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There's a Toad in My House!

I've got so darn much to talk about I don't know where to start. How about we start with, if you can believe it, a nice picture of me.
I know, you can't believe it can you? Surely this must be an imposter because this blogger is never, never, ever, a good photographic subject. Before we left for the play, I had Bruce give it a try with the new lens. Seeing it on the screen, I could not believe it myself! So, if you are new to my blog--this is who I am, although don't get accustomed to seeing many more photographs of me because I am decidedly better behind the camera than in front of it!!

*Get ready to jump all over the place in subjects because that's just how it's going to be today. *

Let's begin with this amazing little story about the history of the bikini, I heard on Friday afternoon while going to get the revamped outdoor chair. You will be missing some fascinating trivia if you elect to ignore the link!

The revamped outdoor chair--excellent workmanship, slightly odd green color, which Bruce loves and I hope to over time.

Driving downtown, we wondered where in the world we could get a good meal before the play. Eventually we decided to try a restaurant that opened a year ago on Church Street, unfortunately named, The Rusty Spoon.
Seriously, what kind of name is that? The food, unlike the name, was terrific, all locally sourced etc. You know the drill. I love to try something as simple as deviled eggs when I go out because one never knows when one might discover a new way to prepare an old favorite does one?
Plus, as it turns out, the plating was very cool. Filled with herbs, and topped with little sun-dried tomatoes as garnish. Quite nice indeed. To go with my eggs I had heirloom tomato soup, and what they termed a "haystack" of fries, which I only wish I wasn't too full to finish. Bruce ordered their fish and chips served with delicious coleslaw. All ordinary foods prepared in an extraordinary way. We'll be back.

The story of the coal miners turned artists presented in "The Pitmen Painters" is quite extraordinary as well. Once you grow accustomed to the accents, you begin to appreciate the remarkable transformation each man undergoes after attending an art appreciation class. There is much discussion, arguments really, about the meaning of art and its place in the world. That seems to be a question with no pat answer don't you agree? The instructor of the class tells the miners that art doesn't have to mean anything in a general sense, the meaning comes from each individual as they view a piece of art. Fair enough. Earlier in the week the house phone rang with a gentleman on the line asking me when I would be returning to Winter Garden because he'd purchased a piece from me and wanted a friend to see my work. So, that was pretty cool, but there was more. He reminded me of our market conversation, and somehow, I learned he has a PhD in something which escapes me right now. Aside from the query, he wanted to discuss how much his purchase meant to him in general, and eventually more specifically.  Hanging the phone up, I was more than humbled. So, it was through that lens that I watched the play. :)

The Mad Cow Theater is quite small, seating perhaps 70 people on either side of a stage which is actually more like a runway.
See what I mean? The actors were that close! We left with much to mull over.

Have I told you a great tip I learned from my friend Jean? Get this! You've heard the saying, rubbing salt into a wound, right? Well, who knew you could rub salt onto a bug bite and it would remove the itching and stinging? By golly, it works like magic! If only I'd had some salt with me at the market yesterday I could have prevented a huge swelling of my inner upper arm from an ant bite! My friend Sue came to visit, and as we were chatting, I felt a tiny little sting which inevitably turned into a big, fat welt. Damn those bugs!

As Bruce was leaving yesterday I said to him, "Honey, I wonder who will come to visit me today?" Well, you already know Sue came, as did one of the doctors I formally worked with, (he bought a print to frame for another one of the docs in the group), his new Russian girlfriend, some awesome folks who split their time between here and New York, and others I can't remember. Who did not come to see me this week was Max, a darling little nine year old boy who likes my stuff and likes to make art himself. After instructing me on how to make an art project a few weeks ago, he returned the following week to see how mine turned out. What a little cutie. Plus, he made this for me:
And you wonder why I keep going to the market, week after week, rain, heat or shine. Which I'm trying to duplicate with my bike riding, although, Lord knows, if I had to ride my bike for the nine hours we're at the market, I'd be a dead duck!!

Remember when I mentioned a lovely fragrance in the air as I ride in the early morning? Turns out it is the lovely white crepe myrtles which are blooming like mad all over town.
I'm not a huge fan of this tree up close, but from a distance? Wonderful!

I finished A Lady's Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar which I'm giving a mixed review. For the most part I think it was very well done, however, it may just be that it was a tad ambitious for a first time author. Now, don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of first novels, however, by the time I came to the end of this book, I just felt something had gone a bit awry. I will say the descriptions of people and places are outstanding. The bicycle plays a very, very small part unlike the title would have you believe. So, read it if you wish, but consider yourself warned.

Alright, I was planning on wrapping this up because I am pretty sure you've had about enough of me for one day. HOWEVER, I went into the kitchen for a moment, and something happened which was so gross you must share in my pain!
That's right, a nasty toad or frog, I can never remember which is which. Oh my gosh!!!! Very early this morning, while still dark, I heard a loud sound coming from the kitchen which I went to investigate. Didn't notice anything at that moment, but when I went to set Bruce's breakfast on the table I noticed a vase from a high shelf on the ground by his chair. We were both puzzled then, but I'm not so puzzled now! First I grabbed the camera, next a broom. You may think I'm a pretty tough lady, and in some ways I am, but NOT with a toad in my house!!! He leaped across the foyer onto the bookcase:
Good grief!! By now my hands were shaking wondering how the heck I was going to get it out of the house. Somehow, he next went behind the case, which I then moved, all the while wielding my broom trying to shew him out the open front door!
Look at those feet will you??? Baxter took the open door as an invitation to saunter out into the front yard, so not only was I worrying about getting the frog out, but worrying that Baxter would venture into the street. Oh why, oh why, couldn't Bruce be home??? Eventually, not a minute too soon for me, I was able to push him out onto the front porch from whence he came. Now how about that for a way to end a blog post??
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