Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Rand McNally Road Atlas Review


 Rand McNally Road Atlas


The ultimate road trip accessory

In today's technological world, road maps and directions are available on GPS devices and Smartphones under the Google Maps app. They are also available as built-in accessories to the newer automobiles. Voices announce the turns for us via satellites without the need to read a map.  Other travel information is available on these devices, such as where to locate a restaurant or hotel/motel. You might say that printed maps are no longer necessary. I disagree. 

Maps have been around for hundreds of years, dating back to early explorers when some thought the world was flat and maps stated the edge of the known world with pictures of dragons  (“Here there be dragons”) for the uncharted territory.


Road Trip



Weather Condition Images from Pixabay

On a recent road trip in early November, while traveling north from St. Louis, Missouri to my home in the Quad Cities of Iowa, I encountered first rain, then snow, making the 4+ hour trip quite hazardous. I was using the map app on my Smartphone when ice began to accumulate and suddenly I lost all connection to the internet. I do not know if the cell towers were affected or if the information beaming down from a satellite could not get through, but I was saved by the fact that I had brought along my Rand McNally Road Atlas.  


Source: Pixabay
The most helpful part of the road map was that it showed me where rest stops were located.  Because of the weather, I needed to stop at several rest stops to clean the ice off my windshield wipers and kick the accumulated snow/ice pack from around the bottom of my car. (Many other motorists were doing the same). So much slushy ice & snow was thrown up from the road and from passing trucks that it was becoming packed around my wheel wells due to immediate freezing from temperatures which had dropped into the 20's. Big blocks of it were sticking out touching my tires. And, despite  having new windshield wipers, the ice accumulation on the wipers prevented them from clearing the windshield enough to see well. I had to constantly stop and clean off my windshield with paper towels and water in my water bottle! It was a mess. 

I eventually made it safely home a couple hours later than normal, but I was grateful that I could easily locate each rest area to clean off the car. Luckily I knew what highways to take, having made this trip many times, but it was handy to be able to check the route via my Rand McNally Road Atlas without a working GPS monitor. 


History of Rand McNally


The Rand McNally Road Atlas has been in publication for over 160 years.  The company  began in 1868 when Andrew McNally and William Rand (Rand McNally) took over the Chicago Tribune's printing shop and began to print tickets and timetables for Chicago's booming railroads, which are the nation's premier railroad hub. 


  • In 1904, Rand McNally published the very first automobile road map. It was of New York City and it's vicinity.
  • On a map of Peoria, Illinois in 1917, the company debuted a new highway numbering system which eventually became the model for the system used across the United States today.  
  • The first full-color Rand McNally Road Atlas premiered in 1960.


Throughout the years, the company continued to publish railway tickets and timetables. They have expanded over time to include many products used extensively today by many industries.  By merging with or acquiring other companies in the field, they developed an electronic system for delivery of routing and mileage information to the trucking industries (1980), are now a leading school map and globe publisher (1984), and are a leading producer of consumer and business-to-business maps and atlases (1993).  They also introduced TripMaker® software (1994) and StreetFinder® street navigation software (1996)  for travel planning on personal computers. 

These are just a few of the many products Rand McNally produces today.  Here is a handy link if you want to read all about their interesting history. 


Summary


Source: Pixabay

In 2016, Rand McNally celebrated its 160th birthday and 80th year in the commercial transportation market. I have done a lot of traveling from one side of this great country to the other in my life and have always had a current road atlas.  Even with today's helpful electronics and technology, having a real 'map' I can look things up on is a standard accessory for my 'road trips'. My most recent trip in terrible Midwest weather in November proved to me that the Rand McNally Road Altas is a travel necessity.

(c) Wednesday Elf ~ 1/4/2020









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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Card Playing Day - Reviewing a Winter Entertainment Holiday

National Card Playing Day
Playing cards any time of year is fun, but it's an especially entertaining activity in inclement weather.  Thus it is the perfect indoor wintertime activity. This unofficial holiday is held on December 28 each year right after winter officially begins.


There are literally hundreds of different kinds of card games that can be played using a standard pack of cards.  Some of the top favorites include  Spades, Poker, Solitaire, Spite and Malice, Hearts, Spoons, Gin Rummy, Black Jack and Texas Hold’em. 


With a Deck of 52 …


Source: Pixabay

You'll Have Hours of Entertainment

From the 9th century to modern day, people have been entertained with playing cards. A simple deck of 52 provides us with hours of fun in a wide variety of card games, either by yourself (solitaire) or with groups of 2 or 4 or more. It's an activity that will never go out of style!


Cards are Popular at Any Time


Source: Pixabay

No matter what the seasonal time of year or time of day, this is a very popular form of entertainment. From simple 'matching cards' for very young children to intricate ones for adults to the ageless variations of Solitaire, cards hold our interest in many forms:


  • UNO is the Number One card game for kids (in my opinion) -- it is just as much fun for us grown up parents and grandparents to play, especially with the kids.
  • GIN RUMMY (or Gin) is a popular 2-player game that has been around since 1909. It is one of several variants of Rummy, which has been played worldwide for centuries. 
  • POKER and Texas Hold'em are both a popular choice with men
  • PINOCHLE - A game we played for several years with our best friends.
  • SOLITAIRE - Now it's Everyone's Favorite Card Game on the Computer!


Solitaire is also called Patience and refers to single-player card games involving a layout of cards with a goal of sorting them in some manner. Anyone who enjoys card games likes Solitaire. There are more variations than you can 'shake a stick at' and in today's computer age the standard Solitaire game on computer has really increased it's popularity and is irresistible when sitting in front of your computer. (My favorite version is 'Spider Solitaire)


  • THREE-THIRTEEN - a Fun 'Rummy-Style' Card Game

Source: Wikipedia

A couple years ago I learned a new card game called "Three Thirteen" that is such fun. It's a form of Rummy and is an eleven-round game played with two or more players. The Rules can be found on Wikipedia. I've played it with just two players, with three players and with 6 players and each way is enjoyable. My favorite part of the game is the fact that the wild cards change with each hand! 

*My son & I have been playing 3-13 once or twice a week all year. We have been keeping a running score sheet of each person's score, with the prize being dinner for the winner (paid for by the loser) at the end of the year. At the moment, I am 199 points ahead and have my choice of restaurant picked out!


My Love of Card Games


Personal Photo (c) Wednesday Elf

I've enjoyed card games all my life, from childhood hours of Canasta with my grandmother to teaching MY grandchildren "War" and "Uno". I grew up in a card-playing family.  My parents seemed to learn some of the most unusual card games over the years, having a "new" one to try every visit. 

My favorites are Pinochle, Kings-on-the-Corner and 3-13. And the most fun card game ever I learned by the name of "Dwindle". It may be known by other names. You can't beat a deck of cards to give you or you-and-a-group hours of entertainment


The Most Fun of All...


Playing cards were found in China as early as the 9th Century, and it's popularity has continued to grow ever since. I can't imagine not having a deck of cards around. It is fun entertainment for all ages.



Grandson Tyler (age 5) playing the  Card Game  War.



December 28 is "Card Playing Day"


Related Post:




Reviewing Monopoly Deal

The Playing Card Version of the Classic Monopoly Board Game






(c) Wednesday Elf 12/21/2019






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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Bake Cookies Day, December 18 – Holiday Review

Bake Cookies Day (Source: Pixabay & Fotojet)
  'Tis the season for baking cookies, so how appropriate that Bake Cookies Day is held every December 18th right in the middle of the holiday season. 

The word 'cooky' or 'cookie' comes from the Dutch word “koekje”, meaning “little cake”. Cookies arrived in America along about the 17th century, although they may date back as far as 7th century Persia! Today they are a global phenomena, coming in more varieties, flavors and styles than you can possibly imagine.

The writers on Review This Reviews often write on the subject of food and have reviewed recipes for many varieties of cookies. It seems appropriate for Bake Cookies Day to share a few here. 


Cookie Varieties and Recipes on Review This Reviews


Cookie Recipe Reviews on ReviewThisReviews!












  • If you want to give a gift of cookies, but don't have time to bake your own, try out  Byrd's Famous Cookies reviewed by Wednesday Elf. They are delicious.



Other Cookie Days



Source: Pixabay

There are other dates throughout the year that celebrate 'cookies'. 


  • National Chocolate Cookie Days happens on August  15th.
  • National Homemade Cookies Day is October 1st.
  • National Gingerbread Cookie Day is November 11th.
  • National Cookie Day is December 4th. 



Summary


So, enjoy Bake Cookie Day December 18th, or any of the other fun cookie days all year long. And don't forget to leave a couple cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve! 



(Source: Pixabay)


Bake Cookies Day
December 18







(c) Wednesday Elf 12/7/2019




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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day – Holiday Review

Definition of UNIQUE: being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. 

While this definition of Unique does not totally agree with the following, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the 'individual', if  not totally unique, talents of my fellow Contributors here on Review This Reviews. And while some of us have similar talents, our special styles make us each 'unique' in our field.

November 24th is known as “Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day”. Therefore, we are going to point out some of the 'unique' and special talents of the RTR Contributors to show what they are best at. Some of the fine writers here have more than one special talent, as you shall see.


Yarn Talents



Several of those in our group are good at yarn crafts.


  • Dawn Rae's specialty is crochet. She features handmade hats and neck warmers and warm slippers in her Etsy Shop DawnRaeCrochet.


Her shop also carries a line of what she calls “Jenny Hats” which came to be after making a custom hat for a friend (Jenny). These soft, slightly slouchy, chemo hats are made from a cotton blend yarn.


  • Wednesday Elf also crochets. Her Etsy shop – Coastal Crochet Crafts – specializes in plush animals for children, plus a few assorted other items. 



Baking/Cooking Talent




  • For very unique cakes and cupcakes in particular, you will find some fascinating recipes and how-to instructions from Sylvestermouse on Cooking for the Holidays.   She also includes other recipes from appetizers to main dishes to desserts, but I LOVE her special cupcakes and cake creations. 


Other RTR writers also have culinary creations to share. 


Check out ReviewThisReview:Recipes for everything from the proverbial soap.... to nuts, for your cooking enjoyment.

Gardening



We have several gardeners in our group, our most prolific being Olivia Morris

Come see the many helpful gardening tips offered on Review this Reviews:Gardening and on Olivia's website Grammie Knows How in her Gardening and Backyard section. 


Writing Talent




  • In addition to writing for Review This Reviews, Beverly Owens is establishing herself as a writer of Cozy Mysteries. She currently has 7 published books in 2 series (4 in the Roni Ranier series and 3 in the Cabin 9 series, with more to come. Read about how she began as a published author and her upcoming literary achievements at Beverly Owens, Author


Find her current books on Amazon, both on Kindle and in paperback. 


Photography Talent




  • One of our favorite photography experts here, Mary Beth Granger (MbgPhoto), has studied photography for years and often shares expert advice on cameras and photo angles to help us all get the best photographs we can. Mary Beth's favorite thing to photograph is  lighthouses and she is constantly searching out new ones to feature. 


Check out her Lighthouse Enthusiast Zazzle Shop  to see some of her beautiful images. 

For lovely photos on her love of photography, traveling, and nature , see Mary Beth's Beauty in Nature Zazzle Shop. 

Sylvestermouse Cynthia is also a fine photographer who loves to photograph zoo animals in particular and many other fun activities. You can see her lovely images at Photography by Sylvestermouse.

Diana Wenzel is also a wonderful photographer on our staff, as is BarbRad


DIY Talent




  • Diana Wenzel (Renaissance Woman here on Review This Reviews) is our 'Go-To' expert on do-it-yourself projects. 


Check out her many DIY articles here on everything from turning a simple rural mailbox into a bird house (Mailboxology) to creating a beautiful Fall Pumpkin Succulent Centerpiece.

Diana also has become an expert on rescue animals, most particularly one darling disabled dog who has won her heart. She chronicles his life & times in Mr. Muffins Journey, and relates his adventures and accomplishments in many articles on Review This Reviews (including becoming a therapy dog). 


  • Tracey A. Breen (The Savvy Age) is very creative in coming up with inexpensive projects using supplies from dollar stores. These holiday-related and home décor and just-for-fun projects are perfect for parents, teachers and scout leaders. 


Tracey is also very 'savvy' about recipes, holiday ideas and Lifestyle tips & hacks to manage an active home and life at all ages. Read all about it on her website The Savvy Age


More Unique Talents




Barbara Tremblay Cipak (Brite Ideas here) is our country music expert. She explains the meanings and stories behind many well known country songs and singers on her website (Drageda) The Heart of Country Music

Barbara is also a professional in the field of home décor and has many unique and unusual Decor ideas to offer both here on Review This Reviews and on her own website Funky Home Decor


  • Another Barbara (Barbara Radisavljevic known to us as BarbRad) has many talents. She is a writer, a photographer specializing in her native California landscape, and our book expert.  


Check out her uniqueness below at: 





  • Brenda Little (Treasures By Brenda) is a collector, particularly of coffee cups/mugs and movie merchandise, especially vintage pieces.  


Brenda frequently shares her collections through her eBay store Treasures by Brenda for fellow collectors. 

In addition, Brenda gives us fascinating facts behind her collections in her two websites:





  • Heather Burns is an artist and colorist. She creates fantastic coloring pages and illustrations for you to color. 


Check out her Etsy Store at HeatherBurnsArt 

Heather is also a talented graphic designer and features her designs on many products in her Etsy Store HBStudioDesigns.


  • Louanne Cox (Lou16) has a wide variety of interests and talents. My favorites are her artistic designs she features on a wide variety of items in her Zazzle stores.

I also enjoy the stories behind her designs found on her website Lou's Designs.


  • Margaret Schindel is another multi-talented lady. When not writing professionally, she is a jewelry designer.   
She has created and sold one-of-a-kind and custom handcrafted jewelry  for many years. She shares her jewelry making techniques in many articles on HubPages


Summary


As you can see, many of the multiple talents of the Contributors to ReviewThisReviews overlap. Many of us are into some form of arts & crafts, there are several wonderful photographers and quite a few good cooks. And I would say that all of us love to read and  enjoy movies and music. 

We are a varied bunch. While perhaps not individually unique, we all have our special talents. 

So…. Find your unique talent, and share it with the world on Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day November 24. 






(c) Wednesday Elf  (11/23/2019)

*All  images compliments of Pixabay and collages made with Canva.


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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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Plano Storage Unit Review


I am a crochet and needlework crafter who creates for family & friends and for my Etsy Shop. Over the years I have acquired a fairly large inventory of completed crafts and an even larger inventory of yarn and related materials.  

I keep all this 'stuff' in plastic bins to keep them clean and organized. I have stored them in 'stacks'  (bins on top of bins) to conserve space, but this is inconvenient most of the time as I have to move bins to reach the ones underneath and then re-stack. And, of course the exact needed item at any given time always seems to be on the 'bottom' of the stack! 

I finally found the perfect solution ~ a way to keep each bin quickly available, and also save space.  It was as easy as purchasing the Plano 4-shelf storage unit. In fact, once I bought and set up one, I realized that TWO would be even more helpful.


Plano 4-Shelf Storage Unit


Plano 4-Shelf Storage Unit

This shelf storage unit by Plano has four shelves that are 30 inches wide and 14 inches deep and stands about 55 inches high.  There are 16 inches between shelves, which gives me plenty of storage space. The unit is made of durable heavy-duty plastic. It comes unassembled, but has easy snap-fit assembly which only takes minutes to put together. No tools are needed.

The shelf unit pictured here is in tan, I bought mine in white and I have seen others in black. It is also reasonably priced. 


The Perfect Solution for my Craft Room


Yarn Storage

Stuffed Animal Storage

Plano is the perfect answer to my craft storage problem, as my plastic bins fit just right on the shelves. Most of the plastic storage bins I use measure approximately 25 x 14 x 12 inches, thus the dimensions of each shelf on the storage unit allow plenty of room for each bin. It is SO handy to be able to take out just one bin to obtain a needed item without having to move and reposition a stack of bins. Since my storage bins are see-through, I can also quickly spot the exact bin I need. 


More Storage Units


Many other sizes and styles of storage units are available. Our Review This Review Contributor, Dawn Rae, has reviewed the Riving Origami Rack, which is a handy folding storage rack. 

This storage rack meets her needs in her small apartment and has proved to be  HER perfect solution. 





Summary




So, for wherever you need extra storage space, from household products to crafts/hobbies to kids toys, a space-saving storage unit is definitely handy.


(c) Wednesday Elf Review of the Plano Storage Unit - 11/9/2019




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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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Restaurant Review of Go Fish Marina Bar and Grill


On the banks of the Mississippi River in Princeton, Iowa sits a delightful and delicious restaurant called Go Fish Marina Restaurant and Bar. Or simply “Go Fish” as the locals call it. 



Go Fish is built up on stilts like a lot of coastal property due to flooding. It has a good size indoor seating area, a bar, and a lovely outdoor deck.  The deck has tables with umbrellas and a covered Cabana. The restaurant bar also opens to the outside deck. 



On warm days, the outside deck is an especially delightful place to eat ~ the food is very good and the scenery is charming.  Last week my son & I had a birthday lunch there. The sun was shining, the sky cloudless, the temperature a warm Fall day, and the river mesmerizing to watch. A very pleasant and peaceful place to eat. 


Go Fish Menu


The menu has a wide variety of options with many items made from scratch with fresh and local ingredients. The dishes range from chicken to steak to seafood, and from pork chops to burgers.  

The Go Fish Cowboy Burger is a filling treat. It's a half-pound of flame-grilled Black Angus Iowa Beef topped with pepperjack cheese, crispy bacon, sauteed mushrooms and onions. 

The pork chops are wonderful. They are the Iowa Pork Chops our area is known for. I've never had better pork anywhere – not just that served in restaurants, but any you buy at the grocery stores. Iowa pork is terrific!  

On this particular day, I had the batter fried fish & chips and they were delicious. Their 'chips' (french fries) are listed as Crispy Battered Fries and they were outstanding! The fish consisted of two good sized Haddock filets and the batter was fantastic. Served with cole slaw, the fish & chips was a very tasty dish for sure. 

Oh, did I mention the desserts? Homemade ice cream and Key Lime Pie.

Check out the Go Fish Menu here for more culinary delights. 


Go Fish Location


The Go Fish Marina Bar & Grill is located at 411 River Drive in Princeton, Iowa. They also state that they are located in Pool 14 of the Mississippi River at Mile Marker 502. That terminology is new to me (being a new Iowa resident), but I looked it up. The term Pool (or Navigation Pool) is used to describe the area between navigation dams on the Mississippi River. For instance, Pool 1 begins in the Upper Mississippi River at St. Paul, Minnesota. 



Most probably the reason Go Fish specifies the river location on their website is because you can approach by river, dock your boat and walk up to the restaurant. 

Their operating hours are seven days a week year round. 


  • Mon-Thu : 11am-10pm
  • Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm
  • Sun: 11am-9pm 



Summary



So if you find yourself traveling through Iowa or taking a boat ride up or down the Mississippi River, consider stopping at Go Fish Marina Bar & Grill for lunch or dinner. The restaurant is only a few miles north of the Quad Cities almost straight over from Chicago. Dining on the banks of the Mississippi is a charming experience. 

If  you do not live near rivers, lakes or oceans where you can enjoy delightful 'dockside dining', create your own at home with the delicious recipes in these cookbooks.




For more food and restaurant reviews, check out 


Quick Links:

Go Fish Marina Bar & Grill website
Go Fish Marina Bar & Grill Menu

More Places to see in Iowa: Field of Dreams

(c) Wednesday Elf 10/26/2019

*Photos & Photo Collages Created by Wednesday Elf 






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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Ace Hardware Store Review



Celebrating 95 years of service

History


In 1924, a small group of hardware store owners in Chicago banded together to buy merchandise in bulk for their individual stores. This allowed them to save money by purchasing at the lowest possible prices, enabling even the smallest stores to compete. This was the beginning of the Ace Hardware Corporation. To this day, each store is owned solely by local Ace retail entrepreneurs.


Background




Today there are over 5,000 Ace Hardware stores around the world. These men and women owners are each part of your local community. As small business owners, they live and work locally and are knowledgeable about their store products and also about the local businesses and their needs. That's why they say a visit to Ace is like a visit to your neighbor. Customers call the owner by his/her first name and the employees know the names of all their regular customers.    



Ace is the Place


Ace stores are all sizes and shapes. Since 2016, I have worked part-time at two widely different sized Ace stores, yet they are basically the same; serving the needs of their local communities. 




I worked for a very large Ace store (Islands Ace) located on the islands East of Savannah, Georgia. This Ace serves local residents and many businesses and contractors. Currently I work for a small Ace store (Jerry's Ace) in a small town located just north of the Quad Cities in Iowa. While this Iowa Ace does not carry the large lots of lumber, or decorative paving stones for patios or the large gardening center that the Georgia Ace does, it meets the needs of the local residents and businesses.  

As with all Ace stores, you will find a wide variety of paint, lawn and garden, tools, and just about anything you'll ever need to fix, repair and maintain your home and yard.  If your local store does not have an item in stock, they can order it for you from AceNet, the online website. You can also order online yourself and arrange to have the item picked up at your local Ace Hardware. All Ace stores order from central warehouses and usually have deliveries of new products arrive once a week. The staff at your local Ace calls the arrival "Truck Day". Unloading and restocking keeps us busy. 

They also offer local niche services. For instance, the Georgia Ace I was with before my move to Iowa had the space for a gift department and a clothing department. Located just 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach, their clothing department carries a variety of beach-related clothing and their gift department has locally made merchandise from the Savannah area. This Iowa Ace offers fishing and hunting licenses for local residents. Our Iowa Ace also carries snow blowers and snow shovels and other seasonal items not needed in Georgia! 

As you can see, any Ace store will be based on the needs of each individual neighborhood. Ace Hardware stores are most certainly the place with the 'helpful hardware folks!  Ace is such a 'friendly' place and a 'helpful' place, especially compared to the large, impersonal big stores. 


95th Year Birthday Celebration




On October 19, 2019, Ace Hardware will celebrate 95 years of service. Your local Ace Hardware stores will be offering special sales and events to celebrate. Come visit on October 19th, or any day you need a tool or a can of paint or a part for anything around your house or yard. You won't be disappointed. 



Ace is the Helpful Place! 


Quick Link:

Ace Hardware Website


(c) Wednesday Elf review of Ace Hardware Stores. (10/12/2019)




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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Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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