A Tree Falls and Much More


Indeed, much has happened since last I wrote, some good, some not as good. Perhaps a good place to start is with the finished sun room. which turned out so good in my opinion.

I really have tried living with dull wall colors but it just is not in me long term. While I can appreciate the neutral look in others homes, in ours, it just doesn't feel right. Having been known to overdo it on occasion, I chose this color instead of something new. Introducing another color might have fallen into the overdoing it category, so in order to it to feel more cohesive, Sun Bleached Ochre it was.

When I think back on it, when we bought this place and were in a hurry to get it ready before our move, the painter stipulated that I could choose four colors only. For the life of me I can't remember why, but in our haste, I agreed to it. The dining room wall was meant to be a little wow factor in an otherwise sea of neutrality. Continuing the wow factor just makes sense. Four years later, three of which we've lived here, the kitchen, both bathrooms, and our bedroom have all received new colors with only the front bedroom remaining. I'm thinking the sage green from the bathroom might just work when that room receives its makeover. Should you have missed the last post of Camera Crazy,  the before of the room is documented there. 

Speaking of the front bedroom, things are looking mighty different in there since Thursday. Oh my goodness, they are. So here's what happened--Bruce has been working on a project at the church involving the preschool classrooms. In order to protect the front of the low bookcases he was tasked with covering them in a hard plastic which I'll show you in a sec. It must have been Tuesday morning because that's not a therapy day, he asked me to come along to "help". Not that I'm much good at that these days, what with my clumsy hand, but I agreed nonetheless. He began the process by cutting out notches to fit around the shelves using a hacksaw.

Initially my job was to apply the tape, but not having much strength in my left hand proved to be a handicap and he took that job over as well. I did, however, get the tape ready by tearing strips. While difficult, I kept repeating in my head the words of my first therapist Darlene, "motion is lotion" which helped me complete the task. 

So what does this have to do with Thursday you ask? Well, he went solo on Wednesday afternoon to do another room, leaving the tape on for the glue to dry overnight. While he was doing that, drumroll please, I got my sewing machine out and used it! Rarely do I leave a project unfinished but this small quilt was one of those that just hung around for maybe five years? After hand quilting it, I'd run out of fabric with which to bind it so having purchased some after therapy on Wednesday morning, I got the job done. Not with ease but perseverance.

Unfortunately everything is difficult for me these days, but a girl can hope that won't always be the case.

Back to Thursday morning, Bruce left the house at 6AM to remove the tape before we were meant to leave to watch Bill in the tournament, the date which had finally arrived. Seeing him off and getting the newspaper from the front porch I was freaking out because in the light of the lamp pole, I saw the owl perched in the open right in front of me!! Seriously it was but feet away. Being the silly goose that I am, I took it as a good omen for Bill. Don't ask me why, because it sounds so crazy, but that's what I was thinking. I was also thinking that I needed to get my hair washed so I drug myself indoors. Once that task was over, I walked back into the kitchen and realized something was amiss. And what was amiss, pray tell? 

If I've been asked once, I've been asked ten times, "how did you fall?" I'm old and I just did. The same could be said of this massive oak tree that fell out of the blue. 

While we are heartsick, no one was injured and there was little property damage. The quality of the photo is terrible due to the lighting conditions at that time of the morning.

By now it was around 6:30 and I texted David who came down to see for himself.

He's talking to a neighbor who had planned to leave for work until he realized his car was behind the fallen tree. The little puff ball in the foreground is David and Michelle's beloved Gracie who turned four this weekend. So, it missed that young man's car, scratched another one a wee bit, and missed my parked car and did not block Bruce's because he was at the church! How's that for a blessing? Calling Bruce, I told him to come around the other way because there was no getting through from his usual direction. We missed all of the rest of the story because we spent all day and into the night at the tournament. Apparently, a massive crane arrived, using the space where I'd moved my car which is a story unto itself. Connie had to go into our house, get keys to the MINI, and move my car in order for them to have clear access. Sadly, instead of the magnificent shade we enjoyed before, it now looks like this.

And that, my friends, is why the front bedroom and our porch is now bathed in light. Oddly enough, it was earlier in the week that I mentioned to Bruce that soon I would not be able to see the sky in front of our place, between that massive oak and our Jack in the Beanstalk tree, which continues growing as if it was part of that fairy tale. 

Whew, time to drive to Lake Nona for the tournament. Meeting Fallon in the parking lot, we found Bill and learned his first match was to begin a little before 9. And what a match it was. When we saw his opponent our hearts sank a little as he was a pretty big guy.

He might have looked intimidating, but he was such a nice guy, complimenting Bill on some of his shots.  In three grueling games, Bill was the victor in the two out of three format. Did I tell you it was hot? It was. Did I tell you Bill had been fighting a cold for several weeks ahead of this? He was. 
A short time later we saw him again and I asked him how tall he was. 6'1 in case you are wondering. During our conversation we learned that not only was he an All American for Penn State, he also played for the Atlanta Falcons for ten years. Seeing him again later, this time when Bill was with us, he cheered Bill on for his next match. I told you he was a nice guy.

Playing singles is a pretty tough way to enjoy pickleball, but there seemed to be no shortage of players enjoying doing just that. (This is but one side of courts with an equal number on the other)
It must have maybe 15 minutes later and Bill had another court assignment. His opponent could not have been anymore different, and proving that you cannot always judge a book by its cover, Bill lost in two games.
Jose was smooth as silk on the court and proved it on his way to winning the Silver medal later in the day.

Because Bill lost to Jose, he was moved to the losers bracket meaning he had a long ways to go to win a medal. After a three hour rain delay, the games began again in earnest. He played one fellow and won handily in the game to 15. By now he was worn out, sweating and breathing with difficulty. We learned that the games just keep coming whether you are up for it or not. He played another fellow, this time working harder to win. By the next game, he was pretty well worn down, playing well, but ultimately lost, and that was that.  Needless to say winning more would have been exciting, but for a first time competing in an athletic event since his teens, we are all super pleased. Unlike Bruce who did not find playing in a tournament to his liking, Bill is ready to do it again.

Friday we decided to head back to watch the pros play in center court. Over the last year we've watched matches on YouTube like crazy, so having the easy opportunity to see them in person was pretty much a no-brainer.  Pictured on the right is Ben Johns and Simone Jardim, the top ranked woman and man in the sport. Ben is doing a between the leg shot.
All of the pros are former tennis players that have switched over to pickleball for one reason or another. That would be Dekel Bar and Vivienne David on the left who were actually warming up on the court of Bill's last match! He had to ask them to move! You can see how close we are, but you can't see is how HOT it was. Oh my goodness! An excellent experience for us aside from the heat. 

Some fans getting their picture made with Jesse Irvine who graciously posed and kept smiling as the person fumbled with their phone.
Proving that pickleball is a game for all ages, we learned from other spectators that the woman on the upper left is 80 years old!
Something else we did last week was the drive at Lake Apopka. While we saw very few birds, as it is not migration season just yet, we did see an astonishing number of alligators including two different young ones.
Because of all the rain we've had of late, the water was high with so many gators! How many did we see? 48!
When Matt and Tom visited we went out there so Tom could see his first American Alligator in the wild and we saw plenty, but 48 is a new record for us.

In other news, Bruce's friend is still in ICU fighting for his life. I know I sound like a broken record but good grief, get vaccinated already! I continue to be amazed at people's reluctance. 

your friend,


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