Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Another Rainy Day

As I type this, there are lovely white puffy clouds in a brilliant blue sky, with warm sunshine brightening everything. So, why the title? Well, since last I wrote, there has been more rain, along with general doom and gloom for the previous two days. By now you may be sick and tired of reading about all of this year's rain, and frankly, I'm sick of writing about it, however, documenting life is what we are all about here at Camera Crazy, and the minute it quits incessantly raining, I'll quit, and that's a promise!

One more thing though to reassure you that I'm not exaggerating, the paper today claims we've already had a year's worth of rain in the first nine months. Now we know.

The other morning when I went to witness the sunrise, because I was oh so close, I stopped to take more photos of the horses in the nearby field. At first I did not see them, but soon enough I could just make out their running forms in the far part of the field. That was nice.

It was during what, in photography lingo, is called the "golden hour"; that is just fancy talk for the hour after sunrise, or the same before sunset.
Trying to figure out a place to park my car was my biggest problem. Then too, it was a mighty good thing I'd worn my trusty Keds because the long grass was saturated as were those trusty Keds when I got home!
While I was standing alongside the fencing, a hawk flew up over my head, landing on the electricity pole. I knew the tail feathers were unfamiliar to me, so naturally, Google came to my rescue. It is a Cooper's Hawk, not to be confused with the restaurant with the same name on International Drive.
Eventually the horses began to come my way:
I just knew that dark blue sky did not mean that I would be happy with Monday's weather! It is a darn good thing these horses are not located within my bicycle's range, or I can see myself quickly becoming obsessed!
There is plenty for them to graze on what with all of the rain! I love the tail on the white horse--so lush!
Lest you think we only eat and drink, I rallied the Sunday Night Gang to join me in calling the code enforcement office to complain about the eyesore at the corner of Delaney and Pineloch Avenue, which gets worse everyday!
I figured if enough people complain, they will finally do something about it, especially since now someone has dumped couches along the side!
Turns out it was last August that I made my first call, and as a result, they put the fencing around the actual building which looks almost worse than it did without it. Yesterday afternoon I heard back from the chief inspector, learning that a dentist owns the property, which is accruing fines of $150/day because he was given one year to demolish it. Allegedly, the plans call for a new office building, but I'll believe it when I see it. The days go by so quickly I can't be sure just how long it has remained empty, however, what I do know is that, whatever the time frame, it is far too long!

We have a new restaurant not far from the above corner called Noodles & Co. which I wish I could recommend, but I cannot, having tried it last week. I'll be anxious to hear other folks opinion. Perhaps mine was an isolated crummy meal? I'm not quite sure if I can convey this in writing, but here goes anyway. Months ago, when construction was just underway, I stopped while bicycle riding to ask what was being built. The fellow I talked to said, a restaurant called "Nudeless." So, I asked him to repeat himself, which he did. I then repeated it back....Nudeless? How do you spell that? He spelled noodles, to which I replied, isn't that noodles? Nope, they said it was Nudeless. Well, who knew?

The mail, and don't you just love getting mail, because I sure do! These arrived in the mailbox Tuesday from Nancy. Aren't they adorable?
The little birdies flew onto my ears where they have remained ever since!

Yesterday it rained so hard, and early in the morning no less, that even I used an umbrella when I had to do some errands. For about ten minutes, just before sunset, the sun shone its' face.
The retention ponds, everywhere you look, are filled to the brim!

I guess it's been about a year now that I've been having a dickens of a time with my sinuses at night when I lie down for sleep. My eyes water, my sinuses drain, and I begin coughing. After a time it usually quits, and I sleep. With B gone for so many nights, I've not been sleeping as well as I might, and if I wake up, I go through the earlier description all over again. So it was last night that a dream woke me around 3:45 in the morning. I sure as hell did not want to get up that early, but for a time, I thought I might have to what with all the nose blowing etc. No telling when I drifted off again, not waking until 8 AM today to the sun streaming through the blinds. Letting Baxter out the back door, look what finally greeted me after three day's absence!
If only it were days ago! Bruce was not as interested as I in the blood moon/lunar eclipse, however, I told him when God puts on a show, I want to witness it! As I'm sure most of you do too.

In restaurant news, two weeks from today, they open for business! The team is frantically working out all the kinks and finishing up and I can tell you it won't be a moment too soon for Mr. Bruce. :)

Basking in the light,

Gail

Monday, September 28, 2015

Celebrating Life

Who needs a blood moon and a lunar eclipse anyway? Me, that's who! It was not to be however, due to last night's complete cloud cover over Central Florida. I was hoping that by early morning said cloud cover would have dissipated, and I'd at least be able to see the super moon. Waking up before five this morning, I eagerly went out back to nothing. Clouds everywhere you turned. After Mr. Bruce took off for the airport, this photographer thought, well, if the night sky was to have been so dramatic, maybe the early morning sky would do the same? I drove over to the closest field I could find off Conway Road to watch the sunrise.
The clouds were good for something anyway! I waited patiently..
Siri told me the sunrise would be at 7:16, and so it was.
So, that was the start to my Monday. How about yours?

Last Friday, September 25, would have been our Mom's 90th birthday which Maureen and I celebrated over lunch at Smashburger. Our Mom loved a good burger and milkshake.
If you've yet to try Smashburger, I highly recommend that you do!

Quarter to five on Friday, during a driving rainstorm, I picked Bruce up at the airport. Here's something that perhaps you've not tried before, a little secret I learned from my sister Carol. Pick folks up at Departing Flights because they won't jump all over you for parking your car! Works like a charm. Arriving home, Baxter, as you can imagine, was delighted to see him, as was I. After going without a good night's sleep for almost all of the twelve days he was gone, it wasn't long after supper that he took to the couch.
And who can blame him?

Saturday morning, after getting his expense report done, (well over $3,000 for the hotel!!), we got the yard done, because not only is it what we do on Saturday, but we were having guests in the evening. Our friend, Cathy, decided it could be fun to have a progressive dinner, so, after much planning on her part, we did. We began the night at Cheryle and David's for champagne. The gardeners found their way outside to commiserate on plants.
Cathy, in the black and white dress, meted out the dishes we were to prepare from a Cook's Illustrated Menu Cookbook. Needless to say, the recipes were complicated! As well, she and Bunker (khaki pants above), went to ABC Liquors with said menu for wine pairings, aided by the "wine guy" there.
Next up was our home where we had appetizers, including a terrine made by yours truly, Prosciutto wrapped asparagus made by Roxanne, and caramelized onions with goat cheese and crackers, made by Cheryle. Before we ate a thing though, I took a group photo outside.
Well, I guess some had their wine already, didn't they?

My dish was a first for me, in fact, I tried something like it in the past that was a wreck. This time, after consulting with Pam, I froze it between each layer of ingredients. Called a Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Cheese Terrine, it actually turned out just fine. Because a big bunch of fresh basil is hard to come by this time of year, I made the pesto with arugula, and folks seemed to like it. Making pesto was a first for me as well.
Turn about is fair play because once, while over at Bill and Roxanne's for a party, I begged to turn on the tv so I could finish watching Jordan Spieth win a golf tournament. Saturday night, Bill asked for the Florida football game, so who was I to turn him down?

Once the sun went down we all converged on Bunker and Cathy's lovely home where they'd set up tables poolside for the main dish of Beef Stew Provencal served over noodles brought by Lisa and Oren. I just counted the ingredient list for that stew--17!! I told you these were complicated recipes!
Bruce is paying our wine bill which was a very reasonable $11 a person.
Pat made the salad which again was crazy complicated, requiring her to special order Belgian Endive. Everything was delicious, including the french bread from the East End market bakery. Did I mention that wine was served with each course? All very good. In case you are worried, each pour was small.

Ending the evening on a sweet note, we walked the three doors down to Pam and Glenn's house. Pam made a scrumptious, albeit crazy time consuming, Chocolate Caramel Walnut Tart ,which I made sure to photograph for posterity. She claimed she is not making caramel again any time soon!
In case you are wondering about her rooster in the middle of table, I suspect she bought that during the two years she and Glenn lived in New Zealand. Looks like a magazine doesn't it?
She's serving Roxanne, as Cathy patiently waits her turn. Just how full do you think we were? Very full! It was such a fun evening we can't wait to do it again, albeit, or at least the cooks agree, with somewhat simpler recipes! I now have fourteen wine glasses, so that part is taken care of.

Following Saturday's busyness, Sunday was a quiet day indeed. We went to church again so that Bruce could decide what he thought, and pretty much either rested, ate, or watched golf. Yup, Jordan Speith did it again! He is a boy wonder.

The day was a mix of sun and clouds up until around 5PM, then some rain fell, and those pesky clouds never went away. We went to bed early. I may have not gotten any photographs of the celestial phenomenon, however others sure took some wonderful shots in this link. Don't miss it!

Finally, this week at the restaurant, there are still challenges awaiting Bruce, but food is being delivered which is an exciting milestone indeed. Stay tuned...

Celebrating life in all its fullness,

Gail

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Kick Starter

I'm not sure if it was a call from my sister Nancy, or the gradual change in the weather, but I'm officially out of my funk. It does not hurt that Bruce is coming home tomorrow evening, or that he got his CO on Monday, two days early! I say Bruce, but the truth is, it takes a big team to build anything of substance. Last night, while talking to him around 8:30, he said he was going to Home Depot and naturally I asked what for? He said to pick up a few supplies, to which I replied, "honey, you are the project manager, not the laborer." He reminded me that he is "whatever he needs to be to get a project done--always has been and always will be." Can you blame Steve for wanting to hire a guy like that? Wednesday was what they call the "handover" when the managers arrive and are shown how all the systems operate, along with critiquing the work. After some prodding, Bruce told me that it was the best, most complete restaurant they'd ever had. No doubt in my mind they were speaking the truth!

The weather!! Five days without rain!! Hip, hip hurray! The calendar tells me that fall has arrived, or autumn as some folks call it, and I can definitely feel a tiny bit of cooling off. Of course here in Florida those calendar designations rarely mean much, but still, a girl can hope. Even if the temperature remains in the 90's, the produce market reminds us that fall is here.
About two weeks ago, when this Bruce being gone saga began, I took the photo below to demonstrate how things are going around here at nighttime. Dinner over, and you can usually find me here.
Making the bed has been pretty easy these days as I sneak into that little envelope, remaining there until the sun rises. So that was my original intent however, there's been a big change in our bedroom, because, during one of Bruce's infrequent days home, we got a big stain on his beloved quilt. Oxyclean did not do the trick, nor did turning it the other way around, so on Tuesday, I set out to find something new, which was much harder than it sounds.

I began at the nearest stores including TJSaks, or make that TJMaxx. Can you guess why I took the photo below?
If you've no clue I'll tell you why. Both ladies are carrying the same handbag! Isn't that the craziest? I suppose one of them had it, and the other liked it so well, they got one too? So, anyway, no luck there. Onward to Mecca, as I like to  call it, others use the Mall at Millenia name, an area where there are more shopping opportunities than you can count. I went into one store after another with no luck. I even went to the mall itself, which is rare indeed. I'm nearly always struck by the window displays; this one from Kate Spade was really something. Foxy Lady indeed.
Walking from one end of the mall to the other, I can assure you that plaid, as well as the color burgundy, are making a big comeback. You may be thinking right about now that there is such a thing as online shopping Gail, and of course I know that, even trying that earlier in the day, however, after perusing countless websites, I can tell you that there are a lot of ugly bed coverings to be had. Plus, I wanted a quilt that wound not smother us like a duvet, or comforter. Simply put, it's just plain too hot for either of those in my humble opinion.

Much as I did not want to, from there I drove over to Florida Mall. Orlandoans will understand what I mean when I say that route is not through the best of neighborhoods, and it was plainly evident while driving down Oak Ridge Road, seeing what looked like must have been quite the crime scene as there were at least 10 Sheriff cars, as well as a helicopter, and the news media. Although I meant to watch the news to see what it was all about, I was just plain tuckered out by the time I got home, forgetting all about it. The next morning's newspaper mentioned something about gang arrests, however, there were no specifics. Speaking of the newspaper, some days I can't figure out why we still have it delivered, and then other days when I read something like this, I know why. You absolutely MUST click on that link because it is astonishing, particularly the first letter, a good foil to reading about a man disembowling a woman. You just can't make this stuff up!

Parking outside of Dillards, up the escalator I went, soon discovering that if only I'd gone there first, I could have saved myself a full day of shopping. Whether or not Bruce is going to like it, remains to be seen, so I'm leaving all of the price tags attached. The multi-colored quilt worked perfectly with my orange lamps, and newly recovered occasional chair;  finding a replacement that would meet those requirements was no easy feat. So, I went the plain route.
Quite the change, huh? One thing I was hoping to find, and I did so at Dillards, was a dark bed skirt to replace the ivory colored one that Baxter used to love rubbing against, leaving a black streak over time from the bed frame. Mission accomplished, or so I hope!

I mentioned Nancy calling, and during our conversation I said I just did not have enough to keep me busy, which is not what she wants to hear as she is the only one of the Price siblings with a job, and a difficult one at that. I told her I'd even resorted to cleaning the blinds in the living room, a job which I loathe. "How about the closets Gail?" Just what I needed to hear! I tackled the foyer closet yesterday, and a trip to Goodwill followed. I don't quite know how many years I had been holding onto a box of Matthew's books from his youth, but most of them finally found their way to Goodwill, except for these below!
Sitting between my yearly sales book, and Dave and Michelle's wedding picture, I expect they will stay there until someone makes me move them. Those notebooks contain the story of my business so they will remain as well. One of the reasons I've been so lost is that I've not been to the market for a month now, however, I am so grateful that Sun Dance has still been working for me. Well, themselves as well, but you get my drift. It has been a year now since we learned of the big Hobby Lobby sale. What a day that was! Since they began selling the prints at the first of the year, every month they've re-ordered, some months a number of different ones, others only a few of them. Yesterday I received my monthly mail box money check for $1,000, making for a pleasant surprise. Then too, I see that another company made some pretty big purchases, always exciting, including one that I took while visiting Vancouver! As you know, they also license images, and there is one being used for a "light lamp box", whatever that is. Can you even believe how lucky I've been? Pinch me because I can't!

Out and about on my bicycle, this morning I saw a magnolia blooming which is so odd. Whatever makes a tree bloom out of season, I'd like to know?
While on the subject of blooms, the other morning while visiting Sue, she took me out back, explaining that the fantastic coral blooms opened over night.
She has no shortage of blooms in her back yard, and I expect there will be no shortage of butterflies either.

What with all the sunshine we've had for the last FIVE days, the shadows are aplenty. I wonder if my son Matthew will recognize this place.
I bet Karen Howard will! You may recall that her husband suffered a stroke on August 6, and had to be airlifted to Atlanta from their home in Murphy, NC. I received a note from her yesterday, saying it was the date their lives changed forever, which is not exactly good news, however, he is on the road to recovery.

The birds are making a come back after a quiet month at the feeders. This guy, one of my favorite birds called a Brown Thrasher, does his feeding on the ground, making a mess in the process.
According to one of my friends that is also a bird nut, the Painted Buntings should be returning within the month, and you know who hopes they will make a stop at her place!

The internet is like a two edged sword, don't you think? All the rushing to judgement on barely fact based news stories drives me insane, but then there is the other side filled with wonder. This, my friends, is some mind blowing photography, combined with exceptional creativity.

My friend Bonnie has started a blog about their adventures in upper Michigan, Traverse City to be exact. Here's the link that I've included it in my blog roll on the side as well. Here's wishing her well on an exciting new venture, one I've thoroughly enjoyed, and hope she does too.

And that pretty much is all I have to say aside from one more newspaper related article entitled, "Should kids make beds? It depends on age, parents' goals." Is that really worth a three column article? How can any parent even wonder about such a thing? Of course they should make their beds!!!

Perking up by the day,

Gail

Monday, September 21, 2015

Counting the Days

I started to write that this is the longest while that Bruce and I have been apart, and come to think of it, that is true. For some folks that may not be a big deal, but it sure is to us. That said, it won't be long now, or so we hope! The certificate of occupancy inspection is set for Wednesday;  God willing and the creek don't rise, he'll be home soon thereafter.

Meanwhile I've found ways to keep busy, or sort of is probably a more realistic description. Sports, thank God for sports on the weekend! Then too, my friends have been so good about inviting me over every few days, for which I'm extremely grateful. Sunday was finally a beautiful day, with bright blue overhead. You know how friends suggest you read such and such, or see such and such movie? Well, the other morning, sitting in Pam's kitchen, she told me about her Mom going to a church in Winter Park that made her very happy. Well, not one to ignore such a sign, I decided to see for myself. The service was lovely, the choir divine.
The sanctuary was not too shabby either! On my drive home from Winter Park I stopped into their Central Park and saw the new peacock fountain. Peacocks being the symbol of WP it makes sense, right?
One of the keeping busy tasks I did while watching golf was to go through old magazines that were stacked amongst my cookbooks. How I still have magazines from the year 2000 is beyond me!
The little pink bag pictured above is to hold my camera lenses in my handbag, although I must admit, it is a bit of a stretch fitting it all in with a camera too! After going through a few of these I decided that had I not made anything from them in all these years, it was okay to put them in the recycling bin and so I did. All except for an exceptional turkey recipe that I finally isolated.

As I type, Orlando Utilities is on our street to fix a water main leak in the cul de sac. Because our street is so short, they parked in front of our home, and man is this a big ass tire on the back hoe!
Huge! Currently the are digging up a good bit of our neighbor's paver driveway which I'm sure is stressing her out quite a bit!

Speaking of neighbors, you've heard me speak of Corrine and Herb, along with Regina, many times. Well, here they are:
In the course of her walking Argyle every morning, Regina brings the newspaper up to Herb and Corrine's door, saving them the trouble. Poor Herb, his faculties are diminishing daily, whereas Corrine is still sharp as a tack, albeit slightly feeble. They are both 89! Anyway, on Sunday evenings Bruce takes their trash and recycling bins out to the street after doing the same with ours. In his absence, I did the same last night, however, in my case there was a slight glitch. Like a dummy, I shut the gate before heading over to their house, which sounds fine and dandy unless you've locked all the doors!! Regina to the rescue!! She has a house key, thank goodness, otherwise I'm not sure quite what I would have done. :)

Mockingbirds are not so colorful as a cardinal but they still are kind of pretty, albeit noisy. This one, standing on one leg in the tabebuia tree caught my attention from his call.
I've been over to Sue's house, checking on her kitchen, which is still slow going. While there, she wanted me to photograph her daisies, so I did, using the vintage setting on my camera and her pretty stool.
Bruce asked me the other day if I had time to retrieve his car from the airport and he'd take a cab home. Do I have time??? Seriously? Pam and Glen gave me a ride yesterday afternoon, and it was surprisingly easy to find it on the fifth floor of the terminal top parking. The day was so lovely you could see downtown from there.
The company did not mind, but after eight days it just seemed silly to leave it. On my drive home did I ever have a treat, coming across a field on Conway Road with both cattle and four beautiful horses. Parking the car alongside the road, this made me so happy.
A little one....part of a threesome.
I am so puzzled by those horns? What kind of cow has curved horns? Does anyone know? With all of the rain we've had this summer, the empty fields are exceptionally lush.
I'm not sure why I made the above black and white....does it work for you?

The sky looked like this out the front door when I arose today.
Posting that picture, reminds me that I actually resorted to cleaning on Saturday, including the glass entrance doors. Pathetic! Nonetheless, the sky remains brilliant blue as I type, and the air is slightly, and I do mean slightly cooler. This morning's bike ride was actually pretty pleasant with many photographic opportunities presenting themselves, however, none so unusual as this one.
Now, I'm all for expressing oneself in outdoor decorating, but panda figures are a first for me. I rode past, then thought, that's really something, and that was before I saw the cats. At first I thought the siamese mix was a statue, but then it moved so I knew I had that wrong. And you might be tempted to think the one engaging with the pandas is a statue, but that's not true either. Not only were there these four cats, but there were two more that, for a moment, I thought were a mirror image of one another!
If six cats weren't enough, I saw yet another one walking onto the property! Clearly, these are some serious cat folks.

Finally, someone else got very creative with their garbage cans.
Although I have not seen the movie, even I know that those are Minions.

There will be a time in the future when I look back on these days and think to myself, what was there to whine about? Some folks would love to be able to read any time they feel like it, and especially if they are reading a novel as fine as Plainsong, or A Spool of Blue Thread, although I don't think so far it is Anne Tyler's best. That said, who am I to disagree with the Man Booker Prize nomination for AT?

Anyway, forgive me if I sound whiney because I really have no right to do so. Next post I'll do better.

May the sky remain blue, and the sun shine on,

Gail

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Amusing Myself, or Really, Just Getting Out of the House!

The week began without Bruce, and the week continues without Bruce. What's a girl to do?

Late last week, I considered going to one of my favorite places, the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne. It's actually not in what I call Melbourne because it is only 56 miles away, instead of 70+, but they call it Melbourne, so I will too. Looking on their website, I discovered that on Tuesdays in September the admission is just $3.00, rather than the typical $16.95 for adults. Now that the kids are back in school it can't be too busy on Tuesday or so I thought. I soon discovered I was being seriously naive.

Before leaving I needed gas---lo and behold, check out the price!
Can you imagine? Before I go further, I wanted to mention that the big flag display I showed you from 9/11 last week, was completely removed by Sunday afternoon, surprising me as I thought they would keep it going until it looked crummy?

Anyway, attempting to connect the blue tooth in the car to my phone for music, I discovered I'd left my phone at home. Thankfully I was still within a mile, so no big deal. WELL, pulling up in my driveway, I noticed a fellow out front with this!
Hmmmm....never one to shy away from asking questions, I did just that. He told me he was using the drone to take aerial photos of Nadav and Crystal's house because they were putting it on the market!!!! Well that's just plain disappointing....

Once I arrived at the zoo, the parking lot was pure madness with people parking any place they could squeeze into. Lucky for me, someone was leaving, and I parked in the first row! So, a good start to my trip. As you can imagine, I took a whole lot of photographs which I've tried to edit judiciously. On my last visit, the zebras were shy guys, however, they seem to have adjusted to their environment and are easy to see.
The dark chocolate brown is just beautiful on this Grevy's Zebra. Adjacent to this area is the ever popular giraffe section. Seriously, are they magnificent creatures, or what?
I learned from one of the handy volunteers that in the spring two baby calves were born, one of whom now resides at the pathetic zoo in our area. I've mentioned before that there are five acres in which the five giraffes have to roam, along with impalas, whom are pretty beautiful themselves.
If you can believe it, and I was hard pressed to, the weather was not too hot, with a slight breeze which felt shocking after months of weather related misery. A high wooden platform allows you to walk out among the animals in the Africa area, as well as allowing you a good view of Lemur island. At first I could not see the Ring-Tailed Lemurs, however, after close inspection, I found them in the trees.
Before I go further, and excuse me if it is jarring, but I'll forget if I don't link to this here and now. A very brief, albeit incredible, video of a humpback whale and a couple in a kayak. Don't miss it!

Having been to the zoo multiple times I felt like I'd seen most of the animals before, however, this little guy stole my heart yesterday. I feel fairly confidant I'd not seen a Klipspringer before. 
Can we just all say...awww? 

No visit is complete without a photograph of the West African Crowned Cranes...gorgeous birds.
Onward to Australia to see the kangaroo and joey, except they were hiding, so I continued on until I came to the aviary. Happy to do so, I might add. The breeze I was so eager to share with you was not without a purpose....it began raining and I don't mean sprinkling. Fortunately I'd arrived in the aviary before the heavens opened because there was a little roof there to keep about twenty five of us sort of dry. 
It rained and rained..the cockateels were flying everywhere, the ducks were making a racket, as were the children, who, by the way, surprised me with their presence as I thought they would be in school. Perhaps they were being homeschooled? After a bit, the rain lessened, and I became restless, so I went into the next section; much to my great surprise, this bird, from the Turaco family, held quite still for a photograph. 
Talk about a beauty!! Under those violet wings there are red feathers which look downright amazing when they fly. Showing you what I mean, I'll include this very blurry shot. 
According to the Wikipedia article, linked above, the crimson feathers are highly prized by the Swazi and Zulu royal families. 

The rain continued, albeit softly, as I made my way into the Lorikeet feeding area, generally chock full of people, but hardly a soul during my visit. They are darn cute birds as well.
Soaking wet is what they were! As were the emus:
Taking a wrong turn on my way to see the Jaguars, I soon regretted it because once again the heavens opened, soaking yours truly to the skin before finding shelter! I'd been scurrying by most everything else because of the rain threat; finally, after it slowed down, I did the same, eventually finding what I was looking for. Absolutely worth the trip! More often than not it is hard to spot the big cats, but not this time. In fact, they were almost too close!
Yup, right up against the wall with the big glass for viewing. One cub stayed snuggled up with Mom, while another was but a few feet away. I suspect they were happier out of the rain, as was I. Lots of oohing and aahing by everyone who saw this sweet sight!

Finally, and I suspect you are having photo fatigue at this point, one last shot of one of my favorite birds, a Sandhill Crane. I've always loved the heart shape on their head....
Having just about all I could take of the rain, I decided it was time to make my leave. Generally I hate driving during massive storms so I was delighted that during the drive home it was, what is the opposite of massive?? Tolerable, that works.

Some big headaches for Bruce, along with some victories.....he is hanging in there, but he did tell me he was tired of eating out. I feel the same after a few days, don't you?

Keeping the home fires burning,

Gail







Long Beach, CA