Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben – Book Review

 


A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller by Harlan Coben


The Plot


A high school girl who was relentlessly bullied, disappears. No one seems to take it seriously, but a classmate is worried. When Matthew asks his grandmother (the well-known television criminal attorney, Hester Crimstein) for help in finding her, Hester asks Wilde to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.


Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past, not even that of his name. But his unique tracking abilities and knowledge of the woods give him an advantage in looking for Naomi.


To do this, Wilde must also go back into the community where he has never fit in and confront the powerful whose wealth and fame protect them even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions.  Wilde must uncover these secrets before it is too late.


A Few of the Many Outstanding Reviews of The Boy From the Woods


"The Boy from the Woods  is as much an action as a psychological thriller, as much a riveting read as a superb character study in which Coben challenges himself by taking his story outside his suburban comfort zone. A must-read for any mystery or thriller fan."―Providence Journal


"The crafty Coben knows how to weave a compelling story with intriguing characters, and Wilde is one of his best . . . The narrative veers into such unexpected directions that even a true thriller aficionado will not see the multiple surprises the ending delivers."  ―Associated Press 


"There may be no other thriller writer alive today who has mastered that fundamental trick of the genre. When you start a new Coben novel, or just pick one up and read the jacket copy, you know that nothing will unfold as it seems. You can be assured that surprises will keep appearing until the final page."―BookTrib


My Opinion


Available on Amazon

The character study is one of the most fascinating Coben has ever come up with. And the ending was a complete surprise. I recommend The Boy From The Woods to all who love suspense, thrillers and mystery. 


More Book Reviews by Harlan Coben:


Read more Mystery book reviews on


*Book Review of The Boy From the Woods written by 

Wednesday Elf







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Monday, August 30, 2021

Real Men Don't Wear Aprons, Do They?

Real men don't wear aprons, do they? What do you think? Join the debate now.

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS, DO THEY?

What do you think? Real men don't wear aprons do they? This page is dedicated to the issue of whether or not real men wear aprons. Are you a real man? If so, do or do you not wear one? Herewith find a friendly and occasionally funny debate about whether or not men actually do wear aprons. Please participate in the comment section at the bottom of the page and be sure to share this page with others so that they can add their voices to the debate. Do real men wear aprons?

HEY BANANABRAIN! REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS!


Hey, BananaBrain! Real men DON'T wear aprons. Doesn't matter how many fantastic men's aprons you find, Brenda. I'm not going to put one on, no way, no how! 

But maybe you don't feel that way. Maybe you are a MAN WITH AN APRON in which case you're going to want to vote for them.

This page is meant as a bit of fun and has been moved from where it originally was posted on another website. Therefore, the names of the commenters have been changed to protect their real identities. 

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS. DO THEY OR DON'T THEY? HERE'S WHAT THE PEOPLE HAD TO SAY:  


Anonymous: They do.

VLC: Yes.

SJ: "Just" an apron? :) My wife wouldn't care if I wore newspaper as long as I cooked!

WV3: Hmm, I think it's fine, I just don't know any who do!

Anonymous: Unless they are cooking something extremely messy. Or they're wearing nice clothes.

LM24: The only aprons we have in our house are for the kids. My husband does most of the cooking.

QS: A real man would just get in there and take care of business, apron or not. Especially if he could get a little dirty and the wife is the one doing laundry!

J: I thought that ties provide enough protection while cooking.

MPA: Well, if you are using apron as a metaphor for cooking then yes, but I have never worn an apron in my life!

HLM: I don't wear an apron. Neither does my wife.

KT: Real men can't find an apron!

Anonymous: No, Real men do not wear aprons!

JI: Yes!

SD: Unless the apron is to be used as a giant bib it would be useless! LOL

EK13: I don't even know any men who can cook, let alone wear an apron. =P

Anonymous: Well, my man doesn't wear an apron, just like he doesn't know how to "clear as you go" when he cooks. But at least he cooks!

L22: I don't but never thought about it either so I just figure no you don’t see it every day.

CSM: Well, my husband does not wear an apron, but I sure wish he would. I do the laundry!

Anonymous: Aprons are for wimps - cook, get dirty and then get your lady to clean you up!

MRE: Mine doesn't but then he only makes toast.

Mrs: I don't even own an apron so I don't think the hubby is likely to wear one!

Anonymous: Aprons are protective apparel; nothing more, nothing less. If you are doing "dirty" stuff, cooking, washing dishes, etc. whilst wearing good clothes wear an apron! If you are going to work in the garden, wash the car, paint the house; dress appropriately - ie wear old clothes, no apron needed.

Anonymous: Chefs, meat cutters, welders, bike mechanics wear aprons. Real men wear whatever they want 'cuz they are men and are not afraid of what others might think.

ViJ: Real men don't care what others say. Real men are confident in any skill they've got and comfortable in their own skin.

NV: Ouch, dahling.

Anonymous: Bobby Flay wears aprons.

Anonymous: Part of the grill experience is having beer, meat and the smell of flesh on the grill. You can choose to wear an apron or you can choose to carry a towel around or you could take part in the third option and wipe your hands on your shirt and walk around the party with grease stains on your shirt. While you’re at the third option, you may as well put on a half shirt with your beer belly hanging out the bottom. If wearing an apron takes your man hood, I don't think you had much to take. Of course, this all said is intended for a manly apron wearer not the flowery apron you stole from your wife before the divorce.

Anonymous: Real men wear aprons, when and only when I want them to. Otherwise, they're kept starkers. ;D

Anonymous: Why not? Nothing is wrong with a nice PVC apron. It keeps you clean when cooking and is easy to clean after you finish.

E L S: I wear my apron for all the fellas who can't or won't and I'm quite OK with that!

Anonymous: No problem - pinafore or smock style, but no frills and certainly no stupid half aprons.

SE: Real men are sexy men and sexy men cook :-) They have to be able to throw together a good meal, or the ladies will find someone who can!

KTC: Men definitely do wear aprons. How about when doing a BBQ? There are some great BBQ aprons out there. Make sure the BBQ-er has a beer in hand at all times and that's manly! (Find a great selection of Sizzlin' Hot BBQ Aprons here.)

MR: If women can wear tight jeans, men can wear sexy aprons!

LH: Oh yes, they do. My very best-selling Zazzle product is the King of the Grill BBQ apron but hubby only wears a leather apron and that's only for when he's welding. Hmmmmmmm. (I couldn't find LH's apron but I found a fun selection of King of the Grill aprons on Etsy here.)

Anonymous: "Real Men" Any man that has anything worth protecting down there would be wise to wear an apron when working with hot food. Taking a bath in hot caramel is never fun.

Anonymous: Of course, they should wear aprons. Full length. PVC.

CRLM: Real men are totally sexy in aprons. (It has to be a manly apron though.)

Anonymous: Real men wear aprons - PVC when dishwashing

Anonymous: They do.

Anonymous: At a church supper, you want to be able to mingle, without being covered in slop! Working under different, sometimes rushed conditions, with a new crew - stuff happens, and the resulting "decorations" are not always pretty.

Anonymous: Yes, absolutely they do! Real men do AND look pretty good in them as well. (I know I do.)

Anonymous: This idea, that wearing an apron makes you less manly is silly. My carpenter and butcher wear aprons... does that mean they are any less manly than anyone else. Real men can and do wear aprons! RTV LM: My hubby loves his apron I had custom made for him when he grills and, LOL, I can attest he's a real man ;)

VS: I started wearing aprons in 1975 when I went to work for Howard Johnson's. As a manager, we had to run the line in the kitchen most of the time but be presentable for the front of the house as well. I kept an extra set of clothing in the office for emergencies like bending over a deep fryer and dipping in your tie but aprons saved me many, many times! I've kept the habit.

RW: My husband wears the apron in our family -- and it is sexy!

PI: Yeah, they do but only if there is something really stupid written on it.

TG: I never wear an apron myself and neither does my husband, but that's just because I don't like to put them on and off again, but I don't truly see why men can't wear an apron if he wants to. I always wear trousers, does that make me less feminine? And yes, if a man likes to cook and keep his clothes clean, he should wear an apron of some sort.

Anonymous: I love to see my men folk in aprons

Anonymous: It takes a real man, secure in himself, and no need to prove his "machismo" to wear an apron.

Jack: Chefs wear aprons. Men that aren't chefs wear them when they cook, if they're not girlie aprons.

IM: I have met a REAL man, a manly man and he uses an apron now and then.

Anonymous: Sure they do, sometimes.

Anonymous: Yes, some do wear aprons 24/7.

GW: Real men can do anything!

Anonymous: Well, as long as they are not girlie aprons, LOL.

EW: Real men can really wear aprons!

Anonymous: Men who know that the healthiest foods are home cooked are the 'smarter' men. What makes them even smarter is that they choose to wear aprons because they know that aprons keep their clothes clean while they cook those healthy meals. Eat that ! ;)

TAWA: Lots of men wear aprons and can still be manly. (Sure a frilly pinafore isn’t making anyone feel THAT masculine but DANG FLABBIT ITS AN APRON!!) MY POINT IS MEN JUST WEAR A DANG APRON! Sheesh this is like saying real women don’t wear pants!

Anonymous: To say men do not wear aprons does not make sense really. All kinds of professional men wear aprons. In Freemasonry, we give aprons as awards.

JC: I worked for several years as a cook in restaurants and residences. You better believe men wear aprons when they cook for a living. As for around the house, well, they do it they barbecue, I think. Anonymous: Dirty apron = clean clothes PL: Yes, he does, well, maybe not all of the time. In fact, this just gave me the idea to write a page about my man in his apron. I'm sure he won't mind, will he? This is a fun debate, deserving of 5 aprons.

EJA: My husband is all man and he's more likely to wear an apron than I am.

AG LM: When I meet a REAL man, I’ll let you know. I’ll know he is real as he WILL be wearing his apron and not hanging onto my apron strings, he he he.

Anonymous: Real men can and do wear aprons

HB: Chefs wear them and many of them are "real men."

KTBTEN: Real men fry tofu -- it can be wise to wear an apron when stir-frying tofu in a wok over very high heat.

Anonymous: Real men DO wear aprons. They do.

WWH: We don't own any aprons but they seem to be really fashionable!

R7: I know one man who DOES wear an apron occasionally but to be honest I haven't seen many people in aprons period. Men or women.

BD: Real men aren't afraid to wear aprons and I like my man in nothing but an apron.

LK: My real men wear footie PJs! Aprons, too!

TD: Real men don’t care what other think... :)

SD: Mine should and I wouldn't mind as long as he's doing the cooking!

SLM: Well, let's just put it this way. Before I ever did any cooking apart from a braai (barbeque), I wouldn't have been caught dead in an apron. However, lots of men wear funny aprons at a braai. Now, however being forced to cook, I'll put on the wife's apron. Handy to wipe your hands on.

K: They wear aprons, but they never tie them in the back - just hang them over their neck and go.

-------------------------------------

Before you vote, here is an opportunity to add a good, solid, basic apron to your man's wardrobe. 

The first one shown below is by Chefs Work and is simple but durable and receives top marks from the reviewers on Amazon. Check it and the reviews out for yourself on Amazon by clicking right here

Chef Works basic striped apron receives solid reviews from users. Perfect for the apron-wearing man in your household.
The second apron also shown below is for those already converted to wearing an apron, reads Real Men Wear Aprons and is available in a host of colors. Find it on Amazon here.

Perfect for the man who cooks and wants to protect his clothes. Real men DO wear aprons!
-------------------------------------

Phew! If you made it this far, now is the time. It is your turn to add your voice to the debate. Please don't let the previous comments change your opinion but do add your thoughts. What do you think? Do real men wear aprons or not?

See you
in the kitchen!  

MORE APRONS:






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Sunday, August 29, 2021

10 Ways To Be Happy Even When Life is a Bucket of Lemons

 

What? You Can Choose Happiness?

Can you force yourself to be happy? Is that even possible? 

We've seen it written all over the internet, "happiness is a choice."

Is Happiness a Choice?

I think it is a choice. Stress, problems, situations, difficulties ... let's face it; we will ALWAYS have those to deal with.

So, where does the choice come in? 

For me, it's deciding that no matter what living nightmare is going in my world, I'll find a way and moments to speak positively or to simply remember to speak with a smile on my face.

Just because I'm writing an article on "Ways to be Happy" does not mean my life is perfect. Far, far from it! I have issues coming at me daily, but I refuse to be sucked into the pits of  dark energy, or as some see it, "hell."

Ten Personal Ways to Be Happy:

1.  Wear Happiness and Hope

I'm speaking literally right now, wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that says "Happy" or "Hope" on it. You don't have to wear it every day, but on the days you feel you need a pick-me-up, dress up with happiness and hope. Check out what I'm wearing today. My Hope necklace was a gift from a friend. The word hope is my personal word. What's a personal word? It's your go-to repetitive word you call upon to clear your mind. To yourself, repeat your word over and over until you've forgotten what you wanted to forget!

Wearing "Happy" and "Hope"

2. Move Your Body

For those who have health issues, moving can be a serious problem. The good news is that you don't have to head to a gym to get moving! Do anything that involves movement! Housework, cooking, stretches, or, if you can, go for a walk or bike ride. Personally, I work and move at the same time using the Cubii, which I highly recommend. It's under my desk, and I can't say enough positive things about it. I do office work and get a workout at the same time. Pedaling while working is a wonderful stress reliever.

3. Help Other People

I know what you're thinking! Girl, how can I focus on other people when my life is all-consuming? Guess what, force yourself to do it. If talking, texting, or going out with a friend isn't possible, simply pray for them. No matter your belief system, there's nothing wrong with focusing your giving energy on the people in your life.

I do this all the time. I go on prayer bike rides (that's what I call them). I get physical and spiritual exercise all at the same time. I spend a good forty minutes praying for each person in my life. The prayers are specific to their needs. It clears my head, and although I'll never really know if I've helped them in any way, I begin to feel like a whole person again who holds onto love when all else fails.

4. Laugh

A lot of people do this. One of my sons is particularly hilarious, and he does a comedy skit for me almost every day, and he makes my day and changes my mental state every single time. I told him, "if I'm ever in a coma, come in the room and do these skits, and I'll absolutely wake up!" If you don't have a comedian in the family, watch comedians on YouTube. Here, go watch Sebastian Maniscalco; he's frigging hysterical. My funny son has his routines down!

5. Dance, Yah, Dance

Put on some music and dance, by yourself or with someone in the house! Be spontaneous and just do it. Especially if your head is filled with all kinds of non-productive trash. Physical activity helps the body to clear the mind. 

6. Remember About 85% of the Things People Worry About Never Happen

Don't believe me? Here's an article featured on NBC News that talks about how to manage our worry gene. Worrying about things that haven't happened is a particular waste of energy. At first, it's difficult to turn off the worry bug in your head; however, think about all the things you've worried about that never happened! Energy is energy, and worry energy is still energy. Change your vibration using any method you can to refocus your magnetic field on something constructive and positive.

8. Tackle a Personal Project

Taking on a creative project is an ideal way to redirect your energy. Write, knit, draw, paint, or start a DIY home or garden design. Consume your mind with something you are personally vested in. It doesn't have to be something extravagant. Just do it! 

9. Socially Support Your Friends Online

Most of us know of people working a small online businesses. When you're not sure what to do for yourself, that's a good time to start doing for other people. Go visit their web pages or product pages, and share their work and ideas. Take the focus off of yourself and just give of yourself for the benefit of others. It's difficult for many people right now, so I like to help my friends out - it takes me out of my own head, and yes, it makes me happy.

10. Dress for the Day

Working from home or not working at all can drag us into track-suit hell. Make an effort to clean your room every single day. Get dressed into something nice and clean yourself up. Start your day with intention!

Here's an Inspirational Video about Love and Light I Created - I Hope you enjoy it <3 - If Viewing Via Mobile, the Video is Here







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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Review of National Marshmallow Toasting Day

 



This is the perfect holiday to top off a summer vacation.  It is held each year on August 30, so enjoy an end-of-summer vacation by taking a camping trip or having a backyard bonfire (perhaps around your fire pit or outdoor fireplace) and toast marshmallows.   


The marshmallow is a type of confectionery made from sugar, water, and gelatin (whipped to a solid, but soft, consistency) then coated with corn starch. It is used as a filling in baking.  It is also molded into shapes. You can buy marshmallows by the bag or make your own with this recipe here on the Food Network.


Marshmallow Treat


The most popular way to eat a marshmallow is in a S'mores!  Nothing better than a night around a campfire, singing songs, enjoying the outdoors, and topping it off with this sweet treat.


S'mores Recipe:


Source: Pixabay


Ingredients:


Chocolate candy bar

Honey Graham Crackers

Marshmallows


Instructions:


Break off a square of Graham cracker

Add a piece of Chocolate.

Toast a big marshmallow over the campfire.

Add the hot marshmallow.

Top it with another graham Cracker.

Eat , savor and enjoy!


Note: For wintertime or anytime you cannot go camping, you can make S'mores in the microwave. Just put them together and pop them into the microwave on high for 15 to 20 seconds.


Recipe Credit: Holiday Insights dot com. 


More Fun Ways to Eat Marshmallows


Source: Pixabay

Top off a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day.


Source: Pixabay


Savor marshmallow filling in a yummy candy


Source: Pixabay


Mix up a batch of marshmallow Rice Krispie treats. 


Source: Pixabay


Decorate a gingerbread house using marshmallows for the snow.


Source: Pixabay


A favorite as a marshmallow 'peep' in an Easter Basket


Party Time


Available on Amazon

And for a S'mores party, what could be more perfect than this indoor Electric Stainless Steel S'mores Maker with 4 Lazy Susan Compartment Trays for Graham Crackers, Chocolate, Marshmallows and 4 Roasting Forks. Made by Nostalgia, it has an electric flameless heater to toast your marshmallows to perfection. Perfect for parties and family gatherings.


Toasted Marshmallow Day
August 30


For More Holiday Reviews



*Holiday review of Toasted Marshmallow Day written by Wednesday Elf





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Friday, August 27, 2021

Disney Winnie the Pooh #21326 Lego Set Reviewed

For those who love Winnie-the-Pooh, there is a Lego set just for us!

When I discovered the Winnie-the-Pooh Lego set, I got really excited. I adore Pooh & Eeyore and they are both in this set.  I know there are many Tigger fans out there who will be thrilled to know Tigger is also included.

The entire Lego scene is set around the Pooh's house in Hundred Acre Wood.  Like so many of the Lego castles and marketplace stores, the treehouse opens in the back to reveal Pooh's kitchen and bedroom. Truly awesome!

This would be a great Lego set for parents to help their young children assemble.  Lego states the set is for 18+.  Due to the intricacy and small pieces, I agree.  But, children will love the set for decor and play, therefore I would recommend parents make a fun activity to share with their child and build it together.

This is a set Lego lovers of any age will enjoy building, and certainly one we will all enjoy displaying. We never truly outgrow Pooh and his friends!


 

Winnie-the-Pooh Lego Set #21326

 LEGO Ideas Disney Winnie The Pooh 21326
New 2021 (1,265 Pieces)
Check Price
This set has 1265 pieces. When complete, the tree house measures approximately 9" high, 7" wide and 8" deep.  There is a beehive with honeybees included so you can delight your Pooh with his own food source up in his treehouse.

Pooh can invite his favorite friends into his home for tea (tea cups are included) or perhaps he can entertain them by reading from his storybook.

Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends can go exploring.  After all, they aren't confined to the treehouse.  In our home, they could even take a ride in a Starfighter or visit Jabba Palace.  With Lego, the adventures are endless.

For adults, like myself, who simply love Pooh & Lego, we might prefer a display case.  You really don't have to tell everyone that you secretly take your Legos out and play.  Whoever said imagination and playtime ends at the age of 21?  Not me! 

 LEGO Ideas Disney Winnie The Pooh 21326 Building and Display Model for Adults, New 2021 (1,265 Pieces)Check Price T-Club Acrylic Display Case for Lego 21326 Dustproof Clear Display Box Showcase for Lego 21326 Winnie The Pooh (NOT Included The Model) (Painted)Check Price





Check Out More Toy Reviews at
ReviewThisToys.com
Or
Reviews on Lego Sets
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House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Review of Sunflower Facts and Photographs

Fields of Sunflowers


Each year during the month of July, I anxiously wait for the sunflower fields to bloom.  Several years ago I discovered some sunflower fields in the Missouri river bottom land about 10 miles from my house.  My granddaughters were visiting and I took them to the fields to take some photographs.  I wrote this article telling about my experience in photographing the sunflowers. Photographing Sunflowers   

Before they Bloom

In reading about sunflowers I have found that there are actually five stages in the life of the sunflower.  Three of those stages take place before they bloom.
 
1.  The first stage, the germination stage, takes places when the seeds are planted.  This stages takes about eight days.  After the seeds are planted the roots develop and seep into the ground and then a shoot will start peaking out of the ground in search of sunlight that it needs to grow.
 
2.  The second stage is called the vegetative phase.  During the first 13 days after the seedling starts its  growth toward the sun it is in the vegetative emergence stage.  Then the first leaf comes and it is now in stage 1 of the vegetative phase, a second leaf comes and it is now in stage 2, this keeps on as  more leaves are added to the stalk.
 
3.  The third stage is called the reproduction phase.  In this stage a bud will form between the cluster of leaves.  It will initially be star like in appearance but in time will grow into the tall beautiful plants with bright yellow flowers that we know so well.  This whole stage takes about 30 days.  In our area I know that this stage should be coming to an end in mid to late July.  This year I was out with friends in mid July and we decided to take a drive to see how the sunflower fields were coming along.  They were right in the middle of the reproductive stage and I got some nice  photos of the flowers in this stage.
Reproductive Phase


Blooming Stage

During the blooming stage the sunflowers are in full bloom. During this phase you will see lots of bees busy fertilizing and pollinating the flowers.  This stage will only last for about 20 days so I knew I had to get back to the fields quickly if I wanted to see the fields in full bloom.  Fortunately about a week after my first visit a friend posted some photos  showing the flowers in full bloom.  I grabbed my camera and hopped in my car and headed right out to take some photos.  I was rewarded with the following glorious sights.




Harvesting Phase

After the blooms are finished the seeds are harvested.  You will want to wait till the flowers turn brown and start to bloom and then you cut the stems about 4 inches from the head of the flowers. Sunflower heads should be stored upside down in a dry and breathable bag.

Sunflowers are annuals so they must be replanted each year.

Fun Facts and more Sunflower Photos

The Sunflower has been named the plant of the year for 2021.  In her review of this information, Olivia Morris shares more fun facts and photos about the Sunflower.  Hope for the New Year Sunflowers Plant

Zazzle Products from My Photographs

I enjoy making cards and other Zazzle products from my photos.  Here are a couple I hope you like.



Here some more Zazzle Sunflower gifts from my photographs.

 




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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Reviewing The Benefits and Drawbacks Of A Manual Lawn Mower


This is my personal review of our manual lawnmower. Over the years we have had maybe five or six lawnmowers all electric, apart from one petrol powered one.

However, last year we bought a manual lawnmower. I am not really sure why we decided to do that, but I know we were fed up with our electric ones breaking down or cutting the cord accidentally and the whole hassle of fixing up extension leads inside the house as we have no outside power. The one petrol lawnmower we had was very heavy and noisy and really too big for us and our lawn and neither of us liked it.

The electric one had just given up, more expensive to fix than to buy another one and of course, it was at peak mowing time so we needed another one quickly.

Searching For A Lawn Mower

We started trawling Amazon for lawnmowers. We did not want a petrol mower as we do not have a massive amount of lawn and it would have been too much. We were fed up with electric lawnmowers and all the issues we had found with them. 

So we decided to hone in on manual lawnmowers. At first, I was not sure this was a good idea. My husband has health issues and I need to be careful with my back having a history of severe back problems. I wasn't sure we would be able to push it without added power.

I also wasn't sure if it would cut effectively. It felt in this age of technology, powered appliances and high specifications to be a step backward. Yet in a way also felt completely appropriate for our nature-friendly, wildlife garden and for the more power-saving, environmentally aware times we live in.

The manual lawnmower we found had an appealing price point and looked very sturdy and we were fed up replacing lawnmowers too often. So we bought a Bosch manual lawn mower. 


Bosch Manual Lawn Mower


Our First Experience Of A Manual Lawn Mower.

When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised that it was sturdy looking but not too heavy.

Set up was easy with only the long handles to fix to the frame which even for us was easy. We never fitted the grassbox as we intended to cut the lawn often and have always found a grassbox to be an encumbrance. However, the grassbox is there if we ever need it. 

Hubby was the first to try to in the garden. We set the blades on high and he simply pushed it and it cut cleanly and efficiently.  After a few laps he stopped and said it was really easy to push and no more work than our previous electric mowers! In fact, he seemed to be rather enjoying it!

So then I tried it and to my joy, it was indeed easy to push and did not hurt my back that time or any other time I have mowed the lawn.

For some reason I have yet to pin down it always seems more fun to use than our powered ones ever did!  

So after using this manual lawnmower for nearly a year now we have found clear benefits and drawbacks as we see it from our personal experience.

Manual Lawn Mower Is Easy To Use


Benefits Of A Manual Lawnmower

It is easier to push than we expected and no more physical strength is required than with our previous powered mowers

Much quieter than our electric or petrol mowers and it has quite a soothing muted sound

There are no electricity costs and no petrol costs. So we can mow to our heart's content knowing we are not incurring any ongoing financial costs at all! This is great for us as power costs are due to rise by a significant amount, so any savings are good. 

Regarding the environment, there are no emissions from a manual lawn mower so this is all good for our planet.

There is the joy of knowing that never again will we cut through an electric cable!

With no trailing wires, no extension leads required, no outdoor power needed and no wires trailing from the house into the garden, it is an easy-use tool.  

Fewer components mean there is less to go wrong

The manual lawn mower is ready to go as soon as you are! We now have no worries that it won't start or that a component will suddenly go wrong.

Close Up Of Bosch Manual Lawnmower, blades, wheels and roller


Even with battery lawnmowers you have the battery life or recharging to concern yourself with, while with a totally manual machine none such concerns. 

Significantly better for wildlife. We don't disturb any more wildlife using our manual lawnmower than we would with our presence walking down the garden. 

The frogs, toads,  hedgehogs and birds -especially fledglings - have plenty of time to move away from it and there's no risk if any of them getting caught up by the blades.


Fledgling Baby Robin 


To us, it does appear to give a better cleaner cut rather than tearing the grass.

It was less expensive than other powered mowers we have purchased in the past.

As it has a smaller footprint than most powered mowers it is easier to store and takes up less space. 

We can carry it easily as it is not too heavy, though it is sturdy. 

The manual lawnmower feels safer around wildlife, pets and children as there are no wires for them to get caught up in or trip over. There is no electricity to worry about and no fast-moving blades. We do take all the usual safety precautions of course. 

Hedgehog In Our Garden


Drawbacks Of A Manual Lawnmower

I do think that if you have a very large lawn a manual lawnmower will take more time to achieve the task. While it is perfectly possible to cut a large lawn with a manual lawn mower you will need to decide if you wish to do that. 

We find you need to cut a little more often than with a powered mower as it is much easier to cut shorter grass than longer grass with it.

If you attach the grassbox you may need to empty it more often, but I think if you cut more often this would not be an issue. 

Long grass will be more difficult to cut and certainly take more effort. Little and often is easier to cut than letting the grass grow longer which makes it harder to cut and then does require more physical power.

It is not so good at cutting wet grass as it does take more effort and seems to clog up more easily, but we rarely try to cut wet grass anyway even with our powered mowers, preferring to cut it when it is dry.

We will need to sharpen the blades every few years with our size lawn, but given the saving in electricity, this will not be a cost issue.   

Ours does have a roller but many manual mowers won't have rollers, so stripes will be more difficult to achieve. If this is important to you check that you can achieve stripes with it. If you want one with a roller function do check all the specifications. 

If you are considering a manual lawn mower do research properly what is important to you in a lawnmower. We bought a Bosch Manual Lawnmower and there are many more choices that are equally suitable. 

Here is a selection to browse. Do consider what you need in a manual lawn mower and read all the specifications carefully.


Happy With Our Manual Lawn Mower 

In summary, we are both really happy with our Bosch manual lawn mower. We have owned it for nearly a year now with no issues at all and are very content that we never need to worry about it breaking down or not starting. 

We don't worry about wires or electricity costs. We have no need to worry about safety with wildlife or pets or children getting caught up in the wires or blades. Obviously, the blades are sharp so you would take all the usual precautions regarding children and any type of machinery. 

We find it a gentle, easy, quiet way to mow our smallish lawn that is environmentally and wildlife-friendly and does not annoy us or the neighbours. 

Bosch Manual Lawnmower


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Monday, August 23, 2021

Kinzua Dam a Fall Destination Reviewed

 

Kinzua Dam a Fall Destination Reviewed
A scenic view in October from Kinzua Area

Fall will be upon us. Sunny cool days and the leaves will be turning so many beautiful colors. We live in Western New York not far from the Kinzua Dam.

Every year when the leaves are at their peak, we take the drive down I86 East, from there we take some back roads into Pennsylvania, through the Allegheny National Forest to the Kinzua Area, the ride is breathtakingly scenic.

If you are in the process of planning a fall vacation, consider the Kinzua Dam. The dam is located about 6 miles east of Warren Pennsylvania, along route 59 nestled in the 500,000 acres of the Allegheny National Forest. I’m going to include a little history and all the fun activities in the Kinzua area.

So, if you like camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, or just relaxing and taking in the views it’s all here at Kinzua. If you’re the outdoors type pack your bags and get ready for some breathtaking views and fun. First here is some history of the area.

Kinzua Dam Construction and Why:

Kinzua Dam

Construction began in 1960 by the US Army Corps of Engineers and was completed in 1965. The main purpose of the dam was for flood control on the Allegheny River. Kinzua controls drainage on a watershed of 2,180 square miles.

Several side benefits from the construction of the dam include drought control, hydroelectric power production, and recreation. The dam created Pennsylvania’s deepest lake, the Allegheny Reservoir, also known as Kinzua Lake.

The cost was approximately $108 million. According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the dam paid for itself in 1972 when tropical storm Agnes’s heavy rains on the watershed brought the reservoir to within three feet of its maximum capacity.

Downstream flood damage would have been devastating at an estimated $247 million. The Kinzua Dam has saved an estimated $1 billion in flood damages since it became operational.

Recreation at Kinzua Dam:

There are many recreational activities at the Allegheny Reservoir and the surrounding area. If you’re the outdoors type, then there is something here for you. Along the reservoir, there is camping, boating, fishing, hiking, and a beach. If you’re the winter type there is snowmobiling and cross country skiing along the trails.

The US Forest Service has four reservoir campgrounds and five primitive (boat to or hike only) camping areas. Most of the recreation areas surround Allegheny Lake.

We love to go there any time of the year and soak in the beautiful scenery and walk the trails. Since we live in Western New York, which is not so far from Kinzua, it’s a nice drive, especially in the fall.

Hiking Trails and Beautiful Scenic Views

Kinzua Hiking Trails

There are many scenic overlooks at Kinzua. There are two areas that we never miss and never tire of visiting, they are Jake’s Rock and Rim Rock. The intro photo of this article was taken from Rim Rock.

The views from these overlooks are beautiful any time of the year, but we prefer to go in the fall when the views are breathtaking. We have been there many times and it’s always the same, “Beautiful”

Did You Know That Johnny Cash recorded a song about the Kinzua Dam?

As a tribute to the Seneca Nation of Indians, Johnny Cash recorded, As Long as the Grass Will Grow. The construction of the Dam forced 600 Seneca Indians to relocate because 10,000 acres of their land had to be flooded.

This land had been occupied by the Seneca Nation since the treaty of 1794. President Kennedy had been asked to halt the project but declined because of the need for flood control.

President Kennedy ordered government agencies to assist in finding land for the placement of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

If you are a fan on Johnny Cash here is the song


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