The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who's Your Daddy? 

This is the machine that reads your DNA and can answer that question!

Of course in our case, the question is, "Hey Little PLANT, who's your Daddy?"!!!

Actually I must admit, plant science isn't quite that far along. Right now the best we can do is ask "Hey Little Plant, do you and your relatives have the same number of chromosomes?"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Road Work Blur 

It's all a blur now. The caterpillars and bucket loaders and whacker packer air compressors and scoop shovels and concrete cutters are gone. Except for the residual bump in the road that causes all traffic to rattle, the road construction is a fading memory...until the next phase no doubt.

Well, it's Friday night, Martini night. It'll all be a blur soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big Ker Whump! 

The road bubbas left a huge scar across the highway. Now every car or truck that goes in front of my house goes "ker whump- ker whump" or multiples of that if it's a multi axel vehicle. Nargh!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Road Work in Action! 

Stop man!

There’s road work commencing.

That mean’s you too Mr School Bus! Don’t try to jump the line!

But you can come through, Mr. Fireman!

Road Project 

This morning at 7:30 the road crew began digging up the drainage ditch in front of the east field. I am putting a quick post and hope they don't cut the cable before I get this out.

Plant Daddy went fishing at 5:30. Hope he can get home!!!
I hope the mail can get here. I am waiting on a book to study more about flash fiction. Yay!

I'll get pics soon. I just can't face all the noise and dirt and chaos yet. Gimme shelter! Gimme a second cup of coffee.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Norwegian Mens Curling Team Pants 

Plant Daddy and I just LOVE the outfit!

Photo:The Chronicle Journal Ontario Canada

We think curling would become way more popular if costuming were part of the requirements!And Plant Daddy is eying the new styles available at this web site.

Maybe I will get him these for Father's Day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New DOT Project 

DOT...Department of Transportation...
Here's the view looking west out of the driveway.

The fencing runs 2 miles to the end of the highway.

I drove out to the corner to pick up a newspaper and a Lotto ticket yesterday. The crews have scraped the bad edge away leaving only a very narrow driving lane. I do not plan to go west at all. Today Plant Daddy and I need some stuff from Lowe's. We will go to the one in Apopka rather than risk the drive out to the west.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Broccoli Day Today 

Here's a look at my day ahead...

I'll make a batch of strawberry jelly and put up some broccoli in the freezer.

Tonight's dinner...Chicken Fried Steaks and Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes. Yum!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ham Radio Programming 

Ya'll want to see something really really cool?

Go to RT Systems and click on Getting Started with Version 4.
Have the music on...and enjoy the video!!!!

Did my little kid do that???!!! Wow! Awesome!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Road Work 

Things are moving along on the highway resurfacing project out front.
The crew worked on the drainage again today.

It's not a matter of IF they cut our cable and phone lines, it's WHEN!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday 

Is it a religious holiday or is that the new state of Florida Department of Forestry Motto? Yes, another "controlled burn" got out of control...Do you think is was a smart idea to burn today when the winds were howling? Sheesh...when it comes to budget cuts I vote to start with those lame brains!

Plant Daddy arrived home late last night and we've spent the day catching up...

Tomorrow, when it isn't so windy, I'll take some photos of the latest mad cap road repaving adventures. Oh joy. But it is so windy all the shots would be out of focus for all the blowing around, flappin, howling.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bad Week Ahead 

Hey! Bud!

Mom is in store for a terrible week! Just terrible!


Well. Look…

The pine is in bud and about to bloom….

These cherry laurel buds are pretty, bright red, but they too are about to release pollen …

The cedar is in bud and about to bloom…

The oak tree is likewise in bud and about to bloom…

The only allergen worse than oak is palm!

The old time Crackers say once the wild cherry blooms, there won’t be any more frost. This is Prunus serrulata about to bust out…

So the question is: Do I want to take antihistamine and be in a fog? Or do I want to actually breathe?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mosaic Valentine 

This is the first time in 31 years I find myself alone on Valentine's Day. Everybody I love is far away. Sigh!

Well, since Valentine's Day was originally about SENDING messages of love, here's my long distance mosaic message:

Come Home Soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cold Florida! 

I'm not sayin' it's cold or nothin' but it's 38 degrees in my carport. It's 1:ooPM!One in the afternoon. Man!

I tried to save money. The price of Tide got too steep...(I was caught without a coupon or sales price offer). So I picked up a different laundry soap. It took about a week, but yes, I am allergic to the perfume in the alternate brand. I have a rash. It will take about a week back on Tide to correct it I suppose.

Nice strawberry harvest today. The bird netting is working.

I pulled about 6 tomatoes from the ones harvested back in January. Finally had to toss the rest. They were either rotted or shriveled.Did get a nice extension on the season though.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Japanese Plum Loquat 

This is the flower of a Japanese Plum or Loquat Tree.

We should be enjoying those delicious delicate fruits now, but the freeze took out a lot of flowers and small developing fruit and the continued cold has delayed whatever harvest we will realize.

Today I thought I had been transported to Oregon...it has been raining steadily since 9:00Am and the temperature is around 40 degrees. Plant Daddy is in Oregon today and he is probably enjoying better weather than this. Sigh!

At least I have a good day to stay in and write. Someone suggested cross marketing so I am working up some plant articles for other magazines...like as in...10 Houseplants your Cat will love! How's that?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blueberry Crop in Jeopardy 

Just what we don't need!
The blueberries are in full bloom.
There was a freeze last night. Tomorrow there is a 100% chance of rain. Followed by another freeze.

Either the flowers will be damaged or the pollinators will be damaged...either way it ain't a lookin' good for blueberry pie in my future.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sand Hill Crane 

Here is Plant Daddy offering Uno the Sand Hill Crane some corn.

A couple of things to note...
That's a BIG bird. We were on our nightly stroll through the garden tonight and he stood out on the lawn and barked at us till we went and fetched him some corn.

Plant Daddy fed Uno by hand on Saturday. Plant Daddy's hand still hurts where Uno pecked. Tonight PD just tossed the corn.

Note how PD is dressed. It's COLD!

We realize we have no ground to claim to be cold anymore as daughter is in a place that was in single digits temperature wise today, but hey, it's relative. We will have a freeze tonight. Sigh. There go the beans.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Buyer Beware! 

I went to a hardware store on Saturday.Here was my list:
Swimming Pool Chlorine,
A new Front Door Handle, and
New Drip Pans for the stove.

I grabbed a cart and toodled through the garden center and snagged the chlorine.
Easy Breezy!

I pushed on to the stove drip pans…uh oh!

Drip pans come in 2 styles…basically GE ranges and Frigidare ranges.
I needed a Frigidare style.

There was one package left on the shelf.
Uh oh… wait...it looked funky.
Yes, it had been rewrapped.

“Perhaps,” I said to myself, “somebody bought the wrong style and just exchanged for a set that fit.”

Well, no! Closer inspection revealed that someone had wrapped USED drip pans in saran wrap and brought them back to the store for a credit. USED! As in greasy and dirty. Gross! Completely gross.

The clerk checked inventory for me to see if any actual new ones were available, but no.
I pressed forward to the Door Hardware section.

I found the matching style.

But I had to buy a whole set at $100. I couldn’t just get the one piece I needed!

There was only one left on the shelf. I slid it towards my cart.

But wait…the box had been opened and returned.
Uh oh!

I wondered if all the parts were in there. Things were obviously loose and rattling despite the clear packaging tape sealing the folded lid.

I remembered an episode long past when I had bought some grout sealer at this same hardware store. I got it to the mosaic studio, ready to apply it when I realized that someone had taken that bottle, used the sealer, replaced it with water and returned it to the store for a refund.

Back to the shelf went the door handle, and back to the shelf went the chlorine.

I left empty handed.

Bottom line. Check those packages! Buyer Beware!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cute Titles for a Mosaic Essay 

Someone asked about titles for an essay...Cute Titles for a Mosaic Essay...and I gave it a thought...Here's my list of 10...

Argument for Andamento

No Grout About It

It Ain’t Set in Stone till the Grout Dries

Snap Cutter

Mamma’s Nippers

Dancing with the Grout Queen in My Sleep

Word Smashing

Wreckollections of My Life in Tile

Do Not Operate Wet Saw Under the Influence of Love

The Courtship of Bisazza and Saltillo

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Mt Dora Library Writers Contest 2009 More 

Another update about the very late 2009 contest results...

Eight people volunteered to work on the contest Committee [to move forward with a 2010 contest]. The head of the Writers Guild said that we needed between 7 and 9. So he will inform the head librarian, and hopefully we can move forward. The head librarian will then send out the results of the 2009 contest winners and a note about next year's 2010 contest. Results will be in the mail and on the library website soon.

Great New Blog! 

Have a look at the West through a Floridian's eyes!

Trust Your Gut! 

My Aunt Terri saved my fanny today!

My aunt regularly sends email stories. Some are humorous, some inspirational, some political. And every now and then she sends crime alerts. She sent a crime alert this week.

I can’t remember exactly what it was about other than…heads up in mall parking lots…and that’s what saved me from some agony this afternoon.

The mall was crowded and I felt happy to slide into a parking spot near the end of a row. I was facing east, with cars parked at my nose and on my passenger side. A teenaged girl driving a small black Honda quickly drove across 2 rows of parking lanes, pulled through an empty space, and crossed the paint into the slip beside me, facing west. We were driver to driver. If I had rolled my window down we could have had a chat. There was nothing alarming about this, a lot of people park backwards.

What caught my eye was that her drivers window was down. It was a cold day and the wind was howling across the concrete. It was not the kind of day on which somebody would drive around with their window open.

The voice inside my head said “She could reach, grab your purse and drive off when you get out.” My Aunt’s email said “trust your instincts” so I stayed in my car with the door locked.

I’ll let her go into the mall first, I thought. But she didn’t get out of her car.

I’ll check my text messages, I thought. She sat there staring at me.

I’ll recheck my shopping list, I thought. The girl was glaring at me now. But she hadn’t rolled up her window or made a cell call of her own or applied make up. She wasn’t making a move at all to go indoors.

I was just about to drive off and find another place to park when she sped away. I was left shaking. I had dodged a bullet indeed.

And I owe all the thanks to my Aunt’s advice. If something seems wrong, trust your gut.

Friday, February 05, 2010

First Robin of Spring! 

It must be Spring.
I saw a Robin at the feeder this morning! Woo Hoo!

Thanks for the photo link and Read more about Turdus migratorius! Here!

Watch the Birdie!
Since their appearance in January, the Sand Hill Cranes have shown up every day to get their corn. Plant Daddy motored over to Ace Hardware yesterday to stock up at the sale price. Buy 1 get 1 free Bird Seed.

Three small ones come each morning. They are skittish. They eat and run. We call them “The Trio”.

We’ve named the largest bird “Uno”. He is the tallest, looks me right in the eye. He shows up every afternoon while I am cooking supper. He honks outside the kitchen window until I come out and feed him his corn. What a king he is!

Good News/Bad News
The good news is our highway is going to be resurfaced. The bad news is our highway is going to be resurfaced.

A team with wands buzzed and flagged cable and phone lines in front of the house yesterday. They held a huge con-fab over the natural gas pipeline! (Yikes!) The road really needs it, but what a nasty summer of traffic delays and noise and internet outages and trespassers it’s going to be.

Mt Dora Arts Festival
Are you going? Really?

It’s going to be pouring rain today as the artists try to set up the booths. Tomorrow wind. Gusts so strong the shuttle launch is iffy. Temperatures in the 40’s. I’m staying in, thank you.

McDonald’s Stock
Plant Daddy and I ate at McDonald’s last Saturday. The stock went up and we made $$$ dollars on Monday! Now the stock is sinking. Looks like we’ll have to eat there every Saturday to keep the company afloat.

Mushroom Farm
At Christmas I ordered a mushroom farm kit. Hey, it’s a vegetable crop I’ve never tackled. I’m always on the look out for something exciting.

Yeah, it was pretty exciting trying to keep Zeus out of the compost once I opened that box!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Fiskars Mower Contest! 

This popped up in my mailbox yesterday!

Hi MM,

Although you didn't win the mower, you were one of the finalists. I chose a book for you, and I'll send it to you from Amazon.

Why not pop over and see which book you won?

Thanks for playing,


She is sending me a book called "The Edible Schoolyard" by Alice Waters! What a treat! I know it will be inspirational!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I Hate Bunnies! 

Last night a bunny took out most of the green beans and about half of the wax beans! Grrrr!

Note to self...Use fencing each and every time!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mt Dora Library Writer’s Contest Update! 

Mt Dora Library Writer’s Contest Update!

Were you a writer who submitted to the Mount Dora Library Writer’s Contest?
The deadline for submissions was August 31, 2009. Winners were to have been announced on October 12, 2009.

It’s February 2, 2010 and there's a thaw! Some information!

Here’s what appeared in my e-mailbox today…(I obtained permission to share this on this blog…I have edited names)

“Report on the Annual Mount Dora Writers Contest
February 1, 2010

On January 20, 2010, two members of the Writer’s Café Writers Group that meets at Mt Dora Library met with the Mt Dora Library Director to discuss the status of the Annual Mount Dora Writers Contest and to address the question of how the contest might continue after the troubled 2009 experience.

In order to understand what led to the difficulties, it is necessary to know some of the history of the contest, which was begun by the Mount Dora Writers Guild in the mid-1990s and linked to the Mount Dora Festival of Music and Literature.

At that time, Guild members organized and conducted the entire contest: set categories, wrote entry procedures, planned publicity, did the judging, decided prizes, and arranged the writers reception at which the winning entries were read and prizes were awarded. A Guild committee judged all entries---originally an all-day process followed by dinner in a downtown restaurant.

Only when literature was dropped and the Mount Dora Music Festival replaced the previous combination event did the Writers Contest move to the W.T. Bland Public Library. Since then the five original categories---poetry, drama (One-Act Play), fiction (Short Story), children’s literature, and non-fiction---have shrunk to two---poetry and short story. And in 2009 the writers reception was eliminated entirely.

If the two members of Writer’s Cafe had not intervened, the Mt Dora Library Director would have discontinued the contest, but as a result of their meeting a new 2010 plan developed with responsibilities shared three ways:

1. Mount Dora Library Association will handle all financial transactions, i.e., keep accounts, receive entry fees, pay bills, and write checks.

2. W.T. Bland Library will mail publicity, receive entries, pass entries to Writers Guild, send letters to winners, and send card announcing the 2010 contest.

3. Mount Dora Writers Guild will establish new categories, set new rules, procure judges, write publicity, write letters to winners, and conduct the writers’ reception.

This plan for 2010 is a proposal to the Writers Guild. If the Guild members (including Palm Writers Group Members) do not want to participate in this three-way plan, there will be no contest.”

Mosaic Mom also heard…” The winners have been notified and given their prize money. A postcard was going out listing the winners, along with an announcement about this year’s [2010] contest. We want to see if we have enough people to take over the operational aspects of the contest before the Mt Dora Library Director sends out the postcard and posts the winners.”

So here’s the bottom line, if you were a winner, you got a post card and some money. The rest of us do not know who won.

And if you want to be on the committee to run the Mt Dora Library Writer’s Contest 2010, email me and I will forward your name to the right person.

Monday, February 01, 2010

International Business 

So the thing is this here…

I toodled over to the Tangerine Post Office. Around 3:00PM I was the third in line.

The first man was shipping Bibles to Africa. He is a local Christian literature distributor. He was irritated because postal rules have changed. He cannot dump his bulk mail in Tangerine; he has to drive it to Lake Mary.


The second man was sending a certified check. The check would secure a cargo container. The cargo container would ship his furniture to China. He was going to move to China to take a job as a web designer for a financial web site. He told the clerk he had once shipped a Bible to Ghana. But more or less, he was setting up a web center just outside of Hong Kong.

I wondered to myself…if someone logs on to that financial site and gives up financial data, do they know it is going straight to China? (if he had said the name I would have posted it here)

I wondered to myself…is it legal to send Bibles to Ghana if Ghana is a mooslim country?


My turn. I had to mail the W-3’s or W-2’s or what ever it was I had to mail this time….via Certified Mail ALWAYS when dealing with taxes…anyway…I was amazed to be at such an international crossroads in Tangerine this afternoon.

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