Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sometimes Blogger Stinks!

You know that post that Sparky talked briefly about the Winn Dixie ad and fuel perks and her crappy cooking? Which has now been deleted because it looked so awful when it published...There was a cute photo of a dog named "Sparky".  Sparky, the dog, was experiencing gas from the dog food, and the headlines read, "Now, Sparky's dinner give you gas".…..Sparky thought the whole picture was there when she published! Darn that Blogger! It was really cute! Oh, well….But wait…Where there's a will, there's a way…A picture of a picture…..And Eldo reassures everyone that Sparky's cooking isn't really THAT bad…Right, honey?  Eldy? Now where did he go?

What's new, Sparky?  Sparky has been busy subbing….First grade…yikes! Second grade, YEAH!…Cute kids, one special class that Sparky keeps getting asked back to sub in and they are in love with Sparky. Sparky loves them right back. How could you not love a class that when they walk in the door, every single time they see you, it's "MRS. SPARKS! THE BEST SUB EVER! OUR FAVORITE SUB! YAY!" Then they told me, "We took a vote, Mrs. Sparks. Everybody voted for you except Lee. " That's ok, Lee….He's a sweetheart, too, and he felt bad for the other sub who didn't get any votes except for his lone vote of confidence. They have so much enthusiasm, it wears Sparky out by the end of the day. Sparky will be back in their classroom this coming Friday….Full moon this week…four day long weekend for the kids with M.L.King's birthday on Monday, and teacher training on Tuesday. They were bananas! But we had fun…

Sparky has been playing pickle ball at least once a week….LOVE LOVE LOVE this game…Great exercise, not as much chance of injuring something as it is a shortened up court game that combines a smaller  than a tennis size court with a ping pong type squarish paddle, a wiffle type ball, doubles play instead of singles play, fast reflexes and lots of strategy on where you should place your ball and how you play. Sparky is hoping it will keep her mind a teeny bit sharper having to keep score (which is a little different in pickelball), and keeping track of that fast moving ball. The only problem is, after playing an average of three hours at one time, Sparky can hardly walk for the next 24 hours, she's so sore. It's that all or nothing mentality--play like a weekend warrior!

What else have we been doing or thinking about doing?…Looking ahead to visiting with Pam and Vic Matthews (Big EZ Travels) in the near future, seeing our friends Ritchie and Nick Boersma who are snowbirds, who are in the Orlando area, Sparky's GOT get her kayak into the water, Sparky's best friend is coming the last couple of days of January, and there is lots of stuff going on in Sarasota and Bradenton during the tourist high season, which is now.

Like the six painted pianos that were placed in and around downtown Sarasota this week…..It's part of a public art project. Six spinet pianos were decorated by seven local artists, and outfitted with dehumidifiers to help them deal with Sarasota's humidity. From now until the end of May, you can tickle the ivories, but please don't play "Chopsticks", which is PROBABLY what the local merchants wish when someone sits down at a piano in front of their shop.

Sparky had five years of piano lessons, but do you think she could play anything if she sat down at one of these? Did anything come to mind? Nope! She hasn't touched a piano since 1964, so that's probably part of the problem. The other part is that when taking lessons, Sparky did NOT practice diligently each week, but relied on learning the music by ear, so reading the music is much harder for her. But she sure wished she could have sat down and knocked something out to impress Eldy. The artist happened to be at the circus piano he painted but we didn't get a chance to talk to him. What a cool thing to see and hear and interact with on the street today!

This piano, painted by local artist Jack Dowd, is located in front of Mattison's City Grille. It is decorated with famous musicians who left us too soon….
A lady came and sat down at one of the pianos while we were walking around town today in the beautiful weather, and darned if she didn't whip out her iPad, which had her music on it, and she started to play…not just any little ditty of a song, but a complex piano concerto of some sort. It was BEAUTIFUL! And what a treat to just be walking around town, and hear an impromptu concert outside on the sidewalks of Sarasota! If you head over to Facebook, Sparky posted a short video of this lady playing if you're interested. It's on Sparky's timeline…She was very very good!
Sparky was on a mission to see all six. Unfortunately, because it was a holiday today, two of the pianos were housed in shops for the day and inaccessible to the public. But we managed to see four in all….
in front of Louie Modern
The pianos are supposed to be in the following locations if anybody local is interested in seeing them: In front of Madison's City Grille, Main Street Traders, and Bohemian Bliss Boutique--all on Main Street, in front of Louie's Modern Restaurant on Palm Avenue, at the corner of DiFilippo Kent Gallery on Palm Avenue, and in front of the Sarasota Opera House on Pineapple Ave. These are all in downtown Sarasota within a short walking distance of each other. And if you must, you can play "Chopsticks" or that other piano duo favorite, "Heart and Soul".

See you later…….


  1. What a neat idea to have pianos around town for people just to stop and play.

  2. Oh my what a wonderful idea!

    Our local hospital has a grand piano in the lobby, and when I was there for days on end, I could hear people stopping to play on it. Sometimes I would wander down and sit in the lobby just to have an impromptu concert start up for the patients enjoyment!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  3. I think that is so cool. Seen that in other places too. I took piano lessons for years as a pre-teen, but do you think I could remember anything? :-)

  4. I saw a You Tube video of a little boy that sat down at one of these "open" pianos and began playing Mozart. Amazing! P.S. you are brave walking into a classroom ... have fun!

  5. You two definitely are in paradise. Love all your pictures, especially the birds. We're still at Galveston Bay RV, will be here til the end of Feb., probably. The park is being expanded by 91 sites, many of them on the bayou. Ducks and parrots are still here, peacocks are not. They think one got eaten by the gators that were in one of the ponds, which were later removed by wildlife control. The other two just sort of disappeared.
    Miss you two.