WTAW Press is currently offering a month-long poetry writing class in January for poets of all experience levels. There is a cost for the class, but if the $100 is prohibitive, they are offering a …
We love taking trips, whether it’s a short road trip, or a longer trip by air to some distant exotic place. But all too often we fail to plan for our trip and the result is frustration and annoyance.
1. For road trips, get the right maps and plan your route thoroughly. Everything won’t go exactly to plan, but at least you’ll have much fewer nasty surprises.
2. Never, ever make a joke about bombs or terrorists near security at an airport. Many people have jokingly mentioned they have a small bomb in their case as their luggage is being inspected. Later at the police station they deeply regretted their stupidity.
3. Be immediately suspicious in airports, railway or bus stations when someone bumps into you. It may be a pickpocket. Also be aware if something is spilled on you, or a spot on your clothing is pointed out to you. These things are designed to distract your attention from what is really going on: the theft of your valuables.
4. While cruises make planning easy with their all in charges, there is likely to be many extra items that you should budget for. These include, taxes, surcharges and fees, tipping, drinks, some shore excursions, shopping purchases, etc.
5. The most obvious thing to check on before setting off on a foreign trip is the state of the local weather where you are going. You don’t want to arrive in a tee shirt if it’s snowing, or in a fur coat if it’s in the 90s.
6. When travelling with children bring along recent photos of each one. If a child gets lost, the photo will prove invaluable in helping to locate the child again.
7. A trip to a theme park will suffer from a lack of careful planning. Some parks are so big that planning is essential. Get a list of all the rides and a map of the park, as well as opening and closing times, before setting off.
The growth of the Internet and budget airlines has turned last-minute flights into a huge industry – you can just be surfing around, and then, right there, there’s a flight cheap enough for you to buy on impulse and go away this weekend. If you’re thinking about booking last minute flights, however, there are a few things you need to know.
An important point to make is that you can’t trust the prices you see quoted in advertising for last minute flights. This is because of the common practice of excluding booking fees, airport taxes and all sorts of other little extras from the price – these all get added on just when you’ve got your card out and you’re ready to pay, in the hope that by then you won’t want to back out.
Also, you should realise that just because a flight says it goes to a big city like London or Paris, it doesn’t mean that the airport is actually anywhere near. Budget airlines use smaller airports to avoid paying the higher airport charges at the larger ones, and these smaller airports can be as much as two hours away from the city centre by often unreliable public transport. In some cases, you can end up paying as much as you did for your plane tickets just to get a train to the place you thought was your destination.
On airlines that take bookings for seats, it is also worth noting that last minute flights will only have the seats that no-one else wanted, which usually means the ones in the middle of the row. This can be very important if you get airsick, or if you really want to sit together as a couple or family.
The biggest gotcha is that last-minute flights are always non-refundable. If you are going to buy one on impulse, make sure you can actually make it first, as there won’t be any backing out of the deal afterwards.
Cross stitching is a fun way to pass the time and relax. There are several different ways to get started. Whether you decide to purchase a cross stitching kit or buy the supplies separately, it is easy to get started. Start out by making a visit to your local craft store. Many craft stores carry both the premade kits and the separate supplies. Premade kits come in handy because they provide the thread, the canvas and the needle as well as step by step instructions. The premade kits come in a variety of styles and projects. Pictures are available as well as more detailed projects such as pillow cases, bibs, blankets and lots more. Prices for the premade kits are wide in range. There are several projects that can be started for as low as $5 ranging up to $100 for more detailed projects. If you choose to buy the supplies separately, it is a good idea to purchase a cross stitch book first. These books usually contain several patterns and specify the materials needed to complete the patterns. Among the materials needed are typically thread, needles, canvas and a hoop to keep the canvas stretched. The hoop makes it easy to cross stitch more accurately, but they are not required. Follow the directions included in the kit or patterns to achieve the desired outcome. The directions supplied specify the colors used and each has a specific icon that represents the color. Follow these directions to ensure that your picture matches the pattern. There are several different kinds of stitches such as cross stitch, half-stitch and a back stitch. Each stitch is performed a certain way, so familiarize yourself with each stitch. Knowing the stitches beforehand will help eliminate any frustration during the actual sewing. After you have experience with cross stitching it is possible to develop your own pattern. Do some research and choose a picture to turn into a cross stitch pattern. This is a more complex way of cross stitching so ease and experience count. After the cross stitch is complete, it is time to frame your work! Buy a nice frame to display your work on the wall or to give away as a gift. Congratulate yourself on a job well done. Getting started with cross stitch can be very easy. There are two different methods to get started, buy a premade kit or buy the supplies separately. Craft stores usually carry all of the supplies you need to get started, so be sure to visit one and pick the best method for you.
Some parents are skilled crafters. Others are doing well to cut paper in a reasonably straight line. No matter which group you fall into, crafting with your kids can be beneficial for all involved. Few things bring families together like crafting. Here are some of the good things that come out of crafting with your kids. * Crafting builds creativity. Developing minds need a creative outlet, and crafting provides the opportunity for kids to use their imaginations. It helps them learn to solve problems, and it could lay the groundwork for a lifetime of interest in art. For parents, getting creative can help reduce stress and promote using the brain in ways that we don't have a reason to use it every day. * Crafting teaches kids to follow directions. This seems like a very basic skill, but we all know adults who can't seem to follow directions. When kids craft, they learn the consequences of not following directions when their projects do not turn out as expected. This instils in them the importance of doing things the right way the first time. * For young children, crafting is fabulous for learning basic skills. Almost any type of craft promotes hand-eye coordination. Kids can also learn to use scissors, measure and do lots of other things they will eventually do in everyday life. * Parents and children have a chance to talk. In our busy lives, it seems that we know less about our kids than previous generations of parents did. Passive activities such as watching TV do little to encourage conversation. But when you're crafting together, talking comes naturally. You can seize the opportunity to discuss such things as your child's interests, his concerns, and how he's doing in school. * Crafting is a great way to wind down. It's wonderful for kids to be active, but there are times when they need to calm down. If you find your child getting agitated or exhibiting an overabundance of energy near bedtime, try bringing out the craft supplies. Crafting engages kids' minds, giving them something to focus on and a good reason to sit still for a while. * Creating things is a confidence booster. Parents who craft regularly know the feeling of accomplishment when a project is complete. Multiply this feeling by ten, and you have a pretty good idea of how your child feels when he makes something. For kids, crafting can help build positive self-esteem. * Working on a project together is a great way to teach your kids teamwork. This will help them develop skills needed to resolve disputes peacefully and effectively. It will also help them discover their strengths and teach them that doing their best will make the entire project turn out better. * Crafting creates treasured family memories. The finished product will serve as a reminder of the fun you had making it together. Crafting as a family provides opportunities for us to interact with our children. It is also a valuable learning experience for them. Don't worry if you aren't the world's greatest crafter. Simply being willing to try anyway is a lesson to your kids in itself.