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The Sister, The Woodpecker, and the Birthday Boy

Let's start with corn. I bet you already know this, but if not, here's something handy I learned a few years ago. When sautéed corn sounds better to you than eating if off the cob, hold the cob upright, scrape your knife downwards, and always have it on a clean kitchen towel.
This is the ticket for getting it into the pan with no muss, and no fuss. Rarely do I give photographic tips, but ask me about a whole host of kitchen tricks, and I'm your girl!

In that same vein, Thursday evening I decided to make an old favorite--a tomato tart. Those big boys I bought at the market were made for this sort of thing. Caramelized onions...now there is something that I find hit or miss. Love the taste, but getting them just right often eludes me. This time I used my small cast iron skillet with a little oil, and put a lid on it. Yep--a lid for most of the cooking. It worked like a charm this time.
Before putting the tomatoes in, I pre-salted them, letting them rest for about thirty minutes on the pictured paper towel to remove some of their excess juice. Better for the crust that way. Catherine came over to share it with me while waiting for Nancy and Bruce to arrive. Bruce, on time, Nancy not so much. Lisa was kind enough to drive her here from the Sanford airport as it is close to her home. We stayed up way too late....

Friday found Bruce working, while Nancy and I shopped. For dinner we went to her favorite, Linda's LaCantina for steaks and baked potatoes. Except, when the steaks arrived our server informed us they were out of potatoes. Seriously?
For the record, the steaks were just as delicious as we remembered.

Back in March, I wrote here about a woodpecker couple, or so I presumed they were. Well, obviously I can't be sure, but one day, I think it must have been Friday morning during a rain shower, I'd gone in to take a shower. Except, before closing the blinds, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a baby woodpecker on the feeder. Running to find my camera, I'd left in my bike basket. Surely, the little one would be gone before I got back...nope, it was still out front, not on the feeder mind you, but on the palm, pecking away.
While on the subject of woodpeckers, did all of you see this incredible photograph? A good example of why having a camera with you at all times is an excellent idea!

It's been a long while since I posted a squirrel photo, mostly because they no longer bother my feeders, but this one was trying.
The lack of much of a tail is what caught my eye.

For the most part Saturday is a blur, but I do have photographic evidence of Saturday night to remind me of that part of the day! After much discussion we decided to get a pizza at Metro Espresso on Central Avenue. Pizza however, was not ordered by any of us, instead we decided on spaghetti. Following our meal I suggested Nancy might like to have a look at the fountain, so we walked just around the corner to see what we could see. So will you.
Twilight is a lovely time to take photographs. :)

While standing there, I heard some music, wondering where was it coming from. We followed the sound, and lo and behold, in the circle, where the beer garden is on Sundays, we came across this group making sweet drumming music together. The Sounds of Africa is their name.
I bet you did not know how much I like African music, did you? So much so that when I heard the same in the morning after setting up my booth, I went in search of them again. Apparently they'd asked to play in the same spot but Allison said no. They found another place, drawing quite a crowd.
As you can see, the weather looked super dreary, with rain predicted. Happily it never materialized, with my sales reflecting the weather. Not great, but good enough.

I thought this photograph of a different part of the market turned out nice.
Then it was Monday, and we had a birthday boy in the house. An impromptu party was very loosely planned. As in taco salad for the group.
I had to laugh when both Bill and David showed up wearing their undershirts from work. Instead of a cake, I made Bruce's favorite, an apple pie.
I bet it's been a while since you saw anyone blowing out birthday candles on an apple pie! Earlier in the day, Cheryle and David surprised him by appearing outside his office window to sing Happy Birthday. It was all just lovely.

Finally, I've not gotten around to telling you how well Matt is doing. Five days a week, Michael, Angela's son, has been working with him doing simple exercises using resistance bands along with light weights. I'd gone over with another batch of cookies, and was delighted to be able to participate, trying each exercise after Matt did them.
He was in very good spirits I am happy to report. And I left the house feeling the same.

Enjoying life one day at a time,

Gail
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