Friday, October 29, 2010

South Beach or South Carolina?

Chania over at  RAZMATAZ  has issued another intriguing photo challenge this week.  The suggested theme is Architectural Design.  Not to dismiss some of the finer architectural elements found in my town here, Orlando, but I am going to use some pictures from another town I visited.  Mainly because I have a very sore neck this week and was not up to running about, which I prefer to do, and photographing local examples.

My dilemma is do I show pictures of the fabulous Art Deco architecture of the South Beach, Miami area or the more sedate, but no less fabulous Antebellum styles found in Charleston, SC?

I choose both because I love them both and they are on different ends of the design spectrum. And well, just because I also want to look at some of those pictures again.

So here we go.  Charleston, SC (Historical District).

Can't you just picture the sweeping skirts on the ladies as they gathered on these porches?  The porches did not only add architectural beauty to the homes but provided a cool place to sit and catch a breeze during the stifling summer months.

Photo credits for Charleston belong to my friend Jane who shared this very fun trip with me.

And now for something completely different in so many ways, including building design, in the lush tropical madness of South Beach, Miami, FL.

Hey, now wait a second.  How did this picture get in here again?  Sorry, but I just couldn't resist when I saw this one pop up.  Record highs here today and these drinks look like a very good idea today.  And yes, they were as delicious as they look.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bostonians Revolt Against Kitten Takeover. More at 11.

Banished. From their special room.

  And to add insult to injury.  By felines.

And the Bostons are not the only unhappy members of the household.  The two reigning queen cats have also been in a snit since the kitten invasion.

In fact, Bumby is harder than usual to find these days.
But, how can they all be so out of sorts?  I mean look at these sweet faces. 

And their mom, Lupe,  too.

Besides, it's only for a few more days.  The Maven and one roommate will each take one kitten, Lupe, the mom will go to live with the mother of another roommate and the last two have possible owners as well. 

Meanwhile, we are all learning that cats and dogs CAN get along if everyone just chills out a bit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Fun

It's almost time!

Click here for a fun Halloween card! Thanks to my friend up in Toronto for sending it to me! (waves to Jane).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

O' Canada!

I was given something really special this week by a good friend, SueBee.  You can hop over to her blog, click here,  and see what she's up to these days.

We went on an excursion to Winter Garden this week and before we left, SueBee gave me a little peice of my birth country.

SueBee is an avid thrifter, junker and now, businesswoman.  She and her business partner Kathy have opened a booth at a local shop here in Orlando.  Their stuff is awesome!  Click here to get a peek from a previous post of mine.

Anyway, Suebee knows her vintage linens.  She has beautiful tablecloths, towels, pillowcases, placemats, napkins, oh, I could go on and on. 

Where to put this lovely vintage CANADIAN tablecloth?  It took me a couple of days, but found that it really popped in our second bathroom.  This is a neglected room, mainly because it's difficult to find fabrics and "things" to go with the pink (I prefer the term, coral) tile.  I have found that by keeping it mainly white and adding some blue helps this room a lot.  And this new cloth from Canada just works, for me, on top of the old pillow cases I use for curtains in this room.

Next I will have to find something to fill up the space above the window so it isn't so barren looking.
This bathroom has turned into a bit of a "memory room" I realized as I placed this latest treasure in it.
For instance, beside the curtains hang these lobster trap markers from our trip to Maine (near Canada!) in 2001.

On the wall I have a very 1960s fish wall hanging that graced my parent's bathroom for years.  It seems at home here.

On another wall is this framed Mola, from my mother-in-law's native Panama.  She had it framed and gave it to Mr. Tennis' grandfather, Gramps, to hang at his lake house since he was a dedicated fisherman. 

Finally, hanging on the door, where it's been for years, is this macrame owl my mother made in the 1970s.  She gave it to me when I was in college as a gift and it has travelled around with Mr. Tennis and I through the years.

Thank you SueBee for the wonderfully inspiring vintage tablecloth!  I believe it is just what I needed to push me in the right direction with my "problem" room.

Oh, and how do you like my little bird-friend.  I picked him up on our trip to Winter Garden. If you look closely you can see his body is actually a small inverted clay pot that has been painted. Very clever. He now joins me in my office space and I just love his long wirey legs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Simply Red

I have restrained myself this week for Chania's Friday Photo Challenge at  RAZMATAZ and have simply done what I've been told and photographed something red.  No quirky perspective, just did the deed.


I am not much of a gardener, but am rather proud that my hibiscus has finally gotten some blossoms.  And very pleased that they are RED and allowed me to participate in this always fun challenge.

Next week's challenge:  architecture.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Have You Met Mango?

If you haven't, please stop by and catch his unique take on life.  He and his little brother Dexter, aka PeeWee have all sorts of adventures that are abely captured by Mango Momma on her "flashy beast" (camera to you non-Mango-ites).

Check out his latest adventure here in Mango, Florida:


Monday, October 18, 2010

Ladder, Meet Books. Books, Meet Ladder.

While trying to access some elusive item in my attic last week I came upon the ladder that my kids each used when it was their turn to have a loft bed in their bedrooms.

Hmmmmm.  I've been trying to come up with a solution for the pile of books I usually keep on the bottom shelf of my night table.  It's my "must read" stack and it's always a mess.

Took the hooks off of the top of the ladder.  Removed numerous stickers. Applied my handy Restore-a-Finish which has come in handy for just about any wood surface that needs sprucing up in my house. Put ladder on top of side table in bedroom and I think it makes a pleasant alternative to another bookcase.

I've seen many blogs showing different ways to utilize old ladders, so I thank once again all those creative people out there for giving me an idea of how to "re-purpose" another thing in my house.

And, what am I reading, you ask?  Nothing terribly earth shattering, but worthy as a page turner: 

I've read a good number by this author and this is one of his first published novels.  He wrote an interesting forward to this book twenty years after he wrote it and warns the reader not to read it if it's their first time reading one of his novels.  Since I have some "experience" with his books, I thought I'd give one of his fledgeling efforts a try and so far, I like it.

In the space of twenty years our lives change so drastically.  Just think back to where you were 20 years ago...

Friday, October 15, 2010

BOGO - Buy One Get One FREE

Chania at RAZMATAZ  has once again come up with a Friday photo challenge that had me scratching my head a bit.  The subject was food.  Easy enough, especially after the Junk Drawer expose.  I wanted to photograph some lovely food I had prepared or perhaps at least what someone else prepared, but doubted my talents for this. If you want to skip my part and go right to the delectable food picture at the bottom, please do.  The photographer is very special to me.

I'm not sure how it is in other parts of the US or the world, for that matter, but here in Orlando BOGO is in our faces everytime we step into the grocery store.

This is a small sampling and as you can see they are mainly convenience items which I don't necessarily want to use, but come on!  One of them was free!  Hey, and if you will notice in the back there is lettuce - healthy romaine, so I haven't totally gone "canned goods".  I'm actually quite grateful for these bargains, as I'm sure many people are these days.  But I realized tonight that in addition to those two full bottles of ketchup I had two more in the fridge!

Hardly ever do I use Mayonnaise, just enough to add to some tuna, but look I have two! Big jars! Made with Olive Oil!  Supposedly healthier!

And it tastes just fine, but boy do I have some mayo to go through.  Good thing they had tuna in the BOGO bin this week.

You can see Sadie looks quite mournful in the background. 
\ Alas, I have yet to find dog food BOGO.

I would like to direct you to someone who takes excellent food photographs.  Sammy at  Bite Me -
she has a food blog and loves to cook.  Her pictures are as delicious as her recipes.  She also happens to be my son's wonderful GF.

Here is a sample of one of her photos:

Boston Lady Out and looking forward to next week's challenge: Red. That I should be able to handle!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hampergate and a Desk Chair!

Bumby knows a good thing when she sees it.  This was a fun and much needed find at the thrift store 10 days ago.  It is a wicker hamper to replace an ugly plastic one Mr. Tennis and I have used for our gym/tennis clothes.  Since it has always sat in our room, it was quite the obvious eyesore.

Now, the view is much better:

Except for the random white thing beside it, it looks quite nice.  How do I know I bought it 10 days ago?  Well, I was with my friend, CG and told her it would take Mr. T awhile to notice it, even though it was big and he had to walk past it several times a day.  Thus started "Hampergate".  I would give her random updates and we eagerly awaited "tennis night" last Tuesday because we knew he would have to toss his tennis clothes in there for sure that night.  Alas, the wiley Mr. Tennis deviated from schedule and put his tennis gear on top of the washer.  Last night was the night.  He noticed and ever the cool character that he is, only commented "Thought I might have a cobra spring out at me from that".  I notified CG immediately that "Hampergate" was officially closed and we had a new record of 10 days. (We apparently lead very exciting lives)

So now we are on to "Candlegate" which has also entered day 10.  In kitchen. Has to pass by them multiple times throughout the day. Not on the radar.  He's a good sport!

Best find of the week or the past weekend, I should say, is a desk chair for my "new" desk.

It's not exactly what I was looking for, but I liked the look of the wood right away and it was very comfortable to sit in.

I touched it up with  my finish restorer and added some wheels to add height and mobility.  Hope to find some better looking wheels down the road, but for now I'm a happy camper.

I even found a comfy cushion that goes with my color "scheme" in my office area.

Oh, and the chair in the background?  It was a "two-fer". Two chairs for the price of one.  A real deal sealer.  The second one is in a little rougher shape and will require some sanding, perhaps painting and I will use it as a side chair.

And look at this seal on the back of the first chair.

Sikes Co., Inc.
Buffalo, NY

I googled this name and was led to a wonderful website that chronicles the history of the company.  The website seems to be put together by family members who are seeking information into the history of the family business.  I saw many chairs that look like mine.  Mine seems to be considered a dining chair.  I saw many of my "dream" swivel desk chairs on this site, so they are out there.  If you are interested in looking at this site please click here.  It's quite informative and I'm excited that I have a chair with some history!

And thanks to another friend, CC, who wandered around for hours with me, thought to bring her SUV and helped me tote my chairs home!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Imagination and Entitlement

Imagine four young women sharing an off-campus apartment while they attend the local university.  They are entitled to live with a sense of security.  All four go to college full time and all four hold down jobs either to help pay their bills, or in some cases to pay all their bills. 

Imagine the sense of pride they have in living on their own and the fun they have as a group of good friends who didn't even know each other 3 years ago.  They are entitled to enjoy their youth and reap the rewards of working hard at school and in their jobs.

Imagine two of those girls working on a Saturday night when most college kids are kicking back and relaxing.  Imagine another one visiting with her father to attend a family celebration in another city.  Imagine the fourth going out to enjoy a relaxing evening with her boyfriend before she has to get up early to make her shift at work on Sunday morning.  All four should be entitled to a sense of peace and trust that when they leave their apartment, nothing will be disturbed, ruined or destroyed.

Imagine one of the roommates returning home after a long day of work, entering her apartment and finding the backdoor broken into, each room ransacked and many things missing.  Imagine how she felt that those who had done this might not be gone and imagine how she ran back out and called the police and waited for them in her car, scared for 45 long minutes.  She was entitled to that fear, but never should have had to experience it.

Imagine the girl still at work receiving a panicked call from her roomie saying their apartment had been broken into and that all their rooms had been ransacked and things had been taken. Imagine the girl and her boyfriend rushing home in panic.  Imagine the out-of-town girl's sense of helplessness as she listened to the details unfold through many phone calls.

Imagine them making lists of things that were taken from their personal space, things they had worked hard to pay for, or things that simply had sentimental value, but not necessarily any great worth to anyone else.  They would be entitled to feel angry and upset.

Imagine the police going over their once safe haven, with dust for fingerprints and then leaving behind the smudges and dirt as stark reminders of what had happened. Imagine the ringing silence that must have existed when the police finally left, saying they couldn't pull any fingerprints, but they would be in touch.  The young women would be entitled to feel frustrated, then scared as they prepared for what was sure to be a sleepless night.

Imagine your phone ringing after midnight and it's your daughter telling you that her apartment had been broken into and that a lot of valuable electronics, musical instruments, jewelry and keepsakes had been taken.  Imagine your relief that everyone was okay and not home at the time of the invasion.  You would be entitled to feel first fear, then gratitude and yearn that some justice may be served

Imagine the lessons the young women have learned. Be more careful about securing sliding doors. Get an alarm system. Trust no one.  Someone may be watching your daily habits. Work hard for your money and the tools you need to be productive and successful in school, but someone else who doesn't feel like working hard, but wants that money or those things feels like they are entitled to them.

They feel that they are entitled to break into your personal space, take what they want, destroy and trash the place for fun and then leave you feeling like the world is an ugly place.  And will these entitled individuals ever learn any lessons themselves, even if they are caught? 

I like to imagine they will. Learn something, that is.  Somewhere down the line, they will learn.

In the meantime, two of the four roommates went back to work today and will return and start to clean up the mess the entitled ones left behind. The out-of-town roommate will return and it will be a new shock for her to adjust to.  And the fourth roommate will sit in the apartment with her boyfriend for company and wait until they can all be together and feel safe again. 

Of course the ultimate lesson is that things can be replaced, but people, especially good friends, cannot. Things will get back to normal, they will improve their security systems, they will have more good times together in their shared space and they will move into adulthood as productive contributors to our society. Two social workers, a businesswoman and a medical professional.

Thanks for indulging my much needed, unprecedented rant on my blogspace.  It's good to feel that I can do that once in awhile on here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Is It Wrong to Be Ashamed of Your Junk Drawer?

I admit it, I am ashamed of it and my Junk Drawer knows it.

 I thought when Chania threw down this week's photo challenge at RAZMATAZ, it would be a piece of cake.   And it was as far as taking the picture. 

 My Junk Drawer is obviously a neglected part of my life and I have just taken it for granted. Now it mocks me because it knows it exposes me as a less organized person than I would like to be perceived as.

I mean from a distance, my Junk Drawer seems harmless:

But when I got closer and prepared to open my Junk Drawer, I know it sensed my fear and shame. I know it was finally going to have it's say and expose my secrets.

And so I opened it for the world to see:

Oh, the horror, the horror.

I know Martha probably doesn't even have a junk drawer.