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!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Beach, Thorns,and Gesso

It's amazing how much I've gotten done in the past few days with no breaking news stories about terrorist attacks, explosions in Texas, or the Jodi Arias trial coverage. I spent all day Friday cleaning my studio and today I'm priming canvases. Not only did I prep canvases, I now have a dress, table and area of the floor with splashes of gesso on them- I really need to remember to make sure caps are on tight before shaking bottles of gesso. 

We spent our Sunday at the beach soaking up the sun.  Everyone in the area must have had the same idea because the traffic was backed up to get on the island. Usually by this time of year the crowds have cleared out, but it appears the island is becoming too popular. We avoid the beaches with life guards and concession stands because that's where most people go. The stretch of beach we always go to always have fewer people... of course you're on your own if you start to drown or get attacked by a shark.

(Right click & then click Open In New Window to see photos full size)

We spent Saturday working on the yard and cleaning the lanai furniture. ROM and I seldom argue, but working in the yard together seems to be the exception. What is it with men always wanting to savagely whack and over trim anything that's growing? We replay the same scene over and over again, year after year. I know he's going to over trim something and he knows I'll get pissy over it. But yet we continue to do it-LOL Thank goodness the bougainvillea in the front yard has escaped his spring trimming. Usually she flowers in the winter but she decided to put on a show this month by bursting into blooms of gorgeous deep color...

When she's finished blooming I'll let ROM trim her back all by himself with no argument from me  because those wicked thorns on that bitch will tear you up. Ain't I nice?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Intervention For ROM, with love and compassion...

Many years ago when ROM and I met we were lean and fit- not an ounce of fat on either of us. I didn't even weight 100 lbs. and ROM was only about 145 lbs. Now, almost 30 years later, we're  each a good 40 lbs. heavier, thanks to Walter and Bertha. And of course as my weight has gone up so has my clothing size. Oddly enough, though ROM's pant size has gone up, he has continued to buy the same size tee shirts.

For some reason ROM could tell he needed larger waist pants, but was oblivious when it came to his shirt size. I had tried in recent years to give him a subtle nudge to buy larger tee shirts, but was met with resistance and denial. While looking at clothes, I'd pull out a larger size and suggest he try it on and he'd put it back on the rack, pull out a smaller size and act amazed that after all the years we'd been married that I still didn't know his size.  I let this shit slide and went along with his delusion, convinced that eventually he'd give it up and face reality. It didn't happen-

This spring when it was time to buy new summer clothes, I decided it was time I did an intervention. Lord knows I'd want him to do it for me if I was still trying to squeeze into tube tops and midriff tees. Sooo... a few weeks ago when he was looking at tees in his favorite catalog I gently suggested he order size large. Did he take the hint and quietly order the larger size?  Oh hell no, he launched right into his usual insistence that he wore mediums. With much tact and compassion I explained that he had matured and a larger sized shirt might look better. I screamed, "Sweet jezzuz, stop it! You wore a medium when you weighed 145 lbs. You don't weigh 145 now! You're stuffing 185 lbs into a 145 lb. sized shirt! Order the god damn large!"

I'm happy to say the intervention worked and my ROM looks quite handsome in his new tee shirts.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Did The Boston Bombing and West, Texas Explosion Have To Happen?

***UPDATE*** Here is a Reuters article about West Texas fertilizer plant having quantities of  ammonium nitrate that should have been reported to Dept. of Homeland Security

What a week. Two young bombers brought Boston to it's knees after they killed and maimed innocent people, and a fertilizer plant explosion devastated a small rural town in Texas. I've sat down to blog several times this week but I just couldn't organize my thoughts.  So many peoples' lives have been changed forever- loved ones suddenly gone,  people left with serious injuries and loss of limbs, and folks suddenly homeless after their homes were blown up by a chemical explosion. All those people awoke that morning thinking it was just another day, never dreaming how drastically their lives would change by the end of the day.

Did these two horrible events have to happen? We'll never know for sure, but some of the things I've read and heard, I can't help but wonder if both could have been avoided. News has come out that the older bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had known ties to extremist groups and the FBI had been warned by an undisclosed foreign country, which some have said was Russia. The FBI has stated they investigated him and found nothing of concern. So why in the hell was I able to find his You Tube account where he had posted a video called "Terrorists". Why did the FBI not keep closer tabs on this young man?

As for the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, according to Gawker they had 1350 times the amount of explosive ammonium nitrate they were supposed to have. Any plant having more than 400 lbs. of this chemical is supposed to notify Department of Homeland Security. Gawker said that DHS didn't even know this plant existed. Why in the hell did DHS not know about this place and why did they have so much ammonium nitrate stockpiled? This is the same chemical used in the Oklahoma City bombing. So wouldn't you think this chemical would be closely supervised and regulated by our government? Hell, I have to jump through all kind of hoops just to buy OTC allergy meds! Our government has to do a better job of supervising people and chemicals that are serious threats and less time on nonsense like making people take their shoes off  or how much OTC allergy meds I can buy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guilty As Charged

I'm still totally engrossed in the Jodi Arias trial. Watching Alyce LaViolette testify is so entertaining! She tries her damnedest to out wit Mr. Martinez and is failing miserably. Even ROM has gotten hooked on the trial. As soon as he gets home from work every day he sits down and watches the trial coverage as I catch him up on what he has missed from earlier in the day. We've even started to talk like trial lawyers. Last night we had the following conversation...  

ROH: Mr. ROM, isn't it true that you snooped around and found your wife's bag of M&Ms with almonds? And isn't also true that you ate all the remaining M&Ms? Yes or no!?!

ROM: I have no idea what you're talking about. 

ROH: Sir, are you asking us to believe that ninjas broke into the house and finished off your wife's  bag of M&Ms? 

ROM: Ma'am, that's not what I said. You're twisting my words. 

ROH: Did you or did you not eat all of your wife's M&Ms  sometime between April 6th and April 9th? 

ROM:  I don't recall. Ma'am, this badgering you're subjecting me to is abusive and you need a time out.

ROH: Your Honor, please note that the witness is being unresponsive. Perhaps this will refresh his memory.  I submit this photo as evidence. Sir, didn't you put this empty bag of M&Ms in the trash? 

ROM: I know nothing about that bag being in the trash. But as a goodwill gesture I will get you another bag of M&Ms with almonds. 

ROH: See that you do! And if you don't, this case will be reopened and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Court is in recess. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Saturday Night at De Soto Seafood Festival

We've been going to the annual De Soto Seafood Festival for years. Real Old Man loves it because 
he's nuts about all seafood. I don't care for a lot of seafood but I do love shrimp and stone crab.  What I love most about the festival is people watching. And good lord, but a lot of people were there Saturday night! It was the biggest crowd I've ever seen attend. Or maybe it just seemed that way because the area where it was held was fenced in this year and seemed to consist of a smaller area than previous years.  Anyway, there was a huge crowd and plenty of vendors offering a wide array of seafood, plus a pizza booth and several barbecue stands.  

It was fun to see so many dogs enjoying the beautiful evening with their people. This pup was so scared I felt bad for him. Poor guy kept his tail firmly tucked between his legs. 

The Manatee River made a beautiful back drop to the festival-

Look at those gorgeous blue eyes!

These guys couldn't stand still long enough for a photo-

I love this manatee mama and baby statue-

This artist's booth stood out from all the rest. Such beautiful work. Be sure and visit her website to see more of her work.

This little cutie was taking a sit down break- 

What a face! Gotta love him-

Just some of the yummy food available-

And great barbecue-

These pups had it made in a double decker stroller-

This guy was colorful!

Look at this big boy!

And another big boy-

All in all it was a wonderful night. We came home tired but with full tummies. Tomorrow is the big plant sale at Tropiflora so look for more photos...

PS- For all the photos on my blog, if you want to see them full size right click a photo then select "open in new window". The new page will open with the picture at full size- usually 1200 wide.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

1st Friday Art Walk At Bradenton's Village of the Arts

It was a beautiful evening for last night's 1st Friday Art Walk. The Village of the Arts is an amazing area of Bradenton that has been taken over by artists. The area was at one time a run down seedy part of town. Local artists bought up property, renovated the old homes and turned them into working art studios. It's a delightful place of colorful artist homes/galleries, and the abundance of old trees and lush landscaping adds to the charm. 

On the first Friday evening of every month the artists open their galleries to the public. I took some photos last night to give you a glimpse of this magical  neighborhood. I was too lazy to photograph all the galleries. I so wish we had bought a home in the Village instead of the in this old peeps community. 

I love Arts & Eats. Not only do they sell artwork...

... in the backyard they have live music and a dining area. 

(Don't you love this old tree in the dining area?)

I loved this painting and would have bought it if I had some where to hang it. It was in the studio of Arte Coyoacano.

This is one of my favorite galleries- Jo-Ellen Gorris' Clay in the Garden. Every time I've been in this gallery, Ms. Gorris is sitting there sculpting. Her work is so whimsical and delightful!

The Art Council of Manatee County-

This studio is like looking into a kaleidoscope-

It takes awhile to look around and take everything in, so much and such bold splashes of color.

Tonight we are off to the De Soto Seafood Festival and I'll have more photos to share.