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The clouds were quite a sight yesterday –beginning at 7am, the clouds were rather dramatic thickening up kind of dark, then big breaks of sunshine. Finally some rain came through, in fact I was on my way to pick up my lawnmower that I had forgotten to put away before leaving for Tampa and consequently, the spark plug and engine were soaked with moisture and it would not start. So last week I took it up to the Mower shop and left for 6 days and my lawn now looks like the owner abandoned the property.
They called from the shop and I drove over to get the mower while watching the clouds churn darker and darker above. As soon as I rounded that corner to get the mower, rain was pounding down. I ran inside, paid for the mower and then waited and waited and after 20 minutes decided that I would come back tomorrow. There was no way that mower wouldn’t get soaked again and I’d be back to square one.  (I got it this am at 8!)

I got an email that I was juried into the Healing Arts Wall for Altamonte Hospital and found the perfect frame, BUT the mat was an odd size, not the Michaels/Joanne regular stock kind. I bugged Rae Marie at Framing 508 Art Gallery and she found perfect colors to make the photo stand out with the frame, she has a great eye for coordination. I asked if she could make it quickly and she had it ready tonight just at close of Art Walk – She’s terrific! That’s what’s wonderful about this little town of ours, people working hard to help others.

I have to say, the best part of going to these art venues is running into friendly faces. It was a busy corner tonight at First and Palmetto in front of Art Affair gallery. I saw G.K. Sharman who had three very calming pieces at the Historic Welcome Center, while Dlynn and Jim Roll chatted in between having people look at her jewelry set up both outside and her candles and art inside.
Bonnie Sprung is very prolific making her own scarves, hats, shirts and art, she’s a total one woman art store as she sells her wares.
Walking up the street was Mary K. Shaw in a very cool hat,  she’s got a style all her own with her hats and her art.
Ronda came out along with Tom Abbott. Tom is the main attraction in the middle room of the Art Affair Gallery for the month. Tom also had pieces across the street along with G.K. and Alfredo. Tom won Best In Show award for one of his dimensional art pieces at The Historic Center and sold it also!  Go Tom! His work is packed with it’s own flare, I would guess he was a great math student, like his brain sparks and works it’s art and algebraic magic on an internal grid that churns out unique shapes and textures to make the public take notice .  Alfredo Mujica won the People’s Choice award, both these guys are so deserving – these two really add a special professionalism to the Historic Center shows. Tom and Alfredo have that special look and I can tell their work anywhere, it’s like Cherie Dacko, Aurora Brunet, Ivaldo and others whose works imprint the brain so I can spot their pieces without needing a name – I envy that!

I was happy to see Delaney Dean who also was having work framed at Rae Maries. I was impressed with the choice of frames Delaney picked to highlight her photographs.

Diane Miller who has work down at the Avalon in the Florida Registry Members Photography Art Show was at the Welcome Center. She just came off a show at the University Club and Peabody Hotel where she sold her photography.  I’m so proud she is getting her work out and shown. She has had a busy year exhibiting in quite a few places between here and Daytona and spending time in Europe. She’s quite busy as President of the Gateway Photography Club and is a good friend.

The first place I ran into was Hyder Gallery of Fine Art and Lori Anne and Sharon were both smiling and welcoming. Lori Anne’s sweet younger son talked to me at great length about cats and art and animals. He showed me his favorite pieces in the gallery as we toured the room. I enjoyed the painting of women on the palm frond casings. Over at Dan Mastrapa’s Arti-Sans Gallery I was told the next exhibit would be an all woman show. for submission info try this website:

And I was so happy to see Radha, the owner of Divine Mother Earth who has taken to selling her Bohemian/hippie/new age clothing and accessories from her 19foot RV bus at various locations while she also attends college classes and does many other things that compete for attention during the passing days – I have lots of respect for how she has great determination to live her life to the fullest!
Ronda Richley has work on display at the James Harper Fine Arts Gallery in Ormond Beach and I have no doubt people will be blown away by her large, symbolic pieces. She put a lot of thought into the series she made. I am so glad that they are all up and bringing chatter for the Harper Gallery.

The possibility of rain seemed to cull the crowds a bit tonight, but the rains never materialized and all was fine. Have a look:

And thanks so very much to the talented painter and Framer, Rae Marie of Framing 508 Gallery, she did a fantastic job on my mats! She has been framing art for many people over the years, you need something special, she’s the woman to do it! Plus she does wonderful paintings and portraits of your pets and children – contact

I’m perplexed, my neighbor called me and said the baby crane had arrived and was walking through her property with the parents. I was stunned — had it been 30 days? I remember how they got rid of their young sandhill crane, sending it off at only 3 months, that’s almost 7 months pre-mature. They keep babies, (colts) with them for 10 months before making them leave. Not this time, the parents began building a nest in the marsh in late April and the 3 would sleep there, but suddenly, the baby was outted and the parents left that nest in May. I contacted the neighbors after seeing one parent at a time, and sure enough, they had moved their nest onto protected dry land, but the nest was spartan, hardly any padding at all, usually they are built with a lot of plant material. This time the baby was practically on the hard ground.

I figured I had about 10-15 more days till hatching, but then the call came and I rushed over to see the baby which if a very new one, a day at the most. It’s wobbly body was trying hard to keep up with the parents. I would estimate it was born yesterday and this was it’s first venture out from the looks of it. And it’s always fun to see these little ‘weebles’ – they are so unsteady, and not concerned with humans and cameras. The parents walked around as baby followed. At one point an very angry red winged blackbird was fake attacking the family of cranes, it must have had a nest nearby. Tonight I will go back again and check the nest later. There was no egg remnant at all. So here’s our newest sandhill crane, hope they will show up at my house in a day or two!

I did stop down tonight before it got dark to look at the family dynamic. The mother was sitting on the bare ground,  she is not even using the minimal nest the egg was hatched upon, she is sitting close to waters edge without the benefit of any substrate, most unusual, have not seen them do that before, they have always had a nice nest to go back to at night. Though the nest they built off my property on the marsh is now underwater, Did they know that somehow? Did their instinct anticipate rising water and that’s why they abandoned it? Guess we’ll never know, but it’s fun to speculate. All I know is these are caring parents despite the fact they got rid of their 3 month old baby, in the past every baby has been totally attended to. Here we go again!

Stopped by marina and there were two very new ducks, so adorable too. There were many ducks that were a few months old, they looked mostly mallard. No gators, only a couple people fishing and the clouds were wonderful. The winds have been fairly brisk the past two days, it feels like a little bit of a break from the 90 degree weather. All’s quiet here and that’s ok!

Home from Tampa visit and since I was gone almost a week, the grass had grown fast! And dummy me forgot, I left the lawnmower behind the garage door and forgot to take it inside. I pumped the gas and tried to start the engine, only teasing coughs. I took off the air filter and it was soaked and moldy. Ran it up to the Lawn and Mower place and grabbed a new one. Came back home and it didn’t start – DAMN – the spark plug had water in it too, bad news! Back up to mower shop with lawn mower – I told them not to go over a certain amount — at some point it’s cheaper to get another mower. And so much for lawn mowing for a week, they are backed up. I might have to call a service, it looks like I’m living in the woods now, another week and I might have to put down bread crumbs down to find my way to the lake to fish.

Yesterday the sky darkened at around 3 and boom, the rains came. I didn’t think about running up to Alive After 5, but around 7pm the sky looked like it would be good for sunset pictures,  so figured I’d drive up and go say hello to my art peeps then take marina shots. Once I got downtown, my talk mode was on. I ran into everyone and we all chatted and chatted and chatted up and down the street, First it was Marjorie Branchaud with her new brand of beaded bracelets she is making now, they are intricately beaded to have a ‘bump’ to them, a depth that gives it a great shape and soon she will build up an inventory to get selling – ran into Mary K. Shaw who has a piece of her art picked for  TV show, Drop Dead Diva – how fantastic is that! But it doesn’t surprise me, her talent is unusual and fun! There was Dlynn Roll who along with her husband Jim were outside Art Affair Gallery with her jewelry, they have moved their fragrant Candlelite Gallery to Art Affair. Saw Afredo Mujica outside  doing a caricature, he’s looking trim. He and Rae Marie are dedicated to eating right and it shows. Waved to Andrew Hyder as I passed Their Hyder Fine Art Gallery, Ronda’s Art Affair had a good bar crowd. Saw that Kim House is now making a restaurant with Miss Sherry – it is called, La Sirena Gorda, The Fat Mermaid – a Baja mexican theme and food that should be ready in July. Leon and Tom were walking out of The Fat Mermaid and Tom was telling me about his 4 year old graduate, the little adorable boy had graduated from pre-school and was ready for kindergarden. The adorable child had on a cap and gown along with the rest of his graduating class, the photos were tooooo cute!

Met new artists, Debby of Creations By Debbie who had wonderfully adorned boxes with bullets, keys, skulls, also belt buckles and necklaces that were fun and one of a kind pieces reasonably priced. Mike Fazzalaro had gorgeous wood pieces in the shapes of fish made from wood, they positively flowed as if in water. The eyes were well thought out.  Ravenous Green had the new look for  the young, trendy skate boarding crowd, wonderful painted designs.
It’s always so warm to touch base with my friends and get hugs and catch up. It ended up being a great night even though it was not well attended, I’m sure the rain scared many away – and I didn’t get time to take photos of the sunset, I talked till the sun went down. So good to see so many familiar faces, Sanford is really becoming an art hub and that’s what makes it so much fun – here’s look at last nights photos and a few gratuitous grandchildren pics thrown in.


In February of this year the sandhill cranes came into the yard with a baby about a week old. That was an odd time of year for them to have a baby, and I wondered if it was because of the warm winter we were having. The baby is now 3 months old and quite large, but the parents have abandoned it! I knew something had to be up when I saw them out by my marsh making a new nest in April. They only build a nest if they are going to lay eggs, or possibly if their old nest is destroyed.
They spent a day building it, a smaller than usual nest.  I waited for something to happen, surely a new egg or two would follow, but it didn’t. The 3 of them slept there for a few weeks, (the mother and baby together in the nest, the father stands in the water.) They stopped sleeping there about 10 days ago and left the nest.

Suddenly this past week I have been getting cranes that come here one at a time, most unusual unless the parents are nesting. The baby comes all alone, the father and mother each come at separate times. I knew they had to have a nest somewhere and so I  bugged the neighbors to check their property and look across the lake around the shoreline. I got a response and found the mother nesting on one of the neighbors backyards.. The nest is very poorly built, not much padding around it at all as if made very quickly, it sure does not look like previous nests that took several days to get it right.
This time there is only one egg. My cranes have been doing unlikely things since they laid one egg in 2010 and then about 6 days later, laid another one. Unfortunately, the newest baby was expected to get up and keep up with the one born 6 days prior and instead of resting the first 24 hours, that newest  hatchling literally gave out, had no energy to keep up and died a couple days later, (there is a blog with photos in the archives.)

First of all,  I have NEVER seen them abandon a hatchling  like that. They keep their ‘colt’s with them about 10 months. For them to leave this baby is not their normal nature.  Even though it is a big baby, as large as the parents, it’s feathers have not changed, it still have baby coloration for a few more months and it is in need of protection and a social group. I wonder if the other young, unpaired, sub-adults would even accept a baby into their groups? I have not seen the baby in a couple days. I’m sure it is foraging in the same places it’s parents traveled.
The new egg is probably due to hatch around 3weeks, takes about  30 days. I will report back and let you know what happens.

Also the woodduck couple still hangs around, they didn’t see me on shore taking photos or they would have flown away fast – they are very very shy. Today they swam pretty close allowing me to get some good shots. I felt bad that none of their 4 eggs made it. I wonder if they will use the box again? The males are beautifully marked and colored, they have a distinctive call to each other.

I decided to fish even though sub-tropical storm Beryl had been sending rainbands throughout this afternoon. We still have a bad drought and need rain . The water level is very low. About 4 feet of water is needed to make it cover the banks again. Anyway, I was fishing though nothing was biting and my heron came down to see if I might catch anything, (I didn’t,)  but she stayed near me all the time I fished. She was still standing near shore when I left. Hope one night I can catch something for her, I enjoy her company down by the lake, it’s not the same without my cat, Ringo, how I miss his blue eyes shining in anticipation when that line grew slack.

Here’s the photos of recent faces and the new egg:

And last but not least, thanks to our military on this Memorial Day – we are lucky to have them to protect and defend us- Thank You for your service! 

Ever have double vision? Well Thursday night around 2am after spending like a solid 4 hour marathon of trying to set up an Etsy account and resize photos,  suddenly my eyes would not focus together! They were each in their own zone — I was seeing the same thing on two different levels and it was trippy! All  I could do was immediately get up and leave the screen. I told my son either I was having a stroke or the computer finally won!

I looked in the mirror, were my eyes going in different directions? Was one dilated? No, they looked normal. I had my son look at them, then walked back and forth on an uneven path up the hall, around the living room and kitchen, made more faces in the mirror, repeated the alphabet, tried saying it backwards, then finally I sat down on my bed and within about 7 minutes the eyes were in sync again. It scared the crap out of me after all the problems I had in January with seeing flashes of lightning with my left eye.  I was almost afraid I might have had a total retinal detachment in the left eye, except the vision would have been cloudy, but it wasn’t, the vision was fine. I could focus on things again though I still have leftover lightning flashes from January from  vitreous fluid separation, something that can happen as we age,
link that explains it all.  But nothing prepared me for staring at a computer monitor could also make your eyes out of whack with Diplopia – double vision.  Make sure to rest your eyes every 1/2 hour when on computer, get up and take a break, (do as I say not as I do.)

My heart was still beating fast and the anxiety was releasing it’s grip slowly. I made my way to the bed and got in. pulling up the covers and closing my eyes. Normally I close my eyes and let the blackness guide me into sleep, but  not tonight, there was a great theater unleashing itself under my lids – a body of dark, purple/black/navy  water, moved up and down very gently and I seemed to be floating behind it. I was reminded of Poet, Theodore Roethke’s, Meditation at Oyster River. He described the water the same way I saw it, calming, quiet, “the tongues of water , creeping in, quietly.”  The water moved to the left and then a dark landmass appeared with black ferns and dark patterns waving and parting, moving as if blown by some gentle breeze, parting as I passed through to where a dark form of earth appeared to surface out of the water and as  I came closer, the ball was being devoured by ferociously hungry earthworms swaying as the water sunk it down, things began morphing like a Hierynymus Hell, I opened my eyes and sat up, reaching for the remote, glad to be bathed in the vacuous white glow of  television residue!  Anxiety again —

I got up and cleaned my closet filling a trash bag with clothes for Goodwill, continuing with dresser drawers,  another bag filled. I mopped the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, I was not closing my eyes till total exhaustion! I wondered, what if I got worse and an ambulance needed to come? I needed to clean up first! Your mortality mode kicks in, you think, oh my Gawd, what kind of mess have I left for others if they cart me away? I emptied the cat box, that was an easy fix,  took a shower, put on clean PJs  and still thought about the mountains of paperwork in files and packed into my desk drawers in which I could see my oldest son saying, “bring a trash can”,  as he emptied out one drawer after another littered with cards for different occasions and  years of sentimental old cards sent to me by family and friends, this would mean nothing to them but clutter.

The evil computer screen stared blankly at me in a challenge, and I wrote a blurb on FB and then shut it down.
One drawer was full of ‘diskettes’ from my old 90’s computer, there  were camera manuals and CDs of instruction.     18 chapters worth of work on the novel  lay slack and abandoned in the bottom drawer, it looked dead in it’s coffin like confines. I never finished it. It all centered on a 19 year old from Akron, Ohio during 1969 trying to make it to Woodstock. It was packed with references to the 60’s, places we all frequented back then, heaped with drugs, sex, rock and roll. I even had a sound track on the front page in case it was ever made into a movie. Damn, I thought I would finish, there it was, so I sat for a few minutes and read some chapters and still really liked it. I was a much better writer back when my mind had a sharper edge. No, that would stay where it was,  I had to move on.

What else could I get rid of?  It was 4:15am,  I opened kitchen cupboards, holy crap, garage sale needed — what kind of legacy was I leaving besides this old packed house in need of repairs? What do we want to be remembered for? Certainly it wasn’t for the picture frames cluttered under the beds in all the bedrooms, nor the art supplies packed in the spare room along with old yearbooks and albums, and stuff that was hanging around gathering dust  for years which had value only to me, not to my kids.  I could picture them throwing all my clothes into garbage cans, would they laugh at my old pair of Keds with the Tweety Bird and Sylvester pattern? Did they know I got that Peter Max scarf from a gallery where I met him in Akron Ohio at a reception for him?  Did they have any idea that I wore that tiny purple halter dress to a backstage cast party for  off-Broadway Players of Godspell? What a great cast! What a tiny dress! I remember it was the middle of winter and I had long boots and a black maxie coat.

Why was I thinking of such frivilous things? Would they keep the old letters I kept in that box in the closet? How about all the poetry I wrote?  What would be meaningful to them? I still have things from my grandparents, would they keep them too? Would they groan when they found my little stash of ‘lingerie’ that has remained untouched on the top shelf of the closet for years and years? I headed right for the bag of folded lace and garters and shoved it inside the Goodwill bag.

I looked around at all this ‘stuff’ accumulated over the years and wondered  what any of it means??? – They will not be happy with the mess  left behind so I vowed I better go to bed and tomorrow, I would start getting organized for when I’m ready to croak, there was just too much work to do, I had things to sort through, sell on Ebay. I didn’t have time for death and legacy, anyway, after a couple generations future grandchildren will hardly remember anything about me except I was an old, silly windbag,  dust in the wind they say, or as Kansas sings.

Maybe, if anything, my kids would remember me for teaching them to look at nature closely, to enjoy a moon lit night, the warm sun on your back, the caw of the crow, cats, hugs, old books, helping others and special people to surround themselves and grow old with –what else can I say that sounded mushy and comforting and ‘mother like’? What words would otherwise make up for the lack of a $100million trust fund only Romney can leave his kids? My legacy will be whatever the heck it is,  you live and make a place for yourself and do the best you can while you’re here, in just a matter of a few generations, you will be lost to the withers of time when your name means nothing unless you’ve accomplished something famous, like movie stars, famous icons,  Gates, Howard Stern, how about Phylis Diller?  Maybe since we have the internet, there’s a chance at a ‘quasi’ legacy, me writing about leaving a lasting impression and legacy?

I finally decided to surrender to the light around dawn. I was exhausted enough to lay down and deal with the dark liquid visions ‘meditative rivers’ if they came, I would swim. Then as I about shut my eyes, I remembered something,  I jumped out of bed and retrieved the bag of sexy lace lingerie shoved inside the Goodwill bag and put it back at the top corner of the closet. — let my legacy include a good laugh, heck maybe years from now I’d be a “siren” at some nursing home, now that was a creepy vision of legacy! I hope they can always have a good laugh about their mother.

Upon waking I opened my eyes, they were focused!  I could smile and remind others to rest their eyes while on the computer, double vision  is very scary.

I knew I would go to the Artwalk and see what was new and exciting and I was so glad I did.  The starting point was Hyder’s Gallery and they had one of the artists sitting there with Lori Anne,   Jerryl Cain did abstract work similar to Picasso, nice color and flow. I noticed new artist work throughout, new painted furniture, also new pieces by Doug Powell who does work using small, painted puzzle pieces forming to make a subject, his pieces are collected by The Smithsonian.
Ran into Leon and Tom with Delaney Dean the new photographer at Art Affair, was curious to see her work on the wall as last time it was a picture on a cell phone slide show. it looked beautiful in person, so many thought out layers .
Headed to the Historic Sanford Welcome center where they had a piano painted by Rudy Drapiza.  People were chatting and looking at the monthly work displayed.  It used to be they had quite a fanfare on these Fridays, but it was on the quiet side tonight, probably the holiday, the downtown was kind of toned down.

Ran into photographer and writer, GK Sharman, we chatted and looked over at Art Affair where Dlynn Roll was holding a piece of cardboard over her face to shield her face from the blinding 90+ degree sun as she sold jewelry and candles outside the Gallery. her work is now on display at The Avalon downtown and at CityArts Factory for the month of June. She has a lot of fun earrings too. Her husband Jim sat on the shady side of the door and is a big support to Dlynn, love a good supporting spouse! I was also happy to see JT Smalley’s ‘bot’ creations, they are adorable and looked great in the window of Art Affair and on the shelves, take a closer look at these pieces, couldn’t be more clever!

Saw sweet Grace at her store Cloey behind Art Affair Gallery, she works hard to make such a warm presence in her store with wonderful jewelry and clothing besides misc, items, stop and tell her hello.

Art Affair looked colorful and well put together. Had a variety of artist work in the middle room.  On to Framing 508 with Rae Marie and Alfredo and she was working on commissioned dog pastels as Alfredo painted away on his muses, he’s so excited about his wonderful new diet of natural raw foods and special drinks, he feels so good he’s trying hard to convert me, can I stop my bad habits? Naw, I need my sugar high.

Over to Jeanine’s Gallery on First and it was packed, I found my sugar high at their reception of landscape painters, Francine Levy was one, she has solid work. They had yummy stuff and I could not resist the donut holes and cookies, thanks girls! They really had the best crowd of the night. Onto Maya’s Books and Yvette was watering her geraniums and pointed to her tree of laminated hands for a community effort where people came together to make hands of unity. Thank goodness we are getting back to normal after all the negative publicity, what’s sad is it happened miles away much closer to Lake Mary then Sanford, but the Sanford business owners really took the brunt of it. Glad things are quieting down for now.

I saw the newly opened Gallery, Dan Mastrapa’s  Artsans right at the clock square. Dan has a wonderful layout. He’s going at this slow, and so far, he seems to be doing it right.  Graphic Artist Mark Baiz (  was there doing a computer art demonstration, it’s good watching artists at work. Met an artist and wife inside Artisons checking out the gallery, he owned a lawn spraying company,  Able Lawn Spray at I loved his shirt which he made and said he was looking for venues to show his work, my advice, the venues are there, you have to pound the pavement to find them.

On down to find The White Cup has opened and what a great vibe I got from there. It is so much more than when they had at the small the Debary location under the former owner. This location was bigger and full of energy, a nice awakening!  This new venue under owner Wayne Reichert rocked with energy! It has bands and it’s own gallery with work even  on the ceiling all hand painted by different artists. Terrific job business venue and welcome Wayne! I was so glad to see how the area is fanning out with a variety of places to visit, they keep changing to make Sanford a more desirable place to come and enjoy.

I missed the sunset at the marina, so headed on home and the moon was high and the only thing visible in the sky. No clouds at all, today was just a hot, and windy day, no rain, dry as a bone and the big hype is this front coming Sunday, we shall see. Once again you can tell it’s slow news with how they hype the weather. Do you think all the radars at these stations send out energies that affect us somehow? Maybe they shorten the days, this month seems like it last 3 days and is over already. I took my nightly pic of the moon and added the Creature from The Blue Lagoon, somehow it seemed the right thing to do! So now that I have spent like 6 hours getting this together, I’m ready for a break, maybe I’ll clean the garage, maybe not, maybe I’ll go out and take a few pics, heck, if something happens to me, the kids can throw away everything, I’ll never know – I just want them to hold on to the love! Happy Memorial Day and thank you to our military for all your service!





















Knew Ronda was having a ‘meet and greet’  at Art Affair Gallery tonight, so thought I’d pop over and see what was new and exciting. First I stopped by the marina and watched as the sun retreated over to the west coast. There was a ‘pro’ photographer out there with his huge, erect lens and tripod, (or a wannabee with great looking camera equipment). A family also came over and  were posing and taking photos by the fading sun, I used the wife’s very expensive Cannon to capture all of them for a couple shots — wow was that Canon DSLR heavy!  Then back to my Canon  point and shoot and wondered if my photos were insufficient compared to those big cameras? It did make me wonder about the quality of the images in comparison and as I looked at the photos, I am sure it is in the coloration, I have never been truly happy with the point and shoots color. But anyway, I won’t know a difference so I’ll show ya what I got! No competition to ‘one up’ me. I had been to the marina in the morning looking for gators, not a one could be seen. Lots and lots of baby ducks though all following their mothers, so many many little cuties, they won’t be going extinct anytime soon!

I arrived at the gallery and Ronda was outside painting away and so excited to introduce me to the new artists. I had been there briefly Thursday for Alive After 5, but her place was so packed that I left thinking I would come back and see her on the backside, but once I got into photographing the dogs I finished and went on home.
She grabbed me and escorted me in, that’s one of the great qualities about Ronda, her raw exuberance for her artists! She makes people feel welcome and important, even a self-important blogger like ‘moi’ – she gives my blogging creedence and always introduces me as if I am a seasoned writer – hey, don’t hold that against her.
The first person I saw was Trish Vevera inside the door painting away. Trish has a wonderful touch with her acrylic painting, she reminds me of a warm relaxing summer afternoon. I was glad to see her working.  Marie DeCosta beautiful as always had a new style she was painting, great colors.  I met Michael the cook and bartender and Sarah Barnaby who had begun doing a small painting from a picture. Sarah is new and her work is very ‘islandy’, she has a big Caribbean feel to her work.  Around the corner was Johanna who is a sculptor inspired by nature and has been sculpting for 30+ years.  Sylvester Stalone, Burt Reynolds and even Alamo Rent A Car at their national headquarters all have work by Johanna as do others around the world. I enjoyed the detailed work by holding a piece to get a closeup. The photos don’t really tell the tale, you must go have a look for yourself. Remember I can’t duplicate the colors either, they will always be a bit different than the real piece of art.

On the walls of the center room was the “Gonzo” artwork of Jeremy Arruda,  very Ralph Steadman-esque – the pieces caught my attention, found them quite exciting, which is the vibe that saturates the gallery anyway!
Delany Dean will be joining the gallery  soon with her nature photography, she showed me her work in a slideshow on her phone, it blew me away – she has a unique twist on wildlife -can’t wait to see her work on the walls. Kathryn Bowden was painting a portrait for a woman who sat wonderfully still beside her. I think of pets when I think of Kathy’s work though she does portraits and caricature too. The majority of the artists in Art Affair are internationally collected. I also met a jewelry artist too and cannot remember her name, nor the name of the glass painter, plus my camera had run out of battery and that was it for my picture capacity.

These nights when the public is invited to watch the artists work and talk with them over some wine and the musical styling of Smiling Tim are an easy opportunity to find out what makes these artists tick. They don’t talk above you , instead they all are anxious to explain and inspire you about  why they choose the style and subjects they do. And if you’re like me, from there we chat about a million different subjects like I’ve known them for years, (oh wait, a few of them I have known for years now.)
Artists  are people  like you and me,  they are here for these venues to make you excited to learn about the art and head connection. And who knows,  you might decide to try your hand at something artistic yourself! Or maybe you want some lessons and direction on learning how to begin your own venture into a painting or jewelry making hobby — Ronda can direct you through that area also, she taught art as did some of the other artists — there’s lots of positive reinforcement inside the walls of Art Affair Gallery, it’s like getting a big art-hug and when you leave, you feel more happy and colorful. Heck, even on a regular day, Ronda is still there to walk and talk you personally through Art Affair Gallery with great enthusiasm.  It’s fun to meet new people and also educate yourself about something new  and exciting. art is always advancing, twists and turns and angles you never thought possible. It’s a good way to begin collecting the artwork of locals whom you come to admire and meeting the artist makes it even more special!
So here’s the marina and Art Affair Gallery and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of you mothers who are so nurturing and loving and put all our well being above everything else!





































It was a perfect night to go and spend time at Alive After 5 in downtown Sanford tonight – the temperature nice, the breeze perfect, the sky clear, the crowd full. The artists are now all on Palmetto Street. Saw my buddies, GK Sharman, Steven Monser, Joanne and Tony Borges, Alfredo and met a few new people.      The theme was “Sanford de Mayo”, lot’s of Mexican themed dishes, sombreros and some festive dress, but what struck me tonight was how great it is that our downtown loves and welcomes dogs,  You see them at the downtown restaurants under tables as their owners catch a bite to eat.  Dogs of all shapes and sizes, dappled and plain! I decided it would be much more fun taking photos of the canine crowd tonight and show what a dog friendly town this truly is – you don’t see that in the press!.

It was very easy asking people if I could take a photo of their dogs, everyone had a smile and enthusiastic “Yes, sure” – people love their animals, some were fancy breeds, some Heinz selections, but you could see that all were loved as the family member they are.  I grew up with dogs all my life until 2004 when our last dog was very old and weak and had to be put to sleep. I loved the many dogs I’ve had throughout the years: German Shepards,  Great danes,  an English setter, Staffordshire terriers, Basenji, mini bull terriers and a mutt or two along with cats, we always had at least 3 cats at one time. I was bred of the generation of Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Lady and the Tramp, Old Yeller,  Huckleberry Hound, Mr. Peabody, and of course Petey of the Little Rascals/Our Gang comedy we all thrived on! It seems dogs were a natural staple of life growing up in the 50’s and 60’s — almost everyone who had a dog back in our neighborhood never leashed them, except one of our neighbors who had a blind dog and would put it outside on a long rope.  All the neighborhood dogs ran around and we never thought anything of it. You knew whose dog belonged to who, sometimes neighbor kids showed up to your house and their dogs came inside too!  It was how life was back then, we went out to play, the dog did too.

Tonight was a great pooch parade,  dogs on leashes, in purses and sleeping in wagons, it almost made me think about getting a dog, but I know better, I need less responsibility, not more. I can say though, the owners are fierce in their love and pride for their canine companions. So instead of artists, you’re getting dogs, the “focus” of tonight. That and I think I saw an abstract Jesus up in a window over Washburns, you decide, I’ll throw the picture in the mix. And then show you the sun going down over the marina, my cat Luna was unimpressed with the blog tonight, she went off into cat dreams.
If you weren’t there, you missed a very exciting Alive After 5,  come see us next month- gotta go, my ‘dogs’ are barkin’, (or maybe clotting since I’ve been sitting so long) – I’ll get up now and go howl at the moon…



























































































































Sasha decided she’s armed and ready for any dirty dog who might try and occupy space over here,,,

Where to begin? I haven’t struck the keyboard keys for a blog lately, perhaps it’s a “feline funk” over the death of Ringo, he was truly my favorite cat!  And no, I really don’t want anymore responsibility for another cat so don’t go there. I’ll stick with Luna and silly Sasha and grieve over my boy and fishing at the lake will never be the same. Is it bad to pick favorites among your animals? I love my other cats, but Ringo was truly…Ringo.

So here it is weeks later, last night was a supermoon and the beginning day of the first annual, downtown Sanford, St. John’s River Festival of the Arts. I was looking forward to the weekend and then forgot I have children who asked if I would babysit for my youngest grand daughter, Kira. So the baby came first and it was good and bad. The good is having her close and being maternal, love that part! The bad is the colic, poor thing is suffering so after she drinks her bottle. She is on some formula that’s supposed to be broken down for digestion as far as it can go, but the body still seems at war with itself.  It’s so so sad watching a 7 pound baby less than 3 months old scrunch up in gas pain and scream for a couple hours until sleep takes over when they scream themselves out. And even then, in precious sleep, the “after” sobs continue – her little chest heaves with what sounds like a final sob – it just kills you! She will go to a specialist next week and check it out.  That picture is her the face of pain! But she does have many smiley moments too.  She is such a little sweetie, I wish I could absorb all the bad things for her!
We did go outside Saturday as the sun went down and we saw a hawk trying to go after Poe the crow!  Poe flew off with his entourage of mockingbirds also wanting a piece of it, though it looks like a male from the size.. The crow was fine, his injured foot seems to be getting better. Poe lets me get within about 5 feet of him now, wonder if I will ever be able to hand feed it? My neighbor Beverly said he has come to her house dropping off chicken bones into her birdbath. Maybe he performs rituals to rid himself of those parasitic mockingbirds?
    I showed Kira her first supermoon. The moon was supposed to be closest to the earth, but in September and October, the moon has been larger, but gets smaller as it moves higher,  whereas this moon stayed big all night. I watched it duck into the boughs of neighboring trees about 3:30am after I fed Kira. It was a beautiful moon of course, you know how I glorify the moon, but felt the hype was kind of giving it this monster look, though from Yahoo’s pictures, if you were in Greece or California, it looked HUGE, or they photoshopped it!

After the baby and kids left, I was able to run to downtown Sanford where they had billed the St. John’s festival of the Arts, their first art festival. It had been advertised for weeks and I was excited to see how it looked. I drove up at 1:30pm under 92 degree heat. Parking was easy, plenty of spaces. I parked where I always park for Alive After 5, which of course is next Thursday May 10th – just a reminder.
The downtown area was set up perfectly for the affair, artists booths had plenty of space, in fact, there was plenty room for more tents! Someone told me they had about 120 artists and believe me, they were all a class act! Everything was what Fine Art should be. The artists I spoke too were very satisfied with the venue. There were working artists showing off their crafts, woodworkers, a woman spinning yarn, painters, glass and jewelry makers besides photographers and other media. I’ll let the photo’s do the talking. They need to do this in February or March, NOT May! Also, there should have been something environmental representing the St. John’s or did I miss that? Where’s Bill Belleville?
The streets had plenty of room and I heard they advertised a lot, so maybe it was the heat, maybe the press with their negative publicity about the Trayvon/Zimmerman issue, but wished there had been many more people strolling around. I didn’t hear complaints from the artists about the lack of bodies, as I mentioned, most complaints were temperature related. Most of the artists were very satisfied with the inaugural festival. I thought it was every bit as nice as Winter Park. The show’s organizers did a great job and I saw Liz talking with the artists and they were all responding positively. I say congrats to organizers and hope this is done annually in cooler months!

Sorry to Dlynn for making it look like she has her nosed pierced with her earrings!

It was wonderful talking to Betsy Boher whom I talk with on FB and now see her in person, that’s what makes Facebook so much fun!

the pen and ink by Marjorie Bowers were exquisite, my photo comes across blurred and does not do them justice.

Nedobeck cat art was colorful, fun and an instant draw. He also has childrens books made from his drawings.

John Unrue of Sanford had the coolest 3D art. He had the 3D glasses to put on to get the complete effect. What fun in my own backyard of Sanford.
Gourd art artist Boonie Eastwood from Hudson Florida had a lot of great gourd art, she was one of the award winners.

  This is only a small portion of the talent found under the tents on First Street – watch for it next year, this was a treat! It was great seeing my friends, Aurore Brunet, Tom Abbott, Leon  the Lake Mary Food Critic, Suzi Ricker Doss, Dlynn Roll, Bonnie Sprung, and others I saw along the way – support the art and artists who bring such beauty into the world – celebrate this talent and come out and enjoy these wonderful venues!

What a full week, these days are memories made in an instant –  My worst day was Thursday when my cat, Ringo was killed by a speeding car. A car not slowing down for a cat in the road and then taking off and not acknowledging that you have hit a 20+ pound object.
I was rounding the corner with my son Adam at around 7pm, still very light out, and my neighbors were flagging me down.  I looked down and saw my big fishing buddy on his side, dead from the impact so at least he didn’t suffer. I saw his face banged hard which made me think he looked right at the car at that instant of impact. I didn’t hesitate to pick him up, I wanted him back at home, back to where nothing else would harm him. I carried that heavy, limp body home and held him in my arms for a long time.
Adam dug a nice big hole in my garden as I hung onto Ringo, fondly thinking of his crazy antics. How he would bite you if you petted him one pet too much, how his tail had such personality. What a character!                       This macho cat had been found by my next door neighbors as a young feral kitten at the place Kristi worked. Ringo was a beautiful blue eyed, white striped baby, he found a wonderful family who loved him and let him exert his feral ways. All the neighbors knew Ringo and were completely seduced by his blue eyes.  On a daily basis he visited his favorite people, walking right into homes where people fed him and enjoyed a brief visit. Everyone who met him said he was so cool.   He was a lover, a fighter, a poet and king.
When I moved in, (Ringo was 2 years old,)  with my own feral cat, Church and the girls Frankie and Sealy, Ringo and his brother Flip all blended together in harmony with my cats from day one! Not a scrap between any of our cats at all. They sat on my opened door screen porch in the back or on the driveway. Usually at least two of the males were within a few feet of each other at various times during the day. And yet, Ringo was not shy about fighting with other cats  not to his liking.

Ringo loved to go after anything, even snakes. I never worried about snakes down at the lake when fishing because Ringo would not hesitate to challenge one. Yes, he killed birds and ate them, lizards too which he downed. Rats and mice and moles he killed for sport,  I sometimes would see him stroll by with something which I would rescue, but he was quite a hunter with an appetite for ‘game’. (Put the name Ringo in my search and you can read back stories.)  His favorite thing to eat were fresh fish, he loved shiners and bream and sometimes there was quite a struggle between Ringo and the heron both wanting fish. Ringo would sit there as long as I sat at the lake, he would nap near the pole, he read the water like fine, sheet music, those ripples on the lake were sweet vibrations to his senses, especially when a pole on the ground moved with a reward for him. He sat up in nervous anticipation to eat till he was full, (leaving the head.)  He also loved minnows and ate in abundance, (I would net them in a small plastic whipped cream tub as Ringo enjoyed his appetizers!) I will miss my fishing buddy. He’s buried out in my garden – I now know where he is all the time now. And when I woke up on Friday and thought about it, it would have been much more fitting to have given him a viking send off in a flaming shoebox out upon the lake, but there’s a burn ban, and I really wasn’t going to set him on fire, that’s creepy –  and with my luck the flaming cat would head toward some dry brush and Ringo would start a brush fire and how would I explain a viking send off for a cat to the police? This loss has been a big one for our family.

Let’s backtrack to before the tragedy and look back at Sanford news events,  After the Trayvon Martin shooting  we have been plagued by media making our town out rather negatively. Famous people and groups came in and some of these radical groups like The New Black Panthers were showing signs that read “ban the “white owned Sanford Businesses”. That’s ignorant and what did the small downtown business community have to do with the shooting anyway?  Glad to get rid of the Panthers and  Neo Nazi Nutz who wanted to stir up something claiming they were here to protect white citizens, Fuck Off Neo Nazi’s and New Black Panthers, we need your negativity like hemmorhoids, like boils, like slimy slugs! Go and be a downer somewhere else where you are welcome, we don’t feel anything good comes from your attitude of racial hatred.
I’m happy they decided to arrest George Zimmerman and find out what exactly went wrong. Let’s deal in facts from now on, let’s see the truth and how the Sanford police filed their report and handled the horrific loss of a young life. The marches have been peaceful and now with the arrest,  it’s time to breathe.  Media has been both effective and negative, we will wait now for the trial and see how the “Stand Your Ground” Law applies . While it allows people to save their lives from criminals, it can also be a tool to get away with murder quite literally. It’s a law that criminal thugs like gangs use to get rid of rival gang members, a law used to do harm to people who don’t deserve it like Trayvon, unarmed and on his way home.  He wasn’t trying to break in or steal or bother anyone, he wanted to take his skittles and ice tea and go back to his family – I can’t even imagine how Trayvon’s family must grieve for their loss. Let’s hope we get answers.
The shooting took place about 8 miles from downtown,  the business owners have been losing clientele because of all the protests,  media almost salivating for something crazy to happen for something to talk about for a new news cycle. Thankfully all went peacefully, no fights, disagreements, no violence and many people including business owners from Sanford all  walking together asking for justice, for answers.
Now finally with the arrest, things have really quieted down. Alive After 5 this Thursday was huge, many people came to downtown. A true showing of community support! Another showing of support came out of  making hands from cardboard and putting a positive word or peace sign and stringing the message across businesses around downtown Sanford. Over 380 people have made hand designs. Next Saturday you are invited from 9-noon to come the Sanford Farmers Market by the clock tower and trace your hands and work your creative magic so they can be added to our chains of hands. Come show you care! Look around, enjoy the many restaurants and galleries, furniture, antiques, consignment clothing and more. Our little business district is full of goods –  come enjoy what we have to offer. Remember, April 21st, 9-noon, help us create a positive!
Check out the Farmers Market with fresh fruits and veggies, slushies, orchids, sauces, honey, art, and many vendors. Make it a great day and leave your hands on cardboard for posterity – here’s a view of Alive After 5 and hands on togetherness for a better community.


I have exhibited with Artist/Sculptress Amy Wieck,  –   in the past we exhibited with others at the  Museum of Seminole County History. I first met the soft spoken artist and her solid figures at the museum. Her hummingbird and lizard still stand out for me, she does finely detailed pieces.
Amy works with One Stop Prop Shop Corp that also works with Disney on some of their prop needs.  We are now Facebook friends and I noticed a couple weeks ago she put out notice that she would like to cast a baby’s hand for a prosthetist, Davor Krchelich. Davor works with Project Medishare,    – an organization dedicated to helping out the medical needs of many including the victims of Haiti’s earthquake and those in need of limb replacements.

Davor reached out to Amy and asked her to find a baby hand to cast for making a prosthetic to use for his smallest patients. I sent Amy some photos and then knew that my grandchildren would be in town, so I volunteered Kira, but not before asking how safe the product was, (it’s the same medium they use for dental patients in the mouth to make impressions and the hand is doused in vaseline or any type lotion one prefers to coat it up.)

Amy came over last Saturday and tried a couple times to take impressions, my granddaughter Kira is only about 2 months old, and she didn’t seem to like the feel of the cool liquidy medium, though she didn’t cry, she just moved her arm and hand a lot. I was excited to think this could be a hand to help someone’s poor baby who was limbless. Amy is so very gentle and encouraging,  Her technique starts with a soft reassurance that this will go well, and we weren’t sure when we pulled out Kira’s balled hands if it would work.

Amy needed photos of the hands in case she had to sculpt them if the casts did not come out detailed enough so I spent time looking at Kira and Iyla’s baby hands and taking photos. Kira is just discovering hers, they will fly up above her head and wave all around. I became obsessed looking at the beauty in their innocence. You can tell a lot about a person’s hands. They are the bearer of someone’s burdens or the tale of someone well pampered.  Kira is a lucky child to be healthy and have all limbs in tact, in parts of the world there is a stigma attached to being limbless, almost like a Caste system where you are devalued as a person through no fault of your own.

Davor and others through Project Medishare are trying to remedy that for young and old, giving them a new feel for life again. The white casting you see pictured below is taken right from mold and has had nothing done to it. Amy normally takes time to clean them up, cast them in bronze or other requested medium, then finish and polish them. It was very generous of her to do this for Davor and Project Medishare.
I told Amy I actually loved the primitiveness of the freshly released mold,  it looked like a birthing process to me. Amy does wildlife, body castings, your pets paws, even Halloween looking limbs if you like. Contact her through her website above if you are interested in learning more.

Here are photos of Davor in Haiti getting hug from a victim getting a leg, Amy’s work and Kira being held by me as she was cast and the cast in white:

After Amy had cast the hands, she got a notice from Davor, his time has been cut and he had to use doll hands. So Kira’s hands won’t be used for now. But she is immortalized in her life casting by Amy, and you and yours can have that too.
So take the time to look at the finer details in life, notice hands all day or look at something you normally wouldn’t think about. Life is full of intricate details, appreciate them they are all around us in the bark of a tree, the details of a seashell,  the wrinkles on our hands, feet and faces.  Look at smiles all day, such a small act of muscles that brightens our lives!
Give life a good lookover, get away from that desk and take a few minutes out and observe, watch the kids, your pets, see how easily most use their limbs. In many parts of the world  people of all ages are unable to pick up a fork or walk without a crutch, some genetically deprived, some victims of war, accidents, natural disasters. Take the time to be thankful you have what you have, donate when you can to any organization of your choosing to help others who are not as lucky, including animals too, they will benefit from your generousity! Hugs

Tonka the turtle needing a little help,

OMG, my brain is exhausted! It’s tired of looking at sheets with facts on dealer fees, taxes, Gov. fees, out the door pricing, financing for 60 months, even 72 – I’m ready to tear my hair out – I’m tired of gambling!
So of course in true Abbe fashion, let me back up and give you the backstory.  A couple weeks ago my son, Adam went to Tampa and was driving back home in our 2003 sedan when he said the gauge started showing the engine was overheating and by the time he could get the car off on the nearest I-4 exit, the radiator was spewing with coolant and other fluids and the motor no longer had compression and died. Now it needs an engine implant.

The car itself is under warranty for 10 years or 100,000 miles, (it has 76,000 and a year left). I questioned the dealership where I purchased the car, UT OH, we replaced the radiator without using their service department and ‘afterparts’,  we violated the trust of the warranty. They said to have it towed there might cost us money as if they assessed the damage and determined we were at fault, I’d have to pay for towing it there and back and the assessment – so what the Hell good is a 100k mile or 10 year warranty when you can’t depend on it! So read those warranties before you get all excited, if you strayed away from the dealership for certain repairs, you are screwed! Not only that, some of the extended warranties that sound so cheap are really rip offs. Make sure you find one that actually works for you and not one that sounds reasonable, but actually won’t pay for what it implies. Check opinions about which companies are worth the extra money.

I  had it towed to a wonderful mechanic, Professional Truck and Car in Sanford. Mike G. said he could put in a used engine for about $2000 or more depending on needing  a timing belt and spark plugs and other essentials which could only be determined after the engine was in and running, catch 22. This meant rounding up a used motor from a junkyard which means you are relying on a motor that was probably extracted from a car involved in a bad wreck, it creeped me out knowing we had to gamble on how hard the impact was and from which angle? Would it last  for 5 weeks let alone 5 years! It didn’t matter to me whether you paid more for a used engine with less miles or one with higher miles that was cheaper, it was gambling on something I could not really know anything solid about, like how the car ended up there – under what cicrumstances?   Even if I had the Vin number of the junkyard vehicle and spent time being a detective, no Carfax report is going to show that a car ending up in a junkyard was totalled! And forget buying a new motor, the car was about 10 years old, the engine would cost more than the car was worth!

I decided to go used car shopping and look at what was available. First I asked people about their cars. Then I simply looked for sedans at a certain price. I realized I had to look at mileage, then warranties as there are many cars with well over 100,000 miles out there. I began narrowing models;  Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota and VW. It’s been sticker shock with the mileage being a huge factor in price. I gave up 3 days looking through auto trader, and other various sites. Then came a day on dealership sites. Many times I found the cars listed as “Specials” might not be on the lot, or were manual sticks instead of automatic, a fair amount of computer errors.

We visited a couple dealerships. Saw a few potential cars and there went another day still in confusion when things were not quite what they seemed. I considered private buyers and then thought about having no guarantee except their word that the car was great, they were just upsizing or downsizing, or getting rid of it for a dead relative who loved the car and only drove 5 miles a week – a gamble on trusting people I don’t know. Next I looked through reviews sites, like Edmunds and more. I read buyer comments on the makes and models, big mistake, I learned mostly what happened to people who bought used cars and a few month later  something happened and they had no extended warranty and a lemon on their hands. There were some people who were happy, but we all know the ones who are pissed will complain louder  than happy people, can you blame them? I learned what models I could rule out after reading crash reports. Then it became a day looking up recall notices – AWK!  Car companies do recall notices voluntarily, so some people might totally miss knowing they even have recalls on their powertrains or brakelines or fuses- oh boy another gamble when buying.

Our wonderful friend Lee with a Toyota dealership offered a great deal on a new 2012 Corolla, but it was still about $4000 more than my son could afford – I remember having a Corolla in the 80’s and it was the best car we ever owned, never needed a thing except oil changes and tires. We thought long and hard trying to wrap our heads around rationizng new versus used, (oh, excuse me, I mean “pre-owned”.) But that price was just too high, so back to used.
I worry about spending money like that on a vehicle that might not last. My older son Aaron thought nothing of buying an older, high mileage Prius and is very happy. He keeps telling me I am thinking too hard, that cars today run well over 100plus thousand miles,  I went with him to buy the Prius from a nice couple around his age. He had spoken on the phone several times with them and sized them up and knew he would buy the car.  He said they had decided to buy a brand new Prius, which immediately made me suspicious of what was wrong with the one they were selling, but it seems fine, drives like a charm and saves a ton in gas.
So why am I am second guessing? Every decision I make anymore has been wrong, I get rid of a stock, it goes up,  I decide to eat somewhere, the restaurant was lousy,  I couldn’t even pick the right husband. It seems from buying gifts to buying shoes, I am a faulty decision maker and have buyers remorse on whatever I decide. I go in to buy laundry detergent and it takes fifteen minutes of standing and thinking so you can imagine what it’s like with a car.My poor son Adam is now confused by contagion! Yikes.

I know I know, life is a gamble, there are no guarantees, just get it over with and find something. Days of our lives are sliding through the sands of time as I spend countless hours looking and looking and agonizing – I want to get this right, I really do, it’s terrible to second guess yourself, I think it should have a medical label, secondguessing-itis, gettingitwrongagain syndrome, leftbrainimpairidness, there has to be more people that have blockage on decision making. In fact I just noticed a headline in Yahoo,com. 93 year old woman made one car last   576,000 miles and only stops driving because she’s legally blind. Heck, she lives here in Florida, I wonder how long it took her to realize she was legally blind before she stopped driving –half the people on our roads drive like their legally blind! Anyway, that’s my hero, Rachel Veitch, she made a decision in the sixties and never had to regret it, wonder what she wants for that car, Rachel, I’m gonna find your number and call you, I need your advice…  

My city of Sanford  is on the world stage for now and not in a positive light. Trayvon Martin got a bullet wound to the chest on February 26th by a ‘so called’ security guard who didn’t want to obey the law.
The condos where the crime occurred are only about a mile from my house.  He was visiting his father and watching basketball when he decided  to venture to the nearby 7/11 for some candy and a drink and never came back -you have to know this story by now, it’s everywhere.  I have added a link as there are things I wrote and even cited with links that were not as how the press portrayed it factually – many of my “facts” were media filler but not quite factual, example, the 3 days of not knowing about where Trayvon was are factually incorrect. So please go back and read this red link first to get corrected facts.
What happened? There’s been only one side at this point and it might be a bit tainted since the Sanford Police interviewed Zimmerman after the shooting and let him go, didn’t hold him, no arrest,  let it go thinking it was an easy fix. They  didn’t investigate Zimmerman’s background, they didn’t drug test Zimmerman. They let Zimmerman go away quietly because of our “Stand Your Ground” law which gives you license in Florida to act paranoid and shoot someone and call it self defense even if you screw up.

There were officers in the Sanford police dept. who have screwed up. They did this not long ago when they let the son of one of their own police beat a defenseless homeless man silly on a video tape and let the kid off because of his father’s position. Thank goodness their was an uproar  that made the police chief retire “early” and the video was used against this criminal son.
Police chief Lee on the Trayvon case has stepped down with pay. The state prosecutor has asked for FDLE to take over and they are finally investigating. A young man died when someone decided to play cop. The cops were thinking they could chalk it up to self-defense and leave it at that. Who let Zimmerman walk away because he had a bleeding head and nose and a law  he knew well enough to recite to blanket his own crime?
Where was the gun as Zimmerman approached Martin? Was it drawn? What are the records stating?  Investigate the ballistics – investigate the laws about him having a weapon on him. How did Zimmerman have the ability to carry a gun when public records show Zimmerman was arrested in Orange County in 2005 on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer – how does someone like that get to carry a weapon? What about witness tampering from Sanford police? Investigate!
I would think the adrenaline was throbbing in the last few minutes of a scuffle where two lives clashed and were  destined to change many facets of their lives, their families and of Sanford forever. Did Zimmerman think having a gun would give him a macho advantage if he pulled it on someone he thought was,  “getting away with something”?  Did Trayvon see a gun drawn and scuffled to save his own life, you bet you would too! Your survival skills would kick in to live, you’d be fighting to grab that gun away and save your own life! I’m sure Zimmerman totally panicked and fired when he got more of a fight then he bargained for.  I agonize for these parents! I agonize with Zimmerman’s parents too, all are scarred for life, scars you don’t recover from, these are opportunities for change and that’s all one can do, hope that something positive can come from horrendous pain.
The Sanford police force needs investigation.  Being a small town can kind of make you feel like you are only accountable to yourself. And being a town that does have a lot of criminal activity, it can also harden you to the facts and who is right and who was wrong and to rationalize. Do I think Sanford is the only small city to do this, no and this time it didn’t work in their favor.
The TV and internet are full of scenes with people united asking for justice, full of discussion on Facebook and talk radio. The media comes here like cockroaches exposed to light, they scatter everywhere.
Here it comes the good and bad. One cruel example of bad and wanting to be a race baiter,  Fox’s Michele Malkin promoted a photo on her site of a “stereotypical thug, gangsta black teen giving the finger” who she claimed was Trayvon and then had to apologize later when she found out it wasn’t – now come the New Black Panthers acting like mercenaries to instigate hatred, go home – and those who use Trayvon’s school suspensions to justify a killing are nuts — we don’t need race baiting and hatred spreading here!
It’s good to see media used to make people aware of wrongs in society, we need these wake up calls and  a fair investigation has to be the goal, a grand jury would be good. This spotlight on us is what brings about change. But sometimes I feel like we are being manipulated and exploited in a way for TV ratings. I see the news units with their vans and satellites and microphones and anchors in feeding frenzy waiting for their time  and “air of importance”.  The Rev. Al  Sharpton and Jesse Jackson bringing their names and notoriety and money buckets. If anyone can bring the media’s attention, both have a long history of doing that. They are making sure  this case does not go away –that should be the focus! The media will keep this in the limelight until they find their next ’cause celebre’. But even when it dies down, we must know the answers.
My city is hurt, our hearts are heavy, thank you world for sharing our grief and being supportive, I didn’t want this for a city where I walk the beat often, where so many of my photos are focused upon. This is my backyard, it’s Ft. Mellon where the rally was last week, a place right across the narrow street from the water where I take pictures. It’s a place I love to run to early in the morning if the clouds are angled just right before the ripening sun and I feel the urge of the beautiful sunrise to photograph.
It is the place of quiet boats and clanking masts,  of waves smacking at the steep sea walls or stillness on the water like a silent prayer mirroring the blue sky above. this is  where the fisherman and woman make it seem so easy,  life at leisure obeying that urge to fish and socialize while letting the Florida sun penetrate your head until the deep thoughts bake out. It’s where I hear the gulls and grackles scream and challenge each other, while gators lounge and children point in excitement.  Sanford is where I witness the daily antediluvian renewal of sun and moon exchanging positions, a place to read the faces on tourists, joggers, people in love, people in trouble, the homeless asleep by trees or on park benches, while the people owning yachts come and go in the same space, you see it all , the hard and soft of life’s edges.
I want it back to quiet and calm, I want the noise to tamp down so I can hear the facts – I want justice carried through. I want to know my police dept does the right thing on EACH case they handle and not casually dismiss something because of type-casting or nepotism. These are the people we pay a salary to protect us and our community, we want to give them our full respect, we want to look at that shiny badge and not think of a blotched few who tarnish the department, especially the chief. Take off the bandage and let that wound air. Give us hope that the scars left behind are not too deep to heal.

Pictures are from the makeshift memorial at the back entrance of the Twin Lakes condo.
A sign in front of Ft. Mellon that is actually a a flat expanse of flat grass  and not a fort.
Left over from the rally – port-o-potties. The 7/11 where Trayvon bought his skittles and tea.

Make enough noise to bring attention to the changes needed in Sanford and once under the microscope and after exposing the flaws, maybe we can find the means to bring peace back…

the week comes to an end again and again and again and crazy as it sounds –please let the wheel stop and give me time to breathe!
I stopped by Alive After 5 on Thursday and being “Green” for St. Patty’s Day was the theme. The turn out looked good, was told it had record ticket food sales, really didn’t think it looked as crowded as some in past.
They decided to concentrate all the artists onto one street, Palmetto which was very cohesive. There were less artists this time, fewer of the old standby artists and more new ones. I did notice newbie, Jennifer LaBombard – – she did a nice presentation of her painting and graphic art.  Friends Bonnie Sprung, Dlynn Roll and Joanne Borges were there too, Bonnie selling her tie dye items her Mom seemed to enjoy reading her Kindle. Dlynn Roll was selling her earrings and bracelets and Joanne has her porcelain pieces. The night was nice, but I got out of there early, the full moon was coming! Here’s a look at the night:

Alfredo had been on his liquid diet for 5 days  and is only ingesting water and no food, in effect, it sounds like he’s on a hunger strike and he IS in essence as he if fighting joint pain and arthritis. I am happy  to share that he is winning the war over his stiff joints besides losing over 20 lbs! He says he has more mobility than in a long long time, he can bike and play tennis without the pain he had been experiencing! He’s feeling  froggy – watch out Rae Marie!
Trish Vevera’s work was in center room at Art Affair, her new work is very refreshing! Tom Abbott had a new piece I noticed,  Ronda mentioned that Tom used old bills or email copies or something for that new work, he trashed and reused paper, very ‘green’ of you Tom!
The Historic Welcome Center was a bit disappointing, The walls were blank in front, they also need to get their back room finished so I’ll add my 2-cents — let an artist or two occupy that back room space for a month so each month the space is covered with local art. They did have some very nice work toward the back of the main room.
The Twisted Vine is doing well I am happy to report. Devi the henna painter at was there working on the long fingers of one of the tribal dancers who used to dance when Radha owned the Gypsy’s Lair. I so miss that and miss Radha and miss that cherry drink! The dancers and musicians were so hypnotizing!   I hope Michael Hamberger, the new owner will have tribal dancing night and digeroos again.  Have a look — 

Parking was actually hard to find, it’s like that when you are  there after 5.  But I was lucky to find a spot on Commercial Street and it was easy getting out.
I hurried home around 7pm because the full moon was coming up at 7:07pm.  It was worth seeing because it quickly clouded up and the moon was obscured!
Now it’s 2 and 1/2 days later, Saturday and it’s dinner time, Here goes another day! GK Sharman stopped by and picked up her artwork that I had taken down at Cork and Olive in Lake Mary. Her work is down, but I have new work in there    and new work at Donuts To Go on First Street in front of the Sanford Hospital, stop by, buy some wine at Cork and Olive and eat lots of donuts at Donuts To Go, YUM, love that square glazed gets me everytime, they have the best donuts – fresh and warm!

The marina had nice clouds. I took a few pics and stupid stupid me could not figure out why my pictures were looking so weird and light. Finally  when I left Sanford, I was looking at my settings and found I had the ISO set as bright as it could get! So some of these might look funky.
I bought tomatoes at Farmers Market, but must say when I look at them now at home, half had rotten spots and now I’m mad! I’m calling them out!
I stopped at Maya’s Bookstore. She has a wonderful employee – a young woman full of energy and a good vibe about her. She said they will begin having live music on Saturdays provided by a local band in 2 weeks. Check with them at 407) 321-6504. Yvette the owner is moving things around especially with her vinyls! She has created a  record cave under the stairs with lots of vintage albums. Love her cat who posed quite nicely. Here’s a look at Maya’s  : 

So much fun spending a few minutes looking at albums and reflecting on music that came out when I was in my  teens and was so important to life and the times we were going to. It was a different era and we valued those albums and their amazing covers!
I watched the Selma Alabama 40th Anniversary march on tv and I am perplexed that we still are dealing with voting rights!  How can it be that a few want to change how voter ID is when there is essentially no voter fraud? Don’t get an old hippie started!
Our music during 60’s and 70’s was the best!!!  I think I wore my Surrealistic Pillow album out!       This song comes on and I still remember all I was feeling back in the 60’s!  Aw, being in love was so much fun, til it grew old and messy, but that’s another blog!  It’s great how music can bring it all back!  Thanks Yvette!

Stopped by garage sale at the firehouse, lots of lookers and amazing to look inside a building that once housed the Sanford Firetrucks in late 1800’s. The Farrells  have made it quite a home.








“Who Deh Homemade Items” owner, Grace is so warm! Her shop is right behind Art Affair on Palmetto. She makes purses, has Brazillian brand jeans, candles, jewelry and other goodies. Make sure not to miss her on your visit.

Then over to Art Affair Gallery where a woman was sitting playing the piano very well. It’s great when the customers contribute to the atmosphere!  She had some new art and I was glad to see Trish’s work in the daylight, strong pieces!
Something that caught my eye were the individually made teacup fairies byu Cheri Hiers, you must see these beautiful works of art, each a bit different. They are just enchanting! Here ya go, and go see in person! 

Then stopped by Little Fish Huge Pond because it always has good looking, young art. And Parker Sketch’s work was right in the window

Back home again. I borrowed that dragon from LFHP to make an Iyla pic while watching the
movie, Beast From 20,000 Fathoms Under the Sea, the pre-Godzilla movie that looks like many have borrowed from.
   Here’s a few more pics, enjoy your weekend and file your taxes!

I am very lucky to say that I have access to many birds. And I’m nosy enough to want to try and understand their lives. As you might have read in earlier blogs, I have been watching my herons and get a kick out of so many antics on display. Being a bird watcher is absorbing. I can’t pretend I am not amused at the emotions birds also show. I have seen (what I interpret) as jealousy, bullying, love and affection. “Experts” with larger gray matter than me might say it is all instinct, but I like to personalize my birds. Take for instance this morning, I was at the marina and noticed the same pigeon pair perched in the same place and positions as last week. They groomed each other, sang to each other and clearly their courtship or honeymoon made for wonderful viewing.
   They truly seem enamored of each other. The doves too, they find a mate and dote on each other. It looks so sweet. Both doves and pigeons are in the same bird family. I bet you didn’t know both sexes produce a fluidy, nutritious milk substance called ‘crop-milk’ for their young, (I didn’t know either till I just looked it up.)  

There are many pigeons and doves at the marina. Love how they strut their bodies and the iridescence of their feathers.

The seagulls have their own markings, it’s beautiful to watch many of them flying at one time. A great wash of wings fluttering above you as they scream their intentions.
Show up with some bread or crackers around the marina and you have a solid winged riot! Ducks, grackles, crows, gulls and ibis swarm you. They are used to people bringing them food and don’t shy away. I have seen ducks run into cars flying low at the marina.
Many of the ducks are so inbred, many crossed between the mallards into muscovy mixes. My favorite ducks are the muscovys and I love a duck with a good head of hair!
Osprey are mating all over and nesting in high places everywhere there’s water close by. The commorants, anhingas and herons are all in abundance.  Lots of good bird viewing! There’s a lot to watch and enjoy. This is a great way to unwind and let time wither away as you are absorbed by nature.
Sad to tell you that the cycle of life is part of the birds that inhabit my yard. While the birds reproduce and there are nests full of chirping, hungry mouths in need of a meal, there is also death in those nests. Sometimes a young bird will fall out, if the nest is low, that’s easy prey for a cat! I have watched my own cat Ringo run off with young birds. I have also witnessed a heron baby falling out of the nest last year and sunk like a stone in the lake below. Yesterday I saw a ritual of death while sitting in the backyard. I was taking pictures of the one heron female who has babies, It looked like she was holding a stick and kept hoisting it up and then putting it back down. She then flew down with a mouth full and dunked whatever the thing was into the water thoroughly saturating it and swallowed it. Not until later when I looked at the photos did I see she held and had eaten her dead baby heron. But there is still one up there, hope it survives.
It has been a rough week for many who have lost their homes and towns and lives to the devastation of tornadoes. The treacherous weather continued today and more is expected this weekend as a front comes through. If you can, please help by making a donation or doing something to help the victims.  Times being so hard for many has just brought even worse devastation to people just like you. Reach out, do something to make someone’s life a little easier, you will never regret it!

My cat Sasha gets to come out when I have some time to keep an eye on her. Sometimes the thought of catching birds is just overwhelming to her psyche and she gets so excited she looks and sounds so funny,

Had not seen the moon in over a week. Not once in Tampa, not once at home until briefly last night when I could see Jupiter and the crescent moon going down beyond the trees. Caught it with a few muted pictures and still I smiled. Jupiter through a telescope is stunning bathed in all her moons. One day maybe I’ll get another telescope, I literally wore mine out, parts fell off, I Elmer glued, Gorilla glued, even Super glued, but I was just too hard on the equipment.   Here’s a link to the sky tonight and planets.
It’s cloudy here already and should be through the night and tomorrow,  that pretty much defeats my efforts for getting a picture tonight.  Last nights photo was rather blurred so I added a sleepy bird just to add a little excitement.
This morning got up again around 5,  this is so wrong of my body trying to sabotage me. So I fed the cats, let in cats, let out cats, let them in and out a few more times then added pics to FB and waited for some light to break. As I looked out around 7:15 into a gloomy morning, I noticed the two herons on the one pine tree were busy. They were building a nest! I also looked up to see the heron who has had a nest, was busy tending babies.  I could hear those baby peeping. For as long as that nest has been up, she has stood beside it most of the time, rarely sitting in it so I wondered if she even had anything in it, now I hear them.
But let me back up, yesterday I was at my computer, I looked through the tangle of blackbirds and saw the crane come into view, which is no big deal, I thought maybe the pair had found another yard to dominate since I had only seen one sandhill crane coming to get seed in the past couple months. Then I looked again and it all made sense, there was a baby with them maybe about 5-7 days old tagging along behind with the female. So that’s why only one bird came, they were nesting! I don’t know where the nest is this time, it’s not near my yard, but I am happy they brought the offspring by, only one. This is about the 8th baby this pair has had, will have to check and see my old records. It’s always good to see these funny ‘colts’ so upright standing in the stick legs belonging to their parents..
Back to this morning, I went out and took gloomy pics of the herons. Noticed how the male would fly off usually to Monty’s yard across the lake and he has a pile of branches and limbs. The heron was smart enough to realize it takes a lot less effort to fetch something already down on the ground instead of standing and breaking off branches. He flew  back and forth retrieving limbs. There was even cooperation by both  placing the longer sticks. At one point the female dropped most of the nest into the lake! Once again they keep working on building it back again. It’s good having two nesting females like last year. Can’t wait till  the air is pierced by the sound of many hungry baby herons and their heads bob and pop over the sides of the nest.

Saw the pair of wood ducks who regularly come close to my shore, only to retreat into the deeper part of the lake if they sense I am near. I went inside for a while and could see nesting material hanging from the duck box, and did catch the male come and sit on top of the box and sing his mate a gentle song.Really wonder if there are eggs in there.

Also looked across the lake to see an otter on the grass like a dog with a rat tail. He was a big one too, but I completely lost that otter when it slipped into the lake, stealthy, without a splash, only the ripples of the water signally his decent.  I was so hoping I would see it surface and play, but I watched and saw nothing. With so many lilypads in the lake, he has plenty of secrecy.
Blackbirds were in large masses on yards, even by my feeder. With the weather colder and so overcast, I should be out working on my yard which is badly neglected. We need rain and while I hear the weather people yapping it up today about this large active cloud passing over to possibly wash out the Daytona 400, guess what, not a drop dropped here so far. My small lake meter is showing now and that’s always bad. We are still down about 5 feet. At least we have never dried up.
I hope you enjoy your Sunday and don’t forget the birds, feed them if you can, they do appreciate it. I am working on my “Fishing People” exhibit and hopefully will have that up at lend of week. Maybe there will be a break in the clouds so the Moon is visible, I just hate it when I don’t see my moon. OK, enough for the bi-polar display of verbiage, GO, make it a great day! Here’s your wildlife.

Been up since before 5am, that’s what happens when I dare fall asleep around midnight, then I’m up way too early! And now I’m yawning as I kept dreaming that I needed to get a blog out! You know how it is when reality and dreams intersect, well that invasion is what woke me.
So here I am at the buttcrack of dawn thinking back to coming home from Tampa last week. I smiled all the way while singing loudly and offkey to Jeremy’s Spoken, The Wind Cries Mary, It’s My Life, I just Want to Celebrate Another Day Of Living, and Gravity. Gotta have me some NIN, Madonna, Hendrix, Perfect Circle, Dusty Springfield, The Who, Depeche Mode, etc etc. These newer groups post 2000 seem like gratuitous copy cats and I could not name one except for Adele and Amy Winehouse and The Black Keys and the Black Keys  only because they are an Ohio band. Funny to think Marilyn Manson was born in Ohio, (love u Marilyn.)

The newer music is nothing exciting in comparison to what has gone before it. Listening to the oldies brings opens that floodgate of so many memories, Though now when I listen to How can People Be so Heartless from Hair, I apply it to someone who was actually cruel and not society! I need this music, this theraputic wave that washes over and brings so much comfort, or maybe rather I need the distraction to stay sane through the rip tide of 110 miles of intense speeding through tourists, truckers and crazies like me while keeping my eyes are locked upon the I-4 traffic race, (and what’s with me and the water analogies, no wonder I make so many bathroom stops.)
Some people pick up and go, I pick up and meander, NO ONE would enjoy a trip with me,  it last two times longer. I make about 4 to 5 pit stops along the path! The anxiety tags along like a clingy, morbid, lousy friend you are forced to take with you riding shotgun trying to over -ride the other normal driving id who is so excited and just wants to get to wherever we are heading!. Of course I start off at McDonalds for coke and fries, that’s my comfort food/sugar high blood stabilizer to begin the journey and I can name about every exit along the way that has fast food or a clean restroom. But if you have read the past, you know of my high anxiety when leaving the comfort zone I live in.

This time I went to Tampa for the birth of my second granddaughter, Kira Sun.  I got there about 5 days before she was born, but that was so I could ‘hang’ with my little Iyla Sky. We are happily close, she likes me a lot right now which is great and makes me feel so special, who knows how she’ll feel when she grows up.
My “adult kids” seem to like me too and let me stay as long as I want, (once I was there almost all summer till Fall.) I am thrilled to have two beautiful babies and wonderful kids. Family can be such a mixed bag can’t it! Luckily, my  bag is full of kids I actually like besides loving and get along with! Luckily we have had so much joy among us. We have had big trials too, but love sure helps!
All the way to Tampa I wondered about marketing again, most of the artists I know don’t use art as their main source of income, but some are truly dedicated to getting their work out through various social media, using Facebook, (guilty) and blogs, (guilty) and Etsy, 1000 markets, Saathi Online, (not guilty, but thinking about it.)  My internal programming is rather focused on taking the photos and working them, but not marketing which is the most important winning end. So until I really push the sales, I guess I’ll never really know if my work is salable.
‘It’s always good to see what’s out there, and this week I went to the Seminole State College exhibit and reception for Donte K. Hayes, a talented painter from Kennesaw Ga. His work had wonderful coloring and use of space and details. Dante’s whole focus is a series of life’s complications and learning to move forward. Though his main character is a black gingerbread man and some of his work is painted skillfully on tar paper, it embodies the struggles that can relate to anyone of any color, sex or creed. D0nte’s use of line and shapes and space especially stripes revealed to me that he must be or has been struggling hard on the inside.  The lack of expression, or small grimaces  on his gingerbread man’s face made it seem like his working through conflict was a difficult journey of self. The highlighted struggle with the bold use of beautiful  colors seemed to be saying to me anyway, that a bright life is waiting beyond a self imposed incarceration.  The continual entanglement was focused through the smaller details painted with purpose within his work, especially “Boxed In, Boxed Out”. That painting to me embodied Donte best. He was on a journey and the past and future were both impediments that needed working through. I so want for him to be free from what has weighed him down for so long. But despite what my personal reading was, it’s surface look is bright and happy hanging inside the  SSC Art Gallery where Megan Stepe always knows how to place pictures to benefit the artists. As the Gallery curator, she is dedicated to making that gallery shine every time there’s an exhibit.  I have never seen her without that big welcoming smile of hers. I know her students must enjoy her infectious enthusiasm.  
We certainly live among various struggles within our own lives, as they say, “shit happens”. We are not alone in these trials through life, that’s why it’s important to reach out and show people your vulnerabilities too. Hardly anyone lives a perfect life, (except maybe Mitt Romney.) Most of us 99% live with a sense of balance for the good and not so good. You can only do so much, keep a positive attitude,  wake up remembering it’s a new day to make yours! Try not to dwell on the past unless it’s the good times, so make today something special! Go  to youtube and listen to songs you loved, share a special one on FB — reach out to others in time of need and remember those who have been good to you through your life and TELL THEM!
Here’s a few more pictures of my new and old baby, and one I am working on for the “Crow Show” at UCF in June. Also, will be changing pictures this week or next, Depending on how fast I get them made and framed for Donuts To Go on First Street up in front of Hospital in Sanford. Will be exhibiting the local scenes of fishermen and women. Come to “my” Donuts To Go gallery and buy a donut or two and enjoy the food and scenery!
Thanks again to Donte for his expressive and deep art and SSC for your exciting exhibits.

Here ya go fellow Firestone High School Alumni Class of ’68’ – a song to remember – (I’m enjoying learning so much about my high school classmates via FB that I really didn’t know before.)  I went to Firestone where I hardly knew anyone, the majority of my friends went to Buchtel.  I had a hard time adjusting to  a place that seemed overwhelming big and cold to me. I am so glad to say I did survive thanks to a few terrific friends back then like Jackie K and Suzy V. Pam M.   Dave U. Rick W. thanks for being there. Now as I get to know others, I wish I had been more outgoing, there were others who felt the same way and others with the same interests who would have been so interesting to have known back in the day, but can’t backpeddle, and as we get older and see our friends going through their hard times, that’s where this social network benefits us –“Reach out of the darkness and you may find a friend.” (can you guess the song?”) go look it up by the lyrics. Anyway, enjoy your day – get to Seminole State College and look at Donte K. Hayes exhibit  and love the ones your with -Here’s Simon and Garfunkel:

Have been without internet service and phone since I began this Friday afternoon. I have to tell you it was like Hell on earth not being connected to the web! And Brighthouse makes you hold at least 19 minutes, yep that was the average it took to wait for a human voice! But back up and running so let me finish the blog before it blows again – Remember I was writing that as of what was happening on Friday am…

The sky was pumping out clouds this morning, lots of shapes and varying degrees of colors. Thought it would be a good time to see the sights near marina around 8:45am. As I made my way up Airport Blvd  and noticed the the church that Alfredo had worked on painting the windows to look like stained glass, they looked ‘heavenly’!  I took pics of the sky as I turned and drove through main street where just last night it had been wall to wall people, today it was empty except for a few drifters walking through alleys and side streets. Saw a man on his bike with his poles headed toward marina, will probably see him there fishing shortly.
There was a sign about Wayne Densch have a film festival, “Love Your Shorts”, ran over to see what it would be about and saw streaming artwork attached to side of building’s balcony with clothespins and rope, looked like someone had done a lot of work. Here’s the link to the Theatre
as I made my way to marina, saw a bird I thought might be a heavy osprey fly by. When I zoomed in, I could see it was a young eagle out for a flyby. It stood on top of the Gateway building and watched the ducks and osprey and other seabirds moving about in their early morning manuvering for food. I felt so lucky that this majestic bird swooped over me just before I was leaving to the next post, I work my way up the road and stop and park at several places. This morning a about a dozen fisherman were out and not only were the birds flying by, the sheriff’s helicopter was going slow and flew over my head landing at the parking lot behind the marina. Wondered if someone dangerous was on the loose from the jail?
Got to watch people feeding the seagulls, there were no gators this am. Tried new settings on camera, it’s always a learning curve when you get a new one. Then I ran out of battery juice and have bought a backup battery to have with me, but it hasn’t come yet. Luckily I had my DSLR with me too, so I got some decent shots.  I stopped by Donuts to Go   to get a bite of energy, YUMMMMMM, they have the best donuts! Right in front of hospital so if you get a sugarhigh, the emergency room is right behind the shopping center.
As I was writing this, I got an email from an anonymous source saying the art is from  Sanford FlashArt Group  and they plan to strike again. They did a super job, wonder if it’s artists at the galleries, or shop owners or even people at Wayne Densch? We shall watch and see.
In the meantime, enjoy your Friday -here’s the morning stroll: (and that was Friday, now two days have passed, awk, life seems always in fast forward! Woke up this morning to 34 degrees – will be glad when the cold spell goes away, at least the sun is out! Anyway, here’s the sights I saw on Friday – Have a great week ahead. I’ll be heading to Tampa soon and hope my new grandbaby is born on Valentines day! Will let ya know…

































The streets were filled, the night was chilled,the venue was billed, but where were all the masks? I was expecting a lot more color and craziness! It was rather tame, but busy with lots of music. Very happy that Little Fish Huge Pond had lots of music down that way so it was included too! Way too many times, the end of that block is almost left out! I was glad that Michael Hamberger had opened his  new wine/beer bar called The Twisted Vine where the Gypsy’s Lair was. He looked to have a good crowd. He’s needing artists with work to fill his walls. The Cigar Bar that has gone in next to The Twisted Vine is still working on their place. Ronda’s gallery was filled with many familiar faces; saw Tom Abbott  running out to watch for Leon’s parents who had come for a visit, so sorry I missed them, but know they will have an excellent stay especially with Leon’s cooking! Ronda was going in 5 directions and The Palette was packed. They had a good singer too.  Tolle Hovan was outside painting beautiful fruit. Trish Vivera and I discussed grants and non profits as a new art gallery, ‘Artisons’ is going in near where the clock is in the main square near the Colonial Room. They are going to take artist work on consignment and are supposed to be a non-profit gallery, will have details as soon as I get an email back from the owner. Saw GK Sharman with her photography, loved that yellow &  black orchid, but my photo of it sucked so used your water picture! Stephen Monser had pieces for Valentines day, so beautifully done. He said he has been quite occupied by teaching and making his products. Sandra Sheetz Wise was painting a very sexy pic and told me she would not be coming back to Sanford, she’s been coming all the way from Kissimmee each month for years, will miss her wonderful 60’s inspired painting of eyes! I’ll be watching for where you go with your art!
Numerous street vendors with jewelry, hair bows, dog collars, wood making for  lots of visual treats. So since I have already spent 3 hours doing a blog earlier, I’m just going to show pictures. A really interesting fact was that Andrew Hyder showed me in his window, a drawing by the sculptor of “The Thinker”, Rodin. He said it was an authenticated piece he got at an auction. It’s in the window of  Hyder Fine Art Center, go see a piece of history and another thing to see inside his gallery is the work by Doug Powell who has pieced together large portraits using puzzle pieces, (do you think I’ve used the word pieces enough?) they are truly amazing and beyond that, what really blew my mind was Powell’s portrait of Kennedy made with key board keys, and hidden in the portrait is a famous saying of his too – GO SEE THIS! Rusty Wahl has been doing mixed media collage lately, looking good Rusty, (that’s her’s with the peacock feathers.
Alfredo was painting his muses. He had been busy painting windows in a church to look like stained glass and it sure did. Hello Bonnie Sprung! AT Gallery on First, The Abbotts were happily watching their adorable granddaughter color and Mary K was looking good in the well crafted recycled paper hats. Here’s a look at the goings on last night:
That’s a link to the Sip Lounge on 724 Virginia Av in Orlando. They were generous enough to host a Facebook art event – that’s another fun thing about Facebook, a place might decide it needs art and asks locals to supply it. Sip under direction of Heidi Kiensl,  Nicki Equality Drumb, & Rachel Equality Gardnier threw this  on Facebook and had takers like me submitting art. We dropped off our work at 3:30pm into a space with bare walls echoing a need to be dressed up. When we arrived after 6 for the reception, Heidi had worked her magic! The work will be up through Valentines day. And on that day at 6:14pm, there will be a chain of people forming a heart at Loch Haven Park, called the human heart love in –
Nicky told me that they had 200 people linked together for this heart last time they did it, and it’s done to emphasize human rights and equality for everyone despite how certain politicians act when campaigning as they cater to their ‘base’, a bit frightening I might add when caving in to people who have limited mental capacity for empathy for others. I’m all for people being considered human beings and having the rights to go with them,  without love, kindness, consideration, and compassion for each other, what kind of world would we have —  (maybe the crazy one we now have!)
I appreciate those like Heidi, Parker, Rachel and Nicki for going out of their way to promote art and their equality cause and inviting all FB followers to come witness the harmony. So on Valentines Day, join the ‘love in’ before 6:14pm. Here’s a look at the art and as soon as I find all the names of the artists, I will add them to this at the end. Thanks so much for letting my work be included too – I know they had lots of submissions and look how well it all jives together! again Much Appreciation XOXO

Heidi knows how to hang and fast! She did a fantastic job of placing everything perfectly – great eye! The lounge had a good vibe to it, casual and loose while also feeling intimate, a perfect
neighborhood hangout — lots of specialty wines and beer from all over and a great crowd appreciating it.
This was first time driving downtown since my eye started seeing flashes, it was ok before it got dark, but took long way home instead of interstate as the flashes are kind of  distracting in dark. It looks like something is suddenly coming up on me to the left,  so don’t think I’ll be doing a lot of driving in dark to places that aren’t close by unless someone else is behind the wheel. This is from detached vitreous fluid in eye. They say it will probably absorb, but in the mean time, have to watch vision in case there might be a retinal hole or tear. They told me no moving furniture or placing pressure on eye, I’m trying to behave. Just don’t make me stop working on photoshop!
The big yellow face painting when I walked in, belongs to artist Raquel Chilson, 















loved the cranes in this painting.



















After I got home, may daughter called and told me to hurry and look at the moon – So of course, I was out there practically baying at the gorgeous sight! It was so full over the lake, the night with just a hesitation of clouds, but clearly I was doing a moon dance under such splendor!

My friend’s dog Jack looked moonstruck! Hope you all are! Remember tonight is Alive After 5 too, support all the arts folks!

Got a new camera, Thursday. My Canon Point and Shoot died while under warranty so they had to replace it. It went to camera heaven for putting up with a lot of abuse, but that’s why I am queen of buying camera warranties. Got the latest Sony point and shoot, Cybershot Hx100V, shoots in 3D even, if you actually have a way of putting it on a 3D program. Every time I get a new camera there’s something new to learn. I was hoping the pictures came out okay and many of them did. It worked out just in time for the Sanford Artwalk and it was so good to be out and see everyone! But how is it this month is already a 4th Friday, I was just celebrating New Years it seems? Another black hole sucked the month away, time you bastard, my worst enemy! Oh how I long to defy you, do something that lives on way after I’m gone – oh well, guess that’s one thing about blogging, it will be out there forever clogging the bloggesphere with dead posts!

Well, I’ll tell you, there was plenty of talent out there tonight that should be immortalized – for a small town, I am bragging about the artists around here and our little town that pays them reverence! Sanford is doing a great job in spotlighting art, these are wonderful artwalks, but do wish there were artists out on the street selling work, saw only two.
But back it up Abbe, first of all when I arrived it was at 5pm, streets virtually empty except near Sanford Historic Center where they were showing off electric cars, I only arrived as they applauded the speaker. I know my friend GK Sharman was covering for the magazine she writes for, so expect to see something about it in one of the local papers or magazines. Cute cars, hope to see more of them – would do our environment a favor!  Saw Al Fontana sitting on bench. Told me his portrait work was up on walls of Historic Center, so went in to check out the scene. He also has celebrity charcoals, pencils at Art Affair Gallery.  Looked like many artists were represented tonight from painted chairs to photography, they had a lot to look at. 

it was a beautiful night after a day that was supposed to be a belly washer, I think we got next to nothing on the rain scale.
But weather felt great, not too cold – just right for walking around and enjoying the company of others.

I stopped by Framing 508 to see what Rae Marie and Alfredo were up to. Someone is working on a local documentary about artists and both of them have been filmed a few times. When I find out the details, you’ll know.  Alfredo was in fine form talking about his step by step process for his latest work of Three Muses. He’s totally in control and a “Master” at his work whatever he chooses to do. 

On down the street to Art Affair Gallery, have not seen Miss Sherry or Ronda, Tom and Leon for ages. I came across a rice patty hat and underneath it was beautiful Miss Sherry.  I saw they are stocking a large supply of new and exciting wines. They were busy! Ronda was all excited to show me new work. Saw Marie DeCosta had brilliant, shiny abstracts, Peter Cerreta and Toelle Hovan all had new paintings. Tom Abbott’s creations looked great on the colorful wall. Many artists were represented that I have not named. The center room was filled with 12 x 12’s of many many styles, the ones that struck me most were plates. Have a look at the Art Affair Gallery:

There’s so much to look at at Ronda’s I was getting dizzy in a good way from my intake of art. In fact I thought I saw my son and his girlfriend Heather and yep, it was them. Also saw GK Sharman and Tom and Leon, yes, what a happy night! So glad to see them all! 

I had been to Hyder’s Fine Art Gallery and Sharon could not have been beaming more about being busy in a good way! Andrew too seemed excited for the direction of the gallery with new artists applying all the time and new workshops to be given. Reg Garner was featured tonight, he is a stunner of a photographer, had a photo of a rainbow superimposed on metal!  his panorama and ship in fog were quite the visions, he is well known for his eye!  Please go in and see his work on metal, amazing!
I ran into Jeff Drake also, his photography work is centered more on local scenes. I asked him about the demise of the Riverboat Romance, he and 25 employees lost a great job! Well, lets hope another boat will see the opportunity up there soon! I enjoy talking with him.
Andrew Hyder had a ink printing of a cat he had produced on his own paper  with a tribal look and it had sold by the time I had come back!  

The alley looks so lonely without tables and Herbie Hancock. I have not seen him at his new zoo home.

On to Washburns with their exotic furniture, makes me salivate when I look at the pieces. What a great place to take pictures. Tonight it was all about their lighting, loved the  “aneome” looking lights – Their wine bar expected in May:

On down to another furniture store,

Furniture Gallery, lots of exciting pieces in here and accessories.  The place is well stocked with tables chairs, retro looking bedroom and living room pieces.

Went on to see my friend Dlynn selling her wares under street light near Huge Pond, there were only 2 street artists tonight. Dlynn had her own brand of bracelets and earrings and at her own gallery, she sells beautifully painted art, clocks and lots of great candles,  her gallery, Candelite Gallery is at 241 N. Country Club Blvd. near the Lake Mary Event Center.   That’s her nude at Huge Fish, Little Pond.

Behind Dlynn was where Divine Mother Earth used to be, sadly it has sold along with The Gypsy’s Lair. Divine Mother Earth will become a Cigar Bar, it is just beginning to shape up, but will be coming soon.

Jeanine Taylors place was rockin’ last night too, saw Aurore Brunet in Stewart Jones booth. Stewart painted a really energetic red abstract and had put on Facebook. I asked where it was and he pulled it out from behind a table. As soon as it was out, people were commenting on it!  Also I yakked it up with the Abbotts, you feel like you can talk to them all night! Debe is getting miniature mixed media abstracts together for them to be sent to New York. They are wonderful and hearty pieces, the colors and textures inviting and reasonable priced too.  I held a few in my hands for you to see:

And last but certainly not least, Cheri e Dacko and her “Bent Realism” has her two day, Pop Up Gallery near the Mosaic Store and Framing 508 where she has the most exciting exhibit of her work, it’s only there  for a couple days, you must see it, she has a terrific imagination. I am a huge fan of her style, it has feeling, dimension and brings lots of smiles and her framing is spot on which I learned is done by her husband, so together they are quite the team. Go see “Hoarder Baby” in the window. She had sold one piece last night and I am surprised if it’s not cleaned out by tomorrow – Come to Sanford and visit her and the other galleries – you will be so happy to enjoy an afternoon or morning of art and don’t forget the Farmers Market is up till 1pm.  These last art pieces are Cheries’ and she has her own style that is easy to recognize and love! We are lucky to have such great talent right here, take advantage of it! And if you want lessons, go to the galleries, they all offer a variety of things to learn! Plus if you are an artist, talk to the gallery owners, they welcome new artists for their walls!
Props to Cheri for these two day shows – LOVE EM!!!
Keep up the wonderful art all of you – and you art lovers, buy!
Remember, everyday is a beautiful day making and appreciating art!

Now I guess I’ll get dressed and see what the day brings.

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