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She Called Me a Thief

While it may not look like much right now, my garden is now primed to be a cacophony of color and beauty. It began with a trip to Home Depot on Colonial Drive after bridge on Thursday. Did I tell you Debbie and I came in second place in our division again??? Woo hoo!!

Anyway, finally the garden centers have beautiful flowers once again. I picked up two trays of white petunias, four baskets of the cutest violas you can imagine, and something else I can't remember. You don't have to wonder about those violas because here they are:
Aren't they adorable? Or do you prefer this color combination?
From what I've been told, violas, sort of a mini version of pansies, are more prolific bloomers which I'll let you know in a month or so if that is true or not.

As I began planting on Friday morning I thought to myself, Gail, you don't have nearly enough to make a statement. Thus, I went to our Lowes which is only three miles away. I don't know about "your" Lowes, but mine has a section in the back with discounted flowers, mostly annuals, but other plants as well. I'm very grateful that one of the employees pointed this out to me last year because have I ever benefited from those discounts. Friday was my best haul ever, prompting the cashier to call me a "thief." How good was my haul? Really good. I bought seven trays of 18 annuals for $3.00 each. How much do they normally cost you're wondering....$10!!! I bought snapdragons, purple petunias, red salvia and pink impatiens. Apparently the fungus plaguing impatiens has been eradicated because they are once again appearing in our garden centers.

Have I told you how much I'm loving purple these days? My niece Laura will undoubtedly think it's about time I got around to appreciating her favorite color! While these supertenias aren't traditionally purple, they are close.
Now, you may have already done the math, and I didn't until I was about 2/3 of the way through, but my goodness that is a lot of planting. By the time I quit five hours later, I was one achy lady! My poor knees and back, however, unless Matt and Tom bring the cold with them like they did on their last visit,   the beds will soon be looking spectacular. During their last visit for Christmas, there were some crazy cold days which would not be to my liking. I don't know what the temperature is this morning, but it is plenty chilly enough for me!

Waking up on Saturday morning I considered finishing planting, but then thought better of it because I did not want to be a party pooper. Party? In Sarasota no less. Bruce's best buddy Steve turns 60 this week, and his brother and sister-in-law threw quite the shindig. Because it was a surprise, the invitation asked us to arrive by 4:30 which meant we left a little after 2 to make the 135 mile drive. Along the way I took this:
Wondering why? Clouds for Karen and the Micky Mouse ears for those who've never seen them along the interstate near Disney's planned community, Celebration.

Celebration indeed. George and Sandy went all out, hosting 32 for dinner and drinks at Flemings. So fun.
The light was so dim I was forced to use the flash, which as you can see, bounced off the dark walls. Steve is wearing the light blue shirt, and that is Barb sitting to his left. Earlier in the week Barb asked if I'd take the party photographs which of course made me happy. Did I tell you how dark it was? So dark that no one could even get a decent cell phone photo. Steve requested a group shot, which is always a challenge, but to make it less so I suggested we gather outdoors. Here is the group:
George and Sandy are to Steve's left, and his Mom is wearing the orange shirt. Her recently broken hip is  mending nicely. She is one lively 83 year old!

Leaving Flemings some of us met up at a Tiki bar on Siesta Key, after which Bruce and I spent the night with Barb and Steve at the condo. We went to bed WAY PAST our bedtime! The morning light peaking through the blinds woke me earlier than I'd have liked, and you know me, my curiosity got the best of me. Throwing on my dress, I had to see the beach in late fall.
As the sun broke through the clouds all those gorgeous bands of blue shone through. After a light breakfast and some visiting we were heading home, but not before a stop at The Broken Egg in the village of Siesta Key. Before finding a parking place, I convinced Bruce to drive down the street towards the beach. Oh my! I had forgotten just how white and powdery the sand is!
I jumped out of the car and took this:
Whereas I thought the sand was fantastic at Ponce Inlet, it is no wonder that Siesta Beach is rated the #1 beach in America. Steve's condo is on the other end of Siesta Key, and while the sand is nice, it is nothing like this, in part because a past hurricane displaced much of it. I only wish we'd had more time to explore! Orlando was calling so off we went after breakfast, arriving home mid-afternoon.
One thing I love about my new phone is the ability to looks stuff up. No longer do we have to wonder how long a road is, how much it cost to get into Dinosaur World, or what is the difference between the Unitarian Church and Unitarian Universalist. In case you're wondering, the cost for DW, is $14.95, and the churches are one and the same having merged in 1961.

Here is a photo taken a few years ago on my last sighting of Siesta Beach which gives you a notion of just how wide it is:
I can't wait to return!

This morning, which I've already told you is chilly, is also gray and gloomy. Not my kind of weather. Earlier, I did my bike ride but to tell you the truth it was no fun. Although I figured by now the sun would have begun to shine, making the rest of my planting more enjoyable, I figured wrong. I still have   54 more plants to go.  Mr. Sun, please come out to play.
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