Bits and Pieces


The Nutcracker book sits in my pile of Christmas and seasonal books,

along with Rudolph, The Night Before Christmas and other holiday

books. I include snowmen, gingerbread boy (and man), along with the

little dog Spot, in my menagerie of characters and stories yet to read

as the month progresses. I like for my once a year ‘treat’ for adult

choices, “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry. There are plenty of

pieces of great literature to treasure, while helping to lift your spirits,

calm your soul and fill your mind.


In Columbus, “The Nutcracker” ballet is performed annually. I have

the details for Cleveland’s performances since it is exciting to note

their location:

Playhouse Square is the SECOND largest unified Arts Complex in

the United States! Wow!  My youngest brother took his wife to see

the Russian Ballet company perform, dancing their beautiful and

lively parts of the grand seasonal extravaganza. (Lincoln Arts Center

is the number one arts center in the U.S.)


Have you heard the R & B singer on the winter and holiday Glade

commercial? He turned 25 yesterday. His name is Kevin Ross, who

has been interviewed by several journalists, along with being in the

“Essence” magazine. He was a student and graduate of Berkeley

School of Music, he had a project where he had to perform, which he

chose Stevie Wonder to sing. The performance was outstanding,

he has been listed as a “Motown record artist.”

You may wish to check out other songs by Kevin Ross, but his soulful

voice soars into the upper registers and won my heart in his “My

Wish for You,” which keeps on going if you download it… to sing

the often mentioned but never less meaningful words of,

“Let there be peace on earth.



I love to walk in nature, despite my occasional grousing, to see frozen

waterfalls. There is one quite close to my home, less than a half hour

drive at Hayden Run Falls, off Hayden Run Road in Columbus.

The Hayden Run Falls is a part of Grigg’s Reservoir and Nature


Another close to my ‘neck of the woods’ waterfalls display is at the

Indian Run Falls in Dublin, Ohio. There is a short (3 miles) loop

where you can walk past a waterfall, look over a small ravine and

also, see the Veteran’s Memorial for Dublin veterans. The flags

displayed there are international and I think it is worth the walk.


I dislike repeating myself, but walking in the brisk winter air will not

give you a cold! It is invigorating and if bundled up properly, with a

warm set of layered clothing, scarf and hat on, you will find it rather

fun. It also will be enough exercise to take off a few of those extra

pre-holiday and holiday calories, too!

Here are a few more locations where the waterfalls are fabulous and


Cuyahoga Valley National Park~

Brandywine Falls one of Top Ten in the U.S. visited National Parks.


Old Man’s Cave, where there are Upper Falls and Lower Falls trails.


In Michigan, the falls are abundant. I enjoyed in the U.P. the tannin

(looks like flowing whiskey) colored falls. The tall, tall pine trees lend

their sap to the coloration.

I am sure you know of a few in your area that are simply breath-taking

and would be happy to hear about them!


Two special quotes from the man who paints miracles upon canvas:


“When you live in the light of unfolding miracles,

There is always a future, always a hope.”


“The points in Life

where what has happened

and what you have done


Move you forward

and significantly shape

the person

you are,

Those are your miracles.”

~* Thomas Kinkade *~



About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

25 responses »

  1. How appropriate that you should mention The Nutcracker as a favorite holiday story. One cannot help but think of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite written as a timeless classic and among the most recognizable classical music ever written.

    I discovered the Nutcracker story was originally written as “Nutcracker and Mouse King,” by German writer, E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816. However, the ballet was based on a simplified revision of the story by the famous French writer, Alexander Dumas, in 1844.

    Tchaikovsky was commissioned by choreographer, Marius Petipa, to write the music for the Nutcracker Ballet. Tchaikovsky did not like the story or the music as much as his earlier ballet, Sleeping Beauty, and the first viewers of the ballet did not much like it either. The ballet, which premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892, received negative reviews and the ballet was not a success.

    Enough people liked the music that it got played throughout Russia and Europe following Tchaikovsky’s death in 1893. He was only 53, and he did not live long enough to enjoy the later success of The Nutcracker, which was first performed in the U.S. in 1940. It is now so popular that many cities have multiple performances playing simultaneously during the holidays.

    May visions of sugar plums dance in your grandchildren’s heads. – Mike

    • Mike, I am very thankful for this extraordinary history of the story behind the ballet, “The Nutcracker.” I have been only once to see the performances, which do include a Mouse King. I remember the different dances, with the Russian one being quite dramatic. I love the Sugar Plum Fairy part, too. My children and I shared regular binoculars, up in the nose bleed section. The music was wonderfully projected by the Ohio Theater, which was in the early 90’s. I was impressed with my younger brother buying tickets and taking his wife, since they have grandchildren, they could have gone ‘that route’ but instead went to a nice, classy restaurant and enjoyed the adventure just the two of them. Smiles!
      My grandchildren like the books, which one time I listed all my Christmas books. They like to play with my crèche scene and also, listen to the Bible story rewritten in a beautifully illustrated book. It is a Hallmark book, “The Christmas Story” about the nativity and the Star of Bethlehem…. Blessings to you and Florence, along with your dear family.

  2. I love walking year round but early winter is especially invigorating 🙂 SO glad you mentioned the frozen waterfall near your house – it reminded me to make a trek to one truly spectacular one about an hour’s drive from our house. I don’t believe I have seen it frozen – it must be quite the sight!
    Love the quote 🙂

    • I am very happy that I inspired your upcoming walk to see a frozen waterfall, Yolanda! Let me know how it looks and maybe even write about it. You know it is so beautiful how each one is unique, I also like to see the parts that are not frozen (creeks or streams leading into them and the deeper water with the crystalline ‘crust’ covering it…) I bet you will be so glad to have taken that one hour drive…
      Just be careful, watch your step… the Hayden Run Falls has a wonderful wooden platform which is not very slippery but the one that is in Dublin, Ohio (Indian Run Falls)has a really slippery path!
      Glad you loved Thomas Kinkade’s quote! I do, too.

  3. I love this post, Robin. My brother-in-law more than anything else, loves shooting waterfalls. I need to let him know about yours because he will travel near and far for a photo shoot. And I agree heartily about walking in the winter. Bundle up, bring plenty of Kleenex (that’s me, anyway) and stomp away. Good for fighting off cabin fever and calories. I don’t know the musical artist you mention but will check it out.

    • I love the way you mentioned Kleenex, Barb! This is my Mom’s favorite pocket stuffer, along with plastic bags for her Nicki’s you know what… Whenever I do her wash, inevitably I forget the bags or Kleenex, but the bags you can just hang on door knobs and use for the business needed, while the other is shredded all over and clings to the black and dark fabrics…
      I did smile, though, at the thought about my Mom reminding me to get some tissues before leaving the house in winter. She doesn’t mind trudging through the snow and I like the dramatic words, “stomp away!”
      I hope he has traveled into the areas of Washington or Oregon, where the same kind of tannin colored water looks like brown sugar or frozen molasses. In Clifty Falls, Indiana there are some pretty falls, which I did get to see frozen once. In Kentucky, I saw plenty of waterfalls, but never frozen. I am now making this my priority for traveling, to seek frozen waterfalls.
      Barb, you will like Kevin Ross. Trust me.
      Oh, my friend Bill and I went to see the movie about Stephen Hawkings, “Theory of Everything.” It is really good and if you like to wait until it comes out on video/DVD you will have to keep this in mind after March, I think… It will win possibly four Academy Awards, I predict! Smiles

  4. Enjoy your waterfall walk, Robin. We have one close by here, too, called Chittenango Falls, about 20 miles from Syracuse. But once you get to the point off the main road, it is a twisty path. I haven’t tried to see it in the wintertime. Hmmmmm.

    • You must wear boots with traction, cling to the rocky paths and watch for icy patches, but the perilous route is worth it, once you get to the waterfalls! I am smiling, since the twisty path may be a little bit like the long and winding road… it will lead you back to where you want to be… smiles!

    • So glad you enjoyed the Thomas Kinkade quotes, his paintings always have a source of light, he wrote in a biographical interview, that while growing up, he would look into windows on his walk home from school and would see families and the warm, golden light led him to paint these over and over again, different settings, lighthouse, cottages and homes… You may wish to check out his art, if you have not already… smiles!

  5. Another enjoyable read Robin – ballet, music, books, frozen waterfalls – walks on cold but clear winter days are one of my favourite things to do – the best part being when you come back into the cosy warm house 🙂 I love The Nutcracker – it was the second ballet I ever saw [the first being Giselle, which remains my favourite] and I had my favourite books and music every Christmas when the children were growing up. With no grandchildren the impetus is a little lost now, and it is so lovely to see someone else still doing it. We were just talking about watching movies over the holidays- time to line up all the old favourites!

    • Yes, this is a great idea, line up a few movies. I enjoy the new Hallmark ones, too. My favorites are quite different, so I will just let you go… I am thinking about writing a post about music, since there are so many great songs that people may not have heard or like to be reminded of…I wish I could see “Giselle,” which must be wonderful and beautiful for you to love it, Pauline! I will have to see if the library has it in their non-fiction, possibly ballet performances from Public Broadcasting or BBC,… Thanks for telling me this, my mother and I loved the musical movie, which was not done like a musical, Dustin Hoffman directed “The Quartet.” It has famous American and British older/elderly performers in a “Home for Aged Musicians.” It is one of my Mom’s all time favorite ‘newer’ movies… The credits we had to stop and pause, since they mention which orchestra or band the people within the movie came from. It is also lighthearted, too. Just a suggestion… smiles!

      • Oh no Robin, you go right ahead and suggest away. I am always open to seeing new movies and other folks favourites! I have seen The Quartet and remember enjoying it very much – though I don’t remember much else. Perhaps it needs another look 🙂

  6. I like the quotes.
    There are no waterfalls in my neck of the woods, but I enjoy walking around the old ‘fisherman village’ near where I live in winter, when the ‘cold’ sun is shinning. The air is crisp and invigorating. I like to note the changes in the area like which shops have closed for the winter.

    Your neck of the woods sounds like magic, I think in part because you make it sound so. Thanks for giving us some of your magic! 🙂

    • Timi, this is lovely to say! My face is beaming in the library, they must wonder, if they look at me, “What is that girl taking?” ha ha!
      Your area with an old ‘fisherman village’ sounds lovely, too. Wasn’t there a post a long time ago on your blog where you had a bush with crystals or snow in the picture? Something about perspective… hmmm. If so, let me know… so I won’t wonder if I am going crazy!

      I am grateful for all of our shops staying open, but when I used to visit my Great Aunties, Marie and Dot who lived North in Rockport, Mass., the pretty gift shops along a place called, “Bear Skin Neck” would ‘close up shop.’ I was always glad my Great Uncle’s pharmacy stayed open because my second cousin was a candymaker. Tuck’s Pharmacy wouuld have his ‘goodies’ for sale. Of course, we didn’t have to pay for them! I loved the chocolate covered pecan butter brickle.
      Well, not sure why I got on the subject of food, but hope your local shops have a candy store still open. I think it is special to buy something different for the holidays to have to pass around… Unfortunately, we have to go to Choffey’s coffee shop to get homemade candy, since Nectar’s Candyland closed here in my ‘small town.’ Hugs for the special message for me today! Still beaming… 🙂

      • I’m glad I took you down memory lane! The people at the library should ask for your brand of magic 🙂

        There is a post with a photo of people ice skating . . . you have a good memory, and no, you’re not going crazy.

        Food and Christmas and holiday sort of go hand in hand. There are enough shops open to meet our needs. Hugs!

      • Oh, great! I am sometimes surprised at how I will remember posts on blogs. This is special, since you knew which one I was speaking about… Funny, how we may misplace our keys or cell phone, but not our memories of good writing! Yay for this positive thought!

  7. These falls sound beautiful, Robin. I wish there were some close to us. I do enjoy walking on nature trails at our local park. Speaking of Rudolph…I watched it last night and of course, I cried, as usual. It’s so sad when he’s being teased about his nose and he says, “Stop calling me names”…in his nasal voice. 😦 It’s hard to believe Rudolph is fifty years old this year.

    • I am so glad you mentioned about poor Rudolph’s being teased, which we would say he was being ‘bullied’ these days…
      Jill, I also appreciate your mentioning that this particular special is fifty years old! That means I had nine Christmases without his animated story. Wow!

      This is a special one, along with “Frosty the Snowman,” with Burl Ive’s voice.

      Rudolph certainly was a familiar story but still could not wait to see it each year. I did watch some of this but don’t have DVR, so needed to watch another channel, during commercials… I still enjoy singing the Rudolph song, although my grandkids ‘insert’ the little extra comments, like when it goes, ‘and if you ever saw it, (his nose) you would say it glows,’ they will yell out, “Like a light bulb!” I was fortunate one year, Jill, to find a book with beautiful illustrations that has the whole story written out, it was at the Hallmark store, 75% off! smiles!

      • I never miss an airing of Rudolph. Like you, I deal with the commercials. Last night I was running for Kleenex during the commercials.
        That’s hilarious about your grandkids. I used to sing that version myself.
        Oh, Burl Ives…love him! “Silver and Gold.” 🙂

      • Burl Ives singing “A Holly Jolly Christmas” cannot be beat, either. I like that sweet one, “Silver and Gold,” Jill. Does your hubby tease you as you run to get tissues, Jill? No need to answer… just wondering. My ex used to tease me, if I were watching Hallmark channel or H. Specials then the commercials, like a teacher getting a visit from a past student with a card in hand, or an elderly neighbor or the one with the Dad and daughter….always get teared up over these… smiles!

  8. “The Nutcracker Suite” is one of our favorites. Our eldest daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and grandson each had a role in the ballet that their home school produced. It was fun to see them in it. I’d also love to see a professional version of this. Bet it’s amazing.

    A walk near a waterfall is out of the question now that we live in Florida. But that would have been a great experience when we lived in Central New York. You’re right, Robin. If you bundle up and layer, you can weather the cold. 😉

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