Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mid-Term


I am about to leave for school--I have a mid-term in Humanities tonight. There were six pages of single spaced typing notes; I hope I can remember it all as she has long in class essays.

It turns out that I have an infected tooth--it is very painful, I can tell you that. He gave me the choice of an antibiotic or a root canal and I chose the meds. It may come down to having the root canal, but I'll try this first. It woke me up last night just throbbing.

In a follow up to a previous post--when I got to the dentist, one of the girls said I heard about you and your photography. I said--what do you mean? Apparently, the women who chastised me last week is a neighbor to one of the hygentists. She came to work and shared the story as it was one of her children in the group! They all just laughed at what a threat I am to children; I have been going to the same dentist for over 20 years!

On the way home I think I took one of my favorite pictures yet. There is a house about 1/2 mile from me that sells plants in their yard. I photographed the sunflowers which turned out beautifully, however, when I was turning around I saw a white flowering tree, just beginning to bloom, and I knocked on the door and asked if I could take pictures. The young man said--sure go ahead. I did.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It only hurts when I bite on it

Good news! I got an A on my geology test, and a quiz returned in Algebra with a grade of 100! Now that is what I call progress. In between classes today I was sitting on a bench and saw a remarkable sight to me anyway. A squirrel was scaling the wall with a mouthful of sphagnum moss on it's way to the roof! Once there it stared down at me for a bit and then took the stairs back down to ground level. You know I couldn't resist photographing it. As well, when I arrived at school, the roses were so beautiful they were crying out to have their pictures taken!

I stayed after classes to listen to a speaker about Florida's Bio-Diversity and the effect the growing population was having on it. He showed lots of great photos, and the bonus is. extra credit for geology. Algebra was weird again--my professor never looks at the class directly and it is just plain uncomfortable. I saw a girl from that class after the lecture, and she said she was dropping it as she can't seem to learn from our teacher. I don't blame her--I would do it myself, but I've already invested two months--I will stick it out.

Bruce has gone to Detroit to cool off. The sunshine has returned this afternoon and brought with it 83 degree heat! I must finish my study guide for Humanities, hopefully, today. I have a toothache to accompany my other problems so a visit to the dentist is in store for tomorrow.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Homework Blues


After what was a spectacular weather week, today is gray and gloomy. To make matters worse, I have a geology test tomorrow on plate tectonics, which I think is just a bunch of baloney, but it is on the road to the AA, so I must pretend.

I found that unless I interact with the material my mind wanders; my study plan always involves typing my notes on the given subject. I enjoy this a lot in subjects that interest me because with my older brain it is challenging to remember things a month later that you have heard once. So, I did those notes, and hopefully my test will go well--I'll let you know.

In addition, I spent about an hour and a half on algebra--another hated subject. It seems so pointless, but again, I march on.

Humanities mid-term is Wednesday, and that is a class I love! I find it astonishing when people make the same sort of comments I reserve for math and science about humanities. Really folks, the study of human art and behavior is what makes the world go round, not silly graphs and tables! The typing for that is pleasurable, albeit long. My professors exams usually include multiple essays, so you must be prepared for anything.

To bring some sunshine into this dreary day I will post a lovely daisy--radiant with sunshine.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dashed Dreams?


Our dear Matthew arrived safely in London over night. His day was filled with frustrations as the next few weeks may be, but I am confident he will adjust and be quite happy. He is a chameleon like that--anything suits him as long as things are organized.

After church today we walked over to the Farmer's Market and Bruce spoke with the manager. The conversation did not go as well as we had hoped because the manager explained that she had two photography booths and that was all she wanted. Never mind that we have never seen such and they were not in attendance today. It is a bit of a set back but we are still thinking positive. We finished filling the frames we had and I think I have some nice things. Time will tell.

The visit was not in vain however, as we bought some wonderful corn from the back of the farmer's truck. It was delicious as was the romaine lettuce. Our dinner tonight was great.

Last night I had to take a pill for the nausea and it seems to have had a cumulative effect as today that aspect of my problems was absent. Hallelujah!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Belly Dancers


This afternoon we went to a small art show down at Lake Eola checking out the booths and displays. The weather continues to be spectacular. I am feeling pretty poorly today and moved pretty slow but fast enough for us to see the sites and enjoy the crowds and art. Easily the most entertaining sight was the belly dancers. My word, those woman have some self confidence!

Lunch at Tijuana Flats is always good with a nice cup of cheap sangria. Unfortunately, I was a party pooper and had to come home.

Here my friends, are the belly dancers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

How about that Internet?



In Humanities we have been studying the period when Gutenberg invented movable type and the impact it has had on history. I'd say we are in a period like that right now with the influence the web has made on our times. In the future, students will be studying our use.

I have been working on a little grouping of growing fruit; Bruce wanted me to add strawberries to the mix ; I went to Google to searchfor a farm nearby. Sure enough, I found one in Oviedo, a suburb of Orlando. It used to be all farm land and such, however, that way of life is almost a thing of the past as people move further out of the city center for affordable housing. Anyway, it is the country to me, and I took advantage of what is left of the rural life. I not only picked strawberries--something I have never done, but I came across horses and cattle that I photographed. I might as well before it is all gone!

On my return trip I stopped at a sandwich shop called--Big Apple Bagels. The counter help had an Irish accent ; I asked her where the name of the shop came from. She explained it meant New York, to which I replied: yes, I'm aware of that, but surely you are not from there. She explained that she and her husband were living in England and found the shop to buy on the Internet. Who knew that folks would leave the safety of their homeland to buy a bagel shop in Oviedo? The Internet is surely changing the way we live.

Tomorrow is Matt's departure.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Life can be bizarre


Last evening, before school, I was walking Baxter in our neighborhood and talking to Jonathan on his way home from work. My dear boy calls me every day to check up on me ever since I got sick and it is always welcome. Anyway, there was a lady in her opened garage with a glass of wine in her hand. She called out a compliment about Baxter's cuteness (she's right); politely, I thanked her. She came onto the sidewalk and to make a long story short--told me all about her current financial situation, her daughters, her age, her husbands chagrin over a recent second home purchase, and on, and on, and on. I put the phone down for a minute, and then quietly closed it, hanging up on Jon boy. I told her several times I had to get moving because of class in an hour, but it was a challenge to get away. I'm not sure if it was the wine talking or I looked like a sympathetic ear--whatever the reasoning, it was a weird encounter.

Secondly, mentioning our neighborhood--it is generally a safe one, thankfully. This morning I was ready to leave for school and couldn't find my keys. You guessed it, they were in the lock outside for all the world to see all night. I had arrived home from school around ten, and well, let's hope Bruce doesn't find out!

Thirdly, I think I made a bad choice on my algebra teacher. I've had her before for a lower math but I'm not sure how good a teacher she is for this course. The avg. grade for the last test in all her classes was in the low 60's. She admitted it might have been over-long, however, she does not believe in curving grades; her plan is to give us more problems to do, only count the ones we get right, and add them to the test grade. Does this make any sense?

This is a crummy picture today but when I arrived home and was ready to open the door out to the pool for Baxter, I saw this pair of cardinals and I knew if I went out there they would fly away. I think they are a cute couple.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Older Adult Student



One thing I can tell you is, that it is challenging being an older adult student, not merely because the subject matter is sometimes difficult, but one must be very self disciplined to keep it up. I am at an age where I can do pretty much anything I want with my days. To get a degree one must take subjects one does not care about and at the moment, I am taking two such classes--algebra and historical geology. Fortunately, the end of this nonsense is in sight; my remaining classes are electives aside from speech. I just finished reading my lab for tomorrow on geologic time, rock units, lithofacies, biofacies--well, you get my drift. Tonight is my favorite though--humanities.

The weather is spectacular again--we will be crying for this weather in August.

I have been trying to get a picture to go up on the macro interesting photos page that flickr has for each type of camera used--today I had success. I have been experimenting like crazy; I'm not sure if my hands get shaky or I try and get to close with the zoom but I have taken many that have had to be deleted. This has made me happy to finally get one to work.
One other thing--the views on the shoe is up to 179--I can't believe how silly that is.
Last, but not least, here is photo of our project--we are thinking positive, however, I cannot seem to get the manager of the farmer's mkt. to return my calls. Hmmm..wonder what that signals?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Busy Day


My geology professor had to judge a science fair today--hurray! I got up early anyway and went to school to speak with a counselor. We discovered the source of my confusion--the audit I was thinking about included two more classes for this semester than I actually took. Matt wisely talked me out of the schedule I had registered for because of my stupid HEALTH! Wow, I never envisioned I would be writing something like that. It's all sorted out now, and I know what I need to do. Algebra test--not good.; a 68--class average was 66. Dreadful test.

It is extremely puzzling to me about flickr. I think I have taken some pretty nice pictures--I know I'm nothing out of the ordinary, but the photo that has been viewed the most--159 times --is of my new Calvin Klein black patent leather heels. Because my feet have been discolored of late, I have on black panty hose, and it's really a silly picture. I stumbled on the fact that there is a contingent of people that like shoes and feet, so my plan is to pander to them.

I took a random shot of Michelle's heels at their Super Bowl party and posted it. The thing is that Bill and Dave, and their girlfriends, are very cute, however, their pictures were largely ignored. It was the shoes that people--over 50--clicked on. It is baffling to me, but I decided to experiment taking shoe pics, and posted a few. Again, the lookers came. I'm now ready to post more of the silly things. I'm hoping one of these days an interesting photo I take gets noticed!

Just got off the phone with the bank--apparently there were attempts to use our credit card on line yesterday and they have terminated my MC--it is the only credit card I own; fortunately, I'm not much of a charger, but it is kinda scary. What's a person to do?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Spring is in the Air


Today the sky is a brilliant blue, and the temperature right now is 50 degrees. Our yard is filled with pretty robins twittering and looking for food ; unfortunately, they are camera shy. I'm hoping this means there are warmer days ahead as my winter wardrobe is being taxed.
I have been doing algebra homework and next up is reading for Humanities. I found out Saturday while doing a degree audit that I have a bit more to do to complete my AA than I thought. Matthew and I consulted on it and he gave me some advice that is sound. I may have to put off my graduation until after the fall semester. I feel pretty good about that; I would be done this semester if I had not gotten ill. I've had to take it pretty easy for the last eight months but I'm hoping I am on the upswing now.
We worked on more framing of photos yesterday; Bruce is very confident about the venture, I hope he is right and I don't make a fool of myself.

Sunday, February 18, 2007





Saturday was amazing. We've had a leak in our bathroom vanity which Bruce was able to locate and fix--he can fix anything. It was our new $500 faucet; a ridiculous price, but he had to have it. We went over to Winter Park because we thought they were having a small art show, however, it turned out to be an outdoor sculpture show which was very nice. The weather is chilly, but sunny and beautiful--no humidity, thank God. Naturally, I took tons of photos of the scene; the best part was that we ran into a young family that we knew the mother. We hadn't seen her since she was in her late teens. They had a little boy and are expecting another child in August. They let me take photos of him and I think they turned out pretty good. I wish my boys had been as placid as he was! No such luck around here, they were all pretty rowdy. We got a lovely table on the street at a wine bar and had wine and cheese. As well, we had some great people watching opps. Later on, there was a free concert downtown with Buddy Guy. We were able to snag a ring side spot (just outside the VIP area), had some barbeque and were treated to a great show. He came down off the stage and into the crowd, freaking us out. Just as he was maybe 15 feet in front of us a guy stepped in front of my view so my shot is of the offenders back! It was cold for us, but super great! Here's what I was able to get--you'll have to look at my flickr page for more. www.flickr.com/photos/gailpeck

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wistfulness

Earlier, I forgot to mention the source of my wistfulness last night. My first-born's personal effects were picked up for shipping overseas yesterday. On the one hand, I share his excitement of a new adventure--living and working in London, on the other hand, I feel somewhat sad to think that my child, albeit 30 years old, will be living on another continent. It is a great opportunity for him, and for that I am ecstatic; really, it's just an acknowledgment of what I have known for years--that he is worthy of great trust and is an exceptional young man, if I do say so myself.

The Power of Music

Although I wrote about my obsession with the camera, I do have other interests, one of which is music. I'm not one of those baby boomers that cling to their old high school music; I listen to a few oldies, but only a very few. Yesterday afternoon while preparing dinner, I had my Itunes blasting from the other room to keep me company. I was listening to the new Tracy Thorne CD, Out of the Woods. I guess I was feeling funky because instead of enjoying the music as much as I might, I began to muse on the fact that when I was first introduced to her via a young hip co-worker, I was a fairly young mother. I guess it must have been about twenty years ago--my sons would have been 10, 7, 7, and 3. You might be more familiar with her as the singer of Everything but the Girl. She was a fancy-free young woman at the time; the music they played however, was full of emotion and wisdom. I am always struck by some of the lyrics young songwriters produce--there's were no exception. I believe they may have been an early indie band. Anyway, our roles are reversed--she is now a young mother, and I am the one who is pretty much fancy-free. I know that term dates me, but I am 53 after all.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday, Thank God

For most people Thursday is just another obstacle on the way to the weekend. For me, however, Thursday is the end of my school week and that is a good deal. Today I had my first algebra test of the term and it was a challenge. It took me the entire time allotted; although I tried not to panic, I was afraid I wouldn't complete it. That would be a first for me. This is my fourth math class since beginning college and I am mighty tired of it. Yesterday afternoon I took our Yorkie, Baxter for a walk to the lake that is at the end of our street. I wanted to try and get this big bird that had been hanging out in an old tree. Much to my surprise, there were three and here they are:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Second Attempt


I started a blog a few days ago and somehow I could not link back up with it, so here we go again. I received a Panasonic Lumix for Christmas and it has turned me into a camera crazy lady. Nothing and no one is safe around me when I have my camera with me--which is pretty much all the time.
For the second time this week, I have gotten into trouble taking pictures. On Monday, I was walking our Yorkie around the neighborhood, and some kids were playing basketball. I innocently asked them if I could take their picture as I was practicing my action shots. I snapped a few, however, their action was pretty limited, so I went on my way. Shortly thereafter, their mother drove up in her VAN, and asked me what was I doing. I explained, and then deleted the pictures under her watchful eye, blah,blah,blah..You know you can't be too careful with your kids she said! Indeed, somehow I managed to raise four sons without being ultra careful, but, whatever. Here is another one I took that afternoon despite her ruining the walk.

You Just Never Know