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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 Casements & Mala Compra March 27, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we drove up A1A from Port Orange to Ormond Beach.

In Ormond, we toured The Casements ~ John D. Rockefeller’s winter home in Ormond Beach.

The Casements, named for the large hand-cut casement windows that adorn the mansion, has been beautifully restored to function as the Cultural Center for the City of Ormond Beach, Florida. Set on the shore of the Halifax River, and just two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, the late John D. Rockefeller’s winter home is known as “The Jewel of Ormond Beach.” The Casements has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a Florida Heritage Site.

Our tour guide informed us that John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in America and the world’s first billionaire, told his doctor that he wanted to live to be 100.

His doctor recommended that he winter in Florida or Egypt.

Following his doctor’s advice, Rockefeller wintered in Florida and made it to age 97, playing golf every day well into his 90’s!

Mr. Rockefeller and his Butler

Located on the eastern bank of the Halifax River, John D. Rockefeller purchased [The Casements] in 1918 and lived in the house during the winters until his death in 1937 at the age of ninety-seven. While a resident of Ormond Beach, “Neighbor John,” as he preferred to be called, enjoyed taking part in community activities: playing golf, participating in the sing-along at the Ormond Hotel each Sunday, and entertaining friends such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.

After the tour, we continued north on A1A, stopping to have a picnic (in the car) while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean amid drizzling rain and fog.

Quite atmospheric, no?

After lunch, we checked out the ruins of the Mala Compra Plantation.

In the early 19th century, the plantation was home to Joseph Hernandez, who served as everything from a brigadier general in the U.S. Army to a committee member who helped select Tallahassee as the state capital. The site is part of Bing’s Landing, an eight-acre county park that also includes a boat launch, fishing pier, and picnic and playground facilities.

Flagler County pursued archaeological grants to study the physical evidence of Hernandez’ plantation, and then more grants to create a permanent display at the site.

“Normally when archaeologists dig, they take the artifacts and then cover the site back up,” says Sisco Deen, the archive curator for the Flagler County Historical Society. “With this one, we got the artifacts, but they left the dig.”

Today, visitors can walk on an elevated boardwalk around the perimeter of the plantation remains and read interpretive displays that explain the site’s historical and cultural value.

The archeological site is protected with a roof overhead to preserve the site including the old coquina well.

Located on the Halifax, Mala Compra (which translates to “Bad Bargain”) has excellent views.

And some crazy vines!

Just made for swinging!

Aah . . . that’s better!

B. Cereus February 24, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
24 comments

This is a public health announcement about any leftover rice and pasta you have in your fridge.

Don’t eat it without REHEATING it enough to kill any B. Cereus toxins loitering about on it.

A 19-year-old college student ate leftover lo mein and ended up having his fingers and legs amputated.

I’m serious:

The Massachusetts college student had eaten rice, chicken and lo mein from a restaurant. Soon after, he felt abdominal pain and his skin turned a shade of purple, according to a report by The New England Journal of Medicine.

The teenager was admitted to a hospital for “shock, multiple organ failure, and rash,” and his condition quickly declined. He experienced abnormal breathing, high blood pressure and vomiting. The student had been healthy overall with regular drinking and smoking habits, the report said.

Bacillus Cereus (B. Cereus) is a nasty bacterium that hangs out on dried rice and pasta.  Once it is cooked, the bacteria comes alive and starts to multiply.

The bacteria produces a toxin when heated and left out too long, according to the CDC.

For that reason, it’s important to cool rice and pasta in shallow containers.  Never in a big pot.

And to be super safe, reheat FULLY before consuming.

Your fingers and toes will thank you!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day December 2, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Home & Garden.
31 comments

I decorated for Christmas today (even though I’m feeling too nostalgic to feel truly festive).

I want Christmas to be the way Christmas was when I was NOT the oldest generation . . . or even the second oldest.

I’d like my parents and grandparents and great aunt Edie to be back in the mix, instead of being mired in memory.

I want to watch mom doing all the heavy lifting, effortlessly ~ she mastered the art of balancing holiday shopping AND holiday baking, while turning out scones, stollen, Yorkshire pudding, plum pudding, miniature nut & fruit cupcakes, egg nog, and dozens of Christmas cookies.

I feel fat & jolly and roly poly just thinking about all those delicious calories and treats!

No wonder Santa needs so many reindeer to pull his sleigh . . .

And, while we’re on the subject, I want my grandfather back making whiskey sours for us to sip while we open presents galore, piled high under the fragrant (or fake) Christmas tree.

Alas! Time only moves forward.

Leaving us here, surrounded by mementos and memories and vestiges of the past.

Here’s to having a Holly Jolly Holiday, Here, Now . . . with whatever kith and kin we have left!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Does Christmas make you nostalgic for the days of yore?  What do you miss most?  And what do you love best Here & Now?

Mission San Luis October 29, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.
16 comments

On our last morning in the Panhandle, we visited Mission San Luis, a recreated 17th century Mission and Appalachee Village, which over 1500 souls called “home” in the late 1600’s.  The Spaniards burned it down in 1704 to prevent it from being captured by the British.

The Council House (used by the Appalachee for gatherings and meetings) provided insight into its interior construction since it’s being re-thatched.

Although the building appears circular, it has 80 sides, which creates the illusion of a rounded facade.

The supporting posts are straight and true and L-O-N-G!  They go UP and UP and UP.

Inside the Council House are benches for reclining dignitaries.

Appalachee Indians spent most of the day outside, using their homes for sleeping and storage.  This is the footprint of an Appalachee abode which would have been thatched.

Unlike the Appalachee, most of the Spaniards preferred indoor cooking.

And indoor dining.  (Of course, this was pre-pandemic.)

The Friary also boasted a home office.

Here’s a glimpse of the spartan sleeping arrangements in one of the Spanish homes.  Notice the low tech, wall mounted air conditioning unit . . . perfect for hot summer nights.

When folks got ill, they relied on Medicinal Herbs to revive themselves.  We learned that Rosemary relieves headaches AND enhances memory and concentration ~ a handy herb indeed for seniors in need of all the help they can get!

This shot reveals the interior of the wall allowing visitors to see the construction methods used 300+ years ago.

Also in the Mission is a Blacksmith’s Shop, a Church (which rivaled the Church in St. Augustine), the rest of the Friary, a Fort (complete with ramparts and palisade), and a perfect-for-us picnic area.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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!

‘Tis The Season To Start Shopping! October 5, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance.
16 comments

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

shop kitchen and dining

But I’m not ready to . . .

shop holiday home decor

Besides, it’s way too early to put out an Advent Calendar . . . no matter how nice or naughty.

There are only 25 doors!

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Language Of The Stones September 16, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Magick & Mystery, Nature, People.
16 comments

I stumbled across America’s Stonehenge while reviewing MONEY’s 2021 list of the 50 best places to live in the US.

Located in Salem NH (about 33 miles from Boston MA), America’s Stonehenge is more than 4000 years old.  Like England’s Stonehenge, the stones have a language of their own:

Built by a Native American Culture or a migrant European population? No one knows for sure. A maze of man-made chambers, walls and ceremonial meeting places, at over 4,000 years old America’s Stonehenge is most likely the oldest man-made construction in the United States.

Like Stonehenge in England, America’s Stonehenge was built by ancient people well versed in astronomy and stone construction. It has been determined that the site is an accurate astronomical calendar. It was, and still can be, used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year.

This video is an interesting introduction to the prehistoric stone foundations on the site:

To learn more:  America’s Stonehenge.

Aah . . . that’s better!