Posts Tagged ‘ants’

Tap-tap-tap! Tap-tap-tap! Sounds from across my house make me stop and listen. “What on earth is making that noise?” I ask my husband. He replies, “It’s a bird pecking at the window.” “Really? I hope he doesn’t hurt himself,” I say as I head off in the direction of the noise. With wings fluttering wildly, a small gray bird hovers around my dining room window, pecks at it several times, and then flies off. I wonder to myself if he can’t see the pane of glass in front of him or if he is cracking seeds on the glass. When he comes back again, I see that he is a tufted titmouse, one of my favorite visitors at my bird feeders. With their large black eyes and Mohawk hairstyle (really their gray crests), tufted titmice are adorable little songbirds to have around. Tap-tap-tap, tap-tap-tap I hear again and pick up my camera. He flies off to a nearby oak tree for a stop and then he’s gone, giving me only enough time to snap one quick photo through the window. Hasty research reveals that my little visitor is probably a macho-type of guy. He may think his reflection in the glass is a “rival” and he attacks it to maintain his status. Great, just what I need, more quirky male behavior around the house!

#1 – Lose an Hour
Don’t forget to “spring ahead” tomorrow before turning in for the night. Daylight savings time starts at 2 a.m. on Sunday, so set your clocks ahead one hour. For more information about DST, go to timeanddate.

#2 – Flax to the Rescue
Did you know that ground flax seeds, which are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, can be used in recipes as a substitute for eggs, butter and oil? Ameriflax offers recipes and provides the following substitutions:

For Fat
– Substitute flax for fat in your recipes, using 3 tbsp ground flax seed for 1 tbsp of margarine, butter or cooking oil. Flax can be substituted for all or some of the fat, depending on the recipe. Note that baking with flax, as fat substitute will cause baked goods to brown more quickly.

For Eggs
– Substitute a ground flax seed/water mixture for eggs in recipes such as pancakes, muffins and cookies. Use 1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp water – left sitting for several minutes – for each egg. Note that this will result in a chewier version of the recipe, with less volume.

#3 – Got Ants?
While writing Tuesday’s post on Nonna’s Breakfast and Dessert Farina Cake, I came across an interesting fact about farina. If you have ants outside or inside your home, place some farina or Cream of Wheat where you see them. After the ants ingest it, it expands and kills them. Read “How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally” for more safe and effective ways to deter ants.

#4 – Color Inspiration
Whether you’re working on a small scale decorating or DIY project or on a large scale project like redecorating your home, you might want to look to the masters of painting for color inspiration. COLOURlovers took well-known pieces of art and made corresponding color palettes from them. For example, if you are inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, you might want to check out his color palette and use it on your next project.

#5 – Quote for Politicians
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”
-George Bernard Shaw

Enjoy your weekend!

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The saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” is one we’ve heard many times before, but do we actually do it? Most of us get stuck on autopilot day after day and do not take time to appreciate the beauty in things around us. Sometime back I took such a moment to capture this daylily at it’s prime. It was delicate in appearance, yet strong in stature, and I marveled at how the sun’s spotlight gave it an ethereal glow. In the back of my mind there was sad acknowledgment that even the most magnificent of daylilies lasts only one day, but my consolation was that I was a witness to its glory.

#1 – Speaking of Roses
In a tattered and yellowed newspaper article that I’ve kept in my rose journal for years, Don and Mary Marshall, members of a rose society said, “Early spring, just after pruning, is the time to scatter a tablespoon or two of Epsom salts around the dripline of the plant. Several generous handfuls of alfalfa meal may also be added at this time, lightly scratched into the soil and watered in.” I’ve added these supplements to my roses in the past and have been happily rewarded with healthy plants and luscious blooms.

#2 – Gives Me Hope
At GivesMeHope: Life Is Beautiful Today! read entries posted by people regarding things in life that give them hope. With all the negative news in the world, it was refreshing to read some of the uplifting entries.

Here’s an example:
I work with kindergarten children, and when a little girl wet her pants, we decided to give her dress up clothes to wear.

She was very upset and embarrassed so a little boy in the class put on a cinderella dress and held her hand the rest of the day, saying “look – everyone’s laughing at ME!”

His kindness gmh (gives me hope).

#3 – A Kitchen Tip
If you are making a recipe that requires Italian Seasoning and you don’t have any on hand, just make your own by mixing together 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. marjoram, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. rosemary, and 1 tsp. sage. Store any unused spice in an airtight container.

#4 – Got Ants?
Many years ago one of my friends called out a pest control company to help her get rid of ants. The exterminator told her to use Terro. She passed this advice on to me and I’ve found it to be a very effective product. Don’t buy the Terro Ant Baits. Buy the Terro bottle in the box that has the cardboard circles that you tear off. Squeeze out enough Terro to fill the circle and place the cardboard circle near where the ants are entering. Obviously, do not put Terro in areas where children or pets can reach it. Ants will come and swarm the glob of Terro and take it back to the nest. Patience and restraint are virtues here; it takes time for the ants to discover the Terro circle and it’s not a good thing to kill the ants you see crawling around, because they have to be alive to take the poison back to the nest!

#5 – Quote For The Day
Nothing is worth more than this day.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Stop and enjoy something beautiful this weekend!

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