Monday , June 27 2016
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An Investment in Love and Joy

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan  harborgoldsmith@comcast.net The other day a woman entered my establishment and asked me if I replace batteries in watches, which I do. While installing her new battery, she complimented me on the many wonderful things in my showcases. She said how she loved jewelry but her money conscious husband refused to buy her any nice quality jewelry (they were married over forty years!). He was always claiming diamonds and jewelry were a bad investment. A sense of sadness came over me for this nice woman. I noticed all she was wearing was a simple gold wedding band ... Read More »

More Than a Number

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MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com A few years ago I was driving on the Island when I noticed a couple standing on the sidewalk waiting for the traffic light. The man wore the rounded spine of at least eight decades on Earth; his right hand clutched the handle of a cane, punched to the pavement for support. The woman was white-haired, and equally bent, with tubes in her nose that extended to an oxygen tank she pulled wagon-style behind her. But more than their postures and their accessories, I noticed that the fingers of their free hands were ... Read More »

Seasonal Condo Sales and ?Active Listings

Smokehouse Harbour, a water-direct condo. Photos by Gary Elliott

CONDO  REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott Of the 164 condos sold on Marco Island during January, February, March and April 2016, 100 of them were two bedroom units. Two bedroom condos made up 61% of the condo market this season compared to 57% last season. Three bedroom condos represented 20% of condo sales this season, and one bedroom condos were responsible for 16%. Three percent of the sales were for either studio or four bedroom condos. Condo sales prices this season ranged from $81,000 for a one bedroom inland condo to $2,075,000 for a four bedroom beachfront condo. Median ... Read More »

The Jewelry Genius

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net It’s the beginning of the end of the 2016 seasonal madness. It’s nice to look around and take a breather, maybe sort the things out in your life that went on the back burner – or maybe you completely forgot about them all together, like the fact you can no longer fit an automobile in your garage or your yard looks like a category three hurricane passed through it. It’s time to get the simple things done that were impossible to do the past few months. It’s also that time of the year for inspection ... Read More »

A Carefully Constructed Village

“The Neighborhood Gang,” circa 1992 Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “You are a piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill holes in their lives with pieces of you.”  – Bonnie Arbon In 1996 a book was published by none-other-than, Democratic presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton. The title of the book is “It takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us.” The phrase, “it takes a village,” is thought to be an African proverb, built on the premise that raising a child is a collective effort that extends beyond the mother and father ... Read More »

Boaters and Condos

The Shipp’s Landing docks.

CONDO REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Of the 356 condos for sale on the island last week, 126 of them (35%) referenced a boat dock in the listing. These condos feature either assigned or leased boat docks, or are adjacent to marinas with boat docks for lease or for sale. Twenty-nine of these listed condos with a dock have an assigned dock that transfers with that unit when it is sold. Most condo associations own and maintain their docks and lease them to owners and renters when available. The lowest priced condo for sale last week with a leased ... Read More »

Let’s Talk About Veins

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To Your Health Scott Lowe Market CEO, Physicians Regional Healthcare System Safe to say, those of us in Southwest Florida tend to show more skin. Though our weather is wonderful and our pools are open year-round, there is no doubt that shorts and swimsuits become even more popular during the summer months. The result? Our veins are even more exposed than usual. And yes, this can be an unsettling thought for those who wish to keep their less-than-appealing veins under wraps. That said, it’s surprising how little the public knows about vein care and vascular surgery—specifically, the technological advancements in the ... Read More »

You Can’t Please Them All

Mallorca Dreaming. Submitted Photo

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net You know I’m not one to vent. (Yah right!) With the 2016 season slowly coming to a climax, I’m still trying to find the time to reflect on the past months…Mamma Mia! Words can’t describe what just happened, what just happened? I feel like I just did 10 rounds with Mike Tyson! For me the madness started in the first week of December and from there grew to epic proportions like a snowball rolling down a ski slope (for those of you not familiar with snow, it’s kind of like the crushed ice in that ... Read More »

Shipp’s Landing – Serene Seaside Paradise

View of the Shipp’s Landing docks.

CONDO  REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net Shipp’s Landing is ideally located on a quiet, southern tip of the island adjacent to Caxambas Pass with incredible views of the Ten Thousand Islands and the Gulf of Mexico. This 206-unit condo complex on 14.6-acres of mature, manicured green space features a “village” of two to four story condos, a seven-story mid-rise and a 19-story high-rise tower. Developed and built by Harold Shipp from Toronto in the early 1980s, many of the condos have been renovated and upgraded. Last week’s list prices at Shipp’s Landing for a two-bedroom condo start at ... Read More »

The Power of a Smile

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.”  – Joseph Addison Our sixth grandchild was born in March. A perfect little girl with 10 fingers, 10 toes and bright eyes that follow sound and movement. I was lucky enough to hold her shortly after her birth and say prayers of thanks for her healthy arrival. Five weeks later, little Greer Elizabeth took her first plane ride from her home in the Midwest to Southwest Florida for a visit, and for six days she was (mostly) mine…except for the feedings and interrupted sleep that ... Read More »

Banff

View of Bow River Valley from Sulphur Mountain.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Ninety minutes from Calgary, in the Bow River Valley, Banff is the unofficial capital of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Located within Banff National Park, its development is tightly controlled. The population is capped at 10,000; only those with a “need to reside” can live there and businesses must provide accommodations for employees. Banff was developed in the late 1800s for tourism; even the main street was built to afford the best views of nearby Mt. Rundle. Its commercial center, with its variety of stores, mini malls, restaurants, coffee and toffee shops, is very busy. What impressed me ... Read More »

Diamonds…what’s the hype all about?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I remember the time I overheard a soon-to-be-engaged gentleman mumbling under his breath while one of my sales staff was gift wrapping his diamond engagement ring purchase. “Why can’t my lady be satisfied with a small chip of granite?” I laughed, and said try presenting his love with a granite and gold engagement ring and see how he makes out. But honestly, diamonds are one of the few small things that can cost as little as $20 to an outrageous $12 million or more, and still be worn on a lady’s finger. I have been ... Read More »

It’s Personal

A recent beach yoga practice, presenting a wide variety of “trees” on the beach. Photo By Laurie Kasperbauer

MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe Growing up in Iowa I was lucky enough to go on family vacations every summer. Four kids and my parents packed ourselves in a four-door Oldsmobile, pulling a pop-up camper with attached bicycles and coolers and fishing rods projecting like appendages on a bug. Our destination might be a lake in Minnesota or a valley in Colorado, but it always included a campground with plenty of space to wander and a ring of stones for a fire. And ... Read More »

Condos List and Sell Year Round on Marco Island

Smokehouse Harbour

CONDO  REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Over the last four years 560 condos, on average, change owners every year on Marco Island. The biggest month for closings is April when an average 76 condos sell, followed by May when 63 condos sell. The slowest month on average is November when 32 condos sell or 42% of the peak month of April. Altogether there are about 11,000 condos on Marco Island, so about 5% change hands every year. On a quarterly basis the first quarter of the year sees 129 condos or 23% of the condos sell; second ... Read More »

The Icefields Parkway

The Glacier Skywalk juts out over the Sunwapta Canyon.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, also known as Highway 93, is 144 miles of natural beauty, wildlife, tourist attractions, and, in high season (July, August), a moving parade of cars, RVs, and tour buses traversing this double lane road. Paralleling the Continental Divide, it runs from Lake Louise north to Japer and passes through both Banff and Jasper National Parks. We traveled its length twice, the first time, enjoying all it had to offer, took more than nine hours. The second, using it merely as a route from one location to another, took considerably ... Read More »

Mad Memoirs of an Old School/Modern Goldsmith – Part II

Uncle Ernest Gravallese taught Richard Alan the trade. Submitted Photos

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Meanwhile back at old 333 Washington Street, which was then called the Province Building, namely because the building was built directly on top of the exact location of the former British colonial governor’s mansion. It was there since the late 1600s, and demolished in 1922 for the current jewelers building. (My uncle Ernest was one of the building’s first tenants.) Today it is better known as the Boston Jewelers Exchange Building. By age twenty-two I actually started my own trade business. How hard could it be? I still helped my uncle, who was now ... Read More »

Marco Island’s Unique Selection of Condos

View of Marco Island’s crescent beach from a Cape Marco condo balcony.

CONDO REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Marco Island has a remarkable variety of condos for sale. Today 375 condos are listed for sale ranging in price from $89,900 for a studio apartment at Coquina Gardens to $7,245,000 for a five bedroom Belize penthouse. All of them have a unique price, island location, number of bedrooms, living space, floor height, balcony location, pet policy, renovations, and age. Overall, the median list price of a condo on Marco Island is $519,000 and the median air conditioned space is 1,162 square feet. Median list prices and sizes are as follows: studio ... Read More »

You Can’t Take It With You

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MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “In the end, only kindness matters.”  – Jewel  I have a close friend who lives in Iowa. Her name is Mary, and before my husband and I moved to Marco Island, Mary and I were next-door neighbors for 27 years. That’s almost three decades of vigorous waves from the driveway, impromptu potluck dinners, borrowed cups of sugar, and shared Sunday brunches. We raised a combined seven children; we claimed a total of five dogs, and we buried four parents during our time as neighbors. We’ve shared tearful challenges and bladder-bursting laughter. Together, Mary ... Read More »

Alberta’s Canadian Rockies, Part I

Chateau Lake Louise

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Canada’s Rocky Mountains are located in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Within Alberta, the locations of Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff provide many opportunities for alpine experiences. The landscape includes peaks, valleys, canyons, rivers, glacial lakes, forests, waterfalls, and lots of wildlife. I will write about Banff, the larger, more commercial of the three in a future column. Lake Louise and Jasper serve as the gateways to the Icefields Parkway, surely one of the most scenic drives in the world. Lake Louise, with the stately Chateau Lake Louise facing the Victoria Glacier at the ... Read More »

The Pull of the Moon

Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer
The full moon sets over the Gulf at an early morning Beach Yoga class

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com She is our moon. Our tidal pull. She is the rich deep beneath the sea, the buried treasure, the expression in the owl’s eye, the perfume in the wild rose. She is what the water says when it moves. – Patricia A. McKillip The moon. Most of us have gazed at it on a clear night. Maybe even marveled at its changing shape, created by shadows and illumination. Some blame it for changes in mood or behavior. And a chosen few have walked atop its desolate surface, staring back at the Earth, tiny and ... Read More »