Sunday, January 31, 2010

Glass designs.........

Buzz Saw, Comet with Stars,  or Swirling Star
bottom of one of the pieces

Three different companies made the pressed glass pieces with this similar design. At any rate they were making them from 1909 through 1914. It is interesting that Haley's comet probably inspired the design.

I am going with Swirling Star as the antique book said the kinds of things that the design was place included a toy set of sugar and creamer, no lid. That is a sugar spoon and it would not fit into that as an adult sized piece.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Saturday is a good time for us to get out of the house and go places. We don't live in New York City or in the mountains. We don't live in the suburbs either, but we can be in a larger city in twenty minutes.  Our small town in the prairie has a four lane highway to get us places.  As for the weather, we have warmed up a little. Twelve above is actually fifteen degrees warmer than what we have been experiencing.  The last storm went south and is affecting peope who usually don't have such weather.

We will hit the mall today and check out a bookstore.  Walk through the mall for exercise and people watch. Just taking time away from the house.  My rooster cup will have to go it alone for awhile as I will have a Starbucks coffee in a cheap styrofoam cup, but it will taste good.

My chief helper while I am at the computer will have to go curl up in his rocking chair to await our return. He likes to sit and/or sleep on the chair next to me while I am at the computer.  He would prefer being on my lap but the chair sitting real close to me will do.
I hope your Saturday will be a good day off for you. We will make the best of it before our next snow comes on Monday. Thanks for stopping by.......

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday's findings

I have never felt to badly about feeding these guys. Some people get really mad. I guess I can't win as the more that I feed them the more that they can eat.  Take for example at how fat this guy is. I know that I won't be accused of the death of this guy because he starved to death.  He loves the corn that I feed him and his companion at the front of the house.  But fresh sunflower seeds are like dessert.

I have three of them in total. We loose a lot of them by car/squirrel collisions during the summer so it is nice to have a few of them around.  The amazing thing is my very smart border collie, is just short enough that he can't see him sitting in the middle of the tray, so he can get by with a lot.  Once he moves too much, he has a dog on his tail.

My wife and I escaped yesterday to the bookstore. We bought a few things, and coffee and scones.  I found a book about old porcelain and pottery that showed the symbols and markings on the back of the different items.  I read about the mark of Occupied Japan and I found one on the back of an animal shaped planter.  I can't quite figure ot the company name and the other is hard to read.

I am sure that the antique dealers have most of these memorized if they plan on making money.  I can tell the mark above is right about it being semi vitreous, as you can see all the crazing of the glaze. I need to look up Francaise to see what kind of company it is. I found the book very interesting and did find a lot of plates in there that we have in the cupboard.  One of the plates, from a farm sale box, is called Indian Tree.  We have five of them I believe and they are selling for $18 dollars a piece.  I don't have them for the investment, I just like the oriental theme and we eat rice dishes off of them.

I was disappointed not to find any mark on this piece from our buffet, but I really do like the decoration on it.  It is maybe an old hat pin holder, but it had no marking on it.  Well, I am glad their are books out there that can help to identify them, I don't plan to get too excited about it, I just thought it was a new interesting thing to explore.

I hope all are well out there.  I will shut down for another time.  Thanks for stopping by........

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This and that on Thursday......

The dreaded green machine.

What can I say about his photo?  Nothing!   We have had 52 straight days with at least 5 inches of snow on the ground, but right now since that last two major storms we are averaging still a foot of snow or more still out there.  We had a half of inch of fresh white snow today to clean things up a little.  Our average temperature right now is suppose to be 30 degrees.  Our high was 23 degrees. We will get down to 4 below tonight.
It was good to get out today. We have been inside and stuck her for too many days.
I had to start the process of buying a memorial stone for my brother today.  I thought it wasn't going to bother me, but who would think that one would have to ever do that for a brother.  I want his place to be remembered like everyone else and history can't be noted if there is no monument. I am looking so forward to spring.  Thanks for reading .......

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Birdman, who belongs in Alcatraz.......

Red Bellied Woodpecker
I really find it curious that they really have very little pigment on their belly, but I didn't get to help name them back then.

Downy or Hairy Woodpecker
I can't see the red spot on the back of his head and they said the Hairy Woodpecker was the size of a Robin.  I did see a Hairy Woodpecker out there but I think this is the Downy.  I will just change the blog when someone out there helps me out. I guess his head is turned too much to see the back of his head.

I never have noticed these birds around here before.  The bird book says they fly in small flocks to find food and have been known to fly as far as the ocean to get food if they can't find it in the central United States.  That distinct black front makes him a Junco.  We have a lot of finches here in the winter but they turn brown.  I will work on getting a few pictures as time goes by and Sparrows too.
I didn't mention the woodpecker in the back, but he is the mystery one.

Blue Jay
I know there could be, or should be a pair of these but lately only one at a time shows up at the feeder. The wind and the blowing snow made for quite a feeding frenzy yesterday, as I was told they need more food to keep warm. I saw the Cardinals over in my neighbors Lilac bushes today, sunning themselves and I think maybe there is a little seed on them left from the fall.

I didn't get a picture of it but I just had to go capture Jack Sparrow, our cockatiel. He likes to lift the cage door once in a while and take a journey around the room. He is so funny as he turns his back to me so that I can pick him up with a dish towel. Why a dish towel? Once I do him the favor of picking him up to put him back, he bites the heck out of my hand. He and the others are such fun characters and we really do enjoy them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everybody dive food!!!

I have lived on this property for over thirty three years.  I never saw cardinals actually come to this property until an older neighbor gentleman moved away and I started feeding them. I have always only had a pair.  When I put my tray feeder out the other day, I thought I saw three female cardinals and I couldn't believe my eyes. What a good deal, with in the next ten minutes all three males were there also. 
The photo is blurry as you can see, but it is the only one that I could get through my dining room window.  The one male is landing and he is blurred for sure.  I took these this morning after I had gone out and hand scooped out the three or more inches of snow in the tray.  I put  a little fresh seed on top of the other semi wet seed and in a few minutes I turned and looked and I thought someone had yelled, "everyone in the pool!"  The grackles and starlings and sparrows and all the rest were lining up for a seed.

These two are like a couple who are discussing the menu. I bet they are saying that the guy on main street has better sunflower seeds.

When I first put out the feeder, I could tell they were going to be a little territorial, but once the blizzard hit, they said "heck with that, everybody for themselves."  I love it when the Red Bellied Woodpecker comes flying in for the suet as he clumsily clears the area. The nail sticking up is a suet cake that I wanted to hold down in the tray.  When it is gone I will put the next one below on the side of the post. I don't know what I was thinking.  I have an old orange in there but no one is taking on that.

This is all new for me so I will be having fun with it. The woodpeckers are harder to shoot and the finches have all turned dark brown, but I will try to only show my best photos from here on out. I will bring my wife's better camera into the works and see if I can do a better job.   We are getting blizzard warning blasted on the tv now and they are saying any travel is not recommended.  This is a totally unpredicted snow coming down from Canada.  Everyone stay warm and thanks for reading........

Monday, January 25, 2010

A carver's delight......

Last summer at the State Fair we visited the Fair's art exhibit.  One of the divisions is wood sculpture.

This is an amazing table with the decorative carved scene that circles the entire table.  It is an art piece first but could be used as an entry table. I believe that the person used different kinds of woods to get the different colors. I don't think the birch trees could be real as birch branches that small have not turned to a white color as they are deep burgundy in color, almost black. I will have to go out and look at my tree.

I wanted everyone to see this as it is an creation.  I especially wanted my blogger friend at The Midnight Carver to see it.  He carves sculptures from trunks of trees and other things.

It is Monday and I am still adjusting to being retired. I have too many interests to stay focused on one thing.  I either will build today or paint.  We will see what happens. Thanks for stopping by.......

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Shorts....

Sad bulldogs who have lost most of their family.  When my Grandmother Burgus was having her house cleaned out for a sale, these guys with two other brothers and sister, and their mom and dad, came to live at out house. That had to be around 1957 or so.  My Grandmother was English with a maiden name of Turner and her mom was an Abbernathy.  I always thought of the set as a set of British bulldogs, even though I could be wrong.  The mother and father were three or four times larger and they had black collars on them.  They are glazed in a mother of pearl white glaze.
After my one brother had moved back into the house a few years back, with my parents, the set had an accident.  They use to sit on one of these wooden moon shaped "what not" thing that had many different stair steps.  Mom could put a lot of salt and pepper things on the steps.  One night the whole thing had an accident with my brother and these two are all that are left.
I really am on the hunt for these ceramic guys also among other things.  I search the ebay site once in a while and hope to run across the adult ones.  They had a lot of detail on them with painted eyes that were more than just dots.

I never had the opportunity to share this tidbit, but the hippies did not influence the mushroom Christmas ornament.  The Germans first introduced the glass blown ornaments and for some reason the mushroom and the acorn is a part of the early collection of things they made.  It really does look like a hippie's mushroom.

Yes, we still have a few Christmas decorations to put away. This was hanging on the door and I thought I would play with it.  I liked the textured twisted cords as it almost looks like a creature.

Another painting done by my wife that is ready to be shipped. We shipped to Germany last week and this one goes to California. I guess the woman said she was taking it to her Lake Tahoe home. I  have learned how to pack them with a double box and bubblewrap in order to send them safely. The skill of box making by me has improved a lot since she started selling work.

I hope you have a restful Sunday.  It will be good to take a break and relax.  Thanks for stopping by.....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ice and glass.......

The weather is always going to  change. We went from snow to very cold, to hoar frost.  Then a few days back it was freezing rain. It continued freezing rain for a few days, I have lost track, but that creates a big buildup on the trees. 

While it is still cold the large amount of ice will fall because the branches can't hold them.  Then when it warms a little like yesterday, it falls because it is just above freezing.  Any ice that falls on a house or tree makes a large sound.  If you would like to try this at home, take a large ice cube and throw it at your wall and listen to the sound.
Ice avalanche is a new term I made up but as ice at the top of the trees falls it hits the branches below it, knocking the next branches and soon you have this raining ice coming down.  It is at that time you stay away from them as it does hurt when it lands on your.  I had one single piece hit me and it does hurt a lot.  If you would like to  try this at home...... no  never mind. 

In the afternoon I was out maintaining the bird feeders and I heard horrible sounds from my car. The villain tree was dropping it's load onto the car.  I immediately moved it into the street as I could see it  denting things easily, with the large chunks that come from the crook of the tree. If I had dents, I won't see it until I am standing filling the car with gas and gazing over the surface of the roof.

Yep the old man is talking glass again.  Get him a life will ya.  This is something I found while I was shooting macros yesterday and I had to take a few shots.  This pitcher is small, I am talking, a child's play thing or a small creamer. It really would give not me enough cream so it probably was a child's toy.  I really like the decoration on the pressed glass piece. Can you see the bubbles in it. It is a sign of probably poor craftmanship but that is also a sign that it is old.

Another shot for the on bubble in the glass. I am thinking I pulled this out of my mom's china closet. She use to clean and care for people in their homes and they would give her things, old things.

I took this the other day when I was on my glass binge in blogging.  It is round on one end and comes to a point on the  other. I assume it is a relish dish, but I like the oak or maple leaves on the bottom of it.  And I just now noticed that the decoration on the side of it, the open horseshoe or heart shape, is the exact same as on the pitcher above.  I guess they were made by the same company.

I am blogging late for me but things do happen.  I expect we will stay home again today, as it is a rainy day and water is everywhere. As at this point the snow is so cold that the rain is not affecting it.  I have some ice jams on one roof of one room in the house and that requires buckets.  It has stopped dripping for now. Don't worry that is the next room to get remodeled.  I just tolerate the leaks for now.  If we get up to 41 today, it might actually melt a little of the ice and snow, but I doubt it. That air stays cold from the micro climate that all the snow creates.  Sunday is coming and I hope everyone is having a restful weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.......

Friday, January 22, 2010

Found some cool stuff.......

As the weather continues, I am going to ignore it in my writing.  I cleaned out a desk of mine and found some really good things that I needed to have for blogging.  I also found an updated family tree on the Burgus side, and a note about my great grandmother that had been written by some long lost relative. I had brought the note home and I found out things about my Grandfather Brown's parents, which up to now was unknown to me.

I was actually looking for something, I won't tell you what, but  I ended upstairs in the  memorial room with all the stuff from my brother and my parents.  I guess there is stuff up there from my wife's father too.  While digging there also, looking for something, I found in my mom's hand writing dates of birth and death of a lot of old people that I had never met. A new family tree name for me now is Maxson.

Some of you already know that the Native America Indian could look at a tree to know what direction North is because the moss grows on the shaded side of the tree.  I know that your corn cob can tell you, by it's ice coating, that it did blow in from the east.

I also found a CD that has all of my Dad's war photos copied on it. To  make a long story short, I scanned them, gave a copy to my son.  He  gladly  burned me a copy as I lost them all when my computer was repaired four years ago.  I actually found more war pictures while I was upstairs today digging through piles of things. I will have to do so more scanning.

We had a larger hawk out on our birdfeeder today. I think it was bigger than an American Kestral, but it seemed to be one that was looking for birds to eat and not seed.  It could have been a Red Tail Hawk as we have a lot of them around here, but I thought it unusual for it to be landing on my tray birdfeeder.  We see the along the roads picking up animals that had been hit by cars.

My tray birdfeeder is a hit to the entire animal world.  The woodpeckers are clinging to it's side before they venture up to the tray to get suet, the cardinals and blue jays are becoming more peaceful and will sit on it together while eating, and the squirrels look so good sitting in pairs or threes on the tray filling their stomachs.  It is quite a sight when all the grackles in the area all land on it at the very same time. Do squirrels have pouches, like the chipmonk, and are they filling pouches to carry food back to their lair?

My wife and I am going to venture out to the local cafe for a meal.  It will be good to get out if we just don't fall down.  We actually have a choice of two different kinds of cafes. One is called Cayannes (he misspells it on purpose) and the other is called Lou's Diner.  More things are deep fat fried at Lou's so we hit Cayannes more often.  We would like to keep them open as a town our size needs places to eat.

I hope everyone out there is doing fine and that your Friday is a good day for you.  Thanks for stopping by..........

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Magical Thursday......

I had a spurt of creative energy to play with the photoshop program.  It has meaning only to the viewer but it is a surreal world.  Have a great Thursday and thanks for stopping by.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday's Wonders..........

Barney is a refreshing spot of color amongst the white of winter.  The cats of the neighbor's don't venture out much in this winter weather so all he can do is dream about all the barking he use to do at the cat's on the porch.

This tree in the front of my house was a one foot sprout that I brought home from Minnesota.  It is a balsam evergreen and the two others I had like this were snapped off in an instant with the tornado winds a few years ago.  The house protected this tree.  The squirrels jump onto this tree from the  large maple and then scurry across our roof onto my backyard fence.  They follow it all the way around to the backyard bird feeder.

The pin oak that looses it's leaves in the spring.  The frost on the leaves makes an interesting pattern. I find the tree to be an interesting specimen.

My neighbor's tree.  I really don't know the kind of evergreen that it is, but the frost makes it stand out and look very unusual.  A man  that lived on that property previously was the head landscape person for the State Hospital north of here, so he had done a lot of interesting planting on the two lots.  The present owner has thinned things out and trim things up. I am glad he has left this tree alone. He is the one that trimmed up the magnolia to look like a lollipop tree instead of the bonsai look that it had.  I still like the guy, he just drives me crazy with what he does to the plants. 

We are going to be stuck in for 24 hours with continual freezing rain.  I think I will just sit and drink tea all day to soothe my sore throat. Maybe eat on some cinnamon rolls that we bought yesterday.  Thanks for reading.........

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Then and now......just like Narnia

In Narnia, the evil Ice Queen was casting coldness all over the land. When you could see it from the aerial view you could see the land that still had spring and the line where winter prevailed. As the children walked into the warm part of the country the trees were sprouting blooms and the butterflies were dancing around in the warm air.  Fortunately the evil Ice Queen was defeated and the whole land started having seasons again.

It must be the Ice Queen causing our part of the world to stay cold and white for months.

I had some birds at my new tray bird feeder today.  They were finches who wanted the loose thistle seed that I had tossed in there from a broken finch feeder.  Tomorrow I will add more variety of seed.
We are having leftovers from Christmas dinner tonight.  Turkey dinner with new stuffing, mash potatoes and gravy.  Life is good.

I have found out that an external drive will not ever work on my old school laptop computer, as it has a school password on it to administer over it to prevent outsiders from installing things on it.  The password is not known by the person who put it on there.  I think he probably misspelled it when he put it on there and it will not be discovered.  I can eventually just take everything off of computer, wipe it clean and then reinstall the entire system, but I just don't want to mess with it right now.

My brain finally kicked in and I will now save all my photos on rewrite cd's. This laptop has a burner on it and I should of thought of it a long time ago.  I was able to move a thousand photos into identified folders. Only a few thousand to go.  It will  work until I get a new laptop, someday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Minimal Monday for me.........

I needed to move the feeder closer to the dining room window. My goal was to use all used, scrap lumber. I did it.

I wanted a tray feeder so that I could get the cardinals closer or at least closer to the base of the feeder. I put the other feeder on top for a while to get them use to the move.  I will take it off soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Findings in the jar......

I owned a property on Lake Pokegama near Grand Rapids, Minnesota when I was young.  It was a modest dwelling but it was on land that had the largest natural beach area on the entire lake.  While on the beach with some concentration one can find evidence of the Indians that lived along that beach.  These pieces of pottery show the decoration on the outside areas of the pottery. They were made from different types of clay but all were fired in a bonfire to give them their hardness.  The bigger the fire and they longer they were allowed to heat the stronger the pots would become.

One oddity of these is this piece.  It has a surface as if it is glazed.  No it is not an early settler pottery shard as it has a rough hand made finish on the back of it.  I know that highly polished, rubbing a stone on the surface creates a glazed like surface.  Maria Martinez the famous pueblo potter, polished all of her pottery to a high sheen and never used glaze on her blackware pottery.  I know that this is how this was done, and it looks like it was done on the inside of the pot, which means you see an advancement in the technology for the Indians.  The Chippewa Reservation is in the area but the Indians of the whole area are called Ojibwa.

These are some of the rocks that I collected along the way. Most of them are agates and a couple are what is call chert.  Chert is the rock with the yellow color and is agatized, but not a desirable rock for polishing.

Older type things work up on the beach also as you can see this stone with an indent of a sea shell.

I know that it is not a human tooth, but I really haven't researched the kind of animal that these teeth  are but they also seem agatized.

This rock was not found on the beach. It is one of the agates that belonged to my dad. He actually bought this one. It was rough cut when he bought it and my dad polished it out to it's present condition.