Focus on the Caucasus…

While the world’s focus was on Iran and Afghanistan for the last year or so; some important and rather ominous things have been happening in a part of Russia called the Caucasus. This particular region of Russia is geographically and demographically closer to the greater Middle East than to Europe and thus influenced more by radical Islamic fundamentalism in general […]

Simple Rules to care for your Bougainvillea

Light & Temperature Bougainvilleas are tropical plants, being native to Brazil, that thrive in areas outdoors with low rainfall and intense heat. For maximum blooming, they need direct sunlight for at least 5 hours per day. Bougainvillea thrives in hardiness zones 9 and up (Marco Island is a perfect setting for just that). For you seasonal residents, Bougainvillea can be […]

One Woman’s Journey with Cancer

Meet Lola Dial When I arrived at Mackle Park to interview Lola she immediately said “Oh, I forgot you were coming! You know I used to remember everything; go to the store with 50 things in mind and get every one of them. Now, I have to write a list for just four things otherwise I forget!” Lola Dial, and […]

Code Compliance vs. Code Enforcement

What is Code Compliance? Code Compliance is the effort of trained City employees to enforce the City Codes and keep the quality of life for all. What is the goal of Code Compliance? The goal of Code Compliance is to ensure compliance with the City Codes through education, not generate revenue or punish code violators.  Generating some revenue comes through […]

Pesky Woodpeckers Could Be Knocking

Out of the twenty-three woodpecker species listed in my Field Guide to the Birds of North America, eight of these species are seen in southwest Florida. Some are more common than others. Belonging to the scientific Family of Picidae, these birds have strong claws (tow toes forward, one toe back), short legs, and stiff tail feathers for tree trunk climbing […]

The Legend of the Pirate Gasparilla – the REAL Facts…

The truth is that there never was a pirate named “Gasparilla.” Despite the fact that the Annual Gasparilla Festival started in 1904 to celebrate “Pirate Jose Gaspar’s” life which included numerous Gasparilla parades on both land and water and, of course, The Tampa Bay “Buccaneers” – nothing about Gasparilla has ever been confirmed, outside of one sole source: Juan Gomez also known as John Gomez. Much of […]

What is the source of value?

“Mine’s better than yours” (this is the cleansed version) or “Bob and Mary’s house sold for “x” dollars  and ours is much nicer.” Statements like these are frequently made by owners who intend on selling their property. So what determines if Bob and Mary’s house is worth less or more than someone else’s? First, let’s determine who dictates the marketplace. […]

The many facets of Passion

What does it mean “to keep our soul alive?” And, how do we do it? I would imagine there are many people who rarely give it much thought, or, at least, surely question the concept of one’s own soul and/or relating it to the interpretation of passion. Musicians singing with soul share the love and heartaches of life with the […]

Treasure in the neighborhood

Just back from southern California; San Diego to be exact. I realize that 3,000 miles might be a bit further than most want to travel in Jeane’s suggested jaunts. However, the saga of the west, including the culture, the color, historic struggles of survival, the passion of obtaining one’s dreams and the freedom of spirit that I was fortunate to […]

Create your own weather

About a month or so ago the tree in my backyard started to bud. The weather was warm for a few days so I guess it thought spring had arrived. Alas, the cold weather returned and the tree lost its buds and became naked again. This lasted until this week when it turned warm again. I think, perhaps, maybe, hopefully […]