Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Younger Days......

I can remember having more hair, dark hair,  and I stood a lot straighter and taller.  The only child's name in the photo that I actually remember is the Becky Verrips the girl in the background behind my shoulder. I have a good idea as to who the others are but could not give you exact names. They look like they are in the seventh grade and Becky is now out of collage and working downtown Des Moines.  She is planning on being a missionary in Africa for a half of year at the end of next year.

A former fellow staff person brought this picture to me and I must have snapped it while it was laying  on top of another photo.  That is why there is a disoriented look in the background.

As an art teacher I started maintaining aquariums and birds for others and so I looked a lot like a science room than an art room.  The kids liked having them in there and took turns taking care of them.

I don't think I will try to date this but it does have to be at least 10 maybe 15 years ago.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What can I say?????

It is getting close to the decoration explosion that takes place in our house. No family will be home to see it this year so we may have to invite neighbors in for coffee and cookies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Seeing Red Again........

Our son and his wife went crazy night shopping and brought us a free poinsettia from Menards.  They didn't buy anything but did get us a free wreath too.  They said it was very crowded and not a pleasant experience. The crowds with long lines were too much for them and they just left with their free items.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Quilt Landscape.............

While packing this quilt up to give it away I took a last close up shot of the work.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday's still life.......

This was a glass arrangement that was being readied to be put away in the cupboard. I snapped it just before it was dismantled.

Sky country.......

The gazing ball reflects different colors from that which are actually there.  You know I keep taking them of this guy who forever shoots the gazing ball.  It is on it's way to the basement today as it is cold and windy today.  We had a light rain over the night time.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Concrete Swan

It seems to be floating in the lake of leaves as the dead stems and low light gives it a mysterious effect.

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your families.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday's old things.........

One of my older photos that I haven't shared is my still life of old jars.  I see I have one of those rubber seal rings balanced on the lid of the one lead zinc lids.  With winter coming and one property off my list of responsibility I maybe can start messing with my old things collections.  Maybe I can even toss some of them and high grade the collections to keeping only the good stuff

When I say lead zinc lids I remember that they have a ceramic interior on the inside of the lid so it doesn't contaminate or react to the food.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can you see me now?

Let's go hunting!!!  I snapped this photo last spring while I was over visiting Mr. Randall.  He wanted me to frame something for him and also to see his peach tree blossoms.  He has many projects going on  all of the time and this one is a different kind of thing.  I don't know if he created it for someone specific or if he just did it for his grandsons.  I like the elaborate set of stairs for an outdoor blind.

I don't know if you remember my past blog but the guy had himself penned in with the wood that he was gluing together and I had to move some major stuff to get him out of his work station.  He was totally blocked in the shop with boards, tables and saws all around him.  It was not a good thing for a guy who shuffles when he walks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An indoor Spring........

I rescued this geranium from the neighbor's compost pile and it is rewarding me for the save.  It actually does seem like a Spring bloom in my dining room window as it enjoys the violet potting soil that I used for it's root system.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The remaining leaves......

A decorative pear tree and a chokecherry tree continue to have leaf beauties falling from them.  I was doing yard work and couldn't keep from picking up these colorful beauties.  When it is so brown and gray out there the bright colors are a welcomed sight.


It has been the season of life for my wife and I to have been involved with disposing of our parents homes.  My parents home has involved a three year adventure of removing the things that three people could accumulate in one dwelling and one garage for over thirty years.  It then was the journey of getting the house into shape for it's sale.  The house my Dad built back in 1978 now has a new owner as of noon on Friday.

In October my wife's parents and grandparents house, shown above, was demolished and sent to the landfill.  The above house had it's cement fiber shingles removed and the house was then crushed.  Truck loads of debris were removed and the metal appliances were sorted for recycle.

In less than a month's period my wife and I have seen these major changes take place.  One would never believe that it would have happened within a four week period for the both of us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another late day posting........

My one burning bush has shown pinkish colored leaves every year for quite some time.  I think that because it is growing close to my burn pile if affects the color of the leaves it puts out.  The ash from the burn pile must wash down into the root system and cause the leaves to be a lighter red than my other two bushes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Only a membory........or memory

I finally was able to address the leaf problem in my yard yesterday afternoon.  I mowed with my mulching mower and they all turned to powder.  I was so late getting to them that they were really in perfect condition for shredding.

I still need to pull my zinnias and that will happen this weekend.

When I blog at school during a break I use a laptop that has a small screen.  So when I type a heading and have a stray b in my word memory, I just don't see it.  It has been posted misspelled most of the day.  I will correct it and leave it for everyone to see.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Corn crib wood repurposed.......

The Town Craft building, Perry, Iowa

Before the era of very expensive combines that picked and shelled the corn right in the field we had corn pickers.  My dad had a two row corn picker and he would have a wagon follow the picker, it was attached to the tractor, and it would collect the days harvest via an elevator type chute that sent it up and dropped it into the wagen.  Back then the corn was brought in on the cob and stored in corn cribs that had spaces between the boards to allow the air into the storage area.  That allowed the corn to continue to dry out and not mold while it was in storage. 

The ISU students found a source for these boards and created a wall with them as a replacement for a partition wall in the room. They also made shutters the same way for the south windows that glided on a rail to allow them to be opened or shut.  The boards had been sent through a table saw to get them back to perfect widths and then they nailed them on evenly.

We were able to take down a display of student's work and use the same nails to hang our work, without adding a single new nail hole blemish.  If you look closely they left a part of a license plate on the boards.  They were used to cover knot holes or areas where rodents had chewed opening for entrance to the corn crib.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's an off day for me......

No, everything is ok.  I just have the need to be off theme today.  I am sort of on theme as I sat bored for a while at the art show and I ate a banana.  It looked like a perfect pose for the banana so I snapped a picture. Good composition sometimes comes naturally and especially at unplanned moments.  Even a reclining peeled banana can have artistic merit. Have a good day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reflection time......

Works of art that were ready to be packed for the show lay on the dining room table in the bright light.  The dining room window always gives me a great place to take photos even though I need to adjust my shots for such a bright light source.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Art on the Praiirie" Showtime........

This is our home away from home through Sunday in Perry, Iowa.  We will be returning home on late Sunday afternoon with all the leftovers.  It has been a good experience so far.

Friday, November 11, 2011


It was a 12 hour day on Thursday and of course I didn't blog.  It happens and I noticed the world didn't stop turning.  My wife and I spent the day getting final things ready for a two day art show and spent the evening setting it up for a pre-showing on Friday evening before the Saturday and Sunday times.

It is in an old remodeled building, a project of the Iowa State University architecture students. I should have plenty of photos from the next two days as well as I already have work photos from yesterday.  No time to download and edit them last night as we were both dead from work of the day.  We stopped at Burger King last night at 7:30 to have lunch and supper and I don't remember the rest of the evening.

As you can see I am clinging to my coffee cup to make it through my day today back at school. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday'a flash.......

The green and the red remind me of Christmas.  We had lots of rain and then a slight covering of snow last night.  Some places south of us had 4 inches of snow but we were on the edge of storm.  There were chool delays south and east of us.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Violets are so great as you can ignore them and it makes them bloom.  I had not watered them for a couple of weeks or more and they thought they were experiencing a drought.  Once watered they give me this kind of response.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two heads are better than one.........

Doll heads that I rescued from the attic floor of the farmhouse that was recently demolished. They are in bad condition but both have mechanical devices to make the eyes move up and down when they are either laid down horizontally or a bottle is put into the mouth of the one on the left.

My wife says they were her older sisters dolls so that makes them at least 60 years old.  I will try to clean them up later in life but for now they didn't go to the landfill. They do make a surreal sort of photo as the heads stare off in different directions.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday's Single Bloom.....

My new geranium start that I rescued from the neighbor's garbage pile is budding nicely and blooming now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


It was a very windy day and the leaves just keep falling to the ground.  It was a busy day and maybe soon I can devote more time in reading other blogs and finding so new things to shoot.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday's Making of Hay.......

The barn loft was filled by pulling hay up by a pulley and pulling it into the mow.  I worked for a farmer, as a kid, when he would set the knives into hay down below and when the rope was pulled on at the other end, it would raise the hay up to the peak.

When the hay hit the top peak, the hay would be pulled inside on the rail.  The hay traveled across the rail and the knives would then release the load once it reached about ten feet inside the barn.  I don't know what gadget caused the knives to be tripped to drop it but it worked the same way each time.  One who is in the mow would hear the farmer yell when he was sending up the load and you had better be out of the way when that batch was dropped.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recycled cycles.....

My father in law bought used bikes at the auction for another guy who would refurbish them and maybe sell or give them away to those in need.  This batch never made it to that guy so 15 years later we found another man who also recycles them. I think  that parts is all he will get from these as they sat out in in the meadow for a long time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Farmer's Insulator.........

The white insulator attached to the pole is ceramic and usually is used to support wires for an electric fence. A frequent jolt of charge would scare the animal back and they would respect the wire even when it wasn't actually working.  It was a quick solution for my dad to install an electric wire for a fence that was being ineffective to keep the cattle from getting into the corn field.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The short handled story.......

When I was closing down the last of my parents home I had used this rake for various jobs to help keep the yard cleaned up from debris, so I threw it into the back of my car.  I brought it home thinking I could put a longer handle on it, but it has been useful with a short handle. It fits in the car trunk easily.

I have used it on the farm and here at home frequently.  Then down at the farm, my brother in law gave me his dad's short handled sand spade to go along with my rake.  The rake will go with us to the landfill today after school. They are a nice pair of tools.