RWA: ROMANCE and the KITCHEN . . . ANTS

RWA: ROMANCE and the KITCHEN . . . ANTS

The House of Gail

Prologue

Romance Writer’s of America does it right. A conference in Orlando with all the magic moments, including a trip to Disney. Have you ever been to a conference that had entertaining and enlightening speakers, topped off with twinkling lights and fireworks from your hotel balcony every night? It was spectacular. Until the invasion of the . . . ants!

Chapter 1

Odorous House Ants (hardened honey)

Holy cow! Ants crawling all over me, all over the car, all over our stuff. So tiny I thought they were little spiders, squishing them with my fingers, the critters were so fast, I didn’t have time to take off my shoe to swat, hand swipe was the only way. One kept wriggling. I put on my glasses and saw they were ants. Oh no, not good news. When you see one, you can be sure there are hundreds. Did they build a colony in my car? OMG, this is serious.

Chapter 2

White napkins and ant trap

Fumigate, and we all die. I didn’t have bug spray anyway. Two whole days to get home in the car with these crawly things. Google check. You need Terro Ant Traps and no matter what, don’t let the liquid in the traps spill, it’s sweet and a mess to clean up. We’d have to find a Home Depot, which would hold up our trip. Vacuum the car. If you think we could find a car wash that would vacuum the suckers up, forget it. Just go home and suffer. No more eating in the car. Kitchen ants in a car, what a dilemma.

Chapter 3

We’re home, it’s dark, now what? All the luggage, what to do? OK, I got it. Lay out a white sheet on the driveway (No taking the car into the garage), put everything in the car on the sheets and tiny black ants are now all over the sheet. Sprayed them. My neighbor appeared and said, bring the luggage up to the deck and leave overnight. They’ll scatter . . . She looked me in the eye and asked, won’t they? She didn’t really know, I didn’t know, Tom didn’t know. I can’t spray bug spray on the soft luggage, all the clothes will get damaged. We wiped everything down, should have wiped with alcohol, but didn’t think of it. Wiping with a paper towel didn’t really do it. We brought in one piece of luggage at a time. Looked okay. Next morning . .

Chapter 4

Ants on the kitchen counter from what we thought were cleaned suitcases.

Terro

Well, it’s official, now we have kitchen ants in our kitchen. Called our Terminex Pest Control. We are customers for over ten years, but no priority, they can’t get to us until Friday. This is Tuesday. You have to be kidding me. No joke. We used bleach cleaner for the counter, wow, that was a good idea anyway, great way to clean granite. Ants seemed to vanish. Put six of the Terro traps on the floor around the kitchen island, and other areas. They may be in hiding. We didn’t use any food, didn’t prepare any meals, sandwiches from Costco come in handy. It was morning when we laid out two white napkins on the counter. We put a trap on one white napkin to see them easily. It’s night now, no ants. I’ll let you know results in the morning, bugs seem to play in the night.

So, what’s happening with the car? I thought you would never ask.

Chapter 5

This car looks innocent, but something lurks behind those doors.

Detailed the car interior, about $100 (these ants are expensive). They found ants running up and down inside the door edges. They vacuumed them away. Got home with the car, sprayed indoor/outdoor bug spray on the doors, and set two Terro traps on the floor of the car. If there is a colony, they will eat the sweet stuff, bring it to their home and poof, they are gone. Colony will be dissipated.

Chapter 6

Rotting tomatoes

Why did this happen? Guess what folks? Cleaning the car, when we first got home from the RWA conference, revealed a rotten tomato, ugh. Disgusting. Shopping for produce before Florida, we never noticed that one of the tomatoes had rolled under the seat. The tomato cooked in the Florida heat. Those were happy ants. We never noticed crawly things until our trip home. Finally home, at sunset.

The End

Epilogue

It’s the next day . . . nary a sign of ants . . . God is good all the time!!!

Got home in time to witness this sunset at Trader Joe’s to pick up milk for the morning.

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

 

 

 

FIREWORKS

FIREWORKS

fwFireworks fwFireworks-History-Gear-Patrol-Lead- fwfourth-of-july-fireworks-statue-of-liberty fw1Fireworks fw4th_fireworks sofliberty fw0701_fire_crop fw1024px-Artilleryshells1 fw1024px-Hogmanay_Party fw1024px-Miamifireworks fw1280px-1_epcot_illuminations_2010 Inspired by the fireworks, and my painting project of Coney Island, I’m writing a few memories. Those fireworks bring back more than my youth at the beach. They bring up the history of our freedom and the celebration of it all.

Enjoy this reblog. It was the mid-20th century, Tuesday night. The day and sunshine used up . . . riding, swimming, volleyball, handball. Time to cuddle on a beach blanket. Uh oh, wait a minute . . . did I say cuddle? No, it was time to watch the fireworks. Didn’t you say that’s what you were doing Tuesday night after a day at the beach? Who watched the fireworks? Did I? Did you? With my friends in many summers — I did watch the fireworks, a privilege of living close to Brooklyn’s Coney Island, a short train ride away from where I lived in Boro Park. Coney Island was the last stop! The sky was filled with color. The sounds filled the air with the fragrance of the fireworks powder wafting under our noses, magical. No one knew where to find anyone. Maybe on the sand, maybe on blankets, maybe in shadows under the boardwalk. That’s what Tuesday night was about. After a full day of fun, we all hung around to enjoy each other and the venue.

What started this thing called fireworks? The earliest records of fireworks dates back to 7th century China where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound and to pray for happiness and prosperity.

America’s earliest settlers brought their enthusiasm for fireworks to the United States. Fireworks and black ash were used to celebrate important events long before the American Revolutionary War. The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of all festivities. In 1789, George Washington‘s inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today.

In 2004, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, pioneered the commercial use of aerial fireworks launched with compressed air rather than gunpowder. The display shell explodes in the air using an electronic timer. The advantages of compressed air launch are a reduction in fumes, and much greater accuracy in height and timing.

The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States.

NOW: Friday Night Fireworks – Luna Park in Coney Island lunaparknyc.com/events/friday-night-fireworks-5/

Luna Park, Coney Island

Join Coney Island for Friday Night Fireworks. The show starts at 9:30pm every Friday night during the season. Friday Night Fireworks start the last weekend in June and conclude the Friday before Labor Day. Friday Night Fireworks are brought to you by the Alliance for Coney Island.

Who doesn’t love to see and hear fireworks? What do you think of fireworks?

Thanks to Wikipedia for all the links. Below, is the link to Independence Day, but all are Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_%28United_States%29

CONEY ISLAND: VISIONS FROM THE BOARDWALK

CONEY ISLAND: VISIONS FROM THE BOARDWALK

Boardwalk bench

Boardwalk bench

A visit to Coney Island in 2010 and hundreds of photos later, I began painting the Wonder Wheel while studying portraits with my friend, and portrait artist, Laurel Stern Boeck. Laurel said, “You grew up in Coney Island, you love it, why don’t you paint images as an art project?” I took her suggestion and ran with it. Half a hundred paintings later, Susan Gilgore, Director of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, invited me to exhibit my work at the museum. My project will be installed on July 9, 2016. Art bash to be held on Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Crowded beach

Crowded beach

A sultry day in Brooklyn, you can see the heat rise up from the streets, you can smell the heat, it’s like dancing in a frying pan. Kids in my day didn’t open up fire hydrants, they gathered their friends and bathing suits and went to the beach. A walk across the street, climb the stairs and catch the train (BMT) to the beach. Coney Island, Surf Avenue—last stop.

Custard cone

Custard cone

On the walk from the train station, we stopped for nothing, the quest for sea and sand took precedent. Later, on our way home, came the fun foods, a bite of Nathan’s hot dogs, Chow Mein on a roll and sugary cotton candy that melted in your mouth. Custard with sprinkles; piled high on a cone, you couldn’t lick fast enough as it dripped down your arm.

Picture booth

Picture booth

We paid frequent visits to Coney Island, at first mostly to visit my grandma. I fell in love with this playland, this dreamland, a place of make-believe and fantasy, like imagining being Cinderella.

Cyclone ticket booth

Cyclone ticket booth

My friends loved the famous Cyclone, a ride I dared to take. The ride moved me to frightening frozen tears. Never again, twice in my lifetime was twice too many. We took pictures of ourselves in picture booths, went to the freak shows, the house of wax, the animal nursery, restaurants—like Child’s on the boardwalk—rifle ranges, push cart rides and parades.

Washington Baths pool

Washington Baths W. 21st big pool That’s me somewhere in there.

I swam in the briny Atlantic, bobbled floating over the waves, cooled off and played under the boardwalk, and watched the fireworks on Tuesday nights. I belonged to Washington Baths where I swam in a huge salt-water pool, dived from the low diving board. No one complained about stinging eyes from the chlorine, but mine were sure red after all those hand stands under water. I sunned myself on the private beach. When I got there in the mornings, I left my friends on the beach, donned my glove and played blackball on the Washington Baths handball courts. The experienced, intelligent men were super competitive. I did well, but I think those seniors went easy on me; they kept calling me pretty girl. Hmm, I wonder?

I will never forget the polio scare. Kids were dropping, and we all thought we were going to get sick. I didn’t, and none of my friends got sick. We were lucky. The Polio scare didn’t deter us, we kept on coming to Coney Island.

Finally in 1952, I got the Salk vaccine.

My Coney Island paintings can be viewed at www.gailingis.com.

Freak show

Freak show

I WRITE, and I PAINT!

I WRITE, and I PAINT!

I write, and I paint. Is it possible to do both? Really?

Wonder Woman 1942

Wonder Woman 1942 ( I used to own these, mom made me throw out all my comic books. Imagine?)

The Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

The Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

Comic book visuals that captured the hearts of America, mystified me. My pencil crossed the blank page pulling lines to create yesteryear’s super heroine, Wonder Woman. I don’t remember coloring the pictures. It would have had to be crayon, so I just used my pencil.

I sketch on location. Like my long time architect friend, Stephanie Bower. She takes groups all over Seattle, Italy, Hong Kong, Asia, and more. She teaches sketching and makes perspective easy. A great tool for drawing is her new book, Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective: She says in her book,  How does perspective work? And where is that darn vanishing point? Understanding Perspective helps you bridge the theoretical world of Perspective concept with the real world of on site sketching. Stephanie shows you how in her book and online with her Crafty classes video.

Where is writing in this creative world of mine?

I didn’t get to choose between writing and painting until I decided to paint Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite. Captivated by how the painting came to life, although told as fiction, this true romance, Indigo Sky, is based on Bierstadt’s journey.

After extensive studies and writing workshops, I realized that I could never get this book written while I was still painting. My writing hijacked me, and held me prisoner until the ‘end.’ The time flew by.

Metaphors and similes, the tools serious writers need made a difference, I learned and I loved writing . . . Truly!!!

indigoSky-Soulmate-805_805x1275-2

Indigo Sky

Invitation to Gail's Art Bash and book signing-Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM

Invitation to Gail’s Art Bash and book signing-Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM

Suspended . . . Coney Island painting project. The beach, Washington Baths, swimming, blackball, cool sand under the boardwalk, with friends watching Tuesday night fireworks, Nathan’s hotdogs, French fries and steamed corn.

Today’s blog sees the culmination of my book and my Coney Island project. Indigo Sky is published as an Amazon eBook, and will be out in paperback and audiobook by August.

Coney Island project to be installed at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum on July 9, 2016. An art bash and book signing exhibition is forthcoming on Thursday, September 8, 2016. An invitation is at the left.

Knowing that I can’t write and paint simultaneously, my dilemma is to choose. Like notable American novelist Peter Selgin says, “It’s like choosing between two lovers.” One is like a water sprite leaping from rock to rock in a babbling brook—delightful, delicious and delectable. The other is serious, elusive with thoughts examining and imagining experiences and occasionally describing them.

Drawing a breath, is like drawing a line. My passion for painting and drawing is like breathing. My tools . . . pencil, paintbrush, and sketchbook are indispensable, like my morning coffee.

Choose writing, and I become a thinking machine. It’s difficult to raise up a world of words that express traits in my characters. My readers ask that I keep writing. I am torn, and still sketching and painting. My writing is waiting.

FANTASY OF FIREWORKS

FANTASY OF FIREWORKS

fwFireworks fwFireworks-History-Gear-Patrol-Lead- fwfourth-of-july-fireworks-statue-of-liberty fw1Fireworks fw4th_fireworks sofliberty fw0701_fire_crop fw1024px-Artilleryshells1 fw1024px-Hogmanay_Party fw1024px-Miamifireworks fw1280px-1_epcot_illuminations_2010 Inspired by the fireworks, and my painting project of Coney Island, I’m writing a few memories. Those fireworks bring back more than my youth at the beach. They bring up the history of our freedom and the celebration of it all.

Tuesday night is here again. The day and sunshine used up . . . riding, swimming, volleyball, handball. Time to cuddle on a beach blanket. Uh oh, wait a minute . . . did I say cuddle? I meant to say time to watch the fireworks. Didn’t you say that’s what you were doing Tuesday night after a day at the beach? Who watched the fireworks? Did I? Did you? The Coney Island sky is filled with fireworks color and the sounds of fireworks filled the air. No one knew where to find anyone. Maybe on the sand, maybe on blankets, maybe in the shadows under the boardwalk. That’s what Tuesday night was about. We all hung around so we could do our Tuesday night thing. Was it romantic? Was that what Tuesday night was, romance on the beach? Yeah!

What started this thing called fireworks? The earliest records of fireworks dates back to 7th century China where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound and to pray for happiness and prosperity.

America’s earliest settlers brought their enthusiasm for fireworks to the United States. Fireworks and black ash were used to celebrate important events long before the American Revolutionary War. The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of all festivities. In 1789, George Washington‘s inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today.

In 2004, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, pioneered the commercial use of aerial fireworks launched with compressed air rather than gunpowder. The display shell explodes in the air using an electronic timer. The advantages of compressed air launch are a reduction in fumes, and much greater accuracy in height and timing.

The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States.

Who doesn’t love to see and hear fireworks? What do you think of fireworks?

 

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