The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Postman Always Sprays Twice 

I am very tolerant of Florida creatures, but I’ve reached my limit.

I opened my mailbox yesterday (to send a letter to my Mom) and thought I was hallucinating. The floor of the mailbox was throbbing and pulsating.

These bifocals can trick me, so I leaned in for a better focus.

Was that a layer of German cockroaches having a hoe-down in the RFD aluminum Quonset/mail receptacle? No, try again…

It was giant ants. They were the size of small cockroaches.
These gigantic ants had set up a baby farm on the floor of the mailbox.

Mail pick up/delivery was due at any moment. I didn’t want ants all over my JC Penney sales flyers, so I snapped a branch of lantana and started sweeping them out.

Oh, not smart.
They landed on my ankles and started to bite.

Crap! I made a bee line for the Raid spray, snatched it, shook it and blasted a cloud of poison gas into their nursery. Hundreds of them came boiling out…and so did…

A black widow spider
A lumbering hippopotamus sized cockroach and
A green lizard.

They apparently communicated their upset with their friend Rough Ralph the Rat who chewed and scratched at the ceiling of the bedroom all night. I didn’t get much sleep.

This morning I hoisted my trash can so as to take coffee grounds and empty laundry soap containers to the dumpster and I noticed a spider web by the handle.

I got a stick and poked the web. Yep, a black widow was nesting on one handle and a big brown hairy spider rented on the other side.

Both are now white with Raid spray and I nailed a hornet by the mosaic wall for good measure. I don’t want to be up on that scaffold and get popped in the nose.

Plant Daddy is stopping by the Ace Hardware tonight to get more blue blocks to poison Ralph.
I am about to unload some Ortho Home Defense spray around the house perimeter…to stop the other damn ants that got into the honey and maple syrup two days ago.

It’s crawly around here. Thank goodness for pesticides. I am not organic and natural.
I intend to get some peace and quiet around here soon. Stay tuned…

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mosaic Scaffold 

Because standing on the ladder was killing my feet, Plant Daddy constructed a scaffold for me.

It works great. I already have the top daisy underway.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene in Maryland 

My Aunt was at the eye of the storm.

Her home is on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. We have been worried about her since the first computer model drew the storm path right over the top of her.

She has just called via cell phone to say that power is out and trees are down in her neighborhood, but she is OK!

That's the best and only news I need on the day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mosaic Snake 

I finished all the pieces of the blue tile snake today.


Also finished the white field...it had given me fits. Ultimately I will epoxy a ladybug on there. Maybe when the temperatures are cooler and I feel more creative. Feel cooked now.

We have pool pump repairs this weekend.
It's always something.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dressage Winner 

My Cousin's wife took THREE blue ribbons in dressage competetion.

Her horse's name is Escada.

Hard sport. Well deserved awards.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mosaic Carport Wall Progress 

Despite the heat, I have managed to advance the wall mosaic a bit.

On the top you can see that the orange is more filled in. I am down to the very last of the orange tile supply and sweating that out as much as I'm sweating in the hot steamy weather.

The snake has a start, just to the left of the orange.

And the leafy background is coming along.

Little by little.
The goal is to be done and grouted by November 24th!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Frozen Veggies 

On February 3, 2011, I was harvesting, blanching and putting mixed vegetables into the freezer.

Do I know this from the blog?
No, I know it by the date on the package of veggies we ate for dinner last night.

Yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrotts, peppers, onions and chick peas.

Great to have this frozen food on hand. All the crops are out of the garden now. The soil is resting waiting for fresh transplants.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Class on Organic Gardening 

When Plant Daddy and I went to school, let's just say that organic gardening was not what was being taught. I learned all the pesticides and how to select them and use them.
Now a days things have changed.
Plant Daddy and I are changing with the times too.
We took a class in Organic Gardening Methods at Leu Gardens this week.

It was awesome. Organic Gardening methods have evolved. There is some good science behind this now. I am impressed and I am actually going to try some organic methods due to having taken this class.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grub in the pool 

This grub was so big, I saw him at the bottom of the pool in the deep end FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. So I went and fished his carcas out. Blech!

Wrote hard and mosaiced some flowers, too.
Not quite as hot. Plant Daddy and I went for a walk after supper. First time in weeks that it was cool enough to do that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mosaic Onion Done 

Before and after mosaic onion



That only took 8 days!
Finished this morning,
Resting now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fall Earth Box Garden 

Here's what I'd if I had bought that Earth Box from Lowe's last spring:

I think though, those green beans right down the middle might have to be corralled so they wouldn'f flop over onto the carrots and beets.
I might also try to sneak a quick crop of radishes around the cauliflower and broccoli while I was waiting for them to grow. Radishes are in and out in about 3 weeks.
That's ONE Broccoli and ONE Cauliflower. They grow a lot!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Week for Meetings 

My mailbox is lighting up with announcements for writing groups this week.

Palm Writers meets tonight at 6:00PM at the Sorrento Library.

Book Builders meets Thursday at 5:00PM at Lakeside Inn.
Their blog is not up to date, but the info is basic.

Florida Writers Oxford group meets Thursday at 6:00PM at the Oxford Community Bldg.

I will not be at any of these meetings. I will be working.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cosmos flowers 

Today's gardening job: remove the Cosmos.

This shot was taken in the spring when they were fresh. Now they are very seedy and overgrown.

I have already harvested the seeds I need from them and if I can stand the heat, I will rip and haul them to the compost pile.

I am already dreaming of the broccoli that will replace the flowers...as soon as the weather cools a bit.

Freebie Alert: We let a volunteer cucumber grow. It will reward us with 2 cucumbers for salad tonight.
We wonder how the poor little thing made it at all in this heat. His fall planted cousins will fare better, no doubt.

It rained last evening and the humidity is off the charts. Can't even get the back door opened and closed, it is so swollen with humidity.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Mosaic Onion 

I am working along on the eastern most onion.

It's really really hot. Even the cat leaves after 5 minutes.
I work until I realize I am not moving, then I crawl back to the house, suck up a bunch of iced tea then do it again.

The pool's gonna feel good tonight.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drying Sunflowers 

Here are my sunflowers hanging to dry.

After they dry and loosen up a bit, I will screen them, retrieve the seeds and have free birdseed.
I like free.

And the way those birds eat around here, I need free!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Garden is Done for the year 

Tonight Plant Daddy and Bones and I harvested all the sunflowers for birdseed. I'll get a photo of them hanging to dry tomorrow.

We harvested all the eggplants and all the bell and jalapeno peppers.

Finally, I cut a bouquet of about a dozen zinnias and a few marigolds.

And that is the end of the 2010 to 2011 garden season.
Finis. Over. Done.
Tomorrow morning PD will plow it under.

It will sit quietly waiting for things to start up again Labor Day weekend.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Do I stay in too much? 

You might be a recluse if…

Your husband hoists your car on the lift for an oil change…and first has to take a broom and sweep the spider webs off the under carriage of the car!

Your odometer reports that in 13 months you have only driven 5,999 miles.

Your car still has that new car smell, even though you’ve never vacuumed the carpets.

You would rather work on your mosaic wall than go anywhere.

Added more to the flowers and leaves on the west side.

Got the outline of another onion on the east side.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dioscorea macrostachys 

Big name...Big caudex!

It's one of my favorites in my caudiciform collection. Plant Daddy gave it to me for Christmas years ago.
Common name...Elephant's Foot.
Like the Plumeria, the Dioscorea seems to be happy here.

(I think it is going to need a bigger pot soon!)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Writers Contest 

Writers One Flight Up
Flights of Fantasy Writers Contest...

You’re encouraged to capture the spirits of All Hallow’s Eve and our Americanized version, Halloween.

We want light-hearted, up-beat, comical, whimsical and fantastical pieces of prose and/or poetry that will make us laugh, scare us, regale us and entertain us a lot. The evening is a Flight of Fantasy.

To ensure a fast pace, we will select a limited number of presenters. Presenters will be allotted approximately 8 minutes maximum to read their original poetry or prose.

To be eligible for participation, send an electronic copy of what you are reading to the email address Email Your Submission(s) to: infow1fu@writersoneflightup.com

The Deadline for entries is midnight, October 6 (Thursday).

Reader Selections will be made by Writers One Flight Up and presenters will be notified by Thursday, October 13.

Cash prize awards for the top four readers.
Awards are based on audience votes.

The Pulse Magazine Award ($75),
Partners in Crime Publishers Award ($50),
and two (2) Mount Dora Brewing Gift Certificates ($25 each).

Prizes will be awarded at:
The Flights of Fantasy at Mount Dora Brewing Event
An evening of original prose and/or poetry presented by local writers and poets.

October 20, Thursday, 7-9 p.m.

Held at Mount Dora Brewing and the Rocking Rabbit Brewery –
405 South Highland Street,
Mount Dora, FL 32757

Selected Presenters will be given free tickets.
Fifty (50) seats are all that's left for those who want to enjoy and play for the evening.
Limited seating!
Seats are $5, cash at the door, or
in advance at
Mount Dora Brewing
405 South Highland Street,
Mount Dora 32757,

or via email to: rdhuss@aol.com
In your email, make sure you give your name, cell phone number and number of tickets needed.

It is recommended that you get your tickets in advance. Back by demand, this is the third Halloween Flights of Fantasy.

Free bar snacks and incredible appetizers prepared by Robin.
Wine, fabulous micro-brewed Rocking Rabbit organic beers and non-alcoholic drinks available on a cash basis.

Laugh, clap, be happy and enjoy an evening of fun, frolic, horror, fright and Halloween fantasy!

Presented and hosted by Writers One Flight Up, an eclectic and creative writing group that meets weekly at One Flight Up Cafe and Wine Bar, Mount Dora, Florida.
All Flights of Fantasy events have been sellouts and huge successes marked with hooting, hollering and audience voting to determine winners of cash prizes.

Co-sponsored by Pulse, the Magazine; Partners in Crime Publishers; and Mount Dora Brewing and the Rocking Rabbit Brewery.

Details at Their WOFU Web Site

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Owl Stalks Cat 

As you are aware from having read Plant Daddy’s Blog, an owl showed up at the farm.

The bird feeders have gone silent.
Everyone has fled.

Yesterday evening about 8:00PM, Plant Daddy and I were bobbing in the pool. Our kitty, Bones, was lounging on a little patch of lawn we call our front yard.

I looked up to see the owl perched on the power line, EYEING THE CAT.

“Owl!” I yelled.
I began to splash water …as if that was going to help. But at least the owl looked at me and stopped stalking the cat.

Plant Daddy hopped out of the pool, determined that the owl was indeed hunting our cat, and darted across the lawn to swoop up the kitty before the owl had a meal of him.

This owl has a 7 foot wing span. It would be plenty easy for him to pick off our 8 inch, 3 pound cat.

Plant Daddy locked Bones in the office to keep him safe.
The owl flew to an oak tree to get a bead on potential action on rats over by the dumpster.

Disaster averted.

We lost the last 2 cats to coyotes. We shut Bones up in the office every night to keep him safe from predators.
We just never thought one of those predators would have been an owl.

Bones likes to play with water in the sink.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Kid 

Happy Birthday Kid.
We Love You and hope you have a great day.

Make yourself a cake!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Plumeria pudica 

One year ago, I "liberated" a Plumeria pudica cutting from a plant in a boutique in Mt. Dora.
Here is a picture of the rooted cutting growing on my windowsill in January 2011.

Here is the plant today. August 2011.

Six months growth and the plant is taller than I am!
I think that side of the greenhouse is 8 ft. The plant is in a 3 gallon pot and is behind blueberries potted in 7 gallon pots.

That’s what I call a happy plant.

I have made one trip back to the boutique to see how the "mother plant" is doing.
It is no longer there. Might have been killed in the winter freeze since it lived on a step out of doors.

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