Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Random Shots........










I was looking at a gardening book yesterday and I saw a plant like this in bloom.  The agapanthus has proven to be a wonderful foliage plant.  Someday I will take it out of the container and split it up and try to get it to bloom.  I have talked about it for a couple of  years but timing has to be good to get it accomplished.  I have had it for four or five years. I have two of them actually and they look good on the patio as a pair.  I just never see any blooms. I take them to the basement to winter them over and they do well down there.  The grow like spreading lilies in southern states.

Have a good Sunday.  We will be off for church soon and then light lunch and home again.  Thanks for stopping by today.




Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shinning on..........


I didn't have work on Thursday so I finally waxed the car.  I had been planning to do it for a couple of months and Thursday was the day.  It is a six year old car and I did wash and wax it through the car wash in the past.  I really never kept up with the washing and the liquid wax really didn't help much after a couple of rains. 

I know from experience with the earlier model cars that hand waxing does give the car a thorough cleaning as the hand rubbing of the wax onto the car helps to deep clean the surface.  Also when you polish it there is a lot of satisfaction to feel that smooth finish.  We of course had a slight sprinkle this morning and the car had a perfect pattern of bubbled up raindrops.


I could ramble on about how all the tail lights of cars of most models and makes are made overseas.  Lots of times you can't tell which company it is if you only see the head or taillights.  I think it is interesting how everyone has a very similar looking steering wheel. I had to keep moving the car into the shade to get the waxing and polishing completed.  I just hand waxed even though a lot of people use a power polisher.


The third bloom is opening on my white marigold.  I don't think it will ever be a flower filled planter before the first frost.  It would be nice if I could keep it going so that the majority of it were covered with flowers.


Another shed shot that shows some of my pottery stowed away in the garden shed. The aluminum coffee pot was a garage sale item I purchased years ago.


A week ago I did finally replant all these violets.  I started these two years ago and they were placed in a eight inch planter to give them time to get bigger.  Well from this archived photo you can see they did get pretty crowded.  They did well in this planter and it had no drainage holes in it.  I had to water gently as to not rot anything off.  I think that I remember getting five plants out of here.  They were big enough that I can't tell which ones I transplanted from my regular sized ones.  Now I want to see them bloom.

 

I will finish off with a lone hollyhock.  The stem is very tall and the flower is at the very top.  The bumblebee is really glad that it is still open.

I am sitting in Saturday school again today.  I had a couple of days off through the week so it doesn't feel to bad to work today.  We are headed to Ames to the bookstore to bum around a little.  My wife's cold is better but it is still there.  I told her to nap all morning so she can go for an outing in the afternoon.  We had a sprinkle of rain this morning and that will be it for the day.  

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Findings................


Furry, fluffy and blurry little dog that likes to follow me around in the garden. He needs a haircut and a bath.  His eyesight is failing so he barks a lot to let people know that they are in danger if they come near our property. He sees well enough yet to function well.  We just notice he is slowing down.


The furry seed pod of one of my clematis plants. I don't know when to collect the seed from them but I am keeping an eye on it.


I named him Tiny Tim.  Tom Tom the other neighbor cat was thick built and this guy is long legged, skinny and has a very long tail.  We forget and call him a girl once in a while because he is so thin and reminds us of a young female cat.  He is a male and I know he is two years old.  He gets fed by my wife very well. 

Tom Tom we believe has become the neighbor's north of us house cat.  We don't see him anymore since Tiny Tim ran him off.  We did see him outside of their house over there loving up their dog.  We are certain that they have taken him in to be with their other cats. He is probably an indoor cat now.


This should be a photo a day picture but I will put it here in the creative zone.  It is the last of our steak tomatoes that we grew.  We do have a few roma tomatoes out there yet to turn but the season is almost over.  I will wait for the vines to get a good freeze and then I will remove them from the ground. That tomato was good in a blt about a week ago.


I am a business teacher today in the high school. I do have a seventh grade class coming in to work on their typing skills.  Some kids have figured the skill out already and then a lot of them are still hunting and pecking.  The program on the computer that helps to develop the right way to type is a good one as long as they follow and do what the program tells them to do.


My wife is still under the weather a little but she is much better today with the cold that is going around.  I didn't get many projects done yesterday but I did get some of them done.  Anything that removes items off the list makes me feel better.  Pictures of a hand waxed car are coming in the future. Thanks for stopping by today.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday's Junky Day.................


You have been junked.  Some people put lots of plastic flamingos into someone else's yard to tease them.  Others put old ceramic toilets planted with flowers into their yard.  Hanging toilet paper from the trees is a kids thing to do to get one of their friends.  So today I have shown you a photo of my junky garden shed.





The skull was one that I had in my art classroom.  He just hangs there in storage as I haven't decided to do anything creative with him.  I doubt that I could ever hang it out under my porch of the shed as someone might like to own it.


The reason for showing the junk photos is that I once again rearranged the stuff in storage in the garden shed so I can walk in there again.  I actually threw a lot of bulky things away to give me more space.  I am going to take a container of wood scraps to the basement so I can burn them up in the fireplace.  I have mentioned that I am overloaded with my dad's and brother's tools.  On good days I give them away to others and I had a request from a friend to get some tools together for his young son to have.  I like that idea.  I may have the dad come over and make a up a set for his son.  I know that is the easy way out but it means he can take what he wants.

No work at school again today so I am doing many projects.  I plan to give the car a Turtle Wax job today.  I also have plants to water inside and outside.  There are two frame jobs glaring at me and I will get on those today also.  I am also taking care of a wife today who has the bad cold that is going around all over the world.  I plan on fixing her some homemade chicken soup that I can buy at the grocery store found in a can.  I do plan on doing all of these things on B personality speed rather thant on type A personality speed.  I have had to learn to do that but my health is better when I slow down.


The juicing of the peaches that the older gentlemen gave me literally failed.  They are rotting and not  ripening.  The have to be ripe to juice and that didn't work for me.  I get credit for trying but I am willing to bail from that jelly project.  I do have buckets of apples sitting around that I need to deal with eventually.  I picked them from the tree before they had fallen so there are not any bruised ones.  They can sit and ripen more before I deal with them.  I have more to pick out there but I will wait until later on that too.

Thanks for checking in on me today.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday's One Bee..........


It has been a busy day for me.  I spent the day doing work at the school office.  I entered behavioral data information for about five straight hours into the schools master hard drive.  I was getting fuzzy and buzzy by the time I was done with that project.  I was doing a catch up job for the office as they switched to a new record system.  I need to get out a take some more shots as I am running out of photos to share. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

No Title Day...........


I shot this through my living room window.  It is the same window that I shoot pictures of ice storms, rain storms and snow storms.  This is a pretty green sight at this point and the sun was shining into the camera.


A snap of the piece of walnut that I am going to use to make a frame.  I had not noticed that it had a burl pattern in it.  The burl is the area where branches grow out of the trunk.  I will keep you up to date on the progress of this as I get started by cutting it up into strips for the frame sides. I have a very old walnut table that was my grandmother's which has a fold down side that has a wonderful burl pattern on it.  The opposite fold down side is just plain Jane.


 I dug some iris yesterday and moved them hopefully in a better location.  I did dig a couple of iris to give away.  I have more iris to move but I was really outside trimming back trees and shrubs.  I ventured into my garden shed in the afternoon and started clearing things again.  I have two other men's tools in my shed.  I have to do something about disposing some of them.  Antique tools need to go somewhere.  I don't have plans to ever do drywall work in my life now so I don't need all my brothers carpenter tools.  I think I have a dozen hammers that do various things.  The antique hatchet I will keep and the sledge hammers in two sizes I will keep.


The thing that I find most difficult is that all those tools need to sorted.  I have so many boxes of them that I need to find other containers to throw them into so I can really just sort.  I have too many socket sets and I found my own stuff in one bucket that was all the tools that I used to work on my parents home two years ago.


I will finish today by taking a Coca-Cola break.  It is a small tray that isn't very old but it is a replica of an old tray.  It is the one and only thing that I have in this collection.  That is a good thing.

It is Tuesday already and homecoming week at school.  I didn't get called in yesterday and we will see if I get  called in today.  I may put my name in at the Granger Elementary and up my odds to get work.  I hope you have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by today.


Monday, September 23, 2013

A Peachy Kind Of Day......



I promised a picture of my wife's peach pie.  It is a very delicious pie.  Her crust turned out really great.  Because of the salt restrictions of her diet, she puts sugar in the pie dough instead of salt.  It really does work well to add to the taste of the pie.


My contribution is to help get the peaches cleaned and ready for her creation.  I still use up the left over dough by making a crust cooking from it.  The cinnamon and sugar topping makes an item that allows us to taste the crust of the pie while we wait for the pie to cool.

A friend of ours for a long time gave us the first batch of peaches from his tree.  He is an elderly guy who runs all over town on his hover craft chair.  He dropped over yesterday with these little guys.  They are peaches and not apricots.  I wish they were apricots. If he takes the time to pick them up off of the ground then I wouldn't refuse them.  I received the gifting of these little guys knowing he had been begging people to take them and they were refusing.  It would be a lot of work to get any viable source of slices as they are too small but maybe we will juice them and make some peach jelly out of them. The drought is the reason they are so small.  He would have had a huge bumper crop if it had rained.

I am home again today as the teachers must be staying healthy.  I do know that the colds are going around and also a mild stomach flu is going around the student body.  I had the stomach thing that just seems to hang around.  I am sure that as the week goes on that there will be work again.  I have projects yet to do and maybe I will do some of those things that I keep putting off. It makes you feel better when you go ahead and do something that you have put on the back burner way too long. I don't want to face the tiny peaches yet. I do need to sort them out on trays and wait for some of them to ripen.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hummingbird Swarm.......


I was out sitting on the patio keeping the dogs company.  I looked up and I saw something above the house that looked like a swarm of insects.  They weren't thick in number and yet there was a dozen or so.  I first thought they were dragonflies.  Then one of them landed on the dead branch above my silver maple.  They were hummingbirds.  I have never seen them swarm like that before.  I have seen aggressive ones chase others off the territory of the bird feeder but this was different.  I am assuming they were getting ready to head south.  I really didn't know if they migrated in groups or not. I have not seen many hummingbirds this summer but others say they were around their feeder.  So I didn't get a single shot of one of them.  I do have this great cheap plastic feeder for you to see.


Most of the rose hips on this wild rose are dried up but here are a couple of them that survived. The rose bush itself dried up leaving only about ten percent of it still looking green.  I may make this the fall to trim the whole set of branches down to the ground. 


One more shot of the white hollyhock.  This was taken right before two bumblebees landed on it. It was a good day yesterday as my wife made pie from one of our batches of peaches.  It is so good. She makes such great pie.  We had frozen all of the batches a week ago so we could use them when we had more time.  There will be pie to eat today and maybe for a couple more times after that. I took a picture of the pie and will share on another day.

Thanks for stopping by today. 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Questions and No Answer......


I never know what I should do with setting the size of my photos.  I usually do the extra large setting and then I see that on this school's laptop that you can't always see the whole picture at once.  Then again on my screen at home, which is added to my old laptop with a broken screen, it is a large screen.  I can use the extra large size and it fits very nicely with a lot of room to spare.  I just don't know what each of you have for size of screen.


I do like using the largest size when I actually have a great photo.  When it is not so great, I shrink it down a little as that can help with blurry shots.  Shrinking can also make a bad composition look less bad also.  So as my decision goes, I guess I will start using just the large size setting.  I know if people really do want a better look they can click on it and it enlarges some. I think that when the extra large starts to bug me a little when I am looking at my own blog I should shrink them down a little.  I know this isn't as serious of situation as what is going on in the world but I do think I have myself figuring out the problem.





I whined continually about the large sedum that has fallen in the middle and spread out like a diced up onion ready for the fat fryer.  So now I have to backtrack.  This little sedum perked up after the rain and is seems to be doing well.  I had forgotten about having it as it is crowded from view by the phlox in my yard.  I so think I will dig the large flattened one and plant sedum all over the place. 

Did I tell you about the guy the lives over by the major highway near here?  He lives next to a very busy highway and he has a bridge right next to him.  He went out and planted sedum plants next to every post of the guard railing close to the bridge and also the stop signs and directional signs.  They are a couple of years old now and he has a little flower garden planted along traffic traveling at 65 miles an hour.  I am wondering if the Department of Transportation will notice and make any comment about it to him. The sedum grow in close to all the posts so the mowers will never hit them.



 I took a lot of shots of this renewed hollyhock.  It has been a few days and they all turned out to be good pictures.  I think I will just share one a day until they are all gone.  Some have the bumblebees showing in the shots and some do not.

Saturday school again for me today.  I wasn't called in to work only two days this past week so a day like this will help a little to increase the weeks salary.  I get a lot of blogging done on days like this with four hours of monitoring.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday.......


It has not turned to white yet.  The marigolds are suppose to be white so we will see the projects roll out into white petals eventually.


The one flower is the weed.  The vinca and hosta are in a battle for space.  I will probably have to clear mup the vinca so more growth will take place by the hosta.  I was expecting the hosta to be more agressive but I guess I was wrong.


A lot of rain, too late, came yesterday afternoon through the evening.  There are token bits of color coming through the last of the phlox. We didn't get bothered by the storm but a lot of cities did have troubles.  Building damage, tree damage and power lines were down in many areas near here.

Thanks for stopping by my post.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Warning! A Snake Photo.......


A month ago I received a letter from the energy company that I needed to remove my snakes from my basement stairwell.  The meter reader would not read it and just made an estimate that month.  Since then I have patched holes in  my concrete steps and any places along the old trim boards around the old entrance to the basement door.  The garter snakes liked that place as the concrete is always cool and damp and it is dark when the outside door is closed.

Before I repaired all the holes and cracks I would open the door and the snakes would crawl into the holes temporarily to hide until I was gone.  Now when I open the door they can't slither away and hide.  I can pick them up with the pooper scooper and put them in a tall wastebasket.  I then put them in the garbage bin to send them to the landfill.  Since I have fixed the cracks and holes I  have been able to capture five snakes.   The mother snake I had to catch twice as she figure out how to get out of my tall wastebasket.  All the small baby snakes I  have succeeded in only having to catch once.  When I dropped the little fellow above into the large town garbage bin I noticed the other one I had captured over the weekend was still alive and doing well.  They have each others' company now.  I will be curious to see if this one is the last one that I have finally caught them all.



In the middle of the summer I turned this rain barrel upside down and washed it out for the next rain.  Finally a month and a half later look what I have.  Usually an inch rain will fill this and we received less than a half an inch a couple of days ago.  I have clean clear rainwater again. The illusion doesn't really tell you that it is half full of water.


I was surprised to see this hollyhock looking so healthy out at the corner of my lot.  The redtwig dogwood covers the view of it unless I would drive by to see it.  I had to share the flower with two bumble bees who looked desperate for food.  The one you can see reaching way down into the flower for nectar.  Another bee was beneath a petal of the flower there to the right.  He had pushed the petal aside to get in towards the base of the flower. You can see the flower petal is shoved up and barely one black leg of the bee is showing in the picture.

I am making a list of things to do today as I ended up being unemployed today.  I was to be a one on one associate today with a student and as I arrived at school ready to go I was told his mother called in sick for the boy.  I have decided that I will get things done today that I have been putting off for some time.  I hope to have everything crossed off the list before our predicted thunder storms arrive.

I don't like severe storms but the rain will be so welcomed.  Middle Iowa seems to have been missing all the rains that the north and south part of the state  have been receiving.  Thanks for stopping by today. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday and it has rained, sort of...........


The English ivy seems to be doing well.  It just doesn't choose to climb the trellis against the garden shed. I guess I need to tie some of its many vines on the base of it and see if it will try to climb.  I know it climbs as the original plant was on the side of a shed at my parents home as well as it was climbing a tree. I see that I have many apples in the tree that I need to pick.  I think if I can get a step ladder out under the tree I can save them from bruising when they fall to the ground.


I seem to be too lazy to look this wild flower up on the net but it has done well out in the orchard.  I only had to mow the orchard once this summer so the wildflower didn't get touched.  It actually grew up among some iris and I would have had to pull it if I was to want it to be gone.





The hostas have either withered up for the season or like this one hve regrouped and puts out new leaves.  The smaller ones just gave up the ghost but the larger ones in my garden must have retained their own moisture for a while that now with a small sprinkle come rushing back to life.




I will finish with a bright spot of a fading set of blooms on the hardy geranium.  They have liked the cooler temperatures but are like this set of flowers starting to close down for the season.  My potted plants have been good to me as the phlox and sedum seem to just be gone now. I have one small sedum plant that will still give color if it doesn't get too cold for it.

I am in the high school math room today as a substitute teacher.  They are having a workday to help them catch up on the assignments.  The teacher tries to keep up a fast pace to keep them on task and then gives them a day once in a while to go clean up the unfinished assignments.  

We had heavy rain on the roof this morning at 6:00 am.  It was such a great sound and it has been a long time.  It was just sprinkling by the time I was up so we didn't get much.  Every little bit will help.  It is too late for the corn but just maybe the soy beans in the fields will get a little boost.  It would be nice to see green grass again but this rain won't do that. 

Thanks for stopping by today and have a good day.




Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday........


I do run out of cleaver, creative titles after while so as you notice I still have a mind enough to know what day of the week it is.


Ruffle red petals on this violet are looking good.  I had to move them out of the sun the other day as the sun has shifted down and the sun comes straight into the window for a few days.  It changes so quickly that a week later I could move them back into the window.


The plain smooth edged red violet is doing very well.  It not only has a different shape than the ruffled one but the leaves seem to be different too.   I have a lot of these now as they successfully rooted from leaves for me.

No work today for me and I am having a hard time adjusting.  I know that I won't get work everyday but I don't always have plans set up when I am not called to work.  I tried to cut a frame for a job that is due to be done and I screwed it up for sure.  I have three pieces of frame cut for the job but the last piece was mitered on one end to the wrong angle. What was I thinking?  I don't have any more of that molding so I will need to buy more wood.  Usually I have a scrap laying around to make up for a mistake.  Not today of course.

My wife and I are going to accompany our neighbor lady to Walmart this afternoon. She doesn't like to shop alone and we don't mind to trail along today.  It is cold now and yet we are not getting rain.  South of us  they had great showers and people to the north of us had storms.  We are just gray and chilly with a wind.  I guess we will warm up in a couple of days but for now it looks like I might have to get the pilot light going for the furnace.

We have new pictures of our grandson so I suppose you might see some of them.  He is getting more handsome and smarter each day. Thank you for following me and stopping in today.  I hope your day is a great one.