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Adversity

Peaceful beach yoga weekly. PHOTO by LAURIE KASPERBAUER

Body, Mind And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” -Albert Einstein Saturday morning beach yoga is one of my most favorite classes. Generally speaking, the sky is a beautiful blue, the dolphins are playing in clear view and the morning sun provides just the right amount of warmth without the heat of mid-day. Needless to say, when the conditions are this desirable, we have a great turn-out of ambitious yogis ready to share their practice. One recent Saturday, however, this was not the case. The forecast predicted a cold front coming through. I have come to learn ... Read More »

Color Your World…endlessly

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Season on Marco Island is in full swing, and I survived another Valentine’s Day rush that required my son and me only a couple of nights burning the midnight oil in the work shop. It was the smoothest, hassle free and profitable Valentine week I can ever remember! While in the process of investigating and individually interrogating my sales staff I found the reason it was not the normal yearly, chaotic Valentine’s experience… One thing stood out…Endless Jewelry. I mentioned that I had seen the Endless Jewelry line while in Europe last summer. It ... Read More »

The Art of Forgiveness

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I have an artist friend, Sally, who not only is a very supportive friend, but also is one of the most grounded people I know; sure of who she is and confident in her art. During a recent conversation she assured me she had not always been this way. “Let me show you something I keep around as sort of a touchstone.” She bounced out of the room and returned with a self-portrait as a young girl in pencil. It was a life-sized head shot and was really good…if it hadn’t been torn in places and ... Read More »

30 Years Young

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Straight Talk Allen S Weiss, M.D. President & CEO NCH Healthcare System I’m proud to say our track record for quality healthcare has been growing for quite some time, even as we continue to improve and break new ground. I was reminded of this recently as we celebrated the “old” and rang in the “new.” I speak of two celebratory occasions—first, Marco Island’s Urgent Care Clinic’s 30th anniversary; and second, the groundbreaking for NCH Northeast, a 40,000 sq. ft. freestanding emergency room. Marco Island’s Urgent Care Center may be 30-years-young, but its staff is as energetic and vibrant as any in ... Read More »

The Dipper Returns

Looking Northeast, 9:00PM Mar 6. Even though the Moon looks huge  when near the horizon you can still cover it up by a pinky finger held at arm’s length!
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SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net After setting a few months ago the Big Dipper has returned to the early evening sky. The Dipper of course is not a constellation but merely an asterism and makes up a portion of the rather large constellation of Ursa Major, the bear. It is an odd fact that roughly half of the world’s cultures regard this grouping of stars as a bear; after all it does not look much like a bear. One possible explanation is that this constellation’s identification as a bear is a shared cultural tradition springing from a common ... Read More »

No Biting

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: I hope you all had a terrific Valentine’s Day. I sure did. I was besieged with cards, treats, cat grass, treats, toys, treats, a fancy cat bed, treats, a designer cat tree, treats, and more treats. Mixed in with the hundreds of love letters, however, I ran across a few disturbing emails (yes, cats have email accounts; we just choose not to “reply”). It sounds to me like some of you have been biting your staff, the very hands that feed you, and without provocation. I’m not talking love ... Read More »

Amsterdam, How It’s Changed

The Stedelijk Museum with its new addition. PHOTO COURTESY OF STEDELIJK MUSEUM

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber I first visited Amsterdam in the 70s; my husband and I were last there in the 80s. On that trip, after a week in the city, we traveled on to Brussels. We were amused when a guide who took us to visit Waterloo and some of the countryside chateaus of Belgium referred to Amsterdam as a “doomed city.” On a recent visit there, I’m pleased to report that it is not doomed. It is a vibrant, diverse city, known for its tolerance, picturesque canals, and outstanding art collections. After a recent government sponsored overhaul and renovations ... Read More »

Travel Insurance: Safeguard or Scam?

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Travelers often consider the purchase of travel insurance. Policies differ, but typically comprehensive insurance covers trip cancellation, delay or interruption expenses and accident and medical expenses. The policies are long, with lots of fine print, conditions and exceptions. For years, we never bothered with trip insurance, but started to as our parents began developing health issues; we never knew if we might be called home unexpectedly. The past few years, as we have aged, we have purchased it for ourselves for international trips. Until recently, our only occasion to put in a claim came in September ... Read More »

Why Don’t We Just Eat Right?

FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Every day, I inquire each of my clients on how their nutrition is going, and every day, I hear more or less the same type of response from at least one person: a sheepish look followed by an excuse as to why they could not eat right the day before. “Friends are in town so we eat out every night.” “My family is visiting and expects me to cook all of the favorite comfort foods.” “I was just too tired.” “I knew better, but I just couldn’t help it.” “I was stressed, and it calmed my ... Read More »

Valen-times Day

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan No, it’s not a misprint; I’m talking about Valentines Day. It’s not only a word that irks most warm-blooded male Homo-sapiens, but it’s also an important event. The contents of my column today are directed at the guys out there, who may need a nudge or a wake-up call, so ladies, if you don’t mind moving on to another more interesting article. Oh sure, many of us guys try to ignore it or even claim to have forgotten the day of infamy. Trust me, though, we males are always aware of the inevitable day on the ... Read More »

The Art of Spontaneity: Wet Paint Live!

Enjoying visitors during Wet Paint Live! 2011 at Goodland's Boat Park. PHOTO BY GEORGE VELLIS

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com One of my favorite events, “Wet Paint Live!,” is coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 11. I enjoy all my art events, or I wouldn’t do them, but my particular fondness for this event is owed to the impact “Wet Paint Live!” has had on my artful life. Spontaneity — straight up or on the rocks — that’s the drink that refreshes! The day of “Wet Paint Live!” dawns with local artists painting at various outdoor venues and finishes the same day with a generous reception and guaranteed lively live-auction at Rose Auditorium (Marco Island History Museum). ... Read More »

The Argo Backs into the Sky

Looking Southeast, 9 PM, Feb. 20. Can you make out the stern of Argo? SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Tonight, we look again into the Southeast where the ancient constellation Argo, the ship, is rising stern first into the sky. Argo is no longer counted as one of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky; about two centuries ago it was found to be inconveniently large so it was broken into four separate constellations, Carina the keel, Puppis the deck, Pyxis the compass and Vela the sails. The old Argo is so large and deep in the southern sky that it never is completely above our horizon at the same time, ... Read More »

Senti-Mentally Foolish

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I don’t know. Sometimes, it feels like I am a rock; I am an island, not just living and working on one. Heck, I can go weeks — even months — without even leaving the island! I just finally realized I’m not a kid anymore. (My AARP membership proves it without a doubt!) Even so, one of my customers called me “kiddo” the other day. For crying out loud, I’ll be 61 soon. When will people finally consider me as being a full-fledged adult? I’m told I don’t look my age. I sure feel it! ... Read More »

The Stress Test

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Now that the holidays are over and done with, many people breathe in a collective sigh of relief. Glad that the treats and eats are no longer around. Glad that there are no more presents to wrap or gifts to buy. Glad there are no more parties to partake in. Glad the traveling is over. And so on. So many people welcome January with open arms, high hopes and healthy food in the fridge. Smiles and good intentions — for the first few weeks anyways. What people don’t realize is that life continues on pretty much ... Read More »

Conversational Drifts

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Some of my favorite conversations — whether I’m actively involved or just eavesdropping — consist of one bright topic setting off a circuit of others. There are times when linear conversations — those that start with one topic and finish with it before moving to another — have their proper place, but it’s exhilarating to listen as creative ideas spark like electric arcs from one to another freeform. A recent article by David Pitt of the Associated Press on the spate of piano store closings around the country has ignited an impressive nationwide debate as to ... Read More »

Gratitude

The family. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUR

Body, Mind And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com My children are here. In my house. Four adult children, their four significant others and our five grandchildren, ages 5 months to five years. They’ve been here nearly a week celebrating our own Christmas Holiday. That makes 10 adults, counting my husband and me and five young children, living in the same house for a week. Over the last six days, I have felt joy, pride, anxiety and exhaustion, but most of all, I have felt gratitude. I experienced overwhelming joy the very first morning when the babies all woke early, greeting each other ... Read More »

Have a Plan

A heap of exhausted kittens. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: What a whirlwind the holidays were for me and my loyal staff of volunteers here at For the Love of Cats. We had cats and kittens coming and going non-stop for two weeks. Everywhere I looked I saw cats being loaded into and out of carriers; kittens climbing the romper room walls, tumbling around in colorful balls of fur, stretching sore muscles, carb-loading at their troughs, standing in and knocking over their food and water bowls, wrestling and tackling one another, and chasing each other around in dizzying circles; ... Read More »

Introducing General Surgeon Dr. Brian Smith

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd We have all heard the story countless times: the one where “person X” or “person Y” comes to Southwest Florida on vacation and decides to stay. As it turns out, this really happens — sometimes at your neighborhood hospital. When Richmond, Virginia’s, Dr. Brian Smith and his family chose Marco Island for their recent vacation, little did they know that their lives were about to change. As the Physicians Regional Collier Boulevard campus tends to dominate the landscape for a brief stretch of Collier Boulevard just a few miles north of Tamiami ... Read More »

Auriga the Charioteer

Looking High in the North, 9:00PM February 6. Can you see the kids? SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Very high tonight in the northern sky rides Auriga the Charioteer. The driver usually also is visualized as a shepherd holding a goat over his shoulder. The bright star Capella is thus nicknamed “the goat star,” and the two dimmer stars just to the left are likewise named “the kids.” Auriga is located 180 degrees away from the galactic center in Sagittarius, and so when you look at Auriga, you are looking at the shortest way out from our galaxy. The Milky Way, although thinner, is still substantial in this area, and there ... Read More »

Afiyet Olsun

Kumpir stands with their baked potato toppings piled high line  the street in the Ortakoy district of Istanbul. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Many people have asked me about the food in Istanbul; we loved it. There was a wide variety of options available, both in terms of eating establishments and food choices. Street food is popular. Red push carts dot the streets and hole-in-the-wall kiosks are located throughout the city. For a quick breakfast or snack any time of the day, there is limit — thin rounds of baked dough that have been dipped in molasses and sesame seeds. During the day, other carts sell grilled corn on the cob and chocolate covered chestnuts. Kumpir stalls sell baked ... Read More »