The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bad Opening Line Contest 

Last year up at Tallahassee Writers Conference, they had a contest.
Write a bad opening line, they said.

Write a real stinker, a groaner, a bad introduction. Up to 100 words.
Winner gets $5.00 and a free dinner at the banquet.

I won Second Place. No free dinner for me.
This year, I was ready.

But it looks like they are not going to have that contest this year.
So may I present...my BAD opening line 2012:

Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe slip-up had created a media event, a public tee-hee, a chuckle, but tears flooded Zapathia’s eyes this morning when she’d leaned over the stainless steel counter at Burger Doodle to lift the heavy ladened, orange, plastic tray bearing her lunch order of two double cheese burgers, two large fries, chocolate shake and a diet Pepsi, and her Ahh Bra had said “Ah, the hell with it” and let those puppies of hers loose, squirming free, right before the googly-wide eyes of her boss’ twelve year old nephew, Zephyr Fitz-Floyd III.

Do you think I would have won?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bread and Jelly 

This weekend Plant Daddy is going to take a class on how to make bread.

I couldn't let him go unprepared...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Road weary 

Today was another day of driving.

First off to the Tangerine Post Office.
Two letters I was expecting were not there…and when said letters have to do with money, this makes me edgy.
Anyway, just outside the front door of the P.O.,I picked up a local newspaper called “The Planter” …it’s free.
You didn’t think I’d pay for a paper did you?

I love to read the classified ads in the Planter.

One once said, “Shoot coyotes on my farm. Bounty paid.” And listed a phone number.

Another favorite was, “Owner Died. Small dog must go. Free to Good Home.
Ill tempered little beast.”

Who doesn’t love that? That’s real.

Next I drove to the gas station and liked to pass out at the dearness of that price, but Jesus, what you gonna do? Fill ‘er up.

I drove over to the Mushroom Farm.
Hand scrawled sign on coral colored paper scotch-taped on the window read, “No mushrooms today.” Grrr.

I drove up to Apopka and fetched my alterations from the dry cleaners. I haven’t tried that skirt on to see how it is, but I’ll hope for the best.

Lowe’s was my last stop.
Had to have more bird seed for Plant Daddy.
No, not to feed him; to feed all the birds we have around here.
Except we figured out why the supply was dropping so fast.
It might not be birds.

Last night Plant Daddy had just gotten into bed and I was turning out lights and coming right behind him when I looked out the patio doors and hollered, “Come here, Come here. You’ve got to see this!”

Plant Daddy dashed into the living room just in time to see a possum the size of a German Shepherd cross the bricks and check out our garbage pail. We have never seen such a huge possum.
I checked the lock on the back door.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Busy Sunday 

I motored over to Goodwill today and donated a box of stuff including:

A lattice pie crust cutter gadget
3 prom dresses
2 cat toys
A bathroom towel rack
A computer screen
Clothes hangers
A couple of scarves and
A too large pair of shorts

(I really hope some teenage girls enjoy those prom dresses.)

Then I drove over to Target and got:

A new griddle cause ours isn’t non-stick anymore
A box of elbow macaroni
Replacement stove burner rings
2 jugs of Clorox and
A birthday card

On to Publix where I got some hamburger meat so I could go home and fry up some burgers on my new pan and top them with the onions harvested yesterday.
(They were really good onions.)

After dinner I ironed the laundry so we are ready for the week ahead.

Now I am sitting down to rest my feet.
Ah, feels good!

I have to admit that there are strawberries that need picking tonight, but they will have to wait till tomorrow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vegetable Day Today 

Onions out

Baby zucchinni in

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beans and Berries 

Planted into the garden in the last 2 days:

A row of green beans
A row of Wax beans
A row of onions
2 Basil plants

Hauled out of the garden tonight:

4 Bell peppers
1 large onion
Assorted herbs for spaghetti sauce
Beans and Berries

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fresh Veggies 

I started supper at 1:30 this afternoon….
hey, when you have to go outside and harvest it first, you have to start early.

Everything on the menu was homegrown, baby!

Cukes, tomatoes, mint, and onion in oil and vinegar homemade dressing


Wax/Green Beans with bacon chips

Fresh Baby Beets

Medley of Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrotts with butter and thyme

Home made noodles (yes, I’m going for sainthood here) in a Brie Cheese Sauce…
I won that Brie wheel two weeks in the writing contest. One more serving and it’s done.

Anyway, we eat so many fresh veggies around here, we are considering installing seatbelts on the Kohler.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Return at Sears 

One of the pair of $2.99 shorts from Sears fits large but OK. I took the tags off and can use them for gardening.

The second pair was way too big. I took it to the Sears at Lake Square Mall and even though I had bought the pair at Sanford Mall, they gave me my $2.99 back! Wow!
Actually $3.17 with the tax. Wooee!

I drove over to KFC and bought dinner for me and Plant Daddy.

On the agenda for this evening...dead head the rose bush.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Shopping trip 

On Monday I have to report to Mt. Dora and get a photo taken for having won the Pulse Magazine writing contest. I knew I couldn’t sneak by another week. I had to have a hair cut today.

It had been a year or more since my last haircut. At that time, I got a fabulous cut at a trendy salon in Mall of Millennia. But today I didn’t want to drive that far, over an hour south of here, so I went to Sanford Mall.

At the first salon I entered, there were no customers.
The hairdresser/receptionist chick was sitting at the front desk talking to another chick. They did not interrupt their chatter for me, a mere customer, until they had finished their thread.

“May I help you?” she chirped.

“Can I get a hair cut?” I asked.

“Sure." She handed me a clipboard and a pen and instructed me to fill out the form.

“All I want is a hair cut,” I said. “I don’t need to give you my life story here, do I?”

“Policy,” said the chick and went back to yammering about a St. Patrick’s Day party with her friend.

I put the clipboard down and made tracks across the mall to salon two.

A cute hairdresser boy dressed like a leprechaun greeted me. All he wanted to know was my first name, then…dear Lord, no…he assigned me to another chickee.

Chickee reeked of cigarette smoke. But after she got my hair washed, I pointed to another hairdresser girl in the store and said, “I want my hair cut like hers. That style, turned under.”

I took off my glasses and when I next looked…my hair was completely fucked up.
It was actually longer on one side.
I was not smiling.
I was obviously not pleased.
I insisted that Miss Tobacco smell straighten it.

“It’s because you are sitting crooked,” says Miss Stinky.

“Even up the cut.” I was seething.
My hair flipped up not under.It was longer on the right than on the left...and she was blaming me!

She got it evened out, pouting all the while and at least didn’t ruin me.
I paid the bill and didn’t tip her.

I went to Sears.
Holy Crap!
The Sears store in the Sanford Mall is closing.

In the whole downstairs, all they had was a rack of shorts.
A single rack of shorts. Period.
That was it.
The sign said $2.99.

I got 2 pairs in my size.
I didn’t even try them on.

I went to Dillard’s.

I have been going to Dillard’s forever.
There is a clerk in the ladies department who has ALWAYS been there.
She is a fixture.

As I was checking out she told me she is retiring.
She says Dillard’s management is putting more pressure on her to sell her quota.
They are threatening to demote her to the shoe department.

Sales are down and she can’t always make her quota.
That and the increasing price of gas to drive to work and she thinks it’s not worth it anymore.
She is 68 and has decided to pack it in.
I will miss her.
I won’t feel as loyal to Dillard’s anymore either.

There was a huge roll over accident in Sorrento today.
A white SUV was on its side up against the fence at the big curve…
where the sign clearly warns idiots to slow down for the big curve ahead…

anyway, this idiot had just turned over. It was fresh…and traffic was not stopping. Cops hadn’t arrived yet, so everyone, including yours truly, was inching around the wreck and moving on.

While I was out, Plant Daddy mowed the garden paths.
That section out front looks really good now. Spring green and fresh.

Beans and rice and leftover chicken for supper.
And some Heineken beer later to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
It counts.
The bottle’s green

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick Day Cookies 

We have St. Patrick Day Green Cookies and a beautiful flower arrangement.

Just right to celebrate Mom's St. Patrick's Day Birthday!
Have a Happy Wearin' O' the Green!
And Happy Birthday, too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


My friend Darlene passed away yesterday following a brave battle against cancer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First time we ever grew fennel. Harvested it today.

Small but very sweet. Licorice flavor. Yum.
I will use it later this week in place of celery when I stuff and roast the chicken.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Blue Light Special 

This morning at 3:00 AM, I was awakened by a loud “WHUMP”.

Plant Daddy was snoring so I knew he was OK.

I figured a coyote or a raccoon had been hit by a car. My ears pricked up to detect any sounds of hurt animals. All was quiet.

Now, I had to pee. So I got out of bed, trotted to the bathroom and on the way back, I peeked out the window. Plant Daddy was still snoring.

About 100 yards up the road there was a car. Its headlights were pointed south. Since our road only runs east and west, this was an anomaly. I thought perhaps the sound had been a trunk or a hood slamming shut. I wondered if someone was broken down and needed help.

A pick-up truck rolled down the road and slowed up at the stalled car. I imagined he was offering assistance. But the truck drove on, so I guessed all was under control. I crawled back under the covers. Plant Daddy was still snoring.

I was just about to doze off when I noticed blue lights flashing on the bedroom ceiling. Oops! I hopped out of bed and looked out the window again.

A cop had arrived. Then a second cop then a third. Then an ambulance then the fire truck. This is big excitement at 3:15 AM.

I went out on the front porch. They were having a big pow-wow just over there. I couldn’t figure out what it was.

The ambulance left so I lost interest. The fire truck left. I went back to bed. The blue lights were still flashing on the ceiling and Plant Daddy was still snoring. The excitement was over. I fell asleep.

Maybe a wrecker came later. By the time PD left for work at 8:00AM, there was no evidence of any wreck. Or if somebody hit the bear or hit a tree. Who knows.

At lunch time the contractor showed up. He had quoted me $5100 to take out the pool, but the contract he presented to me stated a price of $5500.

“This doesn’t add up,” sez I.

“Just sign it. I’m sure I can bring the price in at $400 lower as I originally said,” sez he.

I did not sign it.
Now I have no pool removal scheduled. Just have a big mess in the front. Sigh.

Plant Daddy and I had a bottle of wine with our spaghetti supper tonight. I hope I can sleep through the night tonight. I can dream of waking up and the pool is magically gone tomorrow. Or maybe a car will drive into it and cops will show up with those flashing blue lights again.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Garden Day Today 

Yesterday was one more trip to the accountant for taxes. Will it ever end?
Well no. They phoned this morning for even more data. Sheesh!

So I needed some garden therapy today. And I was just plain tired of answering the phone. So out to the south field to get the Spring plowing and planting underway.

I cleared out 2 sections of old broccoli plants and hauled them over to the dump pile. I left one last section for the bees since it is in full bloom.

I took out another section of beets. These were really neglected. Got narry a mouthful.
Weeded the sections then the fun started.

Planted 3 Walter tomatoes on the trellis and 2 Dusky eggplants.
Planted green beans and harvested 3 cauliflowers. Ate one for supper.

After super, PD and I moved a concrete urn planter to the back yard and decided to install a Philodendron bipinnatifidum in it. We also hauled a trailer load of weeds to the dump pile.
I think I will have no trouble sleeping tonight.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Garden Pride 

Plant Daddy hit it hard today.
Besides pruning the Loquat tree, he moved 15 Pineapples into the center greenhouse. That’s a lot of lugging. I really appreciate his doing that for me.

Five of the pineapple plants were already starting to bloom…without having to be induced.
That leaves 10 for my next project…
I think I will try an experiment…I will induce five with the usual treatment of Florel.
The other five will get diluted Liquid Smoke just to see what happens.
You never know!
As long as I get a decent crop in August, I’ll be happy.

Today I had to drive over to Apopka and retrieve more tax packets. I brought them home, checked them over, wrote checks, then drove the packets over to the Post Office in Tangerine.
I got stuck in line behind the slow moving man with international packages. Sigh.

I hit the Publix on the backhaul because the supply sergeant around here (me) let us run out of bread.

We had green bean casserole for supper tonight made with Cherokee Wax Yellow Beans. You can’t find Wax Beans fresh in stores any more. We also had fresh cucumber, tomato, onion and mint salad. Yummy.

For dessert, fresh strawberries got elevated to shortcake status. Time from pick to plate was less than 1 hour!
I feel very garden chauvinistic.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Pisces Rising Contest 

Here is the artist, Lauren Cunningham, standing next to her picture that was the prompt for the Pulse Magazine/Pisces Rising Flash Fiction Contest...

I won the contest with a story about the dealer who might try to sell the painting.

What I won was awesome...a dinner at the Pisces Rising Restaurant, a ride on the Segway of Mt Dora, a night at the Magnolia Inn Bed and Breakfast, a gift certificate at Merril's Market and $100 in "Dora Dollars".

The people at Merril's Market were awesome! I got a Brie Cheese with my gift certificate...not "some" Brie cheeze...baby, I got the whole cheese enchilada. Wow!

The "Dora Dollars" have been a real trip trying to get them spent.
I'll write about those adventures soon.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Saturday Gardening 

Plant Daddy bought 65ft of PVC and today we are going to install irrigation in the new garden area...for the summer crops like corn, okra and zucchinni.

A storm is expected to blow through tonight. We may not get it all done if the sand scours us. But the long term plan is automatic watering in the July heat.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Writers News 

Here is some stuff from my email box today...

Orlando Florida Writers Association meeting
March 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Make Your Manuscript Shine

Join us Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM when the Orlando FWA writing group presents Patricia Charpentier of Writing Your Life (.org) who will introduce us to all the current writing gadgets and technology to make producing a book or ebook easier. When you place your manuscript in front of an agent or seal the envelope containing the results of months, even years, of effort, is it the best it can possibly be? How do you know for sure?

In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to a variety of free or inexpensive tools and other procedures and processes to root out typos, overused words and phrases, redundant sentence structures and a variety of other oversights that dull the shine of your fabulous stories.

Participants will:
 Discover free or inexpensive tools an author can use to create a clean manuscript
 Learn proven procedures and processes to produce manuscripts of the highest quality
 Make the word processing software you already use do more of the work for you
This meeting is free and open to the public. Contact: Rik Feeney at Rik@PublishingSuccessOnline.com.

Orlando Writer’s Events – Spring 2012

eBook Self-Publishing Classes –
Thurs. March 1st at 6:30 p.m.
Orange County Library,
Main Branch, Central Ave.,
Orlando – 6:30 p.m.

Aspiring authors and wannabe writers are invited to join the Library’s eBook Publishing series.
This eight-week interactive workshop is designed to help local authors and writers with self-publishing their manuscript as an eBook.

The workshop will be held at the Orlando Public Library on Thursdays beginning February 23 and will be led by Rik Feeney of PublishingSuccessOnline.com.

To register for this program, please call 407.835.7481.

eBook Self-Publishing Classes
(continuing at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday at the Orange County Library, Main Branch)
March 8 – Developing eBook Content: Part 2
March 15 – Publishing the eBook: Part 1
March 22 – Publishing the eBook: Part 2
March 29 – Marketing the eBook: Part 1
April 5 – Marketing the eBook: Part 2
April 12 – Marketing the eBook: Part 3 (& Seminar Conclusion)

March 1st - 4th, 2012

Sleuthfest is Florida's premier mystery writer's conference, held annually and sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. The 2012 conference will be held in Orlando, Florida. Learn more at Learn more at www.sleuthfest.com.

2012 Florida Publisher’s Association
Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Ed-U-Conference Mark your calendars! The 2012 FPA Spring conference takes place in Orlando. This one-day workshop will feature hands-on, interactive programs and promises to be packed with more information and tips than ever! More details coming soon! See http://www.flbookpub.org/ for more information.

The Writer’s Nest: Mini-Conference in Central Florida
Saturday April 21, 2012

Featured Speaker: Tim Dorsey
Where: Altamonte Springs FL
Contact: Tom Swartz at hswartz@cfl.rr.com

Orlando FWA Meeting Topics:

March – Unique Writing Software / Editing Techniques with Patricia Charpentier.

April - Communicate with Purpose: How to Optimize Your Impact with Maureen Jung

May – Children’s Book Writing, Illustrating, and Marketing with Mark Wayne Adams.

June – What Every Writer Should Know About Publishing with Chris Angermann.

July – Writing Crime Scenes with Bob Morris (unless he is on vacation)

August – The Agent Experience with Dr. Claire Johnson.

September – Beyond the Creaking Door with Jennifer Gregory (writing horror / paranormal)

Directions to Orlando FWA Meeting
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.

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