Tuesday, December 31, 2013
My wife's angel doll moves its head back and forth. That makes it more difficult to take. I just now realized that we didn't mount the wings on its back. They must still be in the box. The doll is holding a glowing star, lighted inside, to add a great light source for her face.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Saturday, December 28, 2013
He is a sweetheart that is growing up so quickly. AJ is 10 months old now and has change a lot since we last visited him. He lives too far away and he will be growing and changing so quickly the next few years. He is a young man with such an expressive face. He has 8 teeth already and is a big guy for his age.
We had Christmas with our son Andy and his wife Patricia on Friday in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Patricia cooked such a wonderful meal and we spent time getting to know our little guy. He had been sick with an ear infection but is now on medications which made him feel better for our visit. We still exchange gifts with or sons and their wives so it was a fun time opening presents and watching AJ really enjoy all of the paper and boxes. Our youngest son lives in Maine so it is impossible for he and his wife to be around at Christmas time. Apple pie and ice cream with great coffee finished off the day before we faced the Chicago traffic maze to come home.
I have many photos but will show good examples as the weeks go by, trying not to overwhelm the readers of this post.
Friday, December 27, 2013
I purchased a couple sets of these bubble lights a few years ago. I vaguely remember them from older days as we had one strand of them when I was a kid and the thin material wrapped around the wires made them very dangerous. I always share the story of seeing these on a tree at the country school near our farm home that dad and mom rented. My three older brothers attended there and we went for a Christmas party and I suppose a program. I wasn't very old, maybe going on 4 years old, and to keep that memory seems strange but I did.
I think I can pull down only two memories from the school even though our school bus passed buy it everyday when I was older and attending the town school. The other memory is of sitting on a runner board of a car and running up and down in the ditch. I do remember that they had something inside the glass vacuum tubes of filled with something like little rocks which would cause the lights to have a pinging sound as the water bubbled. Someday I hope to find more sets on sale at retail again. I have not seen them for sale for a long time. I have seen the ancient strands for sale on the internet.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Look what showed up at our feeder on Monday. I have not seen one of these for years. I knew they were probably out there but they don't show up in town.
I definitely can see that the the downey woodpecker is much smaller than this guy. I had heard a woodpecker working out in my silver maple tree on Sunday. The pecking was loud and I thought then that it surely wasn't a downey woodpecker. It was too loud for that small of bird, but I just let it go. I was glad to see him grab a chunk of suet from the cake and fly off into a tree.
Monday, December 23, 2013
On my oat strouter I placed this smaller tree. It is the last one to be put up. I have all the smaller glass blown ornaments on this tree. It was put up in a hurry and needs to have a few ornaments shifted. There is presently no time for that. I am posting this blog at 7:00 pm as I just now have been able to set down. It has been a busy day. I have some more photos to share of the trains but not this time.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
I am sharing a photo of an angel from my wife's tree. I had never noticed before that the angel has windswept hair. It goes with the design of the flowing garments. It is a snow day here and we are in for the day. I will be trudging out later today as there are some great shots to take of the things covered with snow. I am finding myself shoveling snow and the last of the leaves off of the back patio. The snow is allowing me to get both things cleared off now and saving time too, I think.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Is that a partridge in a pear tree? No it is a partridge in a plastic green fake evergreen tree. I finished up my tree that holds my larger glass blown ornaments. The job was a hurried up job so I will readjust some of the ornaments later. The red cardinal it the calling bird in my Twelve Days of Christmas from my previous blog. It is confusing to see all the ornaments and they have foreign interpretations in their designs. Most of that set I have figured out but I had to own it for a while to figure out drummers and soldiers.
Please do not open any mail from Larry. Just delete it. Apparently through blogspot or yahoo, I received a minor virus that is sending out advertisments to make you look thinner. I think you all look great. I get renegade posts in my blogger readers list and I don't open them but anyone who has emailed me from blogger will get a letter from Larry. If you open it you will be possibly sending it to all your friends too. It is a stupid business that does this.
I don't have a lot of people who email me from blogspot, so it will not be too many of you
I changed all of my passwords on google and on yahoo.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
They still are not hung on the tree. It is slow going with being so busy with life. I thought if you were wanting to pick your brain you could sing the song to yourself. The birds are tough because you have to figure out which was is the partridge and which was is a calling bird. We are seven days away from the day so good luck.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
An archived photo of a depression ware glass dish and one of my train ornaments. Two more trees were assembled last night but the ornaments are not on the trees. The teddy bears go onto a tree very quickly. The glass blown ornaments will take a while to get them hung. It is a two day project considering my time schedule.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This was a gift from a blog friend. I received it a couple of years back from a blogger from Indiana. She and her husband dropped out of blogland but I will always remember them through this novel glass blown ornament. My wife hung the ornament on the tree Sunday and she thought it seemed a little bit slimy.
Monday, December 16, 2013
We succeeded in getting the large tree decorated on Sunday afternoon. If you can see that the tree sparkles it is because I used a new setting on the camera, not knowing what I was doing. It apparently took various shots and it makes it look like it is moving or at least twinkling. I am not sure which setting that it was but my wife thinks it was the movie setting. I will play with it some more later and see if I can share how it works.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
A still life of my older things is shown today. I snapped this a few years back with my old point and shoot. Old things are not useful but yet they give good memories. If not good memories, one can imagine their use in the days gone by. The front metal piece with a lid is an inkwell that was to fit into the wooden school desks. There is a glass liner piece in which ink could be placed. Anyone who sat at those wooden desks spent hours running a pencil around that empty hole as many students had done before them. I found a set of six of these inkwells still packed in a thin wooden box, packet with large sawdust material. Some of the glass liners were broken but a couple were still unbroken.
I don't really remember this ink jar as it looks like it had a stopper and not a screw top lid. It was found in an auction box at an old farmstead. I remember seeing feather pens sticking out of jars like this but I bet this was for a fountain pen. Ball point pens were invented when I was young but my dad used a fountain pen to label the back of his pictures when sending them home while being in the second war.
Sleigh bells are brass but the one bell in front is a small one from a toy or a decoration. It is made from a thin metal which we automatically call tin. It may not be tin but it is a thin cheap metal. The tractor comes from the John and Iva connection, found in their toy bucket that sat in a dark place next to their refrigerator. Their converted wood stove sat opposite the refrigerator.
Friday, December 13, 2013
I did find my brass sleigh bells in the store room. I had them in a wooden box, just like I had remembered. I guess I have been taking short cuts when I put things away and the places I put them are thought to be temporary until I find a better permanent place. I do know where the box with the train set is this year. I didn't put it far away so it would not be lost like last year.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
An informal look at a part of the wreath. I am amazed at how great the manufacturers are able to create such real looking fruit. That would have been handy back when I was an art teacher as the kids couldn't steal and eat your apples and pears. I do remember as a kid when the first artificial grapes were sold for my aunt to put into her basket woven cornucopia. Then they were solid rubber and all the kids had to squeeze them to see if they truly were artificial grapes.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I don't plan these things but yesterday I had a whole hidden landscape revealed behind my center of interest in the foreground. Today I have a surprise still life reflection in the glass of the front door. The wreath is in low light but it does make it have a great look. The overhead light gives the bow a spotlight but the rest of it in low light helping to defuse the look of the artificial flowers. I really do like this piece as it was a pine cone wreath now with the added decoration of wide ribbon and flowers.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I repaired the feed tray last week and I did finally get it hung in the birch tree. The goal is to be able to see it through our baywindow in the living room while sitting on the couch. How good would that be! So far I haven't been home in the day to see if there are any takers for the seed. I hung it in such a way that the squirrels will have to dangle down to get to it. I don't mind that as long as I get to see the antics that they are pulling. I am sure Barney would like to bark at them once the squirrels find it. In late afternoon I have seen no one there but the snow below it is full of bird prints so they are eating at it. I bet the snow isn't sitting on top of the seed anymore. I did put strong connecters on the tray so the squirrels won't break off the base.
As a photo I like being able to see limbs in the foreground, the feeder somewhat focused and the maple tree behind. At the final background it shows the neighbor's car and garage but blurred enough to make it into a color background not a specific shape background. It is an accidental shot as I just got into the window and clicked the button. The goal is to take a picture with a bird feeding at the feeder.
Monday, December 9, 2013
There is a snow scene behind the flowers but I decided to post on the positive and not the negative today. The begonia likes the sill here near my computer desk as it is not too warm from the furnace and it gets good light most of the day. They are not outstanding blooms for a flower but the color can cheer you when it is -4 degrees F. outside. We are to warm up to 11 degrees F. today. Once it gets that cold there is no describing any difference from a warmer cold and a colder cold. One's skin just plain stings with pain as you walk out in it.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
I am digging through my toy cupboard and found this one single bell. We had just watched the movie The Polar Express and the bell was a part of the ending of the story. I for some reason have a box full of these bells that are lost. I know they are in an old child's coloring box but I am frustrated that they were not in the cupboard with this lone one. In The Polar Express story, only children hear the bells ringing and adults don't hear them ringing because they don't believe in Santa. I keep believing because I want to keep hearing those bells.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
In many ways the creche, the manger scene, has been created. Plastic, wood, ceramic and cloth figures are put together to recreate the scene. More times than not because of commercial reasons that it sold but at least we still have the freedom to buy or view the manger scene. I appreciate that we do try for the one reason to recreate a very special event in this worlds history. As our world is changing and as good now is bad, and bad is good, I hope that it can be turned around. Evil wins in disguise but we do know the Truth. We must not ever accept evil under the disguise of tolerance and we as a country must correct the mistakes that are all around us.
Friday, December 6, 2013
My riverbirch displays the starkness that comes with cold. I notice the outside temperatures were dropping more during breakfast. The lowest temp we had before I went to school we a -1 degrees F. (-18 C) I think it should warm up from there to 20 degrees F. (-6 degrees C.). The faint green of the grass in the background should be history quite soon.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
During the whole summer the blue gate had given me grief. You can kind of see that it is crooked in the opening. The bottom of the gate would drag and I couldn't easily open it. The last warmest evening that we had, which was two days ago, I declared it to be "fix the darn gate now" day! It was a post problem that was not standing straight. The fence was being stressed by the weight of the gate on the post so the fence allowed the gate post to pull away from it. The nails were a fourth of the way out of position. It wasn't a hard fix but I did have to remove six or seven nails and straighten the gate.
I placed a three inch piece of wood under the gate so it would hang straight again. I then renailed the fence to the post making the post stand straight in position. Too many words, I know, but I guess I needed to revue the process for myself. Now when it snows it will be easier to open it unless there is a four or five inch snowfall.
The photo is archived from my spring files when the clematis was blooming. I have saved seed from the plant hoping to plant it to see if I could get some starts from them.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A year ago Tiny Tim was just four or five months old. Now that he has grown bigger he has almost lost the tiny part of his name. He is filled out and still comes over to get extra food when they let him out of the house. This was last year's photo when he had not become tame and was hiding in a bush, peaking out at me. He was so slim and small we thought he was a female, but he is not a female cat.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Last night's weather showed a pattern of snow that stretched from Duluth, Minnesota to out to the Dakotas and beyond. Grand Marais is on the top northeastern end of the North Shore of Minnesota and I bet they were having snow also. We are being told that it will be heading our way soon along with very cold air.
Monday, December 2, 2013
An archived photo from the poinsettia of the past. I find it strange that I was off for 9 straight days and didn't get any photos taken other than bird pictues. We usually don't buy a plant like this as they warn you about the dogs getting sick if they ate a leaf from it. Our dogs don't eat plants other than grass out in the yard but we just don't buy them anymore. This one was a gift from our oldest son and his wife.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
The only woodpecker at my feeder so far is this little guy. I can't tell if it is a downy woodpecker or a hairy woodpecker.
I have a birdbook that was my parents book that I don't think I can trust. It is an older book and the birds are hand illustrated. By the book that I have this bird would be a hairy woodpecker because of the larger white area on its back. The downy illustration doesn't show that much white but that could be artist error. I did look on the internet for pictures and I still can see the difference. It is a downy. The hairy woodpecker has more of a body shape like the red headed woodpecker
The book I see was published first in 1983 and it doesn't include the Eurasian ringneck morning dove. Those doves moved into the country the past 15 years. The couple who made the book created a nice book but it isn't written with great technical information. The above, I now declare, is a downy woodpecker. The suet should draw more birds eventually but we are going to warm up for a few days. The snow cover may be decreased a lot in the next couple of days. It takes heavy snow to make the birds come in from out in the timbers surrounding the town.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. It is a special day to take time to be grateful. My wife and I became grandparents for the first time this year and AJ is such a special little guy. I am grateful that there are so many in blogland that are there to support and to listen to each other. Life has so many ups and down but the blogspot people have an extra group to lean on and to support. I think we are all grateful for that.
My wife and I will share a meal at a Machine Shed where they feed people for donations. It is a Thanksgiving meal and the donations will go toward the Wildrose camp. The place helps young people year round to reclaim their lives from their troubles. We will be joined with my wife's brother and his wife.
I wish to all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is special with you large families and your small families too. Whoever you have to share the day with, I hope we all will be grateful for God's blessings on us.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I found another marble out there in the world. I don't really remember where I was but it was laying on the floor waiting for me to pick it up. I wanted to quickly photograph it and on my desk at the time was this artwork by Vernita Bridges. She is a friend of Della's and I had purchased the work from her off of ebay. I usually lean the rooster up against the wall by my desk but it was laying flat right now for some reason. I believe my meager marble collection has grown by three this year. I believe the rooster was drawn in response to a national election a few years back.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
We rarely saw our cardinal pair all summer but in the past few weeks we have seen the male. I haven't been keeping much in the feeders most of the summer. I throw or recycle the leftovers from the cockatiel seed feeders. Rather than throw away the leftover seed in their trays, we toss it into containers so the outside birds can dig for some of the leftovers. The inside birds really don't like the little colored bits of fruit that comes in the seed. Also the cockatiels don't always catch all the sunflower seeds that are in there. The finches will dig through their seed to find food but cockatiels like to only eat off the first layer. They only dig if they are really hungry.
I have seen better poses of this guy at the feeder but today he just wants to sit in the sun side of the feeder. I think it was too cold for them to eat this morning but as the sun started shining brightly the juncos and sparrows started hitting the snow below the feeder. I said cold but I couldn't believe that we were 8 degrees F. this morning. That is a -14 degrees C. for the rest of the world. It is to warm up to 15 or 21 today but will cool down to 10 degrees for the Iowa State football game this evening. Ames is about 30 minutes driving time from here. It is said that it will be the coldest that they have ever played at ISU. We are not going outside today.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The newer pattern of camouflage on clothing is causing a rage of new purchases. Everyone needs to have the newer camouflage on all of their articles of clothing, even down to their underwear. I don't hunt nor wear camouflage. Even when it was the army camouflage that was the base design for the items I never liked it. Now with the new pattern that is out there, those who created it are causing everyone to buy coolers, pens and pencils, handkerchiefs and coffee cups...... whatever that can take a decoration.
I thought of camouflage when I first viewed the above scene. When it downloaded from the camera I thought I had taken the photo at the wrong angle as it wasn't that visible in the smaller size. There are two logs in the photo. The log in the back is a chunk of silver maple tree that keeps falling down from dead parts of the tree. Strong winds does help to trim out weak branches and they also take out the loosened dead pieces.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Of all the fish that spent part of their summer in the pool only one survived the incident of the hungry raccoons. My one surviving fish lives with new fish at the high school science. The sky reflects a great blue and the ash tree reflects its in the water. My hand made wooden pump keeps its weathered look as it will be facing the next season to come The dappled colors of rust of the leaves from above makes it look like a great impressionistic painting.
Monday, November 18, 2013
I do know that the painting Blue Boy was a painting of a young man in silk shirt and trousers. This sculpture is a country boy. This guy does lean forward so I didn't take a crooked photo. If I ever get my health back I am going to go out and cut back the red twig dogwood. It is so out of control that I didn't see this sculpture all summer. That is a strainer that was from a milk separator from years gone by that he sits in on the dirt.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
I have heard from others that female squirrels make these things. They remind one of nests but I am not sure that a squirrel really could get inside of one of these.
Gray squirrels are tree-dwelling members of the rodent family of mammals. Both Eastern and Western gray squirrels build nests for sleeping. Adults may rotate between as many as three nests, depending on the population density where they live. These nests are usually occupied either by a single adult squirrel or by a mother and her young. (from the net)
Also from the internet I read that female squirrels store food in them and have baby squirrels in them. Our old silver maple trees have great holes for them so they can have lots of babies more safely.