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The Good along with the Bad

Life sure takes some unexpected turns, doesn't it? Early last week, I heard from our sister-in-law, Ruth, that her father was gravely ill and not expected to recover. It came on suddenly, and within a week or so, he died from congestive heart failure. Her dad, Jack, was a good man, always ready with a joke or a funny saying, one of which was that every time you greeted him, asking after his well being, he responded by saying, "I'm vertical and ventilating!" Apparently, we were not the only ones he said that to because when the funeral mass began, the priest had all 200 folks stand up and said out loud to Jack in his casket that we were all standing for him and were "vertical and ventilating!" That brought on a good laugh from everyone.  We took Maureen with us, and sister Lisa and her husband Danny were there, as was, of course, our brother Pat.
Jack told his family he was more than ready to go, having lived a full life with no regrets. When it is time for me to go, I hope to be able to say the same as I know you do as well.

I'm going to be all over the map today, so bear with me!

Friday night I got to meet several more of the Earl's girls in town for the convention. We had a wonderful dinner together, at, you know where!
They were all super friendly, and nice to me, with offers to hook me up with things to do while we are in Vancouver. I'm getting more excited by the day!

That said, I won't have all of the wonderful friends that I have here, including Bev who alerted me to an estate sale held at the home of one of her friends from church. Sewing stuff she said. I scooted over to Winter Park Saturday morning, arriving early, not only because I thought it would be crowded, but also because of the early afternoon funeral. From the photographs posted online, I figured she must have owned a fabric store at one time, and my suspicions proved true. Who else would have a room full of zippers? Honestly, there must have been ten boxes, at the very least, filled with zippers of every color and size.
There was a closet full of velvet, a room full of lace and trims, a back porch with fabric galore, including many unfinished projects housed in clean pizza boxes and plastic bags.
I shopped fast and furious, coming away with all manner of things, including a vintage dress pattern. Yippee!
That second stack from the left hand side has something of interest. I found a bag, that when I peered inside, looked to me like Lily Pulitzer fabric, mainly because it was so crazy bright. Cut into 9" squares, I wasn't entirely sure I wanted it, but good sense prevailed.

Coming home from the sale, an unfamiliar light appeared on my car dashboard, and sure enough, I had to take it in on Monday. Bruce took a late flight to Dallas on Sunday night, following the thrilling Masters tournament, so I went to bed early, and got up super early. On my way to MINI, I stopped by the cemetery and found Mama up in the tree, which was kind of weird because I've not found her there of late, aside from feeding times.
It was only myself, and the only woman who is a constant there that does not carry around a camera. Instead, she is a real birder with binoculars. She thought perhaps Mama was on the lookout because the mowers were going underneath. Now I'm not so sure that was the total explanation, as you will soon learn.

It took more than three hours at MINI which ended up being fine because it forced me to sit still and finally finish a really good novel, Miss Jane.  Also under warranty which was nice too.
I'd only just arrived home at maybe 1:30; after getting the mail and caring for Baxie, I realized I'd left my phone in the car. Lo and behold, there was a text from Sally saying the owlet was out of the nest!!!! Naturally, as one who is obsessed will do, I raced back to the cemetery, and here is the little puffball.
Cute, cute, cute!! A local celebrity, otherwise, how else to explain the nature paparazzi I found later in the day when I returned for the feeding time?
Later I got to thinking that perhaps the owlet had "branched" earlier in the day before I arrived, and that is why Mama was on the lookout? Hard to know.

In any case, Tuesday I stayed away, instead all I did was eat, and sew. After working so hard on my last project, I wanted to make something simple. In good news, regarding that quilt, my friend Mary Whitaker suggested I layer it over my existing ivory quilt, and I am now very happy with how it looks!
The ivory quilt is oversized, and mine is undersized, so it's a happy medium!

During Sunday's golf match I sorted through those Lily squares, (there are tons of them,) pulling all pinks, and a green for some cornerstone blocks. Here's what I made with them:
I'm hoping to find a green and pink stripe for the binding, and probably a solid pink for the backing. I had no notion of what I was going to do with it, however, I received an email from Ann at the church asking if I would donate some photography, or a quilt for an auction she was putting together for the fall.  Winter Park + Lily Pulitzer is a win-win! Plus, I'll still be contributing while I'm away.

In the evening Pam fed me using a recipe from Christoper Kimball's new magazine, Milk Street.
Having spent the day with pink, naturally I was attracted to her pink roses which are blooming like crazy!
So all of the above was a mixture of both good, and bad, however, the rest of this post is all bad news. Up early again this morning, I could not resist visiting the owls after yesterday's absence.

Why not?

 When I arrived, I found it so strange that Mama was way low in the tree, allowing me to get within maybe twenty feet? See her on the left ,and Papa up in his usual spot on the right?
Much to my delight, it was only me, and the birder woman. Standing under that beautiful canopy, I admired the beautiful owls up close. Life was good. Eventually, I heard a lot of bird commotion, and looking behind me, I saw a hawk jumping around between the headstones with the birds and squirrels scrambling for their lives.

Try as we might, we could not find the owlet.

Turning back around Mama looked so majestic above the nest hole, a place I'd never seen her. So two strange places in one day.
Ms Birder and I watched her go down the hatch. Using her binoculars, she was able to see inside the hole, and observe what looked like some feeding. There is still one owlet to branch, and we also wondered if perhaps the one I saw on Monday had gone back into the nest.

Around twenty past 8, I decided I needed feeding myself, and I told her I was calling it a day. She said she planned to stick around till at least 9, and I wished her good luck. Now, my friends, I've learned from another owl enthusiast that not 10 minutes later, following my departure, Ms. Birder found the owlet, dead on the ground, behind the tree. As you can well imagine, I am heartsick. Two days of freedom from the nest, and now it is all over.  Does Mama look sad to you? I bet she is. 😢

yours truly,

Gail

p.s. I've been meaning to write about this for a week or so...we are participating in an AIDS walk, Saturday evening, April 15, and if you would like to support us, we are under the banner of First Congregational Church of Winter Park. Here's the details...
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