'll take a few minutes to enjoy it.