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Starting to Look Fly

I may have a gorgeous Travertine pool deck, however, at the moment, I have no working dishwasher, unless of course, you count me. It's not the first time in my life I've had to wash dishes, and it's a pretty sure bet it won't be the last.

It was the tea cups that gave it away. Unloading the dishwasher a week or so ago, I noticed all the tea stains remained in my mugs. Using the trusty method of a little wet baking soda I removed them easily. The next load I noticed the same, then, upon further inspection, I detected particles on everything. Not good.

A dishwasher is something we take for granted in a modern home, at least in the suburbs. Matt, on the other hand, is not taking his new dishwasher for granted after having lived without one for the last 6-7 years. In fact, he's downright giddy.

Ironically, most people have no problem with loading the machine, it's the unloading which many people dislike. That's mostly not been a problem for me, although I will admit it was easier when people talked on the phone. Cradling a phone against ones shoulder and chatting away made the job a snap. Remember when people actually talked on the phone? Those were good times which I hope future generations don't miss out on. Thankfully Matt still calls, spending at least an hour chatting with his Momma. Usually I hang up with having learned something.

Yesterday afternoon I learned he traveled to Frankfurt for business last week, and as I type, he should have already arrived in Paris via the Eurostar. ( ) If you've been keeping up with the news you already know my concerns with this trip, however, Matt assures me things will be fine. I told him don't let any of those kids rioting in the streets hurt you!

I suppose it's been nearly ten years ago that Bruce and I took the Eurostar to Paris from London. If you have the opportunity you should give it a go; traveling under the English Channel is really an experience. Similar to air travel, my ears popped like crazy in the deepest part of the tunnel. It is absolutely remarkable to think of a tunnel under water like that isn't it?

As well as a non working dishwasher, I still have a non working swimming pool, or hole if you will. In the above picture the young man is sanding the deck to keep it in place. Here's what's occupying most of the yard:

Now you know why I called it a hole. There is a little bit of a strange feeling about falling into this pit now that the dirt is covered. Before the contrast kept you feeling removed, now, though, with so little contrast between the deck and the edge, you must watch where you step. ETA of water is now Friday, just in time for us to leave for Ocala. Boohoo!

We are very excited to have grass in the back yard again:
Bruce is watering this like mad. I suggest you look back a few posts to fully appreciate the difference! On Saturday Roger and Shane came to help with the planting. Two beds are complete, including the one above on the right. The transformation is remarkable!

The photograph above is taken before the planting was officially underway. I am thrilled with the color of that bougainvillea. I so hope I can keep it looking beautiful.

Surprisingly the market was good on Sunday. The absolutely perfect weather didn't hurt a bit! Nice sized crowds and several repeat customers for your blogger friend. I like that. A woman whose son is a UCF student visits frequently, never failing to buy more for both her classroom and home in New York. That's nice.

The minute I walked in the door after the market, I began the preparations for our little birthday gathering for Maureen. Nothing fancy this time, chili and brownies. I was absolutely thrilled when on Saturday evening I discovered some fancy paper plates in my cupboard. That's it!--we'll serve chili mac, a standard in our home while growing up. Not only is putting chili over spaghetti a good way to expand the chili, it also tastes very yummy. You would have thought I'd given Bill a rare treat he was so thrilled. If you've ever been to our home for a meal you know that using paper plates is mostly foreign, but common sense prevailed in this instance. I still got up to a mountain of dishes to wash yesterday morning, just one not as high as it might have been. Despite the paper plates, I'm fairly certain a good time was had by all.

As you can imagine, Bill and Dave were thrilled seeing their old home looking fly. One of the areas they were most excited about was this one:
Their excitement matches mine. If you could have seen this spot in person over the last few years you would have known why we are so happy. Pretty much our junkyard. What with those horrible ac units hanging from the wall, the convoluted pipe system from the previous filter, bricks, dirt, roots, and old plywood used to cover the windows during the last serious hurricane threat, five, or make that six, years ago. Voila! A lovely path, stacked brick and travertine, and GRASS to stand on while I hang the clothes on the line! Baxter is pretty happy about this space as well. And to think it was an afterthought! Phil asked if we wanted the stone masons to make a path on the day before they went live. This may well be the best $400 of the project. Of course, once the water actually fills the pool, I may change my mind, but for the moment it's right near the top!

After the Polasek today I'll pick up the prints from Roger's house to replenish my supply for the weekend. You know what I'll be doing this afternoon--signing, signing, signing. Which is a very good problem to have.

Here's a little something I found in the NYT--
Most of us find it fascinating learning the secrets of older folks, especially those who live to be 100. While working it was my experience that there's no secret to living a very long life, the one constant seemed to be if you had longevity in your family. From the folks I talked to, it didn't seem to matter how you lived your life as long as your bad habits weren't extreme; family longevity seemed to be the one constant. That said, someone in every family has to start the trend. I clearly don't think it will be me. Imagine if I lived another 43 years--we'd definitely have to re-do this pool again!

P.S. It occurred to me after I hit the publish post button that you might finish reading this and think to yourself--Self, why isn't Gail just getting the dishwasher fixed? Well, she will, just not this week. With all the ongoing construction activity, not to mention getting ready for a show, it will have to wait until next week. Until then, I'll be elbow deep in suds!

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