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A New Direction

Most weeks, during my morning bicycle ride, one of my destinations is Red Hill Groves where I purchase fresh orange juice from about October, through the middle of May, which is fast approaching. And generally I take the same route, down Pershing Avenue, cutting through a housing development, and crossing Conway Road to their store. Because it won't be long before they close, I decided Thursday to take a different route, riding along Gatlin Avenue to reach Conway Road. Well, it was a good thing I did because I saw a number of things that really caught my eye, including, this very cool mailbox, which I'll show from both sides because they are unique.
Here is how the other side looks...
Pretty cute isn't it? Not to be outdone by their artistic neighbor, or that's my assumption, the house across the street has this:
I could not decide if it was a Christmas decoration that stays up year round, or what it's meant to represent. Maybe they just like it? It does add a nice cheery dose of red to their landscape.

Along Gatlin Avenue I saw the most beautiful purplish bougainvillea both on the plant, and in the grass.
While waiting to cross Conway I noticed an osprey nest on top of the power pole.
Do you see it way up there? Do you also see the storm clouds? Well, of course you do. More on that in a minute. Once across, I looked up, and what should I see, but the nest resident eating breakfast.
There are no really nearby lakes so where the fish came from is a mystery. Once I arrived at the store I went inside to find no one there. Calling out several times with no response, I proceeded to get my juice from the cooler, lay the exact change on the counter, and stamp my juice card. Juice card? Yep, after you purchase twelve, you get one free. Getting back on my bike, with the juice in the front basket, I was going to ride around back and see if anyone was there that I could show that I'd only taken one jug. Before I could though, the owner stuck his head out, and we chatted. It was a slightly chilly morning making me glad I had put my windbreaker on because in spite of him telling me that the radar showed not a chance of rain, rain it did in the next few minutes. So much for the radar. Of course, any one of us, just looking at the clouds knew something was going to happen!

At any rate, my ride home was less eventful aside from wet hair. Ooops..out of order here. If you are wondering how the pictures get on this here blog, here's how I do it: find the photos I want to tell a story, upload them into a monthly album, selecting them as I write. Except this time I missed one, so here it is. I don't often see a Brown Thrasher, because as the link will tell you, they like to stay hidden, however, this time I saw two on a roof, although I was unable to get them together. These are super cute birds that go nowhere near a bird feeder, thus so few sightings.
Later in the day, during a much needed trip to Costco, Angela called. Naturally I'm always a little nervous when I see her name on my phone, but this time I needn't have felt so. Instead of bad news, she asked if I would participate in, what I understood to be a seriously crazy scheme, involving me, Baxter, Angela, and Matt. No, Matt was not requesting a visit from Baxter, instead she asked if we would be decoys for them while they met with a vet. Here it gets a little convoluted; the vet has a "Tesla" hyperthermic machine, whereas the Homeopathic doctor they visited has a "Yugo." Are you with me? Seriously, over the phone I was totally confused, and I can't say after the visit that I am a less confused. Nonetheless, Baxter and I headed over to their home to participate in this ruse. Here is Angela filling out the paperwork for the Baxter/Matt visit.
I have no idea what she wrote on that sheet, but eventually they called us in. Matt still cannot speak above a whisper, so he spent the time in his wheelchair looking at this magazine. I'm not sure what a modern cat is, but it kept him occupied.
The vet, wearing flip flops and scrubs, mind you, spoke with great enthusiasm about hyperthermia treatments for cancer, suggesting that it works wonders, and might be effective in stopping the cancer from advancing. All the while Baxter and I sat quietly listening, however, at one point I could not contain myself, and did ask about side effects. He claimed there are next to none, which would be wonderful if true. Matt, too, sat quietly. He spoke for probably forty minutes during which time he told Angela that they should go with the Yugo because, although it might take longer, it will get you where you want to go. Hmmm....on the drive home Matt said he sounded like a salesman, and I tend to agree, however, he also said he might want to try it. I'll keep you posted, and by the way, one of the tactics Angela used to get me to participate was by saying the experience would be good blog material! You may be wondering about two things--how are the vet and the homeopathic guy connected, and two, exactly why did we go to the vet? I'm afraid I can't give you a solid answer to either of those questions. What I can tell you is that Matt and Angela are renewing their wedding vows on Monday at 10 in the morning, and I'll be there to record it. So, there's that.
Unfortunately I'd put the manual focus lens on the Nikon and did a terrible job focusing the photo above taken out my car window, but it does put a face to Angela with her son Michael who will be leaving for college in July. My how he has grown. For the record, Angela is 6 feet tall. :)

The road I take to pick up my prints is under construction for the next six months (!) leaving with no choice but to take a detour, which isn't all bad because I'm driving through neighborhoods I've never before seen. I thought I was getting a little carried away with garden stuff until I came across this:
Friday I rode over to Cypress Grove Park for a change. I'm never disappointed because there is always something new and unexpected to see such as this woman I saw practicing tap dance on the sidewalk.
You just never know what you'll find if your eyes are wide open. As well, I went out onto the dock and the view back towards the park was so lovely and so Southern!
As I was making my way on the path above, what should I come across but a line up of very high heels just sitting there. Just as I was taking a photo to show you, a photographer and his subject walked up from behind to explain. He was shooting photos of her for a website...
Now you understand my surprise! Our big excitement for Friday was buying a new Honda lawn mower. Sound exciting to you? It does to me as we've been struggling with our Snapper mower for at least the past year. Because we are both, or mostly me, frugal by nature, we'd put it off with a series of fixes by Mr. Bruce, however, as I said to him, "I know when to say when." Friday was when.

You know what I said about the Tesla and the Yugo--this new one is not electric but it is so fast I felt like I was running behind it this morning. I like it!

We've had some spectacular weather the last few days, which, if you can believe the forecast, and generally I'm super skeptical, will continue tomorrow for the market. Oh happy day in advance!

Sincerely,

Gail

p.s. Alan update--below the knee amputations, but according to Tim he's in fairly good spirits. :(
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