The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spring Celery 

Maybe it’s spring!
I went into the studio yesterday and didn’t shiver and shake all afternoon. By 3PM it was very warm and I opened the back door to catch a breeze.

I cleaned.
My bench was filled with Christmas projects still unfinished. Sheesh! I put them away till next year and hauled out a mosaic shoe to work on and a strawberry jar to design. I’ll make a nice start on both of those this afternoon.

Yesterday in the garden, I tied up the snap peas. I should get a handful to eat today. I harvested a bag of lettuce from a new crop. This afternoon I need to harvest carrots and tomatoes. The celery is getting some nice size on it too.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Piece of Tesserae 

This is post number 1995...since I got the new format.
Many of you may wonder,"Why doesn't that woman just shut up?"

I remember writing my first diary entry in the 7th grade.
I got a pink leatherette bound diary book with a locking flap for Christmas.
In January, the grandfather of my 7th grade English teacher died and that was the first thing I evr recorded. I thought it was odd that he missed work because of a death in the family.

No one in our family had ever died...OK except for my Uncle Norman who offed himself...but no one took days off from work for that.

In short, I'm well practiced at the art of blah blah blah blahing and I ain't gonna quit now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Investment Pays Off 

About a month ago I bought a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style. It weren't a cheap little book. Although if I think about price per pound, it works out...anyway...

Yesterday I was writing something and I had to look up the correct formatting for plant genera and speciation. I went to the web site for the publication and got what I needed...and they said..."we use the same format as the Chicago Manual of Style".

Yay! So late last night, while Plant Daddy was a snoring, I was sitting up in bed reading all about plant and animal names and how to format them when writing.
This is heady stuff for me! I love it!

According to my book on Blogging, I am failing at Blogging because I am not staying true to my mosaic roots. The experst say I should be connecting with the mosaic projects all the time to build traffic on this site. To which I say,

"Look, buddy, it's too cold to sit outside in the studio and mosaic. I'll write now and mosaic later." Grrrr.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Will Spring ever arrive? 

It's still cold. It's still cloudy. I'm still cranky.
I want to get out and grow stuff. I want green beans. I want flowers I want it Now! Grrr.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cracker Barrel 

I met Jackie at LSCC after Memoir class and we high tailed it across the street for supper at Cracker Barrel. The place ain't showing signs of recesion...it was packed! On a Monday night it was packed!

We both had the vegetable plate. Yum!

Then we wandered over to Lowes and Jackie bought tile. She's going to mosaic her kitchen floor. She is more ambitious than I'll ever bee. My knees hurt just thinking about it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mosaic Community Art 

I hadn't heard from my friend Suzy in months. I knew she was overwhelmed with students through the fall.

But she just called and we are getting together soon. Maybe she and I will be planning another mosaic wall!

Today is a run around day. Bank, post office and last stop at memoire class. I didn't do my homework...bad girl... go to the back of the class!

After that I think my writer friend Jackie and I are going to Cracker Barrel to discuss all things publishable.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Economy Saved 

At the Sanford Mall yesterday, I bought 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts and 2 packages of knee high pantyhose. It was the first time I had shopped since December.

At Pier One I scored some candles at a most excellent sale price. Stocking up for next year.

Had lunch in the food court and dinner at Smoky Joe's or Smokehouse or whatever the name of the Darden BBQ joint is. The cornbread is the most outstanding cake dessert yummy.

Today I will hike up my new blue jeans and head out to the garden. The green beans came through the cold mostly unscathed. There may even be sugar pod peas for harvest this afternoon too!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Save the Economy! 

I see it's up to me to end the recession, therefore, I am going shopping today. At least anyway, I have to buy some new candles at Target or Pier One because the last ones I bought at the Dollar store are stinky. They were made in India. They burn great but the perfume is so intense my eyes water.

Pleased to report that the baby beans and the baby peas came through last night's freeze just fine! Yay!

The Z Boys are here and Plant Daddy has some fried chicken left over from last night's supper, so I don't have to worry that he is lonely or hungry. I can stay out late...like 5PM!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Writers Group Info 


“Yeah, Wilma?”

“Didja hear that only 3 people registered for the writer class?”

“That’s a shame. They’ll cancel unless 5 register. “

“Yeah. I hope they get in gear soon. That was a good class.”

"Lake County finally gets something good and people just don't jump at the opportunity. I don't get it. Sheesh!"

"So anything else new?"

"Yeah, Doll. Check out the new Palm Writers Website. That Linda does a great job on keeping people informed...on the same page...he he ...get it? On the same page?"


"And guess who got invited to submit a blog?"

"Nooo! Get out!"

"Yeah! As soon as I shut my trap and compose an essay!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peacock Ginger 

Years ago when I was at Discovery Gardens for the Art in the Garden event, I spotted this little plant.

I never knew what it was until last night. I read an article about it in the nurseryman's trade magazine.
It's Peacock Ginger. Kaempferia pulchra.
It was growing in deep shade, but still flowering away. Very pretty.

I hear that Sherry's class still does not have 5 enrolled....Come on people! Be like the advertisement and Just Do IT. You'll get a treasure trove of information. I gaurantee it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


When you are walking along the hiking path and you do not see the huge black snake until it is too late do you...
A) Poop your pants
B) Brown your britches
C) Mess your Undies
D) Create Clinkers?


Monday, February 16, 2009

Narrative Non Fiction 

Last night I swallowed the final couple of chapters of the Narrative Non Fiction book. It was perhaps the most discouraging thing I've ever read about the publishing industry.The last of the book discussed the publicity.

After the book publication date is set, the author has a knock out list that includes newspaper and magazine articles, internet networking, tours and personal appearances and TV and radio spots. One can even hire publicity coaches to preen you for this part of the writer job.

In other words, one spends months after the book release, on the road selling the book. The publisher designs the plan and publicist sets it up and the writer hits the road.

This would not go well for me. I am a fat, dumpy, mouthy, white-haired woman who wants to be outside in the garden on a daily basis. Hmmm...rethink this career path...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mosaic Valentine! 

That sweet Plant Daddy...he got me a new strawberry jar so I can mosaic it. That is precious!
He also got me a bottle of Bailey's and after I drank some, I lost all motivation.But I sure was happy.

Little Farfel came over. I took her shopping at Publix. It was mobbed...especially around the floral kiosk.

Yesterday I found out that our postal delivery lady is a Hatter (Stetson). So I told her about Oscar Bluemner! We are all looking forward to the 125th anniversary celebrations that Stetson has planned.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day Tomorrow 

Do you know how rare red tile is nowadays? So is Love.
This is to say "I Love You" to all my family and friends!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


These are Crotons. Codiaeum variegatum. I am supposed to be writing a paper about them but all I can think about is how I used to have a guinea pig. The guinea pig ate my croton house plants. Loved 'em. Stripped off all the leaves. Ate 'em up.

Anyway, the guinea pig bit me a couple of times so I gave it away.
If I ever had the chance to go to a Peruvian Restaurant and eat guinea pig, I would chow down happily...with BBQ sauce!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Writing Class Lake County Florida 

Sherry Hay’s writing class will be cancelled if 5 students don’t enroll. SIGN UP PEOPLE! You need that course. I have already taken it and it is excellent. Get an overview of what the publishing industry is, how to get published, etc.

Call the East Lake Library for details!

She has a degree in Writing from FSU. She knows stuff!

I have a lot of bits and pieces floating through my life and my head at the moment. None of them are inspirational enough or… aggravating enough for a complete blog solo, so I will just toss them in a heap and see what shakes out…

The Daily Caylee…yesterday was disgusting. Absolutely positively shamefully disgusting…and all I saw was the 5-minute summary on the 11PM TV News. Gag a maggot people…please go away.

The Daily Commercial… never arrived. Two requests; no subscription yet.

The Orlando Sentinel phoned yesterday begging me to take them back. I laughed in the salesman’s face.

What am I reading these days?

The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction by Peter Rubie

The Complete Guide to Self Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross

The Chicago Manual of Style

The Norton Sampler 5th edition

And … Blogging for Dummies…Really!
There’s always something to learn.

Five Rejections …is what my friend has collected on his book manuscript so far. Sheesh! I’m only up to one “no response” and one “wait till May”. I gotta get crackin’!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mosaic Studio 

The temperatures are creeping higher. We might even get over 80 degrees by the end of the week. I have a great urge to get back into the studio and make a mosaic strawberry pot.

I used to make a new strawberry pot every spring for the art show at Art in the Garden. That show has been cancelled, but I can't stop the urge to make mosaic strawberry pots.

It's like one time I got on a loop and every time I went to Publix, I bought ketchup. I couldn't get it in my head that we had a supply. It's like I bought 8 or 9 jars of ketchup before I could stop.
Same with strawberry jar mosaics I guess.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Palm Writers Group 

Tomorrow Palm Writers Group will meet again.

Monday, February 9, at 6:30PM at the East Lake County Library in Sorrento.

Come visit us!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Beat it Buster! 

For a few weeks now, Plant Daddy and I have suspected we had a prowler. Somebody was eating all Zeus’ food.

Plant Daddy thought he heard a cat.
I thought I got a glimpse of a cat.
Zeus had been acting jumpy, but what the hey, he’s been hitting the catnip lately, so it was hard to tell.

This morning there was proof!
Plant Daddy caught this shot of “Buster”…in the office!!!

“What !” I exclaimed. “He can’t be in the office. He will spray. He will poop. He and Zeus will tangle and I’ll get a big, fat vet bill. I want him out!”

First, I checked to see if he was friendly. “Nice kitty,” I said to him.
He moaned at me as if to say, “I’d like to chew your face off.”
No adoption for Buster.

I opened all the doors and windows. I checked 4 hours later; Buster was napping in his warm corner.

I offered Buster a nice plate of food to entice him out.
Buster was too smart for that. He noticed the cage surrounding the food. He stayed put.

Zeus sang the “get out of my office” song.
Buster sang the “as if” song in reply.
Mom said “Grrrr”

I fetched the coyote decoy we have. I shook it in Buster’s direction.
Buster attacked the coyote decal and clawed its nose. I had to shake him off.
Buster was entrenched, he growled menacingly at me.

I escalated.

I retrieved a spray bottle of water from the mosaic studio. I aimed and pulled the trigger. Yep! Buster jumped towards the door, but the wind had blown it shut. “Shit” I exclaimed. I was standing between an agitated feral cat and the exit.

“Nice kitty, kitty, kitty,” I pleaded as I inched towards the door to swing it back open. Success.
I resumed the attack with the water cannon.

Buster pirouetted across the top of the curtain rod. He anchored his claws into the drapery fabric and swung himself into the armchair. He dashed out the door.

“I gotcha now” shouted Zeus and he chased Buster up the driveway and out onto the road. Buster darted in front of a UPS van,… but he made it to safety.

Beat it, Buster!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Loquats languish 

Another night in the mid 20's. This time with heavy frost. And we bid adieu to the loquat crop.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Frozen Florida 

It was 26 last night.
We haven’t seen cold like this since 1989.

The freeze in 1989 killed off the citrus industry in this area.

We woke up that morning in 1989 after temperatures dove from 80 to 20 and everything was gone. All the mature green citrus trees turned gray overnight. Dead where they stood and eerily silent.

Then the bulldozers pushed the tree carcasses out and carpetbagger builders started the housing boom.

And now those houses are eerily dead. They sit row after row, empty and silent. Victims of an economic freeze- equivalent.

If only the bulldozers would come and restore the land to plantscape…well, isn’t that a pipe dream.

You know what I miss? I miss the way the juice plants used to boil the concentrate this time of year and the aroma of orange juice wafted through the air. I miss the scent of orange blossoms and the hum of bees…Did you know that there are no more orange groves on Orange Blossom Trail in Orange County FL and that the Bee Line got renamed the Beach Line?

The carpetbaggers moved on to greener pastures. They are bulldozing the Appalachian Mountains now (dead from drought). My friend bought her a cabin in NC on the promise of a beautiful view. She had a view for about a year, till the rest of the homes on the block got erected. Don’t people figure this out? Your house will look like any ticky-tacky subdivision anywhere in the US. It will not look like the scenic brochure!

The builders are chewing up Belize now. Bye-bye lush tropical jungle.

Anyway…Plant Daddy and I started at 8:30pm and 34 degrees. We started the sprinklers and kept them on all night. Even with that, it was cold enough for bark split.

We will be finding dead plants and broken irrigation lines for weeks to come. As the temperatures rise and plants get stressed for water, the damage shows up as wilt. We’ll do what we can to heal the landscape and replant the veggies. We’re perennial.

Giant Icicle!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bye Bye Bunya Bunya 

After class on Monday, Mom drove over to Jackie’s house.

First off, I did not know Tiki was so deep back on that property!

Second off, I did not know Tiki was such a rich source for plant collecting.
I saw Powder Puff’s ( Calliandra haematocephala) and Mock Orange (Philadelphus spp.) and Bunya-Bunya’s (Araucaria bidwilii ).

I need to walk through that neighborhood sometime…with a pair of clippers and a large satchel.

Anyway, Jackie has got her some mosaics! I loved it.
In her carport there are a couple of mosaic tables.
Her bathroom floor is hand laid mosaic.
Her living room has a large shelf unit with a cool glass bead application.
The large mosaic pot that she grouted over here at Mom’s studio is next to the computer desk. (see the Dec 5th blog).

I was impressed at how much mosaic furniture she has made.
I should get myself organized to make some more furniture pieces. However…

Last night it was down to freezing again. Tonight is predicted to go to the mid-20’s. It is way, way too cold to be out in the studio today. Therefore, I will write all day. Zeus will help me.

We will be working on a Geranium paper and for fun we will start celery paper #2. Only I could love celery that much, huh?

Plant Daddy has to teach class tonight, so I will be all alone at suppertime. I know from last week’s experience not to eat the entire stalk of celery by myself, but there will be some serious restrained munching going on.

I should be able to write straight through till 7PM! Then I will have to wander outside and say farewell to the plants. Covering won’t do much good for tropical foliage when it’s 25 degrees for 10 hours.

Bye-Bye Bunya-Bunya

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Memoir Class 2 

Well, I can hardly say memoir class is a challenge for me HOWEVER...

Yesterday when we were instructed to work the memory exercise, I decided to "become" the villain in my novel. Then I answered all the memory prompting questions as if I were her!

This gave me an amazing breakthrough! A whole chunk of the book just opened up. Now all I have to do is transcribe the notes. Woo Hoo!

Monday, February 02, 2009


When it came down to it, the only good commercials were Doritos and Cheetos. I think I will reward them and go buy a bag even tho I usually never eat those brands. Their ads were so creative!

No cute butts. In fact, mostly PD and I watched Groundhog Day over at the other channel.

I have Memoir class today. I was supposed to write a memoir piece, but I wrote this short story instead...(it's a little stilted because I was following a prescribed format)

Cam and Kira

“I am hungry,” Cam exclaimed, massaging his bare stomach with his palm.

“I wonder what’s in the fridge,” muttered Kira, pulling on her shirt and sliding out of bed.

Cam shook, then zipped his Levi’s, mindful of his short and curly’s. He listened from the bathroom as his newest girlfriend bumped along the hall. She knocked around the sink for a glass of water, then opened the refrigerator door. “There’s nothing here,” she whined.

“I hear you,” he chimed in sing-song fashion and flushed the john. He found a tee that didn’t stink and pulled it on as he padded to the galley. Sweeping her blond hair aside, he kissed her neck and rested his stubbly whiskers on her tan shoulder as he peeked inside the bare appliance.

“I see food there,” he cajoled. “Look. Carrots, celery, beer.”

“I want pizza,” pouted Kira, shutting the door.

“I am hungry for LaChoy.” Cam lifted his elbows, waving splayed hands in mock Karate chops.

“I pretend to like fried rice for your sake,” Kira rolled her eyes as she spoke, “ but I hate Chinese. It’s fattening.”

“I feel insulted.” Cam fetched a glass of water for himself. He lounged against the counter and ran his fingers through his chocolate hair to push it from his eyes.

“I feel creepy when I see those fungi. And those bits of tofu are sick. It’s too oriental or something.” She set her arms akimbo and faced him.

“I worry about you sometimes,” he said, pulling her up against him and kissing her again.

“I am hungry. Stop it,” she fussed, pushing away.

“I understand. Let’s order in.” Cam sighed. He set his water tumbler on the countertop and launched the hunt for his cell. God knows where he had tossed it last night.

“I say pizza,” Kira ordered with authority this time.

“I dream on, “ Cam sighed again. “You command and how can I resist?” He bent to dig inside his backpack and success! He’d found the phone.

“I try, Baby, I really do,” she cooed, slipped her tiny arms around his waist and nuzzled. Cameron liked the lavender scent she always wore.

“I hope one day…” he offered, thumbing the push pad to life, “one day you’ll see it my way in front of a big, fat plate of wonton.”

“I am hungry,” Kira repeated. “Call Domino’s”

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday 

I only watch to see the commercials and the cute butts.

Plant Daddy was working hard on a paper yesterday. I couldn't get any computer time.Grrr. I have a very important article to write about celery. I keep eating my photo exhibits tho.

Farfel came home to raid strawberries for her Super Bowl party. We went to the store for chips and Tide soap.

I really really love the book I bought on how to write creative non-fiction. I feel like I am getting a college course. I am finding the line between fact and fiction.

It will be Valentines Day soon. Yay! Chocolate!

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