Do you prefer a hometown diner or a big chain restaurant? Pros and cons…hometown diners are usually smaller and more personal. The waitress or waiter knows your name, remembers your favorite foods, what you usually order and your drink. You might see some friends and acquaintances while you’re dining. Your waitress or waiter might be someone you babysat for or your next door neighbor. If you’re just passing through and chose a small town eatery, you’ll still feel at home because most of the time the décor and ambience is comfortable and relaxing. The menu will usually be filled with homemade comfort foods and desserts that leave you wanting more…although you’ll usually find the portions large enough for a small army! Now that we’ve talked about the pros, let’s look at a few cons. Seating is usually limited and the diner itself is may be small. The menu may be somewhat limited on choices and lower fat versions of familiar dishes. Privacy might be an issue due to the smaller size and the fact that you may know several people, who just might want to chat with you through your meal. Or, if you know the waiter or waitress well enough, they may talk with you throughout your meal. Parking might be limited and you may have to walk a little further…at least the walk back will help burn off some calories!
So now let’s talk large chains…they normally have larger menus with more choices. Lower fat and calorie choices are usually available. Most chains serve alcohol, which you will not find at your hometown diners. Parking is never a problem, unless it’s Friday or Saturday night, then you may have to search or wait for someone to back out. Portions are usually smaller with chains, although you’ll get plenty to eat. Cons: You won’t have to worry about chatting during your meal; the staff will be very busy with several tables and usually won’t know who you are. The food choices and desserts may be more processed than what you will get at a hometown diner. Prices will be a little higher at chains vs hometown diners.
So…which do you prefer? As for me, I love the quiet, personal, friendly atmosphere of a hometown diner. The delicious, less processed, homemade foods are just icing on the cake, literally!
Well it’s been an early start to some turbulent weather already and it isn’t even spring yet. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansa anymore! The wind has been whipping up all kinds of trouble. Trees toppling over on houses, patio furniture flying around, the infamous trash cans blowing across the highway and sleepless nights because it sounds like a train coming through the house. There were even reports of tornados in Ohio…some say an early start to a tumultuous spring season.
Being prepared is all part of creating a sense of ease when it comes to this season. Make sure you have plenty of batteries for flashlights, non-flame candles and a radio (if you have a radio) and keep a supply of bottled water and some edible right from the package food. Don’t forget to take your cell phone with you if you are heading to the basement for protection. You never know when you might need to make a 911 call. I would remind those who take daily medication to take some with you when you head to the basement, you might have to be there for longer than you think. Personally, I would keep a supply of food, water and batteries in my basement and in my normal living area. If tornados are on the menu for the day, you can hibernate in the basement and if for any reason you can’t leave your basement, you’ll have supplies. If it’s just going to be your garden variety of thunderstorms, then you can stay above ground and have supplies available in the case the electric goes off. If you’re fortunate enough to have a generator, then you’ll be fine until the skies clear!
Remember to have someone take a look at the trees around your house to make sure they are not a hazard to your property when the storm clouds gather. If your trees come down, recycle the wood into a warm fire and make sure your valuable jewelry is always in a fireproof safe, a fireproof safe is usually heavy enough that the wind will not carry it away!
Chin up everyone, spring is not always about stormy weather. It’s also about beautiful flowers, planting a garden, taking walks in the sunshine, smelling the freshly mowed lawn and listening to peepers in the evening. So be prepared, enjoy the warmer weather and hang on to your hat!
The weather might be turning chilly, but McCullough's Tree Service is out working hard! This job at the University has us working hard and reaching heights for a great view.
What’s your plan? I once thought I wanted to sell everything and hit the open road, the problem was I couldn’t get my spouse on board. I would talk about all the wonderful travels and adventures we would experience, the places we would see and how we would never have to see snow again! Living in Ohio, that’s a big deal. I would further try to entice him by saying things like, if we don’t like the weather, we can just get in the RV and head to another state. He never seemed very excited about that prospect of becoming gypsies. I was ready, just say the word and let’s go. Then…he became very interested in the idea and suggested we talk about in a much deeper way, so we did. We discussed putting the money back from the sale of our house and having it available for the “just in case” situations and we talked about working part-time because we actually wanted to retire before we could collect Social Security and we talked about our children and grandchildren, our friends, other family members, our church family and lots of deep and important things. My husband said his greatest concern was that we would not feel like we were ever really “home” when we were on the road, and that in selling our house, we wouldn’t have a “home” to come home to. I told him I never worried about that, I explained how life on the road would make us free spirits and that our RV would become our home. We took several walks and had lots of talks about it and then…it happened, he started looking for RVs and I started worrying about missing home and missing our family and what if I missed my house and it was sold and what would we do then. I turned into him! So…we took another walk and I told him that now I was thinking differently about everything. I expressed my concerns and he looked at me and said, “yep, I knew you would start to change your mind if you gave it a little thought”, so now retirement looks differently to me. I guess I won’t become a gypsy with a free spirit, I guess I’ll just be a normal retiree. What does your retirement dream look like? Have you given it any thought? Are you financially prepared to do it the way you want? I hope so, I hope you do something fun and exciting and I hope you don’t let practicality clip your free spirit wings and I hope you never lose your gypsy soul!
This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.
This weekend, why not load up the car and the kids and head to Cincinnati for a great time at one of Cincinnati’s well-kept secrets. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. This park is not just for the kids, adults love it too. Get out there this weekend and create another great family memory!
It might surprise you to know that Ohio is full of enchanting destinations and little known parks that make you feel like you’ve stepped foot into a living, breathing fairy tale. Glenwood Gardens in Cincinnati is another one of Ohio’s hidden gems just waiting to be explored. It’s a beautiful place to spend a sunny afternoon with the whole family.
Trees that are more than just Trees!
Outside the town of Derby, in Western Australia, is another tree that has been put to use by mankind. The Boab Prison Tree is named so because its stout trunk, 14m in circumference, has been cut in two forming a small cell used as a prison. Police who were walking their prisoners into town would use the tree as a temporary holding cell overnight before carrying on to their final destination. The Boab is approximately 1500 years old, and visitors are asked to view it from behind a fence to stop it from being damaged, however few resist the temptation to go inside.
Root bridges are a specialized form of arboriculture practiced in the forests of northern India. The rubber trees of the Cherrapunji have been exploited for centuries by the Khasis people to grow their own bridges over streams and rivers. To grow your own bridge you need to hollow out a log, lay the log over the gap you wish to cross, and direct the roots of the tree to grow into the log. The roots will grow until they find solid earth to attach to, anchoring the bridge. Once the roots have formed a bridge, soil and stones, or other wood, are laid over them to protect them from damage as people cross.
Le Chêne Chapelle (The Oak Chapel) in Allouville-Bellefosse is an oak which has been carved out to house two chapels within its enormous trunk. The oak itself is approximately 800 years old, and the chapels were added in the 1600s. A lightning strike burned the core of the tree but the tree survived and remained standing, allowing the local priests to build their chapel within it. Today the tree is beginning to show signs of its age and the pressures of housing a religious site, and so requires supporting struts. Despite this, the chapel remains in use and a mass is celebrated twice a year at the site. To reach the upper of the two chapels there is a staircase which winds around the trunk.
Wouldn’t it be great to be a gardener all year round and better still, to be able to enjoy the things you grow all year long! Creating a “cold frame” growing area is the equivalent of moving your growing season one growing zone to the south. Putting a “cold frame” inside a greenhouse is the equivalent of moving your growing season two growing zones to the south. For exceptionally cold areas, like Ohio where I live, you will want to put hay bales or bags of leaves around your cold frame to help hold in heat. During the months when sunlight is at a minimum, put aluminum foil over the windows to increase the warmth inside. If temperatures are higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside, be sure to lift the top of your “cold frame” slightly so your plants do not become too hot and wilt.
And for the really good news…spinach, kale and arugula, the fantastic super foods, grow very well in a “cold frame” and keep you extra healthy! Your “cold frame” vegetables are not limited to these super foods so start reading up and decide which veggies you want to start growing this winter!
Check out this link for all the details. Have fun, eat healthy…be a cold weather gardener.
Fall Fertilization: Keeping stress to a minimum.
Trees are very sensitive to their environments. The disruption of an ecosystem—whether caused by man or nature—can greatly stress a tree. In urban environments, poor soil quality, overcrowded tree planters, and competition for water between different plants are the most common stressors to trees. If not treated, such stress can inhibit a tree’s growth or photosynthesis cycle. So, the next time you see a stressed tree, help it out! Keep your soil nutrient-rich and give your trees plenty of space to breath.
Did you know that trees growing in the woods are naturally fertilized? That’s why they are extremely healthy, but trees that are planted in your yard and landscaping need a little help with fertilization. That’s why it’s very important to have a trained and certified professional fertilize your trees in the fall. Proper fertilization and added nutrients help your trees survive the winter and give them a great head start for the spring and summer months. Your trees compete every day with the lawn, shrubs and vegetation to ensure they get enough nutrients to survive. Often times, because most homeowners keep lawn debris cleaned up, your trees do not get the nutrients they need from decomposing leaves and wood. Here’s the good news…the certified Arborists at McCullough’s Tree Service are well qualified to diagnose and treat your trees, ensuring that you have a cool and “leafy” spring and summer.
Planting in the fall – perfect timing!
Are you aware that fall is the perfect time to plant your shade trees for the upcoming spring and summer season? Why you ask, because when cooler weather comes around, trees become somewhat dormant, in other words they go into hibernation...just like bears! When a bear hibernates, its heart rate and respiratory system slow down considerably; it gets very sleepy and requires very little nutrition. Much like a bear, your tree also enters a hibernation state where no growth occurs in the upper branches and attention is given to growing a stronger root system. This stronger root system will better support foliage growth in the spring.
If planting is on your agenda this fall, McCullough’s Tree Service is ready to make it happen. We’ll help you pick the right tree, the right location and provide you with all the help you need to turn your planting dream into a reality!
Check out these cool blog pages!
We are closing in on one of the best times of the year to go hiking. Cooler weather, beautiful and colorful foliage and the sounds of fall critters and insects will melt stress and anxiety away. We all know the health benefits of hiking, but most of the concentration is on the physical aspect, but there are also the emotional aspects of sight, sound and smells. Exercise releases endorphins which makes us feel naturally happier so hiking is very good for our emotional well-being. When you add the wonderful smells and sounds to the natural endorphin release…you’ll experience an amazing transformation. Nature is so beautiful and should be enjoyed as much as possible. Grab your best pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots and your favorite 2-legged or 4-legged friend and hit the trail. Remember to keep it clean, don’t litter, and if you find litter pick it up along the way. No, you didn’t put it there, but you can certainly clean it up. Stay hydrated on your hike, drink plenty of fluids and take a break now and then…breaks are a great time to simply breath in all the great smells or to check out the wildlife scampering around. I included a link to many hiking trails just a few miles from where you live in Ohio.
Now get your shoes on and get out there and experience the great outdoors!
This tree company “went the extra mile” to save some baby woodpeckers! The company was called to take down a tree, when the tree was down they realized there were two baby woodpecker in a knot hole. So they did the most humane thing they could think of, they duct taped the portion of the tree with the babies in it to the tree next to where the old tree had stood. Minutes later…mama was back feeding the little ones. Heartwarming story of kindness and humanity! McCullough’s Tree Service gives a huge thumbs up to this tree company!