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Articles Categorized Sandra Wagner-Wright

Summer Reads: Historical Fiction

Summertime and the reading is easy. Many people imagine a summer vacation that includes lying on a beach reading a book, while the sound of waves serenades our ears. People select all kinds of books for beach reads. A few of them are historical fiction. Historical fiction is a broad category. On one extreme, it

Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses

Summer is here —Time to SLIP-SLOP-SLAP-WRAP SLIP on a shirt before you slide into the shade; SLOP on sunscreen; SLAP on a hat; and WRAP Sunglasses around your eyes.  Eye protection is important, not just to reduce glare and shade your view, but to prevent photokeratitis, or sunburn on your eyes from exposure to Ultraviolet

A TOAST TO ICED TEA

Iced beverages of any kind, but especially iced tea, have been a staple of hot summer days for generations. By definition, any form of cold tea is an iced tea, which implies, I can simply brew some hot tea, let it cool, and put the container into the refrigerator for a few hours, and voila,

TWO CAT TALES

Thursday, June 4 is Hug-A-Cat Day — which, according to Koa Kat, makes it the perfect time to tell two charming stories about cats. The Owl & the Pussy-Cat The Owl and the Pussy-Cat is a nonsense poem written by Edward Lear (1812-1888) and first published in 1871.  The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to

Ketchup: The All-American Condiment

Ketchup is the go-to of  all American condiments. In fact, the average American consumes 71 pounds of ketchup each year. [Incidentally, this 1953 advertisement by Alcoa Aluminum uses the Del Monte catsup bottle as a prop to demonstrate how easy it is to open aluminum screw tops.] It’s easy to understand why Alcoa used a

TOMATOES: FRUITS, VEGETABLES, OR LOVE APPLES?

Most vegetable gardens, whether in the back yard or in pots on the balcony, feature tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash [usually the prolific zucchini]. All are easy to grow and attractive with their lush leaves and yellow flowers. I enjoy the lacy effect of these tomato blossoms in my garden. Americans also like the taste of

VICTORY OVER SMALL POX

While spending time sheltering-in-place at home, I, like many other people, considered previous pandemics. Many media stories compare COVID-19 to the 1918 H1N1 virus pandemic. But that event is one of many throughout history, including small pox, also known as the speckled monster, a virulent viral disease once endemic in Europe, Asia, and Arabia. It

MADAGASCAR LEMURS

Nosy Be is an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar Island, the fourth largest island in the world. There are two major industries on Nosy Be: Ylang-Ylang plantations and tourism. Ylang-ylang is a flower valued for its essential oils that provide a key ingredient in production of perfumes and essential oil. Its intense fragrance

GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA

According to Skilled Adventurer, trekking is a “long arduous journey, typically on foot” that can test your ability and sanity. Hiking, on the other hand, is walking a long distance, usually on trails or roads. Neither involve safari vehicles that deposit visitors at the end of the road and fade from sight, seemingly forever. I