Thursday, October 31, 2013

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

An every day view that I see across the street.  The new owners have new shingles on everything.  The very old barn that leaned too much was removed and it seems vacant not having it there.  Can you see my new neighbor, a former student of mine, likes to go duck hunting?  He spends a lot of time fishing and hunting deer, ducks and geese.  He is good friends of our governor's son and they hit every season together.

The maple keeps changing to red one section at a time.  The leaves that fall on the ground are the very red ones.

Another shot of the birch tree as it keeps on turning yellow.  I have many shots of the tree but it is a lot like having a large flowering plant in the yard with all of its color. You can still see green in the center of the leaves.

Halloween is in our town tonight as they moved things around ball games and parent teacher conferences so everything can happen. I don't know how the weather will turn out but we did have a very rain filled day yesterday.  We are always torn as to do treats or not as the whole activity just drives both dogs crazy.  If I could stand the cold I might go out and just sit on the porch for two hours and hand out treats. I wouldn't have to wear a mask, get it, but I could put on some different warm clothing to look scary.  We bought candy last night and a big bag of expensive apples to hand out if we run out of candy.  We are on a side street compared to main street where the main crowd does roam. We have quite a few but not like the main street bunch. I don't like the two hours of waiting for people to come to the door so I may just go out and join the outdoor crowd.

I am working half the day in the Spanish room teaching about Spanish speaking dictators. I guess I will stay off the subject of American dictators as that is touchy to some people.  I am glad it is only a half day as it is good to get some time off. The absent teacher has everything ready to go for me so I don't have to search and decide what they intended for them to do.

Friday is coming and I hope all of you out there are well.  Thanks for stopping by the space today.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Braving the Cold.......

It seemed to be too cold to be out there but I went out anyway.  I knew the birch tree had changed color overnight and I saw some other changes that I wanted to capture. The daylily seems to be decorative as it keeps reacting to the cold temperatures.  Some years we have snow right away and I don't get to see these subtle changes in color.

I am saving the full view of the birch tree for another blog on another day but here is a sneak peak of it.  The redbud tree seems to get greener in color which makes the birch look brighter.  It was cold and the batteries kept wanting to fail on me.  I could shut the camera off, turn it back on, and then get one quick shot.  I could have gone back in to get more batteries but I didn't really want to return outside.  As long as I could keep miking the batteries and it worked, I just kept up the routine.

To my surprise these hollyhocks are still blooming even with the almost freezing weather. The have been on the ground for the past weeks and I should have staked them. I guess cold is better than heat for this type of flower.

My last day of high school math today.  It has not been a bad assignment but 7 periods of it can get to be dull.  The students are behaving well and yet have two different tournament events going on in the evening so they seem a little distracted.  The boys play a first  round game in football tonight and the girls played a first round in a volleyball tournament. 

I hope Friday is still going to be a warm day as I have a few things to finalize outside.  I don't think I will ever mow again unless it is to mulch up the leaves, but the leaves are not down yet. I can pull tomato vines now as freezing weather blackens them overnight.  I don't work on Friday so I will try to get things caught up.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wounded Wing.........

The ever famous angel of the garden has taken a hit.  As you can see it really isn't made of material to be used as an outside statuary.  It will promote it by bringing it into the inside now. He will have to be mended and placed on a warm safe shelf. This angel is probably the most photographed piece that I own as he always has an every changing mood reflecting the weather of the time and I snap his photo every time I walk by him.

Running a little slow myself today but am in a high school math room.  It will be a good assignment and the class sizes seem reasonable. I was told that I will spend a couple of days in here so I am going to get comfortable. This teacher has all upper classmen so it does make it a better deal as far as crowd control is concerned.

We had sprinkles this morning but it looks like it will clear.  They are promising rain on Wednesday  or Thursday.  Friday I have the day off and that is suppose to be a good day for fall in Iowa. Thanks for stopping in today. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Feels Like Monday!

The maple did change to red at the top.  I was concerned that it would stay brown and not turn.  I really do need to find some new material to share.  I am not wanting to be blogging trees forever.  When tree pictures is all that I have then that is it. This photo reminds me of the wild flower called paintbrush which I have seen in Minnesota.

The digital camera insists that it is this color.  I guess the sunlight really reflects back the red and the green.  I tried to photoshop it back a little so it wouldn't be so intense and I didn't succeed. This is the revived grass that spent the one month being dried out and crispy. 

I am certain that these blooms are gone by now.  We had 29 degrees F. last night and that should have sent them on their way.  I like how you can see some of the weeds are still hanging in there. They have not picked the cornfield as of today but I bet it will be done soon.  We had a short rainy period that slowed things down so they will get to it after they get their larger fields picked.

You may remember when I posted this showing the corn field in the middle or late summer.  I assumed that what you see in the distance was a large patch of corn planted in a different direction.  It actually was beans as the horizon is picked down to soil and is now a brownish dirt color.

I was called in today to be an English teacher for the high school. My future is planned out and I will be a math teacher for the next couple of days. I still have a little outside work to do so I hope we warm up again one or two more days.  We are allowed to burn in town in the fall and I save everything in piles to burn them during November.  I could take them to a town dump area but they also burn them out there.  I guess I would like to eliminate the hauling process so I usually burn. 

I hope all are doing well.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Silence...........

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Already............

 I look across the street from our bedroom window and I see this chair sitting out there.  It seems a little lonely even though it is near a lot of things.  The seat was removed or had fallen out, so the neighbors hung something into the opening. It has a container or fabric that holds the dirt.   I really like the look of it out under the crabapple tree. The chair looks like to me to be an old teacher's chair that was used with the old wooden desk.

I missed getting my post up yesterday.  I was recouping and really did forget to do it. I really hadn't noticed it until this morning while checking my comments. I have to get off my feet once in a while and really just stop doing things in general.  I am better today and I am administering ACT test this morning at the high school.

 The neighbor's maple next to that chair is turning into a nice yellow leafed tree. I like the dark lines that seem to show up when the leaves are light yellow.

This one rose bush would like it to stay warmer for a while.  The rains gave it hope that it could grow again and put out some new buds.  It isn't going to happen but the rose gets credit for trying.

 The birch tree is pretty right now with a light yellow leaves.  It will be interesting to see its next development before they drop.  Usually they drop within a two day period especially during a rain.  They are not yellow enough for them to drop but maybe soon that will happen,  This is the time of the year when the color of our house looks great.  It looks good with all green foliage but the fall leaves tend to make it a far more pleasing color scheme and the house looks like if fits better with those colors.

The sun shinning through the leaves of the birch makes it a wonderful sight.  You can feel how cold it is out there but it was a high of 45 degrees yesterday when I snapped this.

Saturdays are good even if I do have to come to school.  We will have the afternoon off to do something.  Dog food is on sale at Petsmart and I bet we end up there for sure.  I bet a bookstore sits around in the area too where we can get a hot cocoa or coffee and laze away for some time.  It has to be inside activities for now as the cold is not a good thing.  I still have some yard work to finish up but the wind has to stop blowing.  

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you are having a good weekend no matter what you are doing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chocolate Cookies with Lots of Frosting.......

I am not addicted yet after eating two oreo cookies.  I find them almost too sweet in comparison to a regular cookie.  We wondered how much that the sales of these things increased after someone out there was comparing them to addictive drugs. They had many of them out for sale at the grocery store and they had dropped the price a little. We usually don't buy cookies because we eat them.  I think the cold weather made us weak and we could not resist them.

I did get the glaze on these three pieces and the art teacher fired them for me last week. I don't know why they lean in the photo but I think the cameraman must have leaned to the right a little bit. The red brown glaze ended up being not shiny.  I may wax it to see if I can get a shine on it. I have known of people who used shoe wax on their pottery to give them a final finish. 

I  mentioned in my Photo a Day blog that it looks like chocolate syrup on the bowl.  If you look closely you can see the caramel syrup on the surface also.  It was an experiment with glaze.You put a flat plain glaze color on them and when they get heated to 1,000 degrees or more they turn to glass.  The glaze color changes in that process.

The math teacher has sick children today so I am back in the high school math room again. I didn't think I will be called in but the phone did ring about 6:30 telling me to come to work. We had a harder freeze last night but it doesn't look like much damage is done in town.  We just stay warmer than being out in the open on the prairie.  Thanks for stopping by today.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I have plenty of words on wordless Wednesday's but I just won't share any today. I am tired and it is in the middle of the week.  I will do a disclaimer on the blue globe to tell you that we don't have snow on the ground.  I picked that photo out of an archived set of photos.   Have a good day today.........    high school math, just in case you are wondering.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday's Things............

I know it is not spring but I salvaged these from my neighbor.  Six of them with the original name tags on them.  Knowing the  names of the colors is silly but I do now have what the growers decided to call them. The neighbor had them in an old fashioned hanging planter.  They had been left in their original small pots so they didn't grow nor did they bloom much.

I am not going to work too hard to make them grow as much as I want to just keep them alive through the winter.  Keeping moist soil and a little light in a cool storage room should maintain them. I like how the companies give flowers fancy names. Rocky Mountain White sounds like a pretty strong name for a white hardy geranium.

Yes, I am ready for the looney bin.  I promise to not blog about hardy geraniums for one month starting today.   I was at the Home Depot looking around mostly not planning on spending any money.  I saw some wonderful African violets and walked away from them.  I did go crazy when I let a woman who works in the greenhouse sell me a $2.00 planter full of red geraniums.  The woman had cut the product back and the set of 8 or more planters on display were covered with buds.  This one has about 20 or more bud clusters.   Now that it is about to freeze I will have instant inside flowers.  That is it,  no more discussion about geraniums.  My wife has already call the guys with the straight jackets to take me away. 

I think it is about time that I get some of these guys peeled and sliced for freezing.  They have ripened since I brought them into the house.  The last of them will freeze tonight and turn brown and soft.

I have taught two days in a row this week so far.  I am scheduled to work tomorrow which means I will break my record of working only two days a week.  Illness seems to be everywhere right now so the teachers will be gone more as the flu or bad colds keep spreading.  I hope all of you are staying away from contagious people and are having a good day today.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Everything was moved to the basement.  It didn't quite freeze last night so I did make before the deadline of a hard freeze.  Normally I would be putting things in my basement while it is sleeting or snowing and the wind would be blowing wildly. I found a magazine about the agapanthus plant you see here.  I will reread that article to see why I bought the plants in the first place.  I may plant them into the ground next spring and see if I can get them to bloom.

It still looks like early fall around here as the leaves are still on the trees.  I don't have leaves to rake but some of my neighbors leaves are in my yard.   Unfortunately my new, younger neighbor decided to take down two very nice full grown trees.  I guess he doesn't want to rake anymore or maybe he wants to grow grass instead. They were beautiful trees and he did leave three other trees to help us remember what they looked like.

Safe and sound inside and my neighbor gave me six of her hardy geraniums from a small planter that she had in the yard. I think I will plant them in a window box and just take them down in the basement to keep them partially alive.

It is a day being a special education teacher and an associate.  Two people at once is a trick so I am helping out at the most essential places with students as the teacher and as an associate. It is going to be a trying day today but I will make it as I have to stay on top of the 8 period day schedule. I hope you all have a great day. Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hidden View........

Having crossed the street to visit the corn field I turned to see how the red maple was doing with its color change.  I have blogged it before that my trees have taken over my yard.  The house is almost not in view from the east side of the house.

This leaf at the base of the maple is redish but the rest of the tree looks like it will be turning into a red brown tree this year.

I hope that the red does come eventually but from what I am seeing red brown it will be.  The neighbors maples are going to be their normal color this year.

Here is a sample of what the trees across the street are doing for their fall color.  It has been nice to get the moisture back into our ground and these trees seem to be hardy regardless of dry weather.

It is Sunday and I hope you have a good day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Iowa Corn Patch........

We actually call them corn fields but I am assuming that when they had small areas of corn or sweetcorn that they called it a patch.  This field across the field is 13 acres which does make it a patch.  A farmer south of us farms over a thousand acres.

I also blogged about the corn on my photo a day post today.  There are two ears on most stalks.  I saw a guy yesterday at Menards pay five bucks for four stalks without corn to be used as a decoration at his house. Cornstalks and pumpkins and squash make good fall decorations.  Dried up corn stalks are profitable in that venue for sure.  The farmer who rents this land baled up the stalks to sell for bedding to other farmers last year.  We will wait and see if he does it again this year.

While out next to the cornfield I discovered the wild morning glories were still blooming.  They looked a little peaked from the cold weather and wind. This is a good shot to show you how black our soil is here in Iowa. You can also see that a few weeds still survive in spite of all the chemicals they use on the field.

We are colder today than yesterday.  We are promised a hard freeze at night maybe Tuesday and Wednesday.  That means anything left out, plants and fruit on the trees will be killed.  I will go out Sunday afternoon and pick the last of my green tomatoes and they can ripen on the window sill. 

Thanks for stopping by this Saturday.  I hope you all have a good weekend.

Friday, October 18, 2013


It was fairly warm yesterday and I made my final trip to see what was left to be picked. The green pears fall to the ground and can handle the bounce. I like that as I can bring them in and let them ripen with out bruises.  Any bruised pear needs to be eaten the next few days.

I ended up with a bucket of pears at the bottom, apples in the middle of the bucket and then found one more branch that had pears.  I removed them all and sorted them as I can see apples smashing the pears.  We have a hard freeze coming next week so the picking will be completed then.

I did get the tall ladder to get these apples.  It was cold so the apples were very cold and hard as I picked them.  I won't pick anymore of these as I have already too many apples to get ready for freezing. I will venture out and pick up apples to give to my friends who have three horses.  I guess she shares the apples with the whole stable at the Jester State Park.

This geranium bounced back quickly from the few days of wind and rain storms.  It has budded and opened up a lot of nice blooms. I still have two plants of my geranium collection outside and I will get them inside today. I have to tote two large containers of agapanthus to the basement in the next couple of days.  I will get a dollie cart to help me get them down my outside basement stairs.

This group of plants are in for the winter.  This is the window that I look out during all weather to take shots to show the weather in Iowa.   Right now the birch is still holding onto its leaves and the weigela still has leaves so you can't see out. I have a photo I will show later that I took across the street toward the house.  My trees and bushes really do hide the house on the east side.  One dormer window show up in the photo and the rest of the house is hidden. I kind of like it that way.

I am home again today.  It is very cold outside and doesn't promise to reach any warmer that 52 degrees F.  I have a few things to do with plants outside but I will wait until it gets to the 50's first. I had a good adventure over to the neighbor's corn field and I will share more about that later.  I get a lot of good photos and I need to scatter them in my blogs rather than show and tell them all at once.

Thanks for stopping in today and have a great day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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

The neighbor's maples probably has changed a lot since I last took this shot. The leaves are thin this year as normally we would not be able to see through the tree.

I planted the start of a different daylily given to me from the neighbor to the south. It is a large plain orange one. It looked like pathetic starts because the summer was so dry but I planted them and watered them well.  The above daylily is doing well and will return next spring hopefully with many blooms.

I faced the goose away from the light and it appears to be looking outside. He looks a little bit lonely or deep in thought.  The dining room window is reflected in the ceramic object.  I had found the guy in my toy cupboard a few days back.  I have guilt feelings to get into the cupboard and clean and rearrange all of the things in there.  I will be taking shots of the items as the days go by.

I removed a window air conditioner from our upstairs hall already this morning and have other things to get done before noon.  I ended up being called in to work yesterday so my project list had been meant a little but I had to get to school by 10:30.  A special education teacher had a sick son and needed to take him home and take care of him. I finished off the day at school doing a lot of one on one teaching. I did not get called in today.  I am waiting for the flu to start hitting the other teachers.

I won't tell you what I will do for today until I have done it so I won't feel bad if I don't get much accomplished.  Della teaches adult art once every two weeks so she will be off this morning.  Other neighbor lady wants us to take her to KFC and Walmart in Boone this afternoon so that is why I have to get to my work immediately.  Thank you for checking in on me today.  It seems like a mad, mad, world sometimes around here but I will persevere.  Everyone take care out there.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In the Middle of the Week.........

A volunteer tree tends to turn color faster in the fall than the regular trees do. This is taken in an area that I don't maintain a garden so the tree escaped being clipped down this summer. When they get tall I do take them out by fall. 

My goose or duck was waiting in the cupboard for me to snap a few shots of his portly body.  I bought this ceramic piece so many years ago at a mall in Waterloo, Iowa.  They were being sold at a table with special needs students having created the work.  This guy just caught my eye and I had to have him.  He is so neat to hold with his round body and the different evidences of the painters brush makes it even more special. Whenever you see it, you have to pick it up and feel the smooth surface of the waterfowl in your hands.  Just to warn you now that I have other shots of him that actually show emotion.  I will spread the shots out through different posts.

Only two shots today.  I have the day off and will be going about getting things ready for winter.  I will bring in geraniums today. It doesn't specifically say we are going to have frost but I have the collection going and I have the place to bring them for the winter ready to go.  I have brought in my oxalis already and need to get the cactus into the house.  I know we will have a few warm days as we usually do but it spikes and dips in temperature around here so it is best to be safe.   Saying that I will pick the last of my fruit trees today.  A neighbor gave me a digging from her day lilies.  I want to get them into the ground today and watered so they can have the rest of the month to acclimate.

Well I have created a big list already and I was planning or resting today.  I will stop for now and hope everyone is doing well out there.  Thanks for stopping by today.