Friday, February 22, 2019

Limping Along

Sitting down at my computer yesterday afternoon, while waiting on the appliance repair guy, I was all set to write a blog post, however, my photo library decided not to cooperate, with every action taking far too long. I finally gave up. And yes, you read that right, an appliance repair guy. Unfortunately, this is the second brand new appliance to require attention, beginning with the washing machine that needed a new computer board, and now it is my range that needs the same. My old appliances may not have looked so great, but darn, they worked. Reminds me a bit about life in our modern world--- technology that has entered every part of our lives can be both horrible and wonderful. Would you agree?

I saw something remarkable as I was leaving Days for Girls on Monday afternoon, reminding me that one should never be without a camera because one never knows what one will see. A favorite bird of mine is a Sandhill Crane with their tall bodies, and that wonderful red patch shaped like a heart on their heads.
Oftentimes you will see them in parking lot islands, yet I had not for quite a while, so I immediately parked my baby car, hopping out for a photo shoot. I followed it around a bit, watching her while she watched me.
Do you notice anything unusual about the legs? Thinking to myself, that bird is limping, was I ever surprised to see that she was missing one of her feet, thus that larger thigh.
While I don't know that the enlarged thigh relates to the missing foot, it makes sense to me. What do you think? This was definitely a first for me.

I came home to a very nice surprise, more storage! This is a window seat that Bruce has now turned into a home for my rarely used dishes and other kitchen equipment!
Should you be wondering how he did it, well, he made the drawing below:
I didn't understand how it was going to work, however, over the course of two or so days, it became clearer. BTW--he found beer cans in there too!! First he cut the hole, followed by making a brand new top that he attached over top of the existing one with a piano hinge to open it. New paint inside and other structural improvements along with a rug to provide a soft landing for all of that glass. Below is not the best photo, but you get the idea as we began filling it up.
Pretty darn awesome, right?

Because it has remained ridiculously hot all week, I thought to look at an old blog post from the same date two years ago. Well, I did not mention the heat, but I sure did mention the exciting news that we were moving to Vancouver! If you bother to click on the link you will see that my blog subject matter really doesn't change very much. 😁

We have had some tremendous celestial activity of late as in a rising moon to write home about!
That would be an incoming plane on the left side of the photo. Next morning the sunrise was not too shabby either.
Unfortunately there is not one good thing to report regarding my sisters. Continuing the old photo reveal, here's one that is undated, but my best guess it was taken more than 30 years ago.
From the left, arranged by age---Lisa, Nancy, Carol, Gail, Maureen and our Mom. That would be Bruce's dad heading into the kitchen on the far right. Maybe Lisa is pregnant? That hair of mine!!!

One day Bruce had an errand to run in Maitland so I went along for the ride. While waiting for his work to be done, we went to the Sewing Studio to shop around. There was a wonderful display of old machines in the window, as well as this awesome one in a cabinet near the front door! Those colors!!
Not having done much sewing of late, I am on a fabric diet, however, I found a tiny bit in the bargain area where Tina does the cutting. I overheard one of the other workers calling her Tina Turner!
We had a little chat and she told me she has never once seen snow in all her 77 years! I recommended that she find a way to remedy that as soon as possible.

More fun with the gang, this time at Aardvark for dinner Wednesday night. The gang range in age from late 50's to early 80's which is one thing I like most about living here.
Speaking of age, we had gone to bed the other night when Bruce's phone rang; the caller was a nearby neighbor who needed help getting her groceries upstairs. Sadly, this woman in her late 70's was in a car accident a few years ago and has never been the same since. Bruce met her one day in the parking lot telling her that if she ever needed his help, just call. We are glad she took him up on the offer.

Before the heat set in yesterday morning we took a walk down Mills where we passed the new Boone auditorium still under construction.
It happens but once a year folks.
Pam used to have a big Tabebuia tree and it was as fun seeing all the flowers on her driveway as it was seeing them on the tree. We are both just sick about what is going on with our friend and guild member Mary Whitaker, and the problems at UCF. What a mess it all has turned out to be.

As we walked back into the complex, I finally got a chance to photograph this lovely bougainvillea that grows in a pot near the entrance. That color!
Boo hoo! I heard from my Vancouver friend, Jackie with the news that her beloved cat, Mr. Bates, has passed into kitty heaven. As far as health problems, for both animals, and people, this has not been the best week.

Alas, this too shall pass, albeit painfully.

your friend,

Gail




Sunday, February 17, 2019

Past, Present, and Future

Another oldie, but a goodie!
I told you I found some good stuff the other day and this one is no exception. The twins must be around 5 or 6, Jonathan, probably around one year old, making Matt around 9. I can't recall who the woman was that took this photo, but I've always loved it foremost because of how adorable the boys are, (Bruce is darn good himself), and secondly, because it shows off the wonderful play space Bruce built. With a sandbox underneath, he built a walkway connecting it to the swing set. Many wonderful hours were spent here until we finally decided we needed a larger home. The house we purchased when we had one son, over time, was just not working with four little Pecks in the house. The folks who bought our home put it into the contract that the playhouse had to remain in the backyard. Sadly, we agreed, only to see the entire house torn down a few years later. A bittersweet memory.

So, that is the past segment, and here is one example of the present. The promised rainbow.
I don't know about you, but this was the first one that has ever come right to me. I ran in to get Bruce telling him to hurry because they generally do not last for long. Count me wrong. Lord, have mercy, this rainbow, soon thereafter joined by another one, was brilliant in the sky for about 25 minutes, leaving me flat out astonished!
While I stood lakeside behind our home, Bruce walked down to the big lake with his fishing pole. Standing on the shore, he caught this beauty, captured on his phone by a passing acquaintance.
He immediately set it free to get on with its life. The luck he's had has been remarkable and for his sake, I hope it continues.

Oops, glad this isn't in front of our place.
Since observing this a few days ago, the hole has remained the same size, so pretty sure a sink hole is not in the offing.

This week I've been trying to get more walking done, some days around the complex where there are plenty of flowers to admire.
Azaleas are blooming on many streets with these bushes being some of my favorites because I just love the colors and abundance.
Gayle, the head of our landscape committee, told me they don't have much luck with hibiscus and that may be true, so I'll enjoy the ones I do encounter.
The photo below is a good example of how you can see something pretty, admiring it, and think not much more about what you've seen. Recently David told me that a few years ago, during a hurricane, this beautiful Orchid tree blew over, exposing the entire root ball. No ordinary tree, it was planted in memory of a resident's Mother. With work they saved it and he also told me that it has never bloomed for so long and so beautifully before. I call that a blessing.
Susan, the president of our condo association, has been putting me to shame by walking over to Lake Davis, circling not just that lake, but Lake Cherokee as well, followed by walking home. I have been driving over and doing the lake walk. She does it faster because, well, everyone walks faster than me. It doesn't help that I am continually stopping for photographs when either the light is good,
or something, like a bit of new Spring growth catches my eye.
Then I might see some turtles and think of how much my sister Lisa loves them. So, another break in the already slow action.
So it was that I was walking and snapping when much to my delight, I ran into Angela!!! After exchanging warm hugs, we turned around and walked back the way I had already walked, chatting all the way. There is no good reason we can't pick up the phone and call one another, but she's been busy, and presumably, I have been too. Lily has been good company for Angela since Matt died. Lots of drama on her side and of course, lots on my side as well. So much to say, not nearly enough time.
Here's something very crazy that happened on Friday afternoon. Bruce and I spent the morning in search of some nightstands for the guest room. Used is always my preference, however, it was tough sledding for most of our search. We went to Atomic Junkies on Edgewater Drive, followed by a stroll over to "Top Drawer", another store that recycles furniture. Walking around seeing nothing to our liking, I remarked to Bruce how much art they had for sale. Soon thereafter, he says, "well, look at that!"
I laughed and laughed seeing my photo, "Primary Colors" hanging on the top right. A mixture of the past and the present. Small town we live in.

My visit to see Maureen yesterday was a frustrating one. Her wound seems so slow to heal and she's got a host of other things going on. Not life threatening by any means, but darn, life is so hard for her, being totally dependent on others for everything. Then I learned the clothes I'd previously purchased have been misplaced. I decided to take a walk to clear my head, walking from Westminster Towers to Lake Cherokee, walking in reverse what I'd done two days prior. Much busier on Saturday, I came across this,
run by these folks. That business name is good.
An artistic touch in front of a lovely home; the neighborhood is rich with them.
The mother in the shot below passing me as she was running with her little boy in the stroller. Most folks don't seem to know that throwing bread to birds is not such a good idea, albeit interesting.
Looking up, there was Susan doing her Saturday walk, dressed more appropriately than I. Wearing a light sweatshirt, I was indeed sweating as it is warm as can be. Thank God the humidity is low!

Returning to the towers, after not finding her clothes anywhere, it was back to the thrift store for me. A good thing that clothes there are very cheap. (I search for top brands at rock bottom prices and wash them at home) On our way home from church we spent time with her, I showed off her new clothes and fed her lunch. If it is making me depressed, can you imagine what she feels like?

Oh how I hope there are sunnier days, and nights, in her future!
your friend,

Gail


p.s. The bird enthusiast side of me wanted to post more bird photographs. The smarter side of me said, "don't!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

That's That

It was around this time, 11 years ago, that Bruce thought I might be able to sell my photography, something that had never occurred to me. By now you all know the story of how we began selling at the Orlando Farmer's Market when it was a teeny tiny thing, hanging around  for the next eight years, and had success beyond our wildest dreams. That era came to a close today my friends. SunDance still sells my stuff, but Out & About Photography is officially closed for business. That, of course, happene,d maybe two years ago, except we still had all of our inventory. Late this morning, we made a trip to the storage unit, came home, sorted out what we thought we might want,
and then drove to Central Street and made a gift of it here.
After giving a few canvases away in our parking lot, I bagged everything up and off we went to officially close that chapter of our lives. It was a darn good run.

We kept our storage tubs and after lunch, we filled them with closet things, lots of old photos for example. I came across this one of me, now nearly 50 (!) years old, taken by the local Melbourne newspaper as part of an article about how I was making my Mom's dress for a charity ball!
Oh how I loved that sewing machine and I probably cried the day they told me that it would cost more to fix than to keep. I used it for the following twenty plus years after this photo was taken, making clothes for myself and the boys. I totally still miss that knee lift.

While we are still on today's activities, as I sat down to write this post, finding the photos, etc., I kept one eye on the sky because we'd had a light rain followed by sunshine. When the sky looks like this, you can pretty well bet that a rainbow will follow.
Lo and behold, it did happen, and even more wonderful than I could have hoped for. Photos in my next post, but I will tell you that it remained, first one, then two rainbows, for nearly thirty minutes!!

So, what else has been happening? Maureen remained in the hospital until today and now she is back at Westminster Towers, hoping that this time the antibiotics will work! I talked to Carol briefly and her report on Lisa's visit was that it was wonderful.

Must have been last Friday night that I was planning on heading down to the pool for a chit chat with the gang when David and Michelle, along with Grace, were out front chatting with the neighbors and yours truly. For my far away friends, I thought I'd show this because it gives you a better understanding of what our place looks like.
Earlier Bruce had gone down to fish and when he didn't come home, I went looking and found him with some of the other stragglers.
Something super cool happened as we were preparing to leave. A large owl flew past us barely above our heads!!! Although sure he'd flown into one of the nearby trees, not a one of us could locate it.

Saturday, on my way to see Maureen, I detoured once I saw an estate sale sign and am I ever glad I did!! Down the street from the sale, well, seriously, need I explain?
Seeing the blooms on the trees is fantastic and seeing them on the ground is a bonus.
Our friend Sandy's nephew has opened a brewery behind Cecil's bar-b-que, just off Orange Avenue, a block from Michigan. The whole LPV clan went to support his efforts on Saturday night. Here's some of the old folks and that would include me had I not been taking the photo.
The young folks sat at another table..
Should you be in the area, be sure and check out Rockpit Brewery! From there we went to a place that Guy Fieri should visit the next time he comes to town. Our sweet friend Brittany was moving back to her hometown in New York the next day and a bunch of folks gathered to wish her well. An offshoot of Johnny's Fillin Station, Johnny's Other Side attracts all sorts of folks with good food and live music.
And then it was Sunday. On our way home from church, traveling South on Bumby Avenue, for some reason, Bruce turned off onto Vine Street and then turned left onto Francis Avenue. Long, long ago, his Grandmother lived in a tiny house on that street. His parents held onto the property for years and my sister Nancy once lived there as well. We checked out the street, continuing on toward Curry Ford Road and whoa Nelly, we came across this house with the lift used to paint it still in the street.
Can you imagine? I could not. Sadly it was gray and rainy so Monday, on my way to see Maureen, I drove back by to see it under sunny conditions. Amazing! Well, count me shocked when I traveled down Vine Street and came across this amazing creation. Unreal that the artist's first name is Maureen! Plus that these cool things are in that neighborhood.
The creativity is astonishing! Although you can't tell it from the photo, some of those circles contain little mirrors. Love at first sight.

A smattering of Robins continue to visit and just yesterday another batch of Cormorants came through.
Super active on the lake this time, while some of them kept flying around, some of them towards me!
I do love my ducks, however, the two that swim in the big pool are quite the nuisance leaving evidence of their presence behind all too frequently.
Do you see them alongside the pool?

I'm hearing from Jackie all about the huge snowfall in Vancouver. Boo hoo! I wish it had snowed that much whilst we were there. That said, it is 22 degrees, and that, my friends, may have been more than this wimpy Floridian could have handled for days on end. Then again, you only live once, right?

Giving that all away today was a little sad, but that's that. Onward!

your friend,

Gail


Limping Along