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My Funny Valentine

Before I go one minute further, I must tell you that I had something so exciting happen last week. You know that new Nikon D5100 I bought in June of last year? You don't? No matter, I did buy a new body to replace my broken D60, and all this time I had the settings WRONG! I discovered this by accident when I went to Colonial Photo and Hobby to ask about some focusing problems. The Nikon guru couldn't find anything wrong with that part of the camera, but boy howdy, did he find a bunch of stuff wrong in the settings--otherwise known as the brain of the camera. Once he cleared it all up, I could not WAIT to take some photographs with the new settings. Leaving FAVO the other afternoon I came across what, both Josie and Matt informed me from my previous post, a magnolia tree in full bloom. And in good light!
Because I was able to get close to them, I discovered first-hand how fantastic these blooms smell. Amazing! I can't tell you how thrilled I am because I've never been super impressed with the results I've been getting-- perhaps now I know why.

When last we met, I was just about to greet Bruce for our Valentines Day dinner at home. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm a bit of a skeptic about what I call "card company" money makers. Good thing that Bruce is one as well. His gift was a fairly impressive dinner--you know the whole "way to a man's heart" is through his stomach thing. Plus a cute card. He, on the other hand, gave me some chocolate hearts, which, while they look pretty cute, are destined for the garbage can....
Please ignore water spot on table....anyway, I image about now my sister Lisa is gasping in disbelief--throw away chocolate???? Indeed dear sister. I do my best not to eat anything made in China, which I know may sound a bit harsh, but I have my standards, as does Bruce if he has time to really check. He bought these in LA at a hotel gift shop, never noticing the country of origin until he was on his way home. He is in agreement with me on this one! Looking at his signature on the card with a puzzled look, he asked me what was I thinking? "Well, honey, it doesn't look all that much like your writing."You will NEVER guess what he said!! "I did the best I could on my steering wheel." !!!! Our love is so much bigger than one day which is a darn good thing. My funny Valentine indeed.

From reading this blog, you might just have the wrong impression of me. Because I normally only show you the good stuff, you might be tempted to think I do most things pretty well. WRONG! Look how sad my bread came out the other day...
It's hard to say what went wrong, but I'm thinking because I was juggling several projects at once, that I let it rise too long? You wouldn't know it from looking at the sagging top in the photograph, but at one time, before it went into the oven, it had a big, beautiful, rounded top!

On the other hand, I did have a super discovery which I'm now sharing because I know there are readers out there that have struggled with cutting brownies neatly. Or, maybe it is just me, but I always seem to get some pretty ragged looking brownies. You may not have a lettuce knife, and neither would I if not for Marshalls, but let me tell you it worked like a charm on this pan of brownies.
I'm wondering if we could have used it on the Christmas fudge? Tom did a remarkable job cutting up those delicious little square, but it was not without effort I'll tell you that much!

The weekend was jam packed with both work and fun. On a more serious note, Bruce, on Friday, met with human resources to find out just what retirement will mean to us financially. He came home, after several meetings at the office, and we put together our finances. Should he, or shouldn't he? That remains the question. We must have been feeling pretty good about things because we went out to eat at "The Rusty Spoon", an excellent downtown restaurant with an unfortunate name. Because there were no tables available, we ate at the bar and had a darn good time. Seated at the corner, a revolving cast of strangers occupied the seat adjacent to me. In what must be a real sign of how old we are getting, we could not believe Erica is 39 years old!
She was a delightful companion, at least for the 30 minutes she sat there. She spent seven years as an animal trainer at Animal Kingdom before deciding to go in a different direction. Currently she is trying to get into nursing school. Isn't everyone?

This could get long, so perhaps a few photos will suffice?
Winter Garden on Saturday--chilly, but good. I'm continuing my roving ways there after having been kicked out from under the pavilion, which may, or may not, be a good thing. To set the record straight, the produce folks are so darn busy there is no room for me there anymore. No one is mad at me, thank goodness!

Sunday was very chilly, in fact, probably the coldest day we've had all winter. Putting the sides on the tent was quite the chore for my funny Valentine. 38 degrees anyone? Nevertheless, between the sides, and the heater, I was more than comfortable. At least half of the vendors decided to stay home leaving room for these two ladies to take in the afternoon sunshine.
Because I have taken photos every single Sunday, going on five years, it is rare that I share any with you, but I kind of liked this one:
Pears seem to make a lovely photographic subject, don't they? As you can imagine the morning was slow. Who can blame anyone? I certainly wouldn't have been there as a customer! Not thinking far enough ahead, I finished the book I was reading by 11:30. Now what?
Have you heard of Conrad Richter? I hadn't, probably because school children are not given his novels to read, however, after reading this beautifully lyrical account of life in the West, mostly before it was tamed, I'm thinking they should. How is that I came to read a novel written in 1936? I liked the "old school" look of it. There were probably seven or eight novels by Conrad Richter on the downtown library shelves so I figured he must be somebody important and that turns out to be a good hunch. He won the Pulitzer prize for Literature long before I began reading. Furthermore, this book was made into a movie starring Kathryn Hepburn and Spencer Tracy! After the first page I was hooked! A call to Mr. Bruce and he drove back to the market with a new novel. Now that is a gift better than any chocolate made in China!

And that is all I'm going to say today. Our Sunday evening was so crazy fun, I'm saving it for tomorrow. I know--you can't believe we went out after the market, and frankly, I can't either.

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