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For the Love of Trains

For the Love of Trains

by Joe Hancock About ninety miles north of Alachua straight up 121 is Folkston, Georgia – a very small, rural town that frankly, has very little to do. That is unless you More »

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Turkey & Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Turkey & Cranberry Sauce Recipe

How many people are you cooking for? About 1 to 1/2 pounds of turkey per person is the rule of thumb. Cook for 15 minutes per pound. Cook your stuffing separately to More »

Holiday Cookies

Holiday Cookies

by Paige Beck Ginger and Spice Cookies For years, I have searched for the perfect ginger cookie. While some folks love ginger snaps, I prefer a soft cookie that is almost dough-like More »

Understanding and Compassion

Understanding and Compassion

Have you ever had something bad happen and wondered if you should call an attorney? Some things just…happen! It is times such as this when you should pick up your phone and More »

33480, the Richest Zip Code in the US!

33480, the Richest Zip Code in the US!

By Trish Utter The doorman whisked the car away. We walked through a small, tropical courtyard and ushered to a desk in the lobby that was filled with roses. A glass of More »

 

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From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

Good things are ahead, but hurricane Irma certainly left many of us in a tailspin. I remember when I moved to Florida about 14 years ago. I had been living up north and had no idea what a hurricane was like. I thought I was escaping snow and ice and would be living in an idyllic tropical paradise. Within a month of moving here, hurricane Jeanne hit. It was the deadliest hurricane in the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. For six weeks, Florida endured four hurricanes, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. I remember thinking that maybe snow days weren’t that bad.

I live in the City of Alachua and will never forget Jeanne. We were without power for 10 days! The Red Cross had set up in the parking lot outside Hitchcock’s and handed out water and food. We had no air conditioning and no way to cook. It really made you appreciate the small things in life even more.

For the Love of Trains

by Joe Hancock

About ninety miles north of Alachua straight up 121 is Folkston, Georgia – a very small, rural town that frankly, has very little to do. That is unless you love trains. In that case, Folkston is a dream come true. You see, every train entering Florida has to come through Folkston. At least sixty-five trains a day pass through this small town. The town acquired the nickname “The Folkston Funnel.” About every twenty to thirty minutes, a train passes through the two parallel tracks that run through the town. Being a Railfan (Meaning I am crazy about trains) I decided to visit with my son, Mason to check it out.

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Turkey & Cranberry Sauce Recipe

How many people are you cooking for? About 1 to 1/2 pounds of turkey per person is the rule of thumb. Cook for 15 minutes per pound. Cook your stuffing separately to prevent bacteria.

Frozen turkeys can take 4-5 days to thaw out in the refrigerator. Make sure you figure out how long it will take or you will be left with a frozen bowling ball! In general, it is 24 hours for every 5 pounds or you can speed it up by placing it in cold water, but you must replace the water every 30 minutes to prevent bacterial growth.

Holiday Cookies

by Paige Beck

Ginger and Spice Cookies

For years, I have searched for the perfect ginger cookie. While some folks love ginger snaps, I prefer a soft cookie that is almost dough-like in the center. A cookie that on first bite you close your eyes and are flooded with childhood memories of your favorite holidays. After much trial and error, I found the following recipe. And it fulfills the task of saying “Hello Christmas I have missed you.” Enjoy!

Women’s Friendship Network Invites You to Join

(Right to Left): Mary Smithers, Anita Minck, Linda Gouthro, Ruth Tecler, Betty Holland, Vivian Gentry, Fern Malloy and Judi Steffen

by Judi Steffen

Beta Sigma Phi is a non-profit, international organization established in 1931 that helps women in the world seek a wider experience in daily living. It is a non-academic sorority, founded in Kansas and is now international in membership.

I became a member in 1972 and now lead the local committee to offer this experience to other women in the Gainesville, Alachua County area.

In addition to acquiring many new friends, my Sisters have seen me through many things: my parents’ deaths eight days apart and my struggles with raising learning-disabled sons during the years when learning disabled children were seen as lazy, stupid, and worthless, even by some teachers. They were with me at times when depression brought me to the ground. They were there when I had a heart attack and open-heart surgery at the age of fifty. They were there through my husband’s illness and death, and through the subsequent financial struggles I have had.

Do You Need a Will?

by Marvin Bingham and Susan Mikolaitis

You might think that a will is only for the elderly to think about, or that it is just for someone who has property or money, but that is not necessarily the case. If you want to protect your family and loved ones, you need a will at any age. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, so get things in order so you know that everyone will be looked after. After all, you don’t want your siblings fighting over who takes your dog nor do you want them burying you next to a relative that you hated.

Why should I have a will?

It will make it easier for those you leave behind in the event you leave any property, valuables or other assets which are titled or held in your name alone.

A will indicates who will be in control of your assets during the probate process, who will have control of your remains, and how your remains are to be handled.

A will creates special instructions to provide for minor children or incapacitated persons who may survive you and need controlled support.

It also includes persons who would not otherwise be entitled to inherit from you, such as step-children, “significant others”, and other friends, charities, schools, or religious organizations.

Through this, you can indicate your choices as to who will inherit your personal belongings, particularly “one of a kind” items such as the family bible, portraits, jewelry, pets, or other tangible personal property.

Lastly, to nominate guardians for any minor children who may survive you, or to disqualify certain individuals from serving in such role.

Does someone with just a little bit of money need a will? Or is this just for those that have millions?

As you can see, a will is about much more than inheriting money, so just about everyone needs a will, and those with significant assets may require more extensive estate planning.

Understanding and Compassion

Have you ever had something bad happen and wondered if you should call an attorney? Some things just…happen! It is times such as this when you should pick up your phone and call the law office of Robert A. Rush. A phone call is free and you will get some sound advice on whether or not you have a case.

I want you all to know that I have personally known Robert Rush for years. His compassion for those wrongly accused and for kids that have found themselves in a tangled legal mess is immeasurable. Rush and his staff work long hours and take their cases personally.

Now you are probably asking the obvious question? What is a horse doing in an attorney’s office?

A few months ago my friends Jorge and Debbie Garcia-Bengochea, from Gentle Carousel told me about their miniature therapy horses being brutally attacked by their neighbors Pitbull’s. They were understandably upset. Their non-profit 501(c) (3), named, Gentle Carousel is an award-winning all volunteer charity that has spent over 20 years training their horses. The Garcia-Bengochea’s spent thousands on vet bills but sadly both of these highly trained horses passed away. Of course this is heart-breaking but also a huge loss to the sick children in hospitals across the country that have got to know the horses from the many hospital visits that they do. The Garcia-Bengochea’s got in touch with Rush who took the case. Rush has a great of understanding of animals as he owns two beautiful German Shepherds and horses. Because of Rush’s extensive legal knowledge, he was able to gain a considerable settlement for the Garcia-Bengochea’s, and they are now back to doing what they love and providing loving support to the sick.

A Change of Heart

By Anya Mayr

Since the Gainesville-based hospital implemented the minimally-invasive surgery into the Heart & Vascular Program, the cardiothoracic team at North Florida Regional Medical Center, along with its team of highly-skilled cardiac professionals, has been helping patients have a drastic “change of heart.”

33480, the Richest Zip Code in the US!

By Trish Utter

The doorman whisked the car away. We walked through a small, tropical courtyard and ushered to a desk in the lobby that was filled with roses. A glass of sherry was put in my hand along with a… key! Yes, the Chesterfield gives you a brass key. The glass of sherry made me laugh as it brought back memories of my Scottish aunt who always offered sherry to her guests upon their arrival… a good old British tradition for arriving guests.

My daughter and I had arrived at the Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach, located in a residential neighborhood of multimillion-dollar estates and three blocks from the beach. It’s around the corner from the famous Worth Avenue. The property is part of the British-owned Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The hotel was built in 1926 and is part of the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation and a historic landmark.

Oil paintings from England are scattered throughout the property. A painting of Sir Winston Churchill hangs in the beautiful conference room and a photograph of Margaret Thatcher, who stayed here, is in the library. Guests have included Cyndi Lauper, Tommy Hilfiger, Mike Wallace and an endless list of others.

Along with vast displays of flowers are dishes of candy and freshly baked cookies, all for guests to nibble on…free of charge. We took the small elevator to the third floor, which is the top floor of this small, boutique property with just fifty-three exquisite rooms. Our room was filled with beautiful, white Florida-style furniture and plantation shutters filtered the afternoon sun onto patterned carpet. We both immediately got on the free Wi-Fi that was super easy to access, so that we could post our photos of this jewel box of a hotel. A real, red carnation was in our room which is a symbol of the hotel chain. As we unpacked, I noticed that there was a fridge with free bottles of water and lots and lots of room to hang clothes and put everything we had brought away. And believe me, two girls in a hotel room for a week bring a lot of stuff!

Local Celebrity Spotlight: Donna Cohen

Donna Cohen is a very talented interior designer that lives in Gainesville and works in our local area. You will find her at many charitable events either volunteering or as a guest.

Where are you from, when did you move to Gainesville, and why?

I was born in the small town of Granville in upstate New York. I went to school in Boston, and was home for a summer after working in Boston between jobs.

I met David, my husband, and that was it! It’s funny because the women in the family knew of him as we had been shopping in his family stores since I was a teenager! We were getting tired of the cold and a business opportunity came up in Ocala. When he came home one day and asked, “Do you want to move to Florida?” I jumped at the chance. David had a condo in Boca Raton on the ocean so I thought, “great”! Can you imagine the night we arrived in Ocala 30 years ago…CULTURE SHOCK! We stopped to get gas and I couldn’t get over all the trucks with guns on them! A friend that we knew said, “You cannot live in Ocala…Gainesville is a university town”, so we took his advice and here we are…. love it now!

How do you relax?

I relax by lighting a candle, pouring a glass of wine, and then cooking!
Where do you like to go for a weekend getaway and why? I like to go to St. Augustine to relax, or NYC for my city fix!

What do you listen to in your car?

I listen to Sports Talk Radio… every day! I love Brady, Shane, Steve, Pat, Jeff, and Zach – the local guys on there.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?