The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Raku Ginger Jar 

Is this jar maybe raku?

On the bottom it says "Made in Japan" and has an imprint like a Japanese temple gate. I searched Japanese pottery marks but didn't see anything like it.
Maybe LME can shed some light on it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ginger Jars on Ebay 

Plant Daddy likes Ebay and buys (a lot of) fishing stuff there.

Ebay rarely held my interest.
I found the site hard to navigate.
I felt overwhelmed with the volume of stuff offered for bids.

BUT… one evening I searched ‘ginger jars’.
Twenty two PAGES at 100 jars per page.

I have been collecting ginger jars since the mid-1970’s…(when my Mom had Wooding’s Gift Shop.) I think I have about 40 of them now.

This week, I have 3 more thanks to Ebay.

The large one with the green and yellow flowers kind of matches one I bought in Pine Mountain, Georgia on a vacation in the early 1990’s. It is “Masons” pottery.

The one in the middle is like no other I’ve seen in decades of collecting.
Mom says it might be clabbardwear, where somebody tried to glaze over a pre-existing jar. It looks cool.

The pink one on the end is a lesson in caveat emptor!
It is Japanese decalware…but the decals do not line up. If I had seen this jar in a shop, I would not have bought it, but I didn’t study the photos on ebay closely enough. (See how there's no decal on the left?)

Well, I didn’t lose much.
I got each jar for less than $10.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pothos Pearls and Jade 

Hey! Click here and go see Plant Daddy's latest Pothos

Pearls and Jade

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mosaic Joy 

A box of pure joy...mosaic supplies...arrived today.

For a long time I have been dreaming about doing a mirror. Now I have gorgeous seashells and pearls. It's going to be magnificant.
And blue and pink gems and broken jewelry! Wow!
What a great Easter gift.

Many thanks Aunt Terri!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


We had all kinds of wildlife going on here at the farm yesterday.

In the morning, a flock of buzzards descended on a squirrel carcass out in the field. Nothing like feeding the birdies!

Mid-afternoon, it was hot, so PD and I decided to take a little swim.
“We can listen to the Portland basketball game on the radio while we float in the pool,” sez I.

But as I reached out to turn on the radio switch, I encountered a 4 ft. black snake coiled up over the radio.

Eeking ensued.

Finally PD used the pool cleaning brush to chase the small black snake underneath the deck. Problem solved.

We got in the pool.
We never could get the Portland game.

Anyway, not 5 minutes later, black snake sticks his head out of his hole in the deck and looked around. He was checking to see if it was safe for him to resume chasing lizards.

“Go away!” I said and waved my hand.
Black snake ducked for cover.

Five minutes later, Black snake had somehow gotten west of us but was still trying to get back to the radio on the table. From the shallow end of the pool, I splashed him. He made a bee line back under the deck.

This happened two more times.

Finally PD and I gave up and went inside for supper. From the window I saw the snake immediately slink across the deck towards the radio. Is he a fan of oldies rock n roll? Whatever.

In the cool of the evening, PD and I went for a walk. At the top of the hill Mr. Raccoon came out from under the cedar to say Hi. Then he scadoodled towards the loquat tree.

It is very crowded around here.
We need to move out to the country to get some solitude!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Big White Loquat 

We have been selecting Loquats for a decade now.
We have made the fruit bigger.
Today PD found a White one!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Writer Workshop Melbourne 

This popped into my email box today.

Florida Institute of Technology
Creative Writing Institute

Once again Florida Institute of Technology is hosting their very successful Creative Writing Institute. It will be held May 22-26 of this year.

The Creative Writing Institute is a week long conference with diverse workshops including:
Beginning and Advanced fiction
Creative non-fiction
Writing for comics,
Beginning and Advanced play writing
Writing for children
Writing military mystery thrillers
Fantasy and horror,
and Screen writing.

Well-published authors such as Susan Hubbard known for her Vampire series,
John Dufresne, Martha Powers, Troy Jones, Terry Cronin, Vince Courtney, Michael Salazar Andy McIlwraith, and Marcia Denius and others.

There are one-day, three-day and four-day classes.
There are a limited number of seats available for each instructor due to time limitations for the advanced review of each student’s work.

Each student will be given the opportunity to submit their work to Kaleidoscope, Florida Institute of Technology’s literary journal for publication.

Full information can be found on our FIT web site.

(I spent all my dough this year on the Tallahassee Writers Conference, but maybe somebody else would enjoy this conference in Melbourne?)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Record Setting Day 

Well, actually yesterday, April 19th, was the earliest PD and I have ever gone in swimming in our pool.

Our pool isn't heated, and usually I creep into the water, eeking and bobbing up and down and teeth chattering when the water temperture hits about 83 degrees. This usually occurs around Memorial Day.

Then in late June, when the water temps rise to 88 degrees, Plant Daddy will swim. He is much braver. He goes for the "just jump in" approach.

So usually we swim from Memorial Day till Labor Day.

Last year, the new solar cover extended our swim season well in to October! We were thrilled.

This spring we hit water temperatures of 87 degrees yesterday. Break out the martinis and the swim suits. In we went and the swim felt so refreshing. Hey, air temps were 91 yesterday!

Now we expect to enjoy swimming from Easter through Halloween!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I don't know what's blooming at the moment...corn is suspect...but my sinuses are on fire. I am swallowing Claritan by day and Coricidrin by night and spraying with Triaminic in the meantime. Nargh! Achoo!

My nose usually gets bad during corn season and palm tree season, then I'm good again for the rest of the year till the oak trees bloom again next year.

When I was a kid, my eyes would swell shut and I'd get hives, so in all I'll take a simple stopped up head. And no asthma, thank goodness.

But I'll be glad when this pollen season gets over with. The great outdoors ain't all that great sometimes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flowery Dumpster 

One of my joys in this life is that we own a dumpster.
Taking out the garbage is just a walk across the back yard.

Well, OK, a dumpster view in the back yard ain’t all that great.
And in July, things can get a little ripe when the wind blows from the southwest.

So about 3 years ago, we planted a honeysuckle trellis to screen the dumpster from sight and to provide some pleasant fragrance. It is beautiful this spring. The honeysuckle, not the dumpster.

We planted the white honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, and also red honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens. The white has really rooted in and taken off up the trellis. Next year I won’t be seeing the dumpster at all.

We hope also that these honeysuckles attract hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds are much cuter than buzzards.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fresh as Spring 

The roof of my laundry room leaks.
On April 5th, there was a big rain storm.

Rain water cascaded down the interior wall.
The floor flooded.
By the weekend, I was noticing some bad odor in the laundry room.

On Saturday, I checked the plastic tubs where I store picnic tablecloths.
“Perhaps they are mildewing,” I thought.
I poured standing water off the tops and peeked inside.
But they were OK.

On Sunday, the smell was so bad, Plant Daddy noticed it.

On Monday I did laundry.
The smell, I decided, must be a dead lizard.
I held my nose, but managed to get the wash done.

Yesterday this smell was so bad, I could not go in there to do laundry.
I thought I might have a dead opossum under the dryer.

Plant Daddy hauled the dryer outside for me.
I took the cover off.
I vacuumed up a lot of lint, but no dead opossum…thank God.

Plant Daddy moved the washer so I could clean under there.
He took the energy blanket off the hot water tank.
We thought there might be a dead lizard under there.

Shop Vac in hand, I sucked up every acorn, leaf, lint bunny, etc.
Cobwebs, one live spider and all kinds of dust.

The smell persisted.

Plant Daddy hung a car air freshening leaf near the hot water heater.
That made it better, but there was an undercurrent…
You could still smell decomp, even after an hour of scrubbing.

Then, just as I was about to give up, I happened on the source.

On the shelf where I store vases, there was an old Shawnee Pottery bowl.
I stored Chia seeds in it.

The rain filled it with water. The Chia seeds germinated. Caterpillars came to eat the Chia grass, but drowned. Maggots came to eat the caterpillars.


I dumped the contents and buried them. The dish garden bowl will sit in the sun all day today and afterwards will be dipped in Clorox.

Order and freshness are restored to my laundry room.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ZIP a dee doo dah! 

This week started out busy and hasn't slowed down a bit!

It all started on Sunday morning...looking forward to a nice relaxing cup of coffee in pajamas reading the paper and Zip Zip Zip!

The Electric Company repair truck showed up to upgrade the transformer.

That meant no water for coffee (electric runs the well), no shower, no computer, no cooking of the French toast, etc. No air conditioner. No fans. Lights out...

Well, at least the outage wasn't long. Just a few minutes and we were back in service. I'd rather have it this way than a week without power after a hurricane.

Monday, April 11, 2011

On the Road again 

Since Wednesday of last week, I’ve managed to push out a Florida Gardening article, a paper on ferns, and a paper on Dieffenbachia. I wrote so hard, my thumbs cramped.

Today, I have to go catch up on errands. My stops will be:

Lowe’s for a gallon of Kilz.
Penney’s for some underwear.
Office Max for another black ink printer cartridge.

Maybe by the time I get back, at least one of the reviewers will have an article edited and back to me for revision.

I am reading Larry McMurtry’s “Books” about his career as an antiquarian book dealer. I find I am learning a little, but am not really enjoying the book as a whole. But, and this is a big factor, “Books” has shown me a new way to organize memoire.

I’ve missed the deadline for Florida Writers Royal Palm contest.
I needed 2 flash fictions at 750 words each and I just don’t have it in me to write them. And I’m not feeling like I want to pay their “reading” fee, especially if I don’t think my story can’t compete.

Tonight at Mt Dora Garden Club, there is to be a speaker on the topic of Paw-Paw’s. That’s a rare tree in these parts. I might go. I’ll see how I feel after I run errands all day.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Go Where the Fish Are 

You’ve got to go where the fish are…

Plant Daddy has a particular “lucky” fishing spot he uses every time he goes to the coast.

He waits till the fish are “running”.
He finds his area on the beach.
He zones in on a run-out where fish feed on sand fleas.
He tosses out the right bait.

The yield of Pompano and Whiting are pretty good there.

This weekend is the Leesburg Bike Fest and the local hookers are in on the “run”.

There was one at Dollar General.
She actually hooked a shark as I watched!
A nasty, ugly, old cracker- type fella in a gold Buick.
He looked mean and snarly; a real “kick the dog” kinda man and like he would have smelled of tobacco and body odor.
That poor girl. I felt very sorry for her.

At the corner of Lake Ave and Hwy 19.
One wore a “second skin” pair of leather pants, the other had on “can’t breathe” blue jeans.
They were doing aerobics in these outfits.
First one bent down and touched her toes, then the other.
And repeat. Now wave to the motorcycle traffic!
These two girls reminded me of fly fishermen hoping to snag a trout out of a brook.

Parking lot of Bank of America.
A man and a woman in a pose.
Not moving. Just posing.
Trying for motorcycles moving north on 441.
Like sitting on a riverbank with a cane pole.

Then I turned south and saw no more hookers on the day. The action was all to the north.

I pulled in to a shopping plaza and a strange urge came over me.
The sign on the door said “Open” and “Walk-In’s Welcome”
So, what the heck.
I walked in to a hair salon.

I signed in and sat and looked at a Ladies Home Journal.
The woman customer in the chair was just getting finished up.
The customer complained to the cutter that her hair was not even in the back.
I looked.
The customer was right.
There was a chunk center back that was not evenly cut.
Strike One.

The cutter dismissed the customer and said “If you don’t like it, schedule another appointment and I’ll take more off.”
The customer capitulated, paid and left.

Then it was my turn.

The cutter put a sopping wet drape around me.
Strike two.

She asked how I wanted it cut and I explained what I like.
“Well, what you really want is layers in the back,” says cutter.
Strike Three.

I stood up, took the wet drape off.
I gave the girl a dollar tip and said, “Forget it.”
I left.

Half way to my car another cutter lady from the salon comes running up to me.
“That girl really is good. She really can give a good hair cut.”

Did she mean to LURE me back to the chair?
Didn’t work.
I was the one who got away.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Microsoft Word 

Dear Microsoft Word,
Two things,

Quit changing the date on my document every time I open it. I need that date to calculate how much time I have left to get the paper sent back.

And quit telling me you are "formatting" to English. English is my language, quit sending me all this French and German formatting.

I am not pleased. Make it stop. Now.

PS your Internet thingy where I could have sent this privately doesn't connect. Blank page, so now it's out here on Blogger for everybody to see how you're messing up my editing. Grrr.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Pisces Rising Contest 

Here's a link to the Pisces Rising Contest Reading on March 28th.


Article Due 

Trying to make a deadline. Must finish maunscript. Will blog later.

Monday, April 04, 2011

When Practical Jokes Go Bad 

OK, we have simple amusements here on the farm.

First, Plant Daddy found this snake skin back on the brush pile.

“I’ve got a bright idea,” says I. “Let’s put it in the carport where the squirrel climbs up to his nest. That’ll goose him.”

So we draped the snake skin over a support beam in the carport and waited for our laughs.

Do you think the squirrel came home and freaked out?
Oh Hell No!

The wren spotted the skin.
The wren started to squeal.
Soon every damn bird in the county had flown over here to support their wren friends and squeal about the snake skin.

It was so loud, we threw in the towel and took the snake skin down.

Do you think I learned my lesson?
Oh Hell No!

The Sand Hill Crane we call Uncle Cracker had started seeing his reflection in our office picture window. He thought he had a rival so he honked loudly and thrust at it.

“He’s going to shatter the window,” says I.

For several nights we tried to chase him away, but to no avail.
Then I got an idea!

“I’ll put the coyote placard in the window to scare him away!”

Did this work?

Oh Hell!
It did work!

It scared the crap right out of that Sand Hill Crane.

Now I get to hose down the driveway!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Call for Artists and Writers 

This just in from Florida Writers Association...

Basics of Book Cover Design

What are the secrets to dynamic and attractive book covers?
Join us Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM when author/book coach Rik Feeney shows you how to create book covers that attract attention and help sell your book.

Book covers and marketing images are critical in selling books traditionally and digitally. Find out where to get cover photo’s, develop your back cover, and make your book stand out. Contact: Rik Feeney at usabookcoach@gmail.com.

Directions to Orlando FWA Meeting

(hosted at) The University Club of Winter Park

841 N. Park Ave.

Winter Park, FL 32789

From I-4 East or West, take the Lee Road exit and head East toward the Atlantic Ocean. Lee Road will dead end at 17-92 (Orlando Ave.) where you will make a right turn, then get immediately into the left turn lane to make a left on Webster (as you turn a Borders book store will be on your right). Follow Webster through a light at Denning, then another light at the railroad tracks, then you will come to a stop sign, actually stop, then before the next stop sign (which is Park Ave) you will turn left into the University Club. Go up the ramp to the side door, then keep going to your left inside to the library where we hold the meeting.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Storm Clean up 

If anybody wants me today, I'll be out by the pool cleaning up leaves.

This deck and pool were spotless after we worked so hard cleaning them last weekend. Sigh. Well, job security I guess.

We got 5.25 inches of rain in 24 hours. That's more than some hurricanes have delivered. It was a very good and needed soaking for the trees...but don't mention to Plant Daddy about the grass starting to grow. He will cry at the mere mention of lawn mowing season.

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