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I think I just may have to admit age may be catching up with me some. My wife Joan has that broken ankle thing going on, and I've been pulling double duty. You know laundry, cooking, grocery shopping (my least favorite thing) plus working for the schools. Things weren't to bad over the Christmas break, but now that school is back on I have been busy as the old cat on a hot tin roof! So if I seem to be blowing by stuff, it's just that I haven't had time to sit back and enjoy the art work as much as I would like to. 
My wife and I are taking a break and heading for New Orleans in the morning. See you all when we get back. Every one stay Safe over New Years Eve
Breaking News Christmas Mystery Solved! Seems Grandpa was right :wow:

We have three grandsons 13, 4 and 2 years old. The 4 year old's birthday is on March 31st. little Tonio is shall we say as outspoken as his grandfather here :).  Since Thanksgiving he has been informing grandma of everything he would like for his birthday! Think Toy's or Us inventory, boy toys only please. This all made grandma rather curious why he wasn't asking for anything for things he wanted for Christmas, knowing he was fully aware that Christmas comes before his birthday. See Christmas is always celebrated Christmas Eve at my younger sisters house, Christmas morning they will be home and in the afternoon they all come to grandpa and grandma's house, Christmas presents will be distributed from under the tree at all three places. Tonio is a devout believer in Santa Claus, Elf's, Gnomes and Leprechauns along with Smurfs not to mention the occasional river pirate or two (okay grandpa may be a bit of a story teller). I'll insert my theory here, as to why he wasn't telling grandma what he wanted for Christmas, I figured it was simple A: He's only 4 and can't read tags on presents B: Grandpa may have his head filled with Blarney therefore his firm belief in Santa Claus brings toys to those who believe and are good and kind to other people. D: Therefore all toys and gifts under a Christmas Tree come from no other then Santa Claus. E: Also remembering the fact he has an older brother who sends off E-mails on behalf of his two younger brothers directly to none other then Santa himself (Okay remember our oldest grandson spent everyday with grandpa for a year of his life while dad was deployed overseas in the army, when he was two to three years old. So he may came by story telling or tall tales if you prefer from his grandpa. He's almost as good as me at it too :) ). So without breaking the spell of Christmas My Wife (Grandma) ask him one day, why he never told her what he would like for Christmas because it comes before his birthday. He looked at her with a kind of dumbfounded look and told her "grandma Santa brings Christmas presents to you if you are a good and kind person and Timmy (our oldest grandson) has been E-mailing our list to him then he checks his naughty and nice list to see if you have been good or not". He went on to explain to her that he knew grandpa and Santa were good friends daddy told me he went ice skating with Santa once when he was little and Santa told him he has known his dad (Me) since he was in grade school (that's another story, but I may have passed the gift of blarney on to my sons too) add to that Timmy told him he sat on Santa's lap when Daddy was gone in the Army and Santa said he knew my grandpa and grandpa said he had been very good so he would get everything he wanted and Santa knew he missed his daddy a lot, and he got everything he wanted that year. (Check out my Photos of Santa, AKA Mike Peppers here on DA). He then went on to tell grandma, she should try harder to believe and maybe she would get more stuff she wanted for Christmas too! You know grandpa knows lots of stuff and knows Santa and lots of Leprechauns and Smurfs their in the Red Cross with him and go to floods and stuff with him LOL. So very long story short, Believe! That way you wont find yourself having to confess to five other couples at a dinner party for the holidays, that the giant BS'er you married was right! Oh yes you can bet I have this date Dec 18th 2015 wrote down, and it was witnessed by ten of our friends, life is good for those of us that believe!

Merry Christmas to All!  Never Never Stop Believing and Dreaming Miracles do Happen! :)
Just a few days before Thanksgiving here. My wife took a nasty slip and fell, she has broken her ankle :(

Yep That's Broke by olearysfunphotos  Looks as though she's going to be laid up for 6 weeks. Our four year old grandson has requested mom and dad bring him here "so he can help grandma". He has actually been a big help, bringing her extra pillows, a blanket if she gets chilly and handing her the crutches if she needs to get up. 
It's been many years now, since we have had snow fall this early in the season here in Iowa. Between Friday night late and early Saturday morning we had 8.8 inches of snow fall. The photos I have posted were all taken in or just outside Scott County Park here in south east Iowa, Enjoy and please as always feel free to comment and or give helpful critique.
The weather gurus saw we are going to have a nice sunny fall weekend. So my plan is to get out and try out my new Tamron 150 to 600 mm lens. Looking like it might just be a hike in the plans and see what we see I guess :) 
40 Years ago this year on July 5th 1975 I married the love of my life. In case you were wondering yes we are still married, not quite sure myself why she hasn't taken me to the curb with the rest of the trash years ago. But that's not the reason for this journal. The reason is 40 years ago on November 10th as they have again this year the Witch Winds of November began to blow "and the gales of November came early". Those as old as me may remember those words as Lyrics to a song by Gordon Lightfoot 1976. So it was on the 10th of November 1975 a distress call from the Ore Boat Edmund Fitzgerald came out, "they were taking on water". That was the last anyone ever heard from the 29 men of the Edmund Fitzgerald on lake Superior November 10th 1975. I remember this because a friend from my youth had proudly just assumed his post as second in command of a Coast Guard boat (the name of which I don't remember) on Lake Superior. Every year around this time, I think back to the letter from him about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald and their desperate search for any one who may have survived. I could tell from his letter, it was with a sad heart. That the men and crew of the Coast Guard Boats and planes gave up their search for the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald, so many years ago now. May their souls and yours rest in peace my friend. With memories of good times gone by and until we meet again on the other side my friend. 
In always trying to get closer images of wildlife. But not being made of money, I went out today and traded in my Sigma 150 to 500 mm lens on a new Tamron 150 to 600 mm lens. Several members of my camera club, say they love their's so we will see. I'm hoping the extra 100 mm will give me just a bit more reach on those days the Eagles tend to be fishing a bit further out. Also all my other lenses are Tamron and the zoom feature now operates in the same direction.  Hoping for a good season of snapping Eagle photos :)
I'll be leaving the Red Cross Disaster relief operation in South Carolina and returning home on Tuesday evening. It's been a long but productive three weeks, it will be nice to be sleeping in my own bed again :). I have been trying in the off hours to keep up with DA among other things, but it's just not the same on a Iphone 5s.
I'll be flying out tomorrow morning headed for Columbia South Carolina, to help with the Red Cross relief effort there. Due to the massive flooding in the wake of hurricane Joaquin. I'm not sure but could be gone for three weeks. See you all when I get back.
10 Years ago I flew into Baton Rouge Louisiana as a Red Cross Volunteer to aid in the Hurricane Relief effort. From there I was dispatched to help run the shelter at Nicholls University in Thibodaux. I had know thought of how it would impact my life, I was a big tuff guy and could take what ever came. When I arrived I busied myself going about what I was trained to do, checking people into the shelter. Seeing to it that the proper amount of meals arrived daily to feed the over four thousand people who had sought refuge with us there. Basicly the Shelter manager the staff and I were to act as the heads of a family of four thousand, seeing to they were safe, healthy and as comfortable as we could make them. Most had come from the flooding in the ninth ward of New Orleans, with very little in the way of personal possessions. One day when I was feeling more then a little overwhelmed by the scope of it all. This little angel appeared by my side clutching in her hand the book Good Night Moon. I was busy as usual doing paper work of some sort to do with the shelter, but with this sweet little almost pleading voice. She ask me could I please read her the book cause I can't read, my mommy always reads me this book and I don't know where she is. One of the ladies I was working with, said take a break and read the kid the book this can wait. I Picked her up on my lap and we read Good Night Moon every morning for the next two weeks. I found out later the first day, she was one of the orphaned or lost children we had in the shelter. You see a lot of families ended up seperated. Finally word came that her Grandmother and Aunt had been found in the Red Cross shelter in Houston TX. this was when I also found out her mother had died in the flooding. We were to get her ready to be turned over to the officials who would then see to it she would be reunited with her Aunt and Grandmother. It took two days for that to happen, I held up pretty good until the day came. We read Good Night Moon that morning as usual, I took her to the bus and assured her everything would be okay and Grandma and her Aunt where waiting for her. She wrapped her little arms around my neck and said I love you, I gave her a big hug told her I loved her too and handed her over. That's when I retreated across the parking lot in front of the stadiums and broke down and cried. I think of her often and hope her life since has gone well. I still volunteer with the Red Cross and probably will for life, there are moments in time when we need to reach out and help those who's lives have been torn apart by disaster sometimes it rips at our hearts, but it's the right thing to do.

Shelter Angel by olearysfunphotos
I have been ask, to take photos for my niece's wedding this weekend. Wedding photography is not my best I'm sure the most nervous person in the Church this Saturday is going to be me! The cost of an actual professional wedding photographer, I'm sure is the main reason I was ask. But I hope my skills are up to the task of doing a good job of capturing the event and wont disappoint. Any quick last minute tips would be greatly appreciated. It's a Church wedding and at best I have a canon 580 flash to light it up, which I am comfortable using and know it's functions, I have a Tommy Fong Difuser and a Canon 7D as my main equipment. So far I have been advised to pump the ISO to 400 or 500 in the church and to boost the flash power as needed. Yeah I know short notice, but this will be the first time I have shot a wedding in an old high cieling chruch of this size (it has got to be 40 feet to the top of that vaulted cieling) and the last minute nerves are setting in!
Got back from the Rocky Mountains Sunday evening. Spent all day Monday catching up around the house some and editing photos I took. Posted some tonight, it was a great trip overall. I couldn't believe how the wildlife has seemed to have gotten use to the tourest in the park, for the most part they seem to pay you no mind at all.
My wife and I are taking a needed vacation to the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I've been in and out with the Red Cross for six weeks now, due to flooding storms and tornadoes. Out of the last twenty some days, I've only spent five in my own bed. I have turned over any of my duties to others in the Red Cross and tomorrow morning we are going to unplug ourselves from technology for the next eight days and wander the mountains with my camera and see what we can see. :)
I was home for the night last night. But back off on the road this morning yet, my wife is coming with me this time. Heading to St Louis this time for training Saturday, in Restoring Family Links at the Red Cross Chapter there. Tonight and tomorrow night just a little R&R will be going on :)
Heading down to Peoria for a few days. Going to be doing some Disaster assessment for flooding on the Illinois River. Then off to St Louis for Restoring Family Links training in the St Louis office.
Been sticking close to home as of late. I've been spending a lot of time at the Red Cross locally, we've been plagued with minor flooding and sporadic small tornados along with all the rain we have been getting. Hope to get back to wandering and taking photos for fun soon.
But if all people treated everyone as they wish to be treated. Wouldn't the world be a much better place
My wife and I are back from our trip to Arizona. Had a great time visiting family and friends who have fled our midwest winters for the warmer climate there. The desert and high country were both in bloom. It's going to take me a while to get things back to normal, as it seems Mother Nature wasn't very nice while I was gone. So I am going to be busy with work at the school and helping with paper work at the Red Cross.