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When I began writing this blog, excuse me if I can't believe this, FIVE years ago yesterday, I wrote what I had to say and hit publish. And that was that. I never knew if anyone was reading my blog, except for a few family members, however I just kept plugging along. Five year anniversary!

Not only did I not know if anyone was reading my blog, my whole life was largely different except for one thing--taking photographs. Every day. While re-reading that post I couldn't help but chuckle just a bit because the photos I'd planned to include today were taken while walking Mr. Baxter.

In 2007, about a month after starting my blog I began my business, albeit in a small way. As well, I was a second year student at Valencia Community College, which for those who don't know this already, is now called Valencia College, having added a few four year degrees. I also just read the post from February 15, 2007 and I'd just taken my first algebra test and was glad to finish it in the allotted time. I do not miss that one bit. Furthermore, I do not miss the miserable way my body treated me back then. Oh happy day that I am well!

Sadly, my baby camera, mentioned in my first post is long gone. Lost it somewhere which is so unlike me. I still miss it. A few days ago I could not resist the sunny yellow color of these daffodils which of course I did my best to photograph in some kind of interesting way.
The idea may not have worked, nevertheless, the reason I'm including this is because the framed photo next to the daffodils is one of my very first, taken with the baby camera. A few months ago I checked on eBay to see if anyone was selling the Panasonic DMC-FX3 and indeed there was. I went so far as to win the auction at $60 but discovered just in time that I'd neglected to read the entire description. Apparently the back was broken, with no way to see your photograph as you took it. Fortunately, they allowed me to back out.

These days Blogger has statistics. I can now see how many times someone has looked at my blog and where they come from. As well there are keyword searches that bring folks to this little spot on the web. Here's a look at what people are searching for as of this morning:
  • camera crazy
  • albin polasek (actually spelled the Czech way)
  • cross florida barge canal
  • florida mall food court
  • morgan samuel price (an artist who had a show at the Polasek0
  • "jesse borjas" (no idea!)
  • bark mulch in garden
  • beautiful horses
  • crazy camera 
And then there are folks looking for images, which as you well know, I have loads to choose from! Jonathan might get a kick out of this search which brings up his picture. I'm thinking it is from Korea? I just noticed someone posted one of my photos on Pinterest, a site that is, from what I've heard, going gangbusters. I'm mostly staying away from that because the last thing I need is to spend more time on my computer!

Let's take a little walk down our street now shall we?
The very same streets I was walking Baxter on five years ago yesterday. And, I'll probably do it again today. Is there any tree, aside from an orange, that says Florida more than a palm?
The wind was whipping those fronds every which way! The oaks have mostly lost their leaves which is a good thing. Saturday, after the market, I scooped several pounds of them from the pool surface. Other trees are showing signs of spring aside from the fruit trees I've shown you. The color of new leaves is so special to me.
I'm afraid the photograph does not do it justice--very beautiful in person. The next photograph is from a neighbor's yard on Summerlin. Cacti have such intriguing blooms.
The color is spectacular in person. The weather warmed up yesterday making me happy. Bruce is coming home this afternoon and all is right with the world. We had a little Valentine's celebration before he left so I just went about my business yesterday, including a trip to Costco. It is well nigh impossible to get out of there for under $200! 

During our walk Monday afternoon I noticed what I'm thinking are nectarines already.
The interesting thing is there is an adjacent tree, planted at the same time, with not one bloom! Sadly, those pesky squirrels oftentimes eat most of his nectarines before they ripen, however, last year I was lucky to eat a few of them and they were very tasty. Speaking of home grown, last year I planted some Italian parsley out front and due to the mild winter it is still thriving. When I chop it for a recipe it is so fragrant, more so than any store bought bunches. My chives, thyme and rosemary, planted last year are still in good shape. Not so the sage, which bit the dust during one of our two cold snaps.

On Saturday a woman was browsing my fruits and vegetable basket. Puzzled, she asked me how I got the background on the one of two red peppers. I replied, "that's my red toaster, that's my counter top, that's light from the side door." Much like this taken in the kitchen:
That's my tea pot, sugar canister and cutting board. You might be surprised to learn that almost every week someone asks if I've taken all the photographs. The question never ceases to surprise me.

I suppose because I have such a wide variety, people assume it's been a collaborative effort. My packet from the Mount Dora show included not only maps, rules and the like, but a newspaper called Independent Artist. There were several interesting articles, one of which had to do with the jury process to choose the artists for a show. I learned that instead of trying to show my range, my three photographs should have a consistent theme. Apparently they look at the images for less than ten seconds so they really need to have a "wow" factor. Forgive me if I've already told you this--there were 879 applicants for the Mount Dora show for 300 spaces. Each artistic category has a set number of booths which in this case were 38 photographers. I only just now counted them and that makes my sales number all the more remarkable to me. My goodness--that's a lot of competition. As well, the artist statement is read aloud. Most applications are now done online at Zapplication which only allows 100 letters. In the future I'm going to have to use those letters wisely. Applying for shows was a shot in the dark for me previously; at least now I know a little better how to utilize my images and words.

Sunday I met the mayor and his wife. The mayor? Yeah--the mayor of Edgewood, a tiny little community a few blocks from us, best known for their aggressive police force. As in giving speeding tickets---one to my very own husband! She was interested in some local photography to spiff up the city hall. I told her I had loads of shots of Cypress Grove Park which is pretty much a local hang out. Turns out, I'm having trouble finding all those shots. Anyway, heading to the bank late Monday evening, I drove a bit down Orange Avenue into Edgewood, after making my deposit in one of those cool new ATM's, just as the sun was setting. Lake Jessamine boat ramp at sunset:
Pretty cool how the setting sun turned the Spanish moss orange. Well, it's not time for the sunset, in fact, sunrise was not too long ago. Don't you just love how the days are getting longer? Time for breakfast--probably much like this one.
Before I forget (and you thought I was done!), the other day I stopped into "Something Different" the funky store that the new chairs came from. Much to my surprise, there was a dining set with the same chairs as you are looking at!!! Never once have I seen them in person anywhere, nor are they included in the Heywood Wakefield books I've seen. The proprietor was only to happy to tell me that they were not included because they are from the Ashcraft line. So what does that mean? Apparently during WWII, rattan was very hard to come by because prior to the war most of their supply came from Japan. So----they used ash, burning lines into the wood to mimic rattan. Well now.

heading to the kitchen,
Gail
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