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You Must Be Joking

The year was 1977, in the middle of a big economic recession, that Bruce and I made a trek, driving a new Toyota Corolla, (with no air conditioning I might add) along with towing a little Ford Truck with said Toyota, across this vast country of ours, to the promised land, otherwise known as Southern California, to find work. Although nothing like the Joads, because it was just the two of us, the tale is a familiar one. Hard to imagine how we could have afforded it, but a moving van hauled our belongings. It took more than five days for us to finally reunite with Matthew, the longest I'd been away from my darling one year old, that's for sure. Bruce's folks were kind enough to fly to Florida, and fly back to California, with him in tow. Their move to California was some years preceding this time and they were nicely settled.

Although Bruce found a job on our first full day there, I was never happy in California for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the weather. I know...who hates the weather in California? This Florida girl did! In what we now come to think of as an El Nino weather year, according to this, the winter of 1978 was one of the rainiest on record, causing mudslides, death, and destruction. All I knew was that it rained from morning to night, month after month, and I was going plum crazy. Bruce was kind enough to give up a job he loved, and we moved back to Florida in September, having spent only a year on the West coast. While preparing for our move, a neighbor said something that gave me pause...could I be pregnant? One of the new fangled home pregnancy tests confirmed it to be true. Oh my, what are we going to do now?

What we did was pack that Toyota up again and drove East, this time with Matthew in the back of the Toyota in a play area Bruce had fashioned. Imagine that...3,000 miles with a car seat nowhere to be found! As we hit the Florida line, I began to feel nauseous, and that feeling stayed with me for nearly six more months. This pregnancy was nothing like my first, and turns out there was good reason for my difficulties.

That reason was Bill and Dave, who turn 37 today. Or David, as I still call him most of the time. I managed to quit saying Billy some years ago, but I still cling to David. Anyway, I was working at Winter Park Memorial Hospital in the evenings back then, and had to run into the bathroom between patients, I was so sick. Just miserable. Ultrasound was a new tool in 1978, and my friend Connie, having done one scan on me already, repeated the same in my third month. As she was scanning she said to me, "Gail, I think I see two babies." My reply..."you must be joking!" Well, she was not, and the twins were born on April Fools Day, which seems only fitting, doesn't it?

We count ourselves so very lucky to have four wonderful sons, and now four wonderful people that love them even more than we do. Had we waited until we had enough money, or had the right car, or enough in the bank, we would never have experienced the joy, and sometimes hardship, of raising what is now considered a large family. There's something to be said for "going with the flow."

Well, that was long winded wasn't it? And I have ordinary stuff to share...let's get to it!

Generally, roses are not my favorite flower to photograph, however,  the contrast in this one caught my eye while riding. Isn't it gorgeous?
 I am back to stalking the owls, who I mentioned have been very elusive, but after five trips with no success, I finally found them so high up in the tree that it was killing my neck watching them!
They are just as fluffy as can be, and I certainly hope they will fly down a little closer so you can see all that fluffiness better. This could be either the mother or father...not sure which, but the show was good.
Honestly, I was so thrilled, and making it all the better, I had a nice chat with Bonnie and Bill whose yard they are living in. Wonderful folks, and if you can believe this, they know my new friend Joe Stine! Can you imagine three people that know one another, each have a raptor living in their yard? 
After my neck could not endure another moment of craning, I rode over to see the eagles, and in what proved to be even more than I could have hoped for, well, I'll let you see for yourself.
See the eaglet on the bottom right? Oh my goodness; what a morning ride!

Just when I was fixing to cut this giant limb off the yucca plant, one that I seriously wish Bruce would cut all the way down, there appeared this lovely bloom, which I suppose redeems the plant, but only slightly.
Makes for an interesting photograph, but the truth is, the plant is just plain ugly in person! Another tree that is the bane of my existence, or at least as pertains to keeping the pool tidy, is the Chinese Fan Palms that have gotten huge! They drop fronds, seed pods, and this meshy kind of material. That said, the contrast that a male Northern Cardinal makes against the ugly top is really something. No wonder Cardinals are so popular. That red is really something, isn't it?
For the last week or so, flocks of Goldfinch have really been attracted to my feeder. They are cute as a button, and I presume the yellower ones are the males?
Indeed, this tells me that is the case.

In house news, and this pains me to write, the knotty pine is bleeding through my beautiful white paint. Remember, two coats of paint and primer? Apparently not enough to kill off the knotty pine forever.
Isn't he just the cutest little fur ball? Anyway, this post reminded me of what it used to look like and looking back, I'm not so sure I should not have stuck with that Tropical Bay color. Don't get me wrong, I do love Simply White, but I still thought it looked pretty good blue. "Now what?" you ask.
I'm not entirely sure.....

Celebrating tonight,


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