Thursday, January 19, 2012


After taking a few years off from playing, Billy has decided to play hoops this year.  He's playing in-house basketball in a league through the High School.  This league is made up of boys from just the junior class.  There are 10 teams with 9 or so players each.  That's a lot of junior boys!  It seems like a fun league, they call it "Swag" ball.  It looks like Billy is getting his swag on here.

I played basketball in 7th grade...maybe 8th grade too.  I don't remember, I try to block that from my mind.  I can say that I didn't enjoy it.  Girls playing basketball can be nasty.  Long, claw like finger nails...shudder.  I was one of the taller ones and had to play center.  All that means is that I would put my hands up to get a rebound and promptly get elbowed in the chest.  Sharp elbows.  Shudder again.  We won't even get into all the running.  Back and forth.  Billy doesn't seem to mind though.  There he goes... he comes back again.  Back and forth, back and forth.

 Taking basketball pictures is a challenge for me.  Bad lighting, lots of moving, I focus and then the kid jumps right out of my shot...

...or the ball gets in the way.  Oops.

And then there's all that pushing and shoving and trying to get the ball away from each other.  Hey boy, don't you be grabbing my Billy!

 Running, jumping...

blocking, rebounding, dribbling...


 jumping again.

Off of the couch, playing the game.

The coaches (dads) are encouraging....not sure what the exchange between the coach and Billy was here, but it looks interesting.  There are mesh curtains between the courts, you can see the other games scoreboard, but the one for our game is behind the bleachers.

It makes it hard to know what the score is.  And being such a huge basketball fan that I'm not...I'm never quite sure what's going on.  What's the score?  Wasn't that a foul?  Can they do that?  Poor Eric. I do know that this boy is about to shoot a free throw because someone was grabbing him or something.

And I know that my boy is getting ready to rebound a different free throw, in case if the shooter misses.

 And I know that he's gotten to be pretty good at helps to be 6'4"...but there are quite a few tall kids in the league.  How did these little boys get so tall?

For all the things that I don't know about the game, I do know this...seeing the smiles and fun shared during and after the games is the very best part.

Well that and the getting off the couch when it's -10 degrees outside is good too.  Winter has officially arrived here.  I hope it's warm where you are!  Thanks for stopping by!

January 19, 2011:  No Blog Post & Photo of the Day
January 19, 2010:  Mr. Cardinal & Photo of the Day
January 19, 2009:  Little Shavers & Photo of the Day

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Got to Move

For the last few years I've selected a "word of the year" to guide or inspire me through out the year.  Common words are believe, nest, organize, create, change, inspire, etc.  Last year my word was "accomplish".  It worked for a while, I made up a booklet to make to do lists each day.  It worked pretty well for a few months, and then old habits and just living my life got in the way.  The list keeping was good, I think I will start that up again!  

Anyway, on to this year.  This year my word is "move".  Not as in moving to a new home, but just plain move.  Move on ideas, move on plans, move forward, move as in exercise.  Folk singer Greg Brown did a song years ago that I'm calling my theme song.  I couldn't find his version of it on Youtube, but while I was looking for it I found out that the song was actually written by Mississippi Fred McDowell in the early 60's.  Here is his version of it.

You got to move
You got to move
You got to move, child
You got to move
But when the Lord
Gets ready
You got to move

Greg Brown's version is a little faster, a little softer and the words slightly different, but you get the idea.  How many times have there been things you'd like to do, but you just aren't ready?  This year I'm focusing on moving to make sure that I am ready when those wonderful things come my way.

You may be high
You may be low
You may be rich, child
You may be po'
But when the Lord gets ready
You've got to move

So far I've been inspired.  I'm moving more as in exercising.  I've been watching what I eat.  Did you know that diet and exercise actually works?  Who knew?  I decided that I would buy myself flowers each time I lose 5 lbs.  Oh me!  I've got a ways to go...but my vases are ready.  You got to move.

There are other areas where I'm working to move ahead too...but I'll save those to share on a different day. For now, here's one of the flowers in my bouquet.  They haven't opened up yet, they are just starting to get ready to move.  Sort of like me!

Here's the same photo with some text and texture added.  A move in the right direction I'd say.

Have you picked a word to focus on for the year?  It's not too late...and it can really change your focus.

January 18, 2011:  Piling Up & Photo of the Day
January 18, 2010:  Doing Some Good  & Photo of the Day
January 18, 2009:  A Sunset  & Photo of the Day

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Photos

Catching up with photos.  I'm having second thoughts about doing a photo a day for 2012.  After a few years of doing it, it's gotten harder and harder to try and figure out something remotely interesting to take a photo of.  Maybe that alone is reason to keep will be more of a challenge than ever.  So, please forgive me for boring shots as we get through a nearly snow free January.  Hopefully February will bring something more interesting.
Here are a few shots from earlier this month.  The moon rising over the river near Wabasha when we were taking Brian back to college.  There was a full moon when we picked him up in December...and a full moon another time when we brought him there.  Sort of strange.  I loved the colors as the sun was setting and the moon was rising.

Our old dog Penny.  She always gets a little depressed for the first few days that Brian is gone.  She perks up again when she gets used to the new routine...and patiently waits until he comes home again.

The weather has been mild, then cold, then mild again. We are supposed to be having our first below zero temperatures of the winter this week...breaking a record for the latest below zero temp in the year.  Mild and very little snow.  I buy tulips to remind me that Spring is coming...eventually.  Because even though it has been mild, it's still winter.

Springy tulips on day 2.

There is one squirrel that has perfected the eating birdseed routine.  He or she opens up the top of the feeder and crawls right in.  Cute, but they sure eat a lot of the sunflower seeds in a hurry!

One of the things that I get tired of during our Minnesota winters is the lack of color around us.  A white cement planter on tan grass with a little bit of snow.  Yawn.  Where have all the flowers gone?

Even my vase is empty right now.  Time for some more flowers I'd say.

Billy has been playing basketball for the first time in 4 years or so.  His games are fun to watch, but taking pictures in the gym are a whole new challenge.  Challenges are good keeps me learning.

During the weekend Billy wanted a quick lunch, he wasn't super hungry but needed we cut a frozen pizza in half and baked that for him.  I'm only mentioning it because it reminded me of when he was in afternoon kindergarten and I would fix him half a little frozen pizza for lunch.  He's not so little anymore.  All that reminiscing reminded me of some of the Willow Tree sculptures that I have.  This one is called Quietly.  It takes me right back to those days when the boys were little and both loved to snuggle up to me.  So sweet.

And while I have that photo up, I'll share a different version of it.  I signed up for an online class that is meant to inspire my creativity though the year.  As a precursor to the class I've been taking a mini Photoshop class to learn a little bit more about working with layers and adding texture to photographs.  I practiced some of the techniques on my photo...I like it.  I think that the class will be a good Photoshop refresher as well as some motivation to explore new things.    I'll share some of the results as I go.

And last but not least, my old photograph stand by...Molly.  Sleeping in Billy's room.  Not amused to be awoken.  I love the sunlight and the crazy colors in his room.  With my 50 mm lens and a shallow depth of field it's harder to tell that the bed isn't made and that there are clothes on the floor.  And now that I am thinking of that... expression is matching the cat's.  Not amused.  Why can't he pick up his clothes?  The more things change, the more things stay the same.  Thanks for stopping by.

January 17, 2011:  No Blog Post &  Photo of the Day
January 17, 2010:  Sunday Funday & Photo of the Day
January 17, 2009:  No Blog Post & Photo of the Day

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Look for the New Year...and a Birthday

I've been planning on changing the look of my blog for a while now, but it has always been too low on the list of things to do for me to get it done.  I bumped it up on the list for the New Year.  Lighter and brighter, I think I like it.
We took a little trip to the farm yesterday to celebrate my mom's birthday a little bit early.  She's turning 80 on Monday.  Something to celebrate I'd say!  One of the first things I do when we get there is visit the horses.  This is a picture of Tish's wise eye.  She's one of the horses that is living on the farm for now.

 All of the horses had gotten into the cockle burs in the late fall.  I had brushed mine out earlier, but poor Tish had a mane and tail full of them.  I should have taken a before picture, but didn't think of it.  Eric came out when I was almost finished to see where in the world I had disappeared to.

 Little old Tish seemed to be happy for the attention and the beautifying treatment.

 Most of her mane laid flat after I got the burs out, but her forelock was a little wild, it was sticking out all over the place.  I think she was proud of her new punk look.

Maybe she's just smiling because it felt so good to get that mess out of her mane...and lots of attention to boot.

In the evening we went out to dinner with my mom to celebrate her day.  My brother, my mom and me at the Pizzaria.

 Eric's dad, Billy and Brian.

 Eric, his mom and his dad.

After supper we went to Eric's folks house to watch the end of the Lions vs Saints football game and have some ice cream.  I think my mom's favorite  part of the day was to be surrounded her boys.  I know that's the favorite part of most of my days!

Those days of being with both my boys are going to be fewer and further between again, we bring Brian back to college today.  I'm going to miss the fun and laughter that has been filling my house!  I'm grateful for the time we had over his winter break.  I hope your days are filled with people you love.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Under the Weather

I've been fighting a cold or something for the last few days.  Nothing much, just weird things that come and go, sneezing and sniffling one minute, then it goes away.  I did pop outside for a minute or two to take a picture of my dried up cone flowers.  I even got an angle that show our tiny bit of snow in the background.

 Anyway, back to me.  :-)  What ever it is that I am battling is mostly making tired.  I could take a nap at anytime during the day tired.   Not dog tired, but cat tired.  And Molly is tired a lot.

I can usually find her in Billy's room sleeping on the unmade bed.  And then I wake her up...sort of... up!

Then I get the look.  The leave me the heck alone look.  OK...I get the message.  I'm tired too.

 Time for me to take a nap....and leave the cat alone.  Doesn't she look relieved?

 Yawn.  Till next time!