Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wednesday’s Wandering........

A couple of weeks ago I was remarking to myself that all the crops were harvested.  Then while working at the old place I discovered this corn field that is not picked.

The weathered did get better so the combines could get back into the field after a long wet spell.  I took these photos on my wife’s cell phone and sort of lost them.

So returning to the same spot at a quick trip filling station, this is what I did see.  Seeing the picked field reminded me that I had taken photos to share over a week ago.

A few years back a guy was driving by early morning and saw a mountain lion in the wooded area. He said it was chasing a rabbit trying to catch it. The area of timber does connect to wet ditches that eventually connect to a river west of this spot.  The cats seem to follow the rivers as they can get fish from the river and small animals too.

The leaning towers really do not lean.  The silos were used for silage which was used to feed cattle.  I think that the markets were bad back when I first moved to this town and those silos have not been in use for 40 years. The site is just on the edge of town.

I lost my zebra finch bird a few days ago.  I was surprised just because he has been around for a long time.  While looking up info on them I see that he could have lived up to 15 years or more with just the right conditions.  They stress easily and this guy would pull his feathers out around his neck when he was with other finches.  I have had him in his own cage for years. I called it my hospital psych ward.
I first got him from a newer science teacher who did not want to deal with any birds in his classroom. He was concerned about germs from them.  I know from my school yearbooks that the bird was around 16 years as the teacher who originally owned them and left them behind , was teaching back in 2002.

I snagged a shot from the internet to show you what he looked like.  He was a male and would crow to identify his territory.  He also crowed to warn you that you were too close to him.  He was supplied with water everyday for baths as he loved to splash around. I won’t be getting any more finches but I really did have a long run with some and especially this one.

I worked on the house again today after a long break. I did get a lot of things done but I won’’t be done until one more work session. Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Second Day of the Week....

It was 14 degrees F. out there while I took the shot. I have to wear warmup pants on top of my blue jeans to keep warm. On cold days like this the dog wants to stay outside a lot longer.

Looking out from the downstairs window you can see the cold’s action on the tomato garden. Leaves are gone on the maple tree in the back. The winds help to  clear all the leaves to the back of the yard.

Walking through the storage area of the workshop the deer are ready to be set free.  I think I put them out before Thanksgiving last year. We are going to have family visitors from Chicago area this year. The pitter patter of two boys will be heard throughout the house.

Our son Aaron flew back to Maine yesterday.  His plane left at 2:05 yesterday afternoon, heading to New York City. He had a long layover there and then flew on to Bangor, Maine.  I think he said he would arrive there  by 10:00 that night their time.

We had a great time visiting and eating out for a dinner and a breakfast. He had a great time getting together with 7 old college friends, tailgating and seeing the game. He won’t do that again for a while and it had been 20 years since they left college. On the way to the airport we took a jog to a sports store so he could by a new Iowa State sweatshirt.  Funny they don’t sell those in Maine.
I like the lineup in my toy collection area. Most of these toys were played with our sons when they were little.

It is really too cold to go outside but I did have to make a run to the grocery store.  My wife is feeling better but still needs some special things to eat when one is ill.  Our grocery store is tolerable when you go at 9:00 in the morning. By evening they will have all of the cashier checkouts filled.  They morning they had only two.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday with Gray Skies....

It is a cold day with this band of clouds stretching for a long ways. Snow flurries started at midmorning mixing with the cold winds.  There is not evidence that there is a sun other than we do have daylight. We delivered our youngest son at the airport at noon getting him there for his flight back to New York City and then to Bangor, Maine. He had a good visit with college buddies, watched his team win and spent down time with the good old days of college.  He spent time with us on Sunday and also this morning while eating pancakes at I-Hop. We had a great time with him hanging around but he will be home tonight and back to work tomorrow.

Our downstairs nursery has the begonia still in bloom. I know that I have to watch the plant closely making sure it doesn’t get overwatered or too dry.  Once they take a hit of shock from bad watering procedures, they are just gone.

The oxalis sits next to the begonia.  It seems to be doing well now and probably will start blooming again. Also the poinsettia is to the far right of the photo.
The two posts of agapanthus are in now and they escaped the hard freeze. The one has a special old table to sit on while the other gets to sit on the floor.

We are glad to see our son but it does make it hard to know that he and his wife live so far away.  Someday we maybe can venture out to see them but for now it will be phone calls to catch up on things.

It is Monday and I am hoping our weeks gets better.  It is promised to us that it won’t.  Staying inside is the best thing to do when it does that.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunny Day, Veterans Day...

The sun is a welcomed sight this morning.  It is completely still out there in contrast to our strong winds and wind chills we had yesterday. The cloud patterns are light and scattered with all the cold air that is up there.

My first memories of an awareness of Veterans Day were when I was four or five years old.  My dad would talk about it as he had just returned from France and Germany five or six years earlier. I can still see him pointing to the old calendar in our old farm house.  The war was very fresh in his mind being in the “Battle of the Bulge” and shipping out immediately on a boat at the end of the war. As a young boy I didn’t understand why he wanted to talk about it all of the time.  He was still talking about it to me his last days of life in a hospital emergency room. He saw horrible things and let his guard down in filtering what had happened. Thousands of Americans died over there, fighting until the job was done.

Our moving into record breaking cold temperatures has been somewhat discouraging. Our average temps at this time should be in the low 50’s but 29 degree F. is our reality right now.  We have a visiting son from Maine for the next couple of day, who had attended a college football game with his old college buddies. As he says, they are in their 40s now so the partying will be a little different. The ISU game was won and the huge crowd somehow kept themselves warm. Our son flies out Monday morning so we get to go see the airport again. I enjoyed picking him up late at night and now we can see it in daylight. So when we hear a jet go over we can say we actually know some one on that plane.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great day.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday’s Spot....

It is early morning Saturday and Barney and I have been outside already. I came inside with him and ventured out onto the deck.  I had seen Mars while in the front yard but on the back deck it has vanished.

We were out and about late last night. We were picking up our son at the airport in Des Moines.  He arrived from Maine through Washington D.C. about 20 minutes late of the schedule time.  I now understand why I see so many planes at night when I am taking Barney outside for the last time at night.  There were five flights that came in over a period of an hour, coming from New York, D.C., Ohio, St. Louis and other airports. When we got our son home, I took the dog outside and another plane was coming in around 11:00. We are about 12 miles north of the airport and on a clear night I can see everything coming and going.

Our son took off with the truck this morning, heading to Ames, to do some tailgating at the ISU football game.  His college friends are getting together to relive a few memories.  The temperatures for everything they do before and during the game will be at freezing temperatures. The guys are all in their early 40s so they don’t see each other much.  Aaron comes from the longest distance and others are coming from Omaha and places scattered throughout Iowa.

Our only squirrel comes into the yard to find some good food.  He has free range to attack my pile of sunflower seeds on the back patio. I didn’t have good luck with feeding those sunflower heads in the winter so I am letting him help himself now.
He sneaks up to the deck to get some variety in his diet. His antics are fun to watch as he uses the deck as a jungle gym.
As it was snowing yesterday,  parts of the sky was looking like this. We are having sun today which will make it feel warmer outside. We have the bookstore on schedule some time this morning and the afternoon will be a good time for resting.  Thank you for checking in on my blog today.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday’s Flurries..

I guess it is a little like snow clouds.  I don[t think we will get much snow but we are seeing white specks  coming down.

I can hear the laugher from all my blog friends in the north. It isn’t major snowfall but it is our first one. The sun is shining right now while I am blogging and the powder snow keeps falling. I didn’t get my chair cushions in yet but I am betting we will warm up again next week.

I have already spent part of my morning moving plants around that were brought inside to protect them.  I had a large pot of begonias that I wanted in the window so things had to be shifted around.  The amaryllis shown here was last years plant that never bloomed.  I think I had posted views of it last winter as a foliage plant. I finally put it into the dark workshop space in the basement early spring.  While walking through  two weeks ago I did see it taking off with flower buds. It has had water and a lot of light now making it able to bloom. New blooms are soon to come.

My wife and I owned a cabin in Minnesota.  I purchased it in 1974 from a former resort owner.  He had sold out 18 cabins and the people buying were sharing the ownership of the land.  Next door was a neighbor woman, Marilyn Starr.  She and her friend owned the cabin.  She was twenty years older than us but she lived her life as if she was twenty years younger.  Her nieces and nephews were her children. She became a good friend, always incorporating us and our kids in their lives.  Marilyn liked to water and snow ski and did so up into  her later years.  She liked to build things and liked getting the neighbor guy involved with her building projects. We built her front deck together.  She leaned hard on me to help her build a large bay window on the front of her cabin also. She bought the large picture window first and we designed the bay window around it.  Two people could sit on the bay and watch out of the things on Lake Pokegama. Projects for the camp always include our family and they were great team players.  Marilyn had been a teacher and eventually became the Dean of Women at Bethel College.

When she retired out from the college she became an avid traveler and photographer. That was back when there was no digital formats on camera. Marilyn took Andy to see Star Wars because I still believe she wanted to see the movie. All of my memories of her were of her giving and sharing of life with people.  She was like the summer grandma for the boys. Her mother was grandma to all of us too but Marilyn died at the age of 89.  Her last years were ones of silence for her but she lived a great life. Our oldest son was able to go to the funeral in Cambridge, Mn.  Andy got to see all the grown up nieces and nephews and all of the kids from out past. We have fond memories of her at our oldest son’s wedding in Chicago.  We had lost contact with her the last 15 years or so as we sold our cabin.

Thank you for stopping by today. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thursday’s Things.....

My work is going slowly like at a snail’s pace.  It does take me twenty minutes to get there and than I pay the water bill and get the mail. I finally get started hanging more drywall and then the company, neighbor, stops to talk. I am not an unfriendly person but this has happened twice this week. The wall to the right is all done.  The wall with the little window has not seen anything attached to it. The window was put in when my father-in-law was living with us.  I put it in quickly and then put large trim boards on it to cover up all the old window stuff that was showing. Both windows are trimmed up this way with the natural pine which I think I will paint. The newer windows made the room a lot more comfortable temperature-wise.

I do only work half days as the work is heavy lifting. If I  had not had visitors the two different times, I am assuming I would have had at least two more panels hung and then some.  Anyway, I do like people and I would not tell them to go away. I will get the room finished next week if I park my truck up the street and walk down to the house. Since I am not on a schedule and supposedly I am retired I will not lose sleep over it.

The locust tree has a different kind of leaf.  The stem holds all of the leaves and the stem sheds from the tree in the late fall.  There are a few of the individual leaves that do fall but to the most part they fall with the stems. I really like the shine of the leaves that the decorative pear trees have. Those leaves have not fallen yet but after our hard freeze in the next few days, I bet they fall quickly.

The burning bush is almost bare now with berries left for the birds to eat. The leaves seemed really redder this year than last.

There is an oak tree up the street somewhere as the leaves keep being blown down the hill to our yard.

The weather is really going to turn cold these next few days. A hard freeze will start the winter weather cycle.  I believe we will have snow tonight. Our son is flying in from Maine on Friday evening.  He and old college buddies are going to a football game at Iowa State on Saturday. It will be like a college reunion for them but it will be the coldest game ever for anyone to sit through. It will be nice to see him.

I am done writing for today.  We had a family friend die this past week and I do want to share her life’s story.  I will wait until I am in just the right mood.  She was 89 and was from the Cities of Minnesota. I hope all are doing well out there. Thanks for stopping by today.