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May I Join You?

Anymore, that's a phrase I rarely use, however, it does sound so nice, making me wish I had more occasion to use it. The weekend past, I spent in Winter Garden at the, ahem, art festival, such as it was. You know how much I love Winter Garden, their art festival, not so much. One of my friends from the WG market, a young woman who lost her job as a pharmaceutical rep selling Viagra, is now doing her darndest to sell art at the farmer's market. Beginning in the summer, I cautioned her how slow it would be, and how easy it is to get discouraged. However, as the weather has cooled, or at least the Florida version of cooling, sales have still been hard to come by. It must have been Saturday evening, and I mean evening, as we stayed open until 8PM, she remarked how most of the people attending the show were the very same ones who come to the market and don't buy anything. She had a point.
Before leaving Saturday morning, I was so thrilled to see sunshine that I had to take a photo of my kitchen window. Before long, those black lines will be a thing of the past, replaced by white and a grid pattern matching our entry doors. Woo hoo! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I don't know how people survive with gray weather!

Bruce left much earlier with the loaded Pilot to begin the set up. The event, held on Plant Street, was to begin loading at 6AM. Was to is the operative word here, as they kept folks waiting until nearly 6:30, only then taking them to their spot. This year I was on the opposite side of the street facing the Edgewater Hotel which was nice as they have a restroom in their lobby, always a plus when you don't have to use the portable ones. Before doing this gig, I avoided portable toilets like the plague, however, most shows that is what I have to resort to, a reason in itself for not wanting to do them!
The weather was lovely and every now and again someone would come into my booth. When they do so, I typically say hello, and leave it at that. If they want to chat, I am more than willing to do so.

Which brings me to my next point. A young woman, really Bill and David's age, had her booth next to me. A first-timer, both Bruce and I were happy to pass along any knowledge we've learned in nearly seven years doing this. One of those things I mentioned is the greeting, to which she replied, she didn't like that sort of thing, instead letting folks visit in silence. My theory is, if you want to touch my things, the least you can do is say hello! It is only good manners.
She worked with glass, making trays and wall hangings, all very nice. As well, she had three life-sized mannequins she'd painted; although they were outstanding, it would take a very large house to accommodate one as art. Nonetheless, I was very impressed.

In the foreground of the above photograph, is a group of folks visiting the show to get crowd reaction to their outfits. The lady on the right, with her back to you, told me they were a "steam punk and costumers group" who dress for fun. In particular I loved the children's outfits. You can just make out her son in my neighbor's booth.

The street looked like this most of the evening hours:
My word, the clock reads nearly 8:00. Around 7, my sides came down with only the front to release the minute the clock struck 8, and I was out of there! The photo below is so Winter Garden.
In some regards, it could be from another era, don't you think? If you care about such things, here's a little history lesson regarding Christmas lights which began with one of my favorite men, Thomas Edison.

Bruce and Baxter were anxiously awaiting my return, laying in the grass, gazing at the stars. Except there were not so many, as the clouds, once again, were rolling in. Sunday, with a dire weather prediction, was incredibly slow and chilly, the temperature having dropped 20 degrees from Saturday's sunny high of 84. I spent time chatting with other artists, and my friends the Goldsmiths came to see me. The girls are growing up so quickly, or so it seems to me.
Moving to Winter Garden two years ago from Long Island, one day they came to the market and we just clicked. Earlier in the week, TJ, their dad, called me about framers, as they'd purchased a print from me for a gift, and wanted to give it on Thanksgiving. Having no luck finding a frame to their liking, I told them about Sam Flax, which is a bit of a drive from their home, but they went, and loved it. During their visit, he told me that every place they went looking, people asked them where they got the print. Nice.

Nicer still is the tomato basil soup they brought me, along with some wonderful artisan bread and butter! Imagine if I'd never said hello to them when they first visited my space. At the market, particularly Meghan, dressed in the blue sweat shirt, loves to write sales in my book, get bags out and handle the money. All of that makes me happy as it won't be long before they will have no interest in coming to the market to see Miss Gail.

I mentioned a dire weather report, and for someone in a tent, 25 mph winds can be pretty dire. That said, although it was occasionally gusty, nothing much came of it. Around 4PM, we were told that the show was closing early, and nothing could have made me happier. Fortunately, my project manager had just arrived, and when it was all packed up for another day, we headed back to our cozy home, spending a few hours together before he left Monday morning for Miami. In, I don't know how long, this is the first holiday season when his work schedule has been manageable, for which we are both very, very grateful.

Yesterday was a grocery shopping day, with the turkey now thawing in the refrigerator. I'm thinking of brining this year, something I've never tried. Did you know it was Cook's Illustrated that popularized that method? Now you do. Later in the day I met Bill at a home he is perhaps interested in buying. Very preliminary, however, we both saw potential. He'll wait on a verdict from his Dad.

Despite my grousing, I absolutely know the truth of this plaque I saw perched outside someone's home.
As I hope you do too.
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