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Showing posts from April, 2007

Another Test Over

I have just returned home from the EMG, and it was really nothing. I'm not sure what people were talking about, but I've had worse. Dr. Menken was there and told me the results which are inconclusive. No surprise there! He explained that it measures the big nerves, but no so much the little ones. It was abnormal, just not so much as he expected. More blood work next; I'll be hearing from him today as to the extent of it.

One of the reasons the test was a no-brainer is the lovely technologist who performed it. When I was doing mammograms for years I was popular with patients because they knew that I cared about them as people. They were not just another patient to me. As such, I have found that in just about anything it is the person you interact with that counts, whether it is a store transaction, or even the toll collector on a highway. If they have a smile, and look at you, that makes everything easier.

This is a picture from FiFi's Patiesserie, a new restaurant that o…

Do You Believe in Magic?

It's rare that I listen to oldies music but that infectious tune from the Lovin' Spoonful came on my shuffle while I was doing a bit of cleaning. It brought me back to my junior high school days--a very long time ago. There were so many great groups back then but I find that if you have an open mind there are still plenty of people making fantastic music. I also rarely re-read a book that I have loved. One notable exception recently was To Kill a Mockingbird. I had to read it for my Comp II class, and it was just as wonderful the second time around--maybe even more so as I have more life behind me.

This is a beautiful dessert that we shared when Dave took us out a month or so ago. It was just as delicious as it looks!

My desk is cleared, the backpack is in the closet, and school is over! I went to school early and spent two hours writing nine pages about such topics as the French Reformation, St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Bernini, Poussin, El Greco, Northern Art...well you…

Two Down, One to Go

You can imagine what I did first thing when I got home today. Yes, you were right--I threw all my algebra stuff in the trash! The test was typically hard; although she allows you to replace an earlier test grade with the final grade if it is better, I'm sure that won't work in my case. On the other hand, the geology test was multiple choice and I got a 96! Bruce was kind enough to ask me the questions last evening even though he was very tired from his trip, and, it worked! I took this picture of my sweetie a few Saturdays ago at the Art Center in Maitland.

I will take the Humanities final in the morning as planned, and that will be that. I've made it through a very tough semester! My plan is to go through my house, room by room, and do a thorough cleaning. That depends on if I can stay home instead of going out to take photos, and, of course, that remains to be seen.

As well, it depends on my test results. Bruce was dismayed when he realized the test would be painful, and …

First Flight

This morning I met Jennifer at the West campus to go over our geology together, and I was lucky enough to see both Brandon and Irina. They were both in my Biology class last semester and they gave me big hugs, which was welcome. As well, Jennifer and Irina helped me some with math, so I didn't need as much help from DeeDee, the tutor. She was good though, giving me hints, and making things a little simpler.

When I arrived home from school around noon I thought, hmmm.....maybe I'll just check the nest. It was empty!! I began searching the bushes for a chick and I came across this one. I have no idea if all three have made it as I can't tell if the one I first photographed is the same as this picture, but, needless to say I was jazzed. I put some other ones on flickr with Baxter chasing the chick. The parents kept chattering, and hovering, afraid I would hurt their baby. It could only fly a short distance, but man was it cute!

I went to sleep with my Shuffle last night, here&#…

The Parents

Here they are, the parents; the mother is fixing to jump into the nest, and the papa is standing guard. I have taken countless pictures of these birds--soon it will be all over and we can move on! The nest is getting very crowded as the chicks are growing like crazy.

Each day I awaken with hope that I will be better, in particular that I can cancel the nerve test as I'm told it is very painful. Alas, that was not the case today. I have been very sluggish, tired, and in general, miserable. I did manage to mail a package to Alissa, Jonathan's girlfriend, who graduates from FSU on Friday. Hurray for her, she is an excellent student and has accomplished a lot. Her mom arrives from South Florida on Thursday so Jonathan and Alissa have been on a major cleaning campaign.

I still can't believe Matthew is in Moscow--particularly during this historic event. The pictures of Red Square are super cool.

Bruce had an inspection of his just completed restaurant in Detroit, and naturally it w…

Finals Week

The study guide is all typed for my Geology final, seven single spaced pages! I started very early this morning, and then took a several hour break to go to Leu Gardens. I had heard on the radio that it is free on Monday morning between nine and eleven, so off I went. I was not disappointed! Beautiful scenery, and in particular the rose garden. I really had to quit taking pictures of the roses because everyone will think that is all I can do! I had to dodge bees for sure. I'm excited though because I saw my first caterpillars! Very cool indeed.

While I was dumping older pictures that I no longer think are very good, Matt buzzed in, if you will. Actually, I saw the chat box come up, and miracle of all miracles, there we were chatting with him in Moscow! He said they had gone to Red Square when they arrived and it is quite beautiful. His room at the Marriot cost $750 a night!! Be sure and check out his pictures on flickr. His name is 5500. I imagine they will be spectacular.

I finally…

Sunday Night

Bruce is a man in love--you can tell by how much work he does for our Sunday show. As mentioned in the past, it is quite a task to set it all up, and today we only had three sales. Part of the problem is that many people come without money, or at least not an extra $40 to buy my pictures! We did have plenty of lookers however, and some promise to come back another Sunday. They may be making that up entirely, but we'll have good faith that some of them may. The crazy thing is today one lady loved this one grouping of vegetables--she said I'm going to walk around the lake and be back. Well, we've heard that one before. In the meantime, another lady came and bought it immediately. The first lady came back to get it, and well, you know the rest of the story. She took my card and said she would e-mail me..we shall see.

I did one really stupid thing today. There is a swan that was sitting on this big nest in the dry area of the lake where they have been draining it. Upon returnin…


You just knew I couldn't wait any longer didn't you? Here they are looking a lot more like birds! They are five days old now; my neighbor Regina tells me the mother kicks them out of the nest when they are ten days old. I'll try and wait a few more days to see what's next.

The more I think about the doctor's appointment yesterday, the weirder it seems. He almost interrogated me and he needed a haircut desperately. As well, the waiting room had seven Colonial-style hard wooden chairs which were uncomfortable at best. Unfortunately, he repeated that same motif in his office. In reality what that tells me is that he is more interested in the science of things rather than having a fancy office etc. I imagine he is definitely not in it for the money, however, I bet that hour in his office was not cheap.

Bruce arrived home last night around 7:30 bearing small gifts. One was a tiny grater, another a tube of Burt's Bees lip stuff, and the other was a frame we have been …

It's A Package!

This arrived in yesterday's post-- a package from my flickr. friend, Paige in Ottawa! Not only did she send the maple syrup, but she included a sweet card from herself and her eldest son Johnny Rocket. As well, she sent maple tea, a first for me. When Bruce gave me the camera for Christmas, I never dreamed how much it would add to my life. Matthew suggested flickr and then paid for the pro account; I can't tell you how much fun it has been for me. I love to see other's photos and see what the rest of the great big world is all about from regular folks, not the media. I have been enriched by my contacts already and it has only been a few months. I have one in Viet Nam and his photos of street scenes and people working are fascinating.

As is often the case, when I set out to take one kind of picture another entirely different one appears. That is the case with my most popular picture on flickr so far (aside from the silly shoe ones). I went to Rollins to photograph the build…

Food Related

Is there anyone who doesn't like a big bowl of popcorn with a Coke? When the kids were little I would pop up this gigantic Tupperware bowl full of popcorn; we would gather on the floor sharing it. I love those boys of mine along with some of those sweet memories.

You know how in the kitchen you have been doing something one way forever, only to discover there is a much more efficient method? Well, I recently read a little piece in the Times about the glory of grilled cheese sandwiches. As you know I eat pb&j for lunch; I also make plenty of grilled cheese. This article had you make a cheese sandwich open-faced, (strictly speaking, not a grilled cheese), anyway, you put the top and bottom in the oven at 500 degrees until it melts. For that little task I would have always used my broiler, but, you know how that goes; it must be directly under one of the elements, cooking some of it, some, not so much. This new method works like a charm. I had a wonderful sandwich with an onion …

They've Hatched!

First off, I know the quality of this photo is sub-par, but I didn't want to scare our mother cardinal. I swear it looks like four in there doesn't it? Again, I just put the camera over the nest not knowing they had hatched, and there you are--new life. I was finally able to get both the mother bird heading towards the nest, and the papa feeding the chicks. I sat outside with my algebra book, waiting patiently. I can't remember ever witnessing this; I hope you are excited about this too!

I have my last regular algebra test tomorrow morning. I believe I understand more of this material than some, so let's hope I do better than my previous performances. A geology lab test on Thursday morning wraps up the semester aside from three finals the following week. You'll hear all about it. I believe I've made up my mind to sit the summer out, but of course, that is subject to change. I guess you think I won't have anything to write about, however, I don't imagine …

Dog and Stroller Show

Maureen and I witnessed the dog in stroller phenomena in Bloomingdales just yesterday. A mother (60) and daughter(30) had a Maltese with them, carrying it around on their shoulder whilst trying on shoes. The stroller sat empty, presumably because the dog wanted to be held. The poor salespeople are naturally at a loss what to do with these rude customers. Whatever...

In the afternoon Bruce and I went to the Center for the Arts in Maitland; also toured a Victorian home and carpentry shop in the same area. It was incredibly fascinating, all the more so because it has been in our backyard all these years and we had never visited. I'm hoping when I'm not going to school this summer, I'll be able to discover more gems in our beautiful part of the world. Bruce was able to assist the docent regarding the tools after the other members of our little tour group left. The art center was incredible--I'll be posting pictures on flickr as soon as I can edit them down--you know the dri…

Could I Have Been Anyone Other Than Me?

I wonder if my college career will answer that question. Do you suppose that when Dave Matthews wrote that song more than ten years ago he ever dreamed that he would indeed be a magnet for money? Our son Dave sure is.

Here's our little Baxter after his shampoo and haircut--it wore him out! Alissa comes to the house and has done it in the kitchen in the past, however, today she brought her own little salon in the form of a trailer. I'm glad she is doing well as she is a nice girl.

When it rains it pours I guess. Not only do I have a cold sore on my bottom lip, but last night after dinner at Tijuana Flats I came home with my tummy hurting a bit. That is not unusual for me but waking up at 4am is. I believe I had a slight case (by that I mean no vomiting) of food poisoning. Wow, was it miserable. I had a 7am appointment for a teeth cleaning which I went to with no shower or even my face washed. Fortunately, Karen knows me well, and my stomach stayed quiet throughout the procedure…

Getting Close

Yippee--I just finished my last homework problem of math for hopefully the rest of my life! I came straight home from school, ate lunch, and then tackled it! It is so weird to do problems on the computer--that said, it is only my homework grade that is propping up my overall grade in algebra because you can do it over again until you get it right. I always make sure I have a 100.

You saw it here first my friends--now there are three eggs! Once again, I tried to get momma bird's picture, but off she flew. I thought, why not put the camera over the nest and see what I get and I was completely shocked. It is super hard to get in the bushes and I can't really see what I am doing; this was one shot and I'm thrilled with it! I wonder how much longer we'll have to wait.

Bruce is on his way home from Detroit where it has been cold, dreary, and snowing. It is super hot today so I'll have to turn the air on soon as he will melt when he arrives.

I had a revelation today about my…

The Paper is Done!

I've finally written the paper for Humanities--I usually enjoy writing, I don't know why I put it off for so long. I am becoming a typical college student, putting things off until the last minute. As well, my grades are becoming more typical with any hopes I had for an A in algebra vanishing with the results of my last test--a 73! All of what I studied for in geology I got right on the test yesterday, however, he asked some questions that I did not study for, consequently, I got them wrong. It was a 50 question fill-in-the blank test, I missed enough to get an 83. All in all, a disappointing day at school yesterday. This is one semester I can hardly wait to finish!

Although I don't like dreary days, yesterday's dreariness finally led to much needed rain. Throughout the night it rained and apparently we had a power surge. What that meant to me was that the paper I started yesterday vanished--all 500 words. It was probably just as well as it wasn't very good. Hopeful…

Week Four

You wouldn't think it could be as much work as it is to set up our booth but I'm here to tell you, it is. Because the market is closed next Sunday for Fiesta in the Park, they kept it open yesterday for the vendors who need the income. Fortunately, we are not among them because our hourly rate is pretty tiny at this point. We had five sales--all to strangers I might add--and the total for that was $140. We are establishing ourselves so we went ahead and set up.

The weather was cold and dreary until about 1pm, and then it became lovely two hours before closing. I was feeling pretty chipper for most of the day. I helped Bruce carry stuff etc. Unfortunately, after I cooked dinner I was beat and got in bed at 8pm--asleep soon thereafter. I didn't get up till 7 this morning! I have a big geology test tomorrow that I've already been studying for, but more today. Math homework, and that Shakespeare paper are hanging over my head as well. Only two more weeks of classes until fi…

The Hammering Man

Sometimes we all feel like life is hard, and we are getting hammered from all directions. Unfortunately, a young man who is the peer of my son Matthew took his life this week. He was only 30, had a wife and small daughter, and a promising career as a prosecuting attorney. I have no idea what the final straw was for him, but it sends shivers down my spine, and a knife to my heart, thinking about what would make him do it. I am so sad for his family; I'm not sure how they ever recover. I would so hope if one of our boys ever was that low, he would seek help.

On a happier note, we had the most amazing day yesterday. We left leisurely at around 9:30 arriving at the museum around 11:30. I kept wanting Bruce to make little side trips, but he was right in suggesting we get our main objective accomplished first. It was so much better than we expected, primarily because of the butterfly rainforest exhibit. Wow--it was super great-- a photographer's dream. The fossils and stuff were fin…

Night Shot

Well, I finally got a night shot that is clear! This has been unobtainable for the most part-- I'll keep practicing.

I'm making a vegetarian dinner tonight, in fact, it can be vegan if you omit the Parmesan cheese. It's super simple, and super yummy. All you do is saute garlic, fresh brocoli, and red pepper flakes in olive oil--add a bit of water and steam for a few minutes. You add cooked penne pasta, and if you like, the aforementioned cheese to finish it off. I know it sounds like not much, but, believe me, it is good. We're having crusty bread, and some sliced tomatoes splashed with balsamic, and olive oil. I put some chiffonade of basal on top for both color and taste.

To illustrate that truth is indeed always stranger than fiction, Bruce tells me this. On his flight home from Detroit, a young Asian woman sits next to him and proceeds to put a teddy bear in the seat beside her. She tucks it in, so to speak, complete with Ipod! Kisses it etc. At the end of the fligh…

Testing the Water

Well, I got in the pool today and even went under. If you know me at all, you know I love swimming. I can hardly wait until it is a bit warmer and I'll be in it every day. It may just be what I need.

My neighbor Regina called yesterday and thought I might like to photograph her seed pods on that blooming yellow tree. I forget the name every time, but I believe I posted a pic of it when it was in bloom. Anyway, I had forgotten what an unbelievable yard she has. It is absolutely gorgeous--I couldn't believe my luck. She also has a more cooperative cardinal. She has named her Angie, and I can tell you she just sat placidly in her nest while I took her picture. As you can see on flickr our cardinal won't sit still. I was thrilled to finally get the inside of the nest and to my complete surprise there were two eggs!

I've spent most of the day on homework--I took notes for my Geology lab--eight pages of them. He always has a quiz at the beginning of class and I usually can'…

Dark Day for Seminole Fans

Saw this disgusting building while doing errands. It's not enough that they won football, but now basketball as well. We'll never hear the end of this!

I wish I had worn makeup when I went grocery shopping yesterday afternoon. As regular readers know, I am a weakling and I avoid those kinds of tasks until I can't any longer. Anyway, I ran into at least five people I know well. I chatted with some, some I just said hi to; they all know I'm sick, but usually I take precautions to cover it up. Not so yesterday. It must have been the outfit but several said I looked thinner. Now some people like to hear that sort of thing; I am not among them; I have lost the muscle tone in my arms and legs but it is so darn hot in Florida, I have to wear shorts, and short sleeves shirts or I'll melt. This afternoon it was 86 degrees--the AC was turned on.

Good news--I didn't leave algebra in tears after the test. I really have no idea what I got, but at least I knew generally how to…

Don't tell David

Oh my goodness, with my busy brain, I forgot to mention one cool thing about the market yesterday. You may have seen on my flickr page a photo I took of a baseball in a glove. I decided to bring it yesterday, what with the season starting and all. It was called "Home Run Ball", as it was one my pictured son David hit while in high school. Anyway, a young man bought it the last sale of the day. I was excited because it was Dave's birthday and all. As the man was leaving he asked me, did I do freelance? Gulp--I said, I could? Apparently, he is an art director for an industrial magazine and they hire photographers....He has my card.

I caught David while he was eating, but he wouldn't let me try again, so here's his birthday picture.

When the boys were modeling, they had much more success in European markets as their look was called "editorial", and Orlando was a commercial town. Maybe that is why some people like my stuff.

Names and Faces

Our son Bill has always been upset with us for his middle name. It is Rolla, his great-grandfather's name on the Peck side. It isn't the greatest name, but hey, it doesn't hold a candle to a name I saw in the obituary notices today. A woman's deceased husband's name was Tape--can you imagine? Hers was Edna, so there you have it, Edna and Tape. Wonder who he was named for? This is birthday Bill.

I was remiss for not mentioning that Jeanette came by with I assume her new boyfriend, Tom. I hope it is her boyfriend as he seemed like a very kind and interesting man. Jeanette is one of those friends who I see infrequently, have known for 25+ years and I love. It's just we don't get together often enough. She said--keep taking pictures, you're doing well and I'd tell you if you should stop!

I have spent about four hours on logarithms. It is a wonderful thing to have resource tools on-line. I found a website for West Texas A&M, and the material was prese…

The Market: Episode Three

Gosh we had a good day today. I say that, but poor Bruce has a miserable cold of which he gets very few, so that was the only bummer. He loaded the car in record time, but our setup at the market still takes longer than we wish. We sold seven pieces today! Wow, huh? We had a few visitors that we know, including my friends Judy and Don, as well as my mother in law and a friend of hers. Also, one of the doctors I used to work with happened by and that was nice. He bought the black and white taken at the Chanel store. People were friendly today and Baxter was markedly improved over last weeks barking mania.

We are getting to know the markets rhythms a bit -- who are the regulars, and what have you. This picture is of a man who hangs around much of the day from one of the retirement high rises. He asked me to take his picture because I looked like a professional--little does he know. Anyway, he is quite the character; he wants to submit a picture of himself along with a letter to the local…