Sunday, October 17, 2010

Villano Beach

Took a ride over to Villano Beach on Friday cruising the bulk trash. Didn't find anything, but did discover the Usina Boat Ramp on the intercoastal waterway.

Some kind of beach morning glory.

Villano Beach shoreline.

A ridiculous blow-up black cat.

No comment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Can't remember the last time I went to a supermarket and saw boxes of lard sitting on the drygoods shelves. In the north you occasionally find it in the dairy aisle, if you find it at all. "Southern" fried chicken is cooked in lard, and that's what my mother always used. Her chicken was delicious.

Stayed in today doing odds and ends. My handy-person came and advised me about hanging the porch swing, finished up the caulking, and put in a new sink drain stopper. A small thing, but what a difference from what was there before, and the things we use daily should work correctly. Took a long nap then watched another movie on Hulu. Oh, talked to my therapist on the phone this morning.

Another watercolor class yesterday. Saw a beautiful snake wandering the grounds. I still always think of Steve Irwin and how his tv show and his interaction with snakes helped me get over my fear of them. Now I see them as fascinating and harmless.

After the class I decided to drive down to "Furniture Row," a place I had been told about near Ormond/Daytona. It took me a bit to find it, but the drive down A1A along the ocean was interesting and pretty. Except for the McMansions that are built along the beaches obscuring in most places the view of the sea. And then a rock from somewhere hit my windshield and took a chip out of the glass right in my line of view on the driver's side!!!! I'll have to see if the new car warranty or my insurance will cover fixing it or replacing the windscreen. Really really annoyed me. More money.

Anyway, I found the place, just a huge sort of upscale row of furniture stores, all connected to one another inside. Went to Denver Mattress, a "factory to you, no middle man," mattress store and bought one of their Durango queen mattresses. Foam on top of individually wrapped coils. 30 day money back guarantee, 2 year no interest financing, less than 1K for the set and a frame and delivery and two pillows. The salesman did two things that I found impressive, although they may have been bogus. One, he had me lay (lie?) on the mattress, and raise my arm at a 90 degree angle from my body, and then he pushed on my hand as I tried to resist. It is the standard kinesiology manual muscle test applied to finding the most supportive mattress.

Secondly, he laid (lay?) himself down on the bed next to me to demonstrate that there was little to no movement on the mattress when another person got in or out of the bed. It was all very professional. The bed will be delivered tomorrow. Today I ordered a new mattress pad and a set of sheets online from Penny's on sale.

Here's an online abstract of a study done about the use of MMT to find mattress support for individuals.

I missed my orientation for reading to kindergartener's on Monday, as my handy man was here then, too. He spent quite a long time opening two kitchen windows that had been painted shut many times. After he left, I decided I should check my date book and sure enough, it was already 1/2 hour past the time when the orientation began. I immediately called the contact to say I was still interested, and please call me when another orientation takes place. Ended up going to the beach with SM. She was burned out, so we just sat on the beach and talked and watched the shore birds. Water is cooling down (77 degrees now) but it would still be tolerable in the heat of the day.

Sunday afternoon I went to J & S's for the usual potluck dinner, and playdate for Bindi and Jasper.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Southern Living

On Thursday, I went to visit Sandra Bernhak at her very lovely home further inland. It's a huge old farmhouse with an orchard near the St. John's river, where she lives with nine dogs, three of whom she refers to as "the Taliban," and her house loaded with memorabilia from her many trips out of the country. This first photo was taken in her studio with shots from her Antarctic Project, some of which she took herself.

Standing next to her is Roxanne, one of her dogs who is mostly blind and deaf but so sweet.

Friday, my carpenter came over and replaced the roof on what will be my art studio in the back yard. Among his many activities is being on a men's roller derby team!! He also installed a new fan/light appliance in the ceiling of my kitchen, getting rid of an awful two bulb plastic flourescent mess that was there. He seems to be able to do anything. He'll be installing two new windows, and replacing the yard/garden shed to the right of the larger building.
Got myself finally to go swimming at the Solomon Calhoun outdoor public pool yesterday. It was practically empty, and so refreshing. Even tho the mornings and evenings have become cool here, midday is still nicely warm and the pool is heated. I got a 12 swim pass for $8. A great deal.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


En plein air. In the gorgeous Washington Oaks State Park. Only seven people in the class, all very nice. Teacher extraordinaire. Learned much in the first 3 1/2 hour class. Apply a wash. Let it dry. Apply another wash. Let it dry. Draw more leaves. Coordinate the colors. Let it flow. Rose garden. Koi pond. Greenhouse about to be rehabilitated. Shades of Edgerton. Lovely drive down A1A. Into it. The joy of water and paint and paper and brush.

Photos of art by Kathleen Maling, the instructor. Fabulously talented.
Flowing red curly hair.
Still neurotic about getting furniture. Keep almost deciding on a bed, then backing down. Mattress salesmen are like car salesmen. Can't believe a word they say. They're desperate to sell. I'm compelled to check out every mattress on the internet, and then I can't find the one I've just tried out. Mattress companies constantly change the names of identical products so you can't compare prices. What if it feels good today and sags in 12 months? 1K? 2K? 3K? Is visco memory foam all the same? How can they put just a bamboo cover on a mattress and then advertise it as "eco-friendly?"
Computer chair and table not working out. Arms on chair are too wide, yet the seat and back are comfy. Computer table too big for the guest room, but maybe I can use it in the studio? Take them back? I think the chair had a two week return policy and it's been more than that now. Not making much progress on the inside of the house.
Weather has been lovely, cool mornings and nights, warm during the day. Still am not swimming or going to the beach. What's up with that?
Watching movies on Hulu.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


I'm pretty sure I've been hearing owls in my backyard. And this morning when I walked outside around 8am, something big flew overhead and landed in a nearby treee, which I'm *pretty sure* was an owl. Of course, since I've unpacked my binoculars, I have misplaced them.

The photos are from the St. John's County Agricultural Center community garden. There's another community garden in the city center, an area called Lincolnville, which I'm going to try to find. All that rich dark soil came from a county compost pile. I wondered why they had such great dirt and all I have is sand. The Home & Garden show was very sweet, and I bought a few plants (Mona Lavender, peppermint, "false" gardenia, coneflower, and something with a red flower the name of which has escaped me) and had good conversations with vendors. It began to rain early on and didn't stop, so Bindi and I got drenched, but we had a good time anyway. I found a brand new smoothie blender at their tag sale for $5. Saw my landscape design instructor there, and ate a hotdog.

Was exhausted when I got home and took a long nap. Then watched "Wilby Wonderful," a film on Hulu, the wonderful free online movie/tv site. What a good movie.
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Monday, Oct. 4
Went to Elkton yesterday for the St. Ambrose church fair. One of the reasons I go to these things is the treasures I often find (like the green ceramic shell mandala plate for 50 cents), and also to take me down roads and parts of the county that I would otherwise not traverse. (Underused word, traverse is.) On the way to the fair, I stopped at the weekly flea market on Rt. 207, bought some vegetables, and a sturdy wood drying rack of $2. There was a pet supplies vendor who took Bindi's and my photo to put in her rotating photo display frame; she says she takes photos of all her customers.
Then back to StA to attend the opening of a transit dispatch center, a joint venture between the city and the county, combining the small public bus company and the para-transit vans sponsored by the city Council on Aging. Lovely new building, and they kept the two very old oak trees in the front; usually developers just bulldoze those things down. I went at the behest (another underused word) of my friends who were protesting the presence of a politician at the opening who had claimed credit for making this center happen, even tho he voted against the stimulus package that eventually paid for the place. These friends are very active and involved Democrats, so I never have to read the articles in the paper to get my political updates.
Went back over to their house after, read the NY Times, S. and I took Bindi and Jasper for a walk, but I left before dinner because I was very tired, and slightly annoyed/hurt/sensitive to the fact that some of my newer friends here don't ask me how I am, or how my week went, or how I'm feeling about being here, or anything about myself. I have more of those conversations with strangers. I don't get it. Is everyone a narcissist? So many people are able to blab on and on about themselves, without being asked. Is that what I'm supposed to do? I don't assume anyone wants to know anything about me unless they ask. S. said, when I complained about this, she would never ask me a personal question in a group. I think I have to just do one on ones. I end up feeling so alienated in groups.
On Saturday morning I went to a big garage sale (that's what they call them here mostly) at a retirement community and found a very nice small table, unfinished wood, clean lines, for $15, and a modern chrome table lamp for $5. Still no bed, microwave, toaster, sofa, or dining set.