Monday, June 3, 2013

Eighty Lessons I Learned From My Father

In honor of my father's 80th birthday, I thought I would compile of list of eighty things I learned from him, over the course of my life.  In all fairness, many of these lessons were taught by both my parents, but since it’s his birthday, Dad gets the credit today.  There are also some members of my family who would say that I haven’t mastered all of these lessons…but that’s hardly Dad’s fault, sometimes I’m a slow learner.  So here you go Dad –

Eighty Lessons I Learned From My Father:

1.      How to change a tire.

2.      How to parallel park.

3.      The value of unconditional love.

4.      Buy good tools.

5.      Don’t throw the first punch, throw the last one.

6.      The importance of well-polished shoes.

7.      Give a firm handshake.

8.      Take the time to do the job right the first time, and you won’t have to do it over.

9.      Don’t be a quitter.

10.  Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.

11.  Don’t spend what you don’t have.

12.  How to tie a tie.  Yep, I learned from watching him.

13.  Take time for vacations.

14.  There’s value in hard work.

15.  A little sweat won’t kill you.

16.  Wear your “Sunday Go to Meetin’” clothes to church.

17.  Family comes first.

18.  Be patient.

19.  Take a nap after lunch.

20.  A good reputation in invaluable.

21.  Measure twice, cut once.

22.  Think before you speak.

23.  Take responsibility for your actions.

24.  Help your neighbor whenever you can.

25.  Go to church.

26.  Never stop learning.

27.  Don’t pay someone to do a job you can do yourself.

28.  Marriage is forever.  And that’s a good thing.

29.  Even crow tastes good if it’s fixed right.

30.  Make lists…there is satisfaction in crossing off completed chores.

31.  Discipline is a virtue.

32.  Enjoy a bowl of ice cream before bed.

33.  Education is important.

34.  Show gratitude – say thank you.

35.  If you see the tanker truck delivering fuel at the gas station, fill up somewhere else.

36.  Forgive quickly.

37.  Laugh often!  It’s good for you.

38.  Kiss your spouse in front of your kids.

39.  Listen more than you talk.

40.  Follow your dream.

41.  How to waterski.

42.  How to mow the yard, keeping the lines straight.

43.  Show affection to those you love.

44.  Practice generosity.

45.  The importance of service.

46.  Use your talents.

47.  How to ride a bike.

48.  How to roller skate.

49.  Buy used cars.

50.  The importance of loyalty.

51.  How to stand on my head.

52.  Always return (or leave) things better than you found them.

53.  Tell the truth.

54.  Don’t play with matches.

55.  Show your kids you appreciate their talents and efforts.

56.  There’s nothing like a good steak, cooked out on the grill.

57.  Respect your elders and others in authority. 

58.  Check your oil.

59.  Tip well.

60.  Appreciate music.

61.  Marry someone good, kind, and willing to work hard.

62.  Doing right is its own reward.

63.  It’s okay to cry sometimes.

64.  Persevere.

65.  Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

66.  When the oil light comes on, STOP!

67.  Raise your kids to be kind, strong and independent.

68.  Choices have consequences.

69.  Timing is everything.

70.  Keep your promises.

71.  You shift by the sound of the engine, not by the gauge on the dashboard.

72.  Sit still in church.

73.  Don’t watch the clock when you’re at work.

74.  Never swear in front of your kids.

75.  How to read a map.

76.  How to ride a motorcycle.

77.  When negotiating, the one who can walk away has the upper hand.

78.  Finish what you start.

79.  Any motorcycle is better than no motorcycle, but the best motorcycle is a Harley.

80.  There’s nothing sweeter than being called “Blondie” or “Angel” by a dad whom you adore.


Happy Birthday, Dad!  I love you. 


Gulfport, Mississippi, 1973

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Friday!

TGIF, everyone!  This weekend's TGIF special is a four-season composite of my favorite tree -- located on DD west of Ashland, Missouri.  One 24" x 20" stretched canvas print of "Four Seasons of the Mighty Oak" is available for $109 (regularly $186.77).  The TGIF promo runs until 10:00PM Sunday, May 19th, or until the one available canvas is sold, whichever comes first.  Last week's TGIF special only lasted an hour.  Have a great weekend! 

Click Here to See the TGIF Promo Details

"Four Seasons of the Mighty Oak"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

That groundhog really blew it this year.  Not only did spring not come early this year (as he predicted), it arrived about six weeks later than normal!  But it's mid-May now, and the waited for season has finally arrived.

"Barn in Wild Turnips"

"Old Allis"
These photographs were taken in Hartsburg, just north of Peace Church.  The owner of the barn had commented to me last winter that I didn't have any images of his barn among my work, and invited me to take some anytime I wanted.  It's such a charming little barn, nestled against the bluffs, that I couldn't resist!  The old Allis-Chalmers WD45 sits nearby, resting up.  This field was planted in turnips last fall, and they went to seed -- which provided a sea of tiny yellow blooms in the spring.

The Grass Is Greener

This pasture is along a route that I travel almost daily.  I get a kick out of how often the horses are at the fence, necks stretched, nibbling on the grass as far as they can reach.  Maybe wanting what's just beyond our grasp isn't strictly a human trait -- what do you think?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Field of Dreams...and Memories

"Backyard Baseball Memories"
This photo is something that I've had in mind for quite some time.  It represents countless hours of impromptu baseball games.  Some from when I was young, and some from when my boys were young.   I also made a black and white version, for those who prefer a more timeless feel to the image.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Buzzing with Activity!

"Pear Blossom Pollinator"

The two Bradford Pear trees planted behind my church were just loaded with blossoms last Sunday, and the bees were busy taking advantage of the situation!  It was a perfect time to get some close up shots of these busy guys at work.  Spring has been late in arriving this year, so we are glad for every sign that we get that warmer weather is here to stay.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Update to "Outside My Comfort Zone"

I'm happy to announce that "Country Lane," the image that is pictured in the "Stretching Outside My Comfort Zone" entry, has been chosen to be a part of the Columbia Art League's "Green" exhibit.  The exhibit runs from April 16 - June 22, 2013, at the CAL's gallery, 207 S. Ninth Street, Columbia, MO. The opening reception on Wednesday, April 17th is from 6-8PM, and is open to the public. If you are local, I hope you'll drop by sometime and enjoy all the artwork that explores many the interpretations (literal and figurative) of "green."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coming soon -- "Ashland Out Loud"

In just five days I'm looking forward to participating in a wonderful community event:  Ashland Out Loud.  For those that aren't familiar with it -- the event is held the third Thursday of April, and is designed to showcase all that his good about the little town of Ashland, Missouri.

The event that I'm taking part in is the "Community Stroll" -- in which local businesses will have tables set up along the sidewalks of Broadway with information about their business, and products as well!  My table will be placed just outside of the Great Reflections salon, on the corner of Broadway and Main streets. I'll have matted 11"x14" prints and greeting cards for sale, as well as a copy of my portfolio in case anyone is interested in the images that I don't have on hand.

Please keep your fingers crossed for a nice day -- the forecast doesn't look great, but here in Missouri, that's always subject to change!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Stretching Outside My Comfort Zone

Today I submitted an entry for the Columbia Art League's upcoming "Green" art show.  Any type of artwork that fits within the "green" theme could be entered, and then a jury will determine which pieces will make it into the show.  Here's the piece I entered:

"Country Lane"
The photo was taken just past our home.  The trees on the right side of the photograph are on the Three Creeks Conservation Area, and the ones on the left side of the road are on our farm.  I do feel truly blessed to live in such an area.

Although over the last year I've begun to be involved in the Ashland Artists Group and participate in some local arts/crafts fairs -- exhibiting my photography in a Columbia Art League show is definitely outside my comfort zone!  I don't know how many artists will enter work for the show, or how many will be chosen to participate -- so I don't have a clue what my odds are.  But keep your fingers crossed for me!  I should know more by Monday.

The Next Wave

On Wednesday, April 10th, we had wave upon wave of storms move through the central and southern states.  My area was fortunate not to have any highwinds or hail, but he sure had torrential downpours!  This shot was taken mid-morning from our back porch, as one of the wall clouds was forming in the west, and getting ready to move over us. 

I took this image with the panorama mode of my Sony A55 dslr.  Using this, I can press the shutter button while facing one end of my intended image, and hold it down as I pan slowly (and levelly, if that's a word) to the other end.  The camera then "stitches" it all together for me -- which is much nicer for me than having to use special software (and special skills) to do this manually.  Many of the newer "point and shoot" cameras have this feature too -- so if you are planning any vacation travel to any areas with beautiful vistas, it might be time to upgrade your camera.  Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure the iPhone 5 does panoramas too -- something else to keep in mind.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal

One of the best features of spring is the sense of hopefulness it brings. We watch the trees for signs of leaves, and the bulbs emerging from the ground for their first colorful blooms.