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Showing posts from December, 2007

It's My Birthday

Here is a picture of a way cool tea set from Matt for my birthday--the weather is finally supposed to turn colder so this huge cup will be welcome!

I went out to the little market this morning because they had 100% occupancy which was to have turned into more traffic--NOT! Actually it was overcast and rainy and I don't blame them for staying inside. I sold a few prints--they are finding their way around the country this way which is kinda cool.

I answered my mobile to the sounds of Jonathan and Alissa serenading me with Happy Birthday wishes--I told you they are sweet.

I'm hoping that even thought our Florida State Seminoles have fallen from grace at the moment that next year will be better--spoken like a true optimist!

It's time for me to pay sales tax for the quarter--I surprised myself with my total sales--obviously nothing earth shattering, but more than I thought. I'm adopting the slow and steady mindset.

People are always saying the whole world celebrates your birthda…

Mixed Bag

Here's a photograph of Bruce at an architectural antique store we visited in Deland yesterday. He has taken a break from working and has been playing with me. Deland is about 35 miles north of Orlando, home of Stetson University. There is a cute downtown with many restaurants and galleries. Prior to getting there we stopped at Blue Springs State Park, winter home of manatees. When it gets cold they hang out in the constant 72 degree spring water. We saw a fair number of them in the water as well as an alligator sunning itself on a tree. The manatees are very challenging to photograph because they only surface for air occasionally. Nonetheless,even if my photos were not so great, the experience was great. We moseyed through galleries, antique stores, and a barber shop that has had only five owners in over 100 years. We found a pub for Bruce to have a Bass ale with his lunch.

On our drive home we came across a little known park called Gemini Springs. Mostly it encompasses marsh lands…

Christmas Present

Pictured here is the man of the house (alongside the dog of the house) with his new Christmas present. He is so totally thrilled with it--probably the most excited he's been since he bought me my camera. He did receive some awesome gifts from his sons--tickets to see Spamalot from Matt, ticket to see Wrestlemania with Bill, Dave, and Michelle, and a new Brain Age game for his DS Light from Jonathan. Needless to say he's a happy man.

We distracted ourselves yesterday afternoon with a trip to a local museum to see paintings and drawings by George Bellows--fantastic work. I was hoping to inspire Bruce to use his new drawing set I gave him for Christmas. You didn't know that the real artist in the family is Bruce did you?

After the museum trip we stopped by the library to turn in some unwatched DVDs. We got three new ones for a movie fest, watching all in a row! Three different genres, three good movies. Children of Men, Two Weeks Notice, and an all time favorite of my mom'…

It May Be a Year

It's all quiet around here now. Matthew is boarding his plane to New York where he will wait for several hours for his flight to London arriving around 6AM. It's not that Matt is particularly loud, but he does make his presence known. For one thing, he loves to eat. I successfully made some vegan dishes that worked during his visit. One was terrible, however he didn't complain. It is hard to imagine that it might be a year until he comes back to Orlando, but as of now that is the plan. Dave and Michelle have set the wedding date for November 22 which he will naturally be here to celebrate.

I am pretty sad right now about the prospect but I must buck up accepting that children grow up with lives of their own which may, or may not, include their parents. After we left the airport Bruce and I fought back tears thinking of him so far away.

On a happier note Christmas worked even if it was unconventional. Bruce did all the wrapping which is just as well because he is so much bett…

My Firstborn

Matthew was kind enough to let me practice my portrait skills--here is one of the best however he is a great model and I could post lots more!

We're off to lunch downtown with Bill, Dave, and Michele. Bruce got a new desk set up for Christmas from Ikea which he's been assembling since last evening--he's nearly done and you'll see it for yourself soon.

Jonathan and Alissa are on a Greyhound bus headed to Iowa to spend Christmas with her family there. I believe this is a new experience for our Jon boy. Last night he turned the yellow MINI back in--the lease was done. I asked him if he kissed it goodbye which naturally he didn't. I would have had it been me.

You've Got to Love this Guy

Mr. Newbold disparaged windows that don’t open because of the air-conditioning, elevators in country houses and “McMansions in general.”

“They are the cliché of the decade,” he said. “Hip money is now steering clear.”

An excerpt from an article in The Times about home design.

Photo is of our foyer bookshelf that Matt designed.

A Surprise

It's astonishing where you find unexpected beauty. Arriving to pick up dry cleaning, I noticed the clouds looked really interesting. I got the baby camera out of my purse and shot a picture through the sunroof. When I got out of the car I pointed the camera upward and what should I discover but this rainbow at 9:00 in the morning with no rain in sight. It seems as if it was a sign of a good week. I want you to know that I am feeling remarkably better. This has happened before, but this time I'm thinking it will stick.

Matt acclimated quickly to the time change and we've been shopping like crazy. Bruce took today off, sleeping in till 8:30. That doesn't seem too late for lots of folks, but he often arises at 4:30AM to catch early flights, so it was a welcome respite.

When your children are grown and making lots of money it is always a challenge for parents at Christmas time. I had no idea what Matt wanted, or needed for that matter. The challenge in buying for Matt is …

The Times is a Wonderful Paper

Appetizers in a Hurry.
The tree is finally done, the wreaths hung and the Christmas table set. Now if I could just get the cards and shopping done--not to mention at least one Christmas cookie batch.

Life Stories

These guys were playing in front of the grocery store on Saturday morning hoping to entice folks to put some money in the Salvation Army bucket. It's the thing to do.

Fast forward to this afternoon--same location, different characters.

I ran up to the store to get a few things for Matt's arrival and saw a woman outside I knew I recognized. Couldn't really place her, but said hi--I'm glad I did.
She said: "Don't you have twin sons?"
Me: "Why yes I do, as well as two other sons."
How I wished I'd left it at the twins, not because Matthew and Jonathan are not precious to me, but it may have been like rubbing salt into a wound. As it turns out, her son was Bill and Dave's age (I called Dave later, apparently he played baseball with them for some years),anyway, he collapsed and died last November 28th at his job. Well, he didn't really die immediately, they brought him back only to find he had irreparable brain damage. They removed him from …

A Windy Day

Yesterday was one of those days. We awoke to a wild storm wondering if the market would proceed as usual. I checked my inbox for an e-mail from the manager only to find the internet down. Bruce made some adjustments to the modem and we were back in business with no cancellation in sight. Fortunately, it calmed down and the forecast was sunny skies with windy conditions at times. Indeed, those winds blew our tent over!!! As you see Bruce is repairing the part that broke alongside one that is bent. Other vendors rushed to the rescue. I was returning from a bathroom break and watched it happen in slow motion. Calmly working on his laptop, the tent fortunately went over away from Bruce. Surreal.

As we were driving we realized the front door did not get locked before we left necessitating a return trip on my part while Bruce set up. The market was very slow, in part because of the weather, in part because people were at the malls? In any case, a young man bought five of my small prints. I t…

It's Almost Official

The finals are over, I'm through--at least with my two year degree. I was so thrilled when I finished the test that I wanted to talk to someone. I called Dave, he said--can I call you back without hearing my news. I called Jonathan, it just rang, however, he did call me back and I got to share with him. I had already assumed that Bruce was in meetings, but when it was possible I called to thank him. As you know it was his idea, and of course his earnings that allowed me to do so. He congratulated me saying it was our money. I can't tell you how glad I am to be done. The first year was exciting, and different--the second when I got sick has been a real chore. My work life was always tightly scheduled; I had a full slate of patients each day and that was that. On occasion there were follow up issues, but for the most part I worked from 7-3:30 everyday. The only thing I brought home were stories.

These last two years have been so different for me; even when you don't have ass…

Nostalgia

Admittedly this is not a very good picture--I was using the baby camera, and I can't seem to take good pictures at night with it--that's it Gail--blame it on the camera! I posted this to show the fireplace with the four stockings hung. I must tell you I got teary-eyed Saturday night reminiscing about how the house used to be filled with four boys anxiously awaiting Christmas morning. Years ago I heard this great idea which became a tradition in our home. The last person up got to open their gift first.As well, we watched each gift being opened--no free for all in this house! The stockings could be raided when they got up but the presents under the tree were off limits until everyone was up. This was an attempt to get them to sleep in and most years it worked! When I was a child we woke our parents up at a ridiculous hour. In later years Bruce and I would be up before the kids.

Thanks to my mother in law!!! Last night UPS delivered a fresh Christmas wreath with my name on it--my…

A Few More Things

I almost forgot one of the best things about yesterday's market--I met the woman who bought my piece from the silent auction. She came by the booth,(I'm unclear if it was intentional or accidental, but I think intentional) and introduced herself. Turns out she is an interior decorator but bought it for her home. She was super jazzed which made me really happy. Apparently people have asked what it is and whether I painted on it. I was happy to explain the former, and negate the latter. I have wondered for a few months now where it went.

Secondly, here's a tip I learned last week which blew me away. Maybe you are clever enough to have already done this, but I'd never even thought about it before. When making Christmas cookies that require rolling out, do it right on the cookie sheet making the transfer unnecessary. Imagine that I've been making cookies for nearly 40 years and this never occurred to me. This is courtesy of some show on the Food Network featuring a Wilt…

Finals Week is Here

This picture tells a lot about my life at the moment. The phone is lying there on speaker, to the right is my Apple Care booklet with all the times I've had to call them written inside. This time it was a music disc for my class that would not eject. It's fine now, if it happens again I'll know what to do. My doodling is evident on the side paper. The other booklet opened is the liner notes on top of the boxed set of classical music cds for my class. As you know that has been an online class--the final is four pages of essays which I'll be working on later today and send along.

The last few days have been crazy busy but interesting.
Michelle on Friday. We did several clothing changes and locations. I think we got some good ones but we will try it again for better. As David says there are two people in the picture--the one being photographed and the photographer. Thus, both have to be comfortable with what they are doing.

Dinner out with Jane and Michael on Friday night. S…

What Will I Find To Write About After Next Week?

As most of you know the end is drawing near. I will have my AA by this time next week, give or take a day. I have decided to discontinue volunteering,(wait a second, they called me an intern) at the museum as well. I've learned that sitting in the gallery by myself is not the job for me. Yesterday I had three visitors, all came in the last 15 minutes of my shift. Karen hung the new exhibit on Sunday night called Chapeaux Rouge. Remember when I photographed both Michelle and Emily in the red hat? Well at the time there were few entries and she hinted she might include photography. I think she should have--some of the paintings have little to do with a red hat. On the other hand, some of them are super cool. I particularly liked the mixed media ones. Mr. Polasek had a big presence in Winter Park,thus you see his huge grave marker. I actually stopped to photograph an angel for someone I know that loves angels and I stumbled upon this. He never married until he was in his 70's, hi…

It's a Small World After All

I'm trying very hard to focus on the worsening economy when I don't sell much--it's working. Actually I feel very grateful that we are not caught in the middle of this real estate mess. As most of you know Bruce and I have had a motto--"never be house poor." We've stuck by it all these years and it's been a blessing not to have to worry about money and a huge house to take care of. Bruce has been fortunate to move up in his profession and make a very good salary but we've lived pretty much the same all these years. Our home is modest by some standards but very hip if I do say so myself.

So, at the market there were several coincidences, both involving Maureen. As it turns out a vendor that used to be across from us knows our family from way back. I think he is my brother Pat's age. It turns out he knew Pat quite well and even came swimming in our pool. When I finally got a hold of Maureen on the phone she said his wife went to the same elementary s…

A Foggy Day

Maureen and I set off for Deland around 10, this photo finds us on the interstate. It is rare that we have fog here; it almost never hangs around, but yesterday was an exception. On the drive I had Maureen read my speech a few times so I would be more familiar with it. You see I didn't realize I was to give it at 1 until the previous night. It finally dawned on me! Fortunately I'd written it a few days earlier. I had to do the dreaded outline from the text---you remember how bad I am at outlines but no Bruce at home to help. By the way--it was a persuasive speech about breast implants.

Our drive was uneventful, we arrived around 11. As luck would have it Maureen got the nicest helper in the place. The other two were stiff, and unfriendly. As a matter of fact I left Maureen in her hands to do the paperwork; I found out later that she just talked and talked. The whole affair has been filled with miscues making it was nice to hopefully end on a good note. The car appears fine and …