Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Heating Up.......


While at the art festival at the downtown area of Des Moines one can always see the Principal Building. It is 44 stories hight and can be seen from our edge of our town.  When on the edge of town you can see it from all directions. It really is a landmark that can be seen from many places from very far away.

My oldest son’s prom was held at the top of this building.  We went up to take photos of the place while the prom was just getting started.  A lot of the building is actually rented out to other businesses not related to the insurance company. It certain views it doesn’t look so big but it is.
The new Kum and Go headquarters building is now completed after two and a half years of construction.  It various cantilevered floors makes it look like a sculpture that overlooks the sculptures in the park south of it.
It is an impressive building with all that glass and extender cantilevered floors. It is big when you walk closer to it.  It cost $151 million.  That means they have to sell a lot of gas, cigarettes, candy and donuts. I am sure their profits will pick up the tab soon enough.

Instead of small quick places to stop, the today’s Kum and Go are larger business with lots of interior places for people to shop for the donuts, pizza, and milk. The have caused our local Casey’s story to reevaluate what they offer for buildings to sell gasoline and coffee and donuts.

It is hot in the central states.  It is suppose to stay vey hot through Monday.  Tuesday will be a time for us to cool down. Staying outside is really not an option.  I can’t imagine we walked in it yesterday downtown.  We can feel the effects from it today.

This hollyhock flower is blooming but it is too warm for me to get a photo of it.  It is pink and the blooms are all over the stalk. I plan on watering tomorrow morning just to guarantee it doesn’t get hurt by the weather.

We are home today after church.  We won’t be going out again today as the heat is up in the middle 90’s F.  I hope everyone is safe today and is doing well.  Thanks for stopping by today.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Marathon of Walking....


We visited the Des Moines Arts Festival in downtown Des Moines today.  They opened an hour later than their advertised start on the web.  The heat was too much at our first visit.  We returned to our car and stayed cool for an hour waiting for the actual opening. Everyone who lives in the center of the United States knows how hot it was.  We returned and walked through the whole sets of displays one time, ducking into shaded areas when we could.  We did it with a little bit of agony and yet did make it pretty successfully.  Traditionally we drive about seven blocks east to the Spaghetti Works cafe in a an old building in the old downtown. The Farmer’s Market was just starting to shut down in that area so we got to walk through more crowds.

The displays of many kinds of art work and fine hardwood furniture were interesting. Some really refined good artist and some more craft like things were exhibited.  Photography and metal sculpture was also for sale.  People bring their dogs to these festivals but it was too hot for them to be there.
After eating spaghetti downtown we drove east to the State Fair grounds and visited another large building with a  couple hundred of more artist sales display.  The one at the fairgrounds is called the alternative show as more rural Iowans and surrounding state artist have things for sale. The one downtown  is filled with artists from coast to coast and one was even from Canada.

The grandstand at the fair was build in early 1900s. It has been refurbished but still looks like the original brick structure of old.



I am making my third year report on this new building in downtown Des Moines.  It is the headquarters of the Kum and Go business. I will  let you admire this viewing and you can be guessing how much was spent on building it. I will post more shots tomorrow.

Time for a rest and rehidration as we are home.  It was a good day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday’s Finds......


This is a recycled Easter lily.  It was put in the ground last year after the holiday season. It has only one bloom but it does seem to be happy where it is planted. I just planted the bulb from this years Easter season.

The blooming plant is one that I don’t remember.  I know someone last year shared with me what its name is.  I just didn’t remember it. It looks like a jungle in there with the grass growing and the blades of the leaves from a coneflower hanging into the view.

I like to rearrange my zinnias getting them into a better line.  I am waiting for the little ones to grow bigger before I do a mass move with them. They fill in so much they really don’t need to be in rows but I do need to spread them out sooner than later. The zinnia reacts when I transplant them but they co come out of it overnight as long as I don’t break the roots off of them. They are slow in coming up this summer but I bet it won’t take much time for them to start blooming.



I have found tomatoes or two different plants now. I have been watering them every other morning as the heat is really bearing down on them.  They like heat but they sure don’t like it for a whole week without some added water. I have let some of my volunteer tomato plants that came up in the raised bed to grow anyway among the spaces of the deliberately planted tomato plants.  Since we didn’t have a huge harvest last summer maybe we will have lots this year.
This project is completed.  I just have to stack up the base, and this box shape on top of that.  I will then place the shingled rood on top of this.  I don’t have the bricks that I wanted to put under all of this.  I have a dozen or so of them at the old place but not at the new place.  I am going to have to be patient and wait, to put it together.  If I could find something to make a temporary base I could do it. It is heavy and to put it up temporarily might be bad.

While finishing the paint job on this base, I could hear both of my neighbors mowing grass.  I wan’t going to do it but then when I went outside I notice our temperatures had drop because of a rain system the floated by to the east of it.  It caused it almost to be cold but the heat did come back.  I went ahead and mowed mine since the guys had their yards done. Later today we will have a heat index of 101 degrees F. so it was good to get it done early morning.

I wish all of you to be well and thanks for checking in today.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thursday Afternoon......


We are eating from this planting.  The raises were a failure.  I planted them too late I think or our crazy weather didn’t work well with them.

The white radishes did the best but the best was really lousy. It was easy to pull the whole mess up and out and put them in a compost pile.  I think we each had two small token radishes for supper the that I pulled them. We are moving into a long heat spell and I don’t think I will waste the seed to replant.

On my project list is this set of stairs. The heavy rains washed out the sand the was sitting under the bricks.  I won’t be able to do them all in one day but maybe one step section at a time.  I have clay infused soil that I am going to add to this sand mixture at the base and see if I can stop the sand from being washed out on each step. They are dangerous to walk on right now as you can hit a brick and it falls through. I is too hot to be out there today to work on them.

Another fun project that I have going on is to rebuild this protocol that was on my old garden shed. I have rebuilt from scratch the entire base of it while keeping the roof intact. It has been fun to work on but it again is too hot.  I was out a little late morning and nailed some last things together.  Going in and out of the downstairs doors I could tell the the next steps on tis are going to happen inside of the basement.  I now have the thing on a large piece of plastic on a table inside.  The birds can watch me as I paint it a couple of coats of paint.
This view is not of the completed piece but it does show you what I was heading for in its being rebuild.  I am not going to return it to the old garden shed but will use it in my cottage garden area as a decoration.  One coat of paint is on it and when it is fully dried I will paint it again.  I have a finial for the top of it and I will use an older base with it to sit it farther up in the air.

My dad had build windmills from scrap wood and he gave me one.  When he died 19 years ago I also got the second one. You may have see one or both of them in my old postings.  I remember when he made them back in the 1980s.  He was so pleased with himself and had made windmill blades for them.  Both sets of windmill blades were thrown away a long time ago. I finally let both of them go to the dumpster. I tore up the one that I had at the new place and put it in the garbage bin.  The other one at the old place went away with the Friday’s garbage at the old place. The memories of them are good enough as the 30 years of wear and tear on them merited for me to finally let them go.

One project that I worked on for Monday was to level the floor at the old place that I had put in last summer.  I had to unscrew panels, one four foot square at t time and figure how to get them more level.  The underneath floor was an old porch and a three foot addition floor making everything over the years be very uneven.  I figured out the process and worked my way all around the room to shim them up right.  The whole east side of the room had to be raise an inch to make those pieces level.  My health went bad for a while  after putting them down and I just could not get down on the floor to crawl around and level them.  Monday I did crawl around, raised the pieces up and put them down right.  The work itself has my leg muscles over stretched and sore.  I am better today as I mow at the old place today.  I felt like I had been in PE class and had been introduced to a new exercise.  Anyway, I now can lay a pad and carpet on the floor and be happy with it.

I think that is it for now with the project list.  We are all waiting in the neighborhood as to if we are going to mow our yards.  The grass is shaggy but we have extreme heat predicted for the next five days.  Ir looks like everyone is waiting as a short grass length could turn yellow quickly.

Thanks for topping by today.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Middle of the Week.....



A good shot of the two yellow rose bush. They look great while the close up of the big one was all blurry.  I just cropped it out. The whole bush is filled with blooms and I am so pleased with the purchase.

This gem was a rescue from last year’s end of the season sales. The workmen fortunately did not tramp this one down or bother it in anyway.



The tomatoes love the heat and they have grown larger over night. I keep spotting tomatoes on some of the plants. My marigold border is doing better too with some hot sunshine.
I substituted for a teacher because she was sick for a few days.  I got good reports as to how I had done well keeping good order while she was gone.  She was so happy that she bought me this Starbucks mug.  I poured seed in this bucket and the mug is the best thing to use for dipping seed and putting it on the feeder.  The mug really is too big to be practical.  I could drink that much coffee but it would be cold by the time I got to the bottom.

I have lots of project to do for today and I did get the  three new plants put into the ground.  I am in the middle of a garden tower. I had to go get more nails and some paint. I will be back to hammering things together again soon.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Things for the Day......


Good cloud formations are moving around in the afternoon. The heat is coming and clouds are starting to move out of the area.

I bring it in during the rain and sometimes at night.  I don’t have it lighted at night but we have a street light nearby that keeps lighted.  Spotty rains causes me to keep it leaning inside.  Moving into a week of high heat means I can keep it outside.
My beta keeps making bubble nests so I bought him a girlfriend.  In the natural world they would make hundreds of baby fish but in this plastic tank I am in doubt.  I was reading a book the other day that showed some Asian country people keep large water bowls outside during the warmer seasons.

I planted a hosta next to my new variegated dogwood shrub and it is going to look good as they both grow larger.

I am headed to the old place today to get some inside work finished up. I am going early to beat the heat and when come home when it is a lot hotter.  True Iowa temperatures are showing themselves all week.  I know that hot days means we can get some severe storms.. We have farmers that still do not have some of their crops in and they will get things done with this week of heat.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Monday, June 24, 2019

A New Week....


I have tried to start the blanket flower from seed and I just couldn’t get it to happen.  This one I bought in a pot and it survives the winter just like it is suppose to do. It seems to be a little crowded with he sedum and some salvia plants.  I will cut some salvia back to give it some space. I admired this plant when we would  travel westward.  We would see them in the restarea flower gardens of Colorado and maybe Nebraska.

My vining honeysuckle follows a similar color scheme.  It is one shrub that was new to me until we moved to the newer house. I like  how it will rebloom if it stays wet enough.  Last year the heat stopped it from any more blooms.

Today is the day to get these into the ground.  I brought them back last Thursday from the old place and here they still sit.  I have dug up a hosta and accidentally pulled up a ditch lily with it.  It is a perfect specimen but I don’t know if I will plant it.  It is so invasive.  I could plant it in a area with a grass guard material around ti to keep it  from taking over the entire yard.

The history of the field lily, ditch lily, is my digging it from a rural ditch across from a cemetery east of where we live.  The coal mining town of Xena is not there any more but the cemetery is. Some towns people still bury their family out there.  Xenia was the main town in the area but the train couldn’t stop at its location.  They couldn’t start up and make it up the hill going west.  Eventually they only stopped at the top of the hill and Woodward became the town with a train depot.

I have blogged long enough to see the clouds clearing away in the sky.  It was pretty dull but now the sun shines through once in a while.  We are to have a hot week with Friday being the hottest.  I hope everyone is doing well and thanks for checking in today.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday’s Things......


Yes it did turn into a rainy day. It started raining and really didn’t want to stop. That was Saturday and we had rain through Saturday night also.

The bird bowl shows we got more rain in the night as this thing is full now.  I emptied it Saturday evening.

They will now grow with all this rain.  I planted them and they seemed to just stand still instead of growing.
Marigolds are blooming next to the tomatoes but they are not to impressive right now.
A new product for Walmart (China) audit  is a big disappointment.  I wanted a spigot on the ice tea jar but the thing is dripping on the floor because the spigot isn’t tightened strong enough in the glass hole.  I dumped this tea into my old tea jar and I will be working on getting it to be watertight. I am hoping that I can fix it.

It is Sunday afternoon and it sprinkles off and on outside.  I won’t be working outside today anyway and probably tomorrow it will be a rain day too. It is a good day to just take time off and rest.  I hope all is well with everyone.  Thanks for checking in.......

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday’s Stuff....


Tomato blooms means there will be tomatoes. I have three or four plants that are in bloom right now.

One of them has tomatoes on the vine.  That is encouraging after all the time it has been since they were planted. They need hot weather and that will take place this next week.  I will probably have to start watering them extra in a few days.
My new raised beds are doing well but the zinnias did not germinate.  Finally after a soaking rain the are now coming up in rows. I guess the soil I bought for raised gardens was filled with compost.  It needed a lot of moisture to  encourage.  More moisture that what I was sprinkling on it.  Some petunias are getting set in now and the glads are doing will next to the row of onions.

We had rain almost all of Friday so with the warmth of the day everything will grow better. We are forecasted to have a lot of hot days ahead of us.  That is normal Iowa summer.



This was on the top of my garden shed at the old place.  The box side pieces had rotted off at the base where it was connected to the roof. The most of it was still in good shape.  I have torn off the side pieces and replaced them now.  More is planned for the project.  I will share as it progresses.  More parts go onto the side and the corners and eaves get molding decoration.

Thanks for stopping by today. I need to go mow my yard so your get shorted some time from me today. Ah yes, tomorrow!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Rainy Day......


The view out our front door shows a lot of green.  I like seeing the water running down the gutters and the trees and shrubs are soaking  up all the water.  I have been watering things each morning but I can skip that for a couple of days.  My grass is long but I was busing mowing another yard.  My neighbors on both side and way down the way, all of them mowed yesterday. If it stops raining on Saturday I can play catchup.

It is an ongoing project.  The process is taking all the scraps of dirt with grass from the raised bed work and soak the soil away from the grass.  The rain today is dripping through the deck and landing on the wheel barrow. Once it is all soaked up I will remove the grass.  It is hard to separate it with so much clay in the soil. Yep, it will be a mess. Draining the remaining soil from the water will be a slow task too.
Last summer’s begonia bloomed all winter in the window.  Now that I brought it out I can see I could cut it back and get a lot of begonia starts. I didn’t even think about it until I saw this photo.
This is my temporary rain gauge.  I put out a tray for the birds, doves especially and the chipmunk. Then when it rains and fills up half full I know I have had an inch of rain. On the subject of chipmunk, we saw one yesterday scarring around on a neighbors steps located down the hill from us.  I guess we could have had them the past couple of years and didn’t know they were there. Our development is built on corn fields and bean feels and the land was carved out of timber land.  That timber does circle our development so I could see the critters could be here.  I know the geese are on the edge of town in ponds and other wildlife is out there.

The hanging planter is not outside most of the time because it doesn’t like the hot sun.  So when I do get a rain I put it out to wash it down a little bit.

I don’t have a major project planned for today.  A friend of ours sent us some gladioli bulbs that I will stick in the   ground immediately.  If they don’t bloom this year at least I can get some growth on them before I pull them back up for the winter.  The other glads that I planted are sure slow growing right now.  I hope all are doing well out there.  Thanks for stopping by....

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Things I Do......


A new rose that I mention a while back with a blurry photo is now putting out many blooms. I planted it it at the bottom of our new deck stairs.

I used my scrap wood to make a raised bed.  I planted the rose in the middle and places hosta at the corners.  I like that it will help to keep the grass out of the area. It gives me one more thing to mow around so I decided I will quit making these kinds of things. The hosta will do well and I will probably have to take them back out of there in a couple of years, or move the rosebush.
I mowed at the old place today and the hydrangea is doing well.  I picked the last two peony blooms and brought them down too. I had picked just  a few hydrangea and then went back and cut more as the bush was loaded with blooms.

I will always remember the history of the shrub as I pulled a root of it from an empty house up there street while walking Barney.  Within the year from the thieving incident the new renters went in and removed every hydrangea plant on both sides of the porch. I think they put in hosts My taking of the start became a rescue.  I now have some of this at the new place too.



The hardy geraniums are doing well in the front yard. A lot of them are putting on new buds since I planted them.  I since then planted a hosta among them along with the variegated dogwood shrub.
This is the other kind of flower that is called a geranium.  It has lasted a long time with our rainy season this spring.

It is Thursday and my work at the old place seemed difficult today.  There is so much to do up there and I just putting a dent in it. I try to mow most of it each week and am taking time to trim back sucker trees and water grasss. I have to pick up sticks each time as the storm keep blowing them from the trees.  I won’t go back for another week so I can recoup from it all.  Thanks for stopping by today.