Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Eve's day.............

Looking out the bird's and fish room window on Christmas day, this is what we saw. It is a great sunrise but I need to buy the house and live in it across the street so I can see it unhindered.  The photo was lost on my wife's Cannon and I took pictures on my new little camera all day so didn't know where the photo had gone.

Looking out now one sees brown and grey and not much sun.  It did become sunny later this morning.  The oxalis are like having little palm trees in the house when you look through them to see outside.

The excitement in my bird world is the seeing of a hairy woodpecker at the feeder.  I didn't know what I was seeing but I was glad to get pictures to study it.  I thought it was way too large for a downy.  The masked face gave it away when I looked it up in the book.The downy has a mask but it is different.  It may be the first for me but I could have casually looked out and not known that it was a hairy woodpecker and not a downy.

This shot of a junco and a downy shows the size difference as well as the red bar on the back of its head.  The hairy woodpecker has two brush strokes of red on its head one on each side. The size and the dashes of red on the head are the major differences.

Losing my mind is getting to be hard,  but if I don't know about it, I won't care.  My wife will have to deal with it.  The blue pitcher and also creamer on the other window side of the window sill came out of the pile of things in the storage room.  I now remember them being in the cabinet at my mom's.  Some one must have given them to her in her later years as I do remember all the stuff she had while I was growing up.  I now remember seeing the two of them in that cabinet and thinking they reminded me of the Shirley Temple blue mugs that had her picture printed on them. I was so sure at first that they came from my wife's side of the family.

Well I need to close this down.  I am somewhat sluggish today with the flu shot but I am not too bad.  Others mock me and say the shot never bothers them but I know when I have had the shot and my muscles do tell me so.

We have a few plans for this afternoon but we will be off the road by supper time. Home is a good place to be as we fly into the next year.  We are scrambling to find the calendars that were given to us so we can get them up by tomorrow.  Our free one from the vet this year was a small one so we will not make that our major calendar.  A Norman Rockwell will be the featured one this  year if no other one comes along. 

Finishing off the year and it seems we just started it.  I go through the year's worth of photos and a lot of them are just the same.  Lots of them are really different as each year we have new things happening.  I hope all of you have plans to mark the new year's coming and wish you all well.   Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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

The cold weather brought back birds to feed at the feeder.  No female in sight but this male is picking through the millet to find sunflower seeds. We were at -1.5 degrees F. this morning.  The arctic air is back.  The light snow on the ground doesn't keep the birds from feeding off of the ground.  They can still hit the bushes and trees.  When it is so cold though they do like easy pickings at the feed trough.

This shows the amount of snow that we had two days ago out near the garden shed.  I have a new pitchfork with out a handle to add to my antique tool collection.  It belonged to my wife's grandfather back when loose hay was the way to harvest it. It came from the barn where two generations of farmers kept their tools.  Next to that is a device that was used to harness horses to pull machinery.   That piece won't be mine as it is in temporary storage at my place for my brother in law.  He seems to be wanting to keep all the horse things that went with the older generation farming.

One tine on the fork is a little bent out of alignment but I think I can correct that.  Behind it is a homemade bird feeder that was probably picked up at an auction.  I found that in the same barn.  It needs work but looks like something I could place on top of my feeder.

I placed the plastic balls on the tree outside and I am not sure that it was a successful look.  I didn't get anybody even noticing it and I am sure if I had put lights on it that it would have looked better. Maybe lights next year or I can just let the snow decorate it and I wills stay inside.  It is a balsam pine and has grown to be to big to put light on it.  I had to use the step ladder to get to the top of it.

If it gets a heavy snow it might make it look better.  It is a weak idea I think.

While playing with my new camera I picked up another shot of the train and tree.  I suppose the whole place will have to be undecorated but we won't start until after New Years. The winter village will stay up the longest as it was one of the last things that we displayed.

I have always joked with our postmaster about how the mail arrives in Maine and then it is shipped by dog sled.  I now know that is what happens.  I just checked the post office tracking number to see if it ever got there. It has not arrived yet.  It was mailed out on the19th of December.  It arrived in Maine on the 21st of December.  It sat in the warehouse somewhere for 8 days and now on the 9th day it will be delivered today. The package had two articles of clothing and and a gift card inside. I know my son and his wife will be surprised to get it now.

Not much going on around here today.  We went to a bookstore yesterday and returned a present at a store.  We are home for most of the day except to go to a pharmacy this afternoon about 10 miles away from home.  It is too cold to be out for very long. Oh yes we will get a flu shot which only covers 40% of the flu that it out there.

 On that note, we had a friend of a friends who lost their 13 year old daughter this week. She entered the hospital 7 days ago with more than just flu.  I would very much believe she caught the virus that was brought in from Central America with the 40 to 50,000 children.  I don't know the name of it as it is a political issue and we are not suppose to talk about it. It might make the leader of the country look bad.  The virus closed down her lungs and they were trying to feed oxygen into her heart through a tube to her heart. The virus weakened her and the bacterial infections developed with it.  Her body just shut down.

I know that I love children very much and it is a difficult time but I think it is a crime that we can't tell anyone what is out there. It is known that it did not show up into this country ever, until this year. The children who came to the open border were scattered in every state of the union. I did see the white painted school buses, unmarked, this summer that were bringing in people to our neighboring town. There would be many people from south of the border already there who would take care of them.  The government won't publish the number of deaths that this mysterious virus has caused so far. A national health figure reported it months ago that it was from Central America and then they buried the report to keep it quiet. I could believe she got a reprimand. The state of Iowa news agencies will not report the death of this young girl nor have they done so with any others.  It is a sad condition of what this nation has become.

Got to go for now as my soap box is weakening from all the excess weight that I have gained. I will be back tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday, ah Yes............

Our new printer saved us over Christmas.  We usually print out a general newsletter and mail it with cards but the home printer died.  We ended up buying a quick and easy, cheap printer to get our job done.  It is so noisy and yet does the job.  When we buy a better model for my wife's art business I will have one for my laptop to use at my desk.  Normally I am always shifting things to my wife's computer to get it printed.  So the cards are all done and sent even though they ended up being late.  I didn't want to hand write notes and neither did my wife on our cards.

I really like getting these kind of cards for Christmas.  We have them from Arizona, California, Virginia, Illinois and one from Maine.   The one from Maine isn't shown here as I didn't notice it not in the pile until after the photo was taken.

Great, I just now see the one from Maine is sideways and I didn't get it edited with a turn to the right.  They had photos on both sides of there and I didn't get that taken. 

The Chicago area kids of course have our grandson in a lot of the pictures.  Our youngest son Aaron is on the top left and two old grandparents are on the top right ot the card. Maybe I can share our other son's card later by scanning it to get the pictures of the moose and our new grand kitty. 

I seem to be hurried today even though I am not required to do so.  We will head south for some errands in the Des Moines area.  It is suppose to become very cold and we do have a light dusting of snow.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Random Leftover Shots..........

A low light situation makes for a fuzzy photo.  I am going to miss the trains but having them out for a month is a good thing.  We don't rush to put away our trees so we can make the season's decorations last longer.

A random shot as I was exploring my new picture shooter.

The fisherman ornament glows red from the red lights surrounding it. He is an ornament that was given to me at the same time that I received a fish ornament.

A stray shot of the toy tractor and wagon in my toy collection.

This is a photo I shared on my Photo a Day blog.  The finches keep turning to brown as the winter continues. We have snow on the way, so the feeders will become instantly active again.  We are cold, in the teens, this morning.  Snow is on the western edge of the state and will be in the central part soon.

We are off to church this morning in Des Moines.  Afterwards we have Sunday school and a potluck with our Asian ministry group.  True Cambodian and Vietnamese food will be the bill of fare.  We take our traditional food and they like that too.  One year we took just cake and they really liked dessert.  One doesn't eat everything that they bring as they like extreme hot spice in some of their foods.  I am talking about hot enough to permanently take your breath away.

We are out of supplies so we will hit the Wally Mart on the way home.  We are still weary from the past few weeks of work so a rest this afternoon will be great.  I hope all are safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


My wife's village has two churches in the collection.  While experimenting with my new camera I took shots of many different things.  The church actually took quite easily.  The camera is a slim Olympus Stylus.  I wanted a small one to carry around in my pocket and the car. My wife bought me a better one than what I was looking at while in Wallmart.

Our son picked up the barn and a house while at a garage sale one summer.  We were asked by a friend if we collected only one kind.  We really just collect things that are in proportion to the rest of the set. We have a couple of things that are probably scaled bigger than the rest but when you put them all out it really doesn't matter.

I see the barn has a sign on it saying it is a tractor supply store.  It looks like a barn to me and I had never really noticed the sign.  We haven't added to the collection for a few years as the only time we add to it is when the late after Christmas sales of them drop the price of them. That would mean we have to get out and fight with the crowds and we usually don't do that.

The feeders are quiet this morning.  We had a light dusting of snow and a lot of it melted as it hit the sidewalks and patio.  I refilled a couple of the feeders but no one is hungry at this time of the year.  The male and female downy were enjoying the different kinds of suet yesterday.

I have five different violets blooming right now.  I underwater them now and the results seem to be better for them to live and bloom.  My hardy geraniums in the window are putting on new buds right now and the majority of the plants have failing flower heads.

The new camera is fun but was a lot disturbing at first.  Things didn't work right for some reason when it came to doing downloads.  The program that the camera gave to me to use for editing photos was good but did require me to do two more moves of the photos to get them on picasa.  After I registered the camera the whole things that were causing me problems went away.  I suppose Olympus has a cookie on my computer now so it automatically sent my photos to iphoto which is what I wanted it to do.

Our major printer that we use to print off art prints died last week as it wouldn't turn on anymore.  We bought a small cheap printer to get us through the holidays for general black and white printing and will get a better one for my wife's art business at a later date.  The printer we bought was the lowest of the line and it is so noisy.  Just like the first printers that they sold many years ago.  It will become my main printer after we  get the bigger one purchased.  I need it to print off letters and things and won't need the color feature very often.

A photo of the soldier on the table reminds me of maybe a dead soldier rather than one that would hang on the tree.  We went to see the last Hobbit movie yesterday and I really liked it. There are parts of it at the end that made it less likeable. 

I will say no more as maybe others still haven't seen it and I don't want to ruin the movie for them. Obviously if there are five armies coming together in battle, that only the good guys surviving would be bad writing. The movie was really done exceptionally well and we will probably go back and see it again one more time on the big screen.

No plans are in order today.  Both of us have a hard time doing nothing but we will make a stab at it.  I have one task that requires work but will delay it for a while.  I appreciate your stopping by today.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dwindling Snow........but

I do think we will have snow by late evening.  In case you are wondering what you are seeing this is a snow stick.  It is a metal yard stick attached to my pin oak tree.  When it starts to snow you will be able to see how high the snow is at that time.  It did have snow around it last week but I didn't get the shot.

We did actually have snow last week and the shot of the weather rock shows the amount that we had.  It did warm up the very next day and it dwindled into nothing in a two day period. I didn't have the shoes own that I needed to go take the first snow on the snow stick.  I will work on that.  I have a new camera now given to me from my wife so I have no excuse to get out and take snaps.  It is a flatter smaller camera but it is high powered compared to the quick snap ones.

Button knows how to live as he finds two lap blankets to lay on as he works his day.  He needs to see some hair trimming procedures done to his hair and we have plans for that soon.

I hope everyone is doing well today and that these next few days will be good ones before we hit the new year.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas.........

A dimestore manger creche is one of our favorites with all the detail that they put into its creation.

This is an ornament that I bought at Michael's a few years back. It has detailing that only another country outside of the US could do.  All the hand gluing of beads and color decoration makes it a wonderful ornament.

Here is the other ornament that I bought at the same time.  The beads and colors do project a Russian feel or one of the Slavic nations.

I wish everyone to have a great day today.  Our plans are for breakfast out with my wife's brother and wife and then a restful afternoon.  A visit with our Chicago kids and grand kid will be happening in a couple of weeks.  Both sides would have liked to get together on the weekend but it will be better to get together later.  We made all of our deadlines and have things settling down with family obligations.  It is going to be a very restful day with supper being special for the two of us.  Mincemeat pie is going to finish off our meal today and snacks are all over the house.

Thanks for all the sharing we have done together this past year.  Our sharing of Christmas times is fun to do to see what different things are going on in this country. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas day.....Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I Forgot to Blog,,,,,,,,,,,,,,But Here it Is

It has been a busy day.  It was good that things are winding down.  The two geese have been two of my favorite ceramic pieces.  They seem to have personalities of their own.

The front goose really looks like he has his eye on the camera. 

I have a few wooden ornaments on the tree.  I remember when they were so popular and whole trees were decorated with wooden shapes of churches, toy planes, and elves. They were all small as large wooden items would be too heavy.

 A plastic ornament comes to the tree from my wife's family.  It is a plastic ornament of the 60's with an aluminum star on the inside of the ball.

 This is another glass ornament that I bought because it reminded me of Button.  His reflections make him difficult to photograph.

A not so new ornament but one that is made from some synthetic material.  Plastic is reinvented in the material that they use and it resembles plaster not plastic.  The bear sits on the ball looking out over the sock filled with candy canes.

It is Christmas eve and it is a special time of the year.  I wish you all a special day tomorrow as we celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus our Savior.  Thank you for stopping by today and Merry Christmas to all of you and your families.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday Thrills.........

Bear who has lost his ear still deserves the same attention as is given to the other ones. Wear and tear on this guy happen in the last couple of years but he still is a great looking bear.

My wife goes to a lady's house to paint pictures together.  My wife had been her art instructor last year with an adult ed class.  The woman use to be our neighbor and now lives a couple of blocks away from us.  My wife still acts as an instructor and encourager as the sit and paint pictures together.  The woman is so creative and also loves to craft.  Se saw glass globes on sale and the two sizes fit together to make a snow man.  She painted the glass white and ever has a light inside of it.  Her little hat and scarf  are place on the snowman to make it look good. She gifted to us this guy a few weeks ago.

We have faces looking back at us in the dining room as my wife's doll collection is set up for the holiday.  I use to buy her one doll for Christmas each year.  Unfortunately they went out of style and I don't have a traditional gift for her.  I tried to buy one that was more Victorian and I did pick up different kinds of dolls through the years.

A grown man posting doll pictures doesn't seem normal but I am sharing the collection of my wife.  I find it interesting that the manufacturer of the time spent so much time getting the faces created with such great detail. I use to be able to buy them in big department stores and then they started selling them in Walmarts and Pharmacies.  I guess the Victorian theme has died and the profits from it dwindled so much that they just stop making them.

Things are settling down around here now.  I have had to do physical labor at the farm a few days and that is almost done. I return there one more time today.  We shopped at the mall yesterday and the Monday crowd was small.  We are almost done with gifts for each other but I did think of something that I intended to buy and will do that today at a Walmart.

We have wrapping to do for the neighbor and for the kids that are coming after Christmas.  We seem to have an extra day so we can try to do things with less stress.  We won't have guests in so we don't have to plan meals.  We will plan a special meal for us Christmas day and hope to just rest on that day.  We do chips and dip and sausage, cheese  and crackers or Christmas eve.  There usually is a pie around to eat on for a couple of days.  I hope all is going well with my blog friends.  Thank you for stopping by today.   

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday's Madness........

The whole family of snow people look a little whimsical.  The baby snow baby looks like its parents with its reflective red face.  The ornament proves that there are baby snowmen and that they grow up to be adults eventually.  Well maybe not.

Every year I have to share the drunken snowman.  I don't know what country manufactured these guys but that crooked carrot for a nose seems to make them seem a little wobbly.  I have three of these guys that came in a set and they all have that same dash of orange paint for a nose. I keep thinking I won't share him this year but no he is too much of a character not to share.

A blurry shot through the window shows the few birds that are showing up at the one feeder.  There isn't much going on out there with it being above freezing and having not any snow.

The mantel is always hard to get good lighting on it  in order to get a photo.  I couldn't somehow get iphoto to allow me to straighten the shot to the world this morning.  Maybe the room is settling a little to the left.  We don't burn the fireplace often enough but it has to be a non-windy day. I need to lengthen the stove pipe one more section but we do get by without that happening. 

Another busy day that seems like maddness after while.  I just get on board and start the process up and chip away at the list.  I head south to do some manual labor on the farm and then the rest of the day we will be going shopping. We have all the shopping done except for gifts to each other.  We usually don't get that done until the last one day and this year we can make a couple of trips to get it done.  It is frustrating to buy a gift without much thought when the deadline hovers.  Hopefully it will be better this year.  If I don't find what I want today we will just go back tomorrow.  Hopefully the snow tomorrow will not be a major storm.  Thank you all for hanging around.  If you don't check in later I do wish all of you a very Merry Christmas season.