Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There and back.......

My summer vacation.  We flew to New York City, then to Portland, Maine.  Rented a car and drove to Bar Harbor.

We saw a lot of people along the way and also out at the Bar Harbor area. We also saw the ocean and a rocky shore line.

Then we flew from Portland, Maine to New York City, tried to miss our plane then flew to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Walked for a few miles to get to gate C23 made it just in time and flew south to Des Moines, Iowa. 

Obviously you are going to hear a lot from me about all of this as I talk to much, but we are very weary and glad to be home.  Miss all of our kids already.

Thanks for staying with me with my scheduled posts.  I thought it best not to tell the world when I was to be gone.  Catch you later........

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Balloon Patterns.......

Pulling from my archives of great things I have done this summer is this one shot of two overlapping hot air balloons.

Thanks for checking in on my site..........

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Critter photos at the fair....Not my photos!!!!!!!!

I snapped this photo of one of the photos entered in the State Fair photo contests.  I deliberately took it crooked to show that it is from off of the wall and not my photo.  Chester Whites are the breed of the pigs.

This fellow was too good to not snap a photo of at the fair. He has such a great personality. I think you can actually click on the photo and see who the artist really was who took the shot.

Thanks for checking in on my site...........

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flower blending........

My red phlox are late bloomers but they do look pretty sharp up against the black eyed Susans.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunset over Kybo Central..........

As I was shooting pictures of hot air balloons I came across the opportunity to take a few sunset photos for a contest that I enter monthly. The location was great but the row of kybos seem to mess up the whole idea. So I just took the shot anyway. I did get up later and  go over to the side of the outhouse line up and take a few really great shots.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vines and trellis..........

It is amazing what a months worth of growth can do for morning glory plants.  I had one start up and it is twisted around a hoe leaning against the corner of the building.  I chose to leave it as I have another hoe.

I created the trellis a few years back from salvaged wood from the school dumpster.  It is funny how one designs with what supplies that you have and it determines the size of the resulting product.  I would have liked it to be about a foot taller but I am pretty pleased with it.  The vine in the foreground is an Asian Mellon.  I bought the seeds from a lumberyard that was carrying seed saver products.  It is an heirloom seed but I don't see any blooms on the plant.  It is on the north so it probably isn't getting enough hot sun.

The trumpeting of the morning glory is wonderful.  I first saw them when I was a kid while walking cornfields in southern Iowa.  The were a smaller variety which was wild and they were always blue.

Thanks for stopping in.........

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boxed and sent yesterday.....

I finally bought a box to ship this quilt in to our youngest son who lives in Maine.  His Grandmother made it for him for graduation from high school and we needed to send it to him now that he has his own home.

I know the origins of some of these pieces but I am not sure my son will really care about them. I will probably review the yellow one for sure as it is from the scraps of his Grandmother's dress she made for the Murray, Iowa Centennial back in 1968.  Other scraps are from quilts that she had made earlier and a couple are from his Great Grandmothers scrap pile from making stuffed cloth hens and chickens.

I am not sure of the pattern of this quilt. I once thought it was the wedding band quilt but maybe it just is a nice pattern that she found to follow.  The intense red and blue piece is from a set of curtains my mom made for the windows of a van that dad had for a while.  Waste not, want not is the old motto for quiltmakers.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.......

there was the Iowa State Fair.  Commissioned sand sculpture artist created a work of art at the Cultural Building.

The artist names are unknown to me.
The results are not boring and it is called   STAR BOARS.

How many photos can one take of a sand sculpture of pigs playing Star Wars characters?

Seven of them will be enough.  Enjoy the shots and I will let you figure out who the characters are as you view the photos.

Thanks for stopping by........

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday's Scatterings.......

This is a newer one of my roses that didn't start blooming until August.  It puts out about three blooms, I cut it back a little and some new buds are forming.

Another shot of this newly born lamb.  The little children loved to put their fingers through the fence and touch the soft fur.

Another shot of the Jacobson Arena.  It has a large screen at the end that really adds to being able to see the action.  When they have concerts in here they will clear the clay on the floor and the stage will be at the same end as the screen.  The roof in the center is made of a translucent material that reminds you of nylon canvas.  It lets in a lot of natural light and reminded me of the new large stadiums with their center openings.

The fair ends today and this calf will be glad to get out of this building. It would go back in the shelter rather than have people always touching it. The calf really needed a nap as you can see.

It being the last day of the fair, school will start for the majority of the state. Some of the schools opened last week on Monday.  The monarchs are migrating so summer must be coming to an end.  This blurry guy was busy eating on the coneflowers a few weeks ago.  My coneflowers are done as the excessive rain just made them all turn black and die.  I don't know if they have seed on them or not as they normally turn brown and stay the winter.  I don't think any of them will be standing this winter.

It is a busy week ahead and many things are to get accomplished.   Thanks for stopping by and take care............

Saturday, August 21, 2010

State Fair.........

The day was so great to be going to the fair but it was crowded.  We walked through the Agricultural Building with such a crowd that we left  in a hurry.

I am glad the gladolias had beed judged because they were starting to wilt.  It is the end of the season for them so they were lucky to have any to bring in for the contest.

Lunch time for one kid.  The mother and child both had great coloring.

I was asked what we had to eat at the fair.   We went to a horse show for an hour or so and then immediately bought a funnel cake with powdered sugar on it for a mid morning snack.

Later when we needed to make another scheduled horse showing we found the lines to get pork sandwiches two blocks long. To solve that problem we found a foot long hot dog stand and had fried onions and relish on them.  They were so bad for us and tasted so good.  We haven't bought hot dogs for years so it was fine cuisine to us.

On the long haul up the hill to see the Cultural Center there sits this wonderful wooden train.  What a fun thing for kids to play on in spite of them required to stay off of the roof.

The fair is always such a good time, bad time thing.  You do enjoy it all but the crowds get to be too much.  We later learned it was Senior Citizen day and they did all show up for the fair.  We enjoyed the time and saw so many things and so many different people.  By mid afternoon we were ready to leave and try to find our car. 

 Water and Pepsi kept us from being dehydrated  and I immediately made a good cup of coffee when we got home.    Thanks for stopping by...............

Friday, August 20, 2010

A State Fair Report..........

This one is for you Sunny!

One of the newer buildings at the Iowa State Fair is one that is dedicated in teaching Iowans about animal reproduction or should I say birthing.  When I was a young lad, most of us in the state were from the farm and we knew about baby animals.  Today, the whole facility is dedicated in showing how chickens, ducks, turkeys and ostriches are hatched.  They raise ostriches in southern Iowa for the selling of the meat to eat.  One can also see cows, pigs, goats, and sheep giving birth on the large screen up above in the auditorium.  The little ones that were born near on during the week of the fair are all there to see. I will post more baby animals later.

One of the older buildings at the fair used to be called the Women's and Children's Building.  It is now called the Agricultural Building.  It is filled with vegetables and plants that have been judged.  You can see the wonderful windows that face all four sides and the balcony that one can walk around to see exhibits.  It was a perfect day for the fair and it was so crowded that we didn't stay very long in this building.  I really like the building.  It has large carved columns and pediments at two of the entrances that make it  look like the Parthenon.

My wife loves to paint works of art with horses in them so we sat though two different show during the day. She took hundreds of photos. The shows for the day were called English Horses but the categories were quite diverse.  This show above was about western themed costumes on horses that were full Arabian or half Arabian horses.  The costumes actually were subtle in style but the guy who showed up with the white shirt and vest with mustache and black hat won second place with his beautiful horse.  The horses were ridden around the ring doing various speeds to show their training by their owners.

We visited the art and photography competition at the fair in the Cultural Arts building.  This is a wooden piece that was created on a lathe.  They glue all of these wood pieces together, creating their design by how they arrange them.  The then place it on a lathe and carve it on the outside to get the shape.  Then the reset it on the lathe and carve out the inside of the pot.  PBS is showing a guy who teaches us how to do lathe work and I just happen to see him do one of these a few weeks ago.  It is a beautiful art work.

Our fair grounds is a very old site and they have left the terrain unchanged in the most part.  At the east end of the grounds there use to be a farm house that sat on the top of a hill.  Now I am not saying hill lightly as it is a very steep incline to walk up to the top of this hill.  Up there is the original farmhouse, barn and a fair building that they put up called Pioneer Hall.  It is full of antiques and a stage area for whistling contests, yodeling contest, longest beard contest,  husband calling contests, pig and chicken calling contest, fiddling contests and anything else you can think of that we use to do in the old days in Iowa.  Oh yes, they throw cow chips down that hill also as a contest.

So at the top of the hill they had about a dozen or more older cars to view.  The hill didn't kill me but I did have to stop once to get my breath.  I don't know how those cars were able to drive up there but maybe the road had a longer incline.  I have a friend blogger who has many wonderful old car photos but I though I would show you one that I took since I walked all that way to see them.

This will be my first installment about the fair.  I actually didn't take as many pictures this year as I did last.  The economy shut down a lot of the novelty acts that they use to have traveling around the fair grounds.  No one man bands, no goose herders, no jugglers, no monkey grinders, so it was a slow picture taking day.   Thanks for stopping by today........

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our state fair is a great state fair........

don't miss it, don't even be late, state fair, it's the greatest state fair in our state...

Judging of the garlic has been completed.  It had to be braided together and I am not sure but I think the braiding was a critical part of the points earned for this event.

Thanks for stopping by today.......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bits and pieces to discovery........

My wife and I switched a 70's chest of drawers out of our bedroom and replaced it with a solid oak old chest of drawers.  The 70's chest of drawers has become the vault to hold the older quilts and also the most valuable new ones.  I had to clean an area to place that chest of drawers as the spare room is being used as a holding room of funeral things, loads of things that I brought from my parents house, my old school things from when I retired, boys toys, and extra furniture.  It's an interesting place to visit when ironing your piece of clothing in that room. 

The photo above actually is a pile of quilts, turned sideways, that sit on top of the dresser as the drawers below are all full. What amazes me that I am still discovering things among the things that have been there for over two years now.  I had posted a double wedding ring quilt earlier that belongs to my youngest son, and I was surprised to find another one my mom had made in the pile today.  It is done in browns and looks like it was created for a queen size bed.

This is a blurry picture of an antique double wedding ring, a third one that was made by my great grandmother.

While shifting and placing the quilts in and on their chest of drawer I discovered another box of family photos.  I didn't know they were there. It contained an old photo album that was put together in the 1940's.  My parents were either dating at the time or it is the summer after they married, the winter of 40.  The book also holds a few years later with photos of my brother which makes it 41-42.  He is the first baby in the family so there are so many photos.  Also I found a letter my mom had written to my dad a month after my dad had been shipped off to basic training.

I will share a lot of these things on my Sepia Saturday post as I unravel the stories about them.  I found pictures of my great grandfather and grandmother on my mom's side.  That type of thing is scarce as so little is known about them, so I will have to be sharing that with my brothers. My mother has written information about their parents which adds one more name to our family tree.  Mobley was the name of a gg grandmother before she married into the family of Wheelers.

This spare room is like my attic.  It can keep giving as more memories are found as I explore.  It can become very depressing to find the things showing pictures of everyone who is gone, or old valentines, and diplomas, but I don't want to miss looking at every thing possible.

Thanks for stopping by today......

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Night Glow"..........the final show........

As evening was setting in and the balloons from the north were landing, the balloons were staying inflated and were being assembled all along the fence. The balloons that had taken off earlier were south of us and the owners were now diving them back to the viewing area.  They had deflated their balloons, rolled them back up and put them on the trucks to help with the show.

Most of the balloons were still inflated from finishing their landings and so all they had to do was maintain some of the heat in the balloon to keep them erect. The baskets were anchored and one person was designated to sit with the balloon and blast the burners every once in awhile to keep it going.

Some balloons that were brought in for this were having  to be reinflated and the burners were doing their job to get them back up and standing.  At this point I notice businesses had paid the balloon owners to attach their ads on the side of their balloons.  Those that were being inflated had the signs attached ready to be seen by all.  Others were deflated enough to get their signs attached.

It is almost dark now and you can see the different burners are busy doing their thing.

Once everybody was ready to go, the announcer was asking the crowd to do countdowns and the balloons would all pull their cords to make their burners blast all together.

After much time spent on this we finally decided to go home.  While walking back to the car we could see them doing their thing flashing their glows to the crowd.  It was a great thing to see.  I had admired photos in the "New Mexico" magazines for years where they also have Balloon Classics.  I was glad we were able to finally go and see one in person.

I have so many more pictures than this but they do get repetitive so  I will hold back.  I have a few that I will share as abstract compositions or interesting close ups on my photo a day blog.

This concludes the saga, the final chapter is written, the last hurrah is done and I think that will do it for now.   I do have to warn you that my State Fair series will be coming around in the next few days.  I will be sharing the event with many photos of the event as usual.  Thanks for stopping by.......

Monday, August 16, 2010

Buds and blooms........

My new mandevilla plant is blooming and I still don't have it transplanted into a larger container.  Maybe today when I get a trellis made for it. The wild rose and the wild hops vines are trying to claim it as their own.

My neighbor gave me a hibiscus plant last year and it did survive.  I caught a bud the other day but it closed up before I got out to take a photo.  The rain is hard on the open blooms and spoils them quickly.

The hearty geranium continues to put out wonderful simple blooms.

I have a lot of mowing to do again today as the rains have kept the grass growing with leaps and bounds.  It cooled down Sunday to 78 with a lot less humidity.  It felt cool compared to what we have been experiencing.  Thanks for stopping by......

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Zinnias, Johnny Appleseed and Clematis...........

My Martha Stewart zinnias from last year were short and had multiple little blooms on them as if they were designed to be a border plant.  The genetics did not hold as you can see this is a large bloom and it is on a tall stem now this year.  The hybrid breeding of the blooms lasted only one year.

I was watching a PBS special a few weeks back and they were talking about the guy Johnny Appleseed.  I don't know if his legend is well known around the world, but in our early days of this country he traveled throughout our country planting apple trees.

First he took the seeds from  apples and planted them to get tree sprouts.  Genetically, no apple seed will reproduce the parent tree.  In fact the apple seeds from apples will produce many different kinds of apples, all of them inferior apples.  The apples are generally sour.  Johnny Appleseed was praised in our history books as doing such a good deed for our country by creating orchards everywhere with his self grown trees.  It was stated that he actually traveled into unsettled areas and stayed for a few seasons to get things established then moved on to other areas.

The show stated that all of his apples were bad, sour and were not really fit to be eaten.  He instead is credited for getting the nation drunk, as most all of the apples went into hard cider by the early settlers and it created a lot of problems in the country with too much drink.

On a rare occasion one seed can put out a good apple.  For example the Red Delicious apple was discovered in Winterset, Iowa many years ago.  When you take a branch sprout from the tree and graft it onto another base apple tree you can get another Red Delicious apple.  There is a concrete tree in Winterset honoring that first tree.

I know you are wondering were this PBS fanatic is going with this but I am headed to another thing I learned on a garden show a few weeks back.  The clematis plant puts out seed in the fall.  If you collect the seed, dry it for a couple of weeks, then store it in a paper envelope over the winter, you may plant those seeds in the spring to grow new clematis.   The garden show then explained that the chances of getting the same color of plant as the parent plant are slim to none.  You should get a large variety of colors of clematis plants.  I think that would be a fun experiment for us to try. 

Heat headaches and muscle aches from lifting and mowing continue to plague me but I am going to make it.  I rest on Sunday and that does mean rest.  It is suppose to cool down to the 80's and I can foresee a trip to the Iowa State Fair coming soon.     Thanks for stopping by...........

A footnote to boot, if you ever see me spell clematis with a y, it is because I knew this couple who's last name was Clymer.  Clymatis no, clematis  yes........