Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Conundrum


I keep writing that we should ignore the news, but it is increasingly hard to do just that. This morning I'd planned on an adventure trip, getting up before 6, and researching Google maps. First one thing, then another, prevented me from taking off; before you know it the sun is getting higher in the sky. I called Maureen asking if she wanted to accompany me--something to take her mind off things. She declined, saying she was online with her unemployment application.

The new and improved Baxter (he's lost 1/2 pound), see below, kept staring at me with his big brown eyes imploring me to take him for a walk, and not leave him for hours on end. I caved.


Upon returning I saw Maureen's number on the caller id. Sure enough she needed a little help. I'm so glad I'd not followed through on the adventure--it's not as if I need more pictures! She came right over and we began the unemployment process together. For a time my mouse gave her a bit of a challenge, but she adapted, and the application is hopefully in the processing stage. While she was doing her thing, I completed a chore that had been hanging over me for a week, or two.

Ironing. I know young people rarely iron which I don't understand at all. What do they do with their wrinkly clothes I ask you? I was wondering where all my white shirts were. I now have a closet full of them!

I ironed some pants as well which gives me another option to wear to the markets. I am seriously not in love with jeans like almost every other living American. Last week we went to the Magic game, arriving late due to Bruce's schedule. This forced us to park several blocks away which was fine by me--giving me a chance to catch up with Bruce. Anyway, on the walk back we were in a pack of people--maybe twenty or so, and only ONE woman had on khaki pants--all the rest were jeans. So much for individuality.

Last week I did buy a pair of jeans that I may grow to like despite what I've just written. I'd gone to the Gap to find some jeans that did not drag the ground on an average height woman. Nothing doing. However, the young woman steered me to the Lucky store where the sales clerk behaved as if her job were important. I told her my size along with my insistence on having jeans that can be worn with flat shoes. Immediately she whisked four different pairs off the shelf. First pair--excellent. They cost more than the Gap jeans, but per wear cost is good. Bonus--made in America!

Our extra dirty carpet was cleaned on Monday morning by the chatty carpet cleaner man. To stay out of his way I did another task that this time of the year needs doing more than I do it--you guessed it--I cleaned the pool. Our little resident rascal, Baxter barked his fool head off the whole while. There's something about having the pole in hand that makes him go crazy. This behavior is not confined to pool cleaning though. You should see him when I vacuum. He barks and runs right in front the the Oreck and I just keep going, hoping to wear him out! This, however, rarely occurs. You would think he'd learn, and maybe he would if I did it every day, but he doesn't. As you know our Mr. Bruce is a bit of a worrier about lots of things. This falls into the category of worrisome activities. He's afraid the vacuum will suck him up but I know better. That's why we get along so wonderfully--he thinks the worst, I think the best, and mostly things fall in the middle. Balance is what it is all about.

The picture at the top of the post was taken in an alleyway downtown. Although the name fits for today's economic decision makers, it seems a bit odd for the name of a winery, don't you think? What, oh what will they do?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Complications


So, just as I was blogging that we should all just go about our business during these trying times, our dear Maureen was absorbing the news that her job was terminated. The phone was quiet all day long until we began eating supper. First Angela called, followed quickly by Maureen. I told her I'd call after a bit.

When I did get through she wasted no time telling me the bad/sad news. Apparently she was not alone--it was a corporate decision--but that doesn't help pay the bills. It is hard to imagine how much worse this all can get. 45,000 jobs lost yesterday....unfathomable. I am a firm believer that this will all pass, when the bleeding will stop is anybodies guess. Until then, all we can do is hang on tight to each other and spend our money wisely.

Complications of a different sort are detailed in this story from the Times:More than She Bargained For Seriously, this sort of thing is so irresponsible. It's as if she were a cat or something. Don't try and tell me she didn't use fertility treatments, please--we are not that stupid. Neo-natal care is incredibly expensive. While this family may be able to pay for it, most people can't. I imagine the hospital will absorb loads of the cost, passing it on to the likes of you and me. It happens every day.

I'm posting the daisy picture today because it is such an uncomplicated flower. Petals radiating from a lovely center.

When I arrived at the museum this morning there were tons of cars. Wondering what was going on, I walked into the gallery (new exhibit is hung and quite nice, much to my surprise) and found some people, but no Karen. I asked the woman what was happening and she said they were doing a photo shoot for an Easter Seals charity event. I just want to tell you that the models were not that attractive, and rude to boot. I asked them not to leave their things in the best bathroom, reserving it for the guests, and they totally ignored me. I peered out the window at one point--standing in the middle of a VEGETABLE garden, a man (dressed inappropriately for gardening) is holding a GIANT fake rose peering into the face of a woman (dressed inappropriately for gardening) toting a large basket filled with fake roses. Talk about kitsch! Yikes, you can't make this stuff up. As well, I walked outside and saw the photographer taking shots of this same woman holding a pair of Jimmy Choos! Apparently they are donating shoes for a silent auction, but just the same, it was corny as all get out. I was delighted when they wrapped things up around lunch time.

We haven't seen brown landscaping around Orlando for quite a few years however that is all in the past. Driving around is a bit sad with all the lawns an ugly shade of tan. Ours, thankfully, has little damage. The museum gardens held up pretty well--this little daisy is from there, hand harvested by me (with permission).

I'm quoting a great sentence penned by Alice Munroe from the short story collection I've been reading--raising children is the context:
"...all that time of care and confusion that seemed as if it would never end seems as if it never were." I feel the same way about my children--it seems so long ago and far away.

It seems applicable to now--may we all be thinking the same thing in a few years.
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Listening to: Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On
via FoxyTunes

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sing Your Life


My thanks to The Smiths for penning the song "How Soon is Now." This photograph of a Deland artist's graffiti is my number one seller and still going strong. It has now traveled to Sweden via an older man (70's) who sent it to his son after loving the one he bought for himself. Make that twice--I just remembered a young couple who were returning to Sweden later in the day when they bought the little canvas I'm now selling. Yesterday I sold two small canvases of it, as I did the previous weekend. I do so wish I could give him the credit--all I have to take credit for is knowing a good thing when I saw it. Because the canvas gives it such a great look, I've begun selling it in a 12x18 version which sells for $40, making it affordable for lots of young people. The popularity of this print is not confined to youth only; I've sold it to people as young as 9, and as old as 75. Most don't know it is a song reference (or is it?). Those who do however are overjoyed when they see it.

Which brings me to the question--what do people want when they buy a photograph? I've been playing it safe up to now, but I think I'm going to start going with some edgier stuff. I've shot it, but haven't printed most of it. I began by showing a brick street with blue broken glass which has been received pretty well. As well, I'm not sure if I posted the Welcome sign from a hostel in St. Augustine when I made the web album. Numerous languages, including sign, are printed nicely on the sign; what makes it most interesting is where people have written their own greeting. I showed it last week, selling it, however this week I didn't. A man made me an offer of $20, and a detailing of my car, but I declined telling him I had a new car. Nevertheless, what is interesting is Bruce was slightly puzzled when I took it. Once printed on the canvas, he was sold. It is, for lack of a better word, inviting. I figured most anyone would like one by their front door. Now that I've wasted your time with all that verbage, how 'bout if I show you the image? Forgive me.

Pretty cool, huh?

Speaking of the market, my first time at the Whole Foods market a couple selling quiches, and French pastries were next to me. That was the start of something wonderful. The woman is French, and let me tell you, their products are amazing. I tell Waffa, the woman, that she single-handedly will be putting some weight on me with her delicious Napoleons, eclairs, and tarts. I can't describe how great they are, both the couple, and their goodies. When you have a fantastic product people will definitely buy it, as such, they are enjoying tremendous success.

The market was so crowded yesterday that it was difficult to walk at some points. Who can believe it?

Before I forget I do want to mention that last weekend we watched There Will Be Blood with Daniel Day-Lewis. Simply an amazing film with, to my mind, the best actor working today. The only problem is he waits so long between films!

While talking to Lisa she said she vehemently disagreed with my assessment of Mrs. Obamas' outfit, however, I won't be dissuaded-I still think the shoes were meant for another ensemble!

Remember how I served carrots last week to our guests and almost apologized? Here's a little something for you:
Carrots are Good for You

Bruce will be home all week, visiting his Florida jobs--yeah. I'm hoping we can get to the movies and see The Wrestler.

I'm super happy because we gave Jonathan a new camera for Christmas which he put to good use while seeing The Killers last week. His pictures were awesome, making me feel like I was there.

What do you say we ignore all the doom and gloom of the financial crisis and just keep doing what we've been doing?
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Listening to: Morrissey - Sing Your Life
via FoxyTunes
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Listening to: Nick Drake - From The Morning
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Leap of Faith


Most of us of a certain age remember where we were when we heard the news that JFK was shot. It's something retold over, and over. Another news event of more recent vintage I recall perfectly where I was when I heard it--that would be O J Simpson's trial verdict. I was on my third day of orientation at the hospital when we learned that the verdict would be read around lunchtime. As such, our moderator brought a television into the room for all to hear. There were those who were thrilled and those disappointed. It's just weird being around virtual strangers at a moment like that.

Which brings us to yesterdays' glorious event. I say that with a giant leap of faith. It's against my nature to expect too much of either politicians, or celebrities. This time however I'm suspending that notion, hoping and praying that the charisma, talent, and political skills of our new president will be used to steer our country in these most challenging times. (oh how I wish people had been realistic in buying homes!)

Remember I wrote that I hoped we could turn on the tv at the museum? Guess what? No hookup as an actual television--it's only set up to play the DVD of Mr. Polaseks' life. Karen looked for the laptop when I first got there with no luck. I decided to turn on NPR which was fine by me. I pulled up a chair, becoming absorbed in the sights and sounds they were describing. Interestingly enough Steve Inskeep called her Michelle--not MEchelle--I always hate it when parents alter a perfectly good name! No visitors came which was a good thing because the new exhibit was nowhere near ready. I would have been embarrassed to have to tell folks. At any rate, around 11 the college intern showed up, laptop in tow. So, Karen, myself, and Amanda gathered round her Dell, enthralled with the precedings, however I wish I'd shared the moment with my loved ones. That said, we're all pretty chatty so we might not have heard the speech!

It was good to my way of thinking.

I was not so thrilled with Michelle's dress though. I didn't like the sparkly stuff at the neckline; the gloves and shoes looked to me like they were meant for another outfit. Now that sounds silly doesn't it? I bet what she wanted to wear were jeans, shoes and socks, and a big coat to keep warm. I don't know how they do it; it was cold here today, at least twenty degrees warmer, and I can't imagine wearing a dress and heels with a sleeveless dress underneath! The girls were adorable in their colorful outfits and I understand Malia Obama is a bit camera crazy herself!

Speaking of temperatures, the other afternoon I turned on the heat thinking it was getting chilly in the house. The thermostat read 66 degrees. It occurred to me that our Jonathan and Alissa were enduring temperatures 73 degrees colder. Now that is mind boggling when you think of it like that!!!

Mind boggling would describe the massive turnout for the inauguration, stretching as far as the eye could see and then some. Again, how they did it in that cold I'll never know. Matt flew to Los Angeles two days ago, fortuitous because he was able to be in the country during the inauguration, watching it on CNN, the station with the most news. That one's for Mr. Bruce--he loves that channel.

Of all things Bruce flew to Washington yesterday afternoon and got stuck in all sorts of traffic on his way to Chevy Chase, Maryland where he'll soon be starting a Capital Grille. I hate to think of him having to work in that area again because the traffic is so horrible, doubly so yesterday.

I now have evidence of at least two readers--thank you Matt and Jeanie. The journey continues!

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Listening to: Mary J. Blige, Featuring Santana - My Man (Ft. Santana)
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sales!!!

 

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I thought it might be time to show you the booth set up again. When we do the downtown market we leave the side wall off because it allows folks to easily see what we have, unlike when we do a full blown art show when the fourth wall is required. Speaking of which, I'd not applied to any shows for the spring, but suddenly last week they all fell into place. I'm going back to Deland at the end of March, Baldwin Park (they contacted me), and Windemere. I won't be re-doing two of the shows I did last spring for several reasons--one of which was poor visibility at Maitland, and too high an entrance fee at the Expo. The Expo is held at Lake Eola, same place as the market, and we'll most likely get the overflow crowd, so I might as well keep my great location. I had a young man sit in one of my chairs last week and ask me how was it I got 50 yard line seats. I told him I'd been through the struggles of the market, and now I was enjoying the successes. Anyone who comes this January will not recognize the market from last year.

The last two weeks have been crazy good for me. To put it into perspective--all last January I had $239 in sales. In the last two weeks I've had $1,300+ in sales!!! The first week was slow, but man have these last two weeks been good. That includes the Whole Foods market as well.

When I go to Whole Foods I do not take the tent or walls. Thus, I only have one small canvas on a table-top easel to get strollers attention. It will have to get busier for me to bring the whole set up. Furthermore, Bruce usually can't help on Saturdays, and looking at this set up, you can imagine I can't do it by myself. I'm in awe of those ladies who do put up this kind of thing without help, but I'm not one of them.

Everyone gets a laugh because Mr. Bruce hangs everything with a level as this photograph shows. I usually get them hung (crookedly) and he comes behind me, fixing things up. It does look nice and neat, doesn't it?

Last week I posted the orange dahlia to show you how different it looked from two different perspectives. I had Roger make the canvas with the sky background because I thought it might be good, and guess what? It was. It sold in two hours. The dilemma comes when you wonder if you should re-print, or move on, and be glad for the sale.

With that in mind, I spent yesterday going through my prints--removing those that have never sold. There comes a time when you just need to get rid of them. As well, I stripped a few canvases off their frames, and Mr. Roger will put something new on the frames that might just sell. I believe that the loss will be worth it in the long run. It is not like I don't have anything new to show now is it?

On Friday night we had Jane and Micheal over for dinner. I'd gotten a bunch of tangelos from the volunteer at the Polasek (remember him from last week?) and I decided to use them in the meal. As such here's the menu I served:

Pork tenderloins, seared, then baked in an orange/balsamic vinegar glaze
Creamy, dreamy polenta (fabulous recipe from a cookbook that Matt gave me)
Roasted green beans in lemon-infused olive oil (first time I tried this--yum!)
Sliced, cooked carrots in orange juice/zest, and maple syrup glaze with a dash of cayenne for kick
Gingerbread with real whipped cream and blueberries for dessert.
Is your mouth watering yet?

They left around 10 because it was past Miss Gail's bedtime, being a weekend worker and all. Really, you know I go to bed so early most every night. Anyway it was very fun and I think everyone enjoyed their meal. Before I went to Saturday's market I emptied the dishwasher, refilled it, and ran it again. It was nice to come home to a clean kitchen.

I wonder if I can turn the television on at the museum today to watch the inauguration. I've been thinking that with all the pomp and circumstance that it is if we are crowning a king instead of installing a new president. I'm sure it's always been this way but it doesn't seem all that different from other governments. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Speaking of which, with so few comments, is anyone reading this blog, or have I worn out my welcome?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Throwing Money Out the Window...

brings money in the front door" according to Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. What a statement--I hope Karl is right! When you have a little business like I do you question all of your expenses: are they worth it? will it come back? how long will it take to come back? The gallery show is a good example. Frequently I've had Roger print a canvas that just never sells. People may like it, even compliment it verbally but it stays put on the walls. I've gotten to the place where I'd rather just strip it and move on. That, my friends is because I've spent probably about $700 on stuff other than business; the bulk of that is for our night at the Ritz! Anyway the NYT article is about French luxury goods and how even their sales have suffered. They are adopting the attitude that things will improve over time but partly it is a good thing--the end of ostentatious living. In France it is better to have money but not show it which is my way of thinking as well. Live below your means, not above!

Which brings me to my excursion yesterday, to one of the least expensive Orlando attractions. I'd not visited Gatorland for more years than I can remember. In an effort to get more locals to come they are running a $9.99 Florida resident special. Seemed like just the right time to head out there. I paid my admission to the attendant who must have called me honey a dozen times during our interaction. I knew I was in Kissimmee.

It was my intention to link to the Gatorland article on Wikipedia for background but alas the entry is so paltry that I'll explain a bit myself. 1949 was the year it began when Florida's population was pretty measly. In the gift shop I saw an old advertisement from 1964 touting it as the only thing to see in the Orlando/Winter Park area. Hurricane Charley (I think) destroyed the famous entryway which has since been re-made; no photo album from Gatorland is complete without that!

I remember going when I was young and at some point we took our children but I can't for the life of me remember when that was. The one thing I do remember is the vast amount of gators that were lying around just as I'm showing you. Honestly, you would think they are fake. Not so. There are 2,100 gators and crocodiles at the park!!! Ugly, you bet. Mainly I wanted to see the flamingos which were very cool. Unfortunately I was there too late in the morning and the sun was rather harsh, but you get the picture...ha,ha.

So, there are birds and alligators, a few deer and goats, a white peacock and men who wrestle gators. I'm showing you one who is holding a five month old Nile crocodile. He asked if I wanted to pet it but I declined. No surprise there!

For my $10 I spent around two hours there and enjoyed it all. I took a nature walk into the swamp on a boardwalk and enjoyed the beautiful day. It's totally a bargain and I didn't even take advantage of all there was to do. I skipped out on the gator wrestling show and the gator "jumparoo" where they hold up whole chickens and actually get the gators to MOVE. Another day....

I'm heading out with Kristen to all the Third Thursday art happenings and glad I don't have anything to beg people to come to! Bruce gets home later, thank goodness. It's going to take some time to get used to his absence--he was home for so long.




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Listening to: The New Pornographers - Use It
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flowers


These two images certainly have a completely different feel don't they?

You would think that all I photograph are flowers, and you would be right about 60% of the time. If you live in the frozen North it is hard to imagine the tropics. We don't live in the tropics, but almost.

On my way to the museum today I spotted this burst of color along a major highway I take, but because I was running a tiny bit late, I didn't stop. I did stop on the way home however. I walked up to see this beautifully colored dahlia decorating the highway. Because there is finally a cold front coming (about time--it is January after all) rain was just beginning to fall. Nonetheless I shot these two images--one toward the other bushes, the other from underneath which was quite a challenge. I wanted to get the blank, gray sky as my canvas. I waited for traffic to abate a bit, got down on the sidewalk, and here is the result. It really pops against the sky--I can only imagine what it will look like tomorrow when blue skies return.

Back to the flower thing. Today I paid attention to all the flowers in bloom and the array is staggering. In fact, I'm going to try and recall them for you:
Hydrangeas
Hibiscus in yellow, white, red, pink, and orange. To the best of my knowledge they don't come in purple.
Daisies in yellow, lavendar, pink, and white with deep, bluish-purple center.
Magenta hollyhocks
Begonias
Bird of Paradise
Roses in every hue
Camellias in white and pink
Pansies in yellow and purple
Azaleas are starting, mostly in pink for now
Gardenia
Tabebuia trees in gorgeous yellow
Pink Nectarine and Peach blossoms
African Iris
Geraniums in pink and red
And that is all I can recall at the moment, not to mention those that I don't know their names. So that is why I take lots of flower pictures, because they are everywhere waiting to show their beauty in an image.

While at the museum I spoke with another volunteer, an older gentleman who works in the gardens. Last week he asked me about my camera and I gave him some advice. Today he came in with a huge bag of tangelos to barter (yeah, more fresh juice!!) for more advice. He described a scene he wanted to photograph, asking what settings to use on his film camera. Of course I didn't really know, but I did the best I could.

Mainly I'm sharing this with you because his story resonated with me. Turns out he was a high powered trauma surgeon for years, and years, before retiring in 2000. He wears hearing aids and says his eyesight is not so good. He described his state of mind after retiring--despondent. He was used to working 70-80 hours a week and didn't know what to do with himself once he retired because he'd had no time to develop interests outside of work. He was driving not only himself crazy, but his wife as well. After talking to a psychiatrist he knew, he started to get going a bit. By a weird fluke he ended up at the Polasek and it has given him a new lease on life. He is beginning to learn all about flowers from Mr. Randy, the horticulturist at the museum, and gaining an appreciation for plant life. He told me he was astonished at the cellular similarities with the human body. I told him how fascinated I am with plant architecture after getting so close to so many different plants. The colors and structures are so diverse--somewhat like we are....

For now I've retired from taking x-rays, and semi-retired from being a mom. I'm glad I've found something that not only brings me immense pleasure, but on some level, others as well.

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Listening to: Bird, Andrew - Opposite Day
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: The Rapture - Sister Saviour
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: The Music - Bleed From Within
via FoxyTunes

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gail Moves Indoors....


At least for one night anyway! It was back to the streets first thing Saturday morning.

The weekend was pretty much a blur. Per my last post you know that I was staying very busy on Friday, and in fact, was a few minutes late to the show if you can believe it. I almost left without the camera and had to run back in to get it. I gave Bruce the Nikon and said it was set on Auto--not enough instruction. He dislikes (as we all do) using the flash, so he held it down when it tried to fire, causing motion on nearly every image. Thus you see my back. Or maybe you do--I seem to be having all sorts of trouble uploading pictures to the blog. I'm definitely on a learning curve switching back to Picasa.

Last night after two markets I learned on the job how to upload pictures to Picasa web albums straight from Picasa. I did have some good news on Sunday--Orange County Convention Bureau wants to use some of my pictures I take at the market. We're trying to figure out how to make that viable. I also had a blockbuster day at the market--you just never know.

Anyway back to the indoor thing. It was great and went by very quickly. My beloved support system came out which was so appreciated. As well, there were loads of other people, including some influential(in Orlando anyway) art folks; I suspect they were not there for me, but still...

Although I did not sell any of the framed pieces, I did sell at least five of the matted prints--or at least I think that is what sold. Maybe it was my prices, maybe my product, but I was the only one to sell anything. Actually I did not handle the sales, the gallery people did, however, for sure I know that the swimming toad sold, which proves I don't know much. While Matt was home he helped me choose the three images to submit for publicity; one was of the toad I found swimming in our pool. I protested--"no one will want to buy a toad!", but he insisted. I've known him long enough to know not to argue. How I wish he were nearer to home! Actually I would completely overwhelm him with my output; I'm sure the distance is somewhat of a godsend, if you know what I mean.

After the show we had some dinner with our Orlando sons and their wife and girlfriend. I went straight to bed, getting up early to prepare for the Saturday market which was just fine. The weather couldn't be better right now--great temperatures and gorgeous blue skies. Ditto, Sunday as far as weather goes. When I got home we went to the movies for a little afternoon date. We saw Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood's new movie. It was good, but no Slumdog Millionaire! I was SO tired from everything I was fast asleep a little after 8, getting a solid ten hours of sleep!

I spent Sunday talking, talking, talking! The market was packed and there were very few minutes when I didn't have someone in the booth, either a customer, or a friend. I'll need to remember this come summer. We went over to the wine bar after the market for a salad and a glass of wine with Dana, then homeward bound to unload. After handling my market business, I, once again, was in bed early. I just get so tired I can't stay up. In fact, as I type this I'm feeling tired all over again. It's all good though.

Now we move forward. The show will be hanging for a few more weeks then what doesn't sell will join others around here until the right time comes. From my vantage point I won't even wonder about it until then.

I swear I'm feeling a nap coming on. Do I sound like a baby or what?

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Listening to: Morrissey - Sing Your Life
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: The Music - Bleed From Within
via FoxyTunes

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tonight's the Night

From the Orlando Sentinel arts blog:
The Show
I'm trying to stay busy today as to not get nervous. Now why I would be nervous is anybodies guess--it's not as if I haven't shown my work all over the place but still.....
Matt picked the swimming toad--he's kinda cute--prince charming.

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Listening to: The Bravery - Fearless
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This is all New!

 
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Looking Forward/Back

The amazing Mr. Bruce (sans beard) in one of his new Frank Lloyd Wright t-shirts I gave him for Christmas. Did I tell you that a customer asked on Sunday if we were newlyweds? We both just laughed at that one.

Here is the new walk I mentioned yesterday. I thought briefly about sweeping it before taking this photograph but quickly decided otherwise. The leaves are falling in earnest. Isn't it snazzy?

Thanks to Dave and Michelle for the birthday gift card to Nordstrom where I purchased this new watch. As some of you know I'm crazy for Skagen watches; this new addition makes five for me. I've got a green band, gold band, two types of silver bands, and one black with white flowers on it. Yikes, I can't count--this makes six. I thought a white one would be fun, especially with the rose gold that matches one of the bands in my Trinity ring. I may not be able to find a pair of jeans that fit me, but by golly, watches do!

So, you may be asking yourself, "self, what does the title of this entry have to do with anything I've read so far?" Well....read on my friends.

Early this morning, while it was still dark outside, I spent some time browsing back over my blog from this time last year. Actually I had to browse through more than just that, but you understand. I wondered where I was in this journey last January. Yesterday, while chatting with the young woman who comes in after me at the museum, I mentioned the show. Her response was, "What a great way to begin the New Year!" I hadn't thought of it that way. I'd been focusing on the whole business of the last few weeks to get to this point. She, and rightly so, pointed out how exciting it is.

Thus, my reflection on what I was writing about etc. One funny thing is that yesterday I took a new profile picture, lo and behold, on January 7 last year I posted a new profile picture. Am I a creature of habit or what? Actually if I keep this blogging up I can have a record of the aging process. Think about that silly word I used--process, it sounds just plain weird.

One thing I noticed while scanning through last year is that there have been lots of ideas, excitement, and some disappointment (but not too much). Most everything that happened was unexpected which I'll take to mean that whatever happens this year, most of it I can't imagine as I type this. What seems like will be awesome sometimes isn't, and the other way around. There's really just no way to predict the future; certainly I'll make plans, but as the quote goes...."the best-laid plans often go astray."

Somethings in this article from the NYT to consider in the new year regarding our cooking supplies and habits. Food for Thought

After all this serious talk, let me leave you with something fun:

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

For some unknown reason Blogger is not uploading my pictures, boo, hiss. I'll try later!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday in the House

 

I had to show you a little closer picture of the darling chick. This is my first time seeing little yellow ones; while at the market on Sunday someone told me about them, but I couldn't leave except for bathroom breaks. Don't confuse my not leaving with sales because there were few however I did have lots of chatters. I told Maureen that if the weather hadn't been perfect then you would have heard me whining.

We had a busy weekend starting with dinner at Houstons on Friday night with Briggs and Victoria. As is always the case when we get together, it is a blast. After dinner we sat on the dock lakeside and had it all to ourselves. I'm not sure if that was a sign of the faltering economy, or that after NYE people were staying home on Friday night. On the way home, at 10:30, we stopped by Nancy's studio and picked up the framed pieces; she didn't have them ready on our way to the restaurant. Bruce delivered them to the gallery on Saturday morning while I was at Whole Foods. The show is now hung and the waiting til Friday begins. I'm just glad we are almost there because this has been weighing on me all through the holidays. We shall see what the night brings.

Although I like (sorta) selling my things what I really like is to take pictures. With that in mind I jumped out of bed yesterday morning early (easy to do when you go to sleep at 9), and emptied the dishwasher, put away the rest of the Christmas things, changed the sheets and hung them on the clothesline after washing, and off I went. It doesn't sound quite as fun saying I jumped into the Element but it's getting me albeit with a little less style. The weather was beautiful and the chicks did not disappoint. It is like spring around here already with the flowering trees starting to bloom. I'm not sure what this tells us about the summer, in fact, if this warm weather is a harbinger of things to come, I'm a little nervous.

The small deck outside our side door was beginning to rot after about ten years. We'd had some paver walkways done a few years ago and had leftovers. Bruce has been working on repairing the area and now we have a wonderful paver wallkway into our side entrance which for those of you who've never been here is for most people the primary entrance. We live on a corner lot with our driveway on the side of the house making it somewhat confusing. You remember how I've told you that we always get two of everything? What most amuses me are the trick or treaters coming to both the side and front door!

Bruce completed many of his jobs, and now has just three underway. He'd not traveled in weeks and weeks, but this morning that changed. He's on his way to cold country--Massachusettes, and Connecticut. He'll be back on Thursday night.

Time for Miss Gail to get ready for museum duty....
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Monday, January 5, 2009

Magical Monday


I have lots to say, but no time to say it tonight so I'll leave you with this for now. I will tell you one thing exciting--Matt sent me the link to download the new Picasa for Mac and I'm ecstatic--it is doing it's work as we speak. Finding nearly 20,000 pictures takes time!
All the pictures are from today--aren't the chicks adorable?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Huge on the Text

Today's title refers to something I heard on BBC Radio 1 today. While driving to the framers BBC 1 was broadcasting what I think used to be called a call in show, or a request line if you will. Today it's a text line I suppose, however out of context it seemed sorta comical to me.

So, we are back. We got home last evening before dark after a lovely little stay in St. Augustine. I tried not to take too many touristy shots but it can't be helped. In that spirit I give you St. Augustine as I saw it:

Now that you've seen the show you are thinking to yourself several of those don't seem like they are St. Augustine to me and you would be right! On the way I couldn't resist stopping at a state park called Washington Oaks. There was a lovely formal garden with the largest and most fragrant roses I've seen since a visit to California. As well on the beach side of the park there are those rocks that intrigue me although I'm certain I wouldn't want to swim there for fear of hurting myself while body surfing. If you people up North can imagine there were people in bathing suits!

We stayed, per Maureen's insistence at Casa Monica. I believe Bruce paid a small fortune for the room but I'm not going to look at this point. It is a beautiful place situated across from Flagler College. In the past we've discussed Henry Flagler's impact on our state so I won't belabor it; he sure knew how to have built magnificent properties. The memorial church built for his daughter is included in the slide show as is the vault where he is interred.

I must confess that we did not stay up till midnight. I still wasn't 100%; after a great time people watching, having a martini at a place that I told Bruce, "how could you not stop?", (because it was so inviting) we headed back to the hotel. The bar spilled out into the lobby with all sorts of people! We saw people in all manner of dress including a bride and groom with their wedding party. There were two women in heels that I swear were 6" tall! Across from us an older couple (probably our age) sat with what I'm presuming was their daughter and her date. While the young couple were there everyone chatted; when they left for a bit the couple just stared into space which made me sad. It seemed as if they had nothing to say to each other unless others were around. I'm so glad to report that Bruce and I never have that problem even after all these years. He kindly relented when I said I was too tired to stay up any longer.

Tomorrow is the hanging of the show. I'm picking up the pieces this evening on our way to meet Briggs and Victoria for dinner. Earlier today the pieces were on Nancy's work table as pictured in the slideshow.

I love my birthday gift from Matt as pictured on the left side of my bulletin board. That girl is going to be watching over me as I work.

I've realized in the last few days that what I want to show are pieces that are "compelling." That sounds kinda corny, but I want ones that invite a second look or are good enough to make someone either smile, go wow, or scratch their head and wonder what I was thinking. That will be my 2009 goal.

Thanks to all my wonderful family for the gifts, phone calls, and well wishes. I couldn't keep on without your love and support!

Limping Along