Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I finally had a tomato ready to pick today. I have had lots of grape tomatoes, but this the first big one. It has rained off and on all day long. It was a great day for cleaning closets. How do you accumulate so much junk? It's all bagged up and ready to go. Clean closets are wonderful.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2nd Annual Mad Tea Party

Today is the day for the "Mad Tea Party" hosted by A Fanciful Twist. I put on my "party shoes" and headed out the door. It's going to be so much fun. You can start to party with Della Rae then party hop from blog to blog.

The first guest to greet me was the Cheshire Cat's cousin, "Green", you know they say the cat is always greener on the other side of the fence, but I'm not so sure that's true. He had that pleased little smile on his face, so I know he was having a good time.

The "Birthday Princess", was serving tea from a tea set my mother painted for my birthday twenty-seven years ago. I didn't know how much it would mean to me at that time. Now it is a cherished heirloom to be passed from generation to generation.

She poured a cup for Dolly, who has lived with me since I was five. She knows all my secrets and I know hers. I'm glad she is only drinking tea.

What's a party without a clown? Rock 'N Roland is here to entertain. He really is a funny guy. He just looks a little scary.
I think someone spiked the punch. I don't know who this fellow is but it looks like the wine has gone to his head.
The Frog Prince is here looking for his princess. From the size of that rock, it looks like he is loaded. No tea for him, he brought his own bottle of Dom Perignon.
You always need music at a party. "Mr. Blue", will play you a little toot, toot, toot, on his flute, flute, flute.

I guess it's time to move on to the next party. I hope you had a good time while you were here and that you come and visit again and again.

"Nothing is a waste of time, if you use the experience wisely" Rodin

Prim Celebration

I am a lucky lady! This is the adorable little doll I won from Carol Roll, Carol Roll Nostalgic Folk Art, and To Dwell in Primitive Thymes. At the beginning of the month I put my name in the hat at "To Dwell in Primitive Thymes" to win one of the wonderful prizes they were giving away in honor of their 100th post. I am new to blogging and was so surprised when I found out I was a winner. This is my first blog win. Since I also make dolls I was even more excited to win this particular prize. This Prim Dolly will have a place of honor in my collection of dolls. I love old things, from bits of lace to antique glassware and furniture. I am always searching for toys from my childhood and have many old books. This little dolly is a wonderful, nostalgic reminder of simpler times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seeing Pink?

The Roseate Spoonbill is a wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family. Its main residence is South America, the Caribbean, and the United States Gulf coast. That is why I was so surprised when I looked out my kitchen window today and saw this beauty at the mouth of the canal feeding with a Great Blue Heron. I have seen them before at Boca Grande, but never here on my lake in central Florida.

I tried to get as close as possible to take his picture, but he was wary of me.

He turned and looked as soon as he heard the crunching of the grass....and then he was gone. I wonder if the feeding was good enough for him to return or if he just stopped for a snack?

Mr. Heron never paused in his quest for dinner. I guess he is accustomed to me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Just Leaves

I got up bright and early this morning to beat the heat to pull weeds. It has been close to 100 degrees for the past few days, and no rain in sight.....the weeds are still growing. While I was out I thought I would take pictures of flowers to share with you, but this weed that is everywhere caught my eye. We are always looking at the beauty of flowers, but do you ever look at "just leaves"? As I looked around my yard I was startled to see all the amazing sizes, shapes, colors, and textures of the leaves. All the different shades of green was a bit of coolness in the heat.

This culprit not only covered my birdbath, but everything else in the yard. He was the main reason I was out weeding.

The croutons were still displaying their vibrant fall foliage. They were waiting for a cool breeze to come their way so they could dream of the crisp,cool, days of fall.

Sunlight glistened on the pineapple plants while their spike -like leaves reached for the sun.
The seed pods hung heavy on the Cypress trees, quite a contrast to their delicate, lacy leaves that danced like faries with the slightest breeze.

My lone eggplant, a gift from a friend, has not blossomed yet, but I am in hopes that it will be soon.
Ahh...lavender, second only to rosemary of the most fragrant herbs. Her grayish blue leaves an interesting contrast to the terracotta pot was soaking up the sun.
The white bird of paradise blooms have gone from the Traveler Palms now, but the cascading leaves are still a refuge for many small creatures.
Sea Grape, a long way from the salty, sandy shore of the gulf still thrives under the Florida sun on the banks of the lake.
Where we see the buttery yellow lotus flowers, floating on heart shaped leaves waiting to become pods.

And banana fronds reaching upward like peacock tails in full glory, soon to host many bunches of finger bananas and colorful banana spiders.The huge Dracena that I planted for it's feathery leaves, a wonderful addition to tropical flower arrangements. I can't count how many lined tables, cradling platters of food at outdoor gatherings.And the ever growing fern that spreads it's beauty so fast you can't keep up with the weeding. Covering your garden at an alarming rate of speed.

Just leaves....but when you stop and look they bring such pleasure to your life. Peaceful soothing greens that bring beauty to the earth.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Creature with the Black Balloon

Yesterday while walking along the shore, I heard splashing in the water. Swiftly, I turned around and there he was, The Creature with the Black Balloon. I knew he was coming but I didn't know when. I had been dreading this day. His predecessor had haunted my childhood dreams for years. Would those old fears surface when he arrived? Much to my surprise he was a friendly fellow with a cheerful look on his face. Maybe it was the balloon. Who wouldn't like someone bringing a balloon. I slept well last night. No dreams of the gillman climbing out of the oozing swamp, only pleasant happy dreams to wake me with a smile.
The Creature with the Black Balloon comes to me from Caroline of Caroline's Crafts as part of the "Under the Sea Swap". I am so happy that he will be making his home in Florida. I know he is happy, too. At night he can sneak out of the house and terrorize the neighborhood as he slips in to the lake and waits for unsuspecting fisherwomen. Thank you, Caroline, he is adorable!

Happy Father's Day


1967 Boca Grande, Whidden's Marina

1974 With the loves of his life...Stephanie and Jimbo

Happy Father's Day, Daddy... even though I am older now than you were when we lost you, I still miss you everyday. No daughter could have been loved more.
Happy Father's Day to Jimbo and Dennis, the father's of my beautiful grandchildren.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meet Mesmeria

This spooky little mermaid has traveled to Virginia to live with her new family. She is really excited because she knows other mystical creatures reside there. Mesmeria was created for the "Under the Sea "hosted by Zan at Wild at Heart Art. Zan chose Caroline of" Caroline's Craft's as my swap partner. After several emails to Caroline and a look at her husband, Phil's blog, Halloween Tinkerings, I knew that I had to make something "Halloweenie", for her, so Mesemeria appeared. I really enjoyed this swap. It was my first and was so much fun.
I enjoyed creating my art doll, but the best thing about the swap is that I made new friends by participating in it. Caroline had been wonderful with the advice and help she has given me with my blog. When you are just beginning there are so many things you don't know how to do. Yes, you can look them up, but sometimes you really don't know what you are looking for or what to call it. She has sent me simple, complete directions I can understand. Thanks, Caroline, you have been a big help. Now....I am waiting for a creature to crawl up on the bank in my backyard. I know he is swimming here from Virginia....I have a towel ready to dry him off.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Much ADO About Art Dolls

TODAY IS THE DAY!Much ADO About Art Dolls challenges you to make an art doll along with us.
Sign up starts today and will run until July 16th. To sign up simply email artdollsonly@hotmail.com and let us know you want to participate. You don't need to be a doll artist....try your hand at something new. Please include your name and a link to your blog, then get working on your doll!!

Your inspiration is the elements, air, earth, fire and water. We challenge you to make an art doll using one, two, three, or all four of the elements as your inspiration. On Friday July 17th participants will post their art doll to their blog. Saturday, July 18th and Sunday, July 19th begins the fun of seeing all the art dolls that have been created! All participants will be listed on the ADO sidebar for easy visiting.

Any and all artists are welcome to participate, including non members. Here is your chance to explore the wonderful world of art dolls. If you are a first time doll maker, old hat, or have not created in awhile, we welcome to join in on the fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Under the Sea Swap

Here is a sneak preview of the doll I created for Caroline of Caroline's Crafts in the "Under the Sea Swap". The fabulous Zan Asha of Wild at Heart Art was the hostess for this successful venture with over fifty participants. This was my first swap and I can't wait to get my doll from Caroline. You can view all the art dolls in the "Parade of Mermaids" on Zan's blog on June 19.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday Visitors

The birds came to visit me today. I have heard the woodpecker pecking away at the dead cypress tree in my backyard for weeks. This morning I saw the hole that he had made. If you look close you can see him on the right side of the tree about half way down. He flies away and comes back and goes in his home, only to repeat the process again and again.
The Sandhill Cranes were here again this morning. When they see me they come running looking for a hand -out. There are two adults and two young cranes. They wander the neighborhood in search of food. They are in the right place. Almost everyone here has bird feeders in thier yards.

This guy usually stands at the edge of the lake looking for his dinner, but this morning I captured him up in a tree. Soon he spread his wings and was soaring over the water. I love watching the birds in my yard. They make me happy just being here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blueberry Time in Florida

Did you know that blueberries grow in Florida? I didn't until a few years ago. Well, they do, lots and lots of blueberries. Most of them grow in sunny Haines City on the Mixon Family Farm. I am fortunate enough to know the Mixon family and to teach their children. For the past two years, the Mixons have given a gift of blueberries to the teachers of their children. We were invited to come out to the farm and pick those beautiful berries that are not only tasty but good for you, too.
I got up early Wednesday morning to go out to the field and beat the blazing sun. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. We were met by the Rhonda, the farm office manager, who took us to the field where we were to pick. She gave us buckets to use, picked a few berries, and made us feel welcome. The birds serenaded us with their sweet tweet voices as we scowered the field for blue gold. The berries were plenitiful and we soon filled our buckets. As the day grew longer, the sun began to take it's toll on those not accustomed to standing beneath its blistering rays. An occasional breeze and the taste of sweet berries helped to make the experience more pleasurable. The berries had a dusky hue and ranged in size, color, and taste. Each time you would eat one, you would swear it was better than the last. Soon laughter competed with the chirping birds as friends made memories of a day in the sun, laughter and hope, and the sweet taste of berries in your mouth.
I want to thank the Mixon family for sharing their blueberries with me and many others. Berries that could fall to the ground, fill my freezer to make the start of my day sweeter. I am fortunate to know a family that shares the fruits of their labor with family and friends. Each time I fill my bowl, I will think of them and once again say a silent "Thank You".

Monday, June 8, 2009

My First Award

I have been given the "One Lovely Blog" award by Sugar Donkey Dolls Designs. This is my first blog award. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Now I get to pass this award to some of the fabulous blogs that I read. Please visit Sugar Donkey at http://sugardonkeydoll.blogspot.com/ to see her lovey works of art.

This is how it works: Rules of Blog Award Acceptance
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Please visit these lovely blogs:


Sunday, June 7, 2009

I worked in the yard again today between the frequent showers. The squirrels were playing tag in the backyard and would not stay still long enough for me to get their picture. It is hot and muggy here, but everything is growing....lots and lots of weeds. The Limpkin family is still here. The babies are beginning to lose their fuzzy coat and their legs are starting to look like stilts. I captured a picture of mom on the dock. You can't see the babies, they are hiding in the grass on the edge of the lake. I love the reflections in the water. This is the calm after the storm.
Apple snails are the primary food source for the limpkin, but they also eat fresh water mussels. I found a pile of them on the bank beside a cypress knee. Both parents incubate their eggs for about 27 days. The young hatch covered with down, capable of walking, running, and swimming. They follow their parents to a platform of aquatic vegetation where they will be brooded. They are fed by both parents; they reach adult size at 7 weeks and leave their parents at about 16 weeks. I will hate to see the babies leave, but hope that they come back to build their nests here next year.
I found an old bicycle on the side of the road and brought it home. It makes a wonderful planter. I know the neighbors think I am crazy, but just looking at it makes me happy.

Friday was the last day of school for me. There are so many things I need to do around the house. I want to get my art room organized so I can get serious painting and making dolls, but today was dedicated to the yard. Here is my first tomato of the season. My vegetable garden consists of three tomato plants and an egg plant. I only grew the egg plant because one of my student's parent gave it to me. Now you can see why I am excited by a tomato.

Rosemary grows like crazy in my yard. I have five huge bushes of it. I use it for cooking and keep a vase of cuttings in my kitchen window so I can smell it any time I want. It is so easy to root that I give plants to friends all the time.

These are new blooms in my yard this week. I love daylilys. I wish they would bloom all year long. I don't know the name of the sunflower, but I know it is easy to grow. All you need to do is break off a piece and stick it in the ground and add a little water. It grows 10 to 12 feet tall and is covered with beautiful flowers all summer long.

This gorgeous orchid surprised me this morning. It has already bloomed once this year, so I was happy to see it's beautiful face again. I guess it's time to go work on organizing. Always remember to stop and smell the flowers.
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban