Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fun Facts




Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds (obviously!) . Here are some fun facts I found on the internet. .


Hummingbirds occur only in the Americas.

The smallest hummingbird, the Bee Hummingbird, weighs a little under two grams. The largest, the Giant Hummingbird, weighs 21 to 23 grams.

Hummingbirds eat plant nectar, plant pollen, and insects – but their diet is 90 percent nectar.

Like bees, hummingbirds carry pollen from one plant to another while they are feeding, thus playing an important role in plant pollination. Each bird visits between one and two thousand blossoms each day.

Hummingbirds can see ultraviolet light, which may enable them to identify certain varieties of plant.

Though we generally see them in flight, hummingbirds perch for most of their lives.

On average, hummingbird wings beat about 80 times each second, but in some species 200 beats a second has been documented.

A hummingbird breathes 300 to 500 times each minute while active.

The hummingbird heart is about 20 percent of the bird’s body volume. It beats about 500 times a minute. Heartbeats vary between different species and during different activities, and range from 30 to 1200 beats a minute.

Hummingbirds sometimes enter a state of torpor, usually during the night when they are not feeding. In torpor, metabolism slows down saving up to 60 percent of the bird’s available energy.
After feeding and doubling its weight,, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird flies nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico during migration. The flight takes about 20 hours.

Here's something I would like to do someday:


Monday, February 23, 2009

Lent is Coming



I am actually looking forward to Lent this year and I hope to grow in my relationship with the Lord by more Bible reading, more reception of the Sacraments, and more daily prayer. It's a great season of self denial, growth and expectation of the Resurrection.


I'm thinking about a real fat Tuesday since I want to give up meat, dairy, and sweets for Lent. Some friends of mine who go to the Byzantine rite Mass do this and I want to join them this year. I think this could be beneficial to my health right now too.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beautiful day for a walk


I am trying to get back into the habit of taking a daily walk. I live in great neighborhood for walking! The cold weather has been my excuse for awhile now but today I got out there and just did it! (Yeah, for me!)
Mikey was asking me for the stroller meaning that he wanted to go for a walk. We walked around the college campus and went in the chapel and to the library. It was a little nippy but the sun was out and it was a great day for walking.

P.S. I was noticing the bird calls and I'm happy to say that I can identify 3 or 4 by their call. I want to get much better at this over time.
Here's a few that I can recognize :The chickadee (well, I guess that's an easy one!...chicka dee dee dee dee dee), the red cardinal and the tufted titmouse.

P.S.S. Photos not mine. The photos are of the library at the college and a chickadee.
P.S.S.S. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Last night's dinner , this morning's breakfast




My favorite thing to make for dinner is stir fry veggies and rice. Last night I used onions, garlic, ginger, celery, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes and cilantro. I usually add bell peppers too. It's different every time depending on what I have on hand. Amazingly, everyone likes it!
I fry it all up fast and serve with rice and soy sauce. This dinner is fun for me because it's creative and a light meal. I add meat too on other days.

For breakfast this morning, I used my new juicer (I wore out my old one ) that I got for $4 at a thrift store. I juiced apples (organic), carrots, parsley and beets. Yum! It tastes great and is a great start for my day. I'm happy to say that 4 out of 6 of our children like fresh carrot juice :) too. Mikey usually starts his day with fresh juice.
I give the left overs from juicing to the chickens, goats and the rabbit.
(Photos are not mine)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Prepared

I was touched by this front page newspaper article I read the other day. The story is about how a Kentucky Amish family helped many neighbors during the recent ice storm.
The Amish are way ahead of the game in being prepared for disasters.
God bless their kindness.
MAYFIELD, Ky.—When the wind died down and the ice storm had passed, Joe Stutzman gathered his spare lanterns and stepped out of his Amish farmhouse to lend them to his modern-living neighbors.
"I feel sorry for my neighbors who were used to electricity and all of a sudden didn't have it," Stutzman said. "I know that must be hard for them."
Hundreds of thousands of people in Kentucky have been without electricity for their lights, furnaces, ovens and refrigerators since the killer storm hit more than a week ago, and some spots might not get power back for weeks.
But Kentucky's Amish have been living that way all their lives. And when the disaster struck, they generously lent a hand to their non-Amish neighbors and showed them how it's done.
"Those folks are very good at sustaining themselves," said Master Sgt. Paul Mouilleseaux, a National Guard spokesman.
The Stutzman family and the roughly 8,500 other Amish in the state were essentially unaffected by the storm that knocked out power to more than 1.3 million customers last week, about half of them in Kentucky.
Stutzman, his wife and their seven children were secure in their toasty, two-story home amid corn and soybean fields and swampy stands of cypress in western Kentucky.
"We paid it no attention," Stutzman said Tuesday, relaxing in a handmade rocker as a wood stove across the room radiated heat on a windy morning with temperatures in the low 20s.
He grabbed a log, taken from a big pile out back, threw it on the fire and lit a kerosene lamp. The cellar was stocked with canned goods, the milk cow safe in the barn. Stutzman's wife and two of their daughters used the wood-fired oven in the kitchen to do their baking.
Stutzman, a sturdy 40-year-old with a traditional Amish beard and a black-brimmed hat, said he would not have even known the storm was coming if one of his neighbors had not told him about the forecast. He is a member of the Old Order Amish, a sect that shuns modern conveniences such as radios and televisions.
James and Beverly Hutchins, a non-Amish couple who sheltered nine relatives in their home, said they don't know what they would have done without the Amish family across the road from them, not far from the Stutzmans.
The neighbors brought over hot coffee every morning during the week the power was out, ("Best coffee I ever drank," James Hutchins said), provided well water, cooked a meal for them, lent them a kerosene lantern and fixed the one lantern the Hutchinses had.
"Best neighbors we've ever had, and we've been around a few places," 76-year-old James Hutchins said.
Beverly Hutchins said she told the Amish family that she would turn her porch light on when the power came back on as a signal so they would know they didn't need to bring over coffee. That finally happened Tuesday night.
Mayfield Mayor Arthur Byrn said many in his town of about 10,000 will live without modern conveniences for some time. Nearly half the town and most of the outlying areas remained without power, though utility crews were working around the clock to repair transmission lines.
In the meantime, many residents will depend on the kindness of the neighbors whose way of life they probably appreciate a little more now.
The Hutchinses said their week without electricity gave them a glimpse into how their neighbors live.
"I said I didn't know how they could do it," Beverly Hutchins said.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Messy Mode


Mikey is into making big messes lately! He'll dump the whole box of cereal on the floor, etc. The sweet thing is that he says "Messy!" and goes and gets the broom and tries to sweep it up :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dreaming...




If I could visit anywhere, I would choose Scotland!

I have this interest in my Scottish heritage and a love for things Scottish. Michael and I discovered (through geneology work) that we both have Scottish roots.

We both love Scottish music, etc. Michael recently found some good renditions of the Athem of Scotland on Youtube. Here's one I found : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfq7z9mkXZs&feature=related

Michael is organizing a Celtic festival which will take place in the spring.


Where would you like to visit?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Preschool

Mikey is really enjoying preschool! He sits in his chair as soon as we get there and he says "Bye Bye" to me. That's good for him because he normally hates it when I go anywhere. The teacher says he's doing wonderful.
I finally got a couple of pictures of him at preschool when I went to pick him up today.


"Velvet"













Our little goat "Velvet" has become somewhat of a house pet since her brothers went to a new home. She gets pretty lonely and cries the most pitiful cry when no one is around. The kids enjoy jumping around with her in the great room and carrying her like a baby.

Winter Wonderland





We woke up to soft, powdery snow yesterday morning. Everything looked so beautiful covered in snow!
My bluebird house is opened up because other birds were building in there and this one is reserved for bluebirds only! By the way, I keep seeing several bluebirds coming around checking to make sure the bluebird house is still there.