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Christmas in Six Months!

Monday, as we were all studying our newly dealt hand, Beverly pointed out that it is only six months until Christmas. Really? Where did the year go? Ladies our age always feel as if time is flying by, and maybe it's not only our age, but everyone. Does it feel that way to you?

With the Christmas remark fresh in my mind I then realized, oh my gosh, I've left that Christmas basket of British "goodies" from Angela sit on the hearth all this time!! Good grief! The truth is, the contents left me less than excited, so there they sat for six whole months. Judging from the interior shots of our home, you've more than likely gleaned that we like to keep things neat. Clean, we're not talking about that--it's neat we strive for. Clean is a bonus! This is no dis on the Brits, it's more about me not being an adventurous eater. Spotted Dick. Just can't do it.
For all I know it is perfectly good, perhaps even delicious, but there's just something about the thought of canned pudding that bothers me. I had forgotten about that sweet bowl in there however. We are hosting a certain British gentleman around Christmas and he may just be the man for the job. 

Thinking about Angela, besides the fact that she would eat something with such an incredibly weird name, does not recycle. Neither does Regina. How can this be that two of my best friends from the neighborhood throw everything in the trash bin? To be fair, Regina does recycle her newspapers and magazines, but seriously what is up with this? Aside from the new dishwashing routine, we moved our recycling bins outside. For years and years they have been in the garage until this problem arose. Moving them alongside the garbage cans has been just another form of home exercise because I try to recycle as much as I can. I've heard it said that much of what we put in the bins ends up in the trash, which if true, is on them, not me. We are doing our part and can only hope the recycling folks do theirs. Enough said.

I've been a practicing fool with mixed results. Because the pictures from the new Nikon are so huge, I'm trashing them like nobodies business. Bruce's flight did not land until after midnight this morning which kept him in bed a bit later than me. I can't remember a time that I did not do laundry for two weeks, but, it seems there's a first time for everything. Taking Bruce's bag into the kitchen to retrieve his dirty clothes for the marathon wash session, this tag clunked so loud I was sure it would awaken him. It did not.
For the highest level of frequent flyer, these tags are so bad. Note how bent up it is! Plus it is made of some sort of metal that clangs around creating an annoying racket. Back to the drawing board Delta.

From the sound of it, my readers probably think that all I do is play and there is some truth to that rumor, however, sometimes I do all my chores at once. After getting the clothes hung,
I mowed the lawn and was it ever a scorcher by 10AM! Plus with all the rain the grass was oh, so high. Lately I've been putting a little pizazz in my lawn mowing by cutting the grass on the diagonal. Apparently I'm not the first to think of this technique as Angela mentioned that when she was a girl her Dad insisted on a diagonal cut. So, there's that. Taking a look at the clothesline tells you a bit about your favorite blogger and her husband. Or maybe just me. Color and patterns. Love them!

When I first began taking photographs in earnest I usually drove around looking for flowers, or really anything interesting in folks yards. Plus, I was always going to Leu Gardens. It never occurred to me  that I could create a beautiful outdoor garden right here, mostly because where was I to put it? Once the tree came down, everything changed, leaving me with plenty of space, but iffy soil. Which is still iffy, however, I imagine with each passing year it will improve. Things were looking very spiffy indeed until this past week and now, not so good. My gorgeous ivy geranium is dying back, there's been a death by fertilization in the side garden, and the dianthus are turning yellow. What's a grieving gardener to do? Why, plant Pentas, a Floridian's best friend for the summer. Plus, butterflies love them. From all my trips to Leu Gardens I learned that more often than not, once you spot a butterfly feeding on a Penta, even if it flies away, it will return. The trick is to just stand there and await their return. Opening the gate I saw a black swallowtail feasting away on the pinkish-red Penta. Of course you already guessed that the camera was outside, so grabbing it, I shot away. If you are unfamiliar with this type of butterfly let me just tell you that it is a mover, as in the whole body floating around with constant wing movement, making for a difficult photographic experience. Nevertheless, I got a decent one--not great, but you may enjoy seeing it.
After writing this post, I'm getting out the manual to see how I can improve this type of shot!! Not many birds today, but there were both bees, and butterflies, as well as this moth on the bright yellow zinnias.
Most of you probably already know this, but in case you don't, the way to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly is how they rest. Butterflies rest with their wings together (upright) and moths are just the opposite. So there you go, you've learned something--reading this post has not been a complete waste of time!
I can't recall if I've already shown you this dahlia or not. My goodness was it ever lovely. The funny thing is that out of all the blooms on the plant, only one was two-tone. I kept thinking it was kind of like children in a family, not all are alike, something we can all agree on! Here's the adjacent plant with the blooms in all states.
I almost forgot, there's one of those busy bees I was mentioning! 

Yikes, before I forget, Michelle picked up her pictures last night and her reaction did not disappoint. Although she'd seen the same photograph I put in the blog, in person, it was another story. May I just say I think I detected an intake of breath, as in almost a gasp? Now, as if I need a new camera for inspiration! Duh! 

I know what I'm about to say is both unfashionable, and perhaps even a little controversial, but I'm saying it nonetheless. It's a good thing my artist sister Carol does not read this blog because when I say that I keep up with the trends in home decorating, trying to create something that is salable, there would be more than a barely audible intake of breath. I can just hear her getting on me now! To her, art is something that if it sells, fine, if it doesn't, that's okay too. It's all about process, and what an artist is trying to "say" with their work. No one would ever confuse me with this type of artist. Although I do love making photographs, I 'm thrilled if some of it is marketable. Mostly that sort of stuff never makes it into my blog posts because you and I both know how easy it is for folks to steal pictures when posted online. Because gray and yellow are making a comeback, I figured it wouldn't hurt to try making something interesting, however, my efforts to date are not good enough. Which means you GET TO SEE it!
I've got to get some texture going with the gray which, now that I have a new camera, I'm sure is going to happen like magic! Yeah, right!

Are you about sick of flower pictures? I can't blame you! When next we meet I hope to have a little more variety. Time will tell now, won't it? 

Gail
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