Category Archives: Articles

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

Hard to believe that I have been publishing Good Life Community Magazine for 14 years! Yes, Good Life Community Magazine started that long ago. Gosh it was hard in the beginning. My kids, Colt and Brooke, were so young and I had to balance looking after them and running a business. Both of them attended different schools so I was driving all over the place and juggling calling clients while driving. I would be working on my laptop during their soccer practices and gymnastics. It’s a wonder that I could keep anything straight as many of you single parents can understand. One time I remember having the magazines delivered to my house. The tractor trailer arrived and pulled up to my garage in the pouring rain. The pallets of magazines were offloaded and at the same time there was a clap of thunder and a bolt of lighting!

Your Christmas Shopping is in the Bag

by Trish Utter

What can you get that special person in your life for Christmas? Well, how about a handbag, maybe go all out and buy the best of the best, an Hermès, but which one?

Some of you may have noticed the handbag of choice on the TV show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or the bag the girls in the TV show, Sex and the City would fight over. All were bags by Hermès. Victoria Beckham is said to have over 100 Hermès bags and the Kardashian’s own many.

The two infamous handbags that the French fashion house of Hermès put out are, the Kelly and Brikin bag. Hermès started in Paris, France, in1837 as a harness maker and became well known for their saddles but now the fashion house is famous for their handbags. In fact, the bags have reached such high status that in many fine dining establishments in Monaco and other international fine dining locations the Hermès bag gets a seat of its own!

Dogs in the Office

by Trish Utter

Do you take your dog to work? If not, you should. I have my dog Daphne with me all the time. I adopted her from Alachua County Animal Services nine years ago. She is a black lab/German Shepard mix and so sweet. She sits under my desk while I type away. I get so carried away writing that she is a good reminder for me to get up and go for a walk. Did you know that studies have shown that if you own a dog you walk 79% further every day? Petting a dog reduces stress, and that being around pets makes you a more positive person. More and more corporate offices are encouraging staff to bring their dogs to work. Starbucks not only encourages it but also offers pet health insurance! Home Depot is a dog friendly employer and also offers pet insurance and here are a few more; Walmart, Amazon, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Petco, Sony Electronics and the list keeps growing.

The Whiskey Snob

by Terry Martin Black

When was your first whiskey experience? For many of us, it happened in our teenage years, early college and for some of us, the first pass during basic training. For me, it was a lot earlier than most. It was a long summer holiday weekend in southeastern Kentucky, where several families crammed themselves into my grandparents’ home. My grandmother, a staunch religious woman, never allowed liquor into her home and my grandfather pacified her by keeping it away from the house and to keep the law away, they lived in a dry county. As I walked along the creek bank, fishing for crawdads, I noticed my father, several uncles and some local men gathered near the barn, chatting and laughing behind a car with the trunk lid open. As I walked over to attempt to join in their fun and conversation, they passed around a glass jar, sharing the contents. As I walked behind the car, I noticed several other jars of the clear liquid they were sharing and laughing over the flavor. I asked if I could have a sip and my grandfather abruptly told me I didn’t need any of that, but my father and uncles encouraged me to try it, after all, I was ten years old and a half-grown man. I will never forget the smell and when I turned the jar up and took my first swallow of the locally brewed whiskey, it set me on fire. I quickly ran over to the creek and drank from the stream, hoping it would stop the burn and then the nauseous feeling in my stomach, that stayed with me for the rest of the morning. My grandfather walked over to make sure I was okay and as he looked down on me with my face in the creek, he told me; that will teach you to stay away from that stuff. I didn’t touch whiskey again till I was in my twenties and I didn’t acquire a taste for good Whiskey till I was in my fifties.

Community PIX

We know you love the Gator Nation! Here are a few photos sent into to Good Life Community Magazine by our readers who wanted to show they bleed, Orange and Blue.

It’s All in the Details

by Trish Utter

When you walk into a Hartley Brothers, Inc, home you get the …wow factor! High ceilings, stunning kitchens with spacious kitchen islands, walk in pantries and all the latest appliances. The Hartley Brothers have been recognized for their home design. The master bathrooms are so luxurious you may never want to leave. Chandeliers hang over beautiful sculpted baths with tile work that looks like luxurious, European wallpaper. You can just imagine yourself sitting in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne! So now you are thinking to yourself, ‘I can’t afford this.’ Well, actually you will be surprised at how affordable these custom homes are. Hartley Brothers can build on your lot or find a lot for you to build on. The company will custom design a home to suit your needs, your taste, and your budget, resulting in a very happy homeowner and a house that your friends and family will be jealous of.

Bringing Readers and Writers Together

by Roz Miller

Several hundred published authors live and write in our midst. These talented wordsmiths are our family, friends, neighbors and associates who have colorful, interesting characters frolicking about in their heads shouting to be to be written into compelling stories for you to read.

Reading, engaging page-turning stories, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Books are magic carpets that transport readers on unimaginable adventures.

Over the past several decades, Gainesville has gone from a sleepy little college town, to a vibrant center of higher education, and become a medical mecca. It has also developed a culturally rich landscape. There are multiple stages for performing art, Gainesville supports three outstanding art festivals, there are many musical groups in a variety of musical styles, professional dance troupe and choral groups. What was missing in this cultural landscape was a literary festival.

The debut of Sunshine State Book Festival in January, offers readers a three-day, FREE, literary adventure to discover and get acquainted with 75 area authors. Readers will discover the many talented written storytellers among us. A ‘kick-off’ public reception, Friday night, January 24th, at the Matheson Historical Museum offers the opportunity of mix and mingle with authors, speakers, VIP guests and dignitaries.

The “Unique” Talking Walls of the Historic Haile Homestead

by Karen Kirkman

In 1854 Thomas Evans and Serena Chesnut Haile moved their family from Camden, South Carolina to Gainesville, Florida. Their 6,200 sq ft home was built by 56 enslaved laborers on 1,500 acres of land, some of which was purchased for only $1 per acre. The Hailes’ Sea Island Cotton plantation was called, Kanapaha, thought to be a Timucuan Indian word for house and palmetto leaf. Today most people know the Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation for its “Talking Walls.” For a reason lost to time, the Haile family wrote on the walls of their home, over 12,500 words in almost every room and closet! This makes the house unique in the Nation for the sheer volume of writing found when the walls were documented in 2001. Though quite a bit of the writing was done by party goers in the early 1900s, the family began writing on the walls in the 1850s. Serena Haile herself did the lion’s share of writing in the private rooms of the house; inventories of silverware and plates, business records, rat kills, a recipe for medicine, a menu, weather observations, etc. The children even got into the act! Visitors will see their math problems and artwork on some of the walls.