Hurricane Season Is Here

The Atlantic Hurricane Season started June 1st and hurricanes were the cause of major damage in Florida and the Carolinas during the 2016 and 2017 Seasons. Folks living in coastal areas are most at risk, but hurricanes also bring high winds and rain inland to Central Florida. Reminding us all of the old adage “Better to be Safe than Sorry”. Hurricane Irma in September of 2017 cut power to thousands of customers. Happy to say, Solivita has underground wiring and a secure power grid. SOLIVITA DID NOT lose power but, knowing you are prepared will bring peace of mind and comfort to you and those that love you.

Assemble an Emergency Kit, safeguard all important documents, keep your medication in a safe location, and sign up for emergency alerts by logging in to Polk County Emergency Management. https://polk-county.net/emergency-management.

As we know, severe weather can strike quickly, creating a variety of dangerous situations. We all have a responsibility to stay tuned to the National Weather Service, local media and emergency management for special warnings or instructions during severe weather events.

The Morse Museum

Recently we spent an afternoon in Winter Park at the Morse Museum. This museum does not disappoint. The Morse houses a comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s works, including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps, and windows, plus Tiffany’s Chapel is on display. For decades, many of the chapel elements remained in packing crates, and in 1996 the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation endorsed an expansion project and the packing crates were opened and the Chapel was reassembled in Winter Park. This beautiful display was opened to the public in April 1999 and, since the Chapel was installed in Winter Park, it has inspired all who have had the privilege of visiting this lovely intimate space. You can visit the website for the Morse Museum at www.morsemuseum.org.

Winter Park has some great bistros and lovely spots to enjoy a snack or a meal after a day at the museum. When we were in town we tried Boca in Winter Park – casual, comfortable, and garden fresh. If you happen to be in Winter Park during the week, Boca has a Happy Hour from 3 -6 in the bar area with a nice selection of drinks and appetizers. You can even order a delicious dinner to go from the market. If you visit on a Saturday or Sunday, Boca makes a great brunch and a delicious mimosa.

Winter Park has a wonderful selection of good eateries, from Sushi to Pizza to Turkish, almost any cuisine you choose can be found here, so it is a fun town to explore when you are spending a day away from Solivita. Winter Park is only about 10 miles north of Orlando or about 40 miles from Solivita. Big Bonus – During the week, you can hop on the Sun Rail and let someone else do the driving for you.

The Florida Heat

I always equate July and August in Florida to January and February in NJ. Lee and I lay low in the Florida heat, just as we did in the NJ cold, but still, I think I would rather live with the heat instead of the cold. In the summer, we swim in the pools in the morning and in the evenings. During the day we explore indoor activities rather than outdoor activities. Of course, lots of folks continue to play tennis, golf, bike ride, enjoy the outdoor walking trails, etc. but I would rather take time to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle Florida offers. We tend to visit museums, see an afternoon show, enjoy an art class or a lecture, or sit back in the AC and watch a movie. During this time of the year you can find me walking the indoor temperature-controlled track in Solivita or tending to our potted plants on the lanai. In our lanai we grow all kinds of herbs and tomatoes. Lee has even planted a few pots with pineapples, they have never grown large, but they sure are sweet. It is a pleasure to have fresh herbs and tomatoes growing near the kitchen. Easy to harvest, plus who does not love strolling out to their lanai to pick some fresh mint for tea, or some basil for a salad.

To help beat the heat, summer is a great time to vacation somewhere with cooler summer temperatures. Snowbirds come to Florida to enjoy the warmth in the winter, so why can’t we escape the heat and take a trip to a cooler climate? Alaska, Washington State, Oregon, Up-State NY, Canada, etc. The list of beautiful places, with cooler summer temperatures is endless. It is always fun to plan, and fun to visit another place on the planet. We live in Solivita, so another worry off the list is safety and security. Solivita is a safe and secure community, therefore we need not to worry about our homes while away.

No summer vacation for us this year, thanks to our great clients. Business has been brisk, and I am keeping my “nose to the grindstone” finding homes for lots of folks relocating to Florida or moving from one neighborhood to another. Always happy to help anyone achieve the “American Dream of Homeownership and a Beautiful Retirement.”

Freshen Up Your Look With Houseplants

Houseplants are good for lots of reasons. They embellish your interior spaces by adding beauty to your home, but that is not all they do. Plants remove toxins from the air, making the interior air in your home better for you to breathe. I just read a study commissioned by researchers at Kansas State University and they found that adding plants to a hospital room speeds recovery rates in surgical patients. A workplace study done by Dutch researchers discovered that employees in offices with indoor plants have a decreased rate of fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, and sore throats. So, with these findings, we thought we would buy some beautiful pots and plant some lovely greens around our home and office. If you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you already know that we grow lots of herbs and tomatoes on our lanai, but we have never really added plants to our interior space. This week we took a trip to the Outdoor Store, found some great pots, Lee and I picked up some plants from Lowes, and we spent an afternoon potting. We added English Ivy and Boston Ferns to our living room, a peace lily to our bath and orchids and succulents to our bedrooms. We will let you know how our indoor garden grows and our experiment turns out in a future newsletter.

Audrey’s Salivating Solivita Turkey Burgers

We trust everyone had a Happy 4th of July. The fireworks were great again this year, and I hope you came out and enjoyed the fun. Thank you to all those that helped make Independence Day 2018 a great one. I enjoyed the additional bonus of a day off! In addition to enjoying the fireworks, we were invited to a BBQ with friends. We had a wonderful time and attended a delicious party with Audrey and Tim. Audrey made a fruity chilled sangria and served it with delicious turkey burgers on the grill. She has kindly shared her recipe with me, and I’m sharing it with you:

AUDREY’S SOLIVITA TURKEY BURGERS
1 ¼ Pounds Ground Turkey
½ Red Bell Pepper Chopped
1 Serrano Pepper Chopped
3 Tbsp. Feta Cheese crumbled
½ cup Jack Cheese Shredded
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
5 Drops Worcestershire Sauce

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and shape the meat into four hamburger patties. Grill the burgers on the BBQ; or cook them on the stovetop. If you cook them on the stovetop, lightly coat a pan with Olive Oil and cook the burgers at medium heat until done.

These burgers are juicy and delicious, especially when placed on a toasted bun. We topped ours with avocado, onions, fresh tomato, lettuce, and mustard; but these juicy burgers are good topped with anything you like. They would also be good with bacon and more cheese too. Then again, how could more cheese and bacon make anything bad?

Interesting Facts about one of our Neighbors, the Alligator

Alligators are nesting, and we are at the end of alligator mating season. Alligator courtship begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June. You might have heard some sounds you are unfamiliar with, and it could have been the alligators mating, as they are noisy. Males are the showiest of the species and they interest their mate by head slapping, vibrating their torso, bellowing, and jaw slapping. The females join in by making a sound more like a growl, but without the fanfare of the showy male. In the animal world, alligator courtship is lengthy, often extending 6-8 weeks with copulation occurring underwater quite a few times during courtship. Interesting fact: males and females may have multiple partners during a courting season and a single clutch of eggs may have multiple paternities.

By June, the female seeks the right location to build her nest. The female piles vegetation and compresses the materials she has gathered and diligently builds her nest. It can take a few days, or upwards of a month for the nest mound to be built. Once the female is satisfied with the nest, she climbs on to the mound and spends several hours slowly turning to make a depression on the top. She then deposits 20 to 50 oval eggs. The female returns to the water’s edge numerous times to gather muddy vegetation to pile on the depression. The incubation period is 65 days. As the alligator embryos develop, it is the heat in the nest that will determine the sex of a baby gator. A temperature of 91 degrees or higher produces a male, a temperature of 86 or below produces a female, and in between the two temps there is a 50-50 chance of either a male or female being born. Lee and I always enjoy getting to know our neighbors; and some facts about the local wildlife too.

Central Florida Has Beautiful Lakes, Enjoy the Ride!

June is the perfect time to take a boat ride on the Chain of Lakes. Bring your hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and your spirit of adventure. Living Waters offers fun tours of the Chain of Lakes. We enjoyed a great day and best of all the Chain of Lakes is only a short drive from Solivita. We parked our car at Harborside Restaurant in Winter Haven where we boarded the Living Waters Pontoon Boat for a two-hour tour. The tour was interesting, the captain was entertaining, and the water was crystal blue and shimmering in the sunlight.

We sat back and enjoyed the ride while sharing a cooler packed with refreshments. We relaxed on the comfortable couch seating on board, and our captain put the Bimini top up to provide us with extra shade. After a relaxing afternoon on the lake we were dropped off at the Harborside Restaurant and shared a delicious dinner. A pleasant way to spend the day, wind in our hair, fresh air in our lungs, and a nice afternoon on the water, plus a delicious fish dinner at Harborside.

If you would like to take a ride with Living Waters on the Chain of Lakes you can find them on the web at: www.livingwatercruises.com

Flag Day Celebration

A salute goes out to all veterans plus a special thank you to the Solivita Veterans who have erected the American Flag on our lawns in celebration of the great country we live in. Flag Day is a day to commemorate the adoption of the US flag in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Thank you for helping to remind each of us to observe Flag Day, and the freedom, democracy, and unity the flag represents to all US Residents.

Make a Big Impact with a Small Investment

Want to freshen up the look of a room, but don’t want to spend lots of cash?  Add texture and style to your Central Florida home by adding a few beautiful pillows to your den, living room or lanai. If you have a solid sofa or solid chairs, add a delightful flower print with tassels. Pillows are available in a gorgeous array of colors. If flowers are not “your thing”, add luxurious velvet monochrome geometric design pillows to your look, or add bold black and white pillows, and make a real statement in your room. Our Central Florida discount stores have a large assortment of rich looking pillows at reasonable prices on their shelves and the right pillows really can change the look of a room. Shop around some of the discount stores for a look you love. If your furniture has a print, look for some pillows with a solid pop of color to change up your look. Experiment, because you can always return any pillow you purchase if you are not thrilled with the look.

Summer Time Is Soup Time; Chilled That Is.

Chilled Mango Chipotle Soup
Easy, Delicious and High in Antioxidants.

  • 2 Mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • ½ Tsp Ginger Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp. Chipotle Powder
  • 2 Cups Vegetable broth

Puree all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. More spices can be added to taste. Serve Chilled and Enjoy.