Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Happy Birthday Carrie!!

Saturday February 7 and Sunday February 8, 2015
Koreshan State Historic Site
Estero, Florida


February 7 Saturday



Today is an extra special Day!
It’s Carrie’s Birthday!   



   HAPPY  BIRTHDAY CARRIE !!!!!!!!!!!!  




Happily the weather is going to be  bit warmer today up in Laurel Maryland where she is.  50’s are predicted for the day.  We talk a couple times to her during the day and she says she got both her present and the card on time.  That’s great!  She’s a jewel in our life and we wish we were with her on her birthday.  Now we have to celebrate without her but we miss you Carrie.

Actually since today is Saturday we don’t spend the morning celebrating other than talking to Carrie.  I do the laundry, run the vacuum, make some fresh hummus, call Disney World and make reservations for next January (whoo hoo), call my dad and take a shower.  I’m too busy to notice what David is doing.  He says he put the Wilson Sleek on the roof to see if we’d get a better signal with it there and discovers that the top of our Air Conditioner is actually magnetic so it’s easy to put it up there and it still reaches down to the hot spot without our having to move it.  He fixed his grease gun by putting a flexible fit on it so he can finish Winnona’s grease job, showered and emptied the recycling.    Just a regular chores Saturday Morning.





But at 1:00 we bike over to the Art Building to attend the drumming event.   The crowd is thin but the drummers are very good.  They brought hand percussion instruments for the audience to use and encourage everyone to help expand the sound. 

Those in attendance did and seemed to have a very good time.  Some people even danced.  

Mary is the volunteer who sets up these 1:00 Saturday and Sunday musical performances in the spirit of the Koreshans who did the same.  It’s a big job which she seems to really enjoy.  We thank her afterwards for putting these week-end performances together.  What would our parks do without their volunteers?











Back at home, we revisit last night’s tortilla soup and end the evening with 7 rounds of Mexican Train.  I’m ahead 47 to 153.  HA!



SUNDAY February 8th




This morning I walk the lovely trail over to the settlement and David rides his bike.  We are going to the Farmer’s Market which runs from 8 to 1pm every Sunday.  We arrive about 8:45.

It’s located on the grand avenue.   We find several vegetable and fruit stands, home made guacamole in an enormous tub, kettle corn, local honey, fresh seafood,  a hot dog stand, some craft and flea market tables and a little gal with an ice tea stand.
















On my walking to and from the community, I always stop to see the gopher tortoise and today she is right by her door getting a little sun in her front yard.



Later in the morning we go over to see the baking demonstration.  We both bike and are shocked at the number of cars parked for the market.   We stroll through again while waiting for the streusel to finish and the place is packed.  




For the baking demonstration they use a 1920’s wood stove that was used here by the Koreshans and has been refurbished.   On Sundays it is fired up and dollar size buckwheat pancakes are made.  Sorghum molasses is provided for a true old timey treat.  Today there is also an apple streusel baking in the oven. 

Wood stove ovens are tricky.  You have to keep checking things to make sure they aren’t too hot or not hot enough and move the food up or down away from the heat and turn it front to back.  This baker has the wood stove knack and the streusel comes out fabulously as we can attest from the tastes provided.  





They had also made a no knead sourdough bread which was baking in a dutch oven over coals.  The baker had just put the bread in when we got there and later opened it so we could see it inside the kettle.  I wasn’t in the front row for that look.  You can see the lid with coals on it just to the right of the open dutch oven.

Actually the coals were both under the dutch oven and on its lid.  The baker has to check to make sure that the temperature stays perfect by moving the coals around, adding more or removing some.  There is a real art to both the dutch oven baking and the wood stove baking. 

When the bread is finished it looks golden brown.  He slices it and I am able to have the first piece hot out of the kettle.  Boy is it good.  It reminds David and I of what we called English Muffin bread that I used to make at the farm.  Everybody’s favorite.  Remember Carrie?







They have a small recipe book, free taste samples of two of the breads in the book as well as mini loaves of them for sale along with the cookbook and an ingredients package for making two loaves.  These volunteers are really working hard to provide extra funds that all stay in the park.  

In Florida, all entry fees and campground fees go to the state to be spread around.  A very popular park probably does not get all the money it takes in.  While a less popular one may well get more than it takes in.  The “friends” organizations of the parks have found very clever ways to bring in funds that stay in the park itself.  Here they do the ghost walks, teas, these demonstrations, guided tours for donation and the musical events for donations.    An amazing group of people are really loving this park and showing it.






We stay at the bread baking talking to the volunteers until time for the musical event back in the Art Hall.  This was a concert mainly of short show tunes played by Debbie Carlsen.  We enjoyed the music but thought she was a bit heavy handed on the gorgeous 1895 Steinway Grand that has just been refurbished.  The $10,000 cost for this was raised by the friends.

Of course we have high standards for piano music.  We’ve been spoiled.  We both commented that the piano coming from our living room as we were cooking dinner when Carrie was playing was much more delicate and beautiful.  It made you want to delay dinner just to hear her play.







It’s a beautiful day here with a high of 77 degrees.  Just the way I like to spend my winters!!


  1. I laughed at your "Woodstoves are tricky" comment. Two years ago, a college friend went to help her "off the grid" daughter and son-in-law after the birth of their baby. She very unwisely decided to cook dinner (fish) on their wood stove. Their "dinner at 6:30" plans turned into dinner at 9:00. She had us practically rolling on the floor laughing as she described how she was chopping wood and running back and forth trying to keep the stove hot (after her son-in-law commented, "I don't think that stove is hot enough." Grrrrrr . . ..) My only comment was "Why didn't you just order pizza?" Thanks for the wonderful reminder. I'm never touching a wood stove!

  2. Wood stoves certainly are tricky as I found out when baking a birthday cake many decades ago. One side was perfect. All our parks, state and federal depend on the goodness of volunteers. Love that market.

  3. Happy Birthday to Carrie!

    That's quite a busy farmer's market.

  4. First of all, I wish Carrie a happy birthday!

    I would love to see an old wood stove in action again. My grandma used one until I was grown. When I lived in Ireland I rented a lovely old Irish farmhouse that had a regular gas "cooker" in the kitchen, plus an old non-working wood stove (the stovepipe wasn't hooked up). The landlady offered to remove it but I shouted "No"! I loved that old thing and kept my spices on the back of it.

  5. Now that is an incredible market experience. You would have had to roll me out!! Happy birthday to Carrie... the apple of your eyes!

  6. Great day, for sure! Love a nice farmers market with fresh produce. How cool to see all the old fashion baking. I wish I was with you for the samples:) Happy Birthday to Carrie!

  7. Happy Birthday Carrie!

    My Mum and Dad got a wood stove for their newly renovated kitchen after I had left home and my Mum used it almost all the time in the winter. And it also heated up the kitchen and family room, it was always nice and toasty there.

    I bet it smelled delicious there because the food sounded and looked like it was!


  8. I'm sure Carrie would have loved to have celebrated her birthday with you on your wonderful day!! Happy Birthday Carrie and hope you enjoyed your special day:o))

  9. Our Katie's Bday is in about a week as well... Happy Bday Carrie!

  10. Love the "birthday card"! Back to the mouse house next year - how fun :-) I think the hat and beard contribute greatly to the success of the wood stove cooking. I loved cooking over and under the coals with my dutch oven, but it is definitely labor-intensive for baking! My dad used to buy the most amazing english muffin bread but I could never find it anywhere :-( Looks like a wonderful day with great people.

  11. Awww!! I wish I wasn't so behind in reading-what a lovely blog. I love your signs! Thank you for the nice tribute! I do remember the bread -so good. I miss the homemade. And, thanks for the piano compliment. I am sooo lucky to be the jewel in your life. I love you!!!!!!!

  12. Nice weather. Sure beats ours. Parks seem to have lots of interesting activities.

  13. Happy belated birthday to Carrie! What a wonderful tribute to the "jewel" in your life.

    Oh my -- fresh baked bread! I LOVE practically any kind of bread and could probably live on bread alone. I would have been in heaven!

  14. What a wonderful colorful birthday greeting for Carrie! :-) There are so many interesting things going on at that park -- the farmer's market looks terrific! So sweet that you stop by to see the tortoise every day.

  15. I love the picture of the dancer! You look very happy, your smile like sunshine. ;) Wish I could have tried that guacamole, sure looked good. Certainly hope Carrie had the best of days on her birthday.


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