Monday, February 20, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Bird Feeder

I’m no scientist but I predict that our mild winter this year will lead to a horrendous bug population this summer.  Just this past weekend I saw swarms of little gnats flying outside my bedroom window; while taking down laundry I saw a mosquito! 
One of many ways to minimize unwanted insects is to make the birds feel welcome on your property.  Birds have exceptional vision and can see colors very well.  Try adding a ribbon of red, orange or pink to your bird feeder.  You could also paint your birdhouse blue or your birdbath yellow. 

Here‘s a little something I do to attract the first birds of the season, which have already started to arrive.  Each summer I make seedless raspberry jam.  I freeze the unwanted seeds in ice cube trays, then store in a plastic bag.  When I’m ready to make a feeder I thaw a couple of cubes and place them within half of a juiced lemon.
Some other ideas are to "glue" bird seed to pinecones with peanut butter or stringing Cheerios and raisins with red yarn.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Remembering Leah ~ 1982-2012

We were lighter than air on the willow’s long branches,

That hung at the end of your drive.

Waiting for the bus to take us to school,

Every morning was new and alive.

We ran past the old tree each afternoon,

Up the hill for hours of play.

Making trails in the woods was so much fun,

We could have done it all day.

Bu t on our list of things to do,

Were Monopoly, Sorry and Twister.

Those rainy days were never dull,

Spent with friends who were more like sisters.

As the sun set on our childhood,

So too came an end to that tree.

And to your house we played in,

But if I close my eyes, I still see.

That place now filled with streets lights,

Was once your yard so vast.

I smile when I think about,

All the memories of the past.

The songs that we would dance to,

As the old record player spun.

We barely knew the words,

Yet to us it was great fun.

Different paths have all been taken,

That have spread us far apart.

But friendships made as children,

Stay always close to your heart. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love the One You're With

When you’re husband is in the Air Force, many holidays are spent apart.  That was the case last year while my favorite soldier was in Mississippi for training.  I missed him every day but was handling it fine, that is until February 14th came and everyone who is alone is reminded of it.  Friends would ask with excitement – “So, what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?”  Really?  Ugh!  Then I would have to state the obvious, that I’d be celebrating solo.

But a dear, caring friend came to my rescue.  I was humbled by her thoughtfulness one day as she stood at my door with Valentine’s Cookies for my children and a balloon for me.  She knew my day would be spent alone (yes it is very possible to feel alone with kids in the house) and decided to make it a little happier for me.  Her visit not only changed the mood of the day, it challenged me to reach out to others during lonely times instead of feeling sorry for myself.

I’m reminded of the song “Love the One You’re With”.  In my case that is often my kids and only my kids.  I can’t always be with my husband but I’ve got my boys who can never be showered with enough love. This Valentine’s Day will once again be spent without my sweetheart, but I choose to focus on the fact that he is alive and well and will soon return.  Who will you reach out to this Valentine's Day?  We hope to visit a widowed friend who lives in a nearby retirement community sometime this week. 
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jean Bag Toss

In our house there is no shortage of extra denim material.  My boys wear clothing out faster than they grow.  So rather than toss the material after making yet another pair of cut-off shorts, I decided to put the scraps to good use. 

The cost of this project can fit any budget.  All that is needed is some denim, fabric scraps and some dried beans.  I went online and simply Googled some silhouette images of sea life, print them out, pinned to some felt and cut.  I sewed each creature on a square of denim, sewed on a back, turned inside out, filled with beans, and then hand sewed the opening.  It was so simple. 

At our “Construction Zone” house there is never a shortage of wood.  So I choose a small piece, had some holes cut, spray painted it blue then hand painted the aquatic scenery. We now have a bean bag toss game in our basement to help the time pass this winter.     

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Moonlit Mushrooms

Available now in my Etsy Shoppe
These little glowing gems have been an unexpected delight to my own rowdy boys.  I gave them a few prototypes to play with, not knowing how long it would hold their interest.  They can’t wait for me to turn off their light at bedtime so they can see their Glow in the Dark Toys.  These mushrooms are brilliant companions during times of evening travel or at a bedtime for kids who are a little scared of the dark .
To “re-charge “these little guys, simply hold them next to a light bulb for a few seconds.  Have Fun!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Smells like Love

The sweet aroma of cinnamon isn’t just for Christmas.  Here’s any easy way to spread some love this Valentine’s Day if you're on a tight budget. 

This recipe for inedible dough can be used for gift tags, d├ęcor, garlands and even air fresheners for your car.  I let my boys paint a few to give as gifts. 

1 ½ cups cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
¼ cup white glue 
Combine all ingredients, add water if it is too stiff. Knead and put in plastic covered bowl for 30 minutes. Remove dough and knead again until smooth. Roll out to about ¼ inch thick and cut into heart shapes.  Puncture holes in top for ribbon, yarn or other materials for hanging. Lay gently on a flat surface and allow them to dry for 3-5 days. To ensure they dry flat be sure to turn them over every few hours, especially for the first day. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don't Harm Your Husband!

The librarian gave me a good laugh last night.  As she checked out my books she noticed that they were all due February 14th.  “Oooo, that’s Valentine’s Day – that means it is only two weeks away!"  The guy behind the counter with her obviously didn’t share in the anticipation.  I sarcastically remarked on his less then enthusiastic response to the coming holiday; to which he had a good chuckle. 
‘Tis the season when women look forward to feeling extra loved and guys receive subtle hints of the expectations that dance inside the female mind.  Roses, chocolates, jewelry and the list goes on…
I would like to challenge women to pause from the excitement and meditate on a verse I re-read the other day from Proverbs 31:12.  “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”  (Emphasis mine)  I don’t think the wisest man that ever lived was talking about slipping poison in your husband’s drink or giving him a black eye when he used the word “harm”. 
Unrealistic expectations can be a source of harm.  So can comparing your husband to someone else's.  Proverbs 14:1 says that a wise woman will build her house, not tear it down.  Don’t be foolish this Valentine’s Day by tearing down your Sweetheart.  I enjoy gifts as much as the next person but try to focus on the love you can give, not the gifts you want to receive.