Salad for Breakfast?

I admit to being more than a little surprised when the waitress delivered my breakfast at B.D. Beans Cafe Co. on a recent Saturday morning. I’d ordered the egg and ham flat bread sandwich and I knew it would arrive with roasted red potatoes, but I did not expect a green salad with tomatoes, feta cheese and vinaigrette dressing. However, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

IMG_6780I guess I should have expected the unexpected since this fence is what brought me into the place in the first place.

IMG_6787I’d noticed this fence for the first time when driving through Belleview only a couple of weeks before our visit and decided I wanted to give this place a try. I figured even if the food was disappointing, I’d enjoy the decor.

I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed with the decor or the food, and it looks like a coffee lovers dream.

We couldn’t justify dessert for breakfast, but the cakes and other baked goods on display will give us good reason to make our next visit for lunch.


A little advice from someone who posted on Trip Advisor:

Beans is a little hard to find (it’s behind Salon 101, near KFC), but worth the effort. It’s been around for 17 years, so the atmosphere is rustic. But the food is excellent and very appealing to the eye.

Well said…how have I missed this place for 17 years?

TBT Lesson #42

Shortly after they could walk, Meghan, Emily, and Sarah learned ride a bike. If they could pedal themselves it made biking easier for us adults once we could leave the bike seats at home.

In the summer of 1995 we biked in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Pretty impressive for a 10, 7, and 5 year old. I guess that explains the look on Sarah’s face. Riding on hilly roads in New England is no easy task for an almost kindergartner.

IMG_7576TBT Lesson #42: When biking, remember, it’s all about the gear…shorts, gloves, glasses, helmets…you want to look your best.

A Day Fishing

A day fishing, even if few are caught, is a good way to spend a morning. Last Saturday only three fish made it in the boat, but it was a good day nevertheless.

I can’t say I was enthusiastic when the alarm sounded at 5:30 on a weekend morning, but by the time we were in the car driving to Dunnellon, I was ready for a morning on the water. We made our first casts before sunrise and by 7:30, I reeled in the first bass of the day.

After some time out for sunrise pictures, I brought in bass number two.

A few more pictures. This time of clouds, and then the third bass of the day made its way on the boat.

Only three fish. No big ones. No problem. A day fishing is a good day.

Biking Cedar Key

When looking for a different place for a bike ride, I discovered a post on the Bike Florida website with their list of Florida’s Top 10 bike rides. Listed as the best small town bike ride was Cedar Key. The site offered a list of things to see along a thirteen mile path through the area’s three keys.

We started at the Cedar Key Museum State Park, a perfect place to park, touring the grounds before our ride.

IMG_7118Of course, I had to stop at the historic Cedar Key cemetery and bordering the cemetery is Cemetery Point Park with a boardwalk providing views of the salt marsh.

Back on the bikes, we rode on the bike path and streets along the water and through neighborhoods eventually ending up at the airport where you could take a short flight for $25 per person.

IMG_7127While at the airport a man and two children boarded one of the small planes for a flight over the islands. I’m not sure I’d have wanted to be the pilot since the boy kept saying he didn’t want to get in the plane or go flying. I wonder if he screamed and cried the whole time they were in the air.

We hit most of the suggested destinations on the Bike Florida guide…Beachside, Main Street, Dock Street, the Town of Cedar Key. Of course, no ride would be complete without a stop at a restaurant so we ate at Tony’s, home of World Famous Clam Chowder, and then walked along Main Street before riding back to the museum.

Since we didn’t bike the Suwanee River portion, our ride fell short of the thirteen miles listed, but we’ve already made plans for a return visit.

Carry your insurance cards

This may seem like a no brainer, but since my auto insurance company sends a new card every six months, and I get a new health insurance card yearly, this isn’t as easy as it seems.

By law, you must be able to produce your insurance card if in an accident or stopped by law enforcement so take a few minutes and check the glove compartment in your car. Do you have your insurance card? Do you have your registration (the current one)?  If not, take care of it today. It would even be a good idea to put these important documents in a ziplock bag or a colored envelope or some other container so they can easily be found should you need them.


I found an app for Nationwide, my insurance company, which allows me to access my card from my phone as well as call roadside assistance, get help in case of an accident and even submit and manage claims. Allstate, Progressive and Geico have similar apps. This looks like a way to guarantee I’ll always be able to access what I need to prove I’m covered.

And while you’re checking for access to important documents, check your wallet for your medical insurance card. It won’t do you much good if you don’t have it with you in an emergency.


You may find you can download an app for that as well.

Carry your insurance cards and remember, there’s an app for that.




Shamrock Punch

With a name like McCollum, how can we ignore St. Patrick’s Day? As a teacher I always recognized this fun day by preparing shamrock punch for my students. This easy, tasty treat came at the perfect time during most school years. St.Patrick’s Day frequently fell in the middle of “standardized testing season” so a glass of shamrock punch after testing served as a refreshing change of pace.

Without a classroom full of students, I won’t need to purchase lime sherbert by the gallon this year, but I plan to make some as a reminder that Spring is just around the corner. This super, simple recipe is one I remember from my childhood. My mom made this punch, not for St. Patrick’s Day, but as a cool summer treat.

Shamrock Punch

I make this by the glass instead of in a punch bowl since it’s so much easier in the classroom.

In a small (5 oz.) plastic cup add one scoop of lime sherbert and then slowly pour cold Sprite. (It’s important to pour slowly because the soda will quickly bubble up and can easily spill over the top of the cup.)

That’s it! Make some Shamrock Punch Tuesday and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Shamrock Punch

Originally posted March 17, 2013.






I remember Mr. Hale, my high school math teacher, chuckling every he’d say, “Pie are square. Cake are round.”His attempt at a little math humor.

I’m not sure he’d approve of the cake I baked yesterday for John’s birthday. His joke doesn’t work when cake are square.


However, I do think Mr. Hale would have been excited about celebrating Pi Day this year. Not only is today 3.14, the value of Pi to two decimal places; but it’s 3.14.15 and that’s the value of Pi to four decimal places. That makes this year’s Pi Day a once in a century event!


I’ll be wearing my Pi shirt letting the world know I’m a math geek. Always looking for patterns, especially in dates:

  • Last week 3.5.15 (3×5=15)
  • Last Thursday 3.12.15 (3+12=15)
  • Wishing Emily and Brian could have married three days later on 11.12.13; but Tuesday’s not a good day for a wedding.
  • Family birthdays and anniversaries on 2.4 and 5.10 and 6.12 and 9.18 and 10.20 and 11.22.

And I always wore a uniform with the number 4 or 9 or 16, a perfect square.

So on this uniquely irrational day, play a game of 24 and eat a little pie. Mine will be pizza pie to go with my square cake.


Friday the 13th…a day to celebrate

Today’s my best friend’s birthday. I won’t reveal his age, but will say he’s older than me. Now that the cake is in the oven, it’s time recognize John with a Top 10 List.

So here it is, the Top 10 things I love about the birthday boy:

1) He loves the beach.

RSCN02952) He never complains about living in a house full of girls. (Although, he’s been known to put us all in our own rooms for acting up.)

IMG_43913) He cooks! Even when camping.



4) He took good care of his mother and continues to take good care of his family.

5) He’s a good sport, even when playing games that aren’t his favorite.


6) He’s a great fisherman who takes pleasure in helping others catch a big one.

7) He works hard not only at his job but at home as well.


8) He knows how to walk his daughter’s down the aisle.

9) He’s a sailor and a wannabe pirate.


10) He’s put up with me for almost forty years.

Happy happy!



TBT Lesson #41

The shirt I’m wearing in this picture was painted in the ’90s with a 4th grade class learning about the digestive system. I’ll admit painting shirts with twenty-five ten year olds was no easy task and most student shirts didn’t turn out quite this neat, but they knew about the esophagus, liver, intestines and gall bladder and how food traveled through the digestive process.

I only painted these shirts with students once, but I wore this shirt one day every year until 2010, the last year I taught elementary science. Wearing this shirt guaranteed all eyes were on me and all minds were on digestion.

Last Friday I opened my drawer after returning from my appointment for a colonoscopy. How I wish I’d have found it earlier. I’m sure the staff would have enjoyed a patient clad in a hand painted shirt featuring the colon.

IMG_6928TBT Lesson #41: Schedule a colonoscopy or other medical screenings according to the advice of your doctor. Be proactive in monitoring your health.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - Are you 50 or older? Time to get screened

Outdoor Sculpture at Tuscawilla Park

A Sunday afternoon walk turned into a six mile trek culminating at Tuscawilla Park where we strolled along the water’s edge enjoying the dozen sculptures on exhibit as part of the Ocala Outdoor Sculpture Competition.

By scanning the QR codes located at the base of the sculptures, visitors can learn more about the art and their creators, and you can even download a scavenger hunt brochure that can be taken to the Appleton Museum of Art and exchanged for museum admission.

Florada, the first sculpture we encountered was located in the water near the bridge.


Sunset, a piece on the water’s edge, framed the fast moving clouds.

IMG_6635Then we encountered Ultimate Truth, a water inspired piece.

IMG_6640A Bramble Tunnel and a piece called Primal Unity were both created by two artists from North Carolina.

Of course a horse had to be featured…Uplifted.

IMG_6647Under the Sea and Deflection are two more abstract pieces.

Somehow we missed one called 3 Climbers, but we didn’t miss Shanti.


Art wasn’t the only attraction. We even saw a white pelican.

On Saturday, March 14th, the public’s invited to participate in the Tuscawilla Sculpture Stroll Celebration and vote for the People’s Choice Award. A full day of family friendly activities will take place including art activities, live entertainment and food. An event not to be missed.