Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday's Showings.......


Yes, I was certain that it was another can of pennies that came from our son's bedroom. No, it was not pennies.

I really have not had time to go through them but I did steal a shot of them last night. I think this batch of  marbles is larger than the ones that I have in a glass jar. I did find a few more marbles while clearing the house but this is a jackpot. I mentioned in my Photo blog that I don't have a clue as to when they had been placed in the can.



I should have picked new tulips for the bouquet yesterday.  I will get some fresh ones tomorrow. We have tulips now blooming at the front of our newer home.  I think they are all pale yellow in color.




I mowed the new yard for the second time yesterday.  Now that I am a city slicker, I have to mow in fancy patterns.  I changed the direction from what I took last week. I am not sure that I will ever do the diagonal mowing like my two neighbors.  I guess it helps to determine property lines when we all mow in different directions.

The tree in the backyard is still a mystery to me.  I think it is some form of a maple but the leaves are still not all out for identification.

We watched a bird take a kleenex tissue into he spruce tree to use in the making of its nest.  It was strange to see it even though one can find all sorts of things incorporated in nests. I could not see the kind of bird that it was but it was a smaller bird.


It is to be a warm spring day today.  It will be nice to not wear that winter coat. Our days have been really cold with the wind blowing. I wish you all a good day today.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday's Spot.......


Memories of an era when the sons wanted remote controlled toys.  We now live across the street from a young man that plays with his truck on the sidewalks and driveway. The out of focus car actually express how the cars look as the go darting around with great energy.

I do remember the time when remote controlled cars had the cord attached to the toy. I will need to dispose of a lot of toys as way too many of them made the trek to the new house.

The time needed to sort toys was not possible.  I can see that some cold winter day would be a good time to finally figure out what stays and what needs to go. I grabbed the basket that was destined to go to the dump and used it for a quick container for what I had found in the closet.


The previous owners must have had planters with rocks and shells in them. When the moved they placed some of the parts of the displays into the rocks along the foundation of the house. The first time I saw the shells I was surprised to see what was there.




There are 3 or 4 rose bushes in the front of the house, which is southwest. I see that I need to trim back the old stems to let the new growth take over and bloom. It will be great to see what colors that they had planted.

It is Saturday and it is time to go back to the old house again.  We have one room upstairs that will now be cleared completely.  It is the last one for the upstairs to be cleared.  It had been used as a storage room so it has been a big challenge. I just now thought that there is no way we will make it through that stack of vinyl records.  We may just have to bring the pile downstairs and spend some sitting down time to sort them.  I do have a turntable but a lot of those records will not need to be ever played again.

I thank you all for stopping by today.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Which Way Do I Go?


I have to look out and up in my front yard to see the sun setting in the east. Our house sits askew to the normal directions.  I really am having a hard time dealing with it.  If I live here long enough maybe my direction mode in my mind will just quit trying to figure it out.  I  have always lived on the knowledge of directions but that doesn't seem possible anymore at my house.

A discovery in a closet in the old house is this classic 30 plus years old Star Wars ship.  I now know the Star War movies better today than I did 30 years ago, when one only was able to see the movie once in the theatre and  once on television with ads interrupting it. The ship carries the figures of all of those that are in the movie.  I don't see Darth Vader in the set.We own all of the dvd of the 6 movies and watch them at least once a year.


It is a storage container but also has play areas for the action figures.  Here you can see Lando and Luke at the drivers seat of the spacecraft.















At the back end of the ship is a place for the figuresIto fire the space gun at the enemies. I see that I also have a bin full of space ships from the movie.  My youngest son found them in storage in the  basement and now they have moved to the new house.


We have an almost clear sky this morning.  It is very cold this morning and will not warm up much today.  I am giving my body a day off from the work at the old house. I may check on it on Saturday but today I will be staying put at the new home.  I thank you for checking in today on my blog.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday's Things........




I was concerned that there would be less birds in our area.  Considering where we are actually live there are trees surrounding our housing development. There is a large area of timber around the Lake Saylorville and below the dam is forest with many lagoons and timberland areas. We are east and a little south of that dam by 5 miles or less. The adjoining street to the east has an older development of ranch homes of the 60s and that means the trees are fully matured in the area.  I can see those trees off in the distance.

Our blue spruce seems to be an attraction for a lot of birds as we can see them flying in and our of the branches frequently. I have yet to get seed up for the goldfinch but they are out there at my feeder now among the sparrows and house finch.  There are no juncos in this area.


We are not going to be able to really move in until three large pieces finally are delivered from the furniture company. Our living room has a new piece that will hold the tv and sound system.  Until that is here, which could be 10 days or less, we really can't hang pictures and put things away with completion. Boxes of cd's and dve's sit in boxes in closets and a bedroom. Our book shelf for the living room sits unassembled as we may need to move it, once the tv piece arrives.  Everything looks uncommitted but we did put in storage on the mantle one of our prints that we had in our dining room.

The framed picture is not permanent, I just leaned it there. It does make it look like we plan on staying.  We also are waiting for a wood floor to be installed in one of the bedrooms.  We are turning the room into an office and studio area.  We won't have that done until a week from this Friday.  Once that floor is done we can start to develop that whole area and put things away.  Again we don't dare fill the bookcase in that room as we have to move the bookcase out of there.

It may be a premature thought but I think my backyard is going to be too wet to grow iris.  The backyard is part of a wash area from up the hill.  Having lived in Iowa all my life, I know our land has wet areas.  It may have a big drainpipe under that whole swath of land but I am a lot unhappy with the situation.  I dug places for a hosta and iris plants yesterday.  It was soggy, sticky soil and our inch of rain happened a few days ago.  I found one area that had soil that reminded me of bog-like soil. I sure hope this is my exaggerated imagination and everything will dry out.  If it is soggy, the iris will just rot and die. Some hosta are growing back there right now as I see them sprouting up. It will be a wait and see thing.

On to the future, we are tossing things again from a storage closet today.  The good news for our sons is that I found legos in that closet and a couple of Star War toys that held the figures from that show.  I didn't know for sure what was in the closet but when we moved the boys out of there room there toys became the bottom layer of things in the closet. Our suitcases and gift wrapping materials seem to fill in on top of all of it. I am finding that we are moving more toys that we intended to do.

It is a cloudy this morning and cold.  The guy on tv says we will be 62 degrees F. today with a lot of strong winds.  The windchill will make it seem like winter again. I hope all is well with all my blog friends and family.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Middle of the Week......


We couldn't toss him as his cuteness was so great. Stuffed toys really don't weather well and we had some that were thirty years old.  They were in storage in plastic bags in the basement. I know now that 99% of them are headed for the landfill.  I saved this one and a couple of Disney ones that were clean.  I saved two Godzilla ones for our older son to see. He was given a larger soft one and then a smaller one later.  I had forgotten about that so I saved them for a while longer.


I have to study the situation with photographing birds.  I don't have the best way to take shots as I have large glass areas between me and the birds.  The birds do see me and escape quickly.  We have one set of cardinals but I have yet to get a shot of either one of them. The house finches are plentiful here and of course there are lots of sparrows. I haven't been scolded yet by any neighbor for feeding them but I don't think that it is any of their business. I am needing to pick up a goldfinch feeder as we do have them here too.

I worked at the old house yesterday.  I cut some of the tulips to bring home for display.  They are blooming right now earlier than normal. I have fern leaf peonies yet to bloom and they usually are the first to bloom in the garden.

I dug a few iris yesterday and added them to the things that I need to get planted at the new home.  I may do a quick planting of them temporarily before I find permanent places for them.  The new home still has things coming up which I need to see before I start planning placement.  I discovered that under the deck stairs are a full planting of lily of the valley.  There are hosta plants poking through in a few different areas.








I am going to plant these this morning so they can be in the ground before our rain storm that is coming. I have one of my favorite hosta plants in that pile that puts out large leaves. I am digging up a couple of rhubarb plants to give away and I think the hosta will go in the place of one of them.

I am taking the day off from working at the old house.  My body tells me I need to stop and quit doing that job.  I can go back tomorrow and Friday.  I have been taking the weekends off anyway.  A day off won't be totally a restful day but it will be different kind of work.






I finally got the grill up and running.  I usually have to screw up a lot even if I do read the directions.  I tried to cook steak on low heat, but their symbols on the grill do not make any sense.  I do have it figured out now and I can cook on there a lot faster now.  The cooking on a second story deck is a new thing for me.  It was like being on view as I cooked the meat last nigh.

It is the middle of the week.  We have some purchases to make today and don't have far to travel any more. I wish everyone to have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dishes.......and Stuff.


We have a nice ledge on the one wall of the basement stairs.  It will be good for planned displays. For now it is a catch all space for me to place things that need to go to the basement.  My pottery piece heads downstairs while the cafe ware bowl actually is headed upstairs to be a Barney bowl.

Our local big grocery store sold blue willow plates for a while.  They also sold this red version.  It was a mistake when we picked up as a couple of bowls in a box and they were the red ones instead of the blue ones.



A dime store set of plates that I have shows a company created their own version of the plate.  I owned a cabin in Minnesota and these plates were in it.  When I sold the place I kept the plates. I have dinner plates and smaller ones like the one shown.  I found out when we moved that I also have a serving bowl with the set.





This is called a spooner.  I looked it up as I thought maybe my ideas about it were from my imagination. I did remember it correctly.  I don't know what nationality developed the idea of a container, holding spoons, that would be left on the table. I could see that if you had tea often that it would be good to keep the spoons on the table ready to go at tea time. Some of the spooners that I found on the internet were fancy pressed glass pieces.


 This is not a dish but it is ceramic. I bought this lamp at a garage sale many years ago.  It was siting on the dirt floor of the shed with a price tag of $3.  The lamp now sits in our living room with a new fancy shade. A brass base holds the ceramic base.


 I am sure the decoration of flowers is a transfer decal but all that gold had to be hand painted onto the lamp. I don't have any way of knowing how old that the lamp is but I know I have owned it almost 40 years now. We use to have it in our bedroom but now it sits on the oak table used as an end table in our living room.


I will finish with a Godzilla report. My oldest son was so fascinated with this guy when he was young 30 years or more.  When they two sons where helping clear the basement, the green guy was found.  It was to a great relief to my oldest son the the projecting arm was found and the toy was still fully intact. He was moved to the newer home for the grandsons to have as their own green monster.

I thank you for stopping by today.  Have a good day.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday is a Sunshiny Day.......


Well-traveled and it is still looking good. It now has a north window in which it seems to be thriving. It is a strong constant light all day with no direct sunlight coming in the window.  We were gifted another Easter lily yesterday from our pastor and his wife so you will be gifted with many more photos of lily blooms. I have to get creative with the compositions when I have the same thing to take pictures of continuously.

Barney has always tired to find a place that seemed like a cave or a closed in space in which to feel safe. He loves the cool oak floors.  This is a new thing for him but he really seems to like the place. The newer house is a warmer house so I have had to turn on the air for brief times to take down the temps just for him. I can actually open the sliding glass door and drop the temperature in the house pretty quickly.  In the summer we can deal with the heat with turning on the air permanently.

The company where we have bought some furniture for our house has an Amish connection.  The oak furniture that we have is made by an Amish company.  I don't think that all people who work at the place are Amish but the company is dominated with the design and quality of solid hardwoods. Having said that, our first coffee table like this had a split corner on the magazine shelf where the screw connected it to the leg.  We were so busy the first few days we had not noticed it.  The grain of the wood on that corner just could not take the attachment process without breaking on the grain.  I doubt that it happens very often but wood does have a mind of its own when it come to the graining of it.The replaced it a few days ago.  Because they are each made by hand, the finish on the first one was a little lighter than this one.  The pattern of the glued together top was different than this one too.  They were very nice about coming out special and replacing the one with this one. We actually like this exchanged table better than the first one. There is a drawer on the opposite side of this view.

We are getting use to this lifestyle and living with lots of people.  The three houses in a row are all older people.  I think we are the younger of the three but that may be my imagination.  Living in rows requires us all to mow our yards with similar time periods. I didn't mention that the younger families do seem to be dominate here with a bus stopping next door to pick up a special needs student.

The noises of two different swimming pools can be heard in two different directions.  A noise of an engine seemed harsh a day ago and then I realized it was a neighbor down the way that was running his snowblower engine, to run out the gas in its tank.  I was outside when it stopped running. Two young boys will sneak out to shoot baskets before they have to go to school.  Dogs seem to be everywhere as so many walk by each day with their owners.  The noise of ambulance and patrol cars are near by but we are not that close to a main road or can't see it anyway. At night Barney and I can see the stars as well as the glow of Des Moines on a cloudy night. The crowd of a family parking in for Easter dinner was a pleasant sight to see as families do get together on our street.  We did hear that my wife has a distant cousin that lives south of us a mile away or less. As we adjust to our first couple of weeks we seem very settled. The unpacking and completion of the move is months away from now.  More of our stuff is now moved that what is left behind. In fact probably 90% of the things have been moved.  The last 10% should just be tossed or given away.

It is Monday and the start of another busy week. We had a good weekend and are somewhat rested to take on the tasks of the day and week. I thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday




Resurrection Sunday

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday's a Go.....


Barney immediately turns away when he sees a camera.  He has had shots earlier this week which made him sleepy for a couple of days and now he has had his flea and tick treatment.  He hates the smell of it and I usually walk him right away after the treatment to distract his disgust with the whole thing. Between the spring grass that encourages fleas there are also dogs at about every house in our neighborhood.  A couple of people older than me don't have pets but most all of the rest do have dogs. I think I saw a cat sitting in a window across the way too.

Two of my older cemetery iris have been potted and moved to the new place.  They may spend the summer in pots until I figure out the arrangement of the back yard.  I did discover the past few days that the former owners loved apparatus and they have it planted everywhere.  I do like it too but I do think some hosta plants will be integrated into some of those gardens.  I have a terraced set of plantings along the south side of the house on the hill and I thought they would have some neat planting in it.  Instead, it is apparatus. I guess they liked the foliage of it after it goes to seed as I see evidence of wires to hold it back when it spreads out. A neighbor to the north asked if I was a gardener but I don't consider solely vegetables as the only venue for gardening. I will dig out one rhubarb plant at a time as five of them scattered all over the yard is not proper landscaping to me. I can pot and share them with a couple of people I know who would like to have some plants of it.

We have had a lot of cloudy skies the past few days.  The rains yesterday were heavy ones.  I guess  it will be good for the asparagus. I need to mow the yard on the south side.  It is past due.  My neighbor there may fertilize freely for my benefit.  I did have to go to the Ace Hardware and buy a used lawnmower.  It was a Lawn Boy and I now have a mower at each property.  I am living in John Deere land here but I didn't buy a Deere. I don't have a Deere hat either.


Well I am glad it is my wife's birthday.  I hope to give her a special day.  I shopped for presents in plenty of time and everything was ready to go this morning.  She has yet to pick out place to go to for her birthday dinner.  It will happen, the decision, sometime today.   Thank you all for stopping by today.  Have a great Easter Sunday.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday..........


The back side of the house is not a very good looking view. The two positive things are the large plantings of clematis.  The bottom side of this shows the vines of a dozen stems headed up the trellis. I have another clematis planting nearby that doesn't have such an elaborate set up for vining plant.

As a correction to this post, I can now see that this vine is not a clematis.  I thought for sure that it was. I will have to wait to see the blooms to give it a proper identification. When I look at the leaves it clearly is something unknown to me.

The landscaping on this side of the house seems to not exist.  I don't understand why there isn't a specimen tree planted in front of that blank space of the house. This is the north side of the house and I will plant something by fall to help make it look better..  The garden shed full of free tools sits underneath the fireplace bump out.



The deck does make a great shaded area for a patio. The former owners had a free standing wood burning fireplace.  I have been left piles of wood as seen here.  I am not so sure I want to venture into that at this time.

I have yet to move any patio furniture.  I either have to lean on my friends for help with that or buy a truck.  I think I told you the story before that I was going to buy a truck and I decided it was too big for my garage.  I am still in the evaluation stage of what kind of truck that I can find.  I don't have time to buy a truck at this point in time.

I found hosts up already. They are growing under the steps.  I do want to bring a sample of each of my hosta collection to the new garden.

I am headed to my garden shed again today working at clearing it out and bring home the valuable stuff. It seems to be a partly rainy day for today but I will go anyway.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I wish you all to have a great weekend.





Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday's Tales............


A jumbo jet that my parents purchased for the grandkids.  I brought to the house as it is really a neat toy.  I know a couple of our grandkids that will like to play with it.


A must keep plate is this one with the calendar on it.  The scene in the middle is so wonderful but the age of the plate is amazing.  The year of 1913 is printed among the foliage of the flower decoration edging the plate. This came from my wife's side of the family who lived in the Grimes area. The potential of it coming from  either side of her grandparents is possible. I have posted this plate before on my blog but that was many years ago.



My wife mentioned in the winter time when we bought the house that she would like the garden to be her project.  As we looked at it this morning, there are a few perennials scattered in the planter. It looks like the former owners had an area in the front to put annuals. It will be a while  before we can start to do that ast I think our frost danger could still be a possibility.





In the front of the house there are these forms of stone planters.  Stuff seems to be planted in a simply way for low maintenance.  I can see there will be room for improvement.  I am not a big fan of rock gardens so some spaces will be cleared for hostas or whatever. The rosebushes are yet to be identified but I think they will all be blooming again.  The canes are greening up.  I just realized that this is the south side of the house so there should be potential for a lot of kinds of things to be growing there.

I did dig up a fern leaf peony on Wednesday and brought it here in a bucket.  I think I will be sharing the blooms of the plant soon as it will stay in the bucket for a while. It was wilted at first but when I dumped water on it it perked right up. I would like to bring hosta and iris to the new home with other specialty plants.  That will have to fit in with all the insane things that I need to get done. It will be an all summer project to ready the house for sale.


Barney visited his doctor today to get a follow up booster shot.  He was good at getting in the car the very first time but the rest of the getting out and getting back in seemed a little stressful for him. He is doing ok now an is napping peacefully on the living room rug now.  

I appreciate your stopping in today.  Our days look more like spring every day and I hope yours do too.