Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

This is the day that really sets it all up for me! The day after Halloween, I really feel as if Thanksgiving and Christmas is now on the fast track. The pumpkins are put away, the patio furniture is being stored, and the Christmas light planning begins. However, we still have the remainder of the day to enjoy Halloween. What are you dressing up as? This morning on the way into the station I started thinking about some of the former costumes I dressed up as kid. I remember my mom would actually buy the kits and sew my costume and brothers costumes every year. One year I went as tweety bird, another year I went as a pirate, and another year I went as Geppetto. I know, why not Pinocchio? Oh well.... It was also my favorite school day of the year because around noon time we would be able to change into our costumes and usually had a costume parade of some sort. Then my mom and some of the room mothers would bring in cupcakes with those plastic things in the frosting, you know what I am talking about? Sometimes a pumpkin or skeleton, I would always think it was a big deal to pick the right cupcake. So as your kids dress up tonight and head out to Trick or Treat, remember how you felt and the memories your creating for them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Own Road Problems



Stephanie Woods Here: I’ve been reporting your morning commute here at FOX19 for almost 6 weeks, and I’ve seen my share of road scares. Accidents, construction, and delays…oh my! But this Tuesday, I learned what it’s like to be on the other side of the Artimis camera. I was driving home on I-71 northbound, listening to Phil Collins and planning my afternoon snack, when suddenly my car started to shake. I thought, could it be vibrations from a nearby tractor trailer? An earthquake in Cincinnati? Oh no, my back left tire blew off. As said tire careened across 71, I pulled my shaking, smoking car over on the right shoulder of I-71 at Reading Road. I wasn’t in the best situation. I don’t have AAA, and (embarrassingly) do not know how to change a tire. I was too far from an auto mechanic to drive, and towing my car would’ve cost a pretty penny. But all I could think was, ‘Dear God. I’m on camera 34.’ Thankfully after a few minutes a kind patrol officer took pity on me and pulled up on the shoulder. Officer Paul Grein not only talked me through the situation, but talked me down from the cliff (so to speak). Better yet, he asked a Freeway Service Patrolman to come and change my tire…free of charge! Mr. Brad Flowers arrived in an Artimis courtesy van within minutes. He got to work right away, getting my spare on and (what was left of) my old tire off. I literally could not have gotten out of this mess without Brad and Paul. You’ll likely not be in a good mood if you meet them on the highway, but if you do, you’re in good hands. Although I’ve endured some traffic headaches before, this was my first in Cincinnati. Although I certainly got off light, I now understand just a bit more what all of you go through every morning. Here’s hoping today is a flat tire-free Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Newlywed

Good Morning, Katy here… speaking to you for the first time as a Mrs! We’re back from the wedding and honeymoon, and phew! What a whirlwind. The one thing I heard most from others was how fast it goes by, and boy are they right! The good news is, the wedding was perfect! There isn’t one thing that I would have changed. Everything went as it should have, plus a few bonuses! I’m sure you’ve seen the flash mob video that the FOX19 Morning Crew put together. Tom and I were so surprised! We had no idea what was going on, but I thought it was so cool! I can’t believe how coordinated everyone was! (I hear they all practiced a lot without me knowing.) I was truly surprised, and grateful to work with such awesome people! How many people can say, my co-workers flash mobbed my wedding! Anyways, I’m glad to be back after a few great days in Key West! It was nice to wake up with the sunrise next to the beach. Keep a watch to my FOX19 facebook page, Katy Morgan WXIX. I’ll post a few more wedding pictures once they get in, but for now will leave you with a sneak peak from my photographer! And if you haven’t seen the flash mob yet, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NQI_YmEfB0

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Halloween! Let's Go Christmas Shopping!

I went shopping for a new Christmas tree yesterday.

Sheila here. My neighbors threw away my Christmas tree. I'm not kidding.
Here's what happened. I've always had an artificial tree for a couple of reasons. I don't have to remember to water it, it lasts longer, and my whole family is one big allergy waiting to happen, so it's just easier to set up the fake tree and enjoy our holiday (and we don't have to be in a hurry to take it down after Christmas.)

Last year, my wonderful pre-lit Christmas tree wasn't lighting up the way it should have. I had to turn one side toward the wall because the lights weren't coming on a big portion on the bottom of the tree. When I took down the tree after the holidays, I took the bottom third of it to my neighbor's house because her retired dad loves to tinker with electrical stuff. I forgot about it until the other day when I spotted an ad for a Christmas tree sale. I called my neighbor and asked if her dad had ever looked at the tree, and she told me her husband had thrown it away! After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I hit the stores yesterday, and let me tell you, Christmas trees are expensive!



So today's blog serves three purposes. 1- I fulfill my weekly blog commitment. 2- I get to ask you where you've seen a good deal on Christmas trees. 3- I can share a few of my tips on early Christmas shopping, because I get started around September every single year.

I always start early because I can't stand running around at the last minute, standing in all the lines, and getting OUT of the Christmas spirit when I can't find what I want. My daughter Katie's birthday is in December too, which just adds to my "to do" list. Early shopping just takes off some of the pressure. It seems like the holiday sales start earlier every year - in fact, several major retailers are offering guarantees that they'll give you the lowest prices on your Christmas goodies.



The Associated Press reported this week: "Staples and Bed Bath & Beyond have already said they will match the lowest prices of Amazon.com and other big Internet retailers. Sears is offering to beat a competitor's best price by 10 percent. Wal-Mart joined the fray Monday by announcing that it would give gift cards to shoppers if they buy something there and find it cheaper elsewhere."


I have been watching the Sunday circulars for 2 months now, and I head to the stores when I see something on my Christmas list that's on sale. I've made 3 trips to Toys R Us for Santa Claus. I also love to shop at discount stores like the Nordstrom Rack and the Cincinnati Premium Outlets. You have to keep an open mind, but it's a great way to save some money by getting an early start. I have also shopped online on the websites for Gap and Gymboree. They've already marked down their first round of fall and winter clothing, which also saved me some cash.




So get out there and save some money! I'm meeting my mom up in Dayton today to get a few more gifts marked off of my list. My biggest challenge will be hiding all of the goodies from curious little eyes!
















Monday, October 24, 2011

You Know You're Old When....

Your leaving a wedding and your in the car and you think it's 2am, because your body is so tired from having a blast, but then you realize it's only 11pm. That is exactly what happened Saturday night at Katy Morgan's wedding. What a wonderful afternoon, the weather was perfect, and the couple even more perfect. The ceremony was held at The Westin downtown so the venue was perfect overlooking Fountain Square. The bad news is that many people on Fountain Square had a front row seat to the Morning News Dance Party, that took place. During the past two weeks, the morning team with Tracey as our leader, met in a secret room here at the FOX19 compound. We met with our dance instructor and put together a flash mob dance to the modern day hit Party Rock Anthem. The funny thing, when we all started to dance others in the room jumped in to rock it out and kinda of got in our way. The video will be on our Facebook Page, and you will see that Rob met a new friend, she is the lady with the the champaign bottle, and is not a member of the FOX19 Team! haha I think we really surprised our friend and co-worker Katy and her new husband Tom. I have also included a picture of the bride and groom leaving church.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trying To Keep You Healthy

Good Friday Morning....Dan Wells writing I hope this note finds you well and not SICK. My girls are sick...so this blog is for all of sneezing, sniffling, coughing cold- and flu-sufferers: As miserable as you are, at least you're not alone.

Just a few weeks into the fall season, and it seems like everyone around you is already coughing and sneezing. Are you next? Well...not if you become proactive now and use preventative measures to help ensure that your immune system is working the best way it can.

So what can you do to maintain the optimal health necessary to help your body fight off those nasty bugs that cause respiratory infections and cold and flu woes?

First-line defenses include simple yet effective hand washing and proper hygiene, as well as maintaining a healthy diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Reducing stress (I know you're probably saying yeah right) can keep the body strong and more resilient against micro-organisms too.

Here are some of the scientifically backed, immune-boosting ingredients (according to my Dr. friends). I just thought I’d pass it along…check it out and let me know if it works….dwells@fox19.com.

•Vitamin D has been a hot research topic for the past few years. Recent findings support the use of vitamin D for the prevention of common respiratory infections, including cold and flu. There is some indication that vitamin D deficiency, commonly occurring in the winter months due to lack of sunshine, may be linked to the increase of these conditions. Because vitamin D is not abundant in our food sources, supplementation may be required.

•Elderberry is a traditional herbal medicine used to treat fever, colds and flu. Black elderberry is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that appear to have an antiviral effect and support the body's immune system.

•Echinacea is one of the better known herbs that help boost the immune system. Echinacea is traditionally used to help fight off infections, especially of the upper respiratory tract, while relieving associated symptoms and shortening the duration of illness.

•Probiotics, or good bacteria, elicit a number of positive health effects, particularly in supporting a health immune system. Research shows that probiotics may be useful for preventing respiratory infections in adults and children.

So as we continue to move into the winter months, it makes good sense to protect ourselves with healthy habits and maybe some supplementation to stay cold- and flu-free throughout the upcoming season....Just an idea!

Good Luck and
Dan Wells

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall on the Farm

Happy Wednesday! Let's go on a little trip to my favorite farm.

Sheila here. Katie was off school on Monday, so I took her and Eric to McGlasson's Farm in Boone County. It's right along the river on Rt. 8 (River Road) in Hebron, and it's always been one of Katie's favorite places in the fall (mine too!). It's a small, family owned farm where you can wander through the pumpkin patch and pick your own gourd for your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. Eric had fun running up and down in the field, and he had his first encounter with burrs. Pretty funny. He first thought they were bugs.

Once we found our perfect pumpkin, the kids climbed up on the straw bales for pictures.
You can buy the bales, along with Indian corn and gourds for decorating your home for autumn, but I especially love their apple products. We picked up a bunch of apples, McGlasson's delicious apple cider, and caramel apples, as well as a few potatoes to put in with a roast this weekend. I love the idea of supporting a local farm, but mostly we go to McGlasson's because the people are friendly, and it's so pretty there.

It's fun too. If you go on the weekends, you can be entertained by local musicians. This Saturday, you can see Jake Speed from 1 - 4 p.m., and on Sunday The Good News Boys provide the music (also from 1-4 pm.) McGlasson's roadside farm market has been in the family for six generations, and you can visit every day between July and October. http://www.mcglassonfarms.com/

After our farm adventure, we hit the Ohio River for a ride on the Anderson Ferry. Eric ran onto the ferry, looked right over the side, and said "let's see if we can find some sharks and dolphins!" None of those in the Ohio River this time, but he loved seeing the planes fly over the river and into the airport nearby, and he was amazed that a boat could take cars across the river. Katie and I were just happy to breathe the fresh air and feel the sun on our faces during a peaceful autumn ride.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yellow Bus Ball





In addition to watching Katy Morgan get married this weekend, I am hosting the Yellow Bus Ball.





Hi everyone. Rob here.





The ball will benefit Faces Without Places and happens this weekend at Longworth Hall from 7 to 11pm. Faces without places was founded in 1998 and removes barriers to education. It keeps children experiencing homelessness connected to their education. Every year about 6,000 children are homeless in Cincinnati, and their average age is 9. Homeless children on average change schools 7 to 8 times a year. Faces Without Places makes these children its priority. It provides uniform vouchers, school supplies, rides to school, and whatever it takes to keep these kids in school. There is also a summer camp every year. This summer the theme was Eat Smart, Play Smart, Be Smart. The kids focused on reading, math and healthy activities in the morning. The afternoons were used for enrichment activities like trips to the polls and other attractions. Both breakfast and lunch were provided to the children each day.





All this costs money and you can help Faces Without Places raise money by having a good time. The Yellow Ball boasts live and silent auction items, "dinner by the bite: games and an open bar. I will be there. Hopefully you will too. Find out more information at http://www.faceswithoutplaces.org/





Have a great Tuesday

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Have Your Costume ?

Good Morning, Frank Here! The countdown to Halloween is upon us, and do you know what your going to be this year? It's the one time a year where you do not have to worry about being embarrassed and you can let yourself loose. This year I feel like I have several costumes to choose. For starters Halloween is going to be a lot of fun around the FOX19 newsroom as myself and my FOX19 morning news team colleagues will all dress up on Halloween morning. What will we all be? I will give you a clue, it will be a themed costume. So take some guesses and let us know what you think we should all be. This weekend my girlfriend and I got our dogs Mr. Otis and Mr. Benson all set for Halloween. I think we are becoming those dog people, but I do not care it is fun and we love it. We picked Batman for Mr. Benson and then Superman for Mr. Otis. The little guys were like kids who wear there costumes all day long when they first get them. I do not know what it is, but when they have there costumes on they behave very well, they hardly bark. Maybe its because they are embarrassed, haha! Do you dress your dogs up for Halloween? If so what will they be this year? There is something about dogs that warm the heart. Last week I and Mr. Benson co-hosted the Hyde Park Health Center's 2nd Annual Halloween Dog Fashion show. It always a pleasure to see the faces of the residents light up as dogs come down dressed as hot dogs, rock stars, and even chickens. So get ready for Halloween my friends and have some fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are there times you wished you had your camera ready?

Good Morning Crew - Dan Wells writing. I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits!


Are there times you wished you had your camera ready to capture your kid's amazed reaction to something you barely noticed anymore? And if your children are teenagers, do you miss those days of wonderment? Sigh.


Well, thanks to camera phones and technology...parents, loved ones and caregivers are capturing "LIFE" in its most raw and beautiful form.


With all of that said this is my "MUST SEE VIDEO" of the year.


It's the weekend story of 4 year old Ella and 2 year old Kyra, these two sisters, from Erie, PA (my hometown) are actually the daughters of a high school friend. The video takes its viewers through a simple weekend of family fun. It makes me smile and think about the times my own kids delighted over stuff I'd seen or experienced a million times.


I like to think of this video as "through the eyes of babes" moments. Like when a lake tickles a toddlers toes. Or when my kids made s'mores and their marshmallows caught fire.


In Ella and Kyra's weekend, riding a tri-cycle, going down a slide and doing a summersault is about the best thing since slice bread.
I love the simplicity of life through their eyes and the reactions these two girls have to things that I forgot were some of the simplest pleasures in life.


So when you're having a bad day or just want to refocus on what's important in life, I hope this is your go-to video.

For Ella and Kyra meanwhile, stay just as you are as you grow. You make this world a little better.


God Bless - Have a great weekend!


Dan Wells

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finishing Touches

9 Days to go!! Good morning, Katy here, Happy Thursday! Ladies and Gentlemen… we’ve reached single digits! 9 days to go until the wedding! I can’t believe it’s almost here! My afternoons have become pretty busy lately, putting final touches on the wedding. From pictures to flowers, final dress fittings and band meetings, it’s all coming together! It’s funny how people tell you to enjoy every minute of being engaged, because it goes so fast. It’s true! I can’t believe it’s been 11 months already! Seems like yesterday that I was sitting next to Tracey during the Morning X, talking about getting engaged the night before. Time flies. And I know the wedding will fly by too, so I’m taking in every minute of it now through next weekend!
I’d say the only thing that will keep me on a rollercoaster ride between now and then will be the forecast! Being a meteorologist, I of course look at the long-range forecasts at least twice a day. It’s funny how I know the forecast will change every single time a new model run comes in, but I can’t help it! The bride in me is taking over the meteorologist in me. Sometimes we’ll get emails from brides-to-be asking about forecasts a couple weeks in advance, and I’ll do my best to explain what could happen, but stress that the forecast will change! I keep telling myself that, but it doesn’t stop me from looking at each model run coming in!
Between now and then, each day will be more exciting than the next … and overall, I just can’t WAIT to get married to my FiancĂ© on 10.22.11 !!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Taste of the Bluegrass

Shame on me for living in Kentucky for 12 years before I experienced one of the Bluegrass State's signature products.

Hi, it's Sheila, and I finally took a journey on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Ric and I spent the day at Woodford Reserve, nestled in the hills of Woodford County, near Frankfort.







It was a beautiful autumn day for a drive south. The leaves were just starting to show a fall tinge of color as we traveled past acres of horse pastures to the heart of the Bluegrass.


We started our day with a picnic from Woodford's lunch counter - Bourbon cheese spread with crackers, local Rome apples, a Kentucky farmhouse sandwich made, of course, with Kentucky ham, homemade potato salad, and sweet potato whoopie pies. Woodford Reserve boasts a talented chef, Ouita Michel, and the food was delicious.


After lunch, we rocked on the porch while we waited to take our tour. Is this not the picture of relaxation? We felt as if time was standing still as we enjoyed the quiet and the scenery.



We also took a moment to look through the exhibits and photos which depict the history of Bourbon Whiskey, and why Kentucky's blend is so unique. We learned how Bourbon got its name. The whole area of what is now Kentucky was originally the Kentucky District of Virginia. Because America was grateful to France for helping us defeat England and win our independence, the Virginia legislature dropped a number of French names onto American soil, Louisville and Bourbon County are tributes to King Louis the XIV's first and last names. Versailles is named for his home.
When settlers started making whiskey in this part of Kentucky in the 1700's, they were amazed to find that the color was completely clear. That's because the layers of Kentucky limestone filter out the iron, along with its taste and color. The water is good for horses too because it contains so much calcium. We found out the company which owned Woodford Reserve early in the last century was one of only 10 companies in the U.S. which were allowed to produce whiskey during Prohibition - for medicinal purposes - and distilling is the only industry in America started with an Act of Congress (after Prohibition was a dismal failure).

The tour of the distillery by our guide Steve B. was so interesting. The limestone building where the Bourbon is made and put in white oak barrels is a National Historic Landmark. We saw the barrels roll out of the building, down a track to another building next door, where they're stored for eight years. We saw - and smelled! - the huge vats where the yeast is added to the grains.



We marveled at the three giant copper stills, made in Scotland, where the mixture becomes White Dog - white because it's so clear, and dog because it'll bite you!







And we wandered through the rows and rows of barrels were the Bourbon ages. You can see the


evidence on many of the barrels of Master Distiller Chris Morris's work, sampling the bourbon to make sure it's just right for the Woodford Reserve label.
There's a very cool Wall Street Journal article about his perfect palate for Bourbon Whiskey here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704529204576256994201597586.html

At the end of our tour, we sampled the amber liquor about which we'd learned so much. I can't distinguish all of the different "notes" Chris Morris can, but I did enjoy this small taste of Kentucky. Our trip wasn't so much about the Bourbon. It was the enjoyment of slowing down, noticing the little things about our surroundings, meeting friendly new people, and taking home memories of a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Habitat for Humanity


I worked Saturday at the habitat house.


Hey everyone. Rob here.

Fox19 has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help build a home on Lincoln Avenue in Walnut Hills. This is my third visit to the home. I pulled up the floor during the first visit. During my second visit I pulled the siding off the house. This past Saturday I put up siding. Not only was it tough work, it was important work. The siding will protect the home from weather damage. I wanted to be sure I was doing the work right. This house will belong to Nicole. She's a nurse at Christ Hospital with two sons. I think we did a great job. We finished siding about two-thirds of the home on one side. Katy Morgan was right there with me putting up siding with her fiance Tom. Dan Wells, Corey Stark and Jennifer Grove were all there as well helping Nicole build her house. In fact Nicole is half way to the 500 hours of "sweat equity" needed as a down payment.



It was hard work, but it was a lot of fun. We are hoping to get her in by the holidays. I hope that happens.





Monday, October 10, 2011

Not Ides, But Contagion

Frank Here: All the talk this weekend here in Cincinnati was about Ides of March, and yes I saw it. It was good I liked it but the ending not so much so that left a bad taste in my mouth about the movie. I will leave it at that and will talk about the second movie I saw this weekend. Before I started to write my blog this morning I wiped down my keyboard with Lysol wipes, coated my hands in hand sanitizer, and I put on rubber gloves. Yep, I must keep all the germs away, and you would to if you saw the movie Contagion. We have seen movies about disease and outbreak before but this is the first one I have seen that really seems as if it could happen. It has a all star cast of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lawrence Fishburn, Jude Law, and Kate Winslet. The production is simple and is almost like watching a documentary. The part of the movie that really hit home about how germs and a outbreak of disease could spread, is the way the movie is shot. You will see the infected person drink out of a cup, then the camera zooms into the waiter who will grab the cup, thus spreading the germs. The infected person will open a door then the camera zooms into the door knob as guy and his family touches that same door, spreading the disease. The movie shows how quickly something can spread and once a vaccine is created it takes months to test it before being able to distribute it. In fact in 26 days 2.5 billion people were killed by the disease. So if your very aware of germs this movie may scare ya, however if you are not this movie may make you more aware. I enjoyed it, however it is a bit nerve racking when watching this and then you hear people in the theater start coughing. Have a great day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Ides of March - Cincinnati Style

Good Morning - Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well an in good spirit.

Metro Cincinnati is about to get its best national exposure as a film location for a pretty high-profile movie.

"The Ides of March," which opens today, is a presidential primary thriller starring George Clooney and Ryan Gosling and set in Ohio. Cincinnati and the suburbs provided some exteriors and many interiors for a drama saturated in the intrigue of back-room politics. Scenes were shot at local landmarks such as Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati and in the eclectic Northside neighborhood. Sites on the Miami University campus in Oxford also played a key role.

So will you see it? I want to, if only to see the Queen City at it finest.

In this latest movie from George Clooney - he co-stars, co-wrote and directed the picture. If you didn't know, the story is based on the play by Beau Willimon, who worked in political campaigns, it tells a story of politics as seen from the inside.

Here's a bit of the premise. The Ohio Democratic primary is a week away, and the nomination has come down to two candidates, one of whom is a liberal governor played by Clooney. He has two men leading his staff, - a midcareer war horse (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and a young brainiac (Ryan Gosling).

Gosling is apparently at the center of the movie, a sleek, tailored, self-assured young man, clearly shrewd and capable enough to handle anything, from logistics to strategy to media relations.

Critics say "The Ides of March" has an effective opening, sags in the middle, then comes back strong in the last half hour. The shifts and turns of the film have all to do with the various political machinations of the characters - including Paul Giamatti at his feral best as the opposing candidate's manager.

Ok, there's no point in revealing any more of the movie or reviews here. I want to see it, so should you and what a perfect night to do it! Happy Friday!

Cheers
Dan

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Animal House

Good morning, happy Thursday! Can you believe this weather? It’s awesome! As much as I’m ready for temperatures to cool down a bit, this warm stretch of weather is too nice to give up. With that said, I’m making a list of things to do between now and the end of the weekend. Have you made a list? How about a bike ride on the Little Miami Trail, or long walk around Lunkin airport? Or, an afternoon at the outlet mall? One thing I do plan on doing this weekend is heading out to the Cincinnati Zoo. Just yesterday on the Morning Xtra, we had a segment about “Hallzooween” at the Cincinnati Zoo. You can check out the video here http://www.fox19.com/video . The zoo brought in one of my favorite animals they have in the whole park, Caspian the Eurasian Eagle Owl! If you remember, back in the spring, Caspian was up for the cutest baby award! She’s gotten so big in just 7 months! The zoo handlers say she may gain a few pounds, but she’s full grown now. I’ll have to stop by her exhibit while I’m there.

Whatever you plan on doing, make sure it’s outdoors so you can enjoy this beautiful weather! Can’t beat sunny skies and 80 degrees in early to late October!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall At The Zoo



Fall is perfect for a trip to the zoo, and this weekend the Cincinnati Zoo kicks off HallZOOween.

Hi, it's Sheila.
I took Monday off to spend some time with my little boy because I was out of town all weekend, and we headed out to the Cincinnati Zoo. It's one of his favorite places, and our day did not disappoint. He got to see a baby Bonobo (they look a lot like chimps), and the cute little guy put up his foot and waved to get our attention when we tried to leave his exhibit.





Eric fed a giraffe, and we had our first Cheetah encounter. He went crazy when he saw how fast Nia could go (up to 70mph)! We also saw Lana the Orangutan's trainer feed her at lunchtime. Lana holds out her hand for fruit and climbs her tree on command. Eric loved learning that Lana has a "blankey" just like he does. She drags her burlap sack around with her foot, uses it as a blanket when it's chilly, and even uses it as a shelter from the sun and the rain. How smart is that?!

The Zoo has all of its fall and Halloween decorations in place for the start of its HallZOOween weekends. Eric was a little scared of the big spider atop the entrance, but once he figured out it was just a huge stuffed animal, he wanted to climb up there and pet it. It seemed appropriate that we took our first walk inside the new Night Hunters exhibit, and during our day we saw tons of animals which are perfect for the scary holiday -- a vampire bat eating its lunch (looked like blood to us!), pythons and rattlesnakes, even a giant rat. It's all together at the Cincinnati Zoo!

HallZOOween features a pumpkin patch, magic shows, special animal encounters, trick or treating stations, and more every weekend through the end of the month. Don't forget to bring your own trick or treat bag to help the Zoo go green! You can find out more at this link: http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/hallzooween/

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back From Michigan



Sheila and I are back from hosting the Miss Michigan USA pageant in Port Huron.
Good Tuesday morning.
We have been hosting that pageant for about 10 years now.
Believe it or not, it is a lot of fun. Sheila and I get to spend some quality time together hanging out. Those who produce and put the show together are all great at the jobs.
Port Huron is certainly one of the most picturesque sites in Michigan, it feels like a mini-vacation. Saturday afternoon Sheila and I worked as the judges decided who would become the next Miss Michigan USA and Miss Michigan Teen USA. I think they came up with some really great representatives. Kristen Danyal was chosen as Miss Michigan and Courtney Pizzimenti Miss Michigan Teen.
Also this year the show had live music, which really added a lot. The Eric Tepe Band performed. They were not only great musicians and performers. They were a great bunch of guys. They will perform at Miss Ohio USA, another pageant Sheila and I host. Looking forward to that. You can also catch them this Friday at Mainstay on 5th Street. You also sample their music at http://www.etbmusic.com/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time For Fall Fun

Good Morning Everyone, How was the weekend? Yes it was chilly but that Sunday sunshine was nice and we have more of it over the next 7-days which will be perfect to head out and grab that pumpkin for carving and some fall fun. Over the weekend I had a chance to visit a few fall traditions here in the Tri-State including the Niederman Family Farm in Liberty Twp. near West Chester. This is more than just a pumpkin patch its more like a fall amusement park. My favorite thing about Niederman is the HUGE corn maze. This years maze is 17 acres and from the air it honors September 11th. The maze is made to look like the two towers and then the maze for the little kids is made to look like the Pentagon. In addition to the corn maze the 210 acre farm also includes a hayride that allows guests to go pick there pumpkin out of the patch. They also have a area with some favorite farm animals and many bomb fire pits for hours of family fun. Children of all ages will not be disappointed. Then on Sunday it was time to start to decorate for the season. We headed out to Newtown and the Burger Farm and Garden Center. They by far have the largest corn stalks I have ever seen, and I was told they are a good 4 feet taller this year than last years crop. In fact they were so large I had to tie them to the top of the car. When you add a hay bail to my truck and 4 large pumpkins, I felt as if I was driving a tractor. Do yourself a favor and check it out, plus they have a pumpkin patch for the kids and hay maze fun. Tis The Season For Fall My Friends!