Archive for the ‘CEDAR KEY 2nd YEAR’ Category

MARCH 2013 – “Here We Go, Here We Go, Here We Go Now …”


MARCH 31, 2013  “GET BUSY!” (That’s when it was written …. but only posting now …. so it’s reflecting my state of mind back then)

I wish I felt more chipper. That’s what you want to hear in a blog, but I’m just not feeling it today.

It’s been a long week = heavy mix of work and play.

The crowd gathers before dawn

The crowd gathers before dawn

Plus the early rising – well before the sunrise to walk to the Easter Morning service.

Easter Sunday Sun Rise Service

Easter Sunday Sun Rise Service

So I’m pooped from that on top of being wrung out by this Art Festival endeavor.  But as the saying goes – This Too Shall Pass.

RE: Arts Festival.  We are now a week away.  Printer’s going non stop making booth tags, name tags, we heart art tags, maps, lists etc.

The stress I was feeling as I reeled from one festival  job to the next considerably lessened by mid March.  Sponsors secured, artists selected, t-shirts & posters designed, advertising venues procured, written, produced  + + +  . . . a rush of never-ending details.

What I’m most excited about is the WE HEART ART program. We are trying to curate an art-smart audience for our show so … to get people thinking about what art moves them, speaks to them, we are giving each visitor 4 free heart stickers for them to plant on their favorite booths with Art that Inspires their Heart. It is not a contest. It is a personal choice.

The program has gotten GREAT PRESS, genuinely exciting the media, townspeople, advertisers, artists – everyone.  We shall see how it goes – but we are prepared for 9000 people to get 4 hearts each to participate among 161 artists who are indeed FINE ARTISTS!  All we need is good weather and a big crowd (22,000 is the norm).  I pray for sunshine and a light breeze.

The rest of our world still exists -in pops and slivers. We had three visitors and several parties to enjoy this month of March. Plus the annual Women’s Fashion Show  which is always a hoot, along with making some new friends along the way.

Early March brought our Fisherman Friend John Pascoe to Cedar Key.

John Pascoe Arrives

John Pascoe Arrives

Fishing back bay

Fishing back bay

Catching!

Catching!

He mostly hung out with John, as I had a storytelling conference to attend for two days.  But as I hear, it was a good thing.  Man, can that man eat!  But he was a great guest – toting along venison in his bag which we are still enjoying –  and it was lovely to see how delighted he was with the Cedar Key Surroundings.

March 14 – The Women’s Annual Fashion Show – where the fashions come from the local consignment shop – was a hootenanny yet again. Such a lovely gathering of the women with a happy, happy theme.

Tall Girls in Town!

Tall Girls in Town!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Closing Song: I got you Babe

Closing Song: I got you Babe

March 17 – Cindy Matossian and her husband George Saunders sauntered into town.  Cindy came last year and wanted George to see the island. We were relieved he loved it. We kind of hold our breath when someone new comes because this Island is one of those places you either get or you don’t. We also like visits because it motivates us to go to this place and that – trying new things as well as old:

Welcone Snacks!

Welcome Snacks!

Wilderness Walk

Wilderness Walk

During the ShellMound walk, Daisy suddenly bolted deep into the jungle. John followed and we nearly lost them both but I sent C&G down the path, hoping Daisy would pop out on the other sidmatossian visit 2 065e …. and she did …. with a few scratches that bloodied her eye but did no other damage.

We also enjoyed the RIVER WALK, which we’d done before but our eyes never tire of such wildness along the Suwannee River

We also kayaked at RAINBOW SPRINGS – one of many springs throughout Florida where the water is always 72 degrees and the wildlife is gorgeously tame (Scared o you? Don’t think so!)

Birds on the Dock

Birds on the Dock

George at Shellmound

George at Shellmound

Cindy making flat bread on the cooker

Cindy making flat bread on the cooker

Rainbow Springs kayack

Rainbow Springs kayak

Look How close we can get!

Look How close we can get!

Yertle?

Yertle?

A big post paddle laugh

A big post paddle laugh

In between the two visits – we met some new people – a woman named Millie from Massachusetts. She is an interesting free spirit who decided to seek a place to stay for a year in Cedar Key.

Milli from Massachusetts

Milli from Massachusetts

I naturally recommended our realtor – only to have Millie report back they tried to rent her the house we were in — OMG!  Well, that led to a scramble in the middle of my workload, trying to secure a new place for next year  – which we successfully did and … it is on the water with more room -for work AND guests (3BR-2B) – so if we do indeed take on this job again and return to CK – we will have a nicer spot to be. .. but what a damn pain to go through.

After Cindy & George left – I attended the PAINT OUT ART AUCTION – where artists create something in 4 hours that is then auctioned off – and of course I bought a painting or two

Bruce Wilson - Auctioning off the art (he was fun and funny)

Bruce Wilson – Auctioning off the art (he was fun and funny)

Amy Gernhardt showing off Susan Dauphinee's painting

Amy Gernhardt showing off Susan Dauphinee’s painting

– but also met a woman who said “I’ve a painting of you.”  And indeed she had – with Laura Pearson Wood when she visited us last March – the artist had snapped our picture at the Tiki Bar. I rather like that painting so we bought it, too. Thank you Ju

Bev Ringenberb with her Son Joe, DIL Rebecca and Hubby Mike

Bev Ringenberb with her Son Joe, DIL Rebecca and Hubby Mike

lie, your mom Carol and your hubby Burt.

We also had supper at Carol and Dick Frost’s home one Sunday evening — during the march madness, which was a distraction – but I have to show you her orchids which were madly blooming!  Gorgeous, diverse flowers – they travel with them from one FL house to another.

Like it was growing in the air. = having off a cabinet door

Like it was growing in the air. = having off a cabinet door

Scott Nordstrom Visit 004

Toward the End of March, Our Favorite Son – in law or otherwise – came to visit.  Scott Nordstrom has always been consistently kind to both John and myself.  He always calls to thank us for gifts or remembrances and he took the time out of his very busy schedule to come visit us when he was in FL on business.  In less than 24 hours we had a marvelous visit, touring the island, sharing meals, yakking around the campfire and finishing it off with a morning visit to SHELLMOUND where the white pelicans gave us quite a show and the tide was very much out.  Stunning – all the way around.

John and Scott Nordstrom

John and Scott Nordstrom

Daisy curling up with Scott

Daisy curling up with Scott

Some people don’t like that I say he is our favorite – but the fact remains he is because of how he treats us – and that’s deserving of a high distinction.  Otherwise, it would be like raising children now a days where everyone gets a trophy for doing nothing.

Shellmound Morning

Shellmound Morning

Pelicans at Shellmound Marsh

Pelicans at Shellmound Marsh

Love this boat - is it the color?

Love this boat – is it the color?

I have another month of work ahead of me – two weeks to the festival and another two weeks of wrap up and report writing – before we go to Ft Lauderdale for the wedding of Matt Lawskowski – after which we are heading up the East Coast to Melbourne – catching their art festival – then up to Palm Coast to catch up with Greg Andriate – then back to Cedar Key until May 15 where I want to catch up on what we’ve been missing — boating & fishing primarily.

As I close this off – I’ll be promptly starting the April Edition — as it is now the 15th and the festival is done.  Sneak Preview — It was pretty darn good . . .  and I’m pretty darn exhausted. xoxo Laura

Advertisements

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

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Classic

Classic

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

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”.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

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 …..

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

103_1529

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

103_1506 - Copy103_1510

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!

103_1516

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!

birthday and february 001

birthday and february 002

birthday and february 004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

birthday and february 016

birthday and february 013birthday and february 012

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!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

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

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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)

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Oh, Hello!

Oh, Hello!

Stone Crab Supper at Home

Stone Crab Supper at Home

Snuggling with Daisy in my new Cedar Key skull cap!  It was cold!!!

Snuggling with Daisy in my new Cedar Key skull cap! It was cold!!!

DEEELICIOUS homemade cheesecake from Linda and Chris

DEEELICIOUS homemade cheesecake from Linda and Chris

Happy Daisy

Happy Daisy

First Fire - the season has begun!

First Fire – the season has begun!

CHRISTMAS IN CEDAR KEY

We have ourselves some treats and received some too … stone crab supper … funny gifts to each other … cheesecake from Linda Seyfert and her hubby Chris Reynolds (OMG Deelish) and enjoyed getting used to our new surroundings, again.
Then Came John’s Birthday. Dec 28th

After a LOOOOONG day shopping in Gainesville – we stopped to get gas b/f heading home. Daisy needed a stretch so I walked her toward the Waffle House (classic – no?) and then saw the Japanese Steak house up the hill – Would John like to go there? Have a martini and some steak. We were both pretty fried from the day.

YES! He said and we entered another surprise.

John's BD Dinner - Japanese Steak House and Sushi

John’s BD Dinner – Japanese Steak House and Sushi

Sushi for Me - Steak for U

Sushi for Me – Steak for U

John got a FREE Meal b/c it was his actual BD

John got a FREE Meal b/c it was his actual BD

044-cedar key Jan 2013 two 044

Terrific Martinis - but olives and a twist?  Unusual

Terrific Martinis – but olives and a twist? Unusual

Saw this waffle house when we stopped to get gas in Gainesville

Saw this waffle house when we stopped to get gas in Gainesville

Then Came New Years Eve – which we don’t care about at all. Had a home meal with Suzanne and Jeff and then went to bed early – to start 2013 fresh!

But NEW YEARS DAY became a better tradition!

Linda Seyfert and her wonderful Hubby Chris Reynolds – transplanted Long Islanders in the Clam Business – hosted a New Years Day Supper in their beautiful home overlooking the sea bay.

What a spread of food!  All Fish for good luck.

Met their friends Paul and Diana – Christine Ford – and their Kids Chloe and Ridley zipped in and out and we brought along Jeff and Suzanne!

Talk, Eat, Drinks, Jenga, Laugh and feel good was a great way to begin this year.  We are getting a homey, community feeling on day one!

Happy New Year to each of you! Sorry these pics are all spread out. I don’t know how to control the layout on this blog!  Any pointers welcome!

Love to all – Laura & John & Daisy whooping it up in Cedar Key!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Jeff is Jangled by Jenga

Jeff is Jangled by Jenga

Chris is a cunning strategist in Jenga

Chris is a cunning strategist in Jenga

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Turns out, Suzanne is quite the Jenga Player, too!

Turns out, Suzanne is quite the Jenga Player, too!

Paul really dug John's virgin bloody mary!

Paul really dug John’s virgin bloody mary!

Linda Seyfert - once a model, always a model!

Linda Seyfert – once a model, always a model!

Linda's awesome clam chowder - I need lessons

Linda’s awesome clam chowder – I need lessons

John's awesome bloody marys!

John’s awesome bloody marys!

Linda puts out a spread to beat the band!

Linda puts out a spread to beat the band!

More Cheese Cake

More Cheese Cake

Porch overlooking the water in Rye Key

Porch overlooking the water in Rye Key

My rice-veggy salad echoed the fish theme on New Years Day

My rice-veggy salad echoed the fish theme on New Years Day

SunSet Rye Key - Linda & Chris's wonderful home

SunSet Rye Key – Linda & Chris’s wonderful home

WELCOME, AGAIN: Cedar Key– 2 Point – OH!


HELLO, HELLO – CEDAR KEY 2.0!

BACKGROUND: For five years, John and I flew over the NW section of FL on our way home from Sarasota, FL. Soon after wheels up in Tampa,  the land below would become a vast, empty space with nothing but wiggly roads.  It inexplicably beckoned me. Pressing my face to the airplane window, studying that empty space, I felt a longing, a tugging to explore that territory. Finally, happenstance brought us there –  to Cedar Key – in the middle of a seemingly empty coastline. My longing did not get us here. My longing gave me a direction and a dream. How it all came to fruition was the surprise … and the surprise continues to unfold.

After a glorious three months in Cedar Key last year, during which I felt I’d found my tribe, I was then offered the Job as Event Coordinator for the April Annual Arts Festival. So our stay upped to a 5 month stay.

Art Festival Post Card

Art Festival Post Card

Like last year, we don’t know how we will feel about Cedar Key after 5 months of being very in the mix with every group in town. Nor do we know how the town will feel about us after the festival. It works both ways. So once again we dive into the unknown … with our eyes and hearts wide open.

DEPARTURE DAY: Our departure from New Hope to Cedar Key was late due to an unexpected trip John made to his daughter (Laura in VA) who  had a horrific car accident (miraculously unscathed). Then we had a great renter for the house pop up – (another Laura) – the day before we were supposed to leave. All good luck.

Driving straight down 95 was a relatively easy ride, (note the passing sights)

Piggly Wiggly - how did they come up with that supermarket name?

Piggly Wiggly – how did they come up with that supermarket name?

 What is holding them in??

What is holding them in??
I'm not moving from this bed!

I’m not moving from this bed!

until we stopped for the night in Lumberton NC – just north of the SC border – and were sorry for it.

Anynight USA

Anynight USA

I chose Motel 6 for the price and dog – never again. Besides being too spare, the location was scarey –  just off the highway, warning signs PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK and plexiglass covering the local convenience store worker. Locked behind our room door, with BIG RED just outside, we were grateful Daisy has such a BIG bark – used 4 times before we  settled and slept through the night.

The saddest thing about that area was the “HISTORIC LUMBERTON”.   As “Video Killed the Radio Store”,  Big Box and Chain Stores have certainly slaughtered small town America.  Driving into the town, off the “chain slathered highway” we saw gorgeous houses leading to a substantial 8 block downtown with terrific, turn of the century buildings – all mostly empty. Geez, it was so sad to see. It was so easy to imagine it full of citizens and society. When will the muckty-mucks of commerce wake up to the fact that COMMUNITY is the only way to build a safe, productive society – take away the center and the work = community stumbles.  Any  ideas as to how we take our Country back?

At first light we zipped out, stopping at an I-HOP in Florence SC where John got ticked off by bad service – like I rarely see. 

"We've been waiting a half hour already! Where is our Breakfast?"

“We’ve been waiting a half hour already! Where is our Breakfast?”

After that, it was an easy cruise to Jacksonville, FL, where we spent a delightful afternoon and evening with ELLEN, a dear friend of the family – who was her joyous, warm, delicious self.

Ellens Screened Porch

Ellens Screened Porch

Ellen Emerson & Laura in Pontra Vedre

Ellen Emerson & Laura in Pontra Vedre

On Sunday, we cruised toward Cedar Key, driving through St. Augustine (busy, busy, busy), stopping to ride the carousel.

St Augustine Carousel

St Augustine Carousel

Wheee

Wheee

Found the tiny, old town called Micanopy (mick-ah-nope-ee), claimed to be the oldest towns in Florida. Dripping with spanish moss covered old trees, old buildings and lots of antiques. An old-timer told us about the town’s history and art festival and …. well, ya know … ya just get to jawboning down here about one thing and a tuther. 

Micanopy

Micanopy

Micanopy Old House Antique Shop

Micanopy Old House Antique Shop

More old Micanopy Homes

More old Micanopy Homes

Love these whimsical fences!

Love these whimsical fences!

Cedar Key View from Bridge 4 As you Enter

Cedar Key View from Bridge 4 As you Enter

ARRIVAL:  As the sun was aming to set, we crossed Bridge Four into Cedar Key and we were flushed by the  island’s beautiful wilderness We were also welcomed by friends as we rolled up our street: Lonna and Martin, 

Lonna and Martin Dickenson our neighbors

Lonna and Martin Dickenson our neighbors

Neighbor Marsha Schwartz came with welcome flowers. But the abundant tangerines on the tree in the backyard had been picked clean by the former renters who now rented the place on the water across the street. Hmmmm. I was looking forward to our Tangerine Juice.

SETTLING IN: 

7 DAYS LATER: A week after our arrival – we can barely believe all we’d done.

Cedar Key Beach - Park

Cedar Key Beach – Park

Monday the 17th  and the next three days, I zipped around town – meeting festival committee( great group),  getting introductions, making and distributing posters for the January festival FUNDRAISERBev and Kathy selling tickets to the January Fundraiser

Bev and Kathy selling tickets to the January Fundraiser

and dealing with a computer hacking that took me 6 hours and tears to get fixed. 

Six Hours trying to get UNHACKED

Six Hours trying to get UNHACKED

Having a job – a highly interactive one – is going to make for a very different year. But, we sincerely feel, it will lead to exactly where we are supposed to go – even though we don’t know where that is, yet.

Kathy of the CK Emporium and Peter, President of the Arts Center

Kathy of the CK Emporium and Peter, President of the Arts Center

Chief Virgil and Miss Frances at the City Hall

Chief Virgil and Miss Frances at the City Hall

Getting settled was not as easy as last year. The owners, Boyd and Tom, had not been back in 8 months – so the place lacked  their spit and polish. It had a moldy odor and was not as clean as we’d found it or left it last year. After a phone call, Boyd agreed to replace a BR carpet – the mold source – and we got it done quickly then  scrubbed down of the place.

Johnny Clean

Johnny Clean

As my cousin Dee says: “I like to start fresh, so I live in my own germs”  Our full day cleaning frenzy was fueled with a robust bloody mary and capped with a G&T –

We slept well that night.

John found the cement paint - freshened the steps and painted the back platform!

John found the cement paint – freshened the steps and painted the back platform!

Backyard set up with Dee Lights and the Cowboy cooker and new work table

Backyard set up with Dee Lights and the Cowboy cooker and new work table

DEC 23rd  We joined a real southern Christmas feast, up the street at Miss Wilmas – with her sons Kenny, Kevin and Keith and their families.

Southern Feast

Southern Feast

Grits and Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Fried Mullet (fish), Casseroles of Squash, Lasagna, Mac & Cheese and Sweet Meatballs and Pork and …. oh, well, it was mighty fine … right down to the Peach Cake and Chocolate, Chocolate Cake. Sitting outside, we listened and inquired and got to know each other: Making Strangers into Friends. I’ve noticed a certain way Locals inspect us with a jaundiced eye and locked jaw, until we show some interest in them.  Then they open up like a dried jasmine flowerbud in hot water – unfolding petal by petal – revealing their own brand of exotic beauty.

Alex serving the sweets

Alex serving the sweets

We also supped on fresh and steamed oysters with Lonna and Martin and their most gentlemanly son, Owen and his sweetheart Tatiana and her sister Alex and Tatiana’s three rambunctious boys who could shuck oysters like I’ve never seen!  Tatiania and Alex are Serbian born and raised, but followed their father to the US in their later years.  Lovely people, all.

In between those two events, we drove over to SHELLMOUND, a preserve by the Suwannee River – to walk the paths. What sublime beauty.

Daisy loves shellmound almost as much as ball

Daisy loves shellmound almost as much as ball

Shellmound  it was chilly!

Shellmound it was chilly!

The Nature of Florida’s Nature Coast is spectacular. And SHELLMOUND  is the inspiration behind the Mosaic Tile selected as the design motif for the Art Festival, representing the indians who populated the area for millennium and who created the mounds (hills) of shells. A Must See Spot!

Dec 25th we joined 5 other couples at a brunch – what a fun, diverse group – and stories, stories, stories.  Interesting people with sophisticated background populate this island along with the long-time families and shellfish industry and artists.

We also established our routines – bicycling to the park behind the cemetery, doing the fitness routine set up among the trees. I remember seeing it the first year and wondered “who does that?” Now it’s me!  All the while shooting the ball for Daisy to chase.

Then Jeff and Suzanne showed upJeff and Suzanne Krieble

Jeff and Suzanne Krieble

so we made a reservation at the ISLAND HOUSE restaurant upon their arrival.  OK, that’s enough for now.  More to follow soon with lots of pics!.

It has been very busy with this new job but I’m working hard to keep a blog too.  Thank you for your patience.

Lots of Love from Laura & John  & Daisy – in Cedar Key Florida, where all is right.

%d bloggers like this: