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I love stories, always have, and I suspect I always will. I was that girl who had her nose in a book, oftentimes throughout the night. I can still remember finishing Jane Eyre that way--say, around 4 in the morning. I don't have the same stamina I had as a youth, however, on occasion, particularly if Mr. Bruce is out of town, if I get involved with a good story, I stay up way past my normal early bedtime.

Today, while doing an analysis of the show, I thought about all the stories I heard over the weekend. My grandma loved....., I've been married three years now and this will mean something to my husband......, our sister broke her foot and we are so glad you had something whimsical we could cheer her up with (Olivia)....., I am a quilter......, this reminds me of New Orleans, my home town.....I'm a retired sewing friend is getting married today--can you write congratulations on the back?....and they went on and on, with me loving every minute of it.

As it turns out, the quilter and retired sewing teacher were vying for the same print of Bruce's Grandma Loveland's sewing box. Both had a place for it. The teacher told me later that she kept hanging around hoping the young woman would put it back in the basket. Her consolation prize was the heart cloud and because the print went to the young woman, I'll be sending another one in the mail as soon as I get it from Mr. Roger. I did almost nothing to the box, leaving the tatting, spools of near empty threads, and even a note in Bruce's Mom's handwriting just as I found it. My talent (if you can call it that) is knowing that simple is good.

I came across this today from the Saatchi Gallery page on facebook:

"An art which is not based on feelings is not an art at all....feeling is the principle, the beginning and the end; craft, objective, technique--all are in the middle."

Well, we all know I'm no whiz with the technicalities of photography, however, I sincerely believe all those years spent reading stories have infused my photography with feelings. In other words, people seem to be able to relate to what I have to say. Furthermore, with prices like mine, who couldn't afford my prints? That's okay by me.

I so wish Anne Tyler would write a new novel. She's my muse. Every time I take a photograph that I think might be good I think of her, simple, strait forward and profound at the same time. Her stories of ordinary people and their ordinary lives are always captivating which is what I aspire to do. Lots of times I miss, but that doesn't stop me from trying. And just like Anne Tyler, I stay pretty close to home. Many of my shots taken right around the house have done very well for which I'm thankful.
Almost as soon as I finished typing my last post, it began raining. The weekend rain waited until Monday thank goodness. Bouts of heavy rain throughout the day were most welcome as it has been inordinately dry. Today, the rain has stayed away but the clouds remained. In fact, there was just the tiniest hint of sunshine about 30 minutes ago and that was that. Despite the gloomy skies, Baxter deserved some attention so I took him you know where. Yes, you are right--Cypress Grove Park. I swear he gets so excited it's unimaginable. The minute we pull up he begins whining to get out of the car and today he even made the leap to the ground, which for him is saying a lot. We roamed around, with him walking nothing like he does in the neighborhood. There's a pond that is covered with algae that I found particularly surreal today under the grey skies.
That green is mighty close to my new paint!! The roses were blooming like mad.
For some reason, the climbing roses in the background reminded me of my Mom who has been dead for eight years now. I wondered what she would have thought about how my life is going these days. I'm certain, she, like I, could not imagine it. There's goes that reminder stuff....

After lunch I went on a few errands, stopping first at Lowes for some weed and ant killer. Sounds mean doesn't it? Before I got there I made a quick run through the peacock neighborhood. Seriously, it is just too good to pass up. When last I went with Jonathan and Alissa, there were loads of peacocks, mostly female, and the males did not have their tails, having shed them I presume. Today there were loads and this time they had their spots going on. This is an interesting article about how some researches think the number of spots on the male's train improves his chances at attracting peahens. Obviously, this guy was having no luck at all, despite what seems like a lot of spots to me!
There were three peacocks with their feathers displayed. I found the back of the feathers nearly as fascinating,
That white fluffy stuff was pretty darn cool. He strutted and shimmied hoping the ladies would pay him some mind. The iridescent green on these peahens was really striking. (continuing our green theme)
Driving home, after stopping at the library and choosing some books I hope will keep me up at night, I came across some beautiful flowering trees. I adore flowering trees.
I've no clue what these will become but, darn, aren't they beautiful? The world is so full of beauty it boggles the mind and most of it is right under our nose if we dare look.

Once I was home, folding the laundry, the chirping began. This afternoon it was the ladies turn. Ladies? Why, yes, the ladies. It turns out we have two females that hang around and I can prove that. I took this one having an early dinner poised on the Nuttery,
while another female was dining at the side yard feeder. Because I can only take photographs through the blinds I thought I might try my talking trick outside. She was not nearly as cooperative as the male the other day, climbing higher and higher in the tree as I circled it, trying to get through the branches.
I was seriously hoping I could discern a difference, however, with the lack of light, I was lucky to get this. I sure hope you like cardinals as much as I do because undoubtedly if you keep reading you'll be seeing more of them! Speaking of stories, I haven't updated anything about the Nuttery lately. It seems as if the squirrels have decided it is too much trouble for just a dab of bird seed and are eating elsewhere these days. That's some welcome news.

Can you stand one more cardinal picture today? I just loved the little whiteness on her side,
This one is taken through the sunroom windows after she's had a little snack at the feeder Bruce hung from the eaves.

The analysis showed me a few things. 18 canvases were sold, about half of them what I call baby canvases. That's a record. I sold more what I call "funk" than anything else. As well, I sold more than I thought I did according to my Square payments. I did my best to keep up with the sales but apparently not as good as I thought which is a GREAT problem to have. Flowers and animals came in second which surprised me a little. That said, for the show I had Mr. Roger print some baby peacocks, a giraffe, an elephant and her baby, a white tiger and a sleeping cougar which all sold. Normally I don't carry that many animals but perhaps I should.  I took no photographs of my booth but my friend Sue did. As well, she took a pretty decent picture of me by which I mean I'm very hard to photograph well. Not the photographer's fault, I am just better behind the camera rather than in front. Furthermore she took photos of the whole show which she wrote about here. I was happy she took photographs of the show because I never knew what was going on outside of my booth! The crowds were pretty big.
This photograph from the Orlando Sentinel is pretty darn impressive.

So now I have another story. I did a huge art festival and made it. What a way to start the year!

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