Showing posts with label Sylvestermouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sylvestermouse. Show all posts

Friday, September 25, 2020

CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves (Dusting Gloves) Reviewed

Microfiber Dusting Gloves
Recently, I discovered the CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves. I planned to wear them while I was dusting my home so I could easily pick up & dust picture frames, trinket boxes and knick-knacks. However, the first time I put them on, I discovered they can do so much more!

As I was dusting my dining room, I found it was a lot faster and easier to dust the dining room table legs and chair legs with the gloves.  Moving on to the buffet, I discovered just how easy it was to dust the doors, drawers & sides of the buffet.  In my den, I ended up using just the gloves to dust the book shelves. 

The gloves allow me to hold picture frames without getting finger prints on them while also dusting them completely.  Since the gloves are not thick, I can still feel the surfaces.  They are also very soft, similar to the way a plush animal feels.  I may never use a dusting cloth again!


Benefits of the CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves

 Master Manufacturing CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves, One Size
OFFERED ON AMAZON PANTRY
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There are several features about these gloves that I really like.  First and foremost, they do a great job of dusting anything your hands can touch or reach.  Here are a few more reasons to love them.

  • Attracts & Holds Dust, Dirt, or Pet Hair
  • Safe for Computers & Electronics
  • Safe for Dusting Leather
  • No Chemical Cleaning
  • Set of two gloves - one for each hand for dual action
  • Thin & soft - unlikely to scratch anything
  • Machine Wash & Dry

 

One note of caution:  Don't dry them with a fabric softener dryer sheet.

These dusting gloves made me wish I was a lot taller so I could dust the ceiling lights, fans, window casings and wall cornices.  Well, I guess I could do that with the help of a ladder, but I best stay on the ground with my long handled feather duster for those areas.

I was so impressed with these dandy dusting gloves that I immediately purchased 7 additional pairs.  I have already given my mom a pair and I plan to give them as Christmas gifts to the home "cleaners" in our family.   They are most definitely "gift worthy".




I am a firm believer in cleaning without harmful chemicals whenever there is an option! I have sought out cleaning products that do not have strong smells, yet actually work.

If you also avoid strong smells or harmful chemicals, you may also be interested in the reviews featured below.


Recommended Cleaning Tips & Products Reviewed by Several of Our Contributors


Clean Your Bathtub Without Harmful Chemicals or FumesClean Your Bathtub Without Harmful Chemicals or Fumes

Clean a porcelain bathtub without any fumes or harmful chemicals! The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does a better job of cleaning the tub too.



White Vinegar For Cleaning ReviewWhite Vinegar For Cleaning Review

White vinegar is an inexpensive and effective product to use for cleaning in your home. Many uses in the kitchen, bathroom and throughout the house.



How to Sweep Your Floors Without Lifting a FingerHow to Sweep Your Floors Without Lifting a Finger

How to sweep your floors without lifting a finger! Clean while you walk? What?



Baking Soda Hacks ReviewedBaking Soda Hacks Reviewed

Hack through cleaning projects with baking soda. It is economical, toxic free and eco-friendly. Great for the kitchen, as well as some unexpected places.









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Friday, September 18, 2020

Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker - Book Reviewed

Otherwise Engaged is a fabulous book!  It is a clean and wholesome romance for those of us who do not like explicit content.  It is also a historical fiction which is one of my favorite genres.  

This is the first book I have read by Joanna Barker, but it will not be the last!   She is a phenomenal writer who includes vivid descriptions of people and surroundings.  I was barely into the first chapter of Otherwise Engaged when I noted how much I loved this author’s captivating descriptions. I could easily envision the people and places in my mind’s eye. 

I also enjoy the touches of humor Barker includes throughout the book.  Several times I laughed out loud at the witty repartee between characters. 

All of these exceptional elements made this a thoroughly enjoyable book which I would highly recommend.   


Synopsis of Otherwise Engaged
England - 1822

Rebecca Rowley has just returned home from Brighton.  She has a big announcement to share with her family.  One that she knows her family will not be excited to hear.  Rebecca is engaged to Edward Bainbridge, whom she just met while in Brighton.  
 
She had heard the Bainbridge name before.  Their fathers had been business partners years before.  The reasons for the dissolution of that partnership had always been a secret that the parents never shared with their children.  Neither Rebecca nor Edward knew why they couldn't be together.  They agreed to find out the secret and, together, try to get their families to leave the past in the past, forgive and forget whatever was necessary, so they could be married with the acceptance and support of both families.  
 
 Otherwise EngagedCheck PriceRebecca had another secret.  She loved to ride her horse, Stella, but she enjoyed riding bareback.  She knew her family would disapprove of her riding in such an unladylike and dangerous way.  So, she would leave the estate with Stella saddled, then remove the saddle when they reached a secluded meadow.  Together, they would run like the wind, free and unencumbered by restraints. 
 
After one of their unconventional rides, Stella heard someone crying for help.  She and Stella immediately responded.  A child was drowning.  Rebecca ran into the water and swam to the girl, whose dress was caught on an underwater tree branch.  Once Rebecca freed her, she pulled her to safety on shore where they were joined by the child's very angry adult half-brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery.  This was definitely not the best way to meet new neighbors, especially since Rebecca was soaking wet and anyone could see that her nearby horse was not wearing a saddle.  This stranger now knew one of her best-kept secrets.  
 
Rebecca soon learned that Nicholas Avery was his sister, Olivia's, guardian.  Her mother had recently died and their father had died a few years before.  Nicholas barely knew Olivia since she was a much younger step-sister.  He had been in the navy all of her life and had only seen her a few times.  He wasn't always sure how to handle Olivia.  As a navy lieutenant, he knew how to make men obey his orders, but was clueless about how to deal with his little sister.  Rebecca stepped in to try to help.
 
Over the next few weeks, Rebecca and Nicholas became friends.  She confided in him and he kept her secrets, plus he enabled her to pursue activities that were otherwise not considered acceptable for a lady in society.   Rebecca's mother thought Nicholas would make the perfect suitor for her, but Nicholas knew Rebecca was otherwise engaged.
 

Conclusion


I immediately adored the free-spirited Miss Rebecca Rowley.  I applauded her desire to take on difficult tasks and live life on her own terms, not by wealthy society rules that stifled women.  I was tickled by Lieutenant Nicholas Avery’s independent little sister, Olivia, who clearly had a mind of her own.  I loved the witty quips of Rebecca’s family, as well as her conversations with Nicholas, and the jocular repartee they shared with each other.   
 
There are some authors who leave me wondering how they do it. How they write so well that they capture my attention.  How they describe their characters with such detail that I feel as if I know them, that they are close friends who have shared every confidence. How they weave a story that captivates me to the point of tears, laughter and even anger. 
 
Joanna Barker has done just that, and more, in “Otherwise Engaged”.  I have no doubt that I will miss Rebecca, Nicholas, and even Olivia in the upcoming weeks.





I received an advance copy of "Otherwise Engaged" to review from NetGalley. I would like to express my appreciation to Netgalley, the author, Joanna Barker, and the publisher, Covenant Communications, for this opportunity.



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Friday, September 11, 2020

Spider-Man Far From Home Lego Set #76130 Reviewed

Spiderman Far From Home Lego Set
When my son recently showed me the latest Lego set he had built, I was surprised by how many things were included in this Lego masterpiece.  It is not unusual for Lego to create an impressive building set, but I am always amazed by how they have moving parts and hidden features.

We are huge Lego fans! I know a Lego set is the perfect gift to give our son, as well as several other males in the family. Normally, he tells me what new sets he wants most for Christmas or his birthday.  That is always helpful. Not just for me, but for other family members who wish to give a desired gift.  Honestly, it would be impossible for me to remember which sets our son already owns, unless they are displayed on his shelves.  After all, I am not the only person who gives him Legos, plus he buys for himself.  But, regardless of how many he has, he knows exactly which ones he owns and which sets he would like to have. 

We like to give him the Lego sets with significance to all of us.  Since we saw the movie "Spider-Man Far From Home" together, this particular set has special meaning with related memories.  

The Spider-Man Far From Home Lego set was a gift we gave him for Christmas 2019.  You can see for yourself that he waited over a year to actually built this particular set.  I have said many times in the past that, to our son, Legos are like my craft kits.  We want them immediately so they will be on hand when we are ready to create!  It is also wise to purchase Lego sets before they are retired and you have to pay a premium to second-hand dealers to get one.

This set is currently available and not yet retired.


Spider-Man Far From Home Lego Set #76130

As I previously noted, this Spider-man set has several really neat features.  Some, like the colored pieces for lights or the engine exhaust plume, are always attractive features.  My favorite feature of interest in this set is that Spider-man drops from the belly of the plane and hangs by a "thread".

I also love the mini-figures that are included.  In addition to Spider-man, Happy Hogan, Nick Fury, and Mysterio are all part of this set.  As always, the mini-figures can be seated in the planes cockpit or "attached" wherever desired.  

 LEGO Marvel Spider Man Far From HomeCheck Price

More Specifications & Included Pieces

  • 504 pieces
  • Stark Jet with dual passenger cockpit, opening hatch for Spiderman & adjustable wings
  • 6" high x 9" long
  • Mini-figures:  Spider-man, Mysterio, Nick Furry & Happy Hogan
  • 2 Drones
  • The hero weapons include energy bombs, gun & shooter

 

This set is recommend for ages 8 years and up.  I sure am glad they don't put a top age limit on Lego sets.  After all, building Legos is not limited to children.




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Spider-Man Far From Home Lego Set #76130 Reviewed by:
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Friday, September 4, 2020

Set of Stainless Steel Stackable Magnetic Measuring Spoons Reviewed

Set of Stainless Steel Stackable Magnetic Measuring Spoons Reviewed
I have always enjoyed cooking, but there are times when it is more of a job than a joy. Having the right tools in any endeavor can make a world of difference in the overall experience.  It was truly shocking for me to discover how much these particular measuring spoons improved my attitude.  I had not previously realized how much I was struggling with my older measuring spoons.

I am no longer a spring chicken, but I embrace my age and appreciate the good things about being at retirement age.  Still, there are a few things I miss when cooking.  I can't read small numbers without reading glasses or a magnifying glass.  My hands are not as steady as they once were.  I have aches and pains from standing too long now.  Plus, I seem to get annoyed by insignificant stuff more easily.  The latter issue is most likely a result of the previous 3 issues.  I hate not being able to easy sail through the preparation of a recipe or meal.  

Lest you think I am complaining, I am not.  I recognize these are simple inconveniences, not problems.  I am only explaining in advance why the measuring spoons matter.


Stainless Steel Stackable Magnetic Measuring Spoons - Set of 6 


There are many reasons why I love these measuring spoons and think everyone should have a set. Whether you cook often or only occasionally, you will want the best measuring utensils available.  These are the best measuring spoons and here is why:

Because I have found these measuring spoons make such a huge difference for me, I own two sets.  Being able to see the measurement labels without the aid of reading glasses, plus not having to hold the measuring spoon in one hand, while I pour ingredients with the other hand, makes the task extremely easy.  

As incredible as it may sound, these measuring spoons make me feel like a spring chicken in my kitchen again.  Attitude affects the whole process!









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Friday, August 28, 2020

Cast Iron Trivets Reviewed

Cast Iron Trivets Reviewed
My Cast Iron Cow Trivet
I like to surround myself with pretty things that are functional. After all, an item doesn't have to be ugly simply because it is utilitarian.  This is especially true in the kitchen.

I have cooked with a cast iron skillet for as long as I can remember.  I use a cast iron trivet, which I have also had for as long as I can remember, to protect my counter top from the extremely hot and heavy skillet.  However, I recently purchased a cast iron dutch oven for baking bread. I immediately realized that I needed a second cast iron trivet for my new dutch oven's lid which is equally as hot and heavy as the pot itself.

I happened to be exploring an antique store a few weeks ago when I came across an adorable dog cast iron trivet finished just like my cow trivet.  Well, of course, I had to have that!  The dog trivet had a hanger on it which gives it a dual purpose.  It is also kitchen decor.  Yes, I can hang it right on my wall where it will be very convenient and easy to find when needed.

After I got home, I looked at my long time friend, the cow cast iron trivet. I couldn't believe it!  She has a hole for hanging too that I never noticed before.  It was pretty exciting to discover that my pretty cow can also be displayed.  

Using functional cast iron trivets as "pictures".  I love it!


Functional Beauty of Cast Iron Trivets


Unlike many current day trivets that sit flat on a counter top, my cast iron trivets are raised on feet.  That allows the pot or skillet to cool from the bottom as well as the top and sides while protecting my counters from the intense heat.  Since they are also made of cast iron, they are perfectly designed for the weight of cast iron cookware.


Features of the Cast Iron Trivets

Puppy Cast iron Trivet
My Newly Acquired Puppy Cast Iron Trivet
  • Protective rubber feet to protect walls or counter tops 
  • Strong enough to hold heavy skillets, pots & pans
  • Tolerates heat from hot pan without sustaining damage
  • Available in a variety of designs 

My trivets are bronze, clearly from an era when brass was prominent in home decor.  New cast iron trivets are most often black, which match the standard cast iron cookware.  However, there are a few available that are painted like the rooster trivet shown below.

Now, if I only had more wall space in my kitchen, I could have a whole barnyard of animal trivets surrounding me.  





Antique Cast Iron Trivets


If you prefer the bronze or antique trivets, Ebay is the perfect source.  Keep it mind, if you don't see one you love on Ebay today (linked for easy access), you just might see one tomorrow.  Items on Ebay change constantly thanks to the vast numbers of sellers on the site.






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Friday, August 14, 2020

Sherlock Holmes Complete Series DVD Reviewed - Starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock

In my opinion, Jeremy Brett makes the best Sherlock Holmes in any Sherlock movie or series.  This complete DVD series collection is totally awesome!  Now, we can watch, or re-watch, any individual Sherlock Holmes episode whenever we wish. 

Our son gave his father Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series set of DVD's for Father's Day.  He knew this would be the perfect gift for his dad, who originally had the shows on VHS.  The tapes are getting old, plus the DVD collection is much easier to store and watch on a variety of devices including his laptop. What we have discovered though, is that some of the TV series episodes were missing from the tapes, but are included in this DVD collection.  How wonderful it has been to rediscover the missing episodes.

In addition to giving his dad the DVD collection, our son has spent hours watching the shows with us. We all love Sherlock Holmes, therefore it makes the perfect TV series for us to watch together.


Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series

In addition to well known episodes like "The Hound of the Baskervilles" or "The Red Headed League", this 12 disc DVD set includes:
 Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television SeriesCheck Price
  • A Scandal In Bohemia
  • The Dancing Men
  • The Naval Treaty
  • The Solitary Cyclist 
  • The Crooked Man
  • The Speckled Band
  • The Blue Carbuncle
  • The Copper Beeches 
  • The Greek Interpreter
  • The Norwood Builder
  • The Resident Patient
  • The Final Problem
  • The Empty House
  • The Abbey Grange
  • The Musgrave Ritual
  • The Second Stain
  • The Priory School
  • The Devil's Foot
  • Wisteria Lodge
  • The Disappearance Of Lady Frances Carfax
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery 
  • Shoscombe Old Place
  • The Last Vampyre
  • The Three Gables
  • The Dying Detective
  • The Red Circle
  • The Cardboard Box
  • The Man With The Twisted Lip
  • The Six Napoleons 
  • Silver Blaze
  • The Bruce-Partington Plans 
  • The Sign Of Four 
  • The Problem Of Thor Bridge
  • The Illustrious Client
  • The Master Blackmailer
  • The Eligible Bachelor 
  • The Creeping Man
  • The Golden Pince-Nez 
  • The Mazarin Stone


That is 43 hours of excellent television shows that are quite intriguing and entertaining.


Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes


As I said in the introduction, Jeremy Brett is my favorite actor that ever played Sherlock Holmes.  His overall looks, facial expressions, his voice inflections, as well as his athleticism are perfect for the Sherlock character.  

In one episode, he easily jumps over and clears a couch.  In other episodes, he is seen stealthily walking up on someone.  He is also masterful in fisticuffs.  It is difficult to believe the same man who can vault over a couch, could also walk so silently, or engage in a physical fight, but Jeremy Brett pulls off each of those feats effortlessly.  He makes the fictional Sherlock Holmes character believable. 

Whilst Sherlock Holmes is also a mental genius, Jeremy Brett is an acting genius!     



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Sherlock Holmes Complete Series DVD Reviewed - Starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock by:
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Friday, August 7, 2020

Secondhand Lions (2003) Movie Review

Secondhand Lions (2003) Movie Review
Secondhand Lions starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, and Haley Joel Osment is a fantastic movie! It was released in 2003, but is well worth watching now. 

Each week, I take a little time to visit my parents.  We select a movie to watch together, eat snacks, and enjoy our time together.  This past week, Mom selected the movie.  She wanted to watch one of her all-time favorites.  While I remembered the name of the movie, I did not remember much about the story line.  After watching it again, that is pretty surprising.  Secondhand Lions is a fabulous movie! 

If you haven't seen it before, or if it has been a long time since you watched Secondhand Lions, I highly recommend seeing it now.  It is totally appropriate for mixed company of all ages.  I doubt it would be entertaining for young children, but I can't think of a single thing offensive in the movie, although it is rated PG.  I'm sure it got that rating for some reason.  


Secondhand Lions Movie Synopsis


 Secondhand LionsCheck PriceThe introduction of the movie starts with two old men having a blast flying a bi-plane around the countryside, through and into places not meant for planes.  This is the first, but not the last, moment of laughter for us.  

The story begins with 14 year old Walter Caldwell (Haley Joel Osment) riding in the car with his mother, Mae (Kyra Sedgwick).  They are on their way to Mae's uncles home in Texas where she plans to leaves Walter for a few months while she attends court stenographer school.  Even at his young age, Walter is immediately skeptical of her plans.  Apparently attending court stenographer school is another questionable idea in a long line of bad ideas and decisions by Mae.   

Walter isn't very happy with this decision.  He doesn't know his great-uncles, Hub (Robert Duvall) and Garth (Michael Caine).  Until this trip, he has never even heard of them.  Mae explains that they had "disappeared" for many years, but have turned back up in Texas, believed to be quite wealthy.  Driving up to their home, the place doesn't look like it is owned by anyone wealthy, or welcoming.

Staying with his uncles, hearing their fantastical stories of adventure, bravery and extraordinary travels, plus watching the way they behave, Walter doesn't quite know what to make of Hub & Garth.  They seem to live by their own rules and don't care one bit what others think of them.  They even have a real lion brought in for a lion hunt.  Turns out the lion is not up for the chase, but that is as much about the lion as I am going to say. I wouldn't want to ruin the lion fun for you.

By the time Walter's mother returns to pick him up, Walter loves his eccentric uncles and he can clearly see the truth about many things. 


Secondhand Lions is a movie that will make you laugh often, perhaps cry a bit, and leave you feeling good.  This is a must-see movie!  Even if you have seen it before.




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Secondhand Lions (2003) Movie Review by:
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Friday, July 31, 2020

When Calls the Heart - Hallmark TV Series Reviewed

When Calls the Heart
Many years ago, I read the "Canadian West" book series by Janette Oke.  A few years ago, I started watching the Hallmark channel series "When Calls the Heart" which is based on that book series and is titled after the first book in the series.  

A few weeks ago, I decided to start watching the TV series again from the beginning.  I do love the show!  With the promised release of season eight in 2021, I wanted to go back to the beginning before the new series actually airs.  Yes, I realize I have plenty of time before 2021, but I rarely spend a lot of time watching TV during the holidays and I expect it to take me a few months to watch all of the episodes again.

I would also like to read the book series again.  Janette Oke is one of my favorite authors.  Decades ago, her books were responsible for my discovery of romantic books with a religious theme, which is my preferred book genre.  Any time I see her name on a book, I know I am safe to read that book.  That is extremely important to me.  I don't like grotesque or explicit content in a book or in movies.  Having authors I know will protect my eyes and mind from uncomfortable subject matter makes my book and movie selections a whole lot easier.

This sweet series, that deals with real life issues, is an inspiration.  I really like all of the characters and actors past and present.  

There are extremely sad times in the show, but overall I am left with a feeling of happiness after watching an episode.  And, I am always eager to watch the next one. It is so nice to be able to watch them back to back, without delays or months between the seasons. I have been surprised to realize there were a few things I had forgotten and have enjoyed rediscovering them.


The Synopsis of the Hallmark Series, When Calls the Heart


 When Calls the Heart - Seasons 1-5
Ultimate Collector's Edition
Check Price
In search of a purposeful life, Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) accepts a teaching position in Coal Valley in western Canada.  She immediately discovers that her wealthy family background has not prepared her for the frontier.  That is pretty obvious to everyone, but she is determined to survive, thrive, and succeed.  Fortunately for Elizabeth, she is befriended by a very respected and loved resident, Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) who supports and encourages her in her new life.

Coal Valley has recently endured a horrific coal mine explosion that has made dozens of the women in town (including Abigail Stanton), widows and many of the school children fatherless.  Their church, which housed their school, was burned down.  The classroom has been moved into the saloon, the only local business with a large enough room.  The saloon also doubles as a hotel, which means the students are occasionally interrupted by guests coming in or out, even though the bar is closed during school hours.

Shortly after Elizabeth arrives in Coal Valley, a newly assigned Mountie arrives.  Constable Jack Thornton is not happy with his new assignment.  He was headed to the desired and prestigious assignment of Cape Fullerton when he was redirected and sent to Coal Valley instead.  As soon as Jack hears Elizabeth's last name, he realizes she is the reason he was reassigned and is immediately resentful.  She is clueless about why the new Mountie seems to be mad at her until he explains that clearly her father had him reassigned so he could watch over his "princess" daughter.  Elizabeth isn't happy about it either.  She wants to prove herself capable and independent. She doesn't want or need a Mountie "taking care" of her and she is quick to point that out to Constable Jack.  This is just the first of many conflicts and misunderstandings between Elizabeth and Jack.

Each episode is filled with frontier adventure, drama, life, love, & loss.  Elizabeth is the main character, but there are several other individuals whose stories and lives become very important to the viewer.  Be prepared, you may find yourself talking to the TV, laughing, crying, hissing or even booing some of the people and scenes in this fabulous Hallmark series which will leave you wanting more.  
 

One Extra Note: Be sure you have access to Season 6 before you watch Season 5. You won't wish the finale of Season 5 to be the last thing you see.






Currently, the "When Calls the Heart" seasons can be purchased on DVD linked above, but are also available on Amazon to pay per episode though Season 7.  


More Great News for "When Call the Heart" - Hallmark has announced there will be a Season 8!


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When Calls the Heart - Hallmark TV Series Reviewed Written by:
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Friday, July 24, 2020

Bird Decor for the Home Reviewed

Bird Decor
I like all wildlife decor, but I recently realized how often I choose bird decor for my home.  

I love birds, but I'm not sure if my decorating choices are because of my love for birds, or if it is because of availability.  I do see a lot of decorative accessories that feature birds.  

I also take a ton of pictures of birds.  Again, they are what "decorate" my backyard daily and are easily available to photograph. I enjoy seeing the flashes of color zipping across the sky, as well as, sitting in my trees. 

We also enjoy walking wooded trails, driving along jeep trails, and exploring nature.  I get really excited when I capture on bird's photo in a unique setting.  That was the case with the gorgeous owl photo (shown below) now available in my Zazzle store.

Birds always remind me of scripture.  So many verses come to mind when I see a dove, a sparrow or an eagle.  Perhaps, that is the main reason I love birds so much.  They always remind me of God and His promises to mankind. My relationship to God is the core of my very being and I delight at every reminder of Him. 


Bird Pillows Make Home Decor Impact

Barred Owl - Here's Looking at You! Throw Pillow - Available on Zazzle - Photo by Cynthia SylvestermouseBarred Owl - Here's Looking at You! Throw Pillow - Available on Zazzle - Photo by Cynthia SylvestermouseCheck Price
I have multiple throw pillows on my couches, chairs and even beds that feature birds.  Several are only birds, but others have birds as part of the wildlife & nature scenes with flowers, rabbits, or foxes.  All are welcoming additions to my home decor.  

Using pillows that feature birds are such a great way to add a touch of color  or contrast to a room, just like they add to nature.  

Most of my furniture is tan or brown with dark wood.  My home needs those sparks of beauty interspersed among those otherwise bland decor choices.  I consider the brown to be the background for the beauty.

These are a few of the bird throw pillows that liven up a room by adding contract or color in home decor. 




Bird Magnets Hold Reminders


Click Magnet Image to Purchase
I have at least a dozen bird magnets on my refrigerator.

We use them to hold notes, newspaper clippings, recipes, or even photos in place.  My favorites are the ones that also feature quotes from the Bible.  I like those little reminders around. 

I work in the kitchen almost all day long.  Whatever happens, conversations, accidents, or actual work, it is usually in my kitchen or I hear about it in my kitchen.  

I find myself glancing at those scriptures as I catch my breath.  They help calm me and remind me that God is always in control and is here with me.

I find it rather ironic that something so inexpensive can make such a huge impact on my daily life. 


Bird Coasters in Every Room

Click the Coaster Image to Purchase these Bird Coasters

We have coasters in every room of our home to protect our wood and marble table tops.  

Most drinking glasses or mugs will leave a ring on whatever surface it is resting on.  Therefore, I always want my coasters to protect my tables.  

I have several sets of the bird coasters featured on the right.  They are my favorite coasters in my home.  Not only do I adore the bird images, but I also like how easy they are to clean.  These coasters are made for ceramic tile and have a protective backing to prevent scratching the wood table tops.  

It is really hard for me to choose which of these birds I like the best because they are all so beautiful.  Even the female cardinal, which is not known for her color, holds a special place in my heart.  After all, without her, there would be no vibrant red male cardinals.


Bird Trinket Boxes


Bird Trinket Box
My Photo is Linked to a Similar Trinket Box Available on Amazon
I also collect trinket boxes. Among my favorites, are of course, my birds. 

My husband has sought out and given me some of the most beautiful bird trinket boxes. He even gave me a display tree for my bird boxes for Christmas one year. It certainly makes displaying my jeweled boxes a lot easier. Now I can adore them all at once and they take up a lot less space. 

I know some people consider these knick knacks to be useless clutter, but I consider them trinkets of love. After all, it took decades to build my collection of bird trinket boxes. Each one reminds me of a special occasion, a thoughtful gift and a very considerate giver. 



Additional Ideas in Bird Home Decor include Kitchen Towels, Bed Linens, Decorative Lamps, Bird Teapots, Bird Platters/Trays, Sugar Bowls & Creamer sets, Salt & Peppers Shaker Sets, Figurines & more.  The ideas really are extensive.




 Bird Decor for the Home Reviewed by:

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Fracture Movie Starring Anthony Hopkins & Ryan Gosling Reviewed

I recently watched Fracture (2007) starring Anthony Hopkins & Ryan Gosling again.  It is one of the older movies in my DVD collection, which I have been delving into lately.  

I have been reminded how some of the movies from the past are a lot better than current day releases. They have an actual plot that keeps the viewer enthralled in the movie.  This is not light-watching material that can be used as background noise.  This is definitely a movie that demands your attention.

While there is some bad language, it seems to fit with the plot and not shoved into the dialog for ratings. Even though the movie is about adultery and murder, nothing requires a viewer to turn away due to grotesque or salacious scenes.  None of that extraneous stuff was required in this movie. The plot, itself, is enough to keep you glued to the set.

In fact, my DVD stopped about 25 minutes before the end.  I cleaned, wiped, and even washed the DVD, but nothing I did cleared the issue.  Apparently, my DVD has a deep scratch in it that cannot be repaired.  We were determined to see the end though, so my dad purchased a two day rental just so we could finish the movie.  

It is quite sad that my DVD is ruined!  It had been long enough since the movie's release, that I had totally forgotten most of the show and definitely the end.  It was like watching it for the first time.  


Plot Synopsis of the Movie "Fracture"


 Fracture (Widescreen Edition)I find myself wondering why the movie was named "Fracture".  It could be because of the fractured marriage.  Or perhaps, it may refer to the injury incurred.  It would also be applicable to the faulty thinking due to emotions.  Let me explain why either would be accurate. 

Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) is an aeronautical engineer that owns his own company.  He is calculating and methodical. To say he is a genius, might actually be an understatement. 

When Ted discovers his wife is having an affair, he doesn't immediately respond.  He plans his revenge.  He takes steps to ensure he will not be found guilty of anything in a court of law.  He shoots his wife, but not fatally.  She is in a coma with permanent brain damage.

When Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), the bright shining star in the D.A.'s office, is appointed to prosecute Ted for attempted murder, he believes it is an open and shut case.  After all, he has the assumed evidence, as well as a confession.  However, his legal mind is challenged by Crawford's meticulous intellect and plan execution.    

The decisions both of these men make will have a lifetime of consequences.  It was quite fascinating to watch these two men face-off and match wits.  

Like any great suspense movie, or book, you should expect the unexpected.  The twists and intellectual genius are what makes this movie spectacular!

 

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Fracture Movie Starring Anthony Hopkins & Ryan Gosling Reviewed by:
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Friday, July 10, 2020

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles Reviewed

Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Lid Skillet
When fellow contributor, Dawn Rae, started tempting me with homemade bread recipes, I decided I needed a dutch oven.  My husband loves homemade bread and I enjoy cooking, so it was time to test my bread baking skills again.

It has been years since I have baked bread other than my banana bread.  I used to bake bread every week, but I got out of that habit when I let my sour dough starter ruin.  I would love to find another really good sour dough starter.  Until then, Dawn's Artisan Bread Recipe is great!  Actually, it is faster and easier than the sour dough bread I used to make and my family seems to be just as happy with Dawn's Artisan Bread. 

There are a lot of dutch ovens available, but I wanted the cast iron version.


The Versatility of Cast Iron


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven on Gas StoveI have cooked with a cast iron skillet my entire life.  It is heavy compared to other skillets, but you can't beat it when frying fish, frying pork chops, or baking cornbread.  

You can use cast iron on a stove top, electric or gas, as long as it has range burner elements (not recommended by some glass stove top manufacturers for a flat surface glass stove top).  
Update: Contributor Sam Monaco comments below that he uses his cast iron skillet on his glass stove top all of the time.

Cast Iron will also go in the oven, which is how my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and I have all baked cornbread.  That is why I wanted the cast iron dutch oven.  I knew it would be most excellent for baking!

Cast Iron can also be used on a open flame, like a campfire.  I have been known to fish which is rather ironic since I don't eat trout or catfish.  However, when you come from a family with 4 brothers and a mother who loves catfish, you better fish or you are left behind counting the hours.  Besides, I love quietly floating down the river in a boat, soaking in the sun and the beauty of nature surrounding me.  

One year, Dad hired a guide.  We caught our limit by midday, but didn't have any desire to stop fishing.  So, we pulled to shore, built a campfire and cooked our fish in a cast iron skillet along with some potatoes the guide provided.  After lunch, we fished a few more hours and brought home fish for dinner.  That is how I discovered a cast iron skillet could be used over a open campfire!


My Cast Iron Dutch Oven


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qtCheck PriceI purchased a 5 qt. Lodge brand cast iron dutch oven and I have be thrilled with it for several reasons.

  • The lid doubles as a skillet
  • I really like the handles on both the lid & the dutch oven
  • It is just the right size for the oven
  • Perfection in cooking due to even heating 
  • Easy to wash, dry & re-season* 
  • I know it will outlast me, which means I will never have to buy again
  • Lodge is a trusted name in cast iron.  Over 100 years in business

*Seasoning cast iron is simply rubbing it lightly with vegetable oil after washing while it is still warm from the hot water wash or you can place it back in a warm oven after applying the oil.

I chose the basic cast iron dutch oven mainly because I loved the dual purpose lid.  I knew I could flip the lid and bake cornbread on top while a roast baked below it in the dutch oven.  The top would not only be a lid for the roast, but also a skillet for the cornbread.  

One note about using the lid on the dutch oven.  In the photo, you see the lid and dutch oven handles are evenly aligned.  I prefer to offset them slightly so lifting the hot lid is much easier.

Dawn Rae chose an enameled cast iron dutch oven which should be fine for cooking on a flat, glass stove top.  You can read her review here: Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey But Worth It 


You too can Bake Dawn's Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Artisan Bread! 
To make my bread in the intro photo, I used Dawn's recipe. 
I added 3/4 cup cranberries, 3/4 cup walnuts & 1T honey.
Simply click the image below for her recipe. 

crunchy-no-knead-round-loaf-bread





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