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The Boys are Back in Town

A few months ago, our good neighbors, Brian and Richard, permanently relocated to Solivita from their home in Winter Park. Brian and Richard have owned their home in Solivita for years and finally “came to their senses” and moved in.

Not only are the guys great neighbors, but fabulous designers too. Recently, they redesigned our courtyard and transformed our space into a beautiful, carefree, tranquil oasis, complete with a bubbling fountain and beautiful flowers. Now instead of just passing through our courtyard we have a lovely place to stop and enjoy the beauty of our garden. Brian and Richard’s Company is At Home Design Solutions, and they have solutions for all your design needs. You can reach them at 321-251-0688 or you can virtually visit their website at

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Do You Need a Vacation?

At this point, I think we probably all need a break. We are working on our bucket list and planning to escape our Self-Induced Quarantine Status as soon as it is safe to travel. Lots of ideas on the list, but for our first adventure after COVID-19 Cases are reduced we are taking a car trip, just like in the “Olden Days”. On our list, Nashville, Smoky Mountains, Memphis, OR we may head out to Hot Springs, Arkansas to enjoy nature and hang out in a Spa for a few days. All just ideas on our list at this point, but all ideas that remind us of the life we had BCV19 (Before COVID-19), ideas that will help us get through this crisis and back to life as we knew it. In the interim, in Solivita we can swim, walk, bike, garden, golf and enjoy the beauty of our community. October is almost here, and the new month will bring beautiful skies, cool weather, and lovely evenings. Evenings perfect for lounging on our lanai, lighting the firepit and enjoying the brush of an evening breeze. I can almost smell the fragrant hickory burning in the firepit as Lee and I sit back and enjoy the evening sounds of the conservation while sharing a good glass of red wine at the end of the day.

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Getting Hurricane Ready

Planning for hurricane season can be stressful, especially while we are currently handling the COVID-19 Crisis, but if you are prepared you will have less to worry about.

Solivita has Underground Power Lines so in Solivita you are safe from high winds, falling wires and poles, but the potential of underground lines being damaged in a flood is still possible. Solivita is not in a flood zone, therefore potential flood damage is minimized. Having stated all the above, Hurricanes can be destructive, and power can be interrupted during a storm, therefore it is better to be safe than sorry.

  • One gallon of water per person per day, plan on a minimum of three days.
  • A 3-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if you are including canned food. Lee and I always maintain crackers, nuts, dried fruit, and Wine in our emergency food supply.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio plus extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Masks for Covid-19
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags
  • Wrench, Pliers, and a hammer, just in case you need to turn off water, or make a quick repair.
  • Prescription medicine for 5 days


Have a full tank of gas in your car, and if you have a grill, charcoal and matches, or a tank of propane for cooking.

Pack a bag of personal hygiene items just in case power goes out and you want to evacuate. Include in your escape bag, your cell phone charger, a pen and paper.

Hurricanes come and go, and in the tropics, hurricanes are a slice of life, but in Central Florida our risk is minimized as we are far from both coasts. So be ready, be safe and by end of November we will all be celebrating Thanksgiving. Let us hope we are celebrating without masks.

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Quick, Healthy Summer Salad Recipe

My brother in law, likes the flavor of onions, but sometimes the bite bothers him, so for years he has been picking raw onion out of his salads. Recently my sister started doing quick pickle recipes and now we are all enjoying healthy tasty salads, plus Gregg is enjoying onions. It takes no time to pickle an onion and this knowledge has been the impetus of many creative salads. Easy, slice your onions thinly, and soak them in vinegar, I have soaked them in white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar and found that any vinegar I have on hand works perfectly. All you need is about 1 hour of soaking, and the raw onion flavor has been tamed. Discard the vinegar and add the onions to your salad. Now the fun begins, we are busy making vegetable salads with this method. Cucumber, Radish, Onion and Dill Salad is a big favorite. We have enjoyed many salads now and substitute fresh dill for parsley, add carrots, zucchini or summer squash, mushrooms, or any variety of what I have in the refrigerator. This is a great way to enjoy the cool crisp of the veggies, without adding a lot of calories and a good way to preserve your veggies for a couple of extra days. If you let these salads sit in the fridge, they are still good 24 hours later. I am not canning, cooking, or long preserving veggies but instead just refreshing up some old recipes and enjoying the crispy, cool flavor of summer. Following is a basic example of our latest summer salad.

Basic Summer Salad:

1 Bag Red Radishes, sliced thinly
1 Onion Sliced thinly
2 English Cucumbers
½ Tsp Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
Vinegar to taste
1 Clove Garlic minced
2 tsp chopped fresh dill

Toss radishes with salt and let stand for 10 minutes, in a separate bowl Toss Onions with vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain radishes and onions and transfer to a large bowl, add cucumbers.

Whisk Olive Oil, vinegar, garlic, and dill in a small bowl, and pour over vegetables. Standard Vinaigrette is 1/3 Vinegar to 2/3 Olive Oil, but let your taste be your guide. Toss to combine and refrigerate. Good to eat in about an hour, and good later in the same day or even the next day. This is the perfect recipe to make in the morning, go to the pool and enjoy at lunch. This type of salad does not require a lot of dressing, experiment, and have fun with ingredients and the dressing.

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Staying Safe, and Staying Centered

We are all concerned about our potential exposure to Covid-19 while trying to still get our workout routines in. Lee and I are not currently visiting the gym. During this Crisis we are trying to maintain a workout routine by walking, biking, and doing Yoga. We are riding bikes, I am riding a stationary bike, and a few days a week you will see Lee riding his bike through the neighborhood. We are also enjoying walks around the ponds, lakes, neighborhoods and on early morning weekends driving to a lovely park and walking a trail. As for working out at home, we are doing that too. Beside the health benefits of working out and keeping active we are trying to ward off “cabin fever”. We have relocated some of our Florida Room Furniture and a few times a week are exploring the benefits of yoga and using our Florida Room as a temporary yoga studio. Yoga is new to me, but so far, I am enjoying the peace and tranquility this quiet form of exercise brings. Of course, as the weather cools, our lanai will be the perfect place to enjoy a Yoga Session. Whatever it takes to get through this, get through this we all will, and at the end we will all be SOLIVITA STRONGER for it.

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55 PLUS Real Estate During a Pandemic

Good News, the market experts are still predicting the months to come to be a good time to buy a home, after all, interest rates are historically low, and folks still need a place to live. This Virus has been a disturbing and a sad time, but an interesting time for us all. In my estimation, if you are buying or selling a home in a 55 Plus Community you are one of the lucky ones. Most of us in Solivita are at the end of our careers or have already retired, our high earning years are behind us, and it is time for us to start enjoying the life that we have worked so hard to achieve. The young working folks are the ones that are really taking a hit in this economy. Parents and Folks who work in the service, entertainment, hospitality, and travel sectors are struggling, and if they are working, are worried about catching the virus. In addition, we are finding that lots of clients seeking to buy in our community have recently retired and moved from large cities. These folks are looking to live in smaller, safer, and less densely populated communities. The recent number of retirees combined with the decision of folks to flee the cities is fueling the sale of property in SOLIVITA. Historically an election year slows down real estate, but in the current environment, I believe we are uniquely positioned, and our real estate values will remain strong through the election cycle and the virus.

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Comfortable Living while Isolating at home due to Covid-19 Concerns.

Lee, I and most of our friends and families are finding that we are spending more time in our homes than ever before. Rooms that were previously visited only to dust and vacuum are now being used for hours each day. These rooms have now become havens for our safety, and this strategy seems to be a smart one. Our spare bedrooms and dens have become our Offices, our kitchens are running at top speed, morning, noon, and night. Our laundry room is always filled with items to be washed, dried, folded or ironed. Our Florida Room is now Movie Central and hand sanitizer stations are strategically placed throughout our homes. We are also finding Our pantry is no longer large enough to hold the supplies we are gathering to help us live comfortably. We are stocking up on items used regularly as now we are not running to the store to “just pick up a few things”, plus we are heading into hurricane season so we are keeping an extra supply of necessary items on hand, just in case.

2020 Started with so much promise and, if we all keep safe, 2020 will end and with lots of promise for 2021. In the interim, with extra time spent at home, we are reimagining some of our spaces. Some of the changes we have identified are, a refrigerator/freezer for our garage, plus shelving, and the addition of cabinetry to our laundry room. The three changes we are adding to our home are easy, and inexpensive, but will improve our daily living while keeping us organized too. Today, everything we need can basically be purchased online, so we are now busy online shopping for the items we have deemed necessary. Once the deliveries roll in, we will open our bag of tools and make the improvements. I am especially looking forward to the laundry room improvements and Lee is anxious for extra garage storage. We will both be happy to have another refrigerator/freezer to keep our wine chilled and our ice from melting. Happy are the hearts that embrace change, look to the future, and make the current situation tolerable.