Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Weekend

I can't really pinpoint the time that Halloween became such a bigger deal, I just know that it is. There was a time when a single carved pumpkin on the porch was sufficient. No longer. I've seen some pretty elaborate yard displays the last few weeks, and if anyone is wearing homemade costumes, I'd be surprised. Plus, the whole adults getting into it is new. Dave and Michelle host an annual party and they are not the only ones for sure. I, for one, have never been excited about wearing a costume. Although I sew I can't remember ever really making a costume for the boys, in fact, I disliked the whole idea of having to dream ideas up. I can't think of a single costume they wore, however, I'm sure they can.

What I do like about Halloween is the appearance of candy corn in the stores. It's probably there year round but I notice it most around this time of the year.
Little bite sized pieces of sugar heaven if you ask me! Bruce has been home for the last few days and is completely helpless around them, especially since I bought an alleged mid-century footed candy dish at a local place called Art Angels. I stopped in there the other afternoon while in the vicinity. As I got out of the car I was greeted by this BLACK cat who seemed to have a really long tail to me.
Am I wrong in thinking that is an extra long tail? The eyes of this cat just glowed as he came towards me--perfectly Halloween:
Both markets over the weekend had kids in costumes which was fun to see because we have so few in our neighborhood. This little Pocahontas posed with her Grandpa at Winter Garden on Saturday:
What a little cutie right? And then there was this funny little boy in presumably a Spiderman costume:
I say presumably because he wasn't very talkative. He probably thought I was a dummy for asking if he was Spiderman because the costume should speak for itself.

Rain was coming down as we woke on Saturday morning prompting me to check with Dana whether or not it was a go. It was. Despite the rain, people came out, not a lot, but some. Around 10:30 it stopped for good with only a gloomy sky to remind of us of the earlier rain. I had some sales, not a bunch, but some just the same. Plus I had fun with my neighbor Linda, a Haitian woman the same age as Bill and Dave. She is a very talented seamstress, making purses with beading and all sorts of other trims. I was very happy for her because one woman bought three for gifts. Buy local baby!

Sunday morning we woke to clear, cool skies. I pity the poor folks up North who suffered through a freak snowstorm over the weekend. Beautiful day all around down here bringing folks out in droves! Costumed children as well as dogs. Our neighbor Jim contends that the recession can't be all that bad if people can afford to dress up their dogs, and I think he has something there.

These people didn't dress their infants for Halloween, but they were such a beautiful family I couldn't help but ask if I could take their picture. These are 7 month old twins held by their proud parents.
The face on the little girl is priceless. Speaking of which, the mother informed me that of the two, the girl is the bigger handfull. She sure doesn't look it does she?

My friend Sue came early and stayed to visit. She's pictured sitting on the left:
The empty chair is mine before I jumped up to capture the little ladybug. Sue and I discussed, as best we could, the upcoming high school reunion which is just two weeks away. I say we discussed, however, not nearly as much as we'd have liked what with all the visitors I had. We'd get going on something and fortunately were constantly interrupted. All those visitors did not turn into sales, but it was fun nonetheless to meet new friends and old. Last evening when I totalled my October sales I was surprised to learn I'd sold 130 items. Now if only Winter Park would have gone as planned.....Hopefully next year is my rallying cry.

Later in the day this came through:
The mother told me she just loves Halloween and made this for "Romy" when he was one. Now that he is three, after seeing pictures of himself from his youth, he wanted to repeat the Pirate experience. Some people are wildly creative aren't they? Can you see his little hook arm? Now you can.
Finally, here's Kathy on the left admiring the baby butterfly with the proud Grandma looking on in the middle:
Her color coordinated pacifier was enough to make anyone smile.

A great new development is that the orange juice is back!!! We've so missed them while this seasons' fruit has been ripening. Not only do they give out samples of juice, but you are welcome to try both oranges and pink grapefruit if you like:
So, not only was Sue there for two hours, my friend Karen Howard arrived with her family later in the afternoon. I'd not seen any of her children for more years than I can remember. Both Susan and Chris were in tow. Jeff, their other son is getting married on Tuesday at the courthouse, going for the no fuss method. I've written about Karen in the past, she lives with her husband Jim in Murphy, North Carolina  after they both retired from the school system in Orlando.

Son number one, Chris, found my blog several years ago which I only remembered after they left. I so wish I'd asked him how he stumbled upon me; nevertheless, he was the catalyst that reconnected our friendship, mostly through Karen reading this here blog. These days Chris lives in New York City writing art criticism for various publications. Naturally I was not entirely comfortable with him looking through my baskets with a critical eye, however, he was gracious. In fact, he took home both a photograph of oranges and a brocoli one for his apartment. Nice. As well, he paid me a bit of a compliment, or at least that's how I took it, saying my work reminded him of two exhibiting big city photographers. How about that? I told you he was gracious!

The day has begun with rain once again. I'm super grateful the beautiful Sunday weather was sandwiched between two gloomy days. Hopefully the rain will taper off in time for the real Halloween.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It IS a Small World Afterall

Two quick stories:

  1. Bruce called a plumbing contractor in Watertown, NY for a warranty problem at his restaurant there. Leaving a message, he was sure he recognized the last name. Although he didn't speak with the woman directly, it turns she is married to a man who was Bruce's best friend while growing up in Adams, NY.  Because Bruce's family moved to Florida when he was six, he lost contact. Amazing!
  2. Today I learned that Willie, one of my bridge buddies worked as a nurse at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center as did I while living in California. Tell me, what are the odds of that?
Facebook is making it easier and easier to find long lost friends but to my way of thinking it's still better with a voice.

Yesterday morning no big ideas came to me. After sitting at my computer writing and reading I was fast becoming lethargic. Who wouldn't, getting up before 5:00?

Baxter, let's go to Cypress Grove Park and get moving a bit, shall we? I talk to him way too much! Is it any wonder he loves to go there with all this room to roam?
Occasionally I've been naughty, letting him off his leash to run, but not yesterday. We roamed and roamed. The day began a bit gloomy with just a touch of sunshine:
It really is one of our nicest parks, what with the open fields and so, so many trees. Although I've been there countless times, only yesterday did I come across this placed at the base of a magnolia tree:
I wonder about the Hicks. I wonder where all those children landed? Where did William and Lydia go? Quite possibly, the photo above that shows the open space used to have orange groves. At times we think our lives are so important but history has a way of showing us that we are little indeed.

There was a bird of paradise plant just loaded with blooms. The bright orange, purple, with a touch of fuchsia, made the gloomy day much brighter.
I can't remember ever seeing a bee on a bird of paradise before. Once, I was photographing a bottle brush tree and believe you me, it was dangerous--bees, bees, and more bees!

The rose garden was bursting with blooms as well. I love it when I walk up to a spot and a previous visitor has done something photo-worthy, like this big fat pink rose resting in the top of the fountain.
All in all, we got our exercise. Once home I began working on my sewing project which kept me busy throughout the day. 

I really dislike these dark mornings. Normally, when I wake up I can pretty much guess the time, however, because it is staying dark until nearly 7:30 in the morning, I have no clue if when I awake it is the morning, or the middle of the night. Of course, once we have the change I'll bemoan the early nights. You'd think I was hard to please wouldn't you?

An email from my sister Nancy corrected something I wrote last week about not knowing folks who had "help." Apparently, when I was just an infant, my Mom had help. Nancy consulted the family memory guy, our brother Pat who seems to have forgotten nothing. I am so unlike my mother--she was thrilled to have people do things so she didn't have to; I love to do most things myself. Bruce has tried to convince me to get another yard guy, however, I'm happy to mow my own lawn. That way, my fussiness is not a problem. Today is Nancy's birthday, she's four years younger than I. I'm happy to report she is helping the Peck family's stock portfolio by going to Red Lobster for her birthday dinner. Hope it's good!

Another sister email arrived this morning. Carol is infrequently mentioned because she isn't a fan of emails, and I'm lazy about calling. Today was an exception for her because she wanted an opinion. Years and years ago she modeled mostly locally. She is nothing like me in that she is extremely photogenic and is a natural in front of the camera. Recently she was approached about modeling once again. Thus, she sent some head shots taken the other day looking for feedback. I have to say it made me a bit jealous. I am so not photogenic, always either looking goofy or closing my eyes, one of the two. Because I was so hoping my honey was going to be home by dinner time I made the makeup effort  this morning before meeting the ladies for bridge. 

Allison called, saying if we could push it back a half hour that would work best for all concerned. Perfect. Now I had time to get out the trusty tripod and see if there was anyway I could take a decent photograph of myself. Finally the layers which were making my hair styling a problem, have grown out. So, I thought my hair looked pretty good and the cheap dress from Ross was pretty striking.  

It took me many, many tries to get something. Either I had the camera pointed too far down, too far up, and wide to boot! I set the self timer for 10 seconds, 3 shots. I'm horrible in front of a camera--I so much prefer to be behind it! After multiple attempts I gave up, hoping one would be decent enough to share. 
Nancy has been giving me makeup tutorials and I did what I could. I have a hair appointment on 11/11/11 at 11 in the morning. I'm facing a bit of a dilemma. Bruce likes my hair dark just fine, however, his preference is lighter. Just the other day when I asked him he emphatically said he had no right to dictate my hair color which is true, but I still want to look as pretty as I can for him. I'm ok either way, mostly I had her darken it because I'm lazy. We shall see.

I used my beloved Panasonic FZ8 for my self portrait because it is so darn easy to set. Lots of people when they ask me what camera I've used and I tell them a point and shoot they are slightly aghast. Here is a piece from someone much more knowledgeable about the subject than I: Your Camera Doesn't Matter! I think he's right.

One last picture from this morning is of sage and basil. Wouldn't you just know it, the sage plant which has been doing beautifully for six months is in serious decline. I cut all the good ones last evening as well as some straggly basil, putting them in the refrigerator. I'm thinking it was a mistake with the sage. Now that Thanksgiving is nearly upon us I'd be using that sage. I'm going to do some searching about how to preserve it until then. I'm thinking the fridge idea wasn't my best:
There will be stuffing to make pretty soon....

I've been writing this in between cooking my dinner, such as it is. I used some of this basil for a little pasta sauce which is calling my name right about now.

Better behind the camera,
Gail

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Early, Very Early

It is one thing when you get up early, as in before 5AM, when you're going someplace; it is quite another when you're staying home. Rarely does Baxter wake me up to go out in the morning, however, something  has gotten into him because both yesterday and today he's whimpered to be let out crazy early. Hmmm.....The day may be a long one unless I dream up something exciting to do.

Blogging is as good a way to start my day as any, so let's get going!

Remember about two weeks ago I showed you our neighbor's Golden Rain Tree? No longer gold, the blossoms, if you can call them that, have now turned a lovely shade of coral:
Pretty isn't it? Yesterday morning, because I was up bright and early, although come to think of it there was no brightness to be found at that hour, I decided it was time to tackle a few chores around the house, including the yard and pool. After I told the folks at the office of the pool cleaning company I did not want the young man they'd been sending to come back, they fired me. Yep, fired again! I suppose because I've taken care of the pool myself all these years that my standards are different than those who rarely go out back. It was the salt generator that scared me, however, I think I can do it now. Because exercising is not one of my passions, housework is the stand in for keeping me fit. Old fashioned--I know.

The truth is that on Monday I worked most of the day on a sewing project because my body was not feeling so perky. You know how some people get headaches that won't go away? Well, I rarely get headaches, but man, oh man, do I get a side ache! I'll go months without opening a medicine bottle, then I'll have a flare up of the old pain, taking aspirin like it's going out of style. Oh wait--it has gone out of style! Laying low is what I call it when I don't leave the house all day.

That's why I feel good about yesterday because I refused to let it get me down. Yes, I was still taking aspirin, and yes, I was still in pain, but I moved on. Did errands--that sort of thing. Which is why I was walking Mr. Baxter later in the day as you can see from the shadow on the house. Just across the street I noticed this pretty little vine:
That lavender color really stood out against the gray/brown fence! Perhaps they will let it roam despite the fact that it is coming from their neighbor's yard on the other side of the fence.

Often people come to the booth asking if I have a photograph of such and such. Polar bears, penguins, Italy, North Florida......the list goes on. Mostly I have to say no, I'm sorry I can't help. In that vein, there is quite a contingent of folks who love dragonflies. To that query,  my answer is yes, I can help. Actually I normally only have a pink one for purchase, however, I'm always looking for another one to sell. Finishing the yard yesterday morning I saw a blue one hanging around. The good thing about photographing dragonflies, or damselflies, is that they stay put. I mean long enough for me to go inside for my camera. Sort of like Monarch butterflies who are great portrait sitters, returning again and again to the very same flower or perch.
Using my zoom lens I positioned myself so that the green fern would act as my backdrop. They certainly are intricate creatures aren't they? That ugly brown thing he's perched on? A weary geranium, which if I'm lucky, will bloom again one day although to look at it now you'd never think it is a possibility. Here's a look face on, using the gray fence as the background:
Had enough have you?

Karen Howard, she of Karen's Family Files fame, wrote that she loves when I post fruits and vegetables photographs. Lord knows, I've plenty of them!
I've told you many times how great Dana is and I'll say it again. After an event she managed at the UCF arena Friday night, she stopped by Wal Mart at 2 in the morning to buy new tablecloths for our produce folks. The green pattern of the cloth makes a pretty great backdrop for those pumpkins doesn't it? The whole display looked very nice on Sunday, in part because of all the new cloths. We are very lucky to have a manager who insists on standards, otherwise, left to their own devices, many of the vendors would let things get pretty tacky. Three cheers for Dana!

As well, I've got more flower pictures than I can count. Still, it doesn't keep me from taking new ones that I either discover, or I just like the light. The other morning on our walk I came across this one:
I've no idea what the plant is called, it's quite a large shrub covered with these gloriously fragrant white flowers. In fact, I think when it gets light outside we may just have to return to that spot that I might, once again, breathe in their wonderful perfume.

Another little cutie from our yard, which, by the way, is looking very fly these days:
Back to the birds my friends. Jonathan was quite keen on the bird I saw during my Lake Apopka visit. As a reminder, here's what he/she looked like:
From the Audubon guide: "Purple Gallinule. 11-13. A strikingly  colored, chicken sized marsh bird."
Now, you know just in case you're asked.

Speaking of Jonathan, we finally had a nice long chat last evening. Ages passed since last we visited. Bonus points for Alissa being in the car when I was on their speaker phone. As is often the case, the conversation ranged over many topics, concluding with "state of the union" talk. By that I mean the Occupy happenings. Obviously. given his age,  his take is a bit different than mine, however, we could agree that the world is one big, fat mess. What's to come of it all is anybodies guess. Living in revolutionary times, in our case, a technological revolution, is no easy feat. I was shocked and saddened when I read this piece from the Times. My, oh my! A television in a two year old's room? My children could only dream of such a thing, mean mom that I was.

Don't get me started on how I think the 24 hour news cycle has added to our collective woes....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back to the Markets

Whew--that was better! Back where I know my space and my neighbors. Except now that I was back downtown, Kathy and Jim, my next door neighbors, were off for the weekend. I missed them, not only because Kathy is good enough to watch my booth while I make a bathroom run, but because foremost, I like them. I'd forgotten they were taking a well deserved Sunday off.  Next week we'll catch up!

One thing about the Winter Garden market that was a wee bit challenging was the 8:00 start time. Now, that's not terribly early, however, when you have to make a bit of a drive, plus unload and set up, it's earlier than I'd like. Saturday morning, with Bruce finally home, I had no desire to leave our comfy bed. I did though. Just a little later than was probably prudent for a rule follower like myself. As I pulled up I noticed that the number of vendors had shrunk in my absence. Well, no wonder--the previous week, following the market, Dana held a meeting to go over the rules of loading and unloading. She's quite the stickler--safety sake, if you're wondering. Furthermore, she changed the hours to 9-2. I had more than enough time to get set up, that's for sure.  It will take a bit of time for the patrons to catch on to the new time. I know, after 1:00, I just wanted to go home and watch football. Fortunately I returned in time to watch the Seminoles play a great game against Maryland. For, what I think is the first time all season, they scored on the first possession. Good times. Bruce was very pleased that they put a running game together for a change.

Anyway, back to the market--while there a man came along and looked through the larger prints. I was sitting adjacent to my booth at a picnic table eating some lunch. He asked if it was my stuff. Indeed. He then went on to say that one of the prints reminded him of Peter Lik. You ever heard of him? I hadn't. Astonishingly, the man said some of his photographs sell for more than $10,000. Hmmm....

Then, without any prompting, he showed the print to another person in his party and asked what it reminded her of. Peter Lik. I said, "how about that?" And to think you can get something like his work for only $30.00. He passed. :)

Here's my little set up at Winter Garden. Bruce has been so, so busy he's not had time to make another price tag for the front of one of the baskets. Looking at the picture it really stands out doesn't it? When you photograph a market every week, the challenge is to find the out of the ordinary which truth be told is quite the challenge. So, sometimes I just shoot what I see:
Always, beautiful tomatoes. The day started quite chilly so folks were sporting jackets for a change:
And in her case, a hat. The angelonias are still beautiful:
And, of course, what fall market doesn't have a guess the weight of a humongous pumpkin?
$25 market money for the prize. Good deal!

As you can imagine, Bruce is chronically tired right now. Mostly because he's not sleeping so good. Which means he wakes up crazy early and when he's home, we go to bed crazy early as well. That was us on Saturday night--9:30 and we were sound asleep.

Another chilly start to the day on Sunday evolved into a pleasant afternoon. The market was full of folks wanting to enjoy the weather. We're still using the stripped down version of our booth:
At this point during set up I was a little island. The soap folks took over Jim and Kathy's spot to the left of my booth. Sometimes, they are on the right which really bugs me--I need space for visitors, like Ha and her gang who usually visit weekly after walking around the lake four times for exercise:
 I joked with them that everyone got the wardrobe message--black, gray and white. Ha is pictured on the left holding one of my bags. When Jonathan lived at home, going to Valencia College, he worked at Martini Graphics with Ha. We always expected after graduating from Florida State a few years later that he'd return home to both us, and his old job. Never did we imagine he'd end up living in both Chicago and Austin! Shows you what we knew! These days Ha works for AAA after Martini Graphics closed their doors forever. Sad really, although everyone involved seems to have bounced back just fine.

Amy, the produce vendor, always does a super job with her pumpkin patch:
I took this before the market began with everything just so. Later on I headed over there to see what the rest of the story was:
Darn that little pumpkin on the left is cute isn't it? I should have bought that.
The hay bales on the right are set up for picture ops. While I was taking this I noticed a family doing just that on the other side that's not pictured. It's really nice to be one part of the market family.

It must have been that man's touch or something, because in the morning I sold the print that was the Peter Lik  "lookalike." While checking out his website to include today, I see that my work bears zero resemblance. His are heavily processed, mine are, well you know the drill--"I'm Feeling Lucky." Apparently, they take you in a room, darken the lights and show the photography which according to the gentleman glows. Mind you, Las Vegas is the site where some of this occurs. Use your imagination....

Which leads me to this interesting piece called,  Brandwashed, from NPR. Just this morning after getting dressed I thought to myself that the clothes I was wearing, not to mention the shoes and jewelry are all "brands." How weird that a little later I'd come across this story. Judging from my outfit you'd think I was brandwashed, and certainly to some extent I am, however, one thing I really try to avoid are labels on my clothing or handbags. The new Coach handbag Bruce gave me for our anniversary is blessedly almost logo free. Not entirely, but mostly.

So, what do you think? Are these prices for Peter Lik Photography reasonable?  Or, are people being "brandwashed?" You be the judge.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Birding

When I entered the Audubon Society photo contest last summer the least expensive route was to simply join. Wasn't much really. As you know, I won nothing, however I do get the magazine which contains some very beautiful photographs. It was while reading the magazine that I first learned about an upcoming movie release: The Big Year. Birding movie huh? Can't imagine it having a wide appeal, but it interested me mostly because of that.

So yesterday morning, while playing bridge, my birder friend Linda said she was going in the evening with a friend and did I want to join them. Why not? I'm pretty much a nighttime homebody these days, but I really need to get out more. I'm not getting any younger you know. Beverly, another bridge friend, wanted to come as well. Linda thought the film made birders look goofy, however, to me it made them look very, very passionate about their birds. You've all probably heard it's based on a true story of three men trying to see more birds in a year than anyone else. If you've a notion--watch the little trailer I've provided.
                                
In addition to the national magazine I get the local newsletter which lists birding activities. Apparently, in the fall,  Mead Garden is quite the hot spot for migrating birds. Because I'll be busy at Winter Garden in the morning when a group is meeting there, Linda and I decided to meet there this morning at 8:30. Oddly enough, she never showed up--must be something came up. Pulling into the parking lot I saw some birders waiting on a third who showed up soon thereafter. More followed. I could see them speeding into the parking lot, grabbing a jacket and binoculars, and bounding down the paths. According to the film, some of the folks are quite competitive, while others like the "social aspect" of birding. Birds of a feather...you get my drift.

I began roaming around in search of birds. The morning was chilly, only in the low 50's, with steam rising from the ponds. In other words, it was nice and peaceful. I did hear a lot of bird calls I didn't recognize, but I didn't actually see those birds. The only one I did see and photograph is, according to my handy Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds, this downy woodpecker. I wish I could say that it is rare, however, it is not. Plus the photo isn't that great either!
So, if I can't show you any birds, what can I show you? There is a decaying little path over some pretty mucky ground:
I'd been warned by Linda, who heard it through the birding grapevine, that the recent rains were still evident in parts of the gardens. So glad I have my handy Privo shoes! I headed over to a longer boardwalk which traverses a wetland area. Adjacent to the path is a butterfly garden with some lovely blooming asters:
Of which I'm showing you one. Alongside the walk I saw what is probably some kind of weed (wildflower?)--I don't have a handy guide for those. Nevertheless, you don't need to know what kind it is to appreciate the gorgeous color, now do you?
In one area some pretty cool mushrooms hooked to trees:
Aren't wild mushrooms super cool? When you see something like this it sure illustrates why the term "mushrooming out of control" is so apt. As I meandered along I looked up and thought to myself, who says Florida has no changing leaves?
I didn't know what to make of this white glob, that if I didn't know better, I'd think was a giant cotton ball.
Actually I don't know better, I know nothing at all about this, but surely no one threw a cotton ball into the marsh. There was a lot of dew on things, giving then such a beautiful jewel like look. Sparkle, sparkle.

The film shows birders come in all shapes, ages, ethnicities, and sizes. I kept seeing this young couple:
Actually it kinda made me happy to see some young folks engaged in a hobby which they might enjoy their entire lives. It's so nice to be out in nature, sharing a common love of something together, or at least it looked that way to me. Not far from where I took this picture I was looking high, I was looking in front, I was looking too and fro, however, I wasn't looking down, which led to yours truly catching the toe of her shoe on a tree root and going DOWN. My camera flew from my hand as I tried to break my fall. Good thing my knee is still sturdy from bending down on it so much to take photographs. Between that, and the fact that I was wearing jeans, there is no evidence whatsoever. It hurt though and I mean that in a physical way. I was spared any embarrassment because those other birders I mentioned above--they were around a bend from me, gathered in a group exclaiming about a sighting high above.

Becoming a birder is not part of my plans. I will say that it is cooler than you might imagine though.

In other news, a jury summons arrived the other day. Let's hope when I call on November 15th at 5pm, I will hear that it is unnecessary for me to show up. As well, today a notice came regarding our television. Apparently there have been reports of spontaneous combustion, as in the parts inside. Sony is coming out to take a look next Friday. The pleasant telephone helper told me in no uncertain terms to unplug the television should I smell burning. Will do. Plus, I've got a tire light on again.

Bruce is home, actually at the office, but at least in Orlando. Whew--this has been a long year for the both of us with him traveling four days a week. Mostly for him.

Finally, although this won't be available until early next year, I'm dying to get a Lytro!!! Can't wait.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cold Front

That's what they are calling it, however, to some, that may be too strong a term. In the fall and winter, rainy weather usually precedes a "cold front" and this time was no exception. This morning the sky is turning blue with temperatures reaching only into the low 70's. How about that?

Yesterday morning, as is customary, it rained, not hard, but just enough to keep Baxter and I indoors for a bit. Just as I was grabbing the leash and calling to him, the rain began. Not for long though. We took our neighborhood walk during a break in the action. The whole day was like that, cloudy, rainy, and sunny.

The walk found us heading down Appleton, taking a left on Summerlin, and roaming around what for fifty years was called the Navy Sound Lab. These days it is owned by the school board--no idea what goes on there now. Taking pictures under these conditions can be fun. The first thing we saw that might interest you, forgive me if you've seen it before, is this intricate bloom, made even more so with raindrops, on our neighbor Carey's plant.
Pink October and all. Which reminds me--do you think it is possible that anyone in America is unaware of breast cancer these days? I mean stop with the products already!! Shameless marketing in my opinion.

I've made this picture my desktop screen because I love everything about it:
I love Baxie's wet little legs, his sturdy little body and his alertness. Plus, his shadow, the puddle, and those neat weeds. Cool light too. Notice the acorn by his left paw? They are dropping like mad already and you know what that meant last winter. Could be a cold one. When one tiny acorn hits our roof it is sometimes so loud Baxter thinks something is wrong and does a little barking routine.

Walking alongside Lake Gem Mary behind the building I spotted a dot of red. Carefully we got closer and were treated to this gorgeous red cardinal in a branch lakeside:
So, so pretty. This year the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series, in case you don't know that already. Two things this makes me think of--one, that my beloved Bill was a big Cardinal fain growing up, always wearing their hat. Fitted hats, that was the thing. So exciting back then. Secondly, my Grandfather, who I met only a few times, after having a stroke spent most days of the summer sitting watching the Cardinals play. My mom was born in East St. Louis, so you see the connection. Those were the days when most games were played in the afternoon. Can't you just picture an older man, possibly wearing a Cardinals hat, whiling away the afternoon cheering "his" team on?

When people ask me what kind of photography I do I tell them I will shoot just about anything that catches my eye. Don't ask me why I thought this might be a cool photograph--can't really answer that question. I think I was right.
Talk about minimalism right?

We don't have much in the way of changing leaves in Orlando but some of the grasses do turn a lovely shade of gold like these along the guard rail on Gatlin Avenue.
Again, it's that sun after a rain thing that makes them seem to glow!

So, what else did we busy ourselves with after our walk. Nancy will be happy to learn that I cleaned. Even after all her encouragement I'm still not a fan of cleaning but it was time. Later in the afternoon I planted TULIP BULBS!
I'm not holding my breath that they will come up but what the heck--you never know until you try! How about that thick grass? Finally!

I forgot to tell you that last Thursday night, at a time I'd normally be in bed, as I was watching the baseball playoffs, the phone rang. The caller ID said, Doug Akers. My golly was I surprised to see that name from the past. I knew it meant that one of my oldest and dearest friends was calling. Hoping it was not bad news, I answered to hear my old friend, Kathy Lashley, speaking with a serious Alabama drawl. Twenty years in the state will do that to even a Floridian. I guess we became friends in maybe the seventh grade and were pretty much inseparable throughout those years. Then I had to move away. After graduating high school I returned to Orlando to attend x-ray school at Winter Park Memorial Hospital, while at the same time. Kathy attended x-ray school at Florida Hospital. I can still remember studying for the Registry together. The Registry Gail? Yes indeed, the national exam to become a "real" x-ray tech. In today's lingo that's a radiologic technologist, but back then we called a spade a spade. Long story short, she moved away, I had a huge family and the years went by without much communication. So, you're asking yourself right about now, why was she calling? I'll tell you why--the Boone High School 40th reunion is just a few weeks away--that's why. They were thinking of coming and wanted to know if we were as well. We are. Cannot wait to see her!

Awhile ago I mentioned the Lake Eola fountain repair--don't recall it? Here is the post when I wrote about both the repair and the memento I was to receive. Last week a small box came in the mail and I thought it was a credit card device, Smart, that I'd ordered. Because I still have done nothing about my phone situation I didn't open the box for a few days. Finally, just to get it off the counter I opened it and here's what it contained:
Yes indeed, that's a piece of the old fountain, spruced up with engraving. Pretty cool huh? Now we have a chunk of the granite from the old City Hall AND a piece of the original Lake Eola fountain. Wonder what our kids will do with those once we die?

Today I am definitely not forgetting my bridge game. Mostly because Linda emailed me yesterday and Alison called last night. Breakfast awaits my dear readers.

Gail


Long Beach, CA