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The Toy Your Kids Are Going to Want this Christmas

So, in your interest, to save you some grief, to help you either start thinking about or better yet go ahead and get the gift your child might not even know yet that he or she wants.... Here it is: the toy your 4 -7 year old will be telling Santa about. read more

Backyard Birding: The Cardinal

Here in California the bird I miss seeing more than any other is the Cardinal. Sometimes I think I hear its call, but that's probably just wishful thinking. The Cardinal is one of the easiest backyard birds to feed because it likes to eat on flat surfaces. Just...

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The Platform Feeder

Platform bird feeders, also called table feeders, allow easy access by all birds and the larger the platform, the more birds it is likely to attract. Platform feeders are flat, covered or uncovered surfaces, usually with a rim around the edges. One advantage of this feeder is that birds can easily be photographed without the intrusive sight of the feeder in the picture. Where birds are concerned the ground it nothing more than a very large platform feeder. In fact read more

Hopper Feeders

A hopper feeder is what people usually picture when they think of a bird feeder. Essentially it's a container (the hopper) that spills seed onto a platform so the birds can eat it. Most species that are attracted to platform feeders will also be attracted to hopper feeders, although some birds such as cardinals prefer platform feeders. The biggest advantage to a hopper feeder read more

Ten Ways to Attract Birds to Your Backyard

Shortly after I got married we moved into a house that had a huge homemade rack with a number of bird feeders hanging from it. I thought it was pretty cool being able to watch birds fluttering around while I ate breakfast. After about a week I noticed there weren't very many birds. The feeders were empty. I knew nothing about feeding birds so read more

Scraggly Balding Birds

A month or so ago my sister took this picture. She was wondering if it was a Cardinal and if it was sick. Apparently, it's quite common to see birds like this, especially Cardinals and jays. Most likely they're not sick and it's just temporary. Their feathers will grow back in a few weeks. No one is exactly sure what's going on. Could be read more

Flourless Banana Pancakes

This is one of the easiest recipes I know. It is almost easier to make than toast with butter (maybe even easier than toast without butter). Three ingredients, mix and make. They're okay to eat just as they are, but like a slice of toast they're better with something...

Review: Florida

Florida by Christine Schutt My rating: 5 of 5 stars One of the most interesting, yet one of the most difficult novels I have ever read. Although nominated for the National Book Award, this debut novel does not seem to be highly thought of by the general public. That's...

Peaches & Cream Oatmeal

I love steel cut oatmeal, so I usually double this recipe. Also, I find that works better for me because I've found that one serving of this is a little too much for me, but two servings works well because I divide it into thirds. I also discovered that for me when I...

Crock Pot Curried Rice and Lentils

Not exactly an Indian dish, but it has curry and garlic powders in it, so it tastes Indian enough to fool me. It's also my kind of recipe because it's simple. a little chopping, a little measuring, and everything except the green onions gets tossed into the crock pot....

Falafel Patties

This is an easy way to make these traditional Middle Eastern patties using Garbanzo Bean Flour. Serve inside pitas with tomato, lettuce and tahini sauce. However, I prefer to eat them just the way they are. Ingredients: • 1 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt •...

Review: Small Steps

Small Steps by Louis Sachar My rating: 5 of 5 stars Loved Small Steps by Louis Sachar. Anytime a book leaves me imagining what happened to the protagonist it's a good book. And anytime I finish the book feeling good or pensive or even excited, it's a good book. I...

Favorite Quotations


"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck." ~ Dalai Lama


"If you see a bandwagon, it's too late" ~ James Goldsmith  


"Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs." ~ Farrah Gray  


"Worrying is the same thing as banging your head against the wall. It only feels good when you stop." ~ John Powers  


"There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you." ~ Bruce Lee  

Become Young

"It takes along time to become young." ~ Pablo Picasso  

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