No Comments

News from the Lanai Garden

Our family is having a good time growing and harvesting fresh salad, spinach, celery, and herbs from our “family farm” on the lanai. My sister and her husband have multiple planters filled with good organic soil and lots of veggies. Turns out they do have green thumbs and are harvesting some amazing fresh produce. Daily they pick greens for their own use, plus have filled many salad bowls for our table. The greens are fresh, delicate, tender, and tasty. This has turned out to be a good source of veggies, we make less trips to the market, and a nice diversion from life’s stresses.

My family all seem to have green thumbs and now that most of us live in Florida we all are growing Orchids. Last year we had a bumper crop and this year, we are again looking at hundreds of potential blooms. We are counting down the days until the Orchids begin to bloom again. Over the last year we have had quite a few of our orchids sprout babies on their flower stalks. This is the first year we have had this happen, the baby plants or “keiki” will need to be removed and potted so they can continue to grow. I have been reading up on the process and in the spring, once the weather is a bit warmer and the roots a bit longer, I will jump in, cut the keiki with longest roots and pot her. If it works, I will try the rest. From all I have read, it will take a few years to see blooms, but it will be a fun growing experience.
No Comments

Florida Coast to Coast

Looking to take an easy trip, just for a change of pace, while socially distancing during the Pandemic? Look No Further. Florida has lots of great spots to visit easily and safely.

When in NY I love to People Watch, I enjoy quietly watching the NY attitudes, clothing, hairstyles, purses, couples in love and groups of friends, but we live in Florida. With social distancing people watching in NY is out of the question, so we decided to take a day to bird watch. NY is People Watch Heaven, but Florida is a bird watcher’s paradise. So many birds, so much variety, interesting and a good healthy day out.

Lee and I recently took a trip to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and took a walk/drive on the wild side. If you do not feel like taking a walk, just bring your camera along and take a drive. A great drive is the Black Point Wildlife Drive, it is several miles long and you will be able to photograph birds from your car without disturbing them. Lots of Ospreys hang out there, and if you stand on the shore near the entrance you may even see them catching and eating fish. If for some reason Black Point Drive is closed check out the Biolab Drive. It is several miles away from Black Point, but you will probably catch plenty of action there. You can virtually visit Merritt Island at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/merritt_island/

We enjoyed our day out and came back with some nice memories and a few decent pictures. It appears that When this Pandemic is Over, we need a photography lesson and a new camera. Of course, to see the most birdlife, it is best to get to the location before sunrise, so you are ready to photograph birds arrive early for the best light. If that doesn’t work for you, seeing and enjoying our bird population around sunset is also good. You just want to avoid Bright afternoon light as is not good for birding, nor is it good for photos. But during the Pandemic, any time of the day spent in nature, makes for a good time.
No Comments

Hanging Out Around The House

Lee and I have added lots of Indoor Plants to our home. The plants freshen the indoor air, bring clarity and calm to our space, and when placed on a shelf or tabletop act as a sculpture or a centerpiece. Caring for plants is grounding and life affirming, plus each new bloom brings a moment of joy and satisfaction. In my kitchen I always have two edible plants; basil, and parsley, outside on the lanai I grow rosemary. Each of these herbs are recipe staples in our kitchen and are ideal for creating dishes and even beverages. Lee and I both enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking, eating, and sharing the events of our day.

Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Cinnamon

Easy and Delicious. The hardest part is peeling and cutting the squash.

1 Butternut Squash 3 – 3 1/2 Lbs. Peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tsp Salt
¾ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary


Toss all the ingredients together. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a bit more Olive Oil on the Baking Sheet. Spread the squash over the baking sheet. Leave room between the pieces, as you do not want the squash to steam, therefore you may need to use two sheet pans. Roast until tender and browned on one side about 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue roasting for approximately another 15 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy. I have also substituted the Maple Syrup with Honey and the squash was equally delicious.
No Comments

Life During the Pandemic

Weaving our way through the Pandemic has certainly been a challenge for each of us. But, Solivita residents have proven to be strong, supportive, and resilient. Together we are getting through this. Some of our neighbors have already received the vaccine and are safer for it, plus each vaccine in a neighbor’s arm helps keep each of us safer too.

Thank You, The Solivita Team worked hard to bring the vaccine to us, and between Solivita and our local county teams we are confident that soon everyone will have access to the vaccine. Solivita Activities did a FABULOUS JOB with giving out the Covid-19 Vaccine to our residents. “Easy Peasy” and Effortless for the residents. Solivita gave out 2,600 first doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine. This Confirms it, we not only live in a Beautiful Community but a Safe Community that Cares! Thank You Solivita for helping to make us all Safer and for providing a good quality of life for those of us lucky to reside here. Everyone who wants a vaccine needs to remain strong and diligent until they are on the list and have the vaccine in their arms. This is not an easy process, but a process that is well worth the work.

Until most of the world is vaccinated it seems that life, as we knew it, will remain a distant dream allowing us to explore other, quieter, avenues for adventure. Each of us now can find the time to redecorate our homes, plant and tend to our gardens, plan our post-pandemic adventures, learn a new skill, a new language, or write that book we always dreamed about. Lee and I have friends who are taking guitar lessons on the computer, my brother-in-law is making furniture in his garage, Lee is busy perfecting his golf game, my mom is baking lots of yummy cakes and cookies, and my sister is busy in her lanai (lovingly referred to as the family farm); planting, tending, and harvesting lettuces, radish, spinach, herbs, carrots, and celery. Lessons learned from the last year, although life is quieter, it is good. Solivita offers the luxury of living life in natural surroundings with a large population of beautiful birds, wonderful folks, and interesting creatures, surrounded by lush foliage in the warmth of Central Florida. Making Life here a Win, Win for us all.

Please be safe dear friends, by the end of this year, we will all be celebrating together, and our fear of the virus will be in the rear-view mirror. Until then, please enjoy the gift of living life in our Beautiful Community.
No Comments

The Benefits of Working with a Realtor

It is important that when choosing a realtor, you choose the Right Realtor for the Job and the Right Realtor for You. I always suggest clients interview a few realtors, gain an understanding of their expertise, discuss how many homes they have closed, and understand the primary location of their agency and the locations they cover. What you wish to avoid is a realtor that is 50 or 60 miles away from your target area. You want to hire a realtor who is an expert in the area, a realtor with many contacts, a realtor with community knowledge, and lots of experience. A realtor with a home base too distant from your home will not be able to show your home promptly or meet with a potential buyer at a buyer’s convenience. In this fast-moving market, waiting a day or two is the difference between selling or buying a home, or losing a sale.

An experienced Realtor has many useful tools, contacts, interested buyers, and great marketing skills. A true industry professional will significantly reduce the time your property is on the market or the time it takes you to find your new home.

Negotiating, Renegotiating, Closing and Settling a Real Estate Purchase is an art that an experienced realtor is trained to handle. A good realtor will guide you through the process from appraisal to inspection to financing. In addition, if any issues are found at inspection a good realtor has professional tradespeople at the ready to make repairs and recommendations.

If you are selling a home, an experienced Realtor will help you determine the selling price for your property by performing a full market analysis, discuss the value of your home, the competition in your neighborhood, will advise staging tips, inexpensive decorating ideas, and helpful hints to speed up the sale of your home.

Choosing a Realtor is an Important Step in Buying or Selling so please don’t sell yourself short. Making a small investment of your time when choosing the right realtor is a smart investment that will provide you with many benefits.

Solivita Sales are Sizzling Hot, with a Limited quantity of Homes on the Market, our Market is a True Seller’s Paradise. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time, call a Bella Verde Realtor for a Free Market Analysis.