Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taking My Medicine and Planning a Road Trip

Now that is an attention grabbing title isn't it? You might be tempted to think that after 1, 566 posts, I would run out of titles, but then again, you know me better than that, don't you?

Visiting Dr. Parrillo Monday morning, we discussed what had been going on. Naturally he was sorry to hear it, and recommended that I take Vancomycin four times daily for 14 days. No wine restrictions on this one, in case you are wondering! Previously he told me that it is not often prescribed because of a high price tag. Okay, how high is high? He did not know, but we all have a friend in Google, and now I know what it would have cost had it not been covered by insurance. Here, my friends, is what an $1,800 antibiotic looks like.
Unreal isn't it? Further on this medicine....following my visit I drove over to Wandering Stitches to participate in the day's activities for Days for Girls. Mostly I cut strips for the liners. So, I told Sharleen I would need to leave around lunchtime to pick up my prescription. Well, heading home I got a text from Bruce that Publix called, saying the medicine would not be ready until THURSDAY! Say what? That did not sit too well with him for all kinds of reasons, one of which is our upcoming vacation. He wanted me on the medicine ASAP. Apparently he fussed a bit; he is well practiced in his line of work. How about tomorrow morning? Much better.

BTW--I paid $10. Medicine and health insurance is just plan mind boggling. The good news is I'm improving dramatically already. The bad news is I have to take it every six hours and they are quite serious about that. I am such a ninny I had no idea how to set an alarm on my phone but Bruce did. 9AM, 3PM, 9PM, 3AM. In other good news, there is no taste whatsoever because they are coated, unlike Flagyl.  I was thinking about how if you are of a certain age you well remember how horrible taking aspirin was when you were little because it had no coating. Should you be in that age group, you now can feel my pain more fully!

Before we get on with things, I have something I want to get off my chest regarding this election season. How is it that people who claim to be so open minded can be so close minded? It really turns my stomach when I see, or hear people calling others "idiots," or worse, when they are not supporting the candidate that they think is the best. It is like this season has been about giving people license to be rude and overbearing, not to mention hurtful. I'm wishing people would just shut up about how the candidates look, and remind themselves that they would never say something so negative to their face. Nor would they want people to say such horrible things about themselves. Remember folks, all we need is love. We will survive this election, for better or worse, if history is our guide.
On a silly note regarding the election, I saw this while out riding the other day.
Another small rant coming....what is with people's fascination with Halloween? How could someone enjoy going in and out of their front door for more than a month with "her" looking on?
And while I have complained to anyone who will listen that our new neighbor across the street is not keeping his yard up they way I would like, at least I don't have to look at this every day.
There is only a small driveway that is not completely covered in these dreadful "creatures."
So early!! Not even October yet. I feel for those folks that live across the street!

Backing up a number of days, while at church I saw Ann, a younger woman I've met there who also likes to sew. I may have mentioned that I gave her some of my estate sale fabric that was a wee bit "over the top" for even me. Well, she wore the dress and was anxious to show me the 70's pattern she bought on Ebay.
So Flower Power, right?

Later on I was feeling good enough to go to our Sunday gathering, held this time at Cheryle and David's house to show off their newly refinished terrazzo floors. Oh my gosh, do they look fantastic! Pam invited Gerry and Regina to come because Gerry is both a gardening nut, and an airbnb host, sharing those two passions with Cheryle here.
It was also another goodbye to Catherine who has gone back to the Isle of Wight with her brother's ashes. :(
I mentioned that Gerry used to do our yard, but what I did not mention is that he also did the same for Angela. Although she is no longer there, his good work is still bearing fruit, or make that flowers.
Well, they aren't really flowers either, but I don't know what else to call them. Someone I know surely knows how best to describe the blooms on the bromeliads.

I would have posted yesterday if I had not spent the majority of the day planning the trip. Frankly, I was sick of my computer by days end. But that is a silly thing to say isn't it? After all, you can do so much it is amazing. I decided it worked better if I went backwards, trying to figure out a plan to drive 200 or less miles a day. Bruce and I have only done three road trips, at least that I remember. Once, nearly 40 years ago, back and forth to California, so there's two. We did that in 5 1/2 days. Then, nearly sis years ago, Bruce drove the truck from Chicago to Austin during Jonathan and Alissa's move. Riding along, that trip of 1,1200 miles took three days. Now that was some hard driving! Another time Bruce helped Matt move from Atlanta to Chicago. I stayed home.

All that to say, I am no pro at road trip planning. If this trip works out the way I'm hoping it will, next time I may leave it to AAA. Currently I am not a member, but I can sure see the benefits of being one now! More to come on what we will see in my next post.

I leave you with this LINK I discovered showcasing some gorgeous landscape photography. Do not miss it if you have a few moments. Wow, wow, wow, is all I can say!

Improving by the minute,

Gail

p.s. You may be happy to learn, or at least I know our son Matthew will be, that Mr. Peck is working at his desk, listening to music, taking a little nap when he needs one; life is slowing down after the last two hectic months. I told him he is de-stressing before our trip, which seems like a good thing to me!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

On Being an Optimist

I am one of those folks who if I sported a bumper sticker it would probably read..."if anything can go right, it will." While doing mammograms for all those years, women would be so worried about breast cancer, sighting the statistic that one out of nine women will get breast cancer. My response was always along the lines of, but eight won't! The odds are in your favor. Then too, I refuse to have a security system at our home because the odds are in our favor despite the murder and mayhem reported in the media daily.

So it was that when I was awoken with the need to go to the bathroom I shrugged it off. Then a dreadful accident while driving still did not convince me that the cdiff had not gone away. A fluke, right? Problems began piling up, and the last straw was Thursday night, five minutes after dinner, we were sitting at the kitchen table, finally having the chance to plan a vacation, when I had to jump up to run to the bathroom. A shower followed.  This is no fun my friends. I will again see Dr. Parillo on Monday morning and we will try the other antibiotic. After all, we need this vacation or at least Bruce does!

The end zone was reached, and the restaurant opened for business as scheduled on Wednesday. Bruce's boss Steve came for the opening, as did the owners of the mall, flying in to see it for themselves. All were duly impressed. Bruce called me asking if I was ok to meet them, and I was. He'd ordered a bottle of wine in anticipation of my arrival.
Rather than advertise, they prefer to let people wander in--their version of a soft opening. Again, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that the project has been a success. A media day was held with reviews that have all been positive. Woo hoo! Throughout the long days Bruce would say, it will never be finished, while I would say, of course it will. There's that optimistic nature again. I took a few outdoor photos to show you the wonderful lighting.
There will come a day soon when this patio will be full; mark my words. People are a bit confused as to where it is so here's the view from in front of PF Changs.
Speaking of PF Changs, Scott Joseph, the former Sentinel food critic who now blogs reviews, had a funny mention of PF Changs in his review of Earls.   Should you want to go there the best place to park is in front of Macy's on the North side. Or at least I think that would be the north. :)

One of the nights when B came home late, I was already in bed when he walked into our bedroom with this baby.
Oh my gosh--a powerful battery operated blower!! I used to have zero problems starting our gas blower, however, in the last year I just can't seem to pull the cord properly. As such, the driveway has looked deplorable for the last few weeks when I've had to do the yard myself. Now, if only there were an edger like this, I would be good to go. The sound this blower makes is entirely different than the gas one...sort of like a whoosh. Bonus points for it being light too.

Thursday Bruce came home early, maybe around lunch time, sitting in his home office chair for the first time in close to two months. Didn't take long for weariness to overcome him.
It is a darn good thing I have my sewing to keep me busy at home since that is where I've mostly been this week. Months ago I bought some fabric I loved with a dress in mind. One thing about sewing is you have to do it a bunch to be any good, pretty much the same with any skill. Dressmaking has not been in the forefront of my sewing endeavors of late and after how hard this dress was to make, I'm slightly gun shy. Oh my!
It is the full monty of sewing techniques: pleated skirt, six darts, pockets, lined bodice, invisible side zipper, and buttonholes. In the old days, you had excellent tracing paper to mark your darts, however, I purchased some in the last year that was anything but excellent. Instead, I had to draw all six darts in both the dress fabric, and the lining. I must locate some better tools for the future. The machine worked flawlessly, the seamstress not so much, although all is well that ends well. I am just crazy for the fabric!

A few days I got out on my bicycle, riding over to Pam's house to help her with her machine. While she was practicing free motion quilting I went out back to see what I could see. The Angel Trumpet tree was full of blooms.
How sweet does this look with all that purple?
Butterflies were flitting about like mad. At our home, my bird feeding activities are taking a hit, not only from the stupid rats, but now I have to worry about the neighbor's cats who roam our yard. I don't like the thought of them getting my birdies, however, I am cautiously optimistic that the rat is gone, so there's that.  I don't know who this cat belongs to, perhaps the new neighbors who now live in Miriam's house.
Coming up to the front door it keep meowing to be let in or so I suppose. Very strange.

As to the vacation? Well, we think we have a plan, Lord willing, and the medicine works! A few weeks ago, in our Sunday section of the paper devoted to travel, there was an article about this place. Bruce's interest was piqued, and the decision was made to see it for ourselves. Our plan is to fly to Cincinnati next Saturday afternoon, spending the night near the airport. Sunday morning we will drive the 40 miles to visit the Ark. After that, the plans are still a little sketchy, or at least not firmed up just yet, but our plan is to cross Ohio, visiting the Amish country on our way to see Akron, the place of my birth. Crazy right? Well, I have written that name down a gazillion times over my lifetime, but having left there when I was three years old I have zero recollection of the area. Now I will see it for myself. Maureen even remembered the address of our home so that is on the agenda as well. From there we are driving to Niagra Falls!! Another place I've been dying to see. From what I've read we should stay on the Canadian side. Then too, we also lived in Buffalo, NY, where Nancy was born. We might just visit that house as well. The New England part of the trip is yet to be finalized, however, we will end up in Manchester, New Hampshire to meet Bruce's boss's family. Doesn't it sound awesome? It is about 1,000 miles spread over seven days so I think it won't be too much.  The thought of spending all those hours traveling with Bruce is very enticing indeed.

It is not easy living with what the media call a "super bug" I can say that much for sure. Not being pessimistic, but apparently the United Nations resolution gives me reason to not be my generally optimistic self. When I wrote that the Flagyl only worked in 20% of patients, I did not even connect the dots but now I have. After the incident on Thursday night I began crying, something that I've not done heretofore.  Didn't do much good....

Wish me well my friends,

Gail











Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Third Yard Line

Today is actually the one yard line, however, I'm not there, so I'll write about the third yard line instead. Don't know what I mean? Well, you know guys and their sports metaphors...Bruce always refers to wanting to walk into the end zone, however, this project does not quite fit that description. Nevertheless, they are serving!! Here, my friends, is what 20 foot ceilings look like lit up at night.
Wonderful, right? But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

You know how sometimes when plans are changed it is unexpectedly a blessing? That would be Sunday morning, at least for me. Driving to church on I-4, which is dangerous anytime, but especially now during the construction, Bruce's phone rang. Generally he has an earbud affair attached to his body all of the time, however, he was hoping Sunday it would not be necessary. Alas, it was. Pulling off the interstate to take the call, Lynn was calling to tell him that none of the electronic faucets were working in the ladies restrooms, and since they would be serving guests within two hours......

Well, we turned around, heading to Bruce's home away from home. While he sorted out the problem, which as it turns out was caused by a plumber working overnight, I roamed around, watching the proceedings, all the while soaking in the moment. This cute little spot is newly furnished since last I visited.
The outdoor patio!! So cute, however I suspect this area probably won't get any daytime use just yet due to the ever-present heat! Nonetheless, I bet it is wonderful at night.
Should you be wondering, most of the rest of the patio is under gigantic blue umbrellas. Furthermore, they have mounted fans with jet engines, imported from Italy, of course. There is seriously no expense spared!

Back inside, the cooks were working diligently in the front of the house...who knows what was happening back of the house...crazy, no doubt.
In the dining area, meetings ensued about 11:00, with the first invited guests set to arrive around noon. Managers from all over the US come to help with an opening. This location is #8 in the United States.
So that looks pretty conventional right? Not so much when Bianca, the lunch manager, hopped onto the bar to hold a little pep rally with the servers.
When I say pep rally, I am not kidding...cheers unfolded. Sitting at the bar, I had a delightful time talking to Junior...
who is on loan for a year from the Boston location. Renting an apartment with another one of the bar tenders, his main goal is to make money, and lots of it! Citing the much, much, lower costs of living in Florida, he is sure his plan will work.

The fantastic thing about where I was seated, aside from enjoying the bartenders, is that I got to watch each and every guest come in; seeing the looks on their faces mitigated some of the pain of not having Bruce around very much for the last month or so. Seated at the end of the bar is the representative from Trane, along with his lovely wife, who talked me into trying sushi. Nothing exotic mind you, but still a first for me. Anyway, he is part of what we call Bruce's posse, working with him on many, many jobs throughout the years. Behind them sits the olive tree, planted in the middle of the patio. Remember when we went to Dunedin looking for one a few months ago and the girls in design dismissed the ones we found? Well, this one is originally from Italy, imported to a grower in California, and now trucked across the country to Earls. Crazy, right?

Three days before opening (thus the thrird yard line), media, along with friends and family, were invited to lunch or dinner on Earls. The hardest part will be the lack of name recognition, and in the world of chains, that is a big hurdle. Word of mouth, baby, word of mouth. Anyway, Bill and Fallon came for lunch, and while I did not expect to be there at that time, I was delighted it worked out that way. As you may recall, Bill is stone crazy, and believe me, there is real stone everywhere! Plus, their food was good. That's the point, right?

Unfortunately I did not take a photo of Bill and Fallon, only some strangers eating, along with a manager keeping an eagle eye on the guys behind the bar.
Anyway, another problem popped up with one of the ovens, so B and I had lunch while waiting on the technician to arrive. To tell you the truth, it was just thrilling seeing the place come to life. Servers are still getting their footing, in spite of some crazy tough training, using both Sunday and Monday to interact with real live customers, albeit with them eating for free. :)

We were there until nearly three in the afternoon, and as you can imagine, Bruce fell fast asleep the minute we got home. I forgot to mention he'd already been there at 6 AM, to sort out another problem. It is no fun, but not unexpected for equipment to fail, or what have you, in the early days. Here's hoping it will all settle down fairly quickly.

We had reserved a dinner spot at 6:45 PM, so we went back. Thinking about who to invite, as the number of folks was quite limited, we hit upon the idea of having Regina come, along with Gerry, her friend, and yard man. In fact, he did our yard for a year when I was sick some time ago. Well, it was both good and bad. The good--we had a ball and the food was just delicious. The bad--Regina is now 80, and although she is a young 80, loud environments don't suit her as well as they once did. Mind you, she did no complaining, but we did have to talk loud.
You might wonder about inviting Regina, so here's what I was thinking. First we are crazy about her, and secondly, when Bruce took the job he had been home for about six months. A good many mornings he would chat with Regina as she was walking Argyle, her Welsh Corgi. When she heard the news that he was going back to work, she said to him, "it is a gift for your retirement." And so it has been. Come to think of it, Regina is one of the first people I had the nerve to show my photography to, so there's that as well. Anyway, she is a hoot, and Gerry is the same.

So, that is how I took the shot of the restaurant looking gorgeous at night.

I will tell you that almost all of the staff is super young and they think of my darling husband as a father figure. I think he is the second oldest person in the entire company!

Meanwhile on Monday, while Bruce was at the restaurant from sun up, to sun down, I was bike riding, or sewing. No surprises there. It is not very often that I see a Pileated Woodpecker, and even more rare for me to see TWO in my own front yard.
Seriously unbelievable! Here's how huge they are up close.
Can you believe how big their claws are? Our poor Palm tree is a favorite of woodpeckers, as is plainly evident!

Last night David and Michelle went for their sneak peek, and from what I hear, they thought it was marvelous as well. Bruce ate dinner with some more folks from his posse, including Danny who has installed probably at least thirty kitchens for him over the years. I've mentioned his name before, Colin, Bruce's go-to guy, finally finished up yesterday, leaving Bruce sad to see him go. Plano, a suburb of Dallas, should go easier as the general contractor was hand selected by Bruce because he knows they will do a good job. That said, I'm sure Bruce will be calling Colin again. :)
Tomorrow is the end zone!!! Here's hoping the staff will soar!!

Proud as punch,

Gail

p.s. Good grief, how could I have forgotten...this coconut cake with lemon curd was out of this world!!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Lucky Mug

You would think I'd been on vacation it has been so many days since last I blogged, but that is most certainly not the case. For one reason or another, the days just flew by this week. I am back now.

There were many high points to the week, however, yesterday's Florida State game was not amongst them. In fact, it was the worst loss a FSU football team has EVER had! In spite of drinking, for not one, but two days, my morning tea out of my lucky, or maybe not so lucky, FSU mug, they took a pummeling. Mostly I am not suspicious, but a few years ago, when the team was going through some struggles, I began using the mug, given to me by my late mother-in-law, on game days. It is one of those fat ceramic mugs that I generally shy away from, being more the bone china mug type girl, but I made an exception for the team. Apparently, they didn't know they that I had. The good news is, I finished my hand sewing while watching the game to the bitter end.

Angela? How the heck is Angela? Not terrible. We met at George's Gourmet Cookies in Winter Park, the first time for both of us. The shopping center where it is located was home to Kmart for years and years, however, soon it will be home to a new Marshalls and Home Goods, following the store's closure. Both of us parked behind the center, and I was kind of marveling about this rusty looking structure attached to the main building. Kind of fancy for an alley, right?
The interior of the restaurant might be described as whimsical? A Beatle's theme is just one of the decorating effects.
In spite of the name, they serve more than cookies, in fact, the salads and sandwiches are huge, AND delicious. Because it has been only a tiny bit more than a year since Matt died, Angela is still grieving, seeing most things through Matt's eyes. She mentioned that he would have loved the place. Before Matt died he gave her these cute covers for her side mirrors...
 She looks great doesn't she? We talked about what is next, and our conclusion was, one day at a time.

The biggest news of the week is they got their CO for the restaurant. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, that means Certificate of Occupancy. What a relief! Tonight! Tonight! Invited guests will actually be eating there!!
The mall just replanted the slope for more visibility, however, with a roofline like that, it is pretty hard to miss! Bruce has worked more than he has slept this week, but the finish line is in sight, with Wednesday being the official opening. It is hard to know how they will do, having no name recognition, however, if Tyson's Corner is any indication, it won't take very long before they are successful. The mall used to be not so busy, but since the tourists have discovered it, that is no longer the case. Oren, one of our friend's from Hill's Happy Hour, works for the city, and he said something last Sunday that has really stayed with me. Of the 67 million tourists that visited Florida last year, a good many of them came here, meaning, on any given day, there are at least ONE MILLION new people here. How is that for a way of looking at that statistic?

Mr. Peck can be likened to a captain of a big vessel, bringing it to harbor on time, and safely. My captain is tired, and I am insisting he take a vacation before he captains another such ship! Where we will go is ytbd. When will we go? Hopefully within two weeks!

The moon has been big and bright the last few days...I love in the morning how, with surrounding clouds, there is an additional light show.
The sky gave off another kind of show the other day. I was standing in sunshine as I took this photograph across Lake Pineloch on my way home from the post office. Mailed off a card to Carol's husband, Hank, who turned 75 yesterday!! Hard to believe, really.
If you can imagine, the rain steered clear of us.

Thursday evening I went to a party without my husband who was not home, and if he had been, he would have been too tired to attend! Our friend Steve had a birthday, and given that he loves Italy, he asked for donations for their earthquake relief fund, rather than gifts for himself. Cheers to Steve and his lovely wife Kirsten!
Held at Bea's house, Kirsten's sister, they had a pasta party complete with gnocci which was delicious! One of the guests, a friend of Bea's, was Victor Conner, General Director of the Orlando Opera. Here is how a bass baritone sings Happy Birthday...
with mouth wide open!

I finally got a hair cut. Never could I have short hair that would require constant visits to the salon! Monica greeted me with a "are you ready for your semi-annual?"
It wasn't just laziness that kept me from heading over to Salon Muse, but swimming. I was waiting for swim season to be over. Soon that will be the case, as the water is getting a little chilly for a Floridian. Not so much though that I did not go in yesterday, in spite of my new do. These pesky pods have been falling into the pool like crazy, and you know what that does to the pool vacuum. I dove down multiple times, grabbing handfuls off the bottom of the pool, before popping up for air.
The whole yard had gotten out of control, so putting on my suit and shorts, I got to work yesterday morning at 8. Mowing, spraying the plants for bugs, trimming the plants, with the worst job being I cut two gigantic limbs off the yucca tree. Should I take that same moon shot again, those spiky things on the left would not be in the picture because they are now in several of the six cans I filled with yard debris. Thinking all the while that maybe I am getting too old for this kind of work, I reminded myself I want to be one of those little old ladies who is still mowing her own yard at 80.

With the weather slightly cooler I had some good bike rides this morning, taking very few photographs because I've covered the same territory for years. Still not at 4,000 miles, but getting closer. I did think this scene over in Harbour Island was pretty though.
The same could be said about this lily. Such great color and you know how I do love color.
My sewing table is tidy as are my fabric drawers. After making the scrappy quilt, I forced myself to once again sort everything out and it looks great. For how long, now that is the question!

When next we meet I will have photographs of the big event tonight. People in the restaurant, eating, drinking and being merry. Won't that be fun?

until then,

Gail

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fun with Fabric, Flowers, and People Too

I hardly know where to start I've so much to say! Although it is out of order, because the title begins with fabric fun, perhaps I shall too.  Saturday afternoon was spent, and I mean all of Saturday afternoon, hand sewing the binding on the coral quilt while watching the Seminoles beat an overmatched opponent soundly. You might wonder why small schools agree to play big schools, and the answer to that question is, money. It brings it lots of money to their programs. Then too, Bruce tells me that Bobby Bowden, in his early days at Florida State, did the same when they were considered a small football program. Over time they became a powerhouse football program. May the season continue well!

Most quilters, or so I think, troll the internet looking for inspiration. I am no different in that regard, finding so many inspiring projects, it is hard to choose what to make next. I suppose my pile of fabric in the laundry basket led me to think about making a scrappy quilt, don't know, but that's what is happening around here the last few days. Cutting small pieces from larger scrap pieces the idea is to put things together that DON'T match, creating an overall mosaic effect. Now we are talking some fun my friends. I cut a bunch of the 2 inch by 3 1/2 inch pieces, mixed them up in a plastic container, and got to work chain piecing them together. I did get a scrap of this fabric from Pam, and I'm not sure either of us knew the pattern name before now.
So here is the work table in progress...
It is so wildly counterintuitive, making ugly combinations,  but I think I'm going to end up liking the effect. I've got three rows done so far.
Isn't it so crazy colorful?  Visiting Irene on Friday, I thought to myself how we could not be any more different. While waiting for the house sales to go through, she bought an awesome mid century modern hutch for her fabrics.
Now that is what I call organized, something you more than likely will not be seeing at Mrs. Camera Crazy's home any time soon. Her house is looking fabulous, btw.

Friday night, Ellie who lives across the street, invited the neighbors for a driveway party. This must be the new thing, right? Anyway, although I know most everyone, the young folks are not so forward, waiting until this gathering to meet. Kevin and Ellie have an almost one year old that is cute as a button. It made my heart happy to see Ellie letting her play on the ground, AND chew on keys. Bring on the germs is what I say!
In this shot Ellie is talking to the young folks that moved into Angela and Matt's house, George and Lucia, who I am happy to report are FSU fans too.
More children!
Sadly the other two new neighbors were not there--perhaps another time.

Following church, Bruce needed to go to the mall to speak with the manager, who apparently is quite a taskmaster. Seeking permission to remove the rest of the barricade, the request was thankfully granted. We stopped into the restaurant for a moment and the kitchen was a beehive of activity with training ongoing in earnest. Do you think there are enough chefs in the house?
The lamps you see on the credenza arrived with white gloves to put them together. Don't ask me why the project manager did that job.
Driving home on Holden, following a nice lunch at La Madeline, Bruce spotted a man alongside the road who looked as if he needed help. Turning the car around, he got out to see what he could do. Turns out the man's battery on his scooter was dead. Bruce began pushing him, not an easy task as he quickly learned. Much to our surprise, and delight, a young couple turned around as well, jumping out to aide the effort.
Despite three adults pushing, they did not get very far. Thanking them for their efforts, the man said he would just wait for the battery to charge. :)

Sunday night was another driveway moment at the Hill's house.
We were missing about half our group for one reason or another. Catherine, in the black dress and blonde hair, returned to Orlando this week to collect her adored brother's ashes. She went back to the Isle of Wight in late July because her allowed six months in the country had passed, while Harry was still in decent health. Suddenly, two weeks ago, his health declined, and it wasn't long before he passed away. :(

This morning, the weather is cloudy, seriously a rarity for the last week which defies explanation. That said, the conditions are perfect for photographing flowers. No harsh sunlight or shadows.
The red Passion flowers are great, but there's something about the, what I'm calling raspberry, Passion flowers that I adore.
Both vines, the one below is as well. I've forgotten the name of it, however, seeing one while out and about, never fails to illicit marvel.
Although it will be hard to leave my project for a few hours, the reward of having lunch with Angela will undoubtedly mitigate the pain. I know you are as anxious to hear how she is faring as I am!

Hitting the shower,

Gail

Long Beach, CA