Monday, November 28, 2005

Isabelle's first hand-made ornament

Isabelle has made her first Christmas ornament. She made it at school's a star made out of popsicle sticks with glitter glued onto it. She hung it on the tree and she is so proud. What makes my breath catch is that 30 years from now, she will take it out of her box of ornaments, in her own house, with her own children and husband, and sigh and say, " mom saved this for me." At least, I HOPE she says that. I look at my ornaments and they really take me back.
Thank you, Mom, for taking care of my little masterpieces so that now I can look at them and say, "Wow, my mom saved this for me."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

O Tannenbaum....(You pain in the ass)

A Christmas tree sure looks nice when it's up and lit and all that, but let me just tell you of my tree woes...
Geoff and I bought a fake tree the first year we were married, and it was okay for the first few years, but it is starting to show that you get what you pay for.
As we were preparing to put it up this year, we realized that we couldn't find the tree stand. This is weird, because the only thing I am anal about is my Christmas stuff.
So, Geoff went out and bought a very nice tree stand. It only had 2 screws, instead of the usual 4. But we tried it anyway. I put on the lights (I hate doing that) and all the ornaments. Well, it fell over....and over again....and over again.
So....we said we would take it back later and we went and bought another kind of stand. Well....that one is for LIVE trees and after putting our tree in this new tree stand, the tree fell over. After spending the day helping my mom put up HER tree, and seeing OUR tree laying on the floor with the ornaments all over the place, I said THAT'S IT and went out and bought a PRE-LIT, fake tree with it's OWN tree stand that is very stable and it's now up and I am Christmased out already.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Advertising my interests

(Juvenile Cooper's Hawk)

I have two new bumper stickers, and they are being noticed.
One says "For The Birds" and the other one says "I brake for Charismatic Megafauna".
I can read people's lips as they read the second one....and then they turn to the people in their car and say "What the heck is charismatic megafauna?".
(It means big cute animals.)
I had someone honk at me the other day, and I looked around and saw a middle-aged couple waving and smiling at me. I smiled back, a little cautiously, and as the light turned green, I realized that they must be birders. (They had that look about them)
Now I wish I had looked more friendly.

Also, some of my "winter" birds are back...I saw 14 dark-eyed juncos yesterday. Hooray!

Jeez...we're full! Let's watch Oobi!
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A full (of fun) Thanksgiving

We had alot of fun this Thanksgiving. Geoff, me and the girls went to Jim and Rita's on Thursday. We have a new cousin, Logan, who is just adorable and fun to hold...he's about 4 months old now and cute as a button.
The girls weren't too interested in turkey and stuffing, but they really got into the pumpkin pie and the birthday cake for Jim.
Mom spent the day at Uncle Gerry's (Dad's brother) and his family. We've got dibs on her for next year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Project FeederWatch begins!

For the second year, I am involved with Project FeederWatch, run by Cornell University Department of Ornithology. Here's what you do:
1. Sign up for Project FeederWatch in the spring or summer. (The program runs from November to March)
2. Count the birds at your feeders for 2 consecutive days a week, between15 minutes to 8 hours a day.
3. Report your findings to Cornell, either by paper forms or online data entry.
The university then takes the data from the counters and uses it to track trends, abundance or absence of all the different types of birds that visit feeders. They have been doing this for many years, and it has really helped them in seeing a broader picture of where the birds are (or aren't).
This is the link to the FeederWatch home page.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Quote of the day

Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children. - Kenyan Proverb

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Some neat news about Heather

Heather, my niece, has been offered a Dean's Scholarship to Mount St. Joe's! She is still waiting to hear from UC. She has worked so hard with her grades..she deserves this. I am so proud of her, I could explode into a million shiny little pieces!

Book list for today

Here's some books I have read recently (or not so recently) that I highly recommend to anyone:
Spook by Mary Roach: How science is trying to investigate the afterlife.
Stiff by Mary Roach: The curious "life" of cadavers...very interesting, never irreverent.
Suburban Safari by Hannah Holmes: The author spends a year in her yard, meeting all of the critters she shares the land with...(I have read this countless times and it's still hilarious).
Attracting Butterflies, Birds and other Wildlife by David Mizejewski, the guy from Backyard Habitat on Animal Planet: Isabelle found this for me at the library because it has a picture of a bluebird on the cover, and this is the book that started me on the wildlife habitat path.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: He usually does travel stories (which are shoot-milk-out-of-your-nose funny) but this is a book about how the universe,
planet, animals and humans got here. In fact, I recommend ANYTHING by Bill Bryson.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I just read all these again, and now that I am an adult, knowing that these stories are Christian allegories, I got alot more out of them. (And I wanted to brush up for the upcoming movie.)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. What can I say about Harry Potter that hasn't already been said?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My big rant for today (composing a post about compost)

While I was driving back from dropping off the girls at school, (and putting more money in Starbucks coffers) I saw something that just made me crazy. You know those brown bags you can buy at Lowe's and Home Depot, etc, to put yard waste in? This house I passed had 8 of these bags waiting at the curb for the garbage truck. Let me say this now: Kitchen and yard waste account for 30 % of landfills! Do what I did...start a compost pile. You don't need to buy a bin or any special tools. Just start with a pile of leaves and green grass from your yard, wet it down, (to the wetness of a wrung-out sponge) and leave it alone. Here's a link to a good composting site.
Take a look at your yard. Is there a forgotten, or hard-to-see corner? Put your compost pile there. I started composting maybe a month ago, and thanks to the warm weather we have been having, I already have some compost. It improves your lawn soil (and we all need that, since housing developers usually scrap off the good topsoil and leave you with crappy subsoil), it reduces landfills (let's get serious, people. Where is all the trash going to go when we run out of room?) and it does what nature intended yard waste to do...feed the trees and shrubs and flowers. You will also save money on putting nourishment back into the soil, for FREE. As you can see, this is an issue near and dear to me. Think about what you are doing to the planet, one yard at a time. BTW, I just got my sign from the National Wildlife Federation certifying our property as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Check out the link to the left for more info on certifying YOUR yard!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Zoned out in front of the TV
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Lorelei REALLY gets into her food
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Grandma and Lorelei (with a little left over icing)
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FEED THE BIRDS (Tuppence a bag)

Fall has fallen and it's time to feed your feathered friends. If you already do, now's a good time to clean (yes, CLEAN) your bird feeders and change your seed choices. Suet, sunflower and peanut butter are all high in fat and oil and that's what the birds want right now.
If you have never fed the birds, why not try it now? It's easy and low maintenance. Birds are just about the easiest critters to attract to your yard (or balcony or whatever). You don't need a lot of land or time to enjoy the little cuties. A hopper feeder is a good one to start with. It's got perches all around it and lots of different sizes of birds can use it. A suet feeder is a big favorite with the woodpeckers, chickadees and titmice. Don't want to buy a feeder? Old bread smeared with peanut butter and hung by a twistie-tie will do nicely. So will Cheerios, cranberries, raisins, peanuts in the shell, and popcorn strung on a string.
And now to my soap box: We, as humans, take and take from nature, whether it be cutting down trees, planting grass farms, using pesticides or millions of other things. Helping out your local wildlife is a positive, morally obligatory act and the birds (and other critters ) will thank you by visiting your yard and bringing a smile to your face.
WARNING: Once you start feeding the birds, you may find yourself (like I did) completely enraptured with them and will fill up your yard with every kind of feeder you can get your hands on! And guess what? That's a GOOD THING!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Let your voice be heard!

I have added a poll to the right side of the sure to check it out often, since I will periodically be changing it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Isabelle's fourth birthday

Well, all the hoopla is over...we celebrated Isabelle's birthday Sunday, and we had some big fun!
Lots of food, lots of people, lots of presents...
Thanks everyone who came to party with us!

I'M FOUR ! ! !
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