The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Routine 

Memorial Day weekend marks my 32nd year in Florida. All the Memorial Day weekends look oddly the same:

Clean the pool and deck
Wash the deck furniture
Harvest the last of the corn
Harvest the last of the green beans and carrots
Walk out to the blackberries, munch a few and walk away; too hot to pick berries and make jelly at the moment
Prune the ligustrum

Mow the grass and get sunburned doing that...therefore see #1 on this list...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Sales 

This morning, PD and I hit Beall's.
PD got 2 pairs of shoes...regularly $65.00...on sale for $49.00.

Then I wanted a haircut. We tried the one in the mall with Beall's...closed...despite the sign in the window listing hours that said it should be open. Grrr.

We went to the other Publix mall. The Hair Cuttery was gone!

We went to Lake Square Mall and I don't know if it was Regis or Master Cuts...but I got a nice summer trim.

Now we are home, relaxing and about to attack the landscape...the green ligustrum need pruning worse than I needed a haircut.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Congratulations to Dr. Chen!!!
He made full professor yesterday!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Florida Writers Association 

This morning I joined Florida Writers Association. Here's their website

I am looking forward to their convention in the fall and to their competetions.
There is a local group if I ever should desire a meeting, but it is a 45 to 50 minute drive one way to where they meet, so that won't be a regular gig.

Anyway...every Memorial Day something around here breaks down. It never fails. The air conditioner has died twice...always in May, the fridge died in May, washers, dryers, pool pumps, etc...May! May! May!

Yes, yesterday another May breakdown. I came home from the botanical garden to find water all over the bathroom floor. Yes, of course it was the newly remodeled bathroom. Grrr.
The top tank was leaking along a bolt thingy. I couldn't reach it. I called out regular plumber. Apparently they left early for the Memorial Day holiday and the answering machine went "beep', "click" disconnect.

I had to call a new plumber service out here.
The good news is, he showed up within 2 hours of my cry for help.
The bad news, that was over $300! for a gasket repair.

In a few days it will be June. Ahhhh!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back Again? 

The Road Workers were back again last night!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Annual Checkup 

Went for the annual check up this afternoon.
They had a new form they wanted me to fill out.
One of the questions was "Do you use your seatbelts in your car? Yes or No?"

My answer (and I really wrote this on their sheet): Not to use the seat belt is illegal. What does this have to do with gynecology???

They didn't like that answer.

Anyway...they took my blood pressure.
It was 160/90.
I thought that was excellent.
Once again they didn't agree.

Oh brother. At least we're done for a few weeks till the results come back.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Lap for the Road Bubbas? 

At 1:00AM the road bubbas rolled a winnebago-like craft down the road. It was lit up like a moon rover. Every few seconds it gave a loud Hiss.

From the regularity of the hissing, I determined that it was painting the centerstripe down the new pavement. At 1:00AM!!!

Was it cooler temperatures they were after? Fewer bugs? Less traffic?

Well, even at 1:00AM they had 2 cars backed up behind them. Or to be more specific, traffic was backed up behind the second winnebago painter ship that was floating along in parade formation, hissing rhythmically,and blaring extremely loud country western music.

Grrr. Life on the main road.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I am not a Hoarder! 

The Z boys were here yesterday. They worked on the race car then helped me with some repair work on the front deck. As their reward they each got a personal pan pizza.

I had roasted vegetables including potatoes, corn, zucchini and tomatoes. Yummy. And I did 5 loads of wash…where does it all come from???

This morning I am working on cleaning out more stuff…where does it all come from???

Bye, bye to old Christmas balls (pink ones from the 1980’s!!!)

the green chair LME hauled home from college. (I am never going to find the time to reupholster it and the bottom’s out)

and crappy worn out blankets (meant for the Humane Society but never got there).

I’m getting’ my money’s worth from the dumpster this week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Corn 

Because of the happy corn, I spent the day in the kitchen. However, it was worth it. We now have 5 quarts frozen in the freezer...2 cream style and 3 buttered corn. Come November, this will be better than gold!

Plant Daddy was busy because of the happy blueberries. Two quarts of those are in the freezer too.!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Cucumbers 

This is one happy cucumber.

So far it has produced 6 pints of bread and butter pickles, 4 pints of relish, and countless salads. It shows no signs of slowing down…usually pickle worms or mildew knock ‘em out as we approach June. But since the rainy season hasn’t started, we’re good for cukes.

The pineapples in the same greenhouse are making good progress…and they were doubtful after such a long cold winter.

In the back garden something is attacking the tomatoes. At first we thought it was raccoons, but then I found a tomatoe on the plant with holes pecked in it. So now I am suspecting crows.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Bad American Economy 

Here's two examples of why I stay frustrated...

Last night a contractor was to have shown up to look at a remodel job out back.
No show.

Today I stopped in at a remodel company to schedule an appointment. The sign on the door said I had called during business hours, but, alas, no one was in.


LHS Reunion Last Call 

I got this in the mailbox a few days ago...

"Please let us know if you are planning on being at the reunion. Dodie needs an idea of how much food to order. If you have already responded and/or sent your money, please disregard. Thanks"

Now the thing is this here...when Plant Daddy got invited to his reunion this year, the committee man wrote a personal note asking about him along with an invitation to please come.

I didn't even get a salutation or a signature on the above email. I was just one of a batch. I am just left with a feeling that I am making their trip to Publix for groceries more difficult.

So I sent an email that No, I can't make it. Sorry.

On a similar note...

The Orlando paper arrived as a free sample on my doorstep today..."We Want You Back"

The lead article in the style section was about bullying. Bullying also has a large role in my not going back to the reunion, even tho my chief tormentor has pre-deceased me...anyway the economic cost (my savings) is appx...

2 nights hotel...$200
admission to the reunion...$75
Total savings...$500

Times the 4 times I haven't gone = $$$

So yes, there is an economic impact for all that bullying that went down at that school. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Anyway, better to be ignored than picked on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Direct to e-Format 

I am going to try to figure out how to get my book published here...

Mosaic Studio Remodel 

As you can see, I have re arranged the bench top.

The two small white metal cabinets came out and created enough space on the bench top to store the Scan Design hutch bookshelf thing on top.

I put the two metal cabinets up along the shelf that was already there and ran a piece of Durock between them to create a second shelf. I have actually got the snap cutter stored there now.

That made a nice nook for the radio. I’d like to think that it would get less dusty underneath there, but I know better.

Underneath the bench, I started sorting boxes of tile and combining colors. Some boxes were only half full. I created enough space to move my grout bins over to under the bench too.

Even though I store my grout in plastic tubs, I found several bags that had absorbed moisture and solidified. Gone are the days when I would patiently grind the grout through a screen, so out to the dumpster those went.

Bye Bye Green, Colonial Blue and Bubble Gum grout colors…they were so old they were in milk carton style containers!

Today I need to finish vacuuming. Yesterday the dust got to me. Even though I took 3 showers yesterday, my nose still burned all night.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mosaic Studio 

It's been a while since I rearranged the mosaic studio, but now's the time.

I have put the good mosaic pieces into the freezer/storage room and have moved the scan design hutch top over to the big work bench. The bookcases are coming out. This is freeing up that northwest corner for a little project you'll see over the summer.

Yesterday I was slicing cukes on a mandolin type slicer and I slipped. The ring finger on my right hand is...well, you know. It'll take a few days to heal up.

We ate that zucchini yesterday, but sadly picked one just as large last night. We're not getting ahead of the cucurbit supply. Nargh!

Monday, May 17, 2010

After Days of Nothing... 

we just got our first message on the answering machine!

Our friend from up in the Panhandle called , must have been while we were out at Lowe's...to give us an update on his loquat crop.

This machine is cool! So much better than the old one we had with a teeny tiny reel to reel cassette tape inside!

All Home Grown Of Course! 

What a delicious supper.

We had zucchini fritters, corn on the cob, and fish sticks. I made the salad with cucumbers and onions sliced thin, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries in a poppy seed dressing.

Then we left the dishes on the table and dashed over to Lowe’s for to photograph the Pothos ‘Pearls and Jade’ on the shelf. On the way home we hit the Mickey-D’s for ice cream shakes. PD had strawberry. I had vanilla.

At the moment we have tomato horn worms biting off the tomatoes and pickle worms drilling into the zucchini, but it is late into the garden season.

We have pickles and relish in the pantry and zucchini bread in the freezer.

We have tomato sauce in the freezer with and without zucchini in it.

We have had so much salsa our breath stinks of onions and garlic.

In other words…neither of us is in any hurry to go spray the invaders. There’s enough to share!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I want one! 

I want a Japanese Bra Garden!

Read details here...

Yay Office Max! 

Hurray for Office Max!
I am now the owner of a telephone answering machine. You get three rings free; on the fourth, you gotta pay!

Over at Lowe’s there is still no Lipstick Vine. There is no red verbena. But there IS Pothos ‘Pearls and Jade’!!! It is labeled as ‘Golden Pothos’, but I know one of Plant Daddy’s babies when I see it!

Over at Target, there was no plant material worth having, and there were no clip on sunglasses either. Grrr. There were 2 hookers in the parking lot.

I stopped at Dollar General. Their price on Taco flavor packets is $1.00. Publix wants $1.19 for the same stuff.

So I called it a day and stopped by Publix to get hamburger, and lo and behold! They had clip on sunglasses. I’m set now!

Today I plan to iron PD’s shirts and watch the Orlando Magic on TV. And that’s about it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Say What! 

It's fun to connect with old friends...


Yesterday I had a list of errands longer than a AAA triptic map!

My first stop turned into an unhappy episode of customer (no)service at Staples.

As I pulled into their parking lot, there was heavy police presence. I was both comforted and alarmed by this…until I remembered that the Chili’s Restaurant in that plaza had been robbed at gunpoint a few months back. Yikes! I held tight to my purse nevertheless.

Staples had nice overhead signs and I located the aisle for “Telephones” all by myself and went to get an answering machine. There was only one other customer in the store and four clerks. One was helping the other customer, one manning the help desk and two were having a discussion about a church event.

I could not find answering machines. Up and down I hiked around Aisles 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Lots of stuff, but I couldn’t see answering machines. The yaking floor clerks had vanished, so I went back to the help desk.

“May I help you?” he asked.

“Could you please show me where the telephone answering machines are?”

“They’re on Aisle 15,” he replied.

“I looked on Aisle 15 and I don’t see them. Could someone please show me where to look?”

“Well, as soon as I check this guy out ( the only other customer in the store now wanted to pay) I’ll page someone to help you.”

“Right!” I said and hit the exit. Why should I wait to be waited on when you have 3 people available?

Traffic in Apopka was awful, but at my next errand stop I had to wait a bit, so I read the Apopka Chief newspaper.

The Zellwood Corn Festival is coming back!

After the state closed down all the muck farms, there were no corn growers left, so the festival tanked. Except there was ONE hold out. Scott Farms. They are going to be the sole purveyor of corn which is what it should be…local Zellwood Corn not imported Imockolee Corn because the crowds got so huge the locals couldn’t supply the demand.

The committee is organizing a few local bands. And reducing the ticket prices. It should be a nice small local festival, like what it used to be 30 years ago before the hype hit. It’s nice to see the hands of time turning backwards.

At lunchtime, I made it home to find a crew removing the fencing tarp from the newly paved highway. It’s officially “The End” of roadwork.

After lunch I hit the Post Office, and Publix, and the thermometer at the bank read “94” degrees! I was so tired I came home and was unloading groceries when I realized I’d forgotten my prescription. Nargh!

I poured myself an orange soda and realized I had the key missing piece for an article I want to write, so I ran to the office and tried to photograph the thing. But Zeus wanted to be my little helper, so things were getting disorganized quickly.

Plant Daddy showed up and I realized I had lost track of the clock. It was supper time. We fried up some burgers in a hurry…his beef, mine turkey…then watered the garden.

We jumped in the car, hightailed it back to Publix Pharmacy to collect the pills, then zoomed over to Winn-Dixie to score the icicle pops that PD likes when the weather is hot. For our reward, we hit the Twisty Treat across the street and got cones. Yum.

I slept well last night. And I expect to sleep well again tonight. I have to go shopping again. I'm going to Office Max. I need a telephone answering machine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Desert Rose 

Happy Birthday to my cousin!

I got him set up in the cactus growing business…

Did you know cacti are up all night?
Yep. Desert sun is too hot, so the cacti won’t open their pores to take in carbon dioxide until night time. (Plants take in CO2 and give off oxygen, remember? )
So cacti do this at night when the sun won’t dry all the water storage out of their cells.

And you thought it was only the cat up all night creepin’ around the house!

Does anybody know the answer to this question?
Can I title a story “Some Say Love It Is A River”?

I have been trying to think of a title for 4 days and I really really like that one!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hummingbird Sighting! 

I was standing in the kitchen this morning, begging the coffee pot to brew faster, and I looked out the window (pictured here) and there was a hummingbird feeding on the Nandina blossoms.
This photo shows the Nandina with berries in the fall, but you see how close a view I got to the bird! Wow!

I am more encouraged than ever to grow the honeysuckle and the bower vines up their trellises to feed my new little bird!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Afghanistan's Last Jew 

A very interesting story from CNN



I got happy news in yesterday's mail. My General Mills stock is splitting. I know it's all the same monetarily, but somehow it feels richer. I'll buy a box of Cheerios this weekend to celebrate!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! 

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's Day Shopping 

Note to self:

Do not go into the Bath and Body Works Store looking for bubble bath on the day before Mother's Day. Every person in the world is there also looking for bubble bath.


BTW...I got the BEST CARD in the world today! Thanks Kid! Love you!
And PD bought me a Panda Vine!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Last Call for LHS Reunion at Bargain Price! 

40th Class Reunion
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Lamar & DJ McKeen’s Farm, December Place                               
Old West Point Road , LaGrange , GA

Cost for reunion:  $25 per person   ($35 after May 8)

Directions:  Go out West Point Road, 1.4 miles from Saw Mill Shopping Center.  Turn left onto Old West Point Road.  Go about 2.5 miles.  Farm will be on your left after you pass Cannonville Road intersection.   Look for balloons.  Farm gates open at 10am if you want to come on out and fish, paddle boats, see the animals or just chill out and visit. We’ll have snack foods and drinks.  We will have kegs of light beer and set-ups for the evening but please BYOB.
Meet & Greet   5:00PM   *   BBQ Dinner: 6:30pm  *  Class Picture 7:30pm
We have a professional photographer that will be taking candid pictures and our class picture.  A CD will be mailed to you with all pictures on it for $10.00.
Add $10.00 per CD
Make checks payable to: LHS Class of 70

Volvo Street Racers 

You think you have problems with street racing in your neighborhood?

I have these two Volvo race drivers out in front of my house again today.

They vibrate. These are the whacker packers that whomp the fresh asphalt into a solid surface. They chatter my teeth and I can't think as they speed up and down and up and down.

They did tell me that the machine used to be Ingersoll Rand, but the company was bought out by Volvo.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Paver Passes By 

This afternoon, the road workers laid asphalt from the centerline out over the new shoulders so as to form a solid roadway.

They told us that today they will finish going east and tomorrow they will get 'er done going west and next Monday they will be in Homosassa doing it all over again!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

WOFU Meeting was Fun! 

I had a blast at Writers One Flight Up today!

I was prepared to read a non-fiction piece, “What Every Writer Needs To Know About Gardening”, but once in motion, I thought it would be way too structured for their casual format. So I read my Tallahassee Flash Fiction piece, my Drabble called “Gladiolas” and my poem about my writing efforts. I think they all agreed that I am not a poet.

I passed copies of Florida Gardening Magazine around and I think everyone enjoyed glancing at the articles. I even got a question about the celery article! That made me feel very happy. I often feel like I’m not a “real” writer because I’m not writing a novel, only little magazine articles.

I got invited to submit a non-fiction article to Pulse Magazine for consideration. Yay! The accompanying photos are not the greatest, but I can hope for the best. At least as far as the text is concerned.

Also I overheard what the next Pulse Contest is going to be! It’s exciting…
but I cannot get a head start because it involves writing to a prompt yet to be revealed.
In other words, it’s a show and tell but they aren’t going to show us anything until the next issue of the magazine is printed. Nargh! So pick up your magazines in July and we’ll all start our stories.

After the meeting I went to Publix for pickled ginger then home. PD had cooked yummy sweet 'n sour eggplant. Just as we were putting the plates on the drainboard, PD looked out the window. “Did you see that Siamese cat?” he asked.

I craned my neck just in time to see the bobcat running through our side yard!

Zeus is taking his afternoon nap indoors this afternoon thank you very much!

Dodging the road bubbas who were still hard at work this evening, the FedEx man managed to deliver the topiary forms I’d ordered.

What do you think? This’ll make great yard art, huh?

Writers One Flight Up 

A local writing group in Mt Dora has invited me to read some of my work at their meeting this morning. Wow!

I will be reading a non fiction piece I created for this event called "What Every Writer Should Know about Gardening".

I am also taking along my Flash Fiction story that won the 2nd place in the Penumbra publication, a few Drabble publications and one sad poem. Of course that poem has never been published. It's bad. I am not a poet.

The road bubbas are out in full force today, so I will be leaving a half hour early to deal with traffic. Grrr.

I also have to hit the bank, post office, Publix and pharmacy while I'm out and about. I have put Plant Daddy in charge of making supper tonight. I'll be taking my camera, too. Watch for a second post tonight.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

LHS Class of 70 More Info 

This has popped into my mailbox twice now...from the committee chair...
She writes...
i've had a few of you expressed interest in a hotel room.... let me know asap.... will need at least l0 to hold a block of rooms and get the best rate.... which would bring it well under the regular below price below..



Here's the link Best Western
But a word to the wise from your old Mosaic Mom here who has stayed at this place several times...the free breakfast is terrible...go next door to the burger place for a sausage biscuit and coffee instead...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mother's Day Flowers 

The first job I ever had was working telephone orders for a florist during the week of Mother's Day. What a rush!

Today I ordered some flowers and told the clerk I was open about the delivery. They could pool my order and they could go out any time from now till Saturday afternoon.

She almost crawled through the phone to kiss me!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Frilly Philly Philodendron and Zinnias 

I love the way the Frilly Philly Philodendron has filled in around the Pachira Money Trees and spills over the sides of the container. Beautiful, Tropical planter look.

When I feel sad, I go out to my small planting of zinnias and the cheery colors never fail to cheer me.

And why do I feel sad?
This popped into my email a few days ago...

To all LHS 70 Classmates:

I have found my class pictures for all six years at Harwell Avenue. They are as follows: Mrs. Johns 1st; Miss Michaels 2nd; Mrs. Reaves 3rd; Mrs. Callaway 4th; Mrs. Gibson 5th; Mrs. Callaway 6th. I will bring these to our reunion for display. Let me encourage my Harwell classmates who have class pictures other than these to bring them. Also, to our classmates who attended the other elementary schools, if you have class pictures, I’m sure others would like to see them.

Looking forward to seeing everyone.


I am sad because no only can I not remember where the West Point Road is (where the party is to be held), it took me 2 days to remember who Kenny is! Yoiks!

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