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!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You Northerners Want to Escape the Snow & Bitter Cold?

As another polar vortex of snot freezing cold and ass deep snow hits the northern states, I noticed a tweet from Ft. Myers and Sanibel announcing a contest they are having. All you have to do is sculpt something out of snow, take a photo and send it to them. Maybe a mermaid or sea turtle? Or a snowcastle? How about an old fat man in speedo? Nothing says Florida like an old fat man in a speedo walking the beach- something we see way too often in the summer months. Visit their Facebook page to enter and you might win a trip to the beach! Good luck...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Anna Maria Island 1st Annual Chalk Art Festival

I've barely left the house in the past six weeks but I couldn't miss Anna Maria Island's 1st Annual Chalk Art Festival. I mean come on, two of my favorite things in the world- chalk art and Anna Maria Island. How could I miss that? Saturday was cold and windy so we waited until Sunday which was much warmer though cloudy and misty. It didn't rain, thank ya jezzuz, but the heavy clouds hanging over the island occasionally spit on us. 

Anyway, there was a great turnout which meant we had to park several blocks away. We lucked out and found a small space where we could squeeze in our little Tracker. One of the things I love about our Tracker is it's so small we can park in spaces most people can't. 

On our walk to the chalk art area we passed Ginny's & Jane E's cafe where this tricked out bike was parked. 

(Note: You can view the photos via the slide show just by clicking photo or you can right click and select "Open in new window" to see the full size photos)

Many of the artists where still working on their art. I'm sure they didn't get a lot done on Saturday due to the cold windy weather. 

As we walked back to our car we got to see this gorgeous mermaid finished. It was stunning!

Look at the amazing detail in this one...

And this was one of my favorites! There were quite a few sea turtles which ROM and I laughed about because I've been obsessed with painting sea turtles the past few weeks. The art Muses must be sending out sea turtle vibes...

The festival organizers had the great idea of placing blackboards throughout the exhibit area that encouraged spectators to be participants.  

Mermaids appeared numerous times . This one was exquisite! 

We saw quite a few people with their dogs. Though dogs aren't allowed on any of the island beaches, it's nice to see our four legged buddies are welcome in other areas of the island. 

This one reminded me of the last season of RHONY when the girls went on their island get away and they frolicked with the pirate guy. 

My photos of this beautiful work don't do it justice. It really stood out. 

I loved the detail in this one. The eyes were amazing. 

This artist actually encouraged kids to stand on his work. I'm sure their parents got a great photo of the kids "riding" the shark.  

I had intended to buy one of the event catalogs so I would have the names of the artists to include with my photos, but I completely forgot. Damn! 

There were several musical groups performing...

This guy was a bit perturbed and bitching about the volume of the music the kids down the street were rocking. I bet he's one of those people who yells at kids "Get outta my yard!" and keeps their ball. 

I have to admit they were loud- LOL 

I think everyone who attended would agree that the 1st Annual Anna Maria Island Chalk Art Festival was a huge success. The art was amazing and they drew in a nice sized crowd. I hope it doesn't get too big in the years to come as large crowds are often a problem for this beautiful little island during tourist and snowbird season.  We don't attend many events on the island during the winter months because of the crowds. We patiently wait for the long hot summer months when the snowbirds have gone home and the island belongs to the locals once again...

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow...

We warmed back up to normal SW Florida temps today, thank ya jezzuz! Still cloudy and gloomy, but a warm 74 degrees. Now if you northerners would just keep your weather up there where it belongs... 

I spent the morning cleaning up the lanai, vacuuming up all the plant debris that the strong winds blew off the larger plants I had to leave out during the cold spell. And got all the Xmas cacti moved back outside. When I got everything moved outside Isabella was the first one to charge out the door. 

As Issy headed to the front of the lanai to look for any golf carts driving by that she could chastise, Emmy immediately started hunting for geckos to harass. 

After lunging at several geckos as they scurried up the screen, once they had escaped and Emmy had managed to knock several Xmas cacti flowers off the plants she headed in Isabella's direction. 

Not wanting to be part of any murders and dismemberment of poor little geckos, Isabella immediately puts distance between her and our resident serial killer. 

After moving the Xmas cacti back outside I realized the color of the gold plants had gotten deeper while they were inside in dim light. Usually the gold buds look gold until they bloom, but then are hard to differentiate from the white plants. I had no idea the amount of sunlight they got influenced color of the blooms once they were open. 

I know these recent blog posts are boring as hell. They're even boring to write, so I can just imagine how boring they are to read. I guess I'm blogging trying to hang on to some semblance of normalcy and routine. Hang with me, someday I'll get my funny back. I will get there, or at least that's what I keep telling myself. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Polar Vortex... or as we used to call it Snot Freezing Cold!

A week ago we were feeling quite smug with our sunny 80 degree days as people up north prepared for heavy snow and cold temps. Now my windows and door are shut and the furnace is running. I woke up today to fog and it was 72 degrees. The temps steadily went down all day as a "polar vortex" moved in. Remember when we just had "cold spells" or "cold fronts"? Anyway, we're now having 30 mph wind and it's colder than a well digger's ass.  It's supposed to get down close to freezing tonight so my Christmas cacti have taken over the kitchen island and the area around it. Other plants are scattered around the house where ever I could find room for them. The bigger plants on the lanai that are too big to easily move are just going to have take their chances outside. Yeah, I know- you people who got a foot of snow and now have subzero temps feel real sorry for me -LOL 

See the Christmas cacti sitting in front on the right? I took clippings from my gold, red, and white plants and rooted them in a cup of vermiculite, then planted them all together in this one pot. It's just now forming buds and getting ready to bloom for the first time. Can't wait to see all the different colored flowers opened.

Hope you all stay warm and cozy until this "polar vortex" (snot freezing cold as we used to call it) moves out. Feed your inner Bertha some warm comfort foods and yummy desserts- she needs it to get through this frigid weather gripping most of the country. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Where To Begin?

I've tried to write this entry so many times. I either sit and stare at the blank page unable to write anything, or I write too much and end up deleting it. I guess I'm just not ready to write about what happened that turned my life upside down and ripped my heart out. My emotions are just too raw and intense to share. So I'm not going to right now. I'll wait until I'm on more solid ground. 

We skipped Christmas this year, so no photos of ROM's fabulous light extravaganza. But I do have this photo of the beautiful orchid a dear friend sent me. New blooms continue to pop open and it's even prettier now than when I took this photo. And it fills the house with the most wonderful scent. 

My Christmas cacti are slow to bloom this year.  The white and the gold ones are in full bloom now and the reds are just getting ready to burst open. We're expecting freezing temps on Monday and Tuesday nights so I'll have to move them inside. I hope it doesn't cause them to drop their buds.

I hope your holidays were filled with joy, and I wish you all a new year of joy, love, adventures, challenges and success...