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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!

Elvis Has Left The Building September 9, 2021

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

In Florida, from time to time, small, friendly, and fearless anole lizards sneak into our homes and wreak havoc.

Well, not really.

They do sneak in . . . but no havoc is wreaked and no homes are wrecked.

For the most part, they are quite quiet and well behaved.

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Despite their polite demeanor, we are inclined to dispatch them back to the great outdoors at the earliest opportunity.

Yesterday, while BFF was at an early morning medical appointment, I walked into the kitchen and spotted one of the wee beasties, let’s call him Elvis, in the middle of the kitchen floor.

As I approached, Elvis retreated and then he turned tail and headed straight for the washer/dryer, disappearing from view.

Point 1 ~> Elvis.

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When BFF returned, he took up patrol duty in the kitchen and spied Elvis in the pantry looking for the peanut butter for an Elvis Special (bacon, banana, and peanut butter sandwich).

BFF “almost” caught him using an upside down clear shoebox, but “almost” doesn’t count when catching lizards.  At the last minute, Elvis darted across the kitchen and took refuge under the dishwasher.

Point 2 ~> Elvis.

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The game remained at a stalemate until bedtime when we left a small saucer of water out for Elvis in case he got thirsty.

Point 3 ~> Elvis.

This morning, we hoped to see Elvis out in the open, drinking from his tiny trough.

No such luck.

BFF peered under the dishwasher and spied Elvis peering back.

No skirmish ensued.

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A short while later, BFF called for reinforcements, “Hey, Nancy.  Come here and get the door.  Elvis is ready to leave.”

Sure enough, Elvis had emerged from under the dishwasher and was now “standing his ground” by the front door.

I opened the storm/screen door to the courtyard and BFF shooed Elvis out of the villa using a piece of cardboard to guide the little guy in the correct direction ~> OUT!

Once outside, Elvis did a little happy dance and made a beeline (or lounge lizard line) straight for the Norfolk Pine.

Inside, we did a little happy dance too!

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Eww . . . What Is That SMELL???!!! August 24, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More, Nature.
25 comments

After a dip in the cool pool for water aerobics this morning, we biked back home, parked our bikes in the garage, and started to walk through the courtyard to the front door.

And that’s when we got a *whiff* of something.

Something foul.

Or perhaps fowl.

But definitely deceased, demised, a done deal.

We lifted leaves and peered through branches.

And noted nothing.

We combed the courtyard from top to bottom without finding any rotting carcasses.

Nevertheless, our olfactory senses, still objecting to the odor, encouraged us to continue looking.

High.  Low.  Up. Down.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

No source of the substandard stench could be found . . . until BFF (who is taller than me by a good 12 inches) looked up on the roof of the garage and spied . . .

A dead fish sizzling in the stalwart summer sun.

Given its last landing pad, it must have been a flying fish.

BFF hauled out the ladder and headed up to the roof armed with AJAX, rubber gloves, trash bags, and twist ties.

Once the deceased fish had been dealt with, disposed of, and dispatched, BFF hosed off the roof and returned to the cool comfort of the A/C.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Our Adoptees August 7, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Nature, Sustainable Living.
18 comments

Every Spring, when the snowbirds leave for parts North, we are offered plants from their gardens, which we happily adopt.

Case in point:  this century plant with sharp spear-like points ~> a lethal beauty.

This colorful bromeliad enjoys hanging around our shady palm tree and teeny tiny tree frogs like splashing around in its mini swimming pools of water.

Our newest addition ~ this Norfolk Pine.  Norfolk Pines are tropical plants and (like me) cannot tolerate temperatures below 35 degrees F. (1 C.).

Although it’s not an actual pine, we may decorate it with twinkling lights for the holidays.

Aah . . . that’s de-light-full!

Become A Scottish Lord Or Lady July 23, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More, Sustainable Living.
31 comments

Do ye have a wee hankering for a title to land in the Scottish Highlands?

Land that comes with a title?

Well, you are in luck!  For a wee remittance, you can attain title to a title while helping to conserve the Highland Titles Nature Reserve.

And you’ll become a Lord, Lady, or Laird of Glencoe in the process . . . with a certificate to prove it to any naysayers!

For a few of the enticing details:

Finding your plot:

For some nice views:

What you get in your welcome packet:

Aah . . . that’s it, milord!