A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister sites Kings River Lite and KRL News & Reviews for bonus articles.


Maria Ruiz

Catnip Catastrophe

IN THE June 11 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz




Standing in the backyard, holding the hose at 3 a.m., aiming for the targets, I thought back to how it had happened.
I had a lovely vegetable garden in San Diego. I hauled out rocks, built raised beds, applied lots of manure and compost, love, and time. Finally I had a fertile garden. My family ate the freshest, and pesticide-free tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers, chard, and asparagus.

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A Zanzibar Travel Adventure

IN THE May 28 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



The train from Zambia back to Dar es Salaam passed through another animal reserve. We watched giraffes race along on one side of the car, and on the other, a herd of antelope. The car we were in was filled with tourists, and all of us were crowded at the windows, trying to film the galloping animals. The work strike between the train and the dining room personnel had not yet been settled, but this time we brought enough food to see us through.

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The Top of the World Travel Adventure

IN THE April 9 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



We were in Darjeeling, India for the week between Christmas and New Years day. High up in the mountains where the British used to go to escape the heat in the summer, it was now freezing. The fog was thick and the sun hadn’t peeked through the clouds for a whole week.

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Tazara Express

IN THE March 5 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“What do you mean? We have to go home.” I thought I had misunderstood the man behind the desk and the custom office.
We had popped over to Tanzania for the weekend, expecting to return to our apartment in Nairobi on Monday. Now the officials at the border were telling us that we would either have to return home, go to Somalia, or to Zambia before we could return for another six months. The first two choices were out, so we thought, ‘Why not?’ Zambia and the Victoria Falls it is.

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I Broke my Leg in the Jungle

IN THE February 20 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“I broke my leg,” my husband, Ted said as he crawled up the step in the motor home.
“Oh no! How do you know?” I said.
“I heard it snap as I landed on it. I had just stepped into the jungle when my foot slipped out,” he replied.

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Africa and the ATM

IN THE January 9 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Your transaction cannot be completed.” The ATM machine refused to spit out any money. “Why?” I whined to the clerk at the store.
“You need a local account,” she responded.

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New Years 2002 Sicily

IN THE December 26 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Another holiday season, and the shops were full of gifts and magnificent candies or cookies. We were driving in southern Italy and crossed to Sicily on a ferry, two days before Christmas.

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Season Memories

IN THE December 19 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



The holiday season starts early for children; Halloween is the unofficial start for a three-year-old. Accompanying their moms, they notice Christmas lights on a tree at the local department store. There are packages—boxes trimmed in gold—and twinkling lights around the doors and windows. Moms may say, “Christmas is still two months away,” but the Santa on his sleigh in the store window calls, “Christmas is coming.”

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Small World: Italian Travel Adventure

IN THE November 7 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



My husband and I were visiting Venice, Italy with our little dog, Sherman, and a friend from the USA, Joyce. Hunger drove us to explore some side streets in search of a light lunch which wouldn’t require a bank loan to pay.

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by Maria Ruiz



I was on a trip with an older friend. We had ridden the train from the Pacific Coast up the Copper Canyon and from there, flown to Mexico City. The weather was warm without being too hot to enjoy walking around in the afternoon.

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The Italian Accident

IN THE September 19 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Bang! Crunch! “What did we hit?” my husband yelled as he brought the motor home to a stop.
“It’s a kid!” I yelled back. Looking out the passenger window, I saw a pair of little legs and a bicycle wheel sticking out from under the side.

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The Bus From Hell

IN THE August 15 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Hey! We can take a bus from here to Flores to see the Komodo Dragons!” I yelled as I passed a shop with a sign in the window. We were in Lombok, an island in Indonesia next to Bali. We’d planned on visiting the Island of Flores where tours to see the giant lizards started.

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The One-Gallon Shower

IN THE July 18 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Would you like hot water for your shower?” asked the man behind the desk.
I was registering for a hotel room in Calcutta and was surprised. No one had ever asked that before at a hotel. Especially as this was a well-known old hotel with a history as long as Britain had been in India.

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Mekong River: Another Travel Adventure

IN THE June 6 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
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by Maria Ruiz



Asia. The land of pagodas, jade Buddhas, and stir fried foods. What we knew about Asia we could put in a pot sticker at the local Chinese restaurant. We had done Central America and Europe and it was time to move on. Going east seemed the logical next place.

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