Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thursday’s Things.......

The village has been unassembled and packed in its boxes.  The little people are gone and also the horses and carriages. It was up for almost a month and a half and we did enjoy it. It is nice to have a storage area that is big enough and is easy to access.  Once all the Christmas things are back onto the shelves I will line up the trees that I did not take apart.  I have wrapped sheets around them and they are all sitting in the spare bedroom ready for me to stow away.

The couch cabinet is bare again ready to be decorated with new things.  The little bear was a gift this year and he is going to hang around before he joints the teddy bear tree next season. The furniture is very useful for us as we keep antique glass things and bowls that we like to use.  It is like a bottom half of a china cupboard. Our room arrangement really doesn’t allow us to have a china cabinet so we can least have a half of one.
Most of you know that I like to bring the birds as close to my view as possible.  A drain pan for a large flower pot works well for that and I sat it right outside the dining room door. Juncos are the only ones out there for now. The birds don’t mind sitting in the seed as the help themselves to the birdseed.  I would like to see a chickadee or a cardinal to come for the sunflower seeds.  I think it is just wishful thinking. We have a light snow today We  have warmed up to a -2 degrees F. right now and the end of the day we should have 6 degrees F.  That will be a heat wave at this point. We did loose a University student to exposure yesterday.  The air was so cold that it can overcome someone breathing in that cold air.

The junco looks blue in they photo but it really is just a dark gray glow interpretation by the camera. The new feeder is a hit for the juncos and also the one or two sparrows.  The cardinal has not been back for about four days now.

Here is another view of my pet downey woodpecker.  I can’t see clearly but I will be buying more suet the next time I go shopping. He seems to be digging deep to get what he wants.

When the large Christmas tree was removed I managed to bring the plants back upstairs.  The new plant stands that I ordered will arrive today. The mail was shutdown yesterday and I expect Fed Ex was down too.  It was suppose to be delivered yesterday but I know there was not traffic out there all day.  I bet I see the delivery today.  This plant viewing is of a new growth coming up out of the large plant, peperomia plant.

As our cold air leaves the area it continues to head the  east.  We are projects to jump up to 46 degrees in a few days.  We will welcome that but it seems unbelievable. As it continues to snow and be cold today we will welcome the more positive temps.  The temp of 6 degrees will be great tonight.  I know that some my blogger friends will be getting some of the frigid air the next two days.  No matter who was the coldest, I hope everyone can stay safe and warm.  Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Middle of the Week.....Cold!

The downey woodpecker treats me to some new views of him while he feeds. The crescent red top notch is a great accent to his black and white striped body.  I can’t tell for sure but I think he still has lots of suet yet to work on for a while.  Our squirrel was trying to eat from the cage but he didn’t succeed.

We did have a normal sunrise this morning with a cold clear sky.  Barney went out with my help to face the very cold morning. It was -22 degrees F. this morning and it did take my breath away when I went outside.  I read later on the new stations that one should not talk out loud while out there because that cold really overwhelms the lungs. I am grateful that the winds have died down.  All schools are closed, the post office is shut down, and driving anywhere is unedviabale.

The tracks in the snow shows that heavy traffic of birds, one squirrel, and one rabbit. It looks like I need to make a quick run to that feeder again to keep the seeds pile going.

The trail from the blue spruce to the feeder is traveled by both the rabbit and the squirrel. The sprig of an herb sticks up from the snow at the bottom right side of the photo. The birds do a good job of scattering seed below the feeders but I still try to toss some down to help out the rabbit.

I saw many gees fly over the past few months but I never had the camera with me. This photo is showing you two batches of geese flying in the distance.  The roof sections almost seem like mountains sticking up in the foreground. The zoom is at its greatest and I did get the shots of them.  I didn’t think I had documented them. The subtle clouds are showing  oh so slightly.

More clouds late afternoon yesterday were picking up the setting sun’s rays.  It was sort of pink in the west but I couldn’t get out there to photograph it. When I am shut in I realize that I am very limited in seeing out three directions of our house.

I took so many blurry shots of the house finch.  I can’t take shots of the birds while sitting at the far end of the dinning room table looking though the sliding glass window. I guess I need to start shining closer to the sliding door.  So this is my one good shot of the house finch with its red feathers on his head.

Being housebound does limit the things I can do.  I cut a mat yesterday for a photo that a minister friend had given us.  It was a photo of a large painting that hangs in Kansas City Art Museum.  The painting itself is huge and was painted by Fredrick Edwin Church in 1870.  It is a grand view of Jerusalem.  It is said that when he finished this large work that a gallery opened up one room and showed the one painting only.  The think now is that we need to find a gold frame for the painting/photo and then I can finish assembling it. I will share the finished work when it is done.  You who are internet wizards can look it up ahead of time.  I found the painting on sale at Wayfair. I have another frame job to do of a print we bought years ago at Duluth Minnesota. It is a scene painted at Crooked Lake in Minnesota.  I will also share a visual of that when I get closer to that completion.  The print is unusual as I can’t seem to find it on any place of the internet for sale.  I wanted to see what it was worth now.

It is just too cold to feel safe.  Our house pops and cracks as the coldness is greater than ever recorded in history.  Wood gets cold and shrinks in new houses.   One can hear that as the connect surfaces slide. I added a porch on an old house a few years back and the first winter we would would hear loud popping sounds in colder weather.  When my dad built a house on the farm in 1959, he used salvaged two by furs from two old house to create the wall studs.  The rest of the wood was new.  We spent many a winter hearing the wood pieces meld together. I did read on a net article that our houses have never ever been challenged to withstand this degree of coldness, so our furnaced will have to be cranked up from the normal settings.  I do notice when the furnace reaches its temp and the het goes off, instantly the windows are putting out cold air more readily than if it was at a 32 degree temp.

Everyone take care.  I see a lot of my blogger friends are staying close to home today.  The map of the vortex is covenant a lot of stated.  Do be careful and thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday’s Things.....

A slice of suburbia Monday morning with a slim chance of seeing that sun ever shining during the day.  The cloud cover was such that passenger jets were flying over us below the clouds.  The seemed to be so low that I might be able to check the air in their tires.  I am glad they have profusion going on so they won’t drop out of the sky on our neighborhood.

This morning it is bright and clear.  You can see the neighbors are not out on their deck today.  They have found a warm climate to visit for awhile. Our temps are dropping a degree per hour.  We are at about 1 degree F. right now and it ill be in negatives by noon. The vortex is going to give us a hight of -11 F. tomorrow.

The sky does not look like a cold day either but it is very cold.  Barney’s paws were getting too cold this morning while we are outside.  I have decided to keep him from going too far away from the door as I don’t want to drag him for long distances. He was lifting his one back paw and then he was lifting the front opposite paw which meant he had to lay down on the ground.

One lone junco was at the feeder this morning.  I refreshed all of the feeders yesterday so maybe more will come through the day.

I succeeded to get air in my back tires to bring them up to normal pressure.  The cold air makes the tire so cold that it effects the tire pressure. It  was just too cold to stop at a station to add air.  Sometime the severe cold shuts down their air pumps so I used a bicycle pump in the safety and warmth of the garage. The temperature inside my garage was about eleven degrees but there was no wind chill problems inside.  In the afternoon I foolishly went out and did a touch up job on my driveway snow piles. The job went quickly as the drifts were not that deep but the gloves that I had on were worthless.  I got very cold fingers. I had too run warm water on them to get some feeling back in them.  I did get some of the Barney’s pathways cleaned out from a very light snowfall the past evening.

I have a framing job to start today and will hope to get it done.   I will have to warm up my workroom down stairs as the furnace is so good that it doesn’t heat that room. I don’t have a vent to open for that room but I have a good room heater on the bench to flip on for lots of warm air. I wish you all to have a good day today.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Birds and Relatives.....

I am down to two birds.  They are brothers.  I lost the female a few weeks back from self injury to here one wing.  These guys are adjusting but they did call for her for a few days. I have been giving them more window time to watch the outside birds peck fallen seeds from the snow.
They do load alerting noised if things look dangerous out there with larger birds in the area.  I have had these two birds over 15 plus years.  They were hatched in a nesting box back when we were at the old place.
The weather is the talk around here for a few days.  As that vortex shifts down we will be having extreme cold temperatures.  My neighbor got out and blew some snow out of his drive early mooning.  He is older that me but must dress for such cold weather. I take the dog out and I am really suffering with the wind chill being so severely cold. The skin keeps on burning on the face after you get back inside. Today is not our worse day and it is really miserable.  I don’t know how much colder we can stand.  It seems to be too cold for the birds this morning. They tend to feed at certain times though and maybe mid afternoon they will stock up on more seed. I had to shovel my deck yesterday so I would have a good path to get to the feeders.  Earlier I had to wade in deep snow on the deck.

I need to fill this feeder again.  You can see who is emptying it on the ground.  The birds like his spills as they can eat on the ground. It is a little easier to fill as I can bring the feeder in through the dining room and go out to the garage where it is out of the wind. I am down to only one squirrel.  We had three at one time but the population has reduced.

It is a great day to stay inside.  I did make a quick trip to the post office to get out some important mail. Now that I am back the car stays in the garage.

 I have been doing some family tree work on days like this. I woke up in the night last week and remembered our family trips to Colorado.  My mom had a first cousin in Torrington, Wyoming and many summers the parents loved stopping to see them.  There are good memories from that but I still get embossed about how they would stop and sponge a couple of nights stay from them.  Anyway, when I looked up the cousin, she, Eva White, had died last October recently at the age of 95.  She was my mom’s first cousin.  By finding that obituary, it put me on the trail of five great uncles and all of their children and grand children. The sister of the five was my grandmother.  All of the families were based in the Winterset and Lorimor area in Iowa. That is covered bridge country where the famous bridge movie was made. That family met at a reunion every summer in Macksburg, Iowa on Memorial Day.  The family graves of that group are buried in Moon Cemetery near there. Decorating of graves was the second reason we had the reunion.  All of the distant cousins from the Great Uncle families were mostly my age.  Today I find pictures of them on Facebook and they are all old like me now. The one shocking find was of one of my cousins, Gary W.  He was the tall, dark hair, very handsome cousin.  When I saw his photo last week I was surprised to see my old Great Uncle Lee.  I did not recognize Gary but I sure knew he was from the family. The whole process is fun and yet the aging process drags on as I see I probably look like all my other cousins.

The arrangement of paintings on my wife’s studio wall brighten up things in the house.  Her studio works well for her and she has great lighting and sufficient room to have a couple of paintings going on at the same time. She is working on a lion right now and she has yet to get the whiskers on it and a few shining spots in its eyes. The paining will end up on my sidebar of my blog some of these day, ready for your viewing.

The night, last night, was clear with moonlight lighting up the out of doors.  I could not find the moon but it certainly was bright out there looking like early morning light.  Around ten o’clock the one neighbor south of us had his people clearing his driveway.  It was strange seeing people out working at eleven at night, blowing off snow of the driveway.  Thank you for checking in on the cold and elderly.  I hope all are doing well out there.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Such Things for Sunday.....

Two dogs are being walked in the neighborhood. I am looking down the street through my front storm window. The one dog that is running free has walked by out house many times. The woman must be sitting with someone else’s dog or she has a new one.

  The dogs were having a great time.  The Austrian shepherd dog is not being controlled on its leash so he is really rolling around in the snow.

This guy had either been released from the owner or he had pulled away from her.  They both were really having a great time.

Bird activity has increased but it still seems slow compared to the years past of my bird feeding experiences.

There is a pause in our winter weather but we still hover at the minus numbers this morning.  Colder air is on its way and we will just keep the furnace pumping warm air inside. Thanks for stopping by this Sunday day.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Snowy and Downey Day........

It is a cold day with heavy snow coming down.  My suet cake has been lonely out there and there came one woodpecker.  The downey really tears into it as he must be hungry. That red topnotch is so great to see as he boobs his head in and out to the suet.

When I try capture snow falling, it can be difficult to do.  Today the snow is so heavy that I can’t miss getting it done. We are going to be treated to some colder weather than normal starting next week. The vortex has shifted and it already is bleeding Canada and Minnesota. We will be kept inside for quite a few days.  I do think the heavy snow has made the birds to get out and find food.

The child’s play house did loose more snow off of its roof yesterday but I am sure it will be covered again after today. They neighbor guy never did get his windows installed. I am sure he intends to do so as their is play furniture inside of the house.

I rarely see the  rabbit but his trail in the snow indicates he has been over to get fallen seed from the feeders. Many birds land in the blue spruce tree for shelter. Many times they enter from the bottom of the tree.

I was thinking that the junco was a friendly bird to the sparrows.  They are not that friendly today as they compete for food they are chasing ant one another.  You cans see here that they are staying on opposites side of the tray.  I will share a shot tomorrow of a big red bird that has been feeing here this morning. I hope his mate shows up sometime today.  I am going to have to wade through snow today in the back yard and also on the deck. I may shovel the deck so I won’t track snow into the dining room.

We are home for the day.  It makes it a change in routine for us as Saturdays we do try to get out and go.  I did the grocery store yesterday to get a cart full of food.  We are stocked up enough to survive the storm that is headed here soon.  If there isn’t snow will be horrid wind chill weather.  Barney and me will be out there though in spite of hail, snow, wind, or rain.  We are winter weather warriors.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Freezing Friday.....

You should have seen it fifteen minutes before this photo was taken.  The ripples in the clouds were all pink and white in wavy colors.  When I was a kid we had a picture puzzle that was of a Wyoming sky with the horse and cowboy in the foreground.  The view was of a Wyoming sky.

I had a flock of starlings fly through the backyard for a short period of time in the afternoon.  A blogger friend from across the ocean was posting her shots of a starling just yesterday.  I guess the starlings are everywhere.

My numbers at my feeders really have not increased very much.  With all the snow cover I would have thought there would be more. I read about birds when my cockatiel was sick.  The birds have warm blood and when the get cold they convert all of the energy from what they are eating to heating up their blood. When they are n to trying to keep warm, they use the energy to grow. So when it is really cold they do hit the feeders to help them warm themselves.

My wife and I just ordered some new plant stands to go into this corner. I will share the two with you when the arrive and are set up for use.  They were on the internet and they will help fill that space next to the window.  The amaryllis is now sprouting out leaves after it finished blooming. It is at the foot of the chair leg.

Snow is still on the rooftops around here. This was the decoration ontop of my garden shed at the old place.  It had rotted at its base so I removed it.  I will rework this and make it a garden feature. I have a   carved decorative piece that screws on the top of the peak. Those are real shingles on the roof of it.  I originally made it in our art gallery inside while the garden shed was being made and added it when the shed was done.  We will be snowed in today again.  It was 5 degrees F. this morning when we got up. Barney and I did well since the winds have stopped. Yesterday the wind tried to knock us both over while we were outside.   There really isn’t any sunshine yet and we may later see that.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thursday’s Things......

The final steps are to bring back the plants. An empty chair does not seem to fit the bill in comparison to a large tree. All of the things are in the basement and most of it has been stored on shelves. Angels and villages will stay out for a while longer as they are not in any way of our normal life.

There was an organized sunrise this morning with scattered clouds adding to the view. One lone jet is out marking the sky with its vapor stream. We have had a lot of cloud cover but not today.  I can even see the day moon in the opposite direction. I didn’t take a shot of the moon because I seem to be overloaded with moon shots.

The snow still coats the tree. Today the winds are blowing the tree back and forth.  We had a minor spell of melting on the sides of the house where the sun could warm the surface but it was not warm enough to melt anywhere else.

Our youngest son turned 40 years old yesterday.  His wife had made him a beautiful birthday cake with nuts and a layer of peanut butter filling between chocolate cake. I think there was some carmel involved too with the topping. Even though he is 40 we sent him a Star Wars card with all the characters popping out at you in the card. He lives in Maine and their weather is varied from the rest of the state because of the closeness of the Atlantic Ocean.  He and his wife live about a mile from the shore of a bay. They don’t always get the blizzards when the rest of the inland areas of the state does.

My wife said she thought the bird must be wanting to go inside to keep warm.  It is too early for them to be nesting.  I have never seen this before but maybe he is looking for a business investment opportunity with the company that supplied the birdhouse. Sparrows and Juncos seem to be the largest flocks that hang around.  There are a couple of house finches out there but not so many as usual.

The snow still clings to the siding as it had been blown up against the house yesterday. The morning was busy on Wednesday as everyone was out clearing things. Young men who stayed home with the kids because school was closed, used the day off to get things done.  Later afternoon a crew of five stopped by and cleared the drive of the neighbor who lives in the south over winter. He gets his walk partially cleared by me as the kids do have to walk on it before and after school.  I saw my two guys who walk by in the morning being driven by mom in the van this morning. I did see the other young guy who goes up the hill to meet the bus walking and almost running because it was so cold. I have never met that guy because he walks on the other side of the street. Barney and I usually are out there as they walk to school.

No major plans for today with the day getting colder and colder.  I may make a quick run over the way to get some groceries.  It is only a mile distance by car and probably closer by the way the crow flies. It is a perfect location where we can get to it easily and we don’t live around all the hustle bustle. We are in a our own little corner of the city.  Thanks for stopping by today.  Everyone take care.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

One for Now.......

My wife saw the "red one" through the living room window and I grabbed the camera.  I can’t tell if the bird is actually in focus but he didn’t stay for long.  You can be sure that if he returns I will snap many shots.

The geese in the snow shows us that we did get a lot of snow. They have gained six to eight inches of snow on top of them.

This is a meager amount of snow compared to the ones who live north of us, but this is the most that we have received this winter. I had fun again today blowing out the drive with my little snow blower. The two neighbors above on our row have the big blowers.  It just takes me a little bit longer than them but I think I look like I am having more fun.

Gary is doing the sidewalk above us after I was done.  His wife is in the hospital with two new knees so he left for awhile before he came back to finish. While he was gone the city push sow back into his drive. I think I have said this before but I love blowing snow.

Barney was funny this morning when we first went outside.  I took my shovel with me to help him out when we first went out.  He didn’t even try to walk in the high snow but lay down on his belly and watched me scoop.  I shoveled the snow out all around him leaving him on a mountain of snow.  Once I had scooped a lot of it I had to help him get up onto his feet and then he was fine. It is the only yard in the neighbor hood where there are paths scooped for an old dog to use.  He loves to walk around the raised flower bed area so I have it scooped around it and he walks around it in circles.

He takes the rest of the morning to rest up for his next trip outside.  He has decided to not eat breakfast.  He use to get two small amounts at meal time and a large supper.  Barney always likes to mix up the routines.  He eats with a little more interest at lunch time now that he doesn’t eat breakfast but at supper time he is ready to eat the bowl. We did get his weight down a lot with measured precise amounts but he does get cooked white meat chicken mixed in to his dry food to make it more desirable. I would say he is cutting back but then his supper time shows he still is going to eat.  The smell of a roast does get him excited too and he does get a little of that instead of chicken.

Most schools are closed today because of all of the snow. We really have no need to get out but we could if we wanted to do so.  Our temperatures are dropping now after the snowfall and single digit temperatures are in order for a few days. There are now two new violets.  They are inspiring on the inside while it is so cold and white outside.

Thank you for stopping by today.