Thursday, June 30, 2011

Backyard views......

The plants are filling in nicely creating a great carpet of foliage.

I need to replace the panel of wood that was not weatherproof material.  I had used it as a quick fix to get the gate done and now I need to go back and rebuild it with treated plywood.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Art show at the fair.........

One doesn't dare get to close to take pictures or the artist might think you are trying to steal your idea.  I watched a guy at our show we did a few months take a photo of my wife's painting.  I am sure it ended up on his desktop screen or maybe he printed it out for himself. 

This booth was Jill Flinn's work.  She is a blogger friend of my wife and each year she brings work up to sell.  All their proceeds go towards their dog rescue that the have on their farm in Missouri.

This is a similar scene than the one above but I will post it as it is at a different angle.

I did like this work and it did inspire me to try to do something like this.  There were lots of paintings, pastel paintings, metal sculpture and jewelry. 

It was a busy day yesterday and another one today. I don't know why life can wait to get complicated all in a few days but it has.  I will share later....................

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A living sculpture...........

A still sculpture created by a human form sits quietly during the art show at the state fair grounds.  Normally he never makes a move, and yet if you lift the cloth and peak into his basket, he moves with great surprise.  Don't steal from his basket!

I started out with a pretty normal day, thinking all was well but by four fifteen in the afternoon I was at a dentist office having a tooth extracted.  I really am bummed out about it but life goes on.  My teeth are healthy but they seem to want to break in half all the way to the root.  I know there are worse things to have done and to have as a disease but the shock of the procedure and the pain afterward seems to be such a horrific thing at the time of the event.  In a day or two,  I will be fine.

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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday's moments.......

The bean field across the street is looking too weedy to allow us to see rows.  If you remember it was planted in alfalfa and that was doing badly, so the removed it with a large disc and then planted soybeans.

The alfalfa that didn't get removed is growing up again and you can see it's purple blooms.

The soybeans will eventually grow taller than the hay.  A soybean plant can grow to almost twenty inches high if not higher.

I am certain that a chemical treatment will be applied to take out the broadleaf  weeds and alfalfa. They do that by tractor and sprayer, or they use an airplane.

The Stella O Dora (Stella d'oro) and the fly are shown above.  The rains keep the flowers  ruined most of the time but this week it is suppose to become a hot and dry week.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011


The daylily puts our a sculptural from that is almost abstract in style. The color is striking and contrasts with the very green background.

We spent seven hours at a wedding Saturday.  It was a lot of fun and it was good to see old friends. There must have been over 400 people maybe even more at the event.  The food was great and the cake was remarkable.  The couple are wonderful kids and we wish them well.

Our wedding many years ago only lasted an hour and a half with the cake and punch afterward.  Weddings have sure changed the past twenty years in the kind of event that follows.  We didn't stay for the dancing or I wouldn't be awake now to write this blog.

We are headed for the indoor version of the art shows that takes place at the fairgrounds.  After church and Sunday school we will head down to see 140 different displays by artist.  It actually is suppose to warm up today.

Des Moines is not a part of the flooding this year as the engineers figured out how to dump the water through the dam during a long period of time rather than wait until it gets to full. You can't play catchup like they thought they could do in the Dakotas.

The Missouri river has been a small river for years, almost insignificant, because of the damming of the  river in the Dakotas.  Now that they got greedy holding back the water for recreation and for selling water to Nebraska and other states, and the large snow melt was so great with rain, they created a  problem that is affecting thousands of people and taking peoples lives.

We have minor flooding here in the center of Iowa in comparison to the Mississippi and Missouri.  We live in the land between two rivers.

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Check it out.........

Scenes shown are from the downtown Des Moines Arts Festival. 

I like this guy's whirligigs.  There are extremely expensive and very unique. I am impressed with this new building in downtown Des Moines.

There were dozens of flower beds lining the street all filled with Asiatic lilies.  They seem to be planted to bring color to this arts festival.

People watching is always a side interest as you attend large events like this. One girl has a creative artwork sprayed on her hair.

The thinker rabbit is a little confused about all the people being down town.  He is a part of the  multi-million sculpture collection that Papa John's donated to the Des Moines Art Center which is displayed here in Des Moines.

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flowers on parade............

It is the season where my blog will become solely a flower blog,  but alas I do have some other things going on this weekend that will have nothing to do with flowers.

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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Empty chairs at empty table.......

It is too cold, or too wet, or there are too many biting insects to contend with on the patio, so the chairs remained unused.

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is  actually a very sad and serious song from Les Mersirbles.  The song lyrics are expressive of loosing so many friends in the French Revolution.  Marius the character survived his battle wounds and most all did not.  Once you hear the song it sticks in your mind.

Youtube song of Empty Chairs......

On a brighter note, we will be hot again and the town will spray for bugs and sometime in July we will be able to return to our patio.

Have a good day, the sun is shinning right now and thanks for stopping in............

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


My first bloom of this Asiatic lily is pictured above.  It really is orange but my camera doesn't see it that way.

Here is another view of my wooded buddy.  He does have large eyes and a big nose.

The rains are sure messing with this clematis, but it does just keep blooming.  As you can see we had sunshine on Tuesday for part of the day.  I mowed my yard on Monday with the push mower as my rider mower is on strike.  I mowed again my parents yard between the rain threats on Tuesday.  It is a great way to get sore muscles and hopefully lose some body fat.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that my cousin Jim and his wife live in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  They have been displaced from their house for a few days now and really are waiting to see what their future will be.  Jim's was a classmate of mine all through school and his mother and my dad were first cousins.  Also Jim's son and wife and grandchildren live next door to them so both families are in danger.  The one side of the group of mountains have all burned off and if the winds keep down they may be able to save their homes by it not moving to the other side of those mountains.  

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The dog days of summer.........

Barney really does like to lay in front of the air conditioning vent and just let the cats outside take care of themselves.  He can still bark at trucks from the window or the little girls riding their bicycles on our sidewalk. 

Thanks for stopping by.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Button in action.......sort of

Almost thirty years ago, I gave to my mom the quilt maker, a photo of an Amish quilt design that I liked.  It was done in large squares, deep blue, dark maroon, and a pale yellow.  The pattern was simple looking but in the same layout as the one above in the photo. 

The resulting quilt only matched the layout of the pattern but nothing else.  As you can see my mom liked vibrant colors and apparently working with small squares.  It is a great quilt but I always smile when I see it.  Mom wouldn't follow a recipe and definitely not an exact pattern request. 

As you can see that Button wanted to help me with photographing the quilt and then he suddenly got tied and took a nap.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bicycles from, well maybe.....

In our little town,  people love to go to the school dumpsters in the night and place larger items into them so they can get rid of it on the schools cost.  Microwaves, tv sets, mattresses, whatever the regular garbage route won't usually take.   Sometimes kids will drop their empty beer cans in the trash bins of others in the residential area as they don't want them to be found in their own parents garbage cans.  So while they sit out the night before the garbage day, they will drop them in to the easiest one they can find.  

Well, this is a new one for me.  Someone, a parent who was wanting to get rid of a bike out of the back of his truck, a neighbor who moved away brought it down to my trash bin, or a kid just got rid of it at my bin,  I will never know. I do know I am glad to have it,  even if it is old,  as I was wanting to get a bike to ride.  I took it away from my garbage area and took a spin on it the next day.  The gears slip and it is old.  The brakes only work on one wheel but I can ride it.  What fun to have a bike again after forty years.  Did I say free!  I won't ride it much but I will try to use it once in a while to go uptown or spin around the block to show off.  Yes, there will be aches and pains, but I will have to get into shape.

Oh yes, if some kid stole it and left it there, I am leaving it out in sight so it could be recognized.  I know someone out in blogger land was thinking that and I am prepared for that too.

Thanks for stopping wife is thinking about having a bike, maybe this will inspire us to get her one. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yellow Kitty and the reciprocating saw........

I had a large part of a hollow trunk of my silver maple tree fall to the ground during one of our storms last week. I had pulled it off the sidewalk but needed to cut up this hollow trunk. I thought I could cut it with my reciprocating saw but I could not find it.

I looked throughout my garden shed and there was no saw. I looked throughout the basement to no avail. I took a final look in the trunk of the car and thought what I had in there was a plastic case with jumper cables. I was wrong. When I set it on the porch and opened the case, duh, it was the reciprocating saw inside of it's case, just like I had bought it. The mind is going.

My tree mess and the saw are here in the middle of the process.

I had hurried to get to work on the other side of the house. I had my electric cord stretched out and then plugged in the saw and it did work.  It cut up the trunk quickly as it was hollow and rotting. As I returned to get the wheel barrow I noticed some cat had found a place to rest.  She always liked being in boxes and the plastic saw case was a perfect fit.

It is the good life you know when you have found a good place to rest.

As you can see Yellow Kitty has switched directions here.  I finished cutting up the tree into smaller parts and four wheel barrows full of wood later I was done.  I knew that I could not return the saw into the case for a while so I just laid the saw to the side and waited.

In the afternoon the sun came over the porch roof and started to heat her up in the box, so she finally retreated to an area in the shade.  She spent the whole day in slumber enjoying the heat and humidity in the shade.  She had water but she never asked to come inside until late in the evening.

Headed south today to mow a yard and have a short open house session.  We made signs to put up while we are down there hoping someone will want to come in and look around the property and house.

Thanks for stopping by and have a good Saturday............

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday is here........

This succulent was drooping down while inside the house all winter, but a lot of rain and sunshine made it start to look up.  In one day it started to point towards the hot sun.  You can see the water standing in the crockery pot from all the rain we have been having.

I am sure all the insects are saying to each other that the pink rose is rather tasty.  I could have cut the photo down but I thought it shows reality in life.

The creeping bluebell is starting to show it's color.  It really does creep all over unless you work at it keeping it under control.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday's things.........

 My red raspberry patch has doubled in size in two years.  The summer rains have really cause the rapid growth.  We will have to freeze a lot of them because you can eat only one pie at a time.

My koi gets shipped out to the tank in the garden today.  He had a partner but he jumped out of the tank last year and I found only the bones that were left behind on the or raccoon.

Cichlids originally came from Africa and South America so they like to be outside. He is a lot more tropical than a koi but he still thrives out in the tank with the goldfish and koi. He had a partner that looked just like him but he has been gone for quite a few years. This guy was a gift from one of my students at school many years ago.

My wife Della and I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage today.  We are not planning anything special for today but maybe this fall we can do something special and travel somewhere. I am a very lucky man to have such a wonderful gal.

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday's works..........

The neighbor lady made lasagna and invited us over to eat.  We knew ahead of time so we made rhubarb cobbler.   I made the rhubarb  filling using the recipe from an old Better Homes and Garden cookbook. Della made the topping from one of her mother's old cookbooks.  We had a good meal.

I found my flags. I had lost them and then they showed up a few days before flag day.  I have them up on the porch and they can stay there through the end of July. 

Our friend and our foe.   Having survived a tornado coming through out town over five years ago, we have a weather radio.  It was the portable tv radio that told us that we had two minutes to get to the basement.  We were lucky, others were not and that freight train that came through took out a lot of homes.

Monday night was a comedy of errors or whatever in our household.  This device went off ever twenty minutes the entire night.  If it wasn't the warning of strong storms and hail, it was flash flooding warnings.  As the storms moved through the state, they renewed the issuing of warnings.  When the radio was silent the thunder was scaring our little dog so one or both of us had to come downstairs to be with him.  We finally made it to bed at 4:40 in the morning and really wanted to sleep in but that didn't happen. 

Weather has been unusual all over the United States.  For Iowa it has been the weather of extremes.  We grew weary of the heat, then of the cold and the mixture of the two gives us violent storms.  I have limbs down continually because the wind is so strong.  The rain is blown in from the west and then when the rain is over fifty mile an hour wind starts blowing from the east.  It seems each direction of wind helps to trim my trees.

Thanks for stopping by..........we are suppose to go to a church barbecue on Friday evening,  who wants to take bets that it is too wet or too hot or too windy? I will get back to you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Bud and a Bloom...........

This is the rose that I moved from my parent's place to ours just two years ago.  It is a weathered bloom as the wind and the rain that hit Monday was unbelievable.  It was definitely a successful transplant.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cat and columbine.......

The columbine have stayed in bloom so long that they collected cob webs.  The colors of these flowers  and the shape of them makes these blooms one of my favorites.

Yellow Kitty continues to demand a quality life style.  If it is warm and nice she gets to leave the basement first thing in the morning and goes outside to live on the porch.  She wanders around a little but stays pretty much close or on the porch.  When it is raining, she will stay upstairs in the bathroom and sleep in front of the window.  She is such an old thing but she purrs every single time we pick her up and meows loudly night or day when she wants some more food.

Monday is here and things must be done, deadlines and chores are always awaiting in line to be done.  Thanks for stopping by......