The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, March 31, 2008

B There or B Square 

Tonight at 7:00PM.
East Lake Library, Sorrento.

Come hear Patty Fletcher read her poetry.

BTW...bring Kleenex. Her writing will make you cry.She tells it like it is and she's good at it.

Yesterday on the farm, the Z boys showed up for car work and Z shop spring cleaning.

Little Mind Escape and her friends showed up to install the remodeled day bed. (I love the new bed!)

The friends also brought 2 dogs. I loved the dogs but Zeus...not so much. He finally came down from the tree about 7:30PM after all the guests departed.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yankees and Gardening 



“Do you carry palm trees in a box that grow in Indiana?”

“Palms that grow in Indiana?”

“Yes, they come in a box and our friends want us to bring one home to them so they can plant it outside.”

“Right. Because Palms are native to Indiana.”

She doesn’t get my sarcasm. “Yes. Do you have them?” she chirps.


“Do you have the little citrus trees in a box?”


“Our friends said we could find them at any store, but I can’t find any at all.”

“Citrus is under quarantine because of diseases like canker and greening. You can’t take it out of state.”

“We’re leaving tomorrow…”


She misses my sarcasm again and pleads, “What am I going to do?”

“Look lady, you used to could go to any tourist trap place…”

“That’s me,” she interrupts.

“You used to could buy citrus seedlings and small palms in bright orange boxes with green printing…Souveniers. I haven’t seen those in decades.”

“What can I do?” she repeats.

“Go down to Lowe’s and buy a 3” palm tree. You’ll find it with the assorted foliage plants. Wrap it in the front page of the Orlando Sentinel and deliver it to your friends. It’ll grow till the first freeze.”

“You’re great!” she gushed. “Do you own the store?”

Ring A Ding


“Yes, do you sell Avocado trees?”


“Thanks, Good bye.”

I wandered back to my computer. Got about 20 minutes of writing done before…

Ring A Ding


“Yes, Do you sell Mango trees?”

“Didn’t you just call about Avacados?”

“Yes, but we found out they freeze in this area. So we want Mangos instead.”

“Good luck with that.”

“Do you have them?”


Friday, March 28, 2008

Lable for Spathiphyllum Sensation 

Is that too good to be true?

Am I seeing a guy in an FSU t-shirt on his knees worshiping before a Spathiphyllum ‘Sensation’ at Lowe’s Garden Center?

Why no, he is just LOOKING FOR A LABEL!!!

So he was crawling on the floor in front of his family…a nice wife, a son and a daughter. They liked the plant (it was over 6 feet tall!) and they thought it might go well on their screened porch. But they were at sea.

All he wanted to know was what the plant was and would it serve his purpose.

Some nurseryman was losing a $ 75.00 (or more!) sale because there weren’t no label …and you can’t fault the customer guy. He was on his hands and knees trying.

Don’t you ever tell anybody I helped a person from FSU…
But I really felt sorry for the guy…he was making such a valiant effort….

so I told him what it was. And that it would work for his poolscape project.

“Gosh!” said the little daughter, “Do you own the store?”

“No, Sweetie, but I get paid whenever you buy a plant.”

Go visit Oglesby!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Egg or Mosaic Flower Pot 

Which would you rather have the Easter Bunny bring?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is it me? 

My Mosaic Life...
SAMA has sent yet another email asking for volunteers for the convention next week. They showed a schedule where help is needed...and they need a lot of helpers....many gaps in the schedule. Maybe I'm not the only one who can't afford their ginormous fees and is staying home.

My writer's life...
The Berries Library is hosting some writers for literacy week events. They seem to be imports from out of town who are to be brought in for the day. The librarians should be sure to tell attendees that the library threw their own local writers group out!

"Yes, you can grow up to be a writer, boys and girls...but we won't let you have meeting space in the library for your critique group."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Morning Mosaics 

Plant Daddy had to go to Gainesville today. That gave me an extra long day of writing and I got an EDIS composed. Now to knock out a photo list and the references and I'm another step along on my list.

It is chilly, in the 40's again and really wreaking havoc on the Zucchini crop. Grrr.

Made a loop around the bank and the post office then straight home. Back to the grindstone.

The bunny is chewing on the peppers again. Other than that there was no essitement today and that's a good thing!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter! 

Today I organized my pieces for Art in the Garden. April 5th!
This year's theme will be mosaics for the Birds!
Here are 2 of the 5 Birdhouses I'll be taking to show! and the bird feeder in the back ground...

Then I spent the afternoon baking a ham and making mashed potatoes and green beans...Yum!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pre Easter Errands 

Gonna go today.

Gonna go to UPS and send my sister her clothes that have been in my car all week.

Gonna go to Lowe's and get Eggplant transplants.

Gonna go to Publix and get a spiral ham for Easter dinner. Yum!

Gotta go now!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beverly Roberts Mosaic 

While Plant Daddy and I were on vacation in Georgia, we browsed in a little art shop. We found these neat stained glass mosaics! Very cute!

It got me inspired! I made 4 projects in the last 2 days!
My hands are sore. Unused muscles getting a work out.
Did I mention that Art in the Garden is April 5th?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring 

Today is the Equinox.

Happy Spring.

Here's a shot of some beautiful spring flowers where we stopped for gas on the Georgia trip.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I have been a bad blogger. Not too many updates! I will settle down here shortly.

Got unpacked from the trip and did all 7 loads of wash. Planted green peppers and sweet corn. Called the plumber to seat the toilet that had come a-loose.

And my boss now has changed my writing assignment and I'm trying to get an article reviewed for national publication. While I am very comfortable with non fiction science writing, I am not so comfy with fiction. Therefore much angst till Palm Group scours it!

I hope to get to blogging regularly soon. Must show you photos of the trip and of the remodeled bathroom!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day Birthday! 

Today is Mom's 80th St Patrick's Day Birthday.

What a great visit we had. I hope she enjoys a snort of the Irish Whiskey I gave her today! Cheers!

PD and I had a long drive back. I will miss the daffodils and forsythia, but I came home to the fragrance of orange blossoms, so that's a welcoming fragrance after a 4 day trip...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Mosaic Mom First! 

This is the first blog written on a laptop!

I am sitting in a chair...not at a desk...in a Best Western...in Georgia...writing a blog! I love it.

The lady at the desk gave me and Plant Daddy some software to install into our laptop and Voila! We can use the laptop to email, blog, etc.

I think this is snazzy, but my wrists are sore on this laptop keyboard.

We had a nice drive to Georgia. Lots of wildflowers in the medians...daffodils and red clover. The flowering pear trees are amazing!!!

We went to a nice birthday party tonight. The hostess had a great menu..yellow squash, green beans, butter beans, and EGGPLANT Casserole! With corn bread. and There was some kind of meat there, but I was in vegetable heaven.

For dessert was birthday cake and ambrosia. We sang to Mom on her 80th St Patrick's day birthday.

Tomorrow we will help Mom with yard work.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Random Friday Mosaics 

Ya'll Want A Glass of Water?

MM and PD are going to Georgia this weekend for MM's Mom's 80th Birthday Celebration! I thought I ought to take along my own jug of water. I could sell it. Make money on the trip!

The paper today poses the question...Why are we letting Water Bottler Companies move in here and get our water for free to sell to Georgia...when at the same time locals are under restrictions and can't even water the lawn? Grrr and Right On!

See, I shouldn't get mad. I should just get in on this too, So I think I will haul a mason jar or 2 of fresh Florida water to my folks up "North". What should I charge 'em?

I remember when tourists used to buy "canned sunshine". a little gimmicky thing. Now the water thing may be for real. Un Huh!

PD and I were up late editing a Book Chapter. We just aren't kids anymore. No all nighters for us.

The wisteria is blooming. Get the Claritin going!

It's Antique Fair weekend. Another reason to stay indoors and off the streets.

There's a blue crotch rocket that flies past the house twice a day. He's noisy and dangerous. I wish he'd hit a patch of sand and get a serious case of road rash so he'd slow down a little.
PD and I once came across a motorcyclist who had flown off his bike. He broke both wrists. It weren't a pretty sight. I guess kids think they can speed without consequences. Grrr.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SAMA Convention News 

Here's the latest buzz from the SAMA Convention...If you are interested, email me and I'll forward your offer...

Hello Florida volunteers! You're receiving this email because you had sometime in the past offered to help with the upcoming SAMA Conference.

There's lots of preparation needed in the couple of days prior to the conference. Let me know if you're available to help during any of these times:

Monday, March 31

10am - 12pm and/or 2pm - 4pm - Registration materials final preparations

Tuesday, April 1

10am - 4pm - Workshop set - up (volunteer for all or part)

Let me know if you're interested...we appreciate your help!

SAMA Volunteer Coordinator

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mosaic Easter Egg 

To make a mosaic easter egg, simply glue tesserae onto a styrofoam egg shape purchased from a craft store. Anything works, tile, pottery, Bissazza.

Use Loctite or silicone adhesive.
When the adhesive is set, grout and seal.

I still have PINK Grout from 10 years ago. Also Green and several shades of Blue. These are great to use if you saved them!Otherwise, use white.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mosaic Wet Saw 

The last day on Earth of the Black Polyester Pants!

“Wow!” sez I, scanning my Monday to-do list, “I have a lot of dirty work to do today. I will need to dress appropriately!” I peered into my closet, way in the back, looking for jeans, but instead found…

Black Polyester Pants!

These monsters date from AT LEAST 1998.

I know that because I was wearing them when I had my photograph taken for the newspaper when I volunteered at the Berries Public Library.

The label brand is “Villager” Do they still make that anymore? I remember “Villager” from 1963!!! Anyway,

“Do they still fit?” I mused. Well, yes they did! I was very pleased at that!

Now, Little Mind Escape often chides me for wearing my pants waists too high. I generally latch my jeans at my belly button (Is that TMI?)
Anyway, Black Polyester Pants came 2 ½ inches above that! (I measured !)

That alone wouldn’t have doomed them, but the pleating across the front did it. They were balloony beyond my tolerance. So I sez, “Black pants, I will wear you hard today, get you dirty and destroy you! You’ll be in the dumpster at sundown!”

So I set to my tasks…

I did 3 loads of laundry….and the bleach did not stain the Black Polyester Pants!

I vacuumed the swimming pool…and the chlorine did not stain the Black Polyester Pants!

I cooked fried chicken at lunchtime and deliberately wiped my greasy palms across my thighs…and the Crisco did not stick to the Black Polyester Pants!

I fertilized the zucchini and the peppers and the beans…The fertilizer dusted right off.

But the last chore of the afternoon was…
Cleaning the Wet Saw!

The tile dust stuck fast.
The Shop Vac smudged gray lint across my rump.
The rust set a stain and an odor.

That sealed the fate of the Black Polyester Pants.

To the dumpster they go, having met their match in the mosaic wet saw!

The End.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Windy Saturday 

We were pinned in yesterday by 50 mph wind.
Lost roof shingles and lost power!
Today we will spend mucking out the pool and sweeping and raking debris.

Yesterday Plant Daddy stayed on the computer(until the power quit) and wrote an article for a scientific journal.

Yesterday I wrote a 100 word story. Little Mind Escape dropped by, read it and gave it a thumbs DOWN! What do you think? Here it is...

100 word story
“You pick them up in a bar, Melinda. It’s disgusting!” Mrs. MacIlhenny spat at her daughter. “And another one ‘just followed you home’ last night.”

“Bartender throws ‘em out; I tote ‘em home and love ‘em.” Melinda smiled, stretched unabashedly in the morning sunbeams, then cinched her bathrobe. ”It gives me pleasure, fulfills me.”

“You want purpose? Get married. How many have you had now? 200?”

“A homely girl like me can’t keep a man, so I find love wherever I can. You don’t love me, Ma, but they do.”

“You can’t grow pineapple tops in your bedroom anymore, Melinda!”

Friday, March 07, 2008

International Food from Mom's Kitchen 

Plant Daddy and I do not eat out often, so it is a reportable event when we do.

Monday, we actually had take-out Chinese for supper...that counts for eating out in this household!

Tuesday, we had Italian,

Wednesday, Dixie rice and Beans ,

Yesterday was Hindu vegetable curry.

I did not sleep worth a hoodly toodly last night. Curry dreams had me running all night.

Tonight's menu...a nice mild chicken soup I think!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Community Gardening 

I have been writing a little piece on community gardening.

I have been involved in 4 community garden projects.

First was at the Fish Camp Commune. It took a pick axe to break the clay clods. Nothing much grew. No one helped. I gave up.

Next was at the Unitarian Church in Atlanta. They rented a tractor and a plow to break the ground but expected that volunteers would harrow the clods by hand. Mostly the garden was a setting for social chit chat. No one helped much with the work. I gave up.

Third was in Doug and Melinda's yard in grad school. That one worked pretty well because Doug and Melinda looked after it. Also as a group, grad students are broke and starving so workers were available. This one worked!

Lastly at the Episcopal Church in Apopka. The Green Team had lots of volunteers sign up, but when the Saturday work days rolled around, no one helped.

People love a garden but they do not like gardening!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Original Trees 

I have lived in this location for 30 years this year.

That seems like something of an accomplishment in Florida, the transient state where no one can sit still for very long.

When I got here, this farm was a cow pasture. There were only 4 trees on the place.
Planting trees was my and Plant Daddy's first improvement project.

Of the original 4 trees this palm is the only original tree left.

The Silk Oak we cut down cause it was SO close to the house.

A large oak in the front yard died and fell over one night at 2AM!

We took the Prunus carolinia out when it got old and began to drop leaves and branches all over the driveway. It left a legacy of a million seedlings all over the farm.

Here's a shot of the last original tree...it will be here after we're gone no doubt!
The pruning crew pictured below was only trimming it away from the power line.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Palm Writers Group 

Palm Writers Group has a new web site thanks to Linda!
Go visit it!

This writing stuff is hard work. I've spent the morning writing a technical review paper and trying to do a 100 word story about the spring garden at the hippie commune.

What? You didn't know I lived on a commune in the spring of 1970?
Live and learn!

Here's an excerpt:

"I poured my heart into a ½ acre plot only to see beans killed by frost, peas nibbled by rabbits and beets trampled by weekend party-goers who came to hear the resident rock and roll band. Pass-the-hat donations at concert finales supplied the community cash flow, which was pocketed by the band manager, Tweed.

Within a few weeks, the truth became apparent. This place was little more than a flock of hippies and groupies orbiting the band. Every dollar earned by the collective went for amplifiers, guitar strings and beer. I was the only one gardening and I was buying all the supplies out of my own purse."

It's not workins as a 100 word story. I may have to re-format it.

I wonder how my life might have turned out if that garden had been a success instead of the colossal failure that it turned into!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fried Chicken 

We had guests for supper last night, so I cooked fried chicken. I always think of Blanche Johnson when I fry chicken.

Blanche was hired as a maid at our house in Georgia from 1959 till 1969. She cooked the most awesome fried chiclen in the world. I wish I had had the presence of mind, maturity, whatever to write down her recipe, but I was too young.

It involved soaking the chicken in buttermilk all afternoon, then cooking it in deep hot oil. The oil always shot in jets across the kitchen. I was banned from the area and I recall Blanche and Mom getting popped with scalding oil many times.

Blanche would dust the bird parts in egg wash and flour and maybe even other secret ingredients. The results were heaven...an extremely crispy skin and a juicy meat.

My fried chicken is pitiful in comparison. I lightly brown the skin, then finish with oven roasting. I'm glad the guests liked it, but it would never hold a candle to Blanche's original.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

March Mosaics 

Plant Daddy went to work today. He wanted to concentrate on writing a paper without employees or colleagues or Zues or me or the Z boys to distract him.

Since I had a free day, I did 5 loads of wash and vacuumed the swimming pool. Whew! I'm tired. But I still have to get to Lowe's causa the keys they copied for me yesterday do not work. Grrr!

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