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What a Difference Some Rain Makes

It has been raining once again, and to that I say hallelujah! The grass is no longer crispy, the plants are perky, and the pool is not only cooler, but fuller. Instead of the 93 degree water from a week or so ago, today, when I jumped in after a hot bike ride, I was almost chilly! Yup the temperature dropped eight degrees, which is considerable. Sunday morning we had an uninvited guest in the swimming pool.
Toads are not unheard of and so much better than Cuban Tree frogs. A week ago Sunday, the water level was at the bottom of the tile, so you can see there has been rain aplenty. Try as he might, Mr. Toad could not get out of the pool so I used the scooper to set him on the pool deck. You could not pay me to actually touch it! Doesn't it look like he's trying to get his land legs back?
Following church we ate lunch at Pepes Cafe in Hannibal Square. Oftentimes Bruce gets home either late, or tired, so lunch is a good option for us. Following multiple reviews, the beard is making a comeback. I had mentioned to Bruce that he looked a little like the guy who does the Dos Equis commercials when he had the beard a few weeks ago. Actually, Bruce is much cuter.
This article from the Washington Post tells the story of the rise and fall of the "Most Interesting Man in the World." Fascinating stuff.

You know how I always say that I write my blog to remember my life? Well, the truth is, it is not very often that I go back in time, but when I do read an old post, I am glad for it. This one, from about the same time last year, was full of goodies, not the least of which is that recipe I'm going to have to make again! Furthermore, I thought I'd already quit selling photography in early August, but apparently I thought wrong.

Pouring as I type. Trying to make up for July, or so it seems.

Cecila, whom I met at the estate sale, and by the way is named for an Uncle Cecil rather than the Simon and Garfunkle song, mentioned how much she loved my bird photos. So, just when you were getting sick of them, they disappeared. Well, I don't get sick of them, so let us have a look at a few of our "outdoor pets." Cardinals...the best.
The color is just so intense, you have to love it. Woodpeckers, on the other hand, are fairly prolific here which is both good and bad.
Neat to see, but very messy. Isn't it interesting how they do not sit on the perch, rather hang onto the feed holes? Then there are the little finches,  another favorite, or at least the colored ones are.
Saturday I had a nice long chat with Matthew who tells me their garden is a bird sanctuary. Plus, they have a fox who comes out early morning and dusk!!! A FOX in the middle of London!

Of late, the raptors that I love to photograph are either invisible in the dense tree foliage, or just plain not around. Returning from my ride today though, I did see an Osprey in my neighbor's pine tree that, by the time I removed my camera from the plastic bag, was taking off.
So, some people read the blog, or probably scan the blog, for the birds, whereas others are looking for weird stuff of which I have two photos in that ilk to share today. This display makes much more sense to me when it is July 4th weekend. Later than that, I don't get it.
Remember the house flippers? Below is one of their properties which is, in our view, one of the best. If you could have seen both the house and the yard before you, too, would be amazed. That said, the new owners moved in, hanging first the hammock, which looks terrific. What do you think of their new little fire circle? Bruce does not think much.
While chatting with Maureen last evening, she mentioned that the NYT carried an article about how the Olympics are outdated. Really? I know it will shock you to learn I stayed up until the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, which is gorgeous, to my way of thinking. That would be 12:30 AM!!! Here's what I think: this summer has been horrific for so many people around the world, why not share in the joy and spectacle that is the Olympics? And who else is going to remind you that the population of Nigeria is 181 million people? 181 million!!!

With so much bad news from every front, why not celebrate hard work, dedication, and families? Yup, it takes a family, or most of the time anyway, to make an elite athlete. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat....we've seen that already. Plus, as suspected, the media made Rio seem like a place to avoid, but from what I've seen, it is flat out both gorgeous, and interesting. In other words, a big city with both good parts and bad.

A lot of afternoons Bill calls to chat during his drive home from work. The first thing he usually asks is, "what am I doing"? I chuckle and say that I'm sewing. Same old, same old, according to him. :) I'm working on something small that I don't much like. Way outside my color preferences, but we shall see when it is complete.
In just a little while I'm heading over to Mary Lou's house to celebrate Irene's closing on her new house!! Won't be long now before she has a place to call her own here in Orlando. Plus, it is only about 2 miles from us. Awesome baby, awesome.

Writing instead of sewing,

Gail
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