Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wild Fowl Surprise........

I could have gone off road here but I was not looking forward to backing it up to the highway again.  I had stopped along the road to mess with the cell phone which aways gives me grief.  I glanced over to the lake that was created by the highway department 35 years ago and I could not believe what I was seeing.

I glanced over and saw large water fowl on the water. I at first thought they were three Canada geese. I left the door open to the truck and left the engine running as I thought I would not be here long. There are tracks of cars and trucks along the dike area but I wasn't going to loose my truck, so I walked. We see people fishing on the manmade hole in the ground all season long. They ice fish on it also.

The sun was in the right place for good lighting but the camera screen is not working with the reflection on it.  I just zoomed and randomly snapped as I also couldn't see what photos I was getting. I am declaring them to be trumpeter swans near Granger, Iowa.  If I am wrong, please tell me what else that they are.

I did take a lot of photos thinking maybe one of them would be good to prove that I had seen these swans.  I don't understand how the migrate but it looks like to me the couple have three young ones. They are old enough to start turning white.

I was late coming home from the old place and this did make me later. I did get the phone to work and offered to buy subway sandwiches on the way home.  It is in a town  close to where we live.  My former superintendent boss owns it.  I am glad that I finally caught swans as I tried to call every wild fowl I would see a swan until I would zoom in for me to see that the pelicans are not swans.

Thank you for stopping by today.  As you can see below my painter did not get the house painted with a new color.  I have been touching up the old paint on the art gallery wing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday's Watch.......

Our lower level studio proves to be a good place for the oldest grandson too.  He has a strong interest in creating visuals on paper.  My hair is wind blown from being outside and apparently no one wanted to tell me how silly I looked. I wouldn't look much bette but hair sticking out all over is not the normal style for me. I leveled the drawing board later and we spent some time painting pictures too.

AJ spent a lot of time discovering his Uncle Aaron's lego castle sets. He and his dad were quiet for a long time down there and I found both of them going through the sets trying to get them back together.

On the second day of their visit the white table got put into service.  War broke out so to speak as the two castle sets were arranged and people placed with theirproper castle.  I had saved all the manuals for them so my son was able to get them all back together properly. When moving the other son had dumped both of them in one plastic bin, with one upside down on top of the other. It didn't take only a couple of hours to get straighten from that jumbled mess.

I have been messing with my Google photos site.  I find it difficult to use and yet once I explored it yesterday, I think I can figure it out.  I am frustrated that I can't move my son's 77 photos into my blog spot storage.  There is a way but I think I will have to jump through a few hoops.

I am headed back to the old house and will try to finish up the paint patching that needs to be done.  I was able to walk this morning after yesterday's physical activity. I will work one more day and then take off a day.  Thank you for stopping in today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday's Things......

The honeysuckle vine just keeps on blooming. I was surprised to see this when I could see the leaves were turning on it. It seems like an exotic plant by the way that its flowers look.

The leaves on the bradford trees have dropped continually  for the past two days.  They are not all completely down but this afternoon I will go out and rake. I just mulched them yesterday and it looked like this by the later afternoon. With the wind blowing from the south a lot of them headed up the hill into my neighbors edge of his property. I will rake them up too as I am the one who only has trees out there.

Our neighborhood plans to be lighted everywhere as a large majority of the houses have lights up already.  We will have some lights but none of this follow the edges of the roof thing. We made a purchase of various lights and a large wreath for over the garage door.  I am going to go slow on this as I am back to working at the house again. I mulched leaves at the old place this morning and didn't get done.  I have the best areas alone the two streets cleaned up and some of the orchard area may not be mulched.

At the old house I replaced some siding on the north side of the house.  I slapped on some white primer once installed and it looks really bad.  The painter that was going to paint the house didn't get to it.  So today I started to paint back onto the white primer coat, the original color of the house.  It is generously done for the sake of the neighborhood, so they don't have to look at it. One more day and I will have that done.

It was so nice to have the company over Thanksgiving. We really had some quality time with them and everyone seemed to have a good time.  I have a lot of photos that I won't share but I will sneak in a few once in a while. Thanks for your visit today at my blog.  I wish you all to be well.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Mentions with a Little Bit of Everything........

Sunday night looked a lot like this. I can't clear the suburbia clutter so I included it in the photo. I bet the whole sunset was wonderful.

Monday morning then looked like this with almost the same colors in the sky. The wind from the south did start to pickup making it feel cooler by noon.

 I spent the morning in the dentist and when I returned I mowed the front lawn.  The plan was to mulch up the leaves from the two bradford pears.  By afternoon the leaves were back on the ground.  The south wind was blowing them up hill and into my driveway.  I may have to mow this area everyday to help keep them under control. I have neighbors who have both removed these trees so they wouldn't have leaves to rake. From what I see happening with the trees that by Wednesday all of the leaves will have dropped.

It has take twelve years to get these growing this large and I don't plant to replace them. The invested time is valued by me and I am not bothered by leaves.  We drove by the old place today while returning from the dentist and I can see all the leaves have fallen from my silver maples.  I will return tomorrow and slowly mulch them up for their final time.

The bradford pear puts out a lot of different colors of leaves as they die and drop from the tree. This yellow one is caught in the burning bush shrub.

Some of them are multicolored with green edges and yellow centers. The dark purple one is an accent color that drops with all these other colored leaves.

Since I had one of these trees at the old place, I did know what to expect. It is interesting how they can be so shiny in certain colors. I do remember that they are one of the last trees to lose their leaves. Many of the houses have these trees as they were required to plant at least two when owning a home in the Glennbrook Development.

It is pretty quiet around here again as the house increased by four people for a couple of days. Each grandson has his own thing that they do to entertain their grandparents.  The youngest one really bonded with his grandparents and yet is too young to hold on to  a lot of that. We, the grandparents, and the dog are resting today.  It was so great to see them all. Our newer home worked so well at accommodating guests. This house was a good choice especially for that reason.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Afternoon.....

I missed blogging yesterday but we have had our hands full. The two of them were with us a couple of days. AJ is the grownup in comparison to the younger guy. Teddy is running all over and opening every single cupboard door in the house. The older one is discussing things and discovering all of the toys in the basement.  His dad and Uncle Araon had lots of lego items and it was a new discovery for him.  AJ also likes to paint and draw and got to sit an his grandma's art table to work on masterpieces.

I have too many photos taken that I can share only a sample. Our son shared with me all that he has taken. That means selecting and editing a lot of shots. The youngest, Teddy, is such a great personality who loves to travel, walking everywhere that he can.  He is full of hugs and smiles.

AJ discovered his Uncle Aaron's transformers and spent a lot of time figuring out all of the moves needed to change the toy. He will be 5 in February and has grown up the past year.  He still is a little boy but he is a thinker, concentrating and learning about things in the world.  He is always moving and excited about things. The photo is a blur as he keeps moving.

The little guy loves his big brother and they keep each other entertained on the couch.  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner on Friday afternoon and we seemed to just keep eating for the next two days.  We finished off the visit with eating at the Original Pancake House before the took off to go home. Our newer home was a perfect place for visitors and made it easier to host them.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Day After T-Day........

We have a deer in the dining room and a small doe in the living room.  The wrapping of it is covered with gold glitter making it hard for the camera to focus. We thought we would like to have them out for the grandkids to see. The glitter goes everywhere as I see shinny specs in out living room carpet. Both will go outside first thing this morning so the glitter can be gone. Our neighbors across the street put up their Christmas lights on Sunday and one guy directly south of us has had his house covered with white lights for a couple of weeks now.

I put out this feeder a few days ago and there were no takers.  This morning as I started to blog and while getting that second cup of coffee I saw the first bird.  Everything shuts down and I go get the camera to give visual evidence of the happening.  I don't have many pictures to share so I really did need to take another shot or two.  Now that I am back on track, I can share what I saw.

What drew my attention in the first place was seeing the neighbor outside trimming down an oversized shrub or tree.  It was unidentifiable and had been left to grow all summer. The guys dog is what I alway watch for, as he has a brown lab that just loves to help him while he works.  The lab follows him around the yard when he mows the yard. The lab crawls inside the children's playhouse as his owner works on it. I looked out once and saw a dog's tail wagging in the window opening. Having good enough weather for everyone to be outside is a welcomed thing.

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I will probably find a better feeder as the snow starts to fly.  I am watching and waiting to see if anyone else feeds the birds. I know when we move in durning the last of March, I was the only one feeding at that time.

Company arrives today for our evening Thanksgiving meal. They will be staying a couple of nights in our downstairs hotel. I need to get off this computer and work.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Morning........

It is a calm and quiet morning with a gentle sunrise on Thanksgiving day. We are just below freezing but there is no wind to chill us.  We sometimes have ice storms or snow on this day but it looks like that won't be happening for a while.

My memories of this day were 55 years old as we would got to different sides of the family for the day each year.  My dad's side for Thanksgiving was a more subdued day with uncles and aunts and a handful of cousins. On the next year, my mom's side of the family would be at grandma's house, an old farmhouse without running water, heated by an oil burner. The farmhouse would be crowded with uncles and aunts and many more cousins my age. My Grandmother Brooks made the stuffed cloth hens to help her to make money in her later years. I have a large collection of this "chickens" as she would call them.  This one is made from material left over from an apron.

Our Chicago area family will be here on Friday. We haven't seen the grandsons for such a long time. It will be a rush of instant energy and happy sounds as they come for a visit. Our favorite kind of cookies come to us looking like this. Many companies have perfected the sugar cookies that melt into your mouth so we just buy them. My wife makes pumpkin pies today and we will be cooking tomorrow for a Friday evening dinner.

We will have a quiet day, today, as we ready for company.  We tend to do things in the house to get ready for company in which most people won't even notice. That is just what everyone does for all of our company.  We will childproof some things today for a wandering, smiling, happy, exploring little toddler. Our son says the younger guy will be touching and looking at everything in the house as he enjoys walking all over the place.  I will have boxes of toys downstairs where they can just explore it all.

It is great to take time to be thankful.  Many times we are so easily distracted as to how great things are.  We have had a year of moving from one place to another.  We had hospital visits for a long time supporting my wife's cousin until her death. That whole experience  brought us to a point of reality  where we are here to support one another.

We know now that blessing others and being able to do that is something to appreciatel. Our year will finish more quietly but we have been blessed to come to this stage in our lives. I thank your for your stopping in today to my blog.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday's Ways......

The grandkids will be here soon and milk and cookies will be on the menu. We survived the grocery stores twice now and won't be going back again.

The burning bush is dropping leaves. Its orange color looks good on a cold fall day. The tube around the base has to be removed. I am not sure why some one would do that as you can choke off a tree that way. I am hoping that a box cutter will make fast work of it.

We now have two gold reindeer to assemble and place in the yard. We will wait until Thanksgiving day to put them outside in the front yard. I will add other things with lights on them later on.

I shared this on my Photo blog.  It is our view looking up the street.  Our one neighbor has the wedge-shaped lot and then we are all in line the rest of the way up the street. It is northwest most of the way up the rest of the street. A slight turn at the top puts us back straight with the world with an east to west street.

The pinecones at the top of the spruce are still hanging on tightly. The next door neighbor had a different pine  which it was covered with hundreds of cones.  They are already all on the ground. I am thinking it was the blue jays than liked this kind of pinecone when we lived at our other house.

It is a busy day with things to get done before company.  We will have T-day alone by ourselves so we can be rested up for company on Friday.  Thank you all for stopping by today at my blog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday's Things.......

No, it isn't time to decorate for Christmas. I had to go to Menards today to buy one more shelving unit to put in my workshop and storage room.  We are not completely unpacked and I have a few boxes and plastic bins filled with things.  I needed to fill in a blank space with more vertical storage. So, I have been watching these particular ornaments that are on sale there at Menards. I never ever bought any as I would wait for the sale and they were gone in a day.  I saw them the other day on the shelf and today most all of them had been sold. I figure I have to buy now or never ever get them.

While digging through old toys and sorting through the last minute stuff that we moved down to the new place, I found lots of things.  The one son's high school diploma is still here.  I found old photos that my son had taken 25 years ago and I found a photo of mine showing my first Christmas tree.  It was covered with red Shiny Brite ornaments. That was 45 years ago and I really didn't remember it. I know know why I still  have a few red shiny brites  among my collection of ornaments.  I must have broken a few of the reds as I don't have more than eight of them now.

The piano stool has been put on hold now but I have it now glued up again making it a lot more sturdy.
The very bottom of the center wood piece shows the holes of the lathe that was used to make the basic shape of the piece. While working with this I realized that all the legs were made with the lathe but then the ribs had to have been carved to make the vertical stripes.

The wood is not a great wood as they used something soft enough to make the carving easier to do.  Right now is the whole thing will be painted white.

The old black vanish makes the whole thing pretty sad to see.  I am hoping this turns out better or even great. When I finish with the last of the reworking of the storage area then it will be painted.

It is cold outside as we were out buying groceries for our Thanksgiving meal on Friday.  The windchill are very cold and the temperatures are still dropping.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday's Here.......

It is promised that we will warm up a bit today. The sun has surprised me as I can still see it if I stand at the far end of the deck. I will be anxious to see where it will be by December 21st. There are actually two vapor trails from Air Force Jets that are flying to the right.

This is a stark view now with most of the limbs trimmed back from the base of the red twigs. The fence is old but I don't really know how old. The house was built in 2003 but maybe the fence didn't go up then. I understand that a bean field was just to the edge of the property the. It is the only one side of fence that belongs to us as the neighbor to the southeast built a very elaborate fence to surround his entire back yard.

His fence is shown here along with his little forest of trees. My tree sort of blends with the two next door making it look better. My neighbor on the opposite side of our lot has not a single tree nor any fence. His neighbors built the wire fence and wood fence that borders his property.

Snow on these three trees will look good this winter.  I think I will plant a tree next to the spruce, maybe a flowering one to add a different variety of tree. There is evidence that a tree did grow next to the spruce and it has been removed. The stump really does not help me to know what kind that it was.

This tree is probably an oversized pussy willow. I like the green of it in the spring with leaves but the major structure of it really is not of a good sturdy tree. I had a lot of sucker limbs to trim away form it a couple of months ago.

I am home today, resting and healing from my adventure with the tires that I transported to the landfill. I knew that there wold be a backlash of aches and pains from the work, but is seems funny that it took two days for it to hit me. I have over done physically before and I do recover.  It just best to stay away from the old place for a while. Our weather is so nice and I could be mowing up locust leaves but that will be another day. I have plenty of passive, low intensity things that I will be doing.

 I hope all of you are well out there.  Thanks for checking in on my post today.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Late Sunday Editon.....

The wind has reduced as I was able to capture the flag with gentle movement. Our winds on Saurtday  made for bad wind chill temperatures.  Our grass looks a little bit green and I may have to hit one more time before Thanksgiving.

I am glad to have purchased a new bird cage for the cockatiels. I am not happy that it originated in China. I can't believe how many things are being shipped from around the world that we really should be able to make over here.  These things are heavy so I can imaging how heavy the transport box was as it sailed over here.

The birds should be happier with the size of it.  I will be glad that i can roll it around more easily as it is on wheels. The cockatiels have always been close to a view outside and they really enjoy it.  I can wheel them away rom the window at night and back in daytime. There will definitely will be photos to share. We will have guests downstairs so we may have to carry them upstairs during their stay. The birds can be noisy and wake people up at sunlight.

Outside the view is different with the leaves dropping from the red maple. The trimming back of the dogwood shrubs has left everything back there looking start. You can see the birdhouse on the whit pole through the tree now.  I can disconnect the top of the pole with the bottom half of it, so there will be changes happening to the birdhouse over the winter.

Looking in the opposite direction I can see the leaves are thinning on that tree. It is two properties over so it is hard to see the size of the leaves on the tree. Right now it seems to appear to be a smaller sized leaf on the tree.

Our Sunday day has come to a close and I keep struggling to get my blog done.  We are looking forward to our grandkids and their parents visiting us on Friday.  This of course gives us a cause to get ready for company and plan some menus to feed the crew.  I wish you all well and thanks for stopping by today.