Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday's Showing......Minimal..


The existing hosta is doing well that grows under the deck stairs.  I planted a hosta and some flag iris yesterday afternoon.  It was still sprinkling but they had been out of the ground longer than they should have been,  I know the people in the know say you can move hosta anytime that you have your spade ready to use. I intend to move all of my different kinds of hosta to the new garden.  Compared to my neighbors at both ends of my house I have too many plants.  The guys east and west of the house are working hard to maintain rock gardens and no weeds. One is reworking his rock garden to make it look better.


The boat laying on the top of storage bin seems to exemplify what we have going on in our basement. We have a lot of unpacking to do.  We have our final pieces of furniture coming on Tuesday so we can start placing things on shelves and in drawers. Things keep being backed up and we take 3 steps backwards most times rather than any one foot forward. The office and art studio room still has not been finished as the leak from the window trim is being dealt with, making sure no more water will enter the house. I need to replace a subfloor piece of wood and that doesn't happen until I make it to the old house to get my tools.  Once all seems to be sealed up, the flooring guys will return and put down the floor.

The bleeding heart flower is holding its own while the New England bluebells are now all spent. The continued rains have caused all the bluebell flowers to fall.  We don't have flooding in our area as the rains have stretched out in time, allowing the rivers to rise but not to flood. It has rained for four days now and it looks like we will now not warm up for another whole week.

I looked across the room a few days ago and I notice that my placing of a jar of tulips on the table caused a novel scene.


It looks like the bunnies are checking out the water and stems in the jar.  The bunnies are now put away. The tulips in the jar are also spent and gone now too.

Another rainy day for us and we will be out for church this morning.  We will have a sandwich somewhere and come home for a quiet afternoon.

I hope all of my blog friends are safe today and wish them all well.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Old House Surprise......


The female goldfinch doesn't change to the yellow colors like its male partner does.  Check out the female in the vertical photo of the collage.  She almost blends in to the background which is helpful when she is nesting and doesn't need to be seen.


While moving, I found all sorts of things that I had lost track of and this photo is one of them. The original image was in a newspaper article showing a log cabin that was discovered in the old farmhouse.  The Horton family owned a lot of land near Woodward. It was said that the oldest generation left in his will farms for each of his children. This was probably the original family home.  Generations after that first family did not have a clue that the log cabin was a part of the house.  It was told that it was the dining room for the house.  You can see a normal farmhouse complete with bay window was built next to it.

Here is a borrowed photo from the Living History Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa showing it in its new location.  This is that cabin in which the family donated to the history museum.  I am assuming that the move 15 miles south was done in parts and the cabin was reassembled.

Another one of the houses, a farm house, sits on the museum site. I remember seeing that house on blocks for a couple years.  It was along highway 141 and it too was moved to that farm museum.  I had not married my wife at that time and she did know some of her relatives lived in the house. The house on blocks was on the opposite side of her farm home.



The shrub at the old house is in bloom right now showing these wonderful white blooms.  I may try to move a start of this shrub as it has lots of memories for me.  I friend of mine gave it to me years ago, probably 36 years ago.  The friend is gone now and the shrub continues to put our great blooms in the spring.

We are having another day off today.  We still will be putting things away but not heavy duty work. I hear a bookstore calling out to us to come visit it and we probably will try to do that.  Rain is predicted again this afternoon and we are really tired of receiving it.  It is good though that we are not in drought.

It is the weekend and I hope everyone is having a good day off today and tomorrow.  Everyone take care and thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday........


Rain and snow predicted today. The sky that looked like that  showed up for a quick moment and then it was gone.  When my wife noticed it.  I just stopped eating breakfast and went for the shot.  It was gone in ten minutes.

We rarely saw the house finches in our old town.  It was said that they stayed in the north part of the town where the corn and soybeans were stored in elevators.  We have a lot of them here.  It was a great import from England that does give us a colorful bird to watch.















I brought back to the new home a tulip with unusual coloring.  Now that it is almost spent the petals have flared out to make it look like a different kind of flower. All of my apple trees are now in full bloom.  I didn't see the bees out at work but I am sure there were some buzzing around.  The trees seem to get pollinated every year regardless of cold or warm temperatures.

It is Friday and we have many things to do.  I keep having projects jump out at me that I was not planning to do. I need to visit the Ace Hardware and get some things to get some of these things done this morning.  Our 13 year old house has water leaking in the front window, going down and causing damage to the floor.  It was discovered by the guys who were going to lay our new laminate floor. They stopped working and I  now have a wood piece to replace on that floor and need to silicon caulk some bad siding installation. The trim on the window was directing water into underside of the window and down under the siding.  I am not a vinyl siding fan anyway but this does make me really disappointed and maybe somewhat angry. Our floor will not be installed now for one more week.

The problem is discovered and will be repaired by me.  The decorative piece of trim at the bottom of the window was installed incorrectly.  I opened the window and looked down on it and could see that the trim was funneling water into the wall. The company that installed it didn't put on a special channel piece to keep water from entering under the window.  I will caulk that to stop water flow and maybe later have a company come and install the right part.  I still will have to wait for it to be warmer so the calking will work and seal up the strip under the window.  We will have to reschedule for the  flooring guys to now return. 

I hope all of you are having a good day and I wish you to have a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday's Things.......


It was too cold to be mowing the yard yesterday but I did it anyway.  I had double layers on with a stocking cap and it still was a tad chilly.  I didn't get done mowing but i did get done the places next to the road where the public sees it.  The town's ditch was full of weeds a long the side of the road and I guess it is my job to mow them down. They had grown tall and I would have thought they would maintain it but I am foolish to think so.

I took down the wire dog fence with steel poles while I worked at the old house yesterday.  It was sad to do so, meaning we won't be returning and be putting any dog in the backyard anymore.  We put the dog fence in probably 17 years ago.  Our neighbors at that time had a large aggressive dog that they would chain out in the front yard.  He would bark at us loudly and what seemed to be in an unfriendly way.  When we first brought Button, our small dog, home, it seemed dangerous for us to put him out there with that big dog sitting and glaring over at us and our little dog. Having the fence out meant I could do a better job of mowing up things.  I had spent tomato vines out there the needed to be removed.


The lilacs are blooming abundantly this year.  They really are not quite opened fully but I did cut some to bring to the new place.  I grabbed a child"s sand bucket that I had there and put them in it. We both have reactions to the lilacs so they didn't get special display on the dining room table. On the floor next to the window seems to be a good enough place.  I decided if they started to bother one or both of us allergy-wise that I could sit them out on the deck and we could look through the window to see them.


I have white lilacs but I had chopped them back, pruning them form very tall branches to a three foot plant. I knew that I would not see blooms on them this year.  The did leaf out nicely and look like a good set of bushes again.

I am taking a couple of day off from working on the house.  I have developed some arthritis problems in my hands from working on the house for so many months.  I can still type on the keyboard but it is a challenge. I have had this before in my left hand but never before in both hands.  It will go away when I stop that kind of work.  I discovered carrying garbage bags were really hard on the fingers as one grips the back to keep a good hold on them.  We are close to not needing to use garbage bags now and most all of the rooms are empty.  I will share later stories when I get the piano dismantled. I would like to make something from the fancy parts of the old piano but I am realizing I just can't do it without some free time in my life.  Maybe I can collect the good parts and move them with me south.

We are taking my wife's friend out to lunch today. She likes the Asian buffet kind of places so we will be doing that today.  It is too easy to eat too much at those places. We live about 15 minutes away from her now and that is a nice thing.

It is very cold again today and we will be wearing winter coats.  I hope we all get to warm up soon. I appreciate your stopping by today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Middle of the Week........


The red  tree finally unfurled its leaves.  It looks like a red maple tree to me. It is a nice tree and I like that it is so tall.  The red twig dogwood shrubs are now leafing out and they look great against the weathered fence.

The red and yellow tulips from the old house are blooming right now.  I brought some of them to the new home yesterday. They are so vivid in color and the blooms are large.

This is a mystery spring flower that is growing next to my front step.  There is only one of them. I would venture a guess of what it is but I am not good with the names of these small flowers.  I think it may be from a bulb.


Another bouquet of tulips from the old house which has softer colors in it.  I switched the one framed print on the mantle for this smaller one. It is a print of a watercolor by Nita Engle.  She has painted Minnesota scenes for many years. The bunnies will be put away soon.  We are not moved in enough to know where they are going to be stored. They may go back into a box until more "other" things have found places to be.

It is cold today but I still need to mow the farm's yard.  I was out cutting tulips at the old house yesterday and the grass on the east side of the house that is really tall. Today has to be the day so I will take layers of clothes and a stocking hat with me to get the job done. It is rainy looking but that is all staying east of us. I will have a load of sticks to pick up before I can start to cut the grass.  I wish you all a great day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday's Things........


Does this guy look familiar?  He was placed on a step that goes up to the deck.  He is still there as I have been too busy to decide where he should be placed.

I am going to rely on my blog friends to get this vine identified.  I could spend some time on the net looking it up but it is easier to let those in the know to tell me what it is.



Our new place has this well constructed set of stairs to help people to get from the from yard down to the back yard. The vine is on the lattice.  I believe that vine actually invades the space above the trellis and goes to the top of the deck railing.  The previous owner must have cut it back.

Here are the first clues to the color and shape of the flowers on the vine.  It is a pretty bloom and I bet there will be berries.




Here is a closer look of the vine and flowers.  I bet it doesn't continuously bloom but the vine is a good looking one.


The evening sky was filled with subtle-looking clouds scattered in the sky. The big sky from the back northern yard seems to appear differently than when I go to the front yard.  The setting sun is out the front side of the house and with good timing I can see the sun going down on the house horizon.



Does this look familiar?  I brought it down with a lot of difficulty.  The dirt wanted to fall out the bottom of the tile.  I had to get it into a plastic bag to contain it. It needs some reworking but has to take a number for me to fund the time to do it. The sedum is alive and that is what is important for now. I have is setting in a field of lily of valley and a stray hosta seems to be popping up in the area.

It the second day of the week and there are lots of things to do.  I hope everyone is well.  Thanks for stopping by today.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday...


We still have the directions on how to put the lego soldier together.  It came with a lego set that made into a castle.


I had forgotten that we still had the sets of regular legos in a couple of containers.  One container was made special to hold legos and the other batch was in my youngest son's duffle bag. The legos did get move and are safe in my storage room in the basement.


It was a clear day on Sunday morning.  Clear days put out great color but a few clouds can add to the view a lot more.  This morning we had red skies but I didn't get out to capture it in time.  At a blink of an eye that sun raises up and the angle of light causes the color to disappear.


An old toy of my dad's did make the cut to be moved to our house.  I am not sure how long it will stay as our objects of decoration are getting to be too many now.  On a good day I can see letting this one go.  It was battery operated with the car spinning itself around while it travels around the on the floor. My one brother liked to buy my dad the mechanical toys as he knew how happy it made him.  My dad's first wind up toy was a donkey that had a rubber tail that would spin around in circles. It shook the body of the donkey and it would vibrate around in circles too.  I do think I have a Santa Claus that does a special move as it runs around the room.  Those things will be revisited and they will probably go away.  Some things make it to the house because of all the helpers who carry and the box really didn't get gone through.


I am off again to day to work at the northern old house.  I have a couple oft things that need to be torn apart and taken to the dumpster.  The one room in the house that has had so many functions as a kids play room, a piano room, and a bedroom for father-in-law. It now needs to be cleared.  I will be taking apart a piano in the room and discarding it.  The boys did take piano lessons on that big upright but it really is in bad shape now 30 years later.

We are to have good weather today and rain will happen on Tuesday.  All in all it is a normal spring.  Thanks for stopping by today.

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.