Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Friday, January 31, 2020

Friday's Beginning.....


We started our day with large snow flakes falling from the sky. It is warming up now and I see snow is melting off the deck. The construction work done on the house last summer caused me to move some birdhouses and as you can see I haven't redistributed them I yet. I did have a wren in the white house when it was next to the deck. I will get it moved back soon so the wren will find it there again.

It looks like I am from the wild west with all my wheels. My brother-in-law was suppose to take some of the old wheels but he still has not done so.  I ended up bringing all of them to the new place.

It would be a grand slippery slide to try to walk down these stairs. We have warmer temps for a couple of day and I will go out and clear off the snow when in gets soggier.




I like the pots that have been pained. I don't have any impressive plants in them but I like have them around outside in the summer.


A day with not plans is strange for us but we are just going to live it that way. If plans crop up we will do them but for now it is a nothing day. Everyone have a good day.  Thanks for stopping by today.




Thursday, January 30, 2020

Thursday's Things.......

My trains use to be stored in boxes and I would bring them out for display around the Christmas tree.  Now that I built the shelving I have them on display year roung. I really enjoy the shelves and the trains do look good on it. The bigger sized train gets to sit on tracks which helps keep it righted with the other cars.


A blurred shot of anothe caboose at the opposite end of the one shelf. Red really is a great color for cabooses making them the most colorful rail car.


I shared my wife's smallest dolls the other day.  This is one of her tallest dolls weary a Victorian dress and hat. The last doll this size that I bought for my wife
was at a Kmart store which now closed.  I bought her some smaller ones for a while but they were specialized ones like Barbies who were looking like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

Today I ventured out into our back yard. I didn't have the best shoes for it and I did get my jeans wet. The snow was drifted back there and had a crust on it from one freezing rain last week. It was so nice to get outside back there.
I have hope that by Friday and Saturday that a lot of this will be going away.  We are suppose to get up to 36 degrees F. on Saturday.  I did shovel the stairs one time but I didn't get it done the past few days.

It is a quiet day outside today and we still just stay around freezing for our temperatures. It still feels cold out there but it isn't so cold as we had in the early part of the week.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Gardening......


I had the sansivera in its original plastic pot a long time and finally I bought a new ceramic flower pot yesterday. I bought violet potting soil and mixed it with some of my old regular potting soil. While buying the soil I got caught in a conversation with the sales clerk about growing African violets. I wasn't impatient but didn't have time to the subject matter right then.

I brought this out a few days ago seeing that it is ready to bloom again.  It was sitting on a dark shelf in the storage room.  After seeing the success of this amaryllis I looked around and found another one to put out into the light and  add water. I think it may have been a two year old bulb. I missed buying any this year to give as gifts or even to pick up for myself at a cheap price.



We lost something valuable the other day and we spent a lot of time looking for it. Finally I did find it but it was my fault that it was lost.  Anyway, I though my wife deserved some flowers after all she has to put up with me. I found flowers that had a lot of buds on them so we could enjoy seeing them open up.  They really are cheerful with all the snow on the ground.

While digging in the dirt yesterday, I took a very large overgrown violet and divided it into four plants.  The original plant still could have had another division but I thought it might just die if I cut it away.  Maybe at a another time I can correct that. It is nice to have the basement windows to use for a nursery area. I don't remember what color the violet is as it has been in a bad shape for a long time.

I picked up a new one yesterday for three bucks at the grocery store. I remember when my mom would start violets from the leaves.  I actually remember when I started them from leaves too.  Life just seemed to get too complicated.  I wouldn't want to say this buy my mom used to steal leaves from people's houses as she visited them to clean them.  I think she did ask permission for some of them. I do know that the right conditions will make it easy to propagate new ones.

We had about an inch of snow in the night.  I may have to get out a broom to sweep it off the sidewalks as it isn't heavy enough to blow. We are colder again but it is winter.  Thanks for stopping in at the post today.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Slightly Sharing......


What we see everyday this winter.  Nothing much has changed and we do get a light snow once in a while to level off all of the rabbit tracks or squirrel tracks. The snow is heavy enough that you can not see the raised garden bed where I grow tomatoes.

The two pxp;;os [;amtes are ;
liking the bright light from the sliding glass door. The smaller plant got over watered so it is trying to comeback from such abuse.It is probably time to replant them both into fresher soil.

Back in the sixties and early seventies, this plant was placed in terrariums as it was considered one that could take being placed in a confined growing condition.  Peperomia was sold a few years ago and I have the proof that it can grow quite large.  I have cut it back once in a while. It turns yellow when the person in the house doesn't water it often enough. I do have a few old glass containers that were used as terrariums but I haven't tried it yet. It really likes the window in the living room in which it sits.

It is Monday and things seem busy around the house. I did go to Ace Hardware today and bought the wrong filter. It is less that a mile up our hill so I can return it quickly.  It just bothers me that I couldn't find the correct size of filter.  I did not have to shovel snow for the last two days.  It is warmer today with the temps hanging around freezing.  If the sun comes out a little of it does thaw.  Thanks for stopping in today. Have a good rest of the day.

I just looked at a peperomia plant on line to see if I was spelling it correctly.  I see that they are selling starts of the plant for seventeen dollars. I bought my start for four dollars at Wally you know where. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday's Finds......

An archived photo today of what it would look like if it were fall, This photo is at least 8 years old as some of the shrubs in the photo are now very large. It is a strange shot taken from inside of the house looking out through the trellis. 

 
An archived photo of tractors that were parked, taking a break from a Great Tractor Ride across Iowa. The stop was in a park in Minburn, Iowa.  I had taken my father-in-law to see the drive into town and take their pit stop before heading out again. The year was probably around 2002.


An archived photo of a painting that I was commissioned to paint. It is a watercolor painting of a farmstead that was destroyed when a lake was created over by Panorama, Iowa. It was a painting to help the person to remember and was not a highly artistic piece.

We are not really thawing today but it is not snowing. We are to have borderline freezing tempertures for five or more days and not iced roads to travel on for the week. I did memory lane stuff today as I didn't have time to take new photos. Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Saturday's Short Spot.....


The dove was on duty early this morning sitting on the ledge and watching. Their behaviors of just sitting  makes them an unusual bird. The can be spooked but most times they seem really calm.


J was able to shovel the deck agian this morning. I had just cleared it and then we added four or five inches of snow again.  The cleared the  walks at the old place this morning and then cleared my driveway back home.

We went to the bookstore yesterday afternoon and had a meal out afaterwards.  Then we took back roads through Des Moines and suburbs to get home as the streets started to freeze and cars were spinning and slidding everywhere.  It was hard to accelerate and also hard to stop.  We drove really slow and did make it home safely. I had to remember that we were not in any hurry.

We will have temperatures of low 30's for the next week. It would be nice if it will melt but it won't much do that.  Thank you for checking in today.

Friday, January 24, 2020

New Snow on the Hill....


We had a good melting day yesterday. Through the night it snowed lightly giving us about four inches or so of new stuff. I shoveled it off this morning by hand so by evening it won't be so heavy when I have to do it again.

We bought our house in the winter time so I couldn't really judge that I liked this tree or not. Now that I understand that it  is a locust tree I am very happy with it. It does look a lot better with its leaves on it.
The red twig dogwood looks great in the snow. It has settled in well since I planted it last spring. It fits great on the curve of the sidewalk.



I don't get picky with my shoveling as you can see that the curved sidewalk there is not in view. It isn't very cold today.  Just a few degrees below freezing.  That is 30 degrees more than we have had for quite a few days.

A side note of "show and tell " is this star. Our pastor had given it to us a couple of years ago.  This summer we visited the place where it had been carved. The made all wooden items out of olive tree wood. We purchase a sculpture piece from the same place this summer.  We had outdoor salesmen bother us a lot from outside the store, trying to sell us scarves from Israel. It was really a good memory of them always trying to sell us stuff. I did buy my wife a couple of sets of beads on Mr. Carmel.

It is Friday and it is time to wind down a bit.  I hope everyone is doing well.  Thanks for checking it today.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thursday's Things......


I shoveled the deck and will wait for the temperatures to warm up some more.  It is 35 degrees F. outside right now so maybe I will see some melting.  I have the drive and sidewalks ready for some melting temperatures also. It would be fun to drag that grill out and grill a steak on it.


It is a railing maze with the stairs and deck railing visually overlap. I hope the birds can pick up more falling seed from the feeders falling now on the deck floor.


The sun room gives off a lot of light but the sky isn't showing much excitement.  It will be a warming day to 35 degrees F. but no sun will shine.


I have good news from the bonsai these past days.  I cut off a lot of large leaves from the shrub and still could cut some more from the stems.  The pruning needs to be perfected. The next photo shows the exciting sight of flowering buds.


I still have not specifically identified this plant but the berries or blooms help me to figure it out. The buds that I can now photograph proves that the trimming back of the larger leaves did help it make a growth spurt.

I see water dripping from melting snow on my deck railing so it will be a good day to have some of it to be gone.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Middle of the Week with Snow....


After they eat they take a break and just sit. I see them set on a fence the same way, sitting still while taking in on their surroundings.


Today will be like our typical Iowa winter days, with light snow for the next three days.  The temperatures are just at freezing and the snow fall is gentle. I took time to fill the feeders out on the deck as the build up of snow is not too bad yet.

The mess is still there on the deck.  I created it and we had melting for a couple hours in the night. It is still there.  Maybe I can get my energy level excited to go out and clear it during a lull today.


A ducking head of the dove gives me an interesting pose. They should be back soon as I just opened a new sack of seed and filled all the containers.

My indoor door garden is great to see when there is snow all over the ground outside.  My pet bunny sat out the window yesterday but I haven't seem him this morning.  The agapanthus keeps me in good foliage all winter. I move them around in the downstairs level as if they are ferns. They don't seem to mind the lower light.

I brought in the sack of topsoil yesterday from the garden storage shed.  It finally thawed out as the moisture in the soil was frozen solid. It won't make great soil for flowers and yet I have some flower potting soil that I can mix with it. I have an abundance of sanseveieria; plants that need to be separated and replanted in different new pots. That kind of plant is not too particular by its kind of soil.
As we continue to watch our weather we will probably say inside all day. I hope everyone is doing well.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Visiting and Working....


Winter weather at the old place is a lot like the weather at the new place, but it was colder. I procrastinated clearing the walks up there yesterday because the temps were just above zero.  Today I cleared the walks a little.  No one had walked on either stretch of my walks but they are now opened up.

It really isn't that much snow except where the wind had created some bigger drifts. This is one half of the full length of the north side of our property.


My Minnesota birch is doing well as it shows off its white bark. The Japanese beetles had chewed up most of its leaves this fall so it didn't have any pretty yellow fall leaves.


I did add a path for the neighbor lady so she could more easily feed the feral cat that lives around our house. She has a box with a hole in it of a straw nest and she feeds it food from a can giving it a luxurious meal. I could see her tracking through my drive way snow so she will be pleased to have a better path.

We are off to get a meal out for supper this afternoon and to buy a birthday card for our youngest son.  If we time it just right we can get it in the mail and to his house in Maine on just the right date. The temps are still cold but 21 degree F. is a heat wave.  It is going to warm up all night so we can have rain in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Start of a New Week.......


Walk a mile or two in my old shoes.  It is time to toss them. I actually had tossed a set of shoes that were newer than the ones on the right. The old shoes were moved here and I ended up mowing the lawn wearing them.  And now, the new shoes have walked all over Israel through sand and rocks. They were on the temple mount and Jerusalem streets. The were at the shore of Galilee and the Golan hills. I won't ever forget all those churches we walked through and sang choruses in their sanctuaries. Most memorable are the streets down under that are dated three thousand years old or more with rough cobblestones and carriage wheel grooves.


I keep trying to capture a photo of the bird feeder covered with a dozen or more birds on it.  Every time I pick up the camera the fly away. This one shot shows the two stragglers that didn't get gone yet. They are watching all the other birds flying away and are ready to take flight.

 The markings on the house finch are really detailed when you can see them in a close still shot. The red on their backs isn't so visible while they are moving around searching for seed.

The sparrow seems to be the largest flock that I have as they have all settled into the blue spruce tree.  We are very cold again today and there is a light snow falling.

I am procrastinating on clearing my sidewalks at the old place. I think there is about four inches of snow on the walks but right now we are the coldest area in the whole nation.  I didn't go up on Sunday as the wind chills were unbearable.  Snow is falling up there today but it still is only 5 degrees F. up there and it will be warming up to 7 degrees F. for today. I am going to wait until tomorrow to clear them as it will be warming up to 22 degrees and that will seem like a heat wave.  The last time I cleared my walks up there the only footprints on my one walk were the neighbor's cats. It is too cold for anyone to be walking on sidewalks in Iowa.

I didn't see any thing of the bunny this morning but there were new tracks.  I poured more seed out on the ground for it. We have a light snow right now but it will not be measurable.

Our day will be another one of snow bound and cold bound.  I took a quick journey to the grocery store late afternoon and I froze my fingers off putting the groceries into the trunk .Glove don't keep that bone chilling cold off of the fingers. I hope everyone is surviving out there with their particular weather.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday's Stuff......


It is very cold and the house finch is grateful to find seed. I have more birds than ever as our Sunday temperatures seem unbelievable.

Down on the ground I have a new visitor looking for food. His tracks are coming from the blue spruce tree. He has not been around here for awhile.

He is not tame but the glass between of the sliding glass door seems to keep him from seeing me. He is looking over the scrap bird see from the cockatiel tray that I toss out there each morning.  This morning I put out fresh seed from the indoor birdseed sack. While he was out there a squirrel came over to check out things too.

 I did get a visual record of the two squirrels on the deck at the same time. If they see each other they both take off.  I have not filled the feeders today but there is still time. The birds seem to be attacking the vertical hanging feeder more than anythinng else.

Our windchill for today is -17 degrees F. Our temps are around -3 at the beginning of the day. A lot of the country is very cold right now.  I shared the one sundog on my other blog today.  I am betting there were two as I saw other peoples photo of them in southern Iowa.

I need to go get some groceries but we may have to be creative with what is in the pantry. I am only a mile from the store.  Thanks for checking in today.