Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday's Minimal Post..........

When I am in a pinch and out of photos, I will just fall back on the grandkids' photos.  I am sharing a photo of an extinct mug now.  It was used at this restaurant but with a remodel the mugs went away to mug land. I don't remember the replacement mug but I don't think there was any chickens on them.

I worked outside for a while yesterday as it sort of warmed up.  I removed the tomato cages from the dead plants and I cleared a few phlox stems that were now just dead sticks. Leaves are mounded onto the roses.  I had a large dead piece of silver maple limb fall into the yard during our last windstorm.  I am glad it didn't fall on the roof of the house as there were some very large chunks that came down.  I had to use the wheel barrow to get the debris cleared away.  My neighbor was busy putting up lights on his house.  I was tempted tout a few lights up outside but then I came to my senses. I have a small Austrian pine that I may get a bunch of lights on before the snow flies and I have to wire framed deer that are lighted that will go outside but not right now.

Well it is going to be another busy day so I need to leave the net and get to work.  I wish all of you a great day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday's Things.....

Monday afternoon the sun was setting in the west and the light from it was illuminating the clouds in the east.  I went across the street and took a clear view of the scene. The tree clutter is from the fence row that sits between the foreground cornfield and the next set of fields in the distance.

It is interesting how a holiday season can quit so suddenly once the actual day is over and the dishes are all done.  The leftover napkins seem dated as if they really have to wait a year to become relevant again.  We will use them up quickly so that we can move on to the next holiday.

Our son comes from Chicago  with family and he usually hits the building centers on black Friday to pick up the cheaper poinsettia.  It does help our house to prepare for the Christmas season as it sits in the middle of the dining room table to announce the arrival of the new holiday and our need to start decorating.

 It is a work day for us with business to do and things to get done. I am going to be done with the project you see at right.  I had an interruption of substitute teaching which stopped all progress on the framing.  I did invent a shadow box frame from common pieces of trim boards and now everything is close to being assembled.  The hours I have spent on this would baffle the mind but I don't think about it. I really liked doing it but a lot of the work is just for free.  I will just be glad to get done.

It is Tuesday and thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, November 28, 2016

One More Day of Grandsons........

Wacky pancakes are always fun for little guys.  I am not so sure that the taste any better but AJ really was excited that he could order it.  His second choice was macaroni and cheese.

The youngest guy, Teddy, is now more than seven months old now.  I don't publish myself ever but it turned out to be a good hair day for me. People out there are saying, "What hair?" We had a great weekend seeing the boys and their parents.  Our son took the photos with his camera of perfect settings.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Tokens of appreciation for being a customer of a company usually comes in a form of a calendar.  But this one is a great gift to receive.  I am showing the back side as I don't want to give the company free advertising.  The small door is a clean out door for the old nests.  The house itself is made of flimsy wood but the roof looks like it can survive a hail storm.

The ladders got a workout yesterday as I installed eave troughs on my porch.  I had replaced the facing boards early in the summer ut never got the trough back up.  We had a warmer day so that I could get out to do that.  My neighbor had caught his small shed on fire by burning leaves too close to it; so I had firetrucks and traffic driving around everywhere while I was working.

They did get the shed fire put out but it took a long time.  It was a heavy barn-like shed with lots of dimensional lumber in it.  More solid forms of wood makes a more solid source of wood to burn.  The guy has a habit of throwing gasoline on leaves to get fires going.

My plan is to leave the garden angel outside this winter for the first part of it.  I like seeing the snow build up in its container and on her form.  I really am not wanting snow to come yet but I do know that I don't get to pick and chose.

Our Arlington Heights kids left on Saturday to return home.  We had a good visit, eating out for brunch on the last day before they headed home.  The two boys are really growing up fast and by Christmas I am sure they will make many changes. Today should be a good day for rest.  I hope everyone has a good day today.  Thank you for checking in on my post today.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


At the Science Center in Des Moines, AJ get to watch many plastic balls roll down the spiritual device. They come out into the bottom box. I wonder how many children who have watched and played with this device. It is an interesting thing to see in action.

Teddy enjoyed his time in the stroller while all the little kids were running around doing all of the activities in the room. His various toys that he plays with while in his stroller had to be put away as small walking children kept running up and trying to take them away from him.  Teddy is over 6 months now and more teeth are coming in now.

We were at the Center for a few hours so we were able to get to know both boys lot more. The little guy is such a sweet little one.  He flirted with his grandma a lot and liked the attention he was getting from both of us.

I only had a phone camera so I had lots of blurry photos from the visit.  Low light and iPhone makes for bad photos.  I never really took a photo of him smiling but he does do that a lot.

The oldest grandson was telling me yesterday that there was only two cupcakes left from Thanksgiving day.  I think it was a subtle message that I should worry about his future supply of cupcakes.  We purchased these as we really didn't know if AJ would like pumpkin pie.  He did like pie and cupcakes too.

We are off for brunch this morning with the Chicago four before they head east for home. The boys do travel well as nap time hits around noon and then electronic devices makes movies available at any time.  We have some shopping to do today but not Christmas shopping.  We are out of basics and we will go into the store and get out of there as fast as we can.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, November 25, 2016

AJ and Teddy



We have had a good Thanksgiving with visits from our Chicago area family. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving......

It is a cloudy day and 40 degree; there is no snow.  We will travel about 20 miles to see the kids.  Our Chicago area family is arriving around noon at a motel in Des Moines.  They have booked a suite where we are will deliver a Thanksgiving dinner. We haven't seen our grandsons for a couple of months so it will be nice to see how much they have grown.

Google has been messing with the settings on blogspot. It is a challenge to find all that we lost in the change.  I finally found my readers list that I follow in a column at the left of the blogging visual.  It looks like they have banished the dashboard and hidden parts of it here and there.  My wife and I did finally find most everything but it was a struggle.

I wish everyone a great day this Thanksgiving day.  I am grateful for my friends on the blog and I hope everyone hassomething good to eat today.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Old Photos of Past Blogs.....

It is amazing that we collect so many photos when we become bloggers.  Between my two major blogs I can find a lot of things to share of the past.  While in this set of photos I found my first grandson's early shots of when he was born almost four years ago. Many mundane things we use each day or things that have been put away seem to take a visual place in my blogs.  I remember the collage days when I had a program that allowed me to do that easily.  I hope to get some new photos to share soon.  Until I do have new shots, I will keep dusting off the old stuff.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Archived Photos.......

The photo of the past is a clear shot of my river birch tree.  You can see I could not cheat on this one, saying it was taken in the fall.  The green leaves sprouting is what will be seen next spring.

One of my favorite mugs with a browning makes a cold day like this a better day.  It is raining and we are glad to get the moisture.  We are not glad as to how cold the rain is that is falling when it hits the face.

An archived photo sharing the future of what will be seen on this blog.  The trains and trees will be coming out in another week.

If Barney could speak I am sure that he would tells us about how he is looking forward to snow.  Rolling in it and running through the drifts makes him a happy dog.

We ordered a tombstone for my brother's grave today.  It was a delayed order for a few complicated reasons as my brother has been gone 7 years.  We signed the papers and paid the bill so it can be installed this coming spring.  As it is a small world,  I discovered that the woman who sold the monument to us was an old friend of a cousin of mine.  The cousin was from my mom's side of the family and the friend was telling me she remembered my farm and the house as she came to visit back in the 50's.  We had a big white farmhouse on a hill. There must have been a family gathering and the cousin brought her friend along. The time had to be before 1959 as we tore down that house and built a ranch house on the site that year.   The woman from the monument company is 17 years older than me and she must have been out of  high school while I was about 4 or 5 years old. She said she didn't remember me at all, but she remembered how pretty my mom was.  The distant cousin is now gone but this lady knew a lot of the family in the Lorimor, Iowa area as a lot of my grandmothers brothers  lived over there.

Rainy days are hard to survive but staying inside does help.  Barney ran outside on his own this afternoon and didn't required me to walk him.  I know eventually that will happen but I am hoping the weather will get better.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tilting Earth Alert.........

The earth continues it leaning as the sun keeps moving in the picture farther to the south.  The sun earlier in the year was at the far north end of the scene coming up over a garage three buildings  and a camper down.  Now the sun is coming up over the second house to the right of the house across the street.

The area where the wood pile had covered shows that it didn't take long for the leaves to find place to be. The soil is so dry.  We are told that maybe Tuesday will we see rain.  I bet it will be snow but they are not going to predict. it.

As winter sets in I move to new and different items to share from inside the house. This booklet was found in temperate storage on my desk and I had forgotten what it was all about.  When you read the poem you can see it is a booklet that a teacher would give to a student. The booklet has seen better days but it is all still together.

When I opened the booklet my mind started to remember what it was all about.  Country school teachers handed out this booklet at the end of the school year to each of the students.  It was a fancy deal as they had to set the type for it and print out this individualized center of the booklet.  If you can click on it on the booklet you can see the date is 1925.  The teacher has the last name of a Wetzel.  She is a relative, as my grandfather's sister married a Wetzel. The school was north of Murray.  My mom is the first grader, Zella Brown.  Her two older brothers Marvin and Kenneth Brown were in second grade. Zella was born in 1919 so she was the right age to be in first grade.  Her brothers were older by a few years and would not have been in the same class but times were tough.  It was said that my grandparents were so poor that they moved every year to a different abandoned farm house. My mom did state that she had never been in the same country school two years in a row.

The Wetzel were probably the teachers kids attending the school. Other members in the list are people who grew up and moved to the Osceola area.  The Denly in my mom's class ended up owning a furniture store.  I am glad I had not tossed this book.  It really is more special than I though it was.  I am sure I had kept it a first because of the illustration on the front of it and it was old, not knowing what I really had here.

The ornamental pear tree instantly changed leaf colors when it got down to freezing temperatures.  It will be the last tree to lose its leaves on my property.  The leaves on the tree are the shiny red ones that I am finding on the ground.

It is Monday and we have errands to run.  We will be in the low 40s today and that will seem warm after having the days of cold blowing 20s.  Winter coats came out instantly and were needed on Saturday.  I walked Barney last night and I really didn't have enough layers of coats on me.  It was cold. The sky is clear during very cold nights and the starts show up brightly.  I try to get Barney to walk faster though as I don't need to stand around out there.  Thanks for checking in today.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


A hand-thrown mug that I bought in Omaha is going back into active duty.  I haven't used it for a while but I like drinking coffee from it. The potter's name are only initials for now as I don't remember the name.  We use to visit Omaha to see their art museum every few years and which there we visited a shop that had many artists' works.  I have about four pieces of this woman's pottery. I would hope that someday that maybe I could get back to a potter's wheel and make some of my own.

While photographing the mug I realized that the mug was in the hub of where it is all happening. I bought weather stripping for my door that I had squared to the door opening.  The new weather stripping worked perfectly when I replace the old stuff.  The mug is sitting in the framing area where I am trying to finish up this job with a shadow boxed item.

I have been on this job for a very long time.  I couldn't find my standard framing material for a shadow box as the suppliers have quit selling it. I have had to buy finished trim pieces and invent my frame.  It is going to work but I had to spend an hour cleaning wood glue off of the areas where is was not suppose to be.

I live, learn and now hate this job but it will look good when I am done.  I need to fasten the top piece with nails, sparingly, to the base to make it more secure. Then I will fill the holes with a matching filler.  I will share the finished work as I get closer to the end. My substitute teaching job of ten weeks got into the wary of me working on this.  I want finish it soon and get it out of the house.

I will soon be taking shots from my window to the world more regularly.  There isn't snow out there yet but the plants are already in the window enjoying the light and warmth.

I hope everyone will have a great Sunday.  Thank you for checking in on my spot today.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday's Stuff.......

I took the photo yesterday, November 19th, as the wind gusts were blowing and the temps were cold. I thought all of the vines were dead. I shared a couple photographs yesterday on my Photo a Day blog. One of the shots has my hand in the picture as I had to hold it still from all the wind.

We were 26 degrees F. this morning when we got up.  The wind was still blowing a little but it has subsided.  As you can see it was a very clear, cold night.  All day yesterday we had the clouds that could have given us snow but it didn't happen.  It was clearing last night as I was walking Barney.  The wind does seem to blow right through winter clothes.

As I worked outside yesterday morning I kept seeing the shiny red leaves laying in the grass.  The ornamental pear tree was dropping its leaves quickly now that it was so cold.

While walking Barney late afternoon I was able to pick up one of the sycamore tree leaves from the neighboring property.  They are so large compared to the leaves  in my yard. Most of those leaves don't cross the road into my yard but once in a while the wind will toss one my way.  The cities new and deep ditch will collect them nicely.

While messing with my iPhone camera a couple of nights ago I was able to capture this modern piece of art.  It is funny how I am trying so hard to figure it out and this photo seemed to be a joke.

The white moon streaks through the sky and the green light on my neighbors shed created a line in the photo too. My son captured great photos with his cell phone camera.  He used a tripod with it and it did turn out good.  I guess I have to get the tripod out and see what happens.

It is Saturday morning and I am still trying to warm up from my working outside yesterday.  I could use a partially warm day to touch up my house in places but if not, so be it.  We may venture out today as the morning sum helps take the temps up a little bit.  It isn't going to be warm but it will be better if the sun is in full view.

I appreciate your stopping by today.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The End of the Week is.........Here.

A reflection of the fall trees is seen in my old kitchen window.  The actual reflective material is the plexiglas piece that I have as a storm window.  The whole window is a double window and it really needs to be replaced. My wife's blue glass collection of small pieces sits in this one ledge of the window.

My indoor garden is starting to bloom as the cold air moves into our area.  I brought in four containers of hardy geraniums this morning as the wind was blowing wildly.  I will probably keep a couple of those upstairs and the rest will go to the basement.

I have a few more things to bring inside but that should take less that 15 minutes to do so I won't be whining about that anymore.

Anyone who has followed me for very long knows that I really like wood.  I like cutting it, I like nailing it together, and I just plain appreciate seeing it assembled.  The shelf is bare now that held a window box full of hardy geraniums. I am also reminded that I never got that gate painted blue.  Life is just too busy.  I needed about two more weeks of warm weather to get the things done that I wanted to do.

I will miss these kinds of views of the sky.  I know that I will see them again but as the season changes it is a rare sight to see.

I worked long and hard yesterday getting some very essential  jobs done.  I had a roof valley that needed attention.  It will be good for the winter before the shinglers come in the spring.  I finished most of the porch work and yet I could have used a couple of more days on that.  I have some siding boards to repair this morning in the cold but I will hope for another warm up later on to finish up some painting.

We have errands to run today including some Thanksgiving purchases to make.  Barney is our of dog biscuits and he has to have them to survive.  We have other business things to do and then we will be home to rest.

I wish everyone a good day today.  I am hoping the people who need rain will get some today.  I am hoping the snow that is falling in the north is not too heavy and my friends in the south, I hope do not get too hot. Thanks for stopping by today.