Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Middle of the Week.......

It is time to share the fish again. I was too busy to put them outside this year as I was concerned I wouldn't find time to get them out of the tank in the fall.  Photos are still hard to capture with the backlighting thing going on causing the camera problems.

Do you remember the algae eater that I bought a while back?  He is not transparent and clear looking anymore but has taken on color is is larger.  He has had plenty of algae to scoop up from the glass as the tank sits in the sun in the morning. I bet he wasn't two inches long back then.

A blurry photo of the calico fish.  He has really grown this past year and does hold his own with all the older larger goldfish.

Just a teaser photo of what I took photos of this morning before I came to school. I had many blooms and took a few shots. This was taken yesterday afternoon when all the blooms were gone.

My pepperoni plant is doing well.  I bought it as it was a piece of history of my past.  Pepperoni plants were put in terrariums back in the 70s and expected to stay in a stunned state and not grow large while in a closed glass container.

I planted it in this container and it just keeps growing.  I really don't like its growing behavior as it appears to be a vine.  I have it out on the patio table and it seems to like getting a shower once in a while and receiving sunshine. At this point I am not sure if I need to get a larger pot or start cutting it up and giving it away.

I am settling in as being a Literacy teacher.  My person that will have her baby soon will leave me alone with all her students at noon.  I will be in charge or at least look like I am in charge for the next 10 weeks.

My projects that I have to do are all on hold now and I will have to learn to squeeze work in after work and on weekends.  I see from looking at my yard that I am already behind on mowing my yard.

We are in a cooler mode of temperatures now and the grass seems to be wet with dew most mornings now. We are so green right now and it sort of seems like fall. I really am not ready for winter.

I wish you all well on this Wednesday and thank you for stopping by for a visit.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday's Assignment.........

Some flowers just wait to bloom late in the season.  It is nice to go out and see fresh blooms when all the other phlox are mostly spent.  I have found a new way to edit photos on the google photo site.  I had to ask the Chrome people how to do it.  It was there all along but the command icon is so subtle that I would never had stumbled onto it.

I am back to work at school so I am not home when the morning glories are blooming.  This is the third site where the flowers are planted and this one did bloom yesterday.  It is interesting to me that it is exactly one day later than when the porch planter of vines started their first blooms.  This shriveled bud is actually the color of the ones I posted in the future. The glories are funny like that they turn to a different color when they wilt.

Here is another shot of southern Iowa along Interstate 35.  The inclined land formation goes into a larger hill if you extend your gaze.

I will conclude today on this blurry shot of a weed that is growing in my one planter.  I really don't remember seeing this particular plant before but the head of it has an interesting pattern.

It is Tuesday and I am in my second day of being back  to school.  It is a good thing and I do like being here.  It is a bad thing that I have such a chunk of time taken out of my retired life each day.  I will adjust and be fine. I will quit the whine mode and start to buck up.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Everyone have a great day.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Start the Day Running......on Schedule Again.

The Sunday surprise was the first blooming of the morning glories on the porch. All bloomed, first time the same day.

The flowers are all blooming toward the light, of course, so they don't bloom on the porch side.  I will take more photos of them from the other side another day.

I shared the rolling hills of southern Iowa on my Photo a Day blog. Here is another one showing the hill and timber of the area.  Grazing cattle can be seen, and I did see them, but I didn't get any in my photos.  I was at the  wrong place to get those cows in my viewfinder.

This photo again shows the rolling hills.  There might be black spots there on the right which would be angus cattle.

In comparison to the south this is where I live in central Iowa.  It is prairie with lots of flatter land but not perfectly flat, like you find in northern Iowa. We do have loess hills in our area but that takes too much time to explain.  Another day and another blog I can share some loess hills.

I am off to school today to start my subbing job for a woman who has yet to have her baby.  I keep watching the email to see if she had it over the weekend. I am to be there with her until she goes to the hospital on Friday for induction.

 I will be a literacy teacher at the 7th grade level for ten weeks. I have subbed in there many times the last few years.  It should be a good time doing it at the beginning of the year.

It does mean I have to go back to a rigged schedule with about 9 hours yanked from my time. That change from the retirement life that I experienced all summer will be hard for me probably the first week.

We have had thunder but no rain the past evening.  I may have to start watering plants if it does finally stop raining in Iowa.  I wish you all a good first day of week day and thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday's Showing........

I had to look up today to see the subtle beauty of the fluff of clouds. Sometimes it seems things can be missed if you don't look in all directions. I was not expecting to see much as everything was  happening on the horizon.

The two have a distant relationship that makes  me want to crop one out to just emphasize the other. The neighbors maple tree seems to always give me that perfect foreground of solid shape to help my distant sky look better. It was foggy today and the cell phone did pick it up.

I traveled to southern Iowa for a cousin's funeral on Saturday. I wanted to take shots before arriving and my timing seemed crowded.  I was almost late so I didn't stop to take pictures along the highway. On the way back from Osceola, Iowa I did snap a few shots from the car windows.  I waited until all traffic was cleared around me so I could shoot things without distraction.  I didn't look in the view finder but just snapped like a wild guy. My wife had stayed home to take care of our elderly little dog so it had to happen the way that I did it.

The glaciers left northern Iowa  pretty flat and where I live there is more hills and dales.  In southern Iowa there are rolling hills.  I won't share all the photos today as I want to study them a little before I write about them.  I did take a couple of shots of the farm fields in the area where I live and the land formations are drastically different. If I were an industrious kind of guy I could see a book of photos being published taken of southern Iowa hills in the different seasons. I lived down there all my young life and took for granted the roller coaster hills and gravel roads near our farm. I can still visualize my dad driving his Farmall tractor up and down those hills taking away harvested corn or hay bales from the fields. When farming them you drive around them to help prevent erosion of the soil.

It was like a family reunion as we gathered to remember the life one of my cousin.  Jerry was 77 years old. I have two older first cousins still living in their 80s. All of the rest of them are younger. There are seven more.

Three of the first cousins I have never met. One died of agent orange. The two remaining are older than me and are out there. They are not included due to a divorce of my Uncle back in the 50's. Some cousins have met them and I think the one woman did come to a family reunion once. I am the very youngest of all of the cousins on the side of dad's family of 10 brothers and sisters. I don't think it really gives me an advantage over anything.

My brother was visiting his one daughter in Kansas City, and drove up for the funeral. We had a little time to reconnect. He has five kids living all over the United States.  The two that are farther away are KC and in Ohio.  He went to Ohio to visit earlier this summer. We both helped each other remember the faces at the funeral.  

Here is a surprise I was met with this morning on my porch.  I will sneak on one photo to let you know that I just don't have white morning glories.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Satruday's Stuff.........

We did have bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for supper last night.  A real tomato has the best flavor especially when it has ripened on the vine.

Weathered and wilting but the color persists.  I will trim them back and try to get one more set of blooms off of this bush. 

The sunrise that I would have liked to have shared was Friday mornings show.  The colors were pink and purple.  The color was such a narrow strip and if I had a crane to climb I could have taken a great shot. This shot was taken on Thursday and the evidence of the earth tilting continues to show in this photo..  Soon the sun will be seen behind that tree on the right.

While walking through the house I had to take this shot of one of my wife's paintings.  It is a striking image and here detailing is so great on this bald eagle.

I am heading south this morning to go to a funeral in Osceola, Iowa. A first cousin died, one of the older ones from the my dad's side of the family.  Of all of the cousin's on that side I am the youngest.  Jerry was 77 years old. My brother from Yorba Linda, California will be at the funeral so it will be good to see him and catch up on his families news.

Our weather has turned to fall now and we are cooler and grayer outside.  The sprinkles of rain seem to be dogging us all of the time almost everyday.   School is starting and we can now hear the action and sounds of football games on Friday nights from the stadium a couple of blocks away of our house. That is a sure sign of fall with the games begin.   I am headed to southern Iowa and I will take my camera with me.  I live on the prairie and the south is far more like rolling hills with creeks and timber.

I wish you all to have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by today. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday and I am Back.......

The sun rose on Thursday morning and then I became really busy.  I didn't have a free time to even open up my computer. I was at school getting ready for Monday's first day of school and I couldn't get the computer to connect to the school server to check my mail when I did try.  To confuse things the Tech guy gave me a new Macbook Air to use while I am at school.  I spent time getting use to the new innovations on the Mac. Now when you drag the cursor down on the screen the screen moves down. The old computer does the opposite.

I have to log into the school computer, then log into google chrome to get to the school site and then log into the required site to do the computer work for the class. All of the passwords are different and must be remembered.  I just set up my own gmail account a few weeks ago and now I have a second gmail account for school mail and of course I still have my yahoo mail hanging around.   I am feeling too old to deal with it all but I will buck up and get the job done.

I was low on photos to share so you can imagine the frustration when my camera shut down when I was trying to photograph a monarch butterfly.  I went inside and grabbed my wife's camera and the butterfly was gone. Later when I looked out late afternoon, I could see the insect fluttering around from flower to flower.

The butterfly hung around for a while but I still only got two photos of it before it decided to move on to bigger and better flowers. The coneflowers are pretty much spent so I am glad I have the zinnias growing right there.

I will finish with my tomato scene.  I have lots of romas ready to be picked. We buy bacon only once or twice a year and we bought some last night for BLTs sandwiches.

Another busy day today but I did get my blog up.  Business meetings this morning and I need to go back up to the school to get final instructions.  If the woman does not have her baby by Monday I still do work and we will team teach until she goes to the hospital. 

I thank you for stopping by today.  I did get a phone call from a son wondering if I was ok as I didn't blog yesterday.  Yep I am fine.  Tomorrow for sure........I will see you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trudging, Trolling, Tramping and Tripping into Tuesday.

The wave petunia seems to be growing stronger and is putting out more blooms.  It is getting plenty of rain and I can now take photos of more than two flowers at a time.

The rose seemed to rebloom quickly.  I like how I get two blooms at a time.  If it were a good shrub, I would have more than just  two stems on the plant.  I am grateful that it blooms and it survives our very cold winters.

The reality of the look of this plant is that the rains have taken out so many buds.  You can see all the dead stems in the background.  I of course did remove all the dead stems from the hardy geranium after I took the photograph.   It is like washing the kids face after they had their school pictures taken.

The roma tomatoes will all ripen at the same time.  We will eat them, share them and freeze some of them.  The variety of roma that I have is a larger sized roma.  I have mentioned before that when I was a kid they marketed the roma, calling it a catsup tomato.  The step grandparents that grew them didn't make their own catsup but they did like trying out new things to grow.

It seems strange that I only have one kind of zinnia this year but I like them and the butterflies and bees do like them.  I need to plant earlier the zinnias as well as the tomatoes.  My late starts of two sunflower plants that finally came up after being planted a month are still in observation as to they will make it to maturity.  They plants look strong and healthy but are a month behind where they should be. My volunteer sunflower from the birdfeeder is at its end of maturity already and the seeds are formed.

My aches and pains seem to be almost gone so I will be mowing the tall grass this morning.  I have a lot of things to do before school starts so I can't waste too much time. I need to venture up to the school some time today and see how tings are going.  They installed air conditioning in the building that I am subbing in and they are cutting it close to having it done. The wing had to be torn up a lot in the ceilings to get it all installed.  It is just like the teacher that I am subbing for as she is to have here baby the day school starts.  Lots of things going on in our lives these day in many different aspects.  We are weary but are staying strong.  When life gets to be a little challenging it seems the more challenges crop up.  As things are resolved maybe I will share and maybe not.  We all have our own struggles in life and mine are no more important than yours.

Thank you for checking this posting out today.  The week is ahead of us with days of activity and new explorations.  I hope everyone is safe.  As one of my blog friends usually says........tomorrow!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Morning Again......

The hidden bicycle makes a different kind of trellis as it has had all of the foliage grow up in it.  The town has a theme of displaying bikes in our yards to promote the High Trestle Bridge which is on the bike trail three miles out of town, The bridge is 13 stories high spanning the Des Moines river and has an art sculpture forms on it to enhance it.  The now three cafes in town are greatly benefiting from the trail's bike riders.  I see people's photo on facebook that have visited the Whistling Donkey bar and grill frequently and have been on the bike.  Some of them are relatives that I rarely see and others are people from other parts of the state that I know but are not close friends. I live on the opposite side of town and really don't want people to drop in when they do visit but is seems strange to have them in my town.

The last time I mowed the orchard I picked up a pear from the ground and ate it while I pushed the mower.  I did wipe it off on my pants some but all in all it tasted pretty good. I need to start bringing them in to the house and let them ripen for eating.  They come off the tree pretty much a hard fiber fruit. If they ripen on the tree the insects and birds hit them hard.

I did pick up apples from the ground and pealed them for my wife to make pie.  We have eaten four pieces from the pie and the rest will be gone today or tomorrow.  It is so delicious. My wife has perfected a crust that has lest salt in it and added sugar to make it a crisp great tasting crust.  My mom was jealous of my wife's pie making abilities.  My mom made a lot of pies in her life but for me to marry a successful pie maker kind of bothered her. I think you catch the drift of what I am saying here.

The house seems to be in distress but maybe this fall I can give it some attention.  I have lots of major things to do so it will have to wait.  I guess I should start doing things like this in my basement during the winter.

A rose bush that I had gifted my parents years ago was moved to our house when we closed down the houses.  It has never done as well as it did on the south side of my parents home.  I have only one or two stems per year and usually at least two blooms.

It is almost the end of August and my tomatoes are finally ripening.  The romas are looking good even though there is black rot on some of the smaller tomatoes.  Too much rain brings on the black rot but it seems to be a minimal problem.

My day will be different today as I am not going to do things physically.  I damaged some muscle in my shoulder, probably last week, and now it has chosen to be inflamed. It will work where I have to do things with my arms.  No yard mowing for me today.  It is one of those temporary things as the inflammation moves around.  I suspect that my muscles on the opposite side will end up hurting tomorrow.  I will just have to rest.  I did snap some shots this morning and I am still able to feed myself so it is just an distraction for a while.

The rains just keep being predicted but for now we have a bright sunny cold day.  Everyone's yards are growing so quickly and it is keeping those short cut grassers busy trying to perfect the greens.  I hope all are well today and I thank you for stopping by today at my  post.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It is a all seems to be falling down.

I guess the wind was strong one of those many evenings when it rained as the phlox and mint are all laying down on top of neighboring plants.  It makes for a blur of color as the one set of plants lay down on the others.

It is time to move some things in the gallery to other parts of the house, storeroom.  I found some of my older paintings from 20 or more years ago.  I had my wife help me photograph them for a later showing. My styles and skills in paining have changed a lot and my subject matter seems to be a  painting of whatever comes along my way.

We finish off a long week and the weekend seems to be a better two days.  I started late today to create this post so it will be a short one today.  Thank you for stopping by today.