Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Tuesday's Things...


The job is now done.  I applied the last coat of varithane and started putting the furniture back before it was even dry.  No furniture touches the wall so it was not a problem. I  like this cozy corner that was created by the wainscoting. The chair is an old oak piece from my wife's grand father.  It is going to get a coat of varnish now too as it deserves some special treatment. There are burn marks on the one arm from her granddad spilling out his piped. 

I was not originally planning to wrap the wood around the corner but the dry wall was so out of square that it was going to give me a bad corner. I really like it but it was a change in plans.

This is our guest bedroom downstairs that holds a lot of our older furniture from out older house. We have my wife's hope chest next to the window and the chest of drawers was one that I salvage from a dark brown finish.  The chest actually sat in the bedroom of our boys great grand mother who lived to be 100 years old.  She was from Norway and spoke very little English. 

I looked out the bedroom this morning to see if we had any snow left.  We do not.  As I looked down I saw that all these iris that were just planted last year are all sprouting.  I will be anxious to see if I get any blooms from them this year.  Most times I don't think that I will.

Warmer weather is great.  Getting an inch and a quarter of rain was better than a foot of snow.  We still need more rain so the downpour two nights ago was so welcomed. 

Tuesday things that I have shared.  I even had new photos.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Winter Rest.....


Sometimes the weather just gets to be too much and I just want it to be spring.  I escape by going to my pile of garden books.  It is a good way to learn more about plants and find things that I can build myself. 


 White looks nice in the gardens.  I have white trellis to install when it warms up.  I need to buy support poles for them and I will be painting them white. 

I have a building guide book on making gazebos.  I can only dream now as I don't have a big enough lot for it.  I do think that a mini gazebo would make a good garden ornament.  Maybe someday that will happen. 

I am almost finished with my one wall of wainsoting in the downstairs bedroom.  I have to put a finish on the top molding and have baseboards yet to install.  I can see the end of the tunnel with this project and maybe tomorrow I can put the room back together.  Varnish will be applied and baseboards will have their nails hammered onto the wall. The bed can be pushed back up against the wall and the last of the scrap wood piece will be taken away.  I hope I can get a photo of it all then too tomorrow.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunny Sunshine Day....


I bought the Christmas cactus a month ago.  It was already in bloom from being in the greenhouse.  I just partially watered it after the blooms all fell off.  Today I am getting  new blooms again. 


 I bought the three a long time ago when they were the size of quarters.  Now they have grown to be big. 

They are from the cichild family and can be quite aggressive.  Other fish in this family are not flat like the but are rounder and can be mean.  They seem to be really hungry all the time and I do keep them frequently fed so that the won't eat each other.  I have a few guppies in the tank to keep them more entertained. I use to have tanks of fish with a mixture of tropicals and really didn't have very many problems.  So far these haven't reproduced as I don't want a tank of them.  They do live birth and it is interesting when you get a tank full of baby fish. 

We went to the special showing of the movie "The Jesus Revolution" and it proved to be a great movie.  It brings back a lot of bad memories of the era when the hippies were many and the drugs and alcohol was abusive toward many deaths.  The book written by Gregg Lourie was the bases for the movie. The author never intended for it to be a movie but the story written of Greg's life was a great testimony and it did make into a great movie of social and Christian history. He has a large church in California now called Harvest.  Their was a lot of humor spread throughout  the movie and the reaching out to the lost hippies was an amazing story.  The 1960's through 1970's was recreated perfectly.  I believe the movie will eventually be streamed on tv network in a year or so.  I still had my hippie hair, blond long hair to my shoulders, in 1976.  Most of the men that I taught with at the time has the long hair and mustaches also.

It was great to get out to go to the movies.  It was very cold.  I haven't shared that we live near the theater, which is in an ever growing shopping mall, that is about three miles from us. The mall is full of lots of eateries and special shops. The theater has 12 different screens and luxury recliner seats.  One of the theaters has seats that vibrate with the sounds of the movie like a "Star Wars" fight scene. We went to the special showing of "The Chosen" there about three weeks ago. The theater actually has a bowling alley next to it inside and a bar for those who like to drink. 

We are warmed up today at the low 50's and more snow is melting.  Looks like spring that we have had snowstorms in March. Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Saturday's a Go......

 I am a sixth grader again as I continue to mess with the sweet potato tuber.  It seems to be good even when I forget to keep the water filled.  I guess I could put it into soil in a pot and then transfer it this spring when the soil is thawed. 

We are not a lot warmer but it it is better.  We will warm up to a thawing temp this afternoon.  It will melt off all the ice on the trees that was coated on two days ago. The birds like it warmer and still are hungry.

A few starlings like the suet.  No other kind of bird shows up to eat from the cakes.  I guess my deck with a sunroom is too cityfied for the birds to come in.  Cardinals were back yesterday for a very brief visit.  No photos for proof as all I could see is their top notches through the glass of the bird feeder. If taken they would just be a head shot. 

We are off to a movie this afternoon and we have pizza at home ready to pop in the oven. We have a baking stone to use for the pizza and it is so great.  The quality of the crust is so good when we use it.  We have been having inferior pizza for so many years.  Oh, well.....

Thanks for checking in today.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Checking In.....

 I don't understand why this one leaf has not dropped. I keep thinking it is a bird when I view it from a distance.  The backgrounds shows the cold gray day. 

Gold fish get to be difficult to take care of when they can live in the dirtiest of water.  The tolerate high nitrogen in the water so a person like me could let the water get really bad.  It was time to clean their tank. I found my smaller tank and transferred some of their old water into it.  I fished them out one at a time and they seem in shock as they hoover together in the new temporary tank. I didn't harm them but they seem to be a little tiffed that I messed with them.

I will have to wash down their tank in cold water, no soap, and get all the algae off of the sides.The gravel too will get rinsed over many times and the filters will all be cleaned up.   I need to buy an algae eater for their tank but it just hasn't happened.  The smaller tank is sufficient for them for a few days and I will work at it to get their bigger tank back into good shape.

The wainscoting is all attached now and I have stained and put the finish on it.  Next steps include buying the parts for the top molding and attach it to the top.  I am reusing the bottom base molding which matches the rest of the room.  The original owners took oak baseboard and stained it to look a little red but it is natural looking enough that it won't look bad with the pine.

Too cold to get out today but I do have to go get meds and some basic groceries.  It is only a mile away.  I will wait until this afternoon so the day will be better than the 4° F. that we started with this morning. It is Friday folks. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thursday with Chattering Teeth.....

 It is cold and the birds need to eat. The spots on the bird are frozen water drops on my window.  

We all were spoiled with warmer winter weather temperatures.  Today the temps dropped to 19° F.  and the wind blows hard.  It is a shock to the system to be outside.  Our area had ice but it is off the roads now.  The grass was crunchy sounding as I walked out the recycle bin to the curb.  The driveway has no ice now. 

Our oldest grandson turns ten years old today.  We found the Lego shelves of Walmart almost bare.last week,  but at one end of the shelves was this one thing that fit the bill.  They make lego kits that are so themed to movies that most of us will never see. His parents are going to have to add on a room to hold all the Legos.  It seems like AJ was just born a few years ago but now he is a tall fourth grader. 


 Here he is at Christmas time sitting with his almost 4 plus year old sister watching television. He has always been so proud to having a sister.

I almost didn't blog today but I pulled it out one more time.  I did get the stain on my wood wainscoting this morning.  It is all going well but there is so much left to do to finish it all.  I did succeed in using up my pile of wood that was piled in the spare bedroom.  The leftovers can now be moved to the workshop and out of the bedroom.  I see projects to be made from the leftovers.  Lots of things can be made with pine boards.  

Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Progress Report.....








 I can't put the last cover plate on the socket because I lost the screw.  I will have to buy a new socket plate cover which will have a screw included.  This is not done by any means but it has the bulk of the difficult work done.  Three wall sockets along the back wall where only two of them will ever be used. 

I have to do the wainscoting around the corner because the previous owners screwed up the drywall. There is not a square corner even though their door molding was plumb. 

We are getting mist.  We are not cold enough for it to freeze but we will eventually.  All rainstorms stayed south of us and all snow storms stayed north of us.  It is a luxurious wedge of storm neglect.  Thanks for stopping by today. I haven't hit my finger with a hammer once this job. I am putting in screws at the bottom so that cuts the odds to half of a chance.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Tuesday's Things....

 Until it is time to toss them, they will be on display on the basement stairs ledge.  The grandkids did them at Christmas with us and they had done some at home already, so we kept them.  They will disappear on a hot summer day. 

This is a special bookshelf as it was where we kept our home library when I was a kid.  It was a magical space even though we had so few books. The shelf was made by John Horton, a step uncle to my mom.  He was from the era where nothing was thrown away.  The shelf was made out of table leaf boards.  The end pieces are made of three strips cut from the boards.  Power tools did not exist in John's lifetime so he hand sawed the strips of wood.  I can imagine how hard it was to do with a hand saw.  My grandma married into that family and we were close to John and his wife Iva. Southern Iowa memories of living in a drafty cold house in very old house. 

The corner of my basement room has a desk that belongs to my wife's mother.  It hasn't been refinished yet but I can see it happening, once I get all my other projects done. 

Progress includes the idea that I can get things done positive and not get hurt while doing so.  I have to spend a half hour just to cut the holes in the wainscoting to bring the electric plugs up to the surface. It takes a lot of magical measuring and cutting holes through the one inch thick wood, and the hole has to line up correctly.  It is going so slowly as I feel like I am just messing and doing trial and error work to get it done.  I have two more boards to put up and then I get to deal with one last socket. It will be a relief to get that out of the way.  Nine boards are left to be done.  Maybe tomorrow I will get that step done.  And then  I go buy more moldings and baseboard material.  Staining and a finish has to be done too.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Melting Again....


My oldest brother who lives in Arizona sent me a shot of his tomatoes.  This is his garden growing season down there.  He wanted me to see the tarps he had constructed to cover them as they were getting threats of frost.  I am sending him this photo of my tomato plot., all tilled and ready for planting in three months.  We are to get warm enough today for that snow to be almost gone again. 


 When I shot this I could really see how it could be of any spring day. The sun is shinning but there is just a little snow left on the ground.  I think we will get snow again on Wednesday through Thursday.

It isn't the Great Wall of China but is now going up. I started this morning and got half of it done. It is 15 feet long.  The electric plugs take special configurations and a plastic device to help bring the plug out one inch to the surface.  It takes me more time to figure it out and do it than it does toput up six or eight pieces board. 

You can see the next board is overlapping over the socket.  I will have to cut two boards and have them fit together in the process. The one isn't nailed but just a trial fit.  I have to go to Ace to get the adapter rings for the last two.  I shut the electricity off to work on the far end one and didn't think that I was shutting down the internet server.  My wife said to me that she thought the internet was down.  I didn't thimk about it and next time I will warn her before I shut down again. This kind of work requires me to crawl around on the carpet and get up and down a lot.  It is tiring work and I can't do it for long periods of time.  I have the patience any more to just work a little each day. I will have to do the capping of the top the same way as I did in the other room. 

I took this painting down and layed it on the bed while working.  It is hard to photograph as the shine on the glass is always a problem.  I thought I would try it laying down. It is a pastel that I did many years ago of the harbor area in Duluth, Minnesota.  The photo was taken in the evening on the lake shore looking back at the city. 

It has been a good Monday.  Weather wise we take the good ones any time we get them.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sunday's Times.....


 There is no real change in the sunrise of this morning compared to yesterday's  view.  We are warmer from the beginning today and will be melting off snow again today.

The female house finch is a petite compared to a sparrow.  I always have to look close to see what the little bird is. She has shown up for seed this morning.

The male house finch is just a little larger than the female but his red markings does make him easy to identify. They really have not been at the feeder often so I was surprised to even see them out there. 

I went out on the deck this morning for my sunrise photo barefooted.  I had to dodge the ice and snow.  I looked down to see this as I returned so I snapped the shot. We will be melting this off today with the temps up in the 40s. It will be good to see it gone.  We do have snow predicted on Wednesday.  It figures.....its Iowa.   Thanks for checking in today.

Saturday, February 18, 2023


 We had a colorful sunrise in the east.  It is the beginning of a cool morning which will warm up to thawing weather. 

The earth is rebounding back for us as you can see the sun is in the east and I can see it.  The past months it was not seen because of the neighbor's house blocked it. The sun came up but it came up from behind the rooftops.

The snow buildup on this house is now gone.  It was 3° yesterday morning and today we have seen it all melted off the roof.  We haven't lost all our yard snow yet but some of the grass is showing in patches again.  We have cardinals calling now and the house finches are also singing.  The fnch's call sounds similar to a wren but we won't see wrens for another couple of months. 

I bought this house for the guppy tank a few weeks ago.  I had not photographed it yet while in the tank. I really like it. I had read that guppies really do need places to get away to rest.  The foliage does that job but structures also help with that. The tropical water is great for them and they are doing well in there.  I have to do water exchanges often to keep the water in good condition to keep them healthy.  I dip out a tenth of the water and replace it with treated water giving them fresher water and reducing nitrogen in the water.

I am busy rearranging furniture right now but that takn doesn't get to be moved.  It is too much work. I have changed things around with the new wainscoting on the two walls.

I have started work today on the last wall in which l will be adding wainscoting.  The spare bedroom has one wall that will be treated with the wood.  It is the wall that the bed and two nightstands are up against and it will make a great accent wall.  I find that that the carpenters who did that wall did a good job on it with the spacing of studs being evenly placed.  The adjoining right hand walls though were badly done so the corners are not square.  I will have to cover the gaps with  quarter round. 

I really don't know which set of people who owned the place did the work to finish off our basement but some things were just done badly.  If you build all new walls you would think that all of the walls would be upright and squared truly. The house is only 20 years old and again there were three different sets of people who previously owned it. The whole look of the finished basement looks so good but when you work with the walls things were not done well. 

Thanks for checking in this Saturday.