The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Paint the Kitchen 

This is Mosaic Mom Blog Post # 2500!

Temperature in the Z Shop...110 degrees.
Temperature in the Mosaic Studio...98 degrees.

Outdoor air temperature...95 degrees.
Swimming Pool water temperature 94 degrees.

Stay inside and paint the kitchen...temperatures...off the chart!

"Hand me that brush!"
"You missed a spot."
"Get the caulk."
"Can you move that wire?"
"You spilled a spot."
"That's primer, not paint."

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Not Fair! 

What I used to fix the mouse hole:
Needlenose pliers
Wratchet extension
Two cans Foam Sealer
One can wood filler
Pry Bar
Crow Bar
Wire cutters
Bolt Grinder

What the mouse used to make the hole:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Virus Alert! 

If you get an email from me, do NOT open the video.
I did not send it.

I got hit with a virus today. I got infected because I thought it was legit and opened it.
When they asked for my phone number, I recognized that I had heard about this scam. They will bill the phone number as soon as you list it.

So I repeat, do not open an email from me if it has my name...not a subject in the subject line!

And definitely don't give it a phone number to bill!

Rough Ralph Must Die 

Any story that starts, “I went up on a ladder”, has a bad outcome.
This one is no exception.

We have a mouse or rat or squirrel trying to break into the attic. Mr. Rodent comes every morning at 1:30AM, sets up his equipment and starts to jackhammer through the soffit.

Well, that’s what it sounds like at 1:30AM!

The first night, when he woke us up with his chewing-scratching sound, I went outside and hosed down the corner of the house with wasp spray. “He will not like the smell. He will be gone now,” I said proudly.

He was back after his 15 minute coffee break.

I went back out and unloaded some Ortho Lawn and Garden Spray in the same area. This pissed off the carpenter ants, but had no effect on Rough Ralph.

The next night, Plant Daddy set out tasty blue rat poison, tasty yellow rat poison, and two snap traps with peanut butter and cheddar cheese.

Apparently Mr. Rodent brings his own lunch and ignores our cafeteria. Dammit.

Tuesday night, I went up the ladder and sprayed Glop (expanding foam) into the crevices where we could see rodent scratch marks. I know he can chew through Glop, but at least it would slow him down or taste bad.

To apply the foam, I had to go two steps up the ladder, but then I was too tall and hit my head against the ceiling of the porch. I hunched over, then performed a twist and spray maneuver. The Glop went up just fine and sealed the trim.

I came back down the ladder. I could not assume an upright posture. “It’ll pass,” I chirped and went to bed. Ratso scratched at 1:30 AM, but he gave up early and went away. “Ahhh” I said and drifted off to dreamland.

I hopped out of bed Wednesday morning. I could not look left. I could not look right. My neck was jammed. It took a days worth of chiropractic exercises and pain pills and a long soak in the pool before there was any relief. I was pissed.

Ratso was back and woke me up at 1:30 AM again last night.

That is a declaration of war as far as I am concerned.

As soon as I finish this blog, I am going out front and climbing up the ladder and ….

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lake School Board at Ritz Carlton 

The Lake County School Board just paid almost $150,000 for local teachers and administrators to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando for a conference.
Read Lauren Ritchie's Column here.

The conference was to help Middle School children learn better. The name of the conference was AVID. Does AVID stand for

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Fig Recipe 

A friend sent this recipe for Figs:

Salmon Fillets with Bacon Fig Salsa

2 salmon fillets
3 strips of bacon
4-5 figs
2 cups Diced red onion
1 can tomatoes with diced chiles (well drained)
1 tbsp garlic (minced)

Chop figs and bacon into 1inch pieces, brown bacon and onions and garlic in skillet on med high (5-7) min. Add can of tomatoes and chiles and figs, reduce heat to med and let simmer. Grill or broil salmon fillets until cooked through. Add salsa to salmon and consume with gusto!

As it turned out, I made the Fig Salsa this way:

20 figs (fresh picked combined Brown Turkeys and Celestes)
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red jalapeno pepper
1/4 sweet onion sliced very thin
1 1/2 tsp fresh parsley

I let the flavors marry for about 3 hours. That brought more pepper flavor and heat up and toned the parsley flavor down. The parsley is very strong, use less if you want a milder signature.

We ate it on roast pork. What a delicious salsa! Yummy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Sunflowers 

A few more Sunflowers set seed. This last one was a whopper!

I cleaned the seeds by running the head over a handball racket.

We have lots of free bird seed stored up now.

We are pleased to see 7 regular Blue Jays at the feeder again these days. There was a disease that killed them off then there was a series of hurricanes that kept their numbers low. Really glad they are making a comeback.

We see a few quail here and there but they do not seem to be recovering populations as well.

We have yet to see ground doves or Island doves.

That's our bird sighting report!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Daytona Race Track Repaving 

There has been a little news about repaving efforts over at the Speedway. Click here to see.

I emailed to Channel 9 a few days ago and said I hoped they would film the repaving on those 30 degree corners. Hope they do. Wait and see.

Over at Daytona Beach, council leaders are distressed about banning cars from driving on the beach. It's an area on the beach where you can park on the beach but you have to cross 2 lanes of traffic to get into the ocean.

An adorable little boy was hit and killed a few days ago. Also a lifeguard ran over a German tourist and broke the tourists leg just before the death of the toddler. You have to have heads up all the time or traffic will hit you on Daytona Beach.

But since driving on the beach earns a per car fee, leaders want to "study" the idea. My opinion is this...

Over on the other side of the state, people are working desperately to keep oil off the beaches. Why are the administrators in Daytona inviting oil leaking cars onto theirs?

Drip Drip Drip.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Too hot for mosaics 

So I just write all morning and hang out in the pool all afternoon.

After PD and I do the evening garden chores, we hop in the pool. We soak as long as we can. We lately have enjoyed watching the bats. They buzz around when the security light clicks on. We're glad they're snagging bugs.

I planted more Cosmos in the garden tonight but am just about ready to take the Zinnias out. The caterpillars have gotten the better of me and the crop.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A New Way to Fertilize! 

Jeff Gilman, Professor of Horticulture at University of Minnesota says it's OK...

To Go Pee in the Garden!

Yup, 400 ppm Nitrogen free and easy.
Watch out for deer flies and fire ants tho...as if I know anything about this, ahem...

Don't do this in a vegetable garden folks...just on the ornamentals, please.

Desert Rose 

The only plant happy with this weather is Desert Rose!

I try to think of this current weather like a Heat Storm the way I might in December think of a Snow Storm. I am taking the same precautions: Stay inside, dress appropriately, limit time outdoors.

The swimming pool is 93 degrees! That's too hot to cool off in!

The good (?) news is a tropical system is heading our way! Yay! Rain! Clouds! A break in the heat!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


She flies through the air with the greatest of ease…

I fell yesterday.

At lunchtime, I emptied coffee grounds into the bin under the sink. I thought I closed the cabinet door all the way, but apparently not.

I filled a pot with water from the sink in front of me, turned left toward the stove and stepped. The corner of the cabinet door caught my shoe and pitched me face forward right at the stovetop.

Funny thing about falls, they make time open up. Events come in slow motion.

I had time to be grateful that none of the burners were on.
I had time to decide to ditch the pot of water so I could free my arms to brace.

I had time to slam the pot of water onto the back burner. The water sloshed out of the pot and soaked the burners. For a moment, I thought I might be electrocuted.

I got my hands onto the back edge and wham! My whole momentum came forward onto the stove. I caught myself without hitting the floor, but I was at rest on top of my GE Range.

I peeled myself up and took inventory. That’s the other thing about falls; you don’t realize how many body parts are in motion, until they’re not.

I hurt everywhere. But my left knee really got whacked. This is the same knee that was seriously injured when I fell while mosaicing in 2003. (standing on a plastic chair to apply grout to a wall is a bad idea, boys and girls!)

“Lefty” ,as this knee is affectionately nicknamed, screamed at me the rest of the afternoon. Lefty complained all night, even though I tucked a pillow underneath for support. Lefty is making Orville Reddenbacher Popcorn sounds this morning. Lefty is angry. So are my toes, hip, shoulder and my neck on the left side.

The right side of my body wanted to plant Cosmos flowers next to the marigolds in the garden last night.
“Are you THAT stupid?” Lefty asked.

The right side of my body wanted to harvest eggplants.
“As if,” Lefty sassed.

This morning the right side of my body wanted to climb up on a ladder and finish painting the kitchen.
Lefty insists that we will sit at the desk and write today.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Angel Goes Home 

My friend's dog is dying.

This is unremarkable. It's a 16 year old boxer. She's had a great life, very pampered,a sleek fatso, very well cared for; but now she drools and messes herself and all she can eat is chicken broth. She'll be gone today or tomorrow. Old age.

But in her time, this dog was a hero.

About 12 years ago, my friend's daughter tried to run away. Just after bedtime, the daughter crept out a window and hid in nearby woods waiting to be picked up by friends. All these friends were planning to run away to New Orleans and live happily forever after, so to speak.

My friend had a funny feeling and happened to do a bed check. When the daughter was proved to be absent, my friend hopped in the car, took the dog and started down the road to find daughter.

As they drove along, suddenly the dog barked wildly.

My friend stopped her car, checked the ditch and retrieved the daughter...before the friends did.

This was a life altering moment. We can only speculate what might have happened if the dog had not barked. If the friends had got to the daughter first. If she had been in their car that night. It would have been grim at best.

I always loved that dog for that moment she gave. All of us will miss her. She was a guardian angel named Brandy.

May St. Francis be there to receive her!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Anti-Crow Action Committee 

The crows flew in on the fig crop and were wiping us out. This morning Plant Daddy took the bird netting off the blueberries (they had stopped bearing weeks ago). He moved the net over to the figs and propped it up.
Saved the crop! Yum!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fig Preserves 

You are looking at home made Fig Newton cookies.

And it only took 33 years!

We have fought borers, drought, freezes, poor soil conditions and crows...but at last! A Crop...

Well, about 50 figs anyway. But it was enough to make a small batch of preserves and style a little dessert for me and Plant Daddy tonight!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Living Room Rug 

Lowe's called and I went in the truck and picked up the new area rug today. It is a shag. Who says I can't re-create the '60's!!

Also today I hauled out my trusty ladder and got the kitchen area primed!

All this work may lay me out in a few days, but I am excited and energetic at the moment!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mt. Rushmore Event 


Helen's in the Rapid City Journal!

She and Brian Feldman are doing an event!

Rapid City Journal !!!

Mt Rushmore!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Repaving the Daytona Speedway 

When Plant Daddy went to the Z car convention in 2007, the boys were allowed to run their cars on the Speedway track. PD snapped this amazing shot.

The angle of the roadway on the corners where the racers drive is 31 degrees. The race cars have to go very fast to stick to the wall. Otherwise they slide off back down to the infield. For more details Angle of roadway

They have just started repaving the race track.

So my question when they repave the racetrack is how will they get the paving equipment up that steep angle? Would these Volvo whacker packers go 200 mph?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BP Smell? 

The seabreeze came in early this morning from the west, across from the gulf. It smelled like Crayola crayons. Waxy. Not sweet like diesel or anything. Just waxy like melted crayons. Don't know if it is oil spill or not, but it is odd. I've lived here 32 years and never smelled a breeze like that.

Spent the early afternoon transplanting ginger. At least that smells good.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Chair Shopping 

Since I was on a roll with chair shopping, I decided to replace the chair where I write. The arms of the old chair were ratty, with stuffing always falling out. I had to vacuum foam particles all the time. And it smelled so sour that the Febreeze couldn't sweeten it any more.
I drove over to Office Max today and lo and behold it happened again! I walked in on a sale! Got me a nice new seat and saved a bit on the deal.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me! 

I checked IKEA on line yesterday and they did not have the cute brown chair in stock. So we decided to go to Scan Design this morning and follow that with lunch at an Indian restaurant in the same area.

We walked in on a SALE at Scan Design. It must be birthday luck!
The chair passed the sit test. I bought it at once...then they said they couldn't deliver it for 2 weeks! What's up with that???

So PD and I went to lunch and returned to Scan Design with the pick-up truck and hauled the cargo home. Here is my Happy Birthday chair...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sneak Thief ! 

The pineapples are on their way to ripening nicely, but last night I saw raccoon paw prints in the sand near my crop! I am on high alert. I am not going to lose fruit to midnight marauders! Grrr!
Time to close the doors to the greenhouse and lock them out.

The heat finally won. I pulled all the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes out last night.
Plant Daddy was nice enough to spray Bt onto the Zinnias. Hungry caterpillars are munching the leaves over there.

I spent a couple of hours in the heat yesterday cleaning the seeds off the sunflower heads. Got a nice yeild to supplement the birdseed, but I also got overheated and dehydrated. That happens quick in this hot weather.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Busy Day Yesterday 

I had a week’s worth of excitement yesterday!

First, I went bright and early to the Tangerine Post Office.
Got the letters forwarded to South Dakota.
Cleared out the backlog in my mailbox.
Got infuriated at the drug dealing right out in the open in that community.
I think I will probably not renew my PO Box because I see that criminal activity every time I go check the mail over there. (vs. having it stolen right out of my mailbox in the front yard which was why I got the box in the first place…Hmmm…decisions…

Went to the Bank.
Got some small change. My friend’s husband is in the hospital. I figured she could use small change for the vending machines.

Went to Publix.
Got magazines for friend so the wait in the waiting room wouldn’t be so oppressive.
Got dried banana chips for myself for a snack and man, were they good!

Went to the hospital.
Waterman Hospital

I walked through the lobby to the elevators to go up to friend’s husband’s room.

The lobby was filled with Plant Daddy’s plants.
There was Red Hot Anthurium and Silver Bay Aglaonema.
That made me smile.

The way the lobby is designed over there, all the cancer patients waiting for radiation and all the women waiting for mammograms have to sit out in plain view of everybody walking through the lobby!

Give these ladies some privacy!

One very young woman, in her 30’s I’d guess, was wearing a green turban to hide her baldness. She was huddled against her husband, whose robust health contrasted the illness and age of the mostly women sitting in the waiting area. She looked so vulnerable and fragile. I met her eye and smiled, but she was too weak to smile back.

I had been to Waterman once to have a mammogram. The radiologist had us stacked deep in the hallway. The gossiping staff was overheard to say she (the radiologist) was watching the firemen at the hospital back door in a hazmat drill.

I had the first set of pics taken and was told to wait for the doctor to review them before I could leave. I left anyway.

The next year when I went back, the hospital was having a power outage. There was a minimum 2 hour wait for the mammograms. I never went back again.

Anyway…I couldn’t find my friends…so I left the gift and trotted over to my endocrinologist appointment. It was just routine, Thank God!

So I took my lab orders and drove over to the lab.
The girl did a very bad stick and I have a bruise to beat the band. But done, I hope, for another year.

I got home and Plant Daddy had come home early and cooked the very best pie in the world. Oh My God! So good!

I ate pie and took a sugar coma nap. What a happy ending.

But wait there’s more….

The battery in the smoke detector failed at 3:00AM!
(The low battery warning alarm goes off)
Why do these batteries fail in the middle of the night?
Why can’t they fail at 5:00PM?
Or lunchtime?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy 4th of July 

State Finals! 

I submitted 2 flash fiction stories to a state-wide competetion. One of them has made it through to the finals! Whoa!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July ! 

Happy July 4th.

We didn't get our chicken done, but Plant Daddy got some trees pruned and I got the cabinets in the kitchen cleaned out ahead of starting to paint.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Rug Shopping 

I drove over to Target today. Picked up a floor mat, chlorine for the pool and a jug of Tide on sale!

Then I scooted across the street to Lowe’s and tried to pick out a paint color for the kitchen.
The decorator had picked a Benjamin Moore color out, then she lost her notes where she recorded the name.
The painter showed up with a color wheel from Behr paint, but my Aunt warned me off that brand.

So I was stuck trying to pick a color by myself at Lowe’s.

I brought 6 samples of yellows home and 2 actually work. Plant Daddy agrees on two of them, but we will send a floor sample and a paint sample to LME for a final pronouncement. (Please!)

Also at Lowe’s I shopped for a rug for the living room. That was as bad as me trying to pick out a paint color. They all look the same to me!

Here is the rug I love!

Yes, it is a buffalo hide rug!
Alas, Plant Daddy has put the kibosh on that idea…or injected some sanity into my decorating insanity…take your pick…

But on point, I think I have narrowed the rug choices between shag modern or Persian traditional. Those contemporary styles are gorgeous but they actually make me motion sick. Anyway, no purchase today.

I toodled over to Publix on the way home and bought sale chicken. Plant Daddy will do the honors at the grill for the 4th!

Hope your 4th is happy too!

Friday, July 02, 2010

IKEA or Scan Design 

I need a new chair to replace the Lazy Boy. It was old, ancient, past its expiration date. (BTW we put it in the office and it smells! Imagine what it was doing to the living room! Blech!)

Here are some of the new styles I'm considering:

Scan Design


and also IKEA

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Getting a new floor was like moving. Everything had to go. Sofa, chairs, dining room...but worst of all...the bookcases. We have a lot of books. Hauling and stacking them is a pain...literally...my carpel tunnel has flared up. Grrr.

The kitchen got stripped in anticipation of a painter, but the bid was too high, so painting will have to wait. I painted all the paneling green 2 years ago. I can do the kitchen as soon as my hands recover.

The big green Lazy Boy chair has retired to the man cave/Z Boy lunchroom. When I can, I will get a new chair from IKEA or Scan Design. I'll post a pic of what I am thinking soon.

I will run to Lowe's this weekend to get a 9 x 12 rug for in front of the fireplace. We also need something over by the front door.

So that's it. Actually, that's all I can type. The carpel tunnel is flaring up.
More later.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker
Listed on Blogwise