Lake Ella Park

Lake Ella Park is located in Tallahassee on North Monroe Street. This park is a beautiful and well maintained park. There is a .7 mile paved path around the lake with a fountain. Lots of natural beauty. This park has ample parking around the whole park. This is a dog friendly park with a drinking fountain/place to fill water bowls. They have bag/trash stations so you can pick up after you dog if you left your bags at home. The Shops of Lake Ella have a variety of locally owned shops. They have a stage and every other Thursday they have live music and food trucks from 5:30 pm to 8:30pm.

Jackson County Teachers Credit Union

The Jackson County Teachers Credit Union(JCTCU) was created in 1954 to support Jackson County educators. Later they added Chipola College teachers, followed by the board of County Commissioners’ employees and families. Three years ago membership became open to anyone who works or lives in Jackson County. The staff at this branch provide personal service and care about their members.

The JCTCU is a financial co-operative that exists for the benefit of its members. The member’s satisfaction and well being is the number one priority of this Credit Union. The Credit Union was built on the foundation of people helping people. This organization has never been bought out, sold, or changed their name. They offer online banking, mobile app, bill pay, teller line, debit cards, ATM cards, gift cards, CDs, checks, payroll deduction, direct deposit, loans, credit cards, and much more.

They use their profits to serve their members and community. One special project involves financial literacy being taught to seniors, students, and groups free of charge. They are active in the school system and help during disasters.

They are located at 4466 Clinton St in Marianna. Hours are Monday thru Friday from 9am to 4:30 in the lobby and 9am to 5pm in the drive thru. Phone number is 850-526-4470 and the fax number is 850-526-5813. They do have a FB page and you can like and follow them.

New Italian Resturant in Marianna opens August 28th

August 28th at 5:30pm The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Penello’s Italian Cuisine will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Penello’s Italian Cuisine located at 4217 Lafayette St. The hours will be Wednesday-Thursday 10:30am until 9pm, Friday-Saturday from 10am until 10pm, and Sunday’s from 11am to 5pm. For more information you can call them at 850-546-5200. After the ribbon cutting on the 28th they will have their grand opening with the first dinner service being served at 6pm. The public is invited to help celebrate this occasion.

Penollo’s is owned by Arty, Paula, and son Bryan who will be cooking New York Style Italian Cuisine from family recipes passed down over time. The family was born and raised in New York where Arty worked for the transit authority. Arty and Paula owned some property in Compass Lake and in 2006 someone made them an offer. So the family decided to come to the area and take a look at their investment. During the visit they fell in love with the area and moved here in July of 2006. Bryan’s love of cooking developed early in life and continued into high school where he was part of the culinary program at Marianna High School for 3 years and later at Gulf Coast State College. Bryan is not the only one in the family with culinary experience. Dad Arty operated a successful catering business for 10 years serving a wide variety of events.

The sauces they will be cooking will take between 12-24 hours to prepare. They will be sweetened with natural ingredients, no sugar, and very little salt. They plan to have New-York style cheesecake that stands 2 1/2 inches tall. They are focused on doing business locally.  They are working with Southern Craft Creamery to create a specialized surprise ice cream for the restaurant. They will have zucchini and squash noodles to provide healthier options as well. The owners plan to server locally grown vegetables for side dishes. Wine and beer will be available.

National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day~August 25th~Thift Stores in Marianna

National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day is breathing new life into old clothes, allowing consumers to offset their carbon footprint by exchanging or recycling their used garments. It is celebrated on August 25th each year. Buying clothes second hand and donating your used clothing creates a positive cycle that is crucial for cutting back our waste.

Second hand shopping saves you money, has a positive impact on the environment, helps those in need, and if done correctly can lead to a closet with some cool clothes! A few second hand shops in Marianna are:

~Habitat For Humanity Restore located at 4736 US-90. They are closed on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday through Friday they are open 10am to 6pm. On Saturdays they are open from 9am to 3pm. They have a FB page and if you like and follow them they have a word of the week that when said to the cashier you receive 10% off what you buy and on Thursdays they offer 10% off as a senior discount.                                            ~Innovative Charities of Northwest Florida, located at 1994 FL-71. Closed on Sundays however they are open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~Saint Anne Catholic Church Thrift Store. It is located at 3009 Fifth St. Hours are normally Tuesday and Thursdays from 9am to 1pm however they have a sign up saying it is temporally closed.                                                                                                                                                                        ~Goodwill located at 2800 FL-71. They are open on Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Monday through Saturday they are open 9am to 8pm.

Do you have a favorite thrift store in the panhandle? If so please send the name to with blog in the subject line. HAPPY SHOPPING!

Fat John’s Pizza night went great!

Thanks to all who came to Fat John’s Pizza on Friday night and said hi! We need to do these night’s out more often! We had 4 bottles of wine that we pulled the door prize tickets for at the end of the night and the winners have been notified by text or phone call already this morning! Congratulations to Phillip Dryden, Pam Phelps, Bill Sellers, and Cindy Eade. And a special thanks to John Lamar the owner who let us hang out for the evening.

John Lomar and Debbie Roney Smith at the end of a long but fun night!
Folding boxes, got easier with practice.
A few of my friends who hung out. Tabatha, Elisabeth, and Frank. I missed getting a photo with Heather, Jack, Mark, and Randy who came by and ordered and got a free $5 gift certificate! Thanks ALL!


Gulf County~recreational bay scallop season~August 16th – September 15th

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced recreational bay scallop season for Gulf County is opening Friday, August 16th and will remain open through September 15th. The region includes waters from the Mexico Beach Canal to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Inland. The FWC says that swimming, boating, fishing and scalloping in the restoration marked areas south of Black’s Island is prohibited.

Scallops can be harvested by hand or with a net. The limits are two (2) gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a max of ten gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. Continuous transit of scallops is allowed through closed areas as long as the boat does not stop in areas closed to harvest.

Recreational harvesters need a Florida saltwater fishing license to harvest bay scallops unless they are 1. except from needing a license or 2. have a no-cost shoreline fishing license and are wading from shore to collect scallops(ex. feet do not leave bottom), and harvesters do not use a vessel to reach or return from the harvest location.

For more information be sure to check out the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation commission website by clicking on this link

Come see me and have great pizza at Fat John’s Pizza~Friday 8/16 from 3:30pm to 8pm

Guess where you can find Debbie Roney Smith this Friday, August 16th? If you guessed Fat John’s Pizza in Marianna you would be right! Fat John’s Pizza is located at 4527 Lafayette St and the phone number is 850-372-4600. Normal hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 10:30am to 8pm and closed on Sunday and Monday’s.

I am offering a $5 gift certificate for you to use toward your meal if you come see me. My first 10 friends will receive this $5 gift certificate.  I will be there from 3:30pm to 8pm. All you have to do is like and follow my FB page and tell me one (1) thing that has been on my blog in August. Life gets so busy we don’t have as much time as we would all like to see each other, I’m looking forward to seeing you! My friend Elisabeth who writes most of my blogs will also be there and you will get a chance to tell her things you would like to see mentioned on my blog.

Fat John’s Pizza is authentic stone cooked pizza, they do accept credit cards. You can order pizza to go or enjoy it there. They offer pizza, calzones, salads, breadsticks, wings, and Stromboli, to name a few menu items.



Jackson County Senior Center

Jackson County Senior Center is locate at 2931 Optimist Drive. The phone number is 850-482-5028. They also have a Facebook page, to follow them and get updates be sure to click the like button. They have a monthly calendar as seen in the photo attached. They do movie days, art classes, games, bingo, exercise classes, and health checks to name a few activities. They also offer in home services and you need to call for that information and the number for that is 800-963-5337. The hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

The mission at Jackson County Senior Citizens is to provide an opportunity for the senior citizen population to participate in various functions offered on a regular basis. They are a non-profit organization that promotes and provides activities, entertainment, trips, and special workshops that are planned specifically with seniors in mind. It was founded in 1975. They also have a location in Graceville located at 5400 Cliff Street.

Williford Springs~open weekends only for this summer

Williford Springs is open for weekends only this summer. The spring run itself is still closed due to fallen trees from Hurricane Michael. If you are planning to go to a body of water this summer be sure to check before you go to make sure it is open. With all the damage from the hurricane it may be years before all of the water areas are back up and running. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the Econfina Creek Canoe Livery which is next door to the Williford Springs. Open from dawn to dusk, they do not allow alcoholic beverages or ATV’s.

Williford Springs is a swimming basin located in Washington County on Porter Pond Road in Youngstown. Located about 1.5 miles north of State Road 20. This spring is one of the most popular recreation sites managed by The Northwest Florida Water Management District(NFWMD)who reopened the Williford Springs in July for weekend use only until repairs are complete. This gives them the week days to continue repairing the site. It has been closed since the hurricane since it sustained extensive damages. Only the parking lot, picnic pavilions, general recreation area of the spring, and the restrooms will be open. The boardwalk and walking trails remain closed.

Williford Spring is classified as a second magnitude spring. It is one of 11 springs or spring groups along Econfina Creek, which also features as many as 39 individual spring vents. Flow from Williford Spring and the other springs along the Eonfina Creek ultimately discharge into Deer Point Lake, which is the primary source of drinking water for residents in Bay County. The NFWMD manages 41,224.18 acres of public lands in the Econfina Creek area.

Blue Pond Park~Chipley

This park isn’t secluded but it sure feels like it. Blue Pond Park is located south of I-10 in Chipley which is in Washington County. It is also known as Blue Lake Earl Gilbert Landing. This cute park is located on this beautiful lake. They have a playground, gazebo, bridge, pavilion, and ducks! The ducks are not shy and will waddle right up to you. They do have restrooms that are locked at sunset. When you get off I-10 head south and it is located on the east side of the road. It looks like a little park or rest area. It is right on the road but is so quiet. They are doing construction but it isn’t too dirty or loud. This would be a great place for a romantic picnic or a lunch by the river with your family.