Archive for the ‘camera’ Tag

The Return of the Prodigal   2 comments

At first I thought my failure to blog regularly was because my work situation has changed. I am now writing freelance from home. While it was one thing to come home from a day on my computer at the office and write a  blog, it was another thing to spend all day on my laptop  up in the loft, then come down to the living room and attempt a blog post.

But that wasn’t it. I realized it was the lack of pictures. You see, normally I’d be inspired by  something in the city or at the shopping center, think I must write about that, snap a photo or two, come home and write. But then, back in January…………..

……….. I lost my camera.

I searched everywhere: in every coat, under the car seat, in my gym bag, my pocketbook, in the kitchen drawer. You name it, I looked there. I was even beginning to think about getting a new phone so I’d have a camera, when……….

……………I found my camera.

The prodigal camera had returned! It was hanging out with some t-shirts in the t-shirt drawer! If I ate meat, I’d proclaim “Prepare the fatted calf ” or whatever it was that the father said when his prodigal son returned. Instead…………..

………….. I charged the camera and started snapping shots .

Ready for an update on the house of Mars?

Marble has calmed down somewhat. He’s two years old and now that it’s summer, he’s content to sit on a little blue rug I bought at the dollar store to wipe my feet on when I come in. The cast of characters changes DSCN1877

After breakfast… with The Brothers

DSCN1884 with Marcel

DSCN1890Alone at last

Then there’s the garden. If you recall, I started  tomatoes and cucumbers from seed. Two cuke seedlings emerged, and 23 tomatoes. Not having space for that many tomatoes, I put them up for adoption and ended up with 5 for myself. Well, 2 died, and the cukes got eaten by groundhogs. The tomatoes are doing well They are the kings of the vegetable garden……

DSCN1880…….Ruling over 2 eggplants. 2 squash, 4 yellow pepper plants

I tried to rise above it, but I can’t. I have to point out, that’s not my shed.

DSCN1882Mine is pretty

So that’s what’s going on in the House of Mars. I’m enjoying this summer so much, writing on the deck is like not working at all.

DSCN1878

So be prepared for more blogs from The House of Mars!

DSCN1881

Key West:The Bucket Springs a Leak or Two   2 comments

I had all the bases covered, or so I thought.

The Mars were taken care of:

  • Marcos had reservations at the kennel.
  • My friend and neighbor, Alison was going to stop in at The House of Mars each day to feed Marcel and Marceau and
  • I, V Margaret had everything booked – plane tickets, airport parking, rental car, and hotel.

I was finally checking off #1 on my bucket list of places to visit –  Key West. I wasn’t going there directly, though. My itinerary called for me to fly to Orlando, pick up my rental, then drive to Sebring to spend the weekend with my friend, Selena who’d moved there from NY.

Itching to Get There

  If I had to pick a location I’d say the itching began somewhere over Virginia. Without looking up from my book, I  absent-mindedly scratched my left leg, the same as I did on the right side of my face, along my jaw bone. It wasn’t until the index and middle finger of my right hand cried out for attention that I noticed the tiny blister-like rash on the insides of each finger.  I had weeded my garden the previous day, and the location of the finger rash jibed with my method of pulling weeds. N-o-o-o-o-o-o, it couldn’t be, not on my vacation – in the sun – in shorts, in a bathing suit  – n-o-o-o-o-o. Not poison ivy!

I decided to ignore it, and luckily, picking up a rental car in Orlando provides lots of distraction. If you’ve ever rented a car at Orlando you’ll know what a huge process that is – more rental counters than I’ve ever seen, housing rental companies I’d never heard of. And the lines! They were almost as long as the check in lines at Kennedy. Once you’ve signed the papers, you’re on your own finding your car among all the others parked in the two levels of “The garage across the way.” Armed with only a level letter and a parking space number, and the assurance – “your keys are in the car” I found my black Mazda 3 and was soon on  my way. The intense concentration brought on by the scarcity of roadside lights punctuated by distant strikes of lightning and intermittent rainfall kept the itching of my face at bay. I was proud of myself, I made the trip in ninety-five minutes and didn’t get lost once – unless you count passing Selena’s street – twice, and her house once. But like I said – it was dark.

Picture This. No Don’t.

Saturday, after a day at the pool,  where Selena  pointed out that I had a rash on my face) I got the camera out of my suitcase. I had actually remembered to bring it; not always the case! I wanted to take a picture of Angela, Selena’s wide-eyed tortoise-shell cat. She is a slim beauty and I wanted to shame Marceau with it. At eighteen pounds, and holding, he makes three of the dainty Angela.

I pushed the power button as I tiptoed over to the lanai where she was lounging on her very own chaise longue. Nothing happened, the lens remained collapsed within the camera.  I pressed it again .Still  nothing. This wasn’t happening! I’d just bought this camera in April. It had been working fine. I’d charged it for the first time just before my past blog entry, right after the shot I’d included of the driveway from hell. Based on the fresh charge I’d decided not to bring the charging cord since with the cellphone charger and the lap top power cord I had all the cables I wanted to pack.

Okay Picture it Now

I’m not sure which is worse, forgetting the camera of making a bad decision. One that resulted in no photos to post from my bucket list vacation. But look at it this way, you get to use your imagination.

Are you  ready?

  • Three nights of  fabulous sunsets along the waterfront in Old Town section of  Key West where it’s  a must for all tourists to gather and applaud the fiery orange orb as it drops into the ocean.

The bizarre characters who gather in the last rays to entertain for donations –

  • zebra-striped-leotard wearing man with the matching bathing cap who swallowed fire;
  • the hula-hooping juggler making his way along a makeshift tight rope;
  • the golden retriever in surfer shorts  who collected dollar bills and placed them in a bucket while his seedy-looking owner, a  Jimmy Buffett wannabe sang of margaritas and cheeseburgers.

I’m not sure I would have taken any pictures of any of them  but at least I’d have had the choice if the    #&%*^?! camera worked.

And on my last  day when I visited Ernest Hemingway’s House I’d have shown you t he slew of six-toed cats who mugged for the other people’s cameras  and Hemingway’s above-the-garage writing studio. I could have kept a photo of it by my laptop for inspiration.  But no, I had to settle for watching other people take my photos with cameras that actually worked.

Full Force

Lest you think I’d actually managed to ignore my poison ivy into submission, let me mention that by Sunday evening, the right side of my face resembled that of an acne-stricken  fourteen year old in the dermatologist’s waiting room. But at least there were no blisters. No, those came out on Monday  morning  on the  insides of my the afore-mentioned fingers, twins, resembling two huge red grapes, facing each . Did you ever try hold a fork  with two grapes separating your fingers? I became a very clumsy lefty, keeping my right hand out of sight lest waiters and shop clerks thought I had a flesh-eating condition.

While I was Gone

The first thing I did the morning after returning home was to see if I’d kept the receipt for the camera. I had. The second was to see if it needed charging. It did. The third thing was to find out if it worked. It did.  So here I was all charged up and nowhere to go. And in my backyard were the flowers that had bloomed with no audience

Oh well.  I can’t share Key West with you but I can share what happened at home while I was gone:

Lilies loomed.

Roses rose.

Red Hot Pokers poked.

Astilbes feathered.

Veronica hung out with Daisy.

And just what you’ve been waiting for:

My Fingers Armed themselves for a return  to the scene of the crime.