Monday, November 30, 2009

Let the Blogging Begin Again

When last we met I'd been cooking and cooking and cooking...

I'm happy to report that things went super good with the help of lots of folks, foremost Bruce because he did everything non-cooking related the morning of Thanksgiving. Can't eat without a set table now can we? Everyone pitched in and it all went off without a hitch. I had so much food I had to use Angela's oven! Here's what we ate, in order of consumption:

Sausage Balls
Marinated Olives
Spiced Pecans
Roasted Red Pepper/White Bean Dip

The Ultimate Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Maple Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry and Tart Cherry Relish
Sausage Stuffing
Fresh, sauteed corn
Green and Wax Bean Medley
Squash and Zucchini casserole
Israeli Couscous Salad
Spinach, Pear, Walnut and Stilton Cheese salad
Crescent Rolls

Spice Cupcakes with Tangerine Zest Frosting and Caramelized Ginger
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Brownie Pie with Optional Chocolate Sauce (Jen was the only one brave enough!)
Apple Pie


So now you know just how much cooking I did! The thing is that I know cooking very well.....Lord knows, I've had my share of practice. When cooking big meals I reflect on all those years of making meals for six, sometimes three times a day. It's a wonder I got anything else done! I'm good at keeping the kitchen cleaned up as I go, timing things, and hopefully making tasty food.

We all had fun and the weather, which had been gray and gloomy for most of the week, turned spectacular allowing some to eat outdoors by the pool.

Thanksgiving may last for only hours but the work involved lasts for days around here. We had some leftovers which produce all sorts of more dishes, and I've just finished the laundry with all of the dishtowels, cloth napkins, and tablecloths. All well worth it might add....

Friday Bruce and I met Dana for lunch at Graffiti Junction, finally getting to catch up with her. She's been so busy of late we've not seen much of her. She's been leaving the market in others hands, which is fine, but no one is as good at managing the market as Dana. After wards we strolled a bit and came across a super cool gallery around the corner. These shots were taken in there. The stair one requires you to take a second look...the green on the left is a reflection off the stairwell wall. Cute little airplane don't you think?

The Florida/FSU game on Saturday afternoon was a loss as expected, just not as big of one. :) :(

Surprisingly there were loads of people at the market on Sunday. Our market neighbors, Jim and Kathy took the week off because last year was terribly slow. I purposely didn't look at my last years sales before we left so as not to be too discouraged. Arriving home later I discovered that my sales were right around four times what they were last year! Good deal.

Before it all slips away I wanted to revisit the DeLand show. It is so funny how things occur in life. The week before the show while doing my museum stint, there were only two visitors all morning. It was just as well because things were in such disarray, but I digress. I chatted for a bit with a really nice couple visiting from North Carolina by way of Ft. Lauderdale. It's complicated.. Anyway, the man was taking pictures and even one of me and his wife. I mentioned that I took pictures and would be doing an art show on Saturday/Sunday in DeLand. I didn't even have a card to give them! Saturday morning, not too long after we were set up, there were lots of people in our booth but I spoke to one woman saying, I recognize you! She reminded me from where--the Polasek! Apparently, they were on their way back to NC and deliberately stopped in DeLand to see me. Can you believe that??? Additionally, she ended up buying prints for everyone on her shopping list!!! Bruce threw in a few because she couldn't make up her mind!!! How sweet is that??

Another customer that I wanted to share was a young man late Sunday afternoon. Turns out he'd done three tours overseas, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and was preparing for another one when he broke his hip on a hike. Now this isn't just any hike, but a sixty mile hike with a seriously loaded pack!!! He surprised me by saying he was disappointed, he loved being a Marine. He also confirmed what one of my classmates told me about Iraq--the smell is horrible, one of the worst parts of the whole experience, yet you rarely read anything about that aspect. He told me that not only do people throw their garbage in the streets, they also don't hesitate to defecate there as well. We take much for granted don't we?

The last customer I wanted to mention was a couple who arrived when it had just begun to rain on Sunday afternoon. Although I didn't recognize them they'd apparently visited my booth on Saturday. The man walked in saying he wanted to buy my "Beach Daisies" canvas, a $75 purchase. Naturally I was delighted, a good way to end a show. I was even more delighted though by the story they told. Apparently, the man had a seizure nearly six months prior and was put on Dilantin. While taking said medication driving is a no-no. He was buying the canvas as a gift for the girl's mother who had faithfully driven him to work each, and every day, for six months. How's that for a sweet ending to a show???

That said, the above holiday is especially meaningful as I have so much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Marathon Cooking Session

Some of these are good, some not so much but the day was super gray with little available light. Working since 7AM on all sorts of treats for my family. I only wish Matt were here to eat some of that apple pie with his dad. Not to mention, Jonathan loves his turkey. I'm thinking Alissa would love the brownie pie that is not pictured, one because the prep pictures didn't turn out, two because the pie cracked like crazy on the top. I've never made it before, but if it tastes anywhere near as yummy as the batter, then even if it's not very pretty, it will be a treat. Another treat that didn't turn out is the roasted red pepper bean dip which I'm sure Alissa would like as well.

Mr. Expert Traveler is traveling this evening, if you can imagine. He'll jump into action when needed to get the table leaf installed in the morning. I'm hoping the dreary rain of today will be gone by 3ish tomorrow so if need be folks can eat at the patio table. Only time will tell on that one.

Yesterday Maureen mentioned how many blessings I have, she speaks the truth! I'm a lucky gal.

Hope your Thanksgiving is filled with good food, family and friends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Title due to SPAM!

You may be wondering what the above photo has to do with today's blog--nothing at all. I just thought it was fun.

After a good night's sleep last night I awoke feeling considerably more energetic. Mostly today I've done either shopping, or spending time with Maureen. She called while I was on my way to Clemon's to pick up fruits and veggies. After loading up with goodies, I picked her up, and off we went to Lake Mary to pick up some things for her Black Friday garage sale. Let the bargains begin!

As it was almost lunch time when we arrived, after our aforementioned pick up, we stopped at a strip center with the intention of having Italian at a local spot we saw on our way by, however, the parking lot was packed, forcing me to look around for a spot. While doing so, I noticed a sub shop called Jersey Mike's. A back and forth discussion ensued--you know the kind: what do you think? do you want to try it? maybe we should check the menu? Recognize that?

I am delighted to report that we agreed it was the place for us; believe you me, we were not disappointed. There was a long line with hungry customers which is always a good sign. The longer we spent in line, the more we waffled on what to order, eventually settling on a mini Italian sub to share, along with a chipolte cheese steak sub. It was absolutely delicious, I mean seriously good. We even shared a giant Pepsi which was definitely going out on a limb for us die hard Coca Cola girls. We both left wishing there were one closer to our house. Strangely enough I returned a call to Regina when I got home, and mentioned our delicious lunch. She launched into a story about how a friend of hers was raving about the place, which she admitted to tuning out most of his excitement, but now that I was raving, she'd definitely make going there a priority. Fantastic!

I made another trip to Publix which I hope will be my last. You would think we were all vegetarians, what with the array of vegetables I bought. Let's see, there are yams, green beans, wax beans, carrots, radishes, corn on the cob, fresh spinach, potatoes for mashing, squash and zucchini, peppers, celery, cucumbers, and beautiful tomatoes filling my fridge to the max! Apples for pie, fresh cranberries, tangerines, lemons, limes and pears are brightening the kitchen counters with their vibrant colors. Seems like a late additon of Sam, the singer in Bill's band, along with his brother, visiting from Maine will make it sixteen adults for dinner around 3. I'm figuring a late breakfast for most and then an early dinner. We'll be missing our dear Matthew, Jonathan, and Alissa, however it won't be long before they are here to celebrate Christmas.

There's only one bummer connected to Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe it has been six years ago that our Mother went into a coma on Thanksgiving. As the years pass the pain eases more, but I'm not sure if I'll ever forget the call from David telling me that our mom was in serious trouble, followed by Bruce's call that I needed to go over there right away. I was getting ready to mash the giant pot of potatoes when Bruce said it was more than he could handle alone. Now, you know Bruce pretty well by now to know that if he can't handle something it must be pretty terrible. I left the rest of the dinner in my niece Laura's capable hands, jumped in the MINI driving the mile or so to see what was going on. Although we'd been planning for the end when it comes it is always a shock. There is nothing in life to prepare you for your mom (whatever kind of mom you have, whether it be good or bad) not responding. Bruce left me there alone with her and I called hospice letting them know we needed their help. Within about two hours they arrived, never leaving for her final four days. Bruce brought me a plate of food which was pretty surreal, but no more so than those left at our home to carry on as if nothing was happening. Although I'd been involved with her care for the previous five months, putting her in diapers really felled me. So that's all I'm burdening you with for now; forgive me if I've gotten too graphic. As well, I'm skipping the editing of this post for errors because, frankly, writing it is enough.

Don't you just hate how early it gets dark these days?? I don't know about Chicago for sure, but according to Matt, this time of year there are only eight hours of daylight in London. Now that would depress me to no end.
Listening to: Nelly Furtado - Say It Right
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unrelated Subjects

Lots of views of our sweet new house:
You can just see Baxter at the door wishing everyone would just go away!

I love how darling Bruce's amazing shed looks in this one.

I took these on Thursday afternoon and since that time we've installed two very neat metal art pieces on either side of the garage. Formally confederate jasmine vines covered the walls, cascading in front of the garage doors. After many years, vines get to looking pretty shabby; with the new look, it was time to cut them all back. Additionally, although the awning has been re-installed, I will be searching for a more complimentary fabric soon.

The guys are back today painting the fence a pale shade of gray. They spoke little English making communication a bit of a problem but their hard work spoke for them!

On Friday it was time to get ready for the show! After picking up my order, I headed straight home working for some hours preparing the prints. Although I called several people, begging them to come help me, they could not be persuaded! No worries--I got it done, although when Bruce got home from work there was no dinner waiting for him. We went over to our local Tijuana Flats for a little Mexican treat, heading to bed pretty early because, unlike most shows, this one had to be set up the morning of.

I've shown in DeLand twice now, but never at Fall Festival. The spring show is much craftier--this one is their big time one. First, I was grateful to be accepted, secondly, I really like downtown DeLand, as astute readers of this blog will remember from previous posts. Unlike other shows I've done, this one has real buyers. Everywhere you looked you could see people carrying art purchases which was fantastic. I'm especially gratified to have had sold 74 pieces during the two days, my personal best show ever. From what I gathered, people from all around look forward to it, saving just for the occasion. Loads of wonderful volunteers made the show run smoothly. The potter next to us was from Jacksonville, and he mentioned that there are no longer any shows in his area that are community-based because of a lack of volunteers. They are all run by a company called Howard Allen which charges at the minimum $350 for your space, not to mention the shows don't have that special feel that a community-based one has. They provided meals, booth sitters, and an awards party on Saturday night. Good chili with lots of toppings. The only bummer was they ran out of red wine, which truth be told, probably was a good thing as we had the drive back to Orlando to consider.

Saturday was not only extremely busy for me, but it was so tiring I didn't think I'd be able to get moving for Sunday! Leaving the house at 5:30AM, and arriving home around 8PM is a mighty long day for this lady. Naturally, I was asleep by 9. Thankfully Bruce stayed with me all day because I'd have not been able to manage on my own. There were a few lulls, but not many. Bruce copped a little nap in the shade during those times!

One of the judges was Lonnie Graham, a professor and photographer. Arriving in my booth, he studied my large pieces and proclaimed I was just on the "edge of something", whatever that means. He said he wished he had more time to talk to me, started to leave, then turned around to say more, most of which I've forgotten already. One thing I do remember is he told me to practice, as if I don't nearly every day! Yikes, I wonder what he'd have said if I hadn't been practicing all this time! Anyway, I had no pat "artsy answer" about what I was trying to say and he moved on. Meanwhile, another gentleman in my booth overheard the conversation. After Mr. Graham took leave, the other man said, I've judged shows before, he's trying to show you how smart he is. He went on to have some complimentary things to say along with some questions, which I welcome. He noted that one of the pieces, Beach Daisies, was not as sharp as some others, wondering why this was so. I told him, truthfully, if that picture were not my second best seller it would not be hanging on the wall because I do recognize the flaws! If only I could find that scene again I'd gladly re-do it, however, to date I've not seen anything that compares. Proving that the buyers like it, just before the rain forced an early closing to the show, a couple came in and bought the canvas for a gift. More on that tomorrow.

For now, I've got to move into Thanksgiving mode. I'm still really, really tired, but I'm going to get the turkey. Let the thawing begin!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Didn't Take Long

Since our last meet up, I've got a whole new house. Seriously, for six months or so I've been thinking about having the house repainted. I'm not sure exactly how long it's been but I do know that Bill was still living at home at the time.

Another home issue we've been ignoring is the fence. Five years ago about one quarter of the fence was built on site---a repair made necessary by our visit from Hurricane Charley. Because the rest of the fence looked ok at the time, that is all we had done. Flash forward to this year and the rotting along the bottom was really making me sad. Because Bruce is finally not traveling this week he had the time to project manage this repair. A guy he's used commercially came out on Monday morning to check it out. Bruce told him he'd like to have the entire fence repainted and once I heard that I knew I had to spring into action before it was done with the old color.

More like skyrocketing into action, I give you the changes thus far (albeit in reverse order):

Yesterday on my way to the museum I stopped by the Benjamin Moore paint store picking up some paint chips along with two brochures, one meant for interiors, one for exteriors. Apparently all paint companies must be based up North because none of the pictured houses came close to looking like our little 1960 ranch style home. Immediately I found what I was looking for in the interior brochure. A beautiful combination of a lovely, creamy shade of yellow, clear, almost cornflower blue, spring green, and an off white. All that was left was to find a paint color that was a neutral (I've chosen a soft gray), and a phone call to Luis, our painter and here we are about 30 hours later!

Luis painted the house last time as well as faux painted our sunroom, one of the lovliest spots in the house. I called him around 2:30 yesterday afternoon and turns out it was a God send because not only have they been slow this year, but they could start today. I'd decided to use the green for the shutters and the blue for the doors but he convinced me to flip-flop that decision and I'm sure he's probably right. I was just ready for a lighter, brighter look. You may remember six months ago I got that awning made which I'll have to figure out what to do about. My friend Kelly tells me that the awning place will probably replace the cover but to tell you the truth, neither of us liked it so much. I'll have to ponder this one.

The fence guys arrived around 9 this morning and progress is being made--posts are in position, and that's about all I can tell you right now because not only do all the windows have plastic on them, so do the doors! I can't see a thing. The last section of the fence literally fell down once Edmund cut some vines loose on my neighbors side!

By Friday evening the house should be done and I'm assuming the fence as well. I can hardly wait! Angela thinks I'm plum crazy for picking out the colors just like that but when I see something I like I go for it. Remind you of anything? I was thinking about Bruce, once I met him I knew he was perfect. 36 years later, I'm thrilled with that choice!

Last evening we saw Jackson Browne at the Bob Carr Auditorium--what a treat. Just him and fifteen guitars lined up along with a keyboard. He sang lots of the old favorites for all of us oldies in the crowd along with some of his newer material. He explained he starts these acoustic shows with no set list, just plays what he feels like. Apparentlly the crowd thought he needed help with his choices because they kept shouting out their favorites. Lots of gray hair in the audience!

I've placed my order for this weekend and I should have it by tomorrow--let's hope I do well this weekend--spending all this much money at once makes me a little nervous...
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

Last week just sped by and before I knew it I hadn't had time to blog but today's another story, so here we go....

Tuesday I spent my usual time at the Polasek, stopping afterward at the gallery to see what was happening. They have moved my stuff down the street to a hair salon with my permission. I know that sounds crazy but it is in a two story old house and actually looks pretty cool there. I have so many canvases at the moment that I figured, why not? Of all things I got an email the other day from someone who saw it there. Next I picked up two standing easels from my friend Nancy Flynn's cool art framing studio; I thought they might be useful at the Darden event.

Wednesday morning found me helping Maureen with making a cd for a small wedding gift. I bought my first music online, pretty simple now that I've tried it. Good thing she brought a list of songs over because I'll tell you something you probably already know---there are lots and lots of love songs but mostly they are about breaking up, not getting together. She combined some oldies, but goodies, with a few new things. After that I picked up my order at Roger's and began the process of getting things ready for the annual Darden Arts and Craft Festival. You may remember that this is my third year showing there; each year I've done better, and better.

Once I got my prints sorted out I thought I'd gone overboard on ordering. Fortunately that wasn't the case. I ended up selling 58 prints if you can imagine. I could hardly believe it myself, and I was there!

Preparing the prints looks easy, which it is, however there are multiple steps involved. I try to do it assembly line fashion which helps some. I've been out of stickers for a while now, so I've been first putting a business card in the bag, then I put a price sticker on, followed by naming and signing each one, followed by writing thank you on the foam core, and finally sealing the bag. I'd ordered 72 prints and the whole aforementioned sequence took me nearly four hours to complete. I packed the car, heading off to set up in their beautiful new building.

Showtime was 7:30AM, both Thursday and Friday, ending at 3:00PM. The space was terrific, and since I've been there three years now, I've become friendly with the other vendors. It was good and only $10 for the space! To put that into perspective, the Winter Springs show I did a few weeks ago cost around $200 to enter, and took hours and hours of time to set up, and tear down, with the end result almost the same now that I think about it. Oh well, they are both good in their own way.

I picked up the lawn mower Thursday afternoon on my way home. Turns out it was a little torn gasket causing the non-starting situation. Bruce returned very late Thursday evening after a successful trip--the restaurant was received to rave reviews, but of course, you were expecting that weren't you?

Saturday morning I got up nice and early, greeted by a beautiful day--mild temperatures with gorgeous blue skies and warm (not hot) sunshine, perfect for a chore day. Hanging the clothes on the line is one of my favorite things to do--I just love everything about it. I mowed the lawn and didn't even break a sweat, got the pool cleaned and watched an excellent FSU game.

On our way home from doing a little shopping, Bruce was driving around Lake Davis when I mentioned those crazy roosters I'd seen once. He said, "well, there they are."

I'd been by there multiple times and hadn't seen them so what was up with that? Anyway, he pulled over for me to get a few shots. Doesn't he have some magnificent colored feathers?

Mr. Bill called on Thursday afternoon with the news that their band was contacted by WJJR about opening for a band called, The Cult, on Saturday night at Hard Rock Live. Big time stuff! Although they have played there before, it was totally local, unlike this show which had paying concert goers. We spiffed ourselves up a bit and headed out there to cheer on "Exit the Ride." Little missy here, took her Nikon, hoping to get a few good shots, a misguided plan. They wouldn't let me take it in there at the outset but Bruce sweet talked the head security guy who agreed after we promised not to take it out of my purse. Originally they said I'd have to take it back to my car which if you've ever been out there you know that is not an appealing plan. For some reason the name of the band in this shot I took outside was washed out. We were proud of our boy. Dave, of course, was there as both a roadie and a cheerleader. He loves his brother.

I was hoping with the arrival of fantastic weather I'd have a good day at Eola, but it was not to be. Dismal sales, bringing me back down to earth after the Darden success story.

Just as well, I've got my biggest art show of the year coming up this weekend in DeLand. Although I've done their spring show, this one is completely different, much stiffer competition for sure. Time to get a new order together, the hardest part of the whole business. Still looking for a part time editor.....

Listening to: Emmylou Harris - Here, There and Everywhere
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Promise to Return

This last week has proved to be so busy for me that I've not found the time to blog but I will return tomorrow!
Listening to: The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Kids in Town

I caved. Nordstrom Rack had a grand opening on Friday and I went to check it out. In typical Nordstrom fashion, they made the experience enjoyable with plenty of check out lanes, guides to said lanes, and even a line monitor. As well they handed out reusable bags to all the customers, of which there were plenty. I was mostly looking to see what I could see, however I did buy a few things. One of those things was a top, just like the one Bruce got me for our anniversary, in a different print. I just love the way it fits and feels. I put it on later in the day and when Bruce arrived he said, wow, that is cute, even better than the one I bought. Not true, they are both awesome. Today department stores have lost favor with young folks but I prefer them to going to multiple stores. It just seems like the Nordstrom buyers are good, the staff treats the customers so well, why go anywhere else?

For most of the weekend we stayed close to home, but Sunday afternoon we went to Bruce's new office to pick something up for his trip today. Darden is certainly not a new kid around these parts, but they definitely have some fancy new digs. I was glad I had my baby camera in my purse, although I'll be heading there myself later in the week for the annual Darden holiday sale. I'm showing you the main lobby,

as well as what they call "Main Street."

The red is awesome; apparently they searched high and low for just the right shade. I think they hit a home run. The building is LEED certified with loads of natural light everywhere. Bruce no longer has his office with a door, but he's made his work space efficient, not to mention, nice. There's a large cafeteria with floor to ceiling windows looking out over a small lake. Although it was closed, I could see they offer loads of great options. Break areas near the work spaces are equally as nice, stocked with trail mix, coffee stuff, juice, and fountain drinks. One catch, you have to do your own dishes! Seriously, they've done away with bottled water, instead offering nice glasses for your beverages. Naturally we are delighted Bruce is still employed, even more so that when he is in town, he has a wonderful home away from home.

Remember I said I would be mowing the lawn last week. I would if I could. Friday morning, after getting the laundry going, I put on my mowing clothes and shoes and headed out to get started, only to be thwarted by a non-starting mower. I pulled, and I pulled, and I pulled. No luck.

Without complaining, Bruce set about to fix it on Saturday morning, spending several hours, wearing a blister to boot, all to no avail. I was mostly an onlooker, however, I did research on the computer, hollering out through the open window what could possibly be wrong. It just wasn't happening, no matter how hard he tried. Good thing the grass is growing at a snail's pace at the moment. I took it in this morning to Thrailkills, a mower shop on Orange Avenue. We go way back with Thrailkill, all the way back to when Matt was a 5 year old kindergarten student, or was he in first grade? Either way Colleen Thrailkill not only taught Matt, but Bill a few years later. Wonderful woman!! She loved the Peck boys, and really, who could blame her? In my opinion she showed exceptional taste...

Last week I mentioned Bruce had an inspection. I misspoke--it's tomorrow in North Haven. Bummer, the Capital Grille opening party is tonight, and Bruce is missing it, which makes me sad. He worked so tirelessly on that restaurant, I want him to get all the accolades he deserves, and what better time than when all the big-wigs are in one place. Bummer.

Last night we played Yahtzee for the first time in a long while with Bruce crushing me in the second round--255 to 122! Who, I ask you has ever had a score that low???? Jonathan and Alissa gave us the game a few years ago, a fancy set, I must add. The score sheets are an interesting case study. I compared Matt, Jonathan, Alissa, Bruce a myself with me being the messiest score keeper. The others sheets were remarkably similar with nice neat even columns. I'm not sure what that means--any ideas?

Finished a new book yesterday afternoon--Rhyming Life & Death by Amos Oz, a celebrated Israeli author. The story revolves around a celebrity author doing a literary event and his way of passing the time as he grows bored with the proceedings. Very interesting, the mind of an author.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hanging with the Mayor

I received this via email from City Hall--wait a moment after you click on it because it seems to take a moment to load. The woman to my right (facing picture) is the City Councilwoman for the downtown district, Patty Sheehan. She was the first openly gay person to be elected to the City Council as far as I know. Apparently the city had cut the funding to pay the photographers ($100) per image and she paid it herself. Now I've no idea exactly what she means by that but I, in turn, sent the money to the save the Eola fountain campaign. Here's how you could do the same if you are so inclined: Save the Fountain
(JPEG Image, 3216x2136 pixels) - Scaled (36%)
By now you would think I'd be over my daisy fixation. Apparently it has yet to run it's course.

And here, yet another link:Healthcare Reform, from the NYT magazine, a must read for anyone who seriously would like to see health care reform. I won't get on my soapbox, (well, maybe just a little), to complain about what I've seen thus far. In my humble opinion there has been no discussion about health care reform, instead it's been focused primarily on how to get more people insured. For starters, let's outlaw all pharmaceutical, malpractice attorney, hospital, and doctor advertisements. We are paying for all that nonsense with higher health costs. The article is lengthy but it offers some concrete ways that as a patient we could see better health care. Enough said.

This morning I cooked, this afternoon I'll be doing a photo shoot. The Flint girls were accepted by a modeling agency,now they need comp cards with 3/4, and full length body shots. As such, I'll be doing one girl this afternoon, the other tomorrow afternoon. That should prove easier than our previous session. One of the girls is way more comfortable in front of a camera, or at least she was when last we met. We'll be shooting in a park about three doors down from their home which will make clothing changes much simpler. Lastly in the plus column is the weather, today is the prettiest day that I can remember in months,and months, and months. We had that little cool snap which was almost too cool--we went from bathing suits to coats. Today I'm wearing capris and a short sleeved t-shirt, unimaginable just a week ago. Hurray!

I read that because so many older people have signed up for facebook that all the young people have gone over to Twitter. I could have told them that.

I just looked over my spreadsheet from Roger regarding what he's made for me. Street Art blows everything else out of the water, closing in on 200 prints of one size or another. Who could have predicted that?
Listening to: The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
via FoxyTunes

Reading Update

On Monday mid-morning I went over to Leu Gardens to see what was in bloom. Actually sometimes after a weekend of selling I am antsy to actually shoot pictures so because Monday mornings are free until noon I figured I'd go there. Arriving around 10ish, I found something I'd not encountered before, namely story hour which brought out mothers, strollers, and their children in droves. I parked in an overflow parking area which was cool because I was actually already in the gardens. Sweet. Anyway, I can't tell you the number of times I've photographed red hibiscus flowers only to be disappointed time and time again. I'm thinking my disappointment has been alleviated with this one. Reds are difficult for some reason.

After a quick lunch, I cleaned up a bit for my annual visit (or so I hope!) to City Hall for the calendar presentation. This year I'm Miss June. In this photo Paul and Junko Hennesy are viewing the board with all the submissions which after viewing them all I feel pretty lucky to be chosen. Paul has one of my favorite pictures in this year's calendar, but he didn't make the cut this year; Junko did. This nice couple came by my booth a few weeks ago to get reacquainted and were nice enough to come to the gallery show as well, which reminds me, it is coming to an end this week. As I expected, there were no sales....

What I really wanted to write about was reading Home, by Marilynne Robinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for literature for the novel Gilead. I've linked you to a review by Tony Scott of the NYT which brought out some points that didn't occur to me while reading. First and foremost, this was a challenging book in many ways. It took me longer to read than most novels because the ideas are complex. The action, if you could call it that, takes place in the worn, rambling home of Reverend Boughton, the characters are primarily two of his grown children, Glory and Jack, who've returned to the family home for what appears on the surface as two different reasons, but I'm thinking maybe in the end they weren't so different after all. The story is not billed as a mystery, although it could be because the author only allows us to know bits and pieces of what's going on. As you know, I'm not very good with subtlety, making it all the more difficult to understand, let alone, tell you about. Ms. Robinson writes about spirituality with candor and insight, but in the end, she allows the reader to make their own conclusions. It's a book you won't easily forget.

Another excellent novel I've recently read is All the Living by C.E. Morgan. (For some reason every link I've tried to place here is not working for me) Set on a tobacco farm in Kentucky, Aloma and Orren find their way.

It would seem as if all I read are sad books, and mostly I do, but yesterday I picked up Eleanor Lipman's latest novel, The Family Man, which is like a sitcom after the previous two I've mentioned. She's very clever; if you've never read any of her books you might want to for a laugh.

I'm making two changes in my life, both for the better I hope. One is that I'm going to quit the Saturday market, secondly, I'm giving up our lawn service. For most of my life I've been a lawn mower, something I really do enjoy. The smell of fresh cut grass is so real; surrounded by manufactured scents everywhere, what with body washes, lotion, gels, sprays, oils and candles, we've mostly forgotten the real thing. You can add your own observations to that list I'm sure. Anyway, we are increasingly becoming a people accustomed to fakery, I want to reclaim just a bit of reality, not to mention that I've almost felt a sense of disconnect with my own yard since they've taken over. Bruce has discouraged this move because he's afraid I won't be up for it, however I'm willing to give it a good try.

Dear Sand Lake Market,
It's been almost a year now that I've done my best to be faithful to your mission, setting up my wares, smiling, chatting and hoping, against all odds, that people would come. They haven't. I wish you the best, and I sincerely hope in the future I'll hear reports that cause me to second guess this decision.
yours truly,

Today is the kind of day that causes people to move to Florida--blue skies and mild temps. Did I mention the windows are open? Keep it coming please.
Listening to: LCD Soundsystem - Watch the Tapes
via FoxyTunes

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