The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Over the years, my Aunt Jo has been this blog's biggest fan. As I compose, I always have her in mind.

Aunt Jo is very ill and has hope of eternal life very shortly.

My blogging may be irregular for a time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Editorial Board 

Fifty stories came back from the editor yesterday.

Five came back STET…no changes needed.

Three came back with interesting discussion….like how do you present text messages to readers on one end of the spectrum who have never texted, and readers on the other end of the spectrum who are fluent in the abbreviated language.

Two came back with vocabulary changes. I am debating over these. The words in question are “bobble” as in “Surgit’s head bobbled”…and “travelogue” as in “that was an interesting travelogue”.

I am warned against the overuse of “divan” as in what you sit on in a psychiatrist’s office.

The expression, “Indeed!” got nixed.
“Nobody says that,” says my editor.
“Indeed!” sez I.
I changed it to “truly”.

The most embarrassing error was that I, a trained horticulturist, misspelled “lilies”.

One story came back in a body bag.
There was not a mark on it, just a note that I had shifted verb tenses three times within 100 words.
I think I will replace it with an Elvis Wedding Chapel story.

Anyway, my editor is good. Really good!
I do not argue with her.
I just open the tracker and hit “accept changes”.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bernie O'Brien's Story Telling 

What a day for “firsts”

I motored over to Jackie’s church for the luncheon meeting at which Bernie O’Brien was to be the speaker.

First time I had been to a “Christian” Church.

I asked one lady if they were Assembly of God. She said no, but didn’t give me any other definition, so I’m still not sure. I’ll Google or Wikapedia them later.

Anyway, the Christian Church had a nice hall for the luncheon. About 30 to 35 people attended. The spread of food was impressive! Those ladies are serious dessert chefs!

I had a great chat with Bernie over lunch and we caught up on all the news. He is absolutely positively the most perfect person in the world to be a story-teller. He loves it and he is expert at it…and that voice of his! Wow! It was the…

First time I had heard a professional story-teller.

He was so smooth. He said this performance was all new material, but you’d never have known. He had it all going on!

The golf episodes were side-splitting. And the one about the Pathologist at Harvard was a hoot! And I finally got to see the little half-ball Bernie invented! He talked about 45 minutes, then, it was the

First time I ever got a book signed by the author.

It reads “To Barb, God Bless , Bernie O’Brien “O.B.” ’08.

I really do feel blessed to have Bernie’s book.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mosaic Activity! 

I actually took a break from book publishing yesterday and got into the mosaic studio and into the garden.

In the studio, I am making a mosaic trash can to go out by the pool...because everyone has a mosaic trash can, right?

In the garden, all the cucurbits are out. I harvested all remaining cantalopes and hard squash then pulled the vines. This will give the sweet potatoes room to roam!

I have a day or two off now till the copy editor returns my first draft. Then it's back to the salt mine!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Cantalope Memories from 1972 

When I was at Gainesville as a Journalism major, I took a Vegetable Gardening course as an elective....the rest as you know is history.

One of my most vivid recollections of that very first Florida garden was fresh ripe fragrant cantalope. It was only this season that I finally got around to trying melons again...and it's a success!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday Oscar Bluemner 

Went over to Stetson for the June 21 Oscar Bluemner Birthday.
Here's where they are going to build the new museum to house his works...

Second Draft Done 

Today the final 100 are selected. I have done the best edit I can and the copy/line editor will now do her scour and scrub. I have started on organizing the structure.

Plant Daddy spent the day tending to publishing details too. We are both whooped today!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Bernie O'Brien 

Bernie O'Brien is expected to be at the Mid-Lakes Christian Church, 3800 State Road 19, Tavares, FL, on Thursday, June 26th. The church is located just south of Hospice.

There will be a pot-luck lunch at noon in the gym and then Bernie will do story-telling in the chapel next to the gym. All are welcome for the meal, but you are especially invited to stay and listen to Bernie's presentation.

Call the church at 352-343-9020 for more information.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Love was such an easy game to play...no wait, that's Beatles....
Yesterday, Here's where me and the kidlet ate lunch.
Photo of The Wharf Restaurant in Deland

My review: Those were the best Onion Rings in a long stretch. Delicious.

PS. The haircut after lunch over at the hair salon with Blake was good. Nice and even.

And the delightful surprize on the day...go to the Duncan Museum of art and see Monya's ceramics! (How she do dat?!!!How you get one inside de other?!?)

Also enjoyed the stop at the Deland Library for a quick reference book on Puns.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oscar Bluemner's Birthday 2008 

Today, I am going to take a day off from writing. I'll motate over to Deland and return Favis' books on Bluemner and leave her with Oscar's Birthday Present (check).

Plan to meet up with the kid and go to lunch.
Then off for a hair-cut.

I have edited 13 of the 26 "stinker" stories. The copy editor has 20 others she's working on, so a little break is in order.

Happy Birthday Oscar.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


In the closet where the vacuum parks, there is a brown box. Unopened.

Got it in the mail today. Knew what it was because it says Amazon.com in bold black letters.

It's "Shorts in a wad"...a published book of 100 word stories.

"Why can't you open it, Mom?"

I have 3 stories that got tossed and I have to start from scratch and write originals. If I read his, I could cross-pollinate or something.

I'm not opening it till I'm done writing.

But it's like having a box of Oreo's in the house.

The more things change... 

The more they stay the same.

When I was a young bride out here in the country 30 years ago, in the summertime, I had to cook supper before 2:00PM.

After 2:00PM the lightning would knock out the power grid.

Yesterday, the storms came around 2:00PM.

I had to take all computer equipment off grid and off modem!

The storms nipped at our heels all afternoon and evening. Never could power up again.

Plant Daddy and I could not get out and do the gardening either! Grrr.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Orlando Sentinel Sends in the Marines 

The Orlando Sentinel did not arrive in the driveway yesterday morning, so...

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours wrangling with the Orlando Sentinel delivery service department.

Six hours and numerous phone calls later, I finally had a paper.

A truck with a bumper sticker reading “U.S. Marines” delivered it.

I was going to blog the blow-by-blow episode, but the Marines got the paper here at 11:57AM, just beating my lunchtime deadline.

“Mom, why do you care about the paper?”

“Well, I was giving them the opportunity to find my house yesterday in daylight so they wouldn’t miss it again today at 6:00AM in the dark.”

And, yes, they got the paper delivered correctly today.

Mission accomplished.

“No, I mean, Mom, why do you enjoy reading that paper anyway?”

“OMG!, Lauren Ritchie has reported the presence of crack whores in Lake Jem!

Very likely the burglary epidemic that plagued Tangerine the past few months is creeping our way! Alert! Burglar alert!

Oh Brother.

In other Mom news, I took my manuscript and divided it into 3 stacks: Those stories that need light editing (74); those stories that need rewrite (22); and 4 stories that were so bad, they got chucked.

I spent the rest of the day not reading the Orlando Sentinel, but accomplishing the editing on the 74 and emailed those to the copy editor.
(They needed fixes like disguising people’s real names and scouring for any available word count)

Today I have to start on the stories that have major flaws. For example in a story about Davenport Iowa, I found 2 sentences…7 whole words that do not add to story development or add color . That’s major.

Today I also have to make a flow chart.

Today I also hope “Shorts in a Wad” shows up so I can see the template.

Yesterday evening, PD and I removed all the Zucchini from the garden. The mildew was rampant. It’s sad when the season comes to an end, but we can start dreaming about the fall garden in 10 weeks!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Red Letter Day 

Mark June 16th as a Red Letter Day!


I can't believe I've written a book.

So what's next? DEEEEP Editing.

I've engaged an editor and will get started this afternoon.

This morning I must yank all the squash out of the garden. The rains have brought a foul case of mildew. I need to harvest out the last tomatoes too.

Then off to the Post Office to pay bills. Sigh!
Then I'll edit (off of hard copy) while the storms arrive in the afternoon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day 

We spent a rainy Father's Day afternoon assembling the fertilizer spreader gift.

Yes, we are still married!
Who writes those jibberish, devilish instructions anyway. Grrrr!

Little Mind Escape joined us for a feast of chicken and roasted veggies! She took home 4 sacks of produce from the backyard...Salmonella free tomatoes!

See you at Palm Writers Group tonight...6:30pm Sorrento Library! That's East Lake County Library to newcomers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pile O' Poo 

Cause things are just different in Florida...

A lizzard left a surprize on Mom's workbench yesterday.

Now, on the right at the tip of the tweezers is normal sized lizzard droppings...which I collected from the swimming pool deck area...

On the Left in the poop of some HUGE ass lizzard...I don't even want to know what the heck sized reptile left this here! Yikes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Swim Suit Drying Rack Mosaic Stand 

Need to dry your drawers after a dip in the pool?

Hate it when someone drapes a wet suit on the porch furniture then you want to sit there, but you get damp?

Then make a stand, DUH!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Jots 

Last summer,I spent a fortune on Vinca for the patio. Once the rains came, it dissolved (fungal or bacterial rot). This summer I am trying foliage for color. Here is the second planter I composed. It's Pileas and Hemigraphis.

I have one more piece to install for trim then a little mosaic gift is ready for the Kid. Yay!

I got well along on one of the three projects for the swimming pool deck...the towel rack. I also got the trash can lid cut out last night.

I am up to 92 100 word stories...My goal is to finish 100 by Sunday!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yay! Rain! 

We finally got rain yesterday. One and a half inches!

This would be great news except that Plant Daddy did not unclick his modem in time and the lightning hit his computer.

That'll be an expensive visit to haul it to Wayne, the computer repair guy.

There's rules to follow in Florida. This is one of them...Out of the wall and off the phone line at the first rumble of thunder.

This includes the printer...duh!

I once knew a nun who was very smug about how she remembered to unplug her computer every day. Ha! She got nailed through the modem too!

Mom and Plant Daddy once had lightning hit the cable TV line and it blew the back of the TV out. Plastic flew through the air!

Hunker down in these storms!

Poetry Contest Winners 

East Lake (Sorrento) Library has the results for the Poetry Contest.
Click Here to view.

You will not find Mom's name among the winners...sigh...however...it is like buying a lottery ticket...I'll win NEXT TIME FOR SURE!!!

Congratulations to the winners! (Especially the Kids! Way to go!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Late Storm 

Because yesterday was hot as hell, I stayed inside and processed corn.
I made 2 pints of buttered corn for the freezer and 2 pints of cream style corn for the freezer.

About 2PM it looked stormy, but nothing happened. Nothing. You would think we deserve a little rain since we garden so devoutly, but No!

So at 1AM, here comes the storm. Waking us up with thunder and massive lightning! A little rain, not much, but any is welcome.

Today is a runaround day. I hope the rain will not hinder my errands.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mosaic Projects and Prescription Drugs 

Now there's a title, n'est pas?

I went to the post office box and lo and behold there were prescription drugs in my box! I read the lable carefully and realized that they belonged in the next box over...would you think Postal workers would be more careful?...anyway.

I took the bottle to the outgoing mail slot to have it re-sorted and the bottle wouldn't fit. Nargh!

So I opened my box again and pushed the pills through to the floor where some postal person will have to refile them...maybe get it right this time.

The moral of this story is DO NOT GET PRESCRIPTION DRUGS BY MAIL because this probably happens all the time! Misfiled or stolen. What if you run out and need a dose and have to wait due to an error like this!

As for mosaics. started 3 projects yesterday. The lid to a trash can, a clothes drying rack and a planter.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday Slouching 

Today I have 2 chores to accomplish:

Go check the Post Office Box and

Water the Setcresea purpurea on the back patio. (Do not ask me the common name, I don't know!)

After that I will be in the pool. The water temperature hit 90 yesterday.
Ninety! That usually doesn't happen till August!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Thanks, Mr. Bush! 

Hey, I always wanted one of these concrete urn planters. I would see them in peoples yards and be envious. I would see them in catalogues with mosaics and say, "They want what price for that! It's concrete!"
But I used part of my incentive check to get this. I am really happy with it.
I planted it with jatropha and allamanda and lemon thyme. It should look great in 3 weeks!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bug Spray, Please! 

I was at Leesburg Lowe's at 7PM in the garden center. I was trying to spend the incentive check when I was besieged!

The deer flies/yellow flies were biting me so badly in the garden center,that I could not shop.

Kudos to your Employee! I think her name was Marguerite, but I'm not sure.

I didn’t get her name, but at my request, your great employee sprayed me with bug repellent. Had she not done so, I would have left your store.

But, after a quick dose of repellent, I was able to select my plant containers and was very pleased.

She saved the sale. Great customer service.

$80 more of the President's dollars gone for yard ornaments!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Get Well Soon Aunt Jo! 

Aunt Jo is in the hospital. She beat cancer once, but is going to have to launch a new campaign. She's a fighter. Go Jo!

Plant Daddy and I planted dwarf Alamandas in the Alien Mosaic Garden last evening. The Spiderworts have not been doing well since the pine tree fell and threw them into full sun. So they got moved; alamandas installed.

I'm writing 2 to 3 100 word stories a day...now up to 85. This is fun and work! But it's 93 degrees outdoors, so I'm grateful to be indoors!

No mosaics on the workbench, but an idea for a mosaic book on the computer.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bernie O! 

Bernie O’Brien

Former Palm Writers Group Member, Bernie O’Brien has published a book.!!!!

Go to Amazon.com and type “There is a God but He takes little children” into the search box or use ISBN # 1-59755-130-9. Or go to Advantage Books.

You will find these stories of his Boston childhood and his Red Sox fanaticism heartwarming.

Bernie came to Palm group with his stories hand written on yellow tablets…he was just at the beginning of the writing process.

He understood that when a writer is just beginning to tap memories to construct a composition, that emotions are tender.

He instituted the “Sandpaper Awards”.

Each month he would present a keychain to the writer he thought had best accomplished writing from the heart. That really opened up our group, encouraged a lot of beginner writers and poets, including me, to balance the mechanics of spelling and punctuation with the art of the story.

He amazed us at the close of each meeting…He’d give a recap that was hilarious!
We left every meeting with a chuckle.

T’was a sad day indeed, when Bernie left us. But the sun was smiling on the storyteller’s group! He joined TALES-“Tellers and Listeners Enjoying Stories” and continued developing his stories in the oral tradition.

And with that voice…Oh My God! I wish for you that you could hear that voice in your head while you read those stories!

Well, you can!

Bernie’s having a storytelling performance and book signing on June 10th at noon at the Salvation Army Building 2105 W. Main St. in Leesburg.

Don’t miss it. Buy your copy and go get it autographed! This is a pot of gold you don’t want to miss!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Welcome to Hurricaine Season 

Oh Joy! It's June 1st. Time for another Hurricaine season.

Another 6 months of Tommy Terry telling us to watch out!!!

If "Tommy Terror" predicts 15 to 20 inches of rain we should divide that by 10! If he warns of damaging winds that means 20 mph. By September he will have "revised" his forcast of terror downwards to reflect all the errors in his "forecasts".

Hurricaine season also means we have to watch Jim Cantori for 6 months going "Mmm, Mmm, Mmm"

It means going to the store and each week getting an extra can of pork n beans and spam. Mmm, Mmm, Mmm,

But Thank God for small favors it means the return of Ice Road Truckers! Yay!

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