The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mystery Marigold 

OK, so we're sure it's not a marigold, but what is it?
I packed up a sample and mailed it back along with the unused seeds to Ferry-Morse yesterday.
They offered me a replacement package of marigolds, but I'd rather have an identification.
Is it a Turnip? Collards? Radish? Horseradish? Other?
Stay tuned...or chime in if you know the answer.

And...Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Stunning Morning 

First Big Shocker of the day: Mastertile in Tavares is closing in 2 weeks and all the staff has been laid off. All I can say is WTF!

Second Shocker: A poet lady in Palm Writers Group says that she is also an essayist and will soon have more diverse work for the group to review.

Third Shocker: I went to Lake Nissan to get a spare key for the Sentra. It took 3 trips up there, then once I was there it took an hour to get 1 key made ...and fit properly.OMG!

That's enough for today. Hope the rest is quiet!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Cold Stay Indoors Day 

I got a manuscript prepared to go to the Post Office tomorrow. And since I was going to the Post Office anyway...I yanked one of the mystery "marigolds" out of the garden. I'm going to mail it to Ferry-Morse Seed Company to see if they can identify it.

Other than that I ran down some references for a paper I'm working on. And during my breaks I edited a 100 word story called "Brad"

Zeus 1, Mole 0.

Beets and broccoli are looking good. Zuchinni and cucumbers, not so much.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trick My Dumpster! 

So, yesterday, as I’m finishing up my blog, I hear “Beep-Beep-Beep”.
I recognize that a large truck is backing up…and it’s it my driveway.
Hmmm. Better check this out.

So I go outside and scan the roadway, I don’t see a thing. But I can still hear a large motor signature. Idling close. Idling along my fence line. Idling and annoying me.

Still, I don’t see a thing. I start walking up the hill. I catch a glimpse of something bright royal blue. Hmmm. Better check this out.

Wow! It is the dumpster company bringing me a new can.

Now, back in August, I had phoned the dumpster company.

“Our can is rusted through. The floor is as thin and brittle as a saltine cracker. Very soon, garbage will fall on the hoister truck as he lifts and tips the can.”

“Can’t help ya,” says the lady at the dumpster office,” we don’t even have a 2 yard can on the lot.”

I sighed. I didn’t push it. Times are tough all over.
Still, I wanted to avert a messy dumpster bottom blowout.

“Well, Plant Daddy, I guess we are going to have to repair this ourselves.”

So, one Tuesday in September…the can gets tipped on Tuesdays, so it was empty…PD and I hoist the can with the tractor and haul it back to the Z shop. We turn it upside down.

I, your very own Mosaic Mom, learn how to operate a grinder. It was actually kinda fun and it was the first time I enjoyed metal work.
We take turns grinding the rust off until our dumpster bottom is smooth as silk.

Me and PD weld expanded mesh all across the bottom. (PD welded. I held a wooden pole to keep the mesh in position till the weld caught. Even Z-boy Melvin who used to teach welding at a VoTech in Pennsylvania gave an assist on this).

PD welded patches up the sides …I was going to write so the rats couldn’t get it…but one day I had walked out to the dumpster and a gopher tortoise had almost fit himself through the hole, that’s how big the holes were…

After the welding was done, I spray painted the welds so they wouldn’t rust. I got creative and had extra paint, so, basically the dumpster got a new paint job.

It was beautiful. It took a week to accomplish. We got the can back into position before the following Tuesday. Our tricked out can had been dumped 3 or 4 times before yesterday when this fellow offering a new can showed up.

I now had to confess about what we’d done to their can.
“Hmmm. Better check this out,” he said.

I let the dumpster company employee fellow inspect our work.
He agreed it was solid and secure.

And then I sent him and his new can away.

Yes, I turned down a new dumpster.

I wanted to keep the old one as the reminder of that week PD and I spent together in the Z shop, tricking out our can. Awww, dumpster love.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quest Stories 

I was reading the Narrative Design textbook last night and I got to the part about "quest stories"

Hmmm, thought I. How could I write a quest story in 100 words?

Then I remembered a topic at the 100 word story.com site. It was "There's never one around when you need it"

At the time I couldn't write that prompt. But now I can't wait to get to it.

But first ...a quest ...to the bank. the post office, the pharmacy, the dealership for a spare key...My quest will be to get back home and write!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday Thrills 

Do you know what thrilled me yesterday?

Two things.

First, at the mall, I found some new water bottles that Plant Daddy needed...as in, keep in the refrigerator and sip cold water all day...not plant irrigation type...

Second, I harvested 1 pound 10 ounces off the first picking of green beans!

I grow them in a 15 gallon pot. Pretty good yield, huh? I'll pick again on Wednesday then pull them out and start over. At $1.99 per pound, I made a profit!

Yum. Green beans tonight for supper.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Plant Daddy Attends OPEC meeting...in a way 

See these guys? They are the heads of OPEC at the big oil production announcement yesterday. Do you see the flowers?

The orange Anthurium there is Plant Daddy's hybrid 'Orange Hot'!

This photo is from Voice of America news site. I saw the floral arrangement yesterday on cnbc...bigger than a big dog and who'd'a thought it!!

Ligustrum japonicum 

This morning we (I) decided to trim the oak branches that were weeping low over the back patio.

So we (Plant Daddy) got out the ladder and the lopping shears.
We (he) trimmed them up.

Then we (I) decided that the nearby Ligustrum bush should not be touching the roof of the house, so we (he) trimmed those also.

Then he decided to pressure wash the patio and I decided to go to Lowe’s and get some red Rustoleum paint. Couples can’t spend all their time together you know.

When I get home with the paint, we (he) can paint the giant flower sculpture before we (we) set it out into the field.

Other miscellaneous thoughts...

These ligustrums have lived here longer than we have. They were installed when this house was built in the 1960's. I have great respect for them, but they must not tower over the roof!

Zeus,1. Rabbit,0.

I am thinking about going to the Mt Snora Craft fair to see if there are any mosaic artists exhibiting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coleoptera on the Ficus 

Or in real life terms...Beetles eating my Figs...Grrrrr!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mosaic Boot Shoe 

Joe DiFiore once told me never to base a mosaic composition around one ceramic element...lest it break and the entire composition has to be changed.

Well, guess what happened to the boot...Oops...therefore the delay...but I keep puttering along on it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunflower mosaic statue 

Here is a collaborative effort...Plant Daddy welded the sculpture and I mosaiced it. It is the first of many. We envision filling up our west side field with these..

(notice the lizard on the shovel handle checking it out)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Palm Writers Group Meeting 

See you tonight at the Sorrento (East Lake) Library at 6:30PM!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dogs Love to Ride 

My sister used to have a blog called Mobile Babe.
She and her husband used to drive all over the US of A and describe the ride.

Today they are out on the highway, but she will not have time to write a blog about it today. She called in a report and, nice sister that I am, I am going to write it up for her so you can all know about real life stories on the Interstate.

Here’s her story…

To the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”

My Doggie had fast food for breakfast
He loves the French fries and drive-through
But now that we’re out on the highway
My Doggie dear smells like poo-poo.

Dog fart, Dog fart
Oh, roll down the window and catch a breeze
Dog fart, Dog fart
Oh, spray the air freshener, please!

We made a quick stop at the groomers
My Doggie has had a shampoo
My Doggie can ride in the car now
And he will not smell like poo-poo.

Dog fart, Dog fart
Oh, roll down the window and catch a breeze
Dog fart, Dog fart
Oh, spray the air freshener, please!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Favorite Slogan 

One of my favorite slogans in life is this one:

If you always do
What you always done
You'll always get
What you always got!

Nuf said!

Friday, October 17, 2008


There is no zucchini over here.
No, not a one.

None that could be picked on Friday night and eaten over the weekend.

None that could be roasted with bell peppers and portabella mushrooms and potatoes and carrotts and tomatoes to be bought at Publix tonight. Nope, Zip.

If you are thinking, "I might drive out to the farm and collect Zucchinis", well, that's too bad, because oh no, they are not ripe and shiny and deeply green, ready to be picked.

Neither are their friends the radishes or the rosemary and basil and persimmons. Nope they are not ready yet, either. Nope, not here.

So you and your friends might just save a trip and not even bring bags for the sweet potatoe dig.


No zucchini here.

(Tee Hee. That oughta throw her off!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Brazilian Red Cloak 

Isn't it georgeous?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Collectible Pink Tile 

What a Happy Happy phone call I got this morning!

Anabel and John have bought a house and have started the remodel.
They do not want the pink tile in the old bathroom.

Anabel phoned to ask me if I would care to have it!

In a word...You Betcha!

Pink is a hard to get color! I can't wait!
(Will trade for plants for the new landscape. How about that!)

Thanks for thinking of me!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mosaic Boot Shoe Progress 

Mosaic boot progress

The theme for this mosaic boot shoe is going to be Beauty and the Beast.

It’s coming along, but it’s been hot in the studio again, nearly 90. The humidity builds in before the rains and it’s just not been a pleasant work week.

I really like the way I constructed his mane and I like the figurine I picked out for Beauty but finishing the details may have to wait for the next cool spell.

Commerce Park Upholstery did a great job on the headliner in the car and I love their plant collection in the front entrance.

I ran to Lowe’s and got an aerator and fixed the kitchen sink.

Stopped by Publix for the 69 cents a pound pears and Love the green glass tile mosaics in their newly remodeled restroom!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ultimate Solution for the Turnip Situation 



PS after consideration we think they're not turnips but radishes. We left one bed of about 125 plants on the north end. When they mature we'll have an I.D.

Maybe they're turnips? 

We think these FERRY MORSE mislabeled seeds might be turnips.

Gee, they'd get yellow flowers eventually...but they ain't marigolds!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Houston, we have a problem 

PD: Mosaic Mom, them marigolds don't look right.
MM: You're right Plant Daddy. They look funky.
PD: Do you still have the package of seeds from which these were germinated?
MM: Yes, right here in the refrigerator.
Mosaic Mom opens the package and looks. :The label says Marigold. But these seeds are Crucifers.
PD:Yep, them's Crucifers all right.

MM: Wonder why I didn't notice that before I planted 500 of them! NARGH!!!!!

For those of you who can't follow that, the bottom line is the seeds were mislabeled.

They are some kind of turnip, we think. I feel totally stupid for not noticing that the seeds weren't torpedo shaped, but I trusted FERRY-MORSE and planted 4 beds of the darn things...even gave some to the neighbor...oops!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday Topics 

Mosaic Mom's Mom got through the surgery just fine. Hooray!

Mosaic Mom's Sister had problems with the concrete pour. The gravel did not get delivered on time.

The red mustang that was being chased got nabbed over in Sorrento Springs according to today's paper. It was 3 purse snatchers trying to escape.

Plant Daddy and I dropped the Sentra off bright and early this morning. It will be picked up with a taut,new headliner this afternoon.

Much progress on the mosaic boot, still the devil is in the trim details. I will work along on it today.

We've had a nice round of rain for 2 days. The garden looks great. Green beans in sight!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Get Well Soon 

Mosaic Mom's Mom is having a little surgery today. It should go OK, so I'll let you know when we get the post surgical update.

Mosaic Mom's sister is pouring a concrete retaining wall today. It should go OK, so I'll let you know when we get that update too.

It has been a busy morning out on the highway. Three police were chasing a red mustang.
Some fellow who could not find the dump pulled off to ask my mailman for directions, but his brakes were loose and he almost caused a federal accident.

I am laying low. WIll take the Sentra for repairs tomorrow AM.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Weeding Marigolds 

I tried to weed the beds of marigolds, but the cat kept stepping on them. Zeus assumed I was at ground level to pet him, not to do garden chores. Grrr.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mosaics and Marigolds 

I will spend today filling in gaps where the beds of marigolds have wide spaces. Also need to do some weeding.

The green beans for Thanksgiving dinner look good.

Laundry is done...ironed on time ahead of a work week!

So I have a free and happy day in the studio once the garden chores are through.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mosaic Boot Progress 

I worked hard on the mosaic boot today. Made a lot of progress until the large black snake slithered into the studio. Then I decided it was time to go cook supper and do some laundry. Hope he will have slithered out by tomorrow morning.
(I thought I heard mice in the studio 2 days ago, so Black Snake's trip is not totally unwelcome.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy 5th Anniversary to Mosaic Mom Blog! 

Happy Anniversary, Mosaic Mom!

Mosaic Mom started to blog 5 years ago today!

The blog was originally intended as a way to communicate with Little Mind Escape when she was in college. I would write about the pets and the garden and local events to ease her homesickness.
She would read the posts every day and say, “Thank God I got out of that backwater!”

She had her own blog, hence her name “Mind Escape” and she posted stories about campus life. I also enjoyed the blogs of Ian (alcoholic wall of shame) and Casey (what a great writer!) and Serena (her houseplant named Bob).

In those days, Blogger crashed regularly. Or it got into a loop when you’d click the publish button. It was a mess. I am greatful that those messes don’t occur much any more.

Posting pictures required a Herculean effort. You had to upload the photos to a site called ‘Petri dish’ then download the photos back to the blogger server. But I so loved it! It was the chance to show off my mosaic art.

I didn’t think my mosaics were too good until I started seeing them on line. They were, I don’t know, somehow legitimate then. I could see details I wanted to improve and I could share ideas with other mosaic artists.

There used to be a directory called Blogwise. That’s how I found other mosaic people’s blogs to read.

I used to read the blog of a mosaic artist in San Francisco who was a Cuban-American and a public defender. I also enjoyed a part-time mosaicist in Virginia. Both ultimately quit blogging.

Blogwise ended. To find common interest blogs now, use Google searches.

I discovered that most blogs only last 3 years, if that long.

I used to read a baseball coach in Tennessee, a medical student in New Zealand, a really cool dude in India who visited and photographed Hindu holy sites on weekends. He blogged till he got married. I read a man in Scotland who was a ship spotter and a Cistercian monk who posted his sermons. They all quit. I miss them.

There was a lady named Karen who blogged out of Milwaukee. I was stunned when she died. Her family posted the notice.

After the kid graduated, she stopped blogging and I had to define why I still blogged. The answer was Aunt Jo. Everyday my elderly aunt would email me saying how much she enjoyed stories about the pets and the garden and local events. When Aunt Jo died, I wasn’t sure I’d continue.

I stayed because for me, Blogging is still about diary and scrapbook and bulletin board.

I never even updated my Template. I like this color.

Aunt Jo had always been very encouraging of my writing. As I began to move into writing, somehow my screen name became my pseudonym. My first book, that is now being reviewed by 2 publishers, is called “Mosaic Mom’s Tesserae Tales”.

I have since discovered that there is a whole new movement in writing called mosaics. I tried to write my first story in mosaic style just this month. It sucks.

But I tried. And like my mosaic art, it will get better with time.

The most bestest gift Plant Daddy ever gave me was last Christmas. He printed off 4 years worth of Blogs and had them bound.

Just like the mosaics got elevated by being posted, the blogs got elevated by being printed. It felt concrete. I cried.

If we ever get high speed internet in this backwater, I would like to learn to do podcasting, but for now, I’m just a diarist. A Blogger. I am Mosaic Mom.

Here is the mosaic boot, stripped and with one coat of Kilz

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mosaic Boot Shoe 

Telephone rings:

"Hello? Little Mind Escape? It's Mom calling. Are you going to wear those boots in the back of your closet ever again?"

"No, Mom. You can mosaic them."

"How did you know I wanted to mosaic your boots?"


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hypodermic Needles at Publix 

Hypodermic Needles in Plain Sight

The stinging smell of rubbing alcohol

Am I talking about a trip to my doctor’s office?

No, I am talking about what you will see at the FRONT DOOR OF PUBLIX !

They’re giving out Flu Shots. Beware. You will see people getting injected. They ought to put up a warning.
It’s enough to make me puke, vomit, even faint!

If you hate needles as much as I do, AVOID these PUBLIX on these dates.

Mt Dora Publix
Monday Oct 13
Friday Oct 24
Wednesday Nov 12

Eustis Publix
Friday Oct 10
Tuesday Oct 21
Wednesday Oct 29
Thursday Nov 13

The schedule says 10 AM till 2PM.

I am going to keep this schedule posted right by my grocery list. I will use other stores as much as possible.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Route Day 

Plant Daddy was up and out at 5:30 AM to go fishing. I hope he brings home lots of Pompano...or at least doesn't require emergency surgery for catfish injuries again!

I am off to run the first of the month loop...bank, post office, grocery...plus this was the end of a quarter so extra tax forms are due...blech...and more arrived in the mailbox this morning. Sigh. Death and taxes, they weren't kidding when they wrote that.

I made a pot of chile this morning...just in case PD strikes out. I'll hop in the car for the errands after I go water the beans. Green beans, now there's something to rely on!

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