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Friends and Family

I am in awe of folks that can be on the go all of the time. Anymore, I'm such a little homebody that if I'm out for two nights in a row, I get a little crazy. Not that I'm complaining mind you, but four nights in a row is, well, more than I'm accustomed to. Perhaps having the house painted in the midst of it all added to it? I will say, I could not be any more pleased with the job Herbert and Ricardo did, responding to any last minute ideas, or changes we requested. I especially love how Bruce's shed turned out.
Although Cheryle thinks I should paint the door a different color, I'm not budging on this one. Finally my blue door works!

The truth is probably that I'm not so used to having as much fun as we've had in the last five days with both friends and family. When last we met, we were heading out to the fund raising event for Team Fox, or more familiarly, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease. It was while Maureen and I were chatting with another woman, diagnosed only three years ago, that I realized, or remembered, that it has been 10 years since Maureen's diagnosis. The event was named "The Art of Fashion" and indeed there were many fashionistas in attendance. Bruce drove two of his favorite ladies to here, and I suspect the reason he's so far ahead is to open the door for us. :)
Meet Tanya, a young woman diagnosed when she was only 31 years old, as well as the organizer of the event.
She is standing beside a canvas I donated, and one that, let us hope, raised some money! Doesn't she look lovely, especially considering that just three weeks ago she had a second brain surgery to implant an electric charge gadget (for lack of a better term) to help with her body movements? I was only sad that her adorable little boy was not there. The table behind displayed silent auction items, and scattered throughout were outfits styled by fashion bloggers, or stylists.
I bet you can figure out which one of the outfits above captured my affection! I'm thinking these outfits are a little tame for her?
This all came about as a result of our daughter-in-law Michelle's friendship with Tanya, which made it all the sadder that she was not feeling well enough to attend, although sister Lisa did. Not only did she come ,but her bid went to a big basket of chocolate. No surprise to her family!

After spending time at both Disney, and the beach, Bruce's sister Michelle, and granddaughter Annabelle arrived at our home on Friday afternoon. It was not long before Annabelle and I were in the pool. Living in Minnesota does not give a child nearly as much opportunity to become proficient at swimming, although don't tell that to Annabelle. She took to the water like a fish, becoming more confidant as we worked together. After helping her to become more comfortable with water on her face, I had her jump to me. Before long she was using the noodle to jump in solo.
Still wearing the little tiara from her meeting with the Disney Princesses, we had so much fun. Earlier she'd asked me if our pool ever closed, to which I replied, no, it does not. So, when it was time to meet the clan at VanBerry's, she reminded me that the pool never closed, why did she have to get out? Out of the mouths of babes.:)

Judy, Cris, Jessica and Katy came from the North end of town Pecks, while the South end was represented by Bill, Fallon and David, Gail and Bruce. It was a wonder we could even hear ourselves talk that place is loud, loud, loud!
I only wish I'd taken a shot after everyone arrived! Jessica and Annabelle were the only two from our group who successfully hung the ring on the hook!
It was a lot of fun in spite of the noisy atmosphere. After all that swimming, bedtime for all of us came early. Saturday, at Bruce's suggestion, we went to Gatorland. As you well know, one of my favorite places to visit, and even more fun with a little one. Brave, she held the gator, although she does not look any too happy in this photograph.
One thing Michelle mentioned to me was how well Bruce and I get along, and I told her that is the way it has been since longer than I can remember. In just another instance of how great a man I married, as we were getting out of our parked car at Gatorland, I realized I'd left my camera on the kitchen counter. He asked if I wanted him to go home to get it, and you know how I responded. Some people feel lost without their phone, I feel lost without my camera. You would think with all my visits to Gatorland I'd have seen it all before, but where there are animals concerned, there is always something new. Adding to our spring theme of baby birds, this sight thrilled me.
Annabelle was more thrilled with this activity.
Five and a half years old, she is just adorable, (as Bill kept repeating), that I had to wonder if she is ever any trouble at all? Certainly that was not my child rearing experience! The day was becoming ever more hot and humid, so we made our way back along the painted creek toward the exit.
It does not take a lot of imagination to know what came next. More swimming! After Friday's session, she was braver, and braver, jumping onto the noodle in the deep end. For a little change I'd switched the camera to black and white.
Annabelle has the longest lashes imaginable,
as well as seemingly unlimited energy. We were sorry to see them head to the airport because it is not often we get to see them. :(

We did not have too long to mourn their leaving as we had a dinner date with Bruce's friend, Jim, who was in Orlando from Washington State. I'd never met him before, but he was as friendly as could be, and we all had a marvelous time.

The market Sunday was dull as dirt. Hardly any weirdness except for this:
At 6:30 in the morning the rain forecast was high, however, after some hemming and hawing, we decided to chance it. The weather ended up cooperating, however, the crowds did not get the message, as they stayed home in droves. I was delighted, however, to sell three prints of "Tree Hugger."

To end our fun run, after unloading the Pilot, we joined the others for "Hill's Happy Hour." Seems like every week it gets bigger and bigger.
We were joined this week by Lisa's mother visiting from Ohio, as well as a young woman newly arrived from Michigan as an airbnb guest of David and Cheryle. This week was extra special because we all walked down the street to have dinner together at Pat Sprague's beautiful home. She is a very successful downtown realtor, and I was thinking how it must be difficult to extol the virtues of ugly homes when you live in such a beautiful one yourself. Just saying.

Following the Orlando City game on television, this blogger went to bed and boy did I sleep well, so much so I could barely get going this morning, but going I did, albeit at home.

Hats off to those on-the-go folks out there,

Gail




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