Meet Phyllis and Jerry ~

You know how we say “you never know who is going to slip in your path next”, that is certainly the case in this next story. Meet Phyllis and Jerry that stepped into our path last night.

We had been out exploring around Savanna, Georgia most of the day and arrived back at our campsite at Skidaway Island State Park shortly before dinner and dusk was minutes away. We quickly got a fire going and sat down around the fire to reminisce our day.

A gentleman comes up and asks if we were just at Gulf Shores Alabama. He mentioned a trailer such as ours that had Iowa license plates was parked in the same campgrounds as he was. We both commented, nope not us ~ we were coming from Florida. Meanwhile in that same conversation, another guest arrived on his bike and stands back awaiting to chat as well.

Jerry, the man in the background waiting patiently grins with joy and asked if we happened to see his Avion trailer in the next row over from us. We completely missed it since it wasn’t in our drive to our campsite and was one row over. A bit small conversations took place about our trailers, we invite Jerry to take a look inside. “Oh no”, I can’t look without Phyllis because “she wouldn’t t let me hear the end of it if I looked without her”. Can I go get her and come back he asks? Sure, come back we both respond we will be here.

Just a few minutes later, sure enough here they come Phyllis and Jerry. Oh my gosh they both were so full of fun and lots of energy! They asked if we had seen their note they left for us? Gezz we were flunking all bases with not noticing their trailer, nor note. Maybe we had done too much sightseeing for one day?

Phyllis and Jerry were such a little joy to be around. We exchanged stories of acquiring our trailers and where we were all from. Lots of giggles were exchanged. It was now “showtime” for Phyllis and Jerry to take a peek at our old 1962 Avion.

They both squealed with joy and had amazing looks as they stated their trailer was almost identical. We must now come look at theirs! Off they go on their lighted bikes as we follow behind.

We arrive at “their camp” and we too giggle as it seemed like the trailers were a brother and sister thing and they were from the same family. Two 1962 vintage Avion trailer in the same campground, what’s the odds?

More small talk and they tell us they are from Moline, IL. Phyllis and Jerry are trumpet players (so is Brian 😉) and Phyllis does virtual lessons to students back in Moline. Phyllis reached for her trumpet and was excited to share her talents with a serenade for us. Bravo – bravo as she blushes!

On another fun note, this last year they brought along their sewing machine and have been sewing masks. Posted at their campsite is a clothesline full of free masks for giveaway to anyone that comes along. Jerry cuts out, Phyllis is the seamstress. Several hundreds later, I might say they have had a greet success making many of peoples day by providing a free mask just by stopping by.

Such a colorful personality Phyllis had. Many fun sayings around their trailer, netting to keep the bugs out, colorful lights strung all about outside and of course the trumpet is ready to play at a moment’s notice.

Time quickly pasted with our new friends and it was time to head back to our camp but not without one more dual song on the trumpets. You see every night at 9:00 pm both Phyllis and Jerry plays the taps at their campsite for neighbors to enjoy. One stands at one end of the site and the other at the other side. They flash their flash lights and taps begin. What a treat for many ~

As we say our goodbyes, I quickly look back and see the cat in the window watching us walk off. How lucky for us to always meet such awesome new people. Phyllis and Jerry we hope our paths cross again in our old 1962 Avion’s. Safe travels ~ keep up the tunes, and sewing machine going. You sprinkle such joy ~

Here comes the sun ~

We love sunsets and often don’t take advantage of sunrises. This morning we decided to pack a thermos of coffee and go to see the sunrise on the beach at North St Augustine Florida.

Wow ~ the sound of the waves made it magical. When we watch sunsets there are always lots of people around, not the case with a sunrise. Only a few hung to see the sun come up.

A cute couple doing photo shots of sone sort. Maybe graduation or engagement picture, not sure but fun to watch the excitement in their steps as well.

So grab a cup of coffee and you too enjoy “here comes the sun”. This magical moment and new beginning we are blessed with each day is awesome!

Day dreaming of Blue Bottles and more ~

A day trip to Matlache, Florida is just what the doctored ordered. How often do we say those words when we are in need of change or fun? It had been a busy week with my part time gig on Fort Meyers Beach and Brian busy doing his virtual CAMM Air, so at the end of the week we just wanted some fun!

In the past we have taken our bikes to Matlache exploring in and around the waterways of the small village. Our thinking once again, we decided to do a repeat and explore more of the charming area.

Our first stop was the Blue Dog Bar and Grill located on the main highway in Matlache. The outdoor patio seating sits along a waterway with many beautiful sights. A Kayaker cruised by, sitting water ducks were perched in the trees and on the water just waiting for the next fish go by so they too might have lunch. The outdoor patio was the place to be and it quickly calmed our minds.

Something simple was on our tastebuds for lunch. I thought a simple salad and Brian decided on a simple burger and beer.

Oh my, when our food arrived we grinned with joy! As I set my eyes on the BLT salad I had ordered I quickly noticed it was a whole head of iceberg lettuce! The steak knife inserted in the center made a “big” statement. Also joking the sandwich Brian ordered was prepared especially for him a “B” nicely branded on top of fit. 😉.

After filling our bellies, it was time to walk some of these calories off and do a bit of shopping in the creative shops surrounding the village.

One of our first stops was Leona Lovegrove’s Art Gallery. I had been there in the past and remembered it being a rather colorful, creative art studio. As we walked in the studio, the color just exploded and it seemed like the place was on steroids. All the loud colors took your breath away with creative juices flowing in and out of the gallery.

Quickly noticing an article of Leona Lovegrove posted on the wall, I was curious to read and learn more about this talented lady. Just then, the word “cancer” jumped out as I read on. Leona had been touched with cancer and she had embraced her challenge by painting with pink paint.

The pink touch’s were splashed all around the gallery and you could feel the comfort it gave many. Talented Leona was fighting back as she fought her cancer with pink as well as sharing her gift to others to enjoy. 💕

From the minute you walked in, not only did you see pink BUT these beautiful blue bottles turned into creative and beautiful architecture garden pieces.

Walking down the path as you entered the back patio, these blue beauties were lined up and made you feel as you were in an arboretum paradise garden.

I’m still seeing these blue bottles dancing around in my head after this visit to Matlache, Florida. These blue beauties were staged so beautiful and made you want to start collecting blue bottles so you too could add a wow factor in your own garden.

Pink kept showing up everywhere you stepped. All the “love” put in this garden was a breath of fresh air.

Then it’s “take stage” ~ such a fun idea for events, and parties. I recently read they held Easter church services this year right on this stage. Reservations were required, I bet it was a sell out!

Leona must be a big “Beatles” fan. Several of her paintings had a fun Beatle twist. The moment you seen these painting, you wanted to start singing!

Baby, you can drive my car. Yes, I’m going to be a “Star”. You say it’s your Birthday, it’s my Birthday too yeah! Memories of those songs came flashing back in my head as I remembered these tunes so well growing up in the 60’s.

There was so much to look at. Next on the path I spotted the amusing painted coconuts. Who wouldn’t want to get one of these lively painted sayings?!

Leona has just thought of everything to please all creative pallets. The small camper trailer just screamed fun! It took several minutes to just studying all the amazing art. I must say, the eye glasses showed off Leona’s signature eye. 😉

So as I come to the end of patio paradise, I see a painting studio. I had become so inspired with all the wonderful color and painted venues I decided maybe it was time I too picked up a paint brush.

I signed up for a class and wha-la this painted lady at the beach became mine. What do you think? Again, it’s what inspires us each to be creative and tap into that fun side of our brain.

I could have stayed all day back in that little patio perched on the water. With blue bottles dancing in my head, day dreaming and singing Beatles songs. Seeing pink and having so much respect for Leona. The road she took fighting breast cancer and sharing her talents generosity with others.

As I left Leona Lovegrave’s Art Studio I felt grateful to be moved with her art. The saying when life hands us lemons, we all need to make lemonade such as Leona did. By the way, Leona did fight the cancer and I believe is still leaving her creative message around Florida.

I hope some day my path crosses Leona’s. I can only imagine the energy that would radiant from her upon our meeting. Meanwhile, paint or dance like no one is watching ~ you never know who you might inspire.

What would you do?

How many of you have watched “What would you do” that airs on TV with host John Quinones? It’s one of my favorite shows to watch.

We all have those fun stories to share and this week I too have one to share that might give you warm and fuzzies. I so enjoy life, loving experiences with people I don’t know. We never know when we these people might step into our life, but one thing for sure they always make a big impact after the fact.

Earlier this week I met my dear friend Libby Anderson that has helped me through a few Human Resources questions and situations over these last few weeks.

We meet at a fun outdoor patio restaurant called Tommy Bahama in Coconut Point Mall north of Naples, FL. This wonderful restaurant offers a fun setting, a great happy hour and it’s always packed with people staying socially distance apart.

Libby and I find a spot and chat away about life and growing our businesses. Many times we discuss the latest Podcasts, Instagram and what other entrepreneurs might be doing out there. Our couple of hours together always goes fast!

In a few weeks, Libby will be heading to Okoboji for the summer months and asked if we would transport a fragile lamp shade for her. By all means I say, I will pick it up at our social gathering. By the way, the shade is a beauty!

We are a one car family while in Florida so I’m often dropped off and picked later. Brian, my husband stops into Tommy Bahamas after a couple of hours to join us. My friend Libby needs to get home so Brian and Libby leave together to exchange the lamp that we are transporting back to Iowa.

Meanwhile I’m sitting by myself daydreaming when I can feel and hear these two women chatting about me. I then notice another set of women at a different table doing the same. I look over and make eye contact. After a few minutes the one gal says you can come sit at our table. It was funny because have you ever looked around and thought “me”?

I giggle to myself and get up and walk over to their table. After a few minutes of small talk they thought I was left alone from my table mates. They weren’t sure what happened but they felt bad I was left solo. How sweet for them to rescue me.

Meanwhile, I met two awesome young gals. Hanna and Ashley whom both worked in the medical field. Hanna was a pharmacist and Ashley a nurse distributing Covid shots and in a matter of minutes we were instant friends.

We also chatted about how Tommy Bahamas had wonderful, eye appealing drinks. They assured me next time I must order one of these awesome martinis! I think so too!

A few minutes later, here comes Brian wondering who these two women were as we chatted like best friends. We all giggle together after telling him the story. I move back to my table and think of the TV show “What would you do”? A smile crossed my face thinking there are always new friends looking out for each other when we least expect it.

Finishing our drinks and getting back in our vehicle I have another fun moment and find a surprise! There in our front seat was beautiful bouquet of flowers from my friend Libby . My heart was full of such generous offerings from the day ~ new friends and flowers from a dear friend!

I can’t wait until the next time when Libby and I meet to share our synergies.

Meanwhile please check out Libby’s fun business. If your in need for some “wise business advice” and more, here is where you can find her.

Libby Anderson ~

So next time your out and about when a stranger approaches you with a question, “What will you do”?

Naked and Afraid ~

Please don’t judge me but, I have that weirdness of watching Naked and Afraid found on the Discovery Channel Sunday nights. It’s about two complete strangers dropped off in a remote location, they take their clothes off, meet for the first time and set out for 21 days of trying to survive with food, water and shelter.

Each contestant is able to select one thing to bring to the group for a means of survival. Often it’s a fire starter, knife or a water pot to boil water. None the less it’s not enough to survive without being creative.

The couple ventures out in the wilderness to quickly set up sleeping quarters, find water, build a fire for warmth and hunt for food. We all think that might be simple but often it’s not!

Ok moving on, today we decided to take on Koreshan State Park located outside the skirts of Fort Myers Beach Florida. We knew we wanted to walk the historical grounds and explore while getting in our 10K steps.

As we began on the walking trail we immediately run into hundreds of bamboo trees. We both comment these bamboo trees would make for a great bed as they oftened used in Naked and Afraid. They use these type bamboos for their bed, shelters or float device to extricate the island.

Continuing on, we come to the river thinking here is the water source that one might boil and use for the drinking source.

We both are loving the trails but knew it would soon come to and end when we reached the historic site of the Koreshan State Park Compound. It was fun dreaming what Naked and afraid might be like as we were surrounded by this jungle we were in.

Koreshan State Park offers great natural beauty. Sprawling along the lovely Estero River, there are gardens and exotic bamboo forests left over from the community’s beautification efforts, 11 historic buildings and attractive, shaded picnic sites and an excellent campground.

For those of you that might not know about Koreshan State Park, the walking tour of the grounds and buildings tells the story of Dr. Cyrus R. Teed, who led the utopian community that eventually attracted 200 followers. They were an industrious group, operating a bakery, sawmill, printing facility, even a restaurant and hotel on the main road, U.S. 41. Like many of the idealistic communities of the era, followers believed in communal living and celibacy.

We arrived Koreshan and was greeted by the most beautiful bridges leading into the site. One might think you were in wonderland.

Next we arrived Bamboo Landing. The Bamboo Landing was important aesthetically and functionally serving transportation for passengers and freight. It provided a formal framed entrance to the grounds from the river. The landing was also used for concerts.

This entrance and presentation of the landing was another beautiful site to see. Witnessing the beauty it offered when welcoming guests to the property was awesome.

As we continued walking the trails that surrounded this amazing, historic park we found many things that lead us back to Naked and Afraid. A garden of herbs, berries and medical plants that were used for several remedies in aiding in the survival to this Koreshan group.

All sorts of trees were planted to assist in their daily working environment.

This is one of the Pines which yields Turpentine. The trunks were slashed and a cup was attached to collect the resin. Again, thinking of Naked and Afraid, what would one use this for? Possibly rub it over the body to relieve bug bites? Cleaning paint brushes was out of the question as one might use it for.

This group of Koreshan’s thought of everything. Collecting rain water for multiple purposes in their everyday life’s. Another handcrafted beauty to see.

As we worked our way around the grounds we found it interesting how hard they must have worked, probably the same as our fore fathers. Canning foods, washing their clothing, and preparing their food.

The creative and elegant manner in which things were put together was quite impressive. Not only survival but planning and implementation was of importance.

As we are finishing up our walk, we approach the “Cast Iron Cafe”. We both smiled and thought of our dinner plans we were preparing tonight. Yup, we too were using the old cast iron in our cooking.

Somethings never change over the years such as our ways of cooking . I’m sure they might have been a bit more primitive and foods were not as plentiful, but one might say it was their way of survival as well.

Making out way back to our campsite we were feeling blessed to have a roof over our head and it was time to prepare dinner.

As we sizzled our steaks on the grill in a cast iron we were glad we had the opportunity to see this historic area first hand.

I felt a bit guilty thinking we were having “filet mignon”. As we reminisced our walk, we appreciated our more convenient lifestyle of being fully clothed, having a grill to cook on and having plenty of water.

So I had my “fix” of Naked and Afraid for the week. I do know, I do not want to be a participant of this silly show. It was fun to imagine what it might have been like in both situations, being on Naked and Afraid or living as a Koreshan.

For those of you that might too want to explore and take the time to check out this beautiful, historic Koreshan State Park here you go.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to read about our adventures. I also hope you too might have grown a bit learning of the different ways of living life.

Meanwhile, continue to stay safe ~

Heart to Heart ~

Sometimes the simple things in life are just the easiest. So, yesterday I had a calling to spend sometime on the beach.

This will sound crazy, but we woke up to fog and it didn’t matter to me – fog or sun I was heading to the beach. We packed a late breakfast bite, lots of water and headed out to find our perch in our baseball caps.

We soon learned we were not the only silly ones out in the fog. I met my first new little friend, a Gull that welcomed us to just sit back, breathe it all in, relax and take time to enjoy. I took notes from my new friend as we both checked each other out.

Quickly that old saying came to mind, when in Rome ~ do as the Romans do. I was taking that advice and doing what the Gull was instructing me to.

First on the agenda was to get my 10K steps in for the day. Down the beach we headed with our plastic bags in hand. It’s always good to be prepared just in case a few shells pop in your path that you can’t resist picking up.

I love walking the beach because you never know what your eyes are going to see. The first few steps sure enough, someone was in the mood for love and designed a heart.

A mosaic of shells was embedded on the beach and just glowed with love! The shells were all different sizes, most of them face down and placed in the shape of a heart. I wondered who might have made this art piece for the beach crowd to enjoy?

Next on the walk I felt this face that was keeping an eye on me. As I got closer, this is what I found ~

Don’t you just love creative minds? The look I kept sensing was a weathered root of a coconut tree that floated up to shore that took on the look as a fun beatnik. Seagrass what used for the nose, lost leafs were used for the eye with a shell in the center, and a fun heart shell filled in for the mouth. Again, I wondered who took the time to embellish this masterpiece that captured the beach walkers attention.

Next, I love the see kids playing and expressing themselves on the beach as well. There is such an innocence of kids being mesmerized with sand and water. Often they bring their buckets and molds and can sit for hours to form their own masterpiece. I ran into this cute little gal that was oh so proud when I asked if I could take a picture. She glowed with excitement and was so proud of her creation.

Coming a back to our perched area on the beach where our empty chairs sat, I too decided to tap into my creative side. I sat on the side of the beach and gathered the shells that were around me and I went to work.

Most of you know I love to layer, embellish and add texture. It was time to see what I could make out of my surroundings as well. First I used layer of small, broken shells that most people would discount to collect. My second layer I scored several COQUINAS shells and then finished the center with more small, broken down shells. I placed two broken conch shells for the center, a few small branches to surround the heart and wallah, I was done!

I stood back and looked at my art piece and I decided to take another photo with the sea being my background. My heart was full of “Heart to Heart” feelings of accomplishment.

Meanwhile, its Valentine Day and I hope these hearts have warmed your heart as well. Whatever your day is filled with, may it be a happy one filled with love.

Happy Valentines Day ~

Superman vs Super Bowl

It all started when I found a hologram key chain with Superman and Batman. I found this collector item by chance in a bucket with several other key chains and miscellaneous keys. I guess you could say it was a “bucket dive” of key treasures.

As a kid I was always mesmerized with these kinds of hologram trinkets that held my attention for several minutes. When you tilt it you see the Superman crest, as you move it slightly you see the Batman crest.

I would guess everyone knows the superhero character Superman played by George Reeves back in the 50’s. I was one of those lucky kids growing up watching Superman on Saturday mornings. When I found this key chain it immediately took me back to my childhood memories of watching Superman on TV.

I recently learn that Superman was born in Woolstock, Iowa. I too growing up in Iowa perked up when I read he was not that far away from my hometown of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Superman was born with the birth name George Keefer Brewer that later changed to his stage name to George Reeves.

Why is it we love it when Hollywood stars that come from our home state? Could it be that we are proud of our roots and when emphasis is given we quickly relate?

I started thinking about Superman and the words attached to his character. Remember when the Superman show came on TV these words were always memorized in our heads, “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive” Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound! “ Look! Up in the sky!” It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!

As I began my search on Superman, I ran across these enlightening quotes that made me smile. I love all these inspiring words and think you too might also relate to them. No wonder we loved this Super Hero with all these positive words floating in our head.

Famous Sayings and Quotes from Superman:

“I believe in second chances, I believe in redemption, but, mostly, I believe in my friends.” – Superman

“ I believe that if we stay together, as a team, we would be a force that could truly work for the ideals of peace and justice.” – Superman

“It doesn’t take X-Ray Vision to see you are up to no good.” – Superman

“It’s never as bad as it seems.” – Superman

“It’s not about where you were born or the powers you have or what you wear in your chest; it’s about what you do.” – Superman

“No matter where you go in life there’s always going to be the one person that wants to bring you down, so stay strong and face your problems instead of running away.” – Superman

“So many of our dreams seem impossible, they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Superman

“Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first, the trust part comes later.” – Superman

“The ‘amazing’ can only be created by facing fear, risk, and failure during the process.” – Superman

There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape.” – Superman

Today, the Kansas Chiefs take on Tampa Bay Buccaneers in America’s pandemic Super Bowl. As always, part of this spectacle has nothing to do with football but the commercials and the halftime show catching our attention. Millions of dollars are spent to pull on our heart strings, tickle our funny bones and make us want for more.

As we watch the Super Bowl game today, we might also think many of these professional football players could be like Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive” Able to leap several feet at a single bound! “ Look! Down on the field!” It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a football player at the Super Bowl!

Whatever team your rooting for today, enjoy the entertainment it gives us all. The football bleachers might be partially empty but I’m sure all your charcuterie spreads will be plentiful and it will be a great game!

So sit back, get your popcorn popped and be ready to be entertained. For those of you that might want to “start your engines” early. Here is a sample of what we are in for. Old Spice might have copied the same concept of Clark Kent breaking out of his business suit and the tight body fitting Superman suit appears. Enjoy ~

Is this a “Lost Art in a Changing World”?

How many of you while at the grocery store standing in line to check out your groceries scan the latest magazines? Do you search for your favorite read or do you see what’s new on the stand? Do you cheat and look inside? Do the pictures entice you do the headlines pull you in?

I have a confession, I’m one of those people that has to stop when I go by a magazine stand to see what’s new.

First it’s the cover – I scan it over and if it strikes my fancy I pick it up to peek inside. Sometimes I throw it in my cart and sometimes I walk away after not being impressed with what I seen.

I know it’s bad for me to pick it up and then put it down and I think to myself how really rude that is. But please tell me, I’m not the only one that does this bad habit.

So today, this magazine caught my eye “in her Studio”. I loved the colors, words, and the main titles drew me in. Spaces and stories of creative women.

A Mediative Retreat, A Tiny but Charming Ceramics Studio, The Pursuit of Beauty in an Painters Art Studio, and Soft meets Fierce in a Jewerly Studio. Now who wouldn’t want to read more. Surely one of these stories would be worth a read wouldn’t you think?

So here is another one, Cooking with Cast Iron”. I posted a few weeks ago about cast iron so of course I wanted to see more. I’m is still trying to learn and master the art of cast iron cooking so this too I took a second look at this one. The recipes looked beautiful, easy and it immediately took me to my own kitchen of fixing a few of the recipes.

Staying within the “Cooking” section on the magazine rack I’m now scanning over these next two choices. What to Eat for Life and Mindful Eating. Gezzz you can quickly feel guilty about your choices in these magazines. Cast Iron could be a little bit more fatty in the diet because needing more oils in the pan? Maybe cast iron cooking isn’t the lightest choice or being the most healthiest but oh the pictures made me dream of wanting more. Who could I cook for and entertain when this Covid thing gets over?

My eyes moved on and quickly went onto the decor section, another one of my favorite passions. I just stood there and stared at all the articles than ran through my mind and wonder what I should dive into first. I found myself being memorized with all these goodies to look at. It was like a kid in a candy store deciding what my favorite kind of candy was to buy!

It seems there is so many decorating magazines right now to catch our eye. It’s like trying to pick an ice cream flavor at Baskin Robbins that might catch your palette for a certain craving. Cherry, chocolate, vanilla – what’s your flavor? French, Traditional, Cottage or maybe Farmhouse?

DIY immediately called out to me! We all love projects that we can proudly call and adapt to our own look. I loved the throw on the sofa with the BIG balls. The horse on the wall recycling books was another eye catcher for me. How cool was that! It took me back to one of my sales that I did a few months ago that I used an old headboard and screwed old books on the back of the board. It not only looked fun but it made for a great presentation for one of my displays. My recycled headboard sold at the end of the show. I hope today that happy buyer is still enjoying that one of a kind piece from Blue Star Collections.

Next moving into fashion ~ it’s in all our wheel houses of what the latest and greatest trends are and whats the HOT look for the upcoming season. Of course, we all want to know what to buy, where to buy it and in hopes it gives us a jumpstart on getting our own personal look.

Look how these magazines catch our attention. Kamala Harris our new Vice President, we are checking out her new look. Badass Women, wow whats that about? Dating in the middle of Covid with Masks? Oh my ~ all of these certainly catch our eye and make us wonder in more ways than one.

Moving on to more fun, the next two magazines made me giggle. People magazine writing about Queen Elizabeth. What is the Queen is really like? I don’t know how many of you watched “The Crown” but another subject we can’t seem to get enough of. More stories about the Queen can be found on Netflex, PBS and other streaming services as well as at the news stand. The media is working hard to catch our attention and it is working!

And what about this “America’s Scariest Places”. I have to admit, it does kinda make you look twice doesn’t it? Could it be in your neck of the woods or has it been in your last path? It would it be a great place to visit for Halloween don’t you think? 😬😳

So I have to tell you the truth. I spent a bit of time as my eyes searched over all these magazine sections. I carefully read the titles, dreamed a bit and it killed a bunch of time. You see I was in line at a Publix Grocery Store in St Lucie, Florida waiting for my name to be called for the vaccine shot. Yep, I was one of the lucky ones that won the lottery getting my name on the list. Ok so if I’m confessing, it was Brian that so diligently hung in there day after day trying to get me a spot. Bingo ~

I spent several minutes if not just under an hour to just ponder over these magazines. I wondered how many of us found easy it is to walk past this “Lost Art” in our past busy life’s before Covid hit. Maybe I’m showing my age but I still love to touch a great magazine, read a good article, and just plain wanting to be inspired. Yesterday it certainly did all of that for me.

But I do have to share with you one of my favorites. I hope you don’t think I’m not conceited or big in the head, but only because of my Blue Star Collections business was invited and graciously honored to be in a few magazines myself. I have grown to respect our editors, publishers and buyers once my face was put on a cover. It’s tough work publishing and finding the right light, words and what inspires others to buy the magazine.

So meanwhile, when your standing in line next to the newsstand I too hope all these beautiful magazines will take you away if only for l just a few minutes. Also, hope your lucky as I was to be standing next in line for your vaccine.

As always – thank you for taking the time to read my Blue Star Binocular. It gives me great pleasure to share ~

Paths ~

It all started when we pulled into the Manatee State Park Thursday night located outside of Bradenton Florida. Arriving the gate for check in we notice a 1949 Spartan camper trailer in front of us checking in. My mind wanders and it made me smile thinking about what comes in our “path” and how we never know what’s ahead of us. The Spartan took my breath away.

Located at on the back rear fender of this vintage trailer was a big dent and covering it was a big red bandaid with the words “That was a Tree”. We immediately giggled and knew what that was about as we too have the same dent on our trailer. Yep, backing these trailers up into small, wooded lots can sometimes be challenging.

Once checked in, we drove into the park in search of #57 campsite. While making our scoop around the park we counted four more Airstream trailers. We felt we were off to a good start with our weekend of finding fun.

The First night making pizza is always a hit and good game of cards always makes for more fun! Part of our camping experiences centers around our menus. Everyone has to eat right?

Soon we start exploring our campsite seeing what was around us. We met our new “Rangers”. 😉 We located the bath house and bike trails. First things first.

Outside our campsite front door was fun tree hugging another tree. It felt like playing that hidden picture game that you find certain objects. Soon after noticing the embraced tree we notice we have a special guest out our back door.

Tree hugging ~
Only steps away a fun guest shows up ~

The next morning I set out for a walk and sure enough, I find the Spartan trailer and it’s owner at the picnic table. Knock knock, as I approach outside the camp site. Immediately this big smile appears, welcomes us in and we are off and chatting about what we all had in common, vintage trailers.

Nicki’s diamond in the rough was full of character and oozed with love. Nineteen fifty’s barkcloth fabric was “tucked” throughout the trailer. The bench seat in the dining area was beautifully tucked with the same fabric that Nicki nabbed at an estate sale for whopping $8. Being a fabric hound myself, my eyes went right to it!

Nicki’s creative personality spoke all through the trailer with her special touches. Besides her yards of barkcloth, Swan facets used in both the kitchen and shower, oil painting tacked on the ceiling so when she laid down she could appreciate them, two stain glass panels enclosed her shower, an old refrigerator used as her pantry and an old collection of dishes. You see Nicki only travels with the best dish-ware, no paper plates for this gal. A girl after my own heart! Even crystal stemmed compotes were selected for her two cats when dining.

Previously owning a Bed and Breakfast in Colorado for over a decade she kept asking for a sign to move on. Covid hit and the sign showed up when she least expected it. A buyer stepped forward to purchase her B and B and it was time to oil the wheels on the vintage 1949 Spartan and hit the road.

Nicki had purchased the trailer several years from an ad on Craigs list. The Spartan was parked with hopes of someday hitting the road to find greener pastures. Nicki knew warmer weather was a must and so Florida bound it was!

I was amazed Nicki could manipulate this trailer as well as she did. Only have trailered and parked this rig less than a dozen times, she proved we can all do what we set out to accomplish. Another inspiring young woman calling her own shots.

Our path crossing with Nicki had another layer that was special. The Spartan trailer was manufactured by Spartan Aircraft Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is the school Brian attended back in to the70’s and received his Aviation Maintenance Technology degree. The logo is still present today.

Next I was on the hunt to find who owned the beautiful 1963 Vintage Airstream. Another path I was excited to learn about.

I was so excited to meet the couple that owned the immaculate, shinny Airstream that shouted out from across the park. Again my “knock knock” approach worked and another beautiful friendship was created.

Sam and Ann coming from Georgia had a trailer that was so put together with every little detail of home life fitting into place. I was jealous of the organized cabinets, beds and new kitchen look. Ann also had chosen a barkcloth in her decor for window treatments. WOW did the windows dance with beauty!

Sam and Ann, one might say that this was not their first rodeo in camping. They also own two other vintage trailers. One that held our interest was a small Teardrop trailer they spoke of that they camped in from time to time. Another beauty if you haven’t seen one in your travels it’s fun to pull up on Google to take a look at. We could only imagine the fun they must have with that trailer as well.

A very adventurous couple living life to the fullest. They retired in their late 40’s and they have been having fun ever since. This is what everyone dreams about in life and they are living proof of doing such. Living simple with less we’re both their comments.

As we continued our walk around the park we stumbled upon the hammock camper. All things tidy inside this hammock with a dirty pair of socks at the foot of the hammock told us people find interesting ways to get away from it.

The caution sign on the lake with lined up canoes to paddle around the lake had our most respect. No canoes, no alligators for me!

With our new friends I couldn’t help but think back at book I recently read for a book club. The story is about two girls that meet and develop a strong relationship. They move apart from each other and struggle keeping their friendship with each other even though they lived in different cities.

I wondered if Nicki, Sam and Ann would come back on our path once we parted our ways. After all, we have a common ground with vintage trailers. In our chats we discussed the latest campsites they had stayed and shared their tricks to camping. As my book reminded me that it takes time to stay connected.

We had beautiful sunsets, met some wonderful friends from all over. Our fires were mesmerizing and many memories made.

We learn people come from all aspects of life. We all need time out to smell the campfire. But most of all, Covid has brought us several positive things as we tuck away out of site with social distance. Friends come in your path when you least expect it!

Spontaneous 70’s ~

It’s a new year, a new beginning and my head is full of new ideas for 2021. I began writing this blog early summer 2020. I had never written anything with such caliber before other doing my own marketing for my business Blue Star Collections. Does that count in writing?

This past year Covid changed a lot of things for each of us. I knew I didn’t want to host a sale for Blue Star at my shop in Superior. I felt it was too dangerous to invite people to come shop with the pandemic taking place all around us. Instead I have a dear friend Pat McGill that identifies herself as a woman in her “Spontaneous 70’s” that inspired me to write and share stories as I continued to drive my van down the road and explore.

Today it is my pleasure to write about my mentor, confidant and loving friend Pat McGill. We all have people that come in and out of our life’s. We never know when and where they will show up. I so remember the day I met Pat McGill when she stepped into my life.

Blue Star Collections was hosting a Holiday show a few years ago and in the door walked this woman with a larger than life, big gregarious personality! She looked around and said “so this is what everyone is talking about” ~ Blue Star Collections!

Pat had heard on the street that there was a gal doing “junk” shows in Superior, Iowa. At that time Pat lived in Okoboji and Superior was only a few miles away. Pat decided to hop in the car and find out for herself what the hubba hubba was about. The rest is history, Pat and I became instant friends and she became my biggest cheerleader! I have felt so blessed to have this friend walked into my life.

I love strong women that inspire me. Pat McGill is one of those women that deeply inspires not only me but many other women and men. When I chat with Pat, one of Helen Reddy’s songs always pop into my head. “I am Woman hear me Roar”. If I were to use one word to express Pat, it would be “Roar”. Pat is so full of wisdom, energy and is eager for living a big life!

Pat McGill is founder and president of McGill Speaking and Training Resources (
A former middle-school teacher and adjunct professor of human relations, Pat holds a master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota. She’s convinced, however, that her talents are rooted in her Midwestern upbringing, Irish heritage — and an early adventure in pageantry.

Before being named Miss Congeniality in the Miss South Dakota pageant, she tripped upon entering the judging room, then fell down! But she got up and asked if they wanted to see more. They did, and she mentions she has been tripping up ever since — learning lessons and passing them on to those who’ll listen.

As a member of the National Speakers Association, Pat presents professional development keynotes and workshops on such topics as change, leadership, and relationship building. Her “Pat-tested, Boomer-approved” material is at once entertaining and informative, and helps her to engage those of varying backgrounds, and in different life stages, professions and industries. A certified Psycho-Geometrics® trainer, Pat is further positioned to facilitate effective communication strategies that appeal to a variety of learning styles.

Pat McGill, as a Miss South Dakota candidate in the 1960s.

Pat is second oldest of an Irish Catholic family with eighty two in her immediate family. The gifts from her family is what has made Pat today. She often talks of her Grandmother McGill and what a strong woman she was going through divorce in the early 1900’s. Pat was also close to her mother, another strong woman that inspired Pat to soar and fill her dreams.

Over the years Pat has built her career in education and generously sharing with others her talents of teaching. Supporting women has always been first for Pat supporting many women’s groups over the years. With Pat’s quick wit, intelligence and inspiring to help women grow is just a few of many of Pat’s strong suit.

Build it and they will come! That they do when Pat McGill speaks to women, business and leadership groups.

Pat’s Power of 5 Statements with 5 Words for Women:

1. Don’t nibble on a turd. 2. Doing it all isn’t Everything. 3. Be Where your Feet Are. 4. Be you, Faking is Fatiguing. 5. Stretch waist bands are miracles.

Pat has worn many hats over the years and taken home several awards for her accomplishments. When you meet Pat you are quickly drawn in with her fun style, love of life and spontaneous humor that makes her such a beauty in and out.

Pat business today in her “Spontaneous 70’s” she is still going strong with her business. Her resume looks a bit like this: Leadership Training, Individual Coaching, Zooming Motivated Speaking and Mentoring

Pat always has good words to share when she is supporting and mentoring others. I’m sharing a just a few with you ~ One of the biggest gifts we give to another human being is to listen. Change the letters around in listen and it spells Silent. We become Silent and Listen.

One of Pat’s favorite quotes from an Irish poet ~. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see. By John O’Donahue

In our lives we are either coming out of hell, going through hell, or hell is around the corner. It’s how we live our story thats makes it worth living. By Pat McGill

Age wrinkles your skin, however the loss of enthusiasm wrinkles your soul. Age only matters if your cheese.

A couple of of Pat’s morning prayers: Dear God, Get in my Head before I do ~ Amen. My prayer for life: My work is good ~ My work is important work ~ My work is creative work ~ For through my work, I make LOVE visible. Amen

For further information about Pat McGill you can go to LINKEDIN:

We all have road blocks in life as Pat McGill might say. None of us are excluded to changes in our paths. My change this last year has been to focused with my Blue Star Binocular blogging and sharing stories such as my friend Pat McGill. Also, one of my road blocks was loosing my business and personal Facebook I had for many years that hosted my Blue Star Collections customers.

I’m now searching for them to “come back” and share with them my new presence at Blue Star Binocular. So as I move forward with this blog, Pat McGill might say this – first you: Think it ~ Ink it ~ Own it ~ Live it ~ Share it

In closing, for the women that want to sing along with me, here you go! Maybe you too have a friend like I have with my friend Pat McGill that inspires you. None the less, let’s stick together and turn up our speakers to enjoy! “ I am woman hear me Roar” and sing like nobody is watching ~

Helen Reddy ~

I am woman, hear me roar. In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor No one’s ever gonna keep me down

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can face anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman