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Working Girl

THIS IS A WARNING--PICTURE OVERLOAD FORTHCOMING!!!!!!!!!!

Regular readers may well be wondering where I've been, or, maybe not. If so, I'm back. Instead of my usual lollygagging ways, I was working my friends. As in, I had to be places on time. Or close to it anyway! So, let's go back a few days and I'll show you what I've been about.

Wednesday afternoon, before mowing the lawn and setting up at Darden, I did my bike ride. As is most often the case, I ride different routes to keep things interesting. After riding down Bliss Street and turning around, as I approached the stop sign at Pershing Avenue,  I saw a little bird on the ground. A cute little bird that was not moving....:-(  My handy-dandy bike basket holds my camera, so, hopping off the bike, I started taking some photos, getting closer and closer.
He, and I'm only calling the bird he because I don't know the sex, had his little eyes closed. Seeing no obvious signs of injury, I circled him and took this funny shot:
He's opened his little eyes! I can almost hear your sighs of relief....

Well, I'm not really one to pick up animals because even though I like them, I'm a tad squeamish. I knew however, that no self-respecting bird lover could leave a bird in the street. God forbid someone should run over him! Looking around I found some dead palm limbs with one of them was shaped just right with a little V opening. Scooping the little cutie out of the street, I placed him in the grass, wondering just what was wrong.
After depositing said bird safely in the grass I took off riding the last four miles. Still, I wondered. I couldn't resist riding back to see if he was gone and indeed he was! One person who heard this story suggested perhaps he had flown into something, and was only stunned. Sounds plausible to me!

Normally we set up around 3 in the afternoon before the first day of the show, however, this time there was a meeting in the room until 5pm, which as it turns out did not get out until a little later. After they left, all the tables and cloths had to be arranged, so killing time,  I watched the sun set.
The new Darden headquarters have a beautiful nature-filled setting with several lakes and loads of trees surrounding the property. Adding character to the property are a pair of Sandhill Cranes that roam wherever they darn well please. Apparently, earlier this year there was a baby, which according to some, was killed by a car. :(  In this photo they are doing their best to get folks to come out of the cafeteria (on the other side of the glass) to feed them.
They are so accustomed to people that walking right up to them, they remain unfazed. Eventually though one of them turned around:
That's quite a wing span isn't it? If cranes don't do it for you, how do you feel about alligators?
There were loads of classes in our hallway for the new Managers in Training, many of them from all parts of the country, who had never seen an alligator sunning itself on the bank of a lake. Cell phone cameras galore!

The actual room isn't all that exciting, and truth be told, there is a fair amount of goods that would not hold your interest, but in this photo, the lady in the green plaid top is Bruce's assistant, Denise:
She is heading to my table to tell me that Bruce has left some items in his old office space that need to come home. Where he will put them is another matter, but home they came after we closed up for the day. Things went well, with 42 prints finding new homes.

Friday morning, as I was leaving a little after 7, Bruce and I crossed paths in our driveway. Taking the red eye Thursday night you would think he would have come home to sleep. You would have thought wrong....he worked all day long and into the night. When I arrived home just before 5, this was what was going on at our house. The old dishwasher is the closest to the lawn (notice the green!!!), the old oven is on the dolly, while the new oven's backside is facing us. 
The installers sent by Southeast Steel were a young married couple with two children, both of whom were quite nice, and more important, skilled. By the time both the dishwasher and oven were installed it was both dark, and getting late. Bruce took over in the kitchen, cutting the cabinet apart,
using a special tool called a plunge cutter. He took the bottom off, cut down the middle support, routed a new groove in the doors, re-attached the bottom, AND made some new trim for the wall and cabinet. Stained no less. Me, after begging him to quit for the night, after all, he'd had no sleep, went to sleep. I only learned this morning that he'd stayed up until 11 finishing the job!
These all wood cabinets are the original from 52 years ago--rock solid. It takes a gifted person to cut that straight. Oh wait--you already knew he was gifted . Originally our delivery was set for between 3-4 Saturday afternoon, however, I was so excited after waking up and finding a taller space, I called to find out if they could get here sooner. Between 2-3. Great!

In the meantime I busied myself by cleaning out my entire spice cabinet, all three shelves full, my pantry, and the cabinets under the counter top adjacent to the dishwasher.  I then tackled the freezer! Two large garbage cans later, and my cabinets are organized once again. Everything went swimmingly with the fridge installation and we were on our way. Now--how do you load it efficiently? So, here is our new look:
Both Bruce and I are loving the LED lighting in the fridge and freezer AND having the food we most use on the top! Fantastic!!

The new wall oven matches the stainless hood nicely, and here's the dishwasher and new microwave:
Bill came by later to see it all and was a tad envious of the sleek front of the dishwasher. Now, I must retrain myself to use it! You see that basket on the counter? Why, that would be my magnet collection, mementos of our travels, which, if you'll recall, covered the freezer door. No longer. Why? Because they do not stick to stainless is why. You should see the side of the fridge though....covered. That said, I put them on the side facing the stove because, really, I'm the one who loves them the most. I imagine that for a few weeks I'll be all paranoid about getting fingerprints on the appliances and after that I won't even notice them?

After all the excitement and working I was worn out, but happy. Sunday the market was super good again. This nice young couple came looking for an over-the-couch grouping;
they seemed to be quite pleased with their choices. Then there were these crazy young ladies:
It's a complicated story, which I know you are only too happy not to hear about, but the one in the middle, at the urging of the two bookends, bought my 30x30 peacock canvas! Woo hoo!

Following supper we finished up the evening by watching the finale of "The Men Who Built America." Very enlightening. It reminded me of my days as a young girl reading all the biographies in our elementary school library. Love that kind of stuff!

This morning my friend Mirjiana and her husband took the Iceberg away to its' new home in their garage. Happy days!

Happy indeed, except for one tiny little thing...I got the email saying I am not accepted for the Mt. Dora Art Festival in the spring. Bummer. Well, all I can say is, I'm glad that I got in last year because it was my sales at that show, and a few other events here and there, that allowed me to have a "new look" in the kitchen......
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