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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.

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