Sunday, June 30, 2013

At the Arts Festival of Iowa...........

I didn't take many photos of this day of activities but I have a few to show the  scale of the shows.  The horse sculpture was massive. It was made from scrap metals of all kinds.  I really don't know how it would be moved to be put in a truck to be taken home with out a lot of people power or a lift.

 The downtown festival was filled with artist's booths from all over the United States. Only ten percent or less are from Iowa in the show.  The protest festival of artist from mostly Iowa is held at the State Fair grounds, inside an air conditioned building.  The other art show was created the second year after the first show started out. Both are good shows and fun to see the work from all over the state and the US.

This is a second shot showing the crowds at the downtown event. It was crowded and people went in all directions.  If you walked slowly the general crowd mulled around in either direction or sometimes just crossed right in front of you. 

The whirligig artist was back again this year.  It is a lot of fun to see all the different things he can make to move in the wind all at the same time. To give credit to the artist, one can go to the Iowa Arts Festival web site and see the names of each of the exhibiting artist that were downtown and one of their works.

I did get some more outside work done Saturday afternoon.  It is crazy how it has all got bogged down but I am slowly turning things around.  I need to find my shears and start trimming the volunteer trees that are growing in all the flower gardens.  Asiatic lilies and stargazers are about to open up.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Too Hot For Coffee.......

I  have my first cup at 5:30 in the morning before work and I have no coffee the rest of the day.  But after supper I have one more cup as it is cooler in the evening and drinking coffee at work with 80 degree temps in the building is not a good thing.

I whined yesterday and then in the evening I mowed a lot of yard.  I also pulled some weeds. It was a hot afternoon but the wind was blowing hard so it made it almost pleasant for mowing in the hot afternoon.  Our day isn't planned for today yet and I guess I won't share the possibilities until we finalize what we will do.  We have a lot of options and some plans seem like work and other plans seem like play.  We will see how the day goes. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Findings..........

If I were a professional photographer I would say that I leaned the camera on purpose to create a mysterious effect.  Since I am common man on the sidewalk shooting wildly I caught a jungle scene with a killer lion laying on top of a part of a windmill structure and it leans.  Tom Tom seems to find it to be cooler to be on top of garbage cans, fences and the like that keeps him elevated so he can feel the breezes.

Snowballs in the summer as seen on this hydrangea bush.  They are looking great and it seems like there are more blooms this year than the past year.

This was tough to shoot but my body shaded the plant from the bright sun to give me good color of the flowers.   The creeping bluebell is doing well in the front of the house now but is not all in full bloom.  I just have portions of it showing color.

I noticed the rains have kept me from doing my garden work.  I noticed that my body of aches and pains say the garden will have to wait.  I guess I am happier that all that is there is green and not dead from the heat.  I can see hours of work that could be done in the yard but it will wait.  Maybe I can start to whittle away at it when I am feeling better and or stronger.  Work will come first and the rest will have to eventually fit in to my schedule.  I get home from work at the hottest part of the day so I don't venture out.  I will mow sometime in the next three days unless it is downpouring again.  I did see that I have just a few red raspberries that need to be picked.  Maybe tonight that will happen.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Old Timer.......

It was on the north side of the kitchen and I was to build an art gallery on top of it.  So I moved some of it to the east side of the house where it has spread throughout that side of the house.  I even have a little of it now growing in the backyard as it has traveled by roots under the fence and grows almost to the back door.  

It is an old rose that was probably planted there when the house was first built in the 1900's.  I don't see it growing at any other homes around my neighborhood.  Either everyone else didn't like it's spreading tendencies or I just have one of a kind.  It is nothing like the wild rose that I have in the back yard.

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blooms for food......

I was surprise a few days ago to see the tomato plants in the garden had grown thick and tall.  Also I was pleased to see these blooms will bring me tomatoes.  I don't know if this is a beefsteak tomato or a roma tomato but we will find out in a month or less.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ready for service.......again.

It will still have some distressed drawer fronts and the veneer sides have a few stains but all in all it has been restored to another life time.   Shari is a writer and she says she will place it in front of her large apartment window that looks out into the large tree she sees from the second floor.  She watches the birds from there and looks down onto a park setting of the property.  The newly restored top is the frosting on the cake for it and I know she will like it.

A picture I was going to share yesterday is this one of the one corner of the top.  It is lesser hard wood that was covered with an even coat of maple finish.  The burl part of the wood is shown here on the corner of the desk.

Speaking of desks, I have a different one.  I was using one of my son's college particle board desk.  While looking for the friends wooden desk I found this at one of our friends garage sale.  I had a price I couldn't refuse.  It is made of metal and glass.  I like it because it is some much deeper than my last one and it looks cool.

It has taken a couple of days and a rearrange of the room to get this to work.  The desk is really neat right now as I haven't been using it much yet.  Neat meaning arranged well, not cluttered and looks like I am an orderly person.  It isn't true but I wanted to share it at this point anyway.

Home from work today with paint on my clothes.  I never know what will be on the agenda each day at school.  Today we stripped wax from a floor, fixed Science room tables(heavy ones), and then helped with the painting of a shower room down in the middle school.  Three of us hit the shower room with great energy and the paint did fly.  It had one coat on it already so we finished it all up today with paint on our hands and yes on my bluejean shorts.

I am weary from my work but it has been good for me.  I noticed a photo of myself from 2008 with my brothers and I was 15 or more pounds heavier then.  I always have dropped weight easily when I do physical labor.  The aches and pains do exist and my inflammation thing keeps rearing it's head.  The adjustment to the time change of six in the morning is upsetting the entire household of wife and two dogs.  The birds and fish just don't care when we get up in the morning.  I am now on the fourth week of work now and we are not half way done with the summer job.

I haven't shared any more news about my brother in California as his condition just isn't changing.  He had a T.I,A stroke and has damage on his left side.  He seems to be able to drive his car to the doctor each day but there hasn't been much improvement or suggested therapies to help him. 

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Desk.......

My wife's friend moved from Minneapolis to Des Moines just a few weeks ago.  She left any furniture that she had at her apartment and came with just a few possessions. We have been finding table and chairs and different pieces to help her to furnish her small apartment.  The one thing she really missed was her beat up old desk that she had at her other apartment.

On Friday we had five different garage sales in town and I glanced down one of the streets while getting off work and I saw a desk.  Five dollars later I had a desk hanging out the back of my trunk of my car.

I has a painted on finish on a hard wood that was all scratched up and with water rings and stains. I decided to sand off the top of it to see how good the wood would look. If not good, I would paint it.  It is actually a cheap hardwood.  They used it rather than use real maple and then painted on a very dark finish to make it look all one color.  In this case it was made all one maple finish color. You can see the edge in this photo that shows what the top looked like before sanding.

The grain isn't outstanding but I decided that it will look just as good as some butcherblock wood tops.

I was impressed with the construction of the drawers with dovetail connections and real wood rails both on the drawer and on the main desk.

The pulls are not very fancy but they were a good shape to go with the colonial theme.

One coat of floor varnish on the top and it makes it looks great.  We now have a second coat on the top and we are almost done.   More will be shown as the project concludes the next two days.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Have a great Sunday. May it be a good day for you with family or friends and may you have a restful day.

Sunday's Rose Show......

This is the rose that I brought from my parents home in southern Iowa. I has a great bud and beginning bloom.  Once it is open it does wilt fast in the hot weather that we have right now.

The carefree roses are really putting out the buds.  I don't know how to trim them back when they are through blooming as there are multiple blooms on the stalks.  I will have to look that up or wait for some helpful hints from my friends.

I rescued this from a dumpster and it didn't have a tag on it but it does remind me of a carefree rose.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Life seems to get so busy that I can't keep up with my comments and my blogging too.  I had many projects on the list for yesterday and I did get a lot of them done.  I will have to work through the week to finish the list.  Thanks......

Friday, June 21, 2013

Snowball of Summer.......

I learned some new names for my hydrangea from reading a package label at a garden center.  It was called a Japanese Snowball and I do remember people calling them snowball bushes when I was a kid.  They also said it was a viburnum.  That I had not realized that it was a part of that plant family.

I didn't purchase any of the plants.  I just had a lot of questions answered about it.  It is an old tradition plant that is  put around foundations here in Iowa.  I got my start from a house from up the street that was tearing it all out to put in a completely new and modern planting.   Those people are long gone from that house but I still have a great reminet of their original old plantings.

Thanks for stopping by and I am grateful that Saturday is coming.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 the middle.

This is probably larger than life in size.  I  have this rose that survives out in the open every year.  It puts out this great color and then fades to a different color.  I use to think it was called Carnival or Carousel but I don't remember it for sure.  The leaves are different in color than most roses.

My week seems to be a long hard one already but it is now Wednesday.  My second to oldest brother is back home now from the hospital.  He  had been there for two days.  He was sent home to take better care of his body.  He hasn't been fully diagnosed to know what is wrong with him.

Thanks for stopping by today.  The heat has hit Iowa and each day we get a little warmer.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


A bud is about ready to open and on Sunday three or more of them did open. The yellow ones sit close to the pink one and they look great together.

The bud did come out on Sunday but it seemed to be weathered already even though it is a newly opened bloom.

Pond action is always great with the little sprinkler always spraying out of the pump.  I really like the colors in he water and the fish are there, just not on the surface.

Another great shot of my peonies from out at the alley lane.  I am glad they are doing so well.  The good rains and lack of competition from other plants has really made it grow strong and bloom so well.

My wife and I ate out on Sunday at the Romano's Italian place.  It is always so good and usually the amount of food is so great that you have to bring home the extras.  I really enjoy their fresh bread with olive oil and seasonings on the crust of the bread.

I received word today that my second from oldest brother has had a stroke.  He is in the hospital and did call my oldest brother a few times to give out some info.  He will be in the hospital for quite some time as they evaluate his status.  Time is the healer on these things and I hope that there is not any lasting damage.  I will call him tomorrow and I know he will answer no matter what.  He is a  phone addict and I am sure it is near him at all time while he is in the hospital. Rex is about 8 years older than me and lives in Yorba Linda, California.

Busy at school being a floor man.  We will never run out of floors to do but that is ok.  We did a sanding yesterday of the stage floor and we will be putting two coats of varnish on it today or tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by today and take care.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Great Close View.......

I was going to use this on my Photo a Day blog but decided I will just post one good photo today on the Zone.    Most of the peonies are gone now but there are some stragglers out there.   Monday is here and today we sand the varnish off of the wood floors on the stage.  It won't take about a half of day and maybe the varnish will be put on late this afternoon or first thing on Tuesday.  We haven't been having many good drying days, dry air, to help get the wax dry.  The varnish really does need a good dry day.  We will have to check the weather reports and computer radar.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope all had a good weekend. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Green Cloudy Day........

My ash tree is getting to be so large.  I planted it a long time ago.  I fills the whole corner of the backyard sheltering the fish tank. I need to cut it back some but the saw in hand and the mood needs to be in unison on the same day.  We look so green with all the shrubs putting out all the leaves that are allowed and the grass is tall and green.  I mowed the grass Saturday afternoon.  We went to an early movie, Star Trek, and then I mowed almost all of the yard when we returned.  It sprinkled all morning so I couldn't mow it before the movie. We didn't get rain again but it remains cloudy most of the time.

The fish are doing well in my tank outside.  My son gave me the new fountain system so I posted it so he could see it.  There has been so much rain that it wasn't working.  It was in too deep of water.  I had to get a bucket and bail out a few buckets of water to get the sprinkler to be exposed. I put my three indoor goldfish into the pond yesterday and I have the high school science room's fish to keep in there for the summer. 

My Grandmother Brooks purchased a home in Murray, Iowa back in 1963.   She lived there for a few years until she died in 1972 when she died. My mom took samples of this from the property over to her Osceola home.  I now have three plants of it on my property.  I always think of Grandma Brooks when I see it in bloom. My grandma's regale lily is also in my yard and it does have buds on the stems.

It is Father's day today and also my anniversary day with my wife.  We have been married 29 years now. We will eat out at an favorite Italian place today and marvel that it has been 29 years. The day looks cloudy today and will be warm and humid.  It will be a good day to stay in and rest.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Stuff......

The weigelia seems to love all the rain and the two shrubs just keep blooming.   The storms don't seem to  bother the flowers as they hang tough.

The mock orange is pretty at night as the white blooms seem to be showy against the dark green leaves.  My back door light seems to cause them to reflect the light and they look like Christmas lights.

I am waiting for the grass to dry so I can get my yard mowed.  I won't get to all of it but if I can get a good section of it done the people around  me won't complain as much.  It is almost nine in the morning and it might be somewhat dry with the sun shining.  We of course had more rain last night.  West of us they had a 6 inch rain.  That really does cause flooding in Iowa when it comes all at once like that.

I am going to try to do low exercise today and tomorrow as my job is a five day workout.   I can feel it in my muscles more this year than last as I have developed an inflammation problem in the blood circulatory system.  It is an old man's problem and I take a lot of pain relief for it to keep me going. Slowing down has to come sometime in the future.  And yet as being on my feet or being not on my feet doesn't seem to make any difference to the inflammation condition.

We have a movie planned for this afternoon and eat out tomorrow for our wedding anniversary.  That will be fun and low exercise as the waitress love to run around all over to make the customer happy.
Thanks for stopping in today.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday has arrived......

This single bud is from a rose that has not bloomed for me for years.  It had frozen back and because of the ample moisture it put out a bud.  It sits next to the wild rose in my yard so  I plan to move it into the sunshine and away from the evasive rose.

The mock orange bush is old.  It was on the property when I bought back in 1976.  It has a tree growing out of the center of it that I need to have removed.  That is a project that isn't on my front end of my list but I will get rid of that tree.  The blooms are plentiful and will start to fall off pretty soon.

My last photo  to share is this weathered carefree rose.  I think it is a carefree rose but I may be naming it incorrectly.  The blooms are prettier than this in good condition but they seem to be starting to rebloom and all that are on the bush are older blooms.

I let my license expire and spent a wonderful hour getting that all straightened out.  I had spent the night before studying for the test I would have to take.  The secret to the situation is to go when it is too busy and to go when all the test computers are in use.  The guy at the counter looked my driving record over and looked at the time expired beyond the expiration day and he wrote renew on the top of my form.  Once I had reached the counter it took on 10 minutes to get the job done.  Gave him $20 and he took a horrible digital photo that makes me look like a lineup criminal.  The camera flattens the face and enhances everything to make you have a saggy baggy face.  At least I hope I don't look like that photo.

Another hard physical day at work.  My body is protesting it all by making me walk slow and be bent over from all the lifting and pushing.  I will get use to it but it takes a few weeks to build the stamina.  Thanks for stopping by today. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013 Thursday.

This rose has many buds and  many of them are opened.  All are in different stages as you see this bud and the other almost weathered bloom.

I am anxious to see these burst into white blooms.  The dead ones from last year have just fallen off the past few weeks.

Getting your iris all into a row.  I liked the result of this shot with the bright sun behind the iris.  I am tired today and will be glad for the week to be done.  It was a very physically hard week the past few days and I am ready to stop doing that kind of work for a few days.  I hope all is well with you.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A bouquet from the outdoors........

Picking up iris stalks from the ground I decided to cut off a few of the blooms to bring in to the house.  The  rains have done a number on most everything and it is getting to be the end of the season for some of the iris.  They have done well this year. 

The flag iris is going to bloom this year.  It is wonderful with its deep blue color.  I have a light blue variety that may bloom but it is in low light so it will be later. 

I do not know the name of the small rose but it blooms abundantly.  It is covered with blooms, all in different stages of maturity.  The flower is a very delicate one with small buds and then the finish of the blooming almost looks like a cabbage rose in it's shape.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I have stories to tell and yet will hold onto them until I have a longer period of time to write.   Subjects will include red violets, deer grazing in town,  a friend being surprise with an unexpected birth from her horse and general janitorial folklore and reality too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Front and Back.......

This has really started to flourish when I brought it out into the sun.  I really like it'

Bishop's Weed, wild violets and some stray tall grass make up the composition.  The wet weather really made this grow up and spread quickly.

Hollyhocks are going to be tall and strong this year. They are about the only vertical, tall thing that I have in my gardens.

Mondays are always tough but today it seemed better.  We are adjusting to the early morning work and trying to get at least seven hours of sleep.  A nap once in a while doesn't hurt anyone.  I need to mow already but it will be raining today and maybe tomorow.  I will be back to commenting soon.  I am just a little bit behind. I don't have my laptop from school anymore so I can't work off the couch and watch tv at the same time any more.  Thanks for stopping by today.