Cool Ways To Make Florida Cooler This Winter

5 Cool Ways To Make A Florida Winter Cooler

No wonder Santa vacations here.

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Winter, the one season that you know is coming and leaving too soon, or not soon enough. For those of you that live up north, the snow can be having a nice, slow, and relaxing free fall. Or the snow is building up, tall enough to be scale models of actual buildings, causing delays and tedious labor.

Down south in Florida, we don't get snow, except for that one sprinkle in Jacksonville some time ago. Winter does not feel like it is here; the only way to know the season is here is to decorate the house with Christmas lights (sometimes all year long).

Whether you look at this time of year as a wonderland or not, there is always a chance to make the holidays cooler.

1. Turn down the A/C.

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You know the complaint, the one your mother always shouted. "Close the door! What are you trying to do, air condition the rest of Florida?" It is a better alternative than this heat wave. More of a heat pool with all the sweat Florida sheds.

If the snow will not fall, the temperature on our thermostats can. Dial down the A/C to 55, walk around the house in the buff, and pour a cup of hot chocolate.

You finally have an excuse to drink it and can enjoy the weather (machine) from the comfort of home.

2. Tropical holiday party.

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One minute it is hot, the next minute it is cold, sometimes it rains without warning; Florida cannot make up its mind when it comes to the weather. Indoors, however, you can predict that there will be warm front of cheer!

Lacking a fireplace? Build a bonfire or fire pit outside or at the beach. Still too hot outdoors? Throw on that swimsuit and have an eggnog by the pool. Celebrate the holidays like a Floridian.

3. Christmas in the park.

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Having a theme party is one way to celebrate the season, but having a whole theme park is the tree topper on the Christmas tree.

Family traditions can take place from the inside your relative's home, or you can share an experience together, this time with a new tradition. Bring the gift of joy and the holiday spirit into your lives with the festivals winter has to offer.

4. Beaches.

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Maybe the rides and festivals are not the destinations you were thinking of. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it will turn the Sunshine State into the Sundown State.

While the sun shines down, you can lie on the sand and enjoy the cool and warm but pleasant wind on your skin. Florida has hundreds of beaches to choose from, but all of them have that summertime feeling. Perfect bumming weather!

5.  Let it snow... somewhere else.

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Florida has a bad reputation and the news makes sure the world knows just how bad it can be. The headlines are crazy, like "Doggy Daycare by Day, Meth Lab Also by Day" or "Man High On Bath Salts Thinks He Took a Bath, Pisses Himself in Public Instead."

An overweight man in a beard promises "gifts" to "good boys and girls" at the end of each year while he vacations in the safety of Florida from his elves and his wife he calls, Mrs. Claws. Sounds like a Florida Christmas to me.

Sometimes the best way to celebrate a Florida winter is anywhere else but Florida. Not every year, just as a palette cleanser before a new year of possibilities. Possibilities from America's toenail we call Florida.

Florida could be cooler, no one denies that, so let every winter freeze over Florida. Just until spring.

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'Dad’s Old Number' Is The Perfect Father's Day Song For Everyone Who's Lost Their Dad

The amount of times I've wanted to call his number, but couldn't.

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It's June now and Father's Day is right around the corner. Unfortunately for me, my dad passed away three years ago and this is my fourth Father's Day without him. My dad was my best friend and even though I have other best friends it's not the same.

My dad wasn't just a best friend, he was more like an older twin. And these past few years have been rough without him. I listen to the old songs he loves, especially Skynyrd, but no song has hit me like "Dad's Old Number" by Cole Swindell.

Cole Swindell - "Dad's Old Number" (Official Audio Video) YouTube

The song tells of a son who has lost his dad and calls his dad's old number just to have the new owner answer. I still remember my dad's home phone and work number. I honestly have no idea who would answer his old home number but I've met the guy who works in his old office and that's who would answer.

He's actually an old friend of my dad's and one of the last times I visited he gave me some pictures of my dad from the '80s when they worked together back then. It was a simple gift from him but meant so much more to me. There are other numbers in my dad's old office I could call and talk to when I need them because it's like a family and I grew up in that office.

When Cole Swindell calls his dad's old number he asks for the person not to hang up, that he's not selling anything, and didn't know what he was thinking when he called. He further explains that he forgot that the number isn't his lifeline anymore and that every now and then he calls them up, and the one ring hangups.

I haven't gone as far as calling the number but I've thought about it. When life got rough I had a couple of numbers I'd call. My dad wasn't always the best with advice but he was my dad. The other was my granddad who unfortunately passed back in February. And in watching Alabama Softball this past weekend I've just wanted to call and talk to either of them about how they fought hard but still came up short. Or to call and talk about how the Braves are doing. I and my granddad would talk about my daughter but I never got that chance with my dad and I wish I would've.

He ends the song in saying if he finds the right girl or gets that job that there's a good chance that the new owner of the number. For me, I understand because if I'd have called and talked to the person then maybe I would have a relationship with them. It happens all the time and can be good. I just read a story on a grandmother who would call the wrong number thinking it was her grandson and it was some other girl who she now has a grandmother-granddaughter relationship with.

For me, the song definitely gets me in my feels but it's because I know the exact feeling. For anyone who wants to go through with calling their dad's old number, I say go for it. You never know who is going to answer and what they will say. There are still good people out there and who knows it could be someone near you who has lost a dad or a father that has lost a son and it will help both of you. Happy Fathers Day to everyone whether your father is still with you or not.

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The Expense Of Hurricanes Should Not Be A Burden For Everyone

Imagine if the state of Florida stepped in and stopped the rebuilding and development of these areas that are prone to devastation, may cause the possibility of lowering homeowners' insurance for the rest of the citizens in Florida.

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The 2019 hurricane season starts in less than two months and I am wondering with the devastation that these storms cause on the shores of our country, when do we decide enough is enough and not allow victims to return and rebuild.

The official season for hurricanes is June 1st through November 30th. However, I want to focus primarily on the Florida coastal waters and the effects hurricanes have had on the state. Hurricane Michael depleted over and above the funds allocated for last year's storm season and it looks like Florida will start this season at a loss once again.

After Hurricane Andrew, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF). "The FHCF acts as a state-administered reinsurance program and is mandatory for residential property insurers writing covered policies in Florida. As of June 2018, this fund has a loss of ($1,279,762.00). The amount posted for hurricane losses is $2.5 billion. This loss was recorded well in advance of Hurricane Michael, hitting the panhandle in October 2018 with an estimated cost of damages of $25 billion.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was also established after Hurricane Andrew. It was created to provide coverage for home-owners that can't obtain insurance elsewhere. It is a not-for-profit insurer and is considered a last resort for homeowners. As the price of new homes increases so does the rate of homeowner insurance and many homeowners from the Keys to the Panhandle have seen their rates increase annually by 10% since 2010. This begs the question, why would anyone want to keep paying higher homeowners insurance year after year? With a higher percentage of Florida citizens in the retirement age, it seems that owning a home is more of a burden in areas that are prone to hurricanes.

When Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico, it left the entire island in need of massive infrastructure rebuilding. Not only the political implications of the lack of funding for the island, but the images of destruction and personal suffering was heart-wrenching. Some are of the belief there is an economic benefit from a hurricane. After the initial blow to retail, fast food, and hospitals, there is a regrowth that puts many people back to work, if only for a temporary period and another hurricane does not come to make its way to that area for the next seven to ten years.

Yet, according to https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes/, their models project that Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms are substantially reduced in number, but have higher rainfall rates, particularly near the storm center, as well as potential higher intensity. This can be true for winter storms as well. Many of us have been caught in an airport or up in a northern state in the winter months and have difficulty returning to the sunshine state because of a storm that has pounded inches of snow along its path like a hurricane from the frozen tundra.

No one should be allowed to build a home in a floodplain or a flood zone. For that matter, areas that have been prone to wildfires, or fault lines. If every state looked at the areas that have been continuously destroyed by mother nature, and calculated the cost incurred to rebuild, decided to stop the bleeding and zone those areas as hazards, uninhabitable, or just government property, they will save billions of dollars for other much-needed services.

Imagine if the state of Florida stepped in and stopped the rebuilding and development of these areas that are prone to devastation, may cause the possibility of lowering homeowners' insurance for the rest of the citizens in Florida. The basic questions are, should Florida allow citizens to rebuild once their homes have been destroyed by a tropical storm? Think of it as an automobile, if the house is totaled the insurance company replaces the home. Just not in the same location.

The government has a duty to protect its citizens, and by that definition are in their rights to tell homeowners and developers the devastated area is no longer available for rebuilding. At what cost both financially and in human lives do the citizens of Florida allow the coastlines to be developed or rebuilt? If the developers and homeowners can rebuild the rest of the taxpayers and homeowners should not have to pay the increase in insurance rates or a hurricane relief tax.

The taxpayers of Florida don't want to pay a hurricane tax, they don't have a choice. Their elected officials side with the developers and the large money donor homeowners. Maybe the beach that has that $2 million home isn't meant to be there. Of course, there is a great view and the ocean or gulf coast is at your feet, as the shoreline slowly covers your property. Yet the erosion isn't going to happen in the next few years so why worry?

I can't understand why a person wants to own a home that no insurance company will insure. If these million-dollar homes on beaches meant for sunbathing, surfing, fishing, and Florida wildlife, are forever a part of Florida, maybe these homeowners need to be self-insured. Be solely responsible for the environment they own. Yet, the state of Florida has created legislation to help these people and can't figure out how to make affordable housing for the rest of the state.

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