Posts Tagged ‘birds’

It was raining cats and dogs when I spotted a pretty bird perched on a tree in my yard. While other birds ate ravenously in the pelting rain, this Spotted Towhee was resting and taking in the sights. Here’s a lesson for us all – even in undesirable conditions, it’s always good to sit, regroup, and regain perspective.

#1 – What Time Is It?
Whether for business, travel, or staying in touch with friends and family, we all occasionally need to know what time it is in other parts of the world. With its easy slider bars, Every Time Zone makes it convenient to check the time in major cities worldwide. You will want to bookmark this site for future use!

#2 – What Happened Back Then?
Do you ever wonder what the world was like the year you or your parents were born? At What Happened In My Birth Year, all you have to do is type in the year you want to learn about and you’ll find out fascinating facts, such as popular songs and books, which movies were hits, who the movers and shakers were in the world, and so much more!

#3 – Amazing Goldfish
Artist Riusuke Fukahori takes painting to a new dimension. Carefully layering paint and resin, he creates incredibly realistic 3-D goldfish. Watch the brief video of his painstaking process. It’s amazing!

#4 – Healthy Recipe
This month’s Nutrition Action Health Letter offers a delicious recipe for Roasted Asparagus that is very similar to one that I’ve prepared for years:

Toss 1 pound of asparagus with 1 tsp. of canola oil. Roast in a 400 degree F oven until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with with 1 tsp. of toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp. of soy sauce, and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, Serve hot or cold.

#5 – Design Your Life
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” ~Jim Rohn

Have a wonderful weekend!

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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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Chirping up a storm, the birds in my backyard are letting me know that their feeders are empty. I look out the window to the feeding station and see that the sunflower seeds have disappeared and all but one-inch of Nyjer seed remains in another feeder. It’s a quite a job to stay on top of filling three feeders, a suet cage, and a hummingbird feeder every couple of days. Not to mention, hauling and storing the bird seed, cleaning and filling a bird bath and making sure my husband puts only bird-safe algaecide in our fountain. It’s a lot of work, but the sweet songs of thanks I hear every time I step outside remind me of why I do it!

#1 – Repurposing Phone Booths
The other day, my husband and I were talking about things that are becoming obsolete and one of the items brought up for discussion were phone booths. Shortly after that discussion, I read about John Locke, a Columbia architecture graduate who wants to convert New York’s pay phones into sharing libraries. To date, he’s placed bookshelves and books in two phone booths with mixed results. Read about his interesting project and see additional photos here.

#2 – Got Lemons?
Wanting to save the remaining Meyer lemons in my yard from being half-eaten and left to rot by pesky squirrels, I decided to look for yet another way to save them for future use. In the past, my husband has made limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur, but unfortunately, there’s only so much limoncello we can drink! I’ve also tried juicing the lemons and freezing the juice, but it’s such a waste of flavorful rind. This year I’m preserving the lemons in a more traditional way – in jars with salt and lemon juice. Read the New York Times article on “Preserving Lemons the Traditional Way” if you’ve got lemons and want to learn the technique.

#3 – Paris vs. New York
The introduction reads “Macaroon vs. cupcake, Proust vs. Salinger, bobo vs. hipster, bordeaux vs. cosmo.” These are some of the comparisons that graphic designer Vahram Muratyan illustrated with his minimalist-style portraits and they are included in his book Paris versus New York: a Tally of Two Cities.

#4 – An Arm and a Leg
A recent email from my fitness club contained a link to the Limbs for Life Foundation. After checking out the site, I became more grateful for my healthy limbs and more aware of the difficulties amputees face. Depending on the specific type, a prosthetic limb can cost anywhere from $6000 to $65,000 and possibly even more. Due to wear and tear of the prosthetic or growth of the wearer, prostheses have to be continually replaced. Most insurance companies pay a very small fraction of the cost and usually on a once per person per lifetime basis. Many leg amputees, who cannot afford to pay their share, become wheelchair-bound. If you want to learn more about Limbs for Life click on the link above or watch the video below:

#5 – Going Somewhere?
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you are not going to stay where you are.”
— John Pierpoint

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

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