The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oscar Bluemner: On the Road 

On the Road with Oscar Bluemner

Rollin’ Down Highway 44
I hadn’t been to Deland in a month of Sundays.
(Actually I think it was before Thanksgiving.) I’d forgotten how much I enjoy cruising along Hwy 44 wailin’with a classic cd…Aerosmith’s “A Little South of Sanity” in this case.

The road was empty! At lunch hour!
That’s the recession, baby, but a great drive for me and the new Toyo. We made a beeline for…

Stetson Station
The old Deland Greyhound Bus Station is newly remodeled as the Stetson Station.

What a delicious cup of decaf…and a nice chat with LME’s friend John…and I picked up a copy of the Stetson Literary Magazine “Touchstone” for later data collecting…I mean if you want to see what 20 year olds are thinking, read their poetry!

Speaking of which, I met a flute student named Sean. He knew who Ian Anderson was but had never actually listened to Jethro Tull. Okay, I’m old now!

Public Safety
to get a Perking Permit was the next stop. Madam Officer did not know there was to be an art event. She did not want to give me a permit. Behind me in line was a woman attending an HRS conference. Madam Officer did not know about an HRS event. She did not wish to give either of us permits.

But the HRS woman said, “When I parked, the officer on the golf cart in the parking lot told me to come get a permit.”
We both got guest passes and departed…

now here’s the thing…I would throw money at Stetson if I could buy a parking permit with my annual Friends of Art Membership and bypass the trips to public safety every time I want to go to an art event…Anyway…

The New Museum
pictured in yesterday’s blog, is stunning. It fit beautifully on campus; good design makes it blend, not stick out and scream ‘new construction’. I visited the senior student art exhibit.

Jaclyn Miller’s
Senior thesis art work impressed me. This is going to be hard to describe, but bear with me.
She stacked antique TV sets. Each set was restored and operational and tuned in on what she called an “anonymous archetypical image” and her idea was for viewers to superimpose their experience onto that image.

The TV sets themselves tapped my experience!

“Look, I had a Zenith like that when I was 16!”
“I remember that RCA from my parents’ house.”
“OMG, there’s the first Emerson PD and I bought as a married couple!”

And I loved how she depicted the people in her work composed of TV static…because people have evolved into viewers. How we write, how we teach, how we think, every aspect of our lives is connected to the tube now. Great job!

In fact, I Twittered while waiting for the doors to open on the Bluemner exhibit…and they finally did and Roberta Favis gave the most amazing gallery talk and …

In the fall there will be 6 lectures on Bluemner and the Modernists!

I’ll see you there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oscar Bluemner Day 

I'm off to Deland today to see the new museum housing Oscar Bluemner's works and to hear Roberta Favis give a gallery talk at 3PM.
I'll be munching cookies and taking notes!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Writing News 

Hey, there's a poetry contest at East Lake County Library. Find their web site, check it out. Deadline is in 2 days tho, so hurry!

I found a drabble website yesterday. I'll have to check it out before I submit blind tho. It would be fun to Drabble for a summer like I did last year. And speaking of which...I am supposed to hear from the book publisher in May.

There's a local flash fiction contest. I have edited and edited and re-edited. I think I'm getting closer to what I want now.
After I lose, I'll post it and let you have a read!

LME is coming for dinner tonight. She likes yellow squash and PD picked a lot of it this morning. That and a roast chicken and mashed potatoes...but I haven't settled on a dessert yet. Nargh!

A few early blackberries are filtering in...LME will snag them all this evening.

Possible corn next week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Flowers 

Yesterday as I was cooking supper, I looked out the kitchen window and spotted a gopher tortoise at the bird feeder. He didn’t seem to be getting much to eat, he was poking at and dropping pebbles that had rolled out from the driveway.

I grabbed 3 cherry tomatoes and a zucchini muffin and dashed out to him. PD joined me. To our great delight the tortoise ate the 3 tomatoes then made a good dent in the muffin! Then, quite satisfied with his meal, he motored off to his burrow.

PD and I sat down in our burrow for our supper of cauliflower, yellow squash, chicken in celery sauce and mashed potatoes and carrot cake. Oh yeah!

It’s the little things in life that are so fulfilling. Like these flowers from my garden.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Drabble 100-word story 

100 word Story "War Stories"
War Stories

“What did you do in the war, Dad?”

“I rode a tank in the general’s rank when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank.”

“That’s a Rolling Stones song. Were you in the war, Dad?”

“War, humph, good God, ya’ll what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’”

“Daddy, that’s Edwin Starr. 1970. Did you do anti-war protests in college?”

“We’ve got to fight for our right to party! Yeah!”

“Beastie Boys, Daddy. What’s with you? There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

“Look, kid…there’s a man with a gun over there, tellin’ me I got to beware.”

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Time! 

My Word!
The upholsterer was here at 8:02. All went smoothly and in about a week we'll have a revamped sofa!

With a monstera leaf print on the pillows...oooo!

Celery Success 

We've had success with celery this year...thanks to Plant Daddy.

This is usually grown on muck soil, much harder on sand like we have in the backyard.

We're up early, ready and waiting on the upholsterer.
Einy, Meany, Mieny, Mo
Wonder if he's gonna show.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Making Book 

Tomorrow morning at 8:00AM...IN THEORY...People will arrive to take my sofa for re-upholstering. Want to make book on whether or not they arrive on time...or at all?

Supposedly I will get my sofa back next Friday...I'll believe that when I see it.

Anyway I just finished my Flash Fiction story for competetion. 650 word limit and I brought it in at 649! I even have time to write another one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hair Cut Day 

I broke down and got a haircut today.
I had been doing the trims myself, but I had gotten it so out of whack, I needed a professional to straighten the lines out.

I also broke down and made a dentist appointment today. I am already dreading June 23rd and that's just a cleaning!

Anyway, I used to love wearing a hair cut called "The Shag" and I also loved "The Wedge". Wish those were back in style...of course, my hair was brown then. Probably wouldn't look so good in white.

The hair dresser told me today he sells much less dye jobs than he used to as people are cutting back on costs.

Anyway...driving home down Clayton Street in Mt Dora did not disappoint...there was the male hooker! Shirt off and muscular...not bad looking...but when you stop to think about it...eeewwwww.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Writing Goals and Lessons Learned 

A woman in our writers group is a graduate of FSU writing Department. To say she's good is an understatement. She's impressive.

Anyway she wants to do some teaching over the summer and asked our group what we'd like to learn. Here's my list:

1.As a training exercise, I want to write the following 10 essays and have them critically reviewed:

Essays that classify
Essays that analyze a process
Essays that analyze cause and effect
Essays that define
Essays that compare and contrast
Essays that use metaphor and analogy
Essays using sensual description

Persuasion and Argumentation
Essays that appeal to reason
Essays that appeal to emotion and ethics

First Person Essay

2. I would love to take a course in Narrative Non-Fiction.

I recently read Peter Rubie’s book and it was excellent. I’d want the class outline to cover genre topics of adventure, military, travel, true crime, biography, memoir and history.

3. Every now and then I take out my novel and try scenarios but I haven’t solved a fatal flaw that it has in the plot line yet.

4. I need lap top skills. I do not find touch pad easy and I cannot find my way around Windows XP and I am slow as heck on the keyboard. I plan on going to Portland State for a workshop on Flash Fiction next summer (‘10) and I’ve got to get my skills up before then.

That's my wish list...what's yours?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Too Wierd 

PD and I watched the 11 o'clock news last night.

Another knifing!

This time a 70 year old man was carjacked and stabbed at Beall's Department Store on Citrus Ave in Leesburg. They air lifted him to the hospital in Orlando.

How can there be an economic recovery when people like me become afraid to go shopping? Well, of course there cannot be.

Palm Group tonight at 6:30. See ya!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

End of Shopping 

It is very hard for me to talk about how I feel, so bear with me here. Something is really, really wrong and I haven’t a clue about how to fix it.

I used to enjoy shopping, but I now find it a grotesque, revolting experience.

Today I went up to the Lake Square Mall and I almost aborted the whole shopping trip at the door of Belk’s when the hooker and her pimp started a fight. She was red in the face and trying to take a swing at him and he was laughing at her. I ran inside, stood in the shoe department and watched through the window.

They were both white people; she wore a miniskirt, if technically something that short qualifies as a skirt…it was more like a boob-wrapping band had been slid over her putz. I can’t say hips because she was too skinny. She was bare-footed and wore a necklace of garish, blue pop-beads. The pimp was a red headed boy in black ghetto garb, which is to say a polo shirt and baggy shorts way too large so as to expose the plaid underwear.

They were quite engaged shouting it out at each other when an older white man approached and began shouting at the girl. He didn’t seem to be security, just a guy with a shopping bag as pissed off as I am about trash at the local mall.

He left… then they took off after him. That is to say, in his direction. And that’s what scared the crap out of me because last week at the Target in Mt Dora an 80 year old man was stabbed to death in the parking lot just outside the store.

I don’t have a feeling of being safe going shopping anymore.

In 1994 when Keith Johnson shot Joey Summerall at Tavares Middle School, I had a similar feeling. Everytime I went to a Mall I thought “Who has the gun?”

Now I am wondering “Who has the knife?”

And all this was before I ever picked up the first cotton blouse and said, “$69 dollars for this cheap Bangledesh rag is ridiculous!”

I used to go every Saturday at the Altamonte Mall. I used to spend $100 to $200 dollars at a crack on shoes and clothes for me or Plant Daddy or the kid. The Altamonte Mall got to be a scary place and empty and not friendly. That Mall declared bankruptcy this week!

It was a “regional” mall.

Sanford mall feels creepy now to me. Is it me or is it too much news reporting about all the muggings and carjackings and purse snatchings…or is this what war is?

A fellow pulled up to my front gate last Friday. I was on my way to open it for Plant Daddy coming home from work, but I hadn’t unlocked the padlock yet. This fellow hopped out of his truck and said to me, “We’re going to run our dogs this weekend and they might come on your property while they’re chasing the wild hogs. We can’t guarantee they won’t stop at the fence line when they’re on the hunt.”

“Well,” said I, “this isn’t my land it’s Bill Bland’s and the very first words my neighbor ever said to me were ‘I shoot any dog that comes on my property and runs my cattle.’ I’d stay well back if I were you. Besides is that ya’ll who were shootin’ last Sunday afternoon?”

“Naw,” said he.”We don’t shoot the hogs. The dogs corner them then the catch dogs hold them while we stab ‘em. Slit their jugulars; more humane that way.”

And he reached into the door of his truck and pulled out a knife! This knife was about 10 inches long and looked like a miniature rapier. It was clean and shiny and sharp. I had to fight the urge to flee.

I have not slept well since he trotted away to find Bill Bland and get permission to hunt.

Anyway, on a happier note…my sister and my aunt have their tomatoes in and I heard from a writing buddy that his tomatoes are thriving. Statistics say that gardening is up 800% this year. There’s some good news on the day.

See you at Palm Group tomorrow 6:30PM sharp…sharp, yeah.

It’s no wonder at all why I’m becoming more and more recluse.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What I Look Like! 

I took a self-portrait shot out in the garden this evening in front of the cauliflower!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Sister's Garden 

How did we ever live without cell phones?
Sissy called from Lowe's Garden Center last night and I was able to talk her through to the best product for her garden needs...A Burpee Deluxe set...

She needs it to start tomatoes indoors since she will be having SNOW!! yet again this weekend. But good for her...set this up in the kitchen and be ready to go as soon as you can outdoors.
What I noticed that is great is that this can be ordered from the Burpee website...future birthday presents in the bag!!!
I sound like an ad...sheesh...
My job today...plant three hibiscus near the end of the driveway without cutting the phone line!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

100 word story Drabble by Bernie 

Today's 100 word story comes from a guest writer...Bernie from the Palm Writers Group...Enjoy!


Ralph usually works nights in neighborhoods. His family rests while he takes care of business. He’s proud to bring home bacon, or whatever suits his palate. Much to Ralph’s surprise, Bob Stanley Bell tries to mess him over, smash his face, bust his tail. But Bob don’t know what he’s confronted by. With creatures like Ralph, Bob shouldn’t even try. In fact, none have ever matched this mouse’s worth. One gray morn, Bob surveys his traps, crouches to sniff the still-soft peanut butter, raises his eyes to check the ceiling gaps. Alas, Rough Ralph looks down and twits his whisker.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Huge Mt Dora Rain 

The sky was so dark at 9:30 this morning that the security light by the driveway flickered on. Lightning knocked my computer out and I paced from room to room trying to decide under which piece of heavy furniture I’d like to dive for protection.

It was darkest to the east of me, not the west, so I waited. Sure enough, I didn’t get a hard burst, but Mt Dora got pounded this morning. That might mean nothing to you, but lookey here…

in 2004, 5 hurricanes hit Florida.
In the months before all those hurricanes hit, Mt Dora got stormed on almost weekly.

That was the year we were trying to create the mosaic car and we almost couldn’t get it done for all the rain. We started without cover and that was impossible.
Someone donated a green tent, the green tent collapsed under all the water.
Someone else gave a white tent and even that didn’t get us a dry enough surface for the adhesives to stick properly.
So finally we moved into Joe DiFiore’s garage.

In August, when they held the viewing, it was hotter than hell. Temps were routinely moving above 95 degrees everyday. And then Ka-wham…the hurricanes came.

So that is what was on my mind as I watched the very fierce storm this morning. I hope it’s not a predictor of a pattern.

I have a lot of editing work to get to today, now that the computer is back up. My mantra while I edit-“Make it make sense to me.” If the writer can explain it to me, then he/she has done a good job. I put myself in the beginner’s shoes and ask, “What’s the story?”

Isaac Asimov said, “ I’m on fire to explain, and happiest when it’s something reasonably intricate which I can make clear step by step. It’s the easiest way I can clarify things in my own mind.”

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter! 

The menu over here is Grilled roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (of course from the garden, duh) cucumber and tomatoe salad (ditto) and strawberry shortcake (triple duh).

The corn is tasseling so we will do hand pollination today and the next couple of days. We have 2 squash blossoms but they are both female, so no squash potential yet.

I broke the hoe in a freak accident yesterday ( I was driving the golf cart under the clothesline, but it wasn't my fault that the hoe was sticking up so high) anyway, the clothesline stayed up, the hoe handle snapped. So I get to go to Home Depot today or tomorrow.

Also need a new tractor battery and some epoxy putty. Will have to check out the very late season veggies while I'm there too.

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Okra is OK 

The first time I encountered okra as a child about age 7 or 8, I thought it was disgusting. But once someone served me baked okra, I fell in love. This will be our summer production!

Today I am cooking a batch of strawberry jelly and getting a chicken ready for the Easter feast.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday 

I only know one person (and his wife) who are observant and who are spending the day fasting and in prayer. What can I say, I'm not.

I have attended services, stations, etc in the past, but these days,...well, not so much.

I spent Maundi Thursday cleaning out the swimming pool and planting beans. There's a happy committment to the future. Also spent the afternoon in the kitchen,

For only the second time in 30 years, I made a mac and cheeze casserole from scratch. Awesome if I say so myself. To hell with worrying about cholesterol. That recipe calls for 8 oz of cheeze and we savored every bite.

Green bean salad and cucumber-tomatoe salad in Basalmic dressing finished the main course. We had "boozy berries" for dessert.

Spring harvests from our garden are good eats.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bombax is a Bust 

Once upon a time Plant Daddy gave me this Bombax as a Christmas present. After many, many years it finally bloomed. We pollinated it. The seed aborted and fell off. The end.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Out and About for Lunch 

Here's where I ate lunch with my friend Deb today

It's Angelo's Italian Restaurant.
We both had stuffed shells in alfredo sauce. The garlic rolls were to die for.
Why hadn't I discovered this place sooner? Yum.

Then we motored over to JoAnn's. Deb got fabric. I was going to get eucalyptus for an arrangement, but there was none!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Dagnabit, it wasn't allergies 

It was a sinus infection and it got quite severe.
Finally went to the doctor today and now I have to take pills for 3 weeks! THREE WEEKS!
That is awful in Mom World. Poor Plant Daddy!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Busy Saturday 

Plant Daddy left early, motored off to Ace Hardware and retrieved plumbing parts. He effected a difficult repair on the solenoid on the big pump. The Maple tree roots had grown and pushed it loose. It had been leaking progressively worse and worse for about 2 weeks. But today …PD was the hero and got ‘er done.

Here is where the Oak tree rots have pushed the wall apart and I use leftover grout to patch it up.

As I was rewarding PD with a bacon and egg breakfast, a pack of bicyclists schooled and pooled on the highway by our driveway. There were a lot of them, maybe 25 or so, in their cutesy-tootsey super-hero spandex costumes and they caused a major traffic snarl out on the road.

They were all over the highway, they just seemed to stop and park without getting off the pavement. A few of them walked across the road to go poop or pee in the woods.

Lots of motorists honked at them. The cyclists, who were clearly in the wrong by not getting off the road, made rude gestures back at traffic. I was on alert to shoo them away if they dared come in my gate.

One had a broken bike (yay!) that a sag wagon hauled away. Another seemed to be doing a tire repair. But after 10 minutes, they pedaled off. Good riddance to bad trash!

The Z boys were here and got their car running. This is the 6th car they’ve built from scratch! What fun!

PD was on alert…about an hour after the cyclists left, some sort of vagrant was loitering out near the mailbox. PD was ready to shoo him away, but he left on his own. Creepy.

I stayed indoors since my allergies have been absolutely terrible. I amused myself by taking about 10 feet of wallpaper border down in the bedroom. Gosh it feels good to shed the ‘80’s!

We got about 40 corn transplants in, and I got 50 okra seeded. We are somewhat concerned because the temps are supposed to dive into the 40’s in a few days! It was almost 90 today. But might as well get a 4 day jump on the chores.

I took apart the wheelbarrow planter and moved the lantana and pentas to a new bed in the sun. They might bloom there. PD salvaged the orchid and I will re-use the dusty miller when I re-plant next week.

I watched Little Blackie black snake hunt down, catch and eat a large insect. Man, he can bust a move! Fast!

Zeus ate a HUGE Ginormous rat yesterday. He is resting today, digesting.

I got to see a glass skink when I dug the Jatropha out front.

The sink stopped up and tomorrow we will have to rotorooter it. Grrr. The pool needs vacuuming too.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Drabble Story 

Here's a drabble story I composed this week. 100 words up and back!

The Ghost

At age 11, my daughter woke me up one midnight. “There’s a ghost in my room,” she said.

I sat up. I knew there was a ghost in her room. It was here when we moved in. Annoying, but never sinister, so I let it stay. I warned the ghost, “Hands off or else.” The ghost kept quiet, only occasionally pulling pranks, or watching TV with the family. Manifesting to my daughter violated our treaty. I was pissed but I had the power to send it away forever. I looked my daughter in the eyes and said,

“No, there isn’t.”

Friday, April 03, 2009

Leftover Grout 

I got a question from a student once about what to do with leftover grout...
I put mine in the cracks in the patio to help smooth them out...it is a losing battle against ever widening oak tree roots.

Speaking of oak trees, cedar trees, pine trees ...whatever the pollen is, I can't breathe. My nose is in pain. It is so bad I almost went to the doctor today. But I laid on the sofa and PD fixed me some nice hot tea. That really helped.

Lots of Coricidrin. I'll be in groggy-land tomorrow.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Helluva Storm 

Yesterday we had all sorts of lightning and thunder and rain (yay) but the lightning knowked the phones out here. Also knocked the server out for a while up in Astor too.

The embarq boys just got us patched up again but there are storms predicted again for tomorrow. Gotta love it! All the technology in the world can't stand up to Mother Nature!

The interior decorator dropped over yesterday. Had samples of fabric for a new bedspread, headboard, etc. It's palm fronds...chamedorea to be specific. Anyway, she's working up an estimate...hope it's affordable. I'm sick of the rose buds. Time for palm fronds!

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