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Not Just One, But Two!!

Last evening, following a delicious supper, I decided to run up to TJ Maxx, except, while doing so, I had to take a little detour due to a fallen tree across the road. Must have been caused by the massive rainstorm a few hours earlier. In some parts of the world, the whole "April showers brings May flowers," may ring true, however, in our little corner, the rainstorms usually arrive in June. This year has been a big exception to that as just last week I measured over 4 inches in our back yard rain gauge, which is momentarily out of commission due to the painting which is taking place as I type!
After getting around this roadblock, I discovered that the sunset was phenomenal, except the only place I could photograph it from was the inside of my car. Still awesome though.
What with all the aforementioned rain, it was a miracle that our boating trip on the St. John's River came to pass. Bruce's sister, Michele, along with her granddaughter Annabelle, are visiting from Minnesota. When we first arrived, we were all delighted to see the resident family of Sandhill cranes roaming in brother Cris's back yard.
When I say delighted, I seriously mean delighted, as it was the first time I've been close to a juvenile crane, and they are cute as a button.
That is if you like the scraggly look!

In truth the weather was just right--partly cloudy and warm, not hot. Cris loves taking people out on the boat, as well as his dog Jackson, who seems to like it pretty well too!
Michelle and Fallon preferred the shade.
This, my friends, is the real Florida.
Green, green, and more green. Not to mention lots of water. Having lived on the river for more than a year now, Cris also knows the little side waters, which is not the official name, but I can't think of any other way to describe them. One little detour off the main river took us to what Cris called, "birdhouse lane", although he said only a little while ago there were hundreds of birdhouses, removed recently by a curmudgeon I suppose. There are still a few sweet little ones left.
Birdhouses, along with the ever present Spanish moss. That said, if I see one tiny bit of it anywhere in our yard, I remove it instantly because once it starts in your trees there is no stopping it! After just a lovely afternoon on the river, we dined at Swamp House Riverfront Grille, located a few blocks from Judy and Cris's house.
By now Judy and Katie joined the group.
Seated below the hanging gator, some at the table enjoyed a gator table appetizer, however, I was not one of them. :)

Sunday, the rain held off until I was turning down our street with a loaded car. People who've never been to the market have no idea what they are missing! On any given Sunday you are more than likely to see something like this:
Yeesh! Monkey lady was back, and so too were some cygnets!
My friend Bev warned me to be careful around the owls, and I'm trying; by now I know better than to get too close to a swan and her babies!

Following the market, while at Hill's Happy Hour, our friend Lisa, who lives on Sweetbriar, home to the owls, told me there were TWO owlets, not just one! Are you kidding me? You know where Mrs. Camera Crazy went first thing Monday morning. Looking, looking, looking, I finally found them highly camouflaged in the Magnolia tree.
Oh my gosh!!! I watched for a while and I don't know if you can see this or not, but Papa Owl is beginning a meal.
What it is, I have no idea but he seemed to enjoy it.
How do I know this is Papa? Apparently, the male owl is smaller than the female, whom I saw way, way up in the oak tree over the poop splotched driveway. After swallowing whatever that was, he gave a little nuzzle to baby #1.
We are all obsessed, and can you blame us?

I just got off the phone with Dana who had only a moment to share some horrible, and I mean horrible news. The boyfriend of one of our vendors, Tim, fell terribly ill about three weeks ago. I was sick--Alan is ill, and in a big way. Bacterial Meningitis took over his body, and is apparently, still wreaking havoc, in spite of what I thought was a positive progress report on Sunday. Both legs are, at what I can only hope is, at the knees, being amputated today. I feel just sick even typing it. How old is he? Only 54, and what appeared to be, only a few weeks ago, in excellent health. Further, Matt Stromberg was back in the hospital with pneumonia and a pulmonary embolus. The latest MRI shows the brain tumor growing once again. All treatment options have been exhausted, so it is only a matter of time which I also hate typing, much less thinking about. :(

Why share all that horrible news Gail? Well that just makes me want to celebrate life every single day, as one never knows what tomorrow will bring. Yes, I know that is a overused, however, it still rings true. So, I'm obsessed with the owls? Good. How about you? Loving every beautiful thing God puts in your path? I hope so!

Which leads me to this glorious sight seen on my ride this morning. BTW--I was vacillating between using site or sight in that sentence until I read this.
Now that is one heck of a lot of Angel Trumpet blooms, isn't it?

As I type, this is how the house looks with every single window covered up, leaving me using the lamps for now.
Yesterday they pressure washed everything, including.....drum roll please....
Oh my gosh the driveway looks brand new! After covering all the windows, the trim is now nearly done, with the body coming next. Woo hoo! Cannot wait to see it, not to mention, I hope I like it!!

Making the most of today,
Gail




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