The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Custom Grout 

The bathroom remodel started today.

The tile man wanted immediately to start with tearing out walls.

I immediately wanted to oogle the new tiles stacked on the porch waiting to become my new shower.

He made a lot of progress; he got the sink, toilet and most of the shower out.And by tomorrow we should have the floor out and see what kind of repair work will be needed.
Yes, there was loads of rotten wood in the shower stall.
It seems that the tile guy who did the repairs in the 1980's used nails to secure the rubber shower pan liner...ya think it might'a'leaked?

Photos soon!

Oh yeah...I picked Custom Brand grout...crappie mappie turns off color with our water supply so my mosaic experience pays off there.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Linda 

Happy Birthday to the leader of Palm Writers Group. And many happy returns!

Goodbye Cindy Estes 

I love the Internet Public Library. I go to their reading room and view newspapers from all over the world.

Late last night I decided to catch up on the LaGrange Daily News and there was an obituary for one of my classmates. Cindy Estes has passed away.

Now, you will notice that I have spelled her name two different ways. I double checked this. In the high school yearbook, is it Syndee and in the paper it is Cindy. I think it is pretty cool that somewhere along the line Cindy updated and reinvented herself.

Syndee and I didn’t run in the same high school circles. I was college bound from day 1 of elementary school and that’s when grade pressure started for me.

I was the kid who would take home a report card of all A’s and my Dad would say. “Why aren’t they A-Plusses?” Then he’d whack me.

I lived in mortal fear of B’s. And in Phys Ed, B was the best I could do.

One of the tortures of Phys Ed was that all the girls had to run a timed lap once a week. Anita C. could do it in about 3 minutes (she was always first). I could do it in about 6 minutes and then there was Syndee.

Syndee would start off with a jog like the rest of us. Then the teacher would go back inside the school building while we circled around the block.

As soon as the teacher wasn’t watching, Syndee would slow to a walk. In fact, many occasions, she would pull a cigarette from her gym shorts, light it up and take her time circling the block and enjoying a smoke break!

I thought this was way cool!

The teacher would get a whiff of the tobacco smoke and yell at Syndee when she got back, but without evidence there was no conviction. Even cooler!

It sometimes took Syndee 10 or 15 minutes to finish her “run”.

I envied her lack of fear and her ability to enjoy herself. I’m going to miss her.

Cindy, You had a great run!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mosaic Link 

I was cruising around the Internet this afternoon because it was too hot to be in the studio.
(I really need to clean my studio so I can start some new projects this fall, but it's way too hot...mid 90's again)
So I found that this site...Aikido Mosaics had linked to Mosaic Mom.
The site owner has a photo of himself.

This Parisian man does mosaics and martial arts.

Friday, August 28, 2009

How I Write 

Back in late June or early July, I made a hand written list of 7 magazines I wanted to submit articles to. They gave a Sept 1 deadline, and if they did not list a deadline, I set Sept. 1 for myself.

As of today, I have made 5 out of the 7.

The 6th, I have 2 articles sketched. I'll have them just after Labor Day. They weren't on deadline.

Additionally, I contributed to Drabble 15 and to Flights of Fantasy. I worked a number of University projects too.

I really like working this way. I've always been a list person. That keeps me motivated.

So in September, I will be setting myself a new list! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


is what Plant Daddy and I had for dinner. Yum!

Then we went to the garden after supper and planted green beans and wax beans.

Just now we were talking about a fighter named "Butter Bean".
Here's his picture.

Butterbean the boxer actually retired and opened a restaurant in Jasper Alabama called Mr Bean's BBQ.

Maybe Uncle Rod can visit it when he visits Alabama next month!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Greek Restaurant 

Was that the space shuttle launching at 1:30 AM or was it just my own booster rockets firing?

I mean to tell ya, PD and I had some huge indigestion after eating mousaka, spinach stuff, gyro meat with sour cream sauce, and baklava for our anniversary. I was sucking Tums and burning all night long! I am tired and cranky today, which is no way to start year 31. Grrr.

That restaurant will be a "no go" from now on!

On the plus side, since I could not sleep, I did 2 writing exercises from the Flash Fiction book. Two more stories to work on today.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy 30th Anniversary!!! 

Plant Daddy and Mosaic Mom are married 30 years today!

We will celebrate by taking a box of plants over to a nursery for drop shipping then we plan to go to supper at a new Greek restaurant that just opened.

I really, really, really, love that Plant Daddy.
(I guess that's why 30 years flew by!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gopher Turtle Adventures 

Turtle hungry!

Feed turtle a fig!

Turtle likes the sweet fig!

Messy turtle!

If you're outta figs, I'm outta here!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I don't want to say it's raining too much and stormin' and all...so I'll just say it's 11:30 PM and the power company just got the lights back on.

Actually the storm Friday zapped the pole, the lights have been flickering off and on all day today. We thought it was transmission problems down the line somewhere since it has been storming all day today too.

Then this evening the lights blinked out and didn't blink back so we called for help.

God Bless Sumter Electric Company repairmen. That fellow got it done! Yay!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heart stopper! 

Inspired by recent tv shows about hoarders, I determined to toss out stuff. I tossed a notebook containing grant writing materials last weekend actually.

Well today, I went to find a notebook that contains info on US Savings Bonds we still have...little left overs from Mind Escapes college tuition days.

I could not find it...However I found the grant writers notebook.

I had a "heave my lunch" moment. Had I tossed the wrong notebook by mistake?

It took ne about 15 minutes to locate the Savings Bonds serial numbers.
It took 5 hours for my hands to stop trembling.

I drove over to the Aluminum Can recycle place today. I cashed in 6 pounds of soda cans and got $1.80!!!

Also on the agenda today, I made the loop to Publix for some chicken wings to BBQ tomorrow if it doesn't rain...man, it rained today...2.5 inches !!!

We are struggling to keep the pool clean. Advantage: Algae!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Purple Passion is Groovy! 

With all the advertisements for the movie about Woodstock, I am waxing nostalgic for the '60's. Ah! The good old days!

Back then the psychedelic Purple Passion Plant was all the rage! Every porch had one hanging in a macrame sling!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Power Ball! 

I spent an entire dollar on a ticket! How about you?

It's fun to dream about what I'd do if I won.
I just know a lot of people would get scholarships!

After that, I might remodel the house...speaking of which I still haven't heard from the shower tile remodel man. I think I've been ripped off!
I guess he's thinking he won the lottery with my money! Grrrr!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mosaic Tesserae Exchange and Writing Prompts 

Two things occurred at Palm Writers Meeting that were new and fun.

I had written a 100 word story about creating prompts. And as a companion to the story,I took a brown paper bag with 4 items to the meeting to be used as a story prompt. Somebody picked up the bag!!!

I can't wait to see what she writes!

I got the idea from the mosaic meetings. Each artist brings a bag with items for a mosaic. That way you get a bag full of unique items without having to go out and buy a huge lot of tile or glass. It's a great swap.

The other thing that happened is the group agreed that we will all write holiday stories in the month of December!

I finished mine this morning, of course! I'm compulsive that way.

Those stories will make for a fun holiday meeting ...third Monday in December at the Sorrento Library.

Write a story, come join us!

Palm Writers Group 

met at the Sorrento Library last night. What an exciting group!

We had 12 participants. Three of them are writing novels, three are poets, two are non-fiction writers, three memoir writers and Hooray! The original founder of Palm Writers Group, John W. came for a meeting. Without him none of this would be happening. Thanks, John.

Yesterday I was writing a 500 word flash for yet another competetion when I got an assignment to work on a plant paper. I was in the middle of that and lightning forced me to shut down and unplug. Sigh!

Hope it a quieter day tomorrow. I am inspired now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tropical Storm Claudette 

See, what did I tell you?

Since I posted at 10:00 AM, Tropical Depression #4 has strengthened to Tropical Storm Claudette. That was fast...but hey, water temps in the Gulf are near 90 degrees and that'll power up a storm in no time flat.

Toss up a prayer for our friends in the greenhouse business in Marianna, FL.

Travel Plans 

Or more precisely...why we DON'T travel in hurricane season...

We went to bed Thursday night and there were no storms. We woke up Friday morning and there was Tropical Storm Ana and Tropical Storm Bill.

We went to bed last night and woke up to Tropical Depression #4 in the Gulf of Mexico!

Things happen fast in August.

And did you know...for the last 30 years there has always been a hurricane on our wedding anniversary? Which is next week btw. So instead of champagne and steak, break out the bottled water and sterno and pork n beans!

P.S. We didn't win the power ball. Sigh! Another dollar down the drain.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I had a downright pure, real deal, gold standard, Third World lunch today. I ate at the Tandoor Restaurant at the Lake Square Mall.

The food was so good…absolutely, first rate, lip smackin’ awesome!
It was just like Mama’s home cookin’ in downtown Madras or Bangalore.

Now, I have eaten at some Hindu restaurants over on I-Drive and the food in those places was fair to middlin’. The Tandoor food was way better.

The first thing I enjoyed was a cool statue of Ganesh at the entrance. Did you know he’s the Hindu equivalent of the patron saint of writers?

(BTW. If you need a refresher in Catholic patron saint of writers, it’s Francis de Sales)
photo credit: Glorious India.com

It was a buffet lunch. At first I cringed when I saw iceberg lettuce, cantaloupe, and rice pudding (way too Bland American cuisine), but things quickly improved. There were all kinds of things to eat that I couldn’t pronounce, so I tried them all.

Curried cabbage and green peas, lamb curry, butter chicken, and a lot of really lovely vegetable dishes.

So authentic and delicious were they that...let me say…I had to use the onion chutney to COOL my palate.

As part of my authentic third world experience, the service was about the worst I’ve had. That waitress never did bring me a glass of iced tea, so I got up and went to the service counter and got one myself.

(The poor lady sitting across from me never got served her drink. She bit into something and lit on fire and had no relief.)

The waitress finally got bread to me after I had finished my meal. It was fresh. Actually, it was burned on one side and it was too scalding hot to eat.

Which reminds me to tell you that the food on the buffet was not warm at all, temperature wise. Could have used a trip through the microwave. But you gotta take a risk every now and then. Try this place.

The other thing I gotta tell ya today is that the Great Depression has come.
How do I know this?

This is Saturday.
School starts in a week or two. There should be lots of kids and parents at the mall huntin’ school supplies.

I went to the Dollar Tree. 1PM.


Four customers, two clerks.

That is so not good.

But on a positive note, there were no hookers in the Target parking lot today. That’s a happy day. Or it will be once I swallow a few Tums!

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to Hurt Yourself 

Part 2

1. Invite a fellow with a ditch-witch to bury your telephone line.

2. Be sure that no one has come before him so as to mark the location of the cable, electric, and water lines. (The more potential for cut lines and outages, the better this will work.)

3. Feel nauseous as he fires up the digger at 11:45AM and heads across the turf.

4. Forgo solid food at lunch and therefore drink an entire 48 oz. can of tomato juice.That’s 48 oz of TOMATOE JUICE!

5. Do I really need to explain Step 5 to ya?

Photo borrowed from UK Hairdressers. com

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How To Hurt Yourself 

Part 1

1.Hear on the 11:00PM newscast that the Pleiades are going to be visible.

2.Remember that there are HUMONGOUS MOSQUITOES out and about this time of night.

3.Think you are smart because you know to take the truck out in the field to get a view and thus be protected.

4.Dart across the carport, but when you get in the pick-up, argue with your spouse about who is going to drive.

5.Leave the truck doors ajar while you perform Step 4.

6.Find yourself trapped in a truck in the field trying to watch stars and 40 million thirsty mosquitoes are INSIDE the truck with you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hats off to the Phone Line Digger 

The highly tatooed telephone line installation fellow got the phone line buried without cutting the cable or any irrigation. Hats off to him.

Shovel Blues 

You can have all the high tech in the world and all it takes is an idiot with a shovel to knock out the system....And why BTW, do companies invest in top dollar systems then hire the cheapest dumbest labor to dig the ditches?

Example 1...Our internet was off half a day yesterday cause some idiot with a shovel or backhoe went "Oops!"

Example 2...Embarq sent a tatooed boy to bury the telephone line. He was ready to plow in and I said "Do not cut the internet line. I am a writer, It is my lifeline."

and he said,"What internet line?"

I said, "Get out your wand gadget and locate it before you dig."

He said,"I don't have one. They're $800 and the company only has one unit and I don't have it. I'll send the guy who has it."

So 2 days later, I notice that the internet channel out by the road has been tagged, but the cable path across the yard is still unmarked. They have till next Monday before I unleash the bulldog on them. I will not have 2 telephone lines draped across the yard because of Embarq's incompetence.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Winder Hollow Tennessee 

Here's an interesting vacation spot. Winder Hollow Tennessee.
I thought Hollows were up in the mountains. This one seems to be by the river.
If I ever get to Chattanooga, this deserves a look-see.
Click here for your view.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Florida Highwaymen Mt Dora Exhibit 

Plant Daddy and I visited the Florida Highwaymen exhibit in Mt Dora yesterday. I added to my collection. I got an Isaac Knight.

The exhibit was packed early Saturday afternoon. Packed! But we were able to see everything we wanted and even ran into Mrs. King...Mind Escape's high school Spanish teacher. She said her family bought Highwaymen paintings along the roadside in Daytona Beach for $20 to $25 each in the 1960's! Since most of the larger paintings at the expo were selling north of $1000, she was pleased about her family art investment.

PD and I lounged the rest of the afternoon in the pool because it is hot. It is August. It is the middle of buggy, humid, summer.

Friday, August 07, 2009

A 100 word story 

Clark dashed through his house holding a brown paper sack.

“Whatcha doin’?” asked his dog.

“Writers group,” replied Clark stopping at a bookcase. “I’ll collect 4 items and swap with someone. Then we write stories off each other’s prompts.” He selected an out-of-date Rand McNally map and headed towards the kitchen junk drawer.

“Eureka!” Clark added a Cracker Jacks diamond ring and a key from a truck he’d traded years before. “Need a fourth,” he pondered.

“Take one of my biscuits?” offered dog.

At the meeting, Patty opened this sack and immediately composed: “Dogs love to ride. Enjoy the journey.”

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Busy time 

A friend asked me to read his novel...and yet he said I was not allowed to make corrections. I made a copy file and I am making corrections anyway because that is who I am. I am finding a lot of punctuation errors. I see the importance of having a critical read of a manuscript before it goes out.

Speaking of which, the NSF grant got sent back and they asked to have a "Plan for Mentoring Post Doctoral Students" added. So we did. Hope that grant gets funded!

The bid on the bathroom came back...it doesn't say anything about dry wall installation...so back into the loop it goes.

I have not had time to write anything other than one 100 word story for another contest. I have several publications coming up that all have Sept 1st deadlines. I am in a panic. Gotta write now.

I did read in my Flash Fiction book last night that another author tried to take very short stories, complete in themselves, and stack tham into a novel. He felt that it didn't work. I had tried that w 100 word stories and had the same failure...but isn't this an exciting puzzle that writer minds are trying to compose? Somebody will figure this out and soon I suspect.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rich Rudden's Diary 

One of the aspects I love about Blogger is that it is a diary. I can look back and see events, weather reports, crop notes, etc.
For example, Five years ago Today I was at the Mt Dora Center for the Arts working on the mosaic art car.

There is Rich Rudden and another dedicated volunteer adhering tesserae. I wonder what they're up to now?
I wonder if this will be a huge hurricane year as that one was?
The weatherman is saying that this is odd that there hasn't been a named storm yet, But wasn't Andrew the first storm of the season. Wasn't it about Aug 24th?
I'll have to look back at the blog and let you know.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Shower Re-Do 

It is time...
This is the shower I tried to clean by taking a pressure washer to it a few weeks ago.

Yes, it's disgusting. Time to throw in the towel and start over.
In my mailbox is a proposal to remodel the whole master bathroom. PD and I will discuss it tonight. Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Kid! 

Happy Birthday to our kid!
She eats sushi.
She eats squid.
Who'd a'thought she'd get so bold?
I guess things change as you get old(er)!

Much love on your special day,
Love Mom, Dad and Zeus!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Telephone Repair 

A little more than 5 years ago a friendly telephone repairman came to fix our phone.
He could not complete the job, but he strung a cable as a temporary patch and said a crew would be back in 7 to 10 days to bury the cable...FIVE YEARS AGO...

So you see why I'm a little concerned because Friday a friendly telephone repairman showed up to fix the phone. He could not complete the job, but he strung a temporary patch and promised that a crew will be back in 7 to 10 days to bury the cable.

Stay tuned!!!

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