One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Woman's best friend

Scruffy knows all of Polly's secrets and still loves her enough to keep all those pesky blue jays and cardinals from hanging out in her yard. Scruffy never asked for much in return ... just some Little Friskies, savory salmon in the can, cat milk, occasional catnip and a warm comfortable spot in which to curl up and sleep. Scruffy rules.

Left Polly and Scruffy on the counter in the ladies' room at Tokyo Sushi which is around the 1500 block of SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale. Sushi makes Scruffy's little heart happy ... Polly likes it too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So Not Guilty

You can ask as many times as you want and Courtney is still going to give you the same answer. She did not hang those little pink fuzzy craft store balls on the back of her idiot boss's black Hummer from a string. She had nothing to do with it. She swears it wasn't her, and so what if she just happened to be at Pearl the previous day. She goes to Pearl a lot but it doesn't mean she was buying little pink fuzzy craft store balls and yarn. No sirreeee. Courtney is not that kinda girl.

Dropped Courtney at the Shell Station at Federal Highway and NE 18th Street in Fort Lauderdale. She's by the pay phone, getting ready to call her lawyer about these false accusations people keep making ... 'cause, you know, she didn't do it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Maggie's shell game

Maggie felt like a hermit crab forced out of her too-tight shell but still searching for that bigger shell that offers more growing room. Meanwhile, it's more complicated than she imagined out here (and brighter too), so she's constantly having to regroup and figure out new ways to deal with things .... But the truth is that sometimes Maggie longs to return to her simpler life, to hide again in the comfort of her small but smoothly worn shell -- her armor.

Dropped Maggie a little while ago at the restroom by the big public parking lot on Fort Lauderdale beach. Once there, I realized how long it's been since I sat on the beach at night and just how therapeutic it is to do that and to hear the waves gently lapping, as they have been doing for much longer than I have been on this planet. I'm not religious, so when anxiety sets in, I don't really have that out of looking for someone bigger than me to provide answers or calmness -- that feeling that all will continue to be OK with this world, and the people and animals that continue to try to survive here.

Like many, I've begun to rely more on denial as a coping mechanism. I realize it's a little lame in the long run, but it's also one of the most underrated short term coping mechanisms ever. It's got a bad rep, but in the end it's what sometimes gets us through the day, with a little less damage. Having said all that, however, I guess nature is my religion. It's way bigger than me, and far more powerful, and when I need it, it's just nice to know that it's still out there, waiting. I like to think that trend will continue.

So Maggie's still down there and from the looks of Fort Lauderdale beach this time of night, I'd venture to say that anyone wandering into a restroom down there right now might be in need of a nice little surprise. Once again, I tried every little trick I could think of with my camera (short of actually reading the lengthy small-print manual) and it appears night shots are not in the cards, not that they ever do moments like that justice anyway. You just have to be there on the beach to experience it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not like the other library ladies

Lilith isn't like the other library ladies, at least not the ones in her workplace. For starters she dresses snazzier, adores graphic novels and frequents low-brow art shows. She also writes bizarre little haikus and inserts them into the middle of some of the most popular books on library shelves. Library Lilith is also a podcast star ... she does a program about behind-the-scenes gossip from libraries all around the U.S. ...

And boy, does she get the dirt. Of course, she uses her special library lady voice and goes by another name so she won't lose her job. Her fellow librarians, who are regular listeners, have no idea who's behind the podcast.

Dropped Lilith at Lester's Diner in Fort Lauderdale .... where they're always coming up with new ways to entertain people. Today, they had some kind of disco theme, where the lights go on and off, courtesy of Superfly, who created quite a buzz.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jo's bad bad news

Jo kept her eye on the news, awaiting word of which stores would close .. hoping and praying that the place where she went each morning for her white chocolate mocha frappucino would not forever close its doors and abandon her the way other coffee shops did.

She had finally found a barista who knew exactly what she wanted and what time she'd be rushing in there for it each morning. She really liked him too, and she would always tell him that he was her favorite barista. He pretended to get mad when she called him a barista. He said that word was too highfalutin. "I'm a coffeemaker," he'd say, and then he'd do this crazy little move in which he appeared to be percolating.

Yeah, it wasn't just the coffee that Jo would miss. It was the whole experience.

But then Jo found the map of the closings, and her store was on it. She was utterly inconsolable .... losing her favorite coffeemaker and her white chocolate mocha frappucino was simply more than Jo could bear.

Dropped Jo at the Starbucks at 1100 W. Broward Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale ... which is reportedly among those stores scheduled to close. She's leaning against the wall by the sink, in a state of utter devastation.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Secret Umbrella Society

Fact #1 -- People are always leaving umbrellas behind at restaurants and never returning for them.

Fact #2 -- People who own umbrellas never have them when they need them ... Like when they're out walking or running to catch a bus.

After considering these facts, Robin created a solution she hopes will catch on. Whenever she goes to a restaurant, she asks whether a black umbrella she left there a few weeks ago was in the lost and found and of course, there are always several. Robin stockpiles the umbrellas in her car and when she seems someone walking in the rain, or running with a newspaper atop their head, she gives them an umbrella and asks them to return it to the umbrella universe by doing the same favor for someone else one day. She tells them that they are now a member of the Secret Umbrella Society and gives them a little membership card she made herself. She can hardly believe how happy this makes people.

Robin secretly hopes that one day when she's walking and it begins to rain ... someone will offer her one of those black umbrellas. Then, at least for that one shining moment, she will feel like all is right with the world. ... 'cause even though a little rain must fall into everyone's life, sometimes we need a secret umbrella.

This tile was inspired by a friend who believes that if she loses her black umbrella she can get another from the umbrella universe (i.e. any restaurant). Robin just took it a step further. Left Robin at the Dunkin Donuts at Southland Shopping Center on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale, as she needed a nice cup of coffee.

In other news, Feisty Little Fred, the cat-on-a-tile who went out for happy hour on a Friday and then had a series of adventures that landed him Tennessee six weeks later, made headlines earlier this week in The Leaf Chronicle. Now he is safely settled in at the home of a young artist named Sami.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Runaway Rain Car

During rainy season, Rona skipped all of her yoga classes because she found a new and cheaper way to work in her meditation. When the seasonal afternoon thunderstorms arrived, Rona slipped out of the office and into the backseat of her car until it was over. The sound of rain hitting metal made her feel totally mesmerized, and in a deep state of relaxation ... and she didn't have to waste any gas or get stressed out in traffic to get there. And now that she started using Rain-X, she really likes the way the water beads on the windows. It's quite beautiful, really.

Ironically, Rona's at a gas station right now -- the Texaco at the corner of 17th Street Causeway and Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale. She's at the pay phone, one that actually works. She already checked the slot, but there were no quarters in there.

Lou Loves Lesters

Lavender-haired Lou has been coming to Lester's Diner (the one on 84) since there were little jukeboxes on every table ... and she still likes to come here and people watch, especially in the wee hours. If she's really hungry, she'll partake in a patty melt ... She and her mom had many happy lunches here, so there's that too. Lavender-haired Lou Loves Lester's, and many other things that begin with the letter L, such as Lemon meringue pie, Leonard Cohen, Lava Lamps and Lounging around with her mean old cat listening to NPR while painting.

Left Lou on the counter in the Ladies room after a breakfast filled with much chit-chat, Laughter and the giant cup of coffee for which Lester's is famous. So that was fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bob's very very bad day

Bob has coccinellidaephobia, so he was not pleased to walk out his back door and find ladybugs everywhere. Over the fence he heard his neighbor Suzi laughing hysterically. Apparently she was talking on the phone and telling her friend, "Yeah, the ladybugs are everywhere. It's fabulous!" He also heard her talking about how much fun it was to "release them" in the garden at midnight.

Bob thought Suzi had really stepped over the line this time, especially since she knew of his deep-rooted fear of the polka-dotted creatures. Who does this kind of stuff?

That morning, Bob vowed to move far far away if she kept up these shenanigans. He just couldn't do this anymore. These damn little spotted bugs were actually landing on him, and he was completely freaking out. Bob ran inside, shut the door and didn't come out all day, even though he later heard Suzi yelling over the fence, "Bob, come see the ladybugs!" But Bob wasn't budging until the coast was clear.

Dropped poor little frightened Bob in the ladybugs room at Starbucks at Federal Highway and Broward Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The workers there looked very happy tonight ... maybe because that store's not closing and they get to keep their jobs.

The other war

Suzanne loves those days when she can truly become one with her work, when she's right there in the zone, whether it's cleaning out her closet, waxing her car or making a little dent in the jungle outside her door. Sometimes the list of chores seems so long that she's gets caught up in thinking about the enormosity of it all, and even though spell check says that's not a word, it feels right. When Suzanne can hone in on just that one thing, it's a good day. The key is blocking out all the other stuff and just enjoying the moment. It's something to strive for ...

Dropped Suzanne earlier this evening at the Subway at Southland Shopping Center on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale. Propped her right up there by the sink, where she seems to add a splash of character to a somewhat sterile environment.

When I returned home, I ordered something very special online, something I've been thinking about for years ... 1500 live ladybugs to release in my yard. They eat garden pests such as the aphids that prey on the plants that attract butterflies. The leaves of my veggie garden experiments are looking tattered, and I once had more monarchs.

But, you know, the ladies have to travel to get here. Then I'm supposed to put them in the fridge for awhile (apparently, this calms them), and then I'll have to make some "wheast" (from wheat flour, yeast and honey) and stick it on popsicle sticks in the yard, because that will make them like my yard and want to stay there. So now, I'll have to get some Edie's lime popsicles.

But the wheast seems to be a better alternative than one Web site's suggestion of how to get them to stick around -- spray them with half-water and half Coke to glue their wings shut for about a week ... that seems cruel and unnecessary. I want them to feel welcomed, not stuck and gluey.

Whenever I encounter a ladybug, it feels special, like seeing a rainbow or something. But I guess it's not too special for the aphids, and I do feel bad about that. I hope the People for the Ethical Treatment of Aphids don't learn where I live. But the People Against the Use of Pesticides (which I never use) might agree, and the butterflies will smile.

Ladybugs are fascinating little creatures. Do you know they flap their little wings 85 times a second when flying and their bright color is a warning to predators? If predators do attack, their blood smells so awful that they won't continue attacking. They also lay eggs that look like "clusters of little orange footballs" and after hatching they look little tiny black orange-spotted alligators. Then they pupate, typically atop a leaf, and while developing, the larvae will eat about 400 medium-sized aphids, and as many as 5,000 during it's life.

I was talking with friends the other night about the usefulness of insects ... we were at a loss about the mosquito's usefulness so I'll have to investigate that. But someone posed the question -- "What about humans? How are they useful in the cycle?" We seem to be throwing off the balance of nature on so many levels.

So, the bottom line, is that you never really know about these things. I mean, the ladybug release has always seemed like a good thing to me, but now I'm thinking what if I investigate aphids and find out they have some fascinating little life and purpose too? And even if they don't, is it right to send the ladies in after them?

The more I know, the more I don't know. Will I be keeping the peace, or starting a war in my own backyard? Sometimes even the simplest things get complicated. Once again, I'm wondering how I threw myself smack into the middle of this. But, you know, I guess it's always good to be smack in the middle of something interesting. How else are we gonna grow?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Work, American Style

Grace, Ali and Kate are a hard-working team and good friends as well. But in 6 months only one of them will have a job. The others will feel like personal failures, though they clearly are not ... But this is what a collapsing economy feels like .... personal failure We're so accustomed to relating the loss of a job to our failure to do it well or work hard enough. But that's all changed now. Today, you can work your ass off and still have zero job security, and the longer you've been working your ass off, the less security you will have.

And that's what the lucky person who gets to keep their job will learn. She will be worked like a dog, until such time that her health begins to suffer, then just about the time she'll need that health insurance, she'll lose her job and be replaced by someone younger, cheaper and healthier. Maybe they'll keep her around long enough to train them.

"It's not personal," her employers will tell her. "It's simply about money. Because, you know, we do care about you, but only to the extent that it affects our bottom line ... It's not that we wouldn't LIKE to care more deeply. We simply cannot afford to anymore. No one really can."

That, unfortunately, seems to be true. It's the story everywhere these days, and not just in workplaces. But it feels so very, very wrong.

Dropped the trio of hardworking cubicle ladies at Vincenzo's Pizza in the 1500 block of Cordova, in Fort Lauderdale, just near Southport, 'cause I never got around to eating much today, and then late-evening hunger set in.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rosa VIP

Rosa sneaks into exclusive events and rates them on her top secret blog. She could tell ya the address, but then she'd have to kill ya. Actually, readers can't even get in without a password, because of the little red velvet cyber ropes. The password, should you ever find Rosa's blog is Lookwholettheriffraffin. You'll figure that out in a minute.

Dropped Rosa at the Museum of Art members' opening reception for 13 artists that each won a South Florida Cultural Consortium grant of either $7,500 or $15,000. That's a lot of money. My personal favorite of the show was Robert Nathans big colorful paintings full of scissors and mice and flowers and a bizarre mix of other delightful things. There was wine flowing, piano playing and one very fascinating-looking small man in a suit and patterned pants that all the wine-swilling ladies seemed to be checking out. I've seen the crowds thicker here for such events in the past, but it was a pretty rainy, wet night and I think that kept a lot of people in, but not me. I was ready to get out in the rain tonight.

Rosa's in the rest room, just outside the most amazing little bluely lit foyer with a bunch of very fascinating little artworks to look at at, in a bluish stained glass sorta way. Don't forget to look up at the ceiling ... It's a work of art too, with lots of blue. I really like blue lights ... love them.

Questions are the new answer

Judy was in rare form on the evening she encountered a bicycling street psychic who claimed to see Judy's problems just from looking into her eyes. "You have concern, deep concern about your financial future and all the people around you who are all losing their jobs, or just falling on hard times."

"I do," Judy replied hesitantly.

"I see that you are tired, working more hours than you once did, that your job's more demanding, and you're throwing yourself into things that will make you forget how worried you are about the future."

"Yes!" Judy responded.

"I see guilt that you have not been able to do more to help your friends, even knowing that you too, will one day be in their shoes, that at this rate, it's only a matter of time for all of us. Deep inside you know we must pull together and help each other. You are supportive, but are you willing to open your door and let all those people come live with you? Are you willing to give up the comfort of your personal space? I'm only asking because I know that deep inside this is the question that's bothering you most right now, the question you can't answer. ... and it's important. Will we rise up and help one another, or will we shut out our own friends when we have to make the tough choices many are already making. It's a choice that separates people, shows what they're made of ... and I know that, right this minute, you're wondering what you're made of. Am I right?"

"Yes," Judy confessed, feeling overwhelmed by the truth of this moment.

"I can help," the seemingly wise woman said, pausing before continuing. "My rate is $25."

A little reluctantly, Judy dug into her purse for the cash she'd planned to use for gas. She'd put the gas on her card instead. After all, this woman got right to the core of her being in a matter of minutes. How could she not take this to the next level?

After forking over her crumpled bills, the woman told her to listen carefully. "I do not have definitive answers," she says. "You must look to the universe for signs. Pay attention to the signs and you'll figure out what you're supposed to be doing."

Then she rode off into the night, pedaling quickly.

Judy felt cheated. She had hoped for more, but did start paying attention to signs. In fact, she began to see everything as a potential sign of something more meaningful. In the end, however, she was just drowning in mixed messages, and that old song about signs kept bouncing around in her head ... "Signs, signs, everywhere a sign ..."

After the psychic disappeared, Judy wanted her $25 back ... because after all, the woman had no answers. And the signs, much like the song says, were blocking out the scenery, breaking her mind. But what Judy eventually realized is that definitive answers are hard to come by, and knowing the question at the core of your being is important.

Dropped Judy at Barton & Miller, a Las Olas dry cleaner that is also a great big consignment store with lots of furniture and art and interesting things. It's more pricey that I can afford, but it's really cold inside and a perfect haven for taking a break on a long hot walk. And they're very welcoming to browsers. While there, I slipped into the restroom by the staircase (there's an upstairs) and put a tile on a shelf ... As I emerged I think someone else was headed that way. There weren't many shoppers in there, so what are the chances?

On my way home, I passed the guy I know only as caricature man. When I am walking downtown I always pass him. He's usually toting all his art supplies on his bike. After he passed today it occurred to me that after all the years of seeing him on the streets here, I don't even know his name. ... Today, he had a big Pearl bag hanging off his handlebars. I admire that he's out there making a living at his art.

Speaking of walking downtown, there has been a lot of crime recently along the Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale, and some of it has gone unreported. Here's a report form Channel 10, but I haven't seen much else. Apparently there were at least two rapes since April, and a recent armed robbery. So when walking in that area, be very alert.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mary's other blog

I’d like to say that when I’m standing in line behind someone at a grocery store that I’m not analyzing everything that comes out of their cart. But I am. It’s not that I’m judging them. I’m simply trying to imagine their lives outside of the store.

If they’re buying granola, soy milk and apples on a Friday night, I might envision them calling it an early evening so they can go jogging at a ridiculously hour in the morning. Coke, chips and popcorn could mean the kids are having a sleepover. Cleaning products, cat food, pinot grigio and a magazine are the making of a multi-tasking woman’s Friday night.

In reality, none of these things might be true. Granola lady could be dropping that stuff to her elderly neighbor before heading out to meet friends for big sloppy burgers and pitchers of beer. The woman buying tampons, dark chocolate and a nice bottle of pinot noir might NOT be PMSing. But reality has never stopped me from filling in the gaps. Sometimes in doing so, a story begins to emerge, the kind that is just a little too big for a tile. I have several that I've been writing off and on for years.

Mostly it’s the same four or five stories. Sometimes I go back into that place where my

stories live in my computer and I work on them. With some stories, I’m just tinkering … with others I might tear the guts out, throw the rest away and start over. They’re all in various stages. Sometimes it reminds me of a garden, except stories won’t die if you neglect them for months.

But lately I’ve been thinking that some might be ready to share … well, one for starters. It’s about what started out as a very perfunctory sort of morning in the life of ad salesman Cormack McKeever.

I figured if I created a little space for these stories, then I’d eventually send them all there, when they’re ready. The blog where I’m posting occasional short stories is Marytilermore.blogspot.com. I'll put a link on the right later tonight.

Tilefortlauderdale will continue to be home to the tinier tile stories, which will likely continue its mission at some ridiculously early hour in the morning ('cause after that I have to do some real work).

So here it goes, I'm going over to my other blog now to bravely hit that Publish Post button and send my first fictional short story out there into the blogosphere ... then I'm outta here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Feisty Little Fred

It's been more than five weeks since Feisty Fred made his way out into the world. I remember it well, as it was a Friday and Feisty Fred and I both went out for happy hour. I went downtown, by the river, but first dropped Fred at Southland as he had an agenda of his own. I went home a few hours after going out, but Fred, well he apparently had a very large night that eventually landed him in a park in Tennessee five weeks later, and he had quite a few adventures along the way. After leaving Southland, he apparently headed to the Fort Lauderdale Firefighters Benevolent Lounge, then off to Station 47, then to the gym for a little workout. After that, he flew in the belly of a 737 to Fort Campbell where he was eventually found by this very observing 8-year-old girl named Sami at Patriots Park. Fred has apparently been hitchhiking (which I warned him to never do), but you know, Fred has a mind of his own. He's kinda crazy like that. Fortunately, he seems to have found someone who loves him. And even though, I thought he only went searching for some tuna fish or something, maybe all he really needed was a good friend. And so, another little tile finds a happy little home. Oddly, Fred is the only tile I ever felt committed to turning into a recurring character on this blog. I almost forgot that. But apparently Fred did not. The person who found him in Fort Lauderdale and took him on some adventures has also promised some pics, so we may soon see a bit more of Fred and the adventures that led up to him being found by Sami. You can read all of the finders' comments under the Found Category on the right. Just click on Feisty Fred. Sami's mom says that Sami has now expressed a desire to paint and hide some tiles of her own. So good luck!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

B-Frog Blues

Though B-Frog is a Blue Poison Dart Frog from from South America, it hurts his feelings when he hears humans call him "toxic" ... mostly because the word toxic now has such negative connotations, what with all those humans discussing their "toxic friendships" and"toxic relationships." It's not like B-frog was born toxic. He got that way from eating all those insects. And being toxic works for him, because it keeps away predators who would like to eat him for lunch.

B-Frog claims humans are equally toxic from all the fast food places they're always driving through. He's heard that humans are, in fact, so toxic that they're starting to not even want to be around each other. As he understands it, all communications are now done via e-mail and something called text messaging.

Dropped Blue Froggy off to spend time with his relatives who are in town for the Frogs exhibit at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale. He was last seen on a shelf in the ladies' room.

It was pretty amazing to see real Blue Poison Dart Frogs ... Apparently, they're called that because toxins from these frogs have been used on the tips of arrows and darts, making them poison darts. The blue frogs are gorgeous with beautiful intricate patterns of black spots. Also present was one of B-Frogs relatives, the Golden Poison Frog, which contains enough poison to kill 20,000 mice or 10 people, which is pretty powerful when you consider that these frogs are only about one to 2 inches.

There were loads of other frogs, too, all totally worth the price of admission, as was The Wild Ocean, an IMAX movie about the sardines at the core of a huge feeding frenzy off the South African coast. We're talking giant schools of sardines that stretch as long as 10 miles and are pursued by dolphins, whales, sharks, gannets and fishermen. It's pretty intense, and I never could have imagined how beautiful sardines are until you witness the awesome power of thousands and thousands of them, all glimmering and moving in perfect unison.

Later, on the way home, stopped at a Starbucks on 17th Street for a coffee and encountered Sara on a nice little display stand behind the counter. I dropped her off in the ladies' room there about two weeks ago and never knew what became of her. It was kind of a weird but really nice feeling, looking up while waiting for my coffee and spotting her there, looking like she fit right in. Sara believed good things would happen, and they did. It made me kinda happy. She's right next door to Sean, who was dropped off at Cold Stone Creamery a week before that, and is now encased in glass on the wall. They always kinda liked each other anyway, and now they're neighbors, and at least for a fleeting moment, all is right with the world.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Show me a garden ...

"Show me a garden that's bursting into life."
-- Snow Patrol

I know it's supposed to be uncool to like songs popular enough to actually be played on radio and particularly those that appear on a Grey's Anatomy season finale ... But there's a reason songs endear themselves to people ... and no one's ever accused me of being cool. I kinda like Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars, particularly the line above. It's one of those lyrics that I saved somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain for future inspiration. ... That vision, of a garden bursting into life is one I carry with me as I transform my little yard into a secret garden ... The 427-step transformation process began yesterday and will continue indefinitely.

Speaking of secret gardens, this tile, which I just realized I forgot to sign, is in a secret garden of it's own ... Holland Garden Center at 1035 SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale. In the cottagey little bathroom, there's a wicker shelf, and it had a spot just big enough for that tile. So there it went.

Every plant here looks like it's loved and is thriving as a result ... It's like the garden that has already burst into life .... As an added bonus, tiny baby kittens are wandering freely. ... As far as I can tell there aren't that many nurseries here in South Florida, and I always wondered how they can continue competing with giants like Home Depot or any of those big retail chains with garden centers ... It must be especially hard, given the economy and water restrictions etc.

But a lot of the prices here were on par with Home Depot, only the plants looked much healthier. Walking through this place was just the garden inspiration I needed for the day ... and I'll definitely be returning there more. I also dug a book out of my drawer that I started reading awhile back and now plan to finish. It's called the Secret Life of Plants: A fascinating account of the physical, emotional and spiritual relations between plants and [people].

Gotta go. The garden's calling.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Slightly irregular

Molly's the sorta girl who spends months painting little flowers all over the outside of her house ... the kinda girl who goes walking and comes home 9 miles later ... the one who brings 48 deviled eggs to a party for 10, just to be on the safe side. ... Some say she's a freak, but Molly prefers to think of herself as slightly irregular, which explains why all the slightly irregular clothes fit her so darned well .. and fortunately for her, those are the ones that always seem to be on sale.

Despite nearly quitting a week ago, I'm back ... not every day ... but it being a three-day weekend and all, I figured I could squeeze in a little painting time ...

Dropped Molly over at My Market. She sitting up in the window in the ladies' room. I really like My Market because it feels like one of those little general stores ... more so than a convenience store. They have a little deli in the back and all the locals know that if you want a really, really good sub, this is the place to get it. And you can eat it here too, because there are tables back there. It's the sorta place where you could just sit at another table with people you didn't even know ... and it would be OK. People see other people they know here ... you know, like 'Hey Joe, how's it going? What the heck ya been up to?" It's that kind of place.

My Market is also so damn reliable ... Everybody in these parts know that after a hurricane has passed and you're jonesing for a good cup of coffee, My Market will be the only place offering it ... Sure, there will be a line out the door, but these people know how to keep it moving. They're ready for anything ...

Also, if I'm not mistaken, there are bells on the front door. Now, it could just be my imagination ... because I love walking into a store and hearing the clang of hanging bells on the door, 'because everything the bells stand for makes the whole experience feel more personal, and so it seems like there should be bells here. Sometimes my memory just edits things in. I'll have to double check when I go back and see if they're really there.

It feels appropriate on "Independence Day" to be writing about a business that's not owned by some big huge corporate conglomerate ....