Sunday, July 27, 2014

Yummy Little Snack Idea

I have a new favorite snack that is light and refreshing and leans towards the healthy side! To say it's my favorite is an understatement - I am practically addicted to this! In fact,  I have been known to eat it as a snack, for breakfast and dessert! Well, not all in the same day. That would be a bit fanatical. What is this magical new discovery?

DANON OIKOS KEY LIME FLAVOR GREEK YOGURT WITH HONEY MAID GRAHAM CRACKERS!

I know, it doesn't sound exciting, but a single-serve tub of rich, smooth and OH SO YUMMY Oikos yogurt and two full sheets of honey-flavored graham crackers contains 290 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs and 13 grams of protein. Compare this to a standard single-serve frozen slice of key lime pie, which has 330 calories, 16 grams of fat, 87 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein - HUGE difference! Other breakfast, snack and dessert choices have similar or higher figures, which I sure don't want on my figure! LOL! And, it's fun to eat! I break each graham cracker for a total of 8 little rectangles. Then, I dip and scoop the yogurt with the crackers. You don't have to worry about double-dipping either because IT'S ALL YOURS TO EAT AND ENJOY! Mooooohaha! Sorry, I tend to get a little over-enthusiastic at times.

If key lime isn't your thing, there are lots of other flavors to choose from like Vanilla, Peach, Black Cherry, Apricot Mango, Banana Cream, Caffe' Latte, Coconut Vanilla, Caramel Macchiato, just to name a few. The crackers come in honey, cinnamon, chocolate - ohhhh I'm getting hungry! You can get low-fat varieties too!

You'll have to excuse me. There's a yummy breakfast waiting for me! Give it a try and enjoy!

Oh, I was not compensated for this post, but if either product is looking for a spokes person, I'm available! Also, I've been eating this yogurt for several months and John Stamos has yet to show up! Bummer.

Have a great day and thanks for being here! Hugs, Leena

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fluffy Little Visitors

A few weeks ago, I noticed two house wrens running back and forth on my deck. Curious as to what they were up to, I observed them for several minutes, then realized that they were entering our screened porch via a whole in the wood at the bottom of the door (I really need to get a new door). At first, I thought, "Oh great! More birds in the porch. At least they seem to know how to get back out". We had had a different type of bird in the porch previously who could not find the door again, even after I propped it open! It took forever to lead him outside! Anyway, I soon realized that the pair were busily working on building a nest!
House Wren. Photo by allaboutbirds.org
The porch is a nice place to live if you're a bird. It offers shelter from the hot sun and rain, is quiet and private, and is safe from predators (maybe I should live out there!). These cute, chubby little birds with tails that stick straight up into the air are known to violently evict owners of a nest they set their sights upon, they are also excellent nest builders and will often choose a flower pot in which to erect their home.
allaboutbirds.org
 Before long, the tiny twosome had traded in the grasses and sticks they'd carried for worms and other bugs, indicating that the babies had hatched! Despite my best attempts, I could not manage to see the babies from inside the house, until one day, when my daughter noticed that the babies were sitting on one of the porch rails. We had thought that they were getting ready to leave the nest as the parents had been frantically jumping around and screeching for a few days. I believe this was an attempt to get the babies to leave the porch and follow them. Everything was nice and orderly until Abigail stuck her head out the door to call to her mother. This sent the babies into a feather flying fury before they ultimately made their way out to the deck.
Four Baby House Wrens On Screened Porch

It's nice to have our porch back but I didn't mind the delay. Getting the opportunity to see nature up close and personal is totally worth it!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!
Hugs, Leena

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Tip

I was watching the DIY Network and they offered this tip:

"Place a few pieces of chalk in your tool box to keep your tools from rusting"

I guess the chalk absorbs moisture. Nice to know!
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Hugs, Leena

Timber!

When we bought this house, one of the things I liked were the trees in the back yard. There were four, one in each corner of the yard, my favorite of which being the river birch. It was tall and slender with that beautiful white bark and cascading branches. What I didn't like was the English ivy planted around it and the fact that the birch was planted too high and blocked the rain from exiting our yard. The grading is such that the surrounding yards all run downhill into our property, then the water is to continue out the back corner and onward to the W and OD Trail, where the old train tracks are. The birch's root ball was blocking the water and our yard would flood every time it rained. I tried several times to remedy these two less than desirable conditions. I mowed the ivy, pulled it, applied weed killer to it - nothing would stop its growth. I tried digging trenches around the tree so the water could exit, but that was unsuccessful as well.
Rain water blocked by tree. It actually would run across the yard and up to the back door!
 Fast forward 11 years and the birch had gotten huge and the ivy was totally out of control, suffocating the majority of its 25-30 feet of height. It was encroaching upon the lawn and the fence and nobody wanted to go near it because it was full of spiders, ticks and who knows what else. The tree just didn't look healthy, with small branches and leaves falling off, leaving bare, dead limbs, so I made the decision to have it taken down. I figured it was best to do it now than to risk it coming down during a storm and causing injury and damage. I would never take down a healthy tree because of its location, but safety is crucial. We soon found out just how critical it was.
Tree gone! You can see how far the ivy has encroached upon the lawn and is even growing up the fence!
The crew arrived, tied off safety lines to control the tree sections' falls and the cutter climbed up to start taking down the highest section. He secured his safety harness and chain saw and when he barely touched the tree - CRACK! The entire top portion, just about at his safety line, snapped off and came crashing down, sending him swinging around the tree and his chain saw hanging from its safety line! Everyone on the crew was shocked, none more than the poor man in the tree! Fortunately, he was a little shaken but uninjured! We discovered that the tree was hollow for several feet, which is what made it so frail. During the removal, they also discovered several empty bird nests as well as a baby dove! These guys were so sweet! They took the baby and placed it in an empty nest in my cherry tree, so that its parents could find it. Sure enough, the next day they had not only located their baby, they had brought its sibling along to join it! Two days later, the entire family was off in search of an early morning breakfast.
Baby doves hanging out in the cherry tree
Now comes the fun part digging out as much of the roots and stump to allow the water to flow freely, removing the leftover ivy and enjoying how much larger our yard looks! I may even plant a little garden in the area!
What a mess! This will take a while to clear out!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I always appreciate your visit!
Hugs, Leena
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