A Long Happy Summer

Where Has the Time Gone?

I was looking at the date of my last blog and realized that almost three months have gone by. That is a quarter of a year! It isn’t like I haven’t thought of topics to share as I have put many photos in a special folder on my Nook called ‘Blog Photos’. So I think it’s time to look at those photos and make an entry or two.

Jeff at the Rest Stop

A Nice Rest Stop on the Three Creeks Trail

On Monday, Jeff H. leads a gentle ride on the Alum Creek Three Creeks Trail. The major purpose is to ride for coffee and bagels and talk about current events or any other interesting topic. We are a diverse group, so we are avoiding talking politics as we have both Romney and Obama supporters in our group. On one of our hot rides in July, we stopped at this covered rest stop that is located by an old homestead. We have noticed that more benches (with backs on them) have been installed along this multi-purpose trail.

Those pink guys at the Columbus Zoo

Ohio Health, who is a big sponsor of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, started up a monthly program called “HooFit”. Once a month they have a walk with a Zoo naturalist and a Doctor and walk around the park and talk about various animals and topics. It is not a long walk, but does get you motivated to walk more after the scheduled walk. Since I’m from the Cleveland area, here are my flamingo friends. The plastic ones are found on Parma lawns.

Dr. Merryman shares Heart Healthy tips

This month’s Doctor was a Cardiologist. Dr. Merryman shared many tips. When we returned to the pond area, he encouraged us all to walk around the pond with him to get more activity. Two young boys decided to be first and run around the pond.
Link to the HooFit program. There is a similar program called ‘Walk with a Doc’. This is a nationwide program where you can walk with a Doctor at various locations. I have done this once and hope to do it more this fall. Walk With A Doc Website

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Biking, Bridges and Fountains

Another Reason to take Photos

Today was a day for a quiet bicycle ride. On my way to the Lane Avenue bridge, i decided to see what the progress was on the reconstruction of the Doodridge Street bridge. The span is up and workers are getting supplies to work on the decking.

Did you order this bundle?

I arrived at the Lane Avenue bridge and had time to relax, read the paper and take a few photos of the river.

Deer are on the other side.

We traveled to German Village area for lunch and came through the Scioto Mile area. I took some photos of the fountains and Lynne and I took a break and sat on one of the swings. It appears that these fountains are working properly. There were no flowers planted in the planter boxes, but I expect to see stuff go there this next week because of the upcoming Arts Festival on June 1, 2 and 3rd.

The other riders arrived and we continued on our way. Here are some photos of our adventures this day.

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Biking and Crawling

Leona is now mobile in new ways. On Mother’s day, while Cecelia was at her yoga class, Leona figured out how to crawl.


Later in the day, Leona shared her excitement.

Here is her chariot to ride on during family bike rides. This is the test subject that endured the first practice ride down our streets.

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Swim Time

Today was a daytime field trip for Mike and baby swim lessons for Leona. The field trip was within a mile of the rec center so it made sense to pick up Mike and go to the swim lessons. We did not need to get wet and had fun watching Leona and Cecelia.


Cecelia had to dunk her head and show Leona that doing that is ok. Then Cecelia would give her a dunk. Leona will have to learn to keep her mouth shut.

We enjoyed lunch together. Leona has a ‘combo’ meal of various soft foods and had some fun ‘finger’ food. Or was it fist food?


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A Bird in the Garage

This has been a busy week for Mike. He has been helping his sister with various Spring cleaning tasks. Everything from lawn work to helping with cleaning in tall spaces in her cathedral ceilings. For that work, Mike needed to get the 12 foot ladder out of the garage.


He heard a sound of a bird chirping and kept looking for a bird. Well this was the bird that he found. This is my dancing penguin that also plays music and chirps every so often.

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Welcome to the Columbus Zoo

Leona’s First Zoo Trip

Yesterday was Leona’s first trip to the zoo. Mike and I met Cecelia, Kevin and Leona at the front entrance. Cecelia was joined by her friend Melissa and her three children, Vera, Jonah and Seva.

The first point of order was to find the polar bears. Vera was the official map bearer, as she had recently learned about map navigation from Dora, the Explorer.

Snack time for all!

We arrived at the Polar Frontier and went downstairs to the underwater viewing area. All we could see were the resident rainbow trout. It was close to the babies’ feeding time, so we sat and the children had some food. Kevin told us that he had noticed that the polar bears were topside, taking a nap.

After the snack, we returned above and the older kids visited the playground area. Kevin and Cecelia got a lunch snack and Leona and I went to see the brown bears.

Entrance to Brown Bear viewing area

One of the brown bears was playing in their pond and holding on to a large blue ball, like a floatation device. Another bear was having a snack in their little alcove, that had a window to this viewing area. As you see from the photo, the Columbus Zoo tries to make the surrounding area decorative with the rocks by the ‘cave’ viewing spot.

Babies of the world, unite!

Kevin took his turn carrying Leona in the child carrier. Makes you feel kin to the kangaroo. The plan was to allow her to get a ‘cat nap’. We walked through the rest of the North American area and planned to look for the giraffes. We got to the Asia Quest area, where I remembered the giraffes were at, and they were not there. Must be on ‘vacation’, like the Polar bears were for such a long time. The only place we saw giraffes were on the Pepsi vending machines. Mellisa has a family membership and goes to the zoo often. They had not visited the Asian area, so this was a treat for them. We saw Sun bears, langurs, a giant snake and fruit bats. Later we saw the elephants and rhinos. It was time to head to another playground for children fun.

Grandpa and Leona

Cecelia gave a break to Vera, as her little legs were getting tired. That means that Leona got to be with Grandpa and we walked around the exhibit. Grandpa and Leona stopped by a large canvas picture of a tiger and she got to touch the picture.

I like your corduroy shirt.

Along the way, I caught Leona enjoying the texture of Grandpa’s corduroy shirt. She does like exploring different items. The next step is usually putting the item in her mouth. Not this time, Leona! Since we took time to explore the tiger canvas and see the lions, we were separated from the rest of the group. Luckily, Kevin waited for us, so we knew which way to turn. We were headed to the playground by the koala bear/Australia area. We toured the Aquarium as it was restroom break for the kids.

I love this statue's ears.

Why can't I touch the fish?

Leona was fascinated by the big fish in the main tank. This photo doesn’t show much in the tank, but a school of large fish were passing by and that is why Leona was trying to touch them. We spent some time here as we didn’t know Mellisa had headed out to the playground, while we were around the corner in the main viewing area.

Just a few penguins

We continued on our trek and I stopped to see the penguins. They are nesting, but a few penguins were in the outside area. They have a side area for you to see the inner santum. The zoo had placed ‘dog’ crates for the penguins to use as nests. I found this to be an interesting item for the zoo keepers to use. Good thing the penguins don’t what this crates are normally used for.

Jonah is not camera shy. Several times, he would ask for someone to take his picture. Since I like penguins, I enjoyed taking this photo of him hugging Pepe the Penguin. Our last stop for the afternoon was to visit the Manatees. A good time was had by all. Next week is Spring Break for my niece, Mary. I suspect we will visit the zoo again next week. Cecelia got a membership and I did too!

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Biking on the Trail with Friends

A Social Ride

Every Wednesday morning, the Columbus Outdoor Pursuits club, has a trail ride on the Olentangy Leisure Trail. The leader plans a different destination each week to bring variety to the ride and help us try new things.

This week’s destination was the Columbus Downtown High School. This school teaches restaurant and cooking skills to students and opens at lunch at the end of term for real life practice for them.

Since this is a learning opportunity, the service is not perfect. The food is great. I had a big breakfast on this day, so I just had carrot cake and coffee. You can get a complete meal for $5 or $6. Desert is $1 more.

The weather was nice, so we sat at tables on the patio. Other tables had their orders taken first, but once taken, the food arrived quickly. The carrot cake was very moist and tasty. You could tell that the cakes were not mass produced as others got carrot cake for desert, and their pieces were slightly different is height and toppings. I could see that they were cut so each serving was about the same by height and width.

We do ride bikes and here is the proof:

Riders preparing to return back after lunch

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Collection of Baby Books

Fox Family Baby Book Library

Young Reader’s Library

Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street are hot topics of the Library right now. Leona enjoys being read to and look at the pictures in the books. I always read the cover page with the title and author name. When we get to the end of the book, I point out the ISBN number and remind her that her Dad works with books everyday and is very knowledgeable about these things.
I have found books at the thrift store in Plain City and Mike has found some from the lost and found at church. There aren’t many books right now, but will need to set up a book shelf area for these and other fun children’s books that I have.

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Just a Little Visit


Cecelia had a class at work and asked for a little Baba time until Kevin came home. Leona inherited from a cousin this fabulous toy chair. She has learned to reach and grasp things and enjoys playing with the various items. As she reaches for things just out of her range, the cloth sling chair rotates. I watched her play and rotate around for almost an hour. Don’t worry–it is not a fast process, so she does not get dizzy.

I occasionally will show my photos on my phone to others. I try not to do that very much as not everyone is excited about babies. The comment that I get from this photo is: “Does Leona have enough toys?”. The answer is, no as she has different needs to learn and play at different times of her life. This particular activity/play center gives Leona many opportunities to see cause and effect. Of course, everything has to go into the mouth, if at all possible!

It is important to grab and place in mouth

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My Civic Duty

And I will get paid for it

Tomorrow is ‘Super-Tuesday’ primary election in Ohio. Most of the action will be in the Republican primaries for selecting a candidate for President in the fall election.

Did you know that the Republican National Committee made a change so delegates will proportionately be allocated and not be a ‘winner-takes-all’ for primaries and caucuses held in March? Ok, my Republican friends! Get out and vote as it will count for the candidate you support.

In my area, there is a contest for Democratic Congressional seat, Supreme court judge and County recorder. All the rest are unopposed races. There are probably write-in candidates, but you have to research ahead of time and not just write in any name you want to. (Of Course, I would love to vote for ‘None of the Above’)

There is an official write-in candidate list and you can ask for the list when you go to vote here in Ohio.


I will be a Roster Judge at a local polling place. I attended an in-person training and an online training session. At one time, our family voted at this location, so it will be interesting to return there. I believe this location will have people voting on a Westerville School Levy. This levy has had a lively debate and I expect many voters. Hopefully, there will be no problems with rowdy campaigners–it will be hard enough to follow the procedures.

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