Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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

"Life is what happens when you try to make plans."  I know there are a few people who claim this quote so I won't credit it to anyone. It does get to be complicated and I have thrown out most planning in my life.  It works better that way.  I am doing ok but my time it takes to do things just doesn't line up with my plans.

Yes, it is another butterfly.  This one was eating at the zinnias all day so I am assuming he will join the migrating group somewhere.  He should be charged up with lots of energy the way he intently consumed nectar yesterday.  A second monarch showed up around noon time so if I had my camera I could have shown two butterflies eating at the same time.

The zinnias are going bad quickly but there are enough late bloomers to make up for butterfly food.  The phlox are almost gone and those flowers don't seem to put out as much nectar as the zinnia does. 

I am being a sub for high school math today.  It is the upper level math classes and I am giving quizzes and tests all day.  It is a good assignment so far.  Our weather is warming up again today but there is a coolness to the air with a slight breeze from the east.  I think some in Iowa are getting small amounts of rain. It is the time of the year when you need to run the air condition to cool off the house and then the furnace wants to turn on in the morning to take the chill off of the house.  It is definitely fall around here.  Thanks for stopping by today.  Everyone take good care of yourselves.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Muddled Up Monday..........

This is really a four seasons shot of my neighbors back alley drive.  The green grass from spring is still there along with the lilac shrub in the foreground.  The boat is the summer thrill for them and the specks of leaves show that fall is on its way.   The yellow snow blade will be used on the mower to push away the snow.  I also see a martin house in the backyard but I am not certain that they ever had martins move into the house.

The stray phlox that come up in strange places in the yard seem to be behind in the season.  These blooms are showing up around an old clothesline pole that is crowded with wild roses.  The have poked through and bloom in spite of its crowded

A transplanted iris is doing well in its new location.  I don't have a clue what color it will be but it has really grown since I put it here.  Most all of my iris survived their moves.  A few of the smaller ones are struggling but they do look green and alive.  I have trouble planting them as I know they are not suppose to be buried in the ground but placed emerging from the surface of the soil.  The tiny rhizomes really needed to grow bigger to establish themselves in the soil correctly so they may have been planted too deeply.

I have an idea for a different location for morning glories.  The north side of the shed is working but I think morning sun would be more helpful to grow them.  I know of another vine that I would like to grow here and will be looking for seed this next spring to put in place of the glories.

There are still many buds on the vine next to the white and blue flowers but I wonder how long the vines will last in order for them to bloom.

I opted not to work today in order to replace my drain pipe in the kitchen.  I messed too many days to get the 50 plus year old set of pipes to properly work.  I can probably get a whole new set of plastic drain pipe in there in a couple of hours and remove the old pipe later.  The cast iron is too rusted out that I can't get all the kinky jointed drain parts to clean out for full, fast draining.  I am hoping that one trip to the Ace Hardware will get me on the way to getting the job done.  That means I might have one or two more trips after that but hopefully I can do it just one trip. 

Our weather is good today and it would be nice to get out and work on my siding project.  Maybe this afternoon.  The buying of siding and paint has been a nightmare or humorous joke.  It depends on how I look at it.  Each day that I try to buy paint something comes up.  On Saturday the paint store that carries our color records and kind of paint close at noon and a customer coming to pick up their framing on Saturday required us to stay home and hope we could still get to the paint store before noon,  We of course waited all morning and they still did not come for the pick up by noon.  They never came at all. 

I went to buy siding on Saturday instead and the store doesn't carry the width of siding that I can put into my car. The internet shows they carry 6 inch wide siding and I can slide 8 foot pieces 6 inch wide into the trunk through the flapped doors of the back seat and into the front gear shift area.  The flapped doors allow people with ski's to put them into the trunk and up into the back seat.  A twelve inch piece which I could cut into two 6 inch pieces when I would get it home won't fit between the front car seats. I can order 6 inch boards and wait a week and then pay them $40 for the different sized order.  So on my free day, Saturday, I did not buy paint and I did not buy siding.

As I whine about things the blogging helps me to figure out new solutions to the siding problem.  I won't share that now but I think I have it figured out. 

I am glad our weather is looking and feeling more normal and that the house does get warmed up enough to run the air.  I just got the furnace thermostat working and now it is too warm for it.  That is a great thing.   I will spend the morning in the crawl space now and will hope to be feeling good about finishing that job before I return tomorrow.  I hope all is well with my blogging friends and thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I don't think I wasted my time in the summer but I sure don't want to start winter yet without finishing some jobs.  Even the neighbor dog seems to be worried about things.  I don't think the dog dislikes snow, it is just more fun in the summer to bark at things. Have a great day everyone and thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Saturday's Choices......

A couple of dianthus blooms should make everyone happy.  They aren't geraniums, not sunflowers, not zinnia's and not sedum photos.  I was out taking a photo of a morning glory and the light was just perfect.  I was able to photograph these with great precision. It was filtered sunlight from directly above that gave me perfect conditions for lighting.

I think that the dianthus are on their third bloom as they lost all their petals during the last big wind and rain.  I have two more shots that I will share another day.

I appreciate the readers that put up with my whining over this bloom.  It did finally bloom while I was around. It had to have been blooming while I was working at school.  In this photo it actually has finished blooming and is in a shrinking stage ready to shrivel up completely.  The other set of glories look like they are done blooming for the season but this one by the blue gate is hanging on with a couple of more buds.

One last photo of white flowers to clear you palette of all the bright colors.  I have been taking individual shots of the geraniums now as they will probably have to come inside again for good.

We are running errands today and I will send off the framed old sports sweater this morning. The owner is coming to pick it up.  Spotty rains are about but we missed the large rainfalls so far.  I hope all is well with my fellow bloggers.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunshine on Friday......

The garden angel in my back yard keeps a pleasant smile on her face at all times.  She now knows that she gets to go to the warm basement when the snow starts to fall.  I didn't use to bring her in over the winter but it is best to make her last a long time.

 We still have plenty of leaves on the trees and are dropping just a few each day.  They will start dropping faster in a couple of weeks.   You can see apples are still on the tree and the river birch is starting to yellow.  The cupola has a missing board on it that I need to replace.  I would hope I get it done before winter.  The morning glories that are the trellis below the birdhouse, are almost spent.  Leaves are failing and not to many buds look viable anymore. It was so fun to have wrens raising young ones in that birdhouse this year.

I have been picking up more apples and as you can see that a lot of them have some scale on them.  It doesn't hurt the inside fruit.  It just makes it a less appealing to see.  The two pears in the back are the same way with rough peelings on them. 

The dahlia keeps its bloom for a long time.  I really like this one and will really work at getting it dug before it gets stuck in frozen ground.  I guess the first frost that destroys the greens would be a good time to lift it from the ground.

I had one iris that I had not put in the ground and I finally got the job done yesterday.  I breathed a sigh of relief for it as I am sure it was needing to be in the soil and start pulling moisture from the ground.  I hope to see green sprouts on it before the frost. 

It is a day off from school today so I have lots of little jobs to get done today.  I like to get things done that I have put off but I will probably hit the lawn first to take out a little grass.  I am feeling good enough to do a lot of work but I think I will do a little of each.  Playing is a good thing after being down with a cold seems the best idea. It is good to feel normal again.  I have a few aches and pains from playing referee with the middle schoolers yesterday.  I was dreading the two classes but the kids behaved very well.  I had to do the goal sign with my arms most of the time as they played a soccer-like game.  I decided I should do a few jumping jacks each day to keep some muscles loose.  Referees are like gods I now know as they all turn to see what my decision is about a kick,  Their faces are all so concerned as if my decision was going to effect their entire future of life.  They were funny.

Our weather is going to be great today.  I am seeing neighbors coming and going, doing things outside with the day looking so good.  It will rain again but not today anyway.  I hope all of you are well out there.  Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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

The teddy bear sunflower expresses its disgust with the weather.  It is going to be soon that they are all in seed  and I am going to try to isolate the seed and save it by itself.  I bet the seeds will be smaller than the one on the larger sunflowers.

Out of the blue this blue creeping bluebell has bloomed.  All of the other stems of this plant have died and I have mowed it down.  This one is growing up and out as if it is spring.  The volunteer trees are going strong.

Having been moved to the other porch during the frost threat this geranium likes its new location.  I had to move it out to the edge of the porch so the rains could water it.

It actually runs in more than just threes but yesterday it was threes.  We picked up our car with a lot of new wires and a computer board.  The car now starts right and stays running without any hesitation.

I achieved successfully the installation of the new thermostat in our house.  It was touch and go for a while as things were not working and then I bought brand new batteries.  The keyboard works and I did figure out how to program it.  I did notice this morning that I had set the time in the middle of the day and I had the am and pm switched.  There will be more bugs but the furnace did run when I told it to do so the wiring was successful with the right wires going to the correct spots.

Barney had his nails trimmed and also his rabies shot yesterday.  He is good at the vet but he makes us nervous always as he reacts to things differently each time.  The vet and assistant really woooooed him to think he was pretty wonderful so he cooperated well.  He has a hard time getting in and out of our backseat so he gets a lot of encouragement and help to lift the 60 pound dog.  He is aging to fast as I had not noticed he was getting cataracts but the vet did point that he had started to get them.

I am back to work today and do feel almost well.  I will be clearing things out of my lungs for a while but it isn't bad.  I am a high school social studies this morning and then I will be a junior high pe teacher for a couple of periods.  The last period is an open period so I will get out of here 50 minutes early.  I am sure I will be somewhat tired as one has to get into shape to deal with people all day.  It is a non raining day today which is welcomed.  I hope all are feeling fine.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Middle of the Week.....

After the two different situations where I could have used my chainsaw I decided to take action.  I replaced a metal gasoline container with a small new one and I bought the oil that is needed to mix with the gasoline for the chainsaw.  It hasn't made it to the shed so it is like a porch decoration for now. 

The sun glow on the river birch was too good to pass up with the camera.  The leaves are changing fast on the birch.  I was out for a short visit after supper and thought I might get a few new shots before I went back inside to preserve my health. 

Because of this shot I ventured on around the shed to see the real sun shining.  I had to dodge the apples that are falling on the ground because they are ripe.  It is nice to have them finally ripen on the tree so they will be so naturally sweet.

On the other side of the shed I caught a glimpse of the great sky and could see the last of the setting sun. The neighbor's garage and  house block most of the view but if you walk over just right you can peak through an area that reveals some what of a sunset.

I picked tomatoes a couple of days ago and I will return today to pick more.  We will have to freeze some of the roma tomatoes for later use. This tomato is a kind called celebrity. We have picked some good sandwich tomatoes from this plant.  This is the potted one on the patio. 

Barney is going to the vet today to get his rabies shot.  He doesn't know it or he would probably be hiding in the bathroom.  He really doesn't mind going to the vet but some things are just not fun for him.  He is always so glad to get back into his own backyard.  This picture is a good one to show you the before shot of the house before I scrape the trim and paint on the new white color.   I hope the fall lasts longer as the last time I painted on the house was last Friday and I have been down with the cold ever since.  

I am feeling very much better and will be going in to work tomorrow.  There was an assignment for today that I could have worked but I waited to see if someone else needed work.  It was taken by another sub within the hour and I was good with that.  I have a whole day in the high school math room on Thursday. 

We are having another long rain this morning.  I don't think it will be gone until noon.  It is so dark in the house as if we are moving into winter.  It is not very cold.   I hope all are well with you today.  Thanks for checking in on the post.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday's Things.......

This is one photo that I name "stacked" as I wanted them both to be in the photo and they sort of  are.  The cropped off top is unfortunate and yet it looks somewhat like I had planned it.  All the zinnias are in decline now as the first day of Fall is here.

 My newest hosta called "snow and ice" is enjoying its new location away from the pot.  I may have to water the new plants in a few days as we haven't had rain for a while.  This hosta is different than the other new one that I bought because its leaves have green on the one edge but not on the opposite edge of the leaf.  At a fast glance they looked exactly the same. I could see saving some grass clippings the next time I mow and put them around some of the new plants.

This hosta looks healthy enough but it never really seemed to be its normal self.  I think that the heavy rains kept it more moist that it really like to be.  In drier weather the leaves are very large.  I am wondering if the holes in the very outside leaves are leftover from our heavy hail storm. 

People in our town are still having their roofs replaced before winter comes.  Some insurance companies rushed out and replaced many of the towns roofs.  Mine did not.  The closest one to us is the guy across the street.  His roof is on a ranch style house and hail must be harder on their roof than it was on mine.  Just the past week three different houses were being shingled up and down main street.

I am home again today feeling better but not great.  I have had to turn down work two days in a row now.  The school called directly this morning late to be sure that I had not known that they had a need for a sub.  I am in a coughing stage right now and really need to just stay home for a least one more day.  I am better and I could have gutted it through but I think I would not be that fun to be around in the classroom.

Our car keeps having new things wrong with it so we will not have a repaired car again today.  The cost just doubled as they said the wiring had shorted out and destroyed the computer component.  It was ordered from Kansas City late yesterday afternoon and it was shipped.  If they get it today they will put that in today.   If it won't start after that then we, including the repair shop, have some "explaining" to do. I will be nice but I do hope that they really are not just experimenting while they find the actual problem. 

I haven't felt well enough to do normal things but if I had been well I would be very frustrated by now.  I never did get the paint bought nor the siding that I needed to work on the house. With fall coming at us full force I don't want to go all winter with the back side of the house unfinished.  Tomorrow if I feel good I will be back at work at school.  I have a scheduled half day to do on Thursday.  I think things will be back to normal soon.   Thanks for stopping by today and everyone take care.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday is Here Again........

Across the street I can see that the corn is ready to be picked.  Dry air will help to dry out the corn on the cob so they can pick it with very little moisture in it.  The less they have to dry out the corn the less money they have to spend on the corn product.  The ears are all drooping down now as the stalks are completely dead.

While out near the corn field I looked up at my maple to see if there was any change in the leaves on the tree.  I snapped a pretty rough shot of the top of the tree, surprised to see that there was some change on the tree.  Usually it starts at the lower branches and not at the top.

So I zoomed in and found my first fall photograph ready to be snapped. I have decided that fall leaves can replace all those zinnia shots that I have been filling my blogs with the past month.

I did notice that the small leaves at the bottom were also changing color.  This is the tree that the city trimming crew sliced off its west side.  I will wait until spring and try to trim more limbs to help give it back a more natural shape.  I will have to cut limbs at the bottom in places that I wasn't planning to cut.  It will work out ok.  I just laugh to myself how they took the edge of the sidewalk as the line in which that tree had to be trimmed and nothing was to hang over that line no matter how high up it was on the tree.

One fish, two fish came to mind as I looked at this photo.  The two surviving fish are floating on the top of the water gleaning off the mosquito eggs for a quick meal.  I will set up a small aquarium this fall and drain this tank so I can catch these two fish.  I like to winter them inside so I can see them.  You can enjoy them swimming around in the pond but inside you get to see all of the fish.

 We are awaiting to hear from our car and hope it gets to be repaired soon.  The loaner is a lesser model than what we drive so we will be looking forward to getting it back in our possession. It is a nice car. This car just doesn't like to drive up Iowa hills. Through discussion with the man who picked us up where we were stranded he said that the Kum and Go had serious quality problems with their gasoline.  That is one of the places we buy our gas.  Yesterday we saw at that station that they had temporary portable gas units, above ground, connected to their pumps.  Our car may just have to have all the gas taken out of it and have new gasoline put in it.  Cars don't work with water mixed in the gasoline.

I didn't call in sick today as that is what people do to get me to work.  I just refused jobs today when the first automated phone called me.  I don't feel well enough to rescue them today.  I could have done a half day but I didn't pursue the job to see what I was turning down.

My good bad cold has evolved and I just need to really rest today.  I am not in any serious condition but I decided that maybe it will go away faster if I just stay home.  I am sure that I caught the cold at school and I don't need to take it back to them either. Cold airconditioned air in the one wing blows on everyone all day long. I won't face that today for sure.

Thanks for stopping in today.  I hope all is well with you on this Monday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday's Here......

The town spraying of the mosquitoes is not working.  I hurriedly picked these fresh yesterday afternoon while hosting five or six mosquitoes on each arm. I had a few on my head and neck also.  I picked ripe and partially ripe as I don't want to go back out there for a while.  We enjoyed fresh tomatoes in our tacos last night and we eat them with noon and evening meals.  My wife puts salt on her tomatoes and I use sugar. 

I should put up a sign to tell my neighbors that it is a work in progress.   I finally have painted the new siding that was around my new dining room window to match the rest of the house. I had put up new siding that was primed with a yellow cream color.  Our neighbor says we should paint the trim.  Well yes that is what you do after you paint the body of the house.  We tried on Saturday to buy another gallon of paint and the Pittsburgh Paint store was closed at noon for the rest of the day.  We will have to make another trip for that in our loaner car. The loaner car would make a good second car but it isn't as nice as our broken car.

I have most of the kitchen wing painted now also but some of the areas on it that will need to be scraped and painted with primer before I paint the final body color onto it. I am also going to put up new primed siding on the one other part that is 100 plus years old and is worn out.  Then I will paint that too.  I work in two to three hour sessions per day when I am not at school so I should get it all done and ready for inspection before the snow starts.  Patience is a virtue.  One should have patience while watching someone work and the painter is going to have patience with the sidewalk monkey gallery.

The burning bushes are going to put out berries this year. One out of the three bushes died but the other two are looking normal and healthy this year. 

Speaking of healthy, I am not.  I have a bad cold now.  I never have heard of a good cold.  Maybe I have a good, bad cold.  Whatever it is, I finally got hit with it.  I think that I won't be completely down with this one.  I do know that I will be moving slowly as I go about the things that I absolutely have to do and the rest is going to be down time for me.

I have been in a freezing air condition classroom a couple of days and I have been around many children who were blowing their noses.  I knew that I was getting by too easily not to catch it.  Well all of you live far enough away that you don't have to visit and hear me whine.  I will move on and hope by Monday that this will be an illness with history.   Thank you for stopping by today.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ready for a Saturday...........

The sunlight is so good to see and when it gives me special lighting for my photographs, it makes me happy.

I will have to use a step ladder to cut this head of seeds down when it is ready.  When I see blue jays hanging upside down on the seed head I will know it is time to take them in for winter's use.

I saw a white violet with a red center at the Walmart yesterday.  It was being sold as a packaged flower arrangement with a fancy container so I didn't bother to look at the price.  I hope I see it again in the lumber stores. My violets are doing better again because I am neglecting them.  I guess I have been over watering them.  I do know they like to bloom after they have been left to dry out a bit.  Too dry of soil of course sends them to their death. It is a strange balance of care that they need. I have three different violets in bloom right now.

We ended up with a stalled car on our way to Des Moines yesterday afternoon.  It was next to a golf course on a hill and the car just wouldn't start back up.  In the old days we would say that it was flooding out but I am not sure what it was.  The local Ford dealer is only three miles away so it all worked out well.  The dealership knows how to treat you very special so you want to buy the next car from them.  The owner of the Ford place sent out his grandson in a car to pick us up. They called the tow truck for us and we discussed the repair details at the office.  They told us to drive off in the loaner car and we would get a call on Monday for the details of the repair needed.  The grandson said that some of the gas stations were having trouble with water forming in their gas supply.  I really think that is what I had but whatever it is, please just fix it.  I might now consider buying a car from them in the future after the great treatment we were given.  The older one becomes the harder it is to deal with this kind of thing.

Soooooooo, we didn't make it to the paint store to buy more paint and we didn't make it to the bookstore.  Today we are going to do that with our loaner Dodge Stratus and just enjoy ourselves.  We had a rain storm again last night.  After two years of drought I won't ever complain.  I just am tired of walking in mud when I go to the garden.  More rain means more mosquitoes.  Enough I have said about that as others want rain so badly.   Thanks for stopping by today.