Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Baked Beans........not.


I found another bean pot.  I think it came from my parents' place.  I actually have one other that is small and probably a newer reproduction.That should be the last of the stoneware revelations.  Sadly beans come in a can now and you can warm them on a stove or in a microwave. Cooking beans in a pot for long periods of time doesn't happen much anymore.  When it is done they do it in a casserole or pyrex dish. The ceramic stoneware is more decorative than the before mentioned. I am sure now I will have blogger friends that will tell me they still bake there beans with bacon strips laying on the top of them.

This is one of the three roses that are in the front of the house. This one is the largest of the three.  The smallest one hasn't been moved out yet because I haven't had the time to do so. I want to put a different kind of shrub or a different color of rose in its space.

I have a multiflora pink one at the old house I would like to move but maybe I will just leave it to stay with the garden there. I may just look for a new one at the nursery center.

As I mowed at the old place I could see that my peony blooms are slow in opening there.  I guess it is a little more shaded there so they are just not in bloom.  We have had a lot of rain there but it has been so cold that the grass hasn't grown much.  I didn't get done and will have to squeeze in time next week.

A couple of trips to the hospital are in the plans to day and a trip to southern Iowa will happen this afternoon.  The prediction of rain this afternoon may not be in the southern part of the state.

I wish everyone to have a good day today. Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday is a Done Deal.............


The colors really are not true here in this photo but it still shows how robust the iris are of this variety.  While at the old place I dug a rhizome of the deep purple one to move to the new place.


The old fashioned yellow with brown falls is still one of my favorites. I remember it as a kid thinking it looked unnatural with those two colors together as one bloom. I can still visualize my Aunt Lois with here jars of water and bunches of these iris being carefully placed at the different tombstones at the Moon Cemetery.  That was a long time ago when I was a kid and we would go to the cemetery there after a family reunion at Macksburg, Iowa.   My great-grandparents  are buried there as well as my Grandmother and Grandfather. I assume a lot of my grandmother's brothers are buried there too.


Clear skies in the morning are welcomed after so many cold, rainy days.  We did warm up today and it sounds like it will be warm for at least one more day. We have a busy weekend ahead of us along with our hospital visits.  We now are driving to get the cousin's husband. taking him to the hospital each morning. He doesn't want to stay long as he is frail, but he really misses her and wants to see her even if is such a short time.  They have been married 54 years.

We will fit in a graveside service in the afternoon in southern Iowa.  My brother and his wife will be there and it will be so nice to see them. My sister-in-law's dad passed away in the winter and now we have a graveside service for his cremains.

I wish everyone to have a great long weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

House Finch Friendly..........


The sock will have to be filled again soon.  I think the goldfinches have found a different source for food as they don't frequent the area as much.


I had a raccoon visit my bird feeder and knock it down a few days ago. He did it in the night and the bracket and feeder was on the ground.  I wonder if the raccoon fell that one story deck down to the ground.  I temporarily put Barney's old bowl out to get things going again.

A blurry shot of what types of antics that the birds pulled as they discovered all that free food out in an open bowl.



I looked out at one time and the mourning dove was also sitting in the bowl. I am now using the bird feeder again.  I just take it down each night now and place it out the next morning.

This is the morning show without a cloud in the sky.  The moon is gone now but the planet is still shining brightly in the sky.  The camera just didn't pick up that star-looking planet.

We have another busy day planned or should I say unplanned but filled. I did the dentist thing yesterday and we made a visit to the old house. We will visit my wife's cousin again today.  We go morning and evening to keep track of her condition.  She is still in critical care. Plans to take her husband to visit yesterday fell though but maybe today that will happen.  My oldest brother and wife will be in southern Iowa this next week.  We should get together eventually some time next week.  I wish you all well today. Thank you for your visit to my blog today.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday.........


As I moved things our of the garden shed, this large and very old hay fork ended up at the new place. It makes for a good garden piece.  I need to clean it up sometime. Since I have taken this photo I noticed my little bunnies like eating the foliage of the plant that is next to the steps. Having rabbits eating things means adapting to how I plant garden plants. I had one rabbit at the old place but they never seemed to bother things.




It just does not stop raining.  I was awake in the middle of the night and I could hear the rain on the roof.

I am curious as to what the true color will be.  Once I see what is growing in the row I will know which ones I can move from the old place.  There are three red peonies in a row there and the other colors are yet to be discovered.

A busy day again today.  I do get to visit the dentist this morning.  Other things are in the works as we go through the day.  We didn't get home until late last night from the hospital and will return after the dentist visit.  

Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday's Tattle......


Flynn's was one of the companies in the 50's and 60's who delivered milk to the doorsteps of houses.  We never had that as our we lived on the farm and our milk had to be milked from the town by my dad and brought into the house. As a kid it was fascinating to see that people kept metal looking coolers on their steps and milk men would deliver a fresh bottle of milk each morning. I believe the household could put out an order, taped to the lid, to ask for cream and other mile products.  I never knew how they paid for it but I could see them having the customer putting it in an envelop and leaving it inside the milk cooler.

Another torpedo shaped canning jar is in this photo, taken in my garage. The pottery piece sitting behind it makes it look strange.  The agatized stone next to the milk jar is one that my dad had cut and polished.

The previous owner of our place has a row of peonies in the front yard.  I am assuming that these will be white or pink flowers but I won't know for a few days.  I don't see ants crawling around on them like I have at the old place.  I was told that ants helped to facilitate the blowing of them.











The row of peonies are planted a mower's width away from the property line. The neighbor does get the benefit of the flowers and doesn't have to care for them.  I am assuming that I will have to cut off the spent blooms and keep it neat unlike I do at the old place.  The neighbor below this lives on a lot that is a part of the wedge lot created because the street takes a turn.  He lawn area is pretty much flat.  My lawn is not flat anywhere in the front. We are on the hill top and the yard was graded to run the water away from the house. The entire yard sort of crests at the house.  I can mow down
hill toward the sidewalk and the neighbor's lot. The house on my other side has a perfect flat yard as the top of the hill is reached and they graded it to be flat and even from the house to the street.  I am not complaining as I like the differences in our properties.

Everyone mows their yards with diagonal patterns. I really can't do that because my yard has things to mow around and through.  Most places  have plain shaped yards with no stone planters like I have to mow around.  The previous owner really was a lot like me having the yard cluttered with lots of things.  He and his wife have a locust tree planted in the yard, a nice bush specimen, the peony row and the flower garden with stone surrounding it. To mow at a diagonal would be difficult.






As I was mowing in the back yesterday this little bunny came hopping out from under the rhubarb leaves. I took his picture a few days ago as he was eating off the downstairs patio floor. Birds spread see from the feeder above and the loose stuff lands below for the rabbits and mourning doves.

This photo shows how small that he is.  I am thinking that he was raised out under that blue spruce tree.








Mother rabbit loves the bird seed too as well as all that grass the grows tall when I don't mow it.  It finally stopped raining which allowed me to me to mow the front of the yard in the morning.  The yard was a lot drier in the afternoon so I finished mowing the back in the afternoon.

Lots of things to do today. We still make a couple of visits to the hospital each day but the cousin is so much better. She can now talk to family on the phone and I am sure friends will start to visit when she is moved out of ICU.

Everyone have a great day today.  Thanks for reading my post or for just looking at my pictures.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday's Moments....


As I bring to the newer home things from the basement they get hung on hooks in the garage.  I have to move them to a designated place but for now they get hung up so I can decide where they will go. The chair was going to be tossed but I will repair that one split out leg in the future. You can buy old looking furniture but you have to go to antiques stores to buy authentically old furniture. This chair is an old one.



The hosta plants among the rocks look natural coming up in the rocks.  Some of the hosts plants are settling in as well as these two are.  I think our cold weather doesn't help them to build up from the shock of the move.

The geranium sees to bounce back each time it faces hardship.  Barney didn't take directions from me one time and stepped off the stoop and landed belly down on to the plant. The really heavy wind and rain messed up its appearance of a few days, but it is back now looking alive and well.



Barney has decided to make 5:00 am his time to go outside.  It has become habit. The early bird thing gives me an opportunity to get some great sky scenes and then I go back to bed. The moon and its friend planet were out in clear sky on the southwest side of the house but on the opposite side of the house I found this view.  The clouds were covering up the planet and only a portion of the quarter moon was showing.

It is a busy day for us again today.  I am going to try squeezing in some mowing before we leave today. It may be too wet so I may just do the front yard this morning.  The sun is shining but the grass is still damp from a heavy dew of the night.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Calm Day.......


The shelf was found in a barn.  It looks like it had been a cupboard with the latch showing on the right end of it. There are no other clues to tell any history about it.  The rustic finish of weathered wood and neglect gives it a great surface to see.  I brought it to the newer house,  I am not certain how to clean it up and what to put on it just to seal in its present qualities. The clock works piece inside on the first shelf is something I just can't throw away for now. I can display old things on this when I hang the shelf it in my basement office area.






I moved this piece of black granite to the new place.  I should exclaim and say "how stupid is that'?  I know that I got the rock off of the farm in southern Iowa.  Now that I am much older, I should not be lifting and carrying this heavy stone.  The other thing that causes me now to have a curious thought of why is there a large granite rock in southern Iowa.  I am sure someone will say that the glaciers moved it there. I am not a glacier but my old Taurus moved it 24 miles south closer to the Des Moiner River.  That should confuse the rock hounds of the future.



The feeders are popular for the house finches.  It is now fun to see the young birds that have already been hatched and are coming to the feeder.  We had one young one on the ledge of the deck squawking at its parents wanting them to stick seed in its mouth.

I wish everyone to have a good Sunday day. I appreciate your reading my post.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Shots.....


I am seeing the peony season stating at the old place and I have six or seven peonies at the new place with large buds on them.  The flowers seem to bloom at similar time but places where their gardens are more protected their iris and peonies are all blooming.  The cold wind today will slow the blooming progress for now.


We squeeze in things to do that are a part of the moving in process, at any free time that we can.  Our visiting the hospital twice a day is the priority so everything else that needs to be done is on hold. I hung one of my wooden horses up on the wall, high above the cupboards.  It didn't take much time but I had to get everything in place to make it happen. I am sure the displays will change as we find things that we prefer to put in them.  We have enough things to cover the whole area but I think that would be more junky-looking than having good design.  I did find a brown stoneware container, in front of the spice chest, that seemed to fit in with the group.

I have a lot of mowing to do here at the new house.  I have photos to take of the rose bushes as they are filled with blooms now.  My hosta plants are really looking great in the rock garden.  Other photos needed to be taken are the red twig bush is blooming and the honeysuckle vine is really looking great.  I am outside early in the morning with Barney to keep track of things that are growing but a fine mist, rain and cold really keeps me from taking photos.

Many things to do today and I hope to accomplish some of the tasks.  I have iris rhizomes to plant but it is just too muddy as it keeps raining.  Heavy downpours seem to be the norm right now.

The weekend is here and hope everyone has great plans for the two days.  Thanks for checking in today.

Friday, May 19, 2017

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


The rains have set in and will stay for quite a while.  It sounds like we may see sunshine by Sunday. I can't be sure in this house that it is raining. To know if it ism I look out at the deck to see if the deck  is reflecting back at me.



Barney has had his breakfast fill and now is down for most of the day.  We warm our living and dining area with the fireplace on cold mornings. The furnace stays off when we do that and it keeps us from heating the whole house. Barney doesn't like rainy days so he won't ask to go outside very much. He has learned to look out the windows that are down low in the living room.  We have decided that when he barks while looking through the one window that he is barking at the fake, plastic Canada geese in the yard down below.


Things have been put away enough that I now can photograph this area. No boxes sitting around, at least in this area. On a dark day the light does a good job of filling in light on the one side of the room. The oak antique furniture blend in well with our new furniture.  Our bedroom furniture is a strongly influenced in design by Arts and Crafts design so it looks a little different than our  oak dressers and chest of drawers.  Ironically the old oak pieces that we already owned originally were covered with dark varnishes. This one was painted green.  I did have to make a special trip to the hardware to find screws to fit the pulls.  The size really isn't being made anymore but they found one that would thread on and hold the pull tightly to the draw. I had dangling pulls or three of the different pieces.  For safety we put two screws on each bolt to keep everything secure.









I placed the flowers into the light of the sliding glass door so I could get good photos.  The old fashion yellow and brown iris is the next cemetery iris to bloom.  I keep trying to dig portions of them when I see what is blooming.  I know I won't get everything moved to the new place but I will at least try. The small lavender one is one that I want to seek out again and be sure that I have a piece of its rhizome.  The colors are so similar with some of them that I have to look closely to see the differences of them.


I mowed most of the yard yesterday at the old place.  It was good that I did it then as we are now hemmed in with rain for quite a while. The grass has slowed down a lot already as we move on past spring. I don't have any power on my push mower at the old place so I end up mowing that in two different days. The orchard is still full of wild violets so I don't worry about cutting them down anyway. I did notice that out cherry bushes will not have fruit this year.  I did see them flower but I think a freeze took them out. I really didn't check out the apple trees to see how they fared from a freeze.  I definitely had lot of blooms on the apple trees.










Thanks to all who identified this as a geranium.  I remember I had tried to grow one of this kind and failed.  Now that I know that this is a geranium I then started calling the other geranium plant, that is sold everywhere for summer bloom, the hardy geranium.  They are definitely two different kinds of plants. I brought my one hardy geranium with me and it is very much alive.  It is in its adjusting period from being placed outside but it will bloom again.




When I shared with my blogging friends at the beginning of buying the newer house, I had commented that downtown Des Moines is directly south of us.  I did't really know that we can take an offbeat highway at the bottom of our subdivision and drive straight down to the downtown area. It is nine miles that takes us along a river plain and an old town called Highland Park. We first pass through the town directly across the division to us called Saylorville, of which the lake is named after.  When we hit the end of the road we take a jog or two up the hill to get to the hospital. We also can take the same road and are close to my wife's friend who lives in an apartment west a mile or two of the road.  It surprised us as to how close it all is an how often we will be using that road.

We will be hitting NW 6th drive again this morning to make a hospital visit.  We have stopped counting the days since our first visit and know there will be many more of them.. I wish everyone to have a great day today. Thanks for stopping by my posting today,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday's Things.....


The iris continues their normal blooming cycle in their vase. I have to deadhead the spent blooms while the new buds have opened over night.



The colors of the old fashion iris are more red than purple.  The pattern on the falls of the iris make it look exotic.  Some people compare them to an orchid even though they shapes are so much different and the bloom life of the iris is so much shorter.



I plan to return to the old place today and hope to find some new iris in bloom.  A hail storm and hard winds happen there last night so I will see what kind of damage was done to them. I know that there were buds on the white iris and maybe I will see blooms today.


The area under my deck steps is well planted to look like a jungle.  The area is in the shade because of the deck and also because it in the northeast side of the house. As I study what is growing there I may add more things but I will wait until fall.  I have a planted hosta in a nice pot that adds to the area sitting on the edge of the garden.









We spent most of the day at the hospital as my wife's cousin was back in the operating room.  The patient had improved just enough that they wanted to do a follow-up surgery to finalize work done previously.  All the time we were at the hospital we were warned of tornado possibilities. Special directions were given to stay out of the waiting room part where there was a bank of windows.



















When we arrived home I immediately took Barney outside.  It was thundering out there but within less than a minute we were blasted with a monsoon downpour of rain.  I had to drag Barney back into the house because instantly we were experiencing the 70 mile an hour wind.  We both were soaked to the bone. It started in an instant without any warning and visibility disappeared as the trees bent in the wind and the water blew the water sideways. Hail was coming down for a brief moment while we were getting shaken off from all the rain.

Barney had to wait until the storm passed to go outside.  When we did go, it was so damp and still sprinkling.  Having two yards that need to be mowed, the rains will help make the grass grow so much more. I plan to mow the old place's yard sometime today.

I wish everyone to have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by today.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday's View......


The deck was wet this morning so I knew it had rained.  Storms were strong at our old place with neighboring towns having a lot of wind damage. We are expected to have more rain storms throughout the day.


The plant at the front door is now in full bloom.  One blogger gave me a suggestion of it being a geranium plant.  It was a name that I had never heard of before and this is a plant that I have not seen either.  It is a very robust plant and looks great right now.  I will be watching to see how it weathers through the summer or if it dies back.

The pot above is temporarily sitting on the step.  I brought it home with the agapanthus in it.  I was going to repot it until I read that it likes to be crowded in a pot.  I have added some fresh soil to it from the top and I still have to trim back the dead leaves.  The article I read stated that it could take 3 to 4 years for one to bloom once it was planted in a pot.  I know they grow freely as a lily in states like California. I see the plant as a background filler in landscape magazine photos.




A bucket of blooms from the old place sit there waiting for me to put them into vases.  I visited the house and picked them, placing the only thing I could find in the basement that held water and flowers.





The day will be another day of visits to the hospital.  I wanted to go mow sometime today at the old house but we are to have rain off and on all day.  I will have to wait until tomorrow and push harder to get through the tall grass. We are weary from all that is going on but we are up to the task.  I wish everyone a great day.  Thanks for stopping by today.