TBT: Lesson #6

I just love this look on Meghan’s face. She certainly seems to be enjoying her first taste of baby food. So what’s she eating that resulted in that lovely expression? Pears.

Not spinach or beets or carrots or some other food with a strong taste, just a bite of pears.

IMG_4947This week’s Throwback Thursday Lesson: Make sure you have a camera ready to document that first bite. The look is priceless!


Do you have thunderstorm fatigue?

Thunderstorm fatigue is a term I first heard this week as the meteorologist on WUFT  discussed the recent rain pattern in North Central Florida. He described thunderstorm fatigue as a common feeling felt by many in the area in response to the rain, lightning, thunder, and flooding experienced frequently since the calendar turned over into the month of June.

IMG_0465I’ve heard many parents already bemoaning the fact their children are stuck in the house due to the severe weather, but despite dodging thunderstorms last weekend, I’m glad to be getting the much needed rain which is raising the water level in the lake.

And it doesn’t look like there’s a break anytime soon.

photoI’ll be watching the storm clouds.

Maybe I’ll even catch an interesting sunrise or sunset or rainbow.

Good ways to combat thunderstorm fatigue!

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Park Trail

Numerous benches and seating areas along a bike trail can only mean one thing: I’ll need to stop to rest along the way!

The wide, smooth Gainesville-Hawthorne State Park Trail connecting Boulware Springs Park in Gainesville to Lochloosa required too many shifts to first or second gear so I could navigate the hills on the path. I know, it’s Florida. The hills can’t be that tough. Well, they provided more than enough challenge for me.

Since we arrived in Gainesville at 6:00, we didn’t attempt the complete 16.5 mile trail, but instead started at La Chua and then rode east through a portion of Payne’s Prairie Preserve stopping at several of the overlooks. Our ten mile round trip ride was sufficient.

We saw deer, armadillo, and rabbits, a bonus of riding near sunset. A quick detour down the LaChua Trail would have surely resulted in the appearance of alligator and maybe even bison.

Next time we’ll have to start in Hawthorne to insure we ride the remainder of the trail. Hoping for fewer shifts to those low gears.



Meet Deadlines

Since I’ve spent the past week working with students who failed to meet the deadline of completing their courses by the end of the school year, it seems like a good time to remind you of the importance of deadlines.

Deadlines are simply a fact of life, and they keep us focused on tasks to be completed. While you establish some deadlines for yourself to stay organized, many are created by others.

Of course, payments you make to the utility company, cable company, your landlord or mortgage holder as well as other payments are one of the most common deadlines you need to meet. As you know, failure to make payments on time result in extra fees and poor credit scores, both things you want to avoid.


However, the deadlines relating to work or school projects also need to be taken seriously. These deadlines not only affect you, but other employees and when missed may delay the next step in the process or service. Three important reasons to meet deadlines on these projects:

  1. Being late tells your employer or client or professor that you do not value them or their time. You don’t feel their priorities matter.
  2. Others will think you are disorganized if you do not complete tasks on time.
  3. You will be viewed as unreliable and your credibility will be undermined.

On occasions when you schedule and manage your own projects, make deadlines a part of this process as well. By doing so you’ll find you’re more productive and can prevent work overload with a carefully planned schedule. You’ll also feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment as you meet your goals, but remember there are a few things you should keep in mind as you develop your own deadlines:

  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s better to just learn to say no.
  • Schedule your time on a calendar to avoid procrastinating.
  • Write down your deadlines and the steps required to meet them.
  • Figure out the right time limit. Since work expands to fill the available time, if you set a time limit that pushes you, you can probably get it done faster. On the other hand, be realistic. Not everything can be done tomorrow. Not everything is a crisis.
  • Consider using a timer to keep from working too slowly. (This is the only way I can get housework done.)
  • Anticipate delays. Make sure you have a plan to deal with problems that arise, because problems do arise. (I warned my students that a disruption in Internet service should be anticipated, and sure enough thunderstorms knocked out electricity or Internet for some.)
  • Prioritize. Start with the most important steps so if you run short on time you can complete non-critical steps quickly or perhaps leave them out altogether.

Finally, don’t let perfectionism be an excuse for failure to meet deadlines. It’s easy to get “decidaphobia” or the fear of making a mistake. You may want to use the Marine Corp 70% rule to help you overcome this problem. The rule states that if you have 70% of the information needed to make an informed decision and you have 70% of the resources you’ll need to get it done, and you’re 70% sure it will work, go with it. A well-executed, yet imperfect plan gets more results than taking no action at all. There’s no such thing as perfection. It’s better to execute the plan than waste time and miss the deadline. If this is good enough for the Marines, it’s good enough for you.

Please, meet deadlines!









Fathers and Fishing: 13 Quotes

The two most important men in my life, my dad and my husband, share a love of fishing. Perhaps fishing is actually the secret to being a good father. Standing on the beach or sitting in a boat with a rod in hand, all is right in the world…regardless if a single fish nibbles on the line. Alone, with each other, or with another angler a day on the water can only be described as a good day.


“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“The solution to any problem – work, love, money, whatever – is to go fishing; and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should last.” ~John Gierach

“Fishing too much. Can’t be done.” ~Ernest Hemingway

“If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world.” ~Will Rogers

“Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of mind.” ~Washington Irving


“Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a big fish goes home through the alley.” ~Ann Landers

“I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.” ~Joseph Monninger

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions of hope.” ~John Buchan

“The two best times to fish is when it’s raining and when it ain’t.” ~Patrick F. McManus

“I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end. Your imagination is under there.” ~Robert Altman

“Three-fourths of the Earth is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.” ~Chuck Clark

Happy Father’s Day to two terrific dads who also happen to be first rate fishermen.

“Fishing is not about the fish. It’s the time spent together catching them.” ~Unknown

Let’s go fishing!




Juniper: Spring #8

I’m not sure if it’s the admission fee or signs warning about the dangers of alligators and bears that cause the biggest surprise upon entering Juniper Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest. It’s not that a $10.60 day use fee for two is excessive, but since state and county parks usually charge $5.00 per vehicle, I had to dig in my purse for some extra money, only to be greeted by a Caution and a Warning sign.

We unloaded the bikes and rode through the park checking out the campground. Over 70 large sites for RVs and tents sit in the shaded loop. Although very few sites were occupied, the ranger told us they were near capacity last weekend. Maybe the rain discouraged campers this weekend or perhaps they don’t roll in until later in the afternoon.

Only a few swimmers braved the cool waters of the spring probably due to the dark clouds that hung in the sky to the west. Before changing into swimsuits we checked out the canoe rentals, and although we arrived well before the 11:30 final departure time, the predicted rain and thunderstorms made a trip down Juniper Run something that would have to wait for another day.

One of the “to do’s” on our 14 in 14 list is to visit at least 14 of Florida’s springs this year. Our trip to Juniper Springs brings the number to eight. We were determined to swim in the spring today, but as we prepared to enter the water, the ranger cleared the spring due to an approaching storm.

  • Rainbow Springs – cold rain
  • Fanning, Hart, and Otter Springs – temperature in the 40s
  • Blue Springs – no swimming due to the manatees
  • Silver Springs – no swimming permitted
  • Juniper Springs – thunderstorm

We’re not quitters! We not only will visit at least 14 springs, we will swim, canoe, or kayak and enjoy the water. Maybe Ichetucknee will be the first.

photo 4

Brooklyn’s in My Backyard

With their wrought iron tables, wooden deck around the bar, and other mismatched patio furniture the decor at Brooklyn’s Backyard looks just like someone’s backyard. Although the atmosphere screams hamburger, I ordered other entrees on both of my visits.

As a first timer, I ordered a spinach salad with bacon, feta, and Greek vinaigrette dressing with a slice of cheese pizza. Both delicious.


This week I returned and thought long and hard about the build your own burger but ended up ordering a meatball sandwich with french fries. The sandwich was good but the fries were not as crispy as I like.

Upon entering the restaurant I noticed an award “King of Wings” and a friend raves about the pizza. The daily specials listed on the chalkboard include country fried steak and a Seafood Bucket with crabs, shrimp, corn…looks like a low country boil served in a bucket. Yum!

And did I mention you can order s’mores? Graham crackers, chocolate bars, skewers, marshmallows, and a small fire in a pot delivered to the table for a fun dessert.

It’s nice to have another local restaurant nearby with many menu items waiting to be tried. But the next time I’ll be ordering a burger.

TBT: Lesson #5

It’s hard to believe Marian and Bettie Lou would leave the house dressed in floppy hats, too wide bell bottoms, and overalls, but this picture is proof they did just that. I can’t imagine seeing them in Florida dressed like this since they never left home looking less than perfect. But in this picture, taken in North Carolina where they won’t run into anyone they know, it seems all the rules were forgotten.

IMG_5694This week’s throwback Thursday lesson: Do something out of the ordinary. Look at the smiles on their faces. There’s no doubt both Marian and Bettie Lou are enjoying their new look!

Dunnellon Bike Riding

An extension of the Withlocoochee State Trail has come to Dunnellon. The trailhead, located on Citrus County Road 39 which is off US 41, is just south of Dunnellon. The extension closes one of the gaps in what’s known at “The Heart of Central Florida” bike loop, a nearly 1000 mile long trail.

A stop on the newly opened bridge provides an excellent view of the river.

The trail runs along the Withlacoochee River for much of the four mile section ending near the Rainbow River Club. Trail users enjoy a shaded path through cypress lowlands with frequent views of the Withlacoochee and Rainbow Rivers.

The city of Dunnellon hopes to have a paved extension from its current end to the bridge on County Road 484 providing a safe bike route into downtown Dunnellon.

Wildflowers border much of this flat trail which is perfect for walkers as well as bicyclists of all ages.


Additional work is underway to connect the Dunnellon Extension to the current trail to the south and will eventually allow bicyclists to ride to Citrus Springs, Inverness, Floral City, Nobleton, ending east of I-75 at the Owensboro Junction Trailhead on Highway 301. Quite a ride!

What’s in a Name?

While I’ll never own a boat big enough to name, it doesn’t hurt to be on the lookout for the perfect name…just in case.


The owner’s feeling about their boat seems to be a popular choice: Therapy, Finally, About Time, Reality, Impossible Dream, Why Not.

Many include the names of animals.

And then there’s boats named for people, places or ideas important to the owner, but not so obvious to others.

Of course, names with a play on words is always popular and my personal favorite.

I even saw a boat that shares a name with Emily’s dog!

IMG_5116So what makes the perfect boat name? It certainly doesn’t hurt to plan.