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Showing posts from July, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

When I left Bruce at the job site on Tuesday he asked if I knew where I was going. I told him I would head towards the beach and see what happened. I took the causeway over to Jensen Beach because I wanted to re-visit the site where I found the "Life's a Beach" carved into the boardwalk hand rail. Guess what? Possibly (what am I thinking using the word possibly when I should have said probably?) reflecting the current mood of the country, someone wrote over it with "life's a bitch"; so much for improving that shot!

While there I met a retired lifeguard who told me about Bathtub Beach on the southernmost tip of the island. This is exactly what I love--being out & about and finding new and interesting places to explore. On the drive there you come across a very interesting place called Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge. One of ten houses of refuge for shipwreck victims built along the Florida coast in the 1870's, it is the only one remaining. Because t…


When I first got a MINI, nearly five years ago, people constantly asked me questions about it, mostly regarding how small it is. I used to tell folks don't get a MINI Cooper unless you're willing to chat with strangers. Through the years that attention faded a bit as more Coopers were seen on the road. Lately it has begun again--I don't have to explain what question people ask nowadays, especially at the gas station.

On Saturday I visited two homes near me, both with wonderful gardens tended by their master gardener owners. This one is taken at my first stop, the home of a retired Humanities professor from Valencia. I saw this bloom last year, falling in love with the wonderful shade of red. Turns out it is a type of gladiola tinged with white. I suppose it reminds me a bit of my sewing days when we would add contrasting piping to add interest to a collar. Lovely dahlias, and other captivating blooms filled her back yard. Naturally I neglected to apply bug spray resulting i…

The Gift of Words

I promised you a picture of the British Scrabble board and here it is---actually, it's the back of the box which shows you not only the board, but other cool stuff as well. How fun is this?

On Facebook a high school classmate did the friend thing. I responded, sure. We talked yesterday on the phone with me sheepishly admitting I had no recollection of her. I know she was disappointed, but she doesn't know my memory! Before our mom died she told me she was very concerned about my memory. My response to that--a good memory is overrated! Today we chit-chatted for about two hours on the phone; she plans to come see me this weekend at the market.

After our chat I got out the jr. high yearbook. I think I read somewhere lately that yearbooks may become passe which would be a shame. Through the years they have proved invaluable when trying to remember different folks. I checked her picture out and still I'm clueless! Nevertheless, I look forward to meeting her because she is very n…

Fun in the Sun

New Ideas
Caeli Quinn
Two links today--one about mosquitoes (a favorite topic on this blog), and one describing a bike ride to raise awareness, and funds for climate change research.

The mosquito story needs no explanation, the bike one does.

Last evening my friend, Tom Quinn, called from his summer home in Whitefish, Montana. He has since retired, but I worked with him for ten years at the hospital--come to think of it, I have too, at least for the time being. At any rate, we caught up on news from here and there. He told me about his daughter organizing this ride and I thought I'd pass it along. Although Caeli was raised as a rich girl she's lived anything but since leaving college. As her profile states, she has been everywhere leading bike trips. Her wedding last year should have been profiled in the NYTimes "Vows" column for its' unconventionality. The guests were in boats in the middle of a river in Glacier National Park, dressed a costume of their choice. I …

Mall Rat

Here is yours truly trying to get a shot of an awesome spider mum using the afternoon sunlight in my office. Sadly, the idea came to nothing thus far.

It is storming once again as I type, a good thing as our air conditioner has decided to act up. On Monday, arriving home from his general contractor continuing education class, Bruce asked why is it so warm in here. Gosh honey, I hadn't noticed. Turns out there is a problem with the condensation pump which we were hoping Bruce repaired on Tuesday morning. This afternoon it quit working again. I have a window tomorrow between 11-3 when the repair man should arrive. I hope it isn't too expensive because I was a mall rat today.

You know how I've no interest in shopping for the most part, but there does come a time when a girl needs a few things. In my case it was blush, facial cleanser and shampoo from Kiehls, mascara, and a replacement for my flat black sandals which are wearing out. Because Nordstrom is having their anniversar…

Hearts on Fire

Today's photo is for a project I'm working on for Dana. As you already know her son's girlfriend died on Memorial Day in an automobile accident. In Orlando we have what they call a "Love Ambassador here who gives out these red glass hearts to random folks as well as some friends who could use a little cheer.

The above mentioned person is one of Dana's best friends as well as a renowned artist in our area. I've got an image where I used marbles, red beads and the sun to create a fun image that she hoped I could imitate with the hearts for a birthday gift. The marbles refused to cooperate on the table outside, they kept rolling off no matter what I tried. Unfortunately there are six hearts; I'd much prefer an odd number, but I worked with what she gave me. This is one of many attempts to make something interesting.

After being asked if I was in the over 55 club at Ross I thought "note to self--DO NOT go out with pool hair and no makeup!" As fate w…


This is Nicole from yesterday's market. Dana thought she was so cute and could make a poster child for some market promotional material. Her mom was flattered when I was shooting this; I hope she likes it.

Today at the little market a young woman told me she was on her honeymoon, having gotten married in Detroit on Saturday. Her obvious excitement was infectious. After congratulating her I mentioned that our 35th wedding anniversary is in less than a month. Somehow saying that reminded me that on our wedding night, after a small church wedding with a cake and punch reception, we drove the two hours to St. Augustine for our two day honeymoon. I'd just begun my job as a real x-ray tech and could only get that much time off. Anyway, arriving around 9pm and finding all of the restaurants were closed we ended up eating at McDonalds. I remember gazing at my new wedding ring under the bright fluorescent lights, asking Bruce, "Do you think anyone can tell we got married today?&…


When I showed Angela the photos I was considering for the calendar contest this is one of the ones she chose. Mangroves from the Wildlife Preserve are behind the wildflowers. Because I've not had Bruce's input yet, I'm still not sure, but at this point, the other two are a sunrise with a dock, and a pelican. I don't think any of them are going to win the $300 prize.

I'm glad I took that picture of the back yard in the sunshine because we haven't seen the sun since. The rain began days ago, and has hardly quit except for brief respites; you would think we lived in Seattle as gray as it's been. As such, the grass was long and desperately needed to be cut. Although rain was threatening this morning, I went out as early as possible to begin finishing before the next round.

Afterwards I did some cleaning which is never a favorite of mine. I've got lots of glass containers holding various decorative things that I finally got around to cleaning. My word, they …

A Luncheon

Today I went to lunch at Mary's house. She is an old friend that I'd not had contact with for years who found me on Facebook. I've also got a request to get together with a high school classmate, that for the life of me I can't remember, but I may go through with it--why not? At any rate, it turns out the youngest of Mary's four daughters is doing fashion photography. I think she is quite talented, and as you can see, she has a Nikon as well. We were talking so much about photography that poor Mary must have been feeling left out. That's probably not true because if ever there were a more selfless person than Mary, I've yet to meet them. In an odd twist, Rachel is working with her second cousin's husband who was Bill, and Dave's first modeling agent. Small world, huh?

Mary made a wonderful lunch including homemade bread (she sent me home with two mini loaves). Actually, it was a dinner because she wanted to make sure I had a big meal and wouldn't…

Rainy Day Musings

This is a picture of Kathy, the vendor next to me, from Sunday's market album. Every week I photograph the market doings for Dana as I've probably already told you. I'd put my camera away during the worst of it, but realized this picture of Kathy would tell the story of Sunday perfectly. This puddle is in front of my booth, so now you can see for yourself what I meant. Torrential storms again this afternoon.

The MINI now has a new front tire to the tune of $315. I won't belabor the tire saga, hopefully this will be the end of it.

Here's something I learned from Matt during our chat--the project he's working on in London is monumentally costly (lots of millions) for the firm. As well, he was to give a 3.5 hour presentation to 50 people from around the globe today, which as I type, is I'm sure a past success. I quizzed him on specifics (imagine that!); he brushed aside my awe over the fact that he won't need notes.

Jonathan continues to do stellar work a…

VC Baby!

Matt called yesterday evening when we were just sitting down to dinner with the Whiteds after the market. We didn't talk then, but he reminded me that we could use iChat (that's video chat for those of you without a Mac) to talk, which we did at length this afternoon. It was so totally awesome to be able to see his face for the first time in over six months! I could even hear the sounds of a siren on the street outside his apartment which blows me away. Technology can be frustrating, but my word, can it be fantastic, or what?

Lots to catch up on:

I used my gift certificate from the photo contest to buy an instructional DVD for the camera--hmmm...I didn't learn much more than what Matt has taught me already. Unfortunately I changed the how the camera meters light, and I paid the price. Still thinking about the two photo contests, I left the house before 6:30 in the morning to get some river shots. I drove out Highway 50 towards the St. Johns River. Before I got there I crosse…

Family Car

While driving down Orange Avenue on Wednesday this car was in front of me. Immediately I had a flashback to what I remembered as the family car that moved our brood from New York to Florida over fifty years ago. Fortunately, I had the baby camera on the seat next to me in my purse. As well, the traffic moves pretty slowly allowing me to get this, and a few other shots (surprise!), while driving. I believe I've mentioned that is not the best policy, however a photographer does what a photographer needs to do.

I sent it to our family historian, Maureen, to confirm. She has a remarkable memory of all things related to our childhood, which I think you know, I do not. It's her impression that it was very similar, although the one I saw is two door, neither of us can imagine seven people fitting into this car. Of course, back then, personal space notions hardly existed. Children did what children had to do, to say the least. The tailgate is puzzling as well, it looks like it opens do…


Lots of Media Today

Dancing in the Streets

I visited the Maitland Art Center today to see what I could see. Turns out, there were a lot of Dorothy Gillespie's whimsical metal art scattered around the gardens. I love her colorful work, in fact, I'm a big fan of lots of metal art. I'm amazed at what artists can do with it. It was pretty hot, but not unbearable.

From there I took a side trip over to the Audubon Birds of Prey center (it is on the way home) to get an owl picture. As we've discovered together, people have strong likes for things like owls. I still have no idea how to take pictures of them in the aviaries, fortunately there is a fenced courtyard where about ten birds hang out. This little guy won't be for sale, but I thought you might like him. The injured birds have leg tethers to keep them from flying away, consequently, you can photograph them fairly easily if you are willing to put your camera between the wrought iron bars. Trouble, one of the eagles, has his own beach …

Circle of Life

Try This at Home


He would have been 58 on Sunday, but he died on early Saturday morning. I'm writing about my former brother in law, Paul. I say former because he, and Bruce's sister Michele, divorced at least ten years ago. I could probably count on one hand, maybe two, the times I saw Paul because they never lived near us, first in California, then in Minnesota. He was from a very large family, and the move to Minnesota allowed their daughter the chance to grow up with loads, and I mean loads, of cousins. Paul had advanced bladder, and prostate cancer, yet he died a lucky man surrounded by a love.

I say that because today's post is really about their daughter Mallory. Paul was lucky enough to have his 20 year old daughter move in with him to care for him along with hospice. I just had to mention hospice care because, as you know, I'm a big proponent of the movement. At any rate, here's what I know about Mallory's story.

As is often the case, youn…

I'm Still Here!

This is a big anniversary in more ways than one. Thirty two years ago we became parents for the first time, almost no bigger event in a person's life. Most of you know the story about how Bruce and I were down at Lake Eola (where I currently sell photography) waiting for the fireworks to begin, when I realized I was just too uncomfortable to stay. Being five days late is no picnic, and I can assure you that, although I was frightened of the next step, I was only too ready to put my pregnancy behind me. Arriving at the hospital around 10 pm, I was already pretty far gone, in fact I began hyperventilating, and passed out. When I came to, they convinced me to be put to sleep to deliver our son. This was still somewhat common in those days, and I was really in no shape to argue with them. I had Matt at 1:20 on the morning of the fifth. I remember thinking, why was I still hurting if I'd already had the baby, when I realized it was from the episiotomy. I'm so glad I was young w…

Cranes and Cows

An E-Mail from today.
I was overdue for a road trip, not that I need more pictures, it's just that I want them. When Bruce is home the alarm goes off really early. It's the time of the day when no one bothers him, and he relishes that hour or so to himself. When he's not home, there is no alarm except for the sun. That said, I awoke at 4:55 this morning and decided it was for a reason; I got right up and threw on some clothes. After making tea, grabbing bug spray and my camera gear, I headed out into the dark. All Floridians understand my need for bug spray while in the country! Ruth hooked me up with two more photo contests, one which involves very specific rivers in Florida. The closest to me is the Kissimmee River--sort of. It seems as if it is very challenging to actually find what looks like a river. I really kept trying, but to no avail, even after asking directions twice.

In some places roads are winding because of mountains, in Florida it is because of lakes, lakes,…