.....and other random stuff......

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Believe it or not, I went to modeling school (aka charm school.)

I don’t think I’m their best endorsement, but it’s true nonetheless!

My parents decided to send me because at the time I was ‘blossoming into womanhood’ we lived in a less than sophisticated area.
Plus I was at the age where I no longer listened to or believed anything they told me.
So my mother thought if I learned the ‘social graces’ from strangers I’d be more amenable.

I had a totally different reason for going.
I was going to be the next Twiggy! (For those of you reading this who don’t understand that reference, Google it! She was HOT!)

So every Saturday I gave up hanging out with my friends to schlep into the ‘city’ and learn from strangers how to be a proper young lady.

I learned how to put on makeup with a tongue depressor. (I never wore any after that!)

I learned how to walk through a door properly. (Who knew there was a right and a wrong way to walk through a door? I always figured if you got to the other side you were doing it right!)

I learned to fence. You know, thrust and parry alá Errol Flynn.

I learned how to walk like a model, stand like a model, turn and sit like a model. (For which my aching back is forever grateful! snort!)

There were lessons in manners and deportment.

How to properly introduce people to each other. (Here again I thought if you just told them each other’s name it was all good. Apparently not! There is a pecking order!)

I learned that my purse had to always match my shoes.

I learned that properly brought up young ladies AT ALL TIMES wore gloves in public. (C’mon! This was the sixties! Who the bleep wore gloves anymore?)

The last three classes were ballroom dancing classes. The ONE lesson that maybe, possibly, might have had at least a remote chance of being relevant and I missed them because we moved!

I’m here to tell you that NONE of what I learned was ever any help whatsoever in my real life.

AND I never got to be the next Twiggy! 
En Garde!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Self Amusement

As a way to figure out this new camera I thought I’d photograph signs around town, then rearrange the letters into different words.  
It’s not a new idea.
But it’s a fun way to practice, not only with the camera but to sharpen my Photoshop skills!
Here’s the first one.

The letters are as follows-- C: Chase Bank, R: Target, E: Wells Fargo Bank, A: Chase Bank, T: Home Depot, E: Chase Bank. 
(Not to be too self congratulatory, but I kind of like it!) LOL

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Showed My Artistic Abilities at a Young Age

I was two years old and in the hospital. I have some vague memories of this.

I remember being in an oxygen tent.
It was a clear plastic covering over my crib.
My mother kept saying how lucky I was, I was the only one on the ward with my own ‘house’!

I remember the nurses yelling at me to stop eating all the ice that was in the bucket at the foot of the crib.

I remember Dr. Newhart bringing me a new box of fat crayons and a coloring book.

I remember disliking the coloring book because it was so babyish!

So instead of coloring in the coloring book I colored the sheet.

Every square inch of the sheet!

My mother said they had to throw it out because there wasn’t one single spot of white left.

I remember being very proud of my artistic endeavors! I just couldn’t figure out why nobody else was!

I also remember the day my mother came to take me home. This little doll was all alone in the big hatbox suitcase  she brought with her.

I don't remember if I named her, but she is the only doll I've kept from my childhood.

She is two years younger than I am! 
(I hope I’m wearing better! LOL)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Name That Movie

I was fooling around with the camera and testing out the 'continuous shooting' option.
Except there wasn't anything moving to shoot at!
So I pointed it at the TV screen. Not bad. Not good either, but I can see this as being useful sometimes.
In the meantime, can you name the movie from this one shot?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Photo Fun

I take the ‘back road’ to get to my bank. On this road there is an empty lot that is home to three Burrowing Owl nests.

Our little city is home to the largest population of the Florida species of the Burrowing Owl in the State of Florida. Since this species of these pint sized birds are only found in Florida, by default we have the largest population in the WORLD!

The city puts stakes around the dens to guard them and perches for them to sit on, since they are a protected species. They are a nocturnal animal, although they do come out of their burrows during the day (to be sociable I’m sure!)

Since getting my new camera, whenever I go to the bank I bring it with me. Thinking I could get some good shots and learn how to use the telephoto ‘lens’.

But every time I would drive by they must have been having indoor meetings.

Until today!

I took 78 shots.
Out of those 78 about 30 were in focus! LOL

I tried all sorts of different settings.
My mistake was not making notations, so now I don’t know what setting I was on when I got the good shots! Duh!

Aren’t they cute?
Aw jeez, not another one with a camera!

What the hell are YOU looking at?

Is she done yet?

Wait, I wasn't ready!

Up top!

Here I am posing majestically for your stupid picture!

So take the damn picture already!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Speaking of Big John

This humongous statue stands in the parking lot at the appropriately named Big John’s Plaza. 

I think he’s kind of creepy looking, but I also think every town should have a giant statue as its claim to fame!

As much as this Big John creeps me out I find that I am inexplicably enamored of his gigantic sneakers. 

They just tickle me!

I guess there’s no accounting for some people’s taste! LOL

Click on the  picture below to read his story.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Take on Circles

More circles for the Sketchbook Challenge.
These count as circles, right?

I bought them for artistic purposes, I swear!
But I know if I open the bag to sketch their colorful little 'bodies' there won’t be any left to draw! LOL
That’s why I only drew the bag!
('Red' looks more like a demented tomato than a red M&M!)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Big John

In sixth grade there was a boy named John.
He was a bit slower than average and had been left back several times, so he was bigger than all the other boys.
We called him ‘Big John’.
He was shy and quiet, and we gave him a wide berth, not quite sure of him.

That year the teacher decided we (as the sixth grade class) would host a ‘Colonial Fair’ for all the lower grades. We each had to choose an activity appropriate to the era and demonstrate it in period costume. (Think Williamsburg, or Civil War reenactors.)

Big John came dressed in a ‘costume’ that wasn’t much different than his regular attire.
He brought with him a hand cranked apple peeler that clamped to the edge of the table and a bushel of apples.

As the different classes worked their way around all our demonstrations, a crowd began to form around Big John. 
He sat and cranked the peeler and started to tell stories.

Stories as if he were actually a colonial settler and what his life was like.
He spun such a tale it was as if you were there, in that time, right beside him!

Even the teacher was fascinated.

When he was finished the entire room burst into applause.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person’s face light up the way Big John’s did that day.

It was a powerful lesson.

Never judge a book by its cover.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Food Allergies Con’t

The same year I was caught with the Fudgsicle, I got sick.

I don’t have a very clear memory about this. I remember I stopped esting and was losing weight rather rapidly.

What I do remember is I must have been pretty sick because they kept trying to bribe me to eat something.
ANYTHING! Even the forbidden foods!

My Father, in an effort to get me to eat and get well, brought home a large container of chocolate ice cream (my favorite forbidden food!)

When I say large, I mean the size that they have at ice cream parlors!
The kind where the girl scooping the ice cream practically disappears when she reaches in to get some.

He brought it home, plopped it on the kitchen table, stuck a spoon in it and said, “Go to town!”

That’s when I knew I was dying! 
(But apparently I recovered! LOL)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Camera Love

I wish the owner’s manual came in print form.
Having to go back to the computer to read the PDF is starting to get old. (I know I can print it out but I’m too cheap to waste a whole ink cartridge and ream of paper! LOL)
Hopefully they will come out with a 'dummies' book soon for the SX40!

The afternoon rains have returned and sometimes the clouds are such an amazing color. 
I just had to try and capture them.

And after it rains the rainbows appear!

I have seen more rainbows since I moved here than in my entire life up north!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Stages of Willpower (aka how willpower really works)

Breakfast: Eat granola bar with glass of fat free milk and feel superior.

Mid-morning snack: Not hungry, skip snack still feeling superior.

Lunch: Low fat cottage cheese, one Rye Crisp, roasted peppers and sweet tea with Splenda.
(Actually this is my favorite lunch.) 
Still feeling angelic, in control (and superior!)

Afternoon snack: Apple (or carrots and cottage cheese, or maybe a mini bag of 100 calorie popcorn.) 
Still feeling in control and on track.

Dinner: Fish, nuked sweet potato (no butter) and loads of fresh veggies. Or a BIG ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ salad. Or grilled skinless chicken breast with lots of fresh veggies. 
Starting to feel the monotony creeping in.

After dinner: To curb the ‘sweet’ craving, a cup of Café Mocha coffee with fat free milk.

Day is done, whew! Got through it! Dishes are done, kitchen cleaned, all is well with the world.

9 PM: SNACK ATTACK! Rummaging around in the pantry looking for SOMETHING, ANYTHING to quell the unsatisfied need to stuff my face. Can’t decide if I want sweet or salty. No chips! Settle for another 100 calorie bag of popcorn. Not satisfactory. Have another. Now want something sweet. Break down, go out to store and buy Espresso Chip frozen yogurt (get two because it’s on sale!) Get home; decide to use the small bowl (because, you know, moderation…..) then pile as much in the bowl as I can until it’s overflowing.

IT IS DELICIOUS! Enjoy every single mouthful!

10 PM: Suffer from ‘eaters regret’ and feel like a loser because I have no self restraint whatsoever!

And that, my friends, is how willpower (or rather lack thereof) really works! Hahahahahahaha…… 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mailbox Love

It came! It came! It came!

A while ago I bought a gorgeous door knob quilt from bohemiannie!
Unfortunately for me I did not buy it when she was here in the states.
I bought it when she got back to Columbia.
Columbia’s postal service is somewhat dubious, so I had to wait until she or a family member planned to visit the US to be able to mail it to me.
Pedro, her son-in-law, graciously brought it with him on his latest foray to the USA and mailed it!

Today this awaited me in my mailbox!

A WONDERFUL un-birthday present!
Lucky me!
Isn’t it beautiful?
THANK YOU annie! I will treasure it always!

PLUS, there were extras!
An exquisite handmade botanical card:

And STILL more, her very clever and unique business card:

And...... a cute bookmark!

Mailbox love.....sigh!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Growing Up With Food Allergies

When I was a kid I had food allergies. 
I couldn’t eat eggs, tomatoes, oranges, peanuts or chocolate. Or anything that contained these items.
My mother would buy apple juice and tell the family, “This is SPECIAL, just for Robin!” Even as a child I knew that was bulls**t! 
(To this day I don’t like apple juice!)

But it was chocolate that I had the hardest time avoiding.

I was in fourth grade.
My school didn’t have a cafeteria so I had to walk to the high school for lunch.
Except….. their food was horrible!
AND….. right across the street from the high school was a little mom & pop store called Cavities. It was a candy store (they must have had a great sense of humor!)

Every day I would take my lunch money, walk to Cavities and buy myself a Fudgsicle, a Coke, two Twizzlers and two pieces of Double Bubble bubble gum. A balanced diet!

One day my friend Harriet went with me. 
As we were walking back to our school, who should pull up beside us but my MOTHER!
I quickly put the fudgsicle I was eating behind my back, but not fast enough.
My mother asked what I had behind my back.
Seeing no way out I showed her the fudgsicle.
But I was not about to go down without a fight!
I blamed it on Harriet!
I said, “SHE bought it for me!" pointing to Harriet. "I couldn’t very well be impolite and refuse could I?”
My mother just looked at me, shook her head and said, “Nice try!”

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Family Circle

Thinking about the circle theme on The Sketchbook Challenge……
I used an empty thread spool to ‘stamp’ with some watered down acrylic paint left over from another project. After it dried it looked like a group of faces to me. So here is….
The Family Circle.
(Still using what has become my favorite pen, Bic disposable fountain pen.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Captivating the Room

A few months ago we met up with out of town friends for dinner.

Son2 was able to join us.

We dined at the hotel where they were staying.
It was a small dining room with a bar and a few patrons and the eight of us (plus the wait staff.)

Our friend’s parents had never met Son2, so they were talking and getting to know him.

I was absolutely amazed, flabbergasted and TOTALLY proud of Son2!

He was funny, articulate, smart, informed, a great conversationalist and very personable!

So much so that the wait staff started lingering around our table (refilling full water glasses) to hear the stories he was telling.

The people at the bar turned around on their stools to listen to his stories!

I was captivated (I’m his mother so that didn’t seem odd) but so was the ENTIRE dining room.

It was almost as if he was the entertainment!

Husband and I were beaming! I thought Husband was going to pop the buttons off his shirt!

People even said to us, “We thoroughly enjoyed listening to your son. He should be a standup comedian!”

And this was the little boy we used to call ‘Eeyore’!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Did I Mention the Card?

The one CJ made?


She is such a talented, gifted calligrapher and lettering artist.

And, she makes one hell of a great pop-up!

She sent it along with Ma’s tea cup and Husband and I played with it for days!
He was VERY impressed. So was I!

Beautiful AND clever!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

CJ Kennedy

My friend CJ has started a new blog called CJ Kennedy--Mafundsalo Curio.

She is selling some of her parent’s cherished collectibles they acquired over a lifetime at her Etsy shop.

By telling their stories she is hoping they will go on to new and loving homes, and will be used and cherished as much as her mother cherished them.

Have a look, there are some lovely items!

I am very touched and honored to be the recipient of one of Ma’s beautiful tea cups.

Thank you CJ for letting me share in the legacy. I will think of you and your mother every time I use it (filled to the brim with Wilsonade!)