Our Mini Nature Preserve

Encourage Birds & Wildlife with Food, Water, Shelter.

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Water – There are many water sources.NWF_certify_sign_CWH_print
  • Many regular, and a heated birdbath.
  • An outdoor two tier water fountain.
  • A recycled bathroom sink is an in-ground drip fountain.
  • A recycled tub is an in-ground pond -water for wildlife.
Shelter – There is a multitude of places to hide and survive.
  • We made and placed four different pine bird boxes.
  • We have a Wren nesting pipe house.
  • We hung nesting baskets under our Grape Arbor.
  • A Purple Martin house, that is really a Wren and Sparrow condo.
  • We have a Brush pile for the birds, small mammals, and invertebrates.
  • We leave Leaf Litter over winter for the small mammals, and invertebrates.
  • Plus we provide what we call a ‘nesting box’ of goodies to help facilitate their nest building. It contains: small twigs, pieces of straw, leaf litter, grass clippings, cotton string, and cotton dryer lint (only cotton should be used).
Food – There are many food sources available.
  • Nectar – We have a Humming Bird feeder.
  • Suet – We offer them Suet eight months out of the year, October to May.
  • Mixed Seed and Cracked Corn – Twice a day, in the morning, and then again in the evening, we feed them a controlled amount by scattering it on the ground, and on tray feeders. It is increased in November through to April, and on days when it is near or below freezing, we feed them three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • Household scrapsFruits and veggies are often added to their daily diet.
  • Egg Shells – We offer them egg shells during their nesting season.
  • Our FruitsWe do share with Wildlife. They Love our fruit. We have: an Apple tree; eight Grape vines; Blueberry bushes; Blackberries, a ‘gift’ from the birds; Raspberries; and ‘Volunteer’ Pin Cherry trees, additional gifts from our feathered friends.
Our Mini Nature Preserve

Our Trees, Hedgerows, and Plants provide, Food and Shelter for all Our Wildlife. They provide our family’s share of oxygen. Additionally, they are natural air filters, windbreaks, and sound barriers.

In the Beginning there was…

1. House, front copy

And Now…

Our Plant Inventory

Trees, big

  • White Oak – We maintain three, there were five, we lost two due to storms.
  • Black Locust

Trees, medium

  • Pin Cherry (2)
  • Sassafras (2)
  • Eastern Red Cedar (1)
  • White pine (1)Rose of Sharon, Violet

Trees, smaller

  • Apple (1)
  • Blue Spruce (1)
  • Sweet Gum (1) – kept dwarfed
  • Rose of Sharon trees (5) (in addition to the hedgerow)

Shrubs & Bushes

  • Azalea (2) 1 large, 1 small
  • Blueberry (2)
  • Boxwood, English (2) sempervirens
  • Boxwood, True Dwarf (1) suffruticosa
  • Boxwood, Littleleaf (4) microphylla Koveana
  • Holly, American (1)
  • Holly, Blue Princess (2)
  • Holly, China Boy (1)
  • Hydrangea (3)
  • Rhododendron, Large
  • Winter Honeysuckle
  • and a Chopped up evergreen (the Robin’s Lair)privet-0-12-jun-2018.jpg

Hedgerows

  • Forsythia hedgerow – (6′ W x 40′ L) at least.
  • Privet hedgerow – (3′ W x 30′ L) at least
  • Rose of Sharon hedgerow – (3′ W x 60′ L)

Cover: Blackberry & Raspberry brambles, and an eight Grape vine canopy.

Groundcover: Ground Ivy, Periwinkle, Virginia Creeper, Wild Ginger

Perennial Flower & Foliage Garden: Astilbes; Bleeding Hearts; Cardinal Lilies; Daffodils; Hostas, Blue; Hostas, Variegated; Hyacinths; Jonquils; Kalanchoes; Lesser Celandine, Peony; Snow Drops; Tiger Lilies; Tulips.

Perennial Wilds Garden: Burdock, Catmint, Chickweed, Clover, Cress, Dandelions, Dock, Ground Ivy (Gill-o’er-the ground), Henbit, Lady’s Thumb, Lamb’s Quarters, Mustard, Plantain, Pigweed, Pokeweed, Dead Nettle, Self Heal, Sorrel, Violets, Wild Lettuce, Wild Garlic, Wild Ginger, Winter Cress, Wooly Mint.

A Few of the Ways Wildlife use some of our Plants

White Oak – Food: White Oak provides food for my Grackles, Jays, Nuthatches, Thrushes, Woodpeckers, Rabbits, and Squirrels. More than five hundred butterflies and moths are attracted to this host plant. The larvae of two small moth species of the Bucculatricidae family are known to feed only on the white oak leaves. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for many birds. Our Great Horned Owl usually returns every Fall.

Black Locust – Food: The Flowers are pollinated by Bees and Hummingbirds. Seeds are eaten by Mourning Dove, Eastern Cottontail, and Squirrels. Shelter: Many animals use this tree for cover and cavities. A good home for bird, especially Woodpeckers.

Pin CherryFood: Twenty-five species of songbirds and ground birds eat the fruit. Mammals of all sizes relish it. More than 400 moths and butterfly species eat the leaves.The larvae of a small moth species of the Bucculatricidae family feed on nothing but pin cherry leaves. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection.

Sassafras – Food: Sassafras fruits are eaten by many species of birds, including my Phoebes, Gray Catbirds, Northern Flickers, Woodpeckers, Thrushes, Vireos, and Northern Mockingbirds. Groundhogs eat the leaves, and Rabbits eat the bark in winter. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection.

Eastern Red Cedar – Food: The Cedar Waxwing is one of the principal users of red cedar berries, but many other birds and mammals, make the fruit an important part of their diet. Shelter: A favorite nesting site of; Chipping sparrows, Robins, Song Sparrows, and Mockingbirds. Juncos, Myrtle Warblers, Sparrows of various kinds, and other birds use the dense protective foliage as roosting cover.

White pine – Food: The seed-filled cones beckon sixteen species of songbirds, and small mammals. Pines are the host plants for more than two hundred butterflies and moths. Shelter: offers excellent year-round shelter.

Apple – Food: Yellow-bellied sapsuckers often feed on the sap of apple trees, leaving a grid of sap wells around the tree, Ruby-throated hummingbirds depend on these sap wells for food, especially when floral nectar is scarce. Insects feed on the sap and in turn become food for birds, including ruby-throats. Many species of bees, butterflies, moths and beneficial insects use the nectar of the apple blossoms in spring. They also feed on fallen rotting apples in fall. Shelter: provides important habitat for many birds, including Bluebirds, Flycatchers, Robins, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Orioles. Branches and cavities in apple trees are common nest sites. Many species of mammals and birds use the cavities in winter for shelter or for food caches.

Blue Spruce – Shelter: provides shelter for Siskins, Nuthatches and Crossbills.

Forsythia HedgeShelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for birds & insects.

Privet HedgeFood: can produce thousands of fruits, which are eaten by birds. It’s also used as food by the larvae of some (Lepidoptera) Butterfly and Moth species. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for birds and insects.

Rose of Sharon HedgeFood: Flowering from July to October, it attracts wildlife in droves, Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds. Shelter: Roosting, and Protection for many birds and insects.

For the Garden

  • Encourage Birds for Pest Control, by providing Food, Water, Shelter.
  • Use Ladybugs, Diatomaceous earth and Milky spore for pest control.
  • Use recycled Grey water for garden, if you can.
  • Use Rain barrels, if you can.

Repurposing, Recycling, Reusing

  • In 1985, we recycled a bathtub as an in-ground pond.
  • In 2005, we recycled another bathtub into a raised bed herb garden.
  • In 2015, we recycled yet another bathtub into an additional raised bed garden.

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Thanks for stopping by…

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,            and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

 

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Our Park Map Placemats

Our Outdoor Memories Memorialized.

When our children were young, from preschool on, we would take different park maps and seal them in acetate. We would use them as Placemats for all our meals. When they were very young we explained to them, that it was like we were looking down from the clouds at the park. When we sat at the table, we would look them over to familiarize ourselves with the layout of the parks that we were planning to visit and camp during that season. We would point out the lakes and streams, and the trails that we wanted to try. We would talk about the trails that we have hiked and the many discoveries found on those trails. Through the years, we would mark up the maps with those discoveries, like, where is ‘Our Blueberry Hill’ or ‘Our Raspberry Row’, ‘Our Hidden Bubbling Brook’, ‘Our Special Fishing Spots’, the Best Views, etc.

We would take the Park Map Placemats to camp with us and constantly refer back to them. When we went hiking, we would carry, a marked up, folded map.. As we adventured, we would make additional notes. Once we were back home we would come to an agreement as to what was to be added to the Park Placemat Map.

We still use them to this day. The kids are grown and gone with families of their own. On occasion we were lucky enough to use the Park Map Placemats with our Grandchildren. We all Loved them, what Wonderful memories they hold, ‘Our Secret Spots’, ‘Our Hidden Hideaways’, Our Family’s Personal Park History.

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P.S. The Bonus was: Our children learned to read many kinds of maps at a very young age, and even how to use the Compass, and how to Navigate by the Sun, etc. They were never afraid to set out on an Adventure with map in hand.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,            and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Thrift Shoppe Finds

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So Glad We Stopped into The Hospital Thrift Shoppe

We have had a very busy day on an emotional roller coaster ride. We attended a Funeral Mass in the morning. Then in the afternoon, we had to return to the Hospital to follow-up on some business from the week before. On our way driving to and from each place, we would drive past the Hospital Thrift Shoppe, thinking we should stop in there soon.

On our way back home, we had talked about stopping in, but said we said No, it would be too much, because we are spent, we don’t have the energy left. We decided to head straight home, and perhaps take a nap. However, as we were driving by, at the last minute, we said, “What the Heck, just a quick look around.” Boy, am I glad we did…

Here are our finds…

  • 2 Sterno Emergency Preparedness Kits, each kit includes:
    • a Sterno 6″ pillar that burns for up to 60 hours.
    • six Sterno votive candles that burn up to nine hours each.
    • two 7-oz containers of Sterno gel fuel that burns up to 2.5 hours each.
    • and  a Sterno folding stove, so you can prepare food over the flame.
  • A BBQ apron with tools:
    • A nylon apron / that becomes a roll-up storage bag.
    • A BBQ spatula with bottle opener.
    • A BBQ knife
    • A BBQ fork
    • BBQ tongs
    • A BBQ mitt
    • and 2 shakers
  • A glass cake stand – (we will use as a plant stand)
  • A glass serving plate – (we will use as a saucer under plants)
  • 2 small lead crystal candle holders. (for battery taper candles)
  • A small square apothecary jar – (for the bathroom)

Sterno setsThrift glassBBQ tools

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All the above for an unbelievable price of… Two Dollars and Twelve Cents. 😀

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But then he ran back in and bought… a 2 gallon thick glass water dispenser jar without it’s lid for only a quarter. (we might use it for fermenting)  🙂

Glass jug

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Thanks for stopping by…

What do you think of our finds? What were some of your best bargains?

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I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,   and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

 

 

Dr. Bronner’s

“Healthy Hunza-Type Foods” by All-One-God-Faith, Inc.

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A Throwback to My past…          Ah, My Past…

Some called it ‘Hippy’ others still call me the Original ‘Flower Child’.

One thing for sure is how much I miss Dr. Bronner’s ‘Healthy Hunza-Type Foods’, from the days of yore. I used and depended on his wonderful food products since the Sixties on up and through the early 2000’s.

In 1970-1972, I traveled around the country, I guess you could say I was ‘Looking for America’. I relied on some of them, especially the Balanced Protein Powder as one of the main survival food staples in my backpack. They kept Me and my Wolf Abe well nourished.

When I returned to a ‘Citizen-life’ they were a necessity in my home. I raised my Children and Husband on them. They slowly started disappearing from the store shelves after Dr. Emmanuel Bronner’s Death in March 1997. His children never knew the food recipes, he never passed them down. As far as I know, it appears as if they were all in his head, and there is no written trace of them. However, his children and grandchildren still do produce the soaps.

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Dr. Bronner’s “Healthy Hunza-type Food

These are the ones I always used

  • Balanced Protein Powder            – A Great Survival Food. ❤
  • Balanced Mineral Seasoning       – Sprinkled on Everything
  • Balanced-Mineral-Bouillon        – Broths, gravies & a hot drink
  • Hawaiian Mineral Syrup              – A nice healthy sweetner
  • Carrot Calcium Powder                – Use on food and teeth.
  • Calcium Malt                                 – Sprinkled it on ice cream, etc.
  • Dulse                                               – Sprinkled on Everything

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These are two I have left, and NO, I am not going to use them… Memories.

Dr. Bronner’s Balanced-Mineral-Bouillon:
All Vege-Amino-Broth Survival-Food-Base-Concentrate:
Contains: Soya Bouillon Base, Blackstrap Molasses, Vitamin C, Lemon and Orange Juice Solids, Soya Lecithin (oil free), Ocean Dulce, Papain Enzymes.
100% Balanced – Without Alcohol, Animal Products nor Synthetics! – Concentrated.                    Replaces salt, to season all food.

Dr. Bronner’s Mineral-Bouillon is 40 years guaranteed to duplicate our God-made natural sodium-potassium-chloride balance. For instant pick-me-up, use as a energy drink, balanced seasoning, or instant gravy. Enjoy 1 Tablespoon Bouillon in Cup hot water instead of meal. Also, mineralize carrot & other vegetable juices with a dash of bouillon.

SURVIVAL – FOOD – BASE
Keeps a Lifetime if Undiluted!

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Dr. Bronner’s Hawaiian Mineral Syrup
[1948 to ’69 “Organic Carrot Syrup”]

CONTAINS: Hawaiian Crude Cane Syrup. Vitamin C,
Lemon & Orange & Papaya Juice Solids, Dulse.

Enjoy Hawaiian Mineral syrup to replace refined sugar,
honey & syrup in Cereal, Pancakes, Tea, Coffee, Fruit
Juice, Milk, or alone with lemon in water.

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We had to switch to Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids in lieu of Dr. Bronner’s Balanced-Mineral-Bouillon. No offense to Patti Bragg’s, we have always used her Apple Cider Vinegar, but it is nowhere near the same. Bronner’s was a Balanced Mineral Bouillon, and Bragg’s is liquid Essential and Non-essential Amino Acids made from Vegetable Protein from NON-GMO Soybeans and Purified Water. (Not Fermented)

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Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Soaps

Back in the day, we would refill our jugs at the Health food store.

They are made with Organic Oils and are certified Fair Trade. We have used these Soaps for 50 years for everything… Cleaning our ‘Mind, Body and Soul‘. Back in the day, we would refill our jugs at the Health food store. We use it for our body, hair, teeth, and as a refresher. We use it to wash our clothes, dishes, and house. We also use it on our fruits and veggies. We have put it into foam pumpers, for ease of everyday use. But the soaps are not the issue here, his family still produces them, plus they have added Coconut oils, and toothpastes to their product line.

As toothpaste, I used to use the liquid peppermint soap with the calcium powder, now I make my own. Read about my polishing one here: Organic Deodorant – Homemade 

  • Peppermint is very refreshing and cooling in the Summer.
  • Eucalyptus helps keep the bugs at bay.
  • Almond is very refreshing and warming in Winter.
  • Lavender and Rose are both refreshing and relaxing.
  • Sal Suds is great for cleaning household items.
  • We ‘rinse’ our fruits and veggies in Peppermint.

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I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,     and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Confetti Matzoh Ball Soup

An End of Summer Treat

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Confetti Matzoh Ball Soup a.k.a. Matzoh Minestrone

It’s the beginning of the ‘End of Summer’, the garden goodies are coming in full-fold…    Fresh green beans, okra, corn, tomatoes, etc. Now is the time to enjoy and get your full of your garden’s bounty. For me one of the best ways is to enjoy them in their veggie broth with matzoh balls… YUM

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Start with 2 to 2 & 1/2 quarts of homemade veggie or chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil. Add sliced okra, green beans, corn from cob, and tomatoes. Let simmer until near tender. Meanwhile mix up the matzoh dough, make walnut-sized balls, let sit as soup simmers. (You can use the Matzo Ball mix.) When veggies are near tender, drop balls into soup and simmer until they are done… Yum

 

What are some of your families recipes?

Take Care, Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,       and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Summertime Treats…

Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Sweet Corn

Yummy Fresh Eats… Loving July into August.

We live in PA.

However…                                                                                                                 We make a run over to Jersey once a week to buy Old Mr. King’s Sweet Treats.  I don’t know whether it is the Jersey sandy soil, or that his farm is in the middle of the Wharton State Forest. Maybe it is the Love he puts into his craft. Perhaps all three combined that make his Eggplant (he says it’s male), Tomatoes, Corn and, last but not least, the Zucchini the Sweetest ever. He has been working this farm since he was a kid. He always says: “I’m happy to still be working this side of the grass.” 😀

For us the near 2 hour, 66 mile round trip a week worth it. 🙂

Eggplant

I cannot get enough of his fresh Sweet Jersey Eggplant.                                        I eat it hot, fresh off the griddle, topped with Sweet Red Jersey Tomatoes.         Then later that night, I eat it cold right from the Ice Box. (ahem… Fridge)

Finally for the ‘Desert’, Sweet, Sweet Jersey Corn.

Eggplant, Corn on Cob, Tomato

The best way to fix eggplant for Our Family is:

  • Peel then slice just under 1/2 inch thick.
  • Salt, and set aside for near an hour.
  • Rinse and blot off excess water.
  • Have skillet / griddle medium hot.
  • Press slices into  flour on both sides.
  • then dip into a beaten egg, thinned with a drizzle of water or milk.
  • Press into bread crumbs on both sides. (your choice of seasoning)
  • Then fry, until golden brown on each side.

My Happy Summer Song – DD

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy,                                                             Summertime and the Livin’ is Right,                                                                       Summertime and the Livin’ is Breezy,                                                                 Oh.. Oh.. Oh.. Summ… Sum, Summertime.

Summertime is sweet, sweet Eatin’,                                                       Summertime and the Veggies are Ripe,                                                               Summertime nights are long and Bright,                                                                 Oh.. Oh.. Oh.. Summ… Sum, Summertime.

 

What are some of your families recipes?

Take Care, Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,       and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Chicken Pot Pie… Bot Boi

Old Mennonite cooking

Chicken was another frequent ingredient in old Mennonite cooking.

Chicken Pot Pie, Bot Boi

The Ingredients

  • 1 celery stalk w leaves,
  • 1 slice thin pepper
  • 3 lbs. chicken/parts
  • 4 potatoes, qtr.
  • 2 qt. water
  • 1 carrot, slice thin
  • 1 onion, dice
  • 2 T. parsley
  • 1 batch dough squares

The Process 

  • Cover chicken, stew almost tender. Strain. Bone chicken and dice.
  • Add potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, parsley and pepper. Bring to boil.
  • Add chicken. Drop half of squares into boiling broth, one by one, cover entire top. Stir, then add the rest. Cover tight.
  • Boil 20 min., until squares have a spongy texture when cut with a fork. Serve 6-8.

This is not what it will look like…

Mennonite / German Dutch Chicken Pot Pie is basically a stew,                             a thicken, beefed up (Oops), I means a bolstered up soup, not this… 🙂

Chicken pot pie #2

But, I also do this Chicken Pot Pie – quick and easy with Jiffy Baking Mix.

Quicky Chicken Pot Pie (or Cheater’s Pot Pie)

The Ingredients

  • 1+1/2 cup diced chicken           – usually leftover
  • 1 cup of veggies                         – I use mixed, corn, gr. beans, carrots, etc.
  • 1+1/2 – 2 cups of broth gravy  – some use canned gravy or cream soups,
  • 1 batch biscuit dough batter

The Process Chicken Pot Pie

  • Butter or spray pie plate.
  • Place chicken and (thawed) veggies in.
  • Cover with about 1/2 the gravy. Saving the extra gravy to pour on top, of finished servings. YUM
  • Pour biscuit dough batter over all the top
  • Bake on 400* F, until top is brown and gravy is bubbly. (abt. 35 min.)

HINTI make my own gravy from the roasting pan drippings.

  • Deglaze the pan and strain into a jar, refrigerate.
  • Next day scoop off the harden fat.
  • Use this broth thickened with corn starch, etc.
  • Season.

Chicken, a frequent ingredient in old Mennonite cooking.                                    Broths & Soups:          Chicken Corn Soups; Chicken Noodle Soups                          Main Dishes:               Chicken Baked in Cream; Chicken Fricassee;                                                             Chicken & Oyster Pie; Chicken & Pineapple.

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What are some of your families recipes?

Take Care, Thanks for stopping by. – OmaEagle

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,       and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle