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Food, Flowers, and More

I've had the strangest thing happen in the last week--an orchid I've had in full bloom for nearly three months had some new buds open. Mind you these buds just appeared, much to my surprise. The orchid, given to me by our neighbor Terri, seems to like the spot on the trunk in the sunroom. For most of the year I have blinds pulled full time because the sun is so intense, in spite of the heavy duty new windows. Because it has been consistently chilly, I've had one of them open to warm up the room--perhaps that has something to do with it?
Incidentally, she re-gifted the orchid, claiming that she would kill it, however, in my experience if you just leave an orchid be, aside from perhaps a weekly watering, they are impossible to kill. Of course, being a vendor next to an orchid vendor for seven years probably taught me a thing or two, like, ignore them! One I bought from Jim and Kathy is in bloom outside.
It's a pretty little thing that is not nearly as long lasting as the one above. For Christmas I gave Bruce a little box of maple syrup samples in darling little bottles. There really is not nearly enough syrup in one of the bottles to use for pancakes, but they sure are cute. Too cute to throw away. I cut a few flowers from a garden plant to make something cheery.
Guess what? I discovered a very good use for the Night Vision setting I talked about in my last post. It turns out very contrasty black and whites in decent light!
Now that's exciting news. So, you see there is another orchid, gracing the kitchen on top of the microwave, given to me for Thanksgiving, from Pat and Ruth. It pretty much looks the same as the day they gave it to me. And now you know why people buy orchids--the blooms last forever!

In more super good news, David, the upholstery guy, delivered the chair already!!
Baxter is even happier than I am because this is his nighttime bed. He is not permitted in our bed, however, we will be watching Max tomorrow night, and he's impossible to keep off our bed. Anyway, the first night the chair was gone, Baxter did not know what to do with himself, so he whined, waking Bruce up several times. You would think we had a child again.....

As to the food promised in my title, here's the muffin made with the grated apple. The lovely Tiffany cup is from Dave and Michelle.
Pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon on the top--oh my!

Speaking of gifts from Dave and Michelle, more than a year ago they gave us a very generous gift card to The Ravenous Pig, a highly rated restaurant in Winter Park. Well, we did not use all of the allotted funds, and because we've not tried the owners other restaurant, we decided to use it there one day. Well, Tuesday morning, being optimistic about his work load, Bruce suggested we go to Cask and Larder for dinner. Sure honey. Except, he is just busy as a beaver, and time got away from him. I asked if he wanted me to cook, because I'm always up for cooking, however, he said no, let's go somewhere nearby. Rejecting all of his suggestions, I finally agreed when he asked about Le Coq au Vin, just up the street. As in, we could walk there. One of the very best restaurants in town, within walking distance of our home, and you know how many times we've been there? TWICE, including Tuesday night. The food was scrumptious! This is a stack of fried green tomatoes with crab layered in between.
The little chopped bits are mango. My French onion soup was to die for!
We may not be able to make a habit of it because it is not inexpensive, but surely we can do better than once every nine years or so! My fault entirely. :)

In an effort to clear off my work table, I finished the dress with the retro fabric,
and I began playing with stamps. Stamp collecting is obviously not the hobby it once was, and partly that may because they are no longer engraved. This article from the Washington Post explains why that is so. Because Bruce's collection stopped around the time that stamps were changing, he has quite a few engraved ones that are really remarkable in their artistry, and what you can learn about history. I spent some time this morning learning who, Gallatin, whose face graced a stamp worth 1 1/4 cent, was. To say that he made important contributions to our nation's history is an understatement. Then too, I love to mix the past and present.
Sitting in the sunroom to take advantage of the warm afternoon sunlight, I began covering a little thrift store vase with stamps, choosing ones that were not only pretty, but held some meaning to our lives. Texas--yes! Apprenticeship program--yes! Winston Churchill--affirmative, and the list goes on. My plan is to cover the bottom of a tray with them, but I wanted to see how it would work out in a small scale. I like it.
Gosh, this post looks like a home tour...

Have you noticed the days getting longer, or should I say the evenings? Wonderful for us, and even more wonderful for our loved ones in the UK who've had to withstand daylight ending by 4:30 in the afternoon. Hooray for the coming of spring, at least in Florida.
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