Coastal Breeze News Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:18:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Is Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘10,000 Hour’ Theory Valid? Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:35:53 +0000 READ MY TIPS
Doug Browne

Ever since my directing stint at the prestigious Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, I’ve been on-court coaching a huge variety of students, and it has fueled my creativity to write more tennis articles.

It is easy to have fresh ideas when one is so involved in the game of tennis, and most players make the same mistakes no matter where they hail from or whether they are young or old. The problem for so many tennis players is they fail to truly understand their limitations; mistakes are inevitable, but the count will undoubtedly rise if they don’t make modifications.

Author Malcolm Gladwell highlights the idea that in order to consider yourself an expert in your field you must log at least 10,000 hours of practice in his book “Outliers.” Unless the tennis player is an incredible athlete and is able to put in countless hours of practice, he must take a more realistic approach. However, too many youngsters try to defy the odds, and then stubbornly approach their shots with too much power.

One of my favorite examples of this poor shot-making is when the player is returning serve in the ad court and the serve jams the returner, still trying to hit the ball with the inside-in pattern (smart approach: crosscourt return). After our junior match last week, I asked a 13-year-old player why he attempted such a low percentage shot and he looked at me as clueless as one could be. Clearly, he did not have any type of plan and was just shooting from the hip.

Without a doubt, I am biased; most young players need extensive coaching so they are better equipped to hit the correct shots under pressure. With so many inexperienced tennis players always attempting the most difficult strokes, they neglect to learn about how to truly execute a point. Case in point: If the typical teenager constantly hits the ball too hard and cannot have a legitimate rally, he is unable to learn the nuisances of the sport.

Whether I am viewing the Wimbledon finals or a big local finals event, certain points last at least six or seven shots. Both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic temper many of their strokes as they need to feel out their opponent. When Novak and Roger are embroiled in a longer point, each player judiciously waits for their big moment, and they pull the trigger. Conversely, unproven recreational players are too impatient, and they ‘go for broke’ too early and too often.

Believe me, wise opponents are fully aware of what is happening on-court. If they sense immature shot selection, they will alter their games and make sure to keep the ball in play at any price. Perhaps the real problem on the tennis court is a microcosm of our current way of life; far too many people are looking for a quick fix and want immediate gratification. How else can one explain when a young tennis player is trying to knock the cover off every ball and few land inside the lines?

When I was cultivating my junior career under the watchful eye of tennis pro Thomas Wright, he always made it clear what he wanted to see from me. “Every time you come off the court, Doug Browne, your tennis shirt better be soaked in sweat, or I’ll know that you didn’t work very hard,” Tom emphasized with passion. It is common for me to tell my academy kids that I practiced at least six hours a day each summer because I needed to work if I wanted to have a huge American Twist serve or a big overhead smash.

Yes, it is nice to be talented in any particular sport, but unless heavy dedication is included, forget it. If tennis were so easy (no one needs to practice long hours), then why would we be in awe of Novak Djokovic or other giants in the sport of tennis? As my tennis mentor, Jak Beardsworth, once offered, “No feet, no game, no future,” emphatically refers to players needing to be in constant motion to gain fluidity in order to be consistent and accurate.

Sorry, folks, but there are no short cuts in the world of excellence.

Over my career, I have been blessed to serve hundreds of successful business executives and one commonality is long hours and hard work. Successful people sacrifice time with their loved ones, and it is due to be fully committed to their careers to provide for their families. This drive to be outstanding is what one must have to be great on the tennis court, and unless one is willing to make certain commitments, then the player will not climb to the top of the mountain.

In summary, tennis is a heck of a lot more fun when we keep the ball in play. Set realistic, attainable goals, and you will love the game for a lifetime.


Since 2000, Doug Browne was the Collier County Pro of the Year three times, and has been a USPTA pro in the area for 28 years. Doug was also honored in the International Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island) as Tennis Director during the 2010 summer season. Doug has been writing about tennis for the last 19 years.

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FOT Quarterly Beach Clean-Up Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:06:57 +0000 Submitted

Susan LaGrotta

Susan LaGrotta

Saturday, July 12, proved to be a sunny, 82-degree day for the Friends of Tigertail Beach Quarterly Cleanup. Seventeen enthusiastic volunteers collected eight bags of debris weighing approximately 60 pounds from the parking lot, playground, boardwalk and beach. FOT Board members Dick Stone, Susan LaGrotta, Ray and Kathy Apy signed in volunteers, provided water bottles, trash bags and T-shirts. Joe Parisi, membership chairperson, spoke with potential new members.

While Art Dobberstein collected trash on his paddle board in the lagoon, three lone volunteers filled three bags of garbage along the boardwalks. The most unusual item, found by Joan Robbins, was a written warning from Miccosukkee Tribal Police Department for speeding on July 4! Other items reclaimed included sandals, clothing, cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, glass beer bottles, metal and metal bottle caps, soda and beer cans, broken beach umbrellas, cardboard box for a raft, straws, food wrappers and paper cups with covers. Unfortunately, the cigarette butt holder was overturned with numerous cascading butts, filters and miscellaneous garbage.

Art Dobberstein used his paddle board to collect trash.

Art Dobberstein used his paddle board to collect trash.

Many thanks are extended to all who helped to make this clean up a successful event. Future volunteers are graciously invited to participate in FOT’s next beach clean up — International Coastal Cleanup on September 20. Tigertail Beach is a special Marco Island gem and warrants care and attention to preserve its uniqueness.

Friends of Tigertail is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the stewardship of the unique, rich natural area that comprises Tigertail Beach and Sand Dollar Spit, and to educating the public about these places. Those interested in joining the organization should contact Membership Chair Joe Parisi at 781-864-2392.



Brian and Kay Dorrel Gwen Goodman (l-r) and her grandniece, Kate Chachare, with Dick Stone, ready to work. FOT members collected 60 pounds of debris. ]]> 0
Surviving Year-Round in a Seasonal Town Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:00:26 +0000 GOODLAND LIFE
Melinda Gray

The smallest baby alligator at Corey Billie's. I named him Ducky.

The smallest baby alligator at Corey Billie’s. I named him Ducky.

Doldrums – a state of inactivity or stagnation; a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

The term “summer doldrums” is new to me, but apparently it describes what I’ve been experiencing but successfully fighting off. How does a person of modest means ensure survival when home is a place that lives and dies by the season? I admit, I’m no expert, but this Ohio girl is trying to quickly acclimate to her new home, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

When I think of survival, I think of basic necessities: food, clothing and shelter; but finding ways to combat boredom and enjoy life are equally important. Having money helps make survival and enjoyment possible. As thrifty as I try to be, my outgoing financial responsibilities always seem to exceed the money I bring in.

In addition to writing, I work at Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides, and I’m hoping to take on a third job for next season. I’ve never been one to save for a rainy day —something I now take literally — but I plan to squirrel away as much as possible in preparation for next summer.

Hands down, the best lightning photo I've ever taken.  PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

Hands down, the best lightning photo I’ve ever taken. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

A survival strategy that my current budget allows: taking joy in the little things. When life slows down, the little things stand out, and they make for a constant source of free entertainment.

I’m used to living in the epicenter of what’s happening in America. After all, Ohio’s motto claims it to be “the heart of it all,” but here it feels like weather news is the only news that directly affects me. Somehow, southern Florida’s weather manages to be spontaneous and yet predictable at the same time. I take pictures of everything to ensure the inevitability of catching an impressive shot now and then, and this time of year is proving to be very photogenic.

High tides are getting higher as we get deeper into the summer, and while I love the excitement of dodging saltwater puddles on my way home from work, it makes roadside landscaping near impossible. In February, I inquired as to why the vegetation along San Marco Road looked like it had been beat into submission; I was told that it’s necessary to keep it from gobbling up the road. In recent weeks, that same plant-life I once pitied has indeed started reaching its green fingers toward traffic, as if it were on steroids.

The Great Gatsby and Atlas Shrugged are two of my favorite books, and I found them both here in Goodland's post office.

The Great Gatsby and Atlas Shrugged are two of my favorite books, and I found them both here in Goodland’s post office.

We’ve had an “el Niño” of tourism this year as a result of Marco Island’s award-winning beauty, and as an unexpected result, the long lines at Publix have not receded. Pool noodles, sun block and bug spray continue to fly off of the shelves.

This is the time when a lot of businesses shut down for a break, and the ones that choose to stay open slow substantially. Here in Goodland, The Old Marco Lodge, Marker 8.5 and Stan’s are still pulling people in on any given day of the week, and I’m still left wanting for a place to sit at the bar on Sundays.

Boredom and hellish heat make this the perfect time of year to enjoy a good book in a cool place, and the book-share area at the post office has grown. I read a lot, but haven’t had a new book to read since December. Now, there are so many more titles to choose from.

For me, northern summers saw snowbirds returning home in flocks from their winter migration in the South. While the slow, cold winter months offered a break from the crowd, harsh weather conditions weren’t exactly optimal to enjoying one’s surroundings. Braving a blizzard to go on an outdoor family adventure isn’t advisable.

A much-needed, after-work, happy hour beverage.

A much-needed, after-work, happy hour beverage.

On the contrary, getting in touch with some of SWFL’s nature only requires a portable source of drinking water and a talent for having fun while slow-roasting. It hasn’t been hard for me to keep busy. Watching alligator babies grow; training a stubborn puppy; watching Netflix; and annoying native Floridians with my enthusiasm for inclement weather are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m already devising my full-proof plan to combat next year’s summer blues. What can I say? I’m a Virgo; even if I have nothing else, I will always have a plan.


Melinda Gray studied journalism and political science at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Before relocating, she wrote for The Vindicator and The Jambar in Youngstown, and is currently a contributing writer for an emergency preparedness website. Melinda now lives in Goodland with her two children. She can be contacted at or 239-896-0426




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Why We Do It Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:58:36 +0000 Artful Life
Tara O’Neill

Self-deprecating humor is not in my DNA. I figure the rest of the world has enough opportunities to critique us that we don’t have to steal anyones’ negative thunder. That being said, I seldom miss the chance to laugh at myself when I do or say something foolish, and for that, there’s plenty of opportunity.

Recently, I had a happenstance chat with Linda Chambers, an artist I greatly admire and a fellow instructor at Marco Island Center for the Arts. She commented on how stridently I market my work and myself.

“I have to,” I replied. “It’s my business; it’s how I pay my mortgage.”

Linda seemed a little surprised but certainly not shocked. Yet, for some reason, I thought it necessary to share that I was confounded by the artists we knew who continually put themselves and their art on the line; haul their precious works to and from shows, festivals, and exhibitions; took the time and effort to teach; all for the love of…what? “If I weren’t earning a living,” I said. “I’d still be creating, but my endeavors would just be gifts to my enormous extended family and select friends.”

What bull. Thinking back on this immaculately glib response, I can only conclude: I WAS HAVING ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

“Well,” said Linda graciously. “There’s probably a different reason for every artist. Some do it for the awards.” (That would mean acknowledgement from your peers that you have accomplished your artistic standards. Darn it! I knew that.)

“Some,“ she continued, “like instructors, might do it for the chance to share their vision, their understanding of art, with others. (Darn it! I knew that, too!) Okay, I’m surely misquoting Linda, but I plead forgiveness as I believe I have her general ideas true.

Obviously, our conversation inspired me to obsess…I mean ponder…the various impetus behind every artist‘s endeavors: to share joy or pain; to unveil; to record; to invoke a story; to pass on an extraordinary reaction to a seemingly ordinary subject; to make people happy; to make people think; or to communicate something. Truthfully, our desires are as various as leaves on a tree. See? I did know this.

All that marks the difference between professional artists and artists is dollars — much like the difference between professional athletes and amateurs. It’s simply a matter of being paid, but not being paid makes one no less an artist anymore than not being paid makes one any less an athlete. Think world famous golfer Bobby Jones, who never did turn pro, or Vincent Van Gogh, who only sold one painting in his lifetime. We each strive to accomplish what we need to satisfy our souls — nothing more, or hopefully less, than that.

Legend has it that Pope Julius II once said to Michelangelo, “You are not an artist through choice; you are an artist because you have no choice.” Amen to that.

About The Author

Tara O’Neill, a lifelong, award-winning, artist has been an area resident since 1967. She holds degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida and is currently represented by Blue Mangrove Gallery on Marco Island. Visit her at

]]> 0 Butterfly Time of the Year Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:54:52 +0000 PLANT TALK
Mike Malloy

Zebra caterpillar.  PHOTOS BY MIKE MALLOY

Zebra caterpillar. PHOTOS BY MIKE MALLOY

July is here. What does that mean? It’s summer in Florida? Yes, but it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida, we have a year round butterfly season. While numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here.

In spring, summer and fall, the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm just like they like it and all their host plants (plants that female butterflies lay their eggs on) and nectar plants (plants they feed on sipping nectar) are in full bloom. They are cold-blooded insects that use the sun to warm their bodies which in turn enables them to fly. Around 60 degrees is the temperature they say usually is their taking off point; this is their most vulnerable time because their movement is restricted. When the weather is cool and cloudy, I’ve seen butterflies remain motionless for days not moving a muscle, hiding on the underside of leaves going almost undetected. On the other hand, butterflies do not like extreme heat which will also make them hide in shaded areas. Basically as a Floridian, when you’re too hot or too cold so are the butterflies. To me, the numbers of butterflies are already quite numerous maybe because this past winter was not as cold as it had been in the two previous winters making them more active — if you know what I mean!

Migrating Monarchs

Migrating Monarchs

Much of the butterfly’s natural habitat here in Southwest Florida has been destroyed by what some call progress. To me, building more strip malls that just lay empty is plain crazy. We all need to help replace what has been lost. Butterfly gardening is not only a great way to observe these beautiful creatures; it will also contribute to their conservation and increase their numbers.

Finding a location for your garden, there should be at least four hours of sunlight a day, not necessarily direct sun but bright light. I think that can be found almost anywhere here in Southwest Florida. I have found full sun is almost too much for most plants especially in the summer. There are some butterflies that prefer shady areas, so providing varying light situations will attract a larger variety of winged flying flowers making ideal conditions for maximum numbers.

A good irrigation system is important to any garden but particular in a butterfly garden. Pop up irrigation sprinkler heads used for watering lawns are too forceful, and can blow larvae off their host plants possibly killing them, nevermind shredding the plants and flowers. Drip irrigation systems, soaker and micro irrigation are the best, putting water where it belongs at the root systems of the plants. We don’t want to waste water particularly because of the cost, but also it is Florida’s precious natural resource. All the systems mentioned above are low pressure with none or little waste through evaporation.

Red penta nectar plant

Red penta nectar plant

Remember to include a viewing area (a place with a bench where you can sit) in your garden to watch the butterflies unique and various unusually habits. For example, the monarch butterfly is very territorial, and will chase off any unwanted intruders, usually other males looking for mates. I have actually seen a monarch chase birds out of “their” self-designated areas. Another example is that male and female sulfur butterflies will spiral skyward in their unusual mating ritual. These viewing areas are also a great place to relax and have your evening cocktails.

A big bonus in butterfly gardening is attracting hummingbirds to your yard. Many of the plants adult butterflies use to nectar on are also some of hummingbird’s favorite plants. Two of the most popular with hummingbirds are Fire bush (Hamelia patens) and Fire spike (Odontonema strictum). This is the red one, but it also comes in pink and purple. Red is the favorite color of both butterflies and hummingbirds.

To attract butterflies to your garden, first you need host plants. These are the plants female butterflies deposit their eggs on, and they also feed the new larvae (caterpillars). Some butterflies have one single host plant, while others have several plants they will use to rear their caterpillars. Some of Southwest Florida’s most common and abundant butterflies and their host plants are:

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

• Monarch – milkweeds (many different varieties).

• Queen – milkweeds

• Orange-Barred Sulfur – sennas (cassias)

• Cloudless Sulfur – sennas (cassias)

• Black Swallowtail – parsley, fennel and dill

• Polydamas (Gold Rim) – Dutchman’s pipe

• Zebra Longwing – passion vine

• Gulf Fritillary – passion vine

• Julia – passion vine

• Giant Swallowtail – any citrus or wild lime

The second group of plants you’ll need in your butterfly garden are nectar plants, which are plants adult butterflies feed on. Some of the best are:

• Ruby Red Penta (Penta spp)

• Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis)

• Golden Dewdrop Duranta( repens)

• Fire Bush (Hamelia Patens)

• Salvias (Salvias spp)

• Blanket Flower (Gaillardia puchella)

• Porter Weed (Stachytarphaeta urticifolia)

• Lantana (Latana ssp)

• Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea)

• Shrimp Plants (Justicia spp)

• African Bush Daisy (Euryops spp.)

Passifloria incense host plant

Passifloria incense host plant

These are only a few of the many nectar plants and host plants that are out there.

Remember, butterfly gardening is guaranteed! Plant the right host plant for the right butterfly, and they will come to your garden. Plant nectar plants, and they will stay in your garden. You have everything they need, why would they leave?Always make sure you have enough host plants to sustain your caterpillars because most will not eat any other plant other than their specific host plant. One more thing that’s very important ……NO PESTICIDES! Remember to follow our videos on YouTube under the South Florida Plant Pickers and on Facebook under Mike Malloy.


About The Author

Mike Malloy, local author and artist known as “The Butterfly Man” has been a Naples resident since 1991. A Collier County Master Gardener, he has written two books entitled “Butterfly Gardening Made Easy for Southwest Florida,” and “Tropical Color – A Guide to Colorful Plants for the Southwest Florida Garden”, and currently writes articles on various gardening topics for several local publications. Mike has planted and designed numerous butterfly gardens around Naples including many schools, the City of Naples, Rookery Bay, the Conservancy and Big Cypress. Bring your gardening questions to the Third Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings or on Thursdays at the Naples Botanical Garden where he does a Plant Clinic or visit his website,

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MIHS presents Jack Joyce Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:53:48 +0000 Submitted

In early 1963, Jack Joyce joined what was to become the largest and most successful independent dealership for the off-site sales and marketing of Marco Island and the other nine Mackle-built communities throughout Florida.

A fellow Boston College classmate knew of the Mackle’s reputation and suggested that Joyce apply for the sales manager position in Boston. Never having been to Florida or even in real-estate sales, reluctantly Jack applied and was hired. Over the 11 years that followed, the company grew to four offices, three sub-agencies and more than 65 sales associates throughout New England.

Three times Jack was recognized as Deltona’s “General Manager of the Year” and several times received Deltona’s “Agency of the Year” award for sales performance. As Joyce says, “It was hard work but unbelievably rewarding. Selling a dream of someday living on a beautiful tropic island in Florida — what better way to make a living?”

Come and hear Joyce share his many memories of the early days of selling and marketing Marco Island during his Aug. 5 presentation dubbed “Marco Island, The Early Days of Selling and Marketing: How It All Worked.” Joyce will regale the audience with funny stories about things that happened during the early years of marketing, the origin of “Margo the Mermaid” and perhaps his greatest memory of all, meeting and getting to know Mr. Frank Mackle, chairman of Deltona Corporation.

The event is sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society, and will be held at the Rose History Auditorium. There is no fee for members, but non-members are asked to pay $5.



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Yes, It Is All About You! Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:52:54 +0000 “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein, American Author and Businessman.


Question: I’m curious, what is the difference between a Financial Advisor and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™? In addition, what should I expect when working with an advisor or planner?

Answer: Anyone can call himself or herself a financial planner, yet only those meeting the requirements of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. may display the CFP® certification. Earning a professional designation demonstrates a level of commitment by an advisor to obtain and keep the certification.

The requirements to obtain the CFP® certification include a minimum of three years experience dealing with the financial planning process, passing a 10-hour comprehensive exam demonstrating a mastery of practical and theoretical financial planning knowledge, background checks and continuing education to maintain the designation. According to CFP® Board examination statistics, the exam pass rate fluctuates between a low of 42 percent and a high of 66 percent. When working with a CFP® professional, you know that the advisor has a base level of expertise backed by a larger organization. There is a certain level of confidence with the certification.

Not everyone needs to or wants to work with a CFP® professional. Some people decide to do their own planning. Do you need a planner? You may want to turn to a professional for advice and guidance if you:

1) Want to improve the management of your finances but don’t know where to start;

2) Lack the time, desire or discipline to do your own planning;

3) Have a need for an objective and professional opinion on an existing plan;

4) Require additional expertise in certain areas; or

5) Experience a life-changing event, which needs serious attention.

Before hiring any financial professional, consider what services you may need, what services they can deliver, if they hold the proper licenses for any investments you may need, what you’ll be paying for, how much those services cost, and how the adviser or planner is paid. Finally, ask if the planner has experience in dealing with clients like you.


Financial advisors are thinking partners. Select someone you are comfortable with personally and professionally for this important relationship. The more your advisor knows about you, the more assistance they can provide when things are going well and, more importantly, when you run into financial challenges. Here’s what to look for and expect when establishing this partnership.


Expect an advisor to get to know you and your family by gathering information about current circumstances, future goals and concerns. Your plan may be straightforward or require a more complex solution. It all starts with a conversation.


Based on your time horizon and needs, an advisor will assess the type and level of risk you can afford to take. If an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In periods of low interest rates, reaching for higher investment returns may imply greater risk to principal and could be a ploy to separate you from your money. Be skeptical about “guarantees.” Financial advisors cannot share losses or gains in a client’s account. Never, under any circumstances, approve a financial plan or initiate transactions until you clearly understand what you’re agreeing to buy or sell.


One size doesn’t fit all. Appropriate strategies and recommendations should be tailor-made based on what’s best for you. When it is necessary to make modifications to your plan due to changing circumstances and goals, you’ll make those decisions and adjustments together. A financial plan isn’t an off-the-rack solution; this is an ongoing process.


Your advisor will discuss relevant market developments so you’ll understand their implications. This allows you to make financial decisions based on facts and careful research, rather than emotions and market volatility. When appropriate, your advisor will work with your CPA, attorney and other professionals to address all aspects of your financial and estate planning needs. Frequent and frank communication with everyone involved is essential.

Stockbrokers, investment advisors and financial planners come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Before hiring anyone, find out about his or her credentials; understand what a designation means and how it was earned. Choosing someone to work with in connection with your financial affairs may be one of the most important decisions you make for you and your family. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides an online tool designed to help understand professional designations.

Remember, it really is all about you. Investing hard-earned money is a serious task. Your attention and involvement are necessary. I hope that you will find the benefits of working with someone who is familiar with your unique situation to be profound. Stay focused and invest accordingly.

Information obtained from outside sources is believed to be accurate. This information is general in nature, it is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular investment. Investing involves risk and the possible loss of principal invested, investors may incur a profit or a loss. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and subject to change at any time, and not necessarily those of Raymond James & Associates.

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S.”

This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, Associate Vice President, Investments & Branch Manager of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 606 Bald Eagle Dr. Suite 401, Marco Island, FL 34145. She may be reached at (239)389-1041, email Website:


This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, Associate Vice President, Investments & Branch Manager of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 606 Bald Eagle Dr. Suite 401, Marco Island, FL 34145. She may be reached at 239-389-1041, or Please contact Darcie with any questions you would like to have answered in this column.




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Are You Really Hungry? Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:49:53 +0000 FITNESS DIVA
Crystal Manjarres

Have you ever eaten after you have just finished eating something? Have you ever been chewing, not even tasting your food, while perusing through your pantry for more? Have you ever celebrated with food? Punished yourself with food? Rewarded yourself with food? Eaten out of boredom? Eaten because it tasted good? Because you didn’t want it to go to waste?

If any of the above apply to you, then you are not alone; even I have succumbed to many (if not all) of the aforementioned at some time in my life. I remember so clearly in my Home Economics class in high school when my teacher told us how every single social activity we do revolves around food: birthdays, football games, holidays, get togethers, even meeting a friend for lunch or drinks. We associate food with pleasure and company.

Take away that pleasure and throw in a bad day at work or a stressful day with the kids and many of us seek food for comfort. I’ve noticed that for me — a Type A perfectionist personality — I have to feel like I have some control over my life. When I lose that control, I seek out any way I can to regain my footing, so to speak. I noticed that I sought food subconsciously and had been doing this most of my life.

I was raised by a single father who, bless his heart, let me eat whatever I wanted— no limits on any food at any time. As my brother and I got older and he worked longer hours, home cooked meals were replaced with drive-thru dinners and Little Debbie snacks. You’d be shocked to know that I was still underweight due to all of the sports I participated in. That is until I graduated high school and — BAM! — the weight suddenly piled on.

As a girl who ate like a trucker (two 1-lb steaks for a meal, four servings as a salad, and gorging on buffets until I lay in bed sick the rest of the day), I was never told to watch my portions, nor was I educated about nutrition. I was always encouraged to eat, and to be a thick girl was to be a strong, growing girl.

Only I wasn’t growing up as much as I was filling out.

Long story short, I met my husband who educated me about nutrition and portion control; I kept up with the nutrition and workouts and have spent the past 10 years educating others on the importance of it as well.

But…the emotional eating is always there. If I’m not careful, I’ll find myself slipping back into it — eating more carbs than I know I should because I had something unexpected pop up. At least I stop as soon as I recognize it. I try distracting myself, deep breathing and praying. What I find really helps me is going for a walk and visualizing how healthy I want to be and feel. I also tell myself: “I am not a garbage can.”

Exercise ALWAYS works for me. ALWAYS. Recent studies are confirming this as well. They state that when a craving hits distract yourself with a thirty minute walk, and by the time you are finished, your craving should be nonexistent.

If yours hasn’t, chances are you are dehydrated or you really do need to eat —real food.

What do you do to combat emotional eating? Any tips or tricks that work for you? I have many more, but I’m out of space!

Write to me and share yours! Let’s help each other stay the course!


Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes.” To send in a question, email She can also be reached at or and 239-333-5771.

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Florida Bird Migration: It’s All About the Tilt Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:19:58 +0000 Stepping Stones
Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

B10-CBN-7-25-14-6Swallow Tailed Kites are here in South Florida right now, but the White Pelicans and other migratory bird species are not. Hmmm….it seems odd that they all do not frequent our area at the same time. Why would that happen? Don’t they all come from the north to winter in our area? Don’t they all come at the same time? The answer is a resounding NO, and it revolves primarily around one factor: the tilt of the earth.

Let’s refresh with some basic science classes to figure this out. The earth is in an orbit around the sun. We all know that. The earth is approximately 93 million miles from the sun, most of the time. Our orbit is not a perfect circle so sometimes we are 91.5 million miles from the sun, and other times, we are as far away as 94.5 million miles.

Since we are on average 93 million miles away, we can calculate that the earth travels 584 million miles around the sun in one year (C=3.1416 X 2R).

This means that we are traveling about 1.6 million miles a day thru space, or nearly 67,000 miles an hour on this orbit. I just looked out my window, but I don’t see any breeze at this speed.

We also know that the circumference of the earth at the equator is nearly 25,000 miles. So in one 24-hour day, we are spinning 1,040 miles per hour at that location, which is 0 degrees latitude. Now Marco Island is approximately at 22.9 degrees latitude, north of the equator. If we took a cross-section of the planet along that latitude, we would find that we are moving about 940 miles per hour.

So we are traveling thru space at 67,000 miles per hour, and we are spinning here on Marco Island at 940 miles per hour. I just looked out my window again, and I STILL don’t see a breeze! In addition to all of this, this earth is tilting!!! How are we even alive?

The fact of the matter is that these conditions are ideal to support life as we know it. Long, long ago the planet spun so fast that days were only four hours long. The tides were so severe because of this that water rushed in and out for hundreds of miles. As the earth’s rotation slowed, we began to form what we have today. But what about that tilt?

In addition to the gravitational pull of the sun that keeps us in a specific orbit, the locations and gravity of other planets and the moon have an effect on the the Earth’s tilt. During the first day of spring and the first day of fall, we experience an equinox. We have equal amounts of solar energy on either side of the equator. As the planet’s tilt changes, about 23.5 degrees every 91.25 days, we receive more warmth on one side of the planet than the other. In June, we have the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, when we have the most solar energy on our continent, and we have the opposite in December when we receive the least energy. This creates our four seasons.

So in a one-year rotation around the sun, we experience this full cycle. The June solstice creates the longest day of the year for us, a day when we experience the most sunlight. The planet has moved 23.5 degrees since the spring equinox. We are now swinging back the other way. Our hemisphere will remain warm until the fall equinox and will grow cooler as the southern half of the earth receives more solar energy. And then it will happen all over again. This tilt is very, very important to plant and animal life and to migration patterns.

The movement of birds from the north to the south on our continent is controlled by three — food, light and temperature. As birds further north experience a depletion of food supply, they will travel south. As the light of day becomes less and as the temperature begins to fall, other birds will also begin a southern journey. Some birds from the arctic will begin their migration as early as July. Instinctively, they just know when to head this way. Other birds will eventually join the parade. They will use the sun as a compass as well as visual landmarks. Some will use a concept called “magnetoception,” the ability to detect magnetic fields for navigation. (It’s been discovered that some animals have a “catch of prey” rate of about 50%, but when they face north that rate goes to 75-80%!).

So it’s all about the tilt because the tilt determines food supplies, light and temperature. But wait! We forgot about those Swallow Tailed Kites that come here at the hottest time of year! What’s their story?

It’s still about the tilt. These kites migrate here from the south, coming north to Florida. They feed mostly on insects and other flying buffet items. They come here from as far away as Peru and Brazil.

Refresher course! What happens in South America this time of year? You’ve got it! There is less solar energy in the southern hemisphere as the earth tilts so these birds migrate here for food, more light and warmer temps. They will stay here until the fall equinox…again when the earth tilts.


Bob is the owner of Steppingstone Ecotours as well as a Naturalist on the Dolphin Explorer. He is a member of Leadership Marco 2014 and Bob loves his wife very much!




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The Target Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:16:54 +0000 B11-CBN-7-25-14-3BOOK REMARKS
Maggie Gust


By David Baldacci. 432 pages.

Grand Central Publishing/Hachette, April 2014. Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Political Thriller


“The reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen Reed, Game of Thrones


This is great summertime read — light, refreshing and engaging. Slip into the world of clandestine assassination and a female North Korean operative whose martial arts skills make Jason Bourne look like a slow-motion grandpa. Yie Chung-Cha spent most of her youth in a concentration camp, Yodok, imprisoned there with her entire family. There, she learned several languages as well as how to lie, cheat, steal and kill to such a superb degree that she is granted release from the camp after she murders her entire family. The supreme leader employs her services as his personal assassin. She is rewarded with a car, her own apartment, cell phone, international travel, and lots of money, at least compared to the average North Korean. Life in that country as described by Baldacci is stark and dreary, the population filled with a sense of hopelessness and paranoia. Food and fuel shortages leave some people literally starving or freezing to death in their own homes, but Comrade Yie is able to indulge her taste for hamburger and French fries weekly at a little place not far from her apartment.

In addition to Chung-Cha, the other assassins are Will Robie and Jessica Reel. If you are a Baldacci fan, you will likely recognize “The Target” as the sequel to “The Hit,” but this book stands alone. It is not necessary to have read any of the Robie books or even “The Hit” to enjoy this story. Will and Jessica are at a low point in their killing careers as the story begins, held in low esteem by their superiors, and are sent to The Burner Box and put through psychological and physical stressors in extremis. They need to prove their willingness to follow orders, no matter what. The President of the United States calls on Robie and Reel to carry out a mission that violates international law but will save the lives of millions of people, but Reel has a complication in her personal life that may embroil all those around her.

Chained to his bed in a hospital ward in an Alabama state prison, terminally ill Earl Fontaine pleads his case with the female attending physician to get a visit with his daughter Sally. While Sally testified against Earl, assuring his conviction years earlier, he claims he wants closure with her but only knows that she went into witness protection after his trial and does not know her current identity. The doctor arranges Sally’s visit. Coincidentally, Jessica is drawn into this questionable family reunion and Robie as well, since they have been inseparable after their Burner Box experience.

Baldacci tells the story mainly from the perspectives of Chung-Cha, Earl Fontaine, Will Robie and Jessica Reel. His excellent command of language provides a riveting unraveling of all the serpentine plot lines. There are actually at least four stories in “The Target,” each with a conclusion but each also a linchpin to more action in the subsequent story development. The structure is quite masterful. This is a page turner, very engrossing. I call it “light” because some aspects of it border on preposterous or at least are a bit saccharine, not to the point where one needs to suspend disbelief, but just indulge the author’s need for certain endings. Baldacci’s thorough knowledge of the law and political maneuvering keeps the story grounded, and his well-developed characters keep the reader anticipation’s stoked.

There are hints throughout the book that the Robie/Reel partnership is nearing an end, so I suspect there will be a final book in this series in a year or so. I for one will be sure to read it.

Rating: 4.25/5.0. This book is available in every format, literally everywhere including the Collier County Public Library.

About The Author

Maggie Gust is a life-long avid reader whose career path has included working as a teacher and in various positions in the health care field. A native of Illinois, she has lived in Florida since 1993 and presently works from her home here on Marco Island. e-mail: 

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Going Fishing? Prepare for Success! Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:09:12 +0000 LADY ANGLERS
Captain Mary A. Fink

Jacks make for a nice fight on light tackle.

Jacks make for a nice fight on light tackle.

South Florida summers are steamy and hot and full of afternoon and evening thunderstorms of varying degrees of intensity, so good preparation and weather awareness is a must for a safe and successful day on the water. It’s often best to plan to leave early in the morning while the air temperatures are still pleasant and the threat of storms is lower than it is during the hot, afternoon hours. Be sure to take along adequate rain gear, should you find yourself caught in a storm. A protective hat, sunscreen, lip balm and polarized sunglasses will give you added protection from the sun, making your experience more comfortable. Wear light-colored clothing that breathes well. Wearing clothing that has sun protection built in is a real plus, as well. Bass Pro Shops, West Marine and Ace Hardware sell fishing apparel with sunscreen protection that is well worth the investment. Plenty of water should be taken along especially during hot summer months to avoid dehydration.

Another nice flounder for Capt. Mary.

Another nice flounder for Capt. Mary.

To stay ahead of the game, have at least three rods pre-rigged with different bait offerings. A good bet is to have one rigged with a soft plastic, one with a hard bait or lure, and another prepped for live bait. Soft plastics come in many sizes, colors and options like shrimp, crab and baitfish imitations that have proven to be effective for most all inshore species. Hard baits include Rapalas, spoons and other lures that imitate baitfish of varying sizes. Live bait options include shrimp and baitfish like mullet, killifish, pilchards and sardines. Circle hooks are used when using live bait and come in a large variety of sizes. I prefer to stick with small hooks and light leaders whenever possible, enhancing the presentation of the bait in the water. For all of the mentioned pre-rigging suggestions, use 20-lb fluorocarbon leaders and 20-lb yellow braided line when fishing inshore around hard structure. Doing this will help reduce the number of “break off’s” in the line that occur when fish swim for cover once hooked.

Never leave the dock without a few simple tools. First, sissors or clippers are necessary for changing rigs and working with tackle. Pliers are a must for a number of small jobs, including removing fish hooks and any number of small jobs required on a boat. A hook removing tool is a good idea due to the number of catfish and sharks that are caught in our inshore waters. Using this device will allow you to remove the hook while the fish is still outside the boat or dock. Once the device is secured to the hook, the fish is simply flipped over, effectively removing the hook. These can be purchased for under $10 at any Ace, West Marine or Bass Pro Shop. Finally, be sure to have plenty of spare tackle, leader material, braided line and glue in your box, as it’s easy to go through tackle at a good rate when fishing around structure and cover provided by the mangrove maze of the islands.

Flounder is on the menu for dinner.

Flounder is on the menu for dinner.

To ensure a safe and successful day on the water, be prepared! Watch the weather, be mindful of storms and have your tackle ready to go prior to leaving the dock.

Tight Lines!


Captain Mary specializes in fishing the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands. She holds a “six pack” captains license and has a knack for finding fish. A passionate angler possessing over 35 years of extensive experience in both backcountry and offshore fishing, Mary offers fishing expeditions through her Island Girls Charters company. When fishing with Captain Mary, you will be exposed to a variety of successful techniques including cast and retrieve, drift fishing, bottom fishing and sight fishing. Visit to learn about fishing with Capt. Mary, or reach her at 239-571-2947.

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New Laws: Part 2 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:08:10 +0000 Condo Law
By Bob Murrell
Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A.

This week’s column continues our look at the new laws signed recently by Governor Rock Scott that impact community associations. Last time, we were looking at some of the changes that were made by House Bill 807. This week, we will continue with our look at House Bill 807.

One of the problems that associations are often faced with is obtaining the official records of the association that are in the possession of outgoing directors. The new statute clarifies this issue and requires outgoing board members to relinquish all official records and property of the association within five days after the election, or face a civil penalty. This change at least gives associations a bench mark from which they can work in trying to get these documents from outgoing directors.

Although more of a clarification than a change, the new statute now clarifies that condominium associations may use video conferencing to hold board meetings. This has been permitted for years under the not-for-profit corporation act, but many boards and their attorneys had concerns as to whether the Condominium Act restricted this right or not. It is now clarified that such video conferencing may be used in addition to appearance by telephone.

Another clarification by this new statute is in the use of email by condominium association board members. The statute now clarifies that votes may not be taken by email, even though email may still be used for communication and discussion purposes. This has always been the case. The decisions of the board are to take place at the board meetings, in front of the owners who are present, and not in cyberspace.

The statute also helps to bring condominium associations inline with homeowners’ associations for the purposes of joint and several liability for unpaid assessments. This has been a real problem for many condominium associations who took title to units and then were refused payment of the safe harbor amount from a foreclosing first mortgagee. This refusal was based upon prior case law that held that if an association takes title through foreclosure of its lien it loses the right to seek contribution from its successor in title (usually the bank) for past due assessments owed by a previous owner. The term “previous owner” now excludes a condominium association that acquires title to a delinquent unit through foreclosure of its claim of lien or by deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

The remainder of House Bill 807 provided many of these same changes to the cooperative act (Chapter 719) as well as to the homeowners’ association act (Chapter 720). We will look at those in the next issue.

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The Good Old Days, Really? Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:02:25 +0000 By Lt. Bill Hempel
United States Power Squadrons

We were getting ready to head into the harbor for a day’s fishing. We plugged in the way points on the chart plotter, turned on the depth warning device and fish finder, fired up the four-stroke, and quickly put the boat up on plane. I had my ugly stick rod at hand, along with the anti-backlash reel fully loaded with monofilament.

I was sorting through the tackle box to select the proper lure for the light and water clarity conditions when it happened. FLASH BACK! Suddenly, I was teenager fishing for pan fish on Big Bear Lake in Lewiston, Michigan. Do you remember the simpler days? Getting up at 5 AM to scour the front lawn with a flashlight looking for night crawlers, and then looking under every rock or log for earth worms so we could scoop them up and place them in our tackle box, which was an empty tin can.

Our cooler: a galvanized floor pail with ice from the corner store, cut in blocks from the lake last winter, and stored in the “ice house.” Our anchor: an empty paint can filled with ready mix concrete and a rope just long enough to reach the bottom tied to the wire handle. Our fish finder: me, looking into the water until a bed of “perch weeds” rose near the surface.

Our fishing boat was a wooden 12-footer, and for “motor power,” I cranked away at the oars. Later in life, we were able to afford a 10-horse Johnson. Somebody always had to sit in the rear and steer by turning the motor. I liked the responsibility, but to this day, I still smell that awful odor of the gas and oil mixture as it burned

Our only safety gear: the flat cushion I sat on, whose label said it was a flotation device. It had two circular handles, and I was told that if we sunk to put it on my back and insert my arms through the handles, wearing it like a back pack. The boat leaked water, but we always carried a bailing can and learned how to put our feet up on the oar locks in order to keep our shoes dry

My fishing rod was an eight-foot bamboo pool with a line tied to the end that had a hook and bobber attached. When the bobber went down you quickly jerked the pole up vertically and a six-inch beauty swung towards you. It was a wild scramble to catch the fish wriggling on the end of an eight-foot pendulum before it hit the boat and fell back in the water or slapped your fishing mate in the face.

And we call those “THE GOOD OLD DAYS!”

To enjoy the good “new days” become a confident boater. The United States Power Squadrons has a course for you. To learn more contact your local power squadron unit Marco Island Sail &Power Squadron at 239-393-0150, visit it on the web at or go to As its members remind us: “Boating is fun…we’ll show you how!”

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Naomi & Karina Paape



Dear fellow felines:

Well, here we are in the midst of summer, and you know what that means: flip flops and bikinis for your staff (remember, cats have staff, dogs have owners), plus lots of noise and water fights around the pool. And let’s not forget that unappetizing scent of sun tan lotion. How is a fragile feline to cope? How are we to get our daily 18 hours of sleep amidst such mischief and mayhem?

I say let’s enjoy the entertainment and join the folks poolside. You know what they say: “If you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em.” I encourage you to drink out of their water glasses (try not to confuse gin and tonics with water — they look identical), while they’re cooking hotdogs and cheeseburgers for the grandkids. And while they’re eating, be sure to aggressively hunt geckoes. The sight of you strutting around the lanai with the head of a gecko sticking out of one side of your mouth and the tail out the other can be a real appetite killer. That means more scraps for you and me! If you really want to get their attention, you can show off the length and strength of your toe nails by climbing the lanai screens to the tippy-top of the cage. Not only does this afford a bird’s-eye-view of the goings on down below, but if there’s a nice breeze, you can direct your shedding top coats to land on the pool’s water surface and to blend with the picnic condiments.

If, for some reason, your staff should resent this intrusive oversight, said staff may try to get the upper hand. This will lead them to conclude that you are in desperate need of a mani-pedi, a visit to the groomer, and consultations with a behavioralist and a nutritionist. To minimize screen climbing, they will threaten to trim your nails. To eliminate the obsessive staking out and stalking of geckoes, the behavioralist will be retained to assess your state of mind in hopes of identifying any kittenhood trauma you may have experienced and, no doubt, recommend pheromone therapy. The nutritionalist will demand that you eliminate geckoes, hot dogs and potato chips from your diet. Sometimes this kind soul will suggest that your staff add tuna juice or salt-free chicken broth to your wet food, as well as a moisture-rich tablespoon of plain yogurt or maybe even an extra handful of treats. The reward depends on the amount of trauma you can muster up.



A few of your staff may even send you to the groomer to take off the shedding layer of your fur. The worst case scenario is that they will ask that you be given a “lion cut.” Talk about a dignity-robbing hairstyle, this is it. You will be so embarrassed that no one will ever see you again (until your fur grows back in). You will end up hiding in the sofa all day, or behind the Christmas decorations in the hall closest, only coming out under the cover of darkness when the snoring begins. Be forewarned, however, the pickins’ will be slim, and you will never enjoy another treat as your siblings will have beaten you to the punch on all counts.

Being the most esteemed tortie that I am, however, I am going to share some grooming and behavior modification tips with your staff. For me personally, it is the nail trimming that terrifies me the most. Before I crossed the threshold of For the Love of Cats all those years ago, some careless human cut my nails so short that the quick of my nails was severed, thus triggering lots of bleeding not to mention the howling pain. I vainly tried screaming, growling, slashing, biting and escaping, never to be found again. That’s when I ran away from home and began my career as a dumpster diver.

Fortunately for me, however, shelter founders Jan and Jim Rich have developed a humane and painless mani-pedi technique, based on their years of experimentation on our shelter kittens and rescues. And, I must admit, it is nowhere near as traumatizing as just plopping me on the kitchen counter and asking me to put out one paw at a time so they can use people toe-clippers to trim my curling under nails. Needless to say, the end result is hardly worth their effort, not to mention the blood I spray on their crisp, white shirts. Did you know that when you adopt one of our darlings we include complimentary nail clipping if needed?



When I put together our shelter handbook the other day, I included the Rich’s safe (for your staff) and least traumatizing (for us felines) method. Please bear with me, it’s not nearly so bad as it sounds:

• Only use the small nail clippers designed for cats (they look like a pair of scissors with curved ends), never people nail trimmers.

• Don’t even think about using one of those battery powered, toenail sanding devices — the most ridiculous invention I’ve ever heard of, right?

• Then, scruff kitty by the back of the neck (this releases those calming pheromones); put one hand under kitty’s rear end (this is not as personal as it sounds); wrap kitty in a towel and extract one paw at a times so you can clip the curved nail tip off.

• Don’t even think about using one of those “cat sack” grooming bags.

• Never clip our nails when we are in play mode.

• Most importantly, lavish us with a generous serving of those nice, soft treats for being such good kitties.

I don’t have much news on the kitten front this issue. All I can say is that we still have plenty in stock! Did you know that the American Humane Association estimates that some 12.5 million kittens are born each year? But, only 26 percent find homes. The good news for us is that all of our kittens find purrfect furever homes! Oops! I almost forgot: watch our kitten-cam at If you’re timing is right, you’ll get a glimpse of me training the youngsters!

Love, nips, bites, nips, and purrs! Naomi


Namoi is a 5 1/2-year-old Tortie and a permanent resident at FLC. She is the shelter supervisor and takes her salary in food. She would love for you to learn more about For the Love of Cats at its website,

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Thrill Her Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:41:02 +0000 All That Glitters
Richard Alan

I’m not sure if is part of our sixth senses or if it is an additional one. Being thrilled is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives, maybe more so when we were younger. Remember the feeling you experienced on a Christmas past when you got that special toy or bicycle you were wishing for? Excitement and exhilaration come to mind. I expect your first ride on a roller coaster provided the same incredible experience.

Well, believe it or not jewelry can create the same feeling of excitement —a thrill.

The thrill of getting a nice piece of jewelry is not a new emotion. It’s been around as long as goldsmiths such as myself have been on the planet. Oh, I’m guessing we have been around 2,000 years or so.

The way to a man’s heart may be his stomach, but I know for a fact the way to any woman’s heart is a piece of gold jewelry, or better yet throw some diamonds and precious gems in there for the ultimate shock and awe effect! Any guy, or better yet any gentleman, with a half of brain knows what a gift of gold or a simple silver bauble can do to break the ice in a new relationship.

I don’t mean to be crass or risqué, but I’m convinced that jewelry would thrill most women even 2,000 years ago over an offering of a mangy chicken, skinny goat or muddied pig.

Just my convoluted theory, but give any women today a gift of a goat over jewelry on the island today and see how you make out!

In my humble establishment, which is only a simple family business involving my son Andrew, myself and a retired gentleman, Ronnie, who helps us out in the workshop during the busy season.

The back-room goldsmith workshop is where all the creative juices, skills and experience combine, and the resulting pieces of finished original or restored jewelry create the thrill.

Thrills happen regularly at 680 Bald Eagle Drive. My mother and cousins, who work on the showroom floor tending to customers, can attest to this, and its that combination of gold and precious gems — and a human touch — that provides the catalyst or ingredients that creates that emotion, a thrill to loved ones day after day.

My last article mentioned the “add-a-pearl” necklace one would start even at the birth of a baby girl, and a loved one or loved ones would begin the necklace with a single pearl and then progress with additional gift pearls on special occasions. The necklace would slowly approach completion as the years pass. The necklace is wearable for the young princess on special days providing the thrill each time she wears it. The final thrill is when the completed necklace is presented to her when she becomes a lady.

I’m not implying that jewelry is the only way to create a thrill for the fairer sex. I’m quite sure the gift of a new car, a new house or a European vacation would invoke the same result, but jewelry is far less expensive in most cases.

The thrill does not have to be expensive. A simple $15 chain repair or bracelet can invoke a thrill — now wearable and polished like new — brings that joy especially if it is a sentimental piece.

I have performed innumerable restorations of precious family heirlooms over the years. My most memorable was the restoration of the exact diamond engagement ring that Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman presented to his wife, now belonging to her great-great-granddaughter. The thrill created was intensified the moment I presented the completed piece to the family, and it was equally experienced by yours truly. That included the honor and pride of being trusted to perform the restoration on such an important artifact.

I discovered the way to encapsulate the emotion of a thrill. I experience a certain intensity of a thrill with every stunning piece of jewelry I create. Then place that completed piece of jewelry in a simple velvet container and add a little gift-wrapping, there you have it! Now, you can also enjoy the thrill created when she feasts her eyes on the contents upon opening the lid on a small ring or pendant box.

Practice random acts of kindness.

About The Author

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith at Island Plaza and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. Contact him at 239-394-9275 or

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