The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Breakfast time 

I’ve got to blog fast…there is a big whonkin’ storm blowin’ in.
Looks like we’re in for a nasty afternoon. I’d be surprised if there’s a space shuttle landing today.
I hope the new greenhouse roves hold. Hell, I hope the roof on the house holds!
This is more like a March storm than a winter cold front.

Plant Daddy cooked us brunch this morning. We feasted on Jimmy Dean sausage patties and fried eggs and whole wheat toast. I got to thinking about memorable diners I had breakfasted at….(What kind of grammatically awful sentence was that!)

Memorable Breakfasts

The Waffle House on Hwy 441 just south of Archer Rd. in Gainesville.
I wonder if it’s still there. I wonder if I’d still eat there. But in 1972 at 2AM it was the best place ever! And the eggs so good, the food is memorable to this day. There was a diner on University Ave. near a Taco Bell, but their food was not nearly as good. Both places were open 24 hours which was essential to college life.

The Krispy Kreme Factory in Atlanta.
There was something wonderful about watching your donut get fried and iced and delivered right to your plate all fresh and hot and melt in your mouth. Wow!

The Pelican Diner in St. Pete.
A classic for style, but I don’t remember the food at all.

Honorable Mentions for Memorable Grits goes to
The Huddle House near the Fox Theater on Peachtree Street in Atlanta and
The Rexall Drug store in LaGrange

In the ‘80’s everybody “brunched” instead of going to diners. The brunch I loved was at…

Mission Inn in Howey.
They served exotic fish. Smoked fish, pickled fish, lox, sardines, kippers, and exotic cheeses.

Why do I ever sit and wonder why I’m a fat girl?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Leftover Tesserae 

One piece of a mosaic, one little bit, is called a tessera. Since that is Latin, the plural is tesserae. Betcha didn't know that! Anyway, here's some bits and pieces of news...

Florida Gardening Magazine
The December/January issue just hit the stands. Buy a copy. Read the excellent article by yours truly on page 36 entitled “Snowbird Solutions”.

Wonder if they left yet?
We have Canadian friends who were to leave for Thailand on Nov. 28th. Perhaps they have changed their holiday plans since terrorists have seized control of the airports. This is the same couple who were in the tsunami in Thailand in 2004.

No news is good news.
Lulabelle has a friend with family in Bombay. No news yet. No news from our friends in Bangalore either.

Kennesaw Mountain
A neme from a blogger in Atlanta reminded me of Thanksgiving Day 1977. A group of us hiked off our holiday calories by climbing Kennesaw Mountain. After we descended, some of the kids were art students and they fired raku in the fellow’s backyard.

Lulabelle has enrolled in a course in art history (Rococo and Baroque) at Rollins to begin in January. If she likes this return to the classroom, she might decide on Grad School full time. Of course, if she enrolls full time in grad school at Rollins, we most certainly will go Baroque paying that tuition bill.

A Man’s job is never done….
“Plant Daddy, Honey? Sweetie Pie? My big, strong hunk of man?”
“Would you please remove the dead, bloated, floating mouse from the swimming pool skimmer?”

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Blues 

My Black Friday Fat Pants Blues…!

As I cooked Thanksgiving dinner,
I knew I’d made a winner
As I chewed on maple-candied yams
And chitlin’ gravy bits.
The turkey was so tender.
Celery stuffing to remember.
But as I got dressed this morning…
My fat day pants don’t fit!

Each and every bite of mince pie
Brought tears of joy to each eye.
From the garden, fresh picked yellow beans
Were butter-bacon hits.
The homemade bread was fresh hot
Smeared with fig jam from the sweet pot.
But elastic waist is maxed out…
My fat pants doesn’t fit!

Should I hit the treadmill real hard?
Run laps until I’m real tard?
Lift them weights? Do sit-ups? Swim some laps?
Good Lord, that is the pits.
I’ll eat another pie slice,
And I think that will be real nice.
Then tomorrow I will face facts…
My fat pants doesn’t fit!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

100-word story Thanksgiving 

As her American foreign exchange family said grace, Kifimbo held her kerchief to her nose against the overpowering smell of camel saddles.

“Amen! And Happy Thanksgiving! Try some oyster dressing with your turkey, dear,” they urged.

“Pickled pear? ” they offered. She grimaced at the sour-smelling, hamster-shaped things.

The brilliant-red, grainy globs, “Candied apples,” they beamed as she chewed one, tasted sweet but reminded her of the dental paste distributed by missionaries in Somalia.

Dessert resembled headcheese embedded with apricots.

Kifimbo’s tongue explored a splinter of the lumpy, gelatinous mass. She bit hard, then gagged uncontrollably on the holiday fruitcake.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mosaic Turkey 

My mosaic turkey won't be finished by tomorrow. Mr. Gobbler still needs more Bisazza feathers across his rump and some pottery to enhance the wings. He's not grouted yet. Then I can work the red Bisazza for his comb..but we will use him as is tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mosaic Boot Done at last 

Beauty and the Beast Mosaic Boot

Doing a mosaic application on a boot was harder than it first appeared. Getting the neck of the boot solid was the first requirement. Then the difficulty in design is that the ankle area visually seems to go thick.

Oh well, done at last and moving on to another project or two...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Plant Daddy 

Lulabelle came home yesterday and we celebrated PD's day 24 hours early. That gave us a whole day of cheer.

PD got a surf and turf meal grilled especially for him.

He got a hat and some underwear and a Day by Day calendar made specially for him by Lulabelle! (It's Little Mind Escape's new nickname)

Tonight when he gets home from the office, I have one more surprize...he is going to love it! I hope!

Happy Birthday!...and I won't even sing the birthday sone at ya anymore...promise!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


A friend of ours has broken out in shingles. She is in a lot of pain with it. I wish we could offer her some help, but it more or less has to run its course.Here is a photo from a medical website. Go to shingles.com for more info.

I seem also to have a computer virus. I have had no incoming email for 2 days now. If you're not hearing from me, it's not because I'm not trying.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tax Day 

Yesterday, I trudged to downtown The Berries to pay the property taxes.
I wore my atheletic shoes and inded I needed them for the 5 block walk from where I had to park then hike to the courthouse.

There's a lot of construction downtown of parking garages. I think next year I'll still park and walk on the street as always. Parking garages give me the creeps.

At work on Wednesday, some lowlifes did a smash and grab on one of the professors cars in the parking lot. We are greatful they did not smash the Greenbean. We've been fussing about security out there for a long time. What will it take to get it done?

Anyway, wound up at Lowe's getting a few last minute birthday items for PD!! I have to wrap them today!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fig Preserves 

I’ve always loved fig preserves.

It’s exotic and rare; you have to know somebody who has trees and puts up the preserves in order to get some.

(OK, yeah, there’s a brand at the grocery store, but I mean real, tasty, homemade fig preserves)

In 1969, my folks bought a farm. There was a huge, mature fig tree on the east side of the farmhouse.
I was in fresh fig heaven, but I didn’t make preserves at that time since I was off to college.

My life was fig-less for a decade. Then Plant Daddy and I bought this farm and one of the first things we planted was fig trees.

And one of the first failures we had was fig trees.

The only way to control the stem borers was to apply a chemical called Lindane, and that rendered the fruit inedible.

Eventually, we tore out the figs and replaced them with peaches. One day we will discuss how much woodpeckers love peaches, but that’s another story…as to the figs…again, I went fig-less, this time for almost 3 decades.

One day Plant Daddy had a chat with a guy on the farm crew named Cecil. The subject of figs came up and Cecil, a true Cracker, said figs must be planted with their roots near a slab so that the roots can stay moist and cool.

So PD bought 3 Brown Turkeys and planted them near the old soil slab. Lo and Behold! We got figs!

Fast forward about 4 years and about 10 trees later, I have enough figs to attempt a batch of fig preserves.

The first batch was a failure.

But this second batch…die and go to heaven!!!

Here’s the recipe. I adapted it from a Sunset Jelly Book…

2 ½ Lbs Fresh Figs
2 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
¼ cup chopped walnuts
I stirred all this together and when it got hot, I hit it with the blender stick to get a smooth texture. When it boiled, I added a tablespoon of Sure-Gel. When it looked thick enough, I slopped it into pint jars and into the fridge.

I waited 24 hours then I tasted it and went to fig heaven! Holy Moly! The citrus flavor with the fig texture is amazing! Happy Happy.

I am eating it smathered on top of the zucchini bread I made yesterday.

Oh yes, that was worth waiting 4 decades for!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stained Glass Mosaics 

Mosaics at the Writer’s Group

A new member arrived at the writers group meeting yesterday.

She said she had traveled through Alaska and wants to write her travelogue. She says she does mosaics (with stained glass) as a hobby. It will be interesting to see her work, both writing-wise and mosaics-wise.

Jackie at the Writers Group told me yesterday that she has finished making a mosaic flower pot (also with stained glass). She complained that it “bites” her, so I invited her to the studio to apply a little Dremel grinding on the problem.

I hope the weather warms up so we can get in the studio again soon. Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the mosaic turkey sits undone.

I hope the weather warms up so I can get in the garden again soon. I’m sure the cucumbers and tomatoes are not happy. The temps have dropped into the 40’s. We took the zucchini out last weekend. Why fight it?

I want to get the sugar snap peas started. Maybe if I go out in the middle of the afternoon, I’ll be warm enough to git ‘er done.

It was very cold in the Writer’s meeting room last night. The library was still running the air conditioning. We’d warm up then the air would come on and every one would reach for their jackets. Brrrr. Then the air would click off and we’d shed. Repeat cycle for 2 hours.

Still, it was a very enjoyable meeting.

In the kitchen yesterday…to change the subject…I made a batch of strawberry jam, a batch of fig preserves, a batch of pickled green beans and one glaceé pineapple. I guess that’s what you call what I did to the pineapple. I boiled it in so much sugar that it turned into one of those fruit chunks like you find in a fruit cake. Holy Berjolie, it is soooo good.

Today, I have to go process the last of the zucchinis into zucchini bread. It’s a nice thing to do on a cold day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Cat 

Zeus helps Mom with the laundry...or is he just finding a warm place to hang out on a chilly morning?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bad economy 

It’s a tough economy.
And yet,some stores deserve to go broke.
Take this for example…

A couple of weeks ago, I went into a shop to do some Pre-Christmas scouting.
I had never been inside this little store before.

“Hello!” I said cheerily to the clerk. She was a middle aged woman (younger than Mom).

“’lo” she grunted without looking up from her computer screen.

“Do you have XYZ gift?”

“Nope.” The woman grunted, still glued to the screen.

I spied some pre-wrapped items I thought might be XYZ’s so I walked closer to look.

They were not XYZ’s but then I started looking at ABC’s and DEF’s and started enjoying browsing.

Suddenly I came across some Royal Doulton figurines. Cute!

They had girls names on them. “Do you have Lulabelle?” I asked, since that is the name of Mom’s daughter.

Clerk sighed heavily and hoisted her fanny across the floor. She picked up the figurines one at a time and read off the names. Sure enough, there was a Lulabelle.

Lulabelle cost $35.00 for a 4 inch tall figurine. But it was cute!

“I’ll take it.” I said.

We walked toward the register. “Do you have a box?” I asked.

“No.” said the clerk who had not made small talk or said anything at all to Mom in a conversational way.

“Look,” says I,” this is Royal Doulton and I’m not going to carry it loose in a plastic bag swinging through the mall. It’s a gift. I want a nice box for presentation. If I’m going to spend $35.00, I want a box.”

I heard her sniff. “I’ll look in the back.” she said. And she went into the store room, Lulabelle figurine in hand.

I waited and I waited and I waited.
“Any luck?” I called to her in the back room.

“Not yet,” she replied.

I waited and I waited and I waited.
Finally I said, “Forget it, lady.”
I left.
She never did come out of the storeroom.
Later on, I walked by the store and looked in the window.
She was back to enjoying her computer screen uninterrupted again.

Mom appreciates that the tough economic times are going to weed out the customer no-service weeds like this one.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yay! Ferry Morse! 

The saga of the mystery marigolds is solved!
(see Mosaic Mom’s Blog posts between Sept 23rd and October 11th if you need to follow this story)

The mystery is solved!
Ferry Morse sent me a nice letter yesterday saying that yes, indeed, those are turnips.

I am so happy. I can eat them now…I have over 100 turnips…anybody want some turnips?

Ferry Morse also sent 4 replacement packets of marigold seeds. Great! I will sow them in February!

They also sent a prepackaged planter with some herbs. I am going to send that back to them. I did not complain in order to get free stuff. Replacement seeds and identification on the turnips was what I wanted.

Overall I am quite impressed with how they handled it.
Excellent Customer Service!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Porsche Wreck 

So me and PD are eating our pork chops when a loud bang interrupts dinner. A head on right out in front of the house.

Mosaic Turkey 

I made a good bit of progress this morning...more to do yet though!

Mosaic Progress 

The boot finally looks better. I got the whole top front section replaced after the accident.

The mosaic turkey looks great. I'll shoot photos today.

I am totally ticked off...racoons are eating Zeus's catfood and little shitter birds (aka wrens) are landing and pooping on my mosaic desk. I will ask Santa for a pellet pistol for Christmas. Hey, wildlife ain't all it's cracked up to be...especially when it wanders indoors!

The garden is magnificant...beets, carrots and celery! yes, Celery! all doing well.There will be green beans to pick later in the week. I see that spiral hams are on sale at Publix this weekend...Green beans and Ham...Yum!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Terri and Eddie! 


Terri and Eddie were married 38 years ago today.

The happy couple exchanged vows at Aldon Manor in Germantown, PA before Justice J. Roberts at 11:00AM.

The bride, a computer programmer for Strawbridge and Clothier of Philadelphia, wore a chic, silk, Jackie Kennedy style shift dress topped with a unique hairpiece made by her mother. She carried a white cattleya orchid surrounded by a seasonal bouquet of spicy chrysanthemums. The Groom was a Stock Broker with Dean Witter also in Philadelphia.

Anita DiFulvio served as Maid of Honor. The groom’s best friend, Joe Gibson, stood as Best Man.

The ceremony and reception were attended by family, friends, (and visiting relatives from Georgia who got lost while driving on the Schukyll Parkway).

The joyous couple honeymooned at Christmas time by jetting to Acapulco, Mexico.

Today Terri and Eddie plan to renew their vows over lunch at a restaurant near their residence on the Eastern Shore.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet Potato Recipe 

Sweet Potato Casserole With Topping

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray casserole pan with spray no stick stuff.

3 cups hot, sweet potatoes, mashed
⅓ cup milk
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Mix it all up and pour into the 9x13 casserole dish.

1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
⅓ cup soft (not melted) butter
1 cup walnuts chopped

Mix the topping up with a fork and sprinkle onto the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 for about 25 to 30 min.

I always feel like this casserole is a pain in the neck to make. By the time I’ve cooked the sweet potatoes, I just want to drench them in some maple sugar and get down to eatin’. I rarely follow recipes with so many steps. I usually only make this casserole twice a year.

However this recipe is soooo worth the effort!

It is so absolutely positively delicious.

I love it!

PS. I think it originally came with some sweet potato plantlets I bought from a seed company, but it's been decades, so I'm not 100% sure where I got this.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dremel Tool for Mosaics 

Someone asked if a Dremel Tool can be used to cut dishes for mosaics.

I do not use a dremel for that purpose. I use a wet saw. Joe and Rosemary use their gemini taurus ring saws. Rosemary complains that the cutting band throws off track easily, but Joe uses the gemini a lot. I have a ring saw, but have never used it. Plant Daddy has threatened to give it away. He is hurt that I don't use his gift, but I can do anything I want on the wet saw.

Someone else asked about Rich Rudden and Mt Dora Mosaics class.

Rich Rudden worked his fanny off to give classes at the Arts Center. I learned that I would never be able to carry tiles and tools up their flight of stairs. I think after the art car project, he decided to stay in the Orlando area rather than do the commute to teach classes in Mt Dora.
Hint: If you are teaching mosaics at a location away from your studio, you will have to have a system for transporting heavy stuff!

Last question: Mosaic Christmas Tree: It's made out of chipped Bisazza.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

New Greenhouse Roofs 

Or is it "rooves" ?

Who cares as long as we have some winter freeze protection...and judging by my sister's blog in South Dakota, we're going to have a chilly spell this season!

It took the crew a week. They were here working at the crack of dawn every day, but finally the weather cooperated (it has to be windless to keep these large sheets of poly from flying away) and they got her done.

I will spend today sorting out the pineapple crop in House 2. They will be much happier plants this season. Last year they made it without a roof, but they weren't happy.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mosaic Turkey 

I've got the Bizazza laid out and the plate cut. Hope to get started in earnest over the weekend.
Right now the greenhouse roofers are still around. Have to keep an eye on them. They crushed the green beans and the zucchini this morning. I suppose I won't be complaining this winter when the first freeze comes though.I'll be glad to have my rooves.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mosaic Turkey 

I have started work on a mosaic turkey and hope to have it finished to use as a table decoration at our annual feast. Photos soon.

The greenhouse roofing crew is still working so Zeus and I are off schedule a bit. However. Zeus is keeping up his quota ...

Zeus,1; Rat,0
Zeus,1; Wren,0
Zeus,1; Squirrel,0

Zeus is old. You have to admire his work. He's 13 or 14 years at least. And I'm still saving on Meow Mix. So, good cat! You go boy!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Beauregard Sweet Potatoe 

The end of October means sweet potatoe harvest.
We got a bonus with this 3 1/2 pound specimen!

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Vote 

I am still undecided at this moment, but I can guarantee one thing...

I would absolutely, positively vote for the candidate who promised to do away with changing the clocks every 6 months.

This is stupid!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mosaic Christmas Tree and Solar, too! 

Plant Daddy and I have decorated for the holidays early this year.
We moved the Mosaic Christmas tree outside and decorated it with two strands of solar lights.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mosaic Mom Goes to the Grocery 

Three of these things go together
One of these things just doesn’t belong
Can you guess which one of these things is different
Before my song is done?
And now my song is done.

So, Boys and Girls, here are 4 things Mosaic Mom saw as she was grocery shopping today.
Which one is different?

1. Hooker #1. Tan colored older model Buick, all the windows rolled down, parked in front of the Dollar General. All you could see of Hooker #1 was her white feet sticking up in the back seat, ankles crossed, feet wiggling and waving to beat the band. Her Black pimp was propped on the hood of the car repeatedly thumbing bills inside an open wallet.

2. Hooker #2. White SUV parked in front of the Agricultural Inspection Station, killer rims! She’s blond, wearing a hugely oversized white t-shirt, waving at all the bikers in the local sports bar. Her pimp is a mean looking wombat white boy.

3. Hooker #3. Sitting on a bench in front of Belk’s with one leg drawn up to her chest, the other leg spread wide. She is wearing a cheap polyester wig and hideous coral colored lipstick. Her face looks 100 years old. No pimp.

4. Bum #1. At the traffic signal exiting Publix. His sign reads “Homeless. Will work for food. Please help.” He has curly shoulder length brown hair.

Which one doesn’t belong?

If you said “The Bum”, you are right.

His hair was clean. In fact, his hair was so pretty and fluffy, I wondered why he didn’t do hair commercials.

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