Friday, February 29, 2008


Here's an earlier version without the horses. Opinions?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My First Digital Collage

I have been playing with Photoshop and created this digital collage from three images. The window (black opening) and door covered in metal sheets are from the same house. The horses were added because it needed something on the left and they fit the mood. For me it is ghost or dream like. I really like the textures of the wood and rusted metal and door knob.

Why is this barn or house abandoned? Are the horses gone or lonely? Was it once a thriving farm or ranch? Mystery!

The bottom version is the same but with a black border as if from printing. What do you think of the piece? Which version do you prefer? Is the black border effective?

This was quite fun to do and I want to play with more images in combination.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Here is the original photo.
Here it is in Black n White.
and here in sepia tones.

My thoughts as I look @ these three are about mood, feeling, and atmosphere. The house is a charming subject for me. Large and old, once stately, plain but sturdy. It provided shelter for many, or a large family, judging by the size. The house is lonely and neglected, even though it served well. Some small attempts have been made to preserve it-there are metal sheets over the doors.

Nevertheless it is lonely and forgotten. Anyway, about mood. Look at each picture. Feel it. How does it affect you.? Is it different?

For me the difference is striking. At first, the color picture, as taken, is old and tattered. It is interesting and evokes stories of imagined inhabitants. The black and white looks colder, distant, aloof. This is connoted by the coolness of the blacks and grays. The sepia is older still and ominous or evil in feeling.

I've been thinking about these different moods of the same house for a couple of days. It has provoked a curiosity about how I may color the scenes in my life. Do I? Is it conscious? Can I influence it? I know my children are happier and easier when I an happy and calm. Can I copy that coloration? I wonder. I'd like to.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

For Greg

This post is for my darling husband who has a 'strict no blog policy'. I'm wondering if he is curious about what I may have written about him below? ;-p

Friday, February 22, 2008

More pics

We drove the county roads today looking for more interesting barns. Found some. I should share, for those who don't know the midwest, there are many more modern shiny new buildings - barns, grain bins, houses, than there are antique and tumbling down. I just like the old ones. I don't want my choice of subject to mislead anyone into a view that all Nebraska is falling down:)

Anyway I found some photo ops and will share some later here and on Flickr.

I like the character and real or imagined history of the old buildings. What happened there? who lived there and worked there? What was life like? I get so many feelings from old buildings. Do you?

I can't keep up

I can't keep up with my twin 4 year old boys. I'm an older mother, but I don't think it is age. Well, maybe part of it is. I don't have as much energy for as long as I once did. But it is more than my age. They are unbelievably energetic and they are not ADHD or any such. They are just curious, busy, active, lively - you get the picture. What oh what do parents of hyperactive children and parents of triplets and so on do?

I literally cannot pick up or wash clothes or dishes fast enough. I'm not aiming for @ Good Housekeeping award, just neat and healthy. You know, no apple cores under the couch, laundry in the hamper, a clean sink. Not to complain (well maybe) but Dad isn't any help. I have his muddy boot prints, socks, dishes, and tea glasses all over the house. Oh, woe is me. How pitiful I sound!

I don't want to be pitiful, but boy does it feel good to complain out loud and in relative anonymity.

So, I'm working on a smarter plan. I don't think I can work harder _ But can undoubtedly work smarter. The first key is to get their help. So, I'm outlining what is my job as house-mom and what responsibilities belong to the individual. Like, pickup your own stuff, clear your own dishes, put your own clothes in hamper. It sounds so simple, is so simple, but it isn't happening. Dad needs to set the example.

Advice welcome.

More l ater going to drop off one for art class.

I discussed individual responsibility w/ hubby toaite at dinner and he agrees each will take care ofown chores (Boys with our help of course). that shouldhelp. I'm still amazed @ how fast two little boys can make a mess!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Little Cabin in the Woods

Ahhhh, this scene taps my pioneer woman feelings. I imagine one or two rooms filled with home made wood furniture, patchwork quilts, a fire burning, bread baking, and me happily in work boots and an apron. The simplicity. The pureness of hard labor and nature.

I can almost step out that door into the coolness of that bright blue sky. (actually, it was 12 degrees and I could hardly hold the camera still) Imagine a few chickens in the back, gathering eggs, cooking sausage for breakfast, sweeping a wood floor.

Of course, I wouldn't trade central air, refrigeration, computers, appliances, or an air tight home for anything; but I do love to dream.

I really do think we as a people were better off when we had to work all day to feed and clothe ourselves and sleep indoors. Many of todays worries and stresses were unknown and there just wasn't time to indulge them.

Thank goodness we can still find these homesteads and daydream. For me it is a nice trip. I hope you enjoy the picture and your reactions and day dreams!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is Eli and Riley's new preschool. Well, it is the administration building at the school - Nebraska Christian in Central City. It is K-12 plus one preschool class. The school has been there 50 years and this building was built as a college building in 1885.

It sits on a good sized campus outside of Central City. The boys really like the school and have made new friends. They have a turtle, 2 guinea pigs, and a parakeet in their classroom.


This door touched me emotionally as soon as I saw it. I was shooting around an old empty house. It was in sad shape - that's why I stopped by. But this doorway is different. The tree had grown up just beside the house, blocking entrance or exit from the door. The branches are tangled. Whatever or whoever might be inside is blocked. Entry, companionship, help, friendship, experience is blocked. It is just such a sad door.

Doors provide safety, privacy, silence, comfort, warmth; they open to welcome friends, sunshine, fresh air; they lead out to new experiences, nature, shopping! This one doesn't. Perhaps the owner planted this tree to keep everyone out. Perhaps it grew unnoticed due to isolation. Perhaps it is unwanted but lethargy and neglect have let it take over.

I visualize and feel all these messages and possiblities as both literal and figurative. It is the figurative that caught my attention that day. How many doors are grown over from lack of use, lack of interest, neglect? How many opportunities are lost because tangled branches of confusion, distrust, timidity, bias, or sheer fear block the way? I wonder. I want to look for those doors and prune those branches.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We're expecting - Kittens!

Greg found a mother cat and three kittens on the construction site. While the boys and I were in Houston before Christmas, he brought them all home and began taming the kittens. The mother, Cleo, was quite tame and friendly.

Sadly all three kittens have disappeared. Locals say 2 were probably taken by owls. Ick! The third, the most timid, crawled in the engine of my car and subsequently safely rode there all day and into the evening as we ran errands, picked up Greg and went to Grand Island. Greg opened the hood to put in windshield fluid and found her. As we tried to get her, she jumped out the bottom and ran away. We did not see her jump out, so kept looking and lost her.

We've been sad about losing the kittens. Well, today I took Cleo to the vet for a checkup prior to spaying. She's with kitten! So, we'll wait on the surgery and have new kittens. I believe Greg has been converted to a cat lover!

Playing with photos

Here are the photos I mentioned in the previous post. The one on bottom right is the original, of course. This is a house near the boys' new preschool. Which do you like?


Here's some motherhood nonsense. I "ran" to the garage barefoot, nightgown, to get my son some mittens from the car. It's 20 degrees here this morning-I was stepping on ice and gravel in my cold bare feet and getting crabby. My son (4) said "Mom you need to get some rest." Boy that's humbling! Like I don't know better. Like l would let them do that!

On a saner note -

I have two new toys. One is a wacom pen & tablet. I use it to draw and paint on my computer and handwrite my text. the handwriting is handy because my twins pulled a bunch of keys off my keyboard. Digital art is really fun.

The other is a digital SLR camera. I'm just learning it but with it and Adobe Photoshop Elements I'm having a photo adventure. I'll attach one I'm playing with. {time lapse, much frustration} Can't get the sample photos to upload... will try again later when I have more patience.

Hug your inner child today!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Children in War Zones!

I could not write a blog so important or any nearer my heart than these words I copied from War Child International. See their website link at right with other favorite causes. I was struck that the active organizations listed are Holland, Canada, and UK. No US? I'm sitting here in my comfortable home thinking with horror of my two precious sons in a war zone. What if they were alone? How terrified and lost they would be.

I have nothing to gain here, just please read on. Let's raise our awareness of children, women, any civilian, in a war zone or on the run from one. I will research the war zones they enumerate and report here.

War Child was founded upon a fundamental goal: to advance the cause of peace through investing hope in the lives of children caught up in the horrors of war.
As you read this, over 30 wars and conflicts rage around the world. Some fill our TV screens with appalling images of distress, emphasising war’s brutalising effect on man.
Many of these wars go unreported, often due to political expediency or lack of interest. They reveal a shaming pattern: Sixty million people have been killed in wars during the 20th Century. Over 80% of war casualties are now civilians - mainly women and children.
Children are amongst the first casualties of any armed conflict, always the most vulnerable and innocent of victims. In the last decade alone 1.5 million children have died in wars. Four million have been disabled and a further 10 million traumatised.
The severe psychological wounds that war inflicts on children can scar them for life, crippling the very generations that must one day rebuild their devastated countries. For the future peace of the world we must do everything in our power to help these war children.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another Sunday

Well, I've missed a whole week! I'll do better this week. I traded and gave away a few photos this week via Etsy. Trading is fun.

It has been cold - single digits! We have a new cat - Cleo. She had 3 kittens and we took them in as well, but they are all gone. Two hopefully wandered off and one got in the engine and jumped out 20 miles from here. I'm very sad about them. We enjoy Cleo though. She is in at night and in the garage or breezeway in the day. She doesn't like to stay in all the time.

The hardest thing about a small town is lack of child resources. There is little preschool (2 hrs per week), no commercial daycare, no play places. Even the local McDonalds doesn't have play space! We do like Aurora though. I've made good friends and like the calm and quiet. AND, there is no traffic.

Anyway, I just enrolled the boys in preschool 20 miles away and plan to spend the 2.5 hours they are occupied driving the countryside looking for photo ops. I've already visited an abandoned house near the school. I took photos but am not happy with them.

We have a new camera - a Panasonice SLR digital. I'm still learning it and at this point don't plan to abandon film. We have so much film Nikon gear and I still like the idea of film photography. I'll let you know here how the new camera proves out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I've been uploading photos to Flickr and looking around. Boy, there are some awsome pics and photographers there. Take a look! Here is a great one-

He has some truly great shots in Nebraska.

I'm trying to coordinate this blog, flickr, etsy, and cafepress, oh, and my domain I just bought - Don't go there, I haven't done anything with it yet.

First Ice

First Ice, originally uploaded by Holy Cow Studio.

I love this view of the old house and new ice. The ice was so bright and sparkling and the building has fallen in and is deteriorating. The metaphors are many. For me, it is newness that can be in any 'old' life or damaged life. It is never too late for another start or to do something new. Me, twins at 53! What a new and bright view of a somewhat old and somewhat dingy life! Sparkling ice and an old house...