The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rara Avis 

Plant Daddy and I saw an amazing sight last evening.

At our dumpster.

While we were dumping stinky old cat food. Blech!

On the east side of the dumpster we planted a screen of vines. They have finally made their way into the trees to become a beautiful "sky garden".

We have Thunbergia, white honeysuckle and red honeysuckle in that location.

The honeysuckles are blooming right now...smells nice...helps mitigate the cat food in August problem.Also have a tabernaemontana shrub over there in bloom and a jasmine sambac.

Anyway...we looked up to see if the thunbergia had blooms and there was a hummingbird!!! It was a grey one, but we hadn't seen one in a decade!

The last one we had seen was dead...that was a bummer. But wildlife was greatly impacted by all those hurricaines. Loss of habitat, etc.

Such a happy evening to welcome back an old friend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thanks English Teachers! 

I would like to thank every English teacher I ever had!

Thank you for teaching me phonetics.
Thank you for teaching me spelling.
Thank you for teaching me grammar.
Thank you for teaching me to diagram sentences.

Thank you for poetry and literature.

Special thanks this morning to Sam Hornsby from 7th grade English in Junior High School. He had us read Idylls of the King.

I had to use the Gareth and Lynette story this morning in a piece I wrote.

Thanks for giving me the tools and supplies I so much enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Post Office Life 

I love going to the little Post Office in Tangerine. The alamandas there are lovely.

Earlier in the week, just for fun, I went to the Post Office over in Astatula. I had a fun catch up on the news chat with Judy.

But today, alas, I had to go retrieve two boxes at the Tavares Post Office.
Miracle of Miracles, there wasn't a line backed up to east Alabama today. I got in and out in an instant. Yay!

I got a book on self publishing from Powell's Books. It will be a last resort, but I am curious. The other box was from Grandma to the Birthday girl!

I phoned Demco this afternoon and ordered manuscript mailer boxes. I guess this is getting serious.

Thumbing through the mss this afternoon, I found a typo. Nargh! But better now than after that has replicated thousands of times.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Darn it! We have a really bad infestation of nematodes in the east side garden. Plants wilted all summer over there and I suspected fungal culprits.

But today Plant Daddy pulled up the underperforming Okra and those roots told the tale. Loaded with nodules.

We'll have to find some treatment. We used to use methyl bromide, but that's been banned. Must do research on this,

Meanwhile, I continue to chase down picyune details on the manuscript for the book. But it's coming along nicely. Kid gave me galley proofs over the weekend! Amazing. It looks like a for real book now!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Florida Gardening Magazine 

Hey Everybody!

Rush out to the News stands! (Publix has it and Books a million)

Buy this month's edition of Florida Gardening Magazine!
(The August/September issue with the bright red Bromeliad on the cover)

Open to PAGE 20!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Reading 

Each summer, I try to read something important. Some work of fiction which I have "missed". A book to advance my thinking or education.

In the past I have read Mark Twain, Sommerset Maugham, Thomas Merton or Taylor Caldwell over the summer. Last summer I read Thoreau.

This year I am reading Zora Neal Hurston's "Jonah's Gourd Vine".

It has taken me about 20 pages to get into the flow of reading dialect, but I've got it now, so the rest of the story will flow. I read "Their Eyes Were Watching God" some time ago and noticed the same thing. There was a book called "Because of Winn Dixie" which was a piece of garbage in part because the dialect did not remain consistent and the book'r rhythm was off. Hurston never makes that mistake.

So far, I enjoy that the story is about Sanford and Pierson and areas not unfamiliar. Too early to tell how the rest of it will play out.

What I really want to know is the botanical name of the gourd vine from the Bible story!!!Will it be in this title by Hurston? Probably not, but one can hope.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Aunt Jo died 

My Aunt Jo died yesterday after a brief illness.

She had said she had a hard time adjusting to all the medical testing and treatments she had to undergo in the last few months of her life. She had never been ill before so doctor visits and hospitals admissions were foreign protocols for her.

I sure miss her. She was a warm and open heart where I always felt welcome.

I had sent her a mandolin at Christmas and I hope she had a chance to play it. She was always musical and fun, but she had gotten sick right after the first of the year. She was the person who encouraged me to learn to play the ukelele. So today I will strum some tunes in her honor.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sad Mom Bad Mom 

I wanted to write a little story for the library web page and what do I come up with?

A 100 word story about poisoning cute furry woodland creatures.

What's wrong with me?

Anyway in the about the author paragraph for the book I wrote a few words about my squirrel hatred. I am thinking of changing that out to a statement about bowling or miniature golf.

And let it be officially said, I have never poisoned a squirrel or any furry woodland creatures.

I do go after the rats and mice that get in the attic every fall, but that's rodents. I am learning a lot from watching verminators, too!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

100 Word Story! 

Here's a new 100 word story...called


“I’ll never be your friend again!” Brooke bolted from Erika’s floral couch. “I’m leaving!”

“You said that sharing secrets would cement our friendship,” protested Erika, stinging from betrayal.

“You’re beyond disgusting,” Brooke snorted.

“Brooke, you just confessed to sex with your boss! That’s low!”

“I got the promotion. What excuse do you have?”

Erika bit her lips. She’d told Brooke about the poisonings but not about the motive. Would her friend understand that an electrical fire had leveled her first home, setting off irrational fears?

“ See? You can’t even answer…you…you squirrel killer!” Brooke slammed the door as she left.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Time for a Picture 

Here's a table top I mosaiced a while back. It's been in the mid 90's. Way too hot to be in the studio. Sitting in the Air Conditioning and writing is working out much better.

Palm Writers Group 

The librarian at East Lake Library told me about a web link. The Library invites local authors to post up their stories on it. Will it work? Well, give it a try...

Library Writers Page

I have to face the reality that publishing my book is not going to be a straight shot. I thought I'd just pick a publisher and run the bases. But these contracts are a bit thornier than they first appear. So I am slowing down and taking some time to read and study up and start the slow process of writing to publishers one at a time. Nargh!

Someone at the meeting last night asked me about writers prompts. Visit 100 word stories.com and email to BeckieJoie through her blog. She had a site that provides prompts.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Garden Gloves 

It is very rare that I, Mosaic Mom, wear gardening gloves.

I don't care about ruining my nails and I do not like the loss of "feel" of the plant materials.

But last night, thinking more like Rocky the prize fighter, I slid on a pair and set out to weed the okra.

The last time I weeded over there, I wrapped my palm around what might have been a scorpion and I was taking no chances this time!

I weeded with a vengence. Okra, peppers and then eggplant.

Unfortunately, the eggplant had a wasps nest...HAD being the correct verb form there. Thank goodness I didn't get stung.

I will be hauling a load of produce to the writers group tonight. Hope they are hungry.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What NOT to Buy 

So, I was at Target yesterday. There was a young couple standing in the toy section. The Mom, with multiple pierced parts, was holding a kid who looked to be about 8 to 10 months old.

"Let's get him this!" said the Dad,sporting a lot of tattoos, lifting a purplish bear-type animal off the shelf.

"He already has that," said Mom.

"I want to buy him everything on the shelf," says Dad.

Mosaic Mom is thinking to herself...Why not trot over to the bank and buy the kid a US Savings Bond so that when the kid graduates from high school, he can pay a little towards the tuition....

But Mom says nothing and another life gets flushed as the parents select a plastic car type toy.

How do you get a kid ready to go to college? It's so easy...While they are young, Buy a few Savings Bonds then tell the kid, "Look, you are going to go to college. Here's the money for it."

Program them early with that set of expectations.

Oh yeah, sorry...I am an old fogie with an unrealistic view of life.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

SAMA postcard 

I got a post card in the mail from SAMA yesterday. They want me to renew the membership. I want them to change their definition of them selves back from "fine art mosaics" to people with an "interest" in mosaics.More prolitariat.

I recall that last year, I had to beg to get the photo listing I'd paid for. (If they don't like your work, you don't get listed.) Too much hassle for me to argue with them,and their post card is in my dumpster, but glad they miss my dollars!

It is going to be very hot...over 95 today...so I am going to hang out at the mall.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Deal or No Deal? 

Plant Daddy and I have some patents. We license some people to grow our plants but we never ever signed ownership of these patents away.

As I read through book publishing contracts, I see that many companies want to own the author's copyright. (versus author retains possession of the intellectual material and licenses use of the work to others)

This rankles me. I did deeper research.

There was a case wherewithin one woman signed over her rights to a publisher.

The publisher sold the rights to a big mega-chain who picked up the book and made a mint. The publisher got a huge payout but lady got a pittance in royalties.

She could not negotiate because she didn't own the rights.

There is, of course a big fat suit, over this.

Looks like there are many pitfalls in the publishing industry.

Meanwhile...we are going to the mall tonight to stock up on jelly. That's a big night out for us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A sad story from the 1960's 

When I was about 9 or 10, the neighbors across the street adopted a daughter.

The man was the administrator of the local hospital. His wife was a stay at home mom and my mother’s best friend. They already had 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl. They wanted a second girl.

They were Baptist and I think that the adoption had something to do with their church.

Anyway, they were all black haired people and the girl they adopted was red haired and freckled.

They called her “Linda” but she was old enough, like 7 or 8, that she remembered her real name. We called her “Linda” when her parents were around, but “Sabrina” when we all played together.

Well, playing together is wrong. That girl was a monster.
She bruised and bloodied us, even the toughest boys in the neighborhood.

She fought hard. She was a biter and a scratcher. She’d bloody your nose if she didn’t get what she wanted. I suppose years in the foster system had forced her to learn physical survival skills.

Anything she wanted, she’d beat you up and get it. She stole my Barbie dolls. My sister lost her ukulele to the thug.

When adults confronted her she’d pour on the victim role…”I can’t help it. I’m adopted”. Her tears would flow. She could play the grown ups.

But us kids knew what she was really like. We steered clear of her. If we saw her coming, we’d run into our houses and lock ourselves in our rooms till she left.

Mrs. T. came over to our house one day to talk things over with my mother.

I remember asking “Why don’t you just give her back?”

“We’ll never give her back,” said Mrs. T.

But you know what? They did.

Ultimately, she beat up her sister. She was way too violent.

She arrived in June and she was gone before Christmas.

I felt sorry for her, but I also felt a great sense of relief not to have to face a wombat everyday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Cleaner 

Plant Daddy and I spent an hour watching a new show on A&E last night called the Cleaner. The show sucked (ooo such language!)

Anyway despite the language and the bad quality of the show, we watched the whole hour...JUST TO LOOK AT THE PLANTS!

Yes, it was the houseplants! On the set! Fabulous! Pothos and Draceana nd Ficus and Dieffenbachia. We loved it!

The trend back towards interior foliage plants is awesome! Enough with sterile. Get back to the garden!

Anyway, I've spent the day writing about Aglaonema chromosome counts. Now to go mash some potatoes for dinner.

Book report. A birdie says cover art will be done by the weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Virus Cured! 

I was without a computer since Monday. Had to take it to the shop to get the viruses reemed out. Seems to be working OK now.

The drive to the computer store was great. There are many many less cars on the roads these days. It's like it was here 20 years ago. Relaxed, enjoyable.

So Plant Daddy and I were wondering who was missing...well, it's not snow bird season. And most of the gone people are the construction workers, you know trucks with ladders and cement mixers and lumber. Those people were always wound up and in a hurry.

Anyway, tomorrow I will return to a normal computing schedule...that is all...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunt Terri! 

Happy Birthday today to Aunt Terri!

She was the first computer programmer in the family. She wrote in a language called COBOL. (I think that's what it was) She wrote bills for Strawbridge and Clothier!

I wish she would blog more but she has her hands full reining Uncle Eddie in on Ebay!

Doesn't every woman in America have that problem?

Anyway, Happy Day for you! Eat lots of cake!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Bright Idea 

Occasionally I come up with ideas that are not at all grounded in reality. Here's one:

Up at the corner, there's a store front where an IGA went out of business. I think it should be over hauled and turned into a cafeteria. People would come for lunch and all the local farms around here would be the source of the food.

Plant Daddy says we can call it "Green Garden Buffet"

It would be all local and organic. No hot dogs or fried processed stuff.

As if people would eat THAT (fresh food)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mosaic Trash Can 

Because everybody should have a mosaic trash can, Yes?

Lid close up

(hard to see, but the word "Trash" is spelled out...to distinguish from the aluminum can recycling bin!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anthurium Breeding 

Hey Everybody...go take a look at Plant Daddy's latest paper on Anthurium and Spathiphyllum Breeding...Click Here!

Death to Exoskeletons! 

I spent my birthday in a murderous rampage.

Death to Exoskeletons!

Do you watch the TV show called Verminators?
They show exterminators in action. Of course, they only show the grossest infestations. This has caused me to get out the sprays and go berserk.

I killed 5 Black Widow spider nests on the back porch and 2 in the laundry room.

I sprayed the entire pool deck lest spiders or termites move in. I was delighted to discover and kill a hornets nest in progress.

While on the front deck, I noticed one turd. I used to think it was a lizard turd, but watching the Verminators, I am convinced it is a rat turd. So I made 2 D-Con cupcakes for those little pests.

I sprayed around all the windows and doors, but not the interior. Man, it felt good!

At 1:00AM, I was just finishing reading a magazine article. I was just about to plump my pillow and pack it in, when …

One of those Gigantic Cockroaches came buzzing like a black hawk helicopter on a raid! Here he came to avenge his dead buddies!

I let loose a shriek.

“What is it?” yelled the just awakened Plant Daddy.

“Get the spray!” I hollered, ripping the sheets off the bed and searching for the dead roach walking!

The little bugger crawled behind the headboard, but the Raid fog got him.

Peace restored….for about 10 minutes, till the bugger made one last comeback attempt. At which point, Plant Daddy pounded him to death. Ah…….

Today, I am spraying the interior of the house. Heavily!

Birthday flowers from Plant Daddy!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me! Whee! 

Plant Daddy brought be 2 georgeous floral bouquets yesterday to start the celebrations off right!

Today he gave me 2 happy cards with my morning coffee...aw...puppies and kittens! Sweet!

Kid will be coming over later for supper and carrot cake! She will take the book for art and formatting. Best gift ever.

Aunt Karin sent a cake, but PD and I ate it in 24 hours. Thank goodness my mom sent a gift certificate so we can get the carrot cake tonight.

Yay! Go sing now!

Monday, July 07, 2008

All Messed Up 

I spent the whole afternoon at the endocrinologist. Blech! I gave a lot of blood for tests, but at least I am hopeful for the first time in a long time.

On the other hand, my computer is all fouled up. It will have to go to the shop on Thursday.

Plant Daddy is sad because one of the fox squirrels ran out in the road and got smushed this afternoon.

Spent yesterday cleaning the pool deck and porch furniture. Running late. Usually have that done for Memorial Day. Must be getting old, or sick or both. Blech.

Sister sent nice pound cake for birthday on Wednesday. That'll be good with a homemade fig preserve spread on top.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Update from Cousins 

My cousin phoned yesterday. The situation with Aunt Jo is ongoing. It really is a roller coaster ride for the family. Medical Science can provide moments of hope, or seemingly hope, then another crash. It is painful, hard on the emotions.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

No News is Good? 

Since Tuesday morning, no one has phoned to tell me how Aunt Jo is doing. I know they are busy, but ...oh well.

Hey, did the caterer show up?

One really, really nice thing happened yesterday, though. Joe DiFiore agreed to put a blurb on the back cover of my book. Joe DiFiore is God!

Suzy sent a forward. It will go out to the editor for a look see today. It was good, just a minor adjustment needed in verb tense.

It was too wet to go into the garden last night, so I must go fetch the okra this morning. Yum.

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