Larry.s Creative Zone
Monday, June 30, 2014
I purchased goldfish for my pond yesterday and they are sitting at the bottom of the bag. I floated the bag to get their water to be the same temperature as the pond water. When I returned they were all at the bottom of the bag trying to dive down into the bottom.
I get frustrated with Walmart and their fish department policy. They don't post anyone near the department so you can't ask to buy fish. I have been working at purchasing fish the past month and a half. I watched people who work their go in and out of the warehouse door but they apparently don't do fish. I know that the place doesn't make much money off of a 38 cent fish but I don't wait around if no one is willing to help me to buy fish. I did see a young man this time about an aisle away and asked if they had anyone who cold bag some fish for me. He said nothing, wasn't pleasant, and actied like I was bothering him. He picked up his radio and said Amanda and nothing more was said. I said "thank you" even though he didn't deserve it for his attitude. He was packing on the shelf wax room deodorizers and that is most important.
The reflections and the seeds from the above ash tree blend is making it hard to see the fish. They will grow quickly in their large body of water. I need to get some of the water drained out of there to keep the raccoons from helping themselves.
Marigolds always put out a strong color. These plants seem a little stunned by all the water they are receiving. I also know it takes the plants a while to adjust from being cramped in that plastic tray to being placed in a large area of dirt. The petunias on my property are really struggling with all the water. They just can't stand all the battering of rain drops.
It is tall and looks healthy and yet there is not a single bloom to be seen. I know it is a roma tomato and it has grown well in the pot. I didn't get fertilizer on this one or any flowers around the patio so I will work on that the next few days. I am home today and will get some outside work done before noon. Storms will it by noon today. I may try to get some of my mowing done but the humidity is so heavy and the heat will make it tough to do much out there. I have a lot of different projects to do today and I hope one of them can be a project that I can complete. I have a few projects that are always never ending as the strings attached to them means they either can't be finished or I don't have all the things that I need to get it finish.
I have the yearly struggle of finding the last two or three senior photos that didn't get turned in to me. The instructor didn't give me one of the photos and one boy had his pictures taken too late for anyone to receive them. I will have to call his house or a teacher that he worked with to find and make a copy. I have an administrator that can give me a better, new photograph to use or he can just have the fuzzy old one from last year.
It is Monday and it is a start of a shortened week. I didn't get work today and I was glad for that. The area I work is not air condition so the days like this would make it hard for paint to dry. I need to go get the mail at the post office and purchase gas for the mower so I can start the task. I hope everyone has a good day and a great week. Thanks for stopping by today.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
It makes sort of a good picture but I don't understand why it looks this way. I have a lot coneflowers returning this year from our two year dry spell and I do hope they do better than this. They did thin out a lot but hopefully I will have a good flush of them.
The raspberries I picked a few days ago did get put into a sauce form. The amount that I had smashed down with sugar did make exactly one pint of the sauce. I really like it as a sauce on my ice cream. Last night I had cookies and creme ice cream and I still put some on to create a great dessert.
I need to go out tomorrow and pick again if it isn't raining continually. I can sneak out during a break but it is more pleasant if it isn't soaking wet out there. I didn't mention this before but while I was picking last week I had in my pocket my pruning shears. I spent time trimming back all the dead canes and then I picked the area. I kept shifting along the patch getting a lot of the dead stuff down. I haven't carried it all away yet but will do so in the future.
My half price purchase of orange petunias had the remains of a couple of other flowers in the pot. I transferred the whole contents directly into the larger pot. I am not too concerned about how the strays are doing but the purple and yellow flowers look like they still might revive. It looks pretty sparse on this side of the pot when the other side is filled with the larger petunias.
We have yet to have sunshine this Sunday morning but it may happen in a while and then maybe not. We are suppose to have severe storms late this afternoon so we will need to rush home to be with the dogs after church. We both are weary from walking in the hot sun all morning yesterday to view the arts festival and then we walked inside in air conditioning all afternoon. It was good for us but it did make a very long day. We will be in a restorative kind of behavior today trying to rebuild from exercise. I did work a hard day painting on Friday so I started to drag by noon yesterday.
We traditionally go to the Spaghetti Works that is downtown Des Moines for our noon lunch. They have a very large farmers market going on down there so we get to see some of the crowd and sale items while getting to the Works. They sure had a lot of plants for sale that I would have liked to price but they wouldn't have survived in the car in the hotter than hot afternoon. We had good food and rested between the two art shows. We were seated in the front of the place where the large 100 year old store windows face out into the street so we could watch people, vendors and people with their dogs. It was a good time.
Thank you all for stopping in today. I hope all my blogging friends are doing well and their summer is a good one.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
The jelly has been tested and it is very good to eat. We will enjoy it on our toast in the morning.
The leftover jelly gets put in a glass bown and we will eat that first. It is good tasting as we don't water down the juice and we use a lot of sugar just like we were told to do on the box of Certo.
My newest hosta is doing well as it likes getting out of that pot and into the ground. We have probably had up to 6 inches of rain since I planted. If your curious about the table over the plant it is a way to keep Barney out of the area. I see that I planted the hen and chickens in the same location. The stray plant is a phlox that is coming up. My wild birds don't seem to need my water right now with all the water puddles everywhere.
We spent the day today looking at other peoples' art work. The Des Moines Arts Festival was today in the downtown park area. Many artist, 200 or more, from all over the United States were selected to be in the show. It is an excentric group of artist with styles that are varied and sometimes just plain different. In protest to the lack of midwest artist being in the show a local person developed a Midwest Art Festival that is at the State Fair grounds. It is mostly Iowan artist showing their work and there also some from surrounding states. Another 200 artists to share the work and for us to see. When you go to both shows you eventually have art viewing overload. We were really tired when we returned this afternoon. We were in the hot sun all morning and they didn't get rained out until about 3 in the afternoon. That is why this blog is so late as I had to rest before I could finish this post.
We are to have more storms tomorrow and the rain just keeps coming. We have the best looking grass in our yard this year but it is always to- wet to mow it. Have a great Sunday and thanks for stopping by today.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Coming from the new growth of the raspberry canes I was able to get these few cups of berries. There are more out there but they need to be ripe before I pick them. We are going to make a sauce out of them that could be made for ice cream or put onto toast. We do the one cup of berries to one cup of sugar and then smash it all down and refrigerate.
My wife and I smashed and pressed the juice out of them this morning and we ended up with six and a half cups of juice. We used an old fashioned processor device that was my wife's Aunt Irene's where you rotate and press the berries with a wooden device. I want to call it a colander but I know that is not the correct term. When adding a half cup of water to the juice we will have to make two batches of jelly. We need to go the store this afternoon to get more Certo,sugar and lids. Because of two years of dry weather we haven't made jelly for a long time.
I shared this also on my Photo a Day blog but I was able to capture the wren going into the house. He has a moth in his mouth. I hope the young ones are not picky eaters as they are going to get a moth stuck down their throats. I wonder if the size of insects they are being fed determine how big the young birds are by now.
It is strange that I never looked up at that house this summer even though I had heard the wren singing in the tree right next door to the shed.
My sunflower that were in my first planting cycle are starting to take off. All the weeds you see in the background will be gone as I keep collecting grass and mulch the area. I used the no till method this year and will just mulch out around all the tomatoes and sunflowers. I have one little tomato on one of my plants.
I will be working on the senior composite again today. I am almost done with it but it is the stragglers that are always the problem. I have administrator pictures to locate and a couple of seniors who did not turn in pictures. I will use their junior picture from last year's yearbook, which I don't have right now, I will have to go borrow one from school. I also have four pictures from our shared special education school of those who graduated that need to be scanned and formatted. The rest of them are all ready for printing. Thirty seven of them so far and the printing is my wife's job.
Rainy days mean I will be doing less today work wise. We did need the rain and I have worked outside the last three days. It is good to be inside today. Thanks for stopping by today.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
While mowing the orchard yesterday I found a couple of things that need to be harvested. My red raspberries had completely died out from the drought and the new sprouts are putting out berries. I had noticed earlier that they weren't doing well but the many rains sure have turned them around to looking more like this.
The bush cherries also need to be picked as you can see. They are not a good thing, as we can only juice them for jelly. The fruit is actually more seed and very little pulp. It is good when the jelly is all done but it is labor intensive. The jars of jelly will be fun to photograph. As my last statement on this situation I was planning to cut them down sometime this summer. I may just have to trim back and let them be for one more year.
While out with my wife surveying the raspberries and cherries we saw another new thing to watch. There was a wren going in and out of the birdhouse on the shed. She was busy feeding her young ones as she would travel from tree and house continually. I don't know if it is the first time it has been used by the wrens or if we just had not noticed it in the past years.
Just like the watching of the eagles in the nest in Decorah, Iowa, I will be watching to see the feeding frenzy and try to get some shots of them coming and going.
The other red one of the hardy geranium variety is starting to put out great blooms. This red is probably the most popular in history as I have observed in my lifetime. The other colors have become more used more frequently including the pinks and whites. I saw a red and white geranium at Walmart which must be a new variety. It was the first time I have seen it and when they go on sale I will add it to my collection.
I will be picking fruit today. I had planned on cutting out more sucker trees and work on the dog's fence. I may still be able to do some of that. I never know until I get out there as to what I really will get accomplished.
I find out that everyone has the same problem with the blogger reader. I can adapt to the change but my sidebar list isn't up to date. I liked what I had but I will adapt.
It is another nice day out there and I will be glad to be out there. I hope everyone has a good day. Thank you for stopping by today.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
This is the bud of the rose that I will show you next. The sequence is interesting to see as it is so bright and then fades to light pink.
The bloom is wonderful with the full petals and yellow stamens in the center. It depends on the weather but during the hot season it just doesn't last for very long. This is actually the second and last bloom of this rose. I will be clipping it back to get a rebloom from it. It might last three days if I am lucky.
This is a buggy season with all the rain and you can see my two little black bugs hanging out on the bottom petal.
This is the color it becomes after a day or two. When it gets to be this color I know that the petals will start to fall. You can see the bugs are enjoying this flower and yet I don't see that they are eating the flower. It must be the tiny insects on the petals that it likes.
The trash pile from the spreading juniper keeps growing. I now have only a foot tall stump now from the old shrub. I haven't taken new pictures yet of the cleared area but it is a great improvement. I have two iris that were trying to grow under the shade of everything. I am not going to move them until they get built up from sunlight and rain.
I bought pruning blades for my reciprocating saw and was able to cut good sized logs away from the shrub. I will either leave the stump and make it into a bird bath or I will get out the chainsaw and remove the rest of it.
I will mow some more today getting a lot of the orchard trimmed up and also the dogs backyard. I am staying ahead of the mowing so far and we haven't had rain for a few days. That does help keep the grass from growing out of control. I will be on the computer a lot today working on the editing of senior photos. I am about one third done so far and I hope to hit a big group of them today getting them ready for mounting on the board. We are cool this morning so the mowing gets done first and I have one more thing to get planted into the ground. I found a hosta yesterday on the place that is different than others and I scattered parts of it in the different garden areas. I found it out where I was clearing hiding under a peony. It was crowded and I really never had looked at its leaf shape before or for a long time. I dug it all out and returned a little bit of it in an area farther away from the peony. Two other parts were sent to new planting areas.
It is Tuesday and I hope all of you have a good day. Thanks for stopping by today.
I am having trouble with my readers list. For the past few days it shows only one reader that I follow and not the dozen or so that usually is there. It won't let me open see more menu. So I am not keeping up with everybody's comment. I am catching up on some off my own blog site listing but the master one is not there. I tried to manage it and it is not letting me in to work on that. It says that there is trouble and check back later to see if things are better. I will keep trying.
Monday, June 23, 2014
When it rains and the ground gets soaked up for a long period of time, this plant thrives. I am assuming that it is a water plant and most would call it a weed. If you leave it long enough, not pulling it, you get these small blue and yellow blooms. I had never noticed before that the yellow on the bloom are small little flowers.
My new purchase has yet to be planted. It will be done this morning. It has a name that reminds me of snow edged mountain. As it grows I can give you the correct name but I don't know it for now. The ground is muddy out there but I can still get it into the ground. I now realize they can be put in temporary spots and I can shift them around like when one moves furniture. When I plant this I may do some more moving of other hostas.
The snow on the mountain or bishop's weed is doing well this year with all the rain. I didn't know what to expect from the garden this year but getting rain has really changed my expectations. The one other patch like this is very small this year but I bet it will take off soon.
I do get a true red of flowers with the camera when the conditions are just right. This plant hasn't bloomed for me since last fall. It didn't bloom in the house like some of the others did. It is such a rich red color that makes the other red look a lot more orange. All the hardy geraniums but one survive the winter in the house. They really are regrouping now with all the humidity that we are having. We had a very thick fog this morning but the sun has now burned it off for a clear day.
This is the last of my blooms for the William Baffin. I hope that it blooms again this season but I just don't remember if it does or not. I need to get some of its stalks tied up as the rains have put them on the ground. I have raspberries out there where it is growing. I haven't looked yet to see if the rain has helped them as they seemed not to be doing very well.
One last photo of a hosta today to share. I bought it a couple of years ago and it was not doing well. I have moved it out into more sunshine and some of the leaves are really starting to grow. It isn't a full hosta yet as it is lopsided. Also can you see the hole in the leaf from a large hail stone?
I get the day to work in the yard today. I am happy about that. I go out and start working in an area and I never really know where I will end up. I have the last of the spreading juniper to be cut and I did byy a pruning blade for my saw. I may get more trimmed off of it before the chainsaw has to be used. I have a cheap new potentilla bush to find a home for that will give it a good place to grow. I want to start working on my new garden area but I just don't have plans done in my mind as to how I want to create it. The planting of the hen and chicks plant will happen this morning also. I helped mow some of the neighbors yard on Saturday and I may return to finish that. He has a back problem and a riding a mower isn't much fun to use with back problems. I didn't know that was what was going on as his yard kept being unattended to and the grass is very tall. I have a push mower and it will take time to get through it.
A busy day with lots to do but I hope to just pace myself and enjoy it. I don't have to return to paint on that set of rooms at school. I didn't like the color of the paint that was selected, battleship gray, and really hate to contribute to the ugliness that the principal is creating in the rooms. I am just a sub and I hope someone else gets to finish that job before I work again. Had a good time seeing my brother and his wife later. Will share more about that at another time. Thanks for stopping by today.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
My wife's pansies look happy for a number of reasons. The first good reason is that I took away all the spreading juniper that was shading the area. Secondly they are glad we finally got them out of the plastic containers and put into the ground. Lastly they love all the rain we are getting. We had 3 inches plus on Tuesday and it has rained two days more making the ground super moist for them to grow out their roots.
The creeping bluebells are starting to bloom on the north side of the house. Last year it was so dry that they shriveled up right after they bloomed. This year there will be a great show of color for a long time.
I mowed most of my yard yesterday and it sure is looking good this year. I don't think I mowed it maybe three times the whole last summer.
In the background next to the stairs you can barely see the one hydrangea bush out of two that revived from the cold winter. It is putting out some blooms. I have so many who say they have never seen the white hydrangea. White hydrangea is actually the only kind you see in Iowa that has grown around all our older farmsteads and houses in town for years. It was traded or shared with neighbors as the small towns grew. The breeding of color with hydrangea has made it possible to see color blooms now in fancy gardens and around businesses today. The color ones are readily available for many years now at nurseries. I guess the green hydrangea is common also in some areas. I have seen them all my life at houses where they have taken over most of a houses foundations. I also have seen some that climb that had covered up a lot of a house.
The bleeding heart plant that I planted early spring has really started to grow. I am going to be watching to see if it will put out blooms. If we become hot, like our summers usually are, it may not bloom this year.
Headed to church this morning in the rain and will meet up with my Arizonian brother and his wife for a meal this afternoon. It will be fun to see them again and catch up on each others' families. He lives in Mesa and all his kids now live near him there. He will probably enjoy driving through rain and is doesn't rain that often in Arizona. Thanks for stopping by today.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The digital camera tends to run the colors of red all together. This hardy geranium is the planter filled with six plants that I purchased last fall and wintered it over to spring. I lost one plant out of the six that were planted in the pot and they are all putting on lots of buds now. I have my mom's plant hook out by the wooden bench and it is enjoying the rains and hot sun while hanging there.
A second posting of this Asiatic lily is now gone for one more rain last night. It is early in blooming compared to the other lilies that I have. I really like the red of this one and the camera can catch its color easily.
Lots of things to do today. Mowing the yard comes first and the rest of the tasks will come. Thanks for stopping in today. My yard is calling me.
Friday, June 20, 2014
This is another kind of bloom that is good. The tomato plant is putting out its bloom ready to set on tomatoes.
I found a new variety of hosta. It is a little different one that what I have. It has a white band on the outside edges of the leaves. I will get it planted and maybe by next year I can split it and have two plants.
Here is a progress report on this set of morning glories. As you can see two of them are ready to climb. They are a mixed batch of seeds with different colors. I look forward to their blooming as Il ike to shoot lots of colorful photos of them.
It is Friday and I hope your are all going to have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by today.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
This Asiatic lily is very faithful to bloom each year. I bought this at a farmer's market many years ago in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I remember the guy who sold it to me as he bought bulbs and planted them just for the sale at the market. He could make a reasonable profit if he bought his bulbs in a late fall sale.
I was in the middle of my first cup of coffee this morning when I got a call to come in to work for a sick janitor. He was ill and the painting project of two rooms were still there waiting for me to paint them. I took the rest of my coffee in a thermos to enjoy later.
It is evening now and I am just now am getting today's blogs done. I might do some schedule blogs for tomorrow as I do go back to work again. It is the only two days this week that I worked. We just had a large rain storm that was described as a 3 to a 4 inch rain in one hour. We were out in it getting meds and groceries. Our clothes were wet from being caught out in it. The car got a good washing from the heavy rain. There was water everywhere. Thanks for stopping by today.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
When I have so few things actually blooming right now I keep taking the shot of the same bloom. It is different each time I take a photo of it as the blooms continue to increase in size. I do have most all of my hardy geraniums budded now ready to bloom soon. They will all be out at the same time.
Here is a shot of ou new tea rose called "Peace." My wife and I had to research the peace rose as we both thought they looked differently than this. It was a rose developed around the end of the world war 2. I thought they were whiter than this and my wife thought they were more yellowish and orange. We looked up the images on yahoo and we found so many different versions of the rose strain. When this opens we will see what it will look like and compare it to the ones on the internet.
This was a cheap version that I bought and I will struggle to keep it through the winter as tea roses don't survive our winters without special heavy cover.
My hostas are giving a better show now as the newer leaves are covering all the hail damage. I hate to dig into this one but I would like more of this in the garden rather than the one I have planted everywhere. I don't want to be a collector but I would like to buy some different kinds and all our local places that they are sold don't have any. There isn't anything too special at the lumber yards or wally mart except for a plain one and a white one. This hosta must have come from a garden center that I worked at one summer.
I am struggling to get this blog done today as google or blogger are really having difficulty this morning. I may have to stop and try to save it and return later to finish this post. I would be a lot sad to have to rewrite it again as what happened to me recently.
The creeping blue bell is showing off in the backyard. The larger growth of this plant is in the front yard is just now starting to show a few buds trying to open. The day lily next to these blooms seems healthy but I have not seen any buds on any of it.
We stopped and bought a cake for our anniversary when returning from our early meal on Monday. We changed plans from where we were to eat so we could get there and back before the storms were to hit. Our original place to eat didn't open until 5:00 and we wanted to be back home by then. The cake is red velvet and was good to eat. We have strawberry cheesecake ice cream with it and it makes it a special dessert to eat.
We did not have a storm last night but it stayed warm all night. A storm is crossing the state right now and is staying about 30 miles north of us. With that happening the temperatures dropped to 66 degrees F. this morning. Even so we will be close to 91 degrees F. this day as we move through the day and it is suppose to feel like 100 degrees. The storm north of us should be gone soon and we will have sunshine and warm air coming our way very soon.
I didn't get much work done outside yesterday as it did get too warm out there. My wife said I looked like I was walking in slow motion while I was out there. I did get 16 senior photos ready for printing yesterday. It took a large portion of time to remember all the steps that it takes to get a single photo ready to go for printing. Students turn in photos that are horizontal and I have to crop a vertical billfold shaped one out of it. There are a lot of students that don't want to pay for a photographer sow there are bad cell phone shots. I do my best to make them better looking than they look when I first receive them. We print 6 per page so we will be doing about 9 or more sheets to get the photos ready for mounting on the white board.
I thank you for stopping in today. I hope all are feeling well and that the weather isn't a major issue to deal with today. Ah, tomorrow!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The photo of the creeping bluebells took second place as the camera focused only on the cicada. I thought we were about done with the ground creepers but I still see more are emerging from the ground and crawling up the trees to buzz continually. They come in the house on the dogs backs and also mine. With the storm that we had last night I would hope that some of them got thrust to the ground with our hurricane force winds.
I went out last night to walk Barney at 10:00. It was over 80 degrees F. when we left. When we arrived to our turning around area to walk back down the side of the street, a huge wind came up instantly. As we walked back the temperatures dropped to 67 degrees in just a few minutes. With the wind was blowing the temp in, it made me cold instantly. I knew then that we were going to have a fun night.
It started storming by midnight and the wind blew the rain sideways. I see we lost a few limbs. It thundered most all of the night and early morning it was still at it. It was not a good night to sleep. Fortunately Barney hides in the bathroom downstairs so he wasn't bothered. Button has lost his hearing sadly but on the good side he slept through the whole storm. We had a storm weather radio going off about every twenty minutes to warn us and then report that we were getting hit with severe weather. The local weather guy came back in to the studio on tv and had to cover it as there were tornadoes north of us. We will be having the same kind of storms again tonight.
My other area that I planted zinnias also had some blank spots that needed new seed put into the rows but they too are growing quickly. It helped to water them every other day to get them rooted in to the soil.
I do have a tomato blooming but it figures, because I bought one larger plant at the store and put it in a few days ago. It liked being in a real garden and not at the store as two days later it started to bloom. My tomato plants that were started inside are doing well. I didn't have a lot of success with them as only half of them actually are growing quickly, but that will be enough tomatoes for two people. The other half seem to be having trouble rooting in the soil and may give me late tomatoes.
I have been cutting back the shrub in sessions and yesterday during the heat I decided to get rid of it as much as possible. I have a Philippine friend that likes to use my chain saw so I will give him the opportunity to use my saw.
I have Asiatic lilies to bloom here and phlox also doing well this year. Our dry season last summer shut most of them down too early or they didn't bloom at all. I do have a full rain barrel from last nights rain so I can start watering them when we hit a dry spell.
I have indoor work to do today and I will stay out of the heat. I was out in it too long yesterday and I am really weary today. I need to get started on the creation of the Senior composite, formatting and editing over 50 photos with names and corrected sizes of photos. In the old days we actually just pasted the real senior picture onto the backing but now we have only a digital copy. I have to place the photo into the template and then type the person's name below, with correct spelling. That simplified what I really have to do as the digital copies are all different sizes and the photos need to be cropped and sometime brought into focus. We still lack two photos that we may have to dig out from a year old yearbook. They don't turn in their senior shot then we are justified to use their junior photo.
We had a good anniversary day yesterday. We ended up running in to eat at a place, not the one planned, so we could eat early and be home with the dogs before the storm. We will go to our chosen place next Monday when the weather is better and we don't have to rush home. My wife posted one of our young wedding shots on facebook yesterday and most people were surprised we had been married 30 years. They remembered it but really weren't around to see us grow older gracefully. We were just a couple of kids still at the age of 34 compared to our ages today. As my wife mentioned that it is our anniversary of 30 years and one day today, so we could celebrate the whole month for our anniversary. I am good with that. Thanks everyone for stopping by to visit the blog today.