Monday, November 24, 2008

Where to Begin?

It sure has been a week! So much has happened that I'll try to capture some of the highlights for you; gratefully I mention that the lowlights were almost non-existent.

Tuesday Angela helped me fill all forty bags with sand and candles for the walkway luminaries. We wheeled them out front for a practice run making sure there were enough. I was lucky to find some white lunch bags and Target and votive candles in glass at Old Time Pottery. We brainstormed about the table and got a little start there. Bruce never traveled out of state last week (I know, can you believe it?), so he worked on making the yard look excellent. He also purchased and put together a fire pit for the back because our chilly spell has lingered. We are going to love it for sure.

Matt arrived on Wednesday afternoon after a brief (translate--fun) stay in Atlanta. Stopping on the way home we picked up the tuxedos for both Matt and Jonathan with good results. I'd spent the day making two kinds of chili for the rehearsal dinner which worked out beautifully because he was starving upon arrival.

Thursday morning, more preparations for the party. Which led to this:

During the rehearsal I found out that Bruce and I were to walk up the altar steps and yours truly given the honor of lighting one of the parent candles; during the ceremony Michelle and Dave were to each take one candle and light the center candle in unison. I'd not heard the first thing about it until then, giving me a moments pause, primarily because I'm so unused to wearing both heels, and a long gown, I was afraid I might mess up. As well, visions of lighting my wrap on fire occurred. Because I told you at the outset there were minimal lowlights you know we pulled it off!

While we were practicing Angela and Regina were busily getting all the food out and lighting about fifty candles. It was just getting dusk when we returned home and everything looked beautiful. What a blessing to have neighbors to count on.

Earlier in the day Matt made the DVD with the photos I'd scanned. He put it all together only to discover that his mother did not have any blank DVDs--duh!! Fortunately stores are just a mile away for those pesky last minute details. As you can imagine it was a great hit. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the clean up began. Bruce went to pick Carol up at the airport with her arrival creating quite a stir. She always brings lots of energy with her.

Friday found me finishing the clean up and getting a manicure and pedicure with Carol. Our man about London had been sporting a beard for several years now but with the wedding pictures on the horizon he shaved taking about five years off his appearance. I'm not sure if anyone would guess he is all of 32! I picked up Mr. Roger's speedlight and an apparatus to hold the camera on the way to taking him for a haircut. We've been putting the new car to good use. Tijuana Flats for dinner, a shower, and facial mask for me. Wouldn't you know it--a blemish right below my left eye with a budding cold sore to go along with it.

Matt was kind enough to give his parents their beauty sleep picking Jonathan and Alissa up after midnight. I never even heard them arrive.

The wedding day finally arrived. Jonathan forgot to pack undershirts and his mother needed waterproof mascara, so once again a quick trip to the stores. On to the beauty salon for me. Michelle requested I do something fun with my hair, as any good mother in law would do, I booked an appointment with Ken. Sitting down I had no idea how I would leave the salon, but it was a safe bet it wouldn't be with my usual bob. An hour and a half later I left with an updo--my first (I think) since homecoming in 11th grade. With my white blouse and jeans the family was a little unsure at first, but donning the gown did wonders for the look. Amazingly, we all got ready with no problems, and off we went. Did I mention that Matt served as our personal stylist, making suggestions on vest tightening, hair and makeup? Bruce remained cool and calm throughout, looking dashingly handsome in his tuxedo.

Happiness was in the air when we arrived. Pat and Ruth both looked wonderful. I'll take this moment to describe one of the only lowlights--during the wonderful reception Pat was taking his seat after tearing up the dance floor at the same time Carol was pulling the chair out. The result was a nasty bump to his head, which not only scared him, but hurt awful bad. I was so disappointed that they had to leave early!!! Carol talked to him yesterday and apparently all is well, thank goodness.

I've gotten a little ahead of myself. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride and groom even more so. Alissa greeted people at the door after which she was seated on the second row with us. She managed to get some photos of the ceremony and here is one of them:

The gown was spectacular. Really, the wedding was magical in every sense. The candle lighting went off without a hitch, and surprising us was the inclusion of thanks to their parents, and a presentation of a single rose to the moms. It was enough to make everyone cry! Bill looked so stoic, but as it turns out, it was his effort not to cry while listening to me behind him!

Speaking of whom, Mr. Bill gave a beautiful, heart felt speech about not only his relationship with Dave, but welcoming Michelle to our family. This too brought tears to many eyes, which truth be told, is doing so to mine as I type. The closeness of most identical twins cannot easily be put into words, typically however, it is one of the closest human relationships possible. Touchingly he referenced their wonderful father, my darling husband Bruce, as their guide through life.

Here is Miss Gail crying while dancing with David to "I Hope You Dance."

David was so happy, finally able to shed the gloom that his job has been draping over him for months,dancing the night away, as did we all. I can't tell you what a beautiful job Michelle did putting it all together, planning every detail down to a special vegan meal for Matt. Of whom I must mention brought the house down with his dancing! Oh my, were we all entertained! When I spoke to David briefly yesterday he was raving about it. Michelle was taking a much needed nap to recover. They left this morning for their week at Disney.

There are so many other wonderful things to share, but I suspect this one dose will suffice for today. Thank you for your well wishes for our son and his beautiful bride.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baby it's Cold Outside

Last week the news was the heat--today it is the cold. That's Florida November weather for you. The cold front came through on Saturday evening, lowering the temperatures by more than 20 degrees. Bruce left the house at 7:15 Sunday morning to begin the set up. He was dressed in shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt with a denim shirt as a jacket. While loading the Element he decided that 45 degree weather required at least the addition of a sweater over the t. Trading his flip flops for tennis shoes, he took off early because Dana had requested that everyone be set up by 9:45 which we made by a few minutes. BTW--he endured much teasing from everyone about his shorts.

The mayor was scheduled to be at the market promptly at 10 to lend support for a Spinal Cord Injury fund raiser and Dana wanted to show it off. Up he waltzed to my booth first (because I've got a primo space at the entrance), eventually making his way to all 60 vendors to say hello. People gathered early to take part in the walk around the lake to support the charity. Promptly the market emptied, never really getting very busy all day. Remember that cold start? Later on the weather was gorgeous; a little crisp with glorious blue skies. I suspect the food and wine festival on the other side of the lake did nothing to help our cause! Nonetheless I did alright.

Driving a MINI Cooper is a lot of fun, but there are aspects of it which are not. We have many streets paved in brick which I'd learned to avoid because it was so bumpy in the baby car. I now feel as if I'm gliding down those streets in the new car. I'm really happy with my choice.

While I was plying my wares Mr. Bruce was hard at work in the back yard to spruce things up. He pressure washed the patio and put down to date 16 bags of mulch. The weather for the rehearsal dinner should be perfect for outdoor entertaining. He filled all the torches and put twinkly lights in a large palm. I couldn't wait to get home to see how things looked. At nightfall it looked lovely. I still need him to put the leaf in the table; I knew how to do it in the old table (not that I could do it because of the weight) however I've no idea how the new table works. It is stored under that table rather than under the bed!

The plans for the house decorations are coming along after a few shopping trips. I'm thinking Angela will help me tomorrow afternoon after I return from the museum.

Matt arrives on Wednesday! Happy day! Carol arrives on Thursday and Jonathan and Alissa get in on Friday night. Jonathan has a business trip to Boston this week, returning Friday in time to catch his flight to Orlando. I suspect these are going to be busy, busy days.

I'm still waiting for Roger to finish the gift. Once it is all hung I'll show it off.

The image today is from a small lake nearby aptly named Emerald Lake.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Party to Plan

Wednesday night I went over to Ginger to attend a trunk show from an up and coming Orlando designer. Aimee expressed concern that the attendance wouldn't be that good so I went to show my support. Realizing that I'd be just a few blocks from Knowles Chapel, the site of the wedding next Saturday, I decided to take my tripod along and photograph it at night. I was really hoping to include the nearly full moon, alas, that was impossible. Clouds, not to mention trees, prevented that from happening. It's no secret that people look at you funny when you are carrying a tripod around. Oh yeah, about the trunk show--there were more than enough ladies.

Our party is next Thursday night. I started getting serious about it yesterday calling Angela over for a brainstorming session. She's much better at decorating than I am coming up with some great ideas. I'd not even thought about Margaritas to go with the chili, but she did, even supplying the tequila and a large bottle of mix. I bought some new flowers for out back and Mr. Bruce is going to make sure all the outdoor lighting is in tip top shape. I'm having one of our market vendors deliver a variety of decorated cupcakes with some sort of apparatus to display them on. All candles were brought out of drawers and closets for potential use.

The DVD is not going so well however. I've scanned all the photos and even put them on a disc but it must be in the wrong format because the tv did not recognize it. I've no doubt Matt will be able to sort it all out when he arrives on Wednesday. He's flying to America as you read this. He'll spend a few days in Chicago, a few in Atlanta, and then home for about ten days. As you can imagine, I'm delighted.

Lisa has a clutch handbag I can use for which I'm grateful. Finally some good news from the Spak household--Danny had a new PSA, and although it isn't perfect, it is way improved meaning that at the moment no further treatment is necessary. Doesn't that just make your day? It does mine.

Guess who just walked in the door early? Yes, he's home before six which is simply amazing. Bruce traveled all week, missing his flight yesterday afternoon and not arriving home last night until after Ms. Camera Crazy was sound asleep. Time to re-connect.

Listening to: The Magic Numbers - Love Me Like You
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Countdown to a Wedding

Finally, as promised, the outfit. As I mentioned on Tuesday, I still need a handbag which hopefully I'll find maybe today? It is totally time to get serious about this folks. If you've got any suggestions, or comments about the outfit, now is the time to speak up.

I began to do some cleaning yesterday for the rehearsal dinner and our houseful of guest arriving next week. Because Bruce and I make so little mess, our home is usually neat, but super clean it is not. Serious dusting is usually what is ignored, especially in the guest room. It was really kind of fun because I looked at the pinewood derby cars that Bruce so lovingly built for his sons. They are lined up on a shelf along with other mementos including photos from Laura's wedding. As I type this I just realized I'll need to do something with the closet. I store my dresses in there leaving no room for Jonathan and Alissa to hang anything up. Of course if I could get Bill and Dave to get their stuff out of that date, a futile effort on my part. Speaking of closets, Jonathan's old animee and manga stuff fills the closet in what is now my office. Hopefully he'll make time while here to deal with that. He has always been a saver, now however, the time is right to make a clean sweep.

The past. That is what I spent my non-cleaning time with yesterday afternoon. I had to shut Baxter out of the room (he loves to grab things from the floor) as I sorted through three shoe boxes full of pictures of the Peck family past. I use that as a general term because not only did I find photos of our immediate family, I found photos of all the names you've come to know. The cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. There are event and holiday photos galore. Swim meets, baseball games, volleyball tournaments, Thanksgiving and Christmas make up a large portion of them. Unlike today's parents with digital cameras, whom I suspect capture their childrens every move, film cost money that we did not have in abundance. Our different decors, which at the time I thought were so great, looked hopelessly outdated. The red shag carpet in Bill and David's first room was especially bad. Now that came with the house, and money was very tight, so it stayed for years. Lots of homemade clothes in those days too.

During Bill and Dave's first year Bruce and I had one date. With all the family either too far away, or busy with their own children, we couldn't afford to pay a babysitter. My, those were days of struggle, but look where it has all ended up. We are so blessed to have our sons who have all made their way in this crazy world. And now Mr. Dave is getting married next Saturday to a very sweet girl who is crazy about him. Michelle's mother mailed me photos of her growing up, and after all that sorting I've chosen ones of David. It was remarkably hard to find ones of just him because, as has always been the case, and still is, for that matter, the twins are inseparable. Yes, they were in different classes all through their schooling, but there is something about being an identical twin that the rest of us can't really understand. They still talk on the phone multiple times a day! One of our favorite photos of Dave is him flexing his muscles when he is about seven, something he still does to this day. I was terrible about writing on the back so telling who was who also presented a challenge.

I've finished scanning all the photos, now I have to figure out how to put them on a DVD that will play during the rehearsal dinner. That is today's project; I've never made a DVD so it could take all day, but let's hope not.

While at the museum on Tuesday I came across this beautiful sight:

As it turns out there was an Indian wedding at the museum on Saturday which according to Karen was as opulent as can be with 350 guests. The huge canopy situated near this birdbath had these gorgeous bouquets festooned on the corners. I'm here to tell you that the quality of the flowers was breathtaking. I can't imagine why it was left on the ground beside the birdbath filled with perfect red rose petals. What was so amazing is that it still looked so beautiful after several days outdoors. Apparently the groom arrived on a snow white Stallion. Oh how I wish I'd been there to see it!

Time to get to work my dears.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Never Meant to Be Away for So Long

Gentle readers, to answer your questions as to where I've been, the response is, selling. Those of you who have been with me along this journey can't imagine that I'm doing the things I'm doing--neither can I! This is the second time I've done the Darden Craft Fair and oh my was it better than last year. Between Fiesta in the Park, two days at Darden, the new Whole Foods market on Saturday and the usual Sunday market I was pooped. The grand total for all that selling was 75 prints which is a good thing. That said by Sunday afternoon I'd lost my selling mojo. Normally I engage people in conversation and chat about my stuff however by that point I was saying if you have any questions please ask!

Complicating my blogging our internet connection was iffy for several days, and sadly I must report that I began to feel terrible again. Fortunately Bruce was home for most of the week (shocker!) and took care of me when I wasn't out being a street vendor. As we'd all come to expect, I'd been feeling excellent with none of the nagging pain of the last two years. Inexplicably it hit me like a shot on Wednesday, continuing for days. I'm still struggling, but not like last week. Let us all hope it is short-lived.

Yesterday I got my desk all cleaned up. The bills are paid, my radiology licenses are renewed, and I can now see most of my desktop. I made a trip to our new Target for Bruce's prescriptions, picked up dry cleaning and deposited money at the bank. When Matt and Jonathan get here next week they will be delighted with the Target being so close. We now have dog food, toothpaste and razor blades. Now, if I can just get to the laundry and cleaning....

Because the weather was spectacular I just had to make a trip to Leu Gardens for some photography. I was so totally missing it last week. I was pleased that some of the photos I'd had in my baskets for a while sold enabling me (Mr. Roger) to print new ones. I've been to LG so many times I know where everything is blooming yet I still love to do it. Yesterday there were some beautiful,fragrant silk floss trees blooming. The trunk of these trees is almost as interesting as the blooms:

There are two versions with the pink one featured today. I wish I'd had the Panasonic with me yesterday because I have a longer zoom with that camera; this bloom is about 40' in the air:

Bruce is in Connecticut as I type having back-to-back inspections on his projects there, a first in his career. I spoke with him briefly last night and they look good, so here's hoping the punch lists will be SHORT.

Michelle came over yesterday afternoon to see my dress and chat. After a hearty approval we discussed the jewelry options. Later on I scooted over to Nordstrom to see if anything appropriate was featured in the half yearly sale. The answer was no. Sadly, because all of retail is struggling right now, the inventory to choose from is limited. I can certainly understand that (being a business owner and all) but it makes it more challenging to find things you like. I tried on multiple necklaces and earrings, eventually picking some. Aside from a handbag, I believe I'm set.

Off to the museum dear friends. The first photograph today is one of Mr. Polasek's oldest entitled "Unfettered."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Fat Lady has Sung

It was like trying to stop a tsunami--impossible. The enthusiasm generated by Barak Obama was remarkable and although I expressed reservation about all the candidates, it is time to accept and embrace the change that has arrived. Americans have reason to be proud today--the people have spoken.

I'm still waiting for word from Jonathan about the Grant Park experience. I will say that on facebook Allissa posted how she was crying during his speech, and from what I could see of the crowd, she was not alone. I am so happy that they witnessed history in the making.

Earlier in the evening I just couldn't tolerate the television coverage. Every network I tried filled their screens with more info than anyone can process. As well, the fancy technology used probably appeals to some, but for me it is just too much. I'd talked to Bruce, and chatted with Matt (who was staying up way past his bedtime in London) and decided that whatever was going to happen was going to happen. Lights out at 9:30, I was fast asleep only to be woken by David calling while McCain was delivering his concession speech. If you know David, you know that there is no such thing as a short conversation. After expressing his many opinions, we hung up. By then I was awake again and decided to tune into our President-Elect Obama's speech. He sure did deliver, didn't he? If he can run the country as well as he's run his campaign we are get to go!

Yesterday morning before Bruce went to Pennsylvania we were discussing our early days at the market. I went back to the beginning of this very blog looking for what I had to say.

"When I saw Dr. Everett yesterday, he said he didn't mind telling me now that when he first met me he thought I had a fatal disease; in other words, I have surprised him. Those are sobering words. I guess that is why I am embracing this little business venture, and not feeling embarrassed that there are others who are better than I am-- I'm good enough for some folks. I'm pretty happy with what I have done, and I'm hoping I'll only get better with time." April 2007

Thank God he was wrong. We have come a long way, haven't we?

Trading in the MINI with my college parking sticker was another closed chapter to that time in my life. I've thought about continuing to be a student, maybe I will some day, but for now I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing.

You know how much I love clever terms; here's a fun site: Just for Fun. I particularly like the term diginecker--find out what it means there.

This image is from the museum's Victory Garden planted in conjunction with the WWII exhibit.

While cleaning the pool on Monday Martha Reeve's song "Dancing in the Streets" came on my Shuffle--wasn't it thrilling to see that actually happening last night?
Listening to: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancin' In The Street
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancin' In The Street
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 3, 2008


Here we go again reporting that rain spoiled the party. Sunday the clouds rarely parted to reveal any sunshine, they did however, dump plenty of rain.

Here's What I Saw and Felt: (not in order!)

1. Glad that the two older ladies next to me were super nice as were the folks across the street. Everyone helped me out by watching my booth while I took potty breaks.

2. Thrilled to have such a strong, super husband who makes all this possible.

3. Feel like the new vehicle is going to work out just fine although because of the rain we couldn't pack it the way we'll do in the future.

4. Grateful for good sales despite the economy and weather. The economy is definitely having an impact; I continue to sell, but these days people are being much more cautious about whipping out their credit card which is a good thing.

5. Saw red, purple, blue, orange, and green hair, sometimes all on the same person.

6. Saw too many tattoos and those dreadful things young people put in their ear lobes. They remind me of when I was a child seeing the African tribes people in National Geographic. Seriously ugly to me.

7. Two triplet strollers--YIKES!

8. A stroller full of ferrets and way too many carrying dogs.

9. A young woman, who from a distance, looked as if she were wearing a Halloween mask--sadly it was her face. The burden of something like that is hard to imagine. Makes you realize how terribly hard life is for some people.

10. Happy to meet new people and see others I've not seen in a long, long time.

11. Drenched. While velcroing the outside walls to the tent poles in a driving rain water cascaded down my body from a customer at the adjoining booth pushing the awning up. It was such a shock because I didn't see it coming! It took hours for me to dry out.

12. Tuckered out by 3:00. Although the show was to continue till 5pm the threat of more rain was more than I could take. I began packing things up, calling Bruce who arrived in no time to save the day.

13. Happy to be in my own kitchen and cook dinner last night.

14. Finally, like this goat from the zoo, this was me by 8:30 last night!

Off to the City Council meeting this afternoon to pick up my check from the calendar contest. It's a busy life I lead. Maureen's friend Lynn asked her if I missed my old job yesterday with Maureen replying she didn't think so. One thing about it--- never a threat of rain!

Mind you that today has been beautiful so far.

P.S. Speaking of my former job, yesterday a former patient arrived as we were packing up; she immediately began describing her breast problems to me. Stop already, I no longer get paid to listen to that kind of stuff!
Listening to: Bloc Party - This Modern Love
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: Bird, Andrew - Opposite Day
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: Robbers On High Street - Descender
via FoxyTunes

You Just Never Know