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A Day At The Beach August 15, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, People, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

The beaches of Anna Maria Island have been popular for over a century.

Each weekend, throngs of tourists crowd the beaches looking for sun, fun, sand, surf, seashells . . . and cocktails.

While fashions have changed over the years, growing skimpier and skimpier, the scenery remains much the same.

Are you, perchance, in the mood for a bit of time travel?

Want to enjoy a brief blast from the past?

Complete with lots of black and white photos to peruse?

If so, here’s a recent article from the Bradenton Herald with archival photos taken on our beaches  100+ years ago . . . when sleeping and camping on the beach were still allowed, and clothing was NOT optional:

Anna Maria Island in the 1900’s and Roaring Twenties

And now, back to the present . . .


Aah . . . that’s beachy!

The Funky Pelican in Flagler Beach March 29, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Travel & Leisure.
29 comments

We stopped for an early dinner at the Funky Pelican in Flagler Beach.

We enjoyed the view from our table despite the persistent rainfall.

After eating, we admired the pier from another vantage point.

Listening to the roar of the surf is . . .

Just BEACHY!

We drove home through Ocala National Forest and made a quick pit-stop at Barberville’s Yard Art Emporium.

 

The Yard Art Emporium had a bit of everything you might need in the way of Yard Art.

From Big Boy to Big Roosters.

From Alien visitors to stunning statuary.

Including a Friendly Frog!

And just a few short hours and many miles later . . .

Aah . . . HOME at last!

The Port of Mount Dora March 21, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
20 comments

The first stop on our recent road trip?  The quaint lakeside town of Mount Dora, located just northeast of Orlando and all things Disney.

Founded in 1880, Mount Dora is known for its small-town southern charm. It has many antique shops in the downtown area. The downtown area overlooks Lake Dora.

The town’s name was officially changed to Mount Dora to reflect the fact that the settlement rests upon a plateau 184 feet above sea level – an unusual feature in Florida.

Since it was past time for a repast, we picnicked on the shores of Lake Dora with the port’s lighthouse standing guard in the distance.

After lunch, we strolled around town to see the sights and see what all the crowing is about.

Ranked as Florida’s #1 small town to retire to by USA Today, Mount Dora is a popular place to live. Due to its central location, retirees from Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and other areas throughout Florida and the U.S. come to Mount Dora for its great attractions and relaxed atmosphere.

After a stop at Allyson A’s Bake Shop for dessert (mmm . . . good cookies!), we returned to Lake Dora to check out the lighthouse, one of three freshwater lighthouses in Florida..

Next time, we are going to enjoy a picnic on this picnic table sized chair!

Aah . . . Mount Dora!

On Further Reflection October 27, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Mindfulness, Nature.
20 comments

While visiting the Panhandle, we sat up and took notice of our surroundings at Goodwood Museum and Gardens.

Goodwood is a terrific place for a morning stroll . . . or hop.

The gardens, while not in full bloom, boasted lots of color.

With a canopy of trees framing the drive ways and walk ways.

Throughout the area, tree limbs reach up and out . . .

Unless they are feeling down and out . . . like this bedraggled limb at Maclay Gardens.

In addition to seeing many towering oaks spangled with Spanish Moss, we also saw the gnarled roots of felled trees.

To give you some sense of the size of this felled tree ~ the fella standing next to it is 6 foot 3.

We also toured several Canopy Roads around Tallahassee, including Old Centerville Road where asphalt gives way to red clay (during the dry season) and, presumably, red mud after heavy rains.

At Bradley’s Country Store, which has been in business for over 90 years, we re-provisioned our picnic supplies AND bought BFF a slice of decadent chocolate mousse cake.

Here’s BFF enjoying our picnic adjacent to The Retreat at Bradley Pond.

The afore-mentioned chocolate cake is sandwiched between my GF pretzels and a bag of Sour Cream and Toasted Onion Joe’s Chips.

Around the corner from Bradley’s Country Store, we saw some friendly burros looking for a handout.  But BFF doesn’t share his food.

Of the many sights (including the Scarecrows) we enjoyed at Maclay Gardens, the reflecting pool in the secret garden was a fave.

But, even better (in my book), was the look we took at the reflecting pond and waterfall at Goodwood Museum.

Aah . . . that’s the ticket!

Scaredy Pumpkin! October 21, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Nature.
20 comments

On a recent get-away to the Panhandle of Florida, we visited a few state parks, including Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park near Tallahassee where we spied Scarecrows in the Gardens!

The entrance to the gardens, framed by palms.

The gateway, framed with greenery.

Our first pumpkins . . .

We loved the variety and diversity of sizes, shapes, and approaches.

From some kick ass soccer . . .

To Goodwood Guitar players . . .

To sunburned tourists . . .

To AmeriCorps Conservation Members . . .

To trash toting, rubber necking, windmill sporting, monsters . . .

To Forest Rangers on patrol . . .

To Halloween spooks . . .

To Dementors offering FREE Kisses!

But my favorite was the Scarecrow wearing a physician’s plague mask . . .

It seemed so appropriate for the present pandemic . . .

Which hasn’t been a very pleasant present at all . . .

We’ll be glad to see the end of masks, social distancing, and other signs of CoVid-19.

Aah . . . it’s been scary!

Holy Pumpkin, Batman! October 9, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Home & Garden.
22 comments

If you’re interested in enjoying some ghoulish fun with gourds, goblins, ghosts, and carving knives this Halloween, check out these Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas from Hallmark.

Halloween Ideas, Recipes, Costumes & Crafts

My favorite:

Creative Pumpkin-Carving Ideas: Reek & Shriek Pumpkins

Or maybe this one:

Creative Pumpkin-Carving Ideas: Mowleficent Fowl

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do What You Love Most January 17, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
18 comments

Do what you love most.

You’re a limited edition.

You will never influence the world by being just like it.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

A Few Quick Quips December 3, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Joke, Word Play.
14 comments

While “window shopping” from home (i.e., leafing through catalogs), I came across some fun t-shirts, emblazoned with quick quips.

Here’s a few:

1.  “Tomorrow.  A mythical land where everything I need to do is done.”

2.  “EARTH without ART is just EH.”

Yup.  Sometimes a picture is worth a boatload of words!

3. “If the Earth was flat, cats would have pushed everything off it by now.”

4. “My kid reminds me of myself at that age.  Well played, Karma.  Well played.”

Karma = the reason I did not dare to have kids.

5. “Self-Employed.  I’m not talking to myself . . . I’m in a staff meeting.”

6. The One-Star Review 2020 Shirt . . .

7. “People who wonder if the glass if half empty or half full miss the point . . .


“The glass is refillable.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

To purchase these and other delights: Visit ShopPBS.org

You heard me.  Visit ShopPBS.org

 

What A Feeling! July 21, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
29 comments

The other day, an unprompted “thought” bubbled up from inside (perhaps from my heart chakra?), accompanied by a sense of grounded well-being.

“WOW! What a great life I’ve had.”

Reflecting back to that unscripted heart-felt moment of gratitude, even days later, makes me smile.

Of course, lots of things make me smile, including this amusing moose!  

Aah . . . that’s better!

Clearing The Path February 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
28 comments

Not all storms come to disrupt your life.

Some come to clear your path.

Artwork by Carole A. V. Dougherty ~ available at Island Gallery West

True for you?