0 comments on “The Music Along Apple Creek”

The Music Along Apple Creek

2016-05-02 08.00.29

Getting out the door in the early morning is always hard for me, as it is for many other  people. But one of the most tranquil parts of my early morning routine is listening to the music along Apple Creek.

Our relocation to Appleton constituted a move to the very north side, just steps away from the walking/biking path along Apple Creek. I happily start my day, (only on the days above freezing) walking my dog along Apple Creek. Unfortunately, since I’m not the earliest riser, we only get about a mile of walking done. But that mile is filled with music and tranquility. I love the quiet calm of the running water and the sounds of the animals and birds  that  make the creek their habitat. When I first started walking along Apple Creek the only birds were the ducks and geese. In the past few weeks I have enjoyed sighting an egret as well as different songbirds, kildeer, and sand hill cranes. I think I may have even seen a fox one morning in the tall weeds. The past few days have brought out the baby ducklings swimming alongside Ma and Pa duck and the new sand hill crane chicks. I notice  well behaved  babies  following alongside their parents. If only our children would stay that close!

The music along Apple Creek changes in the evening. I don’t usually have the path to myself; instead sharing it with other walkers and their dogs, bikers, and athletic runners and skaters on rollerblades. I still hear the kildeer, ducks, and songbirds, but they are joined by frogs and the sound of children  playing along the creek; shouting with glee at their discoveries. It brings me back to my childhood and the hours  my brother and I spent with our friends catching crawdads and wading in the creek. Also in the evenings, when I have more time, I occasionally stop to peer over the bridge in search of the minnows and larger fish.

As the seasons change and the day wears on the music changes along Apple Creek. I appreciate the effort that went into building this great path along with the glimpses into nature it provides for the Fox Valley community.

Where is your favorite walking path in the Appleton and Fox Cities area?


0 comments on “Is a Smart Toilet Worth the $$$$”

Is a Smart Toilet Worth the $$$$

Would you spend the money to transform your “throne” into a spa or in other words, is a “Smart Toilet” worth the $$$$ in your new bathroom?


The movement to be clean and green has taken over the world. We consume “green health drinks”, recycle, eat organically grown food, and build Focus on Energy Green Homes with smart technology that utilize less energy. But is a “Smart Toilet” seriously worth the extra money?

First of all, there are many different levels of smart toilets. You can pick and chose the features on which to spend your hard earned money.Some models only cost a few hundred dollars while others may put you back several thousand dollars. Several manufactures such as Kohler with their Numi Toilet, America Standard with the Spalet and DXV , and Toto have similar features.  Both companies as well as other manufacturers include the following in their high end toilets:

  • wave or sensor flush
  • the option of a battery powered or electric wired system
  • flush technology ( sensors to determine how much water and power needed to flush)
  • Automatic seats- great for those that forget to put it down
  • Automatic slowly rising and closing lids
  • LED lighted bowls and base lights
  • self cleaning
  • massaging bidets
  • cleaning and with adjustable water and pressure temperatures
  • self- cleaning
  • foot warmers and heated seats
  • remote controls
  • Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities- so you can listen to tunes while you go

If these features aren’t enough, the  Numi  by Kohler also comes with a touch screen allowing you to customize the settings for up to 6 people and a magnetic docking station to store and recharge the remote. Each user can control everything from their music, choice of water temperature and pressure, to front or rear washing, dryer temperature, and brightness of the light. But, what happens if the power goes out, the batteries die, or you have a guest? Not to worry, the manufacturers have made auxiliary controls that allow the user to control the basic functions without a remote. Also, the battery operated models come with an alarm alerting the user to change the batteries.

You ask, besides changing the ritual of using the bathroom into a luxurious spa – like experience, what is the advantage to these high end expensive toilets. Each of these toilets use considerably less water than the old manual flush toilets. Compared with the older toilets which can use 3, 5, or 7 gallons of water with each new flush the eco friendly designs use .8 gallons for liquid waste and 1.6 for solid waste. These eco- friendly toilets may save you up to $100 per year of water. Not to mention the savings of cleaning solutions, toilet paper, and your precious time spent cleaning. The question is though;how much does your spa toilet cost you in either batteries or electrical power?

No longer do we need to call, “Calgon to take me away,” we can truly sit on our “throne” for a spa experience.