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Awakening

You would think that I've been on vacation or something, it's been so long, or at least for me, since last I blogged, right? Nope, been right here, or sort of.

Thursday, as planned, I played bridge in the afternoon--this time without being kicked out. Afterwards, Bev, Bonnie, and myself went to a little wine bar in Baldwin Park to drown our sorrows. Truthfully we did drink wine, but mostly we laughed and caught up with each other. I miss my morning bridge game because at least there we can talk, unlike at the bridge center where it is all serious!

There's a new bird in town:
I'm wondering if this is a goldfinch, although, according to my book that might not be the case. Cute, cute, cute! I wonder if Matt and Tom are seeing great birds in India.

Friday we finally had some dinner guests. Good grief I've been so negligent in my hospitality of late! Barb and Steve were invited for 6PM, their preference, which seemed like a good idea. Except it wasn't. I'd completely forgotten I'd already agreed to attend an art event at the Grand Bohemian! Begging a half hour later from them, I cooked throughout the day, scooted over to the GB to show my face,
and scooted right back home. The good news is that downtown is mighty close making this a possibility. I fell in love again with our backyard set up once the sun set.
It has been ages since we ate outdoors for some unknown reason. Perhaps laziness on my part because it certainly hasn't been the weather's fault! That said, after our meal of bar-b-que ribs, cole slaw, and thunderbolt potatoes, Bruce lit a fire in the portable pit and was it ever nice! Eating apple pie around the fire was quite the treat. All in all, a lovely evening. Past my bedtime, I fell into a deep sleep, which while good, was not long enough for a world class sleeper such as myself! The reason? The Winter Garden market in the morning...

Which turned out to be one of my best days ever at that market. :)
Taken early Saturday morning, this picture shows you the piles of produce which, by days end, will be mostly gone. I chose this one because I love radishes, and even more so when they are sold like this!

Returning from the market, I had a gazillion chores to do, and once finished, I did get my full nine hours of sleep Saturday night.

Another day, another market. The weather, once again, was spectacular! Translation? Good crowds. Sitting in a booth, watching the people go by, you see all sorts, however, in all my years at the market, I'm pretty confident that this is my first sighting of a man, a muscular man no less, wearing pink, semi-hightops with large pom-poms on the front.
There was some fluffy action going on in the high part as well. Let's have a closer look, shall we?
As is often the case, I wonder where in the world one buys a pair of shoes like this. Any ideas?

Sunday was good, new and old customers, and, of all things, an Etsy sale. Once our booth was completed, I was getting my phone set up with Square, when, lo, and behold, I had an email regarding a sale of a "Beach Daisies" canvas. Surprise, surprise.

Perhaps by now you are wondering just what the title today has to do with anything you've read so far. I wouldn't blame you for wondering one bit. Your persistance is soon to pay off, thank you very much.

Because I was at the markets both days, I wanted to spend some time with my honey before he left for California. The price to pay for that? A drive to Lake City! Offering to be the chauffeur, this trip was better because we did not leave in the dark--not much later, but enough so I could see clearly what I was doing.

Once we got about 100 miles north of Orlando, I began seeing blooming trees along the highway every now and again. Once in Lake City, I saw some beauties which because of your persistance you will be seeing as well!
I have no idea what kind of tree this is, but my goodness, those pink blooms covering the mostly bare tree are stunning! Instead of taking detours, this trip I drove straight to White Springs and the Stephen Foster Cultural Center. I've got quite a bit to say about the visit, however, if I did so in this post, I've no doubt I'd lose you, so that will come tomorrow. For now, we're sticking with flowering trees!
Red buds, while flowering everywhere in North Florida, are scarce around these parts. What we do have in common is the moss you see hanging in the trees!

At first I thought this might be a pink dogwood bloom, however, now I'm not so sure:
Isn't the color fantastic? With the long stamen like that it looks more like some sort of azalea. Or maybe a rhododendron? In any case, the blooms are fantastic, whatever they are! I asked the woman working in the gift shop what kind of trees were covered in white blooms, to which she answered, dogwood trees, but these blooms don't look like dogwood flowers to me, or at least the few I've seen in my life.
So, there were pink trees, white trees, and some yellow blooms growing on vines everywhere:
Some sort of honeysuckle perhaps?

During my journey I met some folks who I'll introduce you to tomorrow, however, I do want to mention the last person I spoke with. For unknown reasons, I took a side street on my way back to pick up Bruce. Seeing the spectacular trees, I pulled over to the side of the road to take a few shots when I met Glenn who lives in this home built in 1923.
Formerly he lived here with his 83 year old Mother, however, she passed away only two weeks ago. Chatting with him, he described living in Lake City his entire life, how although the relatives were nice enough during the funeral, now, not so much. Turns out they want things from inside this home he is not willing to share. After cooking and being the sole caregiver to his Mother these last four years, he is insistent on honoring her will which leaves everything to him. His extended family does not see it that way. Sad, isn't it? Talking about shopping for food, I mentioned the new Publix just down the road. "Oh no, I don't shop there--Publix is for rich folks." Funny, I never looked at it that way, but it just goes to show you how everyones perspective differs. You may be wondering how strangers come to tell me these things, so I'll tell you how it works. As I started walking towards his yard, which by the way has not one, not two, not even three, but five dogwoods!, I could see he was a little leery of me and my camera. Extending my hand, I introduce myself and ask if I might photograph such and such. It usually works like a charm and this time was no different. Here is what I think of when I think of a dogwood bloom, taken in Glenn's front yard:
I only wish we had more of these trees in Orlando because I LOVE them!

So getting people to talk to me is usually no problem; what is a problem is the extricating myself from the conversation! Because Bruce was expecting me, I finally wished Glenn well with his family difficulties, and drove off. Both restaurants are nearly complete so his visit was not as long as our last trip, meaning on the drive home I convinced him to let me hop off the Interstate to check out a little town called Alachua, about twenty miles from Gainesville. Driving directly to Main Street, it was small but charming. Traffic is controlled by one blinking light:
Our detour did not take long because, as you can imagine, there is not a whole lot to see, Baxter was indeed happy to see us pull into the driveway around 6, jumping with joy, to be exact.

Our winter has been almost non-existent this year, with what appears to be Spring awakening everywhere I go. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

Today, although I said last week I was going to slow down, I've a full slate of activities, so off I go in the crazy world of being "out and about." Thanks for coming along!



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