Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Snowflake Couple..........

The forecasts seem to come too soon rather than too late.  When it is predicted, it should not be at a weeks notice. I can see today that we are going to be warm in the south part of the state and that snow will only be rain.  We are not below freezing temperature wise right now so it will have to cool off some before any snow dreams come true.  I now think that they are not certain about the amount of snow but they are certain that it will blow.  I do believe them when they say that we will go back into the deep freezer again soon.  The January thaw is in the past as of tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by today

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Old but Sturdy.......

Dovetail Joints
How did they factory cut them back in the 30s through 40s time period? It is a mystery to me.

Some corners are in better shape than others.  The box came from the Horton house when they moved to town. The box is over 70 years old.  The four boys in the family used it to hold crayons and pencils back when there was not television and only one radio in the house. Reading and drawing was a good activity until it got dark at night.

The drawings on the side are marked just like kids do today.  Draw something and put a name on it just in case a viewer doesn't know what it is.  The rabbit is being chased by a hound.

The standing figure with boxing gloves is marked Lowell and I can not figure out the writing that labels the boy laying down on the ground.  It  may be a neighbor boy that is knocked out here.

The box is from my John and Iva connection.  They were step great uncle and aunt from my grandmother's marriage into the family.  The had four boys. Their third son, George, was drafted into the army in the early forties and was killed on Omaha beach in Normandy. All the other boys are still alive.  I am assuming Lowell drew the illustrations on the box but Harvey could have been doing so to make fun of his brother.  Lowell and Harvey should be in their upper 80's now and Loren, the youngest son, lives in Iowa City, Iowa. I have yearly mail from him at Christmas.

The mystery of why the box was never tossed and how it ended up in my possession is just a thing that just happens.  The curious thing about the illustrations on the box is that I just recently discovered them the past few years while I was doing a blog. I have had the box over 45 years plus now.

I wrote two different blogs about this and scrapped the first one.  I see now that the whole thing is totally disorganized.  I had been sick and my brain just doesn't want to keep up with things I guess. I left out stuff that would help make things make better sense.  Just enjoy the photos and move on if you wish.

We are getting warned to be prepared for the snowstorm on Monday evening.  We have purchased things to tied us over and we do have creative ways to keep ourselves fed.  Our can pantry is medium full and bread and eggs can get us through a lot of storms.  Most importantly is the coffee supply and the dog food supply.  All is well in those two departments.  I am slow getting blogs written these days but I just keep plugging along.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday's the Last.......

I am getting a lot of use from the free recycled shelf.  Every item has a story and I will spare you most of them.  The sugar bowl was painted with gold trim by one of my wife's relatives who did china painting.  She gave us the sugar and creamer as a wedding present back in 1984.  I can not believe how perfect the gold bands are painted on them. The woman taught china painting to many people including one of my former art students.  That student paints sinks and toilets with wildlife scenes or other decorations and ships them everywhere.

I am sliding into a "down on the farm" theme now as I noticed things to photograph last night.  Most things were paintings that had barns in them. I painted this many years ago in oil and I still like it.  The starkness makes it seem more like an abstract painting of flat shapes showing textures caused by weathering.

Two prints sitting in the gallery are of a painting I did quite a while back.  The barn is a Minnesota barn that I pulled from a photo out of Minnesota Sunday newspaper.  It was a black and white photo and I translated it into color.  I think the two cows are the only cows I have ever painted even though cows seem to be popular right now in the art world.

The larger original barn painting hangs in the gallery back with the  company of other works.  The boys are in pastel portrait form from when the graduated in high school.  Andy at the top and Aaron is at the bottom.  Andy turned 40 the other day and Aaron turned 37 a week ago. If you know things about me much you know that my wife did the portraits.  That is her thing. She painted them in individual portraits when we were first married.  They were wearing their matching pinstriped suits that they wore at the wedding.

Yes, it is more of a silo and shed scene.  It hangs in a home in California. It was purchased a few years back.

Another red barn which is a smaller prairie style barn. It reminds me of a scene that could be seen in Iowa but it always reminds me of Nebraska.

Having been a farm boy I think it strange that neither my son nor my grandson will never know what the family farm life was like.   My dad and mom sold their farm and moved to town in 1974.  Andy was born that next year.  I do know that Andy and Aaron both remembers his grandpa as always wearing his tractor pants.

I am in the special education room today tending to needs of students with questions. I am glad it is Friday and look forward to the weekend. We are going to be stocking up for the next snow storm that is impending.  Everyone take care and thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Blast from the Past......

Without searching through my past blogs I find the source of these photos do not have a date on them.  Whatever snow storm that year it was a heavy one.  I was experimenting with turning photos into sepia shots and black and white shots.

Even the color photo of the goldfish, the two toned one that I still have today, is not dated.  I know that these fish have had a history as the red and white one was in the school aquarium for a winter one of these years back.  The year the photo was take was when I set up one of my sons old small aquarium.

I am back in school today and will be only teaching a half day.  My fever is gone so I am not contagious anymore.  Both of us and the poodle slept through the entire night so we are getting better.  I am with the at-risk teacher today.  It is small groups of students so I can physically pull the job off with out a problem.  Thank you for stopping by today.

The dates of the photos are the winter of 2012 into the next year of 2013.  It looks like we had a large amount of snow before Christmas that year.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sugar Disguised as Frosting.........

A fellow worker gave to me a few cupcakes to share with our visiting family.  It was a generous thing for her to do.  They were wonderful cupcakes.  She said that they were "cotton candy"flavored  cupcakes.  Thye were so sweet that  AJ left the bottom third of the cake as he had reached his limit on surgar. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Looking Out.........

It was a reflective crystal snow that we had the past 17 hours. It was like a glitter had been mixed in with the snow. We are promised to have three or four good thawing days and I will be glad to have them.

Home again today.  Viral colds are the pits.  I am trying to keep up with our dogs when it comes to resting all day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday's a Start............

The newer violet that I purchased a year ago is now settling in and blooming.  I had taking it from the commercial soil and put it into a better real soil and it has grown larger.  The special effects are brought to you by a mistake in photography.

I am glad to see some of these violets are coming back as they didn't seem to do well this past summer.

I assume everyone has been clued in that our grandson was here this last weekend for a visit.  His mom wasn't feeling well so she sent the two boys over to eat with us at the Pizza Hut. The waitress remarked when we left that we seemed to really enjoy being together.  It was a fun time and everyone loves pizza. Our son Andy was tired from the six hour trip but he is young and bounces back quickly.

Some part of AJ is always moving so the blurred areas are of course moving parts of the subject.

When the meal is over he loves to have books read to him.  It gives the adults a little bit more conversation time when he is so easily entertained.

Our son gave us his old phone.  He loves the phone but wanted to buy the upgrade. I am learning fairly well on the use of it but it has a few quirks that I need to get use to. One of the reasons our son wanted us to have this is the facetime feature. We hooked up on it and we can see and talk to each other at the same time.  AJ can now see us when he talks to us on the device.  We saw him extremely excited last night that he was back home in Arlington Heights.

My fingers have to learn how to be gentle to press on the buttons.  I am better now that a few days ago and can now put in my email password without only one of two mistakes.  Pressing on buttons is a part of our society but everything has a different skill level to do that.  I get somewhat frustrated with it but I will only be able to use this phone with my glasses off and the phone close to my face. As I said to my wife, it is a new toy.  Andy trained me patiently and I will sit down and show her the way on the thing.

I tried to take a photo and I didn't just tap the dot.  I kept my finger over it and it took 18 photos.  I will really have to get use to that as a camera is just a press down and let up whenever. I have two batches like this of photos on the phone already, adding up to about 46 photos.  I will have to delete them now. I think I can figure that out by trial and error. My hands seem too bulky to work it but I will learn.

I didn't get called in for work today.  I have a cold with the sore throat today so I would have turned jobs down anyway.  There are a couple I could have done if they didn't require teaching.

We are to get freezing rain today so school may be sent home early today.  It will depend on how easy it is to see on the radar of its threat to our area.  In this photo you can see the little guy has all the skill he needs to find his children's apps and to choose the one that he is in the mood for at the time.

I am drinking lots of fluids today and will live on asprin hoping to get over the cold.  I know the weather is causing problems for a lot of people out there.  I hope everyone stays safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Afternoon......

Nothing has melted today.  We didn't make it to a thawing temperature to cause any change in our landscape.  We have freezing rain predicted for Monday morning.  I can see the bunny tracks are all over this area.  I don't know how many rabbits we have but this is apparently a major pathway for one or more rabbits.

We were able to eat with AJ and his parents at their hotel Sunday morning.  AJ has always eaten a healthy breakfast since he was very young.  Breakfast seems to be his major meal as he enjoys bowls of fresh fruit, yogurt, scrambled eggs, cheese slices, and then his dad brought him a bowl of fruit loops. AJ enjoys all the different colors of the cereal.

He is a tall boy.  He isn't to be three until February.  He looks like he did last year at this time but this year he talks better.  He can ramble out a bunch of clear words in complete sentences.  He is very verbal and his brain is soaking in everything around him. I am sure that is normal for most kids this age but the way he communicates is really amazing.

We brought him a book that I retrieved from a garbage can a few years back.  It is about a girl that goes to pirate school.  The book is too old for him but he loves the excessive amount of illustrations.  He is soaking in everything from the pictures and we don't bother to read it as it is not to his level. All of the different pirate instructors were created in a variety of characters and he studied each one of them. We didn't read anything to him as the little girl in the story writes the story as if they are letters home.  She must be about 6th grade and stinking is her favorite adjective. 

He has become accustom to cameras but I know it has to be a little bit irritating.  His dad is as crazy at shooting photos as I am.  I have a great stash of new ones now.  That will last me for a while.

Our couple of days were great for us and we are now really very tired.  AJ is going to become a big brother in April so he needs to enjoy the only child position for a little while longer.

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday's Final Finish........

The sky looks like we could have seen the sun today.  When there were some breaks in the clouds I could see a glow on the neighbor's houses to the east of us. The neighbor's garage with a chimney on it seems to always make it into my sky shots. This is the first time ever that I wondered why there was a chimney on that model T garage.  In the older days people had these because they had active blacksmith burners, forge, to work with horseshoes.  It would seem not the case for this one as the building was meant for a car.

Woven wire with a wheel standing in the white snow. Whitish bark on the river birch seems less white with the white painted garage and snow in its background. Weeds mix with the raspberry plants while I am freezing cold while taking this photo. It looked warmer than it really was so I hurried and snapped and returned to the house.

When I first saw this shot I thought maybe February was coming in like a lion.  Then I shook it off realizing that it is in March when we say lion and lamb comparisons.  Low light again is messing with my focus.  I will have to start taking shots earlier in the day.

The snow hangs on.  We have more snow on the ground than Washington D.C.  but we still survive.  We had a light dusting this morning before I left for school.  We were at 20 degrees F. this morning.  It seemed like a heat wave on paper but the light wind makes the air seem a lot colder.

My old wooden box that I used for the shelf is about to be on its last leg. I will need to do repair on it this spring or just remove it. I am anxious to see what grows up from the ground this spring. I planted a few new things and gosh I am ready for spring.

I am leaving you with a clue of what is happening this weekend. It doesn't seem like family will ever get together but life does get busy for everyone.  Our youngest son has a birthday tomorrow.  He lives in Maine so we won't be sharing cake.

I am following students today into different classrooms monitoring some more closely than others.  My presence is there for help if it is needed.  Otherwise I just get to learn things all day in all subjects.  I hope all are doing well.  Thanks for stopping by today.