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Archive for April, 2016

Yesterday I ate a Krispy Kreme doughnut, the one with chocolate icing and cream in the middle. Yum. It reminded me, as it always does, of a Sunday, oh, about ten or so years ago, on my trip to Washington DC and Reading, PA.

Except for sore feet and that I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted, Washington, DC was great. I camped at Greenbelt Park as I couldn’t afford a hotel. Getting to a metro stop was easy. A park and ride was within 2 miles or I could have walked to one, but I’d have enough of walking so I drove.

Sunday morning I got up to find it raining. Anyone who’s been camping knows it’s a mess to take down a tent in the rain. I got wet. I got really wet. This did not dampen my spirits. Today I would be heading off to the Matchbox Car Convention in Reading, PA and it was something I’d been looking forward to for months.

After drying off I started out, later than I wanted so no breakfast. In Pennsylvania I halted to tank up and they had Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  All was good until a glob of cream oozed out and landed, splat, on my shirt and tricked down to my pants. Need I mention I happened to be driving at the time.  Clean up on aisle Aud had to wait until I stopped again. That was in Reading.

But I was at the convention so I was good. I’d saved money to buy Matchbox cars and I did. Happy with my purchases I went out to the car. And it was locked. And I couldn’t find the key. And there it was, oh, look, on the driver’s seat. This must have been before 2003 then because I didn’t have my Toyota Matrix and the fob key. While cleaning myself up from Krispy Kreme cream, I’d put the keys on my lap and… Bummer.

And there I was. It was Sunday. I needed to get in my car. Thank goodness I found someone to unlock it, but it was fifty bucks, fifty bucks I could have spent on a nice meal. Or more Matchbox cars. Or something. It’s the last time I ate a loaded doughnut in my car, that’s for sure.

All in all it was an interesting day what with highs and lows. A day to remember.

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Mr. MacGregor is the Director of the British Museum. In this nonfiction book he introduces history via essays written using a thousand pieces from the collection, from the Olduvai hand-axe (1.8 – 2 million years ago) to a solar powered lamp (2010). It might sound a bit boring, but it wasn’t.

This is a great book for history nerds and those who like to read snippets of facts and pretty much anyone. I would pick up the book, read five essays, and move on to something else. Sometimes I’d read the whole article, somethings I’d just skim through, hitting the high points. There’s a photograph accompanying each essay so you can see what you’re reading about. There are maps too in the back so you can see where each piece came from.

Mr. MacGregor used coins, sculptures masks, and bells and much more to illustrate an time in history, putting the object and the time period and the culture into perspective.  There’s a piece of eight, the coin. If the Spanish hadn’t a silver mine in Bolivia there wouldn’t have been pieces of eight. There’s a Throne of Weapons (and no, it’s not from Game of Thrones). This was made of gun parts to convey hope.

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Mom’s Dentures

Mama is still adjusting to her teeth. All I can say is that I hope I never get dentures. What they depict on tv isn’t what I see with my Mom. There’s no big bites out of apples or gnawing on ears of corn here. Plus she complains they hurt and give her blisters. We’ve been twice to the dentist for him to grind down areas on the denture that give her sore spots. Once everything is healed the dentures will get lined and more stuff I don’t quite get. This is one heck of a learning experience.

It’s been two whole months and a bit since she had the work done. I still have to pulverize her meals. I’ve discovered that chicken is easiest to hack apart in the blender. Beef is okay depending on how long its been cooked and what cut as is ham. She doesn’t care for fish so I don’t even try that. What I have found interesting is that if the food is something she really wants, egg salad sandwich or chocolate candy she has little trouble eating. I’ve also found that food she didn’t care for before she likes, if it’s been put in the blender.

She meant to not put in her dentures much until an acquaintance her age mentioned shrinking gums. Mom doesn’t that, perhaps to avoid shrunk in cheeks, so she gamely puts them on every day unless they hurt too much. I hope the pain goes away soon.

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Next month, on May 11, I’ll be giving an hour long workshop on Day Trips in S.C. at one of the branches here in the county. I wanted to do it at the Main branch on the day where they have several things going on, but that’s only for librarians who work there. I think everyone has to do a workshop and this is the day for them for do it if they hadn’t a chance earlier in the year. The reason I wanted to do it then is because two years ago they had a gentleman from the Dept. of Natural Resources do one, but he wasn’t there last year. Since I got my SC blog (47parkssc.wordpress.com) I thought I might do this and keep in ‘teaching’ mode while I help my mother.

I’ve already got a livebinder ‘binder’ with resources. I may add some more. I also have plenty of photographs and am now whittling them down so I can create a mini-movie and show some places to go see. I want other people to get excited as I do when it comes to planning and visiting a place. I’m more into nature so I hope people with the same interests come.

If you read this and are interested. Richland County. Sandhills Branch in northeast Columbia will be the place to be on May 11 between seven and eight pm. It’s a Wednesday.

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Boy and girl go in elevator. Boy and girl get stuck in elevator. They talk. They fall in love. It happens. But Devorah comes from a strict Hasidic community and even being alone with someone from the opposite sex is against her upbringing. Jaxon is black, a nerd, and a Christian. Despitite knowing they can’t be together, they can’t keep apart.

I’m not a fan of romance or Romeo and Juliet type of plots, but I picked this up anyway because I love reading about other cultures. I’m glad I fought back my prejudices and did. This is told in alternative voices, first Devorah, and then Jaxon and you get to know how each how feels and how their culture effects their feelings. From Devorah I learned quite a bit about Hasdic Jews. I had no idea the women had to wear wigs.

This book would be a good starting off point for discussions such as do we have the right to put our beliefs over another person’s culture or religion? What seems right for us, may not feel right for others. Such as that Davorah can’t date.

 

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Riverbanks Zoo

A few weeks ago, I took my mother to the zoo. She loves going there and since it was free Friday, all the better. Plus we got to see the new exhibits. It was wonderful weather, unlike the year before when it was cool and cloudy. Due to the nice weather, others thought to partake of the zoo as well, a lot of others. It made it hard to maneuver Mom’s wheelchair. Several times I had to break hard so as not to run over anybody. Little kids ran hither and yon without looking, so excited in seeing the animals. I always slowed when I saw them because they’d get in front in no time flat. The adults vexed me the most. Some didn’t even apologize for backing into or just walking in front of us.

Because of the crowd we only stayed two hours and visited the less crowded spaces. We went across the bridge over the Saluda river. Last year I tried to find it and couldn’t. This year, there it was and I know I passed this area several times because it was near the merry-g0-round.

Riverbanks Zoo is one of my favorites having watched it being created. Our family supported a toucan one year and when they remodeled it in the 90’s, I bought ‘bricks’. These are arranged in the form of a snake on the sidewalk and has names on them. I got one for Mietze and Talbot, my cats, and Pawnee Kitty. In hind site I should have gotten one for my nephew. But sometimes I just don’t think.

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