What’s In Your Future?

Photo by Maksym Tymchyk on Pexels.com

A Tiny House

I’ve heard (can’t remember where or by whom), that the trouble with aging is we think more about the past, worry about the present, and think little of the future. At my age, seventy-four, even in the best of health, the next ten to twenty years will be entirely different than the past twenty. It’s a different time in my life and I can be grumpy and mad, or think about the future.

Recently my horoscope said, “You have to go to where the light is.”

I live in Florida. There is plenty of light and wear sunglasses to take out the garbage.

The advice, by Holiday Mathis, who writes the syndicated daily horoscope column for hundreds of newspapers, is the author of several books, and a multi-platinum songwriter (her songs have been recorded by Miley Cyrus, Emma Roberts and others), made sense.

References to moving into the light, implies embracing spirituality.

Perhaps I should attend church more.

Moving into the light suggest death or afterlife.

I’m not ready to die, but. . . maybe I need to avoid route 95 and look 20, instead of 10 times, before backing out of a parking space.

Although. . . It could mean; avoid negativity and surround myself with bright cheery people, places and things.

If I close my eyes and dream about the future, what do I see? A tiny house with lots of windows and a river view. The above picture doesn’t truly capture the picture in my head. I’m thinking more like this.

. . . just saying

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Who Is Beat Kahil?

10,000-Home Park Project Moving Ahead

This morning’s headline, “10,000-home Avalon Park project moving ahead” in our local newspaper turned my stomach.

The article, written by Clayton Park, informed us that, Beat Kahil, the developer, is predicting confidently, he’ll break ground for this massive project in Daytona Beach some time in 2023.

Predicting confidently? I can only imagine what that implies.

And ten thousand more homes is not what our area needs. We are over developed now.

Who is Beat Kahil? The name sounds fictitious to me.

A Googled search revealed the picture above and the information below.

Today’s article was nothing but favorable. No mention of the environmental impact, stripping the trees, changed zoning, or the strain on our hospitals and schools. The tone of the article hailed this developer’s achievement and success. Evidently he turned Orlando into a parking lot, not too long ago.

The article does discuss: building permits issued in 2021 by the City of Daytona, traffic concerns detailed by Maryam Ghyabi, the Ormond Beach engineering and transportation planning consultant chairing the LPGA Coalition and the fact that water and sewer services for Avalon Park Daytona Beach will be provided by the City of Ormond Beach.

All that happen while we were sleeping.

Nevertheless, Beat Kahil is confidently predicting his vision to create an entire town, will begin in 2023.

I’m confidently predicting it will be our worst nightmare.

. . . just saying

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(Orlando, FL (September 30, 2020) – Kahli Holding AG, the Swiss holding company founded by Beat Kahli, who is also President and CEO of Avalon Park Group, has acquired a 20% stake in VOXX International Corporation (Nasdaq: VOXX) over the past 6 months, making the group the largest shareholder.  VOXX is a global leader in consumer electronics, high definition audio, automotive security, and mobile entertainment systems.

Beat Kahli explains that it has always been his philosophy to diversify the company’s holdings and assets, while the primary line of business for Avalon Park Group is real estate development.  “Over the past several months I have seen the creativity VOXX has had in navigating the current economic climate and am optimistic for the future of the company,” said Kahli. “As an Entrepreneur, I am always looking to add diversity to our portfolio with companies that show ingenuity and promise.”

Avalon Park Group has a current development pipeline of over $3 billion.  The addition of the VOXX stake brings additional diversity to the industries already under the company’s umbrella.

About VOXX International Corporation
Established in 1960, VOXX has since grown into a worldwide leader in Automotive Electronics and Consumer Electronics, with emerging Biometrics technology to capitalize on the increased need for advanced security. Over the past several decades, VOXX has built market-leading positions in in-vehicle entertainment, automotive security, a number of premium audio market segments, and consumer accessories with a portfolio of over 30 trusted brands such as Audiovox, ASA Electronics, Vehicle Safety Holdings, Eyelock, and Klipsch, the #1 premium loudspeaker brand in the audio market. VOXX is a global company, with an extensive distribution network that includes power retailers, mass merchandisers, 12-volt specialists, and many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.

About Avalon Park Group

Avalon Park Group is a uniquely diversified family of companies engaged in businesses ranging from master-planned community development to home building, mining, and property management, in Florida, Texas, Switzerland Singapore and Australia. With more than $1 billion in total assets, Avalon Park Group combines its exceptional reputation, sound business experience, and significant financial resources to invest in extraordinary opportunities. At Avalon Park Group, our mission is to change the way the world lives, learns, works, and plays through creating healthy sustainable communities and every aspect thereof.

Beat Kähli founded Avalon Park Group Management, Inc.

He is Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Park Group Management, Inc.

and President for SITEX Properties USA, Inc.

He is also on the board of VOXX International Corp.

Florida Sunsets and Friends

Florida Sunsets and Friends

Today was quiet and yet I’m exhausted. Our grand kids came for Sunday dinner. We have enjoyed the weekly ritual since they moved here in January. Janine prepared a new pasta dish, Rigatoni with zucchini sauce. I didn’t have to do everything just some things and still I’m dog tired and ready for bed, but thankful; I have their support and friends.

People I can phone in the middle of the night and say, “I have a flat tire. Can you pick me up?”

They’d answer, “Where are you?” Then say, “I’ll be there in . . .”

Many of these people I’ve known for sixty years. Others for twenty-five or thirty. Some for only a few.

I’m lucky!

    . . . just saying

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The Day Wasn’t Over

Sun Set Grand Tetons Park 9PM

I would love to tell you we returned to the $400+ dollar night Inn and got a good night’s rest. . . but, the day wasn’t over yet.

Bill and I were helping Bob out of the car, when his face went, “lights out.” I grabbed his chin and looked directly into his eyes. “Talk to me! What’s happening?” Then, he fell to his knees. I think we all screamed.

Fortunately, a nurse and her strong husband had just left their cabin and knew how to support Bob without injuring his fractured shoulder more and moved him to a chair in our cabin. Betsy called 911.

Hotel staff arrived in a flash and determined acute pain caused his near collapse. We got him into bed, double dosed the pain medication, and gave him something for nausea.

My beginning to catch a breath was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was another staff member with paperwork to sign. A kid, probably my grandson’s age.

Understandably the hotel needed to document the incidents. I reassured him it was a simple trip and fall. We weren’t going to solicit a lawyer.

Like Danny on Blue Blood’s, he handed me paper and pen. “In your own words. If you wouldn’t mind.” He expressed his appreciation once the forms where completed and asked . . . emphatically, “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Well there was. My concern was getting Bob, weak and under the influence, to the bathroom. How many times does an 73 man void during the night? I’d lost count.

“Do you have a urinal?”

“No,” he said, embarrassed.

On the counter behind him was my wide mouth water bottle. I glanced its way, his eyes followed mine.

“Problem solved,” I said.

Shortly after, Betsy brought me dinner. A pork sandwich with homemade cold slaw she’d packed. Remember if the park opened food might be hard to find. Oh yes and a large bottle of wine.

It was around 10PM and the sun had finally set.

. . . just saying

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Day Two of Vacation

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Yellowstone was closed! My friend had phoned the day before to explain there were additional sidesteps. Her husband needed an unanticipated medical procedure the day after our arrival and her air conditioning was on the fritz. Always the optimist, I said, “We haven’t seen you in ages and there is lots to do in Colorado.”

Our flight was on time and arrived as scheduled. We visited the Gaylord Hotel, a spectacular lodge rising-up in the flat plains close to Denver International Airport and had lunch. It’s about an hour drive to Fort Collins and Bill insisted we take the scenic route father than Route 25 to avoid construction, traffic delays and vehicle accidents. And we did see some sights; housing construction competing with fracking fields. However, in the north the brown flat lands turn green with flowers and lakes.

The men retired early and the women watch “Being the Riccardo’s” staring Nicole Kidman. I loved everything about the movie.

The air conditioning repair person was scheduled for the next day and we slept comfortably with a ceiling fan and the windows open.

Things might work out just fine.

Continue reading

Wine Not and Cataract Surgery

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Wine Not and Cataract Surgery

Those of you who have had cataract surgery know what I’m talking about; the world is brighter. I see the walls in my house as cream, not mustard. And my hair, isn’t dingy grey. I’m hoping after the second eye is corrected, I’ll have fewer wrinkles.

Rumor was the regiment of daily drops three days before surgery and up to one month after was the most annoying part.

They were right.

Although, I had to strip naked and wear a surgical gown three times too large; told to use the restroom which was locked, and consequently, had to sneak into the hall with my butt exposed.

The surgery was everything promised. After the doctor marked my forehead to indicate the left eye was to be operated on, I didn’t feel a thing.

In recovery I overhead the nurse’s discharge instructions for the patient in the next bed; no driving, DO NOT bend at the waist, and no alcohol.

However, she did not include the no alcohol in her discharge spiel to me, nor mention the difficulty one might have walking. One eye is new and improved, but patched and vision in the other eye is cloudy and compromised. A glass of wine was in my future.

After dinner I poured myself a glass of wine and watched the level rise in the glass, carefully, not to over do it. There was no rise in the glass and I thought the glass could be cracked, only to realize I had been pouring the wine on the counter.

Fortunately, it was inexpensive wine.

Fortunately, the spill didn’t travel to the floor. I would have had to bend at the waist.

Note to self; in preparation for the second eye surgery, buy straws.

. . . just saying

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Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

“The planet Mercury rules communication in all forms—listening, writing, reading, speaking, and so on—as well as activities closely related to communication, like negotiations and contracts. It also rules travel, automobiles, shipping, and mail.” And according to my neighbor lots more; like air conditioner failure.

Three times a year, the planet Mercury appears to travel backward across the sky. It’s an illusion but nevertheless associated with confusion, delay and frustration. Hence the term Mercury Retrograde, AKA backwards, reverse or decline and might also be responsible for the nail stuck in my car tire.

Here’s what happened. After driving 600 miles, we arrived home to find our central AC shut down. My husband, Bob, tired and in crossword puzzle withdrawal, was on the brink of a melt own. So, I phoned for emergency service and spoke with another Bob who from the tone of his voice was equally fatigued, if not more. He explained he’d been on call in addition to working his regular job for the past ten day before asking, “Do you have a shop vac?”

“We used to.”

“The line is more than likely clogged and needs to be suctioned. It will take me at least one hour to get where you are and cost you at least $200 dollars.”

“Are you talking about this white pipe sticking out of the ground?” I asked.

He agreed to come, I hung up and immediately phoned my Mercury Retrograde neighbor and  shared what was going on.

“I have a shop vac! I’ll be right over,” she said.

Wearing a designer skort and sequined flip-flops, she arrived within minutes carrying the shop vac.

“My AC line got clogged and I had to pay big bucks for it to be repaired. So, I purchased this on Amazon,” she said kneeling on the wet grass.

My Bob came outside and I had the other Bob on the telephone explaining he didn’t have to come after all. Everyone wore smiles. Well, I couldn’t see the other Bob smiling, but I knew he was.

“Thank you, Johanna!”

Next morning, I figured new day, no problems and went about unpacking, doing the laundry, opening-up the mail, oblivious to Mercury Retrograde who was secretly hanging around.

Later in the day I was driving on route 95 when yellow alerts appear in the dashboard, the print too small for me to see, but soon discovered my right front tire was losing pressure quickly. Normal pressure is 33 to 35 this tire had 20 pounds of pressure, YIKES!

Turns out I had picked up a nail in my travels.

I didn’t have to consult my neighbor to know, “when Mercury is retrograde, try to remain flexible, patient, and understanding, allow extra time for travel, and avoid signing onto any new contracts that you’re unsure of. Double check your email responses and check in with reservations before you take that trip.”

                                               * * * * just saying

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Back In Florida

We’re Back

Sunrise Lake

We’ve returned to Florida after spending four weeks at Sunrise Lake in Milford, Pa., and an additional week in Delmar, New York, visiting family. We’d considered a trip to Yellowstone National Park to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, but due to health issues, upcoming medical procedures, and what not, put the trip on hold.  Twelve years ago, we retired to Florida and in retrospect would have made better snow birds. We wanted to escape the heat.

It rained frequently at the lake. The temperatures so cool, we jumped in the lake only once. But, our grand kids, daughter and old friends; well let me restate that, people who we’ve been friends with for a long time, visited. Although, they are truly old friends; we met when I was thirteen and been friends for sixty years.

Smoking cigarettes at Puffy’s Creek, (behind Martin’s house in Hensonville, N.Y) nobody thought we would be old, or still be friends. It rained cats and dogs when they visited, and we huddled on a covered screen porch laughing our heads off, trying not to get wet.

Our favorite restaurant in the area is the Walpack Inn. It’s hidden deep in the woods, In order to get there we crossed Dingman’s Ferry Bridge, one of three privately owned bridges in the United States. Twenty-four hours a day someone stands in the middle of the road collecting the one dollar toll (cash only) and says repeatedly, “Thank you. Have a nice day,” to motorists crossing the Delaware River into or from Sussex County, New Jersey, via Old Mine Road. It’s a narrow bumpy bridge and kind of like threading a needle.

It was great to visit with everyone and I had mixed emotions and quite grumpy leaving Delmar at 6AM on a Monday for the 584-mile drive to Roanoke, VA. I’d not slept well the night before. However we made good time and got in bed early.

The next day we were on the road by 7AM., traveling Route 81, a scenic parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Around 9:30 AM we stopped in Hillsville, Virginia for gas; to use the restrooms, and buy the newspaper. Bob reads the paper and does crossword the puzzle while I drive. We are not back on the road five minutes when he announced there is no crossword puzzle in The Carroll News which he paid one dollar for and the paper was dated August 4th, several days ago. It’s a weekly publication.

But there was news of interest.

The 85th Old Fiddlers’ Convention, held at Felts Park for six nights was expected to draw 50,000 to 60,000 people from all fifty states and several foreign countries. The paper reported the big controversy over face masks in schools, but there was no debate at the convention; no one wore a mask.

New material at the Carroll County Public Library was another headline. The list of new books, videos and CDs was extensive, diverse and took up several pages. There are six branches however, who was getting what book was left out.

The paper, more than likely, reflected what was important in the community

It was a the poignant story highlighting the Golden Girls return to work at Blue Ridge Designs that enthralled me.

Blue Ridge Design’s Golden Girls, Rubye Edwards, Cathie Grimes, Carol Montgomery, Sue Worrell

Look at the smiles! These women in their eighties, work part time at Blue Ridge Designs. Rubye retired at 87 and returned to work at 88 saying, “It’s an easy job and better than sitting at home.”They re-sticker UPC hang tags for garments. Sue Worrell believes in the “Move it or lose it,” health approach and after work went home to make 10 pints of blackberry jelly. Cathie Grimes does it for “The money!” Carol Montgomery said, “I’m still working because I don’t like staying home.”

We arrived home early and thought our re-entry would be easy. However, we were not in the door an hour when the air conditioner stopped working.

* * * * just saying

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Ridiculousness

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Aging & Attitude

Ridiculous, this is ridiculous; I am telling myself, stressed about baking chocolate chips cookies.

Really! Chocolate chip cookies! Have you eaten a home-baked chocolate chip cookie that was not delicious?

I am on a mission to bake my grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies and disappointed with the results.

Granny B’s cookies were more like a brownie, square in size , not chewy or gooey, just the right amount of crunch. As you can tell from the picture; not flat or crispy.

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The struggle for perfection is ridiculous, absolutely positively ridiculous.

My children, who I will be bringing them to, remember the cookies, but not the way I remember them; a special treat that accompanied a special woman wherever she went.

Remember special treats for special days. Some of us even enjoyed weekly special treats.

Ours was eating pizza in front of the television on Friday night. Pizza was tomato paste on English muffins with American cheese criss-crossed on the top. The television show was Seventy-Seven Sunset Strip. We snapped our fingers and mouthed the words to the signature song. Then mesmerized by Kooky combing his hair, and prayed he would lend me his comb.

No really, I am being ridiculous. The cookies I baked are practically almost exactly like hers.

I never watched her bake them, but asked for the recipe once. Her response was she followed the recipe on the back of Toll House package but added one teaspoon more water. In later years I pondered and pondered how an insignificant addition to a cookie recipe could produce nirvana , then recalled Granny B baked with Crisco.

Remember the movie, “The Help,” when Minny says to Celia, “The greatest invention since they put mayonnaise in a jar. You have a squeaky door hinge, Crisco. Bags under your eyes, gum in your hair, Crisco”?

I examined the Crisco can, and sure enough, when substituting Crisco for butter add one teaspoon  water.

Now the recipe is just right. Well not exactly, the taste is delicious. That is not the problem.  

The problem? The cookies are too thick and a tad too light in color.  

I get it, I am being ridiculous.

I have tried a 9 by 13 pan, too thick, and 15 by 10, too thin. One is too small; the other too big. It is possible a 9.5 by 14 pan will be just right. Unless I am being ridiculous.

. . . . just saying

The Silent Sound of Snow – Happiness Series

I really miss snow.

Family and friends remark, “Easy to say from Florida.”

They may be right; nevertheless, beautiful winter scenes created by the recent blizzard bring me happiness and serenity.

I found myself reciting Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening.”

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Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Poem by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Frost found words to express a feeling so special it has ownership. Not his, but one to be shared.

The line, the only other sound’s the sweep of easy wind and downy flake, sparked my poem;

 

Sounds of Snow

     by Claudiajustsaying

The sound of snow after falling
A quiet stillness penetrating crisp air
Listen intensely for snare drums not there

The howl of the wind mimics French horns
Stop in soft snow tracks
An acoustical silence alone

An absence of flurry
Close your eyes
Hear the gentle whispers of nature singing

Remember that sound after snow falling  . . . never there

. . . . just saying