Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thankful Thursdays: The Art of Saying Thank You

I got teased the other day for saying "Thank you" to someone who stepped back so I had room to pick up a piece of paper I'd dropped. I really appreciated the courtesy I was given. It wasn't out of order to say thanks.

 Some people go to a lot of work to create personalized thank you notes. Imagine the hours put into this colorful, cheerful display of appreciation!

Certain localities display signs to let visitors and locals know it's nice to see them. The gratitude never runs out. That's a good thing.

There are probably millions of ways to show thanks in every language. A smile or pat on the back are just as valuable as verbal or written words.

Thank you for dropping by my site and for creating informative blogs for me and others to read, learn from, and enjoy.

And be warned - I will probably thank you time and again!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Traveling Tuesdays: Hay, There

Rolls of hay in Oregon
Hay as opposed to Hey! I've always been interested in agriculture and how practices change. Hay used to be a standard rectangular shape bound with baling wire. Later cheap, colorful twine held the bale together. Now and then I find a small piece of colorful yellow, red, or blue twine blown in by the wind.

The picture shows another way to keep the vegetation intact. A large roll is easy to move out towards the center of the field. The animals gather around to feed during the winter. It was fun to see the Oregon hay being gathered into large rolls instead of traditional bales.

I was delighted to find out I'm not the only one fascinated by haystacks and bundles. I was glancing through Wikimedia Commons and found some other examples of ways to keep hay.

Agriculture in Britain during World War I

I wasn't in Britain during World War I (Gosh, I wasn't even alive!). Photographic records show members of the Women's Land Army Forage Corps weighing hay bales on a British farm during that time. It's easier to win a war when the troops are fed.

Bales near Balgownie UK (wmc trish steel)

The red on these rolls is from netting used to hold it all together. It is all lined up neatly on this farm near Balgownie.

Baggerton Farm in Forfar UK (Alan Morrison  wmc)

Rolls and more rolls of hay for the animals on Baggerton Farm in Forfar.

Armenia haystack (russavia wmc)

Creative architecture adds appeal to this haystack in Armenia. It's really interesting to see how the small cloud looks like a puff of smoke from the stack.

If you look closely, you'll see the swirls that indicate how the hay is rolled together. It's convenient to load a flatbed and truck it out to where it's needed.

FEMA arranged for this truck of hay to be delivered to hungry cows in Texas.     

We have some short travel plans coming up in a month or so. I need to think of a theme for blog pictures in addition to my tendency to take pictures of just about anything. Do you have a suggestion to help me out?

Happy Traveling!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Traveling Tuesdays: At Home Dreaming 7 21 15

What happened to summer? This part of Nevada usually gets an occasional thunderstorm due to seasonal heat. We are having them as a daily routine! It just isn't safe to take off and travel remote areas. Even the drive to Reno includes some isolated wilderness. Here is the challenging threat I saw from my yard an hour ago:

Ho, hum. Okay, paying bills and grocery shopping can wait. It's not like either is that much fun, anyway. Instead, I'll think of fictional travels made realistic by modern technology and films.

I'd like to travel to Themyscira and meet Diana Prince's friends and family. Did you know there is a new Wonder Woman movie scheduled for release in the US June 23, 2017? Gal Gadot stars as the super-heroine.

Just think how valuable the Lasso of Truth would be when you're not sure if someone is being on the up-and-up with you.

It's a great "in-the-future" time to head for Starfleet HQ's in San Francisco. Interplanetary cadets make the galaxy a safer place as everyone learns to accept differences in appearance, ability, and culture. The Klingon really towers over me (I'm the one in the middle). He even managed to smile.

Instead of looking out the window, I'll imagine I am at the air balloon races held in Reno every year. The blue sky is what I'd like to see a bit more of. I need a time machine.

I could save time using some of the wormholes hanging around space to travel quickly from one galaxy to another. The problem seems to be unforeseen detours and capsizing of the infrastructure. Okay, forget that idea. It rates right up there with thunderstorms.

On the other hand, it would be an adventure to write about in another episode of Traveling Tuesdays. Hmm! I'll keep that in mind. Meanwhile, have a wonderful week. Have you visited (in reality or in imagination) any wonderful spots lately?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thankful Thursdays: My New 'Ove" Glove

Disclaimer: This review of the Ove Glove® is based on years of use. I wasn't asked to provide a review and received no compensation for it. Opinions are my own based on a dozen years of experience.

One of the most handy things around my kitchen is my Ove Glove®. I was happy with potholders and oven mitts for years. When my hubby found out he had diabetes, it was time to bring in the big guns for protection against hot pans and casserole dishes.

Diabetics frequently suffer from neuropathy and the resulting damage to nerves. It causes pain and a loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands. It was a piece of cake to lower the temperature on the hot water heater so he didn't get burned while taking a shower or washing pots and pans. I wanted to protect him from burns when he took things off the burner or out of the oven, since he had no idea of how hot things were.

I saw a commercial for the Ove Glove® about a dozen years ago and found a coupon for a discount at Walgreen's a couple of days later. The cost was less than some of the quality burn lotions on the shelf near the pharmacy, so the Kevlar ® and Nomex ® mitt became his Just Because gift. 

Use the glove on the right hand or flip it over for the left. Both sides are thermal insulators and allow a margin of safety while holding hot pans like cookie sheets and cast iron skillets.
Everyone in the family got spoiled used to using the protective glove, which also contains cotton and polyester. That's part of its flexibility and soft feeling. The man of the house left his earthly pain behind and moved onto a better plane of existence a couple of years ago. As our sorrow ebbed and we began taking stock of what needed done, we realized it was harder to wash stains out of the still reliable glove. 

Wow! I got an incredible treat when I opened a gift from the kids and found the latest Ove Glove®! See all that blue? It's non-slip silicone grip. Now it's even easier to hold on to slippery glass cookware when moving it from the stove or oven to another location. It's still a left or right hand holder with the same flexibility for every finger. 

This delightful addition to cooking time was purchased at K-Mart. They are also available at places like Ace Hardware, True Value, Kroger, and Amazon.

Here is my right hand with wiggly fingers in the Ove Glove®

It's hard to think of the right gift for friends and family. I feel so strongly about the quality and protection of Ove Glove® that I've given it as a gift when I know that a family can really use it. 

The only way to make it better is to manufacture one for younger kids.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Traveling Tuesdays: Bellagio Las Vegas

Aviary in the Bellagio gardens

Disclaimer: I dropped by the Bellagio to wander the gardens with my family. I received no compensation for this review, except for the utter delight of seeing so much beauty for free. All opinions are my own.

My family loves the free things there are to enjoy in Las Vegas. The Bellagio Hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard has fantastic architecture and beautiful gardens. While the rooms and meals are out of the price range of a number of people (including mine, doggone it!), the gardens are free to browse through and enjoy. Kids and adults alike enjoy the displays, which change on a regular basis.

Decorative plaques describe the scene. Imagine the fun the artist had creating this lovely bird that sits among the flowers.

Artistic creations share the spotlight with Mother Nature's own colorful productions. Duck into shops to find a one of a kind souvenir, comfy tee, or cool drink. I really enjoyed the tall sunflowers!

Just look at the different types of decor that add to the scenery!

The snail looks prettier than the ones that hang around most gardens. The roll of flowers makes me want to jump up and create something artistic.

Kites were hung from the ceiling the day we visited. Imagine being the crew that rides in the bucket  to affix the latest colorful, fanciful items to bring smiles and happiness to guests and visitors.

Here is another ceiling featuring glass flowers. Your neck may be stiff from looking up, down, and around at all the wonderful things there are to see at the Bellagio. I filled one memory stick in less than an hour.

If Las Vegas, NV is in your travel plans, pencil in the Bellagio as a place to stay or at least visit to see what's new in and around the garden.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thankful Thursdays: Loving the Rain

Have you ever noticed how demands race from one end of the spectrum to the other?
Let's see, what do I want today?

The heat was getting a bit intolerable for many of us. Suddenly the spectrum exploded from all the complaints!

Clouds gathered and darkened with water as they frantically tried to respond to the Earth's need for water.

Rivers that usually had enough height to let fish pass through freely begged for a deluge to save the life they contained.

Long, dark clouds raced towards each other to create loud thunder, brilliant flashes of lightning, and heavy splotches of rain and hail.

The weather cooled down as wind scattered unbelievable amounts of water across the land. Flash floods, ferocious waves, and sheets of rain took the place of the merciless beating down of the sun.

Finally, Mother Nature is taking a break. It's nearly mid-July and the sunshine is returning.

It's a good day to remember how important it is to love both rain and sun as they balance our universe.

Has your summer weather returned to normal?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Traveling Tuesdays - Five Reasons to Visit Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

International traveling is a fantastic experience. When there’s not enough time or money to trip the light fantastic, create lasting memories with a trip to other parts of your own country, territory, or state. Here’s the world - make a pick.
Don't be shy - pick a destination

Add a timeline to your bucket list. Vague words like “someday” or “when we have the money” just don’t have a sense of urgency! Think of the advantages when you travel sooner rather than later - more energy, last-minute bargain rates, and the thrill of knowing an anticipated event will happen soon.

My sister J and I opted to visit Clearwater Beach, Florida several years ago. It was close to the area where our convention was being held. The location put us on target to drive up and see Mickey, Minnie, and the international appeal of Epcot Center. Airfares were down and she had a discount on a car rental. It was a great opportunity to visit good friends and make new ones.  

Wow! There's five good reasons before I even list the others.  
Reason 1. Beautiful Florida sunsets

Mother Nature is amazing.

Reason 2. Fun at the beach

Calm surf and clear green waters are inviting.

Reason 3. Another beautiful Florida sunset

The sunset's never the same. Why take a chance on missing the best one of all?

Reason 4. Peace and quiet early in the day at the beach

There is time for a stroll as the earth greets the sun before the rush of the day.

Reason 5. The sun kisses the water as it sets into the ocean.

Three Clearwater Beach sunsets, none the same. We live in an incredible world. 

Every bridge leads somewhere. Each one is the result of a quest to get from one place to another.
Are you headed to or from Clearwater Beach?

Careful plans or spur-of-the-moment opportunities - which is your favorite choice?