Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It is About the Future

So, we had our moving sale, and for most of the time, the sales were fast and furious with Bruce bearing the brunt of most of the craziness. With no advertising aside from four roadside signs, we did good. Mary told us not to bother pricing things which worked brilliantly because Bruce only arrived home around dinnertime Friday night with the sale slated for 8:00 the next morning, leaving no time, or energy, to price his tools. Matt's friend Liza and her husband Michael recently purchased a very large home in sore need of more furniture, however, as of today I don't know if I will need to sell any of the inside stuff. Good thing they also needed pool patio furniture, and we had plenty of that! Plus, our awesome lawn mower, and grill. I can tell you it seems pretty darn empty out back right about now.

Another large item to go was Bruce's garage work bench which was no ordinary bench. Of course you surmised that already, didn't you? He made it as a very young man while we lived in California. The year would be 1977. As I type this, I keep trying to keep in mind our son David's words he kept repeating on Saturday during the sale..."this is about the future Mom, not about the past." Easier said than done with some things. The good news is that a fellow Boone High School graduate came along who is building a new home a few streets away, and he's now going to use it there. Plus, he's going to leave Bruce's metal nameplate on it, so there's that.

If you've ever held a garage sale in Orlando you are already familiar with a group of people that are about as annoying as you can get, haggling with you until you want to scream. In fact, at one point I told them to go away because they were making me so mad, shoving not enough dollars at Bruce while trying to confuse him. Most all of the folks that came were great, but I'm still grieving a bit that they took my market tent for $20.

Our buyers also came by, and again they are as nice as can be. Guess what? He has a MINI Cooper. She also wanted to buy my furniture! Crazy.

Because it was both so hot, and busy, I neglected to photograph the event aside from this shot near the end which was like 1:00 because it was so DARN hot.
As you can imagine we were both pretty worn out, however, I'd promised our friend Sue that I would photograph her daughter's wedding party at 6:00, so in the words of my late Mother, "there is no rest for the weary." Actually, both Bruce and I were so glad to be included because not only was it a super fun get together, but we saw an old friend of mine who has been living in Jacksonville for years and years. Neither of us had seen her for at least 45 years...Debbie Staples!
Following our families move to Melbourne, Debbie (pictured in the middle) would often have me over for the weekend. Debbie recently posted on facebook how she so remembered the church chaperones keeping Bruce and I one foot apart during the dances when we were 13. I so love that memory of hers! Yup, we were crazy about each other then, and not a whole lot has changed since. :)

The lovely couple, Katie and Charlie married in Utah a few months ago, returning to Orlando to celebrate with all of their friends and family who did not make the trip for the wedding.
Aren't they so adorable and fresh-faced? If you live in Orlando and have ever been to the Gnarley Barley, the same folks opened this new spot on Virginia near Lake Ivanhoe. Very cute spot, and so much larger than GB.

Sunday is mostly a blur, aside from church and making time to go to Hill's Happy Hour. I so enjoyed using my portrait lens the previous evening I brought it along with me to take photographs of our friends. Here are the famous Hills, Cathy and Bunker.
Lisa and Oren were celebrating 25 years of marriage, bringing champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for all to enjoy.
Meanwhile, back at the condo Scott worked all weekend long, finishing up yesterday afternoon.
Working solo, he takes his time, and does such good work. Although he used this big vacuum on the floors, I'm heading over soon to both vacuum again, and mop the floors.
Not only did he do the floors but he did the baseboards as well, with the painters arriving today to make it look even more beautiful. Scott is neither on facebook, nor does he have a website, but he did ask me to pass his name along which I am very happy to do. The only place on the web you can find him is here on Angie's List. Should you be looking for a floor guy, I can't recommend him enough. To reach him here is his phone number...407-461-3752.

A well worn phrase...parting is such sweet sorrow....has been around a long time simply because it is true. Most of my readers are aware of the deal Bruce and I struck way back when...we could start a family if he could get a table saw. Well, you know how all that worked out; our firstborn will soon be turning 41 years old. Although he did not sell the table saw at the moving sale, he did find a home for it at our friend Sherry's house down the street.
Never once have any of our vehicles been in a garage because, well, you can see why. He began methodically dismantling the saw from the table... (I believe that is a planer on the side)
and a friend of Sherry's came with a pick up truck. David Beatty came to lend a hand, and they drove the saw, table, and a stand up sander the two blocks down our street.
Following that, he rented a pick up and in about twenty minutes, he and David are taking it to the dump. Don't believe the $19.95 sign!
Holy Cow...you should see that garage now! Bruce used that saw for so many creations over the years, we are so happy that at least if he doesn't have room for it now, someone we know does.

Time to head over for my cleaning and to meet the painters....

Movers are coming July 3!!

yours truly,


Friday, June 23, 2017

With Age You Get a Lot of Stories

Little did Hunter know how apt his words were to me when he came to do some routine maintenance on the air conditioner. Before we got all wild and crazy buying a condo, I had called to schedule the service before we left town, only they were booked for ages. I took the first appointment available, June 21, which would work just fine. Never, in my wildest dreams would I have known I was doing it for new owners, however, we do want to leave the house in as good a condition as we can, so I went through with it.
During the service call Hunter regaled me with stories about his extended family, including one wild one in which his step father was leaving the doctor's office after a routine visit where he was deemed fit as a fiddle. Not so fast....he suffered a massive heart attack at the check out window, dying instantly. Whoa Nelly! I remarked that he sure had a lot of stories, and now you know what his response was.

Lest I leave you in suspense, unlike the real estate folks did with us, the appraisal went through, and as far as I know, the sale will proceed as planned.

Indeed there is no more telling time regarding life stories than moving time. Tuesday evening, before leaving for a three day trip back to Dallas, Bruce put up some additional shelving in a few of the closets, which as you can imagine, is a wonderful thing. Beginning with the coral room, I emptied the closet (for the most part), and it is now in the new place.
Should you be wondering what is in the garbage bag I'm here to tell you....my wedding gown. What do I do with that? We are but weeks away from the anniversary of the day I wore it, some 44 years ago. So, that's certainly a life story, isn't it?

Scott worked like crazy to chip up the tile, and remove the carpet, preparing the concrete with a large sander.
One of the things I'm keeping are the drapes, shown tied and twisted.
It was not enough to have to do all that work with a jack hammer, he had to do it will all the windows and doors open because of the extreme dust. Needless to say, Scott was whipped on Tuesday night.

I started with the easy stuff--boxes of photographs, mementos as shown, yearbooks, that sort of thing. Then, I got into the harder stuff, spending all afternoon Wednesday sorting through years of tax returns and documentation. One box for recycling , one for shredding.
When you have a home based business such as we did, you save everything related to running a home, including utility and cable bills to name two. Once upon a time, I used to trash those willy nilly, however, I trained myself to keep it all. Googling the question, I learned one need only keep two years worth of tax records these days! It is all gone now, as is this, which was painful to throw away, as silly as that might sound.
That diploma, my friends, is a tiny bit older than the wedding gown. Make that it was.

Finally, I got to see the flooring I purchased.
It is daunting to choose 1,100 square feet of flooring from a 20x20 sample, is what I have to say. He got this far by Wednesday evening.
I've stayed away today, but by day's end yesterday he had most all of the guest room done as well as 2/3 of the living. I suspect when I head over soon, he'll be into the kitchen!! Dave and Michelle came by to check it out last evening, and we all agreed it is looking good. David said, "how couldn't you like it?" Indeed. Bruce will be home later today, so I hope he agrees with that sentiment!

The coral room has been pretty much the archive room, with either the stories stored in the closet, or on the shelves around the room. After the taxes, I tackled the basket which held all of my sales books, beginning on my first day ever selling photography, March 7, 2007. Friends and family came that day making it a very exciting beginning. Better yet, a stranger bought something. The following week I sold three things, followed by 7, and the sales kept adding up for April. Mother's Day, 2007, I wrote "skunked" in my book. In those early days, the market was teeny tiny, with around 15 vendors, some of whom didn't even set up during the summer. We, on the other hand, just kept at it, year after year, small sale, after small sale. One step at a time if you will, learning along the way. Amazingly enough, my sales in 2008 totaled $21, 579 which is damn good for a girl who barely knew what she was doing. There were Sundays that I might sell $20 and then there was my biggest day ever, many years later I might add, that I sold almost $800 on a Sunday. I see Bruce wrote on one page from 2012, new record for the month--$5, 520. Must have done an art show that month!

I thought the yearly totals were listed in my books, however, I did not find many aside from 2013 when I sold $33,308 which when you realize that most of my prints went for $10, that is a hell of a lot. The low prices helped me sell a lot, but it sure was a bunch of work, getting them ready for sale. The stories I heard at the market...oh my! The friends I made...oh my! The market these days? Over 100 vendors and huge numbers of patrons!

Then, in August 2105, I quit because I just could not ask Bruce to help me another week when he was gone six days a week finishing up the Tyson's Corner job.
I think too, I'd finally had enough of sitting out in the ever changing weather (hot or hotter), every Sunday and this was as good an excuse as any to end this chapter of our lives. Unfortunately, not exactly planning for it, I'm left with a gazillion prints, which I think I'll put out tomorrow at the moving sale, and what does not sell, I will donate to Habitat, as I once did when I changed out all of my prints using new paper.

Emptying the closet in my sewing room, I found a shoe box with these...
I suppose if I don't throw them out, someone else will have to, so why not now? Hard though.

Here's a story for you that is tied to the future rather than the past. A few weeks ago I heard from an old friend Kelly via text. She said some dear friends of theirs had looked at our house. Wow, how crazy, I thought! Guess what? They are the buyers, and what's more, they are the first folks to look at it, finding it not on the web, but driving around they came across the open house sign! Love it! The old fashioned way. Further, and this is pretty amazing as well--we were the third Darden family to live in this home, meaning a Darden person sold it to another, etc. Well, our buyers father worked at Darden too! Can you believe it?

My goodness, being old has some advantages, loaded with story after story.

yours truly,


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Haircut, a House for Sale, and Fathers Day Too

Remember that big-haired blogger from the last post? She is now a sleek bobbed blogger thanks to Monica's expert work on Friday afternoon.
I can assure you, I was not able to style it perfectly this morning, however, I was not too far off, which is a huge relief. Seriously, every time I tell her I'm never going to make it happen, and most times I'm right, but she explained it is all in the cut this time. Speaking of cut, claiming it is more hair than she has on her head, Monica insisted I photograph this mass of hair, including a large amount of from using the thinning shears. Merely genetics, I have some gray hair, but not much, but it sure shows up in this pile, doesn't it?
Gray hair is so weirdly stiff and unruly, or at least that is how it is on my head! Folks with thin hair wish they had more, and thick haired folks like myself wish I had less!

Woo hoo, ceilings done, along with most of the paint. Most, because they have to return for the baseboards once Scott finishes sometime either at the end of this week, or early next. I am so loving the paint colors.
I wish I could say I picked them out all by myself, but that would be a lie. Spending countless hours on the web, I came across this post, knowing  absolutely nothing about Libby Langdon. Have you ever heard of her? Anyway, looking around my current home, I decided not to reinvent the wheel, choosing the same colors, only in different shades and tones. To tell you the truth, I probably would have never chosen the yellow or green from the rack, however, I decided to take a chance, and I'm so glad that I did. Using the back of the Ancient Marble (green) color, the bedroom, trim, ceilings and the accent wall were all colors chosen by Sherwin Williams folks to go together. The yellow in the kitchen scared me a little bit when I'd only painted a bit of it, but overall, Libby Langdon is right when she described Convivial Yellow as soft and serene. Not well pictured here, due to lack of adequate lighting, soon there will be some light, and I hope it glows. Now to pick out a fixture.
Depending on how things go in the next two weeks, we may put off any kitchen renovations, such as painting the cabinets, new appliances, that sort of thing, until we return from Canada. Scott is working over there now, having chipped out all of the tile in the living and kitchen yesterday, today he's tackling the carpet and baseboards. Before we know it, the wood will be going down.

Meanwhile on the house selling front, things have not gone exactly swimmingly. Much to our complete surprise, during the three hour home inspection Thursday morning, they found a wet spot inside the garage, and the buyers are using that to their advantage. Suffice it to say that I am not a big fan of the real estate profession, mostly theirs! He had the absolute gall to write in an email that we had not upgraded the kitchen, which will probably rile up any longtime Camera Crazy reader as well. What? Three solid weeks of carpentry work and painting does not count? I won't bore you with all of the details, but as of last night, around 10 PM, they still want to go through with the sale if we agree to giving them back more money. I suppose it is our long held belief that if you can fix it with money do so; thus we agreed to most of their terms. The appraisal guy came this morning which is our next hurdle.

On a happier note, Bruce, although not exactly thrilled with the size of the storage closet, has made it a "tiny shop." He loves those "tiny houses" shows!
With tiny being the operative word, he brought over a cabinet he'd made years ago, topping it with the Mahogany tool chest he also made years ago. Note the old cross stitch, done by you know who.
I took this photograph Saturday evening (or so I think),
but it looks even better now after he installed more shelving above the pictured one. A storage unit, just down the road, has been secured, because even though we are not big accumulators, we definitely have more than we can store at the condo.

The rain has been mostly constant, filling the lake up nicely.
David came up with the brilliant idea of having a cookout at our home for Father's Day for a last hurrah. Much reminiscing about the memories made in this charming house.  Bill and David love their proteins, so we had shrimp, prepared by Bill, seen cleaning it here.
David, manned the grill for part of the time. What? You did not know we had a grill? Of course you didn't because we never use it! Too unpredictable for me.
Peppers, onions, and shrimp...
The shrimp came out beautifully,
as did the corn on the cob.
Those pans don't look great, but I"ll tell you what...they are some of my most used pans in the kitchen.

I hated to mess up my hair, but on the other hand I was thrilled there were a few hours of sunshine, so I finally got to get in the pool which felt wonderful. That would be my towel on the empty chair.
Still eating steak and chicken those Peck men were. Following our meal, Bill and I played a little Yahtzee tournament, as in three games. I have NEVER once rolled three Yahtzees in a game, but by golly, I did just that in our first game! Amazing win over Bill, followed by a one point (!) win by Bill over me. Sadly, he also won the third game by a larger margin. Super fun times!

Good news on the Plano front...the restaurant is attracting huge numbers!

There will be house updates in the near future which I'm praying are all positive!

yours truly,


Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Man of the Hour

Monday evening I dropped Baxter off at our vet's office for boarding. I hated doing so because he's never been boarded before; generally, family cares for him if we are away, however, in his current state, that's a bit of a hard sell. Perhaps his two day stint there will help allay some of his fear of going to the veterinarian office.
I brought his little blanket that he lies on adjacent to my desk for comfort. Picking him up late Wednesday evening, I was about half way home when I remembered it was still there. Calling the girl from my car, I explained they forgot to give it to me. Her response--- "no problem." Am I the only one who thinks that is both overly used, and inappropriate? Of course it is a problem! Baxter likes his blanket, not to mention it means a return trip.

Before my flight the next morning, I stopped at the condo to check on progress, finding the painter doing his set up.
Those big bags on the patio? Popcorn ceiling goo, all wrapped up and ready to exit the place. Woo hoo! I might add that they were super tidy, which I guess those bags demonstrate. Knowing no drywall contractors, I went to Google for help, finding a fantastic fellow named Stefan Perry who owns New Ceilings. Now that I've finally found time to write this, I can report that everyone who works for him does a fantastic job. The paint!!! I love the colors (whew!), and the fact I did not have to do it myself. Seriously, every regular reader of Camera Crazy knows I don't mind painting one bit, however, having to paint crown molding 10 feet in the air just wasn't up our alley this time around.

Waiting for my flight, I watched the efficiency of Southwest Airlines as they got the plane ready for our journey. Almost like an orchestra, each worker played his part in concert, from unloading the bags, to replenishing the snacks, such as they are.
Here, my friends, is why I could NEVER live in Dallas. Made me nervous just seeing it from the air.
Bruce was waiting inside the airport for me which should not have surprised me in the least. After all, we'd not seen each other in more than a week! He asked about lunch, to which I replied, "gotta have bar-b-que in Texas!" He took me here, a place close to the hotel that he has called a home away from home this last month.
Beyond that entrance lies this....
Smokers everywhere! I'm a brisket lover, and this did not disappoint. Plus, the fried okra was fantastic.

As has been mentioned previously in this little space on the web, the faucet in the sky has opened over Central Florida, and apparently is broken because we've had no sun to speak of for about a month. Thus, this little scene behind the hotel pleased me.
Party time arrived!! The restaurant is gorgeous, as I've come to expect from the design team at Earls. The party was in full swing when we arrived...
People everywhere, enjoying the free drinks and food.
Including sushi prepared on the spot...
In fact, there were so many people (700), that I never got a chance to check out this art wall up close.
And here he is....the man of the hour, looking oh so handsome. Or, at least I think so.
You can see by his expression that he is a tad nervous, waiting for some catastrophe, however, much to everyone's relief, the party went off flawlessly. It is hard to describe how difficult it is to be a project manager, attending to the thousands of details that go into building an eight million dollar restaurant. Somehow, to most people, he makes it look far easier than it is. He insisted on taking a photograph of me as well.
As you can see, I am overwhelmed with hair! I tried in vain to get it cut before I left, however, as of yesterday, a whole bunch of that hair is in the trash.

I invited some folks to sit with us and it was fun talking to these ladies, one of whom has a son working as a kitchen expediter. He was so disappointed he was not scheduled to work the party. I believe it was the one on the left who said she felt sure the restaurant would do well because in Dallas they have neither mountains, nor a beach so they go out to eat for entertainment!
Hopefully her prediction will be correct, and if the opening day's crowds are any indication, they will.

The front elevation looked lovely as the night wore on.
A great night was had by all.

That was that, I flew home around noon Wednesday, returning to my position as the project manager of the condo work, AND our little doggie who did just fine.

Bruce finally came home Thursday evening, and we made a beeline over to the condo so he could see what had happened in his absence. In spite of the lack of light, due to yet more rain, he proclaimed it good.

yours truly,


p.s. Here's a little sunflower growing wild in the field adjacent to the hotel.

You Just Never Know