Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

meal ideas ~ cinco de mayo pot-luck ideas

Cinco de Mayo is coming in the next week, before my next Meal Ideas posting, so, I thought I would give you a couple of ideas for those home or office pot-luck parties you have planned. Whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican recipes or Tex-Mex food, these easy casseroles are sure to impress with their slight twist away from traditional chicken.

Seafood Enchiladas
Want this year to be different! This gorgeous dish combines the Mexican flavors you love with the convenience of a casserole. This is a stuffed tortilla with a mixture of fish, shrimp, peppers, and creamy sauce for a low-carb seafood dinner that feeds eight.

 1 1/4 pounds fresh or frozen medium shrimp
 8 ounces fresh halibut, cod, tilapia, or sea bass
 5 cups water
 2 teaspoons canola oil
 3/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper (1 medium)
 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 8 low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas
 1 8 - ounce carton light sour cream
 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 3/4 cup fat-free milk
 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 2 fresh poblano chile peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened

 Thaw shrimp and halibut, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse shrimp and halibut; pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. In a large saucepan bring the water to boiling. Add shrimp; cook 1 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, stirring occasionally. Rinse with cold water; drain and chop. Set aside.

 Measure thickness of fish. Place a steamer insert in a large skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to the skillet to just below the steamer insert. Bring water in skillet to boiling. Place fish in the steamer insert. Cover and steam over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, adding more water as needed to maintain steam. Flake fish into bite-size pieces; set aside.

 In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add sweet pepper, chile peppers, and onion; cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in shrimp and halibut.

 Meanwhile, stack tortillas; wrap tightly in foil. Bake about 10 minutes or until heated through. For sauce, in a medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in sour cream, flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Gradually beat in milk until smooth.

 Add 1/2 cup of the sauce to the shrimp mixture, stirring until well mixed. Divide shrimp mixture among tortillas, spooning the shrimp mixture near one side of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas. Place filled tortillas, seam sides down, in prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over tortillas.

 Bake, covered, about 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with green onions before serving. Can be made ahead and reheated.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 283 cal., 11 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 139 mg chol., 540 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (9 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 24 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges  Fat (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 3; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1

Green Chile Pork Tortilla Casserole
For a one-dish Mexican recipe, layer tortillas, pork, and salsa into a cheesy casserole the whole family and friends will love.

 Nonstick cooking spray
 1 pound tomatillos, outer husks removed, rinsed
 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
 1 fresh poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
 1 teaspoon sugar
 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 12 6 - inches corn tortillas, halved
 3 cups shredded cooked pork 
 1 3/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style four cheese blend
 1 16 - ounce jar salsa**
 Chopped tomato, chopped onion, sliced fresh jalapeno chile peppers, sliced green onion, and/or snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

 Preheat broiler. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Place tomatillos in the baking pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened and charred, turning occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.

 In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and poblano chile pepper; cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and onion starts to brown.

 In a blender or food processor combine tomatillos, onion mixture, the 1/4 cup cilantro, the sugar, cumin, and salt. Cover and blend or process until smooth, stopping and scraping down sides as necessary.

 Spread 3/4 cup of the tomatillo mixture in the prepared baking dish. Arrange six of the tortilla halves over the tomatillo mixture, overlapping slightly. Top with 1 cup of the pork, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and half of the salsa, spreading evenly. Add six more tortilla halves and top with 1 cup pork, 1/2 cup cheese, and half of the remaining tomatillo mixture, spreading evenly. Add six more tortilla halves, the remaining 1 cup pork, and the remaining tomatillo mixture. Top with the remaining six tortilla halves and the remaining salsa, spreading to cover completely.

 Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Cover and chill the remaining 3/4 cup cheese until needed.

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap. Cover dish with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with chopped tomato, chopped onion, sliced jalapeno, sliced green onions, and/or snipped fresh cilantro.

** Tip: Salsas vary greatly in sodium content. Read nutrition labels and choose the salsa with the lowest amount of sodium.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 224 cal., 8 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 53 mg chol., 538 mg sodium, 16 g carb. (2 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 22 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0; Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 2.5; Starch (d.e): 0.5; Vegetables (d.e): 2

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
This simple Mexican bean and corn recipe requires only a bit of chopping and mixing.
 
 1 15 - ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
 1 large tomato, chopped
 1/2 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
 2 green onions, thinly sliced
 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
 2 tablespoons lime juice
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

 In a bowl, toss together all ingredients. Makes about 4 cups, 16 (1/4-cup) servings.

need some real heat? add some habaneros, what the heck!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 32 cal., 105 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (2 g fiber), 2 g pro.
Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 0.5

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

healthy living ~Homemade Dry Skin Lotion Bar

One of the nurses I work with has horrible dry, cracked, and scaly skin on her hands and arms from over washing and the use of chemicals. She has been using over the counter lotions and other products only to find they have made matters worse. Well, of course when I found out and saw her hands it brought back memories of my ER days and my hands getting so bad at times they bled. I explained that I felt OTC lotions and such only aggravated these situations and offered to look into a simple “homemade, homeopathic” solution. She said if I would make it she would try it, her skin hurting and itching so bad she was at her wits end. She did mention that she hated using lotions at work, too messy and reminded me she would still need to put gloves on so it couldn't be too sticky- I had to work around all that.... so okay, get out the pots, and stuff and see what I could come up with. After researching Lotion Bars, I found many recipes and ideas, this is not a new concept, but I needed to keep Vanda's needs in mind.

I had to be careful with what I used, treat her skin as if it was a newborn baby. As well, see if I could come up with something that not only kept moisture in her skin but was a barrier to keep chemicals from the environment and work off her skin. After trying various recipes I found what I hoped to be Vanda’s relief. Next, I needed to try and make it solid, such as a soap bar- several more attempts, and whalla- I made some small tester bars and passed them around to see what others thought.

Several coworkers used these little lotion bars last week and all but one person felt they were perfect for what we were trying to accomplished. Vanda, well, let’s just say that she hasn’t stopped thanking me for saving her...life. My next goal is to find a twist tube container, much like a deodorant case or large lip-gloss tube, to make it easier to keep in her pocket and apply.

It has been used on lips, heels, elbows, cuticles, hands, and a chronic eczema, just about every possible spot that one of my coworkers could find where their skin was damaged and dry.
 
Here is my recipe, you will be amazed just how exceptionally well this works for dry skin using these simple ingredients.

1 1/2 ounces Shea Butter
1 ounce Beeswax
1/2 ounce Olive Oil, extra light
1/2 ounce Sweet Almond Oil
10 drops of Calendula Essential Oil
5 to 10 drops Lemon Essential Oil (for a mild citrus scent- optional)

Add everything into your melting pot. Use a glass jar specifically for melting ingredients, and place it inside a pot of boiling water so that it melts but does not burn. 

Use a low heat and stir often until everything is liquid. Being careful, remove from heat and get ready to pour into your mold-  anything will work, candy molds, candle, crafts- anything that will take an ingredient that is hot! 

Just a note: it will solidify almost instantly especially when in contact with anything cold. Let sit in mold for about 20 minutes and you are ready to remove them. You can place in fridge if you are in a hurry, about 10 minutes will do it.

***If you want to make it more antibacterial- exchange the Lemon Oil for TeaTree oil- however, remember the this oil has a distinctive scent (not my favorite) but would work great in a healthcare environment to keep all the “bugs” at bay.  Also, remember, if your skin is too cracked and dry this may also sting.


Monday, April 28, 2014

helping pets of the homeless

I sat at my computer, stumped at what to write for today’s post, in a bit of a funk about the state of the world, actually humanity, at the moment. Suddenly a thought flashed, if I had one wish.... it would be to end homelessness~ everyone deserves a place to feel safe, warm, and loved. Then moments later, and this is the truth, I opened an email and this photograph was all it contained. Synchronicity? not sure, but knew I had my posting subject.

Even under the circumstances this makes me smile because you can see the love between this man and his dog. This is one of the most touching photos I've ever seen.

~what this world needs now is a new kind of universal army~
an Army of Kindness and Understanding


www.petsofthehomeless.org

Some are skeptical as to why a person living on the streets should take on the responsibility of a pet. Homeless people rely on their pooches for protection and even more importantly, companionship. Many cities have developed entire food banks devoted to animals. My area, Orange County California, has three pet food and supply collection sites. 
Click here to find one in your area

Pets of the Homeless is a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides pet food and veterinary care to the homeless in local communities across the United States and Canada.



Saturday, April 26, 2014

wild saturday ~ gawky teen-stage, but still cute

These little guys aren’t going to be so little for long. They have tripled their size if not quadrupled it. The week in the nest went by with lots of growing, eating, sleeping and several attempts to waddle around exploring the nest. Even got a edge of the nest-rail view before quickly heading back to the center with a “think I’ll just hang in the center for a while” expression.  Mom and Dad are hanging around close by, but leaving our E’s to sleep off their food stupors or their "head bonking, pecking" of each other for nesting rights.


here are a few of my favorite photos from the cam.


It is getting harder for our parents to snuggle the not-so-little-eaglets and keep them under their wings for protection 


 the family

good look at just how big they are getting
and looking more eagle-ish every day
now with talons for eating and grasping
 food stupor!!!
"i can't believe i ate that whole fish"
at the nest rail, taken moments before this posting,
they are getting brave and curious
Love the way one is hanging onto the other for support


ALSO, here are links to other information for your convenience, I highly recommend you check out the Photo Stream; they have a picture taken from the ground showing the nest in the trees and a person below on the path for perspective. It is impressive.

Decorah EagleCam ~24/7 cam
Raptor Resource Facebook ~ ~ lots of daily stories and videos of great nest moments


Thursday, April 24, 2014

thursday's garden ~ meet the Beneficials

this is a late posting—I worked out in the garden all day moving my herb and vegetable garden to a better, sunnier location.  Wasn't going to post anything today until I came inside and found this great poster of “good bugs” for your garden from University Of California ~ Davis IPM . visit Natural Enemies Gallery @ UCDavis to download this poster.


also here is today’s favorite garden picture - I love these beautiful Spotted Towhees


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

meal ideas ~ no bake, easy to make treats

Need a quick sweet treat without firing up the oven, whip up one of these desserts. Here are a couple of simple and refreshing desserts that are delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make!

Dark Chocolate Mint Bites
Mint and dark chocolate are as dynamic as ever in these low-carb no-bake bars featuring an oatmeal and crushed-wafer crust and rich cream cheese frosting.

 Nonstick cooking spray
 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
 1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate pieces
 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
 1 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers(about 19 wafers), or bear-shape chocolate graham snack cookies (1 1/2 cups)
 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 tablespoon fat-free milk
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon shortening
 3/4 cup powdered sugar
 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened (1/4 cup)
 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
 Snipped fresh mint (optional)

 Lightly coat an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray.* Set aside.

 For crust, place oats in a food processor; cover and pulse with several on/off turns until finely ground. In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup of the chocolate pieces and the butter; heat and stir over low heat until melted. Stir in oats, crushed wafers, cocoa powder, milk, and salt. Press crust mixture into prepared pan. Chill for 15 minutes.

 In the same saucepan combine the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate pieces and the shortening. Heat and stir over low heat until melted. Set aside.

 In a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, and peppermint extract; stir until smooth. Spread evenly over crust. Drizzle with the melted chocolate mixture.

 Chill about 1 hour or until chocolate drizzle is set (cream cheese layer will remain soft). If desired, sprinkle with fresh mint. Cut into 24 bars.

*Tip: To make removing the bars easier, line the baking pan with parchment in Step 1, extending over the edges of the pan. Using the edges of the parchment, lift the uncut bars out of the pan in Step 5. Cut into bars.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 105 cal., 5 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 6 mg chol., 58 mg sodium, 14 g carb. (1 g fiber, 9 g sugars), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0

Apricot-Almond Balls
Need a tasty treat—fast? These no-bake cookies pack extra crunch thanks to crushed cereal and chopped almonds. Drizzle with melted chocolate for a simple, low-carb dessert in no time.
 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
 1/4 cup 68% vegetable oil spread
 2 tablespoons honey
 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
 2 cups rice and wheat cereal flakes, crushed slightly
 1/3 cup finely snipped dried apricots
 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds
 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
 1/4 teaspoon shortening

 In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, vegetable oil spread, honey, and almond extract. Cook over low heat just until melted and nearly smooth, whisking constantly. Stir in cereal, apricots, almonds, and ginger until well mixed. Using slightly wet hands or a 1-ounce scoop, shape mixture into balls. Let stand on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet about 15 minutes or until firm.

 In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and shortening; cook and stir over low heat until melted. Drizzle balls with melted chocolate. Chill about 15 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 93 cal., 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 65 mg sodium, 9 g carb. (1 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 2 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: Fat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 0.5

Bananas Foster Pudding Cups
Start with fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding mix to make assembling these caramel-drenched dessert cups a breeze. Top the 165-calorie treat with chopped pecans.

Base
 1 1 - ounce package fat-free sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix
 2 cups fat-free milk
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
 1 cup frozen sugar free whipped dessert topping, thawed

Topping
 2 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine
 3 tablespoons sugar-free caramel-flavored ice cream topping
 2 large ripe bananas, sliced
 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 cup chopped pecans (2 ounces), toasted

 In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, and vanilla until slightly thickened. Fold in the whipped dessert topping. Divide pudding mixture evenly between eight individual ramekins or custard cups. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

 In a large nonstick skillet combine margarine and ice cream topping. Heat over medium heat until margarine is melted and caramel just starts to bubble. Add the bananas, cinnamon, and pecans. Gently toss until well-coated and tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

 Spoon banana mixture over pudding in ramekins. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 165 cal., 7 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 1 mg chol., 206 mg sodium, 23 g carb. (2 g fiber, 8 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: Fat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1; Fruit (d.e): 0.5;

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

today march 22nd ~ EarthDay 2014 ~

EarthDay 2014

make a difference, make an EarthDay “i will...” list and make a contribution to the survival of our planet and its inhabitants, flora, and fauna

Earth Day...and Every Day... Checklist 
  • Take reusable bags to the store.
  • Use reusable containers, lunch boxes and bags for on-the-go meals and drinks.
  • Buy organic food whenever it's affordable.
  • Eat seasonal, local food during the growing season.
  • Eat less meat—or none at all!
  • Avoid fish whose populations are plummeting.
  • Buy LED or compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs instead of halogen incandescent bulbs.
  • Cut down on waste- reuse and repurpose
  • Reduce chemical use outdoors.
  • Leave the car home.

Monday, April 21, 2014

WTF ?!? I've been "e-mail spoofed"

okay, yes! I did curse, and trust me this WTF !!!!  was mellow compared to what I actually was screaming out the other day when it was brought to my attention by my SNSUOPH (sometimes not so understanding or patient husband) that he was receiving “spam” type email from me causing us to think my computer had been “hacked.”

Well, it was not, at least not that day. (About eight years ago, many friends will remember, my email was hacked- the matter taken care of- or so I thought.) I called AOL and they explained that if I did not have any “sent” email in my sent file that I did not send, or even any “mail daemon of undeliverable mail”—then, I most likely had not been compromised or hacked, but “Spoofing” had occurred.

My comment to them: “What the Fu¢% is Spoofing.”

E-mail spoofing is the "forgery of an e-mail header" so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open, and possibly even respond to, their solicitations. Spoofing can be used legitimately. Classic examples of senders who might prefer to disguise the source of the e-mail include a sender reporting mistreatment by a spouse to a welfare agency or a "whistle-blower" who fears retaliation. However, spoofing anyone other than yourself is illegal in some jurisdictions.

E-mail spoofing is possible because Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the main protocol used in sending e-mail, does not include an authentication mechanism. Although an SMTP service extension allows an SMTP client to negotiate a security level with a mail server, this precaution is not often taken. If the precaution is not taken, anyone with the requisite knowledge can connect to the server and use it to send messages. They do not need any passwords to send spoofed e-mail; senders simply insert commands in headers that will alter the message information. It is possible to send a message that appears to be from anyone, anywhere, saying whatever the sender wants it to say. Thus, someone could send spoofed e-mail that appears to be from you with a message that you didn't write. And get this.... there are programs you can buy to assist you in “Spoofing” others.

Although most spoofed e-mail falls into the "nuisance" category and requires little action other than deletion, the more malicious varieties can cause serious problems and security risks. For example, spoofed e-mail may purport to be from someone in a position of authority, asking for sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal information -- any of which can be used for a variety of criminal purposes. The Bank of America, eBay, and Wells Fargo are among the companies recently spoofed in mass spam mailings. One type of e-mail spoofing, self-sending spam, involves messages that appear to be both to and from the recipient.

Yes, there are things you can do. In my research of “spoofing” I did find a couple of good articles that may help you if this ever happens.




best strategy I can suggest:

1. Don’t store email addresses in your email account- keep a list of addresses next to your computer and type them in each and every time. Stored addresses are loved by “hackers”

2. Don’t send “mass address” emails out. Got ten friends you want to send to...don’t. If the wrong person were to get a hold of that email...walla they have a list to “scam, spam, and spoof.”

3. Don’t send forwarded or open forwarded emails. THIS is a rule that my SNSUOPH and I have followed for years. You have no idea who or where that mail has touched- that was how I had gotten “hacked” the one time. So, if you have or do send me an email that is FWD: it is automatically trashed, deleted, and not opened. I don’t care who you are or what the subject is.

Now...I will say that it was my address book that had been compromised years ago, possibly sold by the hacker, being used with this incident; there were old, and I mean OLD addresses used and not any new ones I had acquired since said problem; also reassuring me this was not a recent compromise.

 Hoooowwwweverrrrr- I felt as if I have been “domestically terrorized” and changed every fricken password I own to new and individual ones...again. Sixteen different passwords for sixteen different internet related needs.

WTF is wrong with the world today?!?

If you were to ask me what I am most ashamed at this moment:

                                                “being a part of the human race”

Saturday, April 19, 2014

wild saturday ~ eaglets growing, exploring, and having fun

~ “Holy Winged Wonders Batman”, these little guys are growing. There were some interesting events this week, which all are recorded on the Raptor Resource Website videos- and I highly recommend you go and take a look at them.  
   
       The highlights....

Last Saturday after posting last week’s news it started to rain in Decorah, and it rained, and rained, and rained until everything, and I mean everything was soaking wet. Even though I knew Mom’s under-coat of downy feathers and oils would keep her dry, you couldn’t help but feel for her. The little ones, especially d18, was restless, but Mom wouldn’t budge to let him peek out.

Then.... that evening.... it snowed. Of course with all that wet, everything around the nest froze as well. BUT NOT... our fearless MOM, she sat on that nest and those babies for 19 hours, yep you heard me right. 19 hours! She refused to budge when Dad came to relieve her several times. I know in my heart and so did she, if she had, those babies would not have survived the night. Nevertheless, in the morning a little warmth came and she finally moved...and so did the little ones, proving once again that Mom is beyond amazing.

Later that day Dad brought in a bird for lunch and all who were watching saw as he was able to get out some of his frustrations by literally thrashing and flinging the feathers everywhere as he filleted away before feeding the eaglets. Those who looked in on the nest after the event and didn’t see what happened were shocked thinking something got one of the babies...feathers were everywhere for days, Mom just packed them into the nesting material for added warmth.

They are getting their under-growth feathers, and able to spend more time out from underneath their parents...especially d19, who did a little exploring of the nest all the way to the rail and the pantry checking out a squirrel foot. Mom and Dad are even leaving them to sleep off their meal stupors while they themselves relax on a near by branch.

The other day a squirrel climbed into the tree while they were relaxing and caused quite a ruckus from Mom & Dad rushing into the nest in protection. This Video is about 10 minutes, but watching the first 3 or 4 will give you the idea of how protective and fierce they can be.


Here are a couple of great pictures taken by the Decorah Cam-Raptor Resource Project Facebook photo stream - the link has more and you will also see some photos of their other cams, such as the falcons, but you will be able to tell who are our little guys!

Mom sitting on babysitting limb in background,
 can you find her? click on image to enlarge
Dad gets really bored sometimes~
 love the expressions he sends the cams
eaglets in next stage of feathering...these are downy under feathers,
E's will continue to darken as their fledgling feathers fill out completely.
  
And a Link to several Facebook posts by Sherri Elliot—You do not need to belong to Facebook to see these pages. I especially recommend the article on “ 4-18-14 ~ Whatta Day!"Holy Crop!" Written by Sherri Elliott” she is a fun and talented writer. I have much to learn from her and her style of nature writing.

Also, on the same page the article labled “Video Round-up! In Decorah, squirrel invaders, rapidly growingeaglets, and poop-shoots!” has several fun videos of the little ones captured by several others who are watchers of the nest.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

thursday's garden ~ new tools, new friend, angry bird

After a couple of months, I finally took the plunge and headed out to the garden with a “please no cardiac issues today” hopeful attitude- you will all be proud of me- three hours of pretty intense grooming, weeding, planting and I feel great! I did purchase a couple of items to make things easier. I am so use to doing everything by hand, but sometimes you just gotta go with modern technology.

Black&Decker 16" electric dual trimmer
One item I purchase was a Black&Decker hedge trimmer
My usual opinion on any electrical or gas garden tool~ it is obnoxiously noisy and leaves many areas what I call "unnatural" looking, such as a beautiful bush looking like a box or ball on a stick. ha! Unless, you are going for that style of look. Me, I want my plants to appear as naturally shaped as possible, thus the hand trimming. However, it takes a lot of time and energy. I tried this small hedge trimmer and actually was able to prevent the box-look. It was light enough to control with a little buzz here and a buzz there, just where I needed it on my bushes. And, where I did need a flat look, such as the ivy on my wall, it was so much easier than with the hand shears snipping away for hours...

new hedge trimmer and Lawn Claws
scoop, dump and you're done!

It is small, easy to use, and was recommended by a eighty-four year old friend that still works in her garden doing most things herself. Thanks Nicole, it worked great.

The other thing I have seen a lot but never purchased was the “Lawn Claw”- .... wow! It works great picking up piles of cuttings (due to the trimmer I might add) was a breeze. Wish I had gotten this little puppy a long time ago. If you don’t have one...get it. 

When I went out to start playing in the garden I was surprised by an unexpected guest munching in my hibiscus bush. Not sure who was more surprised, me or this cute little squirrel. First thing I thought was "okay, now we know who's been has been stealing the jay’s peanuts." Finally having gotten into the habit of having my camera ready at all times while outside, I was able to get a couple of shots of this little lady. How do I know it was a lady? When she was climbing out of the bush I could see where the infants have been nursing on her chest. So, with that knowledge, feeding babies as well as herself, I have added a bowl of squirrel tid-bits out for her to enjoy. She lives in the neighborhood common area near my garden; I believe in one of the pines.

she flutter and flitted at me for
ten minutes before flying off- disgusted
Also, while I was trimming and digging away,  Mrs. Robin came by and let me know that she was very unhappy I hadn’t put out her meal worms yet and  I was disturbing everyone’s morning meal by being in the garden in the first place. To say the least...her feathers were ruffled and shiney black eyes glaring !



~happy spring~