Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sliding into Saturday.......All Day.


I planted tiny little tomato seeds yesterday, February 27th.  I should have planted sooner but I planted much later last year.  It is hard to buy seed like this in certain places as they don't want to give you information about them.  They did describe the "100's" tomatoes but they still don't tell you the size of the fruit.  The "beefsteak" tomato is obvious to those who garden but you would think they still would tell you the size of the fruit.  I picked up the "homestead" variety and the "endless summer" thinking they may be the exact same kind.  We will see how it all turns out. 

I am going to try harder to keep track of the varieties as I drew out a map.  Of course one 6 cell area has been double planted because I am old and confused. The double ones will probably all grow, even if they are crowded. I can separate them out later.
I don't intend to plant these all for myself.  I will be sharing plants with neighbors again this year. The two neighbors plant so darn early that I needed to plant a lot early so they could have somewhat of a decent size to put into the ground.








I was desperate to find photos to take so I hit up my wife's small glass display case.  Only small short things can go into the cabinet.  It is nice to have as the really small items end up on a big shelf and can't really be seen.














I shared another shot like this on my Photo a Day blog.  It explains the penguin and also a couple of the ceramic dogs, which you can see in the larger photo above of the display.










This is my wife's display of angels after Christmas.  A lot of her larger collection goes into boxes and are brought out before Christmas.  These which are smaller in number are a little more manageable through out the year to keep on the buffet.

My wife has this coughing crud that is going around.  It is so hard for her to get sleep to help her body to feel better.  I know she is now on the turn around time but it may be a few more days before it will go away.  We have not gone outside to expose her to this very cold air. I keep encouraging her to sleep whenever she feels that she can as rest is the only thing that really helps to overcome it.

We were in the negative temperatures again last night.  The weather people seem to be at a loss for what really is happening.  I guess they need to go back to the one to two day forecast and leave the long term stuff alone.  We may have a snow this evening but it may be less than an inch.  That is nlike the forecasted 4 inches that was schedule for noon today.  Rain and snow is predicted on Wednesday but that probably won't be happening.  It will be a bust of nothing or a major snow storm, with the way their success rate has been going.  We are sunny today which is good.  It doesn't help to warm it up much but when you look out it seems better.  Everyone enjoy this day and thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Colder Day Today......


When I let the dogs out this morning, one lone junco sat out on one of the patio chairs and just watched me.  I went and got a few cups of seed to put out and now you see this junco is happy.  I also had on cardinal show up.  The sun is shinning this morning with temps starting out a -11 degrees F.  I am glad that it is perfectly still with no wind or we would be more frozen inside and outside.  My flock of birds must have found other feeders that they like when I am bad about getting the feeders filled.  The do come back but it takes of day for them to include my feeder in their rounds.   I saw a photo on the internet yesterday that was taken in Iowa and there were 5 robins (thrushes) in a tree.






You can see the male cardinal is feeding his face with a sunflower seed.  You can see how the sun is coming up and it it is bright this morning.














I have a snow stick out this year like our friends in Minnesota.  It helps to keep track of what is out there with the piling up of the white stuff.  It says it is at 4 inches but the past bad storm has settled down some. The new snow we had was very fluffy to bring it up to 4.  I do have higher drift locations but I am not going to put out a dozen measuring sticks.  Snow it on its way the next two days so we will see this number increasing.  I am always amazed and amuzed how the national weather people barely recognize our state. Today we couldn't be seen on the map because we were so covered with weather clouds.  We didn't get a mention because we don't have KC in our state nor Chicago.  We should plan on moving Iowa over to the east coast where the real weather is happening.



Grandson AJ turned two on Monday and our package finally arrived on Wednesday.  AJ loved opening his package and liked his present, but the hit of the day was the Elmo card.  He could push a button and Elmo sang a different version of Happy Birthday to him.  He loves seeing Elmo so it was a perfect card for him. The photo is a little blurry but his expression is very much the real one of joy. 

I wonder what goes through their brains when they get things that are new to them and beyond their understanding.  He really likes that Elmo came to his house to sing to him and the card belongs to him.  His dad said that AJ didn't want to go to bed after a birthday party out there on Saturday as he just didn't want the day to quit.





We survived the process of doing our taxes yesterday.  I was for the first time in years really happy with the results.  Don't despair, I did pay my fair share of taxes this year for the president's programs but we did get money back. 

I am home today as there is no school today.  I won't be doing any outside work today and probably not tomorrow either.  My wife is fighting off a cough and a cold so I will try to do things that will help here out.

Thanks.................for stopping in today. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday........Tax Day.......


We were in a dry pocket yesterday and the radar showed everyone around us 30 miles or more around us were getting snow, we did not.  Then by the afternoon the dry pocket was overcome by all that moister and we got about 3 to 4 inches of snow. We escaped 4 inches of snow because of that little glitch.


The snow shovel handle is like a sculptural form waiting for me to put it into action. The snow rock is more covered than before but it drifted in because of the west wind.


I don't get mad at these guys too often but this guy thought I was a push over.  He didn't leave while I was out there shoveling. I finally banged my shovel on the feeder and he left. He didn't even feel threatened with Barney in the yard.  I went in and got a batch of shelled corn to feed him and his three other hungry friends. This old feeder that I rescued from the barn works well for squirrel food.

I will probably this summer rework the insides so it will more easily send food to the troughs.  I expect back then corn didn't cost so much but if I filled this feeder to the top with today's prices it would cost 15-20 bucks per fill.

I am following around with a special student today who is supper smart.  She is needing very little direction and yet needs company.  It is a great job. 

More snow coming on Saturday and we will be able to build up more drifts of the white stuff.  In fact there are 3 possible days for it to snow.

Thanks for stopping by today.

As I mentioned in the title we get to go visit Pat and have our taxes filed.  I am usually angry, disappointed or disgusted when we finish.  I am going in with positive certainty that I won't be happy again this year.  I am not greedy but some people have pet projects that suck money out of my money to help pay others who don't pay their own bills.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smart Potatoes........


The sack of potatoes were on a great sale.  Potatoes can be a good cheap food when you wait around for their super sales.  The problems with this sack is the label has me worried.  I don't know if these guys have gone to school and have an education or if I can ask them questions like a cell phone and they will answer me while I am peeling them. I think I would rather eat a dumb potato but maybe it is the dumb ones that never make it into the sack.

The store buys the potatoes in bulk and then resacks them for sale.  I know because my son worked there in his youth and that was his job to sack a bag of good potatoes to the nearest weight required.  He also got to throw away the rotten ones or damaged ones as he sacked them.  I think they wash them better now so he would not get very dirty now if he did the job today.


While being in the science room yesterday I took shots of the fish and this poster.  The coffin is a wonderfully decorated one layer of King Tut's, the boy king, coffin.  Did you all know that the guy who owned the Downton Abby mansion in England was the one who discovered King Tut's tomb?  The grandson who lives there now was looking through a hidden compartment in the doorway of the library and ran across more artifacts, not cataloged. I never got to go see the Tut traveling exhibit years ago when it toured the states but there are bits and pieces of the finds scattered in museums.  Kansas City's museum has a pair of ear rings on display that Tut wore during his reign.



The aquarium is a great place to see when the winter gets to be so long.  I think when I kept up a large aquarium that I bought more fish during the winter than any other time.


I was begged to come in and monitor a high school math room today.  I refused the job on the phone when the machine called me at 5:45 in the morning but I got called personally to see if I would change my mind.  They have been so good to give me work when I really need it so I said that I would.  We are snowing right now and I suspect it will be a short day today.  We are predicted to get snow an inch per hour up to 6 inches.  Then in two days 4 more inches and then two days later 4 more.  I didn't want to or refuse to do the math at this point to see what the total snow will be.  They are inconsistent in their predictions anyway.  Severe cold moves in again by tomorrow. Yes it does total to 14 inches!!!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In the Shed.......


I snapped a few shots while I was out in the garden shed to bring in some flats to use for planting tomato seeds.  The small box full of plastics  is a gift from a couple of neighbor ladies.  They received from me tomato plants and I think they wanted to have some more given to them this spring.  It seems they are giving me larger pots to transfer my growing starts.  The junky area that it is sitting has some interesting patterns of a variety of things one can find in my shed.




The path to my shed looks like this.  The heavy snow made it difficult to bring the garbage bin to the curb.  I drug it and it made it look like I had shoveled the walking area.  It really is frozen solid and it is a very crusty service.  We are suppose to get 3 or more inches of new snow on top of this.














Other things in the shed on a shelf in front of the other window shows some strange collection.  The tv remote will be thrown away.  i don't know why it is in the shed.

My grandma's iron was used to hold a doorway open as the old houses were so crooked that the door would swing shut if it wasn't propped open.  The metal frog is one of my mom's she had in her collection of things.  It is used to put at the bottom of a vase so the flowers could stick into the holes to help in arranging flowers.  The glass jar is old full of saw blades and nails  while the old grease gun is hiding behind the iron.  If it ever warms up I will go out and high grade the things and throw more things away.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another Cold Day.....


The furry animals in our household do not like -7 degrres F.  weather.   This bear looked up at me as I was walking by so I snapped his photo.


The other blue bottle shot that I took last week looks like this.  The color looks so good in our kitchen when the outside is so bleak.


My wife's angel collection has more than just ceramic pieces.  This is of the series that is for sale in which the delicate wings are made out of wire. This color of wire works good but some of the brown rusty looking wire is not suited for depicting wings.  I have two more to share of these but will wait for another day.

Our grandson AJ turns 2 today but I don't have any new pictures.  He did sing happy birthday to us over the phone on Saturday.  I don't think he comprehends what any of it means but he sure can rattle on about it.

We warm up to 30 F today and it will just continue to be cold.  There are some warm up days so that we can get some snow.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Stuff.........


Starlings are still hitting the suet as often as possible. Cold or warm weather they seem to eat at all times.


Bite down hard, break the shell, shift the seed inside and swallow, and then let the shell fall out of your mouth.


He then looks for another sunflower seed to start the process all over again.  He stayed at the feeder for a long time. 




We are experiencing a big drop in our temperatures again. It isn't much fun.

Thanks for stopping by today. Stay safe and stay warm.......

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Resting Day........


It is cozy inside with the warmer weather outside making it easier for the furnace to keep us comfortable.




I brought this amaryllis  up from the basement last week. I am not going to guess as to  if I get any blooms or not. Wait and see.























My wife has been busy boxing up the village.  My cousin leaves her's up all year but we won't be doing that.  They all go to the basement on a set of shelves. Lots of lugging and chugging up and down the stairs.










It does look like alien ships came in and lifted most of the houses off site.
















A cardinal came by this morning to show off some of his color.  I was glad to see him and shot  a lot of photos.  I am now feeding the rabbit on the other side of the fence.  He is safe from Barney who would not hurt him, just chase him.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday a Sliding in to Finish..........


The snowman cookie jar has been officially put away for another season.  My wife got this for me a couple of years ago.  I like keeping gummi bears in it. Every time I life the lid it plays a Christmas song.  It is great to hear it unless you trying not to get caught while sneaking extra sugar treats.


An archived photos of what I have plans to do very soon.  I have some seed left over so I can get started on Saturday.  I do have to make a trek out to the garden shed and that will be miserable but I will get there.  I will buy more seed whenever I get to a store.


Our Decorah eagles are back on live streaming again.  They laid an egg and the whole country cheered.  Their success in raising chicks hasn't been great.  They only succeeded getting one chick raised last year. Check them out by clicking here DECORAH EAGLES and bookmark it to keep an eye on the progress. One egg down and maybe another to go.


I am looking forward to see these blooming this year.  I was able to see the plant grow very large so it should bloom this year.


It is serious work for Barney keeping the squirrels out of the backyard.  All cats need to be reminded to move on and get off of the surrounding area of the property.  He is always alert to see who is out walking their dog.  It is a hard job for one border collie but his partner the poodle comes out and barks with him if any warning sounds need to be made.

It is Friday and we are going to warm up to 30 degrees F.  It won't melt but it will require a lot less heat for the house. I am finishing off my last day with the 6th grade science and math classes.  It has been exhausting but I did make it to the very end.  At least I have made it through 2nd hour today.  I guess I can't speak for the rest of the day yet.

 I am experiencing some hand trouble in my left hand as two fingers don't really want to help me type.  I think I will be reducing the length of my blogs for a while.  I think it will go away as I have had it before in the right hand's fingers.  It actually started up when I shoveled snow a couple of weeks ago.  I use to do hammering of nails and it would effect the hand badly and sometime the whole arm.  Right now the fingers are not bending smoothly but clicking into position like a robot.  Anyway,  if I am able I will stay here but expect lesser stuff and lesser babbling from me.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday.....with Sixth Graders.



It is green inside which means the furnace is working.  It isn't green out side as the temps are very low again today.


Outside it looks like this.  The view is about the same as it has been most of the winter except the snow isn't hanging on the branches of things.


This is our view last evening looking out an upstairs window.  There was a great cloud formation around the sun but I was too late to capture it. We were -5 F. this morning and our high today will be 13 F.  That will seem warm with no wind blowing.  I could see when I was out in the air this morning how it could freeze skin in less than 15 minutes.  It is the deep hurting kind of cold.

Thanks for stopping by today. I have been held hostage with 6th graders for the second day of this week.  I will survive as I am older and smarter.  Smarter than a  6th grader except in proportions, when I need a refresher course to know how to fill in all those little boxes.  I did learn how again yesterday and I will be making sure everyone knows how today.   See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Windy Days......


The wind can mess up your feathers but they topnotch seems to pretty compacted.  The cardinals are starting to do their territorial calls, or maybe they are mating calls. I like it when they sing away a tune to share with all who are in the area.


Here today and gone tomorrow.  The roses that are a good deal also have a three day life span.  They are kept cold but when they are picked they aren't put back into water until they hit a store. I see a couple of them are still in good form but the rest are on their way out.


It is a cold day today with the wind picking up for the morning and then it is to stop blowing at noon.  We have had spotty snows and will see more over the weekend.  The blue jars seem warm in color compared to the cold light blue of snow.

I hope that the weather evens out soon but it is February.   We sometimes have major snow storms the first of March.  I can tell that the earth is tipping back now and our days are getting longer.  I need to get tomato seed planted but haven't been to the store to buy any.  Thanks for stopping by today. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday's Tattle.......


I saw on the tv, an interesting piece about where these roses are grown. They showed that all roses over Valentine's day come from Columbia, South America.  They have the variety of roses where they can cut multiple long stem roses from one plant.  They are cut and packed in a very rough process, filling up boxes of the roses of all the same color.  The roses are immediately kept cold, and packed into jets to be distributed throughout the United States.  It was said that they pack one plane with boxes filled with the equivalent of 300,000 roses.  The are special refrigerator planes and are shipped with many plane loads for our holiday. Each load on one plane is equal to one million dollars.

There you have my book report for the day.  I was surprised to see the episode on tv and the deliberate processes that it took to get them to market at a definite time line.  It amazes me that they bloom out at just the right time.  So as you walk through super markets and see the hundreds of roses you now know that they were grown very far away from their final location.





They had a special on these roses which did not include a vase.  It was such a good deal that they were completely sold out of red ones the day before Valentine's day.  So pink being one of my wife's favorite colors I did score well on the second choice selection.








On my Photo a Day blog I shared a more complete photo of this rabbit. He was sitting next to the fence looking for bird seed to eat. I had a very difficult time getting the photo but in this partial view I liked its photographic look.






We are still cold.  We will warm up a little today before the worse day of cold ever on Wednesday.  The sun does help to make it more pleasant but it really isn't pleasant to be outside. I know the nation is getting a big chill right now and the temps are somewhat varied. That said, I do believe the cold is universally painful and I hope everyone can stay inside and stay warm.

We have had a dusting of snow and now we are told more will come in the morning and more in the afternoon. I guess it does take a break but snow is on the way. The warnings for the cold keep coming in on the national weather and the local weather is just taking it all in stride, calling it a normal winter experience. I am in my old art room today teaching for the day.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Morning......


I had moved my plantings of hardy geraniums into the bird room as they were not blooming and blocking my view of the lower birds at a feeder.  To spite me they started budding and blooming again in the bird's room.  The screen makes an interesting grid background as well as gives a special effects view of the neighbor's house. The light is coming  from the right as it is late in the day so the white blooms are not so showy in shade.






At the other end of the planter another plant is blooming.  It is warmer in this room as I keep a special heater in there to keep my tropical birds from getting any chill night or day.












Out the east window this geranium was tangled in the blinds, actually had sprouted through the blind slats.  I decided to ahead and just raise the blind completely out of the was so the rest of the geraniums won't do that. The back lighting on these again doesn't help me get a great photo.  I will try that again sometime trying to get some artificial light to help me out.











My snow rock is clear and dry but as you can see we still have piles of it on the ground. It is promising to be very cold again on Wednesday.  I know a lot you out there are really suffering from the cold.  I know myself that the promise of spring coming does not warm me up when the outside is so cold and the house struggles to stay warm.  I hope all can stay safe and we can weather through this one more time.   Thanks for stopping by today.











I really like these birds. They look serious all of the time.