What If, What If?

The problem is not the availability of guns, it is the availability of morons.

~ Antonio Meloni

I’ve been told I should own a gun, I should learn to defend myself if the need presents itself. You hear so many quotes from the ‘pro-packing’ people defending  their Second Amendment right to bear arms. It’s not that I care if people want to acquire and hold weapons, I’m  just not sure that I even want to connect to that part of defeatist reality culture.

Like today, headline, “Grandmother Shoots Her 7 Year Old Grandson By Accident” – sad sad sad. Hard to know what was in her head other than perhaps she fixated on someone  breaking in and had to hurry to defend herself. She had called police  many times in past thinking an intruder was near and in her haste,  shot her own flesh  and blood. That would leave me devastated beyond a Hellish planet of grief, even without charges. I would never be whole again. Though parts of me seem to be missing and falling off  anyway…

I drove over to Gander Mountain to look at the Gun department. Guns were presented en mass before me, rows and rows of cold steel: long, short barreled, huge caliber, small, big, pink handled, designer fancy and basic. Cases and cases of death merchants  exposed, lying on their sides waiting for the human touch to activate and the cost wasn’t cheap either figuratively or literally looking through price tags.

Eddie became the “White Rabbit” though nothing rude about him as we gently made our way through an area I would not otherwise traverse.  He was a not pushy, not heave -ho, he was there slow feeding me gun powder pabulum, with lots of valid information.  Getting behind the sea of machinery, as each wave brought more and more info and questions back and forth. He described and showed the difference between pistol and revolver,  how a longer barrel could be more stabling than the small little “purse guns”. He talked about gun safety, stance, showed me gun protectors, safes, all manner  of related items. I told him I had never shot a gun before and he smiled and told me to come with him through a hallway.  Eddie took me back  into Gander Mountain’s private gun ranges. They have an “Academy”, a virtual range and a real one. He led the way into the virtual one.  It was like being with a calm Circus Barker on an empty side show stage, no one else inside, the quiet and serenity of the booths held no anxiety as he pushed responsible gun usage.

Buttons were pushed and targets went back and forth in different lengths, the green circles with varying Dante degrees could be modified to represent a head and shoulders. A Glock was placed on the shelf.  Eddie picked it up and wrapped his large hands around it gripping it sincerely, well thought out, maybe lovingly(?)  while explaining it had been modified to have a cartridge simulating a bullet and noise.  He handed me the gun, I swallowed knowing Alice had gone down the hole now and had swallowed what was in the  “Eat Me” jar.  Abbe felt rather small and kind of shaky.  Eddie reassured me and showed me how to fashion my hands around the grip for recoil and stability. Most importantly explaining how to line up the little notch at the tip to the target and go for it. I blasted away. I grew big, drinking in the fun,   I’m in a video world – it was easy, I shot my assailant dead. He corrected my stance explaining how I should stand in different situations if right or left-handed.  The act itself was simple for the faux reality it was. You can blast away for $25 a half an hour or come to Ladies nights on Thursdays from 6-9pm for $12.50 and play bang bang with the girls. They have two women’s groups meeting once a month with all levels of gun experience from none to heavy-duty. It even went so far as Eddie opening other doors along the hallway which seemed like a march into infinity with private rooms with private ranges. One room had a three life sized screens in a row and you could program nature or situations in a cinema-like reality scenerios. Then onto a room with 5 giant screens with actual life situations to see how you react and shoot from all angles. Did you kill or wound the bad guy or was that person reaching for their cell phone and not a gun? Reaction time was key. Eddie had morphed into the caterpillar atop the mushroom speaking about feeling big and small, brave or cowardly, it’s all where you bite into the mushroom.  I wondered if Hunter S. Thompson would have enjoyed these virtual ranges, but  he probably  just shot at his walls for fun when starved for pleasure.  He loved his weaponry and booze and drugs which enhanced his everyday world while he was alive – and we loved his demons. DSC07561are

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.  Hunter S. Thompson

Shooting like this was easy, too easy,  Eddie said I was better than many who come for their first try, Bet he probably says that to encourage everyone.  DSC07522are DSC05108a2res

It was all too Parker Brothers easy, a game like many play on computers nowadays. Then, suddenly Alice grew small again with overwhelming anxiety thinking how in that virtual, dark cave, I was slow and deliberate. In reality  it would be something else, hurrying to thwart my attacker, the body saturated by adrenalin  ready for action! Taking into account the wounding or death that clings to it and rots. A gun in my hands might be useless as I pondered on about what to do, I would be toast. Maybe you only know what to do when the situation is right before you.

Was it Jewish guilt? OY! I don’t want to ever harm an animal with a bullet – I don’t eat any red meat and only have chicken or fish once every couple of weeks, (could it be my mind wields thoughts while being on a protein deficit diet ?) With fishing, anything I catch goes back into the water, “live long and prosper,” I borrow from Gene Roddenberry while releasing aquatic, scaled, slimy  souls back into the water.  If I’m dining at Red Lobster, I put my head in the opposite direction not to see those pathetic, banded lobsters  cloistered in the tank. , I don’t want to know my food — it would be nothing to live without having to kill something for food if I had too.  Though I’m not below killing cockroaches if they visit inside nor squashing mosquitoes and red ants who dare draw blood without hesitation, but killing ‘someone’ is a whole nother realm to this thick, complicated  reality. It  would test my conscience, I would re-live the circumstances over and over even if totally cleared of all charges that is was self defense. “What if”, God forbid one of my kids walked in or “what if”  I missed while shooting and and one of my precious ‘grandmonkeys’ was harmed?  I could never live with myself, turn that gun on me and put me out of my misery. My brain is wired for thinking and over thinking and analyzing many situations as it is,  maybe it’s not a big Einstein brain, but it’s switched on and even sleep in abbesworld is almost virtual too. Everything collapses into chaos if I dare try to close my eyes when not exhausted, too much too much too much on the mind about this or that, future, past, present. I accept my fate of living in a perpetual brain drain.

All my friends who are gun owners are living bi-polar states, some are gung-ho over the top waiting for someone to dare invade their space,  in the meantime some of them shoot targets, skeet, animals to prove their almost campy bravado while honing  their skills, thoroughly at peace with what they can destroy or might destroy!  Some always watching local and national news as the violence unfolds,  the paranoia washes over with the politics convincing some their  gun rights will be diminished soon and a few stockpile weapons and bullets while waiting for the socialist, police state, “Obama” overreach  revolution to arise any day now.  I hear the talk as many let it be known they own multiple firearms and are within fast reach of both car and home, so don’t fuck with them if you mean to do them harm and don’t get in the way of their target. Others I know keep a much lower profile, not discussing, reticent, not wanting to think about having to be ‘boy scout’ prepared, but they are all realists – both camps take it seriously, they know how it works. Florida is a “Stand Your Ground” state, you find someone on your property or in your personal space, BANG BANG, go right ahead, mostly the law is behind the shooter in these cases, though it has been proven to be a bit flawed for sure. (It breaks down to how much you pay for a lawyer, or what lawyer chooses you for “cause celebre”.)   My relatives who own guns encourage responsible ownership, making sure to know the basics and beyond, but in my mind, I live in abbesworld, it’s so delightful that it seems wrong to have to contemplate death and destruction of the body and spirit. But they continue pressing for taking the steps to secure the homestead.

I can remember my ex husband and his “Glocks” — he had stashes of bullets, he would occasionally take them out with someone to go shoot at a range, not playing much real emphasis on it. I picked the guns up a few times,  but didn’t find them appealing in any way, shape or form, was glad to finally have both he and the weapons gone after he left for “greener pastures”.  And as I stood before Gander Mountain’s vast inventory,  I was wishing for a world of greener pastures though that’s my thwarted reality of living in the ‘ideal’ world.  I thought of the Cheshire cat sitting on his limb saying the whole world was mad, even me!       SONY DSC

Guns looked so delinquent like vested mercenaries you keep around as a lonely, desperate, cold hearted companion.

I think of my son saying,  ” hopefully you would never have to use it, but just in case.”  That ‘just in case’ are a monolithic linking of words,  words that could be the regret for a lifetime  for not defending oneself or regret for having defended. “What if- What if”

Abbesworld had grown a bit pale. It was too much to think about, I tend to shut down when presented with too many options doing nothing is easier than the application of many things that need attending too. Let a time-warp, black hole vacuum suck up the immediate things that have to be done and tuck it away in some wormhole for another day. I love putting things off.

So I ran to the opposite side of the store and disappeared amongst the forest shade of many colored kayaks standing upright.  DSC07532a     Arcs and arcs of fishing rods rising overhead basking in the window light, some  much longer than others.  Rods and reels, enough fishing line to pull all the continents together a couple times over.  So many plastic boxes, hooks and hooks and hooks while basking in the neon color of baits and lures, and jigs,  fake shrimp, shiners, as petroleum coated brightly skinned worms advertised their means to entice fish with scents behind bold print. I felt safer over in this part of the store, a reminder of my life that is simplistic.

I got out of Gander Mountain paying $2.12 for worms, but paid a much higher price in thought. I traveled back home and wondered how you wind down from thinking any minute someone can shatter your world. It almost seemed once you own or contemplate handling a gun and go through all the possibilities, your thought process changes – you look through eyes of suspicion.

Finally I quieted my head by standing on the banks of my little lake taking in the nature and water so soothing to my soul with this pseudo feeling of control over abbesworld  though several times catching my wandering eyes scanning the back of my house and the neighbors, I was humming, “nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide”  my mind churning it’s rich imagination, “what if? What if???






Wine and Art August 2014

Please note that it was published on my old blog, trying to figure out how to move it!

Sanford Florida’s Nature on a Friday

There’s just nothing to complain about when looking for nature around here. In my case it seems to appear before me, it’s just weird, but then again, so am I.
Today I had to pick up work and ran to downtown Sanford around 4:30pm and decided to hoof it over to marina to see what was going on. I could see the storm brewing off to the east moving closer, threatening me and the camera with wetness. I still had to park the truck and take a few pictures and embrace the diversity of clouds and sky. The intensity of blues and grays and the energy all packed like a magnet and one can only watch spellbound as a storm muscles in!  IMG_0401ares

IMG_0449a  IMG_0413ares  As I drove along the marina,  I could see the white thrust of the waves driven by the wind. Though the seawall did keep the water smooth on the opposite side of the wall. I stopped to take a few pics and there was a about a 4 foot, young gator effortlessly drifting with the water current. No legs even moved, it just drifted and a wonderful little blue darter dragonfly came down and sat above the eyebrow as it coasted along on it’s sea-monster taxi.
IMG_0420a  IMG_0426res 

As it floated, the dragonfly hitched a ride.  IMG_0441ares  I enjoyed the beautiful embellishment of the blue against the brown patterned, dimpled reptilian skin, while there was no blink of the eye or acknowledgment of the “little blue itch” standing as some animal tamer. I fully picture it reciting from Alice in Wonderland, ” The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
   IMG_0438a1ares  yes, the dragonfly read loudly to the gator despite the growing churn of the water and groan of the storm.
I so enjoy seeing these alligators on their best behavior  as they drift in the marina waters. They turn to look at me and of course, I must snap snap snap!

As I was walking down First Street, I saw an osprey land on top of The Wells Fargo bank building and yet when looking further down, there was a nest built into the “S” on the sign. The nest was quite intricate and had ribbons of plastic and other human ‘things’ woven into a well knitted and lived in bird home. I thought it might belong to a crow, even though I have never ever seen a crow nest.  So why did I think that IMG_0394res  IMG_0397res IMG_0396ar But I do know that wasn’t an osprey nest.

beyond that I came home to watch the clouds come closer, but then drift to the south east and not any rain fell in the neighborhood. The sun came back out in between some thicker clouds and in came a little dove who sat devouring the few warming rays of the late afternoon –  IMG_0477dove1res  what a nice picture thru my window.
When I did venture out to The Artwalk in Sanford, I enjoyed seeing the art at the Historic Welcome Center and running into friends. I told my friend Bill we must have a look across the street  — before the light even changed, a rainbow appeared and of course, Bill had to be patient and wait for me to click away. I even thanked the rainbow  for appearing. And that’s how it seems maybe life is here in Florida, nature comes into our lives so simply as if saying, “let’s share the space and please keep us all safe”.
I came home, threw on pajamas and sat to write my blog, here’s the rub, (literally), a mosquito came and bit me, just that simple, an uninvited nature quest shows up and tries to take advantage of the host, ah not so fast, that’s one example of the most “sucky” of natures’ forms! So wake up tomorrow and open your senses,  hope you enjoy something natural that happens upon your path!  Fine tune your senses and see what you notice, it becomes second nature and that’s a good thing, especially when you are always clutching a camera like me!
And July 1st there’s a  snap a selfie event in Sanford, it begins around midnight,

Cover Photo

Memorial Day Parade Sanford, Fl. 5-26-2014

What a wonderful reception for our veterans right here in Sanford, Fl. Adults, children, pets and people of all sizes and shapes and nationality came to be support for
all those in our military who have kept us safe and still do. Thank you vets for all you have done and continue to do, I hope those who have served and those still on duty are treated with
the respect they deserve! Here’s a look at the Memorial Day Parade IMG_0019re  The streets were nicely packed along First and the sidestreet to Marina. IMG_0020res

IMG_0031 - Copy  IMG_0037 -res  IMG_0044are  IMG_0040re  IMG_0057 - Copy

IMG_0049are  a “65” Eldorado and I bet about the same year for the Vette.  IMG_0043r  IMG_0053r  IMG_0054r

IMG_0062re - Copy  IMG_0065r  IMG_0068a  IMG_0063ar  IMG_0116a  IMG_0118

IMG_0074ar  IMG_0093  IMG_0100  IMG_0057 - Copy  IMG_0079reIMG_0084  IMG_0111areIMG_0122are  IMG_0098 copy 2a  IMG_0125a a plug for photograpers, Reg  Garner and Terry Lee. And don’t forget about the photography contest ongoing till July 31st — and a shout out with contest info below
Have a wonderful day and again, Thank you Veterans for standing up for us so bravely!

May is National Historic Preservation Month

Calling all “Wanna-be” Photographers
Kicking off during National Historic Preservation month, the City of Sanford announces a photography contest that will run through the end of August 2014. The contest aims to capture the historic, cultural beauty of Sanford.
Do you have a favorite historic building, park or landscape in Sanford? Do you enjoy photography? The winning photographs will be featured on the City’s website and Facebook page with a short biography of the photographers. The winners will be recognized by the City of Sanford City Commission and City of Sanford Historic Preservation Board. Photographers will receive photo credits for submissions.
The consent form and more information are available at sanfordfl.gov/historicpreservation the City of Sanford Facebook page, or by calling 407-688-5145.
Consent form and entry must be e-mailed together to Christine.Dalton@sanfordfl.gov or postmarked by August 31, 2014 to P.O. Box 1788 Sanford, FL 32772, Attn: Christine Dalton, Historic Preservation Officer.
The City of Sanford Historic Preservation Board will choose the winners who will be notified in late September 2014.
Lisa Mosca, MPA
Public Information Officer
Office of the City Manager
City of Sanford
300 N. Park Ave.
Sanford, Florida 32771
Ph. 407.688.5019  Fax.407.688.5002
Visit us at : www.sanfordfl.gov    

The 4th Friday Artwalk in Sanford

And so it goes, another month sucked into the blackhole void of time, another month syphoned off as mundane history – how can it be that May 1st is upon us?
The days are wonderful, 80’s and nights are cool with starry skies. Lately the moon is on it’s “off” night schedule conflicting with the day. The sun of course dominates so it’s impossible to see my moon once the sun has fully risen.
I enjoyed spending the other night at the marina, ran into Bill Belleville and his sheltie, Buddy. He told me to look at his latest documentary trailer, so here’s the link — check it out.
Hidden  Secrets of Florida Springs  — very important to look at the health of our water supply. Being this is about our Florida, please watch!  http://equinoxdocumentaries.org/
Bill and I watched that big sun drift down into oblivion while chatting away as the night sky changed into pinks before fading out.  DSC09470bres  DSC09453b2res

Tonight was an easy stroll into the small crowds on the street.   Stopped by  The Welcome Center was and saw the latest artwork, it was a nice blend, easy to go through and move on.
My friends, Sean and Nadia Walker are going to move The Vine to another location. they are looking into 3 places. Such a nice, hardworking couple, I wish the best for them as they love living and working in Sanford. Their bar draws it’s own followers who enjoy the karaoke and themes and having a close camaraderie. They wish to have a kitchen as the one now is way too tiny to cook and prep with. I wish them well. I hope the Pub Crawl tonight went well, though I’m not a drinker so I don’t crawl around the pubs.

I did run into many of my art peeps at Jeanine Taylors, Gallery On First. They were having a showing of their artists who have artwork for under $100. There’s lots of fine art to study upon the walls and it was quite a display. I met a new
artist who is fresh and young and has a cool way of expressing herself, yep that’s Carissa Paige, mixed media artist under her unicorn mask:  IMG_1430ares  love her use of bright colors and interesting figures.  It read on her sheet that she has a lot of vintage clothing which she is going to incorporate into more of her art. I say go for it! Any self expression is always exciting for the rest of us to see. She’s a wonderful addition to the Gallery on First.  IMG_1423re  IMG_1426res  I was fascinated by the small Kodak she had on the shelf, IMG_1424bres  what a cool piece of equipment! Check out her artwork, it’s animated.
I ran into Joe Rosier who is a person so spread out I don’t know how he knows where he is at any given time. Joe is everywhere! If there is an art venue he’s “in”. Is he real or one of those shadow people who just pops out from nowhere?  IMG_1418are  That’s Joe on that paper I saw that at “Nifty” something, a resale store, (I forgot the full name of the store.)  Anyway, who do I run into ten minutes later? JOE! There he was at The Gallery.  He’s doing the Fringe Festival with his own show called,  3 Old Farts — R RATED,  Joe is so talented, an amazing actor so there is no doubt he’ll have an exciting stage show.  Google Fringe Festival to see the times and different events throughout the whole festival. There’s a lot to the Fringe, you should go one of the days just to enjoy the diverse talent we have here in Central Florida.  And looking around at the art on the walls at The Gallery On First,  I was in awe!  Ran right into Mary K. and she wasn’t even working, but was still there as part of the admiring crowd,  as was event photographer, G.K. Sharman who is always busy! You have an event, contact her –  http://www.gks-pix.com/       And why is it her hair always looks perfect? She has wonderful locks! Mine is subject to boredom and whimsy and I admit taking scissors sometimes and whacking portions off with good intentions, but not always good results.

Inside the inter-sanctum of the gallery were many of my  “artpeeps”  mingling and talking with each other, supporters and visitors. Kevin Abbott walked me over to his wall and OH — it was impressive! He and wife, Debe’s  art is always something to be admired. They are a dynamic team, both creating their own unique art styles and standing there looking, I felt this kinetic power let loose from inside each piece. Kevin’s smaller metal sculptures were strong visuals, he works in a few different mediums.  He had fashioned his own metal frames around these gorgeous pieces which were perfect. Debe’s framing too was the perfect vehicle in light wood and soft fabric to show off her small, but intricately colored and textured works.  Here’s some pics:  IMG_1433tres  IMG_1434res copy   IMG_1437res copy  IMG_1435a copy  IMG_1442res   Debe was not in the room so had to catch up with her later.
And of course, I always smile when greeted by Leon and Tom who are both wonderful and put up with me!  I like peeking into Tom’s art space to see what he has concocted.  Tom’s always got something that
has lots of motion to it.  IMG_1444a copy   IMG_1451res   The work seems like they should be spraying something in all directions!  You almost wait for them to
do something! Tom, you must make a fountain!  He’s one guy full of self propelled joy which seems to be part of his very nature and art. He’s always happy and energetic, full of constantly churning effervescence that makes everyone just adore him.  And Leon is always there somewhere close by  –I’m  loving Leon’s photography interests! Go for it Leon!

Stewart Jones small water colors were very lovely and enjoyed his rooster and one piece that looked like a Van Gogh style. I should have asked Stewart to take pics of his work, but next time I will. His art is always consistently well done.

And then, last but never least is Cherie Dacko whose work is fascinating just like Cherie!  Her mind is full of “Bent Realism” a twist on reality for sure. I love her work! (But I love all my peeps individual styles.) Her  mind is full of details that need to be reality challenged and she does it all too well! Cherie has a huge thought process going on — always enjoy seeing her latest and listening to her words of wisdom!
The work from everyone tonight was quite appealing – Cheri’s faces and figures are always always so exciting, I love the dimension inside her frames, the clothing pops out at you. One has  to smile as you take her “Bent Realism” to heart!  IMG_1446res  IMG_1449a copy
They will be having this exhibit through weekend and then carry it over to The Springhill Suites in Sanford just off I-4 on May 1 from 5-7, call the Gallery on First for further details, 407-323-2774

It was almost 9:30pm when I made my way home, I didn’t visit several of my friends, I must not spend so much time in one place! When I got home, I had made a seafood quiche in the afternoon and it was worth eating late for, though might regret later.  It was a fun night and I always learn so many things from my friends.  It’s great to be in a small nurturing town that loves their artists.  The art festival will be there shortly – GO GO GO, it will be an amazing art show, so many artists with many styles, that first weekend in May plan to get there one day during the weekend.
    Ok, here comes the laugh, I’m heading out to leave and pass The Willowtree and who is there sitting at a table by the sidewalk, Joe Rosier, I swear he’s a phantom!

Good night all! P/S, okay, it’s morning, I’m editing and have eaten more than half that quiche, my arteries are clogging slowly, Sasha is sneezing around me, the sun is blaring it’s hello and looking out the window I see one turtle on the island, I suspect they are all warmed up by now and heading for deeper water. And I bet if I go out and fish, they will eat my bait as always. Now I’m wondering if Joe will show up fishing on the other side of the bank…
to be continued… DSC09630-11res

Eclipse and Tetrads

Are there people today who feel these eclipses are a sign of the apocalypse? (maybe if you owe the IRS a lot you do), otherwise I find it sad that people would shutter and worry so much about a natural occurrence. The moon, my moon that I generously let all of you see, will be having a tetrad, eclipses 3 more times within the next 18months. I hope it’s earlier for others to be able to salivate over like I do.

Many times last night I went outside, clouds were roving fast, very dark clouds in between the white, thick puffs. Even as the moon rose, it took a good 20 minutes to see it and then longer till it breeched the lower haze that was masking it. The camera’s eye was driving me crazy as it burred so much while trying to pinpoint the moon. It was frustrating! When I finally went outside with tripod around 2:45am, I didn’t even noticed the moon was half eclipsed already as the clouds kept hovering over it. The color had not changed though yet, it grew slightly coppery, but added more and more color as the eclipse deepened. At one point a plane went by and I wondered how it would be to take photos from up there!

The mosquitos were tyrannical and kept biting my hands and tried for my face. I kept swatting and focusing. So excuse some of the amateur photos, but I encourage you to see an eclipse if you can,   http://www.space.com/25498-total-lunar-eclipse-photos-wow-stargazers.html     (watch past the stupid ad and it will show the eclipse)
It’s so awesome to watch such a natural spectacle that anything occupying space in your brain becomes non-existent, well, for me anyway, it’s like that always, especially at night.

Clouds will be moving in later as a front goes through, look forward to all my senses being filled with rain to replenish the budding plants and grass. Even knowing the hundreds and hundreds of baby grasshoppers will be ravaging my plants doesn’t concern me, this cycle of life will continue way after the earth has reduced me back to stardust…   Enjoy and look up and around! Don’t let life get in the way of something nature has to offer to make you smile and learn! Be good to our planet!

Photos span from beginning of moonrise till I went inside around 4:30am, don’t forget, tonight’s full moonrise will also be a beauty if you can see it, take in it’s beauty if you can and be “moonstruck” like me…


IMG_0036ares   IMG_0055b2res   IMG_0065re  IMG_0074a1res

IMG_0080a1are  IMG_0087abres  IMG_0099res  IMG_0120arre copy

IMG_0161e  IMG_0187Ares  IMG_0194ares  IMG_0201b1res

IMG_0194a1abres  and last, here’s my sweet niece, Kylie bouncing on moon till she’s worn herself out  IMG_6072akylie-1dstars2ares

Morning of Bill Belleville’s Talk

Ok, I’ve had over a month to prepare and I still have not gathered enough tenacity to take on a website so it’s you and me!

The morning is perfect, sunny, going to be in 80’s, I polished my nails, (a once every couple year occurance and all my work is
packed and ready to go. I know Bill’s speech on Celebrating The Wild Side of Florida  will be FAB as he is an excellent writer and you can get his books from his site or Amazon or even Maya’s Bookstore on First Street in Sanford. He will be unveiling his latest book today.


Anyway, I’m still in PJ’s so I have to get moving shortly, but here’s some of my work that will be for sale, contact me via email if
you have questions,  culusmus@yahoo.com  — you can also see and follow some of my work on  Theartstack.com  one of these days I will get a gallery going.


DSC07542amorywatercolor2res Canoe on foggy Morning   005a_edited-1Arenson400mgre  Crow and moon   ??????????????????????????????? The Black Swan

023a_edited-3PPArensonrest  Turtle and Lily   038arensonsunset-1rest  Daybreak 1   SONY DSC  Fish Looking Up

rainydaygarden2a-7GsatPPrest  Zebra Longwings   SONY DSC Anole in Orange  065a_edited-4d_edited-4blueres Dragonfly On Blue

049b_edited-1crop_edited-8bres Caravaggio inspired Narcissist  ???????????????????????????????  Iyla and friends  ??????????????????????????????? Hawk

063arensonres Eagle In Tree
So let me run and find some clothes and put on a “face” – AND MOST OF ALL, try and figure out my new cell phone, I got it a new one yesterday and darn if I know how to use all these apps and such, please don’t make me use it! I would rather live out life without a cell phone! AWK< maybe if I go early, one of the students will take pity on me and show me how to use my own phone…
Come on out and have a listen and look  IMG_5126ar   SONY DSC  That’s what my new card looks like, too bad it didn’t come in time…





March Mayhem

Woke up this morning to gulping sunshine! WOO, like bright liquid madness oozing with volcanic fire through the curtains.  It has been rather cloudy the past few mornings and forgot I left the verticals parted. I remedied that! And what’s with this stupid time change – lets keep it on daylight all year round! We Floridians are a lazy bunch, we could change this law just like Arizona – we just don’t get organized, write your “Rep” and demand a bill for daylight savings time year round!

It’s been a crazy 4 weeks! As stated in previous blog, my work is in the Maitland Library with Womens Caucus of Art Florida Chapter members and I thank them for including me.  Then suddenly last week, I was asked
by Filmmaker/author, environmentalist, Bill Belleville if I would like some exposure at the Seminole State College Library with my wildlife photos. Bill’s  giving a talk, “Celebrating the Wild Side of Florida” April 11th,building G, Concert hall at 12:30pm.   IMG_1958a  He thought we’d have good energy with wildlife on the Library walls, how lucky am I! MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Bill Belleville is devoted to the environment, every breath he takes is about what we can do to inform and educate the public about this natural gift. We have to protect it for generations while not bending to politicians, developers and  water companies so willing to exploit our natural resources for profit. He loves being in the “Walt Whitman” zone and thrives on every crevice nature has to offer. Bill takes groups on nature hikes and overnights, horseback riding and kayaking through the quiet, back roads and waterways, an appreciation for the “real” Florida that once was.  It’s all about preservation!
His latest documentary, “Alligator Princess”  about fellow conservationist, Michele Thatcher and her solo kayak trip on the Saint John’s River, looks quite intriguing, check it out.  a link please:  http://www.billbelleville.com/

Thanks to Biology Department’s, Dr. Debra Socci, for graciously letting me ‘litter’ the walls with wildlife. It’s a beautiful new Library, much bigger and brighter than the old one, There’s even a food vendor in the hallway to grab your sugar high before you hit the books, and computers.  The Library itself has a wonderful staff — I thank Karen Kaufman for all her help in assisting me and helping to move that ten foot gigantic ladder, handing me artwork, while trusting that I wasn’t going to crash down on her at any given moment!  (and become a star of iPhone laughable moments.)  So now both first and second story exhibition walls are filled with abbesworld art. I hope it will inspire students about their surroundings and especially attend the lecture and be part of the solution to making sure the environment IS a priority. Thanks again Bill and Dr. Socci, much appreciated!

Have a partial look: ???????????????????????????????   ???????????????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????   Here’s a few of them. I could have plastered that place from wall to with so much wildlife, I didn’t share turtles, clouds, sunsets, I even limited myself to one vulture picture, but I did add my old cat, Ringo, RIP my old fishing buddy — 064re  How lucky am I to have great nature and people always surrounding me!!!

This week though, as I muddle through paperwork getting taxes organized, swimming in a sea of Flip house and rental expenses and receipts, ???????????????????????????????  I find my next door neighbor Kim will be moving – I will really miss her and her dog Joey so much! You can’t take your great neighbors for granted, thank them, tell them how you appreciate them!  I haven’t given a thought as to running out in the morning in pj’s and  robe to photograph a sunrise or wildlife, nor thought about being a shadowy figure at night on both our properties when taking a moon shots. Now I have to wonder about the “new rules” how it will be with new neighbors who have informed Kim they are putting in a pool and have a big dog – (part mastiff is the rumor) that will require fencing the yard. I hope Trinket will respect the boundaries. Kim, you have been the ideal neighbor  after having ideal neighbors before you, (big hugs to Kristi and Andy and Drew!) I can only hope that the third time is the charm as they say.  Best of luck in your home, know I’ll see you soon. (she’s only moving about 10 houses away. I tell ya the people in our neighborhood love it and stay here.)

I must get back to tax work, it has to be organized by tonight so I can run it out tomorrow. And here I am getting quite distracted, from my window I can see the eastern end of turtle island is already growing in glowing shells, taking the sun I have blocked out this morning and basking in the pathos of thick light. From here I don’t see any clouds. Moon rise is this afternoon, have missed the moon lately.  Anyway, have a ‘fab’ week, if you’re in the area, please check out The SSC Library, Maitland Library, The Vine in Sanford, or grab Donuts in Donuts to go and see what’s on the walls up there too – after getting one of their delicious treats you will be hooked to fresh, homemade donuts! It’s going to be a wonderful wildlife day – in 70’s here, (have to brag!) and here’s a morning pic from my third eye as I sit here typing, the view: ???????????????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????

In Honor Of Women – Maitland Library through March – Womens Caucus For Art Florida Chapter Art Exhibit

First I must say that a few weeks ago Judith Segall asked if I wanted to contribute to the upcoming exhibit at Maitland Library for latest exhibit by WCAFL, (Womens Caucus for Art, Florida Chapter, )  entitled, “In Honor of Women” – of course I said yes!  This group, founded by Judy 20 years ago is one solid block of talented women.  I met Judy around 2006 when I was looking for an art group to join and this one was ripe with so many connections, both central Florida and nationally. Artists and ideas, conferences, & exhibits all over, it was a perfect place to start to learn how to advance my  picture hobby into exhibiting. I have learned so much from that experience. I must tell you how grateful I am to Judy for exposing me to so many avenues of art and to people of whom have made a difference in my life and I am so happy to have met them because of WCAFL,  (WCAFL.org)

One such person is Bonnie Sprung, curator and past WCAFL, President. Bonnie has a full plate 24/7 – you will find Bonnie all over and I mean it, she shows up everywhere with her art and her mother in tow. There’s hardly a venue around town that you don’t find Bonnie with her booth loaded with shirts, scarves, hats, knick knacks, etc etc. all displaying her art, and her adorable, smiling and proud Mom. Bonnie has a new line of paintings that have meaningful words hidden among brush strokes. Bonnie is responsible for putting together much of the art backgrounds for the local high school plays. I don’t think Bonnie sleeps, she must be mechanical! And today she whipped us all into shape, 58 pieces of art, 12 artists and she showed no mercy to the empty space at the Maitland Library. There’s a lot to take in, media includes quilts, photography,  and mixed media from abstract to nudes. Truly an exciting and diverse look at women artists. So please if you are passing by that part of town, go take a look.
I am including the list of artists and am giving you a preview of the artwork, though the light from the windows has thrown some of my photos off.
Artists included:
Gigi Croom
Judy Kaplin
Sally Sidner
Laura Monk
Janae Corrado
Ciera Hanna
Bonnie Dubbin Askowitz
Abbe Arenson
Kimme Prindle
Renee Wilson
Kathy Tran
Bonnie Sprung
Thank you WCAFL for honoring woman artists, women as subjects and women in general!

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????IMG_1094???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????IMG_1096  ok, for some reason wordpress is censoring me and will not let me add the partially clad women and has a few pics sideways and won’t rotate??? I’m perplexed, will work that out tomorrow…

Some ‘little birdies’ aren’t meant to fly…

I watched the herons the other day, as you might know, I had a heron sitting in last years leftover nest looking like it was going to be her home for the season. It was exciting watching  the interplay of 3 herons.DSC02344ares  A male and two females in two nests about 500 feet apart. But the male clearly had a preference for the female in the other nest in my neighbor’s yard as he had been spending all his time dismantling the nest in my yard. He came and went taking the twigs apart from the nest in my yard while my female stood and watched – she has been standing in that nest each morning as if waiting for the male to come and spend some time, but he doesn’t, he only comes to see what limbs and branches he can procure for his other lover. It’s rather

heartbreaking.  IMG_4786res  Here’s the female on the nest before it was taken apart. She’s loud and proud, and here she is several days later, on new years eve, looking for her past life, head down wondering what happened, or maybe that’s only me projecting….  DSC03152ares

She had watched hopelessly for days as he dismantled her home, it was depressing. Even now,  she still comes early, around 7:30 am and paces the branch where the old nest was, as if waiting for the male to rebuild a new nest. So far he has shown no interest in her desires.

My grand daughters came for X-mas with their daddy to stay a few days. Kira was napping, daddy was on the computer so Iyla and I ran out to play. We watched the herons fly over head.  DSC02371res   The male was very busy flying with large whooping and bossy wings that sounded like they pushed a lot of air around and mastered the wind.
Iyla said she wanted to be a bird and fly, so we headed for the “Boobie Tree” as she refers to the camphor tree where her swing hangs from a pretty high branch.  016a
The pink, plastic swing was forced into action as Iyla would cast out her arms to her sides in the wind and scream, declaring she was a birdie flying. Those tiny limbs  waving in pure joy. We laughed, sang songs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wrecking Ball, Roar and joked about a few of the lower branches kept trying to grab at the swing as if to slow her flight a bit. We were having a great time watching the birds, identifying the cardinals, woodpeckers,  IMG_5843ares    mockingbirds, listening to their chatter and the funny sounds  of squirrels conversing.  Crows seemed to be  multiplying in the treetops.    137c_edited-1res  010 (2)crow1-1res    “CawCawCaw” we shouted back as they flew from tree to tree. A cloud parade floated past by as I listened to Iyla’s  joyous laughter, it was making my heart swell!

I was letting my last push wind down so we could look for bugs WHEN THE ROPE SNAPPED OFF!!!  I watched in horror as a pink ejection seat fell to the ground about 10 feet from me, looking like a turtle with a pink shell on it’s back, legs flailed in the air,  where wailing had commenced. In a panic, I vaulted forward, taking the seat straps off quickly, taking note of any injuries. I noticed the plastic seat had broken with the fall, but was high and had actually buffered her neck and back. I was so scared there might be serious injuries, something sprained or broken:  arms, legs, fingers – but she was anxious to get out and hug me and cry, cry cry —  All was fine,  unscathed, thank goodness! I am still a mess over that sight of my grandbaby flying away into the grass with the broken knotted rope.  I suppose it might have traumatized her to not want to get on a swing again. The nightmarish visions haunt me — I didn’t protect her! I still see the “whatif” scenerios though. Aaron, her dad said kids are meant to get banged up doing things, he was totally forgiving, but how can I forgive myself for my negligence? Why didn’t I check that rope, though it held for at least about 15 minutes before it snapped —  Ohhhhh,  it gives me chills.
The Boobie Tree now has only a partial rope hanging down,  a line without a noose.  I just want to put both these tiny girls in a bubble till they are of legal age, consenting adults. My blood pressure is elevating thinking about them getting hurt at all. I wonder if they will always remember their grandmother Abbe always saying, “be careful,” “don’t eat so fast”,  “let me help you”. I uber worry about so many things now, what a responsibility caring for babies, how did I let my own children just be kids? Though I must add Adam, (30 years old) was going to the beach a few minutes ago and the last thing I said, “be careful, drive carefully”!
None of my kids ever had broken bones, except for Andrea, but she was an adult when she broke her foot. Aaron had a few concussions from wake boarding, can remember being in the emergency room  twice in the same week and the nurse remembered him and joked about his legs being so long and hanging off the table. I was calm back then, what has happened to my anxiety level?  IMG_5748
Why have I become such an old worry-wart?  Oy, the guilt! I still feel lousy about it and even see it in my dreams –
Iyla flying out of control in her swing to where?  016aiyla_edited-10res  Maybe it’s why I give her and her sister wings in many of my “abbstrax” pics – a scenario where she can fly away from bad things and situations.  005 (2)godZares2   I just want the world to treat babies well, if only.
The worst was when Iyla looked at me later, finger in mouth, IMG_5693bres  big, innocent, clear orbs looking at life from such a young perspective. We spoke about the bad swing, and the boobie tree, and she said, “I don’t want to fly and be a birdie, Abbe.” That hurt my heart, I told her she could fly in her dreams. She closed her eyes and smiled. When she’s here with me at night, I always tell her as she goes to sleep, she’s going to dreamland on the back of a bird.
She likes that, though lately she loves letting the youtube thunderstorm videos guide her into slumber. Ah, it’s hard to protect these little ones from harm. they all must fall and draw blood at some point, they must cut their teeth on reality, I only want this innocence to remain a while longer, long enough till I can see both girls grown and flying happily on their own…