Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Monday, February 28, 2011

Waiting for spring.........


As I am awaiting my next group of students to come into the classroom I am distracted with the past.  The memories of going places that were warm, or growing tomatoes in the hot sun.  Barney is waiting for spring too as he watches the neighbors clearing their driveway of snow.

He has already had a partial bath from a spring thaw we had a few weeks ago.  I had to turn the garden hose spigot on in the basement so that I could get the garden hose to work outside. He had lain down in the mud, he had mud caked between his toes and he had some of it on his face.  He likes to get dirty but feels great guilt we he walks into the kitchen.  Then when I escort him back out the door patiently he knows.  He just knows that he will not get a dry cleaning.  He is such a nice dog and I will be waiting for spring and more clean ups of Barney.

Thanks for stopping by............

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I have no barn......


An old model T garage of the 1920's.

I have been looking for a great looking barn to take a photo for a contest.  I guess I will just sit this one out.   I saw a neat one on the way home from church but it was on a very busy four lane highway, the side of the road was ice and snow covered and it was a very gray day.  

I went to put some expensive gas in the car this evening and took a drive in the country east of town.  It is a gravel road and there are a lot of old farmsteads, but the barns are not there anymore. I should have taken pictures of the foundations. Hay was used to feed cattle and they don't raise cattle for slaughter anymore.  Barns are taxed and they were not in need of them anymore so they tore them down. There were two places where they have started sheds and quit, and then there was onr little barn that I could only reach for a photo if I drove up the lane and into their yard.  No, I am not going to make the contest this year. 

My father in law's farm has a barn but it is white with white snow all around it.  We didn't have time to stop to get a shot and I didn't feel good about using it anyway so I have no barn. 

The contest will go on and I will just have to miss this one.  I teach all day tomorrow so won't be free to go west of town to look for a barn.  I will just have to sit this one out.   Oh well, our barns are not very old compared to the ones on the east coast  of the country or in Europe so they wouldn't stand up well to the tough competition.  I will eventually find a barn, photograph it and show it off on this site just for the fun of it, but not until the fog lifts and the snow melts.

Have a good Monday and thanks for stopping by.......

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seeking color.........


A close view of a painting by one of my former students.  It is a painting on a large sheet of glass.


A decorative page from an old photo album.  Pansies, roses and a bumblebee give us lots of color to see.


This is an old fashioned violet with a blue violet hue.  We are with snow and cold again today which makes it seem like spring will never be here.

Thanks for stopping by...........

Friday, February 25, 2011

A token photo for a minimal blog day......


A photo that I had taken a few weeks ago will be my only contribution today.  People tended to stand in line yesterday and I just didn't get photos taken.  I could tell you about the busy work that I was doing but it is the same for the rest of you.  Life is busy and you have to hurry to keep up with it all.

There is a snow storm happening south of us and I think we are going to escape it.  It has been a weird winter with us missing snowstorms by a hundred miles here or there.   Thanks for stopping by...........

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Train Replica........




At the beginning of the first Narnia movie, there is an opening scene of a train in England traveling through the countryside.  It is 1940's and the children are being sent to the country to live in homes away from the large cities that are being bombed by enemy planes.

It is a plastic replica that I bought a couple of years ago in Kansas City of the train that was shown in the movie. When you push a button on the top, the lights flash and there is a sound of a train whistle blowing and then the chugging of a train as it starts to move out down the tracks.

Thanks for stopping by.......

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Glass Insulators revisited........


I have blogged before about the one blue glass insulator that I found in my cupboard.  I knew I had more of these and I did find them.  As a review, the insulator was screwed onto a wooden stake.  They were placed in a horizontal row and placed on telephone or electric poles.

The company that made all of these was Hemingray.  The blue one that I have says it had a patent pending in 1892.


Here is an arrangement of them showing how the bottoms of them were all made a little differently.


I believe this is the oldest one of all of them due to it's straight forward design.  It is simple and their is no flair on it like all the others have.


Most of them have the beaded bubble shapes at the bottom but this one is less decorative or pronounced than the others.

I know that I have probably shared more here than was necessary but this is the total review of my set.  It was a fascinating time in our history to have wires attached to these glass shapes to keep them from grounding out.  They did insulate the wires and they were almost decorative as you viewed them from below as you traveled down the road.

Thanks for stopping by..........

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday's prattle...........


It has been a busy time around here as my wife had to ship four paintings to Oklahoma for an art show.  She belongs to a group of artists that sell together on the internet and one of the members arranged for a show to take place down there. We aren't going to be able to attend but the work will get there and be hung for a month or two.  The group is called  Chisholm Trail Art.

I had to make the four frames and get them stained and finished the past few weeks.  I was very particular with them as they were headed to an art gallery. It took us both a couple of days to get them packed and shipped in two different boxes.  My wife also sold a painting to a customer in California so the shipping of that was on the agenda today also. The paintings ranged from a landscape to horses.


Did I forget to tell you my wife made me a red velvet cake for Valentine's Day?  It is all gone now but it was delicious.


While subbing in one of the rooms last week I took a photo of this canvas bag that the teacher was using for a decoration.  It looked like she collected chicken things and this was a nice illustration.

Our weather turned cold again but it is with a lot less snow on the ground for now.  I can tell the days are getting longer but I do know we will have more snow sometime between now and April. I didn't get called in today for teaching as they were having conferences today, but that was a very good thing.  I can't believe how much piles up in the way of work when other people have things for you to do.

Thanks for stopping by and take care.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A year ago today.........


It did look like this a year ago as this is an archived photo.  I am back in the classroom again today but this should be it for the week.  I have work to do at home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday gray.......


I put in a forty hour week this week as a sub,  so I did get a chance to snap a shot of this magnolia tree in front of the building.  You can also see the present stage of our dirt and snow.



It is not a pretty sight with the trash and the dirt on top of the melting drift.  I took this shot from out of my window in the classroom.



Guest photographer,  student Tomiko Ford.,  took this photo which gives us a view of the sky as the snow melts.  Today though, early morning,  we had thunderstorms.  We sit on the edge of  spring and winter as forty miles or more north of us they are having snow.  The cold is staying in northern Iowa with a winter storm advisory going on up there.

Have a good Sunday and thanks for stopping by........

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The house is still standing......


This is the house that I remember as my Grandfather and Grandmother Burgus's house.  It has been painted and cleaned up and is in great shape for it's age.  It stands a block away from main street in Murray, Iowa.

I have a lot of older photos, black and whites,  of family standing or sitting on the porch, and people standing outside in front of the house.  One photo that I remember distinctly is the one of my Grandfather Charles and Grandmother Grace Burgus standing outside in front of the bay window.  I didn't inherit that photo but maybe a brother will come forward after I blog this.

I actually never knew my Grandfather as he died in 1949 the year before I was born.


The background information is to explain this picture above with my dad standing in front of the bay window.  I described my Grandmother as a plant lover who grew all sorts of things in that window including many kinds of cactus.   This photo is my proof.  It is a black and white but the view of photo doesn't lie to the abundance of plants that she had.



You can see all the foliage in the window.  Also you can see their is a young child looking out the window, who I don't know.  Someone must be holding the child.

Of all of the ten children of Grace Burgus only one daughter do I remember who had that same interest in plants.  Aunt Eva would have a jungle growing outside her door and a jungle inside on the porch.  The begonias grew well outside in the summer and they would be laden with blooms.

I don't know if it is inherited but the fascination of the growing of things could be the farmer in me but also the Grandmother Burgus connection.


I subbed as an art teacher today.  It was fun but I don't really want to return to the profession.  I did get a painting started on the side while I sat with a painting class of high school students.  I did find things that I left behind in the room when I left 2 and a half years ago.  I don't want the old tricycle of my younger sons back but I did take a photo of it.

Thanks for stopping by even if I have posted late.  Thanks for reading my blog............

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring won't be here soon enough......





I really can't even dream about spring at this point.  It is the time of the year where I don't think it will be worth it to even try to garden anymore.  Everything is just under a white blanket and the work seems endless to try to maintain it all.

I know that by the middle of March my attitude will improve but the winter does get to be too long.  I substitute teach again today in the Special Education Room.  It is always a challenge as their is no routine in that kind of room.  Each student has needs and each one needs to be meant.   I really like being in there but I am so exhausted by the end of the day.  It is a workshop day so I will get out an hour early.

My blogging is still fun but I find my time to be limited.  I almost didn't blog today but I cranked out one more, one more time.  I am seeing bloggers starting to come alive again and are back at their computers.  I am glad to see revival in blogland.   I know that time is precious and sometimes it just has to be the thing you cut.   I hope all are well and that you are looking forward to spring.

Thanks for stopping in for a read............take care.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's two's.............and a plate.


 These two ceramic pieces came to our house when my father in law moved in to live with us.  I went back to his house after he moved in and tried to find things he had sitting around in his living room that might make him feel more at home with us. That was probably nine years ago so things don't always get remember that far back.

I found his tractor models and his horses on shelves.  I also found these birds.   I never notice that they looked just alike.  I just grabbed things and put them in a box and set them around in his room.



These two birds were there also, so I had grabbed them to bring home.  Now years later,  I asked my wife about them and she said they were not family items.  She believed they must have been auction sale items that he picked up in his boxes that he bought.  I do know that we have a blue willow platter that he found in one of his boxes and below he found a set of four  or five plates.


These auction plates were in a box of many things which he paid a dollar for the taking.  We later found these to be Indian Tree hand tinted plates worth a lot of money.  There is one other pattern out there that is done in mostly browns and oranges.

Substitute teaching is getting to be an old habit for me.  I was a Science teacher on Monday and an English teacher on Tuesday.  The Special Education room needs me for Wednesday.   I get off early Wednesday as the teachers have a workshop in the afternoon. 

Thanks for stopping by.........

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do you have your glasses on?





This little guy doesn't wear glasses but he is very happy about receiving a valentine.  This will be my very last posting of any valentines until next year.

Thanks for stopping by............

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bits and pieces of more Valentines........


I can't date this card but the dancing hearts remind me of the early twenties stuff right before animated movies were being created.



 An interesting heart house but this ain't good English....




I did find another German made card.  This one said Made in Germany while the other card said Printed in Germany.  This card had one of those honeycomb paper decorations on it but they have totally fallen apart.


Secret code on the back of this one from Lucille Myers.  If this is the same person, Lucille Myers must have been her country school student as she grew up to be my first grade teacher. 




I guess I will finish today with a little housewife humor.  I suppose this is either a cooking pot or maybe a boiler in which you cooked your clothes clean.

Have a good Sunday everyone.   I am going to get some rest today and do as little as possible.  Thanks for stopping by.......

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Old Valentine's Day cards part 2.........


To Zella from Helen Smith
This Valentine was printed in Germany.  Of all the ones that I found, it is the only one that states were it was created.  The little girl rotates at the waist so you can make here hands reach the keyboard. My mom was born in 1919 so you can guess that they are dated from the late 1920's to 1930's. 


This is a Valentine that was sent to my mom from her brother and cousins.   Her brother Marvin was staying with his Uncle Lee and Aunt Esther for a while.  Times were tough and I think he helped on the farm also.




From all that I can figure out of the writing on the back, Marvin is her brother and the cousins of Leila and Eva Marie Wheeler are written on the back.  The two cousins of Lee Junior and Freda had not been born yet.



To Zella from Dannie

This Valentine is of the same vintage as the top one.  At first it looks like she is  riding a motorcycle but it is a tricycle.

Thanks for stopping by...........

Friday, February 11, 2011

Old Valentines..........


I was sorting through some old valentines and I thought I would show a quick peak of just a few that I found.



This one impressed me with it's high quality of print and how the front and back were overlapped just like a sophisticated Hallmark card would have been created today.



I really have a lot of these that I want to share.  I really had never sat down and gone through these until now.  Some are from friends to my mom and some are from mom's children when she taught country school.  That was in 1940's that she taught school.  I have a special one that I will share later that was given to my mom from her grandmother.  That is a very old one and could be dated in the late 1920's.

We had a cold thaw today as the snow on the ground makes the air still feel very cold.  It will be warmer tomorrow and maybe we will actually lose some serious snow drifts.

Thanks for stopping by...........

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday's moments..........


The firemen that go with their model firehouse are sitting out front. They are having their last cup of coffee before they get put away for the season.




It takes a while to get them all boxed up as one has to mess with the syrofoam casings that come with them.  Once the big things are put in thier correct boxes then we deal with all the little people and things.  It takes a few trips to get them down the stairs into the basement.  I count that as a part of my exercise routine for the day.







I picked up the one seaglass books again at the bookstore and read a little more about what washes on shore from the ocean.  They had a photo of the marbles that wash up from the harbors and shorelines.  The age of them looked like this grouping of marbles, which helped me to date these as older than I thought that they were.  Some of them are newer but this is the greatest group of what I call old. 
Some marbles are ptetty much sandblasted as they stay in rough waters and rocks for a long time on the shoreline.  They show these white glass marbles being all grayed and textured from the wear and tear.





These particular marbles looked like the ones that were shown that had washed up on shore in the book of seaglass.

I am subbing today for a band instructor.  I don't read music so we are having study hall of course.  I though I could get some blog work done in all the free moments.  We are to warm up starting this evening into the next few days.  A snow melt would be very welcomed.

Thanks for stopping by.........