The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Busy Weekend 

Déjà vu all over again!
On Saturday, Little Pastry chef and I drove over to Deland. She was staying with friends in the old college town till she could get a job and a place of her own.
She got the job (Yay!) and the place of her own will be ready for move in on Feb. 13th. Meanwhile, she will stay here at the farm. So we packed her stuff into the car and moved her home.

I want to insert here that I adore Bloggy’s Cul de Sac garden over there in Deland. She had picked the perfect sunny spot and having it by the front door was genius. She can enjoy it every time she comes and goes and keep an eye out for caterpillars and irrigation at the same time. Perfect to have the chickens out back where there is shade for them. It’s a real working city farm!

On Sunday Little Pastry Chef had to go to work to photograph an on-going workshop. Plant Daddy went with me on a Publix run. How could we miss the sale when beer, spaghetti sauce and ice cream were all on special!?!

After we stocked up, I cooked roast chicken, green bean casserole (with fresh garden green beans) and baked potato topped with homemade salsa.

I also did 7 loads of wash. All the curtains and towels and bed linens etc from Deland got washed. Whew! And today I have a lot of ironing to do.

I also have to put out more bait pellets for Rough Ralph and his kin. Without a cat to keep things in check, the scratchy-scratcy sounds are increasing again. Got to shut that party down. Grrrr.

Then I am going to go sit and enjoy my garden…and pull some beets for supper.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Investments Pay Off 

Today is a grey, rainy, blowy day. Not a good day to be outside.
But I look out my kitchen window and see this...

My nice planting of happy, bright pansy's cheers me up on a day like this. It's like an investment I put away a few weeks ago so I could use it on a day like today.

I would just like to say that I just got a phone call from a customer looking for garden statues. Thanks to the blog I was able to look up Tony's Garden Patch in Tallahassee and refer the customer to a place with 42,000 stature to choose from. Remember?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buddha's Pine Podocarpus 

If you sit still long enough, the world comes to your door step.
Or you get enlightened or some such nonsense.

So today, 10 miles to the north of me, Newt Gingrich is in town making a speech. The Mt Dora crowd was on the noon news all a twitter over his campaign stop there.

And 10 miles to the south of me is Rick Santorum in Howey in the Hills. I did not catch the evening news so I cannot report on his event.

It was just a darn good day to stay home and not try to drive anywhere.
Better to watch the news than to be the news if some cosmic accident should occur.

Anyway, my question is this here: Neither of these boys on the campaign trail were up at that Republican strong fortress called "The Villages". Why?
Maybe the owner of the Villages was backing Rick Perry or Ron Paul. Or maybe Newt or Rick didn't payola enough to get the key to the town. Where's Mitt? Who knows.

And I for one, just want to go sit under the Buddha's pine in the side yard and seek enlightenment and peace. Om ya'll.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mosaic Face 

Here is Mosaic Mom's next mosaic project:
It is an old concrete slab chucked on the dump pile near our back fence.
I want to make an Easter Island style face on it.

I drew an outline in pencil, but the rain washed it off.
I'll put it in by marker this weekend.
The challenge here is I cannot get power tools back here. I will have to do all the work the old fashioned way...by hand.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vegetable Snacks 

While we are watching the football games today, we are snacking on healthy vegetables.

All these are garden fresh...picked and eaten within 2 hours!

OK, maybe the Ranch dressing is not so healthy, but give me a break already!

We are rooting for San Francisco 49'er's. Go Joe Montana...he's still playing for them isn't he? (I should stick to veggie snacks. Duh!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everywhere you go, there you are 

It's true.
Every time we go to any commercial place like a hotel lobby, or a mall or a restaurant, Plant Daddy's babies are there.

Here's Aglaonema 'Silver Bay' in the lobby of the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale.

That was about the only good thing about the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale. It wasn't any place I'd ever stay at again. Save your money, keep your piece of mind, stay elsewhere.

And I don't care if they give you a free breakfast...it was so BAD we couldn't even eat it. Was that a sausage or ??? Those powdered eggs should have been tossed out yesterday...when they were cooked. If the maid didn't empty the trash cans in the room, do I think she made the bed with fresh sheets? Blech.

Go elsewhere.
Plant Daddy's plants are all over the place.

Friday, January 20, 2012

ZZ plant and Money Tree 

I saw this at TPIE...

The larger, glossy, dark green, fern-like plant in the back is the ZZ plant and the Schefflera-looking plant in the foreground is actually Pachira or Money Tree.

This company grows them then wraps the roots in sphagnum moss balls so that they can be displayed in high end decor settings.

It's really striking...but not for long term actual production or collection.
However, I can't wait to go try this on some of my collection or on some of PD's adeniums!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trip to TPIE 

PD and I just got back from attending TPIE in Ft. Lauderdale.
TPIE stands for Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition.

This is the yearly trade show for commercial plant growers.
Being there and seeing all the gorgeous plants and displays thrills us.

Now you might think that since we are surrounded by plants all the time we would not want to drive 4 hours south to go see more…but you’d be wrong.

We go to see what’s new (and how we can get it if we like it).

We go to see new ways to grow things. (My favorite this year was some plant globes…photos soon.)

We go to drink Suntory’s booze for free at the happy hour.

We go to hear grower concerns that need research.

We go to get ideas for magazine articles.

We go get bunches of photos for writing and teaching and general travelogues.

One of 1100 booths showing plants at TPIE this year.
Notice those bright pink adeniums right up front!

We go so that when we get back home we can say, “Thank God we’re home.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ode to Cauliflower 

Cauliflower, I like a lot.
I boil it in a giant pot.

I have one head, and then another.
I lather on the creamy butter.

Butter’s good and so is curry;
Add potatoes, not to worry.

Dip it into white Ranch dressing.
Cauliflower is a blessing.

If you spill it, drip, or squirt,
It won’t stain upon your shirt.

Add some carrots, make some soup.
Add some onions; makes you (fill in the blank).

Cauliflower rhymes better than onions,
Which, of course, only rhyme with bunions.

Cauliflower can’t be beat.
Cauliflower is a treat.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trip to the Mall 

You know it’s a bad economy when…

You get to the Mall at noon on a Sunday of a holiday weekend and you are the first car in the lot!

You go to the store where you want to get a blouse, and you are the only customer there.

You go to the food court for a lunch.
The teenaged boy in the apron hands you the “Bourbon Chicken” on a toothpick.
You pop it in your mouth and …Oh My God!
Spit that out!
It is rotten, slimy, disgusting Salmonella infested, a buzzard wouldn’t swallow that!
(I spit it into a napkin and walked away)

You know it’s a bad economy when…

You go to the two big department stores.
No women at all are buying cosmetics!


You help the economy by buying 2 blouses and a pair of pants.

(Okay, you have really helped the economies in China and India, but now you won’t have to shop again till 2013!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Morrison's Cafeteria 

Early in our marriage…before Little Pastry Chef came along even…Plant Daddy and I used to go for Saturday night feeds at Morrison’s Restaurant up in the Lake Square Mall.

Plant Daddy would usually get a meat and two sides.
I’d always get the vegetable plate.
Green Beans, Fried eggplant/okra, black-eyed peas, and macaroni and cheese.

Morrison’s is long gone.
(Anybody remember what year the roof actually fell in on the place?)
But in honor of that Saturday night tradition, I fixed us a vegetable feast tonight.

We had cauliflower, beets, green beans and carrot slaw.
If you have to ask if all of that there came out of the garden, just go away now.

For dessert, I cooked up three sweet potatoes and turned them in to pie.

I had cooked a pork roast, and we had a smidgen of it, but with that many yummy veggies, the roast got ignored. It will appear as pork roast sliders tomorrow.
Along with that broccoli.

We like our vegetables around here.
It’s a diet selection that goes back decades.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Box of tomatoes 

Tonight I haarvested a small box full of tomatoes from our plants in the greenhouses.

This warm weather is working from my culinary point of view.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Diary App 

If you are a young, hip person and you Twitter and Facebook a lot, you can now get an app called “Timehop”.

“Timehop” will go back one year on any date and email you all your tweets or posts for that day so you can see what you did.

Want to know who you wrote to on your birthday?
“Timehop” will fetch the data.

Want to know what day you left on vacation?
“Timehop” will tell you.

To me, this is ridiculous!

If you want to remember what you did, keep a diary!

Want to see what Mosaic Mom was doing one year ago?
Look in the column to the right and click on the month.
Find the day and Voila!
Same old, same old.

But this whole idea lends itself to a cool story…

What if “Timehop” sends you someone else’s data by mistake?

Or worse yet…What if “Timehop” hires some person like me to make up stuff to put into your record? (Wasn’t this already a story line?)

Isn’t that exactly why Samuel Pepys kept his own diary? So that when he was accused in court, he could say who he talked to and who he didn’t?

That’s the power of a diary.
Keep your own records your own selves.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tax Season Economics 

I have not given a hooker report lately….well, quite honestly, I haven’t seen a lot of hookers lately.

But in the past 2 days, like a bloom of cactus flowers in the desert after spring rain…I have seen a bounty of them.

Yesterday I had to drive into town to take the first volley of tax documents to the accountant.
There they were along Hwy 441, in front of the sandwich shop…a black man and woman…he was walking, she was on his arm, promenading and waving at traffic.

Perhaps you think I was imagining that they were illicit, but no, because 2 blocks down I had seen an identical couple.

Also along the sidewalk, was a white, dapper, gay man hooker…it was a busy day.

I was following behind a motorcycle cop.
He did not stop these hookers and check them for drugs or warrants and I decided…if he didn’t care, I didn’t care.

Today I had to go back to the accountant with all the papers and documents I hadn’t produced yesterday.

I got to the plaza where my accountant is and there was a hooker in the parking lot!

She was a black woman in a skin tight white blouse and a short skirt and gladiator style high heels that laced up to her knees. She was resting one leg on the bumper of a parked car and was smoking a cigarette and talking on a cell phone.

I went in to the accountant office and said, “You gotta see this.”

They came out and looked…but lo and behold, they told me she was not a hooker, just a new secretary recently hired at one of the businesses in the plaza.

Maybe she’ll use her first pay check to upgrade that wardrobe.

I stopped at the Winn Dixie and there was a white woman with long, wavy brown hair, with skin tight light blue slacks and a lavender scoop neck tank top and she was resting one leg up on the bumper of her car.

“Maybe she’s not a hooker,” I thought, since I had just been proved wrong.

I went inside Winn Dixie and fetched the Buy 1 Get 1 Free tortillas for dinner.
When I came out, she was still there.
The Winn Dixie manager came along and started trying to get her to go away.
She didn’t want to go.
She was arguing and giving him attitude.
She slammed her car door shut and sashayed over to the liquor store in the plaza.
There is a bus stop bench there.
I guess she was going to park there for a while.

That was all in all too much excitement for me.

Although…maybe hookers is a sign the economy is improving.
If working men can afford working women again, things must be better.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


Yesterday I ran over to Walgreens.
I got the usual vitamins and toothpaste and shampoo.
I was 4th in line at the pharmacy counter to pay up.

All the people in front of me were sick. And by sick I mean coughing and sneezing. Oh Lord and each one signed for their purchase on the terminal.

So when it was my turn, I used the Walgreen’s ad and tore off a piece and wrapped it around the stylus.
My signature looked bad, but I was not going to touch that thing.

The clerk looked at me askance, but so far so good, I am not coughing and hacking today.

I toodled over to Nancy’s house to return the Kalevala book and cd. She wasn’t home so I left it hanging on her front door handle along with a bag of cauliflower and citrus.

As I headed home I drove past the Tavares Library.
By god, it was open!
I pulled in.

I have not been in a public library in a couple of years, but the internet had failed me.
I have been developing an article for a magazine and I had to do research on garden design.
I had googled it seven ways from Sunday and could not get a result that answered the design question.

I knew from having been a volunteer over there that they had a section on landscape architecture.
Sure enough they had 6 ot 7 books on the topic I needed.

I took the books and sat at a dest and copied out the key facts.
And I started sneezing.

Sneeze after sneeze.
I had to dab my nose with a Kleenex and try to jot notes at the same time.
It was profound.

Nancy had told me she had to quit being a library volunteer because she sneezed and got congested every Wednesday after 10 minutes in to her volunteer shift.
Either I had developed an allergy to dust mites or that was a very fast acting virus I had picked up at Walgreen’s!

Next stop after the library was the Publix.
I got some Italian sausage.
I came home and stuffed some fresh picked bell peppers, slathered on the spaghetti sauce and cooked ‘em.
All that Vitamin C in those tomatoes and bell peppers cured me.
No sneezing to report today.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Beautiful Day for Veggies 

Weather was warm and they were growing like gang busters in the back garden.
It's supposed to hit 80 tomorrow.
Yahoo. Go Cauliflowers.

I harvested carrotts and made carrot slaw.
I harvested cauliflower and boiled it up and drowned it in butter.
I harvested beets and turned them in to Harvard Beets.
Added a little chicken to go woth that. Yummy!

After supper PD and I wandered up to the corner gas and tanked up the Toyo.
I have a ton of run around errands for Saturday and Monday, so got the gas station stop out of the way.

I couldn't resist buying some fig newton cookies at the shop n go.
As if I didn't already have enough roughage...ouch.

We went for a walk and I collected some bullshit.
Really!...I reached the shovel through the barbed wire fence and scooped some poop that had plopped close enough to be harvested.

We toted it up to the garden and worked it in to the sand...not ON but near some new cauliflowers.
On = e coli
Near = compost

Now we are watching the Blazer game on the telly.
PD is cussing.
He is not happy with the Blazers shooting or passing and they keep puting Kobe from the Lakers on the picture because he has a boo boo on his wrist.

We are also having martinis.
Typing is getting hard.
Mstu qiut nwo.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ebay Mom 

Bad Mom!
Got on Ebay.
Bought another ginger jar.

Only cost $3.43.
Plus shipping.

Nice jar for $12.03.
I'll photograph it when it gets here.
Show it off.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


It was 35 degrees at 8:30pm so we started to trickle the water in the grove.
Many has been the night there's been a sudden temperature dive down to 32 and we can't get the emitters on because they've iced up.

So we learned to start the irrigation ABOVE 32. We will check it again in an hour and once it hits 32, we will open the valve and ice the citrus trees up.

Since it was cold all afternoon, I finally got all the laundry done. Also kept the house warm by roasting a pork roast and potatoes. Yum.

Made blueberry muffins too.
Need those calories to stay warm right?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Cold Day 

We spent all day lugging plants into the greenhouses and tacking plastic in the greenhouses. Also tossed frost blankets over some of the outdoor shrubs and veggies. I guess we are in for 2 or 3 nights of frost. Well, I've been complaining about the heat, so I got my wish for cold, so I shouldn't complain.

Don't forget to enter the WOFU contest this month. Deadline Jan 31. My entries are in...get yours in too.

I am reading "Jesus' Son" by Denis Johnson. If "Naked Lunch" and "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me" got together and had a baby, "Jesus' Son" would be the result.
I like "Jesus' Son" for solving all the problems that "Naked Lunch" had. I mean if you are a junkie, how and why do you write so perfectly? And the only problem I have with "Jesus' Son" is that it sooo accurately writes the experience of being hammered. So would people who have always been sober "get" it?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Day Rant 

One might have anticipated crap TV last night, seeing how it was Saturday and New Year’s Eve. But NO!
We watched 2 really good shows.

The first was about the New York Times.
It was so-so until they got to the part about the demise/bankruptcy of the Chicago Tribune.
The Orlando Sentinel was part of the Tribune group.

The show discussed how the Tribune group went to news-lite.

I shouted at the TV, “That’s exactly right. All the Sentinel did was rubber stamp city hall and print entertainment fluff. It you had a brain, the Sentinel was starving you to death.”

And that’s why I no longer subscribe to the Sentinel, but I buy the New York Times fairly regularly.

Anyway, the Times is looking at financial trouble and the show featured much hand wringing, so go buy a Times tomorrow. Support journalists.

The second show we watched was about the dynamics of the fast food industry internationally. It is booming.

McDonald’s and Coke and Subway sandwiches, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken are growth investments.

I shouted at the TV, “I remember a decade ago when I had a stock broker who told me not to buy Coke. I’m really glad I didn’t listen to him.” I bought Coke back then and I fired that broker. I am better off for it.

All these companies customize their menus for the local.
Kosher in Israel, fish sandwiches for the Buddhists in Thailand, fried goose liver in Germany. If you feed them, they will come.

And in Singapore, ONE MILLION customers a day visit a McDonald’s.

I wish I could get flavor-tossed French fries and sweet n sour pork patties at my local Mickey D’s…but I guess I’ll just have to travel. Can you imagine touring the world just to visit McDonald’s?

I can.

Pack the stretch pants and book a flight.

Near mid-night,Plant Daddy and I hit the gin, smooched a little and hit the hay.

First chore of the New Year…fertilize those baby cauliflowers.
Get some growth on ‘em before the cold front sets in this week.

Down to 60!

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