Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Awaiting....

I was surprised by this sunrise this morning. It was nice to see as it reminded me of the warm summer mornings. My new camera did do the job. It was cold out there on the deck but I still had all my warm clothes on that I have to wear for Barney's early morning outdoor trip.

It is safe and warm inside as you can see  that the sansevieria is happy .  It is one of the transplants from my overgrown set of plants and did spend the summer outside.

This one is doing well too. I remember when I thought the antique flower pot was undesirable but now 40 years later, I like it.  This is the kind of plant that doesn't require care. It is a lot like the crab grass that just keeps on growing.

I know that the waterfowl can take care of itself. It bothers me that they wait until it all freezes over and then they have to head south.  There are a few rare locations in a smaller lake that is still open and it is filled with Canada geese. From seeing photos of birds on the net, the far southern west part of Iowa has the swans, geese and seagulls. I bet even now that there might be open water there along their rivers in their valley. I use to live down by Shenandoah and photos from there show the swans competing with all the smaller ducks and geese.

We are going to venture out today.  It is crazy but we will stay safe in the car. I  will park as close as possible to our destination.  I wish you all to have a great New Year's Eve.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday's Stuff.......

Flowers and vegetable plants makes a yard look more interesting, along with green grass. The present status of the back yard is frigid cold air and sometimes a wind of 14mph.  I was out shoveling a while ago and I was certainly bundled up as much as I could be. The sidewalks are really easy to do with my trusty shovel and the driveway is just a big space.  My job looks shabby compared to both of my neighbors but I don't get out at 6:00 in the morning to do mine before tracks of people and a dog have walked on it.

I have found something new to photograph for a short while.  It is a cemetery over by the Saylorville Lake that sits at the top of the hill. I will share more of this pioneer cemetery as time goes by but for now I will peak your interest with this one marker.  A lot of the early graves are dated in the late 1800s. There is not a town around so I need to figure out the name of it. It is still a cemetery that is still open as I have seen three different funerals being held there through the summer.

There it still lays on the floor.  I am anxious to get it put together but life's happenings seems to get in the way. I like how the drill lays there when I was at first going to start to assemble. We went to a movie or shopping for Christmas presents and such. Presents are in the mail now and we are frozen inside now.

Yes it still is a viable addiction, this buying of Christmas ornaments. They were sitting on the shelf and prices were dropped.  Acorn is a traditional shape for ornaments dating back to as far back as when ornaments were first made. If I find the hangers I could hang them but I could just bring them out next year.

I found these yesterday in the antique dresser that they now are displayed.  I didn't forget about them, I just knew they were moved. I didn't know where they had landed. The dresser is full of milk glass and other kinds of glassware. I guess these were in glass containers and that is where they landed.  The surface of these are really badly worn.  I think that only a third of them are shiny brites and the rest are competition companies. I rescued some of them from a box in my mom's crawl space so they were being treated to a bad climate. Some are just flaking off their color. I should review them and sort out the best and put them back into use on the old fashion tree.

I am sharing things from all areas today. This is something that I found a few weeks ago.  I was certain that I didn't have it and it must have been randomly tossed. It is my first train as kid, receiving it at Christmas time. I don't remember the one other car but the engine has seen a lot of abuse.  It is a thin metal so it wouldn't wert too well. I have seen these is photos looking brand new but mine has been thrown in toy boxes too many times.

We are below zero today and I think 0 degrees F. is the high for today.  We are going to be in the deep chill tonight being -24 degrees F.  The next two days are going to be about the same, as Tuesday noon seems to be the day that they are lifting warnings. We are doing fine though and will just not venture out.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday's Here.......

The snow is still on our roof too as the temperatures keep it frozen tight.  We are almost warmer but there still is no way to discriminate between very cold and very, very cold. We have to go to Walmart today so we will get out into the frigid polar snow drifts.

A random shot that I took as I played with my camera. Our oldest grandson was fascinated with this as it sat in the living room. It was Thanksgiving where they were here and his eyes did sparkle as he investigated it. He would not hurt anything but he really didn't have an idea as to how to really play with them. He did lift out the small antique toy wa plane that I had set on the top of the marbles. I saw it later laying on the top of the commode after they had gone home. This picture reminds me that I never got the sleigh bells and and polish them for display.  There will be plenty of winter time for me to do that.

I have rambled on about the small tree and big tree collection. When I opened the box of the small ornaments, I realized that there was no way that I was going to mix them with the big ornaments.

I keep fining small ornaments here and there in boxes that were in drawers or on shelves in the old place. They would get misplaced or set somewhere after a clean up of the trees. It was easier to set it ion the "what not" shelf than carry it all the way back down into the basement. I did find a set of salt and pepper shakers that are Christmas geese. I really have no memory of them. They could have been buried for years in the back of the buffet but I don't remember getting them from family. Photos will follow now that I mentioned it. My wife and I discussed how we use to have a real tree and ornaments would be found on the tree while it was out on the curb. That ornament didn't ever make it back into the right box.

The teeth are the clue that it is a nutcracker.  This is a miniature one and some people had to paint the colors on this small guy.  He has a pretty wide mustache.

I am off to make a check up on the old place.  I really don't have worries about it with that new furnace but I do need to get the mail from the place. It was easier to renew the box rather than fill out the forms to shut it down.

I hope everyone stays safe and warm these next few days. Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Winter Continues.......

It is snowing again.  My one neighbor must have been out at six this morning to clear his walk and drive. It will make it easier I guess for him to remove the next layer. We are getting a very heavy snow right now which is good, I guess.  It seems warmer out there with snow on the ground rather than the sever wind chill we had yesterday.

I keep shooting things with the new camera. It is working well but I do still get some bad shots. One still can not be moving the camera when the camera is in the middle of focusing. I haven't tried taking snow photos yet but we are getting a good amount of snow coming down right now.  I will have to see what happens.

I wish you all a good day with warmth and safety today.  My brother in Arizona has even been worried about his tomato plants freezing.  The south is also cold.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fancy Nothings.....

This is the one ornament that caused me to start collecting glass blown ornaments. I really don't have many old ones but this one came from my wife's family Christmas box. It is old and one of the early ones sold out of Germany.  My new glass blown ones really are not similar but yet they are of the very same process. The glass is blown into a mold.

Buying them after Christmas was my number one rule when I started. There are a few that I bought as a young kid out of college. The set came from a mall in Omaha where all of them looked like old replicas. The one on the far right, gold, with white snow on it, was in that set.  It also included ones shaped like mushrooms and small santas and churches. The fancy set that was full price is the one with the symbols of the "12 days of Christmas" song. The collection has become too large and in the past two years I have had the second tree to hold all of the smaller ornaments.

The ornaments on this tree are definitely smaller.  During the trend when they sold little sets of ten or more I picked them up. I remember buying one set of them at a candy store.  In some cases they were not glass blown.  They were good replicas though of small rocking horses and teddy bears. The last time I bought anything was last winter when a Home store were selling off their decorations.  That was the set of snowmen that I shared earlier in the blog.  I did weaken my control to buy a set of shiny brites, full price last month.  I only bought one box and within a week they were all sold out.  I could never had bought them on a sale.

After the New Year they each will come down atta slow pace.  I can move on to real life again.  I doubt I find anything on sale by now as the people hit the stores right away on the 26th of December. I really didn't see any glass blown ones out there that I would wish for as most things are now made for plastic.

We are going to go outside today and try to buy our last Christmas presents for our Arlington Heights family.  They didn't make it this year, so we will ship out once things are purchased.  It is too cold to get out but we will drive straight to the one store and get in fast and get out fast. Unbearable cold is really the right description but getting the car warmed ahead of time does make a big difference.  Dressing for the weather and not for glamour is the other thing to do.  It sounds like we will be cold for a very long time as the Arctic air settles in over our area.  I am glad that other places south of us are at least a little bit warmer.  I will close for now and thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It Is Cold........

It was minus 1 degree F. on the deck when I snapped this. No coat but I did put on some shoes as I took the quick shot. The blur is caused my jerking in and out so quickly. It has now warmed up to 1 degree F. and should make it up to 10 degrees F. if we are lucky. Cold is not visible from just looking outside but when I walk the dog, the cold can be felt as it freezes the bluejeans to my legs. The sun is located there to the far right of the photo just behind the one roof top.

My new camera was able to take this shot, in low light, without a flash. I am sure it isn't in great focus or resolution but it is remarkable of the mood it captures.

The camera will give me shots like this but it would have been better to turn on the lights. I did read the manual but learning the use still takes practice. It is a big step up, camera-wise, from the one that I had used. We will leave our trees up for a while now as it is fun to just appreciate them after Christmas.

I really liked the detail that the lens is picking up. This was low lighted also and it is still a good shot. Our manger scene fit nicely on our new mantle with the wider shelf to make it easier to display. The camel is such a character  with his long eyelashes.

This is a study in not using the camera correctly. I am not frustrated with this as much as I just don't have the feel for the buttons that I push.

I will have a lot of time taking shots to get back up to speed with better photos. We are going to have a low key week resting and finishing up a few projects that didn't get done before Christmas. I can believe that the two inch snow will stay around for a while and I might go buy a snow blower this winter. I hope everyone is well and I do appreciate you stopping by today.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day........

It is a sunny morning and the temperatures are very cold when the photo was shot.  It didn't warm up much for the whole day. We have had a quiet day today with presents exchanged and a trip to a pie place cafe. We had visits from out youngest grandson on the internet and talked with his dad too. We also talked with our younger son in Maine who traveled today to Bangor in a snow storm. We didn't have the storm but the arctic air did make every moment outside feel miserable. I hope all have had a good day today whether it was large families or with couples of close experiences. I hope everyone even those who were alone  had a warm Christmas experience throughout the day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve......

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Final Finish......

The camels seem pretty passive among the angels.  I have always liked the white statues of unglazed camels.

They are in bisque ware form so they could be glazed and fired in a kiln. I am not sure I would paint them a color but would keep them the clean white.

The train seems to be made of similar material as the village houses but they are not the same company. My wife bought them a few years ago before she had really started collecting village piece.

This house sits on the opposite end of the large city.  It gets to have its lights left on day and night as it is hard to get to the cord or switch. It takes a while for me to light up all of the different items inside and outside of the house. Getting ready for bed includes taking Barney outside and shutting  it all down.

I hope everyone is getting close to be finished with their Christmas plans.  We will head to church and  also Christmas Eve service if the weather isn't keeping us home. Some gifts are still in need of wrapping but to the most part we are sliding into the season now with less stress.  Have a great holiday break and thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday's Here.......

It is a start for us.  We will get a lot more.  The start of it was sleet and then it just lightly sprinkled It didn't bother our streets here but the streets at the old place were bad.

A stray tree star was discovered and then placed on the tree on the deck. The star seems to not like the tree but I have replaced it so that it might stay put.

We like our side light next to the door. I am always comparing things in the neighborhood.  Our neighbors on either side do not have this side window. So there doors have windows in them.

The Teddy Bear tree gets good light in the afternoon so I can take some shots of them. Not a one of them has fallen off the tree as they are tucked inside of branches.

I have my shopping done now for my wife.  We will buy for the family that will be visiting and we then will be done with them. The store I went to visit to pick up a few things has a big sign saying they will be open 24 hours. The store is only a few miles away so we can finish up there any time we choose. Our Christmas eve and day looks like will be weather threatened.  We will play it by ear to see if we go to church on Sunday or Christmas eve service. We live a lot closer now but ice on the roads can stop everything from happening.

Thank you for stopping by today.

The story about the wheel and other wheels will come later on, not today.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday's Few Things......

"Take a little time to unwind" is the quote on the inside of the mug.  I just realizes you sort of can see in inside the mug.  Poor Charlie has his kite string all wrapped up around the top of the mug and he is perplexed.  Snoopy is on the other side staring at the kite hanging from the rim. We have a lot of things to do before Christmas but we will just rest and then push on as the days go on.

When my wife and I married back in 1984, she described to me about how her mom always bought her a new doll for Christmas each year. The second year, Santa remembered to put a small doll in her stocking.  The tradition of the small dolls continued for almost 8 years, until Santa could not find them anymore in the stores.  Gorham stopped making them. These two are all dressed in Christmas dresses so they are on display in the Christmas room. To finish the story, Santa kept buying bigger ceramic dolls until they too stopped selling them.  We did move a lot of dolls though so my wife is not lacking in them.

I mentioned about finding a bag of pillows in storage, on my blog a week or so ago.  One blogger was confused about what that meant. Here are examples of pillows that were gifted to my wife in the past years which really are just Christmas pillows. They really are nicely done even if they were machine made to look like embroidery

This one could be kept out longer as it is just a winter scene only. The farmhouse on the pillow is a reverse image of our old farmhouse that we lived in while in town.

My wife's friend is treating us to a Christmas dinner today.  It will be a nice break.  The friend is also my friend too as I have known her since day one when Della and I married. It will be nice to spend time eating and talking.  We alway have good laughs  and enjoy our time with her.

I am in better shaped with my Christmas shopping but I need to get more.  I returned all of my three purchases at the one store, bought for my wife, and ended up buying two different ones for her.  I had bought a great shirt that was exactly like last year's shirt only it was orange and the other one was blue.  I live only four miles from five major shopping stores and will get it done right, even if I have to stop at every one. I have just small things to pick up now.

Christmas cards are going out late this year but we are sending them. We laugh at one of my wife's cousin who has a printout of labels for her cards and she has my name down as Jim.  This has been this way for a few years but this year the postoffice decided to refuse the card.  The cousin is perplexed as she doesn't know my name is not Jim, or she isn't reading her printed off labels. I guess I could just change my name for her sake.

Thank you for stopping by today.