CFFC: Circles, Wheels, & Spheres

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this past week has been about circles and wheels. Here is my contribution.

Pumpkins are not necessarily round, but their shape is generally thought of as spherical – some are and some aren’t! I just liked this display of pumpkins outside a Mariano’s supermarket.


And a pinwheel!

Circular centers of flowers

Ice on a circular pot…

…and decorative bowls.

Lens-Artists #72 – Waiting

People wait.


Waiting in line to get into the Louvre, Paris



Waiting to enter Sacre Coeur Church, Montmartre, Paris



Waiting to see the Mona Lisa up close, Louvre, Paris


Marching band waiting their turn at a marching band competition, Vienna


Waiting for the bride & groom to emerge from the church, Poulsbo, WA

Transportation vehicles wait.


Parked bicycles wait for their owners to return, Amsterdam


Cruise ship waits to board passengers to begin an ocean cruise, Amsterdam


Bicycles wait up above, and boats wait down below – the frowning face means boats must stop and wait their turn to go under the bridge, Amsterdam


Parked cars wait for their owners to drive them, Amsterdam

Animals and plants wait.


Waiting to be planted in a garden, Des Plaines, IL


Cat watches and waits for a moth on the screen, Des Plaines

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72, 11/16/19: Waiting



WWPC: Ways and Means in Miltenberg

Miltenberg, Germany, a beautiful small city with some 9,000 or so inhabitants, is located in northern Bavaria on the Main River. This post features ways – how people move around – and means – what is used to get around – in this picturesque town, for Which Way Photo Challenge, now with a new host, Alive and Trekking.


This photo was taken from the Main River, not at Miltenberg, but representative of personal watercraft.

Childhood: A Journey of Growing Up

We have recently moved and so I have been going through a lot of stuff stored in our old house, including photos I took of my son, Jayme, when he was a child (he is now 34). I am sharing some of my favorites of the ones I have scanned, for this week’s VJ’s Weekly Challenge #62: Child/Childhood.


Jayme with neighbor

Playing in a kiddie pool with a neighbor, on a hot summer day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1986


Jayme Villa Alvarez - in Janesville wagon

Fall 1986 – in a Janesville Wagon, at his Granny’s house in Janesville, Wisconsin

Jayme Villa-Alvarez - on the pier at the cottage

Faux pout on the pier (wearing an oversized Brewers cap!) – at our cottage on Upper Kaubashine Lake, Hazelhurst, Wisconsin, c. 1988

With his cousins

Julia Waeffler & Jayme Villa-Alvarez

Jayme with his cousin Julia, at our cottage in northern Wisconsin, c.1989. These two were very best friends for years, and only drifted apart when we moved to Illinois and both of them grew older. Julia was just under 2 years older than Jayme.


Leslie, Jayme, Allie & Katy - at Native Village in Lac du Flambeau

Visiting a native village with cousins Leslie and Allie (that’s me as a much younger mom on the right!) – Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, c. 1992

Eric Nesvold & Jayme Villa-Alvarez

Jayme with cousin Eric, feeding a deer at Jim Peck’s Wildlife, Minocqua, Wisconsin, c. 1993

With his stepdad, my husband, Dale, who is teaching him how to check the tires of his bike, Des Plaines, Illinois, 1996 or 1997.
Jayme Villa-Alvarez, Dale Berman



Jayme now, taken at his stepsister’s wedding in January 2019.




Lens-Artists Challenge: Windows

The theme this week for Lens Artists’ Weekly Photo Challenge is windows.

Mormon church – Salt Lake City, UtahSONY DSC
Trigger – photography studio and wedding venue, Chicago, IL
Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL – with sculpture in front
Bike frames in a window, Chicago, IL
Inspirational message on the rear window of a parked car, Arlington Heights, IL
House, Des Plaines, IL
90 Miles Cuban Café, Lincolnwood, IL
Vine covered façade, Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL
Flower pots on a window sill in Todos Santos, Mexico
Park Inn Hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Mason City, Iowa

Circles on Route 66

A little preview of our road trip on Route 66!  Travel With Intent has a weekly challenge on Sundays, and this week the theme is circle. What better place to find circles than on Route 66, “America’s Road,” which celebrates our car culture??  Here are some random “rounds” from our trip.


One of several painted mini-cars in downtown Pontiac, Illinois



This plaque honors World War II veterans depicted in a mural in Cuba, Missouri.



New Mexico’s state symbol is the “Zia” sun sign from the Pueblo tribe. This “Great Seal” of the state of New Mexico appears on the floor of the rotunda of the state capitol, in Santa Fe.



The ceiling of that same rotunda. Unlike other state capitols, Santa Fe’s does not have a dome and the building itself is round.



Stained glass window in Cathedral Basilica San Francisco in Santa Fe, NM



Bumper sticker on a car in Arizona



An abandoned gas station somewhere in New Mexico was adorned with brightly painted bicycles.



Motel parking lot, San Bernardino, California



Woven basket over fireplace at El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, NM



Ancient petroglyphs on volcanic rock at Petroglyphs National Monument, NM



Round barrel platforms at sunset over the Mississippi River, western Illinois
















Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge

Cee has a weekly “Oddball” challenge of photos that don’t seem to fit in with a particular topic. Mine are more on the verge of “weird.” Oh well, here goes…


A scraggly bush with lots of bean pods



Sunlight filtered through a patterned glass window in my house



Bike frames in a window near Logan Square, Chicago



Little Free Library with signs to fantastic places you can find in books (with a helpful small chair alongside). 





CB&WPC: Bicycles Rule in Amsterdam!

In Amsterdam, bicycles are ubiquitous. Most people ride them and many people commute to work on them regardless of the weather. If they are going far, however, they might park their bikes for the day at the train station.

This is a bicycle parking lot near Sloterdijk Station.
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Bicycles have the right of way in Amsterdam over pedestrians. If you are on foot, do not linger on a bike path or you will collide with a cyclist! Although we were there in the winter, that doesn’t stop Amsterdamers from riding their bikes – they just bundle up against the cold, wind and rain. I heard that once there were hurricane force winds and that a number of people on bikes were blown into frigid canals!

Speaking of canals, canal tours are also ubiquitous and a must for anyone visiting Amsterdam! I took the following during a canal tour.

1-31 canal tour3 (3)

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge is for anyone who wishes to showcase their photos in black & white. Join in the fun!


WPC: Shadow

Here are my entries for the Weekly Photo Challenge topic Shadow:

The first two pictures are of my cat, Hazel. A beam of sunlight highlights her light areas with the rest in shadow.


Hazel's light features enhanced by light coming in the window

A few years ago, my husband and I were on our way home from a trip down South, and we stopped in St. Louis in the late afternoon. The people sitting on the steps are literally in the shadow of the Gateway Arch, which extends out onto the surface of the river.


A dragonfly posed on the dock where I was sitting, on a lake in northern Wisconsin.


Last week we went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, which had an exhibit of old-fashioned bicycles.