Thursday, December 15, 2011

Want great art and give to charity? How about $27 shipped to your house? Interested? Read on!

Good morning all.  I am participating in a charity event.  Please check out the link below.  The are various artists participating and all proceeds go to the Toys For Tots charity.  Images are $27 each including shipping!  Order instructions are on the link page as well.  Don Giannatti is coordinating the event.  He is a well known and established photographer out of the great state of Arizona.
If you want some great art pieces and also want to give to a great charity, please stop by the site and see what might Interest you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Livingston House - "Home" Of The Tomato

History is one of those things that you can find all around you and you may not even know about it.  How that history intertwines with those things we take for granted can be an amazing thing.

Lets take a look at the tomato for instance.  Before there were tomatoes in every grocery store, there were tomatoes in the wild.  While edible, they were not what you and I see them as today.  They were really more of a juice filled ball than the hearty breeds we have today.  Who can we thank for that?  Why Alexander Livingston of course!  Through his tireless efforts, Livingston cultivated and cross bred various varieties of tomatoes to give them more cell structure and enhance their flavors.  The majority of all tomatoes found today can be traced back to Livingston's Seed Company.
If you want to know more about this interesting man, I recommend checking out the Livingston House Society and their website.

If you want to see the Livingston House, then that is no problem either.  The Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department oversee the house and the grounds.  Their are many events and activities that the Livingston House Society manage every year that will gain you access to the house as well as some great knowledge.

Front of the house, facing the street
Side of the house facing the parking area

Back door to kitchen and visitor's center

Interior living room - tea time

upstairs bedroom

children's bedroom

china cabinet

sitting room

dining room

downstairs bedroom

bible and glasses in the dining room

Friday, December 9, 2011

Beck's Tree Farm - A Family Tradition

My wife's family has a tradition of going out together and getting a Christmas Tree for Nana's house.  One of out favorite locations for getting the tree is Beck's Tree Farm in Lancaster, OH.

We have been to many a tree farm over the years to be sure, but Beck's is always one of our favorites.  They have a large selection of "cut your own" trees and their stock is always healthy.

When you first get to Beck's you can go exploring on your own through the grounds or you can catch a ride on their horse drawn wagon to different locations through out the property.   Each section is home to a different type of tree.

On of the great things too about Beck's is that different tree types may cost a different price, but the size doesn't factor into it.  Pick a 2 footer or a 10 footer and the price is the price.

Once you are out in the field, you don your weapon of choice(the tree saw) and take your prey.

Here is the tree our family picked...heading out to wait for the horses to come pick us up.

From here you can see the large expanse of the tree farm.  There is still way more behind and around us that you cannot see.

Once back, the staff takes your tree and puts it on the shaker and bails the tree for easy transport to your home!

And here are the fruits of our labor!  The tree is secured in the tree stand, expertly decorated by the kids and ready for Santa to place presents around!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A short hiatus....

Just wanted to let you all know that I have a gall bladder full of stones and it needs to come

Seriously, though....I've been dealing with some gall bladder issues for some months now and I originally had a surgery date setup for Dec 9. Surgeons office called me this morning and they have an opening for the 5th. I'll most likely be out of commission for a week or two.

I'm in the best medical hands I know of (OSU Med Center) and the best recovery crew you could ask for(wife and daughter)...sooooo...all should be well and good.

I'll keep you all posted. Nothing like getting status updates from a freshly out of surgery and on pain meds person. Lol.

This is not my first surgery, so no worries on this end.

I do have a backlog of articles, so this downtime might be good for me to be able to churn out a few articles and contact those who I want to do stories on.

Right now, it looks like I'll be back in the saddle and ready for action by December 19.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pigeon Roost Farms

Fall is a great time of year, especially for the young ones.  It is the start of cooler weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A fun place to take the family is Pigeon Roost Farms in Hebron, OH

Check out more of this unique destination after the break...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

B Spot - You Need To Eat Here!

So, I'm a self professed foodie.  I learned to cook at an early age, mostly out of necessity, but also because it was a way for a person that did not have a lot of artistic ability to be creative.
I recently needed to take a trip to the Cleveland area and in doing so, stopped at one of my favorite restaurants.

Where to begin???  Well, if  you don't already know, Michael Symon is probably most well known for being an Iron Chef on Iron Chef America on the Food Network.   All I must say is that if you have never had food from a chef of this caliber, then you are doing yourself a disservice.  Enjoying food at this level should be enjoyed by everyone at least once in their lives.  It is really hard to describe food this painstakingly crafted.  It really is that good.
If you get anywhere near the Cleveland area, you must get yourself to a Symon restaurant.  Lola's, Lolita's, or The B Spot - take your pick and enjoy the excellent service and thought altering foods.

More after the break....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 - Memorial Wall - Columbus, OH

This memorial wall is located at Richter Park at the corner of Front and Long Street in downtown Columbus, OH.

Richter Park was originally created (2000) as a way of honoring workers.  It has been expanded since 9/11/2001 to include those workers who lost their lives on that tragic day.

The question is asked a lot - "Where were you on __________"  ?  VE Day, VJ Day, Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy Assassination.  Now we often hear it for September 11.

Where was I?   I was working in downtown Columbus as a computer consultant.  I was on the 5th floor of the Leveque Tower.  The day was beautiful.  Blue skies and a few clouds scattered. Very typical for the season.  You could see for miles in any direction.  The view was crystal clear, the air crisp and clean.

9/11/2001 looked very similar to this day.
This view is from the street corner of the memorial.
(Image taken 9/10/2011)
I was working on my assignment and listening to the local talk radio station.  I remember that there were a few breaking items - a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  At first, no one seemed alarmed as the reports had also mentioned that smaller planes had crashed into the twin towers before.

Then more reports came in, a second plane had crashed into the other tower.  What it going on?  My first thought is that something must be going wrong with the flight tower and they are directing planes wrong.  I remembered that the cafe on the second floor had a TV and they would play the morning news.  I jumped into the elevator and went down to the second floor.  When the doors opened, there was already a crowd  of about 20-25 people watching the news.  Then the reports started coming in about people trying to get out of the buildings, and the Pentagon...Flight 93....I looked around and most people looked in shock or were just stunned.  A few were crying, unable to hold their emotions in.

Then we got the call to begin evacuation of downtown Columbus.  There were no plans back then on mass evacuations.  The Columbus police and fire teams did a great job of making the best out of the situation they were given.

There were so many cars trying to leave downtown, I knew that I did not want to sit in that kind of I found a restaurant that was still open and had lunch.  Life is what it is and if something is going to happen to you it doesn't matter if I'm downtown eating lunch or sitting in traffic.  I wasn't married or blessed with children then, so I was only needed to be concerned with my safety at the moment.  My parents live in PA, so I did try and get a hold of them, but the cell lines were jammed.  A few hours later I was able to contact family and everyone was alright.

The rest is history, as they say....and we all have our own stories to tell of that day.  I consider myself lucky and blessed and I continually pray for those who lost, have been lost and those that chose to sacrifice all to help their fellow man - even ones they do not know.

True heroism is in front of us every day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"A Christmas Story" House

1983 and 1989 are years that I will never forget.  1989 is significant because that is the year that "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" was released.  Before that, though, was the release of "A Christmas Story" in 1983.

For me, Christmas cannot be without a viewing of both of these classic movies.  What makes "A Christmas Story" that much more significant to me now is that the house that some of the movie was filmed at is located in Cleveland Ohio!!  The official website has the whole back story, and you can check it out for yourself if you wish.

Along with the actual house, there were two other houses purchased in close proximity.  One is a gift shop and the other is a museum.  They too are worth checking out.

The staff was great and a tour is provided for a fee.  It is not very expensive and well worth it.   When I was there, the actor that played Randy was also there!  Double bonus!

This house is a great piece of nostalgia as well as Hollywood history.  If you are in the area, make time to check it out.

The infamous bathroom!!  Where Ralphie had to endure LifeBouy and decoding
'Lil Orphan Annie's message with the decoder!
Ralphie's Bedroom

Each pin represents locations where visitors came from to see the house.
Note on the right, those are international flags!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Balloons and Tunes - Hot Air Balloons at Beulah Park

Grove City holds an annual event called Balloons and Tunes at Beulah Park race track.  This is a great event where families can come and enjoy music, food and watch hot air balloons launch into the sky.  Some balloon owners even allow for tethered balloon rides for a fee.

There is a part where all the balloons are heated up at sunset.  The beautifully colored balloons glow into the night sky!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival

Every year for the last 45 years, Reynoldsburg Ohio has celebrated the tomato.  A man by the name of Alexander Livingston worked hard for years to cultivate and breed different types of tomatoes to make new strains that were both commercially viable and increase their overall appearance, taste and juiciness!
If you want to learn more about Livingston, check out the Livingston House Society's website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Desdemona's Fine Art and Other Cool Stuff

Writer:  Dani Live
Photography: Best Light Photographic LLC

Several visitors to the Lake Erie shores of Northern Ohio have experienced the magic of her waters.  I have often  wondered on my visits "How can I capture this and take it back home with me?"  Well, the lovely owners of Desdemona's can definitely help you with that goal. Laura and Sandee have created a perfect balance of fine art and affordable souvenirs that will appeal to everyone.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ohio Renaissance Festival

A fantastic festival for people of all ages.  The Ohio Renaissance Festival is located in Harveysburg, OH.  Be prepared to be taken back in time.  Enjoy being submerged in the customs, dress, food and entertainment of the period.
Make sure to check the link above to their website for discount tickets/packages.  Every weekend has a theme and those themes are published on the site as well.

More after the break!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Slate Run Historical Farm

Slate Run Historical Farm is part of the Columbus Metro Parks system.  It can be found at Slate Run Park, which is located at 1375 State Route 664 N.  in Canal Winchester, OH.

Farm hands shuck corn

More after the break...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

People Behind The Scenes - Jason Shamblin, Director Parks and Rec.

How often do we go out, enjoy the parks maintained by our local community?  How many community sports teams have our kids played on, made friends, learned about sportsmanship?  How many parades, concerts, picnics have we enjoyed and think nothing of the people behind the scenes that make those very things possible?
Jason, at one of his agencies many parks

Jason Shamblin is one of those people.  Mr. Shamblin is the Director of the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department.

More to follow...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Civil War Re-Enactment - Part 2 - 2011 Images!!

Here are some updated images from the 2011 Civil War Re-Enactment at Civic park in Reynoldsburg, OH.

Confederate Bayonet Charge


Please see THIS original thread for background information.

NOW for the GOODS!

More after the break....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jungle Jim's International Market

Article by Dani Live
Photographs by Andrew Livelsberger of BLP

   “Unbelievable”, “Wow!”, “awesome”, ---These are the words that others have uttered to me when I took them to Jungle Jim’s Grocery Store.     I know what you are thinking: “What could possibly be amazing about a grocery store?”   Well, this store is like no other you have seen, I can guarantee that.
More after the break...

Civil War Re-Enactment - Civic Park

Ohio is steeped in rich history.

Every year at Civic Park in Reynoldsburg, a group of dedicated volunteers camps out at the park for two days.  Their goal is to educate people about a very special time in American history.