This week, Cee is looking for outdoor ways to move up and down for her Black & White Photo Challenge. Here are a few of the more unconventional methods including maintenance platforms hanging from Marina Towers in downtown Chicago, a maintenance lift at the mall in Mount Prospect, the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier in Chicago and grandson bungee jumping at the Renaissance Faire.
This week, guest host Viveka has given us the topic Capital for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. We have visited a few State Capitals on our travels around the US so here is my take on the subject. Living in Illinois as we do, Springfield would be the obvious place to start.
Madison, is about the halfway point between our house and where our daughter and her family live in Wisconsin, so we sometimes meet there to visit places like Olbrich Botanic Gardens and the Capital Building.
We have family living in Indiana so a trip to Indianapolis is usually one of our destinations. Just my luck, one of the sharpest pictures I ever took was one of the steam plant, which is the only reason I include it here. Also pictured, The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, White River Gardens and a fountain at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
A recent visit to St. Paul, Minnesota resulted in some pictures of the Capital Building, the Cathedral of St. Paul, and the Conservatory at Como Park Zoo.
Our youngest daughter and her husband lived in Salt Lake City, Utah for a brief period so we spent a week there taking in the sights which included the Capital Building, Temple Square and the College of Pharmacy.
Our visit to Cheyenne, Wyoming was only a short one as we were on our way to Utah, but we stopped long enough to visit the Capital Building.
This week, Patti has chosen Favorite Photos of 2019 as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. By far my favorite photos of this year have been the ones of our youngest granddaughter which summon up some of the sweetest memories of 2019. The toy beauty salon that we got her for Christmas was a big hit. Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year and as much joy in the coming months as this little darling as brought to us.
This week, Amy has chosen Display as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t done much in the way of posting recently, the reason being that we have been working hard preparing for an estate sale. When my mother-in-law passed away in July, she left a house full of possessions that were neither valuable nor particularly desirable but, when the family gathered at the old place this past weekend, we realized that so many of those things on display held a great deal of sentimental value, and when turnout for the sale proved to be disappointing, probably due to the timing being so near to Christmas, we found ourselves leaving with arms full of memorabilia.
We found the sled, probably dating back to the late 1960’s, in the crawl space under the house. It brought back memories of our first winter in Chicago when my husband would pull our eldest daughter up and down the sidewalk in the snow with my mother-in-law’s dog chasing along beside them.
This week, Cee has chosen Books and Paper as the subject for her Fun Foto Challenge. I love old books and the second-hand book stores that sell them! Some of my favorite places to visit in London were those shops that sold used classics and hard-to-find books. Now, when we visit historic houses and museums, I’m always interested to see just which books they have in their displays, from places like the Stephenson County Historical Museum and the Williamson County Jail Museum in Illinois to the grand library at the Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina.
Pictured above is an ornate photo album on display at the Historical Museum in Marion, Illinois. Below are books that are an important part of my own family history. Both are prayer books and each has an interesting story attached to it. The book on the left was given to my father in 1912 by his uncle who was serving on HMS Black Prince at the time. Shortly after this, he transferred to HMS Indefatigable. Both ships were destroyed by enemy fire during the Battle of Jutland in 1916 with heavy casualties. Uncle William was one of those who died. The book on the right was given to my grandfather by a young girl while he was serving with the Royal Field Artillery as he was riding through a village in Belgium during WWI. She ran out of the crowd and pressed the prayer book into his hand. My mother always thought of her as an angel who had given him a gift that protected him through the worst times of the war and brought him safely back home.
This is my last chance to add something to the Blue Squares photo challenge. Thanks to Becky for organizing this great challenge. July has been a month of highs and lows for us, with uncertain outcomes and altered plans, so it seemed fitting to finish with a selection of bits and bobs. The first image was captured at Congo River mini golf where the ducks felt safer on dry land than they did in the water, probably because that’s where most of the balls were landing.
The next shot was taken at Arlington Park where we put a bet on number three and it turned out to be a winner. The odds weren’t great and we only risked a minimal sum but a win’s a win!
Spending the day at Navy Pier with two of our granddaughters, we got to see the ‘boys in blue’ take off in a helicopter probably on their way to patrol the lakefront.
Blue gondolas on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. We got a great view of the city from the top.
More car parts from Volo Auto Museum. I don’t know the first thing about cars but I love all the colors and the shiny bits!
This week is a special one for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, celebrating its one-year anniversary, and we have been invited to choose our own subject. I’d like to do something completely different on this occasion and feature some pictures that my 10-year-old granddaughter took the other day at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago. She was using my SLR camera and did a fantastic job. The only contribution I made was to do a little cropping but the content and quality of the pictures are unaltered. I’m so happy that she is taking an active interest in photography and will do everything I can to encourage it.
Well, here’s something a bit different. I’ve never been to a girl’s softball game before, so last weekend we went up to Wisconsin to watch our eldest granddaughter play in a softball tournament. It seems like only yesterday that she was a toddler playing with her dollies and tea set and now she’s ten years old and ready to take on the world.
For the first couple of games, we choose to watch from a place of comparative safety behind the fence and sit back to enjoy what is, for us, a new experience. You have to admire the enthusiasm that these girls show, and I can’t help noticing that they’ve picked up one or two mannerisms, probably from watching major league baseball games on TV, although I somehow can’t imagine Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the others standing in the dugout singing “We are the Yankees, couldn’t be prouder! If you can’t hear us we’ll shout a little louder!” which the girls proceed to do until they reach an ear-splitting crescendo that scatters a flock of birds roosting in a nearby tree.
During the second game there is a lot to cheer about as the hits are coming fast and furious and we spend most of our time either clapping the team or slapping the mosquitoes that are evidently ravenous up in Wisconsin. By the end of the game we have scored 16 runs and a gazillion mosquito bites despite a liberal application of bug spray and Skin-So-Soft.
The next couple of games are played at another park, the field brand new, the playing surface pristine. I hadn’t planned on making a panoramic view of the field so I take pictures from all different angles and when I finally download the resulting shots and decide to stitch a couple together to give an idea of what the place looks like, I have one heck of a time trying to get things to line up.
It’s not easy to get a clear shot through the chain link fence so I opt to be a bit more adventurous and observe the game from along the left field line. My husband, who is rather more cautious, chooses a spot a bit further down at the end of the safety net.
“The ball will have to make a sharp turn for it to hit me,” he says as he settles down. Famous last words! Almost at the first crack of the bat, the ball comes hurtling towards us and makes a freaky wild turn. Luckily his reflexes are still pretty good and he gets a hand up to protect his head, the ball giving his palm a pretty sound wallop. I am very impressed by Wisconsin hospitality when a man comes running all the way from the other side of the field with an ice pack. There is a lot said about the rivalry between Illinois and Wisconsin and this good Samaritan wasn’t to know we were from Illinois but I’d like to think he would have extended us the same curtesy even had he been aware of the fact. Be that as it may, we are extremely grateful for this friendly gesture.
By the end of the fourth game our team has a 2-2 record. Granddaughter has played some excellent games at first base, got several key hits and has shown that she knows what to do when it comes to running the bases. It all comes down to the final game and our girl goes up to bat. After watching the ball whizz over her head and a few wild pitches outside that get away from the catcher, she gets knocked down by an inside pitch to the leg. She crumples in a heap and the coaches rush out as we hold our collective breath. They eventually get her to her feet and she hobbles to first base. She’s obviously in some pain but she doesn’t come out of the game and even steals second base. Attagirl!
They end up winning the game and then I find out that the first game that they lost wasn’t part of the tournament so they are actually 3-1. Hooray!! They make it into the Championship game which is being held this weekend. That was one wild and crazy tournament! Unfortunately we won’t be able to make the game but we’ll be there in spirit.
Thanks to Tina over at Travels & Trifles for picking the Wild topic for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.
The subject for Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge is Lit From Within and, although I hadn’t intended to participate this week, the opportunity to capture some appropriate pictures presented itself quite by chance and so here is my take on the challenge. For the past three weeks I’ve been spending much of the time at the hospital visiting my 93-year-old mother-in-law. Sadly she has reached the stage where nothing more can be done for her and has been moved to more comfortable surroundings in hospice there. The only bright spot in these rather gloomy days has been the sight of the Christmas Village that has been set up in the lobby of the hospital. Apparently, the man who owns all these lovely ornaments brings them in every Christmas for everyone to enjoy. Thank you, whoever you are! You have helped to lighten our load.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Lit from Within.
The subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week was set for us by Patti, and she is looking for some fun. Whenever I am looking for a little fun, I head over to my eldest daughter’s house. For many years I hosted every kind of family celebration imaginable but now she has taken over the task and is doing a first-rate job. Last year she initiated a new celebration, the family fall festival, and we had a lot of fun, so this year we looked forward to the date with eager anticipation.
The day started out well. The sun was shining and we were able to enjoy all the outdoor decorations which were primarily geared towards the forthcoming Halloween festivities.
Someone was on hand to do a bit of face painting while the grown-ups prepared the food. Luckily we didn’t need to use the grill as it seemed to be haunted, and I got a fright when someone tapped on the window by the kitchen sink and I look out to see who was there.
Then it was time for all of us to head over to Kregel’s Pumpkin Farm. We had a great time there last year and this looked to be just as much fun, with some family members trying out a new rolling activity while others had a go at the giant slide. By this time, the dark clouds were starting to drift in but we were fairly confident that we’d stay dry as there seemed to be no rain in the forecast.
It was then that things took a turn for the not-so-good. We had hopped on the hay wagon for a ride out to the pumpkin patch and had just made our selections as we stood about discussing the merits of various types of squash when it started to snow. And not just snow. The wind picked up and howled across the field! And there was a blizzard but not gently falling snowflakes. These felt more like shards of glass pummeling us. We all piled back on the hay wagon and the driver set off. I don’t have any shots of these events as by this time I had bundled my camera underneath a rather inadequate jacket, so you’ll just have to picture the scene for yourselves. The wind had reached such a velocity that I thought the wagon was in danger of tipping over and the cold was almost unbearable (many of us were just not suitably dressed for this wintry onslaught.) It’s a strange thing but as horrific as that slow ride back to the farm was, we were all laughing! Even in the worst conditions we were a family, together, out to have some fun and by gosh, we were determined to make the best of it!
By the time we got home, the blizzard had stopped (naturally) and we settled down to enjoy the rest of the day. Unfortunately the camera wasn’t functioning too well after being caught in the storm so I abandoned the picture-taking for other fun pursuits. For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to Just For Fun