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Excursions

In spite of what it seems like from my blog, we have had a little fun here and there. Make that some entertaining, and some educational, which in my world is one and the same.

Before heading over to Bill's house one day last week, I made a visit to our local Orange County Extension Office, otherwise known to locals as the Ag Center. Several of my friends volunteer garden expertise there for homeowners like myself. They've gone through the Master Gardeners Volunteer Program which according to this link requires 70 hours of learning, followed by 75 additional hours of volunteer work. My friends weren't there that day, but there were two others who were more than happy to answer my plant questions. One was regarding Bruce's tomato plants. I learned it is too late in the season for them, however, since last week he does have one tiny tomato, and multiple flowers, so maybe we'll get lucky.

A number of years ago they moved the center to a big parcel of land on South Conway Road, not too far from our home. I was stunned with what I saw behind the center. Driving by, which we've done countless times, you would never know there are beautiful gardens behind the buildings. The first thing I saw were gorgeous palm trees surrounded by gorgeous caladiums. You know what a sucker I am for both!
They divided this large area into gardens by type, including a fruit area with blackberries, or so I think that is what these are!
 I am no master gardener that's for sure! The whole area looks like this:
There is a shed, which I've yet to show Bruce, adjacent to the hydroponics garden. You know how he loves a good shed.
Not so far from the airport, it came as no surprise when a plane flew by..
Florida clouds for my dear friend Karen! So, not only did I get answers to my questions, but I had the privilege of seeing lovely gardens. That's a win/win in my book.

A visit to Renninger's in Mt. Dora was our Saturday fun, which was sorely needed after two retirees worked full time the previous week! A combination antique center, and flea market, housed in two separate buildings, there was so much to see you cannot take it all in. Not in a morning that's for sure!

Where shall I start? Perhaps where we did? The antique center houses indoor stalls, if you will, of more stuff than you can imagine. You know you are getting old when the things you have in your kitchen are called "antiques." I was particularly enamored of this display which is suspect antiquey!
Antiquey is my made up word for a great deal of what we saw. I was delighted, on the other hand, when I saw this Jordan Marsh hatbox, the store where I purchased my wedding gown among other things. Come to think of it, our wedding registry was at JM.
There is a tree lined street with little shops selling everything, sometimes the rustier the better, like this chair sporting a SOLD sign!
There are shops for gardeners, a particularly nice one shown here:
The flea market was even more incredible--words fail me. Some of it was indoors, some outdoors. Did I mention it was incredibly hot? Well, it was. You might be thinking to yourself, "didn't they get enough heat for the week?", and there is definitely some truth to your thinking. I was super glad when we made our way into the air conditioning, seeing shops so silly we mostly passed by them. Don't believe me?
Now you do!

As I said, you can find just about anything out there. Care for a pair of outdoor stuffed monkeys?
Now you know just where to find them.

Sunday was also brutally hot--the first day we brought the mega-fan which worked beautifully. Because it was both strikingly hot, and a holiday weekend, I figured sales would be abysmal, however, much to my delight, they were just fine. During the long hot afternoon, I still had folks coming in, both buying, and visiting. One man really took me by surprise when he began opening a red pouch attached to his belt. Here's what came out of it:
Know what these are? I certainly did not. When the first one popped it's head out, I told him, "wait, let me get my camera and take his picture---I write a blog, and this is most definitely blog worthy!" He responded, "which one?" Say what?
"There are more than one??" FOUR little sugar gliders  came crawling out of the pouch, which I'm linking to, in the event you want to know more about these "pets". In seven years, this, my friends, was a first! Have you seen one yourself? I've seen all manner of interesting things, but never a sugar glider.

Sunday night I switched the channel to PBS around 8PM, and am I ever glad I did. When the National Memorial Day Concert began, Bruce thought it would be merely symphonic music which is not at the top of his list of favorite types of music. It was much, much more. I'm pretty sure I cried through about 60 of the 90 minute broadcast. Featured were some stories about wounded, or killed young soldiers, one of whom is a man named Jon Peck. He not only lost his legs, but one entire arm, and about 1/3 of the other. Never have I been more grateful for my whole, healthy sons. God bless those families that have had to endure such pain.

After watching the program, going to bed with swollen eyes, we determined that we would not let another Memorial Day pass without actually participating in the true meaning of the national holiday. After all, Bruce's Dad served in WWII, as did his Uncle Rolla who was killed and buried at sea in the Pacific Ocean. It took this program to make me realize in a graphic way how horrible Hazel and Rolla Loveland must have felt when they received a telegram telling them their only son had been killed. I suppose it must be part of getting old; life becomes all the more precious. We saw in the paper that a ceremony was planned at Greenwood Cemetery where both of my parents are buried.
Tears were shed during the service, however, there was a lighter moment when this Color Guard
was a little late returning for the removal of the flag. So, at least there was that.

Later in the day we did the typical holiday thing--a cookout which was severely hampered by a two hour, three inch downpour!
We were over at Lake Pineloch which was almost sporting white caps in the wind and rain. Finally it stopped and the sun returned but only for a little while.
Nonetheless, we had a good time with Dave, Michelle, Bill, Burch, and the other folks down by the pool.

There you have it--we do know how to have fun every now and again!
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