"" Writer's Wanderings

Monday, September 16, 2019

Happy Trails!

The nice thing about living near a national park is the availability of nice walking trails. We are fortunate to live near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park which, by the way, has no fee for entry. We have a beautiful tow path to walk along the canal and river that runs through it. And now we have a trail even closer to home.

Our community along with several other organizations have put in a trail from near our recreational area down to the tow path a little less than two miles away. The path is paved so it can be used by bike riders as well. And it is beautiful! It begins at the corner of Selig and Brecksville Roads in Independence and goes east.

This past Saturday was the official opening and dedication. We joined a lot of neighbors in celebrating in the morning but instead of waiting for the official ceremony, we took off down the path ahead of the crowds. I'm glad we did. It was a perfect morning and the walk was picturesque. The only problem was that there is a 8-9% grade for a good portion and the walk back was a little more than we bargained for. Today I have noticed muscles that I didn't know I had that are sore.

Along the way the path follows and crosses over Hemlock Creek and there are several historic sites. The old haydite mine being one. Haydite was mined in the valley until 2018. Haydite is used to make cement lighter for use in bridges.

Along the way are several benches (resting places for those of us puffing uphill) and one or two picnic tables. I'm looking forward sometime to a walk and a lunch. It's the perfect place. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Friday Funny--God's Laughter

This week has been a bottom-in-the-chair-fingers-on-the-keyboard kind of week. While it has been said that you should write the first draft of your novel straight through to the end without looking back and editing, I find that the editor in me keeps wanting to fix what I've just written. I go back and find the -ing words and make them stronger action verbs, eliminate the unnecessary -ly words, and see if there isn't a better way to say something without a "was" or "were" in the sentence. It all takes time and slows the process but it's a tough habit to break.

While I was praying one day this week during devotion time, I found myself editing my words. I wanted to make them just right. Habits tend to invade other areas of life. When I realized what I was doing, I stopped. For just an instant, I thought I heard a chuckle. God must have enjoyed my discovery. After all He is Father, and as children of His, I'm sure we contribute much to his laughter.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Attention Kindle Readers! Chance to Save!

The opportunity to do another countdown sale has arrived.

I can't decide which book to choose however.

If you had the opportunity to purchase a Kindle edition of one these books, which one would it be?

I'll do the countdown next week.

Fort Lonesome

In A Pickle

Pickle Dilly

Ruby, A Novel

Remember there is always the option of purchasing a Kindle edition as a gift for another. It's easily done through email. There's a link on the side of the book's page on Amazon that shows you how.

You can also request a book through your local library. If they don't have it, they will usually purchase it and then you can download it from them on loan.

All sorts of ways to read your favorites.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Doing The Laundry Without The Laundromat

When we are on an extended trip, we always plan to do laundry somewhere along the way. There have been some really neat encounters we've had in laundromats around the world. We've met students in Heidelberg and had instruction in French accompanied with lots of hand signals in Paris. Iceland was another interesting occasion where we had to receive instructions over the phone from the owner of the washer and dryer at a small campground. There was nothing on the washer and dryer that looked even vaguely familiar for us to even guess about what to do.

All of that said, I found some suggestions online that sound feasible if you can't find a laundromat or don't feel comfortable. One of the suggestions is to use a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Your put a small amount of detergent or even shampoo if you have no detergent into the bag with water and your article of clothing. Zip it closed and agitate. Do the same to rinse several times and hang up the item to dry. When I hand wash items, I usually roll them in a towel after I've wrung them out. That gets out just a little more water and speeds the drying time.

There are several products you can buy that are a bit larger and accomplish the same thing but are a bit pricey in my opinion.

Another option to washing your clothes without going to the laundromat is to wear them into the shower. Now I will admit to doing this with a bathing suit to rinse the chlorine from it but I never considered wearing clothes in and washing them that way. Hmmm. Given the option, I'll go to the laundromat. In a foreign country it's challenging and fun and you meet the nicest people.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Scams, Scams and More Scams: Travelers Beware

Just about the time you think you've heard it all there appears to be all sorts of new travel scams. Imagine if all these creative scammers put their heads together for something good. We could solve all sorts of world problems. Well, until they come over to the good side, there are some more things we as travelers need to be wary of.

I don't click on advertising links that come into my mailbox. Too often scammers manage to make a website that looks just like my favorite online stores and if you click and try to order, they will have your credit card information. Now I see the same applies to travel agent sites. Some are bogus. Stick to the ones you know are reliable and make sure you go directly to their site and check the URL to be sure it doesn't look flaky--like having an extra letter or number or symbol in it.

Another one I hadn't heard of is connected to some hotels. Now I know enough not to give out personal information like credit card numbers when someone calls me at home. I never considered what might happen if someone called from the front desk of the hotel where I was staying and asked for verification of my credit card. Apparently there are scammers who will call your room appearing to be the front desk and ask you to verify your credit card number. If you get the call, tell them you will be down to the front desk to straighten it out. If the call is legit, the front desk will thank you and wait for you to appear.

There are several other new scams you may want to take a look at to protect yourself as you travel. They are listed in an article on Smarter Travel. It's mostly a matter of staying on your toes as you travel. If it sounds too good to be true, it may be. Stay alert out there!

Friday, August 30, 2019

How Do You Clean A Lion's Teeth?

In answer to the question, you clean a lion's teeth very carefully and with the lion completely sedated. I think they used more than "happy gas" on him as you can see.

Since we have a zoo pass for the Metroparks Zoo, we often go just to get out of the house and get some exercise walking around. One of our stops for a peek in is always the Sarah Allison Stefee Center for Zoological Medicine. The last time we were fortunate enough to catch the veterinarians at work, we watched a root canal on a Mandrill monkey. This day, our attention was directed to the procedure they were doing on the male lion of the zoo.

The Center is a hands on learning place for children who can don a lab coat and pretend to be a vet while learning about the animals and their diets and health. There are several viewing areas where you can watch them work on some of the zoo animals when it's appropriate.

The lion was definitely out of it but I had to laugh when one of the guys got his arm tangled in the IV tubing and almost pulled out the IV. That could have been a rude awakening not only for the lion but the team of eight or so working in there on him as I'm sure that's what was keeping him sleeping peacefully.

We weren't sure what all they were doing. One zoo volunteer said they were just giving him a checkup. They were definitely cleaning his teeth though and we were able to watch the close up action on a video screen. I don't want to know what they were doing at the other end with his leg up in the air. Do male lions get a prostate exam?

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