Posts Tagged ‘Black Dog Cigar Bar’

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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Dr. Matossian – Relaxing – Recouperating


For those of you who know our friend Cynthia Matsossian, you know she is a very focused person, skilled eye surgeon. and very busy, always.

We were surprised when she called to say she wanted to come for a visit – flying in on a Friday afternoon (into Gainesville) and fly out on Sunday morning – by herself (her husband George, who runs her ophthalmology practice, was too swamped with a number of projects).

So I drove up to get her on Friday and we returned to pick up John and the dogs for a cocktail picnic at the Shell Mound park.

Cindy at Shellmound Park

That part was particularly funny. Because we have a one bench seat truck, three adults and two dogs could not all fit.

So, I laid down in the truck bed, along with Bucks and John lowered the lid — not closed but lowered – and off we rolled.

Buck's eyes may be cloudy - but still expressive!

I wish I could show you Buck’s  when the truck started rolling. Eyes widened, Ears perked, Legs moved to touch my chest, arm. “What’s going on, Mom,” he silently said.

Daisy joined us in the truck bed for another trip

Good thing we were together. After a few minutes, he calmed down and we had a lovely ride, with a different view from the sides of the truck bed lid. It was particularly beautiful when we passed under trees.  And there was a nice massage to my back with the truck vibrations.

John and Cindy on Shellmound Dock

Anyway, that all went well and I made a youtube video on Daisy’s puzzling out the boardwalk to the dock over the water. I posted it on Facebook but let me know if you’d like the link.

Shellmound Dock. Never tire of this view

aaaaahhhhhh

At the Town Beach -- Birding!

Pitching the ball for Daisy

John and Bucks Catch a few winks

Friday night we dined at the Blue Desert – walked to dinner – and Saturday we toured around the town, ending up on the beach for a late lunch and leg stretch.

A new way to use the picnic table?

"Aren't cha coming?"

Saturday night, we dined at the Island House Restaurant and met the owners: Peter and Gina.

Terrific meal and interesting people we look forward to hosting some time soon.

Gina - owner of THE ISLAND ROOM - good restaurant!

John and Cindy at THE ISLAND ROOM

Then we met our neighbors at the BLACK DOG – a terrific cigar/bar where you can smoke cigars you buy from them inside.

They also have two nice docks on street and bay side.

Black Dog Outside, Dock Street Side

This was our first foray onto Dock Street at night. Don’t know how an establishment makes a living with the scarcity of patrons…..on a Saturday night.

Black Dog Insid

Black Dog - cool chairs

Cindy has an incredible curiosity and was committed to going with the flow so she said yes to nearly everything.

Cindy - checking out the chess match

She also seemed to be checking out this place for future visits — noting what George would like and the pervasive calm atmosphere on the island. She was a terrific guest and friend and we are glad she came.

Dr. Cindy - Relaxing

I am also pleased to share that Cynthia is also being recognized for her professional medical contribution at the international ophthalmology conference this upcoming weekend.  She has created a new technique for cataract surgery that has less impact on the patient, and she is presenting her technique to her colleagues.  I think that is so cool!  It reminded me of the characters and situation in the book CUTTING FOR STONE.  Doctors who love their specialty, constantly drive to improve their craft and skill.  BRAVA CYNTHIA!  We love and celebrate you!

In closing, I must mention that we missed Cindy’s check in time by 5 minutes at the airport – and as she didn’t have her boarding pass printed out, she was stuck – because the desk personnel leave to board the plane at 30 minutes before takeoff.

It was frustrating to see the gate and not be able to go.  Then we find out the only way she can get home that night (for she was due in surgery in the morning) was to fly out of Jacksonville.  So we load up, drive 1.5 hours further and drop her off at the Jacksonville airport and turn around to head home.  We could have called Ellen Emerson or my cousin Kim, but we had two dogs in the house and had to get back. Fortunately we’ve made friends with our neighbors and left a key behind so they let them out for a midday pee.

SEVEN hours later we are home,

Fired up the bar-be and

After a long drive....let there be fire!

mmmmm - hickory smoked

cooked up the chicken I’d been marinating in buttermilk for two days, had a bonfire and got a little toasted ourselves. And I spent all day Monday recovering – rather tired was I!

Keep the conversation burning!

Today, I feel like myself again. Good thing. Planing a dinner for some new friends who are about to leave.

Maura: You were right.

That’s all for now.

xo Laura

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