Friday, October 30, 2009

Here, There, and Everywhere

It's high time I got back to blogging isn't it?

So much has happened since we last chatted that I've put off blogging only because I don't want to go on, and on; in other words, I've been editing in my head for days sorting out what you might want to know about.

Let's back up a week or so, shall we?

Friday afternoon Bruce came home early to load the car, and off we went to set up the show. This year the loading process was much improved, however, the heat was not. Still a furnace, interspersed with rain, which made for a slow process. Compounding that was that Bruce was not feeling top notch, having to stop and rest. Lisa, Danny, and Judy came by just about the time we were finishing. Danny looked excellent.

Show Highlights and Lowlights:

Lisa came on Saturday, Judy came both Saturday, and Sunday to help me mind the store
48 sales
Hot weather
Smaller crowd than hoped for, making the sales total all the more surprising
Patron Award, which merely meant that two patrons of the show bought canvases from me
Saturday evening party with excellent food and wine. Photography first place went to the same woman as last year: Swimmers
Judy answered her phone on Sunday afternoon---her father died--a call she'll always remember...Although expected, the actual moment is always a shock. Now we are not only sisters in law, but orphans as well. Obviously, this was the lowest light of them all.

Monday morning I quickly packed, and off we went to Connecticut, flying first class due to Mr. Peck's status as a three million miler with Delta. Nice flight, nice lunch, and the best part was while looking out my window, I saw first Manhattan, followed by colorful trees. I'd been wondering if there were still pretty leaves left. The temperature was around 50 degrees, a welcome respite from our temps still hovering around 90!

I've put together an album of pictures with captions if you care to click on the album, I believe they'll show that way. When the sun set on Monday evening, that was the last I saw of it until it was time to head to the airport on Thursday. Despite the weather, and Bruce working twelve hour days, I managed to enjoy myself. Bruce now has a GPS, which he insisted I use, frankly, I found the talking box to be a bit annoying. I expect I'm in the minority on that issue. Mostly I spent time at Yale, first in their Center for British Art, followed by their major collection, Museums. It rained from morning till night hampering my ability to take much in the way of pictures, as well as my normal routine of walking around to see what there is to see. I skipped going to the ocean because it was so gray and rainy, that I probably wouldn't have been able to tell where the sky met the water. After having lunch in a nice little Italian restaurant there was a slight break which allowed me to roam two streets. I was amazed at how colorful some of the old homes were painted; I've pictured one of them in the album. I have a suspicion that it helps when the long gray winters start to make a person crazy--a colorful oasis if you will.

Friday I did some much needed catching up around the house, ending the day with a nice dinner out with Bruce. You see, while in CT, we had dinner with others, so I wanted him all to myself for the night. That plan was foiled in a good way though because from our sidewalk seating we had three different couples we know stop to chat.

Saturday--slow as molasses market. Seminoles win in a nail biter! Halloween trick or treaters were few and far between. At nearly 10:00, a car pulled up, the doorbell rang, and a mother with two very young children announced their arrival. Bruce offered the candy bowl--the mother grabbed a huge hand full. Tacky.

Sunday--slowish market, but managed to eke out 12 sales. Early to bed, early to rise, and here we are. Bruce went back to CT for the inspection with an insanely early flight--5:30AM. See what I mean about early to rise?

This afternoon I'll be heading to City Hall for the calendar presentation. I'll let you know how it goes.
Listening to: Model 500 - The Flow
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 23, 2009

Busy Days Ahead

Lots of pictures today, not so much talk...

Moving backwards in time, I've got a Pumpkin Spice Bundt cake in the oven. My friend Terrie shows extraordinary cooking images on her blog (festing on pixels), I'm not so gifted. Nonetheless, when Bruce arrives home at 2:30 this afternoon to pack the Element, I hope the spicy scent is still in the air.

My first art show of the season, as I mentioned the other day, is this weekend. Miserably hot weather is predicted which will be tough, however, no rain is in the forecast, so that's the silver lining. I'm just hoping the humidity stays low enough to make it tolerable. As such, I had a big bunch of prints to prepare which I did most all of yesterday afternoon with Angela's help. She stickered, carded, and sealed most of the packages. Last weekend I sold 29--hopefully my large order will not be in vain.

Some of you know, some don't, but we always have a little dish of smarties on my display table. I bought 40 lbs. on-line at the Smartie Store to keep me from having to always go hunt them up. I remembered to fill my container full because you know how much just about anyone loves free stuff. It is a source of amusement to me sometimes to watch people try to be cagey about taking them.

Here is where Mr. Bruce lays his head most Sunday afternoons to catch up on much needed rest after his long weeks.

I probably won't be around for a bit because of not only the show, but on Monday I'm heading to North Haven, Connecticut with Bruce until Thursday evening. I'm so hoping there will still be leaves to gawk. Additionally, they have a super nice aquarium there with Beluga Whales among other things. Baxter will be on holiday at Angela's house. If anything extraordinary occurs at the show, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


That's right my gentle readers, this is blog post #601, hard to imagine, and probably a little bit crazy to boot. Writing this blog is as much about me, as it is about you. I finally have a convenient way to remember things. You've no idea how bad my memory is; now I can look up what I've forgotten. While talking to Matt today I mentioned that with the incessant heat that has everyone complaining I decided to see what the past October posts have been about. You guessed it, heat complaints! Our cold snap departed as quickly as it arrived with temperatures predicted in the 90's for the weekend. Just in time for the show....

As well, every October I write about how ridiculous the whole Pink October has become. It's just wrong that they even package mushrooms in a pink container. That sounds mean, however, there's a reason I get so crazy about this. Although breast cancer is a terrible thing, there are worse problems to have, namely, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer and the list goes on. This article sums up something I've tried to tell folks about: Overdiagnosis. A while back a neighbor asked if I'd talk to her daughter who was facing some decisions after they discovered a PRE-cancerous area in her breast. Now how they determine something is such is a little suspect, and the idea that she'd been advised to take some pretty radical steps to deal with it just angered me. So what does this say about my years working in mammography? I can't answer that question. Let's all get behind the real killer--heart disease. OK, enough preaching!

Yesterday on my way home I stopped by the gallery to drop off my business card and see my canvas in the window. Here's what I saw:

While there a woman came in to browse. I was sure I knew her, although after trying to place her by children, job, church, or neighborhood, I just couldn't dredge it up. It was later (isn't it always?) while driving home that I remembered how I knew her...the gym. Of course those days seem so far away now it's no wonder I couldn't place her immediately. It was in the parking lot of the gym that I first noticed the back pain which felled me for way too long. I've never been back.

I could feel that I never exercise today while digging out dirt and cutting tree roots around the filter pipes after discovering this morning what my pool problem was--a leak in one of the pipes. That explains not only no filtration, but the dramatic drop in water level. I called the pool repair folks who came out pretty quickly only to determine that it was a bigger job than anticipated. He's scheduled to come in the morning but charges $75 for 3/4 hour so I decided to do a little of the clean out. Basically I'm a wuss these days....

Baxter posing in the kitchen for the umpteenth time:

Aren't you glad I don't have grandchildren?

Speaking of children, I had a lovely chat with both Matt and David today. Matt is busy as always and Dave is the same. Isn't that great news to know that one's children have fantastic jobs and are loving life? That's pretty much all one can hope for aside from good health. Our friends Jim and Kathy's son, whom I've written about, is still terribly ill with very minor progress forward. On Sunday they didn't come to the market, which is unheard of--the reason, their son was having a colostomy put in. Ouch for both his body, and his psyche. He's 30 if you'll remember. The surgeon insists that it is temporary (6 mos.), but it has to be a huge blow. Now he's got both a tracheotomy, and a colostomy--my heart breaks for the whole family.

I hope I haven't gone on too long with this post....

Lastly I wanted to tell you that Mr. Bruce is a rock star as far as the management team is concerned. I could have told them that..
Listening to: LCD Soundsystem - Watch the Tapes
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Days in the Life of Gail

When last we met I was preparing to do the Art Stroll. I mentioned the possibility of rain, and indeed just as it was slated to begin, the rain came down. Not crazy amounts, but enough to keep people from venturing out, not to mention, that I had no tent with me. Doing those small events like that I set out a table with prints, have a table top easel, and my stand up sling. Fortunately I was just outside a large overhang which allowed me to keep things dry. Mr. Bruce arrived with Baxter in tow, grabbing an outside table at the restaurant I was adjacent to. He ordered a bottle of wine, and some food which made the evening quite nice. I only sold a few things, but at least it wasn't a shut out. One really sweet thing that happened was that a woman kept looking at my prints, one in particular. After a bit, she put them back, walking away without saying much. Sunday afternoon at Lake Eola a lady came to the booth mentioning her friend met me at the art stroll and kept talking about this photo she couldn't afford. Her friend bought it for her birthday which made me super happy. Proving once again that even when it looks like nothing much is happening, people are paying attention, and potentially will return at another venue.

On Saturday it was quite chilly--a 30 degree temperature swing. All the vendors had to laugh because the previous Saturday we were all moaning and complaining, not to mention sweating profusely, about the heat! Dana was kind enough to bring a new display rack that she hoped I could use. She's taken over Church Street Station for the real estate company and during the clean up phase she found it and thought of Out & About Photography. What a fantastic buy for us!
Look on the right side of my booth and you will see that I can display twenty (!) images at once. I'm declaring it a hit!

I was using what I named "my twirly thing" which worked better than nothing, but this is far superior for people deciding whether to stop. Because the weather was so chilly(don't laugh you Northerners!), there were loads of people out. All of the vendors were delighted, having hung in there all summer hoping for bigger crowds. They got their wish! I had a good sales day, and never once was I hot. As you well know, my little honey takes such good care of me. While setting up he realized that the wind off the lake was whistling through my back opening so he made a wind break that worked like a charm. No surprise there you think, and you would think correctly!

I managed to stay up until 8:30, then hibernated for the next ten hours or so. Bruce's flight was at 5:30AM if you can imagine. He's in DC for the final inspection of TCG which although I haven't heard from him yet to say for 100% positive, I expect went off without a hitch. If I hear otherwise you'll be the first to know.

Yesterday I was doing pool maintenance. It is times like these that make me wish we didn't have a pool--somewhat like the miserably hot last days of summer here in Florida--you get fed up with it. Anyway, I've discovered that the pool pump is losing it's prime; although the motor continues to run, there is no circulation in the pool. I noticed it was looking greenish on Sunday when I returned from the market and now I know why! It was not at all the blue pictured here:

Before I forget, I read this book last week,Tomato Girl. If ever a book deserved the description of Southern Gothic this one does. Bi-polar mother, cheating father, black magic, epilepsy, do-gooding neighbor, incest--well, you get the picture. I believe I was seduced by the cover photograph. Actually it was quite good, but I'll offer one caveat--it the idea of a mother keeping a miscarried baby in a jar of formaldehyde and trying to nurse it through the jar troubles you, maybe you should keep your distance.

After struggling with the pool yesterday, I struggled with my order for this weekend. I'm doing my first "art show" of the fall season: Winter Springs, one I did last year. They treated us so well I thought I'd give it another go, especially since Judy wants to help me. Because she is a beloved teacher at Winter Springs High School, she is undoubtedly a great asset, not to mention, just plain fun to be with! I've whined how desperately I need an editor, with no one has stepping up to fill the position, so it's just me! Let's hope I did good.

Finally, by popular demand I present the shoes for dear Sarah:

Kinda hard to show them in their full glory but I tried.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Say People!

My sweet friend Kelly brought a gift to the show the other night which I opened once I got home. It was so busy at the gallery, however I wish she could have seen my reaction when I saw it because it made me laugh.

It seems as if the predicted cold front is really going to appear, maybe this evening. Ushering it in was a little rain yesterday afternoon which produced a lovely evening sky. Here's one I took down at the lake of the water...

A little different than I usually post on the blog but I kinda liked it. My blog is the place where I try to show you through pictures what I'm up to. Rarely do I post things on here that I'm thinking of selling unless you tell me otherwise. On occasion I've heard from a few of you when you particularly like something, prompting me to think maybe others will as well. I decided to print the one I'm currently using as a header although I can't remember if your comments led me to do so. Nevertheless, it is in my baskets and this Sunday, Lord willing, I'll be showing it in a smallish canvas.

One of the people at the show said my stuff was somewhat post-modern, a term I've never really understood. Another woman, who has three flower canvases from me, was disappointed that I had no flowers on display. Speaking of which, it may seem simple to get a great flower shot, but friends, I've discovered it's anything but. I can't even count the number of flower pictures I've taken with very few ending up on paper, or canvas. You either have to have super great lighting or an imaginative angle to get people to take notice. Furthermore, it seems as if the more exotic the flower, the less people want it. Thus my fixation with daisies which I call "the people's flower." Accessible, inexpensive, and uncomplicated--that seems to be what they want. One bloom that is particularly hard to image is an orchid. Robert Mapplethorpe did outstanding orchid shots as you can see here: Florals

I'm supposed to do an Art Stroll tonight in Baldwin Park which was a stupid idea I agreed to. Three days of selling is too much in one week--I guess that would be four if you count the gallery. To answer the question that is probably on your mind--no sales as far as I know at the gallery...

The weather is threatening but I guess I'll go pack the car for a 5:00 departure time. Bruce finally got home last evening around 8:45 completely worn out. He's been traveling for four days so many weeks now; it's wearing him down and I plain miss him. As such, he'll come over to BP when he decides to leave the office and hang out with me....

Can you believe I'm one shy of my 600th post??? Where has the time gone?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cool Down

I arrived at the gallery around 5:30 wearing a spiffy new Vera Wang dress and Donald J. Pliner shoes to die for. Monday afternoon I decided to take my bargain postcard to Neiman Last Call to see what I could find. I hit pay dirt my friends. Although I can't adequately describe either the shoes, or dress, I will tell you that I got an incredible bargain. As those of you who have followed me from my student days surely remember, percentages are not my strong suit, but making a stab at it, I'll guess it was about 25% of the listed price.

Anyway I noticed it was mighty warm in the main gallery upon arrival. It got no better as time passed--instead, it got worse. It was not just warm, indeed some might say it felt like a sauna, it was so hot. I'm thinking that is what people will most remember from the night. Actually people were very complimentary with one man remarking how at least they weren't snap shots! Shows you what he knows.

That said, I am so grateful for the turnout. People kept coming and some even stayed, despite the heat. To get people to come out on a Tuesday night is difficult at best, so for those who came, I applaud them! What was wonderful for me is that people from all areas of my life came to support me. People from the hospital, people from the market, neighbors, friends, and family. Where, or where would I be without family? Now if only Bruce, Matt, and Jonathan and Allissa were there, it would have been perfect. Bruce had he been there, would have hightailed it to the nearest store to buy fans!

Here's what the gallery looked like before folks arrived.

The woman in green whose face you can see is my sister in law Judy whom you've heard much about. She's talking, or make that holding court, to Lisa (white blonde hair), my mother in law on the right, and the lady in red is Lisa's neighbor Deb, who has just completed chemo for ovarian cancer. She looks fabulous! The man in the right foreground is Brad, the man who is responsible for getting me in this show. He's been very supportive of my efforts since meeting me at the market; I'd have never left the market if not for him.

Around 9:15 I left thinking I would die if I didn't. I got into the car letting the air conditioning blast away. Ahhh......

Today I've only left the house to walk Baxter. For a while now Bruce has wanted me to try my hand at painting again, so using a toothpick, bendable drinking straw, and children's paints, I experimented with color.

After fooling around with this out back, I went in the pool for perhaps the last time of the year. Let's hope so, this heat is old news.

Changing course, after reading this article, New Thoughts I wonder if I have some type of virus.

Before I left the house last evening, Angela came over for a preview of the new duds. She was duly impressed. She asked me if while delivering phone books out of the back of the car, and raising four children, did I ever dream that one day I'd be buying nice clothes without a second thought and attending fancy events? I simply answered--no, never.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Big Night has Arrived!

October 13, 2009 is arguably the biggest night of my new career so far or at least it has the potential to be. It's nearly 4 and here's what I feel like:

Actually after returning from the museum I went out back to tidy things up a bit. The trees are dropping all manner of berries, leaves, and needles and the deck was getting a bit messy. Finally I've gotten the hang of the pool cleaner which does a terrific job on the bottom but the top of the water still requires attention. While removing some of the debris I noticed this large leaf twisting and turning in the water. Naturally, yours truly had to get her camera. The pool is the backdrop of countless photos, so why not a leaf, I ask you? Anyway a little later I was viewing what I'd taken and thought it might have the makings for an interesting collage. And yes, I feel a bit adrift with swirling emotions at the moment.

Everyone I know is telling me to just be myself and all will be fine. Oddly enough, when I arrived at the museum today, Karen was hanging the latest show which happens to be a photography exhibit. I only have seven pieces showing at the Comma Gallery, whereas this man has 25. The difference is, he's been at it for 30 years--not 2 1/2! Anyway we were critiquing his stuff and that's what will happen for me tonight which I'm unaccustomed to. Oh well....let the evening begin, the sooner the better!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Heat Goes On

This will be a bit abbreviated today as I'm typing with a fat right hand. In the past we've discussed extensively my problem with bug bites, so I won't belabor the point. Suffice it to say that an ant was kind enough to bite/sting me as we were packing up things yesterday afternoon. That's certainly one way to make my hand look younger with no veins in sight!

Oh yes my friends, the heat does go on, and on, and on. Make them stop! Saturday afternoon I came home feeling miserable, having to rest for two hours or so before we went to my friend Pam's house for dinner. You know how it is when you feel puny and just don't want to go someplace, but when you do, you end up being happy you made the effort? Well, it was a night like that. Although Bruce knew no one prior to the evening, he was a sparkling conversationalist which is not always an easy thing to do. The food, wine, and company were all top notch. Bonus points go for the fact that they live only about four blocks from us!

Before I go into Sunday, I wanted to show you this funny picture from the other day in DeLand. From across the street it looked like the boots were on the form but on closer inspection they were merely in front of it.

Yesterday was the Pride parade which usually translates into a bad market day. There are loads of folks, but few buyers, although yesterday was not as bad as in the past. Because the parade runs on the street alongside the market, we had to extend our hours--no way to pack up and load out at 4. Just as the parade commenced a light rain appeared out of nowhere. These ladies had the best seat in the house:

The parade was as silly and exuberant as always lasting nearly an hour. This was the back side of one of my favorite floats:
This year I didn't take a ringside seat, taking just a few pictures from afar.

Switching gears now--for a week or so, I've been meaning to write about how sad I am that Saturn is closing. I realized that a good number of family members have driven Saturns. Mom had two, Matt totaled one, I drove one, Maureen had one for more years than I can remember then inherited Mom's car, driving it until it was first stolen (as you may recall), then totaled by a bus. As well, Bill and Dave drove one. I still have the picture of the two of them taken at the Saturn dealership when they "launched" the car. Bill drove it for years and years although now I can't recall its demise. Anyway, the brand is part of our family's history and for that reason I'm pained to see it go.

My dear Bruce left at 6AM for the week, not quite the whole week, almost. He'll be super busy in DC, Kingston, NY, and North Haven, CT. I don't know how he does it, although he'll tell you the traveling is the easiest part of his job. I already miss him.

Finally, yesterday two friends came by with the news that they have already seen the hanging at the gallery. Their kind words have helped ease my anxiety just a bit. I hope that means I'll be pleasantly surprised when I arrive tomorrow night.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I finally figured out what was making me so anxious about this show--there is an expectation that I'm somebody, when we all know that's not true. Let me restate that--I am somebody--a wife, mother, sister and friend--just not in the artistic sense yet. I'm trying.... In today's paper the art columnist described the gallery, "Local art hot spot, Comma..." He did not run one of my photographs, which is just as well. Secondly, they are pricing the pieces; believe you me, they are much, much higher than I would, which most likely translates into no sales. Only five more days to go! I read in a post from Matt's blog about the Obama's art choices. What really struck me was a quote that said something along these lines: The pieces have real "Wall Power"--very colorful. I'm going to think that way when choosing pieces to print from now on! Wall Power all the way baby!

I'm including a couple of kitchen shots with today's post because I'm a bit crazy for photography. When I see the light a certain way, or something is colorful, I just can't help myself. You are good to indulge me....

This is the marvelous drawer Bruce made for our pantry. The pantry is narrow, deep, and dark, making things hard to locate in the back. As you can see I have my oils, vinegars, and sauces in one neat spot. The skylight is above this, making everything sparkle.

This is our counter fruit bowl fresh from the dishwasher. Although I thought I was randomly placing the fruit in the bowl, I just liked the way it looked. That's a tea towel from Crate & Barrel underneath.

When I posted the slideshow the other day, I neglected to mention something I hope you'll find interesting. Central Florida may now have leaves that change, but it doesn't mean we don't have our own version of fall color. Remember I mentioned I took the long way home? I was driving along when all of a sudden I came upon this gorgeous scene.
I wish I used my Panasonic because I think it would have been better, but the Nikon was the closest on the seat. Anyway, as far as the eye could see, there were small yellow wildflowers blooming. What a treat for both the eyes, and the soul. As well, along the roadways there was a beautiful grass-like plant with almost golden tassels swaying in the breeze. I suspected it might be goldenrod, which after a bit of checking, confirmed my suspicions. Here is something amazing I found in Wikipedia, or at least it is to me. I've always had an extreme fascination with Thomas Edison.
Industrial use
"Inventor Thomas Edison experimented with goldenrod to produce rubber, which it contains naturally.[6] Edison created a fertilization and cultivation process to maximize the rubber content in each plant. His experiments produced a 12 foot tall plant that yielded as much as 12 percent rubber. The rubber produced through Edison's process was resilient and long lasting. The tires on the Model T given to him by his friend Henry Ford were made from goldenrod. Examples of the rubber can still be found in his laboratory, elastic and rot free after more than 50 years. However, even though Edison turned his research over to the U.S. government a year before his death, goldenrod rubber never went beyond the experimental stage." Simply amazing!

And then there are the golden rain trees blooming throughout the city. So who says we don't have fall color?

Did I mention the heat? Oh my it's been hot, all week over 90 degrees. I read in yesterday's paper that the temperature on the day of my beach trip was the hottest, October 7th since 1992. No end is in sight as of this post. Of course, I could be freezing like it is in Chicago. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, however, Jonathan mentioned snow is predicted for the weekend. Matt turned on the heat in London. Unfathomable. Yours truly will be out being a street vendor for about 17 hours--Lord help me! Actually the market hours on Sunday are extended until 6pm because of the Pride parade which runs on the street alongside the market. Sadly, last year that was one of the worst sale days, so it's not for that reason, more a logistical problem of not being able to retrieve our vehicles. Maybe this year we'll be pleasantly surprised.

News flash!! The Capital Grille passed final inspection yesterday! You knew he could do it, didn't you? Two more tough weeks until turnover which will require travel, travel, and then some. It is kinda sad that Mr. Bruce will be unable to be there with me on Tuesday night, although I know he will be in spirit. Remember, this whole gig was his idea.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


WHAT WAS I THINKING????? If in the future you read a word on this blog about doing a gallery show, inundate me with No's!!! I woke up sweltering last night, and got to thinking about the emails I should have already sent, as well as the descriptions I should have already written. I tossed, and I turned. I tossed, and I turned. I went to the bathroom. I tossed, and I turned. I got up, and went to my computer.

Remembering the last time I foolishly did this gallery thing, I went to my handy search on gmail, finding the piece Matt wrote. I copied it almost verbatim and then put in all the email addresses and sent it at 12:30 this morning. Now if you've read this blog for any length of time you know full well that I am a Gold Medalist in the Olympic sport of sleeping. I haven't been up at 12:30 for who knows how long. That's what one of these events will do to me! I'd already asked Bruce to give me a 5:30 wake up call and he did. He asked, "are you going to the beach?", to which I replied, yes. I decided I needed it and got myself up and running.

Going to the beach in October, why yes, it is a marvelous time to do so. Last weeks giddiness has been replaced with miserable heat once again. Actually I do love to go to the beach in the fall because the sun is not quite so harsh and the water is still warm. I drove to New Smryna Beach the long way. If there is a long way to go somewhere, I will drive it, finding a way back that is even longer is a sure bet! Here's a little slideshow of my time there.

Driving there after making tea to go along with a breakfast sandwich, the weather was HOT and muggy. Once I got off the interstate (I told you I always take the longest route!), the rural parts were very foggy. The first one in the series didn't turn out so great but you get my drift. I've put a few descriptors on the photos if you are interested.

I took a novel with me that I managed to complete, although it fell into that same category as the previous one I didn't finish--ran completely out of steam. Since I had nothing else with me, I finished it, although it was unnecessary as I knew exactly what would happen. It got me thinking about how hard it must be to write really, really well. I was entirely spoiled by Olive Kittredge. The writing was superb, the characterization multi-layered, and the style impeccable. I can't expect that combination to come along too often I suppose, although I wish that weren't the case.

After my reading I waded into the ocean. You know how when only your legs, or lower trunk are in the water, how cold it feels? It's kind of strange how once you get your nerve up, and take the plunge, it is no longer cold, only refreshing. The waves were small, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The nice thing was that the water was very clear with little or no seaweed. I only stayed on the beach for a little over two hours so as not to burn. And then of course there was the matter of nothing to read....

My experience with NSB is limited unlike lots of Orlando folks. I followed the signs ending up in their downtown, a street named Canal. After walking the few blocks and seeing what there was to see, I moved my car closer to the Little Drug Co. for lunch at the soda fountain which so reminded me of days long past spent at the Rexall behind our house when I was growing up in Orlando. Apparently 80 years ago this building housed a movie palace upstairs. The lunch counter has been around at least 50 years. There were several specials on the sidewalk sign board, including a Liverwurst sandwich! I suspect some readers have never even heard of such a thing and there's no reason to research it now. Suffice it to say it is some kind of gross lunch meat which I've had the good fortune never to have tried. When I talked to Bruce this evening I told him if we ever went there together he would die over their milkshakes. I watched the servers making them and they looked mighty appetizing. Actually I'm not too much of a fan, but Mr. Bruce loves them. Have I told you that he's lost ten pounds? Some of that is probably due to the stress of building The Capital Grille. Only two weeks to go now! Not only is it the largest restaurant he's ever built (15,000 sq. ft.), but obviously the most expensive. That's a big budget to manage not to mention the actual construction!

After getting home from my little day trip, I wrote the descriptions. Let's hope they are satisfied! Now it's time to place a little order and hit the sack--5:30 came early.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Great Day at the Market

Did I tell you I bought my first pair of Converse?

Kinda fun aren't they?

News Flash!!! A sales rebound was experienced by fledgling photographer, Gail Peck of Out & About Photography, the weekend of October 3 and 4, with 26 prints of various sizes finding new homes.

When you are a sports fan you are bound to get hurt. When you are a sports nut as our son Jonathan is, you run the risk of major pain. This football season the pain has been practically mortal what with the Seminoles playing increasingly poorly and the Bucs losing all of their games. After Saturday's market I was excited to get home in time to watch FSU, only to have to turn it off because they immediately showed they couldn't stay in the game. I hurt too when the team embarrasses itself which sounds pretty silly, but that's the way we fans are. I can only imagine Jonathan shouting at the television screen!

So that meant we were free to leave the house. We took off for the Maitland Art Festival to check out my competition. Last year they decided to join some other festivals with nighttime hours, meaning they are open until 10pm both Friday and Saturday night, which explains why I had no interest in applying. I told someone I'd need two weeks to recover! I am so glad I didn't because it was very slow; almost all of the artists we spoke to had little or no sales by 6 on Saturday. Not only is that demoralizing, but it is boring as well. Shows such as this one cost $40 for a jury fee and upon acceptance you must send a check for another $225. One artist had two booths, sculpture and pottery, with no sales! I felt terrible for him, and wished that we could have found something both Bruce and I liked to end his sales drought. I can only hope the two festivals I'm slated to be in have better attendance.

Did I tell you I finally had my highlights done? Oh my, when I saw the foil coming off in the mirror I was dumbstruck. "Melissa!!!!" She reminded me that if I hadn't let my hair grow for eight months it wouldn't come as such a shock! Maybe she's right!

Last week I finished a charming book set in rural France which I may have already alluded to. Here's a link:The Matchmaker of Perigord Probably the darling little cover illustration made me pick it up and it did not disappoint. The descriptions of the local food is worth the read. An unusual technique she uses that some may find a tad annoying is her penchant for repeating phrases--for some reason it added to the story for me, but don't say I didn't warn you if it bothers you. When I was young I finished every book I ever started--not so anymore. I think I realized more than ever that time is fleeting. I nearly finished this book:Honolulu, when I decided I'd had enough. Most of it was fascinating learning about Korean picture brides but it seemed to lose steam. I'm looking for full speed ahead in my reading!! A note to Matthew, I've ordered Home by Marilynne Robinson from the library. In the meantime I've got a new stack so we'll see if I have any winners in the bunch.

I was so hoping to be going to DC with Bruce for most of this week but it just didn't work out...

In a crazy six degrees of separation kind of thing, on Saturday a young woman was perusing my overfull baskets, and she asked if one of them was from the National Cathedral, to which I answered yes. I explained Bruce's situation and of all things only a week prior, while she and her husband were there, they remarked on the Capital Grille sign! It's a small world friends--these days shrinking all the more with the
world wide web. I wonder about that name--did anyone envision how connected we would all become, or was it a coincidence of sorts? Hmmm.....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Glee Club

You could almost feel the giddiness in the air around these parts the last few days--the temperature has finally dropped below 90!!! I'm merely speculating but I suspect it's been at least five months since that last occurred. More than likely we'll still have some very high temperatures, but those days are numbered. Let's all break into song..

Actually I hadn't thought of a glee club in years and years. When we were in high school, glee clubs were a fixture, but probably not so much anymore. Isn't it such a happy name? A few weeks ago while driving home, I heard Teri Gross interview the man who created the show with that name Glee. Fascinating to not only learn that he was a journalist in a former life but created the show "Nip and Tuck." Not being a television watcher, aside from college football, I've yet to see it but, I sure like the concept.

Where were we? Oh yes, the glorious weather! Walking Baxter yesterday morning, I ran into Lois, the master gardener who lives several streets away. She suggested I come over and see what her garden grows. Peddling the few blocks to her home I didn't even break a sweat! Fortunately for me her husband had his compressor going and he was kind enough to fill my tires which were way low. This is her beautiful dog named Melvin.

You'll notice he has one blue eye and one brown if you see it large.

As you know whenever I begin preparing the evening meal Baxter sits by the side door watching for Bruce. You should see him go crazy when he sees his car coming down the street. I took this the other evening when Bruce wasn't coming home but Baxter did find some reason to bark. He started jumping around and scattered the rug. Another view of those cute roses as well.

I delivered the pieces today to the gallery, getting a lecture on how to conduct myself as an artist while there. I said I'd be on my best behavior on the opening night, to which she replied that she would pinch me if I was in any way self-deprecating. She then realized I didn't have much to pinch! Anyway, here is the link to their site with the show info:Ancient Visions. Now that they are there I'm feeling a sense of relief, partly because they seemed to like them, partly because I think I finally get it. A gallery showing is not like an art show, in that they have to use themes to put shows together. I'm using to showing all sorts of stuff at the same time so the thought of having three different hourglass pieces was freaking me out a bit. After doing some research this morning on hourglasses and their significance in history it is coming together for me. Did you know there were special sandglasses, as they were once known, for all sorts of occasions, including a sermon one? A former pastor of ours could have used one of those! You'll not be surprised to learn that the Italian artisans turned theirs into works of art. What may surprise you is how useful they were to sailors. So good deal, less than two weeks to go. Only a piece to write about my inspiration which will in itself prove challenging, however I think I can do it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can......

Super weekend to all dear ones.

You Just Never Know