Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Showtime in DeLand

Every show has it's own vibe; I'll try to describe DeLand for you. Before I continue I wanted to show you the beautiful orchid I bought while there. An Asian woman came by the booth selling these incredible orchids for, are you ready for this? $7!!! What a bargain. I hope you can see all the buds and blooms on this two-stemmed beauty. What I saved on this pays for my gas money for all the trips for the show!

This show is in a park near downtown. I was given nearly the same spot as last year which means I face a parking lot. This is good except that the afternoon sun shines mighty brightly--good for seeing the walls, not so great to set up in, which is what happened on Friday afternoon. Bruce took the day off (imagine that!), and we left the house around 2. We still had to take two vehicles because after packing there is room left for only one. I was super hot, Bruce was having an allergy attack, however we managed to get it done. We drove home meeting at our favorite little pizza place downtown to unwind before bedtime.

Leaving Bruce at home I took off a little after 7 to make the drive and complete the set up, wondering all the while if anyone would come. This show began with prayer. How can that be you ask? It is family run, celebrating their 44th year. It has been quite some time since I attended an event that began with prayer, but as she reminded us later in the day--this is a church town so folks won't be here tomorrow until after noon.

Not only is it a church town, it's a bit of a country town to me. Although Stetson University is located there, as is the Volusia County Courthouse, it still feels country. This is the first time I was paid by check more than once. Occasionally it happens, but this time I went to the bank with four. It is a cash town too. A lovely older woman bought my large peacock canvas on Saturday. It's a bit of a story, but I'll condense it to just this: after declaring her interest, she pulled a little bag on a string from around her neck, handing me $160 cash.

Families, older people, and grungy teens came to the show. Downtown I have loads of twenty and thirty somethings, but not here. As such my urban stuff remained largely untouched.

I forgot to mention that the judges chose two pieces for judging which was nice, but no prize was awarded. It was certainly nice to win money last year, but truth be told, I'd rather have people coming and going at my booth making the day go by quicker. Mostly prize winners spend most of the day by themselves. You know me--that would make me crazy.

Bruce was very anxious for me to arrive on Sunday morning to make sure our tent was safe. Fierce winds, and rain were in the forecast for Saturday night. One tent behind me lost their top, but mine was fine and dandy. I arrived before 9 only to have rain until 1 in the afternoon. A lot of those hours were spent chatting with other vendors. My neighbors on either side were just great. Linda, the fused glass woman was hilarious, and Jennifer, the eighteen year old with multi-colored hair and pierced eyebrow, was sweet. She works in pastels. On Saturday her mom sat with her throughout the day which was quite a feat as she is undergoing chemotherapy and is rail thin. They went home a bit early because she was so tired. Sunday Jennifer told me that the wig blew off he mom's head as they were walking to the car and she began crying. Daughter assured mother that everyone would know why she was wearing a wig and tried to soothe her with hugs. If you saw this Jennifer at the mall you wouldn't peg her as such a dear girl.

Finally the clouds parted, allowing beautiful, breezy, and cooler weather to come in. Pat and Ruth were kind enough to come by (aren't they awesome?)with Bruce arriving around 3:30 with Baxter in tow.

Oh, before I forget--two sisters in their thirties, whose family owns the building with the infamous graffiti on it, bought the baby canvas for their parents! Another young woman told me that the artist is really part of a group who are imitating this famous graffiti artist: Banksy
All very interesting. I was hoping whoever did it might show up, but an outdoor art festival is probably way too pedestrian for them.

Packed up and on our way home again to take a small breather before this weekend, the last show I'll be doing for the season. This one is in Windermere (where all the major sports celebrities live). Do you suppose Tiger Woods is free on Saturday and might stroll by?

I'm sure you're bored by now so I won't go on except to say that sales were good.

Finally, I don't get many opportunities to photograph cats; I got this one yesterday, and isn't he/she adorable?

Listening to: Billie Holiday - Nice Work If You Can Get It (Rondo Brothers Remix)
via FoxyTunesse guys.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nothing Could Be Finer

Than to be in Carolina....just kidding! What I'm referring to is this: A Must Read Yesterday morning on the way to the museum I picked this gem up from Maureen's house and stayed up until 11 finishing it. You all know how early I go to bed, so you know it must be good. Immensely satisfying is how Maureen put it.

Here's what I did today:

*Treadmill, while watching the Discovery channel--the people on Clean House were annoying.

*Washed the sheets and my tablecloths for the weekend, hung them up on the clothesline to dry in the wonderful breeze.

*Worked on cleaning the pool. As you well know, Baxter does his barking routine throughout the process with this time being no exception although he wasn't quite as irritating as usual. They say dog's senses are very keen; I don't doubt that for a minute. He can be peacefully napping on the couch in the living room, the pool nowhere in sight, but the very minute I pick up the pole to start cleaning, he runs outside furiously barking, and circling the pool. It is a sight to see.

*Took cash to the bank, dropped off Bruce's shirts at the cleaners, and returned books to the library. I got two books of short stories.

*Went to Ross to get sunglasses. Did I get sunglasses? NO, I forgot! What I did come home with?: a steamer for clothes by Rowenta, a chewing toy for Baxter (on the label it says something about power chewers, LOL),a watering can for out back,a new bed pillow, and some colorful candy fishes on sale. I thought I might be able to turn them into something. Later in the day I set this up thinking it could be called,"Swimming against the Tide."

*Got a manicure and pedicure. The OPI color for my toes is called, Orange You Glad You're a New Yorker. Who are these clever people? My fingernails remain in their natural state with just a buffing to improve their appearance.

*Yet another experiment below. I have a photograph that is hard to explain but is popular. I've sold six canvases 32x40 and I've been trying forever to come up with something comparable. Jim from the market calls it my oil slick. Taking his suggestion literally I dropped both food coloring and canola oil into a white quiche dish filled with water.

*After checking out the photos I spent some time reading this article from The Times:
Global Warming Questioned As mentioned yesterday I jump on no bandwagons without serious thought. What I think about global warming is that there is not enough long term evidence suggesting that we should all go crazy about the warnings. Anyone who has a differing opinion always likes to read about those who share the same doubts. One of my favorite quotes from the article is that those who go Green have never had to worry about their grocery bill. How true.

*Had a long chat with Bill. Sadly he attended a funeral today for a fellow musician who was in his thirties. He died of leukemia. Bill related that the last time he saw him he remained both optimistic and cheerful about his condition. The moral of the story I guess is that when faced with something terrible we can either think positively and keep going, or fall into a deep depression just waiting for the next round of bad news.

Signing and stickering prints! Last weekend I sold 37 prints which means my inventory needs replenishing. I grow weary of it sometimes. That said, what have I got to complain about????? I am truly humbled and grateful that strangers and friends are bold enough to take a chance on me. The show is still two-ish days away. I'll get it done.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Microblogging, or not....

My friend Josie tells me micro-blogging on sites like Twitter, or Facebook, is the wave of the future; this does not bode well for narrative writing. I'm still going to buck the trend and keep writing. According to the newspaper I read while eating lunch, writing each day increases your brain power; Lord knows I can stand a little bit of that.

When last I left you I was pontificating about photography's place at art shows. I was hoping to hear back from someone about this matter, anyone have an opinion? I've begun to wonder just what is "art?" I've looked up the definition although I'm not sure that tells me what I want to know. Furthermore, who decides what great art is anyway? We all know that some artists now considered masters were shunned while living. How does one place a value on art? Is it skill, creativity, color, nuance, or the ability to make the viewer either think or feel that sets some artists apart from others? Sounds like I should take a class!

Despite the ongoing weekend art festival, I still did well at my markets.

Speaking of which I was delighted to see Lisa and Danny at Eola on Sunday. I think I was chatting with someone and looked up to see Lisa. She was astonished to see the transformation of the market, barely recognizing it from her earlier visits. They walked around the lake, staying to not only listen to music, but have some delicious treats. I think Danny drank a half gallon of the fresh squeezed orange juice, and I know for a fact Lisa enjoyed some delicious sweets. Danny is still having treatments, which are keeping things under control, but the side effects are not so great, one of which is extreme fatigue. It is difficult to exercise under these conditions, but owing to his indomitable spirit, he's still trying.

Whether or not what I'm doing is artistic, I'm in a show this weekend in Deland. With the flagging economy this might prove futile, but it is always good to be in juried shows every now and again to improve your street cred. I'll be surprised if anything comes my way, but I'm giving it my best shot. Bruce left yesterday morning for his inspection in Kissimmee (perfect as always!), from there straight to the airport for his inspection today in Foxboro, MA. After he's done there it is on to CT to check on the progress of that job. He won't be back until sometime Thursday evening which makes for a very long week. I hate to drag him up to Deland on Friday afternoon to set up the tent, however the show begins at 9 on Saturday morning. We'll be hard pressed to set up in the morning because it takes forever. The amazing thing about Bruce is that no matter how hard he works he never complains. We could all learn a thing or two from him.

I've been somewhat entertained by all the old fashioned things becoming popular once again now that the economy is so tattered. Cube steaks, a mainstay of both my childhood, as well as our boys, have seen some astounding sales increases. I've been reading that movie tickets sales are soaring, as are candy sales. By candy I don't mean Godiva, I mean Necco wafers, the cheap stuff. In case you are wondering, here's how they stack up. Not one to jump on a bandwagon, I took this a month ago trying to make an interesting photograph.

We had some much needed rain yesterday which sent me over to Leu Gardens to take advantage of the gray skies and wet plants. The pictured amaryllis plant was not only drenched, but the color was unbelievably saturated. Hoses and sprinklers are poor substitutes for a good long rain. Everywhere you looked there were large stands of the beautiful bulbs. The rest of the day was pretty much non productive on my part. Today, however, is another day, and I've already done a bunch. I thrive on a combination of activity and routine.
Listening to: Blur - Music Is My Radar
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 20, 2009

Officially Spring

Living in Florida, as you know by now, one experiences mostly two seasons--hot, and less hot. That said, this year has been a bit different. We've experienced much cooler weather than the previous three, or four years, with several freezes thrown in for good measure. This is a good thing; it seems criminal to run the air conditioner in January! To anyone who lives up North that smacks of fiction, but I swear we've had to do it before.

Today has been glorious with mild temperatures, blue skies, and a wonderful breeze. Angela and I went to the prestigious Winter Park Art Festival early this morning to beat the crowds. It is usually so thick with people you can't even see the booths so Friday is your best bet. We saw some very nice things, many of which are familiar to me because we've gone to lots of shows. Guess what the entry fee is? You'll never guess. Have I got you curious yet? Ok--$475!!! There are thousands upon thousands of browsers, not so many buyers. Imagine being an artist who travels from say Michigan, paying that kind of fee, staying in a hotel for probably five days minimum; you've got to sell a lot of art to make up for those expenses. To tell you the truth, I'm glad I'm not big time. There are over 200 artists, and for most people that is art overload. I'm glad I can only get into the small ones where at least I have a chance to be memorable.

Which brings me to a subject that I've given some thought to. Photography has a reputation for not really being art, and after seeing the displays today I would have to agree. Mostly what I saw was what I call "travel photography." Gorgeous pictures of Venice, or Paris, or you name the beautiful place, and we saw it. What they lacked was any creativity. Furthermore it is my contention that most people if given a big time camera and a travel budget could turn out spectacular images. I can just imagine Matt shaking his head no at this point, and hopefully I'm wrong. I hate to think of being judged by those standards. One girl's photos stood out however. Using little figures next to food and everyday objects, she created whimsical photographs that weren't suffering Photoshop overload. I wonder how many she sells.

Which brings me to the pricing. Wow, I'm cheap compared to lots of those folks. What I charge $250 for, they charge $900! Lots of canvas and even photographs on basically foam core. Let's just say it was an "eye-opening" experience.

It seemed like everywhere we turned there was someone I knew. The Whiteds were out in full force. I got to see four of their grandchildren, and two of their daughters, which is always a joy. After strolling through about half of the exhibits we took off for the Ravenous Pig, a wonderful bistro nearby. Angela and I shared our entrees making for a very tasty lunch. Maureen would have joined us if not for her interview today. No details to report as of now.

I may have mentioned that Mr. Bruce has spent some Sunday afternoons sprucing up the yard while I'm hawking my wares. Here is one of his little projects. You are seeing only about a third of the trunk of this gigantic oak which he swears will fall down on the house one day. I respond that we have insurance for that sort of thing.

After you have established yourself as camera crazy people seem to be quite gracious allowing the practice of same in their gardens, especially master gardeners who love to show off their work. We've got two who live nearby that never turn me down. I took this in the yard about two blocks away. This won't ever see the bins in my booth but it feels like spring to me.

Yesterday I planted two tomato plants, along with thyme, parsley, basil and a red pepper plant. The Obamas and I think alike. Now we'll have something to look forward to together. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
Listening to: Bloc Party - Banquet
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: Bloc Party - Banquet
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good Morning

Hope your day is going swimmingly. The economic news keeps up it's relentless cycle of misery, but with spring beginning everyone will be feeling just a glimmer of hope. It's impossible not to when the days get longer, the air is filled with singing birds, and of course those beautiful flowering trees. The ones I showed you last week have lost all their blossoms but I came across this one yesterday at the Maitland Art Center. Gorgeous against the beautiful blue sky.

I was on my way home from delivering the book which is open here on the kitchen table. You'll remember I labored over how to put it together as well as what images to use. I was very pleased with the paper stock and the overall quality of the project.

Here is a link to the place where it now resides: Hospitality Galleries. I had two interior designer friends give me feedback on the layout and images I chose with mostly positive reviews. Ashley, my contact at HG seemed very positive, saying they had been getting calls for photography lately. I've no real expectations which is probably a good thing; this venture falls into the category of "you never know until you try."

Last Friday our little Baxter shed his shaggy dog appearance for this:

I think his diet is working, he still is cuddly, but just not quite so much!

Jonathan and Alissa are nearly giddy with the glimmer of hope I mentioned in the opening paragraph. Tuesday was sunny and warm (Chicago warm, not Florida warm!) prompting Alissa to walk home from work to enjoy the weather. It has been a brutal winter. One of the great things about Chicago is the music scene, there is always someone to see live with Primal Scream on their agenda this weekend. Aside from the miserable weather Chicago is perfect for them.

I had a long video chat with Matt Tuesday evening. As is always the case, he's busy working and playing.

We are still puzzling about a holiday. It has been so long since we've gone anywhere for a week that we hardly know how to go about planning. On Monday Bruce has two new restaurants opening which is never a good thing because although his projects are nearly perfect, on occasion things just happen. Here's hoping that will not be the case this time! Anyway, once that happens he can relax just a bit, and focus on both when we can go, and where. He's been so many places his enthusiasm to travel does not quite match mine. Because he is super easy to get along with, once we have concrete plans he will embrace them wholeheartedly. I am a lucky gal.
Listening to: Primal Scream - Higher Than The Sun
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 16, 2009

Art Show Diary

Here's some lovely geraniums to start the week from my neighbors' plant.

The next time you attend an art show you'll be better informed; hopefully you won't just glide by the majority of the booths, particularly the ones with no people. Most likely the artist spent considerable time preparing for the event, not to mention the hard work of set up and tear down. Besides that, there is the weather to contend with. Of course I'm not telling you anything new because you've heard all about it from this blog. So, that's why I've not written of late because I was in preparation mode.

Here's who it took:

Here's what they did:
Bruce-- Getting up at 5:30 to pack the Element, setting up, and hanging the framed pieces, little canvases, and leveling what I hung. Sprucing up a twirling rack I bought from another artist, including screwing it together. Did I mention he did not arrive home from his business trip until nearly 8pm on Friday night. He returned around 4 to check out the other art and then we did the reverse. Here's what the vehicle looked like for the return trip home. Let me tell you there is artistry at work packing this much stuff in a vehicle without damaging anything!

You know what Roger does but you don't know that he had a massive presentation at work requiring him to get little sleep during the week. As such he took Friday off and had the prints ready by early afternoon. I picked up around 50 prints which I then signed and stickered. As well he made a canvas earlier in the week for an order; I delivered that Thursday evening. The young woman appeared quite thrilled with the new one. She insisted I come upstairs to see where she hung the previous print she'd purchased from me. I was happy.

Angela helped me sort through my baskets once again. Having spent most of her career in retail management she knows how to market a product. She lectured me on how to put the baskets together for different customers. I take all the advice I can get.

Maureen was on the schedule to assist me at the show. She arrived early to watch the proceedings, wisely staying out of our way during the set up. Bruce is quite particular and I imagine anyone watching the two of us would think I am too. It was very fun to have her there and hopefully it was fun for her. Our tent was right next to a sushi restaurant which was great for her, not to mention Dave and Michelle who came by a little later. Maureen saw several of her friends and chatted up the customers. Unfortunately she took a little tumble on the way to the booth and is nursing a sore thigh. I feel pretty bad about that.

Unexpectedly Lisa showed up to help. As you know she has helped in the past, so she knows the routine. One thing she loves to do is total the sales up periodically. I, on the other hand, wait until the show is over, preferring the suspense. I am delighted to report there were 23 sales. Both she and Maureen stayed longer than they'd anticipated for which I was grateful. It is weird how the time passes at shows. Naturally when there are no people around time passes very slowly. The crowd was what I might call medium. Considering the economy I was thrilled with what we sold.

I guess I left myself off the list. I know you are thinking my part is somewhat obvious and it is. That said, choosing what to sell is one of the most difficult parts. Not only do I want to be proud of what I show, I want it to appeal to at least someone. This show I chose about ten new things with about five of them now in someone elses home. It's a good feeling.

And if this doesn't pan out there's always my real job to fall back on. It is included in this list: Recession Proof Jobs
Listening to: The Charlatans - You're So Pretty
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Flowering Trees

Living in Florida is great for many reasons, one of which is the year long presence of flowers of one kind, or another. I know devotees of Northern living think we have no spring here but they are wrong. One of the first signs are the flowering trees and in particular tabebuia trees which come in both a brilliant yellow, almost like French's mustard, and a beautiful soft shade of pink.

While visiting my dear neighbor Regina Monday morning to revel in the beauty of her tree, we were treated to something more than just the tree. While chatting I noticed a bird fly into the upper branches of the tree which immediately sent us outside for a closer look. Unfortunately I had the Nikon with me, and although I had the zoom lens attached, it was no match for the height of this beautiful bird. I returned this morning with my Panasonic, which has twice as much zoom, hoping for another sighting, but no such luck. It is almost hard to see the bird for the flowers, but I think it is pretty nonetheless. Regina got out her bird book, then with a little sleuthing online decided it was an Orchard Oriole, which neither of us has ever seen. I can't claim to know to much about birds but Regina seems to know something about everything. We've decided it was a rare treat because they are seldom seen in Florida. To tell you the truth, it was pretty exciting.

As you can imagine when I'm driving places my eyes are darting to and fro looking for interesting things and often color is what attracts my attention. As such I was driving home from someplace (you know my memory!) and the sight of a flowering dogwood caught my eye. I know some places have loads of them but around here it is an uncommon sight, enough to make me park the car to get a closer look. What a beautiful tree! It was in the park next to Boone High School, a place that all of the Peck family spent some time, some of it happy time, some not so much. That's a story for another day. Anyway, the park is filled with gigantic pine trees so this beauty is a real stand out.

Sadly the blooms are such short timers so one must photograph them immediately upon sighting!

About half a mile from the house, on the way to Publix, a woman sells orchids from her garage. Although her yard is not particularly neat she seems to be able to grow unusual plants and trees. I saw that beautiful Confederate Rose I shared with you months ago in her yard. Right now she has what I'm thinking is a cherry blossom tree. I don't know this for sure but that's what I think it is. Flowering trees present a problem for amateur photographers like myself. Do you show the whole tree along with houses and power lines, or do you concentrate on the flowers? In this one it is sort of a two for one. In the foreground the cherry tree, in the background a blurred image of the pink tabebuia tree.

So it most definitely is spring here, in fact, one might argue today feels like summer because it is 81 degrees as I type this at 6 PM! The humidity remains pretty low though making it nice. This Saturday we return to Baldwin Park for another art show. I like that it is only one day, this way if people want to come they know not to put it off until Sunday. This means I'll be skipping my Whole Foods gig. Furthermore, it means our dear Bruce has his work cut out for this weekend. Fortunately his work load has diminished greatly so I don't feel so bad. We plan to go downtown on Sunday. Weather predictions for the weekend are for sunny skies and warm weather, a perfect combination. Notice I didn't say hot, that is for August when it is not nearly so nice to live in Florida!

If anyone knows how to turn a Nano off I'd like to know please. I love being able to listen to it in the car but I've not figured out how to turn it off. Thus, after only a few errands the battery runs out. We bought that car charger to take care of the charging, however, I'd rather know how to shut if off so I can listen to it for a week at a time. I've mentioned that I am hearing songs I'd never heard before and this week on the way to the museum I was treated to the song below from one of Alissa's favorite bands. Excellent song.

Maureen is still looking for work. Suggestions anyone?

Frankly, I don't understand how I'm still doing well. On Sunday I sold many small pieces that added up to an excellent total. When Bruce added it up I asked him to do it again because I couldn't believe it. Maybe people are spending small amounts of money to decorate what they have rather than move? Whatever the case I am grateful.

What I'm most grateful for these days however is that all of the Peck men are employed. It is getting ugly out there. Although both Dave and Bill's jobs are stressful, at least they are working unlike so many people. This time will be such a learning experience for young people that will influence them for the rest of their lives. I imagine my frugality bumped up a notch or two because we had Jonathan in the midst of the worst recession in modern times. This one seems to be going in that direction, but I'm heartened to know that if Gail and Bruce could raise four children during hard times, it can be done. I only hope that the pain will come to end soon.
Listening to: The Charlatans - And If I Fall
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: The Charlatans - Just When You're Thinkin' Things Over
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 6, 2009

On the Road Again

This is my first day home at this time of the day for a few days. Of course Tuesday I'm at the museum, and Wednesday Maureen and I went over to the Brevard Art Museum to see an Annie Leibovitz exhibit. Yesterday I drove Bruce down to Vero bright and early to meet with a contractor while I took off for the sights.

So let's back track shall we?

Karen was hanging the Orlando Camera Club show when I arrived on Tuesday morning. Most of the pieces were seriously photo shopped which doesn't appeal to me all that much. HDR, that sort of thing. There were a series of tulips that I loved however--beautiful, particularly the one with the roots showing. Turns out the photographer used some sort of scannography to achieve the images. Here's an explanation if you are interested: Scannography Explained
I'm going to try it with a large feather I've found.

After watching another episode of "Clean House" while walking on the treadmill, which by the way is simply incredible, I picked up Maureen, and off we went. The drive was very pleasant, the weather has been chilly, but lovely. I will tell you that both of us were dressed very similar which was kinda cute. Maureen took this photo in front of the restaurant where the ladies lunched. In one word--fabulous. If I were to name the photo it would be called "Squinty Eyes."

The exhibit was familiar; seeing AL's portraits blown up to gigantic proportions made them even more powerful. As is often the case, her career seems to have been jump started by being in the right place at the right time. Her iconic images of rock stars for Rolling Stone opened up doors I imagine she never dreamed of in her early days. One thing her sister says in the documentary is that as children they spent a lot of time riding in the car watching the world go by framed through the windows. Interesting.

On our way home we took advantage of being on the coast by stopping for fresh seafood. Maureen bought some rock shrimp, and I came home with a pound of fresh crab meat. We forgot to ask specifically, but I imagine it was caught in these waters:

An ice filled box kept it perfect until we arrived home. The crab cakes that night were definitely some of the best I've ever made. Delicious!

Additionally, we stopped at a grove stand for fresh orange juice, another taste sensation. Who knew this trip would provide such goodies? We were told that the groves along the river produce better juice than those further inland. I'm not so sure about better, but it is mighty good.

Arriving in Vero at 9, I dropped Bruce at the Olive Garden, continuing the six or so miles to the beach. I love the moment when you are driving over the causeway when the ocean comes into sight. The water color is gorgeous, even more so at this time of the year for some reason. Love it!

McKee Botanical Garden opens at 10, so I scooted over there. My time was limited, so I did not get to see it all, but what I did see was a treat. I adore glass art; this was a match made in heaven. Gardens+Glass=Happy Gail

The glass work was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Apparently the curator spent nearly a year planning how to best showcase the work of Hans Godo Frabel in the gardens. I've changed my banner to reflect (no pun intended!!) the balancing series, and here's a sample of his Longfellow series, which are in the lily ponds, palm garden, and the trees, the latter being particularly fun.

It's been quite a week I'll say that much. The nasty Sunday weather is long gone replaced by gorgeous blue skies, no humidity to speak of, and a lovely gentle breeze. I can hear the wind chimes twinkling away through my open window. The clean laundry is drying on the line already, and the sheets are changed for a new week. Now it is time for yet another pool cleaning episode...
Listening to: U2 - Magnificent
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Results Based on Customer's Perception

Guess who has finally got back on the treadmill? Yes, it's me! After a two plus year absence I decided to give it a go. Yesterday morning, while watching "Peter Perfect" on the Style channel, I saw a commercial for some bogus skin care product with the above tag line. What a hoot! After some chuckling, I realized the truth in that statement. Isn't that what most things boil down to? Today I turned the television on again at 6:30 to see Mr. Peter but he wasn't there. At that time of the morning there are several shows on about cleaning and organizing. Wow, the episode this morning on Clean House was astounding. This family had two large rabbits in the master bedroom running loose, AND a huge ugly lizard that roamed the rest of the house. In addition they had several small children with clutter EVERYWHERE. It about made me sick!

The cardinals are back teasing me with their chirping outside my office window. They always manage to hide in the palms with this picture no exception. I was delighted however to capture the one with the open wings.

I suspect this won't be the last you see of these two.

Saturday's market was good, not great. The exciting thing is that I did manage to reach the goal Bruce set for me. Sunday was not so swift. The weather reports predicted severe rain and wind but we went just the same. After setting up for around two hours, with maybe one potential customer coming through, Dana closed the market down. There was some rain but Mr. Bruce had prepared us for that by putting all the sides up which adds considerable time to the set up. Nonetheless she made the decision and we went with it. By the time we were home the skies cleared within the hour but we took advantage of our Sunday afternoon off by finally going to the Apple store to spend the gift cards Bill gave us for Christmas.

Remember I told you about the book I was making and planned to use the gift card to purchase it? Well, not so fast Miss Gail. Turns out that was a no-no. Not really needing anything, we searched the store for something, anything to spend those cards. I found a wonderful new backpack which I plan to put to good use. Bruce got the short end of the stick if you will by only getting a lock for his laptop. I got a car charger for my Nano; now, if only I could figure out how to turn the thing off when I stop the car!

During my two years at Valencia I used Jonathan's old back pack from either high school, or college. That JanSport would not die! It served me well, it was a tad painful to give it away, but give it away I did. There's a new thrift store nearby that takes donations, using their profits to feed the homeless. Now that's what I call a happy ending.

Is this economy a big fat mess, or what? The onslaught of bad news just keeps coming. I looked backwards on my blog to some of last year's posts finding post when I wrote that I was thinking Dave had it rough. You can tell I'm no seer--I thought he was facing the worst back then; little did I know that it could get so MUCH worse.Of course he's not the only one but it's just that he has to watch the market for a living, unlike me who likes to hide her head in the sand! As well most of us don't have to field calls looking for answers. Sadly it seems as if no one has any real clue on what to do to stop the bleeding. The MO seems to be that doing something is better than nothing. I'm just thinking out loud here, but doesn't it seem like the government is repeating the mistakes that homeowners just made? Spending way more than is wise? I'm still clinging to my motto, "this too shall pass" but when??????
Listening to: Thom Yorke - Black Swan
via FoxyTunes

You Just Never Know