Garden pond with stock tank heater is an oasis for wildlife in the winter

This has been cold winter for us in Ohio. It seems like we’ve been shivering forever and that spring will never come. Our garden’s avian visitors are eager for food and water, frequenting our feeders of black oil sunflower seed and drinking from our garden pond. One of our guests is a flock of dark-eyed juncos. They’re members of the sparrow family. You can identify the slate colored dark-eyed juncos by their dark grey heads, grey bodies, white bellies and white outer tail feathers. They are winter visitors here in Ohio, little birds we love to see make their appearance each year. We love watching them hop around in the snow.

Here are two photos of dark-eyed (slate colored) juncos:

They leave these tracks on our pond when they come to drink.

bird tracks on frozen pond surface

 

The floating stock tank de-icer you see thaws the surface enough that there’s a hole even in the sub-zero temps we’re experiencing this year. Brrr! If you get a stock tank de-icer, make sure it’s safe for plastic if your pond is a formed pond or has a rubber liner.  They’re great things, ensuring the local wildlife has fresh water and lets oxygen into the pond so our pond fish don’t suffocate under the ice during prolonged freezes. There are raccoons and neighborhood cats drinking from the pond as well. So far, no deer have ventured up, at least not as far as we can tell.

 

We had our last heater for six or seven years, maybe longer. We finally had to replace it for this season. Even if you don’t have a garden pond, it’s possible to provide water for wildlife in the winter. You can either keep a hole chipped in a container of water or get something like we used to use, heated birdbaths. There are traditional bowl-shaped models as well as more natural-looking birdbaths that just sit on the ground, patio or deck. Here are some examples:

 

At some point, we should find an alternate way to aerate our pond in the winter that is more cost-efficient. Our pond heater pulls over 1000 watts when on compared to the smaller heated birdbaths that only use the equivalent of a light bulb. However, the little heated birdbaths don’t necessarily keep the water thawed down to frigid temps like we’re experiencing this winter.

Amazon.com Cyber Monday Deals Week

I don’t hit the stores for Black Friday. No way, not in cold Ohio! I do, however, love Cyber Monday. Even more, I love how Amazon has extended the fun and savings all week long, just like they did for Black Friday Week. The sales have already begun on Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week, with a new special being announced every 10 minutes.

Watch their Cyber Monday landing page or use any of the following links to take you to whatever department makes you drool — err — catches your eye for gift-giving this season. Deals are announced ahead of time so you can pop back in when they start.

 

2013 Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week

2013 Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week: New deals every 10 minutes, all week long!

 

Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals Week in Laptops

Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals Week in Desktops

Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals in Sports

 

Let Meijer know you don’t want the Newark, Ohio store to close

 

Meijer doesn't have a pain reliever for store closures.

On February 26, Meijer announced that the Newark Meijer store will close on May 24, 2013. This news hit us hard. We’ve been shopping at Meijer since it opened and have received great service from many familiar faces through the years.

Aside from it being a large employer for the county, the store is one of only a few large privately-owned retailers around here. People from all around the county go there for groceries, prescriptions, clothes, household items, hardware, electronics and all sorts of other things.

What’s a community to do when faced with yet another store closing? If Meijer’s presence in the Newark/Licking County area is important to you as an employer or destination for your family’s pharmacy, grocery, and other household needs, don’t just shake your head and comment on Facebook.

What can you do? Let them know directly.

Like the Save the Newark Meijer Store Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144308132401115

Contact Meijer directly via email, social media, snail mail and phone.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meijer
(use hashtags #NewarkMeijer and #NewarkOhio)

Meijer on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/meijerstores/
Meijer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meijer
Meijer on Google+: https://plus.google.com/113314769588104493925/posts
Meijer Press Email: frank.guglielmi@meijer.com

Meijer Mailing Address: 2929 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544

Meijer Phone: (877) 363-4537

It may not change the outcome, but we can sure let Meijer know we want them here in our city! Don’t let them shut down that store without knowingwhat it means to us as a community.

Body on Tap beer shampoo

Ah, the 70’s…Good times for silly products and commercials. Who remembers Body on Tap shampoo?

Gotta love the chic, feathered hairdo and that line, “Brewed with one third real beer….But don’t drink it!”

You have to wonder how much of that phrase was just a marketing tagline and how much was prompted by their legal department. Legal disclaimers have become an art form in our sue-happy society.

Lemon Up Shampoo magazine adWhat’s your favorite shampoo, from then or now? Anyone remember LemonUp Shampoo’s fresh fragrance? I adored that stuff. I’m a sucker for a good-smelling shampoo. I learned today that LemonUp is available again, thanks to Vermont Country Store. I’m tempted!

If you’re overcome with curiosity or have a renewed hankering for brew shampoos containing beer, you can always check out the new kids on the block like Duffy’s Brew, BRÖÖ Citrus Pale Ale, and Haslinger Bier Shampoo on Amazon. I was surprised beer shampoo is still available, though I really shouldn’t be.

Shoot, there’s even Root Beer Roundup Shampoo. Add a little vanilla and you, too, can smell like a root beer float.

 

 

Review of Sunset Inn Restaurant in Hebron, Ohio

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For years, we drove past this place thinking it was just a little bar. My husband heard they had good food, so went there for lunch with a friend. He raved about it and took me back there for dinner last week. The food is made fresh from scratch — not frozen — and is reasonably priced.

We split an order of chicken wings as an appetizer. They had a very light, crispy breading and had good flavor. I think there were 10 wings and the cost was only $5.95. We had the option of having the wings tossed in BBQ sauce or having the sauce on the side. We chose the latter. They make the wings fresh for each order, and it shows. They were good wings. A wider selection of sauces would have been nice, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker.

For my entree, I had fried frog legs. Having had big frog legs in Louisiana, I set a pretty high bar. I’ve had them at Asian buffets, but they’re always little previously-frozen wimpy frog legs. When I asked how big theirs were, our server brought out a pair of frog legs ready to go into the fryer so I could see for myself.  They were plump, fresh frog legs cooked intact. Lightly-breaded with just a dusting of a seasoned flour, they were really tasty. The thighs’ circumference was about the same as a US quarter. Forgive the poor quality shot, but I took it with my phone in dim light.

 

Four nice-sized frog legs with a side of cottage fries.

Four nice-sized frog legs with a side of cottage fries.

 

Yes, I giggled when I saw them. In all my previous experiences with them, the legs have been separated. We remarked about how they looked like little people. Now there’s a nice thought, huh? I must admit I held up a pair and made them dance a little jig. My husband did not video record this, unfortunately. I did stop (just) short of singing “Hello! Ma Baby!” as I did it. Even I have a few filters left.

 

 

Here’s the whole film, “Some Froggy Evening” cartoon with Michigan J. Frog. It’s one of my favorite Looney Tunes films!

 

But I digress.

My husband had baked steak, which was also good. The mashed potatoes and gravy were great. We both liked that they didn’t salt the heck out of the recipes. We don’t use a lot of salt when we cook at home, so it’s almost inevitable that most restaurant fare is way too salty for our taste. I had to add a little salt to my food, but I prefer that any day. You can always add salt, but you can’t take it away!

My husband had the apple dumpling a la mode with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I had the red velvet cake, something our server said was a new item. The apple dumpling was a tad rubbery, perhaps microwaved a little too long. It had a light, flaky crust and tasted very good, though. The red velvet cake had a wonderful, light and fluffy, whipped icing, not the usual heavy cream-cheese type. The cake was high, a good 4″ tall. As delectable as that icing was, there was a bit too much cake in relation to the icing. It made the dessert a little more dry than I prefer. Had it been a layer cake, the icing to cake ratio would have been about perfect. The dessert is the only reason for 4 stars rather than 5 on my review.

When my husband went there the first time, the owner’s mom asked what his name was, saying she tries to learn the customers’ names. It’s just a friendly, homey place serving good old-fashioned American food.

Not sure just where Hebron is? Here’s a map:

View Larger Map
Whether you’re a local, in the Columbus area or out toward Zanesville, Mt. Vernon or Lancaster, it’s worth the a nice drive in the country and a day trip.

Zojirushi bread machine bonanza, plus DAK Turbo Baker II owner’s manual

I had another bit of great luck about a month ago. At a veteran’s group garage sale, I found a Zojirushi BBCC-N15 breadmaker for $10. Zojirushi products are awesome and their bread machines are Cadillacs of the appliances. Even an older model like this was something I’d never turn down for that price. Even if it hadn’t powered on, I could have parted it out and still turned a great profit. However, it DID power on and it bakes a mean loaf of bread.

Some day, I’d love to get the double-paddled Zojirushi BB-CEC20WB Home Bakery Supreme, but I like my latest find a lot…And I only paid $10. 🙂

On the subject of bread machines, I’ve had several people ask if I have the manual for the DAK Turbo Baker II (FAB-200) bread machine I wrote about a while back. It so happened I had the printout, but couldn’t find my original file. However, I did a little sleuthing (gotta love the Goog) and hunted it down so I could offer it for my readers here.

DAK Turbo Baker II FAB-200-User’s Manual

Let me know if you have any questions!

How to send books you’ve already purchased from Amazon to your Kindle

When you purchase a Kindle title from Amazon via your browser, you get an option to send the title to your device via Amazon’s WhisperNet. But what about after you’ve already purchased a title? How do you send it to your Kindle after the fact, like after you’ve done a reset on your Kindle or added a new Kindle or Kindle app to your devices?

I find it’s an easier and richer experience to navigate Amazon through a regular web browser instead of the Kindle store and library. I made up this little tutorial for my mom, but thought others might benefit from it as well. If you want to bypass going through the Kindle menus and just use your web browser to send your purchased titles to your Kindle DX, Second-generation Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard 3G, Kindle Fire or any free Kindle reading apps, this is for you. 🙂 Click the thumbnails to view larger screenshots.

First, the obvious: Sign into your Amazon account.

1. Then, HOVER over the Your Account link in the upper right. A menu will pop up. CLICK on Manage Your Kindle.

NOTE: If you happen to click Your Account instead of just hovering over it, it’s no biggie. Just scroll down the page until you see “Digital Content: Kindle, MP3, & Downloads” on the left. On the right, you’ll see a link for “Manage Your Kindle”. Click it. Then, skip to Step 2 here.

First, HOVER over the Your Account link in the upper right. A menu will pop up. CLICK on Manage Your Kindle.
CLICK TO ENLARGE.

2. You’ll see your Kindle Library. HOVER over the Actions button next to the title you want to modify. Click on the option you want to perform. If you want Amazon to send the title to one or more of your Kindles, click the “Deliver to my…” link.

You'll see your Kindle Library. HOVER over the Actions button next to the title you want to modify. Click on the option you want to perform. If you want Amazon to send the title to one or more of your Kindles, click the "Deliver to my..." link.

CLICK TO ENLARGE.

3. You’ll see a pop-up with the title’s information. From the drop-down menu, select the device to which you want the title sent and click the Deliver button.

You'll see a pop-up with the title's information. From the drop-down menu, select the device to which you want the title sent and click the Deliver button.

CLICK TO ENLARGE.

4. A confirmation message will briefly appear under the title. If you want to send the title to another of your Kindle devices (including apps on your mobile devices), HOVER over the Actions button again and repeat the described steps for each device.

A confirmation message will briefly appear under the title. If you want to send the title to another of your Kindle devices (including apps on your mobile devices), HOVER over the Actions button again and repeat the described steps for each device.

CLICK TO ENLARGE.

That’s really all there is to it. Explore the other options that appear under that Actions button and see what all you can do! Amazon provides good support pages for the whole Kindle family, there is a user’s guide available for each flavor of Kindle, plus there is an active Kindle help forum. Explore and learn about your new ebook reader!