Whether driving through the heart of Florida’s citrus country, taking in the fragrant smell of orange blossoms or peeling a fresh, sweet, juicy orange – you are experiencing one of the pure joys of Florida living.
The best place to find fresh citrus is to visit a U-Pick grove, and luckily there are family owned operations in Florida. An alternative to picking your own is purchasing from a farmer’s market or a nearby farm.
Of course, most grocery stores carry fruit from Florida, but make sure you check the label. That way, you know you are as close to the grove as you can get.
Once you get home with your fresh bag of citrus, your juicer will be whirring away and you’ll be drinking Florida’s Kool-Aid. Incorporating citrus into your daily meals is another way to enjoy Florida’s bounty.
Growing your own is easy too. Local plant nurseries will help you identify and how to care for them. Have patience, they take a few years to bear fruit, but what could be more delicious than fresh citrus in your Florida home?
Yep, we drink the Kool-Aid and it’s fresh from Florida
I love Florida summers. Yes, they are warm, no doubt, but like most places, Florida summers are laid-back, slower paced and relaxed. People are more inclined to take it easy while kids laugh, play and eat watermelon.
Have you ever noticed that summer has a certain scent? It’s clean, and hot - almost steamy, grassy and earthy. It has to do with the humidity and freshly cut grass and leaves, a kind of Florida "jungle smell". And let’s not forget the sweet floral smells of jasmine and magnolia flowers. Or, my personal favorite, the salty smell of low tide.
There’s also a certain color to summer. I see pastel-colored Hibiscus, Crape Myrtles and Oleanders. I see vibrant Bougainvilleas, majestic red, yellow and orange Poincianas, Frangipanis in tropical tones and delicate, bright purple Jacarandas. At sunset I see many of the same colors in the clouds and sky before it fades to lavender then gray then blue and black.
What I love the most about summer is the daily rainstorm that quenches the flora’s thirst and cools the earth with heavy downpours. Watching a summer rain roll in from a screened-in porch is one of the greatest joys of Florida living.
Even smelling rain on its way, or feeling an incoming cool summer breeze as the rains begin is a classic authentic Florida moment. As the dark menacing clouds approach, the booming sound of thunder and fantastic displays of lightning entertain us more than any motion picture – and it’s live and free.
No matter how you spend your summer, or where, it’s your time to find yourself where the living is easy. Tell me what you love most about your summer. I’d love to hear from you.
Regardless of the season or the location, the sun is something to keep in mind. It is always there during the daylight hours even when the sky is overcast. It is important that everyone is aware of the sun’s potentially damaging effects. This helps to ensure that you take the sun protection steps necessary to not only protect your skin, but your health as a whole.
Sunburns are probably the most common. Unfortunately, you often do not know that you are being burned as it happens because it typically takes up to five hours for the burn to become visibly noticeable and by that time, the damage is done.
When you have a sunburn, the affected area is usually bright pink or red in color. It is common for some swelling to be present and for the area to be tender or painful. Within a few days, blisters are common. It is important to allow the blisters to go away on their own. Popping or peeling them puts you at risk for infection. In some cases, people can experience flu-like symptoms, including nausea, chills, fever or headache; in case of a fever, it is important to consult a medical professional right away.
Exposure to the sun for prolonged periods of time can be a risk for dehydration. This can be serious and something that could be easily prevented. To help prevent sun-related dehydration, one could make sure that they are getting enough water; which can be achieved by drinking water as soon as one wakes up and not wait until they are out in the sun and continuing the process once one is out in the sun.
When you think about the potentially damaging effects of the sun, you might not think about your eyes, but they are just as vulnerable as the rest of your body. The retina, which is a structure that is located in the back of your eyes, can become burned from the sun. This is precisely why you are told to never look directly at an eclipse. Once the damage happens, you might experience an array of visual issues, such as unclear vision and an increased risk of developing cataracts.
If you have ever had a heat rash, it is surely something that you have never forgotten. It is due to the sweat ducts trapping sweat below the skin. It is very common when the weather is humid and hot. It usually has the appearance of small blisters or tiny clusters of red bumps that look similar to a pimple. This rash most commonly occurs in the elbow creases, on the upper chest, in the folds of the skin, on the neck or in the groin area.
Heat rash can be incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. To help make it go away, you have to be very mindful about keeping your skin dry and avoiding sun exposure to the affected areas. There are powders that your doctor might be able to recommend. However, due to not wanting to apply moisture to the affected area, you should avoid using creams or ointments.
Heat exhaustion is another very serious issues that can happen when you are out in the sun. It is described as your body responding to an excessive loss of salt and water due to sweating excessively. This condition can be life-threatening, especially if it progresses to the much more serious heat stroke. When you have heat exhaustion, the following symptoms are possible: headache, dizziness, irritability, heavy sweating, nausea, weakness, thirst, reduced urine output and increased body temperature. If this is allowed to progress to heatstroke, the body can rapidly get to a life-threatening temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The other symptoms that can accompany this include confusion, slurred speech, profuse sweating, seizures and altered mental status. This is a medical emergency.
When it comes to sun damage, skin cancer is one of the most serious consequences and the one you want to be very careful to avoid. There are three primary types of skin cancer that might result from sun exposure and these include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. The latter is considered to be the most dangerous.
It usually takes years of frequent sun exposure to develop cancer. However, some people can develop it without a history of excessive exposure, so it is important for everyone to ensure adequate protection whenever they are outdoors. Now that you know about the damage that it can do, it is time to make sure that you are adequately protected every time you step outside. Having a kit that contains what you need for sun protection is the best idea. There are a number of options on the market, but one excellent choice that covers all of your basis is the Surfs Up ReadyPack. This handy tote of products includes tangerine lip balm, 75 percent organic-blend board wax and natural sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and SPF 30+. Just toss in a towel and a pair of sunglasses and you are ready for a day on the beach. Enjoy the adrenaline rush you get when you are catching the biggest waves, or simply go for a quick swim and relax on the beach with a great book. No matter which option you choose, this kit has you covered in the sun protection department.
Now that you know what the potential damage is that the sun might cause, it is time to ensure that you have a plan in place to protect yourself. It is not too hard and you can see above that with a little time and diligence, you will be able to make sure that the sun is not a factor when it comes to your well-being.
There’s more than one way to celebrate dad, but this one involves candy so it’s already a win. If you have a dad to surprise who enjoys late night sweets while watching Netflix before bed…you’re in luck! This idea is easy, affordable, and totally personalized!
There are a few ways you can do this, but you know your dad/husband/neighbor/friend better than I do so use your best judgement! You can raid the Dollar Tree’s candy aisle (which has amazing choices, btw!) or order a few items on Amazon Prime. You will also need a clear plastic tackle storage box with dividers. You might be able to score this at Dollar Tree too, or you can find it online or at Walmart.
As for candy, look for nautical themed treats like gummy worms, sharks, and fish. Lifesavers and small gumballs in red and white look like bobbers (your fisherman should pick up on that!). Don’t forget the personalized message. Use white cardstock, markers, and tape to get creative.
These directions are for pressure canning low acid foods. This includes any meat and most vegetables.Pickles, jam jelly, or fruits are all high acid foods. If you are preserving these you need to be on my Water Bath Canning Page.
Fill your canner with 3 quarts of water. Yes, that is all the water needed. Check the manual for your particular canner to verify how much water.
Remember, pressure is the key to safety in pressure canning. The pressure buildup is what causes the high heat necessary.
The jars do not need to be covered like a water bath canner. Set the rack on the bottom of the canner and heat water until hot, not boiling. Keep warm.
Wash and rinse your jars and lids.
Jars can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher
Keep jars and seals hot until ready to be filled.
My preferred method is to place your jars in your canner. The water should be warming anyway as you prep your food. With your jars in the canner they will get heated up at the same time
An easy way to keep seals warm is place the seals in a small pan of water. Bring to just below a boil and remove from heat.
Prepare and pack food according to instructions in your recipe.Fill jar leaving the recommended head space. Remove air bubbles by running a non-metallic spatula around the inside of the jar. I like to use a plastic orange peeler for this step. It is small and easily slides down. A small rubber spatula will also work.
Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a damp tea towel or paper towel.Place seals and rings on jars. Tighten finger tight. You really don't have to crank down hard, snug is fine
Place jars on the rack in the pressure canner. The jars must not sit directly on the bottom of the canner. Be sure jars are not touching each other. Steam needs to flow freely around each jar. Sometimes this takes a little maneuvering, twisting the jars so that the flatter sides leave more room.
Allow steam to vent for 10 minutes. This is an important step don't skip it. This pushes all the air from the canner. After the 10 minutes, close the vent or put on your weighted gauge and let the pressure build.When canner reaches correct pressure, lower your heat to maintain pressure level.
Adjust heat as needed to keep it at the correct pressure.
NOW start timing.Time needed will be given in the recipe. Again be sure to adjust for altitude. Check your gauge often. In pressure canning you must maintain the correct pressure. If the pressure drops below the recommended level, start your time over. ~ Bummer ~ I hate it when that happens! Yes, I've done it. The best way to avoid this mistake is to make it a point to stay in the kitchen and do other stuff, checking the gauge occasionally. You can be cleaning up, or getting your next load ready. Take a break! You deserve it. Have a cup of coffee or tea or ice cold water! Put your feet up.
When time is up, turn off the heat. Do not remove weights or open petcock. Let the canner set until pressure comes back to zero.
NOW is the time you can leave the kitchen. DO NOT try to speed up the cooling process by pouring cold water over the canner or some other artificial method. Just let the canner cool and release pressure all by itself.When the pressure in the canner is at zero, pressure is released, you may now remove the weight or open the vent. Then wait two minutes.
arefully remove the lid, be careful CONTENTS ARE HOT AND STEAMY. Tilt the lid so the steam will not hit you in the face.
Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars and set upright on a wooden board or a thick towel to cool. Be sure they are in a draft free area and leave 1-2 inches space between each jar so air can circulate.
Did you hear it? This is my favorite part. As the jars cool the seals (or flats) will pull down and seal. They make the coolest little pinging sound. For some odd reason I love that sound. It is so satisfying. It means all my work is... well... working!
Resist temptation to press the lids at this point. If your kids are like mine keep them away too! Just leave the jars alone until completely cool. This may take 12 hours.
I leave mine on the counter overnight. I love waking up in the morning to the jars sitting out on the counter with the morning sun shining off of them.
Label the jar with the food type and date.You may think that labeling the type of food isn't necessary if you can obviously see it is canned pears. However, what if you are canning applesauce using different types of apples for each batch? You will want to know which is which when you open them later. You can then decide which you like better for next time.
Always record a date, at least the year. That way when you find a jar in the waaaay back of your cupboard, you will know how old it is. You think you will keep them straight, but it is so easy to forget and so easy to label them now. Trust me. Just do it.
Store your jars in a cool, dark, dry environment. Usually a pantry is fine. Don't store in a utility room where there are hot pipes or high humidity. Direct sunlight is a no-no as well.
You are Done!!
Have you got caught up with the black and white dot trend? Whether white with black or black with white, these graphic combinations have hit a sweet spot again in the fashion world. Eyeing dots? You will be spot on with vintage dots—after all, it is good to be spotted in vintage!
If you have been considering purchasing a home, you may be curious to know if this is the right time in the market to make your move. The market is fast changing, with new laws coming into play, interest rates are constantly rising, and a whole slew of things buyers have to face when it comes time to picking the right house. What does that mean for you? Well, that there isn't a better time to buy than now. Let's break down the benefits of purchasing a home now, instead of waiting.
1. INTEREST RATES ARE SOARINGIf you haven't been keeping up with the real estate market, you might be missing out on the data around interest rates. They are going up, and they are going up fast. 5% may not seem like a lot, but can be the difference between hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on what you are paying out towards your loan on a monthly basis. Would you want to pay an extra $200 towards interest for your loan each month, or would you prefer to pocket that $200? Well we know the answer to that.
Buying a home now while interest rates are at a low is going to be an advantage, both now, and long term. Take advantage of today's rates and purchase a home that doesn't cost you extra just because of interests.
2. HOME PRICES ARE INCREASINGHave you been hearing about folks complaining in your market about the price of homes going up? Well those prices are going to continue climbing. A home that is $200,000 now, could go up to $400,000 in 10 years because of market conditions. We also are aware that wages are not increasing as steadily as the cost of living. Purchasing a home in today's market can get you a bigger and better deal on a house than if you were to wait a few years. Especially in hot city markets, where prices are virtually guaranteed to sky rocket, making a move now can save you hundreds of thousands.
3. COMPETITION IS GETTING BIGGERPopulation growth is a real thing, and with more people, comes more competition for homes. Homes are selling faster, which means a high demand increases home prices. Buying your home now, while the competition isn't as strong as it could be 5 years from now, helps you get a better deal on the home you want now then if you were to wait it out.
So, in conclusion, the ball is in your court in today's market. There isn't ever a better time to purchase then now. Avoid the competition and the increase in fees and prices, and take advantage of a market that is still in the buyer's favor.
No one gets sentimental over a CD. Eight-tracks are a nostalgic novelty.
But records, man. People feel ways about records.
Records shaped many of our formative years. And some who may not have been raised on the medium are now finding appreciation for it. The sound quality, though imperfect—or perhaps because it’s imperfect—seems more authentic, less digitally mastered and / or remastered.
And because so much of our music is now accessed digitally, the act of carefully pulling out a record, placing it gently on the turntable, setting the needle within the record grooves, and letting the music play is special. It's done with intention.
So, as with listening itself, shopping for vinyl also has to be done with intention, especially if you’re doing so secondhand. Here are a few tips for navigating the vinyl-filled milk crates at your local estate sales. Estate sales are a great place to find bargains on not just various individual records but full COLLECTIONS of records. But unlike used record stores and other secondhand shops, the vinyl at estate sales may not have been thoroughly checked for quality and play-ability beforehand. So it’s important to know what to look for, since chances are good you won’t be able to play them ahead of time.
Warps. This one seems the most obvious, so let’s get it out of the way first. A warped record is a bad record. Unless you want to own it simply for the album cover art, or because you want to toss it in the oven and mold it into a bowl-shape so you can have your very own funky chip n’ dip, you should avoid warped records.
Scratches. Another obvious one, but with a little more nuance. A well-loved or even kind-of-liked record is going to have some scratches. Deep gouges will render the record unplayable. Diagonal scratches—those that span multiple tracks—are the most vicious. But smaller scratches may not be a deal-breaker.
Pay close attention to the edges, since that’s where the needle hits most solidly and most often. A general rule of thumb is: If you can feel it, you can hear it. Now, this might go against many a collector’s rules against touching a record, but you, or whoever brings them home, will want to clean them before rocking-out commences. So if you’re sincere in your interest and your intention, go ahead and make sure the scratch isn’t anything more than surface-deep.
Water damage. You can notice water damage on the actual vinyl album—it looks like a smear and lacks any gloss.
Heat damage. Wavy edges are a sign of heat damage, as is pitting on the surface of the record, both of which will affect the sound quality (usually creating a "whooshing" sound). It’s not a common vinyl malady, but depending on how the original owner stored the records, it is a possibility.
Mold. On your records, the inner sleeves, and the outer covers. Not only can it affect the play-ability of the record, it can spread to other records in your collection.
When casually shopping, these are the most important factors. When it comes to collecting for value and resale, however, there’s a bit more to consider, particularly the overall quality of the inner and outer sleeves. Watch for ring-wear, which is when the record jacket shows wear around the record itself. The jackets of frequently-played records are particularly prone to split seams, either from enthusiastic extraction, or returning the record a little too roughly. The good news is that visible wear and tear like this may affect the asking price. So if you’re not concerned about the minty-ness of your vinyl and its cover, you can get a good deal. And then those seams can always be mended with some acid-free tape.
There seems to be something of a trend these days of makers scooping up vintage tools, showing them off online, and then doing restoration videos for them. There is something special about an old tool that gets handed down to you and that you bring back to life.
Old tools are often better made, super-cheap to acquire, and have that patina of age and memory that give them a special quality no new tool can match. And all that is often required to revive them is a little elbow grease, a white vinegar soak, some brushing, sanding, and oiling, maybe a new handle, and the tool is ready to take pride of place in your toolbox and workflow.
TOOLS TO COLLECT
Like any collectible, it’s smart to buy what you like or what you will actually use. Woodworkers choose tools for their quality, craftsmanship, and functionality. Collectors who never intend to use an antique tool are more interested in the history, aesthetics, and condition. They generally collect based on the type of tool, the time period, the region, or the patents on the design.
Here are some tool-collecting categories worth checking out:
Planes. Aside from being prevalent and highly useful, many planes are also visually aesthetic and have intriguing histories. Styles and types range, and you can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars for a scruffy unmarked wooden plane to tens of thousands for one made by a celebrated 18th-century craftsman. Lee groups the category into four types:
1. Molding & other wooden planes. Before factories, individual cabinetmakers owned as many as 30-60 different wooden planes, most of them being molding planes. Sheer number makes them a reasonably accessible collectible with prices beginning around $50 for interesting and usable 19th-century examples.
There were more than a hundred individual pioneering American makers creating 18th-century planes, though some are quite obscure. “One favorite that brings the most money is Cesar Chelor, a freed slave from Massachusetts,” Lee says. “Cesar apprenticed under his master, Francis Nicholson, the first noted American plane maker. When Nicholson died in 1753, he willed Cesar his freedom, some tools, and enough land to establish him as the first independent African-American toolmaker.” Today, any of the estimated 200 planes remaining with a stamp of Cesar’s name tug at emotions, as well as pocketbooks. Last year, Lee appraised one between $6,000 and $8,000; others have gone much higher.
2. Patented planes. The late 19th century brought the Age of Invention, along with thousands of patents. All kinds of weird planes emerged and they are considered hot for collecting right now.
3. Collecting by Manufacturer. This category often overlaps with patented planes, but collectors view it as focused more on the products of a particular manufacturer than on the patents behind the tools. Stanley planes are by far the most commonly collected (along with all the company’s tools), but other manufacturers, like Sargent, are also collected. Part of Stanley’s appeal is its history. Founded in the 1850s as a manufacturer of rules (now called rulers) and levels, the company made its fortune after buying the rights to the patent for an adjustable metal plane from Leonard Bailey. It was the most successful iron plane design of all time, and Stanley went from an obscure little company to a big name in a relatively small amount of time.
4. Infill planes. Tools of remarkable precision and quality, these British metal planes were made in the early 1900s, a time when industrialization saw many handcrafts disappear. The most widely recognized makers are Thomas Norris and Stewart Spiers, though lesser-known makers proliferated, some of them offering tools of similar quality. These were kind of the last word in smoothing planes, A good one would cost a week’s wages for workmen at the time, and only the best craftsmen would buy them. They were incredibly well made.
Measuring Tools. Collectibles include everything from squares and bevels to gauges and rules. Several books on rules published in the last decade have fueled added interest in this category.
Levels. These common tools were sometimes works of art in themselves. Designs range from the straightforward to cast-iron styles with intricate filigree patterns and gold painted trim.
Saws. Beautifully weathered handles and a patina finish on blades put this category in a nostalgic cut above others. Collectible types include crosscut, rip, back, and coping blades. Disston was the most successful saw maker of all time, and like Stanley, it has a collectors’ following of its own. Many smaller makers flourished in the US and Britain and just like with wooden planes, some collectors strive to have examples of as many makers as possible.
OLD VS. NEW
Under the category of frequently asked questions is whether new or old tools are better. The 19th-century society focused on handwork, and their best tools were state-of-the-art. In the 20th century, things moved toward manufactured goods and mechanization, and the emphasis on making great hand tools was gone. For the most part, I think old tools are better, but there are some small makers out there today making amazing tools. The Blue Spruce Tool Works, for instance, makes chisels that are truly as good as the best antique chisels, with steel that is better than what they could make in the 19th Century. There are others, but this is the exception.
SOURCES AND TIPS
Determining the value of a tool is generally based on its condition, its rarity, its current demand, and its history (provenance). Check a current antique tool price guide, or what online dealers are asking for tools, to get some clue as to fair market value. The Fine Tool Journal publishes a useful grading system, as well. Once you’re ready, these sources can get you started.
CARING FOR OLD TOOLS
Once you’ve made a purchase, protect it. Nothing should be done that is not reversible, For example, if it is dirty, clean it. But don’t refinish it. Likewise, store implements properly. If you keep tools in the same kind of atmosphere you’d be happy to live in—warm and dry—they’ll be fine. And if you never intend to use the tool, The majority of collectors have a dedicated room with shelves. They’ll invite you over and you go in to pay homage to the tools all over the room.
Many collectors find the hunt for Vintage Fishing Lures to be challenging, interesting and all consuming. A favorite place to start your hunt for Vintage Fishing Lures is at Estate Sales. Collector's are likely to discover the best finds early. Don’t limit your Estate Sale visits just to sporting areas; weekend fisherman living in cities have some valuable items as well.
Especially look for Estate Sales of Sportsmen because they will probably have collectibles recognized and priced according to their value. Beware of deals that are too good to be true; a reputable dealer will charge competitive prices for quality merchandise.
Collecting fishing lures is a fun, exciting and rewarding hobby. Beginning collectors can learn a lot about both art and history!