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

Monday, September 28, 2009


On some days, Random feels hope slipping from her grasp and realizes she's exhausted from holding on so tightly, and working so hard. So she lets go, feels the colors rushing out like blood from a wound. Weakened and dizzy, she lays down on her comfy couch and looks inward for a very long time ... imagines a world devoid of color.

Eventually she dozes off, dreams that it is raining in her living room and that she can't find her black umbrella. When she awakens, she trots out to her overgrown garden and considers how long it's been since she spent any time out there, how long it had been since she had dug in the dirt. She approached her once-gorgeous red, yellow and purple flowers that now looked tattered.

A closer examination revealed that killer vines had moved in and were slowly but surely trying to choke the life out of the colorful flowers she once considered her babies. The vines were almost camouflaged. She could imagine how it all went down, as the uninvited guests slithered over the fence and reached down, down, down, getting each day a little closer to the prey eventually moving in, just a little at a time, and wrapping itself around ever so tightly until it seemed the plant's only purpose was to help the evil, greedy, callous killer vine to thrive.

Random knew she must save the vines, and save herself too. She began pulling them out by the roots like a madwoman, grabbing hold of a string of leaves and pulling, pulling, pulling until there came a snap from somewhere. She filled up one big yard waste bin after another, after another ... This went on for the better part of a weekend, until her flowers were finally free of all that had snuck in while no one was looking and was slowly but surely trying to kill them.

Satisfied with her efforts, she unearthed the garden hose, partly buried in the dirt from sheer non-use, and proceeded to water her flowers, watching them sway freely as the spray of the hydration hits them and the water glistens and forms translucent beads on their thirsty little leaves. It was like a little dance of freedom.

Once the plants have had enough water, Random traipses into the house, covered in dirt. She pours a large glass of water, adds lemon, drinks thirstily and steps into a hot, hot shower to wash away the muck. Afterward, she wipes the fog from the mirror above her sink, catches a glimpse of her own face and says "There you are!" and laughs aloud. She brushes her teeth with an electric toothbrush. then slips into her softest flannel pajamas, puts on lipstick, climbs onto her big comfy couch and makes a new to-do list. She then closes her eyes and imagines herself putting little check marks beside each item as she completes the tasks that will bring her closer to unraveling herself from the vines that have crept into her own life.

Then she brews a cup of catnip tea and crawls into bed beside her mean little kitty cat who loves her unconditionally. She looks down at her hands, which are cut and scratched from thorns and flower rescue efforts, and makes a mental note to buy yard gloves and a nice little bag of shrimp for Blackie.

Random is in the rest room at Holland Garden Center, 1035 Southeast 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale. She dropped in to look for gardening gloves, but got caught up looking at all the cool art and secret garden-type hideaways in this location. She's on a wicker shelf in the rest room ... hiding under something. Seek and you shall find.