N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “Florida

THE MEANING OF ONE LIFE

We may hear someone say, “Well, you have one life to live!” It’s an off-the-cuff remark of which people pay little attention. However, maybe we should.
Life is short. It is something that no one should take for granted because the next breath could be the end. Living in the moment is rare, for often we live in the past or in the future with our thoughts.
How we live, whatever time we have, is what makes the difference.

I want to share with you a short summary of the life of one man that none of you will know. His first name was Grafton. We buried Grafton yesterday in an all black cemetery in Florida. He was 95 years old. Having emigrated to the U.S. from Barbados, he wanted to serve God even though he only had a 4th grade education. During this time, he worked in the groves as a fruit picker. He had no problem with hard work, but wanted to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Being poor was often a problem with where to live or having enough to eat, but he managed to make ends meet. Sometimes it was with the help of those who cared about him.

After getting some education and a license to preach by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Grafton reached out to the black community to preach and be of service in their church. As is their practice, the AME Bishop appointed Graftron to be pastor of a specific congregation in Central Florida. Often, after his first Sunday in the new congregation, he arrived home and received a phone call from the Bishop, who said ” Don’t go back. They don’t want you.”

Why? Because he was different from the African Americans here in Florida. He was from another country and he had a slight accent. Was this any reason to reject his open heart to serve God? Of course not, but unfortunately, people of all races have their prejudices. What was he to do? He found a white minister who was willing to give him a position as “Visitation minister” to the shut ins and those in the nursing homes. What happened? Some families complained and didn’t want him to visit “Grandmother” because he was black.

A friend said to the minister who hired him, “You mean you gave a black man a job to go visit white women?!” “Yes.” “Well, there IS a God in heaven!!” was the reply.

For a period of time, he drove about 200 miles to a congregation that would accept him. This was a hardship, but he was willing to go where he was accepted and appreciated.

Grafton was one life given to God to serve Him. Yet, he was unwanted…much as our Savior was unwanted. Grafton was not crucified, but it is certain that his heart, at times, was torn in half by the people around him…who “just didn’t want him”…both black and white.

Those friends who did accept him and brought him into their homes for meals knew that they had found a real “Gentle Giant” with a heart of gold. He was over 6ft 5in or more and had a smile that warmed the heart. He was one life…humble and caring. He was God’s child.

Grafton

The minister, who hired Grafton, was my husband, Bill. Some years ago, Grafton told Bill that when the time came for him to die, “Please give me a good send-off!” Yesterday, Bill did just that, with prayers and thanksgiving for a special life and a special man. Grafton was laid to rest beside his wife, who also was a minister of Jesus Christ.

At the grave-site…an all black cemetery…there were only twelve people…all white friends who loved him. In this day of racial division and concerns, it seems appropriate to say that love is still available to all who want to give and receive it…regardless of who we are. We are all God’s children with one life to live. A young, white woman came to the funeral, with a photo in hand of Grafton and her when she was younger. She said through her tears, “He was my friend.” What a lesson for all of us that friendship can be a real blessing in life when we put away our biases.

In Honor of Grafton… One Solitary Life…who served the resurrected Savior.
This is a poem about the life of Jesus Christ. Although the author is frequently cited as “unknown” the poem is actually attributed to James Allen Francis.


He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned–put together–have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.

VIDEO: One Solitary Life Turn on sound

POST NOTE: After this blog was posted, I received a note from one of my readers. She also addressed that people with a disability are also not given respect. She tells of a student named John who was an Albino. (Definition of albino: a person or animal having a congenital absence of pigment in the skin and hair which are unusually white and the eyes which are usually pink.)

” John, who was studious, nice, thin, not athletic at all. He was an albino.  His hair was white, his eyes were almost pink.  I liked him, and most kids did.  A lot of the boys, who were considered “tough guys,” gave him a hard time.   If any of us saw that we’d go after those kids and try to save John.  We lived close to that family. His father died, and his Mom did her best.  She had edema and had problems moving around, but John took care of her.  It was such a sad situation and he did his best.  John was intelligent and received outstanding grades in school.    Just prior to graduation, his mother died.   John hung himself.  He couldn’t go on any longer.  It boggles my mind when I hear about people who torture others because of their color or any disability, etc…”


The Cost of Beauty

I am writing this blog in honor of my Mother, Alta, who owned her small beauty salon. She began working as a stylist after she left home at the age of 16. When she had her salon in North Carolina, she had some wealthy patrons among the tobacco heirs. Mostly, her clients were the average person. Those were the “good old days.”

She would be horrified to know what small business owners are going through today. We lost my Mother at the age of 93, long after she retired. Her last few months were in an assisted living and nursing home.

On a previous blog, I wrote that I thank God that she didn’t have to be without family to cheer and visit her as many have these last few months. Just today, I have learned that our Governor in Florida is once again making visits for families possible with proper precautions. We mourn for those who died all alone during this time.

What does all this have to do with the COST of beauty? I will quote what a small business owner in California, like my Mother, had to say about a very wealthy member of our Congress and the Speaker of the House.

It appears that the business owner has released to the public a scene from her security camera, showing the Speaker with a wet head and no mask over her nose or mouth, moving through the inside of the salon, after having her associate called in that she was coming in for a “wash and blow.” Like most salon owners, the owner rents out the chairs to stylists, and can’t control who their customers may be.

Oh, yes, the owner, Erica Kious, is being rebuked that she didn’t get permission to release the security clip, but she felt obligated to do so because of the fight that small business owners, like herself, have had to go through during this pandemic. She also is being shown in the press as a person who “set up” the Speaker…even though the Speaker is the one who asked to come in for the style. Kious’ response to the battle, “I’ve had a camera system in there for five years….I didn’t go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in and set her up. So that is absolutely false.”

Her response also for why she released the video of the Speaker was this:

“This is for everybody,” she said. “I am sharing this because of what everyone in my industry, and my city, what every small business is going through right now.”

These battles will continue and the Press loves it, but there is much suffering going on in the small-business arena. This blog is not to write in depth here about the many small business owners who have had their businesses burned to the ground by so-called “protesters.” That could be another post.

The fact remains that those who are doing this without regard to the hard work put into developing a business is despicable. Their real names are not “protesters”, but “anarchists” and “criminals.” There is certainly NO BEAUTY in what they are doing. I wonder why the young people/or older, who go out night after night to destroy, have not learned anything about RIGHT and WRONG. No cause…or position in thought…can justify this in any way. People have died. Having hair done, or some have laughingly called “hairgate,” is small potatoes. The real point is destruction and the shut-downs.

As my readers know, history is a big teacher. The Nazi regime brought about a similar situation before WWII when they went out to destroy the hard-earned businesses of the Jews. We know how this ended…with millions incarcerated…and murdered. Whenever a mob picks a leader and gets into power, someone will be the scapegoat. There will always be a reason to blame someone for the crisis. Beware…beware…America!

A typical, high-end salon…not that of Erica Kious

( I continue with the article, in part, by Brook Singman, with an interview of Erica Kious, the small business owner of the salon in California. )

There were rules and regulations to go by to safely reopen, which I did, but I was still not allowed to open my business,” she said, noting that she installed plexiglass partitions between sinks and seating areas, and ensured that all salon chairs were six feet apart, along with proper air circulation from open windows. “They never let us open,” she said, while adding that she is unable to reopen outside because her salon specializes in hair color, and using chemicals outside is prohibited. ( “…Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hair styling services only. )

“We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can’t – it’s a feeling – a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down,” Kious, said.

“I have been fighting for six months for a business that took me 12 years to build to reopen,” she explained. “I am a single mom, I have two small children, and I have no income.”

Kious said that the area where her salon is located has turned into “a third world country,” saying that “every other storefront is completely vacant and shut down and boarded up.”

“And because of the shutdown, and the store closures, we’ve lost people, my clients, and my employees, and that is due to the politics in San Francisco,” she said, adding that the homeless population is “everywhere” and “defecating” all over the city...

“It has gotten so extreme,” she said. “It is so night and day from what it was a year ago, that everyone is fleeing.”

___________________

It is understandable that this shop owner is upset about her business shut-down and what it has done to her years of work. Stylists, like my mother, stand on their feet for long hours, use chemical dyes to make women look younger etc, but it is how they earn their living for their families. They try desperately to go by the rules placed upon them during this pandemic. No wonder she is furious that the standards of personal engagement are for some but not all. She has lost customers due to the shut-downs that she may never regain but also because people are fleeing from the cities due to the violence and destruction. In American, small or large businesses should not have to board-up except for extreme weather…not a climate of fear brought on by people. Our son just returned from California where the hotel he was staying in was boarding up their windows because of “protesters” outside. They also warned their customers, “… you might not want to go out there.”

Every woman wants to be beautiful. There is no problem with dying the hair if it helps take some years off…but women who can’t get this done by a professional because of regulations…regardless of what they can pay or who they may be…can take themselves down to the local beauty supply store, if it’s open, and buy a box that does the trick!

All small businesses have to be reopened as soon as possible. Large department stores are also closing, leaving thousands without jobs. These hardworking men and women need to have their livelihood restored. Congratulations to Erica who braved the possible backlash of revealing those who preach to us through the media and do something different in real life. Most people I know have turned a deaf ear to all they have to say.

Thanks, Mother, for all the years that you worked so hard in your salon to be a provider for your family and also for being a good citizen. I wish there were more like you…with respect for people and property.

We, as women and men, thank the salon workers and owners…as well as the small barbershops around the country, who are finally opening with proper caution. The COST to you and your small business has been great. We won’t forget you. Hang in there!


Tragedy and Gun History in the USA

bullets

Almost everyone I know in Virginia owns a gun or has a permit to carry one.  These are upstanding, law-abiding citizens, church goers who love people and America.  There is no doubt in my mind, if gun control laws should be changed in the USA to try to prevent the terrible tragedies we have seen recently and throughout the years, they would stand their ground to maintain their “Constitutional Right” of the 2nd Amendment.   Yet, each time the mentally ill or a person with evil intent goes on a rampage, harming innocent children and adults in our country, the debate over guns begins again.  The reason, of course, is that everyone wants an answer to what may be unanswerable.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FACTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA?

Mass shootings are considered any shooting where more than 3 people are shot. This does not include the injured whose lives are often forever changed. Neither does it account for the emotional harm or fear that Americans experience.  After mass shootings, most Americans try to go on with their everyday lives.  To change what they do in attending a movie, club, or sporting event because of the fear of terrorism or criminal activity, would be giving in to the perpetrator.   That would not be the American way.

Here are a few examples of mass shootings from the 1980’s to the present:

  • McDonalds     22 died
  • Columbine High School 59 died
  • Virginia Tech  32 died
  • Sandy Hook Elementary  28 died …very small children and teachers
  • Orlando nightclub   49 died
  • Church Shootings: Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. 9 dead  and  1st Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX 26 dead
  • Las Vegas 58 died
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla., 17 died…children and teachers

In the 1990’s 159 people died and in 1994, there was an assault weapons ban.   During the 2000’s, there were 20 incidents of mass shootings taking the lives of 170 people.

Many cities in the USA, like Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia experience single shootings every day…sometimes every hour.  Gangs are armed and the Assault Weapons Ban has done little good when criminal elements are at work. As far as mass shootings, since 2010, the U.S. has experienced at least 40 incidents, killing over 350 innocent people.

Law enforcers who try to control areas and situations are also victims. The number of deaths of law enforcers has also increased because of gangs, border crimes, and local offenders.  Their job of trying to keep our communities safe is a most difficult one.  Their weapons are essential in apprehensions…and hopefully, do not have to be used.  One can take a look at the listings on memorials and see the terrible effect on those who serve and their families.

Slides of Some Memorials to our Police who have died in the line of duty by a violent offender.

 

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GANG VIOLENCE and Drugs

 

When little children are involved, it is even harder to understand the motivation for violence.  Gang members, who shoot from their cars at random, aim at little children walking to or from school.  Adults take a chance with their own lives as they often accompany the children.  We know for certain that there will be a great judgment for those who harm children.  (Mark 9:42 in the Holy Scriptures “And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone was hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”)   See memorial to Sandy Hook children and victims at end of the video.)

The law enforcers, FBI, and even parents cannot be everywhere at all times. Schools, theaters, concert halls, sports events and even churches are having to up their security.  This is not only about the fear of terrorist attacks but for the insane or criminal element who would plan to do something terrible to average citizens. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Florida High School even though teachers were told to not allow the shooter on campus with a backpack and the FBI had been notified of his social media postings with no real results.

I was a teacher for years in Florida and we were trained on lockdown situations, but how in the world is a teacher suppose to confront a perpetrator bent on killing as many as possible, and ask him/her to “take your backpack off campus”. Throughout the nation, most school employees have taken training courses on what to do if attacked. Others have called for the arming of teachers.

After the church massacre in South Carolina of an African American congregation, some citizens who keep their eye on odd behavior have armed themselves.  Others opposed carrying weapons into the house of worship.  If so, some states require a sign outside stating their opposition to bringing weapons inside the church.

Here is a quote around this issue:   “Before the Sutherland Springs shooting, several major church groups in Texas, including leaders of the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, had advised their membership to ban weapons from services. Citing the Catholic doctrine that the real presence of Jesus Christ exists inside the sanctuary,… dioceses in major cities, including Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, banned guns. But in the aftermath of Sutherland Springs, church leaders of various denominations have faced pressure to reconsider their positions on weapons.  In November, just a day after the shooting in South Texas, the Diocese of Dallas said it would not formally lift its ban on the open or concealed carry of firearms inside its churches, but it advised its parishes to consider removing outdoor signs that advertised the prohibition on guns out of fear it would make the churches more vulnerable to attack. But the move effectively allowed the carry of weapons, since state law requires any business banning guns to install a public sign formally stating that policy…”  (taken from article by Holly Bailey)

How tragic is it that one can’t feel safe in their place of worship or at school!

One article that I read in my research said that there are so many guns in America, both criminal elements and the law-abiding, that no decision on gun control will help the situation. The criminals are fully armed. The insane usually can find a way to get a gun, which may be within the home of people with good mental health.

Various organizations have opposed labeling anyone as a “mental risk”. We ask people to get psychological help if depressed or have other concerns, but some may be hesitant to go to a psychiatrist for treatment.  Why?  The fear is that government may eventually require names of patients who are seeing the physician…just to determine if John Doe is a security risk to the community or nation. What about HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability andAccountability Act) which is an act to protect your privacy? It may be a good thing to read who HIPPA allows having information on you.

Do the mentally ill have rights under the HIPPA laws?  According to Mental Health America is the following statement:  “While providers generally follow their clients’ wishes, there are emergency situations when a provider may disclose relevant, protected health information to an outside party, including family members or law enforcement. These special circumstances include times when a provider believes there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, or where an individual is deemed “incapacitated,” lacking the ability to make one’s health decisions, and sharing information is in the best interest of the client’s care”.   (Mental Health America link)   

Parents may not look at their minor teens as a public security risk, but feel that their odd behaviors are “going through a phase” which they expect will eventually be outgrown.  In the Sandy Hook incident, the mother allowed her son to have weapons, which was used to kill her and the children of Sandy Hook Elementary. Some feel that even beefed up mental health improvements could have some problems.  Others wonder if they can trust the government to guarantee their Constitutional rights.  It is all most complicated.

Police recommend over and over “Say Something if You See Something”.  Our hat is off to the young man who photographed the threat made as a comment about “being a professional school shooting” online and talked to the FBI.  This young man had no connections and lived in another state from Florida. Yet he spoke up, saying “I just couldn’t let that go by.”   Teens communicate almost exclusively through social media.  They are aware many times of who is sending out signals of desperation, hatred, and intents.   Parents also need to keep an open conversation and awareness with their children.

Another call is for a renewed effort on mental health.  It will also take people beyond government or medical intervention to change the mental attitudes in American.  The clergy can bring faith and understanding.  Parents should get off their phones and get involved in real, everyday conversation with their children.   All people in communities should keep their eyes open and be unafraid to speak out when needed.  We are all in this together.   Nevertheless, the debate goes on about gun control and mental health because the grief is real and most Americans hope that there can be an answer to the insanity.

VIDEO ON THE HISTORY OF GUNS IN AMERICA   (Turn up sound)

 

In Memory of Each Child and Teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary link

 


IRMA…National Guard and More…Help is on the Way

Eye of storm Naples FL Irma

HURRICANE IRMA HITS FLORIDA …SEPTEMBER 2017

Help is pouring into Florida from many states around the country.  Not only are they the National Guard but also Power Companies that have staged hundreds of trucks ready to move.  As of 9-16, there are still people in Florida without power, but they are continuing work diligently on it.  This must be very hard for many after this many days since Irma went through the state.

Thank you!  Thank you for all the help.   

Here are a few pictures of the devastation and suffering of the people who have lost so much when Hurrican Irma hit Florida and moved further up the Eastern U.S.  Some reports feel that the loss of life and property was not as severe as it could have been. Nevertheless, those who lived through it and have little left are getting help as quickly as possible thanks to the quick response around the nation.  It is greatly appreciated 

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fixing power Irma

POWER COMPANIES TRYING TO RESTORE POWER

Staging area in GA to move into FL Irma

STAGING IN GEORGIA READY TO GO TO FLORIDA WHEN STORM PASSES

Wisconsin National Gurard to FL Irma

WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD LEAVES TO HELP FLORIDA

Wisconsin National Gurard to FL Irma.jpg 600 Guard and 10 military aircraft Volk Field

Examples of the National Guard’s readiness and movement toward Florida is shown on the video below.  The Guard came from many areas.

Again, we thank all the FIRST RESPONDERS and VOLUNTEERS  from the state of Florida and every state that has come to bring help.  There is so much to be done to recover.

by Staff Sargeant Alex Blaum  CLICK VIDEO  

 


Prayers for Peace after the Storm…Now the work begins to Rebuild

 

Steve's house hurricane Irma 2017

A scene in Orlando. South Florida was much worse and many are flooded.

Update:  Irma has passed and now for Florida and Texas, as well as some other states on the East of the U.S.  In Florida, it is in the 95-degree range…very hot and humid with no way to cool off.   It is a major clean up time.  Many are still without power which means that everything is more difficult.

This music and words are dedicated to our friends and family in Florida.

Have courage.  Our thoughts and our prayers are with you as you recover.

May you be blessed. 

from Boyer Writes

 

 


Small Town Christmas USA

Nestled in the center of Florida, USA, is a tiny town called Howey in the Hills.  Yes, there are actually hills here, as the center of the state has beautiful rolling hills that visitors to the state rarely see.   There is much more to Florida than theme parks.

Let me introduce you to Howey.  It has one blinking light, a caring and protective police force, one small library, a doctor’s office, post office, a convenience store with gas and a market with a deli,  and two beauty salons.  An active Community church holds a live nativity scene each year, often with farm animals.  Recently our 101 year old resident turned his work of art landscaping into the new town’s Blevins Patriot Park.  Visitors often come there to salute those who have served in our country’s military.

night-time-at-howey-christmas

The people are friendly and stop to chat as they walk their dogs along the lake front.   Gorgeous sunrises are seen early in the morning  across beautiful Little Lake Harris. The moss sways gently in the oak trees and the birds arrive each winter from the north to share the trees and lake with the resident birds…like the Sandhill Cranes that roam around the yards. sandhill-crane-1size-sm

This town is in Lake County, Florida  that gives good fire and rescue service. A brand-new grocery is just across the bridge and several up-scale restaurants at a conference center and a golf course is a short distance from the one stop light.   Crime rate is extremely low. A modern school for special needs students is just down the road from the lake.    Who would not want to live here?  If it ever snowed (which it doesn’t) one could sled down our hills right into the lake.  Which might not be a good idea for alligators can occasionally be seen.   Boaters fish and once in a while a pontoon airplane lands and takes off.

Each year Howey in the Hills has a Christmas parade. There are activities for all ages and at night lighted boats sail along the lake shore.  Small towns close to Howey send their high school bands and color guards to join the festivities along the lake. Eat your heart out if you are sitting in snow and ice. (Notice the school twirlers aren’t wearing snow suits). howey-parade-twirlers How many towns have Llamas dressed for Christmas in their parades?  These gentle creatures come to show off every year.

howey-parade-llamas1

Since most of our readers will not be here for this Christmas, we would like to share the spirit of Christmas from our little town with you.     God’s blessings on this wonderful time of year.

howey-christmas-parade-2014-006

Slide show

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We cannot forget our Santa Claus who brings up the end of the parade.

Video of Santa at Howey Christmas Parade (Turn on sound)


“A Better World” says a 101 year old man

Woody 100ls

Woody ready to work in his garden

Woody 100lr

The Blevins in their younger years

 

He lives in our town in Florida. Woody Blevins  is turning 101 this year.  Over the years our small town of Howey in the Hills has watched Woody get up each morning; work his ornamental garden, care for the flowers and make his town and ours a more beautiful place. His lovely wife, Leah, who is a excellent pianist, has worked in the garden along side of Woody.

 

 

Let’s take a lesson from a dear man who just wants to leave this world “a better place.”   Happy Birthday, Woody!

Click to hear Woody at 101  ( Turn up your volume to hear Woody better.)

 

 


Goodbye Winter….Come soon Spring

How wonderful are the winters in Florida!   Of course this is why we have so many “snow birds” (People from the north coming south).   I am certain at this point most anyone in the Boston-New York areas would love to simply get away from the snow drifts and see a beautiful cherry blossom on a tree!

I really hate to rub it in to those with icicles dangling from their heavy winter coats, but just outside my house a cherry tree is beginning to put out a lovely pink blossom.    This, of course, reminds me of the two great trips that I have had to Japan…neither of which were during the cherry blossom time.   I may have to make a trip to Washington, D.C.  to see them in full bloom one spring soon….when they get finished with winter.

This blog is for all those winter weary people who would more than love to have a little spring to come their way.  You have endured much; shoveled much….and deserve a break!  We here in Florida have not forgotten the people of the Great Lakes and Minnesota.  So get yourself something hot to drink and enjoy a breath of Spring with some soothing piano music.  Winter won’t last forever.     Enjoy!


Chef Judi at Shoogie Boogies – Sarasota News | Mysuncoast.com and ABC 7: Chef Judi

Shoogie Boogies is written up in BIZ 941, a magazine of Sarasota, FL

Shoogie Boogies is written up in BIZ 941, a magazine of Sarasota, FL

Light Dinner Brochure jpegSometimes there is a place that one would love to know about…especially if there are plans to travel in Florida on the Gulf Coast near Sarasota, Florida. One of these places that you may want to explore is Shoogie Boogies Garden Cafe.

Chef Judi interviewed Kathryn, the owner, about what Shoogie Boogies has to offer in the way of old world charm and good food. She also explores what exactly is  Shoogie Boogies and some of the history of this sought after place to dine for  lunch or certain evenings for a light dinner.  We thought you may want to give it a try if you are in the area. Don’t forget that reservations are recommended. (941-951-5437) or go to the website at http://www.shoogieboogies.com for more information.

(Clarification: The spelling is Shoogie Boogies…with an s on the end.)

One last thing, this is not a cafe for only women. Men enjoy it also…so plan a nice date…or a garden event.

Click on the link below…scroll down to the video; turn on your sound and enlarge the picture for best viewing.

Lunch with Chef Judi: Shoogie Boogies – Sarasota News | Mysuncoast.com and ABC 7: Chef Judi.


The Real Florida…and Florida Cracker Culture..

I live in Florida, USA.   Most people who travel here are looking to visit the theme parks like Disney or Universal Studios.   These are not the real Florida.  The real Florida has a wonderful history.  There are thousands of acres that are being preserved by the ranchers who still own the land.

The video below is worth seeing if you want to understand something about the history the  present day men, women, and children of the real Florida.

It is a land of horses, brought here by the Spanish in the 1500’s.  The horses drive the cows…some of special breeds from India.  Dogs help with the round-up…and 4th and 5th generation children ride the range with the grandparents.

The environment is vast, wild, peaceful and filled with wild-life of all kinds: turkey, hogs, eagles, alligators and more.   This is the real Florida.    History has shown that the men who worked the miles of Florida from coast to coast were sturdy, rugged individuals.  We must not forget the women who shared this land with them.  They had their babies here with nothing more than a mid-wife and prayer that they would survive.   These people were often referred to as Florida Crackers .   They were also the Florida cowboys.  Yes, before the wild-west cowboys, the Florida cowboys were here!

What were the Florida Crackers? (see video below)

  • Crackers were self-reliant, simple and tough (mostly Scots Irish) immigrants who settled the backwoods of Florida.
  • Came to Florida by the promise of independent living and cheap land e for raising cattle
  •  Crackers battled everyone from the Seminole Indians and the British army
  •  They also battled malaria from mosquitoes and wild animals.
  • Living among the palmetto and scrub, they survived on turtles, possum, frogs, grits, cornbread and greens and whatever else they could catch.
  • Historians will tell you that “cracker” originally meant “a braggart.” Some use the term today to describe country folk or someone who was born in Florida.
  • The word “cracker” actually came from the sound of a whip made when rounding cattle.

What was the Florida Cracker House?

  • wood-frame construction, an elevated first floor,
  • a large attached front porch, a revealed fireplace, horizontal wood siding in both the exterior and interior,
  • A wrap around porch with an overhang was key to beating the sun outdoors.  The windows usually had netting or shutters to keep out bugs and other creatures
  • Rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground.
  • Crackers often built their homes of cypress wood, which  has inherent anti-rot and anti-insect properties.

 

VIDEO OF THE REAL FLORIDA (Longer version video)


“Out of the mouth of babes” Belief kept Alive

There is nothing like the gifts given by God to a child.   I share with you another child that is blessed with the beauty of voice and words. It is true that “out of the mouth of babes” comes truth and inspiration.   A new generation to keep faith alive.

Click to hear Jackie Evancho sing TO BELIEVE    (Enlarge screen for best viewing)

Hear Jackie below in another concert in Sarasota, Florida at the Ringling Museum


FLORIDA WETLAND PHOTOGRAPHY

Wetlands of Florida

Florida Wetland Photography is our special Gallery for the New Year.   During the month of January, any print or canvas ordered in the Florida Wetlands Category will have a price reduction along with free shipping.      See all  photography and much more at our website:  Photography by Boyer at Boyer Gifts

Cyress Trees in the Florida Wetlands


PHOTOGRAPHY BY BOYER launches New Site

We would like to share with you a new venture that Bill and I are launching on the web.  It is called Photography by Boyer, a division of our Palmetto Specialty Group, LLC.    This is our original  photography and fine art from around the world.

The primary emphasis is on the BEAUTY OF FLORIDA, showing florals, wetlands, and wildlife.   You will see that we can provide not only  prints, but stretched canvas photography as well.

There will be other elements to the site that may interest our viewers:  a card series and gifts.   It is a secure site for purchasing with major credit cards.  Please help us with passing along the web address to friends and neighbors.

Web Address is Photography by Boyer

www.boyerphotography.org

Take a look and see what you think.  We would love some feedback and lots of sales.   20% of all sales will go to humanitarian and Christian mission efforts.


Summer Time and the Living is Easy

Day Lily of Summer

Having just returned from the North Carolina mountains, we were greeted with a burst of color.    The roses were in bloom; the day lilies were reaching for the sky, and the lawn needed mowing.

  I decided it was time to bring out the photography that showed the glory of God’s creation at this time of year.       I could not resist adding a few of my abstracts inspired by nature and architectural design.    In fact some of these may end up on fabric for new skirts and purses,  if I am truly creative this year.

   Enjoy this slide presentation as you lean back and breathe in the beauty of nature.   Remember the cold winter and enjoy the summer!

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“The Long Silence is broken and the Shadow Lifted” Rosewood Massacre

Historic Marker Rosewood, FL

 

Refusing to give anyone his gun to kill black people of Rosewood, one man said  he would not  have his ” hands wet with blood”.  

  With a fever-pitch, this small town in Florida had gone from peaceful to a terrible blood bath.   The reason?   One woman lied about being attacked by a black man. 

  This was the south…the deep south.   Slavery was no longer, but slavery in the hearts and segregation drew deep lines of tension and suspension between the races.   Hard working blacks, then called “colored” worked in the timber mills and the pencil factory of Cedar Key.   Many blacks were  Masons and had black churches of faith.  They were land owners in a predominately black community.  The white people had moved to Sumner, Florida. 

Blood revenge; stringing up from the nearest tree, or running blacks into the alligator, mosquito-ridden swamp was the order of the day.   For those who lived through this terrible period of history, it is hard to imagine the difference in opportunities for all races today…including their own.   Those were frightening, terror-filled hours.  Houses were burned.  Children saw their parents murdered and the white people of the area were drawn into this dangerous time.  

  Few understood the effect that it would have on generations to come.  Few cared. Few looked past the moment.   Only  those who  refused  to take part could walk away from such a disaster with some sense of dignity. But the community guilt was still there. Every black person was driven out or left Rosewood.

 Years later, Florida became the first in the nation to compensate victims of Racial violence.  “The legislature passed  and Florida  Governor, Lawton Chiles, signed the Rosewood Compensation Bill, a $2.1 million package to compensate survivors and their descendants. Seven survivors and their family members were present at the signing to hear Chiles say,

 “Because of the strength and commitment of these survivors and their families, the long silence has finally been broken and the shadow has been lifted

 Instead of being forgotten, because of their testimony, the Rosewood story is known across our state and across our nation. Now, across the world.  This legislation assures that the tragedy of Rosewood will never be forgotten by the generations to come.”  

May it be a reminder everywhere that there can be light…even in darkness…if people will do what is right regardless of the terrible wrongs.

For details on Rosewood, click here.


CRAB SOUP, ANYONE?

Crab at Cedar Key

Every so often, my husband and I like to venture into a part of Florida known as Old Florida. It is entirely different from the commercial Disney World type  places that most people of the world think of.

 It is  quiet…a  laid-back part of country life that appeals to us. Often it is a place with large live oaks, palmetto bushes, winding trails and the country folk that are the down- to- earth backbone of our nation. Such a place we visited a few days ago.

Traveling through Ocala; on to Rosewood (the subject of another writing soon), and over the Gulf of Mexico is a non-changing little town of Cedar Key.

 Nothing is spectacular there. The buildings date back to earlier days and lean a little to the side. The newer places have not had the experience of a Florida Hurricane to give them the falling over appearance, but give them time!
If you are an adventure seeker, looking for the bright spots and excitement of a large city, you will not find it at Cedar Key. You will find nature, the wide blue waters of the Gulf lapping gently at the shore. The sunsets are pink and the country music fills the air from the local tavern. It is a place to bike or walk and to say, “howdy”.

The following slide presentation will give you a better understanding of this Old Florida town, if you have never been to Cedar Key. Don’t be in a hurry…they aren’t.           Click on the presentation below.

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THE MAJESTIC CYPRESS

The Japanese called it the “Sugi Tree” that whispers in the wind and the birds carry its message. They were speaking of the Cypress tree that is known as the Bald Cypress in Florida and other coastal places of the South. Louisiana adopted it as a state tree. It probably originated in Asia Minor around the Island of Cyprus because of the name. It is beneficial and flood tolerant. The great Cypress Swamps are a special part of the Florida eco system. In ancient times, the Cypress was a memorial plant for famous people. Its great main trunk is usually surrounded by cypress knees. These make a place for the birds to sit and dry their feathers. It is also decay resistant and boats are built of this sturdy wood. Perhaps the Japanese were right. If one listens, these old cypress trees may be whispering. We may find it hard to actually hear over the noise of the motor boats or the frogs, but it is worth a try. Those birds may have a message.
BOYER WRITES by N.W. BOYER (Enjoy a slide presentation of Cypress Trees on Little Lake Harris, Howey in the Hills, FL )

Cypress Trees

Cypress Trees

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FLORIDA IN THE WINTER

lakeHarrisSmRecently I wrote  about the Blue Ridge in Virginia.        However, since moving back to Florida, I have asked myself what I really like about living in the South…especailly Florida?      I think I have found several reasons  to share with you:     First, the skies are magnificent!    Because we are “flat- landers”, as the Virginians call us, the skies have space to stretch higher and higher. The clouds rise up to look like huge mountains  trimmed with gold,  as the sun rises or sets. I had forgotten how truly beautiful the Florida skies are until I returned.     The second thing I enjoy about Florida is the mild winter when the flowers continue to  bloom.  The birds sing and fly around the lakes….a migration from the cold, north land. Perhaps the third thing I enjoy about Florida is that everyone seems to be from somewhere other than Florida…originially speaking.     There is a diversity that brings people into a friendly acceptance. Yes, there are a few “Crackers” who were born here, but no one asks that question. A person is not judged by his family tree or considered to be an outsider. The last thing that I enjoy is the water….whether it is one of the many lakes…or the ocean…or the Gulf. Water is everywhere. For the boater, it is a heaven. For those of us who walk our dogs down by the lake, it is a changing view. The ripples lap against the shore and the cypress trees stand in the water. Occasionally an alligator’s head pops up to look around. Then there is always the SKY…..always those big, beautiful skies.   Florida….a wonderful place to visit or live.

BOYER WRITES  by N.W. Boyer       (Enjoy the slide show on Florida)

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