Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Warming Trends.....

 Our son sent us this photo of the family sledding outing. They all look pretty happy with it. The grand daughter will be four years old in May.  The tall guy is in fourth grade and shorter brother is in first grade.  The temps did get to be too cold for them yesterday. 

It took two days but I finally saw a cardinal at the feeder after putting out the good seed.  He was tolerant of the sparrows as there was plenty of seed going around.

We were in the minus temps this morning so our 20° F. feels like spring weather.  We are going to warm up more the next two days.  It is a good Tuesday.  Thanks fro stopping by today.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Monday All Day....

 Looking out this morning we have sunshine on the snow. We are still very cold.  I did see a bird at the bird water tray but it was just resting before it flew to the bird feeder. 

The sun did eventually rise above the neighbor's house to cause those shadows in the above backyard photo. 

The house finch doesn't mind digging down into the feeder to get to the safflower seed.  I like how their red feathers have faded.  The bird is really fluffed up so it can stay warmer.

A sparrow sits in the tree checking out its surroundings. They are not happy with the new feeder. 

The juncos don't visit my feeders very often. I don't know who has the better feeder but they must hang out somewhere else. 

Have a good rest of the day this Monday.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Cars and Trucks......


The cars and truck are antique toys of the 1940s and 1950s.  They are all metal with a hard rubber material for wheels.  As wars set in they had to stop using the rubber and made some plastic wheels. The company name that is a part of the inside body of them is Tootsie Toy.


 These rubber cars had  a pa inted on windows and chrome.  I am guessing that these could have been my son's grandfather's toys. The wheels are there but are built inside of the car's bodies. 

This a a car made in a mold of red plastic.  The design is almost futuristic-looking or streamed lined. I guess that making the opening for wheels caused problems so they just put the wheels on the inside of them. 

My newer cars of my collection includes this 11957 Corvette.  I like studying the construction of them seeing how they simplified things to make is as easy as possible to assemble on the line.

The two door 1957 Thunderbird was a popular car.  It did evolve into a four door hardtop vehicle with and long low back end that made it look like an alligator tail.  'Cars have changed so much from the original model T Fords.  The 2017 Buick Lacrosse car that I now own has been discontinued and the company is not making them anymore.  Buick thinks I would rather like an SUV shaped one.  I really don't dislike the boxy shaped things but I am still want a traditional looking car.  I don't have enough mileage on my  six year old car to change anyway so I guess I can just drive it until it dies. 

We were at 1° F. this morning.  It is warming up to 7°F.  I am debating if I want to bundle up to clear and inch of snow off the sidewalk.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Pueblo Pottery Fakes.....

 I took a class to help renew my teacher's certificate. Its been quite a while ago. I was to recreate work of another artist's style.  I chose Maria Tofoya Martinez who created hand built pottery near Santa Fe, New Mexico.  In her culture the woman would make the pottery and the men, her husband, would decorate it.  The cover of the magazine shows her husband Julian painting the design on her pottery.  When Julian died the son Popovi Da painted the designs on her pots. 

 Maria would create her pots using the coil method scraping it smooth during the process.  Once it was almost dry she would polish it with a smooth stone to get that shiny surface.

Here are three of the pots that I made for the class requirement.  I too scraped smooth the coil pot and then polished it with a stone. I also found another thing to polish with was the back of an old stainless steel spoon.

I also carved into one of my pots with an "avanyu" water spirit design. The pot is made from white and red clay mixed together to give it my own personal touch.  The pots were all fired in a bon fire on a beach along Lake Pokegama, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  It was successful to the most part but years later I fired them in a kiln to make sure that they were sturdier. 


We had a snowfall overnight and I got out the snowblower to clear it this morning.  It is 15° F. this morning and our temps are going to drop into single digits. The snow did clean up our dirty snow and it almost looked nice to me.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Recycle and Combine......

 I worked on a remodel of a bird feeder.  I had a hanging feeder that I wanted to use for feeding the cardinals.  The ledge is too small for them so I had to rethink the design.  I had a tray feeder that I had built to slip over my metal railings that seemed to be good for the base.  With the feeder now attached to the tray a cardinal or blue jay will have a platform to stand on to encourage them to eat. 

I bought a sack of cardinal bird seed at the pet store this morning. It is what caused me to want a better feeder for cardinals.  I didn't want to put it in my regular feed and let the sparrows crowd up the space and discourage the bigger birds to eat.  I am hoping that the spilled see will also go onto the tray.  Now when it gets cold I can just sit and wait to see what kind of takers I will get. 

I shared this photo on my other blog of the cardinal getting cross with the sparrow. I hope he does come back now that I have safflower and sunflower seeds just for him to eat. 

We got up to 37° F. this morning for about two hours.  The temps are now dropping quickly.  The wind chill is going to bad when it drops below freezing.  Winter weather just continues.  Have a good Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

3° F. or -16.1° C at the Start of the Day......


I send this photo to my brothers who live in Arizona and California.  My one brother just says Brrrrrrr.  My other brother in California sends me a beautiful scene of his street with palm trees and green grass. We do have sun today but I doubt much snow will evaporate from its heat. 

I always admired the ornament that included a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back end.  I discovered I had a red truck in a storage drawer and my wife's village tree does fit in the back end.  I do think I will shop for one  tree that fits better proportionally. I have until next Christmas to figure it all out. 

In the same drawer I also found this red firetruck.  It is an old antique metal truck. The wheels are made of a hard plastic.  I am sure there were parts of equipemnt that would have come with it.  I don't know the year of the model of the truck but it looks like late 1940s or 1950s. 



I will make one more trip outside today and that will be it.  I had to take the recycle bin out to the curb this morning. I will return to get the mail and the bin at the same time this afternoon. Otherwise there are not more plans for outside happenings.  We will get up to 19° F. this afternoon. Have a good Thursday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Two Humps Day....

 I used the same joke on my "photo a day" blog.  The camels were a gift at Christmas time.  The were carved by artists in a basement of shop called Bethlehem Nativity Products.  We visited the place three years ago while we were in Israel.  The clerks hand you a basket when you walk into the shop hoping you will fill it up.  The business is doing so well that my son was able to now buy these at a Christmas Market in downtown Chicago where they have extended their business in the United States. 

We bought the menorah at the shop when we were there. Other items are from family and a pastor friend. There were hundreds of the menorahs for sale in the place.


I had twin beds for the boys when they were young.  The beds had been bought at an auction.  I took the two beds, head and footer, and made a trundle bed from them.  The configuration of them brings the posts together.  I really liked the hand carved decorative posts with the pineapple, or acorn, shaped finials.

The trundle worked out well with the two head boards lined up for its back and the foot boards being the ends of the bed.  Isolating what one sees is this artistic compostion of forms. 


 Not staying on the carved wood theme but here is a sliced piece of sweet potato growing in a bowl.  I remember as a kid taking carrot tops and putting them in water to create new stems.  I did this as a lark because the sweet potato was sprouting while in storage in the closet.  I doubt I can keep this alive long enough to plant it this spring for my own home grown sweet potatoes. 

We are having a gray day and it will not warm up enough to thaw today.  We did thaw out a little bit yesterday but we are still coated with snow and it makes it feel cold. I keep feeling chilled often and wish that we can move into July weather soon.  Thanks for checking in today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Coffee Matters....

 An old can that I inherited from someone, who knows who? Coffee was only sold in cans like this with there special key used to wind up the metal band that sealed.  Cans like this made perfect storage for whatever in the basement or outdoor shed. 

I was fascinated in seeing the directions.  A tablespoon must be leveled. A cup of water was equivalent to the cup of water in you coffee cup.  This was for perculator coffee makers.  Like any thing today you really have to use trial and error in discovering what amounts are needed to make your cup of coffee. 

In my dream world I thought I would have a coffee maker down in my shop.  That just didn't need to happen.  So the rack is full of old mugs from mom and a cafe mug from a garage sale.  My mugs from mom were ones bought at the dime store and they served instant coffee often all day.

We made it downtown to my endocrinologist visit yesterday in the afternoon.  My chosen route keeps me out of major traffic.  It was late in the day so even the clinic was in a shut down mode.  I am doing ok with my health problems and won't have to return for a half of a year.  I was given free by the doctor a salesman's sample of a sensor and receiver for my diabetes monitoring.  Sometimes the devices just fail and they give false readings telling me my glucose is extremely low, when it really is not.  The value of the sample is worth beyond $500.  I don't have to pay that much with insurance but a sensor failure usually costs me fifty bucks. I am going to keep it as an emergency back up.

We are close to just freezing today.  It means the sun can melt off somethings even thought we are still plenty covered with the white stuff.  A warm-up really is not in sight for quite a while.  

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Muuunday.......a Puzzle.

 I saw this puzzle in a catalog in which the pieces were inside a dinosaur egg. The one I saw was a Tyranssaurs Rex being aggressive.  This is the only one that they had on the shelf and I am happy with it.  Its not the same having the grandkids helping with it but I did want to put it together to share  it.  Yes it is about my speed these days as I can see and handle it without much frustration.


The middle grandchild Teddy loves dinosaurs so he was having a great time putting this together.  His sister was excited to see it and was making a dinosaur sound.  

The puzzle is unusual as it doesn't fit into a box shape.  You can find all the side pieces but they don't make much sense as different legs, tails, and wings project off the sides. I just noticed the waterfall in the background while looking at this photo. It brings back memories when we put together all sorts of puzzles when I was a kid.  Our first puzzles were of cowboys sitting in front of Wyoming sky setting sunny skies.  Lots of orange layered with intense color made it a little more difficult. 

I am motivated to find a puzzle that we bought years ago and still have never put it together.  I can't describe it much but there is a woman soaring in the sky with many objects attached to her.  On to another doctor's appointment today.  It is a later afternoon time as I had to move it from a winter storm day a few days ago.  I don't like being downtown in the afternoon but I do have a back way to take to keep us out of a lot of traffic.   We are back in the deep freeze today and that will make the parking ramp a little bit of a chore.   Thanks for stopping by.......

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Spot of Red.....


I had a red visitor to the feeder this morning.  I could barely get my camera turned on in time to get any photos.  He might be back later.



A dark eyed junco gives me a pose while he is at the feeder.  The eye is so dark that it blends in unless there is a light reflection taking place. 

I really like the shape of the body of the junco.   Some call it a snow bird as it does not hesitate to dig into the snow to find seed.  The shape of the bird and the color of the beak makes it easier to identify. 

While it is cold outside the temps are tropical inside.  The heated water makes all the guppies happy.  You can see the latest hatching of guppies near the filter on the right side. I think there is actually a smaller younger batch but they are hiding in the greens. 

We are having a quiet day.  I did push snow off the sidewalks and driveway this morning.  It was a light snow of a couple of inches. It was light and fluffy and the snowblower probably wouldn't have worked well.  Have a good Sunday.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday's Stuff......


The snow is heavy enough that it isn't easy to find food if you are a bird.  The sparrows and juncos are having their morning feeding and it is a feeding frenzy.   


 There are juncos out there but not while I had my camera out. No cardinals or blue jays live in our neighborhood.

It is 30° F. and a good day to just stay inside. I have lots of reading that I seem to read over and over again.  I have a new iris catalog also.  The iris I ordered last year did not die but they did not do well enough for me to order any more.   Maybe we can get our moisture content up in the soil so things will grow better. 

When my first son was born in 1975 this kind of toy was the rage.  Clean Scandinavian styled wooden toys. I am sure they are still making them but they seemed unusual back then.  I think Andy was gifted this one.  Yes, it is suppose to be a helicopter. 

Thanks for stopping in today.

Friday, January 20, 2023


 A created a path this morning on the deck so I could get to the feeders without wading in snow.  It is almost five inches deep but the deck always gets a big build up because of the two adjoining roofs above.  The wind blows all the roof snow down to the deck. 

I thought about shoveling just paths yesterday but the snow was very heavy.  I started the snow blower immediately so it was the tool of choice.  i was able to clear my driveway and the sidewalks of mine and my neighbor's who isn't home right now.  The wet snow was difficult even with the blower and the surfaces did have some snow still on it.  

The birds were back again today. The snow was hard to remove from the feeder as the bottom part of the snow has refreezed to the surface of things. 

We are cold again today.  We will warm up to 28° F. so no snow will be leaving soon.  I am glad we went out for breakfast this morning.  Afterwards I had meds to pick up along with a handful of expensive groceries.  I go chilled from the walk back to the car.  I won't go outside again today.  Thanks for checking in today on this Friday.