Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday's Finds.......


The plastic pitcher is all I could find at the old house to hold water for the lilies that I picked. The one lily is of the stargazer family and its fragrance is almost overpowering.  I set them outside on the deck over night incase they were the cause of our sinus problems. They are back in the house today. They all have been transferred into tow glass vases now.

I had moved this lily away form a porch construction area and it awarded me now with three stems of blooms.  I may try to dig just one of them to bring to the new house. I have had this lily for 20 years or more and it is a good bloomer. It doesn't lay down on the ground from the weight of the flowers like a couple of other kinds that I have.



When this hosta was new it never put out this large of leaf.  When I move it out into the open with almost full sun it grew larger leaves. I did move this to the new house and I am hoping it will mature to eventually to block some of the water barrel behind it.

I keep digging hosta plants as I had so many and they multiplied so much. A sample off the side doesn't really hurt the look of the original plant. Some say that you can move them when your spade is sharp.  My spade is dull, short handled, and a sand shovel.  I like using it for that and will move it to the new house when I quit using it.




It is a "before and after" time as I dug into the archives to find this photo. I really didn't have much hope of things looking good as it seemed like I started planting way too late.


As of last evening, this is how much it has grown.  I had watered it a lot even on rain predicted days.  I need to get onto the fertilizer kick now. My tomatoes are half the size of the neighbors but all of my plants do have blossoms on them.

The small marigold in the back was a variety that looked hopeless.  The past few days the roots must have established as they are shooting out new leaves and blooming also.  I had put another taller variety between them thinking they were not going to make it. The herbs really  have taken off as they like the full sun all day.We need tomatoes now for all that basil that we have planted.

We hung curtains in the spare upstairs bedroom today and put on a new bedspread. The room is needing pillows and some pictures hung on the wall and then all will be good.  The dresser still has dozens of glass items siting on it. We will decide what to do on another day o4 in another week.

We are looking forward to the end of the moving but that is so far away.  We make progress everyday and that is good.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday's Things......


My oldest son took a picture of AJ on a tractor. I don't know where they are but I am assuming that it is like at a living history park. Farming is in his family tree but that is two generations back.  My father was a farmer who owned International Harvesters tractors.  My wife's father also had horses and then owned Massey Harris tractors. My wife's brother has two of these same tractors in storage somewhere near his home

This is the newest photo of AJ that I have. He really is growing as he grows up fast.  We had a pleasant conversation with him on FaceTime a few weeks ago and he did clarify the fact that he has more toys than what I have stored in my basement.  He hasn't seen the stash of toys that I do have but I am going to get rid of s some of them before any grandchild gets attached to it.



This is the newest shot that I have of Teddy.  He really doesn't have that in his mouth.  He is almost walking now and really is such a good natured little guy.  You can see the glow in those eyes that he is  friendly little guy. I have mentioned before that he is really in to moving around and exploring the world.  It is all his dad can do to keep him on his lap while we do FaceTime.



The title for this photo should be "and then there were two".  I stopped in on the husband of my wife's cousin earlier this week.  I had stopped and picked up various food items that would make his 80 year old life easier, since he had lost his wife.  His eyes lighted up when he saw a package of strawberries coming out of the sack. The guy is doing the best he can for one who had been married for 54 years and now is alone.  He depended on her for a lot and has had to learn to take care of himself.  While I am there, he handed me the glass bowl.  I told him how nice looking it was and that I had one just like it.  He then informed me that now I have two of them.

Jeannie had told the story many times to me that she and her dad found a punch bowl at the dump.  She, when a little girl,  and her dad wrapped it up and gave it to her mom for a birthday gift.  Jeannie told me that she and her dad were in a lot of hot water because she did find out it originated as a dump item. I suspect this bowl was the item of contention for years. My other bowl just like it was a door prize, won by my mom at an antique show she visited with friends in southeastern Iowa.


A bird in flight was a shot I captured yesterday before the rains. I changed to a different bird feeder. The other bird feeder was allowing them to scatter seed everywhere. This one is more of a challenge for them and I get to see them mob the feeder at every opening. The cardinals were not coming to the other feeder anymore and the doves come down below the feeder on the ground.

Many tornadoes hit Iowa throughout the day yesterday. We are safe and we only had a half inch of rain. We have more storms predicted late this afternoon. I am heading up to the house again today moving and tossing things one more time.  I am getting to the point that there isn't much yet to deal with and I have a guy I want to come to look over some antique things. They are his for free if he will just remove them from my basement.  He runs an antique shop with his wife's flower shop uptown Woodward.

Many things to do and the list seems to grow as I cross things off but I am progressing.  I whine a lot as it make me feel better.  I am moving slower to keep me in better health.  I am reaching a point where some of the jobs ahead of me should be fun and I need to start looking forward to getting them done.   Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Good Morning........


The blooming of the lily at our new place is welcomed. It is the only lily planted on the property.  I at first thought it was of the Easter lily variety but the petals are not that kind of flower.  It grows in clay soil at the back of the house next to a rhubarb plant and a newly planted hosta.  It is a strange garden planting plan. I have yet to decide if I will move any of the lilies to the new yard or just buy some new ones.  I had a neighbor lady ask to take samples from my hosta plants. I have so many places that they are planted and they are thick so I was glad to give her permission.  The new owner of the house may just plow everything down.

Leaving our art studio and gallery display area  was not easy.  But as we continued to move in to the new place we discovered the lower floor display space.  I am certain that the lights were intended for a corner couch and family room area. The lights turned towards the walls give us two larger walls to display all the art.

I am hesitant to start as I don't know where to begin.  Yet, we have hung work on our two walls in our old house for 30 years.  I just need to start doing it.

Everything is unpacked now with just a few large works leaning on the wall at the other end of the room. The arrangements are done by size in a design and not by a theme.  It will feel more like home as the things get hung. We don't have any of our work hanging upstairs either.  The process of moving in is so long and drawn out and bit by bit we will get there.


Barney gave me a Father's Day card this year and it has a great illustration on it. The dog expresses the joy of a dog seeing their person coming home. Barney is doing well but is slowing down a lot in his years of 14 plus.

Working at home today, working at so many different things.  We will run an errand this afternoon and hope to get end tables for our guest bed room.  I have curtains to hang in there that were used in our dining room at the old place. I lost the brackets that hold the rod so will just go buy a new set at Ace Hardware. It is easier than waiting until they get discovered in whatever box they are stored.

It is a raining day for us today.  Severe weather was suggested but things don't appear to be that here. Have a great day.  Thanks for stopping in today.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon Report..........


The end of a day's sky on Monday, shows the sun reflection on clouds above and some rain clouds approaching. It has stopped raining for the most part and we are told that we are behind in the amount of moisture that we do need.


I bought this in starter pots and they are growing nicely for me.  It was the first time I had ever planted them but they seem to be a good one for an annual flower.  I really need to go find the tag and see what they really are identified as because I bought them among marigolds.

There is this astilbe in the garden area under the steps. The vine I have shared earlier seems to be an overpowering plant that I may have to eliminate it.  I don't want to spend my summer cutting it back continually.  I have mentioned before that it is spreading all over the side of the deck and coming up through the deck floor. You can see the vine in the background. I had long strands of it growing along the patio floor.


This is another kind of fern that is growing under the steps.  Things are almost too crowded under there for individual plants to be enjoyed. This is the same area as the Jack in the Pulpit and lily of the valley.



I have a weedy-looking plant on the southwest side of the house. I didn't destroy it as I was too busy. It is at the top of a hill next to the air conditioner unit. Monarda (bee balm) is what I see that it is. I have the red colored one at the old place.  I will try to bring some of it down to the new place as I can see it grows good here.

While digging through boxes and unpacking more things I found this tear-filled little guy. He belongs in the cupboard of other figurines and somehow was placed in the over flow box.

I spent the morning at the house, throwing things away from the basement and the garden shed. I get interrupted by neighbors who want to talk.  I am polite and visit but I do need to get to tossing things. I stopped to buy things for the husband of my wife's first cousin who just died. I dropped them off at his house to and check on him. He lives at a neighboring town. I bought Barney some meds in the same town so it was an efficient trip.

The afternoon will include removing some things from the truck and putting them away.  I rarely use the Wet and Dry vac but I will store it in my shop.  I found another glass kerosene lamp that matches one of the globes I had already moved.  It was sitting on a shelf behind one last box on a shelf in the basement. It is an oldie that I will photograph and share after I get it cleaned.

I need to dig a deep hole for my yucca plant that I brought to the new house.  The root on those plants are long. They look like they grow very deep to get moisture from the earth as if they are a desert plant. I guess they are but they grow well in Iowa. I must close this blog down for good.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday's Moments...


The geese are restless as they move around the yard. I discovered the other day that the heads of the individual plastic goose can be adjusted by turning it. Barney was out and about among the geese yesterday and you can't fool him. He knows by smell that there is no life in those bodies.  He just moved through and around them while traveling to the other side of the yard.

A tradition of ours on the weekend of the Arts Festival is to eat downtown at Spaghetti Works. The place has been in business there a long time and has one interior overall in the past 15 years.  Saturday is the first time I thought about the dragon on the wall, and I am thinking it is plastic or styrofoam. It is one long dragon extending from the front window to the back of that upstairs dining area.








A part of this place is the old truck which has the salad bar on its back truck bed. It helps to make salad exciting but we did notice that the salad plates for the place have shrunk. It is a blurry photo.  The truck reminds me of the one that sat in a garage in southern Iowa at the "John and Iva" home. My brother and I went exploring a kids into the garage and were so surprised to see it sitting in the garage. We of course sat down in it and tried the steering wheel. My dad told me later that some antique hunter offered him $75 for it and took it away with a smile. That truck was just like this one.

The salads are good there but have been reduced in kinds of things. They have large jars of so many kinds of bread cubes and bacon bits at the end of the salad display.









I still have a huge chunk of this lasagna sitting in the refrigerator. It is one large serving. When I was younger I would have downed all of it easily. Their garlic bread is so great with butter on all sides and browned in an oven.












The place is a large, high ceiling with a tin ceiling painted black.  The pipes have to be exposed and the colors are done to be decorative. The old fashion adds and wooden booths makes one feel they are going back in time. The Coke sign advertises that you can buy the drink in glass bottles. I guess originally you could only get it in a glass at a counter.









Sunday afternoon sky seemed pretty quiet but today we have rain clouds everywhere. An early morning rain did soak up things and rain clouds won't be gone into around noon. We have things to do to keep us moving for a long time.  We will get things done.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saturday's Event.....


We visited the Des Moines Arts Festival on Saturday.  It was chilly on certain sides of the displays and very hot on the other side.  Downtown Des Moines continues to grow.  It is amazing as to how the city dug itself out of the dumps and rebuilt a very modern looking city.  There are still old building standing but the new ones keep popping up yearly.  The one in the background that is being built was more fascinating than al of the modern sculptures that have in the park exhibit.


It takes a lot of steel to create a form in which to build.  The whole structure right now reminds me of a Japanese pagoda but that will change when they start to wrap sit with outside walls.

Streets were closed down for the event but the street going by this building has been blocked for quite some time.  It was strange to see it with no one working but the festival probably limited them from doing any work with all the people who would be around on Saturday.


 We traditionally go to the downtown Spaghetti Works for lunch after touring the art work. It was not busy as the downtown farmers' market was blocking the street.  By one o'clock the cafe started to fill up as people waited for the market to leave.  We parked almost three blocks away and hoofed it. More photos to follow in another blog.

Have a good Sunday and thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Weekend Beginnings........


 A clear sky with cool temperatures is a given.  Summer is upon us and the sun will be up soon to warm us. The grass is wet, so the back patch of grass will have to wait for me to cut it until it all dries out.

My hardy geranium that wintered over has to be moved to another corner of the deck. I have been so busy that I didn't know it was blooming.  I bought new starts of this same plant for the tomato patch this week. Its foliage is so neat. The name of the plant next to the geranium escapes me for now but it is a miracle that it made it through the winter in our old house.  It probably would be better if I repotted it in better soil. The flower on it is tropical looking and the name will come to me eventually.


The lilies from the old place are doing well in their vase with water.  Two of these are Asiatic lilies and one is a daylily.

The zinnias are up.  I am frustrated, as I know that I didn't get them in the ground soon enough.  It will take all of July to get them to start blooming.  I also can see that I sewed them in the ground too thick.  When they get a little more sturdy I will try to transplant out some of them to make a second row. I really had to  keep them moist for quite a few days, morning and evening, to get them to grow. Our natural rains now have really made them stronger and I have quit watering things for a while.

The light shinning on the blue spruce gave me a shot that I just had to take. Between this spruce and the neighbors balsam pine, the birds come and go a lot in both of the trees. For some reason the cardinals and blue jays have moved on and I don't see them any more.  I am sure some of the larger trees down the street and over probably make better nesting areas for them.

We are headed to an Art Festival this morning.  We live so close that we wont' be so tired from the event. There is a second event going on at the State Fair grounds, in an air conditioned building, at the same time.  The one show is outside, downtown, in a sculpture park.  It is a juried show of artist from all over the United States. The work is a little bit more abstract or wild than the normal central Iowa kind.  The one at the fairgrounds is of artists mostly in Iowa or surrounding states. The kinds of work there do seem more like the work that we create.  We live so close now that we can come home and rest from the downtown show and then go back in the afternoon to see the other one.

I wish you all to have a good restful day. Thanks for stopping in my blogspot today.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Blooms........


I have one set of coneflowers blooming right now. This one had been in the front flower garden and I dug it up and moved it to the back of the house.  The root structure of the plant held together well so it did't effect it at all as it was in midbloom when I dug it. I have white ones blooming in the front yard now too.

The now moved ceramic tile is up and going again.  I had lain it on it side to put in the car and the dirt on the bottom fell out.  I had to replace the soil at the bottom and reset the sedum at the top. This is year two for this plant and it likes where I placed it in the backyard. I sprinkled fresh dirt on the top of it early on and I think I may need to do it again incase there are spaces in it at the bottom causing gaps and collapse.

















My one neighbor Judy has large, tall tomato plants as she planted her tomatoes a month earlier than me.  She said that they bloomed and stood still in growth for a while during the drought time.  My short plants have two out of six now with blooms. The buds here look gray in the photo and blurry. We got almost an inch of rain last night again so they will be happy plants.










When I brought this piece home with me in 2009, I took everything apart. The mirror and bracket come off with a simple screwdriver. The bottom set of drawers sat in our art gallery the rest of the time alone while the other two parts were in storage.

My mom bought the piece for six dollars at an auction and it had been my piece on the farm. I had stripped the dark varnish off of it when I was 16 years old.

Moving the three parts to the new place was successful but two brace pieces of wood were not found by me.

















It was an "old man" moment as I made two new plywood strips and assembled the vanity in the guest bedroom as seen above.  Here in this photo I found the oak braces, in the one drawer. We must have used the drawers placing things on top of them.  When we emptied the drawers they must have been in the back.  When the "2 men and a truck" moved it, they wrapped it in plastic and never removed the drawers.

So yesterday afternoon, I removed my plywood pieces and restored the original parts of the piece to support the weight of the mirror and bracket.

So after all of that assembling, removing the plywood ones and restoring, I emptied out the box sitting next to the dresser. It was like an explosion of colored glass vases as I emptied the box.  We really don't know where they are going to be displayed. We have a lot less places to put things than we had in the old house of many rooms and built-in buffet.

I had a close up view of the pulls and lock covers, all made in brass, but the shot was blurry. The pulls were made with a sturdy design so all of them are there and all the keyhole covers are there too.











My hardy geranium of old looks just like this new one.  I guess I can't stop buying them.  I placed the geraniums among the tomatoes, herbs and marigolds.  I didn't have to water anything this morning.

Thanks for stopping by this Friday. I wish everyone to have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday's Things........to do!


A welcomed downpour yesterday morning helped to wash a lot of dirt and dust away from everything. The rain was so hard that it shut down our dish reception for five minutes.  It kept me from having to water things yesterday and I am now debating if I need to hose the plants down again today.

Morning coffee on the deck would have been a chance to get a shower in too.  It is a good way to clean the deck without any hard labor from me.  We have our other two chairs on our downstairs patio below the deck.  We really have not had time to enjoy either place.

 I do work out on the downstair patio with cleaning up furniture that I have moved from the old place. My wife's friend decided that she didn't want either chest of drawers that we had moved to the garage for her.  I cleaned up the one and will use it to sit in a large downstairs closet.  It will hold my mom's quilt collection. The other one, which is a dresser with mirror, will be placed in our basement guest bedroom. Going with the flow has been the best way to get through the things in life.

The top view of my raised bed has changed the past week.  The tomato plants are really growing strong and the herbs have doubled in size. I have some small marigolds in the back that seem rather puny. I don't know if they are ever going to look good. The yard still has spots of yellow which the neighbor says is the clay in the soil.  Rich top soil was gleaned and sold off 15 years ago as a common practice with builders. I have a couple of yellow places in my yard in front that may merit a full bag of potting soil being placed on it to bring on some green grass.




One last set of blooms from the honeysuckle vine. The colors of the plant are so wonderful.  Next to this I have a set of terraced places going down the side of the house.  It is full of clay soil and each place has asparagus planted in them.  From what I saw from this spring the asparagus does not really grow there very well.  I am planing to find a flowering something to go on those 8 terraced locations.  I probably will have to buy dirt to put on top of the clay.





I have some native kind of furniture that I brought from the old place.  I am going to strip them of their many coats of paint and then use them. I know that this came from an old boiler room in the old school building. I first worked in it when I started teaching.  They tore the old building down and the janitor made sure that I got the shelf. The building was built in 1908 and I could imagine the piece coming from a country school. It was a taller shelf as I can see it has been cut off at the bottom.








The other primitive piece is also from the old school.  I don't know exactly were but I think it held paper for the copier machine. I grabbed it from the dumpster when the old building was being emptied. I have one more piece that is a table.  I haven't moved it to the new place yet.  It is a table that I am thinking was a teachers desk.  It has the railing around the back and sides as one sees in old country schools. The table has the same many coats of paint on it and it has a drawer. We used it in the basement laundry area for clothes baskets. I will share the photo when I finally get it moved. All of the pieces will be made of strong wood but not necessarily a hard wood.






We planted cannas in our front flower garden.  There was a need for some height in the plantings but I am not so sure they are going to get very tall. In the old days you had to buy the dry bulb for these and wait for them to catch up while rooting.  These are potted and grown in a greenhouse so they established quickly.

I trimmed unwanted growth from the flower gardens at the old house on Wednesday.  I had a truck full of branches and yard waste to take to the city burn pile. Do I keep mentioning that I really like having that truck?  It was loaded  high and I took it all away and discarded with ease.  I didn't get done with that but three sides of the house are cleaned up.  I have probably another truck load to do on another day. Maybe tomorrow I can do the rest as I habie to meet the furnace, A.C. guy tomorrow as a followup of what we bought for that house. There are some things that I do want them to remedy.

It is Thursday and I am working at home today.  I watered plants already and we just had a short downpour while I am blogging.  Where did that come from? I am working in the basement today working on various things including emptying boxes and arranging the furniture for our downstair studios.   Thank you for stopping by today. Everyone take care.