Out and About: Whispering Oaks

We went to a Blueberry Festival last weekend.

Not the big one in Brooksville, this one was in Oxford, FL. And where is Oxford?  On the way to THE VILLAGES!  At least that’s what we were told the first time we met some reps from Whispering Oaks in Floral City. 

And then they sent me an email about a blueberry festival.  It was a beautiful day.  Perfect temperature.  Sun was shining.  We hadn’t planned on going but the shiny red car wanted to get out. 


So we hit the road.

For Oxford.  Not the Villages.


Cool barrels for a fence. We must be getting close!

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Happy Goats

Happy Goats?

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

And there were blueberries.  Grown right there on their farm. And they offer U-Pick.  From March through May.


Blueberry stomping was scheduled. 

And there was entertainment.


I asked them where they were from. The Villages. Of course! And they perform a LOT!

But the big draw was the wine tasting.  Yes–Blueberry wine.  And it was YUMMY!

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Just think, alcohol and healthy with all those antioxidants! Win-Win!

The deal was $7 to get in.  But you could use your entry ticket towards a wine tasting, fresh blueberries, or a glass of wine.

Yeah, we went for the glass of wine.

Out and About: Whispering Oaks


Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Wine Tasting Room

Wine tasting Bar

Wine Tasting Bar

There were a few places outside to buy wine, too.

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Here’s the wine gazebo. Plus there was a tent with wine for sale.

As Terry and I sat and sipped our wine, I pondered where was the wine making “stuff”? And a little adorable worker bee just showed up and said “wine tour in 10 minutes” 

So we took the tour.

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

This is our very knowledgeable wine tour guide, Debbie.

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Debbie explained to us why the goats are so happy.  They get the blueberry skins after skimming.  6% alcohol! Sometimes they go for a little stroll.  

So I had to check out the goats when we were leaving.

Mama Goat

Mama Goat

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Baby Goat

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

and Billy Goat Gruff who immediately headed to check me out as soon as I stopped to say hi!

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Okay, okay, I’m leaving! They must not have had any blueberry skins that day!

I think the venue would be a great place to have a wedding.

Besides the building that holds the wine tasting, there are a lot of outdoor spaces.

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Out and About: Whispering Oaks

Open to the public 7 days a week, there is also entertainment on Saturday.  Check out the www.winesofflorida.com for more info.  If you just want to try the wine, it’s available at Fresh Markets in the area–even Tampa and Orlando.

It was a fun day! 

OHHC takes the Show on the Road

The Old Homosassa Heritage Council (OHHC) has been busy getting the message out about preserving and enhancing the heritage of our unique community.

Last week DeeDee Wilcox and Marianne MacRae, Co-chairs of OHHC, and I went to the Homosassa Elementary School and put on a presentation for the fourth grade classes.  

Gotta say, those kids were adorable!

We asked the teacher, Mr. Barlow (whose classroom we were invading) for three volunteers. One from each class.

And here they are:


Mr. Early Settler, Mr. Mullet Train Engineer, and Ms. Tigertail.  (aka Ichabob Borton as William Cooley, Carson Edwards as Wade Wildon, and Josie Maglio as TigerTail.)These kids are natural born ENTERTAINERS!

The classes learned all about Homosassa History and Heritage.  

And we had a rapt audience!

OHHC takes the Show on the Road

Three classes of fourth grade kids.

And they had a lot of comments and questions.  And they hardly wiggled at all!

Seriously, these were some GREAT kids!


Here’s DeeDee telling about how the native Americans first discovered Homosassa.


And here's the first settler in Homosassa.  His house was where the Homosassa Wildlife Park is today.

And here’s the first settler William Cooley in Homosassa. His house was where the Homosassa Wildlife Park is on Fishbowl Drive today.

OHHC takes the Show on the Road

Gotta love those mustaches! And little Ms. TigerTail got to take one home with her.

OHHC takes the Show on the Road

And here’s the Engineer Wade Wildon from the Mullet Train!

OHHC takes the Show on the Road

“Is it time to blow the whistle?” He never said that but you could just tell that’s what he was thinking. This kid is a natural! We’ll be seeing him on Jimmy Fallon in 10 years!

So what exactly were we doing there?

Besides telling the students about the history and heritage of Old Homosassa, DeeDee also told them about Wyland, the artist.  


So the kids are writing letters to Wyland asking him to do just that.

Isn’t that the coolest thing ever?

Mr. Barlow told his class that they only had two essays to write before the end of the year. And one of them was the letter to WYLAND!

It is so fun being part of the OHHC.  Lots of work.  But FUN!  Because everyone is so enthusiastic and all they want is EVERYTHING and WHY CAN’T WE HAVE THAT!

Wyland, you will be painting our water tower.

As soon as we raise the gazillion we need to repair and restore it.  Which means we have a sell a lot of t-shirts or we need to find a wealthy benefactor!

And I want to give a shout out to the teachers:

Mr. Barlow, Ms. Crosswhite, and Ms. Crispino!

Thank you!

Friday Meanderings

I’m back!  

I love visiting Bismarck/Mandan.  What’s not to love?  Got three beautiful grandkids there and my son and daughter-in-law that I adore.  

The scenery is beautiful. Deer, pheasants and turkeys in the back yard almost every day. The Missouri River and Alan has a pontoon boat that we go out on in the summer.

I can drive downtown in the capital of North Dakota at NOON or at 5 PM and there’s no traffic jam.  Yet, there’s excellent restaurants, trendy shops, fun thrift stores, a great music shops. Along with all the chains like Target, Macy, and Barnes and Noble.

Seriously, if it wasn’t for all that weather with cold, ice, snow, blizzards, snow, cold, for like 9 months of the year, I’d live there!  

So what’s going on here in Citrus County for the weekend?


Just kidding.  I plan to just lie around and absorb all the sun and quiet. The weather is wonderful.  Maybe do some kayaking. 

According to the sign at MacRae’s yesterday, Sarasota Slim will be at the Shed on Sunday at 2 pm.  Sometimes the sign doesn’t get updated until Friday but if that’s right, we’ll be there!

There’s a new restaurant in Crystal River.  River Ranch. It’s in the same location that was the former Mullet Hole .  Which was previously Cafe on the Ave.  Open 7 days a week. Couldn’t find a website.  I tried.  Yes, I tried.  

Talked to a participant at the Crystal River RibJam that I recommended last week but couldn’t attend.  It was a bust.  The organizer stole the money and ran. Of course, that’s just an opinion from a local that had his bbq smoker set up at the event and depends on these kind of things to make a living.   Haven’t seen anything in the newspaper about it. According to the source, the RibJam was even shut down on Sunday.  Anyone got any info?

Now some serious stuff.  We need more members in the Homosassa Civic Club.  This is a great organization that puts on the hugely popular Homosassa Seafood and Arts and Crafts Festival in November and does good works in our community.  If you live in the area and are looking for a community organization to join, this is the one.   We have been recruiting new members and have been very successful.  But we need more people.  More volunteers for the Seafood Festival.  The next meeting is Monday, May 4th at 7 pm at the Homosassa Civic Club.  Be there!











My new DIY blog will be up NEXT WEEK!! 

Can you hear the trumpet fanfare???

This little web design challenge shouldn’t have taken so long but…

I had the new blog all ready and up and beautiful and then decided that it wouldn’t work. Beautiful yes.  Useable no.

So, back to the drawing board.  Or computer keyboard.  And it’s a month later.  Maybe this one will work.  And I’ll be happy.  And there will be peace in the world.  

Or maybe not.

But next Thursday, I’ll post the new website.  I’ll also put up the new DIY for the week on this website.  Because I don’t want to lose all my Pinterest peeps who have been faithfully following for years and years.  Just kidding.  But I do get a lot of web traffic from Pinterest.  

On the new website I plan to put a new project every Thursday. Sewing, quilting, mosaics, gardening, photography, or anything else I might be working on will be covered.  I’ll also be featuring one of my older DIYs at least one other day of the week.  Re-worked, re-designed, and re-cycled!

When Michelle is ready to do some DIY, she’ll own Wednesday.

One more week!