Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Still life...........

I was setting up a still life for a photo shoot and this is what I came up with for the event.  It is a little surreal in appearance but I like it.  The figurines add a little mystery to the scene. I was hoping to get a photo for a photo contest that depicted "white."

Another view of the trio.  The dogs are antique figurines.  They belonged to my Grandmother Burgus.  The original set was larger with two larger parent dogs and a couple more puppies than these.  Unfortunately the majority are gone and I don't know when they were broken.  I do know that there was a larger one that was in existence ten years ago but my brother had an episode that caused the one to be broken. 

The oxalis is back into the living room window now enjoying company with the the poinsettia. We are having another warm day today.  I am subbing for a period and then will spend the day reconnecting a computer lab to the internet.  The lab was taken out table by table to another end of the building so the carpet could be replaced.  I will have to test each one and line up all the mice and keyboards to be sure it is ready to go. I think there are at least forty of them in there so I will be bonding with that project for a while.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Birds in a bush....or cage

My yellow parakeet needs a new friend and I will try to find one in the next few months.  He lost his friend over a year ago.  He does have other birds in cages to relate to in the room but I just think he would be happier with company. I have put him in with finches but he is a little too aggressive when he tries to groom them.

A genetics class would enjoy plotting the offspring of my cockatiel pair.  My male is gray with a yellow head and his main tail feathers are white and yellow. The female is solid gray. Below is a picture of two of their family.

The female gray above and her brother, yellow headed guy, don't look exactly like their parents.  They have parts of their coloring. The male has his dad's yellow head and the female has yellow streaks in which her mother did not have.

This male offspring looks exactly like his brother.  The three of them hang out together in their cage.  They like to squawk at me just for fun when I put seed in their feeders. The do look you in the eye and try to discuss things of importance.  Fresh water makes them very happy and they usually tell me so.  They like to sound off when they hear the trumpet player playing on the Sunday Morning show on TV.

Old post of 2009 about the birds.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday's searching.......

I was outside trying to find a view of the perfect photo for a contest.  The theme is "white" and we just don't have it.  Our white is melting and the brown is coming back.

It just isn't that great looking out there and the snow drift is actually only a few inches in height.  The melting footprint is going to be gone today and tomorrow as our weather keeps warming up abnormally.

Inside there is the pleasant surprise of blooms.  The Christmas cactus came with blooms on one side of the plant back in December and now the other side is going to follow up with blooms.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I made headway with the frame job above.  It is the second one that I am doing for a lady who collects cowboy, western posters. She and her son go to these cowboy conventions in which she picks up a poster for her western room.

A closer view of the poster,, which is a fine art painting that is reproduced on the poster.

The next poster isn't so flashy as it is a dark poster of older photos.  Some have been colorized but it still has an overall dark appearance. It has been hard to find a mat color that enhances it rather than make it more drab looking.

I am late getting my post done today but life gets busy and I didn't have any photos to share.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Unusual finds on Friday........

Seth Thomas clockworks

As I dig through my archived shots I notice that I do take some different kinds of photos.  Still life shots of everyday objects or things that make a design that I like on the screen.

A spring that was not doing it's job

Mower parts to my old mower have an industrial look when you get the macro going. I still have this mower even though I have to beg it to start. Someday I will have a ceremony and drop it off at the landfill recycle center.


I bought a couple of orchids and I didn't succeed in keeping them alive.  I probably over cared for them as they bit the dust so to speak as the time passed.

Paint mess on a mural job

It has been a year and a half since we painted the mural and one can see the mess that comes with the job. It was one of the largest paintings that my wife and I have ever done together.

The basement of an old school house in Bar Harbor, Maine

While attending a party at the old school house I took a tour of the basement.  I could see the variety of eras of brick used that told a history about the basement.  The stone foundation was the oldest I believe of the original structure. Originally there looks like there had been a coal burner down there and the room to the left was where the coal was stored.  It was made from brick which meant they probably had wood burning stoves at first when it was built.

Thanks for stopping by today. Friday is here and I am ready for a restful weekend.  I hope all goes well for you and your weekend is a fun one.  Thanks for stopping by my post.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Line design......

My white lilac is getting to be too large as you can see how large the branches are.  I know that it is recommended to take out a few each year at a time and eventually the size of it will become more normal.  The neighbor's house and green pine tree make an interesting background for the scene.

We should loose most of our snow today as it will be warming up a lot today.  We are having a  mild winter as far as snowfall is concerned but the temperatures have been cold.

The mungo pine bows under the ice and snow that we had a few days ago.  I planted it between two burning bushes and it seems to be doing fine there.  I may have to prune all three back if it gets to be too crowded.

On my photo a day blog I have an arrangement of cockatiel feathers.  I just put this one up on this site to show how wonderful the design looks on a female cockatiel tail feather.  This is the pattern one uses to know which is the female birds.

I am battling a cold again.  I hand around too many sick people at school.  I wash my hands continually but I can't filter the air I breathe.  I am a techie and music teacher again today.  We will be practicing a new song on our tonettes today.

Thanks for stopping by to visit my posting.  Everyone out there have a good Thursday and yes, Friday is coming.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Donkey planter is fixed......

How to fix your donkey planter.  I saw it land on the concrete floor in the basement. It was an accident and I was glad I still had all the pieces.  I couldn't get the super glue to work on it as the planter is made up of very porous, low fired clay.  Wood glue came to the rescue and as you can see the container also helped to hold it's head in place while it dries.

I will treat this thing with a lot of kindness as it will not be a great glue fix.  I don't want to loose it as I remember this thing sitting in the middle of our kitchen table back in 1957.  It had an ugly black and silver doily under it on our gray formica table.

I found this among the junk in the cupboards in the utility room at my parents.  I don't remember ever seeing it again until the past few years when I discovered it.  When I was young it had a vine in it but for now it has an oxalis.

I am a techie again today.  I do a lot of odd jobs including taking out the trash. It can be just as tiring as a sub teacher but I do have the ability to pace myself more easily as a tech guy.

Thanks for stopping by my post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snow on the roof........

My ceramic houses weather the seasons year round.  The shelf actually was a wooden box that I recycled into a shelf. The houses were made by former students of mine who didn't take them home.  I have a collection of houses like these that I made, one a year, as example works for students to see. I won't put mine outside but I do have them in storage right now. I may have to photograph them some of these days to share.

Natural patterns are created from the stems of the wild rose while in the background you can see man made pattern.  The fence wire keeps Barney and Button inside their backyard area.Barney could jump the kiddie fence but it is his territorial marker.  If the gates gets left open by a meter reader he sometimes comes to the house as he is scared he would get into trouble because of it.  When he escapes he heads to the side door of the house and waits for us to let him inside. His first 7 months of life were out on the loose in a town in Missouri and I don't think he ever wants to revisit his past.

My spirea bush takes on a different look with snow sticking to it's branches. The red in the back is a bright red birdhouse or something that sits on the neighbor's porch.  It really shows up when you enlarge it.

The yew shrub takes on more whiteness and seems a little weighed down from it's ice and snow. This Tuesday we will almost hit above freezing.  We may loose a little of it.  The refrozen snow that is ice on the ground needs to be gone

I will be a computer tech person today. I have taught continually for quite some time so a tech job will be welcomed. Out of over 200 students to receive there computers last week we still have twenty that haven't picked their Mac up from the office.  I will be dealing with those today to see if we can't get them out to the students. Each one needs to be set up and a password installed to personalize the student's computer. 

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Monday, January 23, 2012


A mug that I brought home from my parents that is still filled with pennies.  I thought this was an unusuall looking guy and when you google him you find out he was one of the first scientist that used chemicals to create medicine.  On the other side of the mug it is labeled Zantac.  I can't figure out where my parents would get this mug.

One more mouth to feed.  Cali now comes for a meal in the morning and in the afternoon.  I assume she is staying in a garage or shed somewhere.  As I mentioned before, someone else is feeding her.  She likes soft cat food and if she isn't hungry she just won't eat the dry stuff.  This photo was taken in the summer during her leaner times.

I spent my day being a science teacher and doing two classes of middle school physical education. We had a two hour delay this morning as the roads were covered with a glare of ice.  The rural roads were probably dangerous but the buses did all make it to school.  Thanks for stopping by my post.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Here's looking at you.......

Taking photos of red pears.

I have an antique mirror leaning against the wall in the dining room corner.  Not a great place for storage but it is big, heavy and it is easier leaving it there than making a decision as to where to put it. I had to set up my computer desk against the wall where it hung and we have not other place to put it.  I guess now that everyone knows about it I will take it upstairs to the storage room.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bird watching.......

It is warming up to 17 degrees today and the birds are hungry.  They have been feeding all along but the cold seems to really bring them to the feeder.   I know most of the birds and yet the junco is a new one for me and their are two kinds of mourning doves out there.  I don't have my woodpeckers id's always correct, so it is good to keep the book on the  dining room table ready for research.

Starlings or grackles are attacking the feeder close to the window.  I was waiting to take a shot of the sparrows at the feeder and things instantly changed.  The large birds hit the side and the top of the feeder and it was swinging and spinning in circles. I think they are grackles.  Can you see the one in mid air flying in from the right?

The English sparrow is a pretty bird and I really enjoy them at the feeder.  They are flying in by the dozens and eating everything they can find.

As you can see we don't have a lot of snow.  We missed a storm by about forty miles.  North of us they had a lot snow and schools were closed.  I bought a suet cake for the feeder today and  placed it out there before I took the photos.  Hopefully I will have some woodpeckers at the feeder.  I do think I  should bring the feeder a little closer to the window to help with the taking of  the photos.

It would be a good day to stay in today as the wind chill is really fierce today.  We will venture out this evening for a short time but we will be in for most of the day today.  It is suppose to be above freezing by Sunday afternoon.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday's findings......

Hydrangeas take on a skeleton look of beige and brown dead petals.

The yew shrubs always collect the snow in it's branches.  We didn't get much snow from the present storm but schools north of us were closed today due to heavy snow.

The coffee bean tree from down on the farm has an interesting color of wood.  I bet you can guess which log is from the coffee bean tree.  It isn't walnut as that is a lighter color of wood than the coffee bean wood.  I may take this to the school shop and see if I can get it turned into boards.  Then I could make something from it.

Storms to the north of us about 30 miles or so that closed schools but for us school is in regular session.  I am subbing for the substitute for the regular teacher who is out for maternity leave.  It gets complicated when your sub is gone and you have to have another sub.

Saturday is only a few hours away.  Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by my post.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Truck Full of Fish

My metal toy truck seems to have an almost full load of fish.  I think the toy block was on sale during the fifties and it is a fancy block with it's interlocking grooves. I have about a dozen of these older blocks which are a part of my toy collection.

I took a very cold walk outside to capture snow photos.  Our snow is not that great looking but it is great that ther isn't a great amount out there.  The afternoon light of a cold day is evident in the sky color.

It is a good time to come inside and have tea and a pear.  My kids in Chicago sent us a box of fancy red pears.  The arrived a few days ago and they are ripening quickly.  We will have to eat fast.  We are told to refrigerate them to slow down their ripening.

I am in the special education department again today.  I am covering a couple of positions with the most important one being following and attending the classes with a nice young man.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Photo contest revisited......I won!!

 A free photo contest can be found on My Retirement Chronicles in which you may enter a photo.  It is a great way to show your work as a photographer and to see others who have taken shots trying to fit a certain theme for the month.

I have entered the contest frequently in spite of my camera's limitations and sometimes my own limitations but each person tries to present their best photo for the contest.

I posted earlier on one of my blogs a variety of photos I was interested in sending and I really did have a difficult time choosing one.  Many times photos can be bright and colorful and other times the composition is unique and expressive. I had to choose from a variety of styles of shots and I just happen to pick the right one.  I won!!!!!!!

You can view all of the others that entered the contest for December by visiting the following blog.
Click the gray area below here and you can see the words to click for the site.

Bookmark that page or follow the site as there are so many wonderful shots of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan posted often.  She is a great photographer and has a wonderful place to shoot photos.

The photo I was  taking was of my wife's angel tree and it's ornaments.  It sits in our art gallery and as I was snapping photos of the ornaments I noticed a figure behind the tree.  I thought it would be interesting to see how I could use the figure of Christ, one of my wife's Pastel paintings, as a background for the shot.

I guess I found the message of the painting and the angel tree seemed to have blended and belonged together for the season of Christmas.  The lighting on the tree and the lighting in the painting were coming from the same direction. Since Christmas is what my wife and I  celebrate at the holiday season I felt it appropriate for my Epitome of the Holidays.

I will never know if the photograph won for it's inventiveness or if my wife is just a great painter.

Maybe it was a little bit of both.

The winning photo for the December contest.

Thanks for stopping by my post. 


Yes we do have snow.  It comes with a lot of very cold temperatures.  We may warm up today, 32 F.  but it will get down to 7 degrees F. tonight.  That is minus 14 degrees C. to my friends in other parts of the world.

My wife gave this snowman cookie jar a few years back and when you lift this lid off the base it plays a little song.  Of course the song is Let It Snow and it tells everyone that I am sneaking a cookie.

Left behind are a few small ornaments that fall off the tree and hid under the furniture.  I thought I had picked it up but I must have just thought it and not done it.  I will toss it into another box or leave it out on the bookshelf ready to join it's friends next December.  My wife still has her teddy bear tree up and that is fine with me.  It is easier to take things down into the basement on scattered days and then I can keep the area stacked neatly.

I will finish off the post today with a little flower power.  I have become so good at fertilizing the violets on a regular basis that it really shows that I am doing it.  It is violet fertilizer so I don't have to figure out which kind to buy and it requires me to put eight drops of it in my watering container each time.  If they keep it simple and I can do it each time then the old man can keep on track. The furnace is really keeping them dried out so I do have to watch them to be sure they are not getting to be too dry. 

I am a computer troubleshooter today and I am fine with that.  It is a lot of busy work and is just as hard as teaching all day, but it is the variety that I like.  Besides, computer stuff doesn't always have to have it's behaviors corrected and it doesn't need to be sent to the office.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Remembering when.....people and ships.

The freighter was moving through the canal at Duluth, Minnesota, heading for a dock in which they would load or unload their cargo.  The seeing of the large transports is the thing to see but the people element is there to enjoy.

The big ships travel the entire length of the great lakes to get to Duluth.  Many come from across the ocean to pick up cargo.  Iron ore, coal and grain are a some of the products being shipped of the port.  As they travel into the port they go through a canal that is usually lined by people watching them come into Duluth.

I guess I haven't mentioned that it is Lake Superior that on which they end their journey. I have never seen this lake iced over but in the winter the lake freezes over to stop shipping until spring.

These are photos from our visit to Duluth at least six years ago.  It is a special place for us to visit as well as the areas all along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Thanks for stopping by my post.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Box in a box.......

I am assuming the big box belonged to my Grandmother as the maroon one did belong to her.

The circular part of the bracelet is not with it.  I assume it must have had a place in which to put a photo or it was some form of locket.

As you can see the woman in the picture is wearing the bracelet.  My cousin Bob sent my a copy of this photo which I had never seen until a year ago.  I had the oval photo of the close up of this photo but it wasn't as clear as this one showing the bracelet.

My Grandmother Mabel Wheeler married LeRoy Brown in July of 1913 and this is their wedding photo.  I have the bow and dress that she is wearing in the photo.

The locket that she is wearing is now owned by my mother's oldest granddaughter, Stacia Shirley. My mom gave it to her a few years ago during her fiftieth wedding anniversary party.

A Sepia Saturday site in which I have blogged about my grandparents.

I am an associate again today with a nice young man.  I travel with him to all of his classes except for pe.  I could use the exercise but the associate isn't allowed to play games with the students.  We warmed up in the middle of the night and now we are to cool down throughout the day.  We are at school today because we gave up a day for our students to go to a State Volleyball tournament a few months ago.

Thanks for stopping by my post.