The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Spring Planting 

Just when you think it's spring and you start browsing the racks of liners to replant the spring garden...along comes another freeze. Grrr. We will have 2 more nights to cover the celery, wrap citrus, be generally cold and grouchy. Grrr.

I went to the bank...everybody in the world was there.
I went to the groceery...everybody in the world was there.
I went to the Post Office...let's just say it wasn't empty either...grrr...

Oh well, we have wings in the oven with celery and blue cheeze dip.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Celery and Carrots 

Celery and Carrots

I have been working on a little story about Celery.

For inspiration I stopped at Publix and bought 3 stalks.

BTW…the produce guy says he sells about 1 case of celery every day Monday through Friday and 2 cases per day on Saturday and Sunday.

That is 9 cases a week.
There are 40 stalks in a case.
That’s 360 stalks per week.
That’s 18,729 stalks per year per one store.

If memory serves me correctly…yeah, that’s rich…anyway I think one acre produces about 15,000 stalks so you need a little better than one acre per year per grocery store.

ANYWAY…I bought 3 stalks of celery and I bought pimento cheese and I ate almost an entire stalk all by myself.

In the Book of Life let it be written…that was a stupid thing to do!
In the Book of Life let it be written…don’t do that again!

A few pieces of celery is good; a wad of celery is not so good…in fact, that may qualify as risky behavior…but look…

While I was at the doctor’s office yesterday, I thumbed through a magazine and there was a photo of someone I knew!

He was among a group of people who were on a weight loss competition.
Each competitor was assigned a personal trainer, a dietitian etc.

They had the weigh in…this fellow I knew was up to 380 pounds. I knew him back when he weighed about 250.

At 250 pounds he had wanted to lose weight and he went on a carrot diet.
All he ate was carrots. Morning, noon, night.
He ate so many carrots, he actually turned his skin orange.

I remember him sitting in the classroom, holding his palms up for all of us to see and explaining how the carotene was dyeing his skin.

He lost 50 pounds, but man, that put me off carrots for a while.
Anyway, I wish him luck.
I wish I had his email to warn him about celery,too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

100 word Story Cauliflower 

Marvella tingled as the trendy stylist rinsed shampoo from her scalp. Behind closed eyes, she dreamed of daisies in her golden braids. She wanted this make-over to restore her youth.

He cut, bleached and permed.

She stared at the hardwood floor. “It’s like the one I danced on at my wedding. I wore my long, brown hair in ringlets.”

He fluffed, teased, and sprayed.

She frowned, remembering inky dyes she applied as the decades stole her beauty. Surely, this pricey re-do would be alchemy.

He handed her a mirror, spun her round.

“It looks like cauliflower!” she shrieked and fainted.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Memoire Class 

The first day of writing class was a lot of fun.

The class has a full roster, 28 or 29 students who want to write their life stories.
Let me put it this way…I am the youngest person in the room.

We’ve been handed a stack of pages to fill in the blanks.

I must say that this format, in and of itself, does not interest me much…except that…28 or 29 people are about to sit in a room and tell their stories. What a gold mine for a writer. I will pick up a barrow load of quirky characteristics to use in future stories. For example…

During the “mixer” I met a lady from Miami. I mean a true Floridian. How rare is that! Here’s the detail that’s rich…We both discovered that we like gardening and had extensive yard projects.

She said,” Do you need any fruit? I’ve got plenty of fruit. I’d be happy to give you some.”

That looks innocent enough, right?
But here’s the thing…she didn’t say “citrus” she said “fruit”.

When you’re a native from Dade County, “fruit” is always assumed to be citrus.

Don’t you love it!

Another part of the mixer was this…play along if you like…

List your favorite color.
List your favorite animal.
List your favorite city.

Now go back and use ADJECTIVES to describe …
Use 3 adjectives for each heading.

OK, that was fun.

The teacher used “Iguana” and “Black” as the exemplars. (I don’t recall if she picked a city) and here’s what I wrote, a 100 word story:

100-word Iguana

Iris lounged on a black barstool at Castaways like an intriguing iguana warming itself on a rock. Her amphibian tongue lapped the maraschino cherry in her Manhattan as if it were a tasty ladybug. “I ought to go there,” she mumbled.

“Go where?” asked Larry the bartender, picking at his shamrock tattoo.

“Manhattan,” she replied, sliding to her feet. “See sights, tour art museums, hear opera, get me some culture.” She steadied atop red stilettos and loudly belched.

“You leavin’ now?”

“Naw, I’m gonna pee.” Iris wobbled towards the women’s room. “Pour me another for when I get back, Sweetie.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Writers Class 

This afternoon at 3PM, I will be over at the community college starting a class called "How to write your memoire". I'm bound to learn something cause I know nothing.

I bought a book called "The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction" by Peter Rubie. He lists memoire with adventure, biography, travel, history, military and true crime as sub-genres within narrative nonfiction.

I definitely need to learn.

As a practice piece, I wrote a narrative nonfiction piece about what I was doing on 9/11. It is garbage...like a fiction piece and a non fiction piece stuck together with Elmer's...not even smooth. This genre might be harder than it looks.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Too Close for comfort! 

The Hot Air Balloon Company web site says "Give the gift of adventure"

"PD, it's gonna be an adventure all right if they fall on our house!"

(They made it across to the lake!)

Buy 1 Get 1 Free 

While I was at the Mall, Plant Daddy had a once in a lifetime shot.
He aimed at one squirrel in the oak tree and actually 2 fell out!!!
He doesn't know how how did this...he never even saw the second one...but Zeus ain't complaining...

Fruit Plate 

Here's what's coming out of the garden...
Carrots, celery, strawberries and oranges. Yummy.

Must say the bell peppers and tomatoes took it on the chin. PD and I will be removing the dead crops this afternoon as we finally enjoy some warm weather.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sherry Hays Class 

We were down to 26 again last night. Freezes are just no good for anything but sitting inside and writing!

This info came around on the Palm Group email last night.

If you are interested in the next class that Sherry Hays will teach, you will need to contact Patricia Fulton at Quest Community Education at 352-253-6780 or email fultonp@lake.k12.fl.us for more information.

As far as I know, it is scheduled to begin Tuesday, February 10th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the East Lake Library, running six consecutive Tuesday evenings.

The topic of this class will be Getting Published.

This class will focus on knowing when a work is ready for submission, preparing the work for submission, and then identifying markets and avoiding scams.

There will be a fee for the class, but I don't have that information. I'm sure Ms. Fulton will let you know when you register for the class.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Last night at 11:15, Plant Daddy and I went out to the grove to start the irrigation for freeze protection.
The thermometer in the carport read 34,so we thought we were OK. (We want to start the water at 32 and keep running all night till sun up and temp rise.)

When PD turned the handle on the sprinkler lines in the grove, zip, nada, zero water.
The thermometer out there read 28…the lines had already frozen shut.

He got the main citrus line going, then on the second line, he got the small citrus but never could get the persimmons. They should be all right, but nothing was hardened off. Will have to watch for bark split.

It got down to 22.

We shivered all night. The heat pump in the house couldn’t keep up and the house dropped to 65 even though the dial was set at 75.

I was in a panic. Some friends of ours have Progress Energy. That energy company got a rate increase approved. Our friends found themselves with a power bill that doubled to over $400 this month. We can’t afford that, so I am trying to conserve.

Anyway, I was cold and woke up 3 or 4 times…once in a panic because I heard coyotes close to the house again. (Zeus is OK this morning. Blessed relief)

This morning, PD took the frost blankets off and shut the water down. He says things look OK. Usually it takes time for damage to show up though. It’s not looking good for a loquat harvest in February.

Bottom line is…we get to do it all over again tonight. Nargh!
I don’t think I could ever live further north than this. I am spoiled
I am a cold weather wimp fer sher! A Floridian!

Did I mention that it will be 80 again by Sunday?
Much better!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cauliflower recipe 

Even people who don't like cauliflower like this recipe!

1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup bread crumbs (I use crushed saltines)
1 hard boiled egg (do a quick cook in the microwave if need be)

Cook and drain the cauliflower. melt the butter in a separate pan, dump in the crumbs and eggs and mush all together. Dump butter crumb mix on top of the cauliflower. Oh yeah babe!

PS the usa2net email is out. I guess they had a problem with the freezing weather up there in Astor last night. If I'm not answering the email, just be patient or use the phone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The poet was amazing! I'll have to go scout the web and see if I can find that text.

Other than that, we're hunkering down for mid 20's tonight. I moved 3 large specimen begonias inside. Moved the lettuce into greenhouse 1.
Tonight PD and I will drag out the blankets and cover up...the plants. As for us, we'll pull on sweatshirts!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I must go buy the cat some cat food...the possum is eating it all!

Sometimes a great notion...yesterday afternoon was somewhat mild. I wandered back into the studio and looked at a design I'd made for another mosaic shoe.
It was really good.
That often happens. I think my work is bad, put it down, walk away and when I come back, I can see the strengths instead of all the problems.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pushin' a Pencil 

I got a new writing gig...I am transposing scientific data into popular press. Kinda fun, but I was concentrating on Tables and missed Blogging yesterday. Sheeesh!

I saw a classified ad in Writer's magazine about writers groups. I responded to the ad, but nobody answered...probably a good thing for my wallet...anyway...I went out on the web and found some info on my own. Our writers group feels awkward to me at the moment...or maybe it's just me with all this work to write now that the calander has clicked around to January.

Anyway, the University of North Carolina website was full of ideas. How did anyone ever work without computers!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back to the Garden 

Hey, Baby, What’s in your Garden?

For the average American, suppertime means choosing which fast food parking lot to cruise through.

McDonald’s or Wendy’s?
The Colonel or Popeye’s?
Pizza Hut or Sobik’s?

For Mosaic Mom and Plant Daddy, suppertime means prowling through the backyard to hunt what’s ready to harvest.

Here’s what we got last night…

Celery, cauliflower, broccoli, oranges and strawberries.

But the really neat part of supper last was that Aunt Dakota and Uncle Radio sent us a buffalo roast.

Yep, Buffalo.

We had a chuck roast of bison.
It was really, really good.

It was delicious.
We polished off dinner at 5PM and at 10PM we were making sandwiches out of cold roast and dill pickles! It was amazing. Yum.

I thought buffalo was going to be gamey. I was a little afraid of it. From time to time we get a venison roast or wild hog from hunter friends. That meat is pretty darn gamey.
Buffalo was not gamey. Not one bit.

The most important thing about the buffalo was this…that meat came from somebody’s back yard….just like my vegetables.

That roast came off a small crop grown by a small rancher near where Aunt Dakota lives. That meat did not come through the mass manufactured feed lot production line.
I ate the first red meat I had eaten in decades.

And I could taste the difference…I could feel the difference.
I had a spiritual awakening because of the buffalo chuck roast.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mom's Buick 

We called it the Cockroach because of the rear design...

It was a very speedy car and/or Mom was a very speedy driver in this Buick!


I had felt disloyal about buying a Camry instead of an Altima. But yesterday, Toyota sent me an email saying, "Welcome to the Toyota family" It felt good...like I wasn't an orphan or something.

The registration came in the mail. There had been some confusion, so I drove over to the tag office. Once they confirmed that I was good, I tagged "Big Blue"...

and that is telling right there. How long has it been since you had a car with a name?

When I was a teenager, our family had Big Red, and Mom had a hideous car we called the Cockroach. We had the Ghost and Lady Bird. Then cars got sterile. and it was just the cougar or the VW.
I am glad to have one with a name....as long as the thing runs trouble free for the next 12 years!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting My Youth Back 

Many people wish to have their youth back. I do from time to time...and last night I got my chance to relive my days as a good old girl from rural Georgia.

"Hey Plant Daddy! There is gas in the tank of the Altima. We should siphon it out before they haul the wreck away!" sez I.

"Here's a length of hose. Knock yourself out," sez PD.

So I sucked 8 gallons up the tube.

I felt dizzy and I coughed like a cracker for an hour afterwards, but I got 'er done...

(Holy Mother of God, am I the cheapest woman on Earth!?!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

The End Is Near! 

Maybe...as soon as the wrecker comes to remove the Altima from the backyard.

Am working furiously to get the packet to the accountant today. Only a week behind,,,Nargh!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


It's a Toyota Camry. Sorry, forgot to say that.
I feel disloyal to the Nissan family, but hey, maybe if Nissan comes out with some nice new colors, I'll trade in a few years again.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Before and After 

Enough already 

After a crazy week past, I'm looking forward to a day of gardening. Well, mostly sitting in the sun and sucking my thumb.

The washer repair man fixed the machine. I can get clean clothes now.

The wreck haulers did not come for the car. That ties me up and I can't get to the accountant to do tax work till they do. Or I'll have to go and hope they don't show up. And no, they did not give a phone number to communicate with them. Such a frustrating week.

I went car shopping on the internet last night. The new altima colors are awful; the choices are black, white, red, blue or grey. I would like green or light blue.

Toyota offered a live chat sales person...who indicated he was on the phone so he'd have to have me wait and couldn't chat. I mean, at least I didn't drive to a dealership for such rude treatment. I told him I'd be over at the VW store when he got done and I clicked off.

I went to VW and if I don't install a flashdrive update, they won't let me onto their site. No Jetta for me I guess.

Went to Kia and Saturn too. Didn't really like those but discovered that black, white, red, blue or grey are the only car colors anywhere. There is a paint shortage in America I guess.

I am really going to have to get in touch with the VW people. They have yellow and green. Sheesh!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

And the hits just keep on rolling... 

I couldn't make this stuff if I were writing fiction...

Spoke too soon... 

The washer went out and flooded the laundry room.

Murphey's Law Morass 

So first the Altima gets whacked.
Then the well goes out.
Then the kitchen drain starts leaking.

That's three, that should be enough.
But wait there's more...

A possum has moved into the office.
I have a UTI
and a tax form is due by the middle of next week and I can't get over to the accountants yet.

That's 6. Enough already! Nargh!

Happy 90th Birthday to Plant Daddy's Momma!

Oh yeah, the 1-800 Flowers. com order got screwed up. That's 7.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Car and Classes 

Spent most of the day waiting for the insurance adjuster. The news wasn't too happy so instead of lengthy repairs we are totalling it out. I will fetch the title and call the wrecker service tomorrow.

Several ladies had asked about mosaic classes this spring but nobody's schedules are opening up so I will put that idea on the back burner for a while.

Since I had time I've signed up for a writing class at LSCC. Although I'm not interested in writing memoires myself, I know a lot of people in our Palm Group who write them. This may help me in the way I review them. Also I may want to write Plant Daddy's life someday.

A bromiliad collector had written a memoire. Someone gave it to us as a Christmas gift. I read it and today I sold it on Amazon. Bye Bye Bromliad Book!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Altima oops! 

The good news is the driver's OK. At the end of the day we're standing around the Z shop laughing about the bad day. Nothin' that a few Z boys can't manage in their spare time! Or not...we'll see.

Good News Bad News 

The good news is Helen is OK.

The bad news is the Altima is waiting for a wrecker to bring it home.

We told her "Don't tailgate!"
I guess she'll listen now.

Monday, January 05, 2009

First Monday Mosaics 

The wake up call this morning felt like a pack of wombats attackig me with great force. After 11 days off, it's back to work.

Have to close the 08 books and open the 09 books then deal with taxes. Nargh! I hate tax season.

I started a new mosaic shoe yesterday. Also I registered for a writing class at the local community college. Details soon.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Turnips and Orchids 

Plant Daddy and I jumped for joy when Bernie said he’d take the turnips to Anthony House. So I pulled ‘em up and drove over to Bernie's house.

“Where are you going from here?” Bernie’s wife Marie asked me after the vegetables were stashed on their patio.

“To Lowe’s,” I responded. “Plant Daddy and I cleaned out the Z shop. Plant Daddy was going to toss an old wheel barrow, but I salvaged it to use as a planter.”

So Marie went with me and we both got flowers at the garden center. She got verbenas and a dendrobium, I got pentas and a cymbidium. Yes, orchids as yard flowers! Ya gotta love it!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Last Call for Turnip Harvest 

This will be the final call…if you want turnips, come and get ‘em!

These turnips are the size of baseballs and quickly becoming softballs. The weather is going back into the 80’s and no doubt this crop is going to bolt.

“Why don’t you eat them yourself Mom?”

Turnips contain isothiocyanates. Mom is not going to risk it. I never meant to plant these turnips anyway, remember?

Turnip saga began back in September when I bought MARIGOLD seeds at Lowe’s.
Voila! Turnips came up!

(Ferry Morse resolved the problem and I should have a great ornamental floral planting of Marigolds in the spring.)

Anyway, I want the bed space for green beans. I took the last of the pole beans out yesterday and will replace that trellis with fresh cucumbers. I’ll need the outside turnip bed for a new green bean cycle.

Yesterday, Plant Daddy and I refreshed the pineapple house. Tossed out the monsters that were finished producing (some of them had grown out the bottoms of their pots and had reached a height of 5 feet) and we set about 30 new pups. We selected about 40 mature plants to start inducing flowers and fruits for the July/August season! Yummy! I will be fertilizing those today.

Celery good, beets good, tomatoes good, carrots starting to come in pretty good, lettuce excellent, broccoli bolting needs to replant, cauliflower good. Sugar pod peas not good. Temperatures too warm this year. Strawberries getting’ happy.

Turnips gotta go.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009 

New Years Day

When I went to the endocrinologist in July, she asked, “How much do you drink?”

I gave her the truth, “I drink after the Writers Group meeting once a month because drinking is what writers do.”

She chuckled, but it’s true. Other than the monthly writers meeting, I don’t even think about drinking. Except for holidays…like New Years Eve especially.

I went to Dollar General yesterday afternoon to fetch maraschino cherries for my harlequin jelly recipe. I got stuck in the check out line behind a woman who had lost her credit card, a man buying some canned food, and a 20-something woman buying an aluminum roasting pan.

It gave me time to espy the Ginger Ale stacked next to the checkout. “Hmmm,” thought I,” that would be good with Makers Mark tonight.” And into the cart it leapt. I was a victim.

I opened said Ginger Ale at 4:30PM. It was kinda flat. No wonder it was on sale for a buck at Dollar General. But mixed with Makers Mark, who cares.

If you read that line carefully, you will see that Mom started New Year’s Eve boozin’ at 4:30PM! Oh Hell Yeah!

Mom boozed through supper. Mom boozed through jelly making…yummy, toast! Mom boozed through reruns of the Twilight Zone. “Let’s make our own Twilight Zone!” I shouted to Plant Daddy about 11:00PM! (Plant Daddy had mixed the flat Ginger Ale with Canadian 12. He was orbiting, too!)

We got out the golf cart and drove all over the farm in the dark in the golf cart. It was great fun except we were afraid the coyotes might eat us, so we made lots of noise. We listened to our neighbors shoot fireworks. We double checked the gates and the perimeter then came inside.

The ball dropped…then we did, too.
Sheesh! Mom cannot handle 7 hours of booze anymore. Old age I guess.

In 2009, Plant Daddy and I will be married 30 years. This is as wild as we get!
(It took me 10 minutes to find my glasses this morning. I think I took them off around 10:30PM cause vision correction became meaningless about then.)
Hope you had a Happy New Year too.!

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