Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Green Cay Wetlands Park

This morning, we visited the Green Cay Wetlands Park in Delray Beach to do some sketching and photographing. This park is sponsored by the Palm Beach County Water Utilities department. We saw the usual birds--herons, egrets, limpkin, spoonbills, woodstork, ducks, moorhens, gallinules, cormorants, anhingas and 1 turtle, 1 gator and 2 snakes.

River Rocks

Yesterday, we did a shopping spree at Pearl Art and Craft in Ft Lauderdale. Mark painted these SC river rocks on new Annigoni paper that he bought there.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Visiting S Florida

We've been visiting my family in Palm Beach County (Delray Beach and Lake Worth). During this time, Mark has been working on his assignment for the Artist-in-Residency agreement with Table Rock State Park, SC. In addition, he's also been playing with niece Gigi (

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Soul Mates August 2008

Maid in the Shade

Pomegranate Way

Real Blossoms

Mark will be showing 3 pieces in the upcoming Soul Mates exhibit at LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts ( The opening reception will be Friday, August 1. Come out and see the exhibit!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fraternal Twins

Mark's sister, Jane, had commissioned these twin paintings--one for herself and one for her reiki teacher. We delivered them to her recently when we traveled to OH for their oldest brother's wedding. Can you tell the differences?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Mark July 1, 2008

On Monday, June 30, we left the Walkers' home around 11am. It was 63 degrees at that time! We felt cold but we didn't think anything of it. We drove south on I-75 and stopped at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea. I bought a jar of bourbon garlic jelly and a packet of spoonbread mix for my sister and family as souvenirs. Then on to Atlanta to stay two nights in Douglasville with the Harrar family. Sofia, the youngest daughter, is now 14 months old. That evening, Mark and dad Jamie celebrated Mark's birthday by drinking some absinthe. That seems to be the tradition everytime we visit the Harrars.
The next day, we hung out with Jamie and Sofia in the morning. Then we went to Spruill Art Gallery to pick up Mark's work. The gallery is getting ready for major construction (expanding the gallery and building a tall condo complex behind it). We met up with Robert at Jason's Deli for lunch and then return back to the Harrars' home for a delicious dinner of shrimp scampi on linguini. Even after a long day of work and being stuck in accident traffic jam for 3 hours, mom Debbie whipped up a chocolate cake to celebrate Mark's birthday.
By now, unfortunately, I had developed a sniffling cold. I think it was due to the sudden change in weather temperature and the stress of traveling. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our road trip immensely and I am always grateful for being a teacher and having these vacations!
The next day, on July 2, we left Atlanta to return to Tallahassee. On our way south, we stopped at Tanger Outlet Mall (our usual stop to do our annual shopping) in Locust Grove to buy some clothing at Eddie Bauer and a new pair of New Balance sneakers for Mark. Now we are glad to be home until our next trip later this month to visit my family in South Florida.

Cincinnati area, OH June 27--30, 2008

On Friday morning, we got ready to go south to Cincinnati for Dave and Marcia's wedding. First at 9:30 am, Eva got her hair done at Lisa G's in Mentor. Then we drove southwest and stopped in Ashland for a late breakfast/lunch at a Perkins restaurant and to get gas. We arrived in time to film/photograph the wedding rehearsal at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Montgomery. I served as the "official" videographer for their wedding. After the rehearsal, Dave and Marcia hosted a pizza party at their recently built home in Maineville, OH. Lots of guests attended the party. During this long weekend, we stayed at the home of Carol and Dick Walker in Oxford, OH (home of Miami University, yes, Miami is a famous name also in OH, named after the Miami Native Americans). The next day, we arrived at the church early so that I could set up my camcorder and tripod. Unfortunately, I think my new wireless microphone ran low on batteries so I could not record the vows clearly. Later this summer, I will edit the wedding video for them. After the ceremony, the official photographer photographed everyone at the church formally. Then they went to a local park for an outdoor photo shoot but a giant rainstorm came and everyone had to get back in the limo. Meanwhile, Mark and I went to a local Staples store to get more blank dvds for my camcorder (I had forgotten them at the Walkers' home!) and went on to the reception at Maggiano's restaurant, right across the street in a mall from the church. The menu was excellent! There were buffet appetizers (stuffed mushrooms, raviolis, artichoke dip(?)), 2 kinds of salads, 4 family-style entrees (salmon, 3-cheese raviolis, lasagna, chicken parmesan) and 2 kinds of desserts: tiramisu (yummy!) and apple crostadas with vanilla ice cream. Everyone also danced the night away until about 9:30 pm. The adult children of Dave and Marcia (Brent+Noelle, Cindy+Mike) served as wedding attendants and gave heartwarming speeches about their parents. At the end of the evening, we drove back to Oxford, tired and exhausted but very happy for the bride and groom.
On Sunday, we hung out at the Walkers' home and ate delicious meals (homemade blueberry scones for breakfast, grilled mushroom/cheese sandwiches for lunch and grilled shrimp/scallops for dinner). We also hiked a little in Hueston Woods State Park and played a form of dominoes game called "Mexican Train". Carol also showed us her bonanza of first-place/Best of Show ribbons that she had won at the Butler County Fair in 2002. She is an excellent quilter/fiber artist and is currently showing with Mark at The Story exhibit at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts.

Mentor, OH June 26, 2008

This was a easy day, hanging out with Eva and the nephews, Patrick and Casey. We went putt-putt golfing and Eva treated us to ice cream at Dairy Queen. Mark worked on rearranging the contents in our truck since Eva was riding with us down to Cincinnati for the wedding of Dave (Mark's oldest brother) and Marcia.

Heath+Mentor, OH June 25, 2008

The next day, Aunt Dot and Uncle Jim drove us to a historical house in Heath. Here, Aunt Dot often volunteers as a catering staff to serve tea lunches to patrons. This historical house, named Davis-Shai House, is owned by the City of Heath and was relocated to a large patch of pastoral farmland (ironically behind a shopping center). Now they are going through major renovation to expand the space in order to accomodate more patrons. Afterwards, we stopped by Amish-owned Yoder's Country Kitchen to buy 2 jars of jelly for my dad. Afterall, one can't go to OH and not get an Amish souvenir!
We ate a small lunch at Aunt Dot and Uncle Jim's home and left for Mentor, OH, to visit Mark's mom, Eva. We arrived in time to go over to the Kolledas' home (Mark's sister, Jane, husband Chris and sons Patrick and Casey) for Casey's 7th birthday dinner! Casey and grandma Eva had baked a caterpillar cake earlier and we ate that for dessert. Since Uncle Mark was visiting, the nephews were eager to spend a night at grandma's house that evening.

Athens+Granville, OH June 24, 2008

Yikes, I'm way behind on our blog. We're home now! We traveled 2600 miles and paid $552 in gas!
Now I'll just update the blog day by day with photos.

When we arrived in Athens, we visited Maya Lin's "Input" earthwork installation on the Ohio University campus, next to the stadium. Maya Lin is the architect/artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Her parents were Chinese immigrants who taught Art and English at OU. Maya Lin grew up in Athens. For their bicentennial celebration in 2006, OU commissioned her to install this artpiece.

Then we visited Mark's nephew, Brent and his girlfriend, Rachel, who just graduated from OU and is currently job searching. We ordered ciabatta sandwiches as take-out and lunched at nearby Stroud's Run State Park.

After our brief visit with them, Mark was intent on seeing the famous Hocking Hills area of OH. We stopped to stroll around Ash Cave (more twisty/turny roads to get there and back on the main highway!) Then we drove north to Granville to stay overnight with Mark's Aunt Dot and Uncle Jim. They treated us to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant called La Paloma that specialized in stuffed sopapillas. Mark and I ate sopapillas with beans, cheese and rice. At their home, Aunt Dot graciously offered some hand-crochetted lap afghans to me so I chose two--one for our home and one for niece Gigi, whom we will visit soon on July 15.