Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Second Day of the Week........

As the new commercial says, "that doesn't look like a Buick."  It is a Buick Enclave and it is my son's and his wife's new vehicle.  I had another photo but the license plate is in the picture so I decided not to show that. I watch symbol designs on cars and I have some that I like better than others.  Some designs are too simplistic and others are just plain bad design.  The three shields in this one is probably historic but when they make them out of such shiny metal, they all actually do look good.

I am out picking up all the sticks that fell to the ground after our three days of strong winds.  I looked over to the  Austrian pine and decided that the lights were still on it.  They were the same color of green and I never really noticed them when out in the yard.  That is the very last Christmas thing to come down and it isn't the first of April yet.

I started the process of upgrading the pots for the tomato plants.  They just were replanted here and they don't look so great.  They were all standing tall by the end of the day.  I had brought dirt in from a planter outside and the dirt was then mixed with some potting soil that I had.  When I started planting the little guys I noticed the soil was very cold.  It did warm up after being in the house for a while. There are 18 of these guys and it is only the one variety. I have three other varieties to do.  Some are less in number than others.   I will be giving half or more of these away before May. 

This set of tulips are emerging strong.  Our weather is so strange as it is going to be very warm but our soil just isn't that warm.  Because of the cool ground and low moisture we are just moving really slow.  It probably is actually normal and on regular schedule but our afternoon temps get to be warmer than normal.  I think daylight makes a lot of these things develop more than the temps.

I am in the band room today.  Students are getting ready for individual contests so the room will be filled with many students practicing their solos all over the room and on the stage and auditorium.  It will be a lot of noise music today.

I worked outside a little yesterday and I can see I will be needing to do more as the plants develop.  We are to get a storm Wednesday evening and maybe we will get some rain from that.   We are not in drought yet but we seem to be low in water moisture content-wise.  If I survive today's activities in here I will see you tomorrow. Thanks for stopping in......today.

Monday, March 30, 2015

First Day Again.....

The winds were very strong yesterday.  Even with the bricks on the base the wind brought the feeder down.  The squirrels were a little hesitant to eat from the ground as even the killer poodle could chase you at this level. 

Before I started blogging I went out right away and righted the feeder.  I moved it further away from the window now and eventually I will put it into the yard further back.

I still can not identify that green evergreen tree.  There are two of them on the neighbor's lot line and they have been this green all winter and now into the spring.  The needles are very soft and I bet soft is apart of its name.

Behind the blue angel you can see a couple of large buds that are sticking up behind the wings.  That is a red lilac that I got from my parents property in southern Iowa and it has yet to bloom.  I am hoping that this is the year with the strong large buds that it has on it.

 I have decided that some juncos are going to stay in Iowa this year.  I don't know that they will go now as they should be already starting to build nests.  The feeder has been pretty vacant from birds right now as I think everyone is out building nests.  The robins are everywhere looking for food and cardinals and bluejays are totally not around right now.

The miniature rose that I bought in February is rewarding me now for putting it into a real pot  of soil.  The one stalk is twice the height than what it was when I bought it.  The other stalks did not respond the same way but the taller one has two buds on it and are about to bloom. 

I have known people who set this kind of rose outside in the ground during the summer.  I think I would still bring it in for the winter.  I guess I will need to research that a bit.

I feel badly when the stock was so big that they didn't sell.  Probably all lot of them  went into the garbage after I bought this one.   They sat among the cyclamens and other red blooming tulips for the Valentine's season.

 I don't think it is a good thing to market for that holiday and they should put them in the summer greenhouse area instead for people to buy them as a novelty.

I have no job today other than to do the stuff that needs to be done at home.  I do go to attend school tomorrow so I am going to take advantage of the free time today.  I hope all had a good weekend and here we are back on Monday again.  Thanks for checking in today.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Happy Happy Boy.........

AJ likes to relate to everyone but his mom and dad are the ones that can get good reactions from him.

We had a good time catching up with our grandson and seeing how much he has grown in four months.  He really is communicating well and is so full of energy. We read a lot of books and played with toys while on our visit.

 We met his parents in Davenport, Iowa which right on the edge of the Mississippi River. They had a hotel suite and we ate breakfast with them.  If or when we do it again, the weather should be warmer and we can visit some of the parks along the river.  AJ has enough energy that a playground would be great for him. 

We only had less than three hours to drive which made it an easier trip.  They others came from Chicago and drove about three hours.  When we would drive out to Chicago we would remark that we were just half way when we hit Davenport.  The quad cities is right there with Moline, Illinois and two other cities on the edge of the river.

We had a great time and are now resting up today.  Thanks for stopping in today.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

AJ Day...

We are home now from a visit to see AJ and his parents.  We are tired from being with such an active young 2 year old.

Thanks for stopping by to my late posted blog today. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, Exactly.......

The violet bloom resembles the crocus that some people like to grow.  The single bloom here and there sometimes doesn't do very well outside.  Our snow and ice can take them out quickly.  This violet seems to really like the new spring light that comes in through the dining room window.

The guy that I subbed for yesterday is a married young man with one child who likes lots of color.  These fake flowers sit in his window.  He also has a few more bouquets, also fake, sitting around the room.  He was a basketball major and is very tall compared to me. It is interesting to see how he has placed things like this in his room and has great bulletin boards.  He posts drawings that the students have drawn in special places for everyone to see.  He has one sign with directions for a 6th and 7th grade classes.   Don't touch each other.  Don't touch Mr. T. stuff. and Don't touch the sun.

This is the photo that I shared on my Photo a Day blog yesterday. The blooms were at school.  I really have always been fascinated with daffodils.  When I was a kid on the farm I was the one to go to the well to pump buckets for drinking water.  Out by the well a former owner farm women had planted daffodils. Back then  I thought they were magical like the ones you see in fairy story books.  There were a few tulips that came up also and one parrot tulip.

What was special about this garden was they came up among a very grassy area and would bloom before the orchard grass would have pushed up through the soil.  My mom and dad had also planted a flowering crab apple tree that the bees would hover over all in spring getting honey from the hundreds of blooms on the tree. Some years we would make jelly with the small apples.

I am taking the day off today from working at school and using the day to rest.  We are going to meet at the Mississippi River to see our kids and our grandson.  Maybe we can get some new photos of the grandson and also get out to the river.  The trees are not really leafing out yet so it is not that good looking around here yet.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday's Thoughts.........

I am spending my day in this middle school room today.  It holds about 30 students and I think most of the classes are 28 in number.  I would snap a shot of it filled up with kids but I guess that would not be right.

On my way into the building I took some pictures of the daffodils in bloom.  They are planted in a corner connection of two buildings on the south side. Students and staff can see them from inside the building as they walk through a glassed hallway.  They are usually in bloom and gone before mine do at my house as mine are out in the open.  I donated the bulbs for this area about 10 years ago and the student council planted them.  Since that happened others brought in day lilies and one other flower that comes up in the area.

A small concrete block wall was added which turned it into a more formal garden.  I think a peony should be planted in the middle of everything there.

Back at home my field lilies are sure growing up. We are still very cold at night but some rain did come a day ago so we are starting to green up more.

I have decided to share that it is my birthday today.  I should be proud of it as I may not remember some of these days.  It has been an interesting journey since 1950 and I hope to remember a few more good times after today.

We will go out for my special meal tonight at an Italian place and I can then get home and rest. I didn't beg to work today on my day but it works out that I could, so I will.  The fake flower looks like someone who took a good thing from nature and turned it into some less real.  The flowers sit in the window of my classroom.  We have sunshine today and it will warm to 47 degrees F.   Thank you for stopping by today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In the Middle........

Things seem still to look pretty much dead out there.  There is a slight green showing through on the yard.  It is greener on the other side of the house. 

The schefflera  sits in a lower light below the window and seems to be doing well there.  I think this is the one I blogged a couple of years ago when I bought it for a couple of bucks.  It was planted in a decorated paper cup and spent a few months in that cup until I freed it to grow out into a bigger pot.

Picasa did its magic again when I downloaded this photo.  Why they wanted to put it into a black and white format I don't understand but they did.  We are having a gloomy dark day today and maybe they wanted me to share it to express how it looks outside today. 

The color photo looks like this and I shared it on my Photo a Day blog today.  I had a hard time keeping the oxalis' soil moist all winter but when the spring light began the plant immediately put out buds and blooms.

Even though it is such a gloomy day I think we will still venture out to run some errands. I have a few things around the house to get done.  I will wait for the mood to see what I actually do accomplish.  I need to get the birds back into the windows so they can see out better.  They are not in a bad position but I know they like a clearer and closer view to what is going on outside.  That is a clue of some of what I have on my list. Thank you for your visit today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trudging Through Tuesday.......

It is looking a little rugged but there is color.  We are to have maybe rain, lots of wind again, and it will snow north of us.  It is cold out there again which it can be in late March.

The vine has done well in this container.  In fact it is getting to be time for a haircut.  It is leaning towards the light which means I should turn it around more often. The spring light is causing that as all winter it didn't lean in any direction.

Most of the violets are appreciating all this new daylight.  I let them dry out a little and they did start to set buds again.  I did loose one complete violet which is just natural.  Overwater them or let them get too dry to recover from that and they just expire.

I am in the high school science room this morning and then will become an associate for Special Education this afternoon.   Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, March 23, 2015

First Day of the Week.......

Even though it is suppose to be spring we will have a cold day today. These tomato plants are not suppose to be planted outside until May 15th.  That means I will be watching and watering them inside for a couple of more months. 

I really will be glad when I can get these guys back outside.  They are so messy as they drop leaves all winter and there are to many of them that I brought inside last fall.

Only one bud will bloom at this time of the  year. I can see it opening up right now and will have to watch so I can get a full photo of it in its opened bloom stage.

I will pace myself and do replants of these through out the next few days.  I don't have the window space I need for them all so I will be moving hardy geraniums out of the window and put the tomato in larger pots in their place.  A geranium can just stay alive and do fine in low light as long as I don't over water it.

I am moving slower today as I went bowling with my boy's Sunday school class yesterday. I need practice as I hadn't bowled since 1969.  Instead of practicing, I think I won't pick it up as a hobby.  The boys were a lot of first timers as bowlers so it was an interesting time.  My scoring was pretty bad but I did improve at the very end of things.  I thank you all for stopping in today.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Sicks Around......

At a quick glance the American Robin could look like a starling or red wing black bird.  The hint of orange gives it away that it is a robin in this photo.

They are a bird that is taken for granted.  They are on the ground a lot looking for insects and they walk along in the yard more than some birds.  Their sounds are great and they are hardworking birds. I have been looking for nest building that might be going on but haven't seen any so far.

Have a good day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Second Day of Spring.........

For a while, two starlings were sitting on this old pipe, looking around at things.  They would fly to the big birdhouse and then back again.  The pipe is the remaining part of a very old clothes line.  To dig it out and to take it away will require a lot of work on my part.  I have always thought I would build some bird feeder to sit on top of it.  Sparrows like putting nests in either end of it even though it looks dangerous.

Back to the story of the two starlings hanging out on the pole.  There is already a sparrow starting a nest in the one end of the pipe even though I saw one of the starlings checking it out.  The hole is too small for them to nest in there and I really don't know what it was thinking. Eventually the two of them eded up on the big birdhouse. There was squawking going on and some fluttering of wings.

They darted in and out of holes and I will be interested to see if they will pick a place.  The rent will be cheap and they are close to water.  I intended the group of houses to be a marlin house but it doesn't have enough spaces for that kind of bird. People in town do have marlin houses and I  would like to have one.I never got it remodeled and I had intended to cut smaller holes in wood and and them to the front of the large holes.

One of the American robins was out checking things out in the backyard.  I think there were three out there at one time.  I will be anxious to see where they will nest this year.  I still have the step ladder hanging sideways at the garden shed. I will be watching to see if they start a new nest there.

I have a new bud on the cactus that is back into the window.  I see I have a nice blade of grass growing next to it. There were two buds but I think one of them just shriveled up and went away.

I went to a coffee, class reunion, kind of thing yesterday.  My cousin is back from Arizona and the group from the class of 1968 wanted to get together to see him.  He rarely makes it back for reunions so 12 of use showed up at the community center in Murray, Iowa.  We also have on member of our class that is battling cancer and it was good to see him. I will post a picture of main street on a later blog and share a little bit about the get together.  I did tell you it was going to look like a lot of old people getting together.

We are hanging around the house today.  I might get some outside work done today even though it isn't going to warm up more than 60 degrees.  It is sunny and that does help when I am out there doing things.  I wish you all a very good day.  Thanks for coming by today.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First Day of Spring..........

The back yard has field lilies coming up which means we really are moving into spring.  I haven't been out to pick up fallen sticks nor raked up any loose leaves yet and probably won't for a while.  I do think it will warm up nicely today.

I shared a single shot of one of these on yesterday's Photo a Day blog.  They are there looking over the fish tank to see if they can get a drink of water from it.  The collared doves seem to be paired off now unlike they were earlier.  I don't see the youngster that was following along but this could be another pair.

Our sky is looking a lot more like spring.  We will be a little warmer today, almost 70 degres.  I see that the silver maples have buds on them.  They put out a flower-like bud and a lot of them seem to drop to the ground when it is windy.

We are off today to visit the small town of Murray, Iowa.  I have a cousin visiting back from Arizona and being also a class mate some thought it cool for a few of us to get together for the afternoon.  I don't like hanging around old people but I guess they are all the same age as me.  I don't make a lot of class reunions but this will be a smaller group of them. I will really be glad to see my cousin as he hasn't been back to Iowa for a while.  He and his wife live down in the far south of Arizona.

It is Friday and I hope everyone is doing well out there.  Thanks for stopping by today. It will be nice to have a warm day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tis Thursday.....

I was out taking photos of a pretty gray landscape in the late afternoon.  I was trying to get lilac buds in focus and I look down to see this box.  We get stray things like this outside as the wind blows loose things up and down the alley.  Once I saw it I decided to use it and go remove more ornaments from my outside evergreen tree.  I am sure the neighbors are use to me doing strange things like carrying a weathered box around in one hand and a camera in the other.

I did get another batch of balls off of the tree despite how very cold that wind was while I was doing it. Can you see me reflecting back at you in some of the Christmas balls? I will transfer these guys into plastic bags to take to the basement for another year. I will still need to take out a stepladder to get the top balls of of the tree. I really should get the rest of them down before the first day of spring.

I never did get the buds on the lilac into focus.  I was too lazy to put on the macro setting.  Maybe I will try again when the weather is better for me to be out there.There are not many and there should be a lot more in another week.

There are no buds on the apple trees yet, nor the pear tree.  My neighbor on the west side of town still has his bee hives so I am anxious for the budding and flowering to take place. I would like to get out there and see them at work.

Just in case you are wondering, the ladder is my new lawn ornament.  I have two stepladders to use and a large newer ladder to use.  There isn't a need to put this one in storage as it is an old one from my dads and I only use it right here in this tree.  When I photograph it in different views it does look more like sculpture.  I am going to leave it there just for fun. Laying it on the ground behind the shed is my only other option.

I have this one junco that still comes to the feeder.  I am certain that all his friends have headed north already because they would feed in flocks during the winter.  I am glad he is still around but maybe he is waiting for another migrating flock to go by and pick him up to join them.

Plans are to be spontaneous today.  We have to run one errand and maybe more activities will follow.  It isn't going to get very warm today so we won't want to be out and about too much.  Hobby Lobby is on our list of the one thing to do.   Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday the 18th, March........

It is good that the American robins are back.  They come during this month regardless of the weather.  I don't see many of them around our neighborhood but I can hear their call all summer. I guess the robins and the wrens are the ones that migrate and all the others seem to stick around year round.  I did see a Junco yesterday that had nott flown northward but most of them are gone already.

This is the smallest of our squirrels and he is the only one that can squeeze into this tray space. The most of the squirrels have spread out into their territorities and I am sure there will be babies being born soon.

Picasa liked this photo as it gave it the special treatment. I like it because the tulips are starting to come up now.  I whined about it a few days ago and the two warm days caused the tulips to sprout up.  This is the time of the year when i wished I had bought some hybrid tulips and put them in last fall.

This is a row of cheap bulbs that is showing themselves.  I know we could get another snow yet but most times these guys do survive whatever it gets hit with weatherwise.

We have no big plans today and will take it easy.  Being that is has turned to normal temperatures again, we are cold and don't really want to get out into it. Some people are out mowing and sucking up leaves but it is way too brown yet to see any improvement to the yards.  I will wait for another month before I think about working on that. Spring rains are yet to come and we seem to be needing more moisture so we will have to watch and wait.   Thank you for stopping in today.