Friday, November 30, 2012

Barnyard Man.........

My wife and I have a small display of artwork at our local town library.  We were asked to display them for the month of December.  They did mention that we should put prices on them. They welcomed us to use it as a promotional for the sales of our work.

I like doing buildings and barns are just what I seem to do when I don't want to do anything too complicated.  I sold a couple of them this summer so I need to get back to work and replace them with new ones.

Instead of showing the large painting of this at the show, I am putting up a print of it.  The display place isn't large enough to put the real painting up for show.

Friday has arrived and it couldn't happened any sooner.  It was a long week and yet wasn't that tough.  My health has improved a lot and I think that I will be up to 90% soon.  I will never be up to 100% at my age.  Anyway, I am looking forward to the weekend.  I have lot of framing things to do and the neighbor lady wants to go check out a buffet that has a chocolate fountain.  We can't turn that down. There is also a brand new Walmart in the town too.  I know we will have to check it out also.

We are warming up again today to upper 50's and that will be great.  We cool off at night time but it isn't as bad as the night temps a week ago.  My rain barrel has a small amount of ice on the top of it that is almost melted away from last weeks freezing.

I am a tech guy today and that is a busy job.  I get a lot of walking in when I do that job but that is good for me.  I hope your weekend goes well and thanks for stopping by my place today.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Love comes with hugs........

and a lot of petting.  Our oldest son Andy is giving Barnabas the kind of attention that he likes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things to do........

No, we don't have our tree up as of yet.  This is last year's picture of the deer that I repaired by wrapping new lights around them.  I hope to get them out early this year before the snow starts.

Toys of old that I have in my collection.  Some child was excited to get these items many years ago as gifts for Christmas or even birthdays.  I have some toys in my collection that belonged to a family that the kids would now be in their 80's in age.  It is amazing the way toys evolved into less creative items rather than more creative.

I have a lot of framing to do before Christmas again this year.  I have three weeks to get them done and it can be done.  Some of the items that were brought in yesterday were optional on their deadline.  One item only of the four was a Christmas present.  I will share what I have framed as they progress as it is always a diverse kind of things that come into the frame shop.

Della and I have been asked to set up a small art show in the town library.  They told us that we could put cards on them to sell them which was a nice thing for them to offer.  The photo at left is last year's large exhibit that we had done. It will be nice to have our work out there in the public to see.  My wife is bogged down, happily, with many pet portrait commissions to do before Christmas. When she sells one, they seem to advertise her work and all the people around the original owner are calling to get their dog or cat painted.

I am a tech guy in the afternoon and covering for a lead teacher in the special education room this morning.  It is Wednesday and we have made it to the half way mark of the week.  Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Looking forward......

It will be great to dig out my trains again and display them for Christmas. 

It lets an old guy sort of be a kid again one more time. 

I am still amazed that I was able to look down to the floor of this trash filled attic floor and find this laying at my feet. 

Hot tea is on my list of great things to drink right now.  My health seems to be enhanced with a cold that just won't go away.  The tea helps to slow the cough and warm the old man's body. Day two back from the Thanksgiving break. Christmas break comes exactly four weeks after the last one. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Back to school for me today.  I am tech guy battling the wars of computer abuse as well as aging computers.  The leaf above has dried out without shriveling which was a surprise to me.  All the leaves are now down and the last of the plants in boxes are dead.

Busy is starting to be a four letter word around here.  My wife and I both have many things that need to be done by a deadline.  I hate deadlines.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Inside and Outside......

Thanks for stopping by today.  The weekend is almost over and it will be back to work on Monday.  I hope all is well with all of you out there.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day.....

My wish for all of you to have a great day with family and friends. I am thankful for so many things and I appreciate your stopping by today. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The symbolic end.........

An archived photo tells the story of the end of the gardening season. The wood is my emergency pile to use in the fireplace in case we loose electricity.  I need to cut the logs into two pieces so they will fit the fireplace.

I need to dig out the snow shovel from my garden shed.  It was may parents' shovel and I had buried it last year sometime, so I didn't have it for the last winter.  I caught a glimpse of it this summer so I will need to dig for it.  The broken handled shovel is one from my father in laws farm.  I have a newer one like it with a long handle but a shovel is a piece of history that can't just be thrown away.  I use it when I have something small to plant and don't want to use the trowel.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It is earlier and earlier each year.

Some people want to avoid Christmas, but I am ready.  Bring it on.  I guess when all the activities get to be a drag then one needs to step back and remember the real reason for the season.  I think the complaining about it means you just don't do it.  Appreciate the family most at both holidays and forget all the rest.

It will be nice to have some days off for Thanksgiving first. We will be grateful for some time off before this next big one hits. We don't do shopping over Thanksgiving but we do hit the bookstore a couple of times.  I have been a tech guy for the last couple of days. It has been hard mental work and today it will be physical work getting old computers ready for recycling.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Remembering Dad......

I didn't post on Veterans day this year. I usually do the post later than the actual date.  I do know that when I think of my Dad, there is not any way I can't forget what the war meant to him.  He was young and he did come back alive.  He just was always in pain emotionally because of that experience.  He was proud of his kids and I do think that they gave him a chance to forget. He never stopped talking about the war.

He is on furlough right here before he was shipped out to go overseas.  The Battle of the Bulge was in his future.  His returning to farm in 1945 was a good way to get away from the noise of the war as the farm was a quiet place to live. He still never forgot.

I like this photo taken outside in the backyard. My two older brothers are pretty young here, probably less than one and the other close to two and a half years old.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Berries for a Snack.....

I don't think the juniper bush berries have matured to the point that the birds will eat them.  I know the cardinals really like them once they get mature.

Can you see the deer? No, you have to wait until dark.  A neighbor said that their dog was barking wildly last night and he looked out to see a large herd of deer eating in the cornfield across from our street.  It is one of the last fields that hasn't been worked down for next years planting. We have a herd of 30 deer or more that generally live north of town in all the rolling hills.  We see them in the winter just outside of town most of the winter in the daytime when we travel out of town north. I guess the corn field which is about 13 acres was too good to miss out on and they got hungry.

Andrew Wyeth was a painter who like to paint scenes in which the animals were not actually in the picture.  Art evaluators would love to talk about all the hidden meaning he was placing in his pictures.  They would say that the cows that really were not seen in the paintings were actually there.  The artist was given credit to being an painter of a herd of cows next to a barn and yet not a single cow was in actual sight.

That is why I asked if you could see all the deer?????

Thanks for stopping by today.  I will be facing a two day work week this Monday and that will be great.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Project in progress.......

I am making a flag display case for a customer.  I didn't find the pattern that worked for me so I am experimenting.  I have altered this one already and I will have to make another one for the customer.  I will keep this one for my dad's casket flag.  It ended up a little too small in size but I will be able to make the next one with more confidence with larger dimensions.  With all the trial and error experience that I now have from working today it should go more smoothly.

I know this is a late blog but my Saturday blogs seem to be something I do at the end of the day as I am busy.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Remembering Maine........and the boats.

I haven't been out and about to collect new photos but it can be good to remember the past in pictures. All of the photos are taken in Bar Harbor or near there in Acadia National Forest.

I am subbing again with a student teacher today.  It is Friday and it is good.  For some reason it has seemed like a six day week.  I am glad the weekend is here and it sounds like we will have warm weather.   Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday's Two Things..........

A continuation from yesterday's blog is this photo of one of the violets in which I had taken plant slips.

My wife caught this the other day while Barney was taking a nap.  He loves his love seat and as you can see the light is shining in from the bay window.  Some mornings we can come downstairs and see him laying on his back enjoying his favorite spot.

I am back monitoring the student teacher who is teaching physical education.  I had to teach it on Tuesday on my own and today I can just watch or sometimes join in on the games being played.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Plants repotted, finally......

I apparently used regular potting soil to start my violets as that is like Iowa black dirt and the violet potting soil is like fluffy medium.  I didn't look at the label but I would hope there is some dirt in the mixture.

Those who have followed me know that I started these last winter.  As you can see they are more than ready to be repotted.  I have kept a loose plastic bag over them with a couple of air holes in the bag and that acted like a greenhouse.

I didn't know how many plants that would be among that forest of leaves but I ended up with around 14 new plants.  Moving them into their own containers will give them room to grow.  I ended up placing a few in doubles as I was running out of flower pots.

All are now in the dining room window on the south and the sun is a filtered light now with winter coming.  The aloe plants were a gift from a neighbor and I found an antique flower pot in which to put them. I need to get the humidifier going for our house now and that will help these plants to survive the winter.  I am using rain barrel water and hope to store some of it in gallon containers and buckets.

My brother from Arizona called this morning before I went to work.  He is back with his wife to house sit with his father in law in Osceola, Iowa.  They are 85 degrees in Mesa, Arizona today and we will be a warm 55 today.  It will be nice to see them sometime this week.

I am back drinking coffee and feeling almost normal if that is possible for me.  My wife is feeling better also.  We are having pizza tonight for supper and we are going to be able to enjoy it.  Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Woodward, Iowa, 2005

I have posted it a day late but I still remember it as if it were last year. It missed our house by two houses as it traveled up Cedar Street and then it took a turn. It went out into the field, removing the siding off of the back side or our neighbor's house. No one was killed but a few were injured.

The photo of the the twister is at that time taking out a farmstead just south of town.  The people jumped into their car with their two dogs and drove west to miss its destruction.

Seeing red and blue.....

The barberry has a few leaves hanging on to it prickly branch.  The two nights of hard freeze should send them dropping to the ground.

I really do not know the name of this shrub.  I moved it out and away from the north side of my house and in two years it has doubled in size. I had golden privets originally there with another kind of shrub.  I don't think these are privets.  The blue color is the true color and I didn't manipulate the photo.  The cold season has caused them to turn this color just like the cold makes the burning bush turn red.  I may have to go take a look to see if there is a spare tag still tied to the branch of one of them.

It is a physical education day for me today.  I am on my own as the instructor and his student teacher are off learning technology skills.  Basketball is the name of the game for the day and I have had two good classes so far.  We have a tornado drill coming up during the third hour.  It is timed with the tornado that hit our town  seven years ago.  Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday's Post.........

A warm day gave me opportunity to get a lot of outside work done.  Also the sun gave me great lighting to take shots of trees.  My two favorite trees are my river birch and the one birch beyond the roofline.

The ornamental pear tree also puts out a great show at this time.  It waited to turn color just this past week.  Up to that point it was a dull green color looking like a pretty common sight.

A closer look shows the variety of colors that have developed from the colder weather sitting in the past week.  One warm day gave it a break but we are now in the freezing temperatures.

It is a busy day when you create a post and forget to post it.  Here it is 10:30 at night and I will post it. Thanks for stopping by the next day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Stark Landscape......

I mowed and mulched yesterday and the place looks pretty vacant. I didn't want to show you the orchard area but here it is warts and all.  I have a fire ring site that I plan moving back away from the garden shed. The pile of ashes looks like a small mountain to the right of the bench.  My berm pile on the left looks like a trash pile and I need to cut up my logs into small pieces so they will go into the fireplace.  There is a hint of red left on the one burning busy and the yellow above that will be leaves that will drop soon.

We were 74 degrees yesterday with a lot of wind and today we are sitting at 38 degrees F. Snow will make this yard actually look a lot better.  In the foreground is my tulip and peony bed.  My new push mower chopped that up with ease and leveled the bed for winter.  The snow would drift against the dead peony stems which meant the driveway would be filled with snow.

The silver maple is now a stark bones sculpture against the sky.  Our sky is a deeper blue in the fall as the earth keeps tilting. I am getting a lot more sun in my southern dining room window now.

With everything going into hibernation my one last strand of petunias are doing well.  They are protected by the fence sitting in a plantee. The fence is keeping the northern winds off of them. By noon today we will be at freezing temperatures and their demise is evident.

Everyone in the house is on the mend.  My wife is a couple days behind me on the past week of ailments.  Eating food will be a joy soon and I may start drinking coffee again soon.  We are still on tea and bland foods but we are gaining strength as we are eating more food to gives us energy.

Our weather is going to become a concern today as we get more cold weather, wind and rain.  My furnace had a two day break and now we will be back to seeing our gas meter spin. Thanks for stopping in today.

Friday, November 9, 2012

After Thanksgiving........

Deep in the basement my Christmas ornaments are discussing the oncoming event.  My wife and I enjoy Christmas decorating and the migration of the boxes of ornaments and lights will be coming up out of the dark basement and into the light.

One blogger friend I know has an outside shed in which he stores all of his decorations and trees.  I think the whole shed is dedicated to that one purpose.  I don't think we are that bad.  In fact I didn't buy a single new ornament last year.

It has been a long week and those who have what I caught are all drinking sprite and eating very little.  You can still function, you just can't put anything much into the stomach.  I am better now as the days pass by and I might even start to drink coffee by the weekend, or maybe not.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We had frost......

I didn't go out to look this morning but I bet the frost did make some damage to this freeze dried bloom.

I have been struggling with the bug that is going around.  The bug is almost flu-like and it does wear me down.  I did work yesterday and again today I will be in a cushy English teachers chair, sipping sierra mist.  I feel good today compared to yesterday.  Kids are getting it a few at a time so it isn't acting plague-like.  Friday is coming and I hope you have a good day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Miniature Mania.........

I found these small clay buildings stored in a coffee mug that I had brought home from school. I guess I wanted students to think about making things in miniature from clay.  These were examples for them to view before they started their own project.  The top one is suppose to be the out house for this set and the small one a dog house.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My visit at the neighbor's house.........

My neighbor is part Lakota Indain so she has that theme showing up in a lot of the things that she owns.

Another view from the backyard of my neighbor.  The sky in this photo is so subtle and smooth.

I took a picture of this garden chair for any of you gardeners who need a new idea for your yard.  The bone laying next to the chair is not a dinosaur bone but the dog bone for Penny the terrier.

I am back in the subbing job again today working with band and music students throughout the day.  No, I am just doing study halls as I sing but not in tune and I don't play a musical instrument.  Thanks for stopping by today.