TBT Lesson #27

Over the river and through the woods to north Georgia we’d go every year in the ’90s to spend Thanksgiving. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, all together in cabins watching football, hiking, playing games, eating, and making special memories.
Three sisters enjoying spending time together on Thanksgiving.

TBT Lesson #27: Be thankful for your sisters everyday.

Slacktivism…That’s Me

You may have heard that vape was chosen as Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. That’s right, vape: the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette.

But when I looked through the list of other words in the running this year, slacktivism caught my eye. I practice slacktivism with wild abandon. (That is if it’s possible to be a reckless slacker.)


If you missed slacktivism, it’s a blend of the words slacker and activism. A type of political activism that requires little time or effort. That’s me! Passionate about political causes, but not so passionate as to actually get out of the house and do something.

  • No, I’m not running for office.
  • No, I’m not going on the campaign trail.
  • No, I’m not volunteering to make calls or canvas a neighborhood or prepare mailers.
  • No, I’m not gathering signatures on a petition.
  • No, I’m not registering voters.

I’m a true slacktivist…signing online petitions, even forwarding them to others on occasion, following campaigns on Facebook or Twitter, reading blogs, even donating small amounts of money to candidates or causes by entering a credit card number.

I know many other slacktivists of both major political parties, supporting a variety of causes from the comfort of their own homes. And I predict slacktivism will increase. Figuring out how to get us slacktivists to become activists will be the challenge for those leading political and social campaigns in the future.

Vape may be the 2014 word of the year, but I think slacktivism will more likely become part of my vocubulary.


You Have 27 New Voice Messages

Twenty-seven? Yes, when I picked up the phone yesterday I heard,

“Please enter your PIN followed by the pound key.” PIN entered.

“You have 27 new voice messages. Main Menu. If you want your messages now, press 1.” I hung up to get a bigger piece of paper and then started again.

I’m afraid that I’ve gotten in the habit of ignoring calls on my home phone since I’m not interested in participating in a survey, donating to a University or charitable organization, or listening to someone tell me how to vote.


According to my phone, I hadn’t checked my messages since October 29th. Oops!

So what did I miss?

  • 3 calls asking me to participate in a migraine study (I don’t suffer from migraines.)
  • 5 short URGENT calls from the Rick Scott campaign
  • 1 call from the Pam Bondi campaign
  • 3 calls from candidates running for school board
  • 1 call from candidate running for judge
  • 5 calls from Marion County schools with reminders
  • 1 call from exterminator
  • 1 call from medical facility
  • 1 call to lower interest rate
  • 1 call encouraging action on the Keystone Pipeline
  • 1 call with a weather alert
  • a couple of hang ups

After listening to all 27 messages, I need to apologize to Peggy who called to wish me Happy Birthday and Don who asked John to call back so they could catch up. They’ll both be getting calls today.

I guess the real question is why do I even keep my home phone if I don’t answer it or listen to the messages?

  1. It’s actually cheaper to keep it than get rid of it the way service for TV, Internet, and phone are bundled…what a rip off.
  2. I do use the home phone for work. My job requires my to make hundreds of phone calls each month. More than my cell phone battery can handle.

However, I need to do a better job checking messages. With the election behind us, the surveys and political calls should be minimal. I’ll try to check at least once a week!

Don’t Chew Gum in Public

Surprise! Surprise! I agree with the Chinese…on gum chewing in public. Last week, the President’s gum chewing faux pas seemed to be the most important news story of the week, and while I don’t agree that this is an international incident or even a top news story, I do agree that chewing gum in public is unacceptable.

A few years ago, I sat near the back of the auditorium during the regional science fair awards unable to concentrate on anything except one of the presenters chewing gum on stage. I’ve complained about people chewing gum in church, at graduations, and while making presentations. I thought this was just a personal pet peeve, but with last week’s controversy, I realized I’m not alone.

Emily Post, Miss Manners, and other etiquette gurus have weighed in on public gum chewing and its acceptance.


So when should you NOT chew gum?

  • when making a presentation
  • when singing in public
  • on a job interview
  • when sitting on a stage
  • during an awards ceremony
  • when a member of a wedding party
  • during a staff meeting
  • when meeting with world leaders

I know there are some good reasons to chew gum.  Not only can gum chewing be a good alternative for smokers, but chewing gum for a few minutes in the afternoon helps some people ward off cravings for sweets or other foods that sabotage dieting success. If you can chew quietly on an airplane, gum can make take offs and landings more comfortable. And of course, a little gum after eating garlic knots for lunch is a good idea.

Learn from the President’s mistake, don’t chew gum in public.





Sunflower Smiles

I always thought sunflowers were summer flowers, but I guess I was wrong. A bucket full of sunflowers from Wet Hammock Nursery have brightened my house for the past week.

How can you not smile when you walk into a room with fresh flowers?


Oviedo to Winter Springs: Take a Bike

Another weekend…another bike ride on a new trail. This time we picked up the Cross Seminole Trail behind the First Baptist Church in downtown Oviedo, and I’m pleased to say it met the criteria for a first-class trail.

IMG_5222.JPGThe Cross Seminole Trail’s flat (with the exception of the bridge over SR 434). The shady path travels through an upscale neighborhood and there are restaurants located within blocks.

We even encountered a few surprises on our ride to Winter Springs. A bike repair station…

A crew filming…

And many flowers along the trail…

We only rode five miles of the twenty-three mile trail (ten miles round trip), but if the remainder of the trail is anything like the portion we rode, this could become a favorite.

And since the trail meets the Cady Way Trail in Winter Park and the Seminole Wekiva Trail in Lake Mary, there’s plenty more riding to do in the Orlando area.


Yes, I’ve Eaten at Eaton’s Beach

I can finally answer, yes. Since this “new” restaurant has opened across the lake, I’m frequently asked, “How’s the food at Eaton’s Beach?” To which I’ve always replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t eaten there.” This usually results in puzzled looks and of course, “Why not?”


When the restaurant first opened the crowds kept us away. Cars not only filled the parking lot, but lined the road leading to the lake as well as Sunset Harbor Road. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to walk a half mile to eat. And then a friend told me she left after a two hour wait. No thanks!

And since we can sit on our own porch and see the lake or watch the sunset, the lakeside dining didn’t hold the same appeal as it does for others.


But we finally drove around the lake and tried Eaton’s Beach Sandbar and Grill. Unfortunately, even though we arrived at 5:45, we were too late to enjoy the view. After a quick glimpse of the sunset we climbed the stairs to the main dining area, but the large garage door style windows were closed on a cool windy evening so again we missed one of the drawing cards to Eaton’s Beach.

We concentrated on the Signature Dishes so we could sample their best. One order of Shrimp and Grits and one order of Cajun Sweet Fried Chicken…two tasty dishes. And how could we resist Sunset Orange Cake? Definitely the highlight of our dinner.


I don’t expect us to become regulars, but I’m looking forward to another meal at Eaton’s Beach. Next time when it’s light and hopefully warm enough to enjoy the waterfront setting.


TBT Lesson #26

Sisters sitting together in one chair sharing a book. Sarah with the stuffed version of the main character of the book Meghan’s reading…one of Marc Brown’s books about the loveable aardvark, Arthur and friends. What a great way to spend the day!


TBT Lesson #26: Enjoy reading a book with a friend.

A Great Day in the Country

Attending an art show or festival is must do event every fall. This year we were out of town for FAFO (Fine Arts For Ocala) and missed the McIntosh 1890 Festival as well as the Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival, favorite local events. And although we were near St. Marks on their festival weekend, we decided not to fight the crowds since the Stone Crab Festival, the Monarch Butterfly Festival, and the International Archeology Day celebration all drew crowds on the same day.

Instead, this year, we drove to Oviedo for the Great Day in the Country Arts and Crafts Festival. The draw? Emily entered a booth as a first time exhibitor.


And since the festival encouraged both art and crafts, she displayed her painted canvases as well as cards, hangers, koozies and other products she sells in her Etsy Shop, Oh Deer Creative.

With the help of her sister, friend, and husband she survived a busy day and enjoyed a new experience as an exhibitor.

And, fortunately, it’s not too late to find another festival this fall.









Wreaths for Veteran’s Day

Last week I received an email from Meghan encouraging me to purchase a Christmas wreath from Wreaths Across America and decided I should share it today, Veteran’s Day, so others can take advantage of this opportunity.

I know that every year you all hear me go on and on about how much I love my wreath so I figured I’d share it with you this year. I get the wreath from the organization Wreaths Across America. They collect sponsorships to be able to lay wreaths on the headstones of Vets at military cemeteries across the country. Jon and I attended this event a few years ago at Florida National Cemetery and it was really cool to see wreaths on so many headstones.

Meghan recommends purchasing the Patriot Pair. For $30, a wreath (with a door hanger) will be delivered to your house and a second wreath will be sent to Arlington to be laid on a headstone. Another option is to purchase a Personal Remembrance Wreath. For $20, you’ll receive a wreath with a door hanger delivered to your house, however, this option doesn’t provide a second wreath for a headstone.


Patriotic Pair – a wreath for home and Arlington National Cemetery

Meghan insists that the wreaths which are delivered the first weekend of December lasted throughout the holiday season and that their fresh aroma remained until New Year’s Day when she took down her Christmas decorations.

Veteran’s Day is the perfect time to order one or more wreaths from Wreaths Across America as a way to save thank you to our country’s veterans, and since this year’s wreath laying will take place on December 13th, you don’t want to delay or you’ll miss out on this opportunity.