Friday, April 27, 2012

Melbourne

There was a time that I hated Melbourne. The year was 1969, I can't remember the season exactly but I'll never forget my Father coming home informing the family that he'd bought a house in Melbourne. NO!

Can you imagine he bought a house without consulting my Mother? He did. After commuting from Orlando to Melbourne for 9 years he'd had enough. We, on the other hand, were perfectly content to let him keep doing it forever. After all, we were mostly teenagers with only ourselves to consider.

And so it was that after completing the 10th grade at Boone we moved to a new city and a new high school for me. That was bad enough but as astute mathematicians will have already figured out, I was leaving the love of my life. No one could convince either Bruce or I otherwise. It was a very sad time for the both of us.

There was a time when I was not quite as gregarious as I am today and those last two years of high school were part of that time. I got to know exactly one person that I can recall. One. I hated "Mel High" as they call it over there, especially the name. The school had one thing going for it as far as I was concerned--you got to pick not only your teachers, but the level of class you wanted to take. As an example, because I'm horrible at science, I chose level 3 which would be considered average. The social sciences I chose level 5 and so on. I have no yearbook and almost no memories of that time. In fact, when I applied to Valencia six years ago it was the first time I'd ever seen my senior picture when it arrived with my transcripts.

This weekend I hope to change my mind about Melbourne. Very creative here--we are doing the Melbourne Art Festival, staying in the Melbourne room at the bed and breakfast on Melbourne Avenue. Sounds like I'll have plenty of chances to reconsider! Normally I would never spring for a b&b, opting instead to use Bruce's hotel points, however, I decided this time to splurge a bit. Because I'm already out for nearly $300 in entry fees, what's a few hundred more? Bruce and I have worked so hard these years trying to make a go of my business and it's time we made it a little easier on ourselves. We're not getting a day younger!

Enough about the weekend--let's have a little look around the house at first, my little cherry tomato crop, which I hope is not the end of it!
Aren't they cute and bonus points because they had wonderful flavor. Ate them almost as soon as I took this! After learning of Matt's success with rooting a potato I decided to give a pineapple a go. Consulting the internet I read that it works great if you put it on top of your refrigerator after stripping a bunch of the leaves off. So, I did. And, it's working!
Next week I'm finding an outdoor home for it after I recover from the weekend!

Watering is quite the chore these days which I don't mind one bit. Watering vs. Cleaning? You know which one wins every time! Last week I followed instructions and fertilized lots of the plants and flowers outside. That is an area where I've been lacking. This hibiscus has taken on new life within a week of feeding with beautiful green leaves.
Looks a bit wilted because it's just opening which may describe both Bruce and I tonight after set up finishes. Starting time is 6PM and with a big show it takes us about 2 1/2 hours. We'll be sure to sleep well tonight.

Bruce is packing the car as I finish this with some good news and some bad news. The good news is that when I talked to someone from the festival earlier today about the set up she told me I have a great space on the main drag. Fantastic. The bad news is I woke up with the start of a cold sore which I've been treating liberally with Abreva since I felt the first tingle. Melbourne anxiety perhaps?

Wish me luck!
Gail
p.s. no editing due to hurry up and go!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Industrious

Yesterday while I was wielding my new high pressure water wand on the house, cleaning off cob webs and such, Angela came over and called me just that, "industrious." Perfectly apt, or at least yesterday it was. You can probably guess what I was up to can't you?

This morning's drama centered around, would they, or wouldn't they? I'm referring to the Wednesday yard waste pick up guys, who by the way, work very hard this time of the year. Thank God for trash pick up! For some time now I've been requesting that Bruce get rid of the gigantic log pile, remnants of Hurricane Charley some 7+ years ago. Monday evening he did just that and set it out by the curb after stacking it oh so neatly.
Perhaps it's the time of the year but he got no takers. Originally he'd thought he'd have to take it directly to the dump, however, I suggested that we see what happened with the curbside pick up. Just as Bruce was leaving this at 7:30 this morning, the truck pulled up to our house. Although he was running a few minutes late for his general contractor continuing education points seminar (a mouthful!), he pulled over to help the guys load the truck. Peering out the window, I saw him in his dress shirt, slinging logs along with the two men. Apparently he recognized he was in their way and off he went. And so did the logs.

While he was unstacking them from the back yard, it was super gross with roaches and TERMITES in the logs. Yikes, am I glad they are long gone! So now that area is due for a perking up to go with the rest of the yard. If you look closely at the bottom right front of the picture you will see mega amounts of birdseed dropped from the feeder above.
They were stacked neatly against the fence for all these years, but with our mild winters we were never going to use it all. Besides, we have another small stack just in case this winter is an anomaly. I'm going to have to figure out how best to spruce this up; I've made a small stab already, planting some window boxes which Bruce hung on the fence. Those will make their appearance in Camera Crazy once they've had a chance to settle and bloom. Can't wait, can you?

My sister-in-law Michele, who lives in Minnesota requested a size adjustment on a photo she purchased from me years ago. Looking for it in my library, I came across this funny picture of me before the pool was redone.
That picture is a hoot! I also came across this one from 2008, which pictures, what I'm thinking is one of my very first video chats with Matthew while I was still using the other bedroom as my office.
That bulletin board was pretty messy wasn't it? Sunday, my friend Jessica shot this one of me with my phone at the market. It's a small wonder I can see out of those slits!
To my left is my friend Denver inventorying my baskets, writing it all down in hopes that it would help me order more efficiently. What a nice thing to do because there are at least one hundred, if not more, to record. In fact, it did help me tremendously. Jessica proceeded to put this photo on Instagram and facebook in a flash. I was absolutely amazed at how fast she typed on the phone. I'm fairly speedy on a regular keyboard, but a phone? No way!

And who amongst you isn't up for a little squirrel fun on the Nuttery?
Is it any wonder I fight them so? He's hanging on by his toenails!!! Just below the Nuttery, because the squirrels dump so much food as they flee once I yell at them, seeds accumulate, but not for long because the birds are just fine with getting their food off the ground. Here's a little bird that I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.
The Audubon guide leads me to think it is some kind of sparrow, but which type, I can't determine. A call out to my birder friend Linda should clear up the mystery soon enough.

I'm in that part of the week before a show when I'm a little bit anxious. Don't know when my order will be done, don't know how the show will go, and so on. There will be a big crunch when I do get the order trying to get all the prints ready, which will make me even more anxious, but by this time next week it will all be a moot point. I've been holding these back for the shows, hoping someone will like them. If not, I might use them myself because everyone knows how much I love orange.
Too funny that you can see my toenails which if this had been taken last week, I would have surely cropped them out of view.

Because the temperatures have remained cool I have been a busy little outdoor beaver-- trimming palms, cleaning the pool, planting flowers, watering, cleaning the driveway. Industrious indeed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Chilly Monday

We are in a state of shock around here today--- the temperature is hovering in the mid 70's! Quite a drop from the mid to upper 80's we've been having for weeks.

Weather was definitely on my mind over the weekend what with the weather folks claiming a 70% chance of rain for both Saturday and Sunday. You guessed it--they were exaggerating big time. It did rain on Friday afternoon during our drive to the Bruner's place on Lake Hart, near the Lake Nona area of town. Matter of fact, it rained quite hard, but happily it did not last long.
Not too long after arriving at their mini-mansion, the rain began again in earnest lasting only a hosr while which allowed everyone to enjoy their fantastic backyard. Unlike the Peck family, the Bruner family likes a great big house! I was so darn excited once we entered the screened in, two story back porch and I saw a little sandhill crane family prancing around by the lake.
According to Mark, the babies are only a few weeks old. Adorable! Another super cool sighting was Michelle's pineapple plants, all five of them had fruit; she related that they'd all come from one pineapple some years ago.




They are such a great color, perhaps because they've been grown on the porch? A little later a group of the ladies convened on the dock to chat about "girl stuff." Michelle is leading the group bringing fresh provisions and I bet you don't have to think too hard what they are!
The stormy looking sky remained that way throughout the night and into the morning. Although I knew in my heart that the weather forecast was probably wrong, I decided to stay home from Winter Garden on Saturday, instead of vending, I scrubbed the front porch and cleaned the gutters. Sounds like fun right? I am happy with my spiffy looking clean front porch.
No doubt you can tell I didn't take this after the clean up as there wasn't a sun ray to be found that day. No complaints here because the temperature was perfect for working outdoors with water, not too hot, not too cold. And now, if we ever do get serious rainfall again, the gutters will be relatively clean and do their job. Actually, we did get rain on Saturday, but not until much later in the day and overnight. It's a strange thing to be awoken by stormy weather in Florida. If it's going to rain with thunder and lightening, it's a pretty sure bet it will be mid-day.

Here we go again--should we ignore the weather forecast or what on Sunday? We chose to ignore it although Bruce did put the sides on the tent. Happily, they were an unnecessary precaution! Many of the vendors did not ignore the weather report, instead staying home and you can bet, kicking themselves around noon time.
Typically the bridge pictured is packed full of both tents and people. I had a day full of visitors including Jenn and Rich, with the most adorable one year old around.
I kid you not--Spencer is pretty much the sweetest little boy in the world!

Visitors, visitors, visitors--not once did I pick up my book which I don't have to tell you is a good thing. Sales were so-so, socializing--fantastic! Once we were home and unpacked, Bruce spray painted my tent weights so next week when we are away from our home base, we'll look professional.
Week after week they keep my tent grounded, getting pretty banged up in the process. This photo makes me wonder what people who don't get the daily paper use when they spray paint. Seems like it won't be too long before most everyone shuns a daily paper....

Last evening as we had dinner poolside, we saw one of the female cardinals perched on the fence and both Bruce and I think she looks sort of tubby. How about you? Do pregnant cardinals get tubby? Anyone know about this?
We slept well last night with the cool breezes blowing through the open windows, but not before Bill called at 9:30 with a problem. Apparently, the top of one of the sprinkler heads just outside his door blew off, allowing the water to spray into the air like a geyser. You can imagine what thirty minutes of this did to his new plantings! This morning, at first light, darling Bruce went over with a broom, shovel and rake to help him get things back in order. You, no doubt, are unsurprised at this account if you've read this blog for any length of time. :) Because Bruce joined the same gym Bill and Dave use, he frequently meets one or the other there while I'm at my weekend markets which has been very nice indeed.

The first thing I needed to do this morning was order. You know how much I hate to order--anything to put it off! Why not a little garden inspection first I thought? Surprisingly, when I picked up this blossom laden branch just a bit, it broke off. Once I saw the underside of these flowers I didn't mind a bit. I pictured them a few days ago in my post entitled, A Garden Tour, and they look very different indeed.
I also discovered that a few of my cherry tomatoes are ripening. Bruce, honey, I need a photograph of me for my blog...
Tiny little one isn't it? Fighting my battles with the squirrels and the bird feeders is one thing, but when I saw one of the tomatoes lying half-eaten on the porch, I am now ready for war! I suspect the squirrels will win judging from their squirrel-proof bird feeder performances.

And then there was the call from Regina to attend to. Several days ago I asked her if I could cut one of the blooms from her magnolia trees which cover the tree by the dozens. Come and get it she said, and so I did. As you well know, I take this sort of photography seriously, trying various angles and backgrounds. Once my limited creativity was spent, I carried the bloom into my office. Maybe one more shot for good measure? Black and white perhaps?
Now when I tackle something like this it's pretty much by the seat of my pants. The bloom came home with glossy leaves, and a little bit of a bent stem, proving hard to find a way to keep it upright. Once I'd taken the above, the magnolia flopped out of the glass, dumping all of those cool match stick looking stamen (?) onto my work table.
And that was that. The magnolia is a goner as far as looks are concerned, however, the fragrance is perfuming the air as I type. Heavenly.

The order? Pretty much done, or so I hope.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Out of Control

I freely admit that I'm taking this flower thing to extremes. Seriously, I can't help myself what with all the beautiful variety in the garden centers now. On my way home from bridge yesterday I stopped at a local center, "Palmers", on Corrine Drive in Audubon Park. Speaking of Audubon Park, did you know all the streets have bird names? Now you do.

Perfect segue into a wee bit of bird news around these parts. When you have a plethora of bird feeders, you're bound to have lots of birds. Don't get me wrong, I like them all except for the crows. I dislike the crows greatly. While Bill was here last week he was so amazed at the red winged black birds, but to us they are now a familiar sight. I digress...first, here's a neat shot of Mr. Cardinal in the early morning on the front walk underneath the Nuttery.
The sprinklers must have just finished running from the looks of it. Which reminds me, we are having a heck of a time with our system. Neither of us can figure it out. Yesterday, before Bruce left, he was sure he had it set to come on. It didn't. Flipping it over to manual, I was certain I'd have to go out there when each zone was finished. Surprisingly, #2 zone came on automatically. Bruce went to visit his Lakeland job, I went to play bridge. Doing errands on the way home, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the system had gone berserk again and was still running at 2 in the afternoon. Calling Angela I got voice mail. SO, around 3pm, as I drove up to the house, I realized by the puddle at the end of the driveway that my intuition was correct. Well now, that was not only a big fat waste of water, but it will cost a tidy sum to boot. And then it rained to top it off!!!

Alright, where was I? Oh yes, after dinner while standing at the sink I called softly to Bruce. The both of us were so happy to see the babies side by side on the walkway. Sadly, the picture is horrible, but I'm including it anyway because I have no doubt you've been worried as much as I have about baby cardinal #2.
Maybe not quite as much, but I'm fairly confidant that my readers are the sensitive type, so really how couldn't you be wondering if they both survived? Pretty big aren't they?

My order for new business cards arrived the other day. Because I'll soon be doing the Melbourne Art Festival, as in next weekend, not only was replenishing necessary, but I decided to include the Etsy thing as well.
Instead of including the website, which is linked from my own, I put "now selling on Etsy" beneath the photo. I'm happy with that. Not that anything is happening on Etsy, but I'm not abandoning it just yet.

I neglected to include two other flowers that I'm happy with. At one time I had four dwarf gardenia plants, I now have one. For some reason they are very hard to grow and it's not just me that has trouble because Angela's suffered the same fate. Finally though, the remaining plant has bloomed!!
They turn yellow about the second day they are open--fragrance factor--terrific!

When all else fails, plant vincas because they seem to thrive no matter where you put them.
These days they come in such a great variety of shades, from the deepest pink you can imagine, to white, and even lavender!

Having not one thing to do with this post, but I had to show you these crazy little chocolate creatures Matt bought Angela for Easter. The box itself is super neat with the logo Moonstruck chocolates on the face.
The egg shaped one was so weird inside--some sort of greenish goop which I immediately threw into the rubbish bin as Angela would say. I was practicing with my Pancake lens on this, trying to get selective focus down.

Also off topic but it's worth mentioning, by now almost everyone has heard about the Trayvon Martin shooting, right? The news coverage has been over the top for sure. A few days ago we learned that our old friend, Kenny Lester is the newly assigned judge for the case. Perhaps he's fine with that, but I wouldn't  be happy if I were in his shoes. The media will be weighing in on his every little move, with national experts chiming in. Unlike some other local judge who will remain nameless, Kenny does not strike me as the type to crave publicity. Time will tell...

Ending on a prettier topic--yet another flower picture!! I bought some cut flowers and is often the case, I can't just enjoy them, I do my best to figure out a way to photograph them.
Well of course I'd try and photograph them--this is a photography blog. Of sorts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trends

When you've lived as long as I have, you've seen your fair share of trends. Every generation thinks what they come up with is the latest and greatest, however, these days I think trends last a shorter period of time than ever, don't you? Viral one day, gone the next.

After my last post, as I had to go to the dry cleaners anyway, I decided to get smart and head into Ross to see if I could find some new shoes for gardening. When I began taking photographs in earnest, I discovered that my sandals didn't always cut it in some of the places I roamed. After an intensive search to find something other than tennis shoes I found my beloved Pr!vos made by Clark. Thinking about trends, I remember when the first velcro tennis shoes came out and my boys loving them so much. Of course, they were young. Now, they wouldn't be caught dead with velcro, but the same can not be said for their Mother. The new shoes were perfect, somewhat stylish, comfortable and slip ons with a modest velcro strap. Blushing here....

I began wearing them everywhere and if you can believe it, I got more compliments on those shoes than any pair of shoes I've ever worn. After several years of this I noticed they began looking not so spiffy any longer ; I had to resign them from public wearing. A gardening shoe was born!!

Is it any wonder that my feet got so grungy?
Ross had just what I was looking for--a slip on and cheap, as in $12.99. When I think of the money Bill and David spent on the trendy Ed Hardy clothes it makes me cringe!! I'm pretty sure this means the Ed Hardy craze has passed.

Silly me thinking that someone would notice my poorly kept nails at the funeral. That would have been quite difficult in the crowd of hundreds, as in maybe 700? It was pretty incredible as I knew it would be; when someone young dies there are many, many guests, including bus loads of fraternity brothers from FSU.
I'm wondering if I witnessed some new trends at the funeral. (see link to story about him)

  • Shorts and flip-flops
  • Guests arriving 45 minutes into the service
  • Barely audible singing despite massive crowd
  • Video presentation
  • prayer read that a friend sent on facebook
  • talking about hits to the Caring Bridge website (15,000)
  • clapping after each person gave their remarks
  • standing ovation for the deceased
and that my friends is when I made my exit. Note to friends and family: when I die, a standing ovation will be quite unnecessary even if it is trendy.

To go along with the new shoes, I finally began using the beautiful garden gloves given to me by Jane, Tom's mom, from Kew Gardens. I don't know about you, but when I receive such a nice gift, one from a ROYAL botanical garden no less, I find it hard to mess them up. Finally caved and am so glad that when I put in three trays of plugs early yesterday morning, my hands remained very nice and clean.
The back yard grass, such as it is, has given us fits. Despite new sod when we had the pool done, the area has looked ghastly for a long time. Much of what you see is the dirt I spread over the new plugs, hoping for a miracle!

I never left the house yesterday between gardening, photography, cleaning and a little painting. I don't know why, I just felt like getting out a few canvases and seeing what I could do with them. I used water color paints which I know probably isn't what you are supposed to do however, what the heck, I'm no painter which means rule breaking is a given.
I had this blue, green and white thing going which even I could see wasn't enough. I kept putting colors on, using the straw on the right to smear and, in general, mess with the paint.
Purple!! Too much purple! Looks like purple fish in the sea! After watching the Gehard Richter video I posted a few weeks ago, I've been intrigued by his scraping technique. Scraping is my word, he may call it nudging the paint for all I know. In an effort to use what I have in the kitchen I found this handy little tool from the Pampered Chef which allows you to scoop up a bunch of chopped vegetables at once. Great for making chili! And as it turns out, not so bad as a tool for making art.
Now that was fun. While it and another one, much wilder, were drying, I mowed the grass and all was right at the Peck home. Except for Bruce's absence of course....

Besides the paintings, I was working on a photograph of --surprise, surprise, some daisies!! As if I don't have enough in that category. Eventually they made their way onto my desk to keep me happy while I'm blogging.
After supper I crawled into bed to continue reading a new novel by Julian Barnes who is the polar opposite of Anne Tyler, that's for sure. According to the critics, I should be enjoying the book more than I actually am. Happily, while out today, I picked up Anne Patchett's new novel; I have high hopes.

Before I got to the library however, I stopped at an estate sale on the newer part of our street. Talk about trends, you should have seen the wallpaper still hanging from the early 1970's. An elderly couple made it their home for the last nearly forty years with what appeared to be few changes throughout that time. In many ways it seems sad to see whole lives of possessions sold off that way, don't you think? At least in this case, the folks are still living, just moving to be closer to one of their daughters in Arizona. It took all of about two weeks for the house to sell to a young family with one child and one on the way. Slowly but surely, the neighborhood is changing demographics.

Despite what I said about it being sad, I am happy to have found some fantastic Vera napkins which appear to have never been used. Cost--50 cents.
I can never see anything Vera without thinking of my own Mom which makes me wonder what will remind my children of their mother when I'm long gone. According to this , Vera began doing art work at her kitchen table in 1947. How about that?

So I didn't get the manicure done the other, instead a heavy work out with scrub brush and soap had to suffice because Helen was off for the day. I'm calling right now to see if I can become more presentable before Bruce returns although don't expect me to come home with trendy blue nails....

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Garden Tour

Don't panic--I'm not showing you everything!! For someone who thought she was through with taking care of living things, I've sure taken on a lot. Although they don't cry, get in trouble, or the like, all these plants take a lot of looking after!! A few minutes ago I counted the different types of plants I have in just the back yard and there are twenty; many various colors of the same. For instance, I have four hibiscus plants, two red, one ruffly orange, one plain pale peach. Same goes for geraniums--red, coral, white and purple, not to mention the hanging basket by the side door, I call this one candy cane:
For sure not what they call it, but it works for me! The hibiscus bloom like mad sometimes, other times they are just green bushes:
In the forefront the spicy jatropha tree is filled with red blossoms.

Mostly I do the planting, however, a few weeks ago Bruce surprised me by planting all of these darling little dianthus plants on a Sunday while I was "vending" as he likes to call it!
When I left for the day they were still in their trays and in the ground only in my imagination. Adorable aren't they? Lots of the time I go for the two-tone as you can see.

Yesterday we had the day off from the market because of the semi-annual Fiesta in the Park. To be honest, we didn't mind one bit. My sales have been pretty anemic this month so what's another bad weekend? I did go to Winter Garden on Saturday which was pretty much a waste because everyone was attending the annual "Spring Fever" held a street away. You could find most anything garden related there, which is probably where I should have been rather than behind my table! I did venture to the kids area and saw this girl brushing her little donkey:
So cute!!

Sunday we took advantage of the time off to work in the garden but not before we took a trip out to Lukas Nursery in Slavia. What a place, particularly now in Springtime, although truth be told, Spring may not last very long at the rate we're going.Their selection of large glazed pots is to die for. We roamed around taking in all the beauty of blooming plants everywhere. I was looking for a hanging basket for the front porch to replace the impatiens, which as I told you before, are dying off in droves around these parts. So sad.

The more we talked about the garden, the more mistakes I recognized I've made in choosing plants for various spots. Around the new oak tree has already had about six different flowers, most of which have either not done well, or just don't look right. Remember the beautiful purple salvia I was so excited about? Moved. The spiky yellow flowers moved. Either there weren't enough of them, or they just didn't do as well as I'd hoped. Both Bruce and I immediately fell in love with a new flower, well really not a new flower, just a miniaturized version of an oldie but goodie. This website describes them as petunias on steriods which I hope is the case for us. Supertenias says it all. We counted the ones they had, fourteen which was not quite enough according to Bruce who likes instant planting--none of this watching and waiting business for him! Initially we did not put them on our cart, instead spent a little time looking around at what else was available. Fortuitously, we decided that we'd seen enough and went back to their location. Just as I was picking up both trays, a woman came up saying she was hoping to buy some. I expressed the appropriate amount of sorrow for her loss, but insisted we were buying them all, and in fact, my husband was searching for more. She declined to take no for an answer, saying she'd only stepped away for a bit and was returning for them--"I only need two." I resisted the urge to say, "you snooze, you lose," because that almost described us! Standing my ground, I loaded them on the cart. I did helpfully point out that there were pink ones available. :)

Once we returned home with the back of the Pilot filled to the brim with goodies, I began relocaating the flowers I'd only planted weeks ago. Unfortunately something has been eating the salvia, the leaves are full of holes, although it hasn't seemed to hurt the flowering process one bit. Before re-planting them I sprayed the undersides of the leaves hoping to spruce them back up in their new location adjacent to the side door. The yellow spiky things found a home behind the bench where I grouped them tighter hoping that will make for a better look. Bruce removed two wheel barrows full of dirt, walking them down to the lake lot which was no easy feat!

After hours of work I was pooped and didn't have the energy to finish planting them until 7:00 this morning, just as Bruce was leaving for California for a few days. Hopefully I've found a flowering plant that lives up to it's name!
Now that I see the plantings in a picture I see I could have planted the back ones further away from the tree. Believe me, it was hard going what with all the roots so they are staying where they are!! The yellow guys behind the bench:
I'm loving purple flowers these days! In the foreground is another new one in the pot--what else--purple and yellow!

The caladiums are going gang busters, some with leaves almost a foot tall. Regina was by this morning and couldn't get over how big they are. I was showing off a new variety I found at Lukas picture in the front:
I'm going to give Bidens another chance, or as I'm now going to be calling them, "yellow charm" because they really are charming and the pot said it was so.
This morning I planted some in front of the blue bird bath. Charming indeed.

Purple, purple and more purple--I can't get enough!
And yet another one:
My niece Laura is going to love all this purple--her favorite color. All the stooping and bending wore me out after about four hours so here I sit typing instead. There are still three trays of grass plugs to put in the back yard which may very well have to wait until tomorrow. Although I wore gloves and shoes,  my fingernails look a fright, as do my toenails! Tonight is the funeral for Bruce's co-workers son and I'll be going for the both of us. I'm thinking I'll have to give in and head to the manicurist.

Before I do though I wanted to share a little laugh with you. I did a little Google search to see if my bio on the Sundance page (written by yours truly) would register. Instead I came across this, which goes to show you that you can't believe everything you read on the web! I laughed so hard when I saw two of my prints in an auction on the Goodwill site, calling Bruce in to check it out. Bold photographic prints indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Day of Play

I had every intention of leaving early to pick up the note cards from Mr. Roger's house that he'd made for me to sell at the Polasek. Actually, we have been selling them, albeit slowly; this was a re-stocking. Good intentions and reality are sometimes not the same. Instead I left sort of early, picking them up on my way to play bridge with the ladies. I was so, so happy to see Debbie when I arrived. You'll have forgotten Debbie by now, but we hadn't. Nearly a year ago she mentioned to me that she had a breast lump. Heading into a bathroom stall to check it out, I knew the minute I felt it, that she was in for some rough days ahead. Fortunately she had the same inkling and had a doctor's appointment the next day. You might be able to spot her immediately in the picture below--the one with the little gray fuzz on her head.
We heard not a word of complaint from Debbie, and I swear, even after not playing for all this time, she jumped right back in as if she'd never been gone. She claims that even though it was hard, she felt no pain whatsoever. Aside from the hair loss, she said everything else was a breeze. What an attitude! 

I did make it over to the Polasek where I sat under an umbrella folding, sorting and stuffing the cards into their little boxes. Trudy is wishing I'd come back; not so much because I'm that great, but I am reliable. As I was heading to my car a lady was arriving in a MINI Cooper.
It's funny because as I've driven around in the "beast", I've thought to myself--this is a far cry from your MINI days. I should say so.

Back at the ranch, I played around taking more photographs--as if I needed to! So, here's the nest out of the palms; pretty sure there are a couple of leftover egg shells inside.
While we're on the subject of cardinals (imagine that!), I can't help but share this one on the back yard feeder:
I may have told you Bruce attached it to the top of the fence at a 45 degree angle in an effort to squirrel proof the darn thing. 

As well, Angela told me that Matt got her the most beautiful tulip bouquet for Easter. Good grief, she wasn't kidding. I brought it home to see what I could accomplish. When people buy my still life photographs, they have no idea of how many different ways I've tried to set it up before something great happens. The bouquet was no exception and to be honest, I'm not sure anything great ever did happen, although with a subject as lovely, it's almost criminal if I can't get anything! Here's how I work:
Wait a minute--this post is about playing! Anyway, using the sky light, I taped the piece of poster board to two chairs in an effort to get a backdrop. Not a very good job right? Because I like orange I hope everyone does, thus the color. To keep shadows off the back drop I had the jar in the forefront, but the trouble was I only had one poster board so it couldn't be seamless. I had fun anyway!

Putting my camera away, figuratively, not literally, I got ready for the 5K. 5K? Are you kidding me? Why no, I'm not dear reader. Darden put together a team for this. Well, I should clarify that--a friend of Bruce's at work convinced him that we should participate so we did. Along with more than 14,000 others I might add!
As noted boldly on our tags, we walked but not before gathering at the Darden tent:
Which is where Mr. Bruce is headed wearing his BRIGHT green shirt provided by Darden! There were lots and lots of tents, however, ours was easy to find because it was right along the fencing. It turned out to be a lot of fun once we got going. Because it was a new experience, we didn't know what to expect, but from what we experienced, we'd like to do it again. Because there were so many people, getting started was the hardest part with everyone clogged onto Eola Street before turning left on Central Avenue. We just followed the pack. A little more than a mile into it, Bruce was getting antsy so he took off jogging for a bit which he interspersed with walking while I hung back in the pack with Barb and Steve. Nightfall came about halfway into it. We really enjoyed all the neighbor's sitting in their yards cheering the group on. Not that we needed cheering--after all, how hard can walking 3 miles be? Afterwards Bruce and I had a little refreshment at Dexter's and headed home. A bonus was that we parked at Trish and Roger's house which is only a few blocks from the starting point. Score!

While we have Darden on our minds, there is some sad news from Bruce's department. One of his co-workers's sons has died. Actually, you might almost call it murder, but that's jumping the gun. We don't know many details except that there was a fight between two young men, (22) that was senseless. The injuries were so severe that even before he died they began harvesting his organs to donate. Such a shame....my heart goes out to them. I CANNOT imagine losing a child. When I think about how tomorrow is the birthday party for our nephew's one year old son, Spencer, and the love they have lavished on him in just this one year, it makes me all the sadder. Imagine lavishing all that love for more than 20 years and this happens? All I can say is we have been blessed to have raised four sons without serious mishaps. Thank God.

Concluding on a happier note, I need to go pack my car for Winter Garden. There is a big gardening event, Spring Fever,  scheduled on the street adjacent to the market. I'll actually have to get myself in gear to leave EARLY--no doubt, parking will be at a premium. Bonus points though--maybe I'll find some awesome gardening stuff and plants???

Long Beach, CA