How does a twist of bad luck or possibly fate change your future so drastically? Malaysia Airlines has been in the top 20 world best airlines for the past three years. In two of those three years it is been in the top 10 world’s best airlines. But now in 2014 they are in dire trouble.

 I have flown Malaysia Airlines and to be honest with you it was my favorite airline to fly. The service and amenities were exceptional. I just loved their cute little menus…in economy class!

However now like most of the world I do have second thoughts about flying Malaysia Airlines, if they can indeed survive these past two tragedies. Has someone singled out Malaysian Airlines?

After the tragedies of 9/11 the general public drew back and reduced their flying tendencies. After increased safety precautions were put into affect gradually the public returned to their old ways and increased their airborne journeys.

Will time heal Malaysia's ills? Or will these incidents with Malaysia Airlines be another world changing event? Will we again face major changes in our flying habits and restrictions?

Are you ready to fly in the next week two weeks or even the next few months? Do these events change your attitude about flying with Malaysia or any other airline? Do you have thoughts on what can be done to protect commercial airlines?

Weigh-in and let us know.
 
 
This summer there seems to be a surge of attention on sharks. The news has reported a Great White Shark being caught in New York. Another video shows a paddle boarder paddling directly over a shark. Still other people are using media to follow a satellite tagged Great White Shark affectionately known as “Katherine” and her travels around the Gulf of Mexico.

This trending news, along with reports of dangerous snakes, an overpopulation of bears in urban areas and coyote packs coming into cities make people believe that there are a lot of dangerous animals are on the loose near their homes.

However there is little news about the most dangerous animal on earth ...  the Mosquito! The mosquito kills more people, approximately a million annually, than all of the other animals on earth combined.  This small pesky insect is responsible for malaria, dengue, various forms of encephalitis, West Nile Virus, yellow fever, and Chikungunya. They are even infect horses and man’s best friends, dogs.

So my friends stop worrying about the sharks, the bears, and the coyotes. Leave them alone, we are the ones invading their space; start concentrating on the bigger (tiny) most dangerous problem, the mosquito!

Do your part....

Eliminate standing water, as they are possible breeding grounds.

Use insect repellent and cover exposed skin.

Limit your time outdoors at dawn and dusk

Help stop the true killers!
 

Places

07/07/2014

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New places and new faces, never enough,

Endless exploring can sometimes be rough.

But with joy in my heart, a smile and some grace,

Off on another adventure to another new place!
 
 
A recent study by Penn State University researchers has revealed that people tend to be more stressed at home instead of at work. The researchers had individuals check their cortisol levels, a stress indicator, both at home and at work, the proof was in the saliva!

This discovery just happens to be contrary to what everyone believes. If you poll the general public they will tell you all they are definitely more stressed at work than they are at home. But the researched proved the opposite. The 24/7 demands at home cause more stress than demands in the workplace.

 In my mind that definitely proves to me that I need to be on vacation… instead of staying at home! I think I'll work on that.

Do you agree? Where is your stress?
 
 
A couple weeks ago I wrote about one of Tampa Bay's hidden gems, Fantasy Island. But it is not the only gem in the Tampa area, another surprising retreat is just off shore into the Gulf of Mexico, Egmont Key State Park. Egmont Key is a small barrier island that is located basically just west of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

It is a major historic site on Florida’s west coast. If you're not fortunate enough to know someone that owns a boat you can access the island via a ferry leaving from nearby Fort Desoto State Park.

Egmont Key is home to the Egmont Key Lighthouse and the ruins of old Fort Dade. Complimentary maps on the island are available at the ranger station. The map points out various trails throughout the island and leads to ruins of the old fort. It is an interesting hike as some sections of the fort are quite well preserved.
Besides the lighthouse, cemetery and the old fort, the island is inhabited by numerous gopher tortoises and is a wildlife refuge for nesting birds.

The crystal blue water attracts many afternoon boaters. Since it is a wildlife reserve no pets are permitted, no camping is allowed and they request that you take only photos, and leave only footprints. Unless of course the footprints would be on the sand dunes, walking on the sand dunes is also prohibited.

An afternoon on Egmont Key is a wonderful way to spend a day in the Tampa area. It can fulfill the interest of sunbathers, hikers, history buffs and nature lovers alike.
 
 
The summer solstice is almost upon us... Here in the northern hemisphere. For those in the Southern Hemisphere your summer solstice is six months off. Sorry about that!

A summer solstice occurs when the earths axis is at its most inclined point toward the sun. This event provides us with the longest daylight of the year, with exception of the polar regions. The word solstice comes from the Latin words "sol" (sun) and "sistere" (to stand still) which provides us with a long day.

Despite the fact that summer solstice marks the beginning of the summer season, Unfortunately the solstice event also signals that our days will now be getting shorter. 

Multiple religions and cultures celebrate the solstice or as they may call it, Midsummer. Many countries of the Christian belief celebrate the day to honor Saint John the Baptist. If Stonehenge is anything to go by, summer celebrations have a millennia-old history. While the ancient druids may have commemorated the fertility of the season, many of us are just happy to get outdoors.

But with days getting shorter How can that be a reason to celebrate?
 
 
I just got back from Fantasy Island. No, I'm not dreaming and I have not been drinking. This is not the Fantasy Island from the 1970’s hit TV show. No one was screaming “de plane, de plane”, besides the island is much too small for an airstrip. However while I was visiting multiple planes were flying overhead on final approach to Tampa International Airport. 

Fantasy Island is a cute little man made island, approximately four acres large on the north end of Tampa Bay in Florida. The island is a living outdoor laboratory for the study of island ecology. It is a conservation and educational wonder that includes a nature trail, numerous information boards, a pavillion and a wooden dock.

The island was created from the  dredgings of Tampa Bay and is a peaceful retreat and bird sanctuary. While I was visiting a portion of the island was taped off due to bird nesting. Fantasy Island is much smaller and much quieter than nearby party island, Beer Can AKA Pine Island.

Fantasy Island is a lesser known gem in Tampa. If you have the opportunity be sure to indulge in a “fantasy.”
 
 
I recently watched a segment on the evening news about living small. It seems there has been a 160% increase in tiny homeowners. People who have decided to forgo the McMansions and live smaller. The report on the tiny homes appeared to me to basically be recreational vehicles or mobile homes that are designed to look like regular brick and mortar or log cabin type homes.

In the past six months more or less it seems I have been living out of a backpack. Essentially living with little more than I can carry on my back and a few extras around my surroundings. If I can do this why can't I or shouldn’t I live the tiny life?

Recently my home or maybe I should say my legal address was hit with flooding waters. My basement received 24 inches of water. We had to dispose of numerous items. In addition hours of time had to be spent cleaning and drying out items that were salvageable. I was not home when the flooding occurred and family members had to deal with the worst of the problem. I am sure they wondered why I have so much "stuff."

It seems someone or something is telling me that it is time to cut back, thin out and simplify.

Maybe it is time; I have always believed the responsibility of having less stuff means more freedom and more flexibility especially when traveling. Maybe it is true with life in general? How do you know if it is time?
 
 
There is more to remember than just picnics and parades!
And specifically to MY family ....
 

??????

05/19/2014

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"All that are wandering are not lost."

                                    --J.R.Tolken
"I'll be back!"                      --The Terminator