Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Reviewing uses for tea tree oil
Click here to buy some Tea Tree Oil
I was first introduced to Tea Tree oil over 20 years ago and absolutely love it.  At the time that I was introduced to it I was managing a health food store in New Zealand and the brand I used was Thursday Plantation.  Thursday Plantation was the first company to make tea tree oil commercially, but over the years many other companies have followed suit.

I was really excited when Arbonne released their new products for the year and tea tree oil was one of them.  As a company I love the ethics of Arbonne, the fact that all of their products are of high quality, PETA approved, vegan and so much more means that I will be using their tea tree oil.

How Do I Use Tea Tree OIl

Treating Things with Tea Tree Oil


Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried.

Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide, in fact according to Valerie Ann Worwood (The Fragrant Pharmacy) it's antiseptic properties are thought to be 100 x more powerful than carbolic acid.

I have used it in a diffuser or burner when I've been sick (although to be honest I prefer lemon oil as it doesn't make the house smell like a hospital!).

My husband used to get a recurring fungal infection on his toe nail and was constantly using a cream from the doctor which would help it, but it would never go away completely.  I decided that we should use tea tree oil (much to the dismay of my sceptical husband!)  I put one drop of tea tree oil onto a dampened cotton bud and wiped it over the nail twice a day.  Much to my husband's disbelief it actually worked and the fungal nail infection went away completely.

The owner of the health food store I managed used to get dandruff and he found that once he used a tea tree shampoo and conditioner it cleared up.  Well to be honest I didn't think my husband would like the smell of the shampoo and conditioner and I already had the oil so I told him to put the shampoo onto his hand and then add one drop of tea tree oil, mixed it together and then use it on his head.  Lo and behold his dandruff disappeared.

It's amazing how over the years my husband has been much less of a sceptic!

Beauty Uses for Tea Tree Oil


When I worked at the health food shop there were a few products for acne that were based on tea tree oil that were very successful for our customers, but I heard of a couple of cool ideas on a training I recently attended.

Tea Tree Skin Tonic

2 drops of tea tree oil
40 drops of witch hazel

Use this on your skin in place of a toner.  I think this is awesome as I know a couple of years ago I worked with a young lady and she used straight witch hazel to clear up her problem skin, coupled with my previous customer's experience with tea tree I think this is a winning combination.

If you have blemishes anywhere on your body you could add a couple of drops to coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to your skin.

You can add 1-2 drops to your existing masks, scrubs or face creams.  The only thing you can NOT do is add it straight onto your skin.  This is a pure essential oil which means it's highly concentrated and should always be diluted before using.

Steam Bath for Acne

Of course you can always add hot water to a bowl with 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil and then pop a towel over your head and the bowl and let the combination of steam and tea tree work it's magic.  As a disclaimer although I remember my friends steaming their face as an 'acne cure' as a teen I didn't suffer from acne so I'm not sure if it worked.  My daughter tried it a couple of times, but didn't like the smell as it reminded her that I used tea tree on her when she had nits!  (I can't remember the ratio I used for that).  As she wouldn't give it a chance it didn't work.

Arbonne Essential Oils
Purchase Arbonne Essential Oils here

Household Uses for Tea Tree Oil

My favorite way to use tea tree oil around the house was in the toilet!  I would lift the cistern up and pop a dozen drops of tea tree oil to the water in there.  Every time you flush you get a very faint odour of the tea tree oil, when I couldn't smell it anymore (or a week had passed) I would add more drops.

Now I wasn't doing it for that fragrance by the way, I did it because it really helped to keep the toilet bowl cleaner.  I haven't done this in a while because with our last toilet I couldn't easily access the cistern, but with our newer toilet and Arbonne releasing their tea tree oil I will start this again!

I have also used tea tree oil for removing scuff marks off of lino floors (add a drop to a damp cloth and wipe).  Talking of floors you can also add 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 1 1/5 gallons of water and use that to wash your floors.  My husband's response was that it smelt like a hospital, so the next time I also added a couple of drops of lavender to try and mask the smell.  I no longer do this because my husband really didn't like the smell and sometimes you just accept defeat in some areas!

If you like the smell of tea tree oil you can also add it to your vacuum bag when vacuuming - I tended to only use lavender essential oil (see above re husband's complaint!), but I now have a bagless vacuum so I don't get the lovely smell as I'm cleaning the house!

Dogs & Tea Tree Oil

Now dog's have very sensitive skin so do NOT put tea tree oil directly onto a dog's skin, but it can help if they have sores or are itchy, it just must be diluted.  If your dog is itching a bit then simply pop 1 drop into the shampoo before washing him/her. 

My late dog got a nasty sore on his tummy so I diluted a drop of tea tree oil in a natural base cream (I can't remember the name of it) and rubbed that on it.  It worked really well.  For my current dog I've always used pawpaw ointment (no need to mix anything).

Have You Used Tea Tree Oil?


There are lots of uses for tea tree oil which I haven't even touched on, I'd love to know if you've used it and what your experiences of it have been.





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Friday, April 20, 2018

The Reality of Love Movie Review

The Reality of Love Movie Review - I Want to Marry Ryan Banks
If you are seeking a really cute love story with a fairy-tale ending, then allow me to recommend The Reality of Love.  Not only is it a sweet love story, but it is a testament to true and devoted friendship.   

I'm not really a big fan of reality television shows, but I am a huge fan of the Hallmark channel movies.  Therefore, I found myself watching this movie a few days ago and I loved it.  If the real reality shows were more like this movie's reality show, then I would probably be more inclined to watch them.  One thing I suspect they both have in common is that the editors of the program cut, edit and alter the participants to appear the way they want them to in the show.  But, things aren't always as they seem on screen.


The Reality of Love Movie Synopsis


 When Todd (Bradley Cooper) and Ryan (Jason Priestley) graduate from college, they drive almost 3000 miles from Boston to Hollywood to celebrate.   While trying to impress a couple of girls in a bar, Ryan claims to be an actor.  He is immediately approached by a casting director who is looking for just the right guy for a movie.  She requests his manager's name and Ryan responds by introducing Todd as his manager.  

The movie fast forwards to 10 years later when Ryan has become a huge success and Todd has in fact worked as his manager.   However, Ryan's last film was a failure and his career is sinking fast.  Todd comes up with the idea of featuring Ryan on a reality television show named "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" and letting America pick a wife for Ryan.  

The applicants flood in for the show.  It seems everyone wants to marry Ryan Banks.  Todd and Ryan pick 30 girls from the submitted videos which will be interviewed in person and 15 will be selected for the show.  

From the very beginning, Charley (Emma Caulfield Ford) is America's top choice to be Ryan's wife.  Because Ryan wants to maintain his popularity with the public, he is willing to romance and select Charley as his bride.  However, there is just one big problem.  His best friend and manager, Todd, has fallen head over heels in love with Charley during the filming and production of the show. 

One friend has to make a sacrifice that will affect the rest of his life for his best friend. 



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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Trailer - Review

Finn's New Adventure Mobile
Let's go!  These are the magic words that make my dog's heart sing.  Finn is always thrilled when we head out for an adventure, but his disability requires thoughtful solutions that enable him to enjoy rigorous outdoor activities.  This is why I bought Finn the Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Stroller/Trailer this week. Now he can go on extended hikes and bike rides without hurting or overly stressing his body.

When I adopted Finn a few months ago, the first thing I acquired for him was a standard dog stroller.  That stroller has been an important mobility aid given Finn's limited use of his rear legs, but it has significant issues.  The stroller is tippy and its small wheels can only handle paved surfaces.  Given the rugged terrain where we live and play, it quickly became apparent that we needed a different style of dog stroller.

As I initiated a search for Finn's next adventure mobile, my wish list included the following features: lower center of gravity (closer to the ground); bigger wheels; dual use features (bike trailer option in addition to stroller function); and affordability (many dog trailers cost several hundred dollars).

After considering several products, I found one that offered more than I was seeking.  The price was right (two to three hundred dollars less than other models offering fewer features) and the shipping was fast and free.  Everything arrived carefully packed.

Here's what I received in the box (clockwise from bottom center): tool kit; instructions; front swivel wheel and fork; safety flag; handlebars with brake; rear wheels; and trailer body.



In addition to getting the larger wheels (19-inch) on my wish list, I was especially happy to receive the bonus of a suspension system that will provide shock absorption.  I want Finn to have as smooth a ride as possible.  This is one of the more important features for a dog that cannot balance on all four legs.






I was ready to purchase another trailer model until I read complaints about the front wheel being stationary.  Because the wheel did not swivel, turning was tedious.  I now realize what a mistake it would have been to go with a stroller that was hard to maneuver around curves and corners.  The front wheel on this model can swivel 360 degrees and is 9.5 inches high.











Another complaint about some of the other dog strollers that I initially considered was that they lacked any storage options.  This model has two pockets, one on each side of the trailer body, that are just perfect for storing a cell phone, keys, or a wallet.













Though the trailer can be compacted for travel, I find it is easiest to just leave it fully assembled and use the bed of my truck for moving it around.  Even though I have a short bed on my Sport Trac, it is large enough to haul this trailer.  Anyone with a van, SUV, or truck will have plenty of room to easily transport this dog trailer.  The external dimensions are: 30" wide x 46" long x 38" high.  At 37 pounds, I can easily lift and load this stroller/trailer by myself.


Let's move on to what Finn likes about his new ride.  When I asked him, he wanted to make sure I mentioned his awesome sunroof.  That's pretty much his favorite feature.  I've been keeping the roof open while we're cruising so Finn can keep an eye on my driving.  The sunroof does have a screen and rain guard.  Given that the weather can change every five minutes in Colorado, I'm sure that hatch cover will be put to use.




Finn also likes the roomy interior of his carriage.  There is plenty of space to lie down comfortably.  The internal dimensions are: 23" wide x 28" long x 22" high.  He also enjoys all of the screened in picture windows.  This is one fabulous room with a view.








Most of all, Finn and I love the anticipation of all the places we will now be able to go.  We highly recommend the Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Trailer.  It's not just for disabled dogs.  Most dogs could benefit from this mobility aid during some season in their lives.  Young pups and senior dogs often tire easily on long walks.  Also, many dogs have periods of time when they are recovering from something that limits their capacity to get around (a surgical procedure, injury, etc.).  It is so hard for a dog to be grounded.  Anything that keeps a dog's spirits up and is good for his overall well-being is so worth the investment.

Stay tuned for updates as we test the bicycle trailer option and take our first road trip.
















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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Outstanding Gifts for First Communions and Confirmations

April and May are the typical months for many "spiritual" exercises in the Roman Catholic Church, so let's review some appropriate and outstanding gifts for these special occasions!

gifts for religious occasions, Holy Communion, Confirmation,
Spring is that time of renewal and rebirth!  Everything seems to be coming to life again and so with Easter behind us, it's time to help our youngsters grow in their faith too!

Along with the profession of their First Communions and/or Confirmations, many families opt to host a small party for the child who is taking this big step.  Often times if you are invited to this kind of celebration, it is difficult to know what an appropriate gift would be for the child. As the parent and grandparent of a few children that have made this testament to their faith,  I can help you out!

Holy Communions and Confirmations are religious events,  unlike birthdays or other celebrations.  Gifts should be in keeping with the tone of the event.  For parents and grandparents, they may choose to give the child a Prayer Book and/or Rosary.  A nice cross on a chain for them to wear would also be appropriate.  Other invited guests may choose monetary gifts because they have no idea what an appropriate gift would be.

I like to give books and believe firmly that a child will enjoy a book given for a special occasion and maybe even treasure that book well into their adult life.  To that end, I'm going to suggest a  book that I really like and would be lovely for either First Communion or Confirmation


Brother Sun and Sister Moon is an adaptation from St. Francis of Assisi's song to God, by Katherine Paterson!  The original version was written in 1227!  This particular book has beautiful illustrations that are actually hand cut outs of paper by Pamela Dalton.  Each picture is a marvel in and of itself. This book is wonderful in both content and design.  The gorgeous pictures and beautiful words,  will be a nice reminder for any child of that special day in their lives. The illustrations are just so well done and an art form that we don't see too much of.  I had seen this book at the library, and I was taken by surprise at the beauty of the illustrations.  Mind you, I also happen to love St. Francis of Assisi!  He is the patron saint of gardeners (my other passion) and naturalists. 

The Bible Made Easy - for Kids,  is a great starting point for dialogue about faith.  When the children read what is happening in the Bible stories,  in language that they understand, discussion about faith topics is so much easier!  The Bible (while wonderful in its original form) is not a book that is easily understood.  Giving children the opportunity to read the stories and understand their meanings is a great way to start some interesting discussions about the life and faith lessons that we need to learn.

Encouraging children to read and ask questions makes their faith life come alive.  It's not just something they do on Sundays anymore. 

So let me see if I can make it even easier for you to decide on the appropriate gift!  Here's a list that works for me:

Holy Communion or Confirmation Gifts:

1.  Faith based books! (Geared to the age of the child)
2.  Cross for Child's room
3.  Bookmarks with spiritual sayings
4.  Picture frame for the "Special Day Photo"
5.  Rosary (if they are Catholics, you can never have just one!)
6.  Necklace or charm with a religious tone (angels, wings, crosses etc.)
7.  Small statue of their favorite saint or namesake.
8.  Donation to a favorite charity in the name of the child.
9.  Child friendly Bible
10.Gratitude Journal

These are just my suggestions, I'm sure that you can come up with more! Teaching and passing on the faith we believe in is part of our duty as parents.  Milestones in that faith formation should be celebrated with loved ones.  Truly, it is home where our sense of faith begins and it is home where milestones should be celebrated too.
Holy Communion gifts, religious gifts, faith based gifts from family

You can read more about these sacraments and appropriate gifts in another review I did a few years ago.  Click Right Here and read some more if you feel so inclined!  Bless you all!




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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Probable Paws Mystic Notch Series Reviewed

Revisiting A Favored Cozy Mystery Series

A guardian of magic, perhaps?
A few years ago, I reviewed the Mystic Notch series of cozy mysteries here on Review This. At the time of that article there were only four books in this delightful series. While looking for something new to read, I discovered that more books have been written since then. 

I had forgotten just how delightful the humans and cats were in this entertaining series of mysteries! Willa and her cat Pandora are still as fun to read about as in the other books of this Cozy Mystery Series. 

If you recall, Willa has inherited a bookstore from her Grandmother in the quaint and magical little town of Mystic Notch. Along with the shop, she also inherited her grandmother's Victorian house and of course the very intelligent cat, Pandora. In the 5th book, Willa is beginning to realize that there just might be something very special about her cat. Of course, Pandora is trying to be patient with this human of hers while trying to teach her the ways of communication. 

Willa still sees ghosts which is an ability that she acquired after a terrible accident a few years ago. The ghosts aren't anything to fear, they are actually pretty friendly. Willa would say they are more annoying than frightening. In Probable Paws, the visiting spirit is Adelaide Hamilton who doesn't ask Willa to find the person who took her life as most of the ghosts do. Adelaide is more concerned that Willa find a certain recipe book and make sure that it gets to Elspeth. Willa remembers that her Grandmother had mentioned this same book in her will and also wanted to make sure that Elspeth got it. What could be so special about a cookbook? Well, perhaps the recipes contained it might be a clue but I won't spoil it for you.

I will tell you that Willa is not the only person in town who is searching for that book. If you remember there has been a struggle in the little town for generations between the people who know good magic and the dark ones who want to exert their evil magic into the town. So, obviously some bad people are also looking for the book known as Betty's Recipes. There is another searcher for the book that Willa is unaware of. Are they one of the good ones or a bad one? Well, you will have to read the book to find out. Will the cats of Mystic Notch be able to help the humans?

If you read the other books in this series, I think you will want to read the fifth book. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have not read any of these books, I highly recommend that you get started. You will not be disappointed if you are a cozy mystery fan, a lover of cats and don't mind a friendly ghost or two.





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Monday, April 16, 2018

Reviewing Poo-Pourri for the Bathroom

Writing publicly about bathroom habits is a strange thing
Poo-Pourri - Deja Poo scent.
for me - I'm not sure whether to be very concise with only scientific lingo or whether to start cracking off with potty humor. I think I'll try to keep the potty humor dialed back while I review an awesome product called Poo-Pourri. If you have ever been concerned about the unpleasant and embarrassing smells that are created while using the bathroom you might be interested in this bathroom smell eliminator.


Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray


Poo-Pourri is advertised as the "before you go" bathroom smell barrier. Spray a bit of this fragrance on the water in the bowl before having a seat to do your business. The advertising goes on to promise that the spray traps the smell under the water and all you (and more importantly OTHERS) smell is "a refreshing bouquet of natural essential oils" with no harsh chemicals - 

  • No synthetic fragrance
  • No alcohol
  • No aerosol
  • No parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No formaldehyde

The makers of Poo-Pourri advertise it as "safe to breathe and safe to flush".  

When I had the opportunity to use it over several days, it did work every time. It eliminated or covered any smells that I didn't want to share with others.

My Skepticism


I was introduced to this product during a recent trip to visit my son and family. When they mentioned the spray, I was very skeptical. After all... doesn't the smell happen on the way to the toilet water? Isn't spraying the toilet water a little like closing the barn door when the horse has been running around the field?

And... the Poo-Pourri was so STRONG! I took a sniff and thought about my migraines. I thought the spray would certainly trigger a migraine.

Despite my negative thoughts, I tried it. And it did work. After flushing, all I smelled was the Poo-Pourri. The scent did not trigger a migraine - despite being very strong.

I am purchasing some Poo-Pourri of my own. I really like the "in a pinch" sized bottles. I can carry them with me into public restrooms.  I have to admit that when I travel (and when I've been fighting migraines) my schedule is off and I end up using public bathrooms. I don't like feeling like I have to wait until the sink area of a public bathroom has to clear before I dart out of a stall... pretending as though "that wasn't me!"

Now I can exit a public bathroom stall smelling as fresh as a flower garden.

Poo-Pourri "in a pinch pack"


There is a variety of Poo-Pourri scents to choose from.  Deja Poo, Original Citrus, Secret Santa Claus Christmas, Royal Flush, Tropical Hibiscus, and more. You can shop the Poo-Pourri store on Amazon or you can check out the Poo-Pourri website for more information. 


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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran - A Review of An Incredibily Moving Song that Will Bring You to Tears

More Songs for Mom Here - Photo via Pixabay
Have You Heard Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran?

If you haven't heard this song, and you've lost your mom or a mother figure, you're going to cry.

During my research for a unique list of songs to honor moms, I tripped on 'Supermarket Flowers' by Ed Sheeran, and was shocked by it's incredibly touching mood music and personal story telling lyrics that most of us can relate to.

At least thirty times; that's how much I've listened to this song since yesterday. Being one of the fortunate ones who still has her mother living, it caused me to pick up the phone to call her again today!

The song gets right to the story with painful lyrics that describe clearing out the room of someone loved and recently passed:
  • I took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill
    I threw the day old tea from the cup
    Packed up the photo album Matthew had made
    Memories of a life that's been loved
    Took the get well soon cards and stuffed animals
    Poured the old ginger beer down the sink
    Dad always told me, "don't you cry when you're down"
    But mum, there's a tear every time that I blink
By the second line, "I threw the day old tea from the cup", you know exactly what the song is about, and it hurts in a beautiful way.

If you've ever had to pack up the belongings of someone recently passed on, you know just how incredibly emotional it is. Everything holds a memory, there's a time marker on each of item, and as your hand touches each piece, you remember, and you cry.

Hidden amongst the pain is a hopeful message, "Oh I'm in pieces, it's tearing me up, but I know, a heart that's broke, is a heart that's been loved".

About Supermarket Flowers:

You'll find Supermarket Flowers on Ed Sheeran's 2017 Album, 'Divide'.

In an interview with MTV, Sheeran revealed that the song is about his grandmother.

He said she was in hospital close to the studio and had passed away during it's production. He wrote the song as a personal tribute from the point of view of his mother, and it wasn't initially intended to be included on the album.

However, when he sang the song at this grandmother's funeral, his grandfather encouraged him to include the song; and so it was, as the final track.

Get the Tissues Ready, As Ed Sheeran himself Said, "It Was Written to Make You Cry"






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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dolphin Review for National Dolphin Day


Dolphin Photo - Pixabay
National Dolphin Day is celebrated each year on April 14th, an unofficial holiday that mainly focuses on bringing awareness to the ban on the hunting of dolphins. 

Dolphins are mammals and are related to whales and porpoises.  They range in size from 4 feet up to 30 feet and are found all over the world in the shallow seas around the continental shelves.  I have even seen them in the inland waterway between Savannah, Georgia and Beaufort, South Carolina and in the Savannah River, both of which have access to the ocean. 

Dolphins are very social animals and live in groups called 'Pods'.  

No one knows who originally started National Dolphin Day, but many organizations promote it, including conservation groups, zoos and aquariums.



Things to do on National Dolphin Day



  • Visit a zoo or an aquarium near you.
  • Go on a Dolphin Tour if you live near the ocean. My son & grandson took such a tour on the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia last summer. 



  • Watch this amazing video about dolphins




  • Read a storybook about dolphins to a child.
  • Watch a movie about dolphins.  Remember Flipper?



Pink Dolphin in Plush on Etsy






Toy Dolphins



An Etsy Dolphin Pod in Plush Handmade Crochet

I am a crochet crafter who has lived near the sea for many years and toy dolphins in plush crochet are my favorite animals to create.  I have them in many colors in my Etsy Shop Coastal Crochet Crafts

Dolphins are usually gray or bluish gray with a lighter gray or white underbelly.  But cute crochet dolphins are toy stuffed animals, so they can be any color you can imagine! 

For more crochet dolphins, visit Crocheted Handmade Toy Dolphins by Wednesday Elf on Crochet, Crafts and Cute Critters. 


National Dolphin Day



So enjoy this magical of creatures, the wonderful sea animal known as the dolphin.



Plush Dolphins on Etsy at Coastal Crochet Crafts


National Dolphin Day

Every April 14th


The Month of March is 

Dolphin Awareness Month


(c) Wednesday Elf




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Friday, April 13, 2018

Navigating The Heart Movie Review

Navigating the Heart Movie Review
The movie Navigating The Heart starring Jaclyn Smith and Tim Matheson was actually released in 2000.  However, I only discovered it this week.   I love it when I find two of my favorite actors in a old movie that I have never seen before.  I know I am guaranteed a wonderful movie experience.  I was certainly not disappointed with this one. 

Navigating The Heart is a great romantic movie where two people from completely different backgrounds fall in love.  What makes this movie even better is that it is based on a true story.   The book entitled "Fishing with John" was written by Edith Iglauer, the main female character in the story.  She tells the story of their love and sadly brief life together in this bestselling memoir.   The movie only captures the story of how they met and fell in love.  For the details of their subsequent life on the boat, you would need to read the book.

To be completely honest, if it were not based on a true story I would have a hard time believing a beautiful, sophisticated city woman would fall in love with a small town fisherman.  Normally, we would have to suspend reality to embrace this story, but not with Edith Iglauer (Jaclyn Smith) and John Daly (Tim Matheson).


Navigating The Heart Synopsis

Navigating the Heart Movie Review
Edith Iglauer  is a somewhat arrogant, although justifiably so, writer for Manhattan magazine, which has just been taken over by a new owner with very different ideas about how a magazine should run.  Previously the "literary journalists" were allowed to choose their own article subjects.  Now, they will be assigned.  

This decision to assign subjects and articles burns right to the core of Edith's literary heart.  She is not happy about the idea and doesn't hesitate to express her opinion.  She feels her 15 years of dedication, as well as her contribution to the popularity of Manhattan magazine, should be rewarded and praised.  It is beneath her to be treated like an upstart that needs to be spoon-fed or assigned specific boring subjects to cover.  
 
Her first assignment is to write a piece about the excessive price of salmon.  Needless to say, Edith is outraged at the idea.  After all, her expertise is in covering politics.  Interestingly enough, when she investigates the industry for her assignment, she does find a huge political influence.  But she doesn't know that will be the case as she reluctantly heads to British Columbia, Canada to get background for her article.

I had to laugh out loud when Edith arrived at the fishing pier dressed for the office, wearing toeless heels and pulling her luggage on wheels.  It really is the perfect illustration of how out of place she was in a fishing town.

Navigating the Heart Movie Review
After learning that John Daly is the best source of information for her article, Edith asks a local female fisherman to take her out to John's boat.  He is no happier to see her there than she was to have been assigned the article.  However, after some persuasion, he allows her onto his boat and proceeds with the business of catching, cleaning and icing fish.  Needless to say, Edith is sickened by what she sees and smells.  Again, I had to laugh when she quoted Mark Twain, "fishing is a jerk at one end of the line waiting for a jerk at the other end".

Determined to write a story and not be beaten by this assignment, Edith ends up back on a John Daly's boat in spite of how much she really dislikes him.  At constant odds with each other, while exchanging hateful barbs, Edith makes bad matters worse by accidentally starting a fire on the stove.  Later that night, in the midst of a storm, they hit a log and the boat starts taking on water.  Declaring "mayday" and requesting assistance, John does his best to seal of up holes, and then they wait.  Ironically, it is during that time of waiting for help, possibly facing death, that they talk and a friendship is forged. 

Edith does write her story, but her whole life is changed after visiting BC, Canada, where she finds so much more than just content for a story.


Watch Navigating the Heart or Read the Book







House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review of Photographing and Identifying Birds in Florida Wilderness Reserve



I enjoy watching and photographing birds and most of the year I do that in my own backyard in Missouri.  During  March we travel to Florida and this year we stayed in Palm Beach Gardens where there was a nature reserve just steps away from our condo.  Every day I would walk back to the reserve and was rewarded with some wonderful sights.  There were a wide variety of birds and ducks and I saw several turtles and an alligator. 

Identifying Birds

I like to know the kinds of birds I am photographing so I spend a bit of time online finding the names and species of the different birds.  I find the website for Florida Audubon at http://fl.audubon.org/  to be very helpful in identifying the birds I photograph.  Here are the varieties I have photographed in the nature reserve.
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Red-winged blackbirds
  • Doves
  • White Ibis
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Anhinga
  • Blue Heron
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Tri-colored Heron
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Roseta Spoonbill
  • Whistling Duck
  • Wood Duck
  • Cormorant
  • Wood Stork

 

Ducks in the Wilderness Reserve

The first day I walked into the reserve I noticed some interesting looking ducks.  They stood tall and had rather long necks for a duck.  I found out that these were called Whistling Ducks.

Whistling Ducks Flameless Candle


During the next weeks, I observed these ducks each time I visited the reserve.  Sometimes they would sit very still, but one day I heard them making a loud racket and then a pair of them would fly up off the ground.  This scenario would be repeated by several different pairs of ducks.  I'm not sure what they were doing but it was sure interesting to watch.

I also saw some Wood Ducks at the reserve.  They are such colorful ducks.

 

Roseate Spoonbill

One bird that I had never seen before was the Roseate Spoonbill.  This bird is easily identified by it's rosy color and flat spoon-like bill.  It stood still often so it was easy for me to photograph.



 

Wood Stork

One day I noticed these rather large white birds in the distance.  When they flew the underside of their wings were lined in black.  They were quite impressive in flight, but when they settled down they looked quite unusual.  I took a photo and went back to my computer to identify them.  I easily found a photo and determined them to be a Wood Stork, they are the only stork that breeds in the USA.


Anhinga


The Anhinga is a large water bird found in the warmer waters of the southern Americas.  It is sometimes called by several other names: snakebird, darter and water turkey.  

I found these birds to be very interesting.  They are able to stay underwater for quite some time and I observed them diving for their prey and then resurfacing quite a ways down the stream.  At that time only their head and neck would appear above the water before they took another dive into the water.  After a while I would see them on the bank drying out their feathers as in the photo above.

I believe the bird in the photo above to be a male anhinga and the one in the photo below to be a female.  Males have a black neck and white at the tip of the tail and the female has a beige colored neck and breast.



Sandhill Crane

I saw several sandhill cranes during my visits to the reserve and I even saw one walking down the center of the roadway near our condo.  They are tall birds and quite tame.  They were easy to take photos of since they did not frighten easily.





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