Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday’s World.....


As I look out my side window in the downstairs room I see this dried up bloom of a hydrangea. I planted it against the house late in the summer and really didn’t go back to trim it back. It looks strange like that but I am betting it did survive.  They are tough.  It was dug from the old house where I had gotten a start of it from a house up the street. The root and stem was probably only a foot tall. I am so anxious to see what happens with this plant and all of the others that I brought to the new place.  In two months, things should let me see how things are doing.

We are thinking more about spring as we have two paintings on display on our basement stair ledge. We don’t know exactly what to do with his whole area of the house. Above all of this is a large wall where the former owners hung a large banner.  Their hooks are still in the wall. We won’t be doing that.

Our thoughts of putting shelves on walls to fill space in which can be used for display of things and art work. It does seem to be our next move. We are not rushing out to get anything and will live with blank walls until they bothers us too much.



The red twig dogwood shrubs are putting out their great color. I trimmed all six or seven of them back last fall and I am curious to see how much new growth will take place this summer.  After trimming them, we noticed we are seeing a lot more of the neighbor's house behind the fence.  It was nice to have it big and did make a good visual barrier. Our living quarters is one floor up compared to theirs so we are looking down on them.  Maybe the trim will help them be a better shaped shrub so I can let them grow tall again.

I have mentioned before how all the trash from people's place as ite does blow down the street.  When the wind is just right it blows it diagonally down my hill and into the backyard.  I need to go pick it up today. I saw this morning out the birds sliding glass door a Busch beer box along with newspapers. A large flat pice of cardboard is over in the corner of the fence. I have mentioned before that the garbage trucks place garbage in one bin in the front of the truck. When the small bin is full they flip it back overhead into the major big bin.  During that process, the wind can blow things out of that flow o ftrash .  It reminds me of people who use to willow out chaff from seed. The garbage truck works best if everyone is using plastic trash bags that are shut. I have seen the dump when ten or more items flew away in the wind.

I am glad I took my photos of the moon two days ago as we have been overcast for a couple of days now. All I could see last night was the cloudy sky.  I  knew there was a moon up there doing different things but not in my neighborhood.

We take my wife’s friend from the nursing home to her apartment today.  She needed to have rehab to get back on her feet again.  The flu was the problem and the hospital did get her back again.   We got her apartment ready for her yesterday and today we transfer her to her place.  She is not completely better so  we will keep an eye on her.  She is an independent soul so we won’t hover but we make sure we can get groceries and wha ever for her to get back to functioning on her own as best she can. I do hope she can get well enough to go do here own shopping but time will tell on that.

I hope everyone is good.  I am praying for some to be better, health wise, and wish everyone to stay safe and warm. It is good to get this up today.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Checking in Today....


I do believe that this is Sunday morning's sunrise. Note that the sun now has moved in position and is not behind that house to the right. I have to go out on the back deck and look down towards the east around the house of mine and the neighbors.  Our house looks great sitting off line with true north and south but it still drives me crazy.  I had Barney out late this afternoon and I could actually see the sun starting to set, up and to my right. There are too many houses in the way to see the actual seeing.


I was able to get a shot of the moon, late Monday afternoon. When seeing others shots of it, I still don’t have the best shot, but this one seems pretty good to me.  I have taken so many failed shots of the moon in my past.


My big pot of oxalis is surviving the winter just fine while sitting inside, in front, of the sliding glass door. They are a little droopy but are green.



A gift from our kids in Maine is this wind chime. It is made in glass that resembles sea glass found along the Atlantic shore line. It hangs above the oxalis next to the bird cages.  Every night and morning when I move the curtains for the birds, I get to hear them chime. The birds are so happy in the morning when I push back the curtains to let them see the out of doors.  The make danger signals to each other whenever they see something outside that looks dangerous. Other birds are out and about and they do see them.

Barney doesn’t get to be in the basement so they can’t be startled by him anymore. He really never noticed them when we were at the old house but they did notice him.  I guess he reminded them of a large creature that could hurt them.

We are busy doing things today but nothing too specific. We need to get my wife’s friend apartment ready for her when she goes home tomorrow.  We have food to stock and a bed to make.  The things we can do so she doesn’t have to worry about it when she gets back. She is a very independent person so she will figure out how she can make it on her own.  She was getting to be dependent on her walker to go places but at home she can manage. Our weather is very cold today so we have to bundle up to go places.  We have a few errands for ourselves to do also.  Thanks for stopping in today. Have a good Tuesday.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Wildlife in my One Pine Tree Woods....



The sentries are really just the lucky ones that got to the spot first.



I didn’t get called in today to serve on District Court jury duty. It is good to be freed from that for the week. We are very cold again today and a light snow is falling.  I wish you all to have a good day today. Thanks for checking in on my blogging spot.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday’s Sluggish Start......


My shop floor rug is clean again.  I had made minor cuts of wood on my drop down saw and it left a fine powder of sawdust.  I promised myself that I will get that saw outside when it warms up and try not to ever cut wood in the basement shop again. We don’t have a place to put that rug for now so it does make my shop look fancy.

The monkey that was hiding in my tinker toy box was removed from the box.  I don’t have a clue where he came from but he looks like he was attached to something and he would swing on it.  It could have been at my parents home where the tinker toys had been most of my life. I brought them to my place while closing their house down for sale.


I may have posted this on my Photo a Day blog. See if you can find him in the log jam of tinker toy parts.


The peperomia plant has been moved back upstairs into better lighting.  I do have a goal to cut off a lot of the vine and poke it into another pot of dirt. It changed color while downstairs in lower light.  I will wait o see if it becomes a darker green in color.  It really has grown from the small six inch sprouts in a small plastic pot that I bought two or three years ago.




I am having a blog slump today and really am forcing myself to do this. I did have a good thing happen a few days ago when the District Court told me that I didn’t have to come in for jury duty this whole week.  I have to call in on a Friday to see if I am on duty for the next week. I did get the first week canceled.  They did suggest that they do have a court case but it was postponed for next week. I have lots of things to do but I guess I will be occupied off an on for the entire month of February.  It isn’t far to travel from where I live but the parking is a very difficult thing. Things will seem better tomorrow.

I took down my wreath yesterday from the garage gable and I have to put away my golden shiny deer for the season.  Other wise all is done down concerning decorations.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Thank you for stopping by today

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday’s a Final Finish.......


It is a nice way to start the day. The cloud formations were more impressive than the sun glow itself.  When I was out in the open the wind was blowing hard.

More birds are coming to the feeders. This morning I saw house finches but didn’t get any shots. Sparrows and Junco seem to be the major takers of free food.

Now you see them and now you don’t.  I made a wider shelf for my wife to set things in the window. She says the blue kitchen is at the old house and this is a new place and space. A lot of the blue in in cupboards for now.


The new shelf is deeper in size now and it had to be custom built to go around the window crank. Things on the shelf will come and go until she feels she  has what she wants there. The making of the shelf was a challenge and at one time I thought I was going to have to start over again. I had to incorporate some hand tools to get everything to finally fit into that space.


I think that we are able to see more jet vapor streams at our new place more than where we use to live.  Mr. Obama shut down all aircraft at the  Fort Des Moines site leaving them with the only with drone technology. I guess we do see helicopter activity going overhead, as that location of Fort Des Moines is west of us by 10 miles or less.  Our city airport is small and we see small aircraft new and historic bi-wings  that fly over our area.  Our loudest planes are the passenger jets that decide to fly under the clouds and fly low above our residential area.  They are headed for the Des Moines airpot and seem to want to get under that cloud cover. That airport is a busy one and it is south west of us on the bottom edge of Des Moines.


I was at the old place this morning working on the downstairs bathroom.  I had to tear out the vanity and will be replacing it.  The marble like top of the unit can be reused but I needed to get and new clean white vanity type base in there. Tearing out the old was the hardest part but I see I may need to replace some floor tile too. It is a very small bathroom so don’t think I am going to work too hard.

The afternoon is a rest time now as it should be.  The wind is so strong that I can’t really work outside.  I though I was going to be blown way this morning while pumping gas.  The canopy above really creaked and I don’t remember being shoved away from where I was standing ever before. You see weather people getting tossed around but this was really a strange feeling.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Let’s Go Play.......


While putting things away on the basement storage shelves  yesterday, I found an old child’s toy.  I remember it as being bought for our oldest son who is over 40 years old now.  They probably still sell these but it was very trendy in stores  at that time of simply designed wooden toys.  The simple shape of the body of the helicopter and the one drilled hole for a window is such a great symbolized shape. There was no need for a tail rudder as it is a representation of a helicopter and not the real thing. I remember that  the boy’s grandparents had furniture that had Scandinavian influence on it back in the 1970s.


I found the helicopter in the Tinker Toy box. There is a hidden monkey figure in this photo. You will have to see if you can find him.

I was the youngest in our family so I was still getting toys for Christmas when the older brothers were out of the house. My oldest brother worked in Kansas City for a year or so before he was drafted in the Army.  He had his own paycheck so bought be the largest box of Tinker Toys that was made.  It was wonderful but I was mean to the box and don’t have it.  They did fit in a box easier than a tall tube.

I really don’t know where these came from but I believe the boy’s grandparents on their mom’s side had them in their basement.  It says on one of them that it is the senior set but the one I had was much bigger than that. My wife tells that she did have a small set  like the box on the right. Her mom bought them for her under protest as she didn’t want her girl playing with boy toys.

The small set here must be one of the oldest ones,  as the sticks are not stained a color. The items in it are closely the same as in the bigger box of them. I was thinking I should make something and share of picture of it.  As a kid I would make big windmills and rig it up so I could crank a handle and make the blades twirl. I liked making buildings resembling sky scrappers or barns. The colored sticks that you see in the top photo of them were in my newest set. I do think that I learned that certain colors were all of the same length. So I I could find a green one, it was the longest of them all.

I promised myself to not make a long blog today, so I need to shut this down.  The early boxes of these had metal lids on them and as you can see they caused wear and tear on the tube boxes. The larger box that I destroyed was thiner cardboard and by then they had a plastic lid that fit inside of the tub.

We are moving into a warm spell here and I can see sunshine already.  I did hear a weather person on TV say that it will dip back down again in a few days. For now seeing the sun makes every one feel better.  Thanks for stopping by the blogspot today.  I wish you to have a great day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A New Day........


I am back at the office today having taken 25 photos.  It is editing time and I think I ended up with 22 shots that I can use. I don’t know if you notice but I have bought a book to read. It is about the artist Monet and one of his rough times in his life. He starts painting again and generates the large, huge, paintings of waterlilies. I don’t read much as I am too project oriented but I am working on the retirement life and what I should do. Taking time to read is a good intention for sure.


Of those who have followed me for a while, this lineup looks familiar to  you. I had them sitting in a row at the old house in the dining room.


They sit on this antique display case that I rescued from the back of an old furniture store.  As I matured in my old age, I did discover that it is a box that held a clock. Some would say it was a Seth Thomas clock but I don’t have anyway to prove that. It was being used for holding antique furniture polishes and stains. It is now my junk drawer on display, down in my office area in the basement.  It hangs on the opposite wall of the newest made shelving piece that I won’t talk about any more.

I am sharing a s"snooping theme" today of letting you snoop through my shelves of old. Most of it is worthless but just has memories,Driftwood from Minnesota is really not of great value but it is a natural sculpture.


My wife’s dad use to love to pick up boxes of junk, buying it for one single item. The ceramic birds came from such a box.  The jar holds agates from the beach as well as Native American pottery shards from Lake Pokegma, Minnesota. Their are decorations from corn pressed in the clay before it was fired. Depression glass jar from a Hoosier cupboard and an ink bottle with its tiny spout.


The little jar with a stopper was one of the things left inside of this cupboard. I see a pendent that my dad bought for my mom while he was stationed in Washington D C. Another from of an ink well that was place in the hole of a school desk sits there to the right.  The lid had to be flipped open and a glass piece inside held the ink. I never noticed that there are two birds on this figurine.


While I am downstairs taking photos the dog really misses me. We have a gate at the top of the stairs just in case.  We had a small dog fall down the stairs once and we are not going through that again with this guy. His eyesight is bad and he never could do indoor stairs in the old place.

The birds like to keep an eye on me while I am downstairs. They thank me every day for me buying them a larger cage.  They are so much more calmer and happy in the new cage. They like to be together and I noticed they were all sleeping in a bunch last night.  One was clinging to the side of the cage sleeping and the other two were sitting opposite directions to each other side by side.

We are out and about this afternoon.  Good deeds are needed and we will be doing a few.  My wife’s friend is better and rehab has helped her a lot.  She had the flu and it really threatened her life. She is not walking normally but she is walking. She was reaching the age that a walker was a good thing for her to have.

We missed the storm by "this much" and that was good.  We had a hard freeze last night but we should be up to the 35’s F. today. Thank you all for stopping by today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In the Beginning.....


It all began back in early December.  The obsession developed as the whole project kept being interrupted with things.  Christmas was a big interruption but there were a lot of behind the scenes things that just didn’t make it happen. The biggest problem was that the maker really didn’t have a plan. Throw in a time when I wanted to just tear it apart and burn it did slow things down.

The design kept evolving and in this shot things were not attached as I was questioning the whole plan.

My original design started as four wide boards put into a box and every board had a twist in it making it appear to be a square wrinkled piece of pasta. I would never had put any shelves into the design and the weight would have been too much. Also it was so twisted that it would not of gone against the wall.

This is now all in the past.  I succeeded in getting all of the tops of the screws covered and mounted the backing. I was successful in putting on the wall with only a minor twist that required me to screw it to the wall. The one photo in the collage that I was going to have a short shelf in the middle.  I gave up some cash and bought another board to put there.

The whole piece is inspired by the woodworkers who create furniture with mixed hard woods. I was going to paint it gray at first but then the walnut and aspen woods had contrasting colors. The white pine isn’t ugly but normally we do stain it.  The oak paneling did reinforce my idea to leave it all natural. I realize that the obsessive project is replacing my need to get into the studio and start painting and drawing again. I guess it became an artistic sculpture.












It is on the wall and has been loaded down.  I do believe as time goes by the my dad’s two smaller trains will be combined and reduced in size so I can display more antique toys and things. The older engine on that train would never be pulling a car from Montgomery Wards.



Now that it is done, I need to move on to other things. Taking a jet to the south for some sun would be great but that isn’t going to happen,  I am going to consolidate the children’s toys now and make room for a place to put the rest of the Christmas decorations. I am going to clear all the mess from the shelf project and get my workspace opened up for the next inspiration.  As was said in one of the Star Trek movies, you all are now relieved from your duties of hearing about the past project.  I am relieved too that it is done.

Light snow today as we missed the major storm by two counties. It was good to not have that storm but feel badly about those in northwest Iowa and Minnesota. We completely melted off our snow and I got to wash the car and garage floor. The just above freezing temps seem warm compared to what we have had the past month.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday is a Start......


No snow in sight as we missed a big storm. We are on the bottom edge of it and may see a snow fall into the night. The angel sits a waits for the next weather condition to hit it.

We have only small places where snow had been built up that still have not melted.  My weather geese are dry backs today. On our way to church yeast day we saw a dozen and a half of trumpeter swans flying in our valley. They didn’t go south or at least to southern Iowa. It is quite a sight to see that in Iowa as it use to be something we would just read about or see pictures of them in western states in the winer.


Our panda powder room in the basement is actually a full bath. The pandas hung in the hallway upstairs in the old house, right next to the bathroom door.  So now they are behind the door in the bathroom, where they can only be appreciated when the door is closed.  Its our little surprise mini art gallery in the bathroom. We have a print of Monets waterlilies and bridge in there alone with a photo of a waterlily taken by one of our older Minnesota friends. The photo was given to us 20 years ago.


A shot of the smaller scaled caboose on the new train rack. It is done but not ready for viewing yet.


The larger scaled red caboose is sitting down on a lower shelf.  The designer just barely got it right as the caboose almost didn’t fit with the track being underneath it.


I did get my bridge put in today after having a temporary piece of plastic to fill the gap.  The dentist had time to really get it all to fit so that when I closed my mouth, I could really close my mouth. A little grinding on the good teeth allowed the new fake teeth to blend together, so I have a new solid row of teeth. The procedure is like fitting in a puzzle piece but the snapping of the new piece meant pushing down on my jaw until we hit China.  After the trial fit, the glue is applied and another procedure of pushing hard until it is all in place tightly is repeated. I am glad it is in, done, and I can now eat normally for the first time in many years.



We missed the storm and we are glad about that.  North of us the weather is horrible. We still have a dark, overcast day but it is better than freezing rain and snow.   I hope everyone is well today and thanks for stopping by today.