Saturday, December 13, 2008

Edible Wildlife Ornaments

Edible ornaments for wildlife are a great way to feed the birds – and squirrels (whether you want to or not). I was browsing some sites and found these recipes for bird and squirrel-friendly ornaments at The Iowa Outdoor Unlimited Trip Blog at Maybe you will have time to make some for our feathered friends this winter. Hang them high enough so my bagel-loving dog won't eat them.


Bagel Ornaments:

Cut a bagel in half.
Smear peanut butter on both sides.
Dip in bird seed.

Suet Ornaments:

Get suet from the butcher. Place in a pot and melt it down over the stove – the pieces of fat that don’t melt will start to fry. Strain out the chunks and allow to cool. Melt one more time and add some peanut butter and birdseed. Allow to cool, until it is soft but not hard. Press into a cookie cutter and place in a freezer then press out of the mold. It is easier if you cut a length of string and squeeze the suet in around the string then trying to add the string later – don’t tie it until you take the ornament out of the mold. Sometimes they come out without a trip to the freezer.

Bread Ornaments:

Cut shapes out of the bread with cookie cutters.
String them up
Allow to dry out.


String popcorn, orange slices, cranberries, and apples on a string to hang on a tree.

Peanut Treats:

Get peanuts in the shell (unsalted).
Use a needle and thread to string the peanuts.
Tie a bow with raffia and hang on the tree.


Take a pinecone and smear it with peanut butter.
Roll the pinecone in birdseed.
Tie with string or raffia and hang on your tree.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Heartwarming Animal Stories

Three Christmases ago, Sarah adopted Lucy the cat. Lucy was rescued from a shelter, and she was a skinny, scared little thing. She spent her first month here hiding from all of us, and she was especially terrified of Sammy, the yellow lab. (Sammy came to our house after Sarah, all of two years old, came home and announced that our single neighbor wanted us to have Sammy. Sammy saw all of the food on the floor at mealtimes with three children and never looked back!) Anyway, Lucy hissed and scratched whenever Sammy came near for months. As you can see from the video below, they have become best friends over the years. This nightly bedtime bath is a fairly new ritual. Prepare to say "Ahhhhh", they ARE cute.

(From my friend, Debbie, another dog lover)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.' Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like: When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps. Stretch before rising. Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Santa House

Check out watercolors of Catonsville landmarks at In addition to prints, Kelly sells note cards and calendars too.

The Santa House by Kelly Gary

My friend, Teri, shared this with me: "The wife has been on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks now. They are up now but for some reason she will not talk to me."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Prayer Request

Just heard from Glenn that his PET scan is scheduled for January 7th. He asks that we continue to keep him in our thoughts and prayers for good results.

I am home sick with a virus, so I had time today and finally decided to join Facebook. Already have heard from several old friends.....check it out and make a page for yourself. Then we can be Facebook friends too!

Ornaments featuring different historic homes

Catonsville Delft Jars

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HUGE VIRUS COMING to your computer

(From Pat R. Hi All, checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus. I checked Snopes (URL below), and it is for real.)

Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.
You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with
an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to let all your contacts know about this. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it. If you receive a mail called' POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately.

This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by
Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by
McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This
virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital
information is kept.

Sue adds : I also checked this out and was advised to NEVER click on any link in an email to view a greeting card, reply to an invitation, or check out an ad. Always go directly to the website and click on links there.

IL Governor Charged With Corruption

(From Tom in Las Vegas)

Having grown up in that state, all of these politicians (Republican and Democrat) are "suspect" in my mind. The article does not mention another detail about Otto Kerner, governor from 1961 to 1968. Before being governor, he also was secretary of state, and in that capacity he was the official responsible for Illinois drivers license fees, etc. After he died in 1976, numerous shoe boxes filled with money were found in his home; the money all related to those drivers license fees. When I was 16 (in 1961), I took the Illinois drivers license test and failed the first time. I then went to a driving school and a few months later went back to take the test again, this time with a group of other people and a teacher from the driving school in his car. While we sat in his car, our driving school guy went into the office building to "speak with" the state drivers license official in charge of that particular drivers license testing facility. We could see into the office window from our position in the car. I swear that I saw our driving school guy pass an envelope across the table to the official (it is true!). After our driving school guy came back to the car (he never said a word about it to us), each one of us (I think that there were about 4 or 5 of us) then took the driving test with one of the officials. All I know is that after the test, I past it this time. You do not have to be a "rocket scientist" to figure that one out (Yeah, I am very grateful that I past the test and got my drivers license, but as far as "offical corruption and Illinois politicians go," you be the judge).

Laura Gets Flamed

The Holiday Season Has Begun!

  • Doug actually caught some rockfish on his recent fishing trip and shared his fresh catch. Jean and Paul declared that it was delicious.
  • Heard the good news from Peggy that Gwen is back home and feeling much better!
  • Don takes Patty and Alonyah on the big shopping trip to Victoria's Secret this Thursday. Hope that someone takes photos and keeps Don from trying on the women's underwear.
  • Scott and Ron put up the annual Christmas decorations, so the holiday season at Sam's is officially open. Stop by and sip a hot chocolate on a wintry day.
  • Glenn is coming in most mornings and talking more each day, exhibiting that sharp sense of humor! Keep the prayers coming for a clear PET scan in January.
  • Welcome to new blog readers in Egypt and Brazil. Does anybody have a contact in Antarctica? A blog hit from there would mean that the blog has been read by someone on all 7 continents....and that would make me very happy (crazy maybe, but happy).
Dima flames the top of Don's bagel....can creme brulee bagels be the next big thing?

Don hides more things in the "Purse of Prissy Patty" (say that fast 3 times!)

Dima rushes over to make sure that Doug's bagel is well-toasted.

The Christmas season has officially begun. Don gets his annual holiday boxers from Laura.

Lois and Gene join in on the fun...... so glad that Gene is feeling much better!

Be forewarned that if you stand under the Bageltoe might get kissed!
The decorations were hung by the ceiling with care,
In hopes that St. Nick soon would be there.

Bob White, Supercollector

Bill shared this video about his late brother, Bob. Both of the White boys have a collector's soul. Bill, when do we get to film your basement?

Here are the program notes from the 2004 Maryland Film Festival where it screened:A short tribute to Baltimoreon Robert White--one of the most remarkable collectors of all-time--famous for his collections of shrunken heads, famous hair locks, even Hollywood Oscars, not to mention the greatest private collection of JFK memorabilia ever assembled. He passed away suddenly at 54. He was a gracious and friendly man, and this short reel from a March 1994 visit is but a small testament to his grand vision.