Saturday, September 15, 2018


National Museum Day, sponsored by the the Smithsonian, is, as far as I can find, a day that occurs in September each year. So I recommend you enter into your calendar on September 1 as a recurring event to look this up. You can get a free pass for two by entering "Museum Day" in your browser - follow directions, and print your ticket for a museum near you. Enjoy! And please let me know how this experience worked for you!

Monday, August 13, 2018


Not much has crossed my desk that I thought might be of general interest in the past few weeks, and since this Blog is aimed at providing important information I've been waiting for something to come up. Yesterday I received an email which alarmed me, and thought I'd better get the word out, but just before I sent it out I remembered to check out the info at "" - a web site that confirms whether web-published info is true, semi-true or just downright false. A quick check at Snopes proved to be an important step, since the email was just plain false information. I let the sender know, and the response I got was that is a false site and to be ignored. I'm not sure what to make of that!

Nevertheless, I've been using Snopes for nearly 20 years, and so far it has proved to be a very reliable resource. So my recommendation is that you check first, and then forward if it proves to be a reliable piece of info and you feel it worth sharing.

Hope this helps you make your way through what ends up in your email and on Facebook, etc.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Ugh! Today was the day to tackle window cleaning. A chore that I have not enjoyed since I was a kid. Seems like they never come completely clean, and getting the streaks out - again, ugh!

But today I was using a magic mixture that I learned from my childhood and had completely forgotten about. I use a cup of white vinegar in my dishwasher 4 times a year to help keep it clean smelling, and while I was running the cycle I remembered using white vinegar and distilled water in equal parts to get windows clean and shiny and without streaks. By the time I was in my 30s I also started using a couple of drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid into the mix, which somehow made the process even easier.

So, to get your windows clean without the expense of a window cleaner use a spray bottle with 1/2 part distilled water and 1//2 part white vinegar and a couple of drops of Dawn (I don't know if other dishwashing liquids also work or not) and spray and clean and get it done fast.

Hope this makes for a pleasant chore for you.

Friday, July 6, 2018


I was recently having lunch with a friend, who ordered a salad and said that currently her lunches were "salad days" until she lost a few pounds. I pointed out to her that the quote  was from Shakespeare, at which she scoffed. 
A quick look-up on Google settled the discussion in my favor, and got me thinking about the many quotes currently in daily use that come, more or less, from Shakespeare. To view the quotes and more info about them go to:
"Salad days" Antony and Cleopatra
"Send him packing" Henry IV, Part I
"As good luck would have it" The Merry Wives of Windsor
"More fool you" The Taming of the Shrew
"Short shrift" Richard III
"Neither here nor there" Othello and The Merry Wives of Windsor
"Mum's the word" Henry VI, Part II
"That way madness lies" King Lear
"More in sorrow than in anger" Hamlet
"With bated breath" The Merchant of Venice
"The green-eyed monster" Othello
"Vanish into thin air" Othello and The Tempest
"All of a sudden" The Taming of the Shrew
"Wild-goose chase" - Romeo and Juliet
"The be-all and end-all" Macbeth
"Up in arms" Henry VI, Part II and Richard III
"Eaten out of house and home" Henry IV, Part II
"Devil incarnate" Henry V and Titus Andronicus
"Heart of gold" Henry V
"Foregone conclusion" Othello
"All that glitters is not gold" The Merchant of Venice
Fun, right? I'm sure there are probably more; please let me know if you find any! My thanks to

Thursday, July 5, 2018


In the 1880s, the "Florida Mortgage and Investment Company" was looking for people to colonize Sarasota. Scotland seemed a good place to approach as there was economic difficulty there at the time. Articles were place in newspapers encouraging immigration to Sarasota. The attempt was successful and the first true settlers in Sarasota came from Scotland, although many left soon after arrival because the town was not yet built. Those who stayed behind helped build the town on Sarasota Bay.
The Scottish connection to Sarasota is seen in Browning Avenue, named for the John Browning family, one of the few of the Scot Colony to stay on. There is also Gillespie Avenue named for John Hamilton Gillespie, the Scot who was sent by the Florida Mortgage Company to revive the effort to build Sarasota, today considered the "Father of Sarasota".

A look at the original plat of Sarasota from 1885 reveals that most of the streets were named for fruits: pineapple, orange, mango, banana, lemon and lime. The idea was to encourage people to move here from other places to start farms, because the land was fertile, and the street names showed the fruits that could be grown here. At the time grapefruit was unknown.
On Siesta Key, Ocean Boulevard is not named because of its proximity to the water, but rather, it takes the name of Ocean Deep Hansen, who was born on the Atlantic Ocean on July 12, 1860. She married Captain Louis Roberts, who operated the Siesta Hotel and later teamed up with E.M. Argbogast and Harry Higel to form the Siesta Land Company to plat the north end of Sarasota Key as Siesta Key.
Also on Siesta Key, Stickney Point Road is named for “Uncle” Ben Stickney, an early settler there who opened his hand, heart and house to anyone who needed assistance. 
Higel Avenue is named after Harry Higel, “Sarasota’s indefatigable booster,” who was involved in many facets of Sarasota’s early growth and development. 
Midnight Pass Road is named for the pass opened by the hurricane of 1921. The pass was closed in 1984, with calls of “Let it Flow” becoming the perennial battle cry of those who would like it reopened.
On Lido Key, the streets are named after Presidents. During that “can do” era, President Harding was slated to use the Worcester Mansion on Bird key as his Winter White House. St. Armands Circle was known as Harding Circle in those days. Unfortunately, Harding died before the plan was implemented.
The earliest trails were paths cut through the woods by pioneers. Probably the first overland connection to Bradenton was the unintended consequence of Sarasota’s first settler, William Whitaker, trudging to the village of Manatee for two years courting Mary Wyatt, who would become his wife.
Swift Road was named for Clifton Swift, who built the Bee Ridge Hotel and Tuttle Avenue was named after William Tuttle, who came to town for Bertha Palmer to survey the area and build roads.
Ringling Boulevard was named for the brother of Circus Magnate John Ringling. Charles Ringling devoted his life to building the Court House and the Sarasota Terrace Hotel (now a part of the County Administration Offices). John Ringling developed the keys, including St. Armand's Circle (originally named St. Amands, but somewhere along the way an "r" made its way into the name, and it stuck!).
The Tamiami Trail was so named because it connected Tampa with Miami. In 1928, for the formal dedication of the highway, a long caravan of around 500 cars made their way from Tampa to Miami.
Higel Avenue is named after Harry Higel, who was involved in many facets of Sarasota's early growth.
Midnight Pass Road is named for the pass opened by the hurricane of 1921. The pass was closed in 1984.
On Lido Key, many of the streets are named after Presidents. Just take a ride down the Boulevard of Presidents to see which ones are included.

I hope you found this article interesting. For more about Sarasota History go to - and for even more information about the Sarasota Bradenton area try - I suspect you'll find out about a lot of things you were unaware of.

(The items in this article are taken in part from

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


I've spent the last few days investigating Obituary Scams, and have come away horrified by what I've learned. This article is aimed mostly at people who are 65 and older, but feel free to utilize the ideas herein for any family member who dies. Here are a few of the possible types of abuse/scam that are prevalent. This list comes from AARP Bulletin - March 2008 and I've researched to make sure the info is correct and as complete as possible. First the list, then some solutions.

  • Identity Theft - Contact credit card companies to cancel cards and send requests to the three major credit bureaus to flag the person's accounts as deceased.
  • Deceptive Debt Collection - Crooks often call family and try to get survivors to pay unsubstantiated claims - the debts left behind should be handled by the estate, not the family!
  • Fictitious Life Insurance - Claims that the deceased took out a large loan from their life insurance can encourage family to pay the loan off. Let the estate handle these claims.
  • Burglary - If the time of the memorial is published, it is possible that burglars may attempt to break in while the family and neighbors are away at the services. Best to ask one neighbor to stay at home and watch the property.
Details included in an obituary can help scammers reach out to family members and, while they are grieving expose them to falling prey to scams. The best approach is to not publish an obituary, but as most of us find that unacceptable, try these things to lower the chances of being targeted.
  • Include the name of the individual, don't include any nicknames, a maiden name or former names.
  • Do not include birth place or any other information that could help crooks scam the family. (The first five digits of a Social Security number are linked to a time and place of birth.)
  • Do not include names of spouse, children or other family members. Instead say things like "survived my loving spouse, children, grandchildren, etc." A list of accomplishments, organizations they belonged to and other personal information can help scammers, so be careful.
  • Write an obituary while you are still alive, go over the fine points of your life and make sure your family is protected after you're gone. This is a great way to remove the problem of family trying to write an obituary after you're gone and make sure that what is published fits everyone's needs. Make sure you revisit it once a year to be sure it is still relevant. And I suggest you keep it on top of your refrigerator with your living will. If you don't yet have a living will - I'll be discussing that at a later time.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Slipping and falling while taking a shower is something that occurs much too often. And as we get older the more likely it could happen to any of us. Here is what I do to prevent slips in the shower. I wear a simple, inexpensive pair of rubber flip-flops. I had slipped in the shower a few years ago and dislocated my shoulder. My doctor recommended the flip flops as a measure to prevent slipping and falling. Although not a 100% effective means to avoid a mishap, it is certainly better than bare feet on slippery surfaces!