Saturday , January 31 2015
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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 »

Further Afield in Istanbul

The Mehter band performs below the piercing eyes of Atatürk. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber After writing about some of the “must sees” in Istanbul (Istanbul Highlights December 26, 2014), I wanted to share other worthy experiences if your travel time allows. The Bosphorus, the 20-mile long strait connecting the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea, is fundamental to Istanbul. Important for commercial navigation, it separates “old” Istanbul from “new” Europe from Asia; many of the major sights in this city are located along it and ferries regularly traverse it. Istanbul is a big, sprawling city full of neighborhoods and districts. Taking a sightseeing cruise along the Bosphorus provides a ... Read More »

Straight Talk

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Straight Talk Allen S Weiss, M.D. President & CEO NCH Healthcare System We have a multitude of “stars” at NCH, and at the recent Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) 26th annual meeting in Orlando, NCH stars had a major presence, with 58 colleagues attending and the following 40 presenting. Additional authors and a picture gallery of our folks can be found on http://www.nchmd.org/IHI-2014. Tracy Britto: “Something to Talk About: Medication Education” Angela Devaney: “Quality Improvement through Bedside Shift Report” Alicia Dalto: “Decreasing Fallouts” Melanie Huber: “Educate Before You Medicate” Sarah Horner: “Smart Room Stroke Education: Giving Time Back to the RN” Maria Stewart: ... Read More »

Sticking to Those New Year’s Resolutions!

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Can you believe that Christmas is already over with? If you’re like me, you probably didn’t even get to register it until the day of because you were running full speed in many directions trying to keep all of your proverbial plates spinning at the same time. What I most enjoyed about this year was that my son was finally old enough to tear off the wrapping paper! He had a blast! I laughed in surprise when he picked up every scrap and tissue paper and promptly cleaned up by stuffing each piece in empty boxes. He ... Read More »

Keeping the Faith

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I am writing this just a few days before the beginning of another New Year. Of course, by the time you are reading it, the Big Day shall have passed, the confetti cleared, the headaches healed, and the resolutions well underway. It’s now a time for soulful reflections and forward thinking. A time of promise and promises. As I look about my artful community I see a great flurry of optimistic activities: Cultural organizations are gearing up for a spate of new activities and events to delight and enrich the public. The newest kid on that ... Read More »

Beginnings

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Body, Mind And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Life is a series of beginnings…that bring us closer to the realization of our dreams. May all of your beginnings be showered by sunbeams and all of your dreams sense the warmth of success.” — Edith Schaffer Lederberg   The month of January marks the beginning of a brand, new year. For many of us, shedding the skin of 2014 as we morph into the image we have created for 2015 is exciting. It’s a New Year! I can improve my diet. I can exercise more. I can be a better friend, a more ... Read More »

Custom-Made Jewelry

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net An increase in the demand of high-ticket items this past holiday season was all the proof I needed to assure me that many of my predictions came true. Certainly, my personal experiences in a small jewelry business located on a quiet little island sitting in the Gulf of Mexico can’t possibly be a national or world-wide barometer? I hit a threshold this past September; I simply got tired of trying to figure out what the public wanted. For the past five years or so, the cost of precious metals prohibited many folks from buying even ... Read More »

Jupiter Returns to the Evening

Looking South, 9 PM, Jan. 23, the vertical line is called the meridian,  an imaginary line passing through both poles and the zenith. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net After a vacancy of some months, we finally have a bright planet available for viewing this evening, two actually, but Venus has set by the 9 PM chart time. Looking east at that time you can’t miss Jupiter. It’s the brightest thing in the sky. Tonight, four of its satellites are visible in binoculars. Between 10-11 PM, Callisto and Io appear so close together that they be difficult to split apart in your binoculars. The moons move fast though so this state of affairs will not last very long. A tripod will greatly ... Read More »

Istanbul Highlights

Hagia Sophia

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Whether visiting Istanbul short term as a cruise port or enjoying an extended stay, the top tourist sights are found in the Sultanhamet district. Also called the Old City, Sultanhamet is the seat of Ottoman Istanbul. The triumvirate of Topkapi Museum Palace, the Hagia Sophia and the Sultanahmet Mosque, more commonly called the Blue Mosque, are adjacent to each other. If visiting on your own, when you descend from the tram at the Sultanhamet stop, it may seem a bit confusing, particularly with the crowds and hawkers selling sight-seeing tours and cruises. Just ignore them or ... Read More »

I’ve Looked at Clouds From Multiple Sides Now

Cloud 6, oil on canvas by Tara O'Neill

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com A dear friend and fellow artist was visiting from Europe last week, and it was delicious to fill so many conversations with artful topics. After visiting my home gallery, she was moved by a collection of cloud paintings of mine and shared her thoughts about the rising popularity of clouds as subject matter in western art. Was it a rising trend? I had not heard. (Growing up in flat-as-the-ocean Florida, clouds have always seemed a natural obsession.) Tell me more. She named several European artists, well-known and obscure, who are now dedicating yards and yards of ... Read More »

Platinum Plus

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I trust many of you reading this are presently enjoying a day at home recuperating from the results of overindulging on Christmas Day, and then there are many of us that have to face a busy day. That includes yours truly…a goldsmith who happen to run a jewelry store. I would like to take this moment to extend a sincere thank you and a Happy New Year to our customers and friends for exceeding our expectations and goals this past gift giving shopping season! At my old Front Street location, I used to close the ... Read More »

Wishing you a HEALTHY New Year

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd Once again, we are sitting right on top of another New Year’s celebration, and many of us, myself included, use this time of the year to reflect upon our successes and failures over the past 12 months. The result of this review is often an ambitious list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” In a list compiled by USA.gov of the 13 most popular resolutions, not surprisingly, health-related issues occupy almost one-half of the spots. They include: Lose Weight • Quit Smoking Get Fit • Eat Healthy Food Manage Stress • Drink Less Alcohol ... Read More »

Naomi’s Christmas Fun

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Did all you boys and girls get what you wanted from Santa Claws, or did you forget to leave the milk and yummy treaties out on the hearth? Remember, Santa Claws is a true-blooded tortie like me who loves his treats. I had a very Merry Christmas with the kitty elves, the shelter kittens and shelter founders Jan and Jim Rich. I supervised Jan for days while she decorated the place. My job was to test Jim’s lionel train set, but I got pretty dizzy watching ... Read More »