Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Lucky Lizard

The lizard, we think, knows there is glass and screen between him and two antsy and very frustrated kittens because the lizard traipses up and down the screen right in front of the kittens. They jump at him, try to grab him with their paws, but all to no avail. He is protected. Which is a good thing, or he would be one very messed up lizard!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Going to ruin

Not long ago, this 3,500 square foot home was one of the nicest in the area. With two stories, front and rear porches, and situated on three treed acres, it was the focal point of a small horse farm.

The property includes a large garage with loft, a paddock for horses and is fenced on all sides.

For whatever reason, it now sits vacant. Vandals have torn up the inside, smashing windows and lights and breaking doors, even punching a hole in the floor. The property, as you can see, is unkempt.

We have checked the records, but it appears not for sale.

There's a story here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Contact who?

There are a number of vacant storefronts in Berkshire Oaks.  I've often asked myself, "Why is that?"

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gold Buyer

I've read about "gold diggers" for years, and I knew there were dealers who bought gold, but I didn't know gold buyers walked the streets until just recently. And I'm not sure how I'd feel about bringing my gold inside Soapy's Car Wash. Heck, I'm not sure I'd even bring my car to Soapy's Car Wash!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Come play with me!

The donkey began walking when we stopped and looked at him over the fence.  He went to his ball and slowly but surely nudged the ball ahead of him as he approached us.  He wanted to play but we weren't sure of his game and we certainly weren't going to climb the fence to find out.

He watched us disconsolately as we hopped on our bikes and rode away.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


It might be more appropriate to call this a tree retreat than a tree house. Whatever, I'd guess the kids have enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


...on a nice, warm, sunny Florida afternoon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Birdhouse for the elite

I'm not sure which birds are classified as "elite," but this birdhouse looks to be a residence for the high and mighty. Is that a TV antennae affixed to its roof?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Equine Intrusion

Some horses just don't know their place!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fireworks for Sale

Thank goodness they're gone! Each year as July 4th and December 31st appear on the horizon, hawkers of fireworks set up tents in various places in Ocala to peddle their wares.

I don't like them.  Fireworks are dangerous. Not only so, but most of the fireworks these people sell are illegal. In Florida you can legally purchase only those items considered "sparklers," such as sparklers, fountains, snakes and glow worms.

But any fireworks that are defined as firecrackers, Roman candles and red waves that explode or shoot up in the air are banned.  Ah, but there is a loophole (isn't there always?)! All you need do is sign a waiver that says you will use your fireworks in an approved manner, such as in an agricultural setting. Hah!

So, at least twice a year thousands of dollars are spent on a dangerous and illegal scam.  And while people go wink-wink and look away, hundreds of people are injured, some severely because they are dumb as doorknobs and should not be allowed to play with Legos much less fireworks!

On July 4th in our neighborhood, we were treated to hours of the sights and sounds of firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, etc., just a block away - it was quite a show - a show that everyone knows is dangerous and against the law.  Hey, is this a great country or what? 

Friday, July 19, 2013

AJ's on the Square

AJ's on the Square is located in downtown Ocala, across from the city square. When we first moved to Ocala it was named the Tin Cup Tavern. A few years ago, Tin Cup went out of business and another entrepreneur set up a music store on the premises. That did not last long and for the past year and a half it has been a bar known as AJ's, run by Amanda Tillander, whose father, Bobby Tillander, is a well-known club owner in Ocala.  Currently he is said to own the Ocala Entertainment Complex.

Unfortunately, back in the beginning of June an Ocala man shot three men to death outside of AJ's on an early Sunday morning.  The four men had been drinking together in AJ's, and the shootings occurred after they exited the premises.  Reportedly, this was a revenge shooting as the gunman claimed he was humiliated by the three men he killed.  The three victims all worked as bouncers at the Ocala Entertainment Complex.

I've not heard whether or not this incident has affected business at AJ's.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Talia Joy Castellano - In Memoriam

We first met Talia Joy Castellano six years ago when her battle with neuroblastoma began.  Her life has been one of Love...bringing awareness of childhood cancer to the forefront.   Talia Joy left our world today at the age of thirteen, but her spirit lives on.

Over the years, as Talia bravely fought the cancer within, she turned outward and became an Internet sensation with her make-up videos, her line of fashion, and her presence on Facebook and YouTube. An appearance on The Ellen Show brought her many new friends and accolades.

The photo above was taken at a special birthday party last August. It was a spectacular event with a Las Vegas casino theme. The party was put together by family and friends in an Orlando hotel. We were privileged to be invited and that was the last time we saw Talia.

People Magazine has a story about Talia, and there are numerous articles in the media tonight, including a very nice piece by The Huffington Post. Talia spent most of the last six months in the hospital and was in a great deal of pain toward the end.

Tonight, her pain is gone, but her bright and smiling face, her intelligence, and her love of life will not be forgotten by those who were blessed to know her.  And her spirit lives on...

A lot of bull!

There is a mini-horse farm down the road from us which also has a few goats and this bull. While on a bike ride the other day, we stopped to take some pictures.  As we leaned over the wooden fence, we saw the bull begin to come our way. "How cool," I thought. "We'll be able to get some really good shots."

Not so.   At the moment this photo was taken, the bull put down his head and charged. The ground shook! Dirt flew everywhere! He roared right up to the fence, snorting and pawing the ground! We thought he was coming right through the fence!

We determined it was the better side of valor to make tracks so we jumped on our bikes and headed for home!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bradford Farms entrance

This is the entrance to Bradford Farms, the community discussed in yesterday's post. It is a gated community, but we were able to drive through it when we went to a garage sale there a couple of months ago.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Small Horse Barn

This small horse barn is located in a subdivision behind our house. The subdivision is comprised of what I'd estimate to be 2 to 5-acre homesites and the homes run about 1/2 million dollars which is quite expensive for this area. Almost all of the homes have horses, fenced fields, paddocks and barns.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The grass is always greener...

...on the other side of the fence!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Some Ocalans claim to trust in God

Driving around the east side of town the other day, we found this sign prominently displayed in many yards. We think the displays are a project of a local church.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Not a guard dog, a watch dog!

...still, you probably wouldn't want to stick your fingers in the window!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bowling alley

Bowling is still a popular sport in this country but nowhere near as popular as it once was. A few years back, most bowling alley parking lots were full of vehicles no matter what the time of day. Bowling leagues flourished for all ages.  Not only did actual humans serve as pinsetters, but you had to compute the scores in your head and write them down on a piece of paper.  Perhaps all the computerized automation has taken some of the fun out of it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Putters and Bags

Some of you may remember the old country song, [a huge hit] "Shutters & Boards," written by a friend of mine, Scotty Turner, along with the actor/war hero, Audie Murphy. This scene of golf putters and bags reminded me of that song. I don't know why!
"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson