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Here She Comes Again

******Warning--no time for editing today*******

Finally I hope to be able to spend a little time writing. Between all this week's activities, I have barely found a spare moment and just when I was thinking I'd found the time the power went off. Seriously, I'm not joking! I was preparing that carrot and radish salad with the lime zest, which is delicious by the way, during what I thought was a pretty big storm for February. Thunder and lightening, high winds, that sort of storm. Poof, off went the power. I finished the salad by candlelight and then had a seat with Baxter in the mostly dark living room. About an hour later, we were back in business and by that time Bruce was home for dinner.

Anyway, here we are now.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Lakeland while Bruce was at the job site doing his thing. Along the median of the main road to his site, there are loads of gorgeous tabebuia trees filled with pink blossoms. Right then and there I knew it was going to be a good day. The trees are blooming everywhere including beside my first stop at Lake Morton.
There I met a man who was visiting from Sebring, a small town 60 miles south of Lakeland, just so he could photograph an eagle that he'd heard was nearby. No eagle appeared during my short visit with him. It's ironic that I've been to places where eagles have been spotted and seen nothing and then walking in my own neighborhood, an eagle appeared like magic! I roamed the streets that lead into the lake and my, oh my, are there some wonderful homes with character. Mostly they are old with a few new ones sprinkled in between. Because we've still been watching Friday Night Lights, and in fact recently had a marathon viewing, I had to shoot this picture.
FNL groupies will get it.

One of the newer homes facing the lake had the best outdoor decorations including all these silver and gold balls in the bare trees.
From there I went the few blocks to Hollis Garden, which I discovered from my walking tour brochure was given to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Hollis. It may be February but by the amount of beautiful flowers you'd never know it. Sculptures are included in the flower "rooms."
The grass was so darn green, I don't know how they do it!
While there I saw the most beautiful color of dahlia, a wonderful rich peachy shade, in the full sun. Not a good time to make a photograph. In fact, it was super sunny all day and warm. The bloom was about the size of a lunch plate and I'm not kidding. Even though I went back after lunch, I still could not really do it justice in a photograph.
Next on the agenda was a trip to the little downtown which is filled with a mix of restaurants, bank buildings, a general store, and antique shops. One such shop I went in was filled with only depression glass in the lovely pastel shades they used back then. The proprietor told me they have about half again as much in storage! I can't imagine how many collectors would have to come in to reduce their giant inventory.

I walked up to the second floor of another shop, wondering what was there. Well, what was there was a lot of stuff. Filling about six rooms, once again I was struck by what people collect. Have you ever known anyone who collected Asian figurines like the ones pictured on the bottom shelf?
 If so, send them to Lakeland, Florida. Most of the rooms were pretty dark, with only a smidge of light coming in on the sides of the navy blue curtains.
These lamps were kind of cool, but most of it I just don't get. Further on down the road I peered into the window of a bistro as it was nearly lunch time. What to my wondering eyes should I see but my friend Brandy Renee's artwork gracing the walls. The owner was kind enough to allow me to photograph them to share with Brandy, who it turns out, had not seen how they were hung. Here's one such grouping.
We became fast friends with Brandy while she was set up at the market a few years ago. She's outgrown our little market family. She freaked out when I sent her the photos.

Back to Hollis Gardens for lunch, and for the life of me I can hardly remember how the rest of the day was spent except for the drive home. See why I need to blog more frequently?

While we are on the subject of flowers, okay a few paragraphs back, but humor me will you? I am pretty darn excited about this:
It may not look like much at this point, however, I'm pretty sure it is one of the tulip bulbs I planted making it's way into the world!! I took this a few days ago so after inspecting it at first light today I see that it is even larger. Planting about ten bulbs I was cautiously optimistic, but not overly so as we all know it's pretty darn hard to get them to grow in Florida. Each day I inspect the area looking for more but so far nothing doing. I can hardly wait to see how it turns out!

Now I remember what I did on Tuesday evening--made a coffee cake. I was preparing to host a little tea party Wednesday morning. My friend Candace Martin along with her friend Katie came for a visit.
Both of them declined coffee, surprising me; I was only to happy to make tea. Not just any tea mind you but tea straight from the Motherland from Tom. We discussed at length an art show idea Katie dreamed up. She's young and enthusiastic for sure.
The girl with the big, big smile is Katie, who interestingly enough, is married to the head Blue Man at Universal Studios here in Orlando. Because they have young children in school they had to leave after a few hours. It's been quite a long time since I spent any time with mothers of small children. Candace mentioned she might hold her son back to repeat kindergarten because he is small. Say what? Apparently, and I trust Candace to know this, it is becoming an increasingly common practice. She called it trendy. My, how times have changed!

The afternoon was filled with errands including returning the red chair. Because I was already downtown I stopped by to see Dana who is mega busy right now. Between the NBA All Star parties she's hosting and the races this weekend in Daytona, I've no idea how she is going to manage. I suspect she'll find a way. My purpose in stopping by was to get the timing down for my part in all this. My part? All I really know at this point is I'm too photograph the big art show the NBA brought to town. I took a few photographs yesterday to test my camera settings but at this point I'm not sure I should show you what it's all about. Mostly basketball related with a street art influence.

There you have it. We're pretty much current. To be honest with you, I'm pretty nervous about today's photo shoot but knowing me you know I'll give it my best "shot."
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