Amanda ~ Behind the Zoom

Adventures & Images from Amanda, the one "Behind the Zoom"

Friday, April 28, 2017

What is everyone reading in 2017?

I love a good book and am always picking up one here and there.  This year I am going to list and somewhat rate what I have read for others like me always looking for a new book ~
Using a simple rating system - Read is lowest, If You Come Across it Read it next level and Buy it Read it and Share it highest level.
If you have come across one that you think is a Buy it Read it and Share it please share with us in the comments!


Buy it Read it and Share it


   recommeded by  Nomadic Matt book club                                  recommended by Cierra





If You Come Across it Read it






Read 

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Prescription Snorkel Mask a glasses wearer must have!

Alot of people may not know - I wear prescription glasses in fact, my sunglasses that I usually always have on are prescription with built in bifocals.  It's not that I can't see, things just aren't really clear and I will end up with a migraine.  
I have noticed over time that while snorkeling I don't see the seahorses very well or the bottom very clear.  I am very blessed to go to some great beaches that have amazing snorkeling so it was time to see about a prescription lens mask.  My mom has had one for years and always spoke highly of it.
Before Christmas I checked with our local dive shop.  The mask, prescription lens and snorkel priced out to around $300.00.  For me that was "Ouch"  I do quite a bit of snorkeling but felt that was a little too much for me.  Remember I live in Arizona and snorkeling is as many times as possible a year but still "Ouch".   
We started planning for our February trip, a beach trip of course, and I was pining over the prescription mask.   Our daughter was home from school hearing me go on about whether I should go order the mask or not.  She googled on her phone and found Promate prescription mask sold by Getwetstore on Amazon.  I read review after review checked different sites and finally decided I couldn't pass up this price.  I was going to give them a try.  Ordered online, emailed my prescription with order no (no bifocals, but I was ok with that since I am not diving and don't need to read gauges or anything).  Day later I received an email confirming they received my prescription.  Couple of days later I picked up my box at the mailbox.  Super quick shipping.  As it was that day I picked up the mail on my way into town.  I was so excited to see the mask that I opened it in a parking lot before an appointment.
Oh yes I did, sitting in a busy parking lot in Arizona I tried on my snorkel mask!  I could see crystal clear and it fit snug to my face.  I was thrilled.  I chuckled to myself as I thought I could drive home with this on and see perfectly.  
Next up was our February trip we decide it would be the island of Curacao.  (That will be another post as that turned out to be an incredibly beautiful, friendly perfect vacation island)!
Time to give this new mask the real test.  
          Do you see the little guy just above and to the left of the coral?  I did I saw him right away crystal clear through my new mask!  Everything was clear and no water leaks.  I couldn't believe how great the prescription mask and snorkel was.


 Notice no fogging and no water inside.  I did the toothpaste rub 4-5 times at home before we left but that was it.  I didn't have any extra spray or such.
Final decision on this mask BUY IT!!  In fact I even am thinking I will give up carry on space from my bose headphones for this new mask!!  (I only travel with a carry on so my packing space is a give and take situation, I loved this so much I may be willing to leave the bose home a couple of times and go back to my other go to earphones).
Promate and Getwetstore hasn't sponsored this post nor did I receive any compensation for it.  In fact I am pretty sure other than my order they don't know I exist but I can say I do love this prescription mask and the quick delivery was great!

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

2016 Niagara Falls

Everyone knows someone that has said come and visit!  Well we are lucky to have great friends who said come and visit and offered a room in their home as well as a car they had for us to drive.  We just needed to make our way to Buffalo NY.  Can't hardly pass that up for very long so off we went on a side trip to visit Ivy and Lloyd in Buffalo as well as see Niagara Falls!
Changed our tickets packed up and flew from St. Thomas to Miami to Charlotte to Buffalo.  Ivy and Lloyd live literally minutes from the Buffalo airport and were so kind to come over and pick us up. They were working some the next day so we headed out to see Niagara Falls and we decided to drive over into Canada for the fun of it.
*worth mentioning here don't drive friends car out of the country without a signed note from friend*
Leaving US fine, coming back a little difficult, whose car, where is she why does it have Tennessee plates, what's in the trunk (not sure as never looked, pls Ivy don't have anything bad in your trunk), put your phone down, turn car off and give me the keys...it's a push button car doesn't need a key but ok.  After a few more checks and questions we can come back into US YAY!!
If you get a chance the view from the Canada side is extremely beautiful and really opens up the whole falls try to get over there too ~ but make sure you have your passport and car title/owner info!

Niagara Falls is a sight to see!  
Incredible amount of water over the falls and beautiful views.  Really not expensive to visit and you can add extra excursions as you want.  We did the Maid of the Mist boat tour and highly recommend.
We parked in the main parking area for the US side Niagara Falls park Prospect Point and walked right down to the side of the falls.  Parking was $10.00 for the day.
The "we were here selfie"
As you walk down the walkway it opens up right to the top of the falls
We took it all in wandering down the pathway face timing family to share the experience and then headed down to catch the Maid of the Mist boat tour.
Truly an experience right there at water level it is incredible, the sound, the mist Wow!!
The view fron the Canada side is spectacular ~
video
If you get the chance make the trip!     

 Our friends have a boat on the river above the falls and when they got off work we headed out to the marina to have a sunset ride.  Leave it to Ivy to have the champagne and snacks ready to go.  What an amazing evening floating along with the mist of Niagara Falls in the distance, water a little cold for my taste but Lloyd jumped right in.
A view not everyone gets to see, the mist off the top of the Niagara Falls, this river feeds into the falls, the buoys show where you can't go past with boat.

We ended the night with late dinner in downtown Buffalo.  If we get back I want to check out downtown more ~ food, waterfront, seems there is a little bit of everything.  


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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reduce Reuse Recycle ~ Swingset to Chicken coop~

Our daughter is a Junior at college this year and we still had her swingset in the back yard.  Parts of it were weathered and unuseable but the frame was solid.  While raking around it one day I realized it was time to either let it go or do something with it. That's when the swingset to chicken coop idea came to be ~ 

Surfing the web and pinterest I see that others had done it and it didn't seem that difficult.  Our whole 4 acres is fenced and we have dogs loose, making our chicken predators limited to hawks and owls.  We would stake it down but the fact that we could possibly move it around was going to be great!


We stripped it down added chicken wire length wise along 2/3 of swingset.   The wire is attached to each other with O rings and the pliers tool made it super easy.  silimiilar hog ring pliers The ends are wraped around the swingset frame.  The tin is attached to the frame legs

The bottom needed reinforced along the long areas, we used metal strips inside to attach the fencing to the tin.

Our swingset was extra long, the last part we decided would be enclosed.  We also wanted to leave the small cross bars for support and roosts.

The door frame was made out of extra swing set pieces and a piece of metal we had attached with hinges, don't forget the top trim to stop rain from getting in.

My husband and I can carry this around, heavy but doable, we get inside and walk it.  Later could add wheels if we wanted easier mobility.
We hung the feeder and water with chains it really helps cut down on the ants.  
After a few days we realized the crossbars were skinny and slippery so we cut tubing and placed on them with zip ties now it is much wider and they can grip on to it.
Eventually when the rooster moves out we will put a shelf in the enclosed area with nesting boxes.
It took us 2 weekends because here in AZ in the summertime it gets really hot and we only worked on it am and pm for hr or so.  A lot of what we used my husband had sitting around his shop.  Only  purchased the chicken wire, the o rings and tool to apply them, the metal trim inside on bottom to reinforce the chicken wire at bottom, trim at top for rain on enclosed area and the feeders.
 It is staked down at all 4 corners, could bury it all around if needed but we just don't have that kind of predators to deal with.  Any questions feel free to ask!!

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