Monthly Archives: May 2017

Second Look Required

Like most tourists, my friend and I sought out lunch. As we walked along, looking for and evaluating restaurant signs in the downtown area, I spotted this bright fellow across the street.

After a fine lunch a block away, we continued with our sightseeing. Hours later, our path again intersected this spot. And I discovered I’d not photographed a Red Bull. No, I’d captured a more elusive creature. A RED YAK!

 

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Watch your Step

Today our title is good general advice. And it comes to the forefront in special situations.

Walking across an uneven pasture –keep an eye out for “gifts” from large animals. Climbing up or down steps –even familiar ones can be tricky. Along a hiking path — is that a stick or a snake?

Recently I was a tourist. I enjoy exploring the riverfront in various cities I visit. It’s spring. The American Midwest. (Did I mention it was a rainy spring?) It was good to step careful and keep my feet dry.

The Ohio River showing a town along her route that she’s in charge.

A Grand Welcome

You’ve seen them if you drive the Interstate highways across state boundaries. You may have stopped at a few. I like to pause for a rest at them if my travel time allows.

Pick up a map. Check over the tourist brochures. Enjoy a few minutes in front of a flower garden, historical marker, or public art. Take a bathroom break. Stretch your legs. If traveling with animals, give them a few minutes to check out the new territory.

Most of these functions are usually conducted inside and around a building constructed especially for this purpose in the final decades of the 20th century. A few are new — replacing older facilities.

Welcome to the exception!

Entering Kentucky from the North West you are greeted by a “Grand Old Lady”

Starting as a two-story brick farmhouse, Whitehaven was expanded and remodeled into a mansion in the early 1900’s. And now houses a welcome center which combines tours during the week.

Packing Season

Spring into summer. The traditional time for American graduations. Weddings are popular. Family reunions are just around the turn of the calendar. Professional conferences sprout like mushrooms after rain. It all invades into the space for a family, or personal, vacation.

With a little luck and some planning you may be able to combine some of these. Traveling to a graduation or wedding? Can you slip an extra day or two in for a real vacation?

This summer I’m doing a combination of hostess duties for travelers and road tripping with one of my guests. So pull out the luggage. Check it over – do all the zippers work? Handles secure? If flying consider the bouncing and flipping by the baggage handlers.

          Wash and dry and count and pack. Still searching for the elusive                     “pack everything you need and use everything you pack”

Waiting in the sunshine

Spring mornings in St. Louis tend to fall into two categories.

Gray, rain, and miserable.

Sunny and glorious.

On one of the latter, the swing set appeared to be waiting for the children to finish breakfast and get released to the outdoors.

No age limit!

When was the last time you played on the swings?

Location, Location, Location

Like a great many harmful things, it began with carelessness rather than intent.

Imagine if you will. A person in a hurry. They miss their pocket and the cell phone drops to the ground. Well, not exactly to the ground — that became the problem. It landed in some ornamental grass, very dry and long from last year. Add sunshine – lots and lots of sunshine.

Boy scouts, military, and perhaps girl scouts should have the picture by now.

Thank you to the sharp eyed and quick thinking maintenance personnel.         Plus the quick response from the fire station a mile down the road.

Not Spider, Not Internet

It’s a web!  The engineer called it GeoWeb. And at first look it didn’t jibe with my preconceived notion.

Perhaps a little background would be useful.

The engineer was hired to find a solution to a storm water run off problem. You can use your imagination to form a picture of a suburban property where erosion and other factors combine to change the topography over a period of fifty years. Errors in judgement during construction become magnified. Surrounding properties make changes with ripple effects.

The solution involved digging, routing water to new storm sewer inlets, and then holding it all in place. That’s where the GeoWeb comes in. The purpose is to hold a sand/gravel mixture in place while storm water flows on either an additional layer of gravel or thin layer of sod.

It arrived packed flat. Six or so inches wide with a pattern of holes. Odd. It was only after installation that it began to make sense. Stand it on edge. Pull it out like accordion folded paper. Now I understand.

This portion did not get completely filled and packed before the rains came. Looking forward to the finishing touches.

Book Season?

Actually, in my mind, book season is 365 days each year.

Writers and readers do have seasonal conferences, luncheons, and events. And the season is starting.

Are you a writer? Have you scoped out the conferences or workshops in your area? Don’t know where to start? Check in your local library for any sort of writing magazine — they often have advertisements and listings of popular, reoccuring events. Another good source is the web page of writers groups.

Are you a reader? Spring, summer, and fall are popular times for reader events. Meet new authors. Browse book tables. Get filled with the “new book” smell. Find other readers — you may find new friends among them.

Meet the author, pick up your coaster, and touch the books at               GatewayCon in St. Louis. June 16-18.  Free admission for readers.

Not a Household Pet

Cats have a reputation. Aloof. Independent. Comical. Hunters.

Social media abounds with photos of felines encountering cardboard boxes, other cats, dogs, and children. Some of them are tender moments. Others bring to mind questions: how? why?

On one of our recent, rare sunny days I took a walk and discovered this cat.

Hugging. Comforting. Cuddling. Not the first words that come to mind. But then, this isn’t a living, breathing feline. Hope he brings a smile to your face.