Friday, March 18, 2016

Anne Alexander's The Pink Dress Has Been Reprinted (Book Review)

Anne Alexander's The Pink Dress Has Been Reprinted
All I can say is it is about time. Or maybe woo hoo. Whoopee! Yay! Three cheers. Hip hip hooray!

Words cannot express the excitement I and many other women felt when they discovered that Anne Alexander's coming-of-age novel has finally, FINALLY, finally been reprinted!

If I had a bigger picture, I would share it in an attempt to convey the excitement I felt when I discovered this novel had been reprinted.

If you are just discovering that fact, believe me, it is true. I purchased my copy recently and finally was able to read this book, which I first heard of in around 2009 when I sold my only vintage copy to a very excited buyer on eBay. Unfortunately, my copy was sold and gone to the buyer before I thought to read it and once I discovered how popular it was with some of you I really did want to read it.

Anne Alexander's The Pink Dress Vintage BookThe original book was written and released in 1959 and I now know some of you read it and read it and read it again.  It was a hugely popular success in school libraries and you thoroughly enjoyed the story.

I know that many of you have been waiting for this day since you first read the story a long time ago. The scarcity of copies of the original volume and the price at which those original volumes were selling put the book out of reach. Spending $500 to $1,000 on a children's chapter book was and is out of the realm of reason for most of us.


It follows a grade nine girl's adventures in high school as she gives up on her good friends in an attempt to be in the "in" crowd. Growing up is always a difficult process and I believe this book to be a realistic version of how some teens would have thought and behaved in the 1950s.  I am also sure that pre-teens and teens have these same concerns today though they likely transpire in a slightly different manner.


Yes, I would. Some of you who have waited will need no recommendation from me. This book is exactly as you remember it and I know that you are thrilled that it has been reprinted. It is a lovely story, a sweet and innocent romance with some very nice surprises.

It was written for middle-school readers so it is an easy but lovely read for an adult. As the author's daughter says in the foreword, "The original middle-school readers and I are grandmothers now...We are pleased that our daughters and granddaughters love the book as much as we did. I bet you'll love it, too." I am not sure if she was talking to me or not but I did love it and I am planning to reread it soon, something I almost never do. Will you be reading The Pink Dress?

You can find the reprinted edition of The Pink Dress in paperback and Kindle as well as the original hardcover version of the book on Amazon by clicking right here. You can read more about the original printing and about the women who loved this book on my page about the vintage book here.

I like the artwork, too. I think the publisher or artist did a good job of making the book look fresh and modern but still referencing the 1950s. What do you think? Do you like the new cover?  I suppose the other alternative would have been to recreate the original cover. That would have been a pleasing choice, too.

Happy Reading!
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of The Pink Dress on Amazon.
Read more about the book.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Best Cleaning Cloth? The Ultimate Cloth

Use the Ultimate Cloth to dust and clean the TV and other electronics
Use an Ultimate Cloth to safely dust and clean
the TV and other electronic devices.
Time for housework? Weekend chores? Spring cleaning? If you dread cleaning house, perhaps you're not using the right tools. Because I believe no one should hate housework, I decided to share this review and personal testimonial about one of my very favorite cleaning tools, the best cleaning cloth I've ever used, the Ultimate Cloth.

You've heard of microfiber, I'm sure. As great as a microfiber cloth may be, the Ultimate Cloth is better. Why? Because it does a better job of cleaning, capturing and holding onto dirt. The Ultimate Cloth is made from MiraFiber which consists of fine, synthetic fibers, smaller than microfiber, that are so tiny they work amazingly well to grab and trap dust, dirt, and grease rather than just pushing it around.

Another great thing about the Ultimate Cloth is that it's machine washable and reusable. In fact, the cloth comes with a 5-year guarantee. Use it, wash it, and use it again, over and over for years. I've had my Ultimate Cloths for nearly four years and continue to use, wash, and re-use the same ones.

Streaky Glass and Mirrors? You Need the Ultimate Cloth!

I like the Ultimate Cloth better than regular microfiber cloths and prefer them especially for cleaning glass and mirrors, the TV screen, and even the screen on my Fire tablet and my phone. These cloths work beautifully in the kitchen on our stainless steel refrigerator, stove, and microwave, too. I also have one dedicated to the bathroom where I use it regularly to wipe down the shower walls and glass shower door.
The Ultimate Cloth makes quick work of fingerprints on stainless steel refrigerators and other appliances.
Dampen an Ultimate Cloth to easily clean smudges
and fingerprints from your stainless steel appliances.

Wet an Ultimate Cloth then wring it out well to clean fingerprints off painted surfaces such as walls, cabinets, or doors (inside or out). Our dog, Daisy, has a tendency to rub against the edge of the kitchen cabinet as she turns one particular corner so when I notice that the oil from her hair has accumulated there, it takes just seconds to dampen an Ultimate Cloth and easily wipe that greasy surface grime from the painted cabinet.

To use an Ultimate Cloth, always start by washing it out well (or run it through the washer) to remove any lint that might be left behind in the manufacturing process. Use a clean cloth dry for electronics, but otherwise dampen it slightly and wring it out well for most other surfaces.

Note that the cloth itself won't scratch, but never rub any surface with a cloth that has gotten especially dirty or has been used to clean greasy surfaces or if the cloth might have picked up any solid particles which could scratch the surface you want to use it on.

When you order, buy an extra pack of Ultimate Cloths to use on the car. Dedicate one to cleaning the windows, dusting the dashboard, or cleaning leather or vinyl surfaces inside. Use another when you wash the outside of the car. They work really well to clean hub caps, too, but don't re-use the same cloth on the paint until you've washed the cloth well to remove any grime or grease.

While the Ultimate Cloth can be used dry for some surfaces (like electronics screens) and cleans well with just water for most other surfaces, if you prefer to use a spray or other chemical cleaner on some surfaces, that's fine. Just remember to throw the cloth in the wash when you're finished so you don't accidentally use the chemical on a surface where you shouldn't.

The following under 3-minute video provides lots of information and will probably answer most of your questions about MiraFiber, so I'd suggest you watch it to learn more.

Machine Washable. Bleachable. Comes With a 5-Year Warranty.

Use this link to order a set of two Ultimate Cloths from Vat19. Since that company charges a flat shipping rate, you might want to order a couple of packs or more (they actually make a thoughtful gift) to have on hand. 

The price might seem high for a cleaning cloth, but I can honestly say that I've gotten more than my money's worth and I have no problem at all justifying the cost. And when I think how many paper towels I might have used in their place over these past few years, there's just no doubt at all that I've gotten my money's worth, and I believe that you will, too. 

Thanks for reading my Ultimate Cloth review. I can honestly say these are the best cleaning cloths I have ever used and I recommend them highly.

Meet the Reviewer

Photos belong to the author

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review of Twilight in America by Martin Mawyer

My curiosity led me to read this book about terrorist training camps in America and my concern made me write this book review of Twilight in America by Martin Mawyer. 

I wanted to know the truth about claims that some Americans in rural areas may have Islamic Terrorists living very close to them, training for jihad. It seemed very far out to me. After all, it would seem that if people were actively training for guerrilla warfare in America, learning to make bombs, storing and shooting assault weapons, and putting armed guards at their compound entrances, the FBI would put a stop to it.

Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America is author Martin Mawyer's attempt to show Americans what is going on right under the noses of local  police and the FBI, neither of which appears to want to get involved. The introduction opens with the kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. It seems Pearl was trying to get information about the shoe bomber, Richard Reed, who was said to have visited the jihadi cleric Mubarik Ali Shad Gilani in Pakistan just prior to his attempt to bomb a flight from Paris to Miami.

Later in 2002, the Beltway snipers began a 23-day killing spree in the Washington, D. C. area. John Allen Muhammad, the elder of the two snipers, had intended to wage jihad against Americans by kidnapping and brainwashing young American boys so that he could train them to kill Americans for Allah. Mawyer learned that the Beltway snipers had connections to Jamaat Al Fuqra, a terrorist group founded by Mubarik Ali Shad Gilani. Also see "The Beltway Snipers' Motives" by Daniel Pipes. To  imagine what this must have been like for residents of the Washington, D.C. areas during the attacks, watch this documentary. It's long, but if you are a true crime fan, it will hold your interest.

Gilani is also the leader of the group Muslims of the Americas (MOA).  MOA owns a Muslim compound of 200 in Red House in Charlotte  County, Virginia, which is believed to have hidden the Beltway snipers. Is your head swimming yet? I haven't even gotten past the introduction to the book in the review so far. There is another article online, Jamaat ul-Fuqra in Virginia, Part 1 that even links to a map of a compound close to this and this article documents much of what I mention below.

Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside AmericaTwilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America
Chapter 1 leads us to Arizona and Colorado, where an alert owner of a storage locker company notified police of suspicious activity related to a locker on which the rent had not been paid for two months. He had heard of robberies in the area and thought maybe his locker might have been used to hide stolen goods. When police and FBI investigated, they found instead weapons and evidence of terrorist attacks already committed and plans for more to be carried out. One of these was a plan to kill the "infidel" Muslim cleric Rashad Khalifa, who had turned his Tucson home into a Muslim mosque.

After the plot was uncovered, police officers went to Khalifa to warn him of the planned attack, which had been written out in great detail on four pages. The cleric admitted he had gotten death threats from Colorado. About two weeks after the police had warned him, Khalifa was murdered in exactly the way he was warned it would happen.

This is shocking enough. What is even more shocking to me, though, is that the same storage locker that contained the murder plans and weapons also contained evidence that we, the American people, are being bilked by these terrorists taking advantage of our welfare system and using programs meant to benefit the poor to finance terror. They also used identity theft, insurance and other fraud to launder money to support their terror training activities here and to send money overseas to Gilani in Pakistan. These fraudulent activities cost American businesses and taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

Meanwhile, back in the compounds, in some of which live four generations of Muslim families in poverty, people in a position to know have stated that abuse of Muslim women and children is rampant.  Some have been in these camps all their lives, getting all their education in the camps. An informant for the New York Police lived in one camp where he saw children beaten with sticks and women tied to trees and hit with sticks or lashed for not obeying commands of Gilani or for trying to leave.

This review just scratches the surface of the information that is included. It is well-documented. Pages 259 - 285 consist of just appendices and footnotes. The camps are not touched by the authorities, who say they have to respect the inhabitants' First Amendment rights. They can only act after a crime has been committed. Those running the compounds send those who are about to commit crimes outside the compounds to live in apartments in a city before they commit the crimes, so that if the police are looking for them,  they won't be in the compounds and the leaders can say they were sent away because they were criminals.

In Twilight in America, Mawyer has researched the connections between Jamaat Al Fuqra, MOA, the Muslim Brotherhood, and acts of crime and terrorism in the United States. He believes these compounds are training terrorists on American soil by recruiting in American prisons and moving these prisoners to the compounds after release to "rehabilitate" them. There are 21 known camps, compounds, villages, and communes spread throughout the United States, mostly concentrated on the east and west coasts. There are similar compounds in Canada.

I know this all sounds impossible. That's what I thought, too. Before you dismiss it, though, read the book and examine the documentation for yourself. Even if you decide not to believe what you read, it's still a fast-moving story that could very well fit into the true crime category. Get the book, and decide for yourself. You also might want to get one or both of the DVD's by the author listed below -- especially if you live in Europe.

Europe's Last Stand: America's Final Warning, Part 1Europe's Last Stand: America's Final Warning, Part 1
North America is not the only place that needs to worry about Jihadist activity on its soil. This set of documentary DVD's on the rise of Islam in Western Europe reveals the Five Pillars of Islamic Conquest: Infiltration. Imams. Isolation. Islamization. Implosion. This DVD,        Part One, focuses primarily on Infiltration, Imams and Isolation. The documentary took four years to make and required investigations in over a dozen European countries. Information cannot hurt us. We can examine it and decide ourselves whether it is accurate or just alarmist. Lack of information can hurt us.

Europe's Last Stand: America's Final Warning - Part 2Europe's Last Stand: America's Final Warning - Part 2

Part Two focuses on the last two Pillars of Islamic Conquest -- Islamization and Implosion.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Reviewing Second Chance Mysteries by Sofie Ryan

Looking for a good mystery?

Our regular readers know by now that I love to read, mysteries are one of my favorite genres and I am a cat person. Imagine my joy when I found another mystery series to read that has a cat involved in the plots! The series is called Second Chance Mysteries and they are really fun to read. 

Sofie Ryan, the author, has written three books so far in the series that I am reviewing for you today. One of my favorite characters is Elvis, a black rescue cat that has been adopted by Sarah the owner of a shop called Second Chance. Actually, I should correct myself, Elvis clearly picked Sarah to come live with! The picture at the left could be Elvis but probably isn't, I found it at

The shop, Second Chance, is a combination thrift shop and antique store. Sarah finds castaway items and figures out a way to repurpose or give new life to the pieces and then sells them in her store. She is helped by Rose, Liz, and Charlotte who happen to be friends of her grandmother and have known Sarah since she was a little girl. Avery also helps in the shop and is the grand-daughter of Liz. I absolutely love the interaction between these three generations of women! Ryan, the author, has given each of them some pretty humorous lines throughout the books but she also shows how close women can be no matter their ages. 

The first book in the series is called The Whole Cat and Caboodle. You would not have to read it first but I recommend doing so because this first book gives a good background of each of the characters as the plot begins to form. You are reminded a little in the other books about a little of the history of the characters but the first one gives the best description of how these ladies know each other.

Each book finds someone in the small Maine town dead as one would expect with a mystery book. What is clever is the way that the characters of Sarah, Rose, Liz and Charlotte work together to solve the case. They are not part of the police force in the community but take it upon themselves to find out "who done it". In the case of the first book, they become involved because another friend, Maddie, has been arrested for the dirty deed. Now, the ladies know in their hearts that she could not have possibly harmed the deceased man and they do not feel that the local law enforcement is doing a good enough job in finding the real killer. Maddie, an avid gardener, will not even kill the insects that invade her garden so the women know that if she won't harm a bug, she certainly won't harm a human. The way the women look for clues and find out information is funny at times and really cleverly written. I do not want to spoil the story so I will just tell you that the ending surprised me. The killer was not someone that I suspected at all. It was refreshing to read a mystery that was not predictable.

I mentioned Elvis the cat earlier. Now, one can not really say that he helps the ladies solve the crime but his interactions with the humans are just a wonderful addition to each of the books. Elvis is one smart kitty cat and I love that Sarah talks to him and it seems that he not only understands her but tries to answer her back with specific meows. Ms. Ryan has definitely shared her life with at least one cat because she describes the antics of Elvis so very well. I love my cat but I have to admit that I would really love to have a cat like Elvis. Wait until you find out what his favorite television show is! Oh yes, this cat watches tv and when riding in the car with Sarah appears to be watching the traffic and gives Sarah a stern meow when she runs a yellow light. The stories in all three books could be told without Elvis the cat but the addition of him just makes the stories more endearing and enjoyable to read.

The other two books that have been published as of the date that I am writing this review are:

I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the three books by Sofie Ryan and look forward to her releasing new books in the future. If you love to read mystery novels and have a special love for cats, I just know that you will enjoy these books, too.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Forward and Spruce Up that Balcony

My springtime sunset view
Our clocks have just sprung ahead and spring becomes official in a matter of days. Whether you live in an area that is celebrating the end of blizzards and ice storms or an area that remains mild all year, the sun shinier days of spring bring on a desire to embrace the outdoors. And there is no better way to celebrate spring than to include your outdoor living space in your spring cleaning and redecorating.  Here are five inexpensive ways to spruce up your small balcony or patio areas.

If you gift yourself a comfortable and personalized place to relax, your outdoor living area will become an extension of your home.  As you can see, the experience and the views while sitting outdoors can be priceless. 

Low-Cost Outdoor Seating

Patio and balcony seating does not have to cost a small fortune. Neither does it have to be large and bulky.  You can create seating no matter how small your outdoor area.

I wish I had a slightly larger balcony so that I could DIY my own furniture.  But because my balcony is so small, and because I want to make sure to save sufficient space for plants, I tend to use an assortment of ever-changing rugs and cushions to keep my space comfy. 

The best part about using cushions is that they are easily changed to suit the season or your mood. My textiles on the balcony have changed from animal prints, to bright florals, to very earthy/neutral colors, and back again. Go ahead, spruce up your balcony with a few new cushions. 

Beautiful Bird Pillow

Indoor/Outdoor Loveseat-sized Cushion

Outdoor Flooring

I love the coziness of a rug on my balcony. Rugs add so much comfort to an outdoor area.  People are right to be concerned about the deterioration of indoor rugs that are exposed to the elements and the damage that can be done by wet carpets on balconies.

I have wooden flooring on my deck. During blowing rain, my rugs are sometimes soaked. But that does not stop me from using rugs (especially runners) to add color and comfort. I am careful to use rugs that are suitable for the outdoors. Sometimes, I use thinner indoor rugs but am sure to watch for moisture gathered under them and hang them over the rail to dry when necessary.

Indoor/Outdoor Floral Runner

Green Space: Morning Glories and Other Suitable Greenery

We know this world needs more green space. Not only for the health of our earth, but I fully believe for our own health.  No matter how small your outdoor space, you can certainly find some suitable greenery.  

My green privacy screen
Over the years - through trial and error - I have found that marigolds, morning glories, tomatoes, mint, lavender, and rosemary flourish in my third floor balcony garden.  I had some success with blueberries, believe it or not, and would have likely had better success had I remembered to have someone water my blueberry bushes during a period of time that I was away.

My favorite part of having a living balcony is my morning glory privacy screen. Each year, my morning glories twine up the railing and provide a living green screen that delights me with the increased protection from the prying eyes of neighbors and provides the visiting hummingbirds and bees with an extra snack. 

Soothing Sounds - Water Features and Wind Chimes

Two very popular items for outdoor areas are water features and wind chimes.  

I gravitate toward wind chimes. Listening to them tinkling in the wind is something that soothes me.  Small wind chimes can tinkle like tiny bits of glass and large wind chimes can sound like distant church bells on a country Sunday morning.  Bamboo chimes have a natural, "woodsy" sound. Some chimes including shining and sparkling bits that reflect prisms as they move in the breeze.  Frankly, wind chimes and the different varieties deserve their own article.

I have found a great many people who have "desktop" water features on their small balconies. What a great idea!  I am tempted to make room in my outdoor space for one of these so that I too can listen to running water while just steps outside of my livingroom.  I think the Alpine Tabletop Leaf Fountain would be a great addition to my balcony garden. 

Going to the Birds

Balconies and Bird Feeders go together like peanut butter and jelly. At least they do around my place. I love bird feeders. I have kept seed feeders on my previous balconies and enjoyed the many feathered friends who came to visit.

My current balcony is not as suited to a seed feeder. So I stick with a hummingbird feeder.  These winged miracles are so fun to watch and to listen to as they flit around.

Related Links: 

Cheap Seats: Cushions and Poufs -- Photographs that include examples of cushions and poufs being used for seating on tiny balconies. And a sample of a DIY couch made of cinder block, post, and cushions. You may feel limited by the size of your outdoor space but as some of these photos show; the sky is the limit. You can turn your small outside space into a pretty, useful, and comfortable living area.

FUNK'N Practicality with Reversible Patio Mats -- These mats are too large for my teeny balcony but I'd still love to have one. I have friends that use these mats for outdoor gatherings. They are durable, beautiful, and portable. 

Morning Glory - The Beautiful Privacy Screen -- For the past two or three years, I've grown morning glories on my balcony rail.  But this article shows a floor to ceiling green screen. And an important warning about pets and morning glory seeds.

Tuned Wind Chimes Review -- If you love wind chimes but have never heard of tuned wind chimes, this article is a must-read. The lovely sounds of good wind chimes playing music in the wind is something I enjoy very much.

First Hummingbird of 2015 -- The story of how I finally attracted hummingbirds to my balcony for two years in a row. This was after years of unsuccessful attempts. It's as easy as homemade sugar water and an inexpensive hummingbird feeder.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review of 5 Beautiful Country Songs for a Father Daughter Wedding Dance

Father Daughter Key Chain Necklace
Find the Song that Tells the Best Story about You and Dad
To help you discern which story in song best suits you and dad, below you'll find an array of diverse country tunes that come from a variety of father daughter story telling angles. Look for a description of each song, and should you feel a particular song says it best, you can then watch a video to be sure.
Our dance with our father on our wedding day ranks as one of the most powerful moments in our life. 
The song we choose will forever represent this major marker....from Daddy's little girl to beautiful bride. It doesn't matter how focused we are on the glorious celebration of the day..once dad takes our hand for that dance, we remember almost every moment growing up under his protective wing.
Straight up..this one will make you cry!
The song let's everyone know that Dad loves his little girl; he loved her first, he held her first. From the first breath she took, he understood the depth of the love of a father.
I don't think it's possible for dad to hold it together while dancing to this tune. The lyrics talk about how he was enough for his little girl not that long ago, and time changes goes on..but always remember 'I Loved Her First'. Although he's prayed that she'd find a man like you some day, it's still hard to give her away.
Dad wonders how it's possible that this beautiful grown woman who was once his freckled face girl, grew up so fast. The love of father runs deep, and he explains to her husband that someday, when a miracle smiles up at you, you might know what he's going through.
Bring tissues.

The Story of Dad's Thoughts When Her Boyfriend Came to Ask for His Daughter's Hand in Marriage
This song is ideal for a close father daughter relationship where daddy's always looked upon his little girl, as a little girl...and watching her grow from his angel to a wife is like someone 'stealing his little Cinderella'.
In this song story, hubby-to-be comes to see her dad to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage, and while dad leaves the room for a minute, he gets up to look at all the displayed pictures of daddy's little girl; riding her first bike, bouncing on the bed during a pillow fight, running through the sprinkler, playing Cinderella.
When dad comes back and sees her future husband looking at all the pictures of his little girl, he remarks 'Ain't she something son?' and when his response is 'yah she's quite a woman', dad just stares at him - To dad she'll always be playing Cinderella, and to dad, giving her hand in marriage is like someone stealing Cinderella.

I Don't Dance by Lee Brice - Perfect for the Dad Who is Known to Never Dance..Except with You on Your Wedding Day

You've got Dad in the palm of your hands

This is an unconventional choice, however it works perfectly for a father daughter relationship where his little girl has him in the palm of his hands to the point that he's willing to Dance just for her...something he rarely does.

If you're looking for simple lyrics that are not overly descriptive in terms of story telling, and if dad is not known to be much of a dancer, then this song could easily work for your wedding dance with him.

The lyrics explain how although he normally never dances, and wasn't the type to settle down, here he is now spinning you around in circles...he'd do anything for've got him in the palm of your hands.

A Mid Tempo Song with a Fun Country Music Beat offering a lot of Opportunity for Dancing Between Father and Daughter

If you're looking for a song that fits a less than ordinary dad...maybe a dad who, in his day, got himself into a bit of trouble, tells it like it is, and is known for his direct honesty...but has one weakness where he can't seem to follow his own rules... 'you' ...his daughter - then be sure to listen to this one!

When It Comes to You is not a mushy song and is ideally suited for a father daughter relationship where both know that dad's biggest fault is giving in to his daughter. So if you've been a little spoiled by daddy, this is your song.

Also, if you want to show off some of your dancing skills, near the end it's music only, then back to the lyrics to close the song. If what you prefer in a song is something more upbeat and fun, this could easily work.

This song is incredibly moving.

It's sung by Krystal Keith, the talented and beautiful daughter of Toby Keith. The words will certainly make you cry, as they speak of the day she became a wife, but she'll forever be his baby girl. 

She thanks him deeply for everything he's done for her. 

Honestly...this one is the perfect father daughter wedding dance song. Be sure to check it out.

More Song Choices for Your Wedding:
Country Songs for the Bride & Groom's first Dance

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, March 11, 2016

The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Video Review

The Tale of the Bunny Picnic - A wonderful video for kids
Photo from the Video Cover
"The Tale of the Bunny Picnic" is a wonderful children's classic video that is loved by all ages.   It is the perfect children's video for Easter, but will be treasured throughout the year.   

Jim Henson really out did himself when he created this story.  The story and the characters are beloved childhood memories for both of our children.  Actually, they still watch the video!

The Tale of the Bunny Picnic is an interesting twist to the "boy who cried wolf" story and has bunny rabbits for the main characters.

You'll love all of the bunnies, especially Bean.  You will even love the farmers dog.

 Jim Henson Video: The Tale of the Bunny Picnic [VHS]

The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Cover Story 


This adorable little bunny adventure is sure to win your heart!  The animated bunnies, dogs, people and other animals in Jim Henson's video, The Bunny Picnic," are all really endearing.

The story centers around Bean, a young, imaginative bunny who tells so many tales that when he really does discover that the farmer has a new dog to hunt rabbits, none of the other bunnies believe his warning.

The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Video Provided by: Heather Katsoulis


My Recommendation of The Tale of the Bunny Picnic

"The Tale of the Bunny Picnic" is a wonderful children's classic video that is loved by all ages.
When my now grown children were little, this video played constantly.  We memorized the songs and some of the lines.  Even today, when one of us randomly starts reciting sections of the tale, the rest of us join in with the appropriate character responses.  I truly believe when a story has that kind of lasting effect, that must be the best recommendation that can be given.

Here is an excerpt of our favorite part of the tale:

Story Teller: "Fox, Fox, I'm the Giant Hedgehog and even though I'm really, really big and you're really, really small, I'm not gonna hurt you and do you know why?" 

Little Bunny: "No Why?"

Story Teller: "Because those who hurt others, hurt themselves."

How to Purchase Your Copy of "The Tale of the Bunny Picnic"

Because these videos are no longer in production, they are not always easy to find.  Plus, when you do find a copy, they are often quite expensive.  I have honestly found the best place to search for the video is on Ebay.  The video may be used, but it is still worth buying your own copy.


Review of "The Tale of the Bunny Picnic" was Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Brown Pelican Photos

Photographing Brown Pelicans is a Fun Challenge
Pelicans are fascinating birds to watch.When you see them waddle on the ground it is difficult to imagine them soaring gracefully through the skies. However, walk along coast in southern USA and you will dozens of them doing just that in the skies above you.

 I have photographed pelicans sitting on rocks, on piers and on the beach. The other morning as the sun came up I noticed a flock of pelicans gently gliding across the sky in the early morning light. I started snapping photos to get just the right shot of a pelican in front of the rising sun.

Photography and pelicans just seem to go together. I hope you enjoy the selection of photos that I am sharing on this page.  

photos by Mary Beth Granger

Pelican and Lighthouse 

pelicans at fishing harbor 

One of the best places to photograph pelicans is by a fishing harbor. You will always find lots of pelicans sitting around the fishing boats. Since their main source of food is fish, they can have quite a feast when the boats come in from a fishing trip and clean their fish. I took this photo early in the morning at the fishing docks across from the Jupiter Inlet lighthouse.
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Facts about Brown Pelicans - Pelecanus occidentalis

As I was preparing to write this page, I did a bit of reading on brown pelicans to gather some facts. I found them to be a very fascinating subject. I have listed my sources in the link list near the end of this page. Here are some of the facts that I found interesting.
  • Heaviest bird capable of flight
  • Adults weight as much as 10-17 pounds
  • Size 50 inches with a wing spread of 6 1/2 feet.
  • Diet is almost entirely fish
  • Found on coast of southern USA and south to the northern coasts of Brazil and Chile.
  • Live along coasts, salt bays, beaches and ocean. Mostly over shallow waters.
  • Known for their huge bill and expandable pouch
  • Male pelican selects a nesting site and then tries to attract a female using head motions.
  • Several days after nest is completed the female pelican lays 2-3 eggs. Eggs take about 1 month to hatch.
  • Both male and female pelicans incubate and care for their young.

Pelicans on the Beach - morning at the beach

About 8:00 one morning I was taking a walk at Jupiter Beach Park when I came across hundreds of pelicans on the beach. I walked up closer and found that thousands of small fish had washed up on shore and the pelicans and other birds were having a feast. I had almost left that morning without a camera, but at the last minute put my small point and shoot camera around my neck. I was sure glad I had the camera because I was able to get many photos of the pelicans. The photo above shows the sight at the beach and the ones below shows some closeups of a couple of pelicans that I cropped from the bigger photos.

Pelicans in Flight - morning at the beach

I could sit for hours and watch pelicans in flight and coming in for a landing. The photo above shows one in flight and the photo below is a pelican come in for a water landing.

Pelicans at Fishing Pier 

It was 7:30 in the morning in Jupiter Florida and the fishing boats were leaving for a day of deep sea fishing. I was taking my sister and brother-in-law to meet their boat when I captured this photo of the pelicans all sitting on the piers. I love the look of them each sitting on a post. They appeared to be waiting for the boats to return and clean their fish.

On the Pier


Pelican Poem

Ogden Nash??

When I was young I heard a poem about a pelican that has stuck in my mind. I had always thought it was written by Ogden Nash( and I have found it is often attributed to Nash) but I have discovered it was written by Dixon lanire Merritt around 1910. I find it to be a catchy limerick about the pelican.
A wonderful bird is a pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week;
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

Pelicans at Sunrise

soaring over ocean

I love to sit on our Florida balcony at sunrise and watch the pelicans soar over the ocean. I have spent many mornings trying to capture the birds in the early morning sunrise. Here is one of my efforts.

Pelican on Beach Mouse Pad
Pelican on Beach Mouse Pad by mbgphoto
View more Pelican Mousepads at
Here are two of my latest Pelican photos. These Pelicans were resting on the rocks by the pier in Jupiter Florida.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My Computer Bible

I'm sure you are asking yourself if you read that title correctly and the answer is yes!  It says MY COMPUTER BIBLE!  The next question you are asking is " I've never heard of it!" or  "Is it on the Best Sellers List?"

The resounding answer to both of these questions is a big bold  NO!

Now comes the important part, why you should make sure that there is a Computer Bible in your house!  How do I get one and just what the heck is it? And do I really need one?

Please read on and I will explain it all, and I bet it will make a whole bunch of sense to you once you open your eyes and see why you should have this neat tool at your home or work space.

Since the boom of the internet and all the ways in which we use modern technology, one thing has become increasingly difficult for me personally, and I am sure I am not alone.  As a matter of fact, I know that I am not alone, because I have asked many people what their one (most prevalent) peeve is about modern day life......

Inevitably, it will have something to do with computers, social media and the need for passwords to prevent or at least slow down the opportunities to Hack into your space on the World Wide Web. Whether you use social media to converse with friends and family, or whether you use social media to broaden your horizons or work and play together, Your ability to keep yourself safe and your information safe on social media is to have strong passwords to protect your property.  Just as we have locks on our doors to keep out strangers, so we need locks on our 'CYBERSPACE" to keep it safe and secure too.  We don't want to find that our BLOGS, FACEBOOK PAGE, WEBSITE, OR any other place where we work and play can be easily taken over by HACKERS!

This is where the Computer Bible comes in!  My Computer Bible is a beautiful hand bound leather covered blank book where I keep a list of all my passwords.

What is in there?  All of my logins, my accounts and every password to every social media site I use. My Twitter name and password, Facebook names and passwords, my passwords to courses I take on other peoples sites, my cpanel log in and User names.  Anything that I do that requires a Username and Password is recorded in my Computer Bible!  When a password changes, the date and new password are logged in as well.

You may ask, why do this?  Well from experience, I know that as I get older, I don't remember things as well as I used to.  One of my websites was lost, because I could not remember the password and has lost the page where the information was located.  I was not very organized at that time, because I didn't have the need.  I could remember these things and a whole lot more.  Then came that inevitable day, when I could NOT remember and I wasn't organized enough.

Now I know and have been taught by several of my "computer guru friends", that keeping a Computer Bible is a necessity.  And just like a Family Bible that has a special place in your home, so your Computer Bible should have a place that is safe, secure, and accessible should you need it.

You see for me this is very important, because I also use this book to keep all my Affiliate Logins and Passwords, my blogging Passwords, and anything that I do on the web for pleasure or for profit. Because I do a lot of blogging for pleasure, I donate whatever monies I make, to charities that mean something to me. If ever the day should come and I can no longer do this myself, there will be all the information there for someone else to take over should they want to continue doing what I do now. My Computer Bible is not only my #1 reference guide, but it is also all the information anyone could need or want should I no longer be able to continue. Like the family Bible, it has a special place and only a few people know where that is. You don't want all your hard work falling into the hands of someone who really doesn't care as much as you do.

Working in Cyberspace, has it's benefits and it's pitfalls, don't let forgetting passwords and logins be one of yours.  Life is so much easier, with so many less things to remember.  A quick flip through my Computer Bible, lands me in the place that I need to be, and gives me the information that I seek, without sweating bullets or trying hundreds of different passwords to unlock what you remembered you put there yesterday.....or was that last week or last month?????

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reviewing The Ides Of March

Beware The Ides Of March

Julius Caesar
The famous line spoken to Julius Caesar by the seer, warning him to beware of the 15th day in March as harm was to come to him. It is said that as that infamous day was approaching its end, Julius saw the seer in the market and remarked that the day was almost over and nothing had happened. "Ahh, but the day is not gone," retorted the seer. Julius Caesar went on to the Senate of Rome and met with his death on that day, the Ides of March. 

During that time in our history, March in the Roman calendar was actually the first month of the year. The ides occurred in every month around the middle, usually the 13th except for the months of March, May, July and October. The Romans used the ides, whether in March or any month, as a reference point of determining days of the month. They did not count the days consecutively like we do now, but instead counted back from three points of interest. The Nones occurred around the 5th or 7th day depending on the length of the month in question, the Ides (13th or 15th) and the Kalends which was the first of the following month. Golly, it sure would have been difficult to quickly know what day it was! 

If you are a history buff, you know that on the 15th of March in the year of 44 B.C Julius Caesar was assassinated by of group of some 60 people led by Brutus and Cassius. This event led to a civil war, the end of the Roman Republic and the rise to power of Octavian who would later be known as Augustus Caesar. You can read the facts in a history book, you can see the play by William Shakespeare or read a book by a multitude of authors to find out more. 

One of my favorites about the man, Julius Caesar and the events that led up to that fateful day in March is The Ides of March: A Novel by Thornton Wilder. The book was first published in 1948 but is still fascinating to read today. It is a novel so much of the story is based on Wilder's interpretation of letters and historical facts about the ruler of the Roman Republic. What I like about it is that it gives us a possible insight of the man and the ruler. The book allows us to see this historical figure as a human being with strengths and weaknesses that we all have in our souls.

If you like to read historical fiction and are interested in the era of time that the Romans ruled much of the world, I think you will like this book. I believe it is a good read for the month of March.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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