Archive for July, 2013

July 18th, 2013


I think it would be very interesting to go on a few of these bird watches. I thought you might be interested in these places.



Published: July-August 2013
North Carolina Birding Trail

From a birder’s standpoint, North Carolina is not one state but three. In the mountainous western corner, in the upper Appalachians, you’ll find birds typical of more northern regions in summer, such as ruffed grouse, Canada warblers, and black-throated blue warblers. Forests in the Piedmont’s flat plateau are alive with birdsongs from Acadian flycatchers, summer tanagers, yellow-throated vireos, and wood thrush. In the eastern section, great salt marshes along the bays support rails and herons, while Outer Banks beaches provide nesting sites for American oystercatchers and Wilson’s plovers. More information: for three sectional guides that highlight more than 300 sites across the state, including many Important Bird Areas.

Pine to Prairie Birding Trail

In northwestern Minnesota, where the great eastern forest converges with the Great Plains, a dazzling variety of birds nest this time of year. On the open prairies, upland sandpipers and chestnut-collared longspurs flutter over the grass, singing their flight songs. In the deciduous forest, just east of the prairies, mornings ring with calls from pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers, and rose-breasted grosbeaks. The evergreen forest harbors an avian melange that includes northern goshawks and boreal chickadees. Common loons wail from every lake at night. More than 20 warbler species nest in the region, among them such sought-after beauties as the golden-winged warbler and the Connecticut warbler. More information:

Far West Texas Wildlife Trail

West Texas’s wide vistas hold endless surprises for the summer visitor. Stretches of open desert might seem barren when you see them for the first time, but explore a little further and you’ll cross paths with greater roadrunners, pyrrhuloxias, and a host of other birds thriving in these arid lands. This wildlife trail will guide you to hidden oases rich with life–to canyons, streams, and mountains with their own blend of unique birds, including two national parks. In Guadalupe Mountains National Park, there are birds reminiscent of the Rockies, such as broadtailed hummingbirds and western bluebirds. Follow the trail to Big Bend’s upper elevations to find the rare Colima warbler. More information:

Colorado Birding Trail

The hardest thing about birding in Colorado is the distracting scenery. This trail will help you manage that delightful problem. In the state’s rugged southwestern quadrant, it leads you to Mesa Verde National Park. There juniper titmice chatter in the woods and white-throated swifts zoom overhead. Among the Rockies’ peaks you can hear Townsend’s solitaires singing in the forests, or head to high elevations for specialties like the brown-capped rosy-finch or white-tailed ptarmigan. East of the mountains on the sweeping short-grass plains are the misnamed mountain plover and other prairie birds, including Colorado’s show-stealing state bird, the lark bunting. The trail connects nearly 220 sites, including designated Important Bird Areas. More information:

July 17th, 2013

Green Living: 8 Quick Tips for a More Eco-friendly Summer

front yard 5

Found this in an email and thought I would share it. Enjoy.

Green Living:
8 Quick Tips for a More Eco-friendly Summer

It’s Summer time, and the livin’ is easy! Making this a perfect opportunity to incorporate more eco-friendly habits into your routine. With thanks to the Bio-Friendly Blog for some of these great ideas, here are a few suggestions:

1. Let in some light. Why waste electricity in your house or workplace? All you need to do is open the blinds and you’ve got light.

2. Speaking of light, go where the light is in your yard and start your own backyard (or side, or front yard) garden and grow some fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re organic and they taste better. Your garden doesn’t have to be huge — even a couple of big pots with basil and cherry tomatoes is the beginning of a feast!

3. Find out when your local Farmers’ Market is being held and go there regularly for in-season, local produce. Our Durham Farmer’s Market should come with a warning label that you can develop smile cramps if you stay too long!

4. Eat more meals at home. Get away from processed foods and start making your meals at home. It’s SO much cheaper and better for you, too.

5. Whether you’re running errands or heading out on the great highways, please slow down a little. Speeding is stressful (and dangerous!), and it takes a toll on fuel economy. Remember – it’s not a race. Enjoy the journey.

6. Save money on your energy bill and reduce the daytime heat build-up in your home: switch over to doing some of your energy-heavy chores to the off-peak hours. For instance, do the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cooking, etc. at night.

7. Have a potluck get-together. Invite family and friends over for a picnic or backyard party. Ask them each to bring a specific food item (in a reusable container) along with their own dinnerware, cups, etc. This way you’ll have a great mix of foods and drinks. Plus, there will be very little clean up or waste afterward.

8. Last but not least, you can save money and shrink your carbon footprint at the same time by planning a “staycation.”

We love to play tourist here at home in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle. Try treating yourself to a day or two of visiting museums, landmarks, famous restaurants, and local galleries — as if you’re visiting from out of town. It gives you a new sense of pride about your hometown and you can skip the unpleasant wear and tear of travel. Some more terrific staycation ideas can be found here.

Got some additional suggestions? I’d love to hear from you. Share your environmental tips for a greener Summer, and I’ll print the best ones next time.

Remember —
Every little bit makes a world of difference.

July 12th, 2013

People who post on my blog, I have a question?

witchcraft starter kit

The witch in me!

Hi everyone,

I have a questions to the people who leave comments on my blog. I would say that almost all of you are advertising your business. I would like very much to just get a normal post about the article I posted. I would like to see things like “I never new that about cucumbers. That is so interesting. I think I will try this”. From now on anyone who comments pushing their business and not commenting on the article will be deleted. I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to get mad and wonder why I deleted your comments. That is the reason.

Thank you,


July 12th, 2013

How to Quit Your Diet Soda Habit for Good


I do not want to give up diet coke due to the fact I think I have given up enough in my life. I drink one diet coke per day. I gave them up once and didn’t feel any different. Diet coke is like a treat for me. It sure didn’t make me loose weight because I gave it up. If we have the same out come when we drink sugar drinks, then I will stick to my one diet drink a day. To me there are allot worse other things we live with that are more harmful. You don’t see these people telling you to give up your cleaning supplies and laundry soaps because they are toxic and killing us, do you? I know drinking diet soda is bad for you, but so are a thousand other things we do daily. Here is the facts of why you should give it up. I’m leaving this up to you of course.

Frosty and fizzy diet soda may seem refreshing when the weather is hot, but diet drinks have been tied to weight gain, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure, according to an article published by a Purdue professor and researcher in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, this week.

Artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin) present in trendy zero-calorie drinks, energy drinks, and diet sodas might seem like a smart alternative when compared to their sugary counterparts, but that’s often a false perception. “We’re taught that diet beverages are tools to help prevent health conditions such as obesity and diabetes, but the reality is, people who drink full-calorie soda have about the same health outcome of people who drink diet soda,” lead author Susan E. Swithers, PhD, professor of behavioral neuroscience at Purdue University, told Yahoo! Shine.

Based her review of recent scientific studies, Swithers sees a ‘health halo effect,’ or an unhealthy pattern of thinking, in regular soda drinkers. “People often give themselves permission to indulge in fatty foods because they’ve consumed a diet beverage,” said Swithers. “But if they do it enough, they’ll develop consistent unhealthy eating habits.”

Artificial sugar also pulls a bait-and-switch on the body that changes the way it processes food. “Sugar isn’t always bad for you—for example, there are natural sugars in fruit and vegetables that benefit your body,” says Swithers. “When you eat real sugar, the body releases hormones that activate the metabolism, creating feelings of satiation, regulating blood sugar, and protecting the heart. However, when you consume artificial sweeteners, your body initially recognizes their sweet taste, then quickly gets confused, suppressing those hormones your body needs to function.”

What’s more, people who consume lots of artificial sweeteners actually alter patterns in their brain’s “pleasure centers” in response to them. According to Swither’s paper, that process suggests that artificial sweeteners may not even satisfy one’s sweet tooth.

The takeaway, she said, is that public health campaigns for limiting sugar in soda and packaged foods should also extend to limiting artificial sugars. Recently, diet soda has been linked to a slew of health problems—the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that daily consumption of the stuff was linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke; also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking artificially sweetened beverages raises one’s risk of type 2 diabetes.

But what if you can’t envision powering through the day without your afternoon diet soda? You would be in good company—according to an article published in the New York Times, Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, and Elton John have all professed their love for Diet Coke. Victoria Beckham even reportedly told Newsweek that she drinks it all the time because she doesn’t like the taste of water. “The good news is, you don’t have to quit artificial sweeteners cold turkey,” Patricia Bannan, registered dietician and author of Eat Right When Time is Tight told Yahoo! Shine.

“It’s true: There’s nothing like the feeling of that first sip of diet soda, but when you taper off your consumption, you’ll be surprised at how many chemicals you taste if you even have one sip,” said Bannan.

If you’re drinking one soda per day, Bannan suggests slashing your intake to one every two days, and then one every three days and so forth. “You’ll feel uncomfortable at first but you can try various substitutes for diet soda,” said Bannan.

For example, carbonated water offers the fizzy kick of soda but without the chemicals. “Adding a splash of 100 percent fruit juice or a lemon or lime wedge can also satisfy your sweet tooth,” she said.

Another option: Brew tea. “People are often drawn to diet soda because of the caffeine, not necessarily the taste,” she says. “Black, green, white, and oolong tea all contain an amino acid called ‘L-theanine’ which sends the body into a calming yet alert state.”

Also, be aware that many habits are formed when people associate behaviors with their activities. If you hit the vending machine daily for your diet soda fix, you could break your dependency by simply rejiggering your schedule: When the urge strikes, swap the vending machine visit for a walk around the block (walking releases feel-good endorphins that may quell your craving) or make a point to schedule a meeting during that time so your mind is otherwise occupied.

Also, try this mind trick: “The next time you reach for a diet beverage, take a look at the list of ingredients on the back,” says Bannan. “The more ingredients a product has, the more artificial it probably is. If you can’t pronounce it, do you really want to drink it?”

July 7th, 2013

Very Important To Your Health and Your Pets


This I took off Facebook. Very important to your health and your pets.

This could be the most important thing that you see me post! Its an epidemic this year, and these things are as lethal as a venomous snake in the wrong senerio! Please not only read it, but share it! Make sure we get the word out about these tics and the disease they carry!

It’s summer! Time for camping, hiking and getting outside to play. Don’t let those pesky annoying ticks stop you. Here’s how with a simple homemade solution!

Repellent for your pets:

For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).

To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.

For you and your family:

In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.

After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks are on the body.

If you have ever shared anything, please click share on this! WE must get the word spread about the dangers of Ticks and how to avoid them!
find more like this at Weight…No Longer!
for the best DIY, Information, recipes, home remedies, and plain funny stories follow me Roger Howard

July 1st, 2013



I posted something on cucumbers awhile back. They are great so I thought I would ad this.


Spice up your 8 glasses per day of water with a slice or two of cucumber. It’s wonderfully refreshing, but there are amazing benefits to cucumber as well. Cucumbers are cooler than you think … SHARE THIS AWESOME INFORMATION

1. Fat busting: Do you ever wonder why women put cucumbers on their eyes to relieve puffiness? The photo chemical in cucumbers makes the collagen in your skin tighten, thus the lack of puffiness. Did you know that you can rub a cucumber on a problematic spot of cellulite anywhere on your body to lessen the visibility of it? Did you also know that it has the same effect on wrinkles? Wow, it makes purchasing those fifty dollar creams seem a little silly, doesn’t it? You can also rub a little bit under your kiddo’s eyes after a long bout of crying to avoid that puffy ‘I cried for an hour straight’ look.

2. Defogger: Do you get annoyed when you get out of the shower and you have to fight the fog on the mirror? Who has time for that when the kids will be awake at any moment? Try rubbing a slice of cucumber on the mirror before you hop in and not only will you get a fog-free mirror, but you’ll have a nice smell that will boost your mood.

3. Headaches: If you suffer from headaches from chasing your babies all day (or pets or your husband), or had a little too much wine with dinner and want to avoid a hangover, eat half of a cucumber before bed. Cucumbers are high in B vitamins, sugar, and electrolytes, and they replenish the nutrients missing in your body to help you avoid a hang over or to beat that headache that’s been threatening to take over.

4. WD-40 replacement: Did you know you can get rid of a squeak by rubbing a cucumber on the hinge? Wow, now you don’t have to tear your garage apart looking for that little can with the red straw, and the baby won’t wake up when you slowly open the nursery door to check on him.

5. Crayon on the walls: Take an unpeeled cucumber and rub the crayon off of the walls in the event that your kiddo left you some art. You can also use this technique to erase a pen mistake.

6. Halitosis killer: Take a slice of cucumber and put it on the roof of your mouth. Hold it there with your tongue for 30 seconds. The photo chemical that you love for cellulite and puff reduction will also kill the bacteria that is causing your bad breath.

7. Tarnish remover: If you’re finding tarnish on your stainless steel kitchen faucets and appliances? Rub it off with a cucumber slice. Not only will it remove years of tarnish, it will leave it streak free and your hands will thank you, and your kids won’t be put at risk from a dangerous chemical.

8. Energy booster: If you’re feeling tired in the afternoon, don’t give Starbucks your five bucks. Instead, grab a cucumber. There are just enough carbohydrates and B vitamins to give you a longer-lasting and healthier boost of energy than soda, coffee, or those health hazard energy drinks.

9. Munch y madness: Did you know that European trappers ate cucumbers for energy and to keep from starving to death? If those big burly manly men can eat a cucumber to keep from starving, you can eat one as a healthy choice when the munchies hit. Slice some up and take them in a small plastic container to the movies if your theater doesn’t offer healthy alternatives to munching on butter soaked popcorn.

10. Frugal facial: Slice up a cucumber and boil it in a pot of water. The chemicals inside of the cucumber will mix with the steam. Remove the pot from heat and lean over it, letting the steam hit you. Your skin will be more radiant and healthy, and you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

11. Shoe polish: Cut a slice off of your cucumber and rub it on your shoe. It will not only shine it up, but it will repel water.

12. Pest control: Put three or four slices of cucumber in a small pie tin and place them in your garden. The chemicals in the cucumber have a reaction that pests hate. You won’t smell it, but it will drive them from your garden all year long. Replace them periodically.

13. Sunburn: Sometimes sun block doesn’t always protect your little ones from sunburn. If you have burnt little kiddos you don’t have any aloe, rub some cucumber on them. Many doctors even use cucumber to treat patients with irritated skin and sunburns.

14. Blood pressure: Cucumber has been long used to treat high blood pressure. If you have it, add cucumbers to your daily diet. There is also ongoing research into the use of cucumbers for lowering cholesterol.

15. Constipation remedy: The seeds of a cucumber are a diuretic. If you’re constipated, try eating a cucumber. If you suffer from chronic constipation, add cucumber to your daily diet.