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Somehow these days have liquified and spilled away – I went to Tampa to paint the new house for the new baby. Painted bedrooms and the nursery which was a joy and every stroke was painted with love for the new life about to come our way. When I left, the chair rail was all cut, but not up yet, nor the border, but Aaron will get it all done and send me a photo of the end result.
The day I left Sanford, the baby herons had taken to flight and what fun it was watching their clumsy sailing from pine tree to pine tree where they would spend perched hours trying to determine when to fly back to the nest.   The first day they learned their wings worked was on the 28th of April. One of the babies took off and stayed away about 3 doors down in a tree top for 6 hours. The other was too afraid yet and stayed in the nest waiting one extra day to test it’s wings. Since then they come and go, always back at the nest for bed time.  They are very excited about flying, but as much as they go tree top to tree top, I have not seen them down in the water getting their food.
we enjoy our night time visitors and the flowers that have been blooming to make gorgeous photos:
Over in Riverview I really was too busy to take photos. I did stop and look closely at the blooms on the magnolias over there as there were so full and buzzing with bees.  I had never noticed how fuzzy the buds were. They looked like they were coated in hair.
— The house was in a subdivision 6 miles from Aaron’s current townhouse. As is the norm here in Florida, many acres of cleared land have farm animals upon them to get the owner a tax deduction. In the meantime, they don’t have to provide an ounce of shade at all for these animals. You know those cows and goats in the heat of a 90+ degree afternoon oppressive sun can’t feel too good. It’s wrong that animals are treated so cruelly and the owner benefits financially, use the money for some shade!
In their natural state on land that has not been denuded for developers, the cows and goats will be found under the trees taking in the shade on these brutal afternoons. It is quite sad that the owners of agricultural animals are not required to supply an area of shading via structures on this vacant land areas, anything to give them some shelter. Am I wrong in my thinking? PETA, where are you?
I stopped by one morning around 8am, the cows were close by the fence.  The first thing I saw was this bird who was intent on telling me this was its’ property.  Not sure what it is.  Here’s the cows:
So many look alikes.  
I got to pet one cows head and love the feel of the strong hide and the smell of these wonderful animals.
Back at the townhouse, the birds were scarce really, not much variety. The pond behind the townhomes had all these bed where the fish tilipia were nesting, they were huge, but, NO FISHING!  Here’s a look at the birds:  That limpkin was so chatty.
Then yesterday, I took off back for Orlando.  Always keep my camera handy as I approach downtown.
And after that, it was a day of getting back into order, tossing junk mail, paying bills, hugging my other two kids and cleaning and loving on the cats. It was a great time in Riverview and it’s always good to get back into the groove!

Yesterday grabbed Adam and went to see Pirate Radio which had a nice vibe, good actors, great music, simple and fun, no thinking involved.  Then up to the Gateway for set up.
100_6777re Had baby clothes, T-shirts, cups, cards, all kinds of things to sell besides framed art.  A cute dog named Lucky was running around trying to help too. He was adorable.  100_6767re 100_6769-1re (don’t ask what setting I had on that last Lucky pic.)
We headed home and Adam took wonderful photo as we passed over the 17/92 bridge

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Diane Miller, head of the Photography club at Gateway who was in charge of getting everyone their placement and making things run smoothly, could not have been kinder or more accommodating.  There were potters, quilters, jewelry makers, fine artists, even an artists who painted on leather. The excitement was building.

This morning I was up at 6:15, at the Gateway by 7:30am. The weather could not have been more perfect for those having tables outdoors.  100_6835re They have a weekly farmers market each week. Outside they had very interesting booths.  A guy named Joe,  did woodcarving and had beautiful wooden mini houses.  100_6838re There was one man who made solar light holders.  100_6844re There was a quilter called Loving Stitches, a man selling things to benefit a border Collie Rescue, his dog Cali was a beaut!  100_6846re And very well behaved dog too.
Of course there were jewelry vendors,  and my good friend Judy Segall and her beau Rob came with the coolest assortment of Asian/African instruments of which Rob was giving  free demos making people smile.
http://www.judithsegall.com
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Inside was an impressive group of artists.  The inside quilter, Paula had gorgeous quilts, and hand dyed scarves and as is a weird 6 degrees of separation,
100_6828re she knows my cousin,  Sue, who quilts under the name of Grannie Suzannie   http://www.granniesuzannie.com/
There was a man who made wooden bowls,   100_6797re And gorgeous abstract art by Nestor Charneco.  100_6788re Next to me was Bob who had hundreds upon hundreds of wildlife photos taken from his many African trips.  100_6799re
100_6795re The giraffe by the lady opposite me was very clever – do not have her name.
Also saw an architect named Don E. Grannon who was new to art, but really had interesting work.  Linda Bishop had well thought out paintings, as did the watercolor artist from St. Augustine beside her.  No more names, I’m sure The Gateway site will have much better in depth photos. Ed Cogle was on the job taking photos, his wife Nan was selling jewelry and both are always smiling.  100_6831re
http://www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org/
The volunteers for the Gateway were so kind, they came to give us breaks by sitting at our booths so we could walk around, stretch out legs, eat some of the wonderful cooking, the tomato Bisque was so thick and full of flavor.  Diane had also organized a room where children could come and pick out donated items from the artists to buy very cheaply.  (My duck photo was rejected, is this the point you give up on trying to sell art when you can’t even give it away to kids????)
The drawback was the attendance was light!  There was no advertisement and this needs to be addressed for future events!  But I thank Sandra Wilson and Diane for their efforts and visions, and a million thanks to the ever ready volunteers!  Plus a big shout out to the bright lights that flash when you look in the room and see your neighbors and friends shining faces!  Thank you wonderful supporters for being there for me! I appreciate it more than you know! Sonja, Dee, Becky, Sandra, you all rock!
By 4pm, I was on the road home with all but two items. Swapped a lot of stories with many people about their sandhill crane sightings.  When I arrived home, I was ready to get everything out of the truck and put it away.  Adam came back from work after 5 and we decided to go grab some Outback food – the timing was perfect! We got right in and I heard about his great time at the midnight showing of Repo at the Enzian, he got home after 3am and was at work 5 hours later. I found out her had plans to return to the Enzian tonight featuring Jewish filmakers with the latest Coen brothers movie.  That kid is a walking movie fest!
I would say that as of tonight, I am not feeling like doing these venues anymore, they are actually depressing.  The one plus is certainly meeting new artists and people. I will try making an Etsy site when I get back from Tampa and see where that goes. At this point, the economy is not lending itself to art for sure. Most of the artists I talked with had sold next to nothing. The ones selling art were the jewelry makers.  One tries to look around and see what sells, how other booths are set up, but this hauling of stuff is really not something I am enjoying. Now it’s time to work on internet sales I suppose and if that goes nowhere, then what the Hell, I give away all this crap and only take photos for blogs, I mean what’s the difference? I am doing that now and it makes me happy, the money would just add a bit more happiness if ya know where I’m comin’ from!

On Wednesday I had to run by a storefront I had seen before, but had not entered. That would be HobbyTown USA right next to BooksAMillion in the shopping center behind Seminole Towne Center Mall. What drew me in was the train model village in the window. I had to have a look after being with the ‘big guns’ over at Amtrak.
I wish these photos would do it justice, but the display is elaborate! The detail and time spent getting this set up must have been pretty tedious. There are details in this small scale set that include a fireman rescuing a cat in a tree.  The water fall, the landscape, just amazing. The whole display belongs to the owner of the store and the employee said it was very old.
The place itself has all types of hobby items from airplanes, to cars, to paint supplies. It is very orderly and well stocked. Kids must love it, especially the miniature car racing track. Have a look:
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DSC01641re DSC01637res This is no flat display, it has hills and valleys, a big dip where the water falls, this took a lot of planning. There were train sets of different scales and all the accessories too.  Anyone with children might want to check it out, and that includes adult children who have hobbies, like the model airplanes with motors – it looked like a lot of fun was just waiting to be had!  Here’s their link:  http://hobbytown.com/flsan
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DSC01653re So grab your spouse, child, grandchild, neice, nephew, neighbor and have a look. Gotta be something there of interest!

My son and I had gone to the model train exhibit at the Lake Mary Historic Museum and when I came home I was gearing up to fish. I opened the door on the porch and saw Ringo in one corner and heard a ‘bang’ of the aluminum being struck and thought Ringo had a bird cornered. Upon closer observation, I saw a cottonmouth striking at Ringo.  snake-1
I grabbed a hoe and had my son grab Ringo and I tried guiding the continually striking snake toward the porch door. He was a devil too. I finally got him headed out the door, but he might be hiding in the bushes next to the porch. Now I am rather paranoid to step out on the porch without giving a good look in all directions! If that snake comes back on the porch, he will be toast!  Ringo is way too bold, he’s like Ricky-tickki-tavi. But it just takes one poisonous bite to make him really sick or worse. Ringo is guarding the door.  DSC09609res Thank goodness Frankie was already inside. I worry more about her being bit than Ringo. She thinks she is as agile as Ringo and also as bold.
Meanwhile, the Historic museum in Lake Mary had a few tables set up with model trains. Old model trains. There were a few young children and their eyes were bright as they watched the trains round the tracks and whistle.
It is on display Saturday afternoon too. Here’s a few photos,
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They had old railroad lanterns,  DSC09594res and postcards. Some stamps and other memorabilia. So if you have a fetish for history and model trains,  there you go. The museum itself is a small yet interesting place of all history relating to the tiny city of Lake Mary.
When we left we noticed that in the tiny and I mean tiny downtown of Lake Mary which encompasses only a couple intersections with no traffic lights, there were 4 beauty salons, so apparently the people of Lake Mary like to stay looking good.  DSC09580res There is also an auto repair on that same side street as the Barber shop and there was a cool looking old truck /thing  sitting in front.  DSC09578res
The city hall and Events center are both beautiful new buildings, but downtown Lake Mary is still stuck in a time warp for now. There were also a few empty store fronts for rent   DSC09606res
on both sides of the street, a sign of the times for sure. None of these spaces looked like good places for an co-op art gallery, too small a space, not enough wall area on all places that are available. Traffic is also pretty non existent. The signs of hard times are all over. The biggest sign of a hard time will be the axe waiting for that snake if it thinks he’s coming back for a visit!

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That’s what my fence used to look like for three years. Loaded with red and purple pasion flowers. They made everyone happy. My neighbors on the other side of the fence loved looking at the blooms and would tell me that often. Today I had to go out there and perform a Paul Bunyon with my trusty shears. all the vines were dead and full of debris. I hacked and hacked and pruned and pruned and this is now what it looks like 100_0194

My grass, (what grass?) is just weeds and everything froze back. I need one of those natural no grass kind of lawns, (xeroscape) oh wait, that’s what I have, weeds have taken over and the backyard looks like crap. To make it worse, my son ran into the realtor whom I bought the place from and she gave me the old photos from the listing. The grass was so lush and green. Thank God the old couple moved 3000 miles away. He would be mad, he took a lot of pride in in yard. It’s not that I don’t, I just don’t feel like wasting water for asthetics. I need cactus and stone or something instead of grass, and a pot of gold to finance a total undertaking of what to do. I might have to consult some my ‘yardless’ friends who have let natural nature take over and have yards requiring little care. I am totally tired of weeding and pruning, I need a gardner who likes to work for free, oooo, that’s me, and you can see what a lousy job I am doing!

AWK – this is way too much rain all at once. How long before septic backs up? There is no letting up. We are in endless cycle of yellow on the map. This Fay spins and is moving at 5miles per hour, it is essentially going nowhere fast. The rain continues to add up. The lake fills and fills and so do the streets and the property. There are some very heavy wind gusts too.   
  Waterlogged heavy Limbs are falling from the trees, this is worse than if it was a hurricane! For all those we had in 2004, they kicked ass and left! This one is taking her own sweet time and is swamping the state…Is Florida worth staying in when at any time you could be a flood statistic, I’m beginning to wonder…

They say you can tell alot about the quality of a lake from the dragonflies. My lake must be very healthy despite all the excessive hydrilla. Dragonflies are all over, buzzing about,  some in pairs, some solo, and some riding piggyback! I see eggs clustered on lake plants to assure the future of these beautiful and intricate creatures. They zip from point A to point B, then quicky decide on another location. Somehow they never seem satisfied with their choices. I usually find a few stuck on the porch screen, I cup them in my hands and sometimes they bite, which is really a cute little pinch of hello, and sometimes they sit for a minute as if to say thank you. So I in turn will thank them for their lovely interludes.

    All but one of the pictures show a crane and cat encounter. Since the sandhills come and go throughout the neighborhood, they know how to navigate through the ‘locals’ without having a problem. The cats want nothing to do with the cranes, it would be like looking up in the eyes of Goliath for a challenge and none of the cats even risk it. It’s actually funny to watch the cranes chase the cats off. They don’t even bat an eye or raise their wings anymore, cats are just bigger rats to them.
  The baby crane’s face is changing color, he is beginning to lose the beige and start the gray and white phase. Underneath is a hint of the red that is to come. It is a wonderful metamorphose to watch over time. He’s still very baby like, and whines alot. He has a very lovely high pitched sound
that’s almost musical to hear, so different from his parents deep voices. His parents still are very protective and keep the cat’s and other animals and humans they don’t know at bay, that’s exactly the way it is supposed to work.
   The cats usually avoid confrontations, but once in a while the birds will just fly over and plunk down close by. And while cats are fairly bold, (and Ringo will go after the heron),  when those cranes come in for a full frontal attack and the cats see a beak that’s longer than their whole body coming after them, they do scatter like rats!

 P/S, click on the pictures a few times to magnify if you don’t see a cat, they are in all but one photo

 

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