In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'll Huff and I'll Puff and Blow Your House Down...

Sweet jezzuz, it's been windy the past two days! We've been having constant 25 mph wind and even stronger gusts. Isabella is so upset she hasn't crapped for days. The minute we walk outside her tail goes down, her eyes frantically dart around and she quickly pees, then immediately bolts back to the house dragging me behind. No reassurance registers in her panicked mind. She's convinced the world is coming to an end and she can't understand why no one else realizes it. When the wind finally stops and she decides it's safe to take a dump, I'm sure it will be a two bagger. 

Emmy on the other hand, is her happy go lucky self. Nothing fazes Emmy. Well, except for when someone pulls their shirt up over their face, then she goes crazy and tries to attack. And when I use my Sling Blade voice- totally pisses her off. But other than that, nothing riles her up. Thank gawd, because I don't think I could deal with two neurotic and fearful dogs. Emmy totally loves attention, even when it means getting dressed up in goofy costumes, including Christmas lights. Anything that makes us laugh, Emmy is all for it. And this led to the conversation I had with ROM last night....

Me: I need a Roomba 

ROM: What's a Roomba?

Me: A robotic vacuum cleaner

ROM: Why do you need a Roomba?

Me: People are posting hilarious videos of their pets riding around on Roombas. Emmy would love it.

ROM: What do they cost?

Me: I dunno. Several hundred dollars?

ROM: Can't you get a skateboard, tie a rope to it and pull her around?

Me: No! That would be detrimental to her self esteem when all the other kids have Roombas to ride 

ROM: Keep her off the internet and she'll never know 

And I had no come back to that... 

I still have photos to edit that I took a couple weeks ago at the Sarasota Chalk Art Festival. Hope to have them ready to post soon. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

St. Armand Fine Art Festival- Part 2

In part one of St. Armand Fine Art Festival entry I showed you photos of the natural beauty we saw on our walk to the festival. And now photos of gorgeous man made art...











There were so many talented artists showcasing their work, I wish I could tell you about all of them. Well, all of them except one who I'll talk about at the end of this post- a pompous little ass, in my opinion.  Anyway, here is some info and photos of my favorites. 

April Davis art just blew me away. The vivid colors of her work instantly grab your attention. Visit her website to see even more of her amazing art.






Chatting with this artist was a delight. He shared with us that he had never carved a thing in his life until a few years ago. Obviously he's a natural! He creates his art using drift wood and fallen cypress trees found along the Santa Fe River. Please visit Randy Brooks Facebook page to see more of his wonderful creations. 




Another gifted artist who captures the natural beauty of Florida is Martin Figlinski. You can see more of his beautiful paintings on his website.



I loved these stunning photo art pieces. 




Michelle Hinz does unique textured art. She was so interesting to chat with and freely shared the names of products she uses in her work. More of her lovely art can be seen at her site





Teresa Moorehouse's art work is breathtaking! Her art pieces have a mystical feel and are truly stunning in person. Be sure to visit her website for more of her beautiful creations.




And then there was this guy... I was standing outside his booth taking random photos and he came scurrying out to sarcastically point out his numerous little signs forbidding photos of his work. Hell, I can't read anything unless I'm right on top of it and wearing my reading glasses, which I wasn't that day. Whenever I see signs with the no-no symbol I assume it is to forbid smoking in the area. Anyway, after he pointed out repeatedly that his work was copywrite protected, I assured the rude pretentious little twit that I would not post any photos of his work. Like I was going to post pics of his work and say I took the photo of the elephant swimming in the water off Anna Maria Island-ha!  I find it hilarious that someone would choose to exhibit on publically owned land at an event open to the public and then get his panties in wad when someone dared to take a photograph.  If you're just dying to see Chris Guglielmo work you can hop on over to his website- but don't take any photos! He might hunt you down and kill you with pretentious sarcasm. 


St. Armand Fine Art Festival-Part 1

I'm so far behind on blogging about our weekends. Now that our summer heat has abated and the Gulf water temps are too chilly for swimming, we're enjoying other things to do in the area. It will be several weeks before the masses of dreaded snowbirds and holiday tourists descend on us. That's the one draw back to living somewhere that so many people want to visit. 

The weekend before last, 11/9/13, we spent the day enjoying the St. Armands Fine Art Festival. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and temps barely making it to 80. I have posted this map to give you an idea of where St. Armand's Key is located. In the middle of the Key is the delightful St. Armand's Circle. 

The festival drew in a lot of people so we had to park on John Ringling Blvd. and walk to the Circle. The walk along Sarasota Bay to the event turned out to be one of the best parts of the day. I took so many photos walking to the festival I'm posting them in this entry and will post photos of the actual festival in the next blog post. 

These were all taken of the north side of John Ringling Blvd. 



Almost missed these birds as they quietly rested along the water edge in the shade of the trees.



I loved the landscaping in front of this home hidden back behind a gate and wall. 




The bird of paradise plants were all blooming up and down the Blvd. I have the full size white Bird of Paradise but I want to add some of these smaller colorful ones to my yard. 





I love this bromeliad growing the fork of this tree. 



As you approach the Circle there is a lovely church with beautifully landcaped grounds. 




This gorgeous water fountain is in front of the shop Foxy Lady. 

When we reached the Circle, these gorgeous Orchid trees were blooming. I must get one of these trees! There are several species of this tree and I want the Hong Cong variety which is sterile.  I've already started my search...



In the next entry I'll show you photos of the actual festival. So many incredibly talented artists!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Senior Citizen Discounts? Oh Hell No!!!

Some one at work recently told ROM he should start asking for the senior citizen discount when we shop and eat out. When my reaction was less than enthusiastic he pointed out that if we went to N.Y.C. we could save $5,000 on the Presidential Suite at the Waldorf Astoria. He didn't notice the eye roll I gave him as I agreed we should keep that in mind for the next time we fly to NYC for a fun get away weekend. I went on to inform him I didn't work hard to not look my age just so I could go out in public and announce how old I was to save a couple bucks on dinner. I ended the discussion by saying I might as well let my hair go grey, stop plucking my chin, grow skin tags, wear support hose with orthopedic shoes and strap on a fanny pack.  And I thought that was the end of the nonsense talk about senior discounts.


So imagine my surprise when we ate out a few evenings later and he asked the waitress about the god damn senior discount. I merely smiled and said, "Dad, I'm so glad you have gotten over being sensitive about your age and you're now taking advantage of the perks of getting old." Then I turned to the waitress and said "Though it will be years before I'm eligible, please give my father the senior discount."  Then I casually and a bit loudly said "Dad, let's not forget to stop and pick up your prostate meds before I take you back to the assisted living center." That was the first and last time he's  asked for a senior discount.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Village of the Arts 8th Annual Dia de los Muertos

ROM and I took a friend out Friday evening to enjoy some local art and culture. Bradenton's Village of the Arts was all dressed up for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Studios were decorated with elaborate altars and skeletons...












On the first Friday of every month, the Village of the Arts opens their artist studio/galleries for an art walk. If you are ever visiting the Bradenton/Anna Maria Island area on the first Friday of any month you must go on the art walk. You'll love it, I promise!





I loved this abstract painting with it's rich colors and interesting textures. 







I really wanted to bring these metal egrets home to set out in my yard.

An artist was set up in the street with these whimsical steampunk critters...




When the studio galleries began to close down we made our way to Bradenton's Old Main Street area for a late dinner and chatted about all the wonderful art we had seen. Perfect way to end a beautiful night.