Archive for February, 2013

FEBRUARY – OFF TO THE RACES


Whew – whirl-winding our way through a short month makes it go all the faster.

Painting Buckets All Ready to Go at the Art Center

Painting Buckets All Ready to Go at the Art Center

I know many people feel, and dislike, the warp speed of modern living – our days whipping by, our time not our own, our moments blurring one to the next with barely a breath to appreciate.

How did it get this way? I remember hearing my parent’s friend’s converse about how “fast time goes”.  Still a little girl myself, I was anxious for those days to come upon me.  As a child, life went so slooooowly, sitting on the curb, trying to think up something to do, waiting until I turned xteen to do whatever.  Everything took soooooo long. But I don’t think my parent’s and their friends were operating at the break-neck speed our time seems to require. Is it technology driven?  Despite having more options to communicate – most seem to do less, having no time for tea, a chat, an evening together, a phone conversation, a hand written note, letter, thank you.  We just keep speeding along.

Even here, in little Cedar Key, the pace of doing can create a slippery slope of too much.

Too Much Doing.  — Never thought I’d hear myself say that – because I love doing.

However, it has become very apparent the the right kind of doing is essential for balanced maintenance.

tree in balance

tree in balance

Take Yoga, for example.  A wonderful woman named Kathy conducts free yoga classes on the island. They are wonderful. They have a devoted following.  I wanted to be part of that following but the Festival work truly sucks up all my time.  I can’t seem to break away at 2 for 2 hours (yoga is an hour and 15 – but on CK – the pop-up conversations extend the time commitment.  The last time I went was in late January – I know because when I decided to pop in again last week, I discovered a folder in my yoga bag with some important papers that had gone missing. Fortunately it all worked out fine – but it was a good reminder to keep a balanced doing – and I’m happy to report we’ve “done” a few fun things over the past month.

SEAHORSE ISLAND TOUR

The first weekend of Feb we toured Seahorse Key = a gorgeous island off Cedar Key with a LightHouse. It only open 2x’s a year – because it is a bird rookery – where the sea birds nest undisturbed – and the cottonmouth snakes lie beneath their nests, feasting on the fish that gets dropped – while keeping away the rats and racoons who would raid those nests, if they had a chance.  They say there are nearly a 1000 snakes on that island. We saw not a one. (However, I did nearly step on one during our walk in the scrub one day — and I’m told I made quite a LEAP over it.  Both the snake and I were terrified)

Seahorse Island Light House

Seahorse Island Light House

Up the tower steps

Up the tower steps

One Way

One Way

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Classic

Classic

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cacti growing in the chiminey

cacti growing in the chiminey

Lemon Trees on the Island were FULL and we were welcome to pick

Lemon Trees on the Island were FULL and we were welcome to pick

Finally met up with Captain LLOYD at the Island!

Finally met up with Captain LLOYD at the Island!

Jeff's Happy at the Top

Jeff’s Happy at the Top

top view

top view

top view

ART OPENING – MOSAICS

That same day we also popped into the opening reception for the Art Center’s monthly exhibit – this time featuring  Mosaics . OH, WOW.  beautiful and  stunning work. I had no idea mosaics could be so painterly.  We scored the mosaic that is the FESTIVAL DESIGN selection at the art auction last month.  Now I see more work that makes my heart pitta-pat.

Winning Mosaic!

Winning Mosaic!

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SARAHS CLOTHING

Also on exhibit was Sarah’s Clothing Art. Sarah is a full time resident who loves to create with fabric.  She works part time at the consignment shop and has first pick of the cool stuff – that she then reworks into even more cooler stuff.  I felt MORE WOW! She epitomizes the spirit of “Gotta keep creating to have a happy life”.

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AIRPORT

While at SEAHORSE ISLAND, we met a couple who were oddly dressed for the island trip: big leather handbag, italian loafers, but we got to talking with them and discovered they had just flown in from the PALM COAST in their two-seater CHINESE WAR PLANE.  They were with 5 other planes and would be taking off on Sunday – flying in formation around the island before heading back for home.  Sunday morning, I suggested we go over to the airport and check out the planes and I’m glad I called it when I did because when we arrived, they were all getting ready to take off.  1950’s Chinese War Planes – 2 seaters – circa the Korean War – very interesting and they they took off, giving us a great air show as they fell into formation and circled around Cedar Key several times before flying off.

Our friend Martin told me he saw one of them earlier in the morning, who had left before the rest of the group, as he flew by his house.  But then the pilot circled back after he saw Martin’s HUGE American flag – the one he got from a battleship (sorry, I forget which one) he’d been stationed on. The flag, which Martin only flies on Sundays and Holidays – caused the pilot to swing back around, maneuvering his plane to cause the flag to “dip”.   A way of showing R-E-S-P-E-C-T  …. Tell you what it means to me …..

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TIKI BAR COCKTAILS

After nearly two months here, we finally got to the cool, funky, handbuilt out of lumber and old bottles TIKI BAR – which is attached to the Low Key Motel, where the best sunsets are caught.  They now have a full liquor license and made some nice martinis to go along with the sunset.

 

STARGAZING HAYRIDE

We also enjoyed a “Hayride” though the scrub for a star gazing tour.  There is an annual, weeklong event where serious stargazers gather in Cedar Key and part of their program includes a ride through the scrub with a star expert and a naturalist.  Although it was a cloudy night – and there was no hay (only molded plastic boxes), the clouds parted, we saw stars and had a good time.  Nice to get out into the wilds at night yet still feel safe.

We also went to the Valentines Dance on the 14th , followed by an impromtu dinner at our house  on Friday the 14th with Lonna & Martin and Linda and Chris Reynolds, followed by a date to the BLACK DOG CAFE for dancing at the 3rd year anniversary (John and Linda made a hit on the dance floor!) followed by a peek at model T fords from a group that came to town, followed by a big blow up between John and me – we were very raw and tired out from all and everything – but we worked it out – and it was a good stress relief!

“WAY DOWN UPON THE SUAWNEE RIVER, FAR FAR FROM HOME”

Getting out onto the water is what it’s all about here for us.  So when Bill Roberts suggested we cruise down the Suawnee River – having lunch in the town of Salt Creek at the mouth of the Suawnee – there was nothing to say or do but GO!

So Jeff and Suzanne Krieble joined us on that wide, wild river.  We saw one small alligator.  That kind of put a damper on it for me — all that wonderful water but no swimming??!!  Someone later said the alligators don’t bother you but I’m not sure I want to find out, personally. We were also told that GIANT STURGEON is the real hazard in the Suawnee.  They pop up and out and have caused many a boating accident and even death – because they are huge and come flying out of the water, knocking people out.  Didn’t see any but would love to catch one.  Have you ever heard John Matson’s story on catching a sturgeon in the Canadian wilds? That’s a good one – ask him!

Captain Bill Roberts

Captain Bill Roberts

Suzanne

Suzanne

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Suawnee Area

Suawnee Area

sights along the water

sights along the water

SLIDE into Alligator water

SLIDE into Alligator water

Suawnee Man

Suawnee Man

TENT TIME

Last year we were given a great pop up tent by my brother John and sister-in-law, Lisa. While my John resisted it for a while, once it was up, he was delighted having a tent over his outdoor office table.  But it got crushed in a pop up storm (remember that from last year’s blog? The very night of a big party we were deluged by sudden rain and wind – ripping apart our backyard set up and then disappearing just as quickly – leaving us to reset up and enjoy the evening)

Anywho … so we (I) researched tents whenever I could squeeze it in – finally settling on one that balanced cost and strength.

Now my husband is the most brilliant strategist and thinker I’ve ever met. But as an engineer – not so much.  So I was delighted when Jeff volunteered to help.  Whew – a good way to avoid marital squabbles. The Kernel (as I call him – completely spelling it wrong on purpose), came over with his ever-present cigar and took charge – in such a nice way – and up the new tent went – taller than last years, with screens and RED!  The Kernel likes to call it the party whore house.  But I want to tell you all the ladies love the color, so there you have it.  We are up and ready for the month of March when three sets of friends are swooping in for a CK visit.

Jeff and John (Kernel & Thatch)

Jeff and John (Kernel & Thatch)

Kernel Jeff

Kernel Jeff

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My Hammock

My Hammock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOAT BUILDING

The Kernel likes to call John “Thatch” …. short for “Mr. Thatcher” as he is always having to accommodate his life to my work schedule.  One of the things he is doing is actually building a model of a boat he admires.  Billy Mac gave him that model kit year ago and I gave John grief for bringing it down, sure it would sit around here as it had in New Hope. But he is proving me wrong – albeit cursing the directions at the same time – an building this thing.  It may be tossed in the ocean at the end – but I’m proud his is “getting it “done”

Da Boat!

Da Boat!

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taking a break

taking a break

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“YOU SAY ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY”

Feb 19 is my day to reflect – and on this year, my 58th, I feel a bit sanguine.  Due to some shows we’ve been watching and some books I’ve been reading,  it is front and center how my personal if isn’t what one would call “significant”  That’s the term a woman on HOUSE OF CARDS used to describe her ambition.

Don’t take me wrong – I don’t feel my life has been insignificant.  I can feel its value, created by caring about life, people and an authentic journey that still has me feeling whole and true. A far, far better feeling than I witness in those (on TV and real life) who squander their own integrity to “get ahead” to become “significant” or “powerful” or rich at any cost.

In the world I live in, I am not a “player” – by choice.  Somehow, I recognized that many of the superior things one can achieve in life come at a cost to one’s very soul – and that was not my goal this time around.  I have never been one who strives to be a politician or kingpin who use power OVER others, to gain control.  Yet that is what seems necessary to get celebrated in life.  Those people — who hoist power over others, to have their own way,  rather than sharing power with others for mutual benefit — seem to get all the attention.  While all around I see many more people who live life true and quietly and honestly – and uncelebrated.  I’ve never wanted fame – but I do hope I will yet have the opportunity to bring attention to the heart-centered life, rather than the head-centered ego-busting-BS that gets passed off as “success”. That is my wish for this Birthday.

We celebrated quietly – starting off with a lovely painted sign waiting for me when I opened the back door. Sweet Johnny.

And a nice coconut cake, my favorite

And a shopping trip to Gainesville where John kept getting me to try on clothes (which I hate to do) but he is so good at picking them out!

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WOK THIS WAY

One of the downsides of WORKING the Art Festival is the inability to enjoy our Cowboy Cooker. Making a fire to cook dinner outside is just too time consuming in the schedule right now – but the other day, I stopped by the local RV and picked up some wood so I could make dinner in the new WOK that Larry had made for me.   It felt so good to build the fire and prep the food and wok it into deliciousness.  It was what I was missing in our Cedar Key life and it felt so good to be back at it.

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Cocktails and Dinner continue to be a very important part of our day – and we make delicious ones nearly every night.  But it is the reason why I get up so early to get things done …. so when the day’s done, John and I can settle in with each other over drinks and a good meal.

Hamsteak dressed up with Blue Moon Acres Micro Greens!!

Hamsteak dressed up with Blue Moon Acres Micro Greens!!

SUDDEN STORM

On Tuesday morning (feb 26) I heard rumbling around 6am and rose – to increasing winds sheers that eventually burst into a drenching storm – cracking off tree limbs and crushing a dock and generally reeking havoc.  I watched our tent sway – but fortunately it was not in the path of the crushing whip of very bad weather that cruised past the front of our house.  The tent stayed strong as the puddles piled up.

drenching!

drenching!

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Afterwards, I walked Daisy and took some shotsGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

— glad to share with you the Osprey fledglings who are making such a noise these last few days as they test out their prowess in the sky.

split cedar (smelled so nice)

split cedar (smelled so nice)

Also a shot of the WIKI boat around the corner from us.  I just love the look of this boat – a cross between the African Queen and My Little Tug Boat.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s off to March now — MARCH FORTH! – where we will have John Pascoe and Cindy Matossian & George Saunders and son-in-law Scott stopping by for a visit … as the days speed toward the April Festival!

Hope spring tickles you all soon.  Happy to have you in our lives.

xo  Laura & John & Daisy.

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A MONTH OF MONDAYS


MUSINGS

Sunrise at the Beach

Sunrise at the Beach

“Monday-Monday, Can’t Trust That Day” Mamas and Papas.

A song representing the weekly grind to me.

January was a month of Mondays for me – and John was stoic through it all.

The Art Festival Job has been super demanding – we had to Jury the Artists for the show, Run the Annual Fundraiser, Secure Sponsors, Line Up Press, Design a Marketing Plan and Map out the streets for booths plus, plus, plus.  Believe me, many of those jobs will be spread out over many more months next year but for now, much loss of sleep = good progress and I think I’ve hit the crest of the rollercoaster – not for a wheeee ride down, but at least not quite the grueling slog up.

Along the way we had a bit of fun …. An Art Retrospective Opening – A Parade – A Boat Trip to the Islands

More Important – were the connection to people places and things.

There is magic to this town.

John spreading Pine straw over the back yard

John spreading Pine straw over the back yard

My dear Bud Larry - the cowboy cooker creator.

My dear Bud Larry – the cowboy cooker creator.

This is who some roll!

This is who some roll!

Sunrise at the Beach

Sunrise at the Beach

Daisy Mud Bath

Daisy Mud Bath

Although much smaller than New Hope – it is busier – buzzier – and much more friendly.

There is time for conversation – real, face to face talk.

First Draft of the Cracker House.

First Draft of the Cracker House.

Donna Leeward Paints for her contribution to the Art Festival Fundraiser

Donna Leeward Paints for her contribution to the Art Festival Fundraiser

There is place to pause, experiencing the beauty, the elements, the oddities.

There is heart and soul evident in every person we meet – without the northeast barriers to friendship.

We wave to each other as we pass in cars, on bikes, walking, in a golf cart.  (Lets call them Gulf Carts!)

Linda Seyfert cuddling with Daisy on the Couch.

Linda Seyfert cuddling with Daisy on the Couch.

Spirit Day at the HS - were the Senior Cross Dress for a Pagent show.

Spirit Day at the HS – were the Senior Cross Dress for a Pagent show.

We finally got the NYT’s delivered on Sunday – and I really didn’t care.  The style section, which was my go-to-first – bored me.

Who cares what style hats they are wearing in New York City – especially when most looked like vintage Annie Hall and some were hats I wore in the 1980’s?  Who cares about the self proclaimed and self anointed fashionistas?  I’m too busy seeing what SARAH created out of consignment store finds.  Beautiful clothes she creates and wears – talk about Self-Actualization!

Then we experienced the intrusion of the superbowl  …. oooph – the commercials and the pushy pageantry felt like an overwhelming assault.

We really are on a foreign island – connected by a bridge that we don’t long to cross. (OK, except for Trader Joes in Gainesville –  that exception I do make.)

During the month I watched the TV Series “WORLD WITHOUT END”, set in the 1300’s I believe – where the church and royalty were corrupt and selfishly driven.  I saw a lot of parallels to modern day society and wondered just how much progress have we actually made as the human species.  If our TV programs are the harbinger, then we seem to have made precious little progress over the last 2000 years – excepting our sanitation and transportation system. Everything else is “wash, rinse, repeat”

As Humans, our social structures echo the Feudal Lords, Roman Gladiators and Controlling Religious Entities.

It begs the question: WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH OUR TIME HERE ON EARTH?”

Our answer to that question for the month of January is: CONNECTING AND CREATING

John has made good progress on the model Chris-Craft boat Billy gave him so many years ago.

He’s also begun several other art projects.  Thank god he can keep himself entertained.

When I can get out of the “office” (second bedroom with a table and all my files spread out on the bed”) I connect at the free yoga class twice a week and an hour-long morning walks in the scrub and on my bike, riding to town to fulfill errands and on the streets and park – there is always someone to meet and greet on the streets and everyday in the park, where daisy entertains by doing what she loves, chasing the ball.

That’s where I take a breath – looking at a big sky and placid gulf.  Soothing, soothing, soothing.

ACTIVITIES

Jan 18 – The Art Retrospective of Chick Schwartz was amazing.  Ocala FL is about half way across the state. Appleton Museum is swanky.  Chick’s Art is amazing (Chick is our neighbor – an un-repressed creative soul who makes amazing 3-d paintings, bronze sculptures, found object sculptures and is always tinkering…. we hear his shuffling feet each day as he continues to work in his “shop” which is the open air space beneath his house (13 feet in the air) .  The gathering at the Appleton was delicious – many Cedar Key folks attended – all dressed in their finery.  It was exciting and felt …. well, when I asked John what it felt like to him, he said: PARIS SOCIETY, 1920.  YES!  That is what it felt like and it does apply to Cedar Key — Accomplished and emerging and wanna be artists of all disciplines gathering to feed their creative souls –

Here’s what we saw at the Opening Night:

Chris Reynolds, his gorgeous wife Linda Seyfert and My hub John

Chris Reynolds, his gorgeous wife Linda Seyfert and My hub John

On our way to Ocala Art Show -passing through Marion County BIG HORSE COUNTRY

On our way to Ocala Art Show -passing through Marion County BIG HORSE COUNTRY

Artist Examining his Work

Artist Examining his Work

Chick Schwartz and Laura Matson Hahn by his work: Angles on the Head of a Pin

Chick Schwartz and Laura Matson Hahn by his work: Angles on the Head of a Pin

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Is everyone avoiding the Big Fish in the center of the room?

Is everyone avoiding the Big Fish in the center of the room?

Salute!

Salute!

Jockey Ho!

Jockey Ho!

There's a light in the back!

There’s a light in the back!

Kathy Fotterall and Chick conspire to look natural

Kathy Fotterall and Chick conspire to look natural

Carol and Chick's Lovely Wife Marsha! (Gertrude to us)

Carol and Chick’s Lovely Wife Marsha! (Gertrude to us)

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Martin and Lonna Dickenson - all dressed up!! my my

Martin and Lonna Dickenson – all dressed up!! my my

Marsha Schwarts - proud wife of the celebrated artist.  And a fantastic artist herself.

Marsha Schwarts – proud wife of the celebrated artist. And a fantastic artist herself.

Bev and Stanley

Bev and Stanley

Ze Artist Celeb - Chick Schwartz

Ze Artist Celeb – Chick Schwartz

Jan 24: The Parade for the Homecoming Week at the school is an annual event and they year,  Council Woman Sue Collins wanted everyone IN the parade “like one long conga line”. So the OFCA (Old Florida Celebration of the Arts Festival) joined in – making BIG RED our float.  Linda Seyfert came over – squeezing in some time – to do the art for our Frame – and Suzanne and Lauren Krieble found decorations at the Dollar Store (we knew Suzanne could pull this off from her many years in sorority life)  During the Parade, John used the loud speaker system (thank you Frank Deluca) to play “76 Trombones” all through the route. Four of us marched in front of the truck with dogs,  and John noticed people kept looking for the band.  WE were the Band.  It was Fun!

Sue Collins shark-fitted her gulf cart!

Sue Collins shark-fitted her gulf cart!

Masks are fun

Masks are fun

76 Trombones is blasting out the loud speakers

76 Trombones is blasting out the loud speakers

Well Done, Suzanne

Well Done, Suzanne

Viola! We Heart Art and Sharks (mascot)

Viola! We Heart Art and Sharks (mascot)

Lauren Kieble adds some touches

Lauren Kieble adds some touches

Suzanne Kreible leads John in the decoration

Suzanne Kreible leads John in the decoration

Linda creating the frame for the Truck Float.  Suzanne appreciating her finesse

Linda creating the frame for the Truck Float. Suzanne appreciating her finesse

Jan 26: Bev Ringenberg – my go to girl for all things art festival – invited John and I to join them in a boat cruise she’d put together for her family – son, daughter-in-law, cousin Joe (who would be playing at the fundraiser) his wife and sister.  SOOOO nice to get onto the water cruising the bay – stopping on North Key – Touring Atsena Otie – where a graveyard from the 1800’s still exists… it was once THE inhabited Island – until a horrible storm nearly swept everyone away. That’s when they moved buildings to the main island we now call Cedar Key.

It's been battered but still here!

It’s been battered but still here!

Backside of North Key

Backside of North Key

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J-A-N-U-A-R-Y (hehe)

J-A-N-U-A-R-Y (hehe)

Gnarly Sea Monsters

Gnarly Sea Monsters

Visceral Serenity

Visceral Serenity

Sea Horse Key

Sea Horse Key

Dog gone day. Too bad Daisy didn't come too.

Dog gone day. Too bad Daisy didn’t come too.

whoop whoop

whoop whoop

Cormorant

Cormorant

Dock to Atsena Otie Key

Dock to Atsena Otie Key

Grave site on Atsena Otie

Grave site on Atsena Otie

Fenced Grave site

Fenced Grave site

Searching for the birds

Searching for the birds

Jan 27: The Fundraiser was a great community success.  We incorporated Storytellers along with the music afternoon and it was a big hit! Bill Roberts is a beloved “cracker cowboy”, fishing guide and artist – he told some of his cowboy stories, rounding up wild cattle in Florida. Russ Weaver, another artist sketched faces throughout the day. Toni Collins, historian storyteller, shared knowledge of the lighthouse occupants on Seahorse Key – when it was operational in the 1800’s.  And musician Joe Peters played beautifully!  Good fun. Great Fundraiser. and Good silent art auction – to which we heavily contributed.

sketches of the crowd

sketches of the crowd

Tony - the husband of the Mosaic Artist Valerie (who's piece I won in the silent auction)

Tony – the husband of the Mosaic Artist Valerie (who’s piece I won in the silent auction)

Love Bill's leg sticking out here

Love Bill’s leg sticking out here

Ton Collins as the LADY OF THE LIGHTHOUSE

Ton Collins as the LADY OF THE LIGHTHOUSE

Joe Peter's soothing music

Joe Peter’s soothing music

Shannon and MANDY - my coordinator predecessor (what a help she has been)

Shannon and MANDY – my coordinator predecessor (what a help she has been)

My Festival Team!

My Festival Team!

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There is nothing boring or retiring about this little island.

We treasure our days – even our sleepless ones – and can’t wait to see what comes up next!

Happiness to you.

Love, Laura, John and Daisy

HEY – one more note – it takes a lot of effort to put this blog together – especially when I’m to the wall with my job.  So please, take a moment and respond – at least push a LIKE Button!  Merci.

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