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Visiting the Farm

Shall we drive to the farm? A good question, and proposal for an afternoon, for an urban or suburban family.

Don’t have relatives or family friends that are farmers?

No problem — at least if you live in St. Louis.

I may be best to check the website and find out if anything special is happening. Then, off you go for a relatively short drive to the southwest.

Your bench awaits your arrival outside the Event Center. Are you here to watch dogs? The large, modern building behind this view is where our canine friends are often judged for obedience, agility, and conformation.

Interested in a more traditional farm?

Walk down the hill to a complex of barns and visit the horse, cows, pigs, and sheep.

Love cats? They have their own quarters, complete with clever places to hide.

Yes, children of all ages — including those of us old enough to be as interested in the benches for resting as the walking and looking — can find enjoyment at Purina Farms.

Think for a moment. A pair of young professionals sitting and talking at the above bench. What’s the topic? If it’s the detective and the surgeon from STARE DOWN I’m thinking dogs are under discussion. Perhaps they are comparing the aspects and personalities of different breeds — before they get serious about a pet.

For more information or to purchase STARE DOWN on Kindle, click here: http://amzn.to/1LXiTwP

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Mind your Posture

Sit up straight. No slouching.

This advice, mostly given when I was a child, plays in my mind most often when I’m sprawled – or slouched – while watching TV.

Some seats encourage better posture than others. My nice, soft, worn sofa invites me to lean back, prop up my legs, and ignore correct posture. Other chairs in my house entice me to keep my feet on the floor and back upright.

Whether it’s the material or the crisp angles, this bench at the St Louis Zoo brings to mind all those admonitions to sit up straight and mind your manners. Actually, I tested this bench, and it’s really rather comfortable — at least for the first few minutes.

Seating in public spaces is often designed into the building, park, or attraction from the very beginning. A bench like the one above, can serve as a meeting place as well as a resting spot for elderly bodies getting exercise. No worry about tipping this one over. And employees can clean off the spilled ice cream with a hose.

In the sweet romance, COMFORT ZONE, one of the couple’s first “dates” is at the zoo. Do you think they tested this bench?

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2ZvL0Av

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Imagine the Conversation

What do you think, Charlie?

I don’t know, Betty. The small one is attractive. But they’re all moving.

I was concentrating on the larger one in the floppy hat. Not carrion, but looks promising.

True. When do you suppose the keeper is going to deliver breakfast?

Not soon enough, Charlie. Not soon enough.

Alert. Watchful. Powerful. Scary jaws and teeth. I think I’ll be sure to keep at least one body part moving when enjoying the sight of hyenas at the zoo.

Whether you prefer mammals, reptiles, or birds; you’ll find some examples at any well-tended zoo. Collect your sweetheart, children, and/or parents and enjoy your visit.

Kindle readers: https://amzn.to/2ZvL0Av
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Able to be Unique

Supporting your small, neighborhood business is a year-round task. Yes, it’s very nice to give them recognition and business on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. However, they need regular customers to stay viable and able to serve you from January thru December.

One St. Louis business with a unique twist is Spine Bookstore and Cafe. Located on Arsenal, near an Interstate, the shop occupies space near a neighborhood park.

Stop in for a coffee (or tea or chocolate), plain or fancy. Then step into the adjoining room and browse books by local authors. You may be surprised at the number and variety of authors who call the St. Louis region “home”.

Check out their calendar of special events. Friday evenings often give you the opportunity to meet a local author or artist. Poetry? Mystery? Romance? Non-fiction? You never know what is going to pop-up on the non-cafe menu.

Not in the St. Louis area? Check out your city or town for local business supporting the arts.

For more information on my latest release, Morning Tryst, click here: https://amzn.to/35gH37S

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A Payoff for Patience

Wait. Hold your horses. Sit still.

My parents said these phrases over and over to their youngest child, a girl who wiggled much and didn’t learn patience early.

But there is hope — even for the restless. Perhaps I just needed to experience demonstrations of the reward of this virtue.

In 2019, during a visit to the zoo, I walked into the bird building. (It probably has a more elegant name.) And I encountered this fine fellow – a Bathleur Eagle.

He appears rather interested in the world as he looks over his shoulder at the people. You can almost hear him thinking. “What do they expect? I’d rather be flying free in the sunshine and hunting.”

Fortunately, we lingered at his large cage (the size of some of the rooms in my home).

Here you go, humans! Take this memory with you when you walk away. Bet you don’t look this good from the back.

Patience. Stopping to watch the bird — or sniff the flower — brings a reward.

So slow the pace. Take a second look. Visit that park, or museum, or zoo that’s either nearby or on your bucket list. Impossible to get out of the house? Travel in a book. Comfort Zone, set in present-day St. Louis includes a visit to the world class zoo. Kindle readers click here: https://amzn.to/2ZvL0Av

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Sleek Swimmers

One of the many things I appreciate when walking at the Missouri Botanical Garden, is the pleasant little surprises when you take one of the less often traveled paths.

Bonus if a bench is in a strategic spot.

Playful otters, even the sculptured ones, look sleek and cool in their pool on a hot summer day.

Have you had a rough week? Plop yourself down on a bench. Close your eyes and listen to the fountain gurgle and splash. Then blink back to reality and enjoy the representation of some of nature’s playful creatures.

There — did you feel it? Tension just slipped off my shoulders. Ohh — a bird came to visit and carried away a worry. Take a nice, deep breath of garden-scented air. Nice earth undertones. Light, sweet blossoms.

I think I’m ready now. Time to pull the book from my tote bag and transport myself to another time and place while my body sheds heavy, daily burdens and selects some sweet, light hopes.

Suggestion for your tote bag — romance. A sweet read is “Morning Tryst”

Kindle: https://amzn.to/35gH37S

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Jewel in the Park

Diamonds glitter. Pearls glow. Rubies shine. Emeralds, sapphires, and topaz reflect rich light.

Jewels. Gems. Precious stones. For centuries they have been valued by humans and used to adorn the garments and objects of the rich and powerful.

But the world contains other jewels — some of immeasurable value.

Within the confines of Forest Park, the grounds and structure of The Jewel Box please the eye and soul.

Walk. Relax. Enjoy the fresh air and beauty. Or step inside and admire the greenhouse portion.

Want to read a book that fits with the setting? I suggest the sweet romance, Comfort Zone. Two St. Louis area residents are faced with a second chance. Will they live with gusto and risk their hearts?

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2ZvL0Av

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August Advice

A little advice is a good thing. When it comes from an expert, it’s even better.

So here are the professor’s tips for staying comfortable on hot, August days.

Seek the shade.

Drink plenty of water.

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

Professor? Well, for the month of August, I decided to explore close to home. Yes, for many people this is prime vacation time. But for a multitude of reasons, some people are unable to travel. So take a look around and see what you can find within a drive of two hours or less.

Professor Chimp dispenses his advice and demonstrate a carefree attitude at the St. Louis Zoo.

Do you live near a zoo? Have you considered a stroll among the animals as a place for a “date”? Light and casual courting in Comfort Zone, a sweet romance, includes a zoo date with emphasis on elephants.

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2ZvL0Av

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Fly-in Dining

Do you have six legs? Four wings?

Welcome to the Fly-In Buffet. The special this week is fresh black-eyed Susan. Always on the menu is the popular butterfly bush and salvia.

This small space is busy on sunny days. Bees, butterflies, and other flying creatures stop for a sip. No problem with drinking and flying for these diners. Energy and perhaps a little bit of a “sugar high” are the results.

Want to practice photography skills. This is a perfect place. Bring your patience. Sunscreen and a hat might be good accessories.

Do you or your neighbors have flowers to attract our flying friends?

No two days are the same in the garden.

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Summer Meeting Place

Forget the details of the song. Once upon it a time, the fair may have been the place to meet people in St. Louis. But the fair is gone, kept alive in the memory of St. Louis with artifacts in homes and museums. And traces in Forest Park.

Want to set a meeting place in St. Louis this summer?

Baseball’s the name of the game. Select a Hall of Fame player and gather your group pre-game. Swing. Throw. Leap. Slide. Take your pick of these heroic action figures to get your hometown spirit flowing.

Arrive early? No problem. Favorite activities while waiting include people watching, note taking (some things you don’t want to forget), or reading. Didn’t bring a book? Shame on you — what do you plan to do during a rain delay? Suggested topics — well, baseball player biographies come to mind. Or perhaps enter a fantasy world and read a baseball themed romance. Don’t have one at hand? How about a St. Louis themed book — a sweet romance with a dash of suspense.

Oh, look, I see one now.

Kindle edition available here: http://amzn.to/1LXiTwP