Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes, Another Cold

Today dear ones I'm keeping it short because I'm not feeling that great. I did want to show you more from the zoo if you are interested. Some people are opposed to zoos however if they are done well I am not one of them. Tampa can be very proud of the Lowery Park Zoo unlike Orlando. Our zoo is pitiful compared to theirs!

Since taking up photography in earnest I've learned there are some folks who dislike birds big time. I'm not one of them. I discovered today there are more than 10,000 kinds of birds!!! I admire many of them for their wonderful details, and colorful feathers. I wish I'd been able to get closer to the pictured African flamingos--they were a lovely pale pink. For some reason the door was locked. I must go again sometime. I've included one of the mother tiger which as you can see has the fencing in it but I thought the size of her paws was cool. By the way, the last photo is a snowy egret and her chicks which I discovered way up in a tree--I did the best I could.

Hopefully it won't take another two weeks to get over this cold.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mothers and Children

It bears repeating that when I see a mother with multiple lively boys I can't imagine how I did it!

Yesterday just felt like a road trip day to me, actually I felt it coming on Tuesday night, and with Bruce's wake up call, I was up around 5 making tea and getting a move on. For months I've been thinking of going to the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa where Emily works but just never got up in time to make the drive. That has now been rectified, and what an enjoyable place it is to visit. Except for....

Upon arrival I found the parking lot to be very full. I pulled into a space and asked the woman getting out of her car next to me (a darling yellow VW Bug I might add) if she'd ever been there. She asked me if I was looking for a job? She didn't look too closely because I was both un-showered and not dressed for a job interview! But I digress, anyway, she said they were holding a job fair which accounted for the gazillion cars. Sadly so many people are looking for work. I was asking for directions to the front which I ended up finding by following all the squealing children. Yes, there were squealing children everywhere. In fact, the guy out front told me there were 1,000 elementary school children streaming in. See my opening line.

I do remember those field trips when the brave non-working mothers would accompany the class, herding, oh wait, I meant to say shepherding, the children around the site with constant exhortations to settle down. I heard plenty of that yesterday. Kids will be kids however and I saw both the human and animal kind yesterday.

Here's the mother orangutan trying her best to get just a little more sleep:

Every new mother knows just how that feels.

When I first went by the mother tiger and her two cubx there were gazillions of children pushing and shoving to get a closer look. There are several windows for observing, but mostly fencing which can be quite challenging to photograph through. I expect I put this one on manual focus during my second pass through. Fortunately the children had to return to school leaving me with just another couple to share the space with. Only one of the cubs was ready to settle down for a rest when I took this one.

They are a type of Bengalese tiger with blue eyes, rare in the wild because their bright coat make it hard to stay camouflaged. I believe the cubs are around 3 months old. I'm not sure if this one shows how large their paws are for their little bodies--no doubt they will grow into them.

Lastly I'll show you the elephant and her baby. This was also taken on my second pass. Originally they were too far away for my camera to get much of anything interesting, however, they moved forward to have a little refreshment. They were very cute together--this one seemed like a gesture of love.

I'd thought I might go to the wonderful aquarium while in Tampa but to tell you the truth I was a very tired girl by 1:30. My head tells me to get out and about, my body rebels; I was in bed asleep by 8 last night.It didn't help that I had the first twinges of another cold on the drive home. I am afraid I've got another one on the way. No colds for years on end, and now two in a few months makes for an unhappy lady.

I read an article in the Times magazine the other day about undiagnosed illnesses. Apparently the National Institute of Health is taking a limited number of difficult cases. All the time I've not been well people have expressed surprise that I have no diagnosis which I've assured them happens more often than you can imagine. The profiled woman has so many horrible symptoms, and system breakdowns that it seems impossible they don't know why. She's lost one eye, her kidneys don't work, her hair turned gray prematurely, and she has dreadful patches of ick on her shins with those being just the miseries I remember. A large group of specialists examined her and still no one really understands her case. Is it any wonder I quit going to the doctor?

Bruce is on a plane now heading for the sunshine and warmth after spending the last three days in Massachusetts and Connecticut. This is a beautiful time of year but there is one aspect that is not so great. I mentioned the other week about the pool--you should see it now. The lawn guys were here today and filled the back of their pick up with leaves from both the street and the lawn. We still have one whole tree to go, making for several more messy weeks. First the leaves followed by the fuzzy stuff which is maybe even worse!

So you can guess what I'm about to do I bet.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back So Soon

Yes, I am back so soon. You would have thought I was vacationing last week with my lack of posting, but as you now know that was not the case. Speaking of which, I think Mr. Bruce and I will be going on some sort of vacation at the end of April, or early May. It has been quite a few years since we took a week long vacation, but it looks like this year Bruce's schedule will allow for the luxury. The last big trip was to St. Lucia, a lovely island near Venezuela. Bruce didn't think his cell phone would connect there, thus he had a week long vacation from problems. Of course that was nearly five years ago, so I expect that won't be the case this time wherever we go. I'm thinking I want to go someplace I've never been before; we are open for suggestions if you have them.

Before I forget I wanted to show off the beautiful afternoon light on the dining table set for our company last Friday.

Yesterday morning I had to do a few errands and decided to mosey around town just a bit with my camera ready in the front seat. I seem to be having some success with simple photographs of urban life and with this in mind I remembered an area where there are prayer flags. I was not on anyone's property, in fact I was on the city sidewalk shooting skyward with the breeze blowing like mad, when I turned around to find a young man confronting me about the photo taking. I assured him it was not for anything sinister. At the market, as you would expect, we see all sorts of people, young, and old alike. I'm sure I've voiced my opinions on tattoos in the past, how I loathe them, particularly the ones where an entire extremity is covered in hideous colors and designs. So, you know where I stand on those. Today I'm going to rant a bit about those ear plugs. I know they have some other name, which is escaping me at the moment, but you probably know what I mean. I loathe them as well. It is actually hard for me to look someone straight on that is wearing them. Would that be the right way to describe that--wearing them? Whatever. They are hideous to me. You guessed it. This young man was wearing nickle-sized plugs. Anyway it was all I could do to look at him straight on. I know I'm sounding like an old person who is afraid of new things, but there you have it anyway. And now for the flags:

They look pretty against the beautiful blue sky don't they?

Guess what! On Saturday a nice woman bought my snake picture. I'm definitely no snake fan, however I thought if you were, it was kinda good. Anyway, during our conversation she related how her son volunteered at Gatorland for years, and is now studying zoology. She brought up the white alligators,(actually Bruce mentioned last evening that they look like they've been dipped in white chocolate which was an excellent description), and now she wants one of them. Yeah, I knew that second trip out there could be a good move.

I lost my way there. Back to my out and about yesterday, I went to Sam Flax for some signing pens, and continued home on a few back streets where I came across this amazing screen door. I want one of these. I love this door. I must have one of these doors.

Come to think of it, I might not be the only one wanting a screen door. With the economy the way it is, folks may not be so anxious to put on the air conditioner at the first sign of heat. It's wonderful isn't it?

One thing I left out of last week's recap was my two hour video chat with my son in London, the amazing Matt Peck. Between this blog and facebook, he keeps up with us superficially, but getting a little deeper is nice when he has the time. Our conversations run all over the place. I'm always like, and one more thing.....
Now our sons--make that three of our sons, Bill is still on myspace, can finally keep up with their dad as well. I signed Bruce up for facebook a week or so ago with him finally finding the time to get set up on Friday. Already he's enjoying it making some serious pronouncements regarding push ups. Matt described to me an internet sensation called 100 push ups, or something to that effect. I passed the info on to Bruce who immediately decided it was something he wanted to do. He's definitely a goal setter.

Off to the museum now...

Monday, February 23, 2009

When Last We Met

I was planning on showing off my new spiffy desk set up, well here it is in all it's glory:

Very handy wouldn't you say? I'm totally loving it. That Bruce is one in a million. Yesterday at the market a 40-something woman we know said she'd been asked out twice last week from text messages. I told her I didn't know how to text; she advised me never to divorce Bruce because I'd be out of luck all the way around! Everyone at the market knows I'm the luckiest lady around.

Last Monday Maureen and I went to heaven, followed closely by a trip to hell. She has always called this restaurant Hot Dog Heaven, however, according to the sign it is Chicago Dog Heaven, an Orlando institution. We both had a delicious hot dog with scrumprious fries as well, arriving there early enough to avoid the lunch crush.

We went down the street to the cheap seats at Colonial Promenade, a movie theater that used to do well, but now shows second run movies. Too bad it wasn't Tuesday because the admission would have only been a dollar, as it was it was only $2.50--a far cry from the $7,50 matinee price we paid the previous week. At any rate, we saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Although I've seen loads of Holocaust films, not to mention the reading I've done on the subject, all of which did not prepare me for the ending of this film. We all know a happy ending would have been unrealistic, but yikes, this one was really awful. I am usually ok with depressing movies, somehow this one was even more depressing than even I am up for. A quick trip to the library followed and home we came.

The rest of the week seems to have gone by in a blur of busyness.

Tuesday morning at 7:10AM I finally went to have my mammogram before my museum stint. I am embarrassed to say how behind my yearly schedule I was. Almost everyone who worked there in 1995, when I started, are still there. They tell me that they are getting sent home when things are slow. It is really astonishing to think of it because when I was working there the center was backed up with more patients than they could handle. Some day I may need to take x-rays again, I'm certainly not letting my license lapse, however it felt very nice to only spend thirty minutes there.

I spent a long, and I mean long, time on Wednesday organizing a book meant for interior designers. For Christmas Bill gave us Apple gift certificates which will pay for the book. Maureen, Bruce, and Maria all gave me input. I told Maureen it is a good thing I'm not a writer--can you imagine how hard it must be to get readers for early drafts? I wonder who performed that for some of the great novels? That might be a good study subject, or not.

Thursday and Friday I cooked, and cooked, and cooked. I'd invited Maria and Dominic for dinner Friday night--you know how I like to make everything myself. I made Jonathan's favorite, Lemon Delight Pound Cake for Friday night as well as an old recipe for a chocolate cake. The LDPC recipe card was so well loved that I found it difficult to read how much flour to use. Web to the rescue! I found it on someone's blog, unidentified as the Pillsbury bake-off winner it was.

The chocolate cake was for Angela's birthday party on Saturday night. I froze the layers for frosting on Saturday afternoon when I arrived home from the market.

As you can see my counter was a busy place.

Friday morning I delivered a canvas to the west side of Orlando, a part of town I'm pretty unfamiliar with. It wasn't nearly as far as I'd expected. The condo complex looks as if it might be a victim of the sagging economy. Although many buildings were done and occupied I felt certain a few of them were stopped mid-construction. The young woman had me hold it up in various parts of their living area trying to find the best spot. Good thing she didn't want me to hang it!

The dinner party was super. I served the very cheap wine I've been getting at Whole Foods amazing them with the price. I spoke with her this morning and she asked me again for the name so she could go snag some. Regularly 9.99, on sale now for 4.99--too good a deal to pass up.

We took Baxter over to Angela and Matt's house for the birthday dinner and he was patient enough to literally be passed from one person to the next for cuddling. Before you think we were rude, I did ask permission first. The party was much fun with both good company and food.

Both markets went well much to my surprise. Any week now I keep thinking my sales will crater, but so far I have done twice what I'd done by this date last year. I can't stop smiling. I believe I mentioned Bruce is now handling the record keeping as far as income/outgo is concerned. That doesn't sound right, but you get the idea. He told me it was very important that I sell at least $70 next Saturday bringing my to date sales to $5,000. You are in shock about now aren't you? Me too.
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Listening to: Ananda Project - Cascades Of Colour
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: Annie Lennox - Smithereens
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 16, 2009

Three Faces

The weather was gray and dreary yesterday morning during our set up with rainstorms predicted during the day. This always makes one leery of setting up but set up we did. Bruce put up the sides just in case. This always takes longer than you want. As well Mr. Roger was a bit behind in getting me some new baby canvases. We planned our display including them and hung the walls accordingly. Mr. Roger arrived and Bruce set to work putting wires on them. He has to use our table to do this so the browse baskets were on the ground or in a chair. Much to our surprise people started coming to the market early, going through the baskets wherever they were. I had six sales before we were even ready. As you can well imagine I was not complaining!

One of the buyers was a woman who loved the picture below. She was returning to Philadelphia later in the day so couldn't purchase it. Additionally she really needed a portrait orientation piece. Of course, I'd taken it that way and our agreement was for me to email her the image and if she liked it we will ship it. It is one of my most popular images and I don't think you've ever seen it.

As we've discussed in the past I'm always having photographers want to talk technicals, an area I'm woefully unqualified to discuss. They ask me how I got this image etc., etc., etc. I think some of them don't believe that I don't have any special lighting, photoshop, or that I take so many pictures with a point and shoot. You can see for yourself how this was accomplished--very professional, huh? While looking for the portrait version I found this:

So now you know my secrets.

Arriving home after a good day (no rain!), I found two new shelves over my desk Bruce installed during my absence. I was surprised and thrilled. The light is poor right now or I'd show you my new set up. Bruce is so great at displays as you can see from the picture of his desk. He set mine all up and it is wonderful! What a man!

He's off to Pennsylvania this morning, heading to both Erie, and Pittsburgh. He plans a side trip to Falling Waters, a place he's always wanted to see. Unfortunately the tours are not running during the week in the winter but hopefully we'll be able to head there when the weather warms up a bit. When Matt lived in Chicago he made sure we saw all sorts of great places, one of which was Frank Lloyd Wright's studio in Oak Park. We didn't have adequate time to tour the studio, however, we will have to get back there on a visit to see Jonathan and Alissa.

Speaking of them--they are way, way over this winter. It seems interminable this year. The snow of last year was a great novelty for Florida kids--this year not so much!

I wonder what photographic opportunities will come my way today?

Finally, for Valentine's Day Bruce surprised me with a super cool vase and silk orchids from Crate & Barrel--another addition to my office space. My stomach hurt big time when I returned from Saturday's market and stayed that way all evening so we stayed home. No worries--it is VD around here all the time!

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Listening to: Snow Patrol - How To Be Dead
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 13, 2009

Post 501, AKA For the Birds

Logging into the dashboard to write this post, I was stunned to see I'd blogged 500 times, but I guess after a couple of years that's what happens. Thanks to those who have shared my journey...

I got up super early today and went to work straightaway, loading the washer, changing the sheets, and vacuuming. If you could order the weather, today would be at the top of your menu--absolutely gorgeous. I hung the laundry out to dry, and then off to Gatorland. I know, I know, that I only visited two weeks ago, but the white alligators arrived for a limited stay, as such, I felt I should take a look. The four on display are a third of the known population in the world. They aren't technically albino because they would have pink eyes, not blue. American alligators have a goldish-brown colored eye. Apparently these were found deep in the Louisiana swamps by a Cajun fisherman in 1987. This is the first time they have left LA. So here you see what I saw, not really white, but a light yellowish color. They were behind glass--I did what I could.

Really what so fascinates me at Gatorland are the flamingos. Is there a more beautiful color in the world?

They are not only loud, but feisty as well. Watching them during feeding time, I was amazed how they poked at each other like nobodies business. If they were humans they would never get away with that kind of behavior!
Finally, I thought this parrot picture turned out well. I did title this for the birds, so I needed one more bird to justify the title.
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I was only there for about two hours, coming home to have lunch and take the clothes down, and of course check out my pictures. As well I made a web album for a lady Bruce works with. She's got a friend who'd seen some of my stuff and wanted to have a look for herself. We shall see about the outcome. We've been in this together long enough to know that you just never know.

Just as I was thinking that a little snack might be good, Baxter kindly/loudly announced the arrival of someone at the door. It is that time of the year once again when young girls knock on your door (always an adult accompanying them) selling Girl Scout cookies. If you know of a better cookie than Thin Mints, I want to try it. Gosh, when I sold cookies our parents would never have come with us. I know people do bad things occasionally, but really I find today's parents entirely too protective.

Little Lily ran through her sales pitch, I replied, "I'll take one because there are only the two of us." Imagine how many I would have bought when the boys were home if only I could have afforded it. She was such a cutie, almost losing her place in the speech because she blurted out--"you have such a cute dog, and pretty house, and I like your skirt too." Well, of course, she liked it, Matt bought it for me for Christmas. I don't want anyone to feel bad or anything, but with the jeans skirt I am wearing a sleeveless top.

Which leads me to the end of my post. Just yesterday I read that women my age should wear 3/4 length sleeves, however I protest loudly. First off, most people are not staring at me/anyone else and thinking, she needs to cover her arms. They are foremost worried about themselves. Secondly, it is just too hot; I refuse to be uncomfortable for the sake of someone else. Thirdly, really, who cares? Mostly we run amongst strangers, so what's the big deal? If we see someone we really care about they will understand that function comes before form when it comes to dressing in Florida. Mr. Bruce subscribes totally to the form before function mantra for most things, but not me.

Ok, so I said I was done, but here's something somewhat related. Why must we be sold products to make us look younger? Younger than what I ask you?

Enough of the ranting--have a super weekend, you know where I'll be. Forgive the little tag issue--I can't seem to fix it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Missing Photo

 
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Dismay

On Sunday Brian (graffiti artist) invited me to see what he was working on this week. He had his painting clothes on at the market and said his plan was to do a Hendrix piece. Yesterday afternoon I drove to the permission building to check it out and wow, he outdid himself. Next to it he did the featured piece as well. She seems to have such a look of either horror, or dismay, I can't be certain; it's an apt portrayal of how many people are feeling these days.

I know I've been saying to ignore things, however it keeps getting harder every day. There are so many big stores closing--you've read about it. While at Marshalls yesterday the cashier told me that her hours had been cut because it was slow. That is scary business when even the discount stores are affected. I almost feel guilty buying things because others can't. In today's mail we received a postcard stating: Because you have been able to maintain your personal lines of credit we are giving you--blah, blah, blah. This is just the sort of thing that got less saavy folks into this mess. Every publication I read has articles about how to spend less money--unfortunately this should have been in print years ago---not in the middle of the mess. Bruce and I had a conversation about how I win the most frugal contest hands down. Just ask my kids.

I remember when the twins were in high school, many of their friends had nicer clothes than they did. I refused to charge clothes, rather we searched out the best bargains we could. I explained that those parents were spending money they didn't have, and no amount of pressure was going to make me change my ways. Even today, when I can afford to spend whatever I want on clothes, I won't do it. Expensive trendy clothes are so disposable, no point throwing good money away on things that have such a short shelf life. Don't get me going on the handbag craze--insanity!

After I left the graffiti area I was driving on Church Street where the new Magic arena is being built. I was nearly past it before I realized there was smoke billowing out of the parking garage across the street. Unfortunately I did not have the baby camera handy--I stuck the Nikon out the window and here's what I got. The smoke is almost hidden behind one of the trees. This came out pretty good for me not even looking at the viewfinder! I believe it is one of the only fires I've ever seen. Fire trucks starting screaming towards the scene with me getting out of their way. I'm sorry I can't tell you the rest of the story...

Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time going through my baskets, organizing, and ordering. I think I told you I'd sold 43 things over the weekend which either need replacing or something new. This is much harder to do than you would think. Because I buy everything from Mr. Roger, I need to make as few mistakes as possible, otherwise I'm just throwing my hard earned cash away. Of course you were already thinking that was my motivation, re: the earlier paragraph! I did an analysis of what type of photograph I sold the most, and turns out it was urban, followed by landscapes (very loosely used), and florals. That means that I can't reserve 1/4 of my basket space on food stuff because it was way down the list. Funny, that's what I started with.

While that was happening I reloaded my Shuffle for the car. When Matt was home he insisted I buy the cable to be able to use it--fantastic idea. So far, everything that loaded automatically has been great. I'd already pretty much decided against the satellite radio although I very much enjoyed listening to BBC 1. Thirteen dollars a month is not so much, but because I have over 3,000 songs in my iTunes library I might as well listen to them. Should I re-title this post-Frugality is My Middle Name?

I've got some sort of eye infection going on. It's always something...

Mr. Bruce returns this evening and I couldn't be more pleased.

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Listening to: The Bees - (This Is For The) Better Days
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Real Artist Shows Up

Saturday afternoon Bill called wondering if we could watch Ziggy for the evening. We had no plans other than an early bedtime, so I said sure. Bruce came with me to pick up what did not sell at the gallery--yes, a month has passed since it was hung, and we arrived just in time to greet our little visitor. Baxter is suspicious of all dogs with this little interloper no exception. He is such a tiny little dog. I compared Ziggy to myself--scrawny, and Bruce to Baxter--nice and cuddly. Here is Mr. Bruce's winning attempt to settle them down.
 

Baxter is nearly a perfect dog except for his inane barking when I clean the pool--I'm sure I've complained about that to you in the past. Our pool was a disaster because of all the falling oak leaves--I couldn't stand it another minute. Baxter, Ziggy and myself went out back to rectify the situation. Ziggy calmly roamed around the yard whilst Baxter ran madly around the perimeter of the pool barking, barking, barking. There were so many leaves I gave up, eventually finishing it yesterday afternoon. Half a huge garbage can full....

Now for the real story which the title refers to:
As you already know my biggest seller is the graffiti print I showed a week or two ago. Coming along nicely is one I took of a Warhol likeness on a permission building downtown. I was lucky enough to mosey down there late one afternoon in October after a rainstorm making for a killer reflection of the image in the puddle. I've already sold it a number of times including one large canvas. On Sunday the artist was sitting in the circle at the market when he saw it in my booth. I was chatting with some other customers (tourists, who btw are from Chicago--they bought some things on Saturday and followed me to LE to buy more!), when I turned around and saw the image on the back of his shirt. He cheerfully said--I'm the one who did it. He went on to say that he was flattered that I thought it was worth selling. I gave him this small canvas as a token of my appreciation. Furthermore, he said it was the great thing about public art--the sharing of it. He's painting a new one this week which he suggested I come by and check out (you bet I will!). I was thrilled to have his blessing. Of all things his wife ended up buying a small dogwood print...
He was kind enough to allow me to photograph him.
 
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Which brings us to this: Controversy
I saw this in the Times last evening. It seems as if it is just the opposite. Who owns what? My take has been that graffiti art is like a building--once it is in the public space anyone can photograph it, which I guess if you think about it, the internet is a virtual public space. Just one more instance of our changing society. Before all the rules were in place but now the lines between right and wrong are constantly being tested. It just occurred to me that we are living in our own version of a Brave New World.

If you can imagine I sold 43 prints between Saturday and Sunday. Lots of them were the smallest size which is fine by me--I can do volume over a few large sales. Truth be told, it wore me out.

Mr. Danny is facing some serious health challenges again, please remember not only him, but Lisa and the girls, Emily and Amanda, in your prayers.

I'm happy to report Maureen had a job interview yesterday afternoon--she felt it went well; hopefully we'll know something within the week. On Friday she and I saw The Reader , a very intense film which raises all sorts of questions about right and wrong--see above. Kate Winslet was amazing, as was the young man she seduces. Great cinematography.

Before the film started we had lunch at a restaurant that two of my market buddies opened about two months ago. I don't know how they are doing it--seven really long days a week. It was so cute and cozy with very charming decor. Did I mention the food was yummy as well? They went through so much to get the place opened, I was delighted to see the results. It is quite small but already they have done better than their wildest dreams. Hurray!

Time to get ready for the museum...
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Listening to: Basement Jaxx - Good Luck
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: The Bees - End Of The Street
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fire and Ice Part Two

See previous post to make sense of this one!!

I'm trying to figure out how to get the most from Picasa with limited success. I uploaded the pictures for Part 1, but didn't know which order they would be in so here are the explanations.

Picture #1 is of the lightbox I mentioned in my last post. I'm still trying to figure out how to exploit it. It is now sitting on my printer because I've got the pole light above it. To date, I'm having mixed results.

Picture #2 is evidence of our recent freezing temperatures. I'm very proud of myself for getting all my tax stuff together. I delivered it to Olga yesterday; when I was leaving her development this caught my eye across the street. You may, or may not know, that citrus growers think the ice protects the trees, thus they run sprinklers every six hours. The remarkable thing about this picture is that I took it at 11:30 in the morning. Normally, even when there is a freeze, by 10 the temperatures have risen, especially when the skies are clear, and there is that hot sun of ours to warm things up. I pulled the car over (do I call it a car, or the dreaded SUV title?) and took some photos. When I was heading back to my car I heard a woman calling out to me. Turns out she owns the little grove which she recently re-planted with 100 trees.She was probably in her late 70's, wearing flannel pjs and a coat of sorts. Anyway she just wanted to chat about the freeze. Orlandoans might be interested to know her name is Mrs. Peel. The street we were on was named for her late husband. When I told her I was married at the church just down the street she warmed up to me even more. She was approached about selling her land, probably the only remaining orange grove in city limits, however she wants to keep it in the family. I sure hope they make it!

Picture #3 is of a cheap dessert. Normally I don't make dessert (doing my part to keep Bruce from enlarging), but I broke ranks the other night. Most people who've eaten at our home think I'm a pretty good cook, but there are definitely things I don't make well. You might think these are hockey pucks on the counter, but no dear readers, they are my latest failed attempt at making biscuits. Having lived in the South for pretty much all of my life should count for something, after all, biscuits are sacrosanct in the South, but geography has not helped. I consulted like five cookbooks this time, settling on an old standby, Betty Crocker, but as you can plainly see these biscuits look nothing like they should. I think I may have learned something this time though. Next time, and there will be a next time (I believe I've become obsessed), I will not roll the dough as thin. I think that is a promising start.

Picture #4 is Mr. Bruce relaxing with a glass of wine in front of our fireplace. The last few winters have been so mild a fire was out of the question. About 2 in the afternoon I called him at the office saying, "a fire tonight please." This gave him adequate time to gear up to splitting a bit of wood upon his return. Unfortunately he came home so late that by the time the fire was roaring, and dinner was over, I fell asleep on the couch. He was watching The Dark Knight;he'd been wanting to see it for ages and was not disappointed.

No picture here but remember how I was crowing about sales? Not so fast young lady. When I put together all my expenses for tax purposes it is a wonder I have money in my business account. In fact, I don't understand it at all. One thing I didn't do is lose money, so for a fledgling business that's a good thing.

So there you have it folks...

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Listening to: Bloc Party - This Modern Love
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: The Rapture - House Of Jealous Lovers
via FoxyTunes

Fire and Ice

 

 

 

 
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Into Every Life a Little Rain Must Fall

Generally we've experienced the most glorious January I can remember, however in the last few days we've been experiencing a little gloom and rain. You would think it was winter! We definitely needed the rain; the gloom I can do without.

Last week I had to take my Nikon in for a sensor cleaning. Apparently this can be a diy project however it's not recommended for klutzes like me. I'd begun to see some spots on images with a blank background. Reading up on it I learned the way to check for a dusty sensor is to shoot a blue sky on f-stop 22 which I did. The image revealed probably fifty spots which were the result of me changing the lenses so often. I must not have been as careful as I should have been. Nonetheless, it is all clean now, and I couldn't wait to try it out. These images are mostly from a water pipe (I think that is what it is) by Lake Lawsona. I took the dry ones on the way home from picking up the camera--the wet ones a day or so later during the rain.

On Thursday I decided to make a little light box I'd seen on a photography website. This seemed like a DIY project I could tackle and win. Not so fast Gail! Actually it didn't turn out too bad--you take a box,(I used a wine box), cut out most of three sides and cover them with a translucent paper (tissue paper). In the inside I used some freezer paper to make my background. You place a light source beside or on top and voila! a little studio for small objects. After viewing (maybe) today's slideshow you will not want to see another so I'll save that for tomorrow.

The weekend was busy, busy. On Friday Maureen and I enjoyed a double feature--not that is an old fashioned term isn't it? Anyway we went to see Frost/Nixon which was excellent. Although I lived through the time I was raising a small, unruly son at the time and paid little attention. One little trivia piece is that while I was working at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Pat Nixon was a patient. I remember the hospital being abuzz at the time. Turns out in the movie they referenced her health. Wierd.

We came home after a quick jaunt to return the shirt I'd gotten for Matt for Christmas. I had to explain to the folks that I'd sent it to London, it was too small, and while my son was doing business in Los Angeles he sent it to me to return in a brown mailer. I still had the receipt but I could tell they were a tad suspicious. After a bit of checking they gave me a credit.

Anyway we then headed back out to meet Bruce and saw The Wrestler which I'd planned on liking more than I did. That went for all of us. There is a particularly gruesome match that I found very hard to watch knowing it was all too real. In our family David is a walking wrestling encyclopedia. He rarely goes to the movies, but of course he watched this one. He explained the whole New Jersey angle and how low wrestling had sunk. Dinner out afterward ended a super day.

Market Saturday morning, dinner out with one of Bruce's contractors and his wife Saturday night, bedtime, market all day Sunday, and finally the Super Bowl.

I'll be the first to admit I've watched not a single NFL game all year. The market was much slower yesterday, probably due to both sketchy weather, and the game later in the day. Anyway, I likened watching the SB to people who go to church on Christmas and Easter. As you well know if you've read this blog for any length of time, Dana is a rock star to me and Bruce. She can do no wrong in our eyes. So......because she is from Pittsburgh, we rooted for her team. That said, both teams put on quite a show, as did The Boss. Very entertaining.

Bruce is so handy it hurts sometimes. He assessed my light box on Sunday, deeming it just a tad too crude. It really was, but I'm no Brucer. He fashioned a new one that he made out of white foam core--much better. As well, he fixed my bent glasses while I was at the market. Really, as all who know him will attest, there's hardly a thing he can't make, or fix. Cars are the only exception. I suspect if he needed to, he'd be able to do that as well after a bit of instruction. I am one lucky gal. As Maureen said on Friday, he's exceptional. Perfect description if you ask me.

Past, Present, and Future