The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cauliflower Season 

These days we don't ask "What vegetable would you like for supper?"
We have to eat the cauliflower.

In fact we have to eat one head every day for the next 5 days...we have to utilize all the cauliflower recipes we know...or maybe I have to start doing some blanching and freezing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last Meal 

Plant Daddy and I ran an errand for Helen today…we returned her apartment keys to the manager. We had a nice easy drive over to Winter Park and the receptionist instructed us to put them in the drop box, so we did. A-OK.

On our drive home we decided to lunch at McDonald’s since we are stockholders. We could check up on our investment. We could help the stock go up. It went down this week! Grrr.

We pulled in to the McDonald’s at Apopka at 12:10. Oh My God! Such a Bad Decision!

We couldn’t drive down the parking lot because of the fat cow…oh no, not a cow… just a white teenage girl in sweatpants so fat her arms stuck straight out. She was herding 2 snot nosed fidgety kids. And they walked right down the middle of the lane.

OMG! We couldn’t even find a parking place and when we tried to swing around to the other side, some monster-truck swamp-buggy in the carry out lane had the circle blocked and we couldn’t get the Toyota Death Car around.

We gave up and left.

“I really want a double cheese burger,” whined Plant Daddy.

“I really want the stock to go up,” I whined.

“There’s another McDonald’s at Welch Road. Let’s try it,” said PD as he steered us north.

The Welch Road Mickey D’s was also crowded, but we got a parking place right away. The ladies room was clean and Plant Daddy had our order “in a whiz” you might say.

But here’s the thing, those tables were so close together, that if you wanted to sit, the other table had to stand up, slide their chair in and let you in, then try to scooch back. OMG!But we were very hungry so we persevered.

McDonald’s is going to have to profit on someone else’s order, cause I can’t take it eating there no more. It is not my idea of a good time. Just send the dividend check please.

It is raining today, but I am going to put on my raincoat and go out to the garden. I am going to haul in cauliflower and beets and carrots for supper. All vegetarian…cause I need some pure victuals to cleanse my system after that lunch.

Friday, January 29, 2010

South Dakota Adventures 

Helen departed for her new adventures in South Dakota bright and early this morning. This is exciting!
One way to keep up with her is th read the Rapid City Journal every day.

Keep up with all the news in the Black Hills...like today's Rodeo...and next week's Mardi Gras...and the best part is to click on the "cam" and you can peek in at downtown Rapid City and Deadwood and Sturgis and see the weather every day!

We're going to miss the Kid...but we may install a Zeus cam here so she doesn't feel too out of touch!
Here is Zeus practicing saying "Hello!" to Mr. Coyote plackard.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toyota Recall 

Mosaic Mom is part of all the latest trends and fashions and fads...always ahead of the curve, surfing the wave of the future, first in line for the alpha idea...

and unfortunately being so trendy I find myself owning the number one car in America and that puts me with millions of others facing a recall for sticking accelerators!

Bought the Camry last January.

Now I kinda wish I hadn't.
Wish I had stuck with Nissan...Enjoy the Ride...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fiskars Contest 

A garden blogger over at Red Dirt Ramblings is working with Fiskars to offer a free lawn mower.

I entered the contest.
Here's what I wrote...

Camera in hand, I will take the Fiskars mower to 12 public locations such as schools, libraries, and parks. I will dress in green, demonstrate sustainable lawn care and blog the events at Mosaic Mom Blog! If I pick the mower up at Plymouth, FL and save the cost (and carbon footprint) of shipping, will Fiskars give me a yard sign to use at the events? At the end of a year, the traveling mower will go to a group for fundraising.

(I was inspired by Brian Feldman!)

Anyway,I hope I win!
Won't that be a hoot!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pulse Magazine Contest 

They are doing it right over there at Pulse Magazine!!!

Offering a contest to High School Seniors!

Win Money and Get Published.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Creative Despair 

I can't think of any particular topic to blog about...so I am just going to write about a few things on my mind...Here Goes

Cleaned out the pool this afternoon. I've needed to have a crew come in and re-screen the cage for the last 3 years but I can't make myself do it. I don't want to spend the money and I can't stand the attitude of pool service companies. So I have to spend all afternoon sucking oak leaves off the pool bottom. Grrr.

I am delighted to report that carrotts and green beans have germinated.

There are three writers groups meeting this week that I might like to attend, but I am not feeling at all creative. I am not feeling at all social. It's tax season and Helen is leaving this week and Plant Daddy's mother is still recouperating from surgery. I'm just kinda not having any extra energy to put into anything creative or new...including this blog apparently.

Zeus got another squirrell! Yesterday he got a grove rat. I took the rat away from him and gave him a tin of tuna. I let him eat the squirrel.

One last thing...Pulse Magazine has a contest. High School Seniors write an essay and can win $500 and publication! One winner each at Tavares, Mt Dora or Eustis High Schools. Details at Writers One Flight Up Website or email me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cruise TPIE 

Here's a cruise ship at the Ft. Lauderdale Port. It's right in front of the convention center parking lot where you park for TPIE.

According to Oglesby Plants President Gary Hennen, this is the largest cruise ship in the world. Royal Carribbean's Oasis of the Seas. Look at its size in comparison to the 5 decker parking garage!

Friday, January 22, 2010

University of Wisconsin River Falls Horticulture Society 

Here's what we were doing Wednesday evening
Hearing a lecture by the plant breeder at Mid Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What a Wednesday! 

Yesterday I rushed out to the bank. The deposit I handed over was proceeds from writing. I am really proud of that.

Then I drove right next door to Publix where I spent a sizeable chunk of what I had just earned.

We were out of bacon! With all the garden tomatoes, BLT’s have become the popular menu item. Had to get the bacon…and catfood.

I was hungry while at Publix so I bought sushi for lunch. Yum!

Driving home, I passed a hitch hiker and almost stopped to pick him up.

Was it the sign that read “Orlando” in big red letters that caught my eye?
Was it the way he looked like my nephew in Oregon?

No, it was the cute, adorable Jack Russell Terrier he was walking on a leash with him. What a cute, precious puppy. Oooo Puppy!

“I wanted to feed that doggie some of my sushi,” I reported to Plant Daddy as we unloaded Tide and potatoes.

“Oh my God, You had a dangerous encounter with the Puppy Leash Strangler!” said Plant Daddy. “He lures victims with the cute dog. He slides into the back seat, and when you’re concentrating on traffic, whap! He chokes you from behind with the leash and steals your wallet.”

“Close call. Glad I didn’t pick him up,” I exclaimed.

Close encounter with danger???
(photo thanks to The Daily Puppy)

Plant Daddy left for work at noon. No sooner was he out the gate than Helen and Brian showed up toting more items to put into storage.

They feasted on BLT and broccoli fresh from the garden and fresh squeezed orange juice. We had a nice visit all afternoon.

Then I dashed over to Apopka.

Plant Daddy was giving a greenhouse tour. I said I would photograph the group and eyeball some Dieffenbachias. The tour was to arrive at 5, but they showed up at 6:30. I left at 7. Plant Daddy lectured and arrived home after 9PM.

Long day.

PD sets up for a lecture on plant breeding.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to the rescue 

The Accidental Poem of Mr. Hornsby

My 7th grade English teacher, Sam Hornsby, required each student to memorize 50 lines of poetry. I chose the first verse of Vachel Lindsey's "The Congo" and have been a hit at parties with its recitation for a lifetime now.

Unfortunately, most of my classmates memorized two or three poems that all together added up to the requisite 50 lines.

I heard the following poem so often that week of recitals in the spring of 1965(-ish) that I inadvertantly memorized it too.

The Arrow and the Song
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

But today, you know what? I needed the darn thing and it was there! Hallaluia!
You just never know when you have left an impression in someone's life. You just gotta trust that you planted the seed...even if you aren't the one that harvests the crop.

We had to memorize a lot of stuff in our younger days...poems, roles in the school plays every year, chatechisms. Hated every minute of it, but I told myself I might get stranded on a desert island without reading materials and I'd need these things some day.

Actually I just needed it today to cheer someone up. And I was grateful I had it in my head to call on.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cleaning the mosaic studio 

This is the first warm day in a while and Plant Daddy and I are doing some spring cleaning.

He is storing tire inflator hoses and extension cords and repair cushions. He also repaired 2 faucets.

I am washing tablecloths that had been used to wrap irrigation pipes. I am also clearing out chatter in the mosaic studio. I threw away a bunch of chipped coffee cups, tiles and several bags of grout. If anybody wants this stuff come and get it!

PD rototilled a new section of garden anticipating the spring CORN!!!
I think I will go fertilize the small beets and replant the carrot seeds that didn't germinate in the cold.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jay Leno 

Jay Leno should go away! He is an arrogant man and it shows. He isn't funny at all.
Jay LeNO!

Conan is at least funny but he is not my style.

I watch David Letterman...
Yay! Dave!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More plant display 

Here's another grower using retail display merchandising to showcase the plants...

I think it's a great concept.
I also love the terrarium on the back wall...that should give you lots of ideas for growing and displaying plants in an office.

Friday, January 15, 2010


TPIE stands for Tropical Plant Industry Exposition...in other words, the big trade show for all of us in the plant business.

Plant Daddy went down to Ft. Lauderdale to check out the show, but I had to stay behind.

Well, the hoochie chicks besieged him! Plant Daddy had to fight off all the attractive women. He got a snapshot of this one! The Hussy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Peaceful Countryside? 

“Oh, Mosaic Mom, if I lived in the country like you, it would be really quiet and peaceful all the time and I could write and write and write. I’d write the great American novel.”

Well, no! It is so noisy here today, my bones are rattling.

The railroad has chugged a machine up the track, parked it in front of my house and has set to removing the woods across the street. Clearing the track.

This powerhouse monster machine is the size of a train engine; it swivels 360 degrees like the roundhouse on a steam shovel and on its arm is mounted a whirring propeller. It is a bush hog sort of machine capable of whopping down trees 12 to 14 inches in diameter. And that is what the crew is doing.

Kawhop! Wham Blam! Brrrr! Whing! Palunk Palunk! Brrr! Whing! Palunk Palunk! Whap! Wham! Krink Krink Krink! Eeeeerump! Eeeeerump!

If you think the little Asplundh tree grinders that prowl urban streets are loud, this is magnified by the power of 10! Minimum. It is a saw and grinder and choo choo train chewing up the countryside.

It stinks, too. It smells like diesel and sawdust. The breeze is carrying all the dust and fumes over here. Blech! Non-stop for hours. I have a headache from it.

The only advantage I can see from all this is that men won’t be able to park their trucks by the side of the highway, hike into the brush a few feet and go take a dump in the woods anymore. No more camouflage.

I am trying to look on the bright side, but at the moment, after 4 hours of this constant assault, I can hardly think at. Least of all listen to my muse.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Carrot Salad 

If you want supper around here...go pick it!
Here is Zeus helping me gather a carrot salad for supper tonight.

I shred the carrots and add cranberries and a little Henri's dressing. Fast. Easy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mosaic Wreath 

I have been making mosaic wreaths with Bisazza for years, but I saw one in a catalog this morning made with blue sea glass. Very pretty. While hunting down a pattern, I found this one. I like this too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dinner Guests 

Ever since I read Toxin by Robin Cook, I have not eaten beef.

But dinner guests last night requested a pot roast and I obliged.

I struggled to cook it; it had been so long I forgot how to do a beef roast. Glad PD helped. He made the gravy too. I added mashed potatoes and broccoli and apple pie and we had a feast.

I ate turkey burger patties.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Florida Freeze 

This afternoon, I drove to Mt Dora to meet Suzy for lunch. It was 32 degrees and SLEETING when I left the farm. When I came home at 3:30PM it had warmed up to 36!

Plant Daddy and I covered the 2 smallest citrus trees with plastic then started the irrigation. We will go start dripping the other water lines and turn on the pool pump as soon as the sun goes down.

We're glad that our strawberries are safe inside the greenhouse, but our hearts go out to the strawberry growers in Florida just as they ought to start their harvest.

Friday, January 08, 2010

South Dakota Here We Come 

The kid is planning a move to South Dakota.
Here's some affordable South Dakota housing...

a SOD House.
Can you "dig" it?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Frozen Florida Garden 

It's so sad...The temps were too low last night and the garden is a wreck.

PD and I started our irrigation and covering of plants at 10:30pm. The temp was 36. It took us 35 minutes, When we re-checked the temps had fallen all the way to 30!!!
They bottomed out at 27...and the results are terrible.

Well, at least my seed order from Shumway showed up in the mail this morning. We can replant!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mosaic Strawberry Jars 

Here are 3 strawberry jars I mosaiced in 2009.

The one on the left is in use in the garden. It has vincas growing out the top and mint growing out the sides...only after last night with freezing temperatures, I suspect those plants are...uh...scheduled for replacement in the spring, shall we say...
The other two jars will be seen in Florida Gardening Magazine in the next issue...along with instructions on how to make one for your own garden!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

More Sand Hill Crane Adventures 

Three of the cranes are still hanging around. They learned very quickly that my appearance yeilds more seed at the bird feeder.
This afternoon as I went to turn over a batch of laundry, I sang "Sesame Street" to them. They fluttered and hopped about!
Then when I broke out laughing at their antics...they came towards me! What does it mean? They want more singing? They want me to stop laughing? What?
This is awesome!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sand Hill Cranes 

Lookie at what came to our bird feeder this morning!

Kinda BIG aren't they?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Brian Feldman Hits the Bulls Eye! 

Little Mind Escape brought Brian Feldman to visit Mosaic Mom and Plant Daddy here at the farm today! What fun!
They saw the mosaics. They rode around in the cart. He harvested beets and broccoli and carrots and oranges! Then after lunch he practiced archery. He had not shot a bow since his days as a Boy Scout in Troop 641! He drew back the bow…

And hit a Bulls Eye!

Way to Go !

Agricultural Freeze 

We spent all day yesterday preparing for a 4 day freeze. We wrapped pipes, mulched and covered crops, harvested what citrus we could.

PD set the irrigation to water intermittantly. My job was to stay up till 2AM and then turn it on when the temps hit 32. But at 2:15, I set it and went to bed, The temp was only 38.

It never even froze as predicted. I wish these weather men would get it right. They don't understand the manpower that has to be comitted based on what they say. (Think of a miscall on the hurricanes!)

Anyway, IN THEOREY, we have 3 more nights of this...but in reality a cloud deck has settled and we are much warmer than thought.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Cart Covers 

When the weather gets cold…the gardeners get a cart cover!

Bundle up! There’s still activity in the garden.

Today I harvested a head of broccoli and a bunch of carrots. I added them to wax beans, and tomatoes. Blanched ‘em. Froze ‘em and Bingo!

When it’s too hot to garden in July, I’ll have a mixed vegetable side dish.

That didn’t take up the whole head of broccoli or all the wax beans, so we had those for supper…along with bell peppers for the porcupine meatballs. For dessert later we will slice the strawberries to make strawberry short cake!

Plant Daddy sprayed and dusted various crops today. The bugs never take a break.

He also decided to relocate 6 persimmon trees. That will free up more room to plant sweet corn and sweet potatoes in March.

We are ready to cover green beans, baby beets and germinating peas against the freeze tonight. (Beets and peas wouldn’t need covering except that they are so very small.) We may have to spend tomorrow harvesting citrus if temps are going way down into the 20’s.

It’s always busy on the farm.

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