The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mom's Screwy Day 

“My, Oh, my! Such language, Mom!”

No. No. dear readers. It really was all about screws yesterday.

I decided to hang a mirror. Easy, right? Run a wire across the back of the mirror, drive a nail in the wall, move on. But wait…

A little symbol on the back of the mirror indicated not to wire it up. No wire it said. The frame wood will split. You must instead install 2 screws, one for each metal loopy thing.

It took freakin all morning to find 2 screws, find the drill, find a charged battery pack for the drill, attach the battery pack to the drill, OK. Now the screws are flat heads, the drill bit has a Phillips head. Look for a Phillips bit, can’t find one. Look for 2 more screws that have Phillips heads. OK. Get the mirror where you want it make marks, get a level. Can’t find the big level. Get the yardstick draw a line. Get the little level check the line. No. Re-do. OK level. Drive screws. Won’t go. needs to be predrilled. Damn. Get the hammer and nails . Drive a hole to start. Insert screw. Repeat other side.

The mirror is 5 inches off towards the left. Sigh. Move the screws left. The heck with trying to repair the holes in the wall that now show. Oh well the mirror is up.

Go to kitchen for iced tea. There sits the fan. Need to clean the fan. Start taking it apart, then I realize that if I just undo these 3 little screws, I can get to the motor area and completely oil the gears and I undo these 3 little screws and 3 HOURS LATER…..


Monday, July 30, 2007

Mosaics in July 

I don't want to say my sinuses are bad, but 3 nosebleeds last week and I quit.

I am staying inside till October or until my neighbor harvests his hay whichever comes first.

The pollen was so bad, when Plant Daddy mowed this week, a yellow poofy cloud of pollen was wisping behind him.

We need rain. And/or a 55 gallon drum of Sinex spray!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My Red Hot Marriage 

I love Plant Daddy very very much! He is the greatest!

We are coming up on our 28th anniversary soon. I totally love him...


There are 2 things I will not do for the man.

Number 1. Clean his fish.

Number 2. Slice his jalapenos.

Therefore what you see here in this photo is not made by Mosaic Mom.
It is made by Plant Daddy!

Peppers are plentiful and he did a fabulous job, n'est pas?

Friday, July 27, 2007

100 word Bazalgette 

This is a true story...except I haven't yet been to London to see Sir Joe's Bust.
If I ever go. I'll go.

“We traveled to London for you to visit this statue? Plaque reads ‘Sir Joseph Bazalgette. Built the sewer system’. Why is this important?”

“I worked for his grandson, John Bazalgette. At the Mushroom Farm.”

“The grandson was a mushroom grower?”

“No. Mushrooms grow on horse manure. After the crops were harvested, we had to dispose of 1200 cubic yards of used horse poop. Each week.”

“1200 cubic yards of horse manure a week!”

“Yep. Transformed it into garden compost. Bagged it. Sold it.”

“Interesting family legacy.”

“Yes, I’d say both Bazalgettes deserve a statue for their skills in materials handling.”

Sir Joseph Bazalgette

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Mom doesn’t know her Chori Bean from her Chopti Bean.

But Mom has learned that this bean,
This Phaseolus aureus,
whatever you name it,

eating this bean has a side effect.

Eating this bean will cause you to have a religious experience.

You will fall on your knees before whatever deity you call home and you will call out to him or her…



This ancient chant roughly translates as
Get Me Out Of This One …
And I’ll Never Do It Again!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Phaseolus By Any Other Name... 

That Plant Daddy is on it.
He's all over it.
He's the plant man!

I noticed that the Chopti beans didn't taste like Adzuki beans, but Plant Daddy went the extra mile.

He looked them up.

Chopti beans (Red Mung Beans) are Phaseolus aureus Roxb.

Adzuki Beans are Phaseolus angularis.

That is to say, they are different species of beans.
And in the plant world that is huge.

However, both are yummy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Adzuki Beans 

A few weeks ago I had a crop failure on Adzuki beans.

Lo and Behold, I was in the Hindu grocery store on Sunday and I found these. They sure look the same!

My pod is on the right for comparison...

Tonight's dinner will tell...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

On the couch 

David Diamond loves to tell how he met his wife.

“I was a driver for Drummond Delivery in Davenport. I picked up a divan on the dock of Fred’s Fine Furniture in Durant and had to deliver it back to Davenport by mid-day. Traffic was bad on I-80. It took an hour to drive 20 miles.”

“Her address was easy to find. White house, 757 57th Place. Big maple tree in the front yard.”

“She was sleek and sexy stepping down off that stoop. She had me as soon as she said, ”I’m Cindy Silcox. Do you have my sofa?”

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Re-Start 

Plant Daddy took his motor to the machine shop to have its head shaved.

This cleared off the mosaic bench, so I started another project. It's a panel portrait of a bishop. (I don't know where I come up with these ideas. I just wanted to try a technique and Poof! there is was) and way...so far so good.)

The garden is a case of Okra gone wild! That and the eggplant keep on truckin'.

I also finished a towel hanger and tomorrow Plant Daddy and I will get it installed to hold out towels out by the pool.
Photos soon.!

Friday, July 20, 2007

100 word story 

Here's another 100 word story.
The prompt was to use the titles of Beatles songs!

The construction trailer door pinged with a rap-a-tap-tap.

“Mr. Moonlight?”

“Hey, Jude. Come in.”

“Boss, I had another forklift accident.”

Moonlight groaned. This boy brought him misery day after day. “What happened?”

“I hoisted that pallet of Norwegian wood towards the dock,” Jude stammered, “and I hit the secretary’s car. Sorry.”

“Go on break,” the supervisor ordered, grabbing his hard hat and stepping outside.

Eleanor Rigby wailed and shook in her high heels, surveying her crumpled Saturn. “How am I going to get home now?”

“Calm down, Baby. You can drive my car till we get yours fixed,” offered Moonlight.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mosaic Flower Pot 

Marie created this mosaic flower pot.
Isn't it fun and bright!?!

When I went to visit yesterday, I followed a mosaic artist tradition on exchanging tesserae. I took her a bright orange tile.

Many people are put off by bright colors. But when you are working outdoors, brights are essential. These colors on Marie's pot are cheerful outdoors, not too strong, a very pleasing design.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Marie W's Bowling Ball Mosaic 

Plant Daddy was home from work today.
He poked himself in the eye.

He refused medical treatment and I almost didn't go see Marie's Bowling Ball Mosaic today, but I am glad I went.

Her mosaics are beautiful. I admire the picasette style and wish I could do it better. She ought to teach!

Anyway, after I got home, Plant Daddy was up and hobbling about the house. I am keeping my eye on his eye!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mandolin 1968 

I bought this mandolin in Florence, Italy in 1968.

I learned to play 3 songs on it…

Lara’s theme from Dr. Zhivago
You are my sunshine and
A march (never knew the name) my Pop-Pop taught me.

My Pop-Pop was a Philadelphia Mummer. Marched in the parade on New Years Day, had the funny feathered costume…total package.

I picked at the guitar, mandolin and banjo. Never got good at any of them.

Last fall, I put this mandolin in my garage sale for $20.
No takers.

So we’ll celebrate 40 years together next year, mandolin and me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Terrarium 

Under the category of Odd Things I've held on to over the years:

“Mommy, I have Girl Scouts in 30 minutes. I need a terrarium to earn a merit badge.”

“Stick some Philodendron in a pickle jar and call it done,” Mother replied.

That’s exactly what I did ….in 1962!

This terrarium is 45 years old this fall.

Yes, it is THE SAME pickle jar and THE SAME plant.

A bratty 5 year old I was baby sitting up-ended it in 1975 in Atlanta, but only shook it up. It didn’t fall out or break.

I had 2 metal lids rust out before I changed to a plastic lid in the early 1990’s.

Occasionally, like every 2 or 3 years, I clean the algae out of it; the glass is seriously scratched from age.

But other than that, it just does its thing.

So Happy 45th Year to my Terrarium!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cardinal Stepping Stone 

This was a design created by Little Mind Escape for Aunt Darlene.

After I shaped the pieces, I transferred to mesh and shipped the mosaic to Oregon where I finished it. Red is Aunt Darlene's favorite color.

It has been red hot in Oregon lately. Aunt Darlene is not used to 92 degree temperatures. I assume my sister in South Dakota is hot, too.

Hope they get a rain shower and cooler temps soon. As for us, we are steamy...as usual for the Ides of July.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

100 word stories 

I've written five 100 word stories this week.

I've learned a hell of a lot from this little adventure:

1. It's addicting. I get a rush from solving the puzzle (how to get the story into the word limit...as if there is an exactly right answer)

2. Every time I do one the first thought in my head is "Freitag's Pyramid". This means how will I create action and drama. I have discovered a lot about verbs.

3. Adverbs and adjectives have to be potent when you can only have a few.

4. Stay generic! Do not rely on obscure words or situations to carry the reader. The reader won't look up definitions and/or may not have the same world view/sense of humor I do.

5. There are some really really good writers out there! I am learning a lot by reading them daily.

6. Thanks Palm Writers for giving me the courage to try this!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Aunt Terri! 

Aunt Terri and the Papagallo Shoes

My first job out of college was way more than what I could handle.

At the ripe old age of 23, with nothing more than lawn mowing and laboratory bottle washing jobs to my credit, I was made director of horticultural therapy at a major private hospital.
I had had a one week certification course in horticultural therapy at Clemson, but I was ill prepared to direct a program for over 400 patients including psychiatric children, psychiatric teens, psychiatric adults and in-patient recovering alcoholics.

The hospital gave me a great title and trotted me around for newspaper and TV interviews, they were awfully happy about charging patients for specialty therapy, but there was no garden, no greenhouse, no staff, no tools or equipment for gardening, no office (I did paperwork sitting in my car!) and 2 to 3 hours a day I had to be in staff meetings, so I was not even able to work on the horticulture program. I could write volumes about this place, but suffice it to say, I lasted 10 months then I quit.

I went to visit my Aunt Terri to regroup.

She never yelled at me…as in…”you gave up money, property and prestige”

She just said, “Let’s go shoe shopping”

She drove me from her studio apartment with a fold up sofa bed (I was amazed. I had never seen a studio apartment before. I had never been on a 19th floor building before! I loved it! )…to a plaza in the Philadelphia suburbs.

We walked into a big department store shoe section. It was huge!

There sat a pair of bright red Papagallo pumps.
Love at first sight!

I tried them on…heaven!

But I told the sales lady to put them back. They cost $43. too precious a sum for an unemployed failure like me.

Aunt Terri bought them for me.
She said “You’ll wear them on your next job interview.”

God, I loved her for that.

I did wear those shoes when I started graduate school in the fall. And I did ultimately make a successful career in horticulture as a soils specialist not as a therapist.

I kept those shoes for over 20 years.

As a souvenir
to remind me that one person in the world loved me unconditionally and had hope for me when I didn’t have hope for myself.
And I love her for that.

So Happy Birthday, Aunt Terri!
Have a great, great day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Random Thursday Jots 

Mom’s Latest Happy Encounter with Technology

1. AT&T
I have a Go Phone “pay as you go” account with AT&T.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m cheap.
But I hardly ever use up $25 worth of talk every 60 days.
Unfortunately (or not) I have discovered texting, which I really love, and I spent all my account money so…
On Monday, I had to put more cash into my cell phone account.

I expected to talk to a person, cause the last 2 refills I had to talk to a person,
But this time I got a “tree”.

It was the best ever tree I had ever used.
It was an awesome tree.
Smooth, efficient. Voice activated.
Some of you software people deserve the big bucks you are making.
Good job on that one AT&T.

Mom's Newest Addiction

2. 100 Word Stories

I have found a site devoted to 100 Word Stories.
I have very quickly become addicted.
It’s kinda like playing a puzzle every day.

Before you run over there and read my jots, let me warn you…
For some reason, the “sick-puppy” part of me pops out into those stories…

Tonight I hope Sherry will be at Palm Group and I can ask her about this. I have three 100 word stories submitted for Palm Review tonight, so I’ll see what the general consensus is.
(I don’t think they are going to like the one about the self abusing nun)
Anyway if you want to read that part of my personality, look at that site in the “Comments” section.

3. When the Gloriosa Lilies bloom, I always think of my terrace garden apartment when I was in college in Gainesville.

Happy Birthday to Plant Daddy’s sister, Aunt Jan.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007



testing this 

testing this

Crop Failure 

The next time I say I want to grow Adzuki Beans in the garden, somebody kick me!

What a crop failure! What a waste of space!
Last night I got bit by fire ants and put my shoulder into spasm pulling the Adzuki stumps out of the grow bed. I did not get a mouthful of beans to eat.

I'd'a done better to cook and eat the seeds I ordered.

They are delicious....what to do!?!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happiness Runs 

What a great Birthday I had yesterday!

I had best wishes from everybody I love!

I got flowers and Booze! What could be better?

God even sent a rain shower in the middle of a scorching hot afternoon.

It was a super day. Plant Daddy said I was radiating Happy Rays. Awww....

PS. I heard from my sister in South Dakota. So I guess the fires are not in her immediate area. More happiness! Yay!

I had something else I wanted to blog about but I've forgotten what it is. Maybe some free association exercises will help me remember.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Happy Birthday! 

When I was a kid, my favorite birthday treat was to receive a "doll" cake.

I would love to have one this year, but that much sugar would put me in a diabetic coma for a year.

The best birthday present I'd like this year is to know my sister out west is safe from the wildfires!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mosaic Monday 

Finally, late yesterday afternoon Lowe's arrived with a new stove.
Great, cause I was gettin tired of charcoal grilled stuff and cold sandwiches. That was reminding me of post hurricaine life and I must say, it ain't great. It's only survival.

Anyway, stove installed and Kidlet arrived post-haste for a family dinner! Yay!

Something about an event on Monday...maybe a birthday?

Here are some people having birthdays on Monday...
Happy Birthday to

Jerry Eckstein (My old UF friend)

Mel Walter (Plant Daddy's car restoration buddy) and

Ted Emigh ( a UGA professor of mathematics without whose help I'd'a'never passed statistics...Hi Ginny!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fireworks on the 4th! 

So I’m sittin’ at the kitchen counter waiting for the chicken to bake in the oven.

(We’re baking chicken because it’s raining again, so we gave up the 4th of July BBQ idea.)

So I’m working the crossword puzzle and I notice a bright light in the oven…
but I didn’t turn the oven light on…
I only do that for cakes…

Holy Bergeebers!
The oven is on fire.

OK, calm down…
Some grease must have splattered.

I grab the baking soda ready to smother the flames.

I open the door…the flames get huge!

The element is on fire.

OK, no panic. I turn the oven off.

This does not stop the fire!

I open the back door and scream for Plant Daddy!
I run to the power box and kill all power to the house.

The fire is still going.

Plant Daddy scans the situation.
He fetches a dolly.
We load the burning oven onto the dolly and slide it out the back door. (Adrenalin is amazing)

The fire goes out, but we are oven-less.
I’ll be going to Lowe’s this morning!

Three reminders to self:
1. This is the second time this has happened. Get an electrician to check that outlet for correct volts.
2. Never, ever, ever leave the kitchen when something’s in the oven.
3. Once the oven was aflame, I could not access my fire extinguisher. Weekend project will be to mount it on the wall by the fridge!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Red, White and Blue Mosaics 

All anybody needs for a great holiday is Meat and Mosaics...

Or more specifically Tiles and Turkey Burgers

Have a Happy 4th.
Enjoy the BBQ!

Monday, July 02, 2007

July Jots 

It has rained like a son of a gun for the past 2 days.
Very worried about lightning...
hitting the house,
starting a fire,
killing me and Plant Daddy as we ride through the field in the golf cart watching the light show...
Zeus has been under the desk for 2 days afraid to come out.

I volunteered to help the Florida Committee putting on the mosaic convention in Miami in April 08.

"Look," I said, "I'll help but I won't make multiple trips to Miami. I'll help when I get there."

The first response they sent said "Great. Glad to have you. Preliminary meeting in Miami in September. See you there"

I have proposed 2 new classes with Lake Schools for the fall
Basic Terracotta 4 week starter class and
Basic wood 3-D mosaics 6 weeks( accepting Intermediate and Advanced students only in this one).

That's flower pots and birdhouses, ya'll!
Watch for more info for registration!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Meat Mosaic 

Thank God! I’m alive!!!

I didn’t expect to make it through the night.

And it was with deep gratitude that I awoke this morning.

You see, Mom engaged in risky behavior last night.

The urge to do it had become overwhelming, so I gave in.

It had been years.

I had been so pure.
For almost 7 years.
Last night for supper,
I ate a beef hot dog.

Yes, dear readers, I ate beef.

I was grateful that I did not get a migraine headache.
That was why I stopped eating beef in the first place.

Secondly, I ate a hot dog.
I was surprised that images of cleaning cow carcases with high pressure steam hoses to collect scraps for hot dogs did not stop me. But it didn’t. And I ate 2 hot dogs.

It was anti-climactic.
They were salty but otherwise not tasty.
The mustard and relish was the best part, so I won’t be repeating that episode for a long time.

Today I must atone.
I will be cooking roasted garden veggies for supper.

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