Friday, September 30, 2011


I had not seen this guy most of the summer as the red twig had grown so large that he was covered with leaves.  I recently trimmed it back and stood him back up and he now is visible with mums starting to bloom all a round him.

My river birch tree is really showing off with it's yellow color.  The bark is always neat to view after the leaves are all gone. I trim this tree around the bottom of it to keep from having to walk into it's branches, they hitting me in the face and it just doesn't help.  If I trim, the next level of branches, the ones that are above them start to hang down then.  I guess it just spreads out downward no matter how much it is trimmed.

My zinnia's are being mighty warriors as the wind and the bugs continue to attack them.  They seem to decay gracefully and somewhat in a nice sort of way.  I will need to pick seed soon before the next big rain washes them off.

Friday is here and I am in the classroom today.  It is their homecoming week and tonight is the big game.  The middle school is a little crazy with all the festivities but maybe that the parade was yesterday and the day is suppose to be pretty quiet all day except for the pep rally at the end of the day, that they may be too tired to be bad.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Titles sound funny when your forget to post one.....

When I was young it was called cock's comb and I really don't know it's true name.  My neighbor gave to me a packet of wild garden seeds and it was a rather unsuccessful planting.  I did get this one stray red beauty and one smaller unknown flower that is too small to appreciate.

I found these seeds down at the farm.  My brother in law says they are from the coffee tree.  It is not a coffee bean tree but just a coffee tree.  It is a hardwood tree and does have a mahogany colored wood grain.  The seeds are larger than jelly beans and of course I will plant one in the house just to see what happens.

The burning bush always gives me a warning of what is to come.  It is like the one red maple tree that I have, when it puts out a preview of just one or two leaves, to let you know the future of it's appearance.

I am having a day off from substitute teaching but I will be back on duty tomorrow. I will teach middle school social studies to six different sections, sixth through eight.   I helped the neighbor plant some special iris rhizomes today that she had ordered from the catalog.  She shuts down her garden early every year so she really wanted them in the ground and wants to tear out all of her tomato plants.  We do have a few weeks left with some warm weather.  I picked my first butternut squash today to give to her.

I am putting gesso on some wood panels today for preparation for paintings.  I like painting on panels as the smooth surface allows more detail in the painting process.  It was scrap wood left over from a frame job and I cut them up into painting sized panels.   It will take two or three coats of gesso, sanding the surface between coats to get them ready for painting.

Grilling burgers and fried grill potatoes tonight.  It should stop sprinkling by then and maybe I can get some more leaf shots of the trees.  My birch tree is turning yellow very quickly right now and I have to hurry to catch it before the leaves fall off.  Sometimes during a rain they just all fall off overnight.

Thanks for stopping by...........the weekend is coming.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clusters of shapes........

 The river birch is starting to turn color and will be covered with all yellow leaves soon.

The neighbor sent these home with us as she was tired of freezing peppers for the winter. We were blessed with these green things.

Roma tomatoes actually tasted more like tomatoes this year as the regular tomatoes were more watery in flavor.

I am subbing in the high school math room today.  Calculus and trigonometry will be my subjects of expertise.  It has been a few years since I had trig but I will wing it. I had trig in my senior year in high school, 1967-68 and then again my freshmen year in college. It will be clusters of numbers thrown into multiple formulas and it will not make sense but you just have to follow the rules.

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Locking up after the Burgus family reunion in Murray, Iowa. Relatives of mine,  Delores R.and Elva W. are making sure the key is doing it's job.

Looking down the street you can catch the flavor of the age and size of the town.  The Methodist Church steeple in in the back.  A then implement store is he next brick building coming forward and the train tracks for the southern route of Amtrack can be seen because of the crossing markings.

In my early years the Burgus reunions were held at the Murray park.  The families that attended were from the 13 brothers and sisters of Charles and Elizabeth Burgus.

 Jesse T. Burgus 1917-2000 at the Union Cemetery northwest of Murray, Iowa

It was a big event with lots of tables of fried chicken, jello, and many different kinds of pies.  I remember them  when I was a youngster and now understand more about those family members that attended.  Back then I didn't understand why Spellerburgs, Wetzels, Morgans, Welkers, and others were at a Burgus reunion.  I now know all the last names of the women of the Burgus family that married with these names attached.

My brother was back to attend the event and it was good to see him.  My grandfather Charles Burgus named after his dad Charles, I guess,  had 10 children.  There was only three of us of the grandchildren, myself and wife and my btother that made it for the for the meal.  A first cousin and his wife came later after the meal but that was a meager showing for the group of cousins.  Family members of the 10 children are all gone and the offspring, cousins,  are scatterd throughout the United States.  The three oldest cousins are also have passed away.

I have been busy subbing the last two days and it seems like I am back working full time even though the pay is not the same.  I think I might have two days off before I sub again on Friday for a middle school social studies teacher.

I had written a large blog yesterday and the server gods got to it and chewed it up, leaving only one photo.  So ,as one can't write the same thing over again in the same way,  I just gave you a totally different blog today. I keep hitting the save button so I won't lose it today.

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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I didn't have my camera with me over at the bean field so I picked a single stem of a soybean plant.  They put out tall stems that grow close together and as you can see they put out groups of three pods up and down the stem. Three beans seem to be the rule for how many each pod produces.

This field which is across the street was planted late as the alfalfa ground was not doing well. They took a disc and destroyed the hay field and planted soybeans instead.  This field will be one of the last ones to be harvested as it is a few weeks behind all the other soybeans.  This stem would have twenty seven beans if it were to make it to harvest.

Soybeans are being harvest here in our area as I saw fields that had been cleared on the way to Perry, Iowa yesterday. I actually saw the combine in the field doing it's job.

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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall activities.....

I spent two hours at my neighbor's house yesterday helping her with her iris bed.  It had become so crowded with rhizomes that it took an hour just to dig them all up out of the ground.

Her iris are mostly hybrids and the blooms were so few this year because it was so overcrowded.  I dug and she took the dirt away from the roots and got them ready to be replanted.  We added a new fresh bag of top soil on the area and I proceeded to replant the bed.  It was all done in random order so we don't have a clue which color is where.

Another neighbor came over to help and watch and she received some roots also.  This pile is ready for me to trim back the leaves and to be planted and maybe today I will do that.  It seems hard to work out there when it is so cold.  I will dig a new bed and if I don't have enough rhizomes I will go get more as we had a large bag of them left over from the reworking of the bed.  In my younger days I would borrow a tiller and plant them all but I don't have the energy for that or the time.

I could potentially have one of these iris plants but there won't be a way to know until next year when they start to bloom.

My brother from California is back to attend a family reunion.  I was not going to go but since he flew all the way back to go to it I guess I can drive an hour south to attend it.  The food will be great and I haven't been to it for a couple of years.  We are sort of the youngest of the older people that attend and there are younger grandchildren that do attend.

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

Seeing orange......

The Canon picks up the true color of this geranium.  It is an orange one that I have had in this planter for a couple of years. You have seen a lot of photos of it if you have followed me for very long.  It doesn't do as well as the red ones in the planter but I will bring it in for the winter when we get down to low thirties.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Squash and apples.....

I saw a guy on a cooking show on pbs that baked his squash cut up in cubes and added in apples half way through the cooking time.   Those fallen apples will never work but I will have a lot of butternut squash to practice with in making good squash dishes.

September 21, 2011......

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's things........

This is a random shot that still is confusing to me. It has an interesting composition and a lot of other things going on in the background.   The main zinnia is actually blooming up even though the stem has fallen down horizontally.  It has the dead stems of a transplanted peony. and the rest is just weeds and other vegetation.

A clay piece that I bought many years ago in Estates Park, Colorado.  I liked the abstract composition that the potter created with different glazes and textures of clay spots.

Here is another side of the mug.  If you haven't noticed it has not a handle. It could be intended as a glass but I really think it was intended for coffee.

The sedum continues to get deeper in color.

We were in Osceola yesterday to mow a yard.  The grass was dead the last time I was down there and today it had grown enough to need a trim.  The water grass was bad as the bluegrass hasn't come back too strongly from the dry spell.  It really did look better even though it is starting to become fall and the grass does start to go dormant.

I ended up replacing the flush mechanism of one of the bathroom toilets in the house while we were down there.  It had to be done as it was malfunctioning and I didn't  want a realtor to flush it and leave the water running for a week or so.

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

Monday, September 19, 2011


Have a great Monday...........

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pottery in my past........

In my teaching past I created hand built pottery for examples to show to my art students at school. Some have more special memories than others.  This was an assignment in which the students were to imitate Native American pottery making.

Have a good day.........

Friday, September 16, 2011


Hot sun brightens up the back patio but in reality it is 62 degrees.  We didn't freeze on Wednesday night but it did get really cold.

I teach English today with one drama class and other regular English kind of classes.  It sure is good that I speak the language un poco.

Thanks for stopping by and stay warm, except if you live in the south, then you guys can stay cool!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I planted my oxalis in the ground for the summer.  I gave half of it to my neighbor and her plant is huge and blooming profusely.  Mine is doing ok but it hasn't done the greatest in growing.  When I dig it I will give it some fresh potting soil and maybe it will revive inside.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hurry up and ripen..........

I am the Special Education substitute today as well as a shop teacher.  I survived music class by tending study halls of music students.  No one could play a piano or I would have had them play and sing along.

I wore a coat to school today and I think we will maybe reach 70 degrees today.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sculptural forms.......

I thought I would dust off a few photos from my piles of visual images saved in Picasa that share my enjoyment of sculptural forms.  Some are a little kitschy and others are what they are.  It is just a little journey in my past photographic endeavors. High Greek art is isn't, low dimestore design, yes, probably.

Today's assignment it to be a music instructor to middle school and high school students.  I have a few free periods as the guy I am subbing for also does tech work between classes.  Kids have a lot of energy in the morning and as the day moves on they slow down a little.

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

More of more.....

I am sorry but I have so many zinnia photos and need to use them as that is all I have for my resource today.  We will be hot today and by Wednesday it will be cold. We are hitting our diverse changes in the weather season.

Another weathered holly hock. For the flower being white, I really do like all the texture that you cans see with the color white.

One last cluster of blooms on the phlox holds on while all the others have faded and are gone.  My back yard growth of ditch lilies are starting to flatten and yellow and soon the leave will start to fall from the hydrangea.

Of what value is an inexpensive thermometer that always, and I do mean always, has the wrong temperature.  The sun messes with it, the air conditioner messes with it, and being close to the door that effects it.  I will move it and see if I can get it to be correct.  It is always reading too hot.

I am subbing in an At Risk room which they call a Success Room.  It is a place for those who can get so distracted that they can't do homework. They need help with directions and also I got to read some of Homer today to one of the students while he jotted down vocabulary words and wrote in his journal about the story. I like being in here but the structure is loose and I need to just keep them all working on something.

I see evidence of the same cold that I caught from the students last week, still manifesting itself and spreading throughout the masses.

Have a good day and thanks for stopping by to visit my site.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A rescued rose.......

I have successfully moved this rose from southern Iowa to my garden.  It put out one bloom earlier in the season and another one now. It is the second year that I have had it in this location.  I will fertilize and mulch and encourage it more to bring on multiple blooms for next year.

It is a day to remember the tragedy that took place in this country. May we never diminish the horror of the day by just moving on but may we learn and reevaluate who we are as a country and how we need to protect our once taken for granted freedom.

Take care today and appreciate your every day.  Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Snaps in the sun......

It has warmed up and it is Saturday afternoon.  I wandered out with the Cannon just to see what I could find to shoot pictures of for the old blog.  I have been gone awhile on the Creative Zone, but life does get busy.

I taught Math in the middle school on Thursday and that done me in for sure.  I did a good job but I had to be on task continually teaching, explaining and monitoring behaviors of the early teens.  As I did the job, the room kept getting warmer and warmer.  I was like the frog in boiling water as by the end of the day the room was 86 degrees or hotter and I was in a long sleeved shirt worn because of the early morning cold.

I am booked to teach every day this next week.  Maybe I can get some blogging time in during the one free period per day.

The sun is shining and the flowers are drinking in the warmth.  It gives me shiny photos but it was neat to be out there with all the new blooms.

I spent my entire day on Friday creating a frame for a large map for a customer.  I have been putting it off because it required me to engineer the whole project.  The map was 70 inches by 55 inches and there was not a backing that I could buy that is that large.  I mounted the map on thin plywood but there had to be a seam which I had to make to get the backing to be large enough.  All of that work has to be precision. The framing pieces are so large that I had to connect each corner together one at a time without a large frame clamp.   Of course they wanted it to be a black painted mat frame so I had to spray black paint, wait for it to dry then spray a mat sealer to protect it.  We quit working on it at 9:00 at night having started at 7:00 in the morning.

We are having a quiet Saturday and I picked up a virus from the kids on Thursday.  There is a new summer or fall cold now moving through the school.  Kids were going home throughout the day from stomach aches or fevers.

Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog.  I am back and up and running after a few days of a gap.  I hope everyone is having a good weekend and thanks again............for stopping by. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Learning the ways of a camera.......

I am figuring out my wife's camera.  I was out yesterday morning and tried it out again to see what could happen.  I had to stop as the battery light came on and the camera shut down.

As my wife keeps telling me that it is our camera as we did buy it as a shared machine.  My wife uses it a lot to photograph her artwork that she places on sale on the internet.  It is a good camera.  It does do better if you use a tripod with it as I get a lot of movement with it.  My point and shoot was more forgiving with that but then I didn't have as clear of a result as I do with this one.

When we travel it requires the case to protect it and the two of us can not be shooting pictures as the same time.  That is why I had another.  Also this guy won't slip into a pocket for spontaneous shots.  Oh well, I will get use to it and will learn more about it as I use it.

A few more romas that I laid into the wooden wheelbarrow while I was picking and photographing.

It is Tuesday already and I don't know what I will be up to for the day.  I may get called in to sub and if not I will be down on the farm.  Everyone take care and thanks..............for stopping by my blog.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fall has started........

Stella put out a couple of more late blooms knowing that these will be it's last before the snow. 

This is the last of the coneflowers and they too are fading fast.  It is not a pretty sight.

Have a good day and thanks for stopping by...............

Photo parade.........

I have a new blogger friend in Canada who likes to make lists.  I admire his ability to find new creative ways to share things about himself through his lists.

Me, I have coffee cups to show.  It is a rainy day all day Saturday and one mug of Joe is very soothing.  The above cup was an end of the summer sale mug I purchased at Target.

I haven't visited Grand Marais for over five years and that is sad.  I do have a mug from up on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

A cheap mug  that I have from a five and dime.  It can't cost over two bucks or I don't pick it up.  I had this one at school when I was still teaching full time and it would cheer me up when the crowds were getting to be too much.

This is a cup and saucer from one of our favorite garage sale finds.  It was a ten dollar box full of a complete set of dishes.  We use these dishes a lot of the time even though we have three or four sets that we rotate through. This set seems to be a favorite.

An antique cup from my wife's Aunt Irene, it was the cup she used to fill her canning jars or jelly jars as she preserved food for the winter.  I don't think she had done canning for so many years before she passed away, but the memory was there for her and she wanted my wife to have it to help make grape jelly.

A gift from my wife a few years back, this mug is one of my favorites as it  holds lots of coffee in the morning. The rooster is trying to crow to wake me up.

In one of my weaker moments I paid a lot of money, it was a mistake, to purchase the cup and saucer.  I had a matching plate that I had bought for a dollar at a garage sale and thought it be good to have the set to go with it. It is my first ebay trophy purchase and probably my last ebay purchase. It is an English product that you can find for sale in Canada and throughout the U. S.

Those of you who have followed me for a few years know that I have oh so many more mugs and cups. I just decided to stop with this one.  This was another Grand Marais, Minnesota purchase a few years back.  Since we have been cleaning out my parents house of stuff we stopped buy things.  I haven't and probably won't buy any more mugs.  I have decided that I have my complete collection now, except if it is free or I find it in the dump.

I actually went off coffee for a few days back in May and discovered that I don't like it as much as I had in the past.  I really have reduced my consumption a lot and really find it is a better life for me.  I do like a good cup at the bookstore once in awhile but I do just drink less of it now. I don't drag coffee with me when I work at school like I use to.  I found that I was carrying a mug in my hand all day when I was teaching. It was a sign I needed to quit teaching.

I hope your weekend it what you wanted it to be.  We had no plans so the rain all day Saturday didn't ruin our day.  We will be at church today and may hit the bookstore in the afternoon for a little browsing among the volumes.

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