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Showing posts from March, 2007

New Car

I'm not sure if Bruce and I will ever become big consumers. We lived so many years frugally that it is second nature to us. That said, we both have nice cars now. Bruce's lease on his BMW ran out and today he got a new one. He is fairly ambivalent about it, and I have not even ridden in it yet. We have both lived long enough to understand that material goods are just that material. I feel bad that we will have to load all the stuff in it in the morning. That should be amended, Bruce will do all the work, bless his dear heart.

It is amazing how much preparation goes into our set up for the market. I like to show a few new pieces and they need price tags, and names, and framing. I had some pictures done at Costco ; I went early to pick them up. Bruce picked up a frame at Sam Flax so I will have one big piece. Hopefully, someone will like it, or at least they should! That sounds pretty arrogant doesn't it? Just thinking positive.

We will celebrate Bill and Dave's birthday w…

Little Cokes

You will be happy to know that I am over feeling sorry for myself--no whining today! Last night I thought to myself, God has a reason for this time in my life, and really, it's his to do with as He chooses, so I'm going to try my best to think positive, and be grateful for all of the blessings I have--of which there are too many to count.

You would think I couldn't take a decent picture with some I post on this blog. I have no idea why this downloaded sideways, but you'll see why I left it in a minute.

My mom used to love these little Cokes, so I will always think of her when I have one. She loved to put them in the freezer getting them nice and cold, sometimes even icy. If you are old enough you will remember when the only way to get a Coke out of a machine was in a bottle. You'll also remember how some people liked to put salted peanuts in their bottle and drink and chew at the same time. This was of course before it was a crime to drink Coca-Cola.

When I saw Dr. Ev…

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

On my way home from school I drove by the house where I took this photo; they are dead and ugly now. Here today and gone tomorrow. That is what I feel about my health these days.

I went to see Dr. Everett today and the good news is the blood work for bad stuff is negative--the bad news is that I still have no diagnosis or treatment. I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself right now. He is referring me to a neurologist for possible peripheral neuropathy; I guess I'll be researching that next, however, I am not holding out much hope. It may be another month until I can get that appointment, so I guess life goes on like it is.

I stopped again on the peacock street and I got to speak with one of the homeowners. She told me that the peacocks had been there before they built the houses which was in 1965! She feeds them dog food every day around 4:30 when they come up on her porch. She said I was welcome to come back anytime and witness it, which of course, I intend to do.

Logarithms and Fossils

I've spent the better part of the day on the titled subjects. I confess, neither one interests me in the slightest but it is part of the game. I've decided I much prefer living things to dead ones, thus my lack of appreciation for geology. You already know what I think of algebra so I won't rant as to bore you.

I may not have forgotten my hair appointment but I did forget my checkbook. My British stylist, Peter O'Toole, takes only cash or checks. It had been so long--maybe four months-- since my last visit, it completely escaped me. I realized just as he was blowing my hair out; talk about embarrassed. He was super sweet--probably because he felt sorry for me as the dry heaves were problematic during the appointment. He was very clever acting like it was perfectly normal! He's right, it is perfectly normal for me. I am able to save the day a bit as I have to go back to Winter Park for class tonight so I'll drop it by on my way.

I was thinking on my drive there ab…


I meant to mention earlier that I realized this morning that I have been a photographer all of my adult life. I just used to take pictures of other things with bigger equipment. Funny, huh? I was pretty good with the big stuff, hopefully, I can become pretty good with my little camera.


I don't know what has made me blog exactly. I kept seeing it on Picassa and I guess I thought, why not. Having said that, I now realize that I have made myself very vulnerable, not only with the blog, but my flickr account ( You begin writing, and then you think, wow, am I just contributing to the blogosphere, or does anyone really care what I think? I had a bit of reinforcement lately though because my dear friend Karen, who has remained a bit of a Luddite for years, showed up at the market, having read about it on the blog. Lisa worries about me if I don't post and Matt's friend, Sarah, apparently catches up with me now and again as well. Thanks guys.

I got a bit of a shaky start this morning; I was having dry heaves in Geology, but I'm doing better now. In order to put logarithms behind me, I made a tiny detour off my main drive home. I know there is a neighborhood in Conway that is overrun by wild peacocks--I decided to see for myself…

Monday Musings

If you are like me, you have plenty of cookbooks. It is amazing how you may not use them all the time, but there can be one great hint, or recipe, that becomes part of your repertoire. Matthew was so wonderful as to give me a personalized cookbook from Nigella. The inscription is "Happy Christmas Gail". It was such a beautiful surprise, but I have come to expect that from our dear Matt. Anyway, the point is that she suggests putting mustard in mashed potatoes and believe me it is good. If you haven't tried it, please do. I made mashed potatoes tonight with a good dollop of Djon mustard and they were delicious.

I have had a good day. It may be because the produce lady told me I was beautiful yesterday for some reason. It is amazing what an unexpected compliment can do for one's outlook. Seriously, I did manage a lot for me today. A few errands and a trip to the mall! Mind you, I didn't buy much and I moved pretty slowly but still...

I also vacuumed my MINI. That is …

Farmer's Market Second Time Around

The sales were hard to come by today, but fortunately my Canadian friend came by and bought two pieces. As well, the floral guy, Pete, bought the citrus grouping as planned. We are starting to learn a few of the other vendors names, Dave, the pet food guy, the aforementioned Pete, and June sells soaps and loofahs. I don't know the produce folks names yet, but they are very nice. I bought some green beans from their farm, and fixed them tonight with white wine and shallots--good stuff. They should have corn next week.

We had visitors again which helps pass the time. Karen brought Ashley, her sweet dog, and my sister, Lisa came. Lisa has the blonde hair pictured at right. She was kind enough to carry my best customers purchases to her condo on the other side of the lake. Customer service baby! My classmate Jennifer brought her mother, and some other friends, and it was all good. Baxter was a pain today though. He barked at every dog that came by, and there are tons of them. It seem…

Cheaper than Shoes

Because Bruce can fix, or make just about anything, my illness has been extraordinarily hard for him. He has not been able to fix my body, however, the gift of the camera has done wonders for my mind. He is packing the car with our stuff for the show as I type. I am worthless these days in that department. I will be able to sit and visit with folks as they come by(we hope).

We had gotten our frames thus far from Costco but they told us they were no longer carrying them. This threw a bit of a monkey wrench in our plans, but Bruce suggested we go out to the Altamone store and double check that they didn't have anymore. Indeed, they had six more boxes which alleviates our dilemma for the short term. See how positive I'm thinking?

I must add a rejoinder concerning Friday's post. I would never have made it through the first six weeks of my illness as my dear sister Lisa, not only came and stayed at our home to care for me, but on a day she couldn't come, she arranged to have …

Riders Wanted

Here is one of my favorite pictures I've taken lately. I've framed it simply with a white mat and black frame, and I'll be taking it Sunday. We'll see if anyone else likes it.

I started the day very slowly but after a chat with my sister Lisa, I got moving. I was asking her to come and help me with a few cleaning chores as I just haven't been up to them. She isn't that keen on cleaning herself, however, she said she would come on Monday. Maybe by then, I'll have it done and save her the trip.

Our Baxter is BACK. One of my greatest pleasures is our swimming pool open to the sky. If you've been to Florida, you will see that screened pools are all the rage, however, I've never wanted one. I figure if I wanted to be in a room, I'd stay inside. Nonetheless, it is no fun this time of year as our oak trees are losing their leaves, next they put out this fuzzy stuff, and generally make our yard and pool a wreck. Typically when we clean the pool with the …


I've spent today on math, geology, shopping, and taking pictures. I'm spending tonight on Humanities.

I should have bought these gnomes at Ross today when I saw them instead of taking their picture. They so remind me of the wonderful movie, Amelie. I hope you have seen it.

Speaking of movies, I haven't seen enough lately.

I've read several interesting things in the Times lately which you might find interesting as well. First they did a blind tasting of food cooked with both inexpensive, and expensive wines; apparently, often the food cooked with the cheap stuff was deemed better. The other thing is that Ina Garten self-published her first cookbook at age 51 with $200,000 of her own money. She had sold The Barefoot Contessa after having owned it for 20 years. She sold it when she was 50, and didn't know what she was going to do with herself. She's now 59, and has 5 million books in print, not to mention her own show!

Bruce flew to Boston today with six penguins--two…

Random School Thoughts

--The question is WHY are these ridiculous trucks allowed on the road?
--Geology test could have been worse--an 80.
--The professor added 6 points to the previous test bringing me up to a grand total of 60!! The sweet girl across from me got a 42. These are honor students, and not used to these kinds of grades. The tests are all fill in the blank; either you know it, or you don't.
--The math test I thought I failed was returned, I got a 74--the boy who sits next to me got a 56. My mid-term grade is 87. I wonder if I can bring it up?
--The internship office called on my way home and wondered why I put down so many different kinds of internships I was interested in. She said she would determine if I was a good candidate for an internship--ha,ha, I told her I was a model employee in the past. I need help to put together a resume.
--Apparently, only five more weeks to go in the semester, hallelujah!
--I'm still deciding about summer classes; I may just need a break.
--Having dry heaves i…

Doctor Visit

My dear Dr. Everett was shocked to see my feet and hands, however, it has given him a new direction to look. He left me in the exam room for about 15 minutes to do research I think. When he returned he ordered four more vials of blood to be drawn, as well as some specialized urine test. He is thinking something with the autonomic nervous system. He also mentioned a possible biopsy of my muscles and nerves. I don't know what that would entail--it does not sound fun, but if a diagnosis could be made, it would be worth it. He also said he was going to discuss my case with another physician who specializes in that area.

I ended up in tears, per usual, as it has been a long road these past nine months. You get so frustrated trying to make them understand that you are not a whiner, and something is wrong. I never even had a physician (aside from a gynecologist) until all this happened as I have been fortunate enough to have been extraordinarily healthy. He has tried to find the problem b…

A Party

So, it was like a party, although we didn't have to provide the house, or drinks. We went out to dinner on Saturday night with Bill, David, and Michelle and they coached me on how to behave. Don't tell them you are brand new at this Mom, they begged. They know how chatty I am, and they wanted to make sure I didn't reveal that I know nothing technical! No worries--I managed just fine. When asked if my camera was a SLR, I was vague.

It was beautiful weather, albeit chilly when we got there. This picture is first thing when Ha came by with her boyfriend Danny to see things. They were so sweet, even brought me back a warm sandwich from where they got breakfast. Coincidentally, people we hadn't seen in years happened by, as did one of my former patients from the hospital. We managed no sales until around 1; I was fine with that because we got much positive feedback. I was thinking that we would just set the whole thing up the following Sunday and I could try and make a comeb…

Aftermath of a Crime

As you can see I would not make much of a crime scene photographer. When we went out this morning we found this in what we call the jungle. It turns out that a neighbor, two doors down, had his truck broken into. He is somewhat of an odd bird, so he barely talked after Bruce went down and told him what we found. There were credit cards strewn on the grass, and the pictured underwear in the bush. I'm afraid they may have stolen his camera. We are happy because my MINI doors were not shut properly--fortunately nothing was amiss. I am terrible about locking my car doors in the driveway.

Wouldn't you just know it? I finally decided to get a haircut after about four months but when I called my stylist he said he was in Big Sky, Montana; call him back on Monday.

The book ending was a little messy but still a good read. That guy is just great with internal thoughts. Oh, to be so creative.

It is a stormy day but the forecast is for sunny skies on Sunday. I put stuff together but I'm…

Tiny Dancer

My mother used to say that a watched pot never boils; she was right. Conversely, an unwatched pot boils over in my house. If you are like me, and have a glass-topped stove, you know what I mean. I'm here to share a great tip I read somewhere that has done wonders for my stove top after pasta water has boiled all over and left it's starchy mess. While the stove is sill quite warm, pour straight vinegar--white or apple cider--directly onto the gooey stuff and wipe away. You will be thrilled with how well it works.

Today I'm picturing a minuscule spider that has a web outside our bathroom window. I've seen it for a few days while getting the mail and this morning I thought--why not? I've never photographed a spider before. I ended up taking pics in the morning as well as the afternoon, just checking on his progress. They are oddly captivating.

My plan to clean out the fridge didn't happen. I opted for clearing out Picassa; I've gotten my folders down to 85 from …

The Story of You

Our local newspaper has a silly slogan, The Story of You. I have to disagree with them--our paper is not the story of me, this blog fills that spot in my life. I've realized why blogging is so popular; almost everyone loves stories, and a blog is just that. Sure, there are some dull spots, but really, everyone is interesting in their own way.

My geology teacher thinks I am lazy because I'm doing poorly in that class, however he is wrong. I am not lazy, and I can appreciate science up to a point, but really, I don't care how it works. Just like I don't care how my microwave works--it just does.

Another thing--wayward teens will most of the time become productive adults if they don't go too far. I don't know what the secret is, although I know it is true. Our son Bill was a challenge during the crucial 13-15 year old phase, but he has turned out beautifully. He passed his Series 6 licensing test yesterday enabling him to become a stock broker. His identical twin br…

Dylan and Lauren

Today I was lucky enough to get to photograph some darling children! I went to our CPA, and friend Olga's house, and she let me take some pictures of her two precious children. Lauren is only three months old, and I tried a new setting on my camera with little luck. I had to ditch most of them but I like this one. Dylan is 2 and a half, and quite a charmer. I took lots of him, beautiful face shots, however, I like this one as he looks like the little imp that he is. He already knows his alphabet and colors--I was amazed. I had done my own taxes this year, but I made a small error that she fixed, and I'm thrilled to report we only owe a pittance compared to last year. No income from me--no taxes!

I also finally got around to properly loading my Shuffle with tunes that I love. Jonathan has taught me how to empty my recycle bin on the computer so now all those pictures I delete will really be gone and free up some space on my hard drive for more pictures.

I got an email from Winkfl…

The Display

Here is the first half of the display! Bruce is hanging things so that we can get an idea how it works; it works just great. He used a hardware cloth that he attached to a frame he made; he then covered that with the cloth you see, and attached it using screen spline so the edges are very neat. There is a hinge in the middle so we can fold it and put it on top of the car. That will be the next challenge; Bruce has roof racks for his BMW, however there will be a bunch of stuff.

As you can see, Baxter is up and running once again, thank goodness.

This is my first week day of Spring break and we took a little walk around the neighborhood this morning--naturally, I found flowers to photograph. I ran a very few errands but I'm worn out, so back at home in front of the computer again.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be perkier, and able to take advantage of this nice weather. In the mean-time, I am clearing out photos from Picassa as I have probably taken at least 1,000 photos in the last two m…

Daylight Savings Time

I promised this yesterday--here it is today! I have an amazing husband. He only printed about twenty five, and we can change the picture as we like. I suppose I should say, he can change the picture--he is the project manager!

The night out last night extended much later than we anticipated. It turns out the impetus for going to Universal was a performance by The Doobie Brothers. They were better than we expected, and it was a fun show. We were able to progressively move closer to the stage as the concert went on. My pics from that are at
We never really had any dinner, so we stopped at a bar after the show around 11. I abhor eating so late, but I'm too puny to go without meals. We waited forever, and I mean forever, for the food. We arrived home at 1:30, and of course with the time change it was 2:30--way to late for us!

Baxter is back to his charming self and his mother, is, well....

Oh Happy Day!

Baxter is finally showing some of his old spunk, and his mom is up and about again today as well. I took a rare pain pill last night before bed ; I think it allowed me to sleep more soundly. I try and avoid them if possible, but on occasion they help.

Bruce is hard at work making the display for next Sunday. If this doesn't succeed, it will not be for lack of trying! He is such a wizard building things, I wish he had more opportunity to do so. As the project manager, he has thought of every detail--we are even going to have a candy dish to lure people in. The canopy is set up in the back yard as I type.

Good thing I'm feeling some better today as we are meeting Jeff and Connie at Universal Studios for Mardi Gras. You can imagine it was their idea!

Out & About Photography

Well, I had big intentions when I went to sleep last night but they didn't pan out on awakening. I am feeling very poorly today. It is hard to describe but my feet get purple if I sit for very long and I'm just very tired. My plan was to go to the beach and take photographs but I had to settle on downtown, a two mile drive, rather than 60. I was out for about two hours and stopped at the library on my way back to the car. I hope to read a novel or two on my break.

I was hoping to get some photos that would be interesting to guys, thus this one. It's really kinda funny as I'm in the picture, taking the picture, and I think there is a guy coming out of the building across the street as well. Everyone who knows us, knows that Bruce is a "Bass" guy; he calls himself a beer elitist.

Bruce has designed and made the business cards--I'll post a photo tomorrow. I think they turned out really great--he is our project manager, a role he knows well.

I'm going to hav…

At Least They Are Doing the Lawn Today

This is not a good way to start Spring Break; I had to fight back tears as I left school this afternoon. I failed my Geology test with a 54, and when I began my math test, I seemed to have forgotten everything I knew. Re the Geology exam, I changed like four answers from right to wrong! People are always so jazzed about me going to school--they say they wish they could etc. Well, they would not like tests in the slightest. At my age, I am lucky to remember what I need at the grocery store, let alone how to graph the vertex of a parabola, or the different epochs, eras, blah, blah, blah! In good news : I did manage a 100 on the Humanities exam last week; a small consolation. I will have to put it out of my mind for a few days and start afresh when I go back. I have another Geology test and a paper due the first week back, so I can't entirely forget that I am a student; however much I wish I could!

Baxter is still doing very poorly. Bruce gets home from Boston in a few hours--he'l…

Good Stuff

First the not so good stuff: I did not do math homework last evening because Baxter was so bad off that I had to take him to the vet around 5. I waited patiently with him in a blanket on my lap and was called back at 7. The vet was shocked when he saw his poor abdomen. It seems as if during surgery they must have put some clamps on his belly and broke some arteries as he is so terribly bruised. He said his constant shivering has been from pain; although we had been giving him the prescribed dose, it apparently wasn't enough for him. We got home at nearly 8 and I had lost my enthusiasm for studying. It was my first time giving him pills but I succeeded! Consequently, I have spent the morning studying and will do so most of the afternoon.

Now for good stuff: Don't you just love it when a product performs as advertised or as you anticipate? My mother used to rave about Cascade dishwasher detergent. Three years after her death, I have finally tried it, and she was right as mothers…

Fried Green Tomatoes

If you have never tried them, I urge you to do so. Because my parents were from the Midwest, we ate very little Southern food at our house. That was both good and bad; they had it at our elementary school cafeteria and it smelled, and looked horrible! It was bad enough having to eat peas at home without adding collards and cabbage cooked all day to mush. That said, I wish we had eaten fgts. There probably isn't enough time left in my life to eat as many as I would like.

Baxter is still sad and in pain--it's breaking our hearts; if he doesn't improve by tomorrow, I'm going to take him back to the vets and make sure he is healing properly. We don't need two sickies in this house!

I went to an internship q & a today; I had no idea you had to pay for the privilege of being an unpaid employee! It is the cost per credit hour, as well as a $65 fee. I'd really like to try something entirely different than my past life, something that uses different skills. The people…

It's A New Dawn, It's a New Day, and I'm Feeling Good

I am up early this morning preparing to write my paper for Humanities on The Book of the Courtier. It is a lengthy discourse on what today we would call a Renaissance man, although, it is completely contemporary, aside from the fact that we no longer consider it important for a man to be a great warrior. It isn't due yet, but I decided to try and get it out of the way if I can. I have two tests this Thursday; today seems like a good day to use for the paper.

Our poor little Baxter is still under the weather, however, he is eating, and drinking, so that's a good sign. We took him with us when we went to the farmer's market yesterday after church and he walked a bit. The big news is that Bruce talked to the manager again and we are going to display March 18! We bought the canopy yesterday at Costco, as well as more frames. This is a very scary business but time will tell whether it was a good idea or not!

Our darling Matthew called yesterday morning from his office in London--…

Recovery Takes Time

Poor little Baxter, he is kinda pathetic right now. Bruce picked him up around 5 last night and he has just now had a little water, and some of my grilled cheese sandwich. Naturally, Bruce is worried sick about his recovery, but I think he is doing pretty well for 24 hours post-op. He is starting to move around a little bit, however, his throat is still sore from the intubation. He is not the little barker he usually is right now!

The antibiotics are not making any dent in my tooth problem. I have an appointment in three weeks for a root canal consultation. The sad truth is that if I can't eat any easier pretty soon, I will waste away!

I got myself up, went to school, and took my additional math test. I'm hoping I got at least the 13 points I need to bring my grade up to a B--we'll see. On the way home I stopped at my produce market and, of course, photographed the fruits and veggies while there. As well, I took a different street home and photographed the sheriff department…

The New Yellow MINI

When I woke up this morning I was feeling pretty terrible. Our plan was for me to take Baxter to be neutered, and then on to school for the mini math test. This did not work as I was in rough shape; I'm trying to rally as I type. Bruce was able to take him, and I'm afraid he agreed to pre-op testing because he is a cautious sort--no telling how much extra this will cost!

The mid-term on Weds. night was a challenge; it took me nine hand-written pages to answer the essay questions! I finished that around 9PM, and then I had a geology quiz at 8:30 the next morning with a math quiz to follow that! Too much for my old brain in less than 24 hours.

Because Bruce's flight arrived so late on Wednesday night, he took yesterday off, and did some things around the house. When I returned from school, we did a few errands, one of which was looking at the new BMWs. Our local dealer also owns the MINI dealership as well. They store some of the cars there, so, I was able to see the 2007 MI…