Monday, September 27, 2010

The tree surgeons came today

they were dressed in gloves and wore mask over their mouths and noses. By the time they left I was thinking of them as barbers. You know as in shave and a haircut. The leaves  got chopped off and the older dead leaf attachments got shaved away.
A year ago as I remember, during the very week I moved here, which by the way is coming up on a year this Friday, the tree surgeons came.  They trimmed back the palm trees the same as they did today. Last October, not being familiar with palm trees, I watched  the crew move from one tree to the next of the ten palm trees in the garden in well coordinated movements.  It was an interesting way to spend 30 minutes or so. This morning watching their activity was no different. The first year I was wondering why they trimmed the the trees back in my opinion "severely".   I really did like the look of them as they were. See picture in the upper left frame. When they finished last year, I thought they looked a little odd with only 4-6 leaves sitting atop the tall trunks when they were done.
It's strange how things that change slowly in your life are less obvious to your eye and the palm trees certainly were that. They were just there outside my window, growing taller and adding new leaves as  the year passed. And while I saw them, I really didn't see them growing and changing, they just did.
 I love the crisscross pattern on the trunks and have thought, "can I do something creative with that pattern".  So far, I haven't thought of a thing.
I love color and  I can assure you the color of palm tree trunks "brown" has not influenced me  in the least.
Learning something new is always good: Since I have been here, I learned that palm trees are healthier if trimmed back yearly. And leaving 3-6 leaves is best. All of the well tended palm standing throughout the area are trimmed and groomed  treated just as the ones in the garden are. I have decided that for the next year, I will take a picture of one of the palm trees on the last Monday of each month so I can be more aware of what is happening outside my window right in front of my eyes.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On line quilt contest

Voting open until September 26th.  Go here  and cast your vote for your favorite. I'm not telling you which one is mine. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

The wedding, the city, my daughter

Traveling with someone who travels a lot sure makes getting from point A to point B "EASY". My daughter Rene's travels a LOT.  (Rene' is pictured on the left in the photo below.)
The secret she says for getting through security at the Orlando airport is to go through the middle of the three security check point.  The middle section is hidden from view.  It seems only the most seasoned traveler use it.  It seems that  the middle section is used by passengers with small  carry on bags and if they have a computer they know to get it out and into a separate bin.  For the other passengers without computers they seem to only have stuff that will  fit in  a single bin as was the case with Rene' and me.  Best of all the passengers in that line did not wear shoes with laces.  The footwear of choice was flip flops, no buckle sandals,  skiffs, step in or clogs.
From touch down in Jackson, MS on Saturday to take off for home on Sunday we were on the ground  less than 24 hours. so we hit the ground moving. 
To our delight as we were leaving the airport area and driving north of I-55 to the right was a shopping area and I spied a free standing Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store.  In the south, everywhere, except Florida it seems, a free standing Baskin Robbins  means  black walnut ice cream can be found there.   You can forget about finding that flavor in BR's that are attached to Dunkin Donuts.   About a quarter of a mile further along the road, Rene' saw an O'Charley's  on the same side of the interstate and said, "Grilled chicken salad, yum, lets get off". 
It was past lunch time and peanuts and pretzels in flight are not my idea of lunch. 
Rene' and I order grilled chicken salads to go and went to get ice cream while the order was being readied.
Counting down, we had 2 hours and 15 minutes to go before we needed to be at the church.
We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard about 4 miles from the church that was easily located thanks to "Georgia" our pet name for our GPS unit with a female voice. 
The wedding was lovely.  Instead of lighting a unity candle, they each poured a different color of sand, his brown and hers white into a container and mixed them. She had my mother light a candle in memory of my father, the brides grandfather before the vows were said.  All of the grandchildren have such fond memories of their "Pappaw" and it was nice she honored him in that way.
The reception was 20 miles from the church back south on I-55 nearly back to the airport, but on the way Rene' and I both said it would be a shame if we went to Jackson and didn't see Jackson, so off the interstate we detoured and did a quick drive through of the city.  Like most downtown city centers without tourist attractions there was no one on the streets.  We laughingly reported to my daughter Lyn that we saw four people, one walking, one sitting on a bench and a couple getting out of a car across the street from the Governor's mansion.  The man had a camera.  Tourist  not exactly like us.  They did park and got out of their car.  We on the other hand did drive bys of the sites pictured above.

The bride changed her dress for the reception which gave one an all a view of her shoes.  Even in my youth I wouldn't have dared wear those shoes.  But then, in my youth I was never as small as she is. 

While I talk to my daughter Lyn (the one on the right) daily and often several times more than once a day it was so good to see her and give her a hug.
In parting, all the girl cousins, of which I am one along with being a mother, sister, and aunt, including the "bride" met at our hotel for breakfast.

A girl thing.  The bride came to breakfast, having left her new husband in bed sleeping while she went to have her hair done so she would look real spiffy for her flight to California and honeymoon cruise.   

Family... seeing, remembering and adding to; that's what wedding are about.  It was a very good trip.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maybe I should change the name of my blog

 from Art-Quilt-Works to Life in Apartment 226.   I seem to be writing more about my life in general then the art that I make.  The excuse I will use for my few and far between post is,  I tend to work large and the time between inception to the sleeves and label being done can be extended and not very interesting to report on.  That's my story and I AM sticking to it.
Further down the post there is a picture of the desk  I found at Target.  I looked for something in this style and size almost from the day I moved here.  Failing to find it; I made due with something from IKEA that served my needs.  After all unless the annoying Martha Stewart in you goes tsk tsk tsk, a flat surface at the right height is all that is really required for a lap top and printer.  But this desk was a wanted item for me and not   "Martha".   I love how well the desk works with my easel.
Further reporting on life in Apt 226 it was very early Tuesday morning; about 3:45 AM when I went to bed.  I stayed up late  listening to the second book in a new to me series of novels by Fern Michaels.   I had to hear how it ended before I could call it a day.  With no demands on my life other than those I impose on myself  on most day and the luxury of sleeping in if I want to I sat there contentedly knitting and listening. 
But no.  Contrary to my plans.  There would be no sleeping in.  At 8:15 AM my daughter Rene' called.  She is the daughter who resides in the condo from.... you know where.  But thankfully because of the help of knowledgeable craftsmen redoing the whole place  the condo has risen slowly out of that place  we wish not to speak of to become a home my daughter 90% of the time likes coming home to.
Just as she was about to go to bed herself Monday night  she began hearing strange sounds coming from the closet that houses the furnace and water heater.  On inspection she noticed  steam billowing  from a pipe.  Steam alarmingly had filled the utility room.  She called the plumber at mid-night.  Turned off the water heater as instructed by him and made an appointment for a house call ASAP. 
Before I was fully awake less than 5 hours later, there I was back to my house sitting duties.
As it turned out, most of the problems was because of  faulty piping connections and what was going on in the condo below Rene's unit.  I could have gone back to bed  while waiting for the plumber to call letting me now he was on the way but I didn't.  The plumber arrived at 12:30 and  2 hours and big dollars later the problems were solved without Rene' having to put in a new water tank which she feared was the next thing she would have to replace.   According to our plumber her water heater is almost new and it is  the people below Rene" who have some real major problems going on with their unit however that thankfully is not Rene's problem.
Yesterday  while  waiting for the plumber to call, letting me know he was on his way I started listening to another book in the Fern Michaels, "Sisterhood"  series and realized that I had to listen to them in order or loose the sense of connectedness.  The overriding plot, sub plots and main characters are important to the appeal of the series and I was loosing the connectedness by listening to book five before three and four which I realized after 10 minutes of listening.  So I stopped listening. I was missing too much of the story line to continue. 
After the plumber left, I went to the library in search of books three and four and found them.  To date, there are 20 books in this series of which I have 13 in the apartment and the other 5 which the library has that are on CD  I placed on hold. The last two are on order the Librian said.  They do have the last two in book form and I might have to break down and read them.  I do still like to read. The books  are such light reading/ listening and formulated, however I might tire of them before I get through all of them, but for now I'm hooked.
As you know, Lately I have lacked inspiration and had no clue of what I wanted to start painting next.  But for four days inspiration has been slowly growing from tight buds to fully open blooms on my desk before my eyes.  As I sat reading my e-mail  on Tuesday while waiting for the plumber to call, I took a good look at the lilies on my desk and thought hummmmm.
I took several pictures.
So here is the sketch, not sure how large it will be in cloth or if the lilies will be this stylized.  One thing for sure, I am not moved by the color of the lilies on my desk, I really wish they were yellow, or orange or red/orange, but that's what artistic license is for.  Right?   Therefore, I can paint them any color I choose. Now I just have to decide what color or colors.
Karoda wanted to know if in my cleaning/organizing spurt I came upon any new things I wanted to share with my readers.  Not really.  Not because I don't want to share but rather there isn't any new stuff.  What I am trying to do is get rid of stuff, consolidate, simplify. 
But  I am showing you some DMC boxes I brought from the quilt shop in Kissimmee a couple of months ago. Can't remember if I told you about them in a past post.   I've had one of these well made wood boxes with three plastic drawers for over 20 years and I had been on the lookout for more of them ever since.  So now I have 7.  I have not totally organized them or settled comfortably into what will be in what drawer.  Most are still empty or under full, but for now, I am happy with the use I have for them.  Given some time I'm sure I can refine what is where. And I know  for efficiency there needs to be labels.  Post-it Notes has a new product I am going to buy for this purpose.  Going out to buy  them might be the perfect excuse to make a short trip on the bike.  Yes I can walk there, but it is fun to ride.
I did take several items to the last local quilt guild meeting and gave them away to six quilters who thought the items  where worth having.  They were of no use to me any longer and I am sure the items are happy in their new homes.   I have collected a nice box full of fabric I  promised to send to my friend Kathy in Louisville as soon as I get myself to the post office.
Karoda, sorry to say, no new adventures or  long distance trip on my bike of late, but the post-office might be a good destination  with Kathy's box when I get home from the wedding. 
There are lots of errands I could do on the bike if the places I want to visit  are open before 8:00 AM.  After 9:30 AM  until October it really is too hot and humid to be out and about on a bike after that time without carrying some water and breaks in the shade.  I am so waiting for the Autumn and Winter Florida temperatures.
I know this is a long post, but the other thing on my mind, is
 how  strange it is that you can go about your everyday life and not see what is in front of your eyes.  I know about selective hearing, well  in my case there is also selective  seeing too.
Case in point, the fire extinguisher pictured above.  Yesterday, when I got home from my errands; condo sitting, the market, the library and dropping off some fabric at a friends house that she had me order for her I found a notice attached to my front door from the management office telling me to put my fire extinguisher in front of my door on September 16 before 8:00AM because the fire extinguisher company was making their annual visit to the building to check them.
My first thought was "WHAT FIRE EXTINGUISHER"  The notice went on to say as I read further that  MY FIRE EXTINGUISHER was located on the wall in the laundry room near the breaker panel.  REALLY!
Don't ask me how many time I have been in and out of the laundry room. At least once a day.  My dirty cloth hampers, one for lights and one for darks are located there.   Had I seen a fire extinguisher in there?  How could I have missed seeing it.  TOTAL BLANK....  I walked  to the laundry room, opened the door, reached to my left and turned on the light.  After living here for almost a year, I can find the light switch in the dark without looking.  To my befuddlement, there it was.
Until yesterday, before I looked and really  saw the extinguisher, if someone had shouted FIRE in my apartment and told me to grab the fire extinguisher, I swear I would have stood rooted to the floor, maybe turning around in one spot, frantically searching my mind for a clue and not coming up with the fact that  yes I had a fire extinguisher or the knowledge that I knew where in my apartment it could possibly be.  Now I know.
Knowing  with certainly where it is, is a good thing.  Needing to use it.  I'd rather not, thank you.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There is nothing on the easel

or being stitched together or being quilted.  My art has taken a back seat to general housekeeping, reorganizing my studio stuff and shopping for a dress and shoes to match to wear to my most favorite niece's wedding next Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi. 

It will be a fast trip there and back.  Rene' and I are leaving on a flight out of Orlando on Saturday that will get us to the hotel, changed and at the church by 2:45PM. Then it is back  to the hotel after the reception to sleep fast.  If all goes as planned we will be back in Orlando before noon on Sunday.

Went to see "The American" today with George Cloney.  If you catch the previews, you will have seen the best parts of the movie.  Very European in style.  Lot of scenery, not much dialog.  Very close to the worst movie I have seen in years.   A total waste of money  for the ticket and calories used eating the popcorn as I kept waiting for it to get better.  It never did. 

Carol...  Send me your blog site address so I can look at your sparrows.

Blog followers, maybe the next time you visit there will be something to look at.  I didn't think you would be interested in seeing the desk I brought  last week.  I've been searching for almost a year for just the right one  that fit into my decor and didn't look like it belonged in an office.  I lucked up on it at Target.