Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Blast from the Past

So, I'm trying to start another new routine. Who knows how successful I'll be but I'm giving a short bike ride in the morning a spin. Haha--aren't a clever girl? Or not. Yesterday I went three miles, today four. Just around the neighborhood; gradually I'll work up to more miles, but for now, these old legs of mine need time to adjust. When I saw this picture
in the old part of my photo library I couldn't believe how I've aged in the last four years! Good grief. I showed Bruce and his reaction wasn't quite like mine, but he did say, "Oh wow!" For those unfamiliar with my siblings, that is sister Carol on Bruce's left, followed by sister Lisa, and my only brother Pat on the end. You know Michelle by now. February 3, 2008. Winter dwellers may find it hard to imagine our clothing choices! Now they understand why, if Floridians travel somewhere cold, it is a mad scramble to find appropriate clothing. Or at least it is for some of us.

Thinking about the past, last night I played bridge with my friend Bev and two of her friends who are seasoned bridge players. I'm still a newbie, but I held my own--sort of. Telling us her granddaughter was doing a book report on a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt this morning, she described how she had to dress in character. Imagine a seven year old dressed as ER! Anyway, we got to talking about the orange biographies that were in school libraries when we were children and how we devoured them. I used to love to read about inventors, politicians, explorers and the like. I don't recall if our bookmobile had them or not. but I do have the fondest memories of the bookmobile coming every Saturday to the parking lot of the shopping center behind our home. While in Lakeland two weeks ago I spotted this behind their library.
One more reason to love Lakeland! I suspect most children are not nearly as enamored of reading as we were, but I hope some of them appreciate their local bookmobile.

Because Trish and Roger live downtown, their yard is pretty tiny. however, it sure packs a punch especially with the bleeding hearts blooming on their trellises right now. Gorgeous!
Another blast from the past is that years ago while roaming their neighborhood for the annual Historic calendar contest, I photographed their front porch with the hammock! It is indeed a small world my friends. The family photo above was taken by Mr. Roger during one of their Sunday walks to the market, which I am so glad is their habit because had they never strolled by my booth, who knows where I'd be by now. It can't be said enough that without Roger doing my printing I would be lost. Trouble is, he's gotten so successful with the business, he has way more work than he can handle what with his "real job" and all. As such, when folks ask me who prints for me, I remain mum.

Their little front yard is about the size of the tiny patch of garden we have in our back yard by the pool which is coming along pretty nicely these days.
It won't be long before the geraniums go kaput, however, I hope the salvia will bloom through the summer. The pot with the whirligigs in it contains Mexican oregano which had mostly died off and is now resurrected from the dead. I only wish I had more recipes which use pictured bounty.

Did I mention I got some new bedding? Because I'm getting old, I get hotter than when I was younger. The quilt which Bruce loves so much Angela deemed it "holy", was just too darn warm for the summer. After staying at the bed and breakfast I'd been thinking about getting a coverlet like the one we used there because I do like to sleep with something a little more than a sheet, but nothing too heavy. Nothing seemed right when I started looking around at my various favorite haunts for home goods. Because Bruce loves Crate & Barrel, he suggested I check there. Showing him our options online, if you can imagine, he chose the orange!!!! And you thought I was the only one who liked orange.
I tried various pillows from C&B, none of which seemed right. Good old Marshalls, or at least from a shopper's viewpoint, had the adorable middle pillow with the orange bird!! Fantastic and just what I needed to add a touch of whimsy to the room! I experimented with the old white curtains from my office, however,  Angela talked me into putting the former curtains back up which makes sense as they match perfectly. Not very summery I know, but cooler nonetheless.

When I can't go anywhere new to take photographs, I hunt thrift shops for stuff to make still lifes. Is still lifes even a word? Help from the grammarians out there please! There is nothing really original about this one except, darn that pool color looks interesting, don't you think?
Should they jump, or shouldn't they? That is the question.

If it is Thursday, it must be bridge day. And haircut day! I'm off and running. Talk at you later!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I've Got a New Plan

Although I said in my last post that I had used two iMacs to write those 1,000 posts, I was mistaken; proof, as if you needed it, that you can't believe everything you read. For some reason, can't remember, I landed in the 2007 portion of my way-too-full photo library and lo and behold, I came across this.
Not only is this a reminder of that horrible Historical Geology class, plus Algebra, I realized that I'd begun blogging using what I think is the pictured Dell? Duh--what a memory I have!!

So while roaming around that portion of my library it struck me that we must have been plum crazy to think I was any good at taking photographs! What a bunch of duds in there. Not all, but plenty, and as I recall, I've already done a pretty thorough job of deleting! So, here's my new plan---I will not load any new pictures until I've deleted the same number of old ones. Lord knows, there are more than any sane person should keep on their computer. On the other hand, Sunday I sold one that I took two weeks after receiving my camera. So, there are a few decent ones, just not many!

Aside from roaming around in the past during the holiday weekend, we kept plenty busy. Maxine's again on Friday night after Bruce's haircut with Monica. I've been lazy again, letting my hair grow too long; I'll be seeing her this week after bridge. While Bruce was at the office on Friday afternoon the folks who were making him some clothes met him for the fitting. Everything fits perfectly, and boy do I like this new shirt.
What's that he has in his hand? An iPhone of course! I had to take this right quick in between his business calls. No surprise there.

Saturday was mostly spent around the house; dinner outside by the pool with the music playing, the fountain babbling, and the torches blazing. Good times.

The market was better than expected for a holiday weekend with enough folks to make it interesting. Unfortunately, as is so often the case in the days of smart phones, a decision was made to close the market early because they were sure the radar showed stormy weather was imminent. Looking at the sky I thought, who are they kidding? Yes, it was gray, but rain--no way! Others scrambled to pack up but I just took my time, phoning Bruce only after having taken down most of the art work. He'd been hanging out by the pool at Dave's condo, so guess what? Pictures of some of the family! After we finished with our take-down we went back to socialize. The pool sits adjacent to the lake--a beautiful setting. I'm not sure what kind of heron this is but I thought it was a pretty one, what with those white feathers off his head and the deep blue body.
Every weekend a group of folks from several generations hang by the pool, swimming, bar-b-queing, and socializing. Here is Mr. Bruce with his twin sons, Bill on the left and David on the right.
Those Peck men are pretty darn cute if you ask me and that includes the two absent sons!

People are always asking me if I have any grandchildren and I say no, only one of my sons is married. And here he is with his bride of three + years, Michelle.
I'm only just now noticing I took this before Michelle had time to really get ahold of David! The cloudy skies kept things cool with a great breeze blowing off the lake. So, that was fun meeting some of their friends, some of whom are our age. One of the ladies, Lisa, had her phone and a wireless Bose speaker with lots of great music. She began taking requests and what fun that was. She played some Squeeze for me. No, not  "Black Coffee in Bed", but "Tempted," both very, very clever songs.

Finally on Memorial Day it rained. Great timing right? It did not stop us from heading up to Altamonte Springs for a party with Judy and Cris and extended family. Although we brought bathing suits, the lightening and cool breezes kept me from even thinking about going in the lake to ride their Jet Ski. I've never been on one before have you? I intend to rectify that this summer some time or other. Dave, Michelle, and Bill came up as well, looking all glam, but that doesn't surprise you I bet. Plus they brought ice cream sandwiches which I've not eaten in ages. My word, they were tasty. Because the gloomy weather kept most folks inside, or on the back porch, a spirited game of Buzzword took place in the dining room. Those folks love a good game and this one is as fun as can be. I'm thinking I need this game for the next family gathering here.

We left earlier than some, heading home in a light rain. Good grief, when we pulled up to our house we could not believe what a mess the yard became in our absence! Apparently, the rain and winds were much greater on our end of town because Bruce and I filled two giant trash cans with debris. I needed to work off my stuffed belly so this was as good a way as any I suppose. My handy rain gauge showed 1.5 inches of rain, which as you know, is sorely needed around these parts. I still am not great at it, but it doesn't stop me from trying to get a lovely photo with hanging rain drops.
Speaking of sons, are there any amongst you that can believe we have a son in Dubai on a business trip this week? Two weeks ago Brazil, then Istanbul, and now this? I, for one, find it pretty amazing. Never once during his childhood could I have imagined the things he's done. I never doubted he'd be successful, but this world traveling stuff--unfathomable. Here's hoping he'll have a few moments to take some photographs!

Last week I went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with Bev and Linda, which was both a good movie, and a fine travelogue. They really captured the color and chaos of Indian street life.

Today has been gloomy with I guess lingering effects from Beryl, so let's conclude with what we know best--a little sunshine and shadow play, shall we?
I really kind of liked seeing the number 1,000 on my blogger dashboard for the last few days. So what? 2,000 might take another five years! Yikes!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Number One Thousand!!!

Or, if you prefer, #1,000!!! How about M? Remember that symbol? I didn't--I had to look it up!

So what exactly does 1,000 posts entail you're wondering? For starters, 1,000 titles. Probably at least 2,500 hours and two different iMacs. I've gone from being 53, and a student at Valencia, to being 58, and a gad about who sells photographs. Photos--too many to count, but a quick guess would be at least 3,000. Words--no telling. As time has passed, I've definitely gotten wordier which I know is not in vogue these days, but it seems as if I've got a lot to say. My grammar and punctuation have not improved in the slightest has it? There is definitely something to be said for those dear readers who overlook all my errors and I thank you for doing so.

If you had asked me on February 14, 2007 how long I would keep writing I'm sure I would have had no better answer than I do today. So, let's take a look at post #1, or apparently, post #2.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2007


Second Attempt


I started a blog a few days ago and somehow I could not link back up with it, so here we go again. I received a Panasonic Lumix for Christmas and it has turned me into a camera crazy lady. Nothing and no one is safe around me when I have my camera with me--which is pretty much all the time.
For the second time this week, I have gotten into trouble taking pictures. On Monday, I was walking our Yorkie around the neighborhood, and some kids were playing basketball. I innocently asked them if I could take their picture as I was practicing my action shots. I snapped a few, however, their action was pretty limited, so I went on my way. Shortly thereafter, their mother drove up in her VAN, and asked me what was I doing. I explained, and then deleted the pictures under her watchful eye, blah,blah,blah..You know you can't be too careful with your kids she said! Indeed, somehow I managed to raise four sons without being ultra careful, but, whatever. Here is another one I took that afternoon despite her ruining the walk.

A few things have changed since that post, however, some of it still rings true. I have not lost any posts lately but I did lose the baby camera which was a painful experience. I have a few more cameras now, but as with most things that are lost you still pine for them. Furthermore, it's been quite a while since I've gotten myself in trouble with anyone but on occasion it still happens. What can I say? I'm a picture-taking fool.

While working in the yard most of the morning, during which time I was quite comfortable I might add, I thought about what to say in this post. Oftentimes folks ask me what my blog is about and I tell them my life which on the surface probably doesn't incite much interest. But, somehow, I hope I make it so. We all know that writers are advised to write about what they know so what else would I be writing about?? I think the same goes for photographs. I know flowers, I know food, I know whimsy etc. So, that's what I photograph. I don't know mountains, I'm deplorable with camera settings, I can't do night shots very well and so I leave those subjects for those more talented. I also thought about what photos to post today....hmmm....
I decided to do no real narrative, and here goes a few new photos that I like. Not for anyone else probably but there's something about each one that speaks to me.
This shot of the shed makes me happy. Beautiful late afternoon light and the sunny yellow color is perfect. When I think about how darn hard it was for Bruce to build this with mostly reclaimed materials, working long into the night with Bill as his helper, I am grateful for his talents. 

While at the Winter Garden market a few weeks ago I showed you a photo of their Spring in The Garden or whatever it was called. One of the vendors was selling equipment and supplies to make a koi pond. They also sold the fish.
As I sat typing one day the closet door was opened on my dresses. I've got quite a few. I love dresses for their coolness, their ease of wear and the fact that you only have to pick out one thing. Is it any wonder that people are always commenting on how colorful all my photos are?
Perhaps I should think about getting a few solids? You think?

Frequently I like photographs that are super simple like this one of my tiny purple daisy which has not one single bloom on it today!
But, then again, I also like flowers that are wildly complicated such as this great color of passion flower:
The flower on my ginger plant is complicated as well:
I mentioned I'm trying my best not to clutter up the yard too much but I did slip a bit and put these things in the viburnum tree outside my bedroom window,
The green thing in front is really a candle holder but I'm hanging it for the color. You know how much I like a good shade of green. Currently it is hanging by a headband, if you can imagine, waiting on the man of the house to fashion some sort of hanger with a clothes hanger. He's off to the office for the afternoon. 

During the time I've been writing I've known quite a few people who started blogs with high hopes. Some quit because of time constraints, others because they were concerned for their privacy. Neither of those are problematic for me. My house is pictured by Google Maps, which I had no say over, and our number and address are in the phone book. I do my best not to write anything compromising for either myself or my family. So, what's to worry about? By the way, that Google map photo was during our yard debacle so I wish they'd come back and take one now!!!

What can I say? I love to write and take photographs. Blogging has been a way to marry the two and I for one, have enjoyed being the pastor! 

Here's to post #2,000!

Thanks for reading,
Gail

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take the Long Way Home

I don't know exactly what I was expecting heading to Winter Haven to see some graffiti yesterday morning. Seriously, in such a small town, could there really be anything worthwhile? Yes and no.

While at the Lakeland show a woman insisted I needed to go to Winter Haven, going so far as to write down some very complicated directions to the site. I studied them. I pondered if it would be worth the 50 mile drive. Because I had nothing better to do I went, but not before consulting everyone's favorite resource. From my Google search I learned that what she was referring to was an art project meant to bring not only money, but awareness to an area of their city that could use some help. Referencing that, the woman had written down that it was a yucky part of town. When I got there I thought it looked pretty decent to me. My perspective as an outsider of course.

So it turns out they allowed artists to paint on a blueberry packing plant on New Year's Eve, calling the event, Circ' de Spray. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depends on how you look at it, blueberries had to be part of the art work. Here's how they started things off:
To clarify, Eloise is the name of the area adjacent to Winter Haven. With that out of the way, here's how the walls looked:
And here is a view from the back of the plant:
As you can see, the plant is adjacent to the railroad tracks, with an orange packing plant on the other side. This area of Florida is prime orange growing country. Blue, blue skies, however, oddly enough, we are still enjoying low humidity. I told someone the other day that we've had nearly six months of perfect weather which makes me wonder what's coming next! Despite some thunder last night, no rain fell. Furthermore, the weather forecast for today said rain after noon which may or may not come to fruition as it is still sunny as can be at 3:30 in the afternoon.

The drive over was easy as can be on I-4 to exit #48. Once I got off the interstate I took County Road 557 towards Lake Alfred. Driving along at almost highway speed I saw this place on the right side of the road causing me to be grateful no one was traveling behind me as I was able to make a quick U-turn and check it out. It was then that I remembered my friend Beverly telling me about the place and how she loved to go there, especially in the fall. The garden shop was really something, under large oak trees and in fact, some of them going through what some might call a roof.
My goodness it was a fun place. I managed to leave with only two things, a cardinal outdoor thermometer and a owl figurine. Believe me there was more that i thought about but I don't want to clutter up the outside too much. Or, do I?

Initially I planned to come back by and eat lunch there, however, as some of you know, I oftentimes prefer to take "the long way home." And boy howdy, this trip I got just a little more than I bargained for. Stopping to ask directions, I know, I have my handy phone, but just the same, I like to ask the locals. So far, so good. Nice drive through a diverse area of homes, lakes, and orange groves. It was just that when I did get to US 27, I should have continued on to I-4 rather than head towards Haines City. Whatever road I was on lead me to Dundee, a small citrus town. Then again, they are large enough to have this railroad depot museum:
History is so darn interesting. When you travel through these small towns, unless you stop, you never know what you are missing. Truthfully, all I saw was the outside because the museum has very, very, limited hours, as in Thursday for a few hours and Saturday the same.
Talk about some primary colors in this photo--my goodness--they did it all for me!

Onward I drove, using my handy little compass that came with the car. What I didn't have was a map which would have been oh so useful. Maybe mine did not transfer from the Element, don't know, but I need to buy one ASAP if I plan to continue being Miss Out & About. Make that Mrs.

Anyway, somehow I ended up driving through Haines City and still it was 40 some odd miles to Orlando! My next stop was Davenport, another tiny town, which according to their website is charming. Not to my eyes, and the downtown they claim you can stroll?--about a half a block long! Goes to show you that relying solely on the web can be misleading. So I stopped in here as it was past lunchtime:
Not only can you not rely on the web, you can't always rely on signage. During my lunch I discovered that the restoration stopped long ago, as in the late 90's because they have no city sewer lines and apparently they aren't coming anytime soon. I would love to recommend this place, but unless you want to spend $12.95 for a mediocre meal, you should keep on driving. I think they try real hard, maybe just a little too hard. My brocoli salad had more stuff in it than was necessary, as did the chicken salad. The soup might have been better chilled.
To be fair, I could have left once I saw the menu which is prix fix, but the room was so tiny I felt I should stay. The elderly ladies sitting adjacent to me gave it rave reviews. Re, the sign claiming to have won a pie contest, that very well may be true. I could not eat the dessert offered, instead opting to take my slice home with me. It was delicious.

Instead of getting home around 1, by the time I pulled into the driveway it was 3:00. Good grief!!! You live and learn don't you?

I was thinking as I drove to Winter Haven what a good name that was for a city in Florida. Others must have been quite as literal when they named Winter Park, Winter Springs, Windemere, with promises of wonderful places to escape the cold of winter. My mind has gone blank, but believe me, there are other Florida cities with Winter in their name. Who can blame them?

Finishing up, The Family Fang, I remained delighted with the novel, which as I mentioned before, is so darn clever and is reviewed by the New York Times here. While looking for this review, I've discovered that Nicole Kidman is making a movie from the novel. That should be interesting.

Well, I have indeed, just put the kettle on
for some iced tea. I said it wasn't humid, I didn't say it wasn't hot! I'm thinking a glass of iced tea and a session with my latest novel, Rules of Civility, which is very hard to put down.

Furthermore, it is so very hard to believe this is post #999.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Action Packed

At least our weekend seemed that way to a middle aged couple! Remember the party weekend several weeks ago? Well, the man of the house had a birthday--it was time to get out and celebrate! And so we did.

As you may recall, Bruce was having his struggles earlier in the day on Friday. Nothing like a date with your wife to put some of those frustrations out of your mind. Because it was my treat, I left the dinner location up to him. Where did he want to go? Well, where he wanted to go was Maxine's on Shine. And here my friends, is Maxine herself:
Orlando folks will remember this space as the former Bravissimo which then turned into Neighborhood Shine Kitchen, which then became Maxine's. Our experience was super fun with Bruce telling me he wanted to return next Friday night! We are always on the hunt for a place that serves good food, has a cool vibe with reasonable service. (More on that later) Speaking of a cool vibe, although we ate outside, I stuck my head in to see the new look, remarking that the lights were super cool. On closer inspection, they were not what I was expecting!
See what I mean? If not, click on the photo to make it even larger!

Instead of heading out to Winter Garden on Saturday, I headed to Lakeland with Bruce to visit his job site. While he was checking on things I went downtown to go to Hollis Gardens and from there I was hoping to go to a store called, "The Patchwork Pig," which sadly is closed. Although I'd found the store online, there was nothing to indicate as such. I always feel terrible for owners of small businesses that close for whatever reason. All of their hopes and dreams, not to mention large sums of cash, are gone.

While at the gardens I saw a few photo shoots going on--one a pregnancy one (I have no idea how this has become so popular!), and one for a Quincenera. The fifteen year old girl had not one, but both parents sporting cameras having her pose this way and that. The skirt on her long dress was a mass of this:
It is certainly a popular place for event photography as we learned while there for the show last weekend. Prom night was happening with loads of couples having their photos made in the gardens. My goodness the dresses I saw were pretty revealing which makes me wonder what the future holds for prom dresses as they couldn't possibly get any skimpier. Can they?
How I wish our gardens in Orlando were as beautiful, although having said that, Leu Gardens is a gazillion times larger. I suppose you can't have it all in this life...

While downtown I stopped by a funky little shop which was barely larger than a good-sized closet, thus they had some of their merchandise outside, including these beautifully colored bottles.
After a visit from Bill and Dave we met up with Bruce's brother Cris and his wife Judy for another birthday dinner at Brio. Sadly, although the company was good, that's about all that was. The service was deplorable and I mean deplorable. You won't have to read all the details; suffice it to say the manager made sure we had a new server. Oh and the best cook in the house.  Leave that other one to the rest of the guests I suppose? Yeesh--although we go out with frequency, Cris and Judy do not so it was all the more frustrating. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our visit and afterwards I took this of Bruce and Cris leaning on Cris's new truck of which he is very proud.
They look more alike side by side than I realized! On my desk I have the most adorable picture of the two of them when they were very little boys all dressed up in their suit jackets and bow ties. I adore that photograph. This one puts me in mind of that one for some reason.

Sunday was market day and if not for my benefactor, Dr. Sievert, the day might have gone down as pretty much a visiting day. Writing about my very first market day five years ago, I wrote that it was like having a party without having to provide the food and drinks. Ditto for yesterday, with so many visitors I can hardly recall them all. My first day at the market  I had to rely on my family to visit--rarely do they come these days, replaced by new and old friends who keep up with me there. Woohoo! Just got a call from someone who wants to come by on Sunday to pick up a baby canvas!

As you know, my photo library is filled to the brim with pictures of the market, Sunday after Sunday, year after year. Most of those photos are the people and products with a liberal sprinkling of the dogs. This little girl is 15 weeks old and so small you cannot image. Or, maybe you can?
Naturally, there are a gazillion photos of fruits and vegetables, most of which are forgettable at best. The bright cherries against the green make this one a cut above the rest.
If only it weren't so sunny, however I'm not complaining one bit. Earlier in the week, our trusty weather folks predicted precipitation. Wrong again--not a cloud in the sky all day long. Dana took Bruce out for a birthday glass of wine following the market, well, I went too, but you get my drift. If only we had stopped with the one....

So, now it is Monday and Mr. Bruce has gone to you know where. For four days no less. I'm afraid this is going to get old pretty quickly, particularly since he's been assigned four more California jobs because the project manager covering that part of the country is out for back surgery. I see some trips in my future.

Our social life has been action packed so why should our yard be any different? Just when I was thinking that the jatropha, planted all over the back yard, was supposed to attract butterflies and why wasn't it, when butterflies appeared. Beautiful monarch butterflies.
Typically the blue jays have not come to the feeders very much. They are kind of the bully birds, so I'm not unhappy with that in the least. Just prior to me taking this photo, the blue jay harassed the cardinal to let him in on the feeding action. Seeing this photo on the screen I was pretty shocked that I'd got him/her in flight:
In case you are wondering, those brown bean-shaped things hanging from the tree are the seed pods of a the tabebuia tree. Although Regina finds them attractive, after the beauty of the blooms, I feel they pale in comparison and just want them to fall off soon.

After such a busy few days, today feels very quiet indeed. I've got quite the pile of library books, I think I'll dive in and the hours will pass like magic.




Friday, May 18, 2012

Merrymaking

As of the writing of this post, there has been no merrymaking in the Peck household despite the fact that today is Bruce's birthday. All morning long he had nothing but work troubles to sort out, followed by a dash to the office for some afternoon meetings. He even had to cut short a birthday call from Matthew because he had to hop in the shower. No rest for the weary as my late Mother would say. That's not to say nothing good won't happen later though.

Actually, last evening he was indeed quite happy when I gave him his birthday gift a day early. During a visit two weeks ago to Blodgett Gardens I saw what I thought would be perfect. Once we discussed his birthday wish, I knew I had to return. If you live in Orlando, you may be familiar with Blodgett, after all, they've been in business since 1936, which is a very, very long time for any business in Orlando. What's more the link gives you a bit of the history, as in they opened on Edgewater Drive while it was still a dirt road. They know what they are doing, that's for sure. How inviting does this look?
They have fountains upon fountains, but for our purposes, I needed a small one for what was formally known as our sunroom--now officially Bruce's office. There were two to choose from--just perfect.
A very soothing little tinkling sound emanates now from the corner of the room. We've tried to surround it by plants, and of course, the little hula girl! The hula girl--not Bruce's idea but I think it's cute!

You've heard of Jack and the Beanstalk no doubt. Somehow, when Bruce was tying up my tomato plant, it came to mind. Good grief has that plant gotten tall!
Yup, almost up to the roof! Before he did this it was bent in two which couldn't have been great for fruit production as there are only about five tomatos on the whole vine. Perhaps, because it will be receiving more sunshine,  things will improve.

As I was mowing the lawn yesterday afternoon, which looks terrific by the way, I recalled the science project I did while taking Biology at Valencia. The assignment was given, and that's when I thought the professor meant business, to do some experiment. Mine was this: Is there a difference between mowing straight lines or diagonal lines, given all things are the same, such as length of time between mowing, dry grass, that sort of thing. Despite the fact that I was still quite weak then, I did my experiment. Duh--that professor never even acknowledged the assignment. Darn her. I suppose this all came to mind because while going through my continuing education folder, for some unknown reason, loads of my imaging reports were in there with lots of scary words in the reports. Thankfully, they were wrong. Given that, there's one more reason to be doing a little merrymaking now isn't there?
Indeed, the grass. Wonderful, right? What do you see in the grass? If you guessed foraging squirrels, you guessed correctly. Please note the Vaseline smear on the baffler which seems to be working. I'm not holding my breath though because they've fooled me many times before.

Now here are some birds you've rarely seen me post:
Yikes--it's vultures up in our pine tree yesterday afternoon! How dare they? As I was walking over to Angela's house her lawn guy, who used to be my lawn guy, pointed out the vultures in her neighbor's yard, eating away at something. I started to get closer to have a look see and then thought better of it. I'm curious, but there are limits to my curiosity!

You would think this was a bird blog, what with all the photographs of birds, wouldn't you? If you are stumbling upon this blog for the first time, believe me it is not, it just looks that way. The following photograph will not convince you otherwise! A quick little drive through of the peacock neighborhood on my way to Lowes and here you go:
Too funny!

Have a happy weekend my dear readers,
Gail

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love/Hate Relationship

Obviously you know I love the birds, an endless source of fascination for both of us. On the other hand, if I weren't feeding the birds, I'm doubtful that I'd have so many squirrels. So, what's a girl to do but give in? But then there is the matter of the kayak which is increasingly being gnawed. Don't believe me? How's this for proof?
Note all the leavings please. I'm wondering if the vaseline might do the trick here. The bleach, as is plain to see, is no deterrent. Hate, hate, hate the squirrels.

Love, love, love the birds. When I went out last evening, following a puny amount of rain, there were several doves, a red winged black bird, momma cardinal, several finches AND a little Carolina Wren in the back yard. So darn cute.

I'm getting ahead of myself. Earlier in the day I saw the cardinal siblings on the front walk,
Well now, look who is changing colors? I'm thinking the beak is also just beginning to turn orange around the edges. How fun is this to watch nature in action?
To date it now appears to be a boy and a girl, but I wouldn't bet on it just yet. Come to think of it though, when they were still in the nest, one of the chicks seemed so much more aggressive than the other. Hmmmm....

I went in the pool yesterday afternoon following some serious trimming and such. I convinced Baxter to join me if only for a few moments. He is a dog who has no fondness for water; merely a tolerator. I mentioned that I'd taken the Panasonic zoom to the park and when that lens works, it works like magic.
You can almost see his wet little nose. You may also notice he is seriously due for a haircut as well. I changed this one to black and white because the grass was mostly brown and ugly. You can get away with a lot when the photo is black and white.

One of the things I did before my dip in the pool was put together a little bird feeder townhouse. Although the package described it as easy to assemble, I had my challenges, including most of the seed falling on the ground when it all came apart. Eventually, I managed. As I look out my office window right now I can see a bird feeding.  I know this looks like an insanely easy target for the squirrels but I did coat the pole with petroleum jelly hoping it would be too slippery! Momma managed to find it this morning.
Rain has been in the forecast for days; the amount yesterday afternoon was pretty minuscule. Apparently, as I mentioned, it has been raining in London for weeks. Furthermore, Austin has been having a bunch too which is a good thing after the terrible drought last year. Send some our way! So, after the rain stopped, the sun came out for a bit shining with the most beautiful glow. Earlier, I'd watered the caladiums by hand with the rain adding to it.
We affectionately call this part of the yard--the jungle and for good reason! When the light is good it is hard for me to not take photographs. I can't help myself. Let's take a closer look at the awning, shall we?
Last evening I began reading a new novel suggested by my friend Carol Razmann, The Family Fang. Quite a sight seeing me laughing so hard my eyes were watering while reading in bed. Except no one saw me. Do I ever hope it continues to delight me! When Bruce called I insisted on relating an anecdote from the book which I'm thinking did not translate well over the phone. I couldn't resist!

Every few days I check on my Etsy stat page. Zero views. Zero! This is not good but really nothing more than I expected. How I got so lucky as to have a sale in my first week is beyond me. While roaming the web to learn a bit more about who owns Etsy, I came across this blog entitled,
Etsy or Regretsy? Way too funny!

Bruce's birthday is only two days away and am I ever glad he isn't expecting much. After all these years it is so darn hard to buy him gifts. Somehow Matt manages, but darn if I don't struggle. After seeing Trish and Roger's fountain in their yard, he was dying to have one. So I bought one, but that was several weeks ago. We were hoping to use the fountain in the sunroom to provide a little background happiness while Bruce was working at home, however, it was way too loud, so outside it went!
What does one get for a 59 year old man who has most everything? Don't know. He'll arrive home tonight around 11 and we'll see what he has to say for himself on this matter. Can't wait actually; it's been a long week without him. And, it's going to get worse before it gets better, but we'll save the whining for another post!

I managed to knock out 7 continuing education points this afternoon and can I just say I'm very proud of myself? I wonder if I'll ever take x-rays again? From what I'm hearing, jobs are scarce and when you combine that with my six year absence from the work force, it does not seem likely. Time will tell now won't it?

An early dinner and a marathon reading session are coming up next!!

Love my birds/hate the squirrels!

Limping Along