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Ending the Year With Some Favorites

If ever there were a year that embodied my saying about Florida weather, this would be it. "Greater and Lesser Summer. The high tomorrow is slated to be 88 degrees. Simply incredible!

Incredible too that tomorrow is my 62nd birthday, as my computer was so helpful in reminding me!
Not only does this photo show my birthday reminder, it also shows some texts from Hilary about the flooding in Paducah. Remember how it is at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers?
There will be no parking in this area for the foreseeable future as the river has risen some 30 feet! So high, in fact, that the gates had to be put in along the wall, filling the open space.
So, while I'm complaining about wearing the same clothes as I've pretty much worn all year, people in multiple states are suffering from the weather in far more dire ways. I can't promise you won't hear anything more from me regarding the heat again, but I will promise not to write another word about it this year!

Speaking of clothes, which sometimes is one of my favorite things, I went to the mall yesterday with the express purpose of buying some new clothes. I will not, or so I say now, be wearing anything like this anytime soon.
The dresses are pretty, but if you could see those zipped in the back socks in person...

Shop windows at the high end stores found at Millennia Mall are always entertaining,
however, don't you think this makes the handbag look as if it were the holy grail? By the way, the circles surrounding the object of desire not only light up, but change color as well. What will they think of next to market a handbag, or purse as we used to call them before they became fetishes?

So, where pray tell are these favorites my title refers to? This was the year of the owl for me wasn't it? As such, Matt gave me an adorable little owl book by Matt Sewell, a UK artist who is just the best! The subtitle is "our most enchanting birds." I could not have said it better myself. Without specifically mentioning the heat as promised, the unseasonable weather has been just that with hydrangeas blooming in Cheryle's yard,
leaving me to wonder if the birds would be off schedule with their nesting. For most of the summer and fall, whenever I've had a peek at the "owl trees", I was lucky if I saw one owl. This week I've been better about my morning rides, and thought I'd check things out regarding my owls. Riding up, the sight of a hawk low in the Cypress tree was quite the surprise. I'm seriously loving this lucky shot! To tell you the truth, I'm unclear if this is a hawk or a falcon?
In the adjacent Cypress tree, Papa owl was kind of low himself. High above, Momma Owl was peering down on the proceedings, which became very interesting as I stood there. A young woman, visiting her parents for Christmas from NYC, stopping running to see what I was seeing. The hawk squawked loudly for some time while Papa just stared. After a bit, the hawk flew up towards the owl, feathers were flying before the hawk flew into a nearby oak, still squawking like mad. Mama stared throughout.
All the while, the young lady and myself watched in amazement at the beauty and wonder of nature in front of our eyes. She said she could watch all day! After the hawk flew away, we both took our leave, wishing each other a Happy New Year.

While on the subject of bird sightings, looking out the window in our bedroom I saw something I'd never seen before....a great blue heron flying into one of the giant Oak trees across the street. Grabbing my camera, I ran out front, hoping to get a shot; wishful thinking is what that was. In any case, I watched for a bit and before long the heron flew out with a big branch in his beak, flying toward the lake. In the spirit of hidden pictures, do you see what I see in this shot?
Let me know what you see in the giant pines in another neighbor's yard, lakeside.

Another favorite is my beloved husband who is always so thoughtful in his gifts. He went to two quilting shops looking for supplies! The day after Christmas he called me into the garage where he'd set up this little display.
A sweet French pot, freshly planted, a work table lamp, and a little vase with berries.  I'd been saying I needed more light for my sewing table and he listened. I changed the set up in my office in order to make better use of the natural light for these aging eyes!
Although he could take the easy way out, buying me a piece of jewelry like his Dad always did for his Mom, or, he could buy something I'll appreciate every day. I'll take the later, every single time.

Then there is college football. Bruce's brother Cris called, wondering if we'd like to meet for lunch, followed by attending the Russell Athletic Bowl game featuring Baylor and NC State. You bet!! The folks that own these RVs had hope at this point.
Later those hopes were smashed by Baylor, whose band did this before the game. I told you Texans are super proud of their state!
I'd pretty much forgotten how different it is being in the stands at a football game; the young men look so much smaller and younger than on television. Apparently there are two ways to look at things--I was going crazy because a group of about seven preteens would not sit still, blocking my view, and in general making me almost as crazy as the heat. Bruce, on the other hand, said they were there to have fun, so, nicely he told me to get over it. :)

Sadly, I left home without thinking about bringing a second battery. Bad move.

On the domestic front, I've learned something useful, and I hope you will find it useful as well. As I've written in the past, putting the bottom sheet on the bed always stymied me. Now, however, I've learned the secret. Put the corner with the tag on the right bottom corner of the bed, do the opposite corner next, and so on, and it will be right every time. Wisdom gained after a lifetime.

Recently I cleaned off the bulletin board in my office, coming across a card Matt gave me for my 60th birthday. He wrote something sweet about how vibrant my 50's were, and hoped my 60's would be the same. Two years in, I can't determine if I'm heading in that direction, but I hope so.

Happy New Year my friends,

Gail
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