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Showing posts from January, 2011

Pictorial Roundup

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not much of a housekeeper. Sure, our home is generally neat, but clean, that's another story. Yesterday I finally got around to cleaning the floor, which if we weren't having dinner guests, would have been put off even longer!

I do like it when things are clean, I just don't enjoy the process. Bruce, upon his return from work last evening remarked that the house looked wonderful. Nice.

The nicer weather, aside from the stormy days, has me much in the mood for picture taking. Let's see what I've been shooting, shall we?
I can't get enough of this orchid I bought before Christmas. The color is really special. Funny how the oil painting I did above the lamp kinda matches. Confetti.

I don't know about you, but I seem to have a habit of losing things that I've put away recently. What I'm looking for lately is my old green wallet. After winning a new wallet at Amanda's shower, I moved some things over, however…

What Shall We Make Today?

How about a terrarium? Recently I became aware that terrariums are all the rage these days, which doesn't surprise me; pretty much everything makes a comeback. I can clearly remember making one in a large brandy snifter during our first year of marriage, which for those of you who don't know, was 37 years ago.

Here's what I gathered for mine:
We had a hard time finding plants small enough, and to tell you the truth, these are a tiny bit larger than I would have liked. I bought some from Jim at the market, however, when Bruce was out and about on Sunday, he stopped by a garden center, buying me a few more, including the tiny little podacarpus I used. So, mine looks like this at the moment:
After watching this slideshow, Terrariums on the NYT site, I'm thinking I need to do better. I was lucky to find this lidded jar at Marshalls, however I think I'll be on the lookout for something more creative.

Monday night was bridge class. It was pretty good actually. In the after…

An Anniversary of Sorts

Waking up this morning I immediately began puzzling about today's post. How best to summarize my feelings on the anniversary of my mother-in-law's death? Am I sad, or am I happy? Sad, because we'll not see her again in this life, or happy that she's reunited with her loved ones in a better place?

Both Bruce's brother and sister urged him to visit the graveside, which he did yesterday morning after setting up the booth. Returning in the afternoon, I asked him how he felt, to which he replied-- "mixed feelings." I know what he means.

Although my father has been dead almost half of my life, I've gone to the cemetery maybe three times. Mostly, because I know he's not there. Sure there's a marker, but it means little to me. I prefer to think of both the good times, and the bad, while he was still living. Have I ever told you how we had to polish our shoes every afternoon when we returned home from school? Shoe inspections followed when…

Let's Make Some French Bread

Shall we?

But before we get to that, let's talk spaghetti and meatballs. Around our house, while growing up, having spaghetti and meatballs was quite a production. On the rare occasions that I've mentioned my father in this space, you've probably gathered that he was picky. Make that extremely picky, down to the size of the meatballs my mother made. Don't ask me to remember his reasoning for only wanting very small meatballs because I can't, however, I know it was woe to my mother if they were too big. So......

Although I married a man who is similar to my father in some ways, being picky is not one of those ways. To say that he's easy to get along with is an understatement. Furthermore, he's always wanting to take me out to dinner when he's home. Mostly I say, no thanks. If you've ever been to a restaurant with me you know how challenged I am when it comes to choosing my food, always wanting to go last. It's that choice thing I guess. I'd m…

Busy Little Beaver

Yep--that's me these days. I don't know about you, but I want to do more than time allows. Between cooking, taking pictures, my business, sewing, reading, and the list goes on, I am having to really discipline myself to get it all in! No complaints mind you, I'm a very lucky gal!

To top it all off, I went and signed up for bridge lessons with Trish. Monday afternoon, when she was dropping me back by the house after our session at Sherwin Williams, she mentioned she and some friends were going to lessons at the Bridge Center on Bennett Road. Gosh, I thought, that brings back memories of my parents. Why not? Well, I up and did it, joining about twenty other folks for group lessons. We'll get more into that as the eleven remaining weeks progress, but suffice it to say, when I left I thought--Gail, just what were you thinking??? Memory and strategy are the two most important skills needed to play bridge, which as we all know, I'm lacking in both.

So, here's the new…

Rainy Day Monday

Waking up to gray skies on a Monday morning isn't my idea of perfect, however, the thunderstorms which came in soon thereafter are much needed. While driving to Ocala last week on a super cold morning, everywhere I looked I saw evidence of our unseasonably cold weather this winter. Brown, brown, brown!

Mostly true. Actually, my drive through the Ocala National Forest was wonderful. Mile after mile of stick straight pine trees planted in rows.
So, there was some green. And lots and lots of blue. The freezing weather--28 degrees in Umatilla, seems to bring out the blue of the sky, which in turns seems to turn every body of water ultra blue. You know how sometimes a lake looks either gray or green? Not so in the winter it seems.
The above is not just some random lake shot, no, my friends, it is part of our family history. Make that Matt and Bruce's history to be precise. When I saw the sign for Farles Prairie, I decided to see the place for myself. Taking a left turn off SR 19, I …

I Would Be Blogging...

if not for this:
I picked up the prints late yesterday morning and I'm overwhelmed! I do love the new paper for sure though. As you know, Bruce was very anxious to get a new table, so since he was working from home he suggested we go to Ikea a little after lunch. Well, within hours I was sitting here thanks to my in-house handyman:
Actually, this was taken after dinner, thus the darkness, however in the next few days I'll give you the daylight version. As well, we got a super cute chair for the room. Why, you ask? Well, Baxter needs somewhere to hang out, doesn't he? Of course, humans can use it as well, but you get my drift.

Hopefully, this adorable shot of Baxter, ready for bed on a cold winter's night, will make up for my absence:

I am anxious to share my Ocala trip with you, but that will have to wait until the mound of prints is signed, priced, sealed and sorted into the new baskets! Oh my, what have I done?

Beautiful Morning

Apparently we are the only state without snow on the ground, for which I'm grateful. That said, it is still mighty chilly around these parts, more so tomorrow morning if the predictions prove accurate. Nonetheless, I can take just about any temperature if the sun is shining, and shining it is. Without any humidity to speak of, the sky seems to be a more brilliant shade of blue, which I'm now facing in my new space. I liked my "Dancing Green" office very much, however, I'm loving facing a window in my new space. Life is good.

After returning from the Polasek yesterday afternoon I couldn't wait to give the food coloring experiment another try.
I began, once again, by coating the foam core with corn syrup and dropping red and black food coloring. Not entirely pleased with that, I added a blue drop on top of the red which I fully expected would become purple. It did not, as you can see. I LOVE how that blue turned out. For the record, I tried it on glue, which pro…

Making Art

You never know where inspiration for art will come from. After naming all new 75 pieces for my bins this morning, I read the instructions for a Christmas gift from Matt. There is a pack of both watercolor paper and fabric that you expose with the sun, however today the sun refused to make an appearance. Nix that idea.

Here's what I did come up with after coating foam core with corn syrup and dropping food coloring:
It was really amazing how much they looked like flowers. I then tilted it upright and here's what happened soon thereafter:
By now I put it in the sink to contain the mess! Obviously I had to take photographs to show you how cool it was. Here's one taken about thirty minutes later:
Now my abstract flowers have stems!

Tonight is the last college football game of the season--the big show down between Oregon and Auburn.  At this point it's anybodies game, however, later tonight there will be a bunch of disappointed people. I'm always saying that you must be pr…


Well folks, we did it. More accurately, Bruce did most of it. This morning, shortly after getting up, Bruce asked if I wanted to make the change. Well....why not?
Bruce concealing all the wires while Gail takes photographs. See reflection in mirror. It took most of the day, but here's how things finished up:
More than a year ago I purchased the comforter/quilt before Matt came home for Christmas. My intention was to use it on the fold up bed we purchased, however that never happened. For the moment, this is good.

When we began moving the furniture this morning I called Jonathan, the farmer from the market who generally takes all of our furniture when we make changes. They have seven, yes, seven children! I didn't hear back from him until later in the afternoon, but when I mentioned we had a twin bed and mattress to give away, I think I heard tears in his voice. He said, "You have no idea what a blessing this is for our family." Gosh.....

I've photographed most room…

Change is in the Air

Don't you just love January? Of course, living in Florida, as I do, has something to do with it. Yes, the weather is ideal most days but what I like about January is the newness, if that's a word. Anything seems possible. I've never been one to make resolutions, however, I do like to make changes. But you knew that didn't you? I always like to say, everything is subject to change, except my marriage! Speaking of marriages, oftentimes I don't recognize how special our relationship is until I hear tales of other marriages. Whew! There are some mighty unhappy married folks out there. I'm ever so grateful I'm not one of them.

So what am I changing now? Lots.
First, my hair. I've had my hair highlighted since I was about seventeen and it's time for a change. What's wrong with brown anyway? Furthermore, I'm going to do my best to let my bangs grow out. That's another thing I've done for most of my life, starting with the time in elementary…