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Better Late Than Never

They got me this time. Just because they let me off in November from jury duty apparently did not mean they were through with me. Not a month later I received another jury summons which I attached to my bulletin board. Because we all know how forgetful I am I also had my phone remind me not once, but two times.
And so it was, that after calling the phone number on the card to see if my juror's number was selected, I made my way to the courthouse early yesterday morning. How early? Well, the card stated 8:00, however I didn't know if that meant on the property, or through the security line, thus I got there just as the sun was rising.
I was able to take this photograph from high up because they stressed that all jurors MUST park on the 7th or 8th floor of the adjacent garage. Round and round I went through the empty floors because I'm a rule follower. Those who don't follow rules really rile me up. Funny I should say that because had I been picked for a jury I suppose I'd be judging a non-rule follower! I was not chosen. As I exited the courthouse for lunch this scene made me think of only a few months back when the area was SWARMING with reporters for the trial of you know who.
The most exciting part of my day came while I was eating lunch in a diner behind the courthouse. Now, this isn't just any diner. Oh no my friends. I'd not been in the place in more than 34 years, ever since the night before we moved to California. There is a motel, now a Travelodge, next door where we stayed after our home was all packed up on a truck bound for Southern California. The following morning we would drive our little blue Toyota Corolla with a small Ford truck in tow. That was then.

In the here and now I walked over under gloomy skies, entering only to find one other patron. Mmmmm.....it was a tad early so perhaps that is why. Soon thereafter, some guys in Sheriff's vests came in talking on their updated versions of walkie-talkies. Taking a seat they seemed a tad agitated.
Naturally this is a phone photo which you sure can use surreptitiously! Anyway, they turned out to be SWAT team guys involved in a stake-out at the motel!! They talked about how they had already nabbed someone and were just waiting for another to arrive. Drama at the Diner!!

As I walked back around the other side of the building I came across a war memorial I had no idea existed. Soldier's names from as far back as the Second Seminole War are inscribed. The back side of this shows those Central Florida soldiers who lost their lives in the World Wars, as well as the Korean War. Built in the late 90's I can't believe I never knew it was there.
One of the instructions for jurors was to dress appropriately. Apparently few people read the instructions. I don't know why it surprised me that so many of the 200+ people were in jeans and shorts, but it did. I told you I was a rule follower. For the first hour or so I visited with two very sweet young ladies. Both of them are students, one for Radiologic Technology, if you can imagine, and the other Electrical Engineering. The EE major kept saying how much she loves math! Yikes! Unfortunately they were both called early on so I spent the rest of the hours reading some of the Carol Shields short stories, a Time magazine article about Hillary Clinton, an Asheville, North Carolina arts magazine, the crossword puzzle from Tuesday's paper and finally the Good Housekeeping Corrine gave me two weeks ago. Around 2:30 they dismissed the uncalled, thank goodness; we could have had to stay until 5:00.

So, the GH inspired me to do a little organizing, after all, it is that time of the year right? I stopped by Ross on my way home, looking for a few containers to complete my project. The other night I made some mashed potato cakes and while they were frying I dug around in my tool drawer for a certain kind of spatula only to give up because of the jumble. That, at least for the near future, is now a struggle I'm putting behind me because.......TA DA..take a look at this!
If I weren't so lazy I would have re-shot the after photo taken when it was getting gloomier still. The messy drawer was a lot more colorful wasn't it? From there I went to our bathroom which I know is making Nancy smile as she's reading this. During her summer visit she urged me to work on the drawers however I put it off until yesterday afternoon. What you see below is the sum total of my makeup which to some might seem like a lot, others think not so much.
The little white basket is for everyday use. Now all I need to do is get in the habit of using it every day! I highly recommend the activity for a gloomy afternoon.

While Jonathan and Alissa were here for their Christmas visit I told them one of their gifts was incomplete. I did show it to them with the caveat that I would mail it as soon as I was done. Way back in October I got the notion to make them a lap quilt with some fabric I'd had for quite some time. As in maybe 10 years? Can't really remember but rummaging through my fabric box from under the bed I thought--Gail, this fabric bears a small resemblance to the Texas Longhorn colors. Why not? I used a few blocks I'd made whenever that long ago time was, adding new ones to complete a nine patch pattern. Nine patches, each consisting of nine patches or squares in everyday lingo. Baxter was checking out the quilt top on October 24th.
I pieced two stripes on the back side, sandwiched the batting in the middle and began hand quilting. The quilt went with me to the markets, rolled up and stitched while I was waiting on folks to come to my booth. Then along came Christmas prep and my time quilting diminished. I showed them how far I'd come and kept at it once they left. Tuesday afternoon I was finally done and ready to put on the outer binding.
Now you can see the back as well as some of the quilting. I'm very impressed with some of the machine quilting I've seen others do, however, my skills in that area are not so great. Thus, needle and thread for me. I probably should have waited until it was washed to photograph it but I didn't. Washing really amps up the look, giving it lots of good pucker.
Another TA DA! Two in one day no less. It's all washed now, rolled up on the counter awaiting a trip to the post office. According to Jonathan a lap quilt for the couch will be most welcome because, unlike here, it is cold in Austin. Except that apparently we are heading into a little cold snap tonight. Yesterday, despite an 80% prediction for rain, we got just enough to dampen the ground. Thus, I'll believe it's getting cold when I feel it.

Having Bruce in Orlando is a good thing.  I CANNOT remember the last time he was in town for the whole week. Plus, he's been going to the office which I've highly encouraged. He swears he gets more done working here, however, I think an office is where you work, and a home is where you live. We've agreed to disagree on this one. Cooking has once again slipped into my repertoire with some very tasty meals eaten if I do say so myself.

Every time the boys come home--boys? What boys? They are men now. Okay, the men come home, they always leave me with new music to enjoy and this year was no exception. I'm hearing for the first time the Foals, Fleet Foxes, Friendly Fire (lots of F's there), Rumer, Laura Marling, Cee Lo Green, Big Deal and Cut Copy, along with some new music by some of my favorite bands, Elbow, The National, Death Cab for Cutie, and Tift Merritt. There are others whom I've forgotten but the one thing I can say for sure is that it has been wonderful listening to it all on both my Shuffle around the house and on my phone in the car. Good stuff.

Speaking of new music, Betty Wright has been around a long time, and she too has a new album. I heard the linked interview today on "Here and Now" and what a voice! I think I'm inspired to look for either her CD, or learn to buy music from iTunes. Another day, another learning experience.

The kitchen is calling my name,
Gail
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