Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday.......Oh My.......

I am working with a long photo of the Woodward School taken in 1920.  I ran across this earlier photo that actually was taken four years earlier.  That means that a large group of these smaller kids are now the older larger  kids in the 1920's photo.  I will need to scan this one and make some comparisons of people.  Oddly enough I was doing Saturday school and saw another, a third one, long photo taken of all the students in 1920 and it was a different photo.  It makes me wonder if they can only print one photo per shot as they are not the same pose of students, kids have been shifted around from one picture compared to the other. I notice that the photos are given numbers as if they are taken in a series at the same time.

Door greaters were standing in attention as I went over the neighbor lady's house on Saturday afternoon.  Penny is the terrier than I have taken care of many times but the new neighbor next dooe was visiting and has this little dog named Princess. Both were so glad to see me and escort me into the house.

Substitute teaching in the morning and substitute associate in the afternoon, that will be my today's task.  We are having thunder and lightening this am and maybe again this afternoon.  It is to be close to 70 degrees this afternoon before the cold front starts to head in again.   Thanks for stopping by today. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Green Alien Stuff........

I welcome the coming of green.  In the back yard the bean pod lays next to the sprouting or reviving of some grass. I get a lot of volunteers starts in my flower garden areas from those bean pods.  The small trees are really nice looking with a great fern-like foiliage but I don't want the grown tree in my yard.

I really have never looked to see if the vinca stays green all winter, but I wouldn't be surprised that it does.  I was trying to take a shot of a new lilac shrub that I had planted and I got distracted seeing the green shiny leaves next to it and never got a shot of the lilac sprouts.

The redtwig dogwood is turning to a deep red this spring.  I didn't get it trimmed back but I warned the bush that it may get a haircut very soon.  It has spread into other areas crowding out iris and peony bushes.

I posted this shot of my house finch peaking around the suet cage.  I didn't think I even had a shot of it but it is kind of a cute shot of it.  On my Photo a Day blog I shared another photo of a cardinal and the little bird shows up in full view in that shot.

It is going to be warm today.  We will go to church to feel the most warmth as it will be 70 degrees down there.  Here in Woodward we won't be that warm as they predict our town to be in the lower 60's.  Every warm day helps to thaw out that ground.  It must be thawing a little as the grass wouldn't be greening.  The grass above is in a protected area so that is why it green while the rest of the ground does still feel frozen on the surface.  The temps should make a dent into it.  I see the people north of us will possibly have a blizzard next week which means we probably still will be cold again and it will probably snow.   Thanks for your visit today.  I hope everyone is well today.  Tomorrow!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Family History Shots.......

My creativity today is focused on analyzing a family picture from 1942.  When I first looked at the photo I really didn't appreciate what I had here in the way of family history.  It is a diverse representation of four generations but with only one or two people on the many branches.

When I was younger and away from home, my mom had my two older brothers go through the photos in all the boxes.  They were told to take what they wanted and of course they would take the ones of the era of their growing up.  My years were 10 years later so many of the photos of the two older brothers would not be of anything that I would remember. Slowly but surely, my oldest brother, scans and emails to me images of the past.  I wasn't born until 12 years later but they do spark my curiosity.

I am first impressed with the clarity and good contrast of this photo. It is a photo taken in Murray, Iowa where my Grandmother moved after loosing her husband in 1937 and where my mom and oldest brother lived while my dad was in the service.  For shooting a photo with a box camera they normally will be slanted.  The second thing that amazes me is that this is truly four generations of people.  The generation steps aren't by one individual family but by the generations that you see here. If you were to visualize this photo, the tree would actually have one or more people represent on many different branches that sprout back to Grandpa Wheeler. Being a visual, I would really like to draw it out but I will spare you. 

The picture marked Grandfather Wheeler is really my Great Grandfather Wheeler.  He is the dad of my grandmother on my mom's side.

Elva Wheeler, we called him Elvie, is the son of the Grandfather in the picture and Elva is my Grandmother's brother. There were five boys and one girl in the family.  That means he is a Great Uncle. 

Kenneth sitting in the back is my Grandmother's son, my mom's brother.  He is my Uncle Kenneth and I bet Uncle Marvin is the one laying in the grass next to him. There were two boys and a girl in that family.

The Ronnie, little boy, is my oldest brother.  He is sitting there with his Great Grandfather, Great Uncle and his Uncle, maybe two uncles, in the background. 

Shirley and Freda are second cousins to Ronnie and of course myself.  Their father, not in the picture was another brother to Elva and my Grandmother.  They would be first cousins to Kenneth in the background. 

The achievement here is that I discovered a visual curiosity of a family tree.  The other thing I enjoy is how good the photo is with all it's clarity and the historic cars and houses.  The house still stands today, the one on the left, but it was turned into a one story.  My parents met and married because of this house and the history of renters my dad's sister in the upstairs of the house.  I think the garage and house next door are also still standing.  Trees have been added but it still is all there.

I took the easy way out today as I used this posting for both my creative zone and also my Sepia Saturday site.  If you do follow me on Sepia Saturday you can be confused as you will see the very same thing.  The weekend seems like a slow moving one for me today. I am Saturday school to monitor now five mostly well behaved boys.  They take a lot of coaxing to behave but they have settled in and zoned in now for the 4 hour trial. Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday's Filler Stuff..........

Cardinal wars seem to be going on daily.  I don't know who the victor will be.  I keep seeing brown birds being chased in the air.  They go zipping by and one of them is bright red and the others I assume are females.  The dart by so fast that I can't really be sure.

The oxalis in the house are really one of my first spring blooms along with the hardy geranium plants.

As I look through my archived photos I find work that I never did approach.  The pile of things my mom had saved all those years have lots of great family history in them to be organized.  My Great Uncle Lee and his wife are shown here with their anniversary booklet.  They are gone now but their families live near the Lorimor and Winterset, Iowa area.   That is the location where the book Bridges of Madison was written  and the area was shown in the movie. The area is full of rolling hills with oak trees and many rivers and streams.  The article behind that booklet tells about the town of Hopeville, Iowa.  Unfortunately I have only the front page of the article and not the second page which shared the end of the written piece.

A year ago in the spring, Tiny Tim looked like this.  Now today as he comes to visit for free food, he is a full grown cat. He was sickly back then and has really healed up and is a full normal looking tom cat. He loves to be petted and likes to step inside to great us in the morning before he gets fed for the day.

I am in the high school today being a sub for math.  They are having workday to finish up the past two assignments.  It should help them become even with the grade book by having everything completed.  It is Friday and we will be going to the visitation for our young man who was in our Sunday school classes.  He is Cambodian so the funeral was pushed back so relatives from Cambodia could come the funeral.  There is about 600 in the entire community in Des Moines and the original group came during the Khmer Rouge  when Poi Pot was exterminating their Khmer nation of people. The oldest ones are all the grandparents of the students that we now have in Sunday school.

I thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you have a good day today and a nice weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

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

AJ is growing up and still is keeping that great smile. His parents receive by internet each day three photos of what he has been doing for the day in daycare. Andy forwarded a set of them to us to see what he does on a daily basis.  There are pictures of his sleeping at daycare, eating mashed potatoes and sitting in group listening to a story.

Being family day, I am sharing one of my daughter in laws photos of my youngest son. Aaron lives in Maine and he likes to walk his dogs out in the timbers around the area.  He and Keegan snowshoe in many areas including in Acadia National Park.  The last set of photos I stole from their facebook site was a skiing adventure.

I wanted to share Keegan in a  photo on here but I guess she is always the one taking the photos. Thye do a lot of things in the Bar Harbor area in the summer  hiking, kayaking on the rivers.  and canoe racing.

My inside garden of tomatoes have really grown.  I set them in the sun everyday for a portion of the day.  I placed a plastic clear lid on them but they are starting to grow to tall for the lid.

I am in the special education room today.  It is my first day back since the Friday before spring break.  I enjoy working in this department and will return tomorrow as a high school math teacher. 

My birthday cake was and still is wonderful.  I hope to get photos.  Our meal out at P. F. Changs was wonderful.  I really like the lettuce rolls and their Mongolian beef is the best.  Every place makes it differently but that which we had last night was so good.  It became too cold to be outside while we were out eating but we are Iowans and one has to expect pain from the weather.  We are having light rain today off and on for most of the day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday in the Middle..........

As I work on this old home like mine I keep discovering historic evidence of the past.  The wall paper was in tack behind the kitchen cupboard in which I was repairing.  It is so typical of the 50's in appearance.

I have archived the photos of the different wallpaper designs that I have discovered while working on the house.  I didn't dig them out for you today fearing that I might be redundant again all over again. I had found three different patterns when I remodeled the dining room 5 years back.We still have exposed paper in one of our downstairs closets of bouquets of flowers from the 40's. The fern pattern on one wall of the dining room is one of my favorites.

I will try to give you facts on this one and not write about excessively.  The carpenter did not attach this double door upper cupboard to the wall or ceiling.  It was connected by one top board that extended out from the flank of cupboards on the long wall.  I jacked it up with my car jack about three fourths of an inch, placing front temporary legs, posts of wood, to push it back up to the right height.  I lag bolted the back of the cupboard to the wall joists in the wall that it was suppose to be attached to but the cupboard itself is still not against the wall.

The plan in the future is to keep tightening down the lag bolts to get the cupboard wood to eventually warp back to the wall.  This morning my wife noticed right away that the crack between the wall and cupboard is less.  I will keep tightening the bolts until it is closer to the wall.  I may have to put a piece of trim over the crack to make it look right for now.

While working in the storeroom I found the watercolor that I did  back in the late 80's.  It was painted on location near the Cascade Falls area on the Lake Superior north shore.  I never framed it as it has three or four brown spots on it that ruins the painting.  I now think I may rewet it and work on removing the spots.  If not successful, there may be some birds appearing in the photo as they try to cover up spots and also look  land on the rocks.

It is my birthday today and I have the day off again.  I smell cake baking and that is a good smell. It helps to reward the birthday person, me, to feed me red velvet cake and ice cream so I can ignore how old that I have reached. The 1950 year was certainly a different era than today.

We are headed to the bookstore this afternoon for an hour and then we are headed to P. F. Changs for a Chinese meal.  We haven't been there for a few years so it will be nice to return.  Thanks for stopping by today and have a good day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Late Tuesday Posting........

Jean Claude, Junior

A customer picking up a portrait from my wife a few days ago said that our Button looked like her sister"s dog, Jean Claude, that she once owned.   My wife said that probably he does because that Jean Claude was Button's father. Jean Claude passed away a few years ago but he fathered three puppies of which our friend gave us one of them. Button is 16 years old now so that was a long time ago. The visitor was so surprised how Button looks so closely like his daddy. The other litter mates were different colors.  One was a brown poodle and the other was a very petite short legged all white dog. Button is white with brown ears.

 I am working in the kitchen today trying to repair a big problem.  In the old photo of an older home in Corning, Iowa you can see the kitchen at the very back left side of the house.  This house, not mine, is just exactly like my house when it was first built.  My house has the back kitchen that is about 10 by 14 feet in size.  It is like an addition, as it originally was like a summer kitchen in which the north and south doors could be opened while the old wood burning cook stove would be hot in the summer.

I don't take pictures of the kitchen on my house as it has the original siding on it from 1904. You never get to see it except with a picture of the flagstone foundation or a vine clinging to the siding. It is in bad shape and that siding is the only part of the house that I have not replaced .  The west side of the kitchen outside has the residue imprint of the old brick chimney that was there to vent smoke from the stove.  The chimney was long gone when I bought the house and the north door off the kitchen had been built in and plastered over to cover it. I found the door opening when I added on an art gallery to the north of the kitchen.  

Back to my disaster that is going on right now.  A man was at my house 30 or more years ago to work on my phone and said he had built the dining room buffet and the kitchen cupboards.  I knew they were built in by just looking at them but the ceiling of the very old room wasn't level and he didn't try to cover that up when he built all the cupboards.  

The past two years a right turn section of those cupboards seem to be settling away from the ceiling.  It is a two door width upper section and settling does come with old houses.  In the past few months not only did the cupboard settle more away from the ceiling but also it is now pulling away from the wall.  It is like the whole section had never really been attached to the wall. I had to get my car jack and lift the whole section up vertically and make it again touch the ceiling. I ended up having to put in temporary wood supports between the cupboard and counter. on the front of the cupboards, to keep them from falling forward more.  I have it all back up but now I am going to get lag bolts  to draw it back up against the wall. 

The thing about it is that you don't expect that kind of thing happening.  The past few days we noticed the one door would swing back open on its own and it was  creaking. We couldn't shut it.  That is what made me start looking up higher.  We have the dining room buffet and table covered with dishes and glasses now.  I have to go buy the bolts this evening and maybe it will be back up on the wall.  It was good that I didn't have work today as I needed the whole morning to mess with the project. 

Speaking of old things, I have started a project, working with the old 1920's group school picture.  I have been busy cropping individuals from the large group photo of all the kids at school. I am finding interesting things going on in the photos as kids are always kids when they are having there picture taken.

I am not quite sure what the end result will be but I want to create pages for people to be able to study the different students isolated away from the original photo.  I found a pair of twin girls in the photo.  I also found a little girl who must be blind standing among the group.  The behaviors I find interesting as the teenage boys are misbehaving in the back and one guy never had his face showing as he ducked behind another guy. 

Teachers back then were not much older than their senior students and it is hard to figure out who are the teachers who are the students.  

To add to the confusion of the 1920 study, I just found today a 1916 photo in the same format, long narrow shot of all of the students. I had stuffed in under the framing counter when it was given to me  many years ago. Now I have another one to scan.  

This nonwork day has been a busy one at home and this afternoon I am taking a rest.  I remember from past years that I don't get much work the days after spring break.  I can see why but sometimes things happen and a staff person does have to be gone.  

We are very cold today compared to other days and we keep getting spotty snow showers.  It looks so warm out there but a stocking hat is required once you feel the wind blowing.   Thanks for stopping by today. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


During the last years that my dad was on the farm he developed an interest in rock collecting and working rocks.  Working rocks is a short explanation for cutting and polishing rocks of all sizes. He had set up a cutting and polishing area in an outside shed which he had heated in the winter time. Winters are down time for a farmer who doesn't have a large amount of livestock. He had stopped raising hogs and feeding the cattle one time a day didn't take much time.

While cleaning out the storeroom I found an old popcorn tin that was full of these rocks.  My dad's major collection sat in the garage on many shelves and my brother sold that collection out from under my mom and family after my dad had passed away.  The inside rock collection stayed in tack but my mom's unstable mind at the time was certain my brother was stealing the rocks. She may have been right about it being stolen from the inside case, I don't know, but I told her to pack it all up and I would bring it home. It is still in storage in different places in the house.

My sophomore year in college during summer break I drove with my parents to Wyoming.  An old rock hound man and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. White, took us to a place in the desert where you could dig up agatized wood branches.  It was out in the middle of nowhere and was found by directions in rock hound magazines. We camped there that night.

Digging with shovels we were able to go about eight inches down in very rocky sand and find full fallen tree branches that were agate rock.  My mind thought they would be full branches but the were broken into sections like you see here.
This piece looks like it is covered with sand but it actually is all hard and agatized.

From research I found it is called Blue Forest Agate. I had not remembered the full name other than Blue.  I have found a post that tells of many digging sites in Wyoming. 

Here is the same piece with the cut my dad had made and polished to a black sheen.  The surface is so mirror like that you see the reflection of the tablecloth in the photo.

I don't have sold facts about this but petrified is a different kind of stone than this kind.

Here is another piece that shows more of a wood pattern that the above piece which is completely black.  The brown and black is great and you can see the cyst like material between the wood parts are crystal like quartz.

My dad would stand for hours polishing the stone from rough grade polishing pieces down to fine sanding material.  His final polish of rouge made the surface into a mirror.

My youngest son was the one that would take the time to look at his Grandpa's rocks so my dad always said that Aaron was to inherit the rocks.  I guess I am the temporary guardian at this point.  I have dozens of cabochons that my dad had made.  That is a unique collection of various kinds of shapes of different stones, cut and polished that my dad has picked up from the  ground as well as purchased at rock shows.

No work for me today with it being the first day of the last nine weeks. From subbing history, the teachers tend not to miss school now for awhile after spring break unless they are required to go to a workshop or have a young child sick.  I will be taking the day easy and yet use it to get some things done with this bonus free day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Morning........

It said on the package that they would sprout in 8 to 12 days.  The tomatoes are up already on day 5.  I had just found my plastic cover to put over them. I had misplaced it. While removing the plastic sheet that I had on them I was so surprised to see them pop up from under the sheet.

It has been windy the last couple of days.  The wind we received of course was out of the northwest and it was cold air.  We are at 13 degrees F. this morning.

I was looking in the store for something to put out for water for the birds.  I put an item in my cart and then realized I should have something already that would do the trick.  This large tray that goes under a planter will work great.  No bird will drown in my water dish.  Of course this morning it is a great ice skating rink for the birds as it was frozen.

The new cake of suet made the woodpeckers very happy. I never know which kind of suet to buy.  I did notice that one starling was not happy with one thing that was  in the cake as I saw it spit out a seed across into the  yard. He may have been just a picky eater.

It is Sunday and the official last day before school starts up again.  The forecast is for snow.  It won't be much but it does seem wrong to come back from a spring break with snow on the ground. I don't know if I will have work tomorrow or not.  I can't imagine anything keeping people from coming back from a week off unless they have a child that is sick.

 I hope you at least have sunshine like we do this morning. Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


We are having the light in the days which makes it look like spring but that is all.  We are cold again and snow will be coming again on Monday.  It isn't abnormal for these spring snows.  I know it just bothers us because the winter was so long and cold. Thirties in temps is better than eleven degrees that we averaged there for a while.

While at the dining room table yesterday I could see the neighbor's white cat on an adventure.  There are a lot of birds in this tree I suppose looking for new seed heads on the branches.  The cat didn't hesitate to crawl right up into it.  I though for a while that bluejays may have a nest up there but I am not sure. This is the same cat that we sitting in the window often in the afternoon.

The higher in the tree she crawled she changed her technique of climbing.  She acted like it was a spiral staircase and walked in circles going up the tree.

This is the first photo that I took before the major climb.  I really didn't expect her to go so far up in the tree.  She sat in the window watching the birds and here you can see her looking around in the other trees at the movement of the birds.

While working in the storeroom I found the rest of my chest of drawers.  I had removed it to carry it upstairs. I am not sure why I had removed it but I removed all drawers and that back part to make it as light as possible.  I had to take a turn at the top of the stairs with a banister in the road.  I guess it made more space for the tv that sits on top of it with it not being attached.  I am going to reattach it.

I use to think that all of these decorations were hand carved on the original wood piece but they aren't what they appear.  The floret at the top was carved directly to the piece but the other parts are carved and sandied separately and then applied.  One can buy these parts, raised decorations, at the better wood stores. I bought one to put on my porch pediment and then just painted it.

The chest of drawers is a piece my mom bought at an auction at Murray, Iowa when I was still in high school.  I had learned to strip paint and stain from furniture by working on a walnut table so she thought it was time to buy some clothes storage for my bedroom.  I think she paid six dollars or less for two different pieces.

I had to do some searching but I did find the photo of the chest of drawers five years back.  I took off the original dark stain finish when it was first bought back in 1965.  I didn't have to do anything to it as it still has the good finish I put on it 49 years ago. It has its original pulls and it does have locks installed on the drawers which seems a strange practice now but back then I assume it was for safekeeping of important things. We have it in our bedroom upstairs where it gets good use. I will share the other piece at another time.  That piece has dovetail joints on its drawers that are really unusual.  No photos available at this time.

Our little Button took the outside stairs and fell this morning, so we are sitting with him right now.  He is a lot better but he must have bruised his back leg as he really cried out in pain for a while.  He is a lot better and is walking on it now. We will just hang around a longer time this morning and may head to the bookstore at Ames, Iowa.  It is next to the Iowa State campus and can be crowded but today they are probably watching basketball tournament play.  ISU actually won again last night but there best player broke an ankle last night.  Their future is in peril.  Button is better so all you animal lovers fear not.  He just doesn't see very well anymore and he we are going to have to guard him more closely when he comes back up the stairs.

Cold is the word for the day.  We will wear winter coats and sweaters again today but it is a sunny day.  Getting close to being the end of spring break.  I hope everyone is well.  Some of my friends are going to have colder weather than usual.  Some are use to it and others, who I call Tropicals, will feel colder than they were ever use to in their location.  I thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Frills Friday........

I was trying to find green outside and I did find a couple of things.  I did realize that our ground is still solidly frozen.  It is said that  we have 30 inches of frost right now in our soil.  That is pretty far down for this time of the year.  The creeping Charlie of course is in a green state so that when it warms up it can take off.  I was given this fountain many years back and it has remained a sculpture rather than a functioning fountain.  The moss is really tough and apparently isn't bothered with any cold temperatures.

While rearranging the storeroom and throwing things away, I found these two birds.  I bought them a number of years ago but they were put away over a Christmas season and they never returned to the living quarters of the house.  I posted them sitting in among my plants on my Photo a Day blog today.  They look like they belong in a tropical setting. 

Throwing things away and moving somethings into new locations means we can walk around in the storeroom more easily.  I have plans for three more items today to get moved out and put into use.  A very old trunk my dad found in an old house is going upstairs spare room to hold quilts.  I may line the old trunk with plastic but I was told not to store quilts in plastic bags.

We have older paintings in storage and I ran across this one that I had done many years ago. I created the artwork on the shores of Lake Superior.  I can see that my horizon leans a little even though that should be a flat line. I definitely needed training to do the sea gulls in oil pastel as they are not great.  It was in 1993 that I had made it. It is done in oil pastel which is a colored oily stick that you rub onto your surface.  It works good but small details like seagulls are hard to do with the material. They also melt in the sun when you set outside along a shoreline.

The location is Gooseberry Falls.  It is a State Park along the north shore where the falls are beautiful. The river flows into the lake.  Many people don't follow the road down to the shore of the lake because the falls really are that wonderful to see.  If you follow the road down you come to a large rocky area on the shore that is high above the lake with chiseled rock formations. It is one of the nicest places to visit and usually is very windy.  The area is such a large rocky  area that there are no trees so it is warm in the sunshine. You can hear waves splashing against the rocks and waterfowl is always hanging around somewhere. 

How do you date the age of cardboard?  I take apart these old frames and find cardboard in various stages of deterioration. This is the framing things of the long school house framing in which I need to replace the glass. The cardboard has strange stripping on it. The photo was taken in the 1920's but I am not sure that it wasn't framed a little later.  The design of the frame seems 60's in shape.  I will never know but I am always curious as to their history.  On frame job I worked with had square nails in it. The picture will hang in the town library once I get it completed.

Friday is the last day of my official spring break.  We both are a little under the weather but we could do something if we could get the energy up to do it.  Not being on a schedule is good but I am a little anxious with blank spaces in my day.  I will do some more to the storeroom today and finish this blog first.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Take care, all of you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Creative Day, Maybe.........

I thought I might do a What is it? day but I am too tired to deal with it.  I will start off with clues as I move into the total picture. 

Did you ever have a machine that was a gyratotor that was made in Newton, Iowa in 1926. Apparently they dropped the word gyratator to agitator instead.  I am assuming before 1926 the washing women used the wash boards.  I had never thought of it before but my house was built in 1904 and it originally didn't have a basement so they had to do their laundry in the kitchen by carrying water in and out of the house.  When a basement was put in under this house, they must have immediately bought a machine and installed electricity.

Here is the total shot that I have also shared on my Photo a Day blog. My mom had a newer model that was of white enameled metal.  It was a single tub one while my wife's family had a double tub machine. One had to put the soapy clothes into clear cool water then run the clothes through the ringer with out getting you hand and arm pulled into the rollers.
A project that I shared a month ago is now being dealt with by me. I have to replace the glass on this old 1920's school photograph.  I scanned it yesterday and I am seeking clues from various cropped parts of the photo.  With photoshop I am pulling smaller shots of people in different levels in life.  I find richer kids with shoes and fancy dresses and others who are barefoot and bib overalls. I haven't had enough time to really get into all that can be discovered.  I did see there is one little girl wearing dark glasses.  I assume she has bad eyesight or is blind as sunglasses were not being sold just anywhere back then.

I will be revisiting this as I have more time to crop and study the different sets of students at the Woodward, Iowa town school.

We were saddened today to see on the news that we lost one of our former Sunday school students. My wife had Justin as a student when he was in his younger grades for a number of years in our Asian-Cambodian Ministry classes.  When he was in 5th grade he moved up to my class and was attending for a couple of years after that.  They moved away for a while so he hadn't been in my class for a year. He was such a sweet gentle person.

Justin Chey made the news locally and nationally because of his family situation.  He was caretaker for an elderly diabetic grandfather and grandmother when not in school. Grandmother had Alzheimer's disease. Justin kept the house running while his mom was at work in the evenings cooking meals for grandparents. He had grown up fast as he was such a little guy when we first met him and he then grew into this man's body by the time he reached 13 years old.  When he was diagnosed with a brain tumor the papers picked up the story and then the local tv. A lot of people came in to help the family and Justin. That is what the news covered. We are so sad that the advancement of cancer that has taken his life too soon. Those in Heaven are so pleased to greet him in and we will miss a young friend.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday's Wanderings...........

I snapped the jars in the store room a few days back and can see I have room to place a few more on the shelf.  I am inspired to go into the store room/bird room/old piano room/winter plant room and whatever else it has been and do some rearranging and cleaning.  It is nice to have a room where you can just put things and decide what to do with them later.  The problem is that I need to get in gear and decide.  I have my parents things that I just couldn't throw away that I wanted to blend in with the house.  I know the old trunk can just go upstairs and store loose photos and things that also need to be reorganized. I have a glass display case that my dad had made for displaying his polishes stones.  It isn't a great piece of furniture but I could put antique things in it.

I have a desk that was a kids college desk that I am going to put on the curb.  I know that if it doesn't get picked up by someone in town for recycle in their home that I could burn it.  I have another tall cupboard that my dad made that I could be putting things inside it if I get the other furniture things out of the way.  Spring is driving me with a lot of clear light outside so I might get things clean up in there.

It isn't a pretty display but it makes it easy for us to get to our new dishes.  I cleared out the things that filled the cubby in the kitchen and now will use these dishes with ease.  I see the Pfaltzgraff company has similar dishes for sale at Walmart.  They have a pattern of smaller flowers on their cups and plates.  They also have a pattern that is decorated with the same colors but the plates are square with squares of colors decorating the outside of the plate edge.  It might be fun to mix in a couple of smaller bowls or buy a square plate for a serving platter.

I have brought these medium sized starts out into the dining room window and away from the artificial light.  I was remarking to my wife that big stores really want to sell everything but they don't take good care of their living products.

Walmart has new violets in for sale at the spring time and they sit in bunches inside the store or outside in the greenhouse area where it is cold.  Everytime I go through the  garden area I can see the visible weakening of the potted plants as the leaves are turn brown and the flowers are shriveling from too much water or too little water. It is the same way with orchids as they come in from greenhouse in beautiful shape, they put high prices on them, and then you can see them die every time you go back to the store.

This hardy geranium has decided to bloom in the new longer days of light. It had smaller bud heads before but now they are almost normal size. I won't be able to put these guys outside until May.

This old tree in the front of our house is really a mess.  An arbor person would have a heyday trimming and correcting all of its flaws.  It keeps dropping down dead parts that lean here and there through the tree.  Age wise it has almost reached its life span for being a good looking specimen.  I have been here over 30 years and it was a big tree when I first moved to the property.  Now it has seen so many storms and grown so big that it has become a danger to my house.  I will have to remove it but not this year.

We went to see The Monuments Men yesterday and we were sure glad that we had. It was a group of art minded men during WW II, assigned to go out and try to protect or find the art works that Hitler and Stahl were stealing as fast as they could. The movie  is closing in a lot of theaters this week but it really was well done as a movie and were glad to catch it.  Some of the recreated places that the men were traveling through were the same locations that my dad had traveled as a 22 year old soldier.  The Remagen bridge area was where my dad was crossing the Rhine. He was one of the first to cross the bridge.  He could of told them about the authenticity of the tents in the snow during the battle of the bulge.  He was shipped into Belgium after that country was retaken from Germany and the artworks shown in the movie that had been stolen were already stolen from that country before he arrived.

The monuments men later found a lot of the items in salt caves scattered all over Germany, being stored for the great art museum that Hitler had planned to build.  Russians took over Germany for a while and they removed a lot of work that the Americans couldn't rescue before them. The Russians just recently, five or more years ago, started showing some of the works that they took. They have no interest in returning any of them to their owners.  In the news this past year, a German citizen had died and it was revealed that he had two apartments full of the works that he was keeping in hiding.

The one thing that fascinated me most was to see the radios that they were using in the war and shown in today's movie.  My dad was a radio man that carried one along with the leaders in charge both during battle and also out with scouts who were out in front of the battle lines.  They showed that same radio in the movie in many scenes.  It had glass tubes in it and my dad complained that they were always having to replace them as he carried it, walking most time and sometimes in a jeep.  He said that half the time the radio was down because it was too fragile to be in battle.  It was so great to finally see that radio that I had heard about 55 years ago when I was a kid.

Another spring break day and the day is a non planned day. We will rest, do odd jobs, and then may go do something and then maybe not.  Our light snow is melting this morning and it will be wet outside for a while. It is very windy and cold out there. We still need moisture.  Thanks for stopping by today and stay safe.