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New Kid on the Block

It's easy to forget that I've been a photography nut for only a few short years. Sure, it's been nearly five, which frankly, I can hardly believe, yet compared to some folks, it's but a heartbeat. When I apply for art show acceptance I'm competing against folks who have generally been practicing the craft for decades. Which is why I'm not at all displeased that I have been put on the wait list for the WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL!

This morning, after making tea and drinking orange juice, I checked my email and was most delighted to find the notification. Can you believe it??? I sure can't. I entered on a whim, thinking what could it hurt, however, I never expected to be taken seriously. For those in the know, I don't need to explain all this. For those who don't live in our area, this is big my friends. 250,000 people attend the festival. Yes, you read that right. Wait, just a minute now. According to their website, 350,000 people come. Oh my, oh my. Plus the artists come from all over the country to do the show. Now you can imagine why I'm pretty much tickled pink! Chances are I won't be called, but you never know. The booth fee is pretty steep, so maybe, just maybe, another artist will drop out? March 16 is a long ways away.....

Wouldn't you just know it? After writing that my bougainvillea would not bloom, it up and bloomed! Or, at least it's beginning to do so. I'm a real sucker for the orange color family, including all the shades of coral. Mrs. Cardinal is pondering the new blooms, which coincidentally match her beak!
I took the cardinal picture through my screen window, thus it's not perfect, however, the one below is through our glass door and isn't it just the cutest? By the way, the little blue clamp is on there because of the darn squirrels who kept knocking the feeder over. You should see the mass bloom of sunflower shoots underneath the feeder! I dug them out by the thousands today! In case you're wondering you're looking at the safflower seed Lisa recommended to ward off the squirrels.
Actually there were about SIX on the feeder at once with one waiting his turn:
Duh, I didn't upload the one with six, but believe me, it happened. Apparently the different coloration has something to do with diet. My sons will remember a very funny/sad family finch story. As you can imagine I was pretty much freaking out.

Apropos of nothing in this post, which I'm allowed to do because it is my blog, I'm including this photograph taken at Winter Garden because it is one of my favorites:
All righty now, let's move on....

My sweet friend Lois, of the Master Gardener fame, is moving soon. Although I'm delighted it looks like her home sold after only ten showings, I'm not thrilled she's leaving. She and Bob are moving to Gainesville to be near their daughters and other extended family, which I can appreciate, however, I know she's nervous about starting life over at age 70. I can hardly imagine she's 70, but she is. Before she moves she wanted to buy some vegetable photographs to give to a friend, so yesterday, once the rain finally quit, I went over for a visit. After some chit chat we ended up outside on what turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon. Not many flowers blooming, but at Lois's house, there are always some.
And what looks almost like baby's breath but isn't:
Where else in Orlando will I get my tulip fix? Or gladiolas, or daffodils, all of which are terribly difficult to grow in Florida. If, by some miracle, my tulip bulbs bloom, I'll be thinking of Lois.

One thing we have in common is a love for the unusual plant or flower. My caladiums are pretty much worn out, as I believe, I've mentioned. This morning I went to Home Depot looking for something striking to take their place. I was thinking petunias, so when I saw this one
it was love at first sight. The stripes are actually a bit yellower than they look and the purple is almost black. No doubt, you'll see them again, maybe so much you'll be sick of them. I won't make any promises on that score. Unfortunately there were only two good hanging baskets which I'm wont to purchase and split. I haven't planted them yet because I'm still puzzling, however, I'm thinking they will have to be bookends to a mass of marigolds. Purple and yellow are so terrific together aren't they?

Another of Lois's favorites are dahlias which I've never tried before. I'm thinking they aren't the easiest to grow, however, I could not resist the coral color of these dahlias which are in the ground planted between  the spiky yellow flowers around the new tree:
Apologizing in advance, I'll be showing these babies off in a future post because this photograph isn't really doing them justice. Matt will be home in just a few short weeks and we want the yard to look spectacular, now don't we? I'm working on it!

Speaking of Matthew, last evening, coming to my computer to check on the difference between self-rising and regular flour, I noticed he'd called on FaceTime. Before I go further, I do know the difference, just not the exact measurements needed. In case you're wondering add  1/4 t salt and 1 1/4t baking powder per cup of flour. No baking soda. Anyway, while we had a slight chat, a trick-or-treater came to the door. Bruce answered because I was busy. Too bad I was because the children were FEW and far between. As in maybe ten total. It shouldn't really surprise me because folks in our neighborhood are mostly older, but some years there have been more. When the night began Bruce was concerned, thinking we'd run out of candy. No such thing. We did, however, run out of candy corn. You know who the culprit was already! This morning I made a candy corn run knowing the stores would cut the price in half. I'll hide it and dole it out a little at a time I'm thinking. We've got to eat all the leftover M & M's first.

Of all things, after accepting an invitation to play bridge this evening, knowing Bruce is NEVER home on Tuesday night, he is. Or, at least he will be. Mostly when he's not traveling he's working from home. Today he is making a rare office appearance. I hope all the ladies gush over his new haircut. At our age we need all the compliments we can get!

Wish me luck tonight. Beverly invited me to join her and two of her friends. So hoping I don't make a fool of myself.

the new kid,
Gail
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