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Doings in Orlando

"Cheryle, are you kidding me? You want me to come help YOU decorate your tree?" Desperate is what she was, because if anyone knows how to decorate, it is Cheryle!
Seriously...how cool is this? Before you even go inside you have awesome things to look at, including this cool "tree" she copied from a small version found in a Crate & Barrel catalog.
Super great red lighting on the palms..Christmas, Florida style.
Friends helping friends might be how you would describe the gumbo she made from Pam's turkey carcass. Following the gumbo, we set to work while Bruce watched television following a busy week. David, Cheryle's husband, has a full schedule singing in various choirs during the holidays including the Bach choir, directed by none other than the music minister at our new church. Having lived for much of her adult life in Chicago, it was only fitting that this, in the year of the Cubs big World Series win, be the first ornament on the tree.
Saturday I spent learning to make something new which will remain nameless at this time because someone I love will be receiving it for Christmas. After the second try, it was pretty good.

Sunday, following the worship service, a Christmas party was held in the fellowship hall with carols, crafts, and yummy food. Should you wonder who the pastor is, wonder no more. He's the fellow in jeans and black blazer singing with some of the Rollins students that make up a large part of the choir.
That would be Reverend Sean Garvey. There are quite a number of forthcoming photos with people in them in this installment of Camera Crazy and I am so amazed at how we can all have the same features, but look so incredibly different. Do you find it as amazing as I do? Probably not. :)

We are back in the business of turning salt into chlorine for our swimming pool thanks to Anthony over at Radio Shack on Orange Ave.
Get this...the part was $2.60 and a little larger than a quarter. Instead of checking the USPS shipping method, I inadvertently hit the UPS method which was a costly mistake to the tune of $22.00 shipping instead of less than a dollar!! Still cheaper than the pool folks, but still, I felt pretty stupid. Back to Anthony...he did the job in less than an hour and charged all of $20. When I pulled into their parking lot I saw this across the street because, as you may remember, the Pulse nightclub is across Orange Avenue from Radio Shack.
Yesterday marked six months since the massacre, and there were events planned to mark the passing of time. I chatted with Anthony about what it must be like to look out at it every time you stand at the register.
He explained that they were closed for ten days following the shootings because Orange Avenue was closed, but to him it was nothing compared to what the families went through. Sweet attitude. Furthermore, people still come to take photographs, leaving things at the site which he witnesses daily. Shrugging it off, he did say there was a time when he barely noticed the building. That was sure true for most of us!

In a first time for everything, Bruce reinstalled the mother board, and baby, it is working fine and dandy.

Speaking of Bruce, I accompanied him to his appointment at Costco for a much needed eye exam.  If left up to him, he would have just gotten the same frames again, however, I had other plans. Mind you, I wasn't able to fully persuade him in his choice of glasses, only partly, which is how it should be ,right? You know he's an awesome husband when he lets you take his photograph wearing these on the drive home.
When was the last time you were at the post office and a customer in front of you was cradling a small dog in her arms? For me, it was yesterday morning.
Honestly! Unlike my friend Pam who spent nearly $100 shipping packages, I got off relatively easy this trip coming in at just over $40. Score!

Now we come to the section in this post, where photographs will be abundant, because, well, this event won't ever happen again. Plus, I think you might enjoy them, so off we go.....

As has been documented in this space previously, I joined the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild two months ago because, well, why wouldn't I? My only regret is that I did not join earlier because I would have loved to have been more involved previously. When I got the email asking for volunteers for last night's event, I immediately said yes to playing whatever part necessary.  What was happening? Well, this:
I stood behind this table for a bit, greeting folks and checking names off the pictured list. While standing, here I spoke with this lovely woman, Doris, who manages City Hall, AND knows our sister-in-law Ruth who works there!
Doris, along with other City Hall employees, who worked tirelessly for weeks following the tragedy, as well as Mayor Dyer, Commissioners Sheehan and Torres, policeman,  Pulse employees, and the owner of Pulse, were there to pick out their quilts at a lovely event held in the downtown venue called The Mezz, owned by the same folks that own The Abbey.
While we were chatting, myself, Marge, and Doris all told the story of where we were when the news of Pulse was released. Marge, (another Guild member,) was on a cruise, I was on my way to California, and Doris was camping about 30 miles from here. When her neighbor camper came to tell her what she'd seen on her television, she told her husband..."I've got to go!" Most everyone reading this blog will have their own story that won't be soon forgotten.

Following my time downstairs, directing people upstairs, I was able to witness the official proceedings, presided over by Sarah, Sharleen's daughter. A lovely unassuming young mother, I've gotten to know Sarah from Days for Girls, and if I wasn't impressed with her before, I sure am now!
Alissa, President of the Guild, spoke next about her Instagram post that went viral, resulting in an unprecedented outpouring from around the world. Presentations were made following remarks from Mayor Dyer and Commissioner Sheehan, who I can well imagine are worn out because Monday night there were two events as well. Must be seriously draining, both physically, and emotionally.
Oops, I almost forgot that Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse, spoke as well. For those of you who've not heard the story before, she opened the nightclub 11 years ago as a fun space for the gay community, following her brother's death from AIDS. Meant to be a safe space it was.
While everyone else picked out their own quilt, someone in the Guild picked these out, and aren't they amazing?
Completely blown away by the creativity of everyone involved, you may remember, although it has been since late July, so probably not, my quilt was very simple, to say the least.
Alissa was saying last night how for days and weeks, over 50 boxes would come daily to her hair salon in Deland, filled with blocks, batting, tops, and finished quilts. All those blocks had to be made into tops, followed by the quilting, and binding, and there were lots of members who put all of their own projects aside to complete the quilts, over 1,700 to date! Many hands make light work, and I'm sorry I was not amongst those many hands. Well done, OMQG members! May your efforts never be needed again on such a scale!!

Speaking of many hands, how about many birds? Going down to the lake to photograph the foggy scene, instead I found these guys all huddled together.
I guess we all work better together in a group sometimes....

Gail

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