Thursday, February 29, 2024

Thursday's Things.....


At our old house where we had lived for 30 years, we had an art gallery.  We built a new addition to the house during our second year of marriage. The big room became an art gallery for two artists and studio space also.  Once the gallery opened we had people who wanted us to frame things for them.  We found a company to order frames and our framing business was open. Every Saturday we ran a business out of our house and week days we were having people dropping by with appointment. It was nice to  move away from that after so many years of that.

When we moved to our newer home we thought we wouldn't have a display area ever again.  Once we moved in we discovered in our lower area two lighted walls in a space that had been intended for a television room. Instead of putting couches up against those walls I instead started hanging art work.  It was a big space but I still didn't get everything hung.  Some things are still in a closet. 


My early modern works are not  hanging with the group.  I painted this in 1972 for an painting class I was in at Iowa State University.  The stairs are actually not these colors but are made of cast concrete.  It is the C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.  The stairs take people up to the main entrance of the building.  I have always liked the painting as I chose to pick analogous colors to make it be a modern work.

This is a borrowed photo from ISU of C.Y. Stephens.  It is a beautiful place inside. You can see the stairways that go up to the entrance of the building.  I photographed it at all angles while it was being built as a college student and then created the painting from my black and white photo. The area was developed into a new football stadium to the south and a basketball gym about the same size as this building. Also a dramatic arts building is there.  Now in development is a shopping center being built to interest sports people with it being the first in the nation to be created. 

I picked up groceries this morning and the weather was better than yesterday.  We actually hit 9°F yesterday and today we are up to 53° F.  It was a good day to shop even though our wind is still pretty wild.  It is Thursday and I am ready to rest for the afternoon.  Friday is coming and I will be glad in that. Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Middle of the Week,,,,,Cold!

 My pottery vase of pussy willows didn't have to wake up to 14°F. outside.  They are too early but the are tough and will survive our cold temps.

My cockatiels were napping when I was hanging around with my camera. They tolerate the camera now and don't get spooked when I aim at them. 

The brother is giving me the eye but is really wanting to stay in his nap time. These two birds were hatched in one of my cages years ago.  I had read how to put in a nesting box on a cage and their parents instantly put out two new birds.  I didn't take the nest down and they again withing a month had three more hatch.  In time I gave away a pair of the seven. In time I lost the parents and these brothers had a sister that fell and broke her wing causing her to die.  I read that they can live to be 15 years old up to 25 years old.  I bought them a large cage when I moved to the new house and they enjoy flying and walking around on the bottom of the cage. 

The outdoor birds are really hungry with the cold weather.  We were at 74°F. yesterday and dropped to 14°F. last night.  We will be up to 31°F. today and then we warm up again tomorrow. I guess I will just always carry a coat and decide if I need it once I get out there.  

 The willow tree is about three houses up from us.  We don't see it normally from the house as it is blocked by the neighbor's sunroom.  I like to take shots of it when I am in the back yard,  I have lots of memories of this kind of tree from people who had them on their farms when I was a kid.  Every owner would have a story as to how they took a stick from a tree and put it into the ground to get a tree.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Today's Clouds......


I don't know anything about cloud identifications. I do know that our weather is causing these formations.  We are in the middle of being above temperatures to dropping to normal cold temperatures. We will drop fast tonight and tomorrow will be cold.  The southern wind of course was very warm and we made it up to 74°F. and we only dropped to 46°F in the night.  I refused to turn on the air to cool the house down for sleeping but I should have.  It took most of the night to get the house cooled down to 70°F. inside..


 The warmer weather has caused my tulips to grow taller. These are the brand new bulbs I put it last late summer. 

Daffodils are also up already pushing some of the leaves away.  I usually don't clear off the leaves this time of the year and will just have to be more careful to get them off the beds with full blown foliage. 

Yesterday's evidence of rose bush trimming is in this bucket. I had about five buckets full in total with the front yard roses included.  The weather was strange and I had lots of roses still blooming on them late so I trimmed the dead flowers off already late fall. I have four that I didn't work on and I don't think I will have to deal with them.

I notice yesterday that the pussy willow branches have developed already.  I clipped some this morning and potted them already. 

Some blogger friends were wondering why I have such long stairs.  The front yard and the back yard are a full story difference in height. The fifteen steps to the deck are needed while the inside basement stairs are only twelve in number. I can't figure out the side outside stairs as they are a little deeper than the others. I think the wood stairs have eleven steps. I do think I live in a two story house even though from the front it is a one story ranch. 

My wildlife camera is intended for birds.  My phone is connected to it so my phone does put out a soft tone often all day.  It it catches any movement it turns on and captures things.  At first the grill tarp was blowing in the wind and I had to tie it down so the camera wasn't video taping it. I had to move a wind chimes over and out of the range of the camera.  I am really having fun with it but still don't have all the apps installed that would help me with more features from the camera. 

Warm day, cold day and we are getting use to it a bit.  Tomorrow we will be chattering our teeth and stay inside. Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Monday's Things.....



 The full moon looks pretty much the same each time I  photograph it. The difference is the temperautes you have to endure in the colder times of the yeat.  I keep shooting for that one perfect shot. I am still seeking it. 

The tulips are up in February.  The warm and then cold snaps  don't seem to hurt them. From my life's experience the only thing that will hurt an early start is a freezing rain with ice which will take the foliage down. I am excited to see the newly fall planted tulips coming up. It is a new garden space that I created and I hope to see the blooms in late March. 

My plan was to start to slow down my flower gardens because of age and health but I guess I can't just stop. The new tulips also have grape hyacinths growing among them. 

We are to get up to 74°F. today.  It will drop down to 40°F. tonight. We are then going to stay at normal cool temperatures again. The tulips will maybe take a break from sprouting up any more.  I need to trim back my roses in the front of the house and when it gets warmer this morning I will get to it.  It will be strange to be gardening this time of the year. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sunrise Sunday....

 Our sunrise was at 6:54 am and it set at 6:00 pm.  I like the longer days as the earth keeps tilting back.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Going Down....and Up Too.

 As I was out checking on the property I took so candid shots. It so great to see it with the snow all gone.

Fifteen steps to the deck. The carpenter who built this would say he had to do 15 to get things up and down.  It is a fun way to get down but not so fun going up. 

the red twig dogwood is really red at this time of the year.  I trimmed it down a bit during the summer as it is getting overgrown. 

We are budding early this winter.  I know from experience that snow doesn't bother early buds an ice storm does damage. It was good to get outside and see what the winds and snow storms did to things during the winter.  I did find this hydrangea head that had blown up against the fence.  I don't think it came from my plant as it was large like the neighbor's up the street.  I told the new neighbor that you have to get use to thing blowing down the street. I picked up a plastic bag that once held crisp chocolate cookies. I am betting that came from the neighbors up the street that have five kids. 

I talked with my brother today who lives in California.  He turned 81 today.  He was out checking for rattlesnakes in his garden when I first tried to call him. His dog had a snake bite in the summer and they had to give him a shot to bring him back. My  brother has cleared the flower bed of brush and still checks it everyday before he lets his dogs out into the back yard. His house sits on a hill that is undeveloped that attached to a major freeway at the bottom of the hill.  The land is sandy dry with lots of natural shrub on its slope.  It makes for good rattlesnake dens. 

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Friday's a Fix.....

 The oxalis sits in the sliding glass window downstairs.  It longs to be outside but ir really doesn't know that it is freezing outh there on certain days. I have to work at it to get it to be blooming in March. I have two smaller pots of these and I think I need repotting them with fresh soil. 

Our oldest grandson turned eleven years ago. AJ is growing so big for a fifth grader. He loves to learn, is in Boy Scouts, and plays his dad silver trumpet at school.  I remember the day he was born as we got an email about it from our son from the hospital. It was a surprise to have it just pop up in my email. They are in the Chicago area so we wouldn't know much of what was going on up to that point. 

I haven't filled the feeders for days and they are finally getting the loose seed cleaned up. I may venture out and fill my camera watching feeder first.  I did see a cardinal yesterday while I was downstairs.  I came up special to catch him at the feeder and he did not come. Such is the life as a passive birdwatcher. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Toy Cupboard of Old.....

 My collection of old toys include my farm animals. I was a farm boy and I got a barn and animals for a Christmas present in 1954.  I played farm by making pens for my animals and driving my tractor around in and through my barn  My car collection isn't 70 years old like my farm animals are but it was an ongoing collection from twenty years or more ago.  My wife would buy me one each Christmas and I would pick up a few, like the Cadillacs from car shops. 

 Many of them have been lost through the years. I had brown cows and baby calves.  I had brown horses and hens and tiny little chicks. I do remember a pig or two was in the collection.  With flimsy cardboard boxes and many grandchildren dumping them out on the floor I am sure they just go lost and tossed. 

I have three of these cactus and one seems to be in bud and bloom whenever in the season. This one surprised be and I brought it upstairs after seeing all the blooms in my downstairs collection.  I keep some plants downstairs in a bunch that are reviving or are dormant. 


 I did get my large tank set up again today.  The angel fish are adjusting to all the space again as they find places to pause.  They were in a small tank with guppies and I see they were chewing on their tailfins.  The tailfins will grow back now they are back into open areas. 

 The photo is out of sequence but this was a snap I toke to share with my brother to show I was working. Water is fresh and Inow have put all the plants and sunken ships back into the water. 

We are having another warm day today. I hear that a cold spell from hell will be coming soon, talking -4°F. but for now we are expecting to be at 62°F. by the afternoon.  Everchanging temps is getting to be normal.  Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Warm Weather...

 It is warm enough that the birds can find food out there on their own.  But feeders are still an attraction.  I have stopped feed so they can clean up all the see spilled out on the deck and on the ground.  I spent my day cleaning up my large aquarium tank.  It takes a couple days to do so as the fish have to be moved to a temporary tank and water has to be changed.  I saved all my old water to use for watering plants.  Tomorrow I will start the process of moving the fish back to the big tank. The water has to sit a day to get the chlorine to be gone. I also have a starter chemical to put into it to make the water ready for their new home of water.  

Blogged late tonight as it just happened that way. Busy day and  I just didn't get to it. Thanks....for checking in.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Melting Snow....

 We were up to 60° F. today. I am going to assume that snow will go away quickly.  It felt like a spring day even though I know February through March could be some of our snowiest times. 


 This snow is in the shade of the house for most of the day so it may not be gone by tomorrow.  I wore a long sleeved shirt to go to get the mail and it was good enough.



My wood scrap pile has been replenished.  I still have some boards attached there that need to be taken apart. 

I saved every nail bent, crooked or straight.  One never know when you will need a nail or two for fastening a project of wood together. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Monday Today....

 An early morning shot with the trails from different jets in view. The sun keeps moving to the left in my scene as the earth tilts back. The sun will be behind thos etrees in a week.

Usually I take my shots of the sunrise by going out on the deck. I was barefoot and no shoes this morning so I just leaned my camera out as far as I could reach and took a blind shot. We got up to 54°F. this afternoon so all the snow is just a puddle of water. 

I have been seeing  more house finches recently. They were scampering to find fallen seed among the snow making wonderful patterns in the snow.

I worked outside this morning as it was warmer.  I had a wooden creation to tear apart.  I made a long wooden tray that held siding boards while I cut them to length.  It was eight foot long and the saw sat in the middle of it.  I could lay a long board on it and both ends would be held in place as I cut boards.  Now that I live in a new house and I don't have any projects like that with long boards, I just tore it all apart.  It was leaning against the wall in the garage taking up space and threatened to fall on me once in a while. Tearing things apart piece by piece can be very satisfying.  I will recycle all of the parts except for some brace parts that I walked to the trash bin.  It is nice to have more space in my garage.  

Thanks for checking in today.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Winter, Winter, you Sting....

 The snow ob the ground makes it feel cold.  It's 37° F. and the breeze is cold. We made it out to church and are back home staying warm. The birds are busy eating at the feeders and the sun is shining. Winter in Iowa is as it is.  Thanks for checking in today.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

A Fish Story.....


My Siamese fighting fish likes to play hide and seek. I can start to fede the community tank of guppies and this one fish.  He won't be visible and I figure he must have died. I turn and look elsewhere and look back to see him feeding.  They tend to find pockets in foliage or around the filtering system and one can't see him. 

This particular fish doesn't seem to want to eat the baby guppies. I guess if I keep him filled with blood worms and dry fish food he won't devour them.  There are a couple of female guppies in there with him and the baby guppies keep being birthed. I might also mention that the colors that most people like to  buy are the bright red or bright blue males.  I was  especially impressed with all of its fins and it is a nice gray blue color. 

Plastic or the real thing, can you tell which is which? I bought the plant a year or so ago and it is doing well in my tans. When I moved it next to the brighter green one I realized that the plastic one was made to resemble the real plant. 

We got up in the morning to 9° F   It is cold but the sun makes it more tolerable. We were out in it this morning for pancakes and  we got along fine. We are up to 16° F. now.  It is Saturday and I am just hanging around today.  I need to get some projects going but that isn't happening.  Maybe Monday I can decide on the next project.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, February 16, 2024



The snow shoes are old sneakers. The venture to the outside gets my hems of my jeans soaked with snow.  It still gave me a good time finding new things to photograph. My snow boots are upstairs in a closet so I can't complain. 

My geese have snow on their backs showing how much snow accumulated.  It is cheap sculptures in the yard so to speak and I enjoy seeing them out there. 




My forest of trees are enhanced by the snow fall.  I did have to shovel snow off the sidewalks this morning but we are warm enough with our ground temperatures that a lot of this is going to melt by late afternoon.

It is Friday and I really don't have a major project going on.  I am preparing my extra fish tank with fresh water so I can start the tank cleaning process.  I will move all the fish out of one of the tanks and then give it a full cleaning, no soap of course. The exercise of shoveling sidewalks is a good reason for me to rest for a while.  Thanks for checking in today.

Hey, check out my wife's newest art work on her blog.  Just click on the photo of the horse on the side column and you can see it.