Hand-feeding Backyard Birds by Hugh Wiberg-Book Review

Handfeeding birds

This 1999 addition is a step-by-step guide to introduce you to the hobby of hand feeding birds.

For more than 20 years, this author has focused on hand feeding birds that come to the feeders he keeps and those that regularly visit some of the parks he attends.

The book explains the joy and connection to nature hand feeding brings. It goes through the methods of hand feeding for many different species along with what their favorite foods are and how to attract different kinds of birds.

The guide tells how to start, the best times to hand feed and what the timeline is likely to be till you are successful. This is a hobby which requires patients and a slow hand to win over these feathered friends. It promotes trust and a sense of intimacy between species.

This book features 80 color photos to help you identify birds and show the hobby as it progresses.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn from the experts how to pursue this hobby.

This book is available here-

https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/hand-feeding-backyard-birds-a-step-by-step-guide_hugh-wiberg/565202/?mkwid=spA4mi3qV%7cdc&pcrid=70112905152&pkw=&pmt=&plc=&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1NzZBRCoARIsAIaMwus39oqtjj57oi64Opzze9zno_ByRQ6K2rABGj2ZdlzytaSgJUzQME0aAgi5EALw_wcB#isbn=1580171818&idiq=3213381

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The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living by Dina Dove -Book Review

Baglady's Guide 

Angela’s life just fell apart when she met, by chance, a lovely elderly woman named Rose. She finds her in the park where she runs.

Rose carries a large bag with her wherever she goes, but it does not can contain all her worldly possessions, nor does Rose live on the street. Her bag contains quotes, helpful advice and articles which she dispenses to Angela just at the most appropriate time. Her timing is perfect and her advice is golden.

These tidbits that she passes on to Angela are like a blueprint as to how to regain her life again, only this time much better. Who is this Rose? Is she just a very nice adult who discovered the secret to living a meaningful and elegant life? Or is she much, much more?

She guides Angela to the peace she needs so badly. She helps Angela accept certain facts about herself and how she contributed to her present circumstances. Acceptance has been more than difficult for Angela.

This book is easy to read and very enjoyable. Use it to rediscover truths you forgotten or as a guide to gain equilibrium, sanity and joy at just being.

A wonderful book for anyone who could use a little pick me up. I highly recommend this as a book for a special friend you wish to encourage and uplift.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DABM9O/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Breathless by Dean Koontz Book Review

Breathless

Dean Koontz is a master storyteller which anyone who has read him cannot deny. He weaves together details effortlessly and we follow him happily wherever his story leads us.

The Rockies are the peaceful setting for this mystical journey between reality and the unknown. You suspend disbelief as you are pulled into this wonderful plot. When something never before seen becomes the daily norm of your life and moves in with you, then you are led to a sacred place of discovery. When everything you thought you knew is turned upside down and the encounters of almost mythical creatures occurs, the protective, mothering instinct is pushed into gear. Known to you only for a short time, you will feel compelled to save and nurture the beautiful beings. The discovery brings strangers together from far away points with various motives. You are let in on a secret greater than one person’s possible imagination and when a secret purpose is revealed to you, then you too will be left breathless.

Don’t miss this one! The childlike belief in all possibility is born again when you get lost in this endearing story.

This 2009 Koontz offering can be found in all major bookstores off-line and online.

Book Review – Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings by Emily Brightwell

mrs jeffries yuletide weddings

 

Emily Brightwell has written 26 of these novels and each one is still a delight. Mrs. Jeffries keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon and though he does not know it, she and her household staff are part of the reason he has such a wonderful record for solving crimes.

When the inspector gets a case, the household goes into action. They may have friends in low places, but it is the people who serve in the great houses who have all the gossip and news that offers many a clue when there appears to be none to the police.

This episode takes place near Christmas when every member of the household is busy with Yuletide preparations. There also is a long-awaited wedding  between two of the staff coming up as well.The cook is doing more baking and cooking than usual in honor of the upcoming festivities, but she like the rest of the staff takes time to do some sleuthing in between chores.

The characters are well – developed and you feel like you can identify with many of their own personal problems and quirks even though this takes place in Victorian times.

The plots are thoughtful and intriguing, but these are still English mysteries in the manner of Miss Marple. They have earned the ‘cozy mystery’ designation and will be enjoyed without all the detail focusing on the grizzly part of the crimes. You will instead be charmed by the interaction between staff and friends that love their Inspector and the means they use to discern the clues.

I highly recommend these for light reading and a beginning crime book for young people.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002SR2QKA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal- For Valentine’s Day-an Excerpt from the Articles Book

article-book-covetrMarriage

By  Jo Ann Wentzel

If you try to figure out why some people have successful marriages and others do not, you may come up with a lot of possibilities, but few sure -fired answers. The reason, however, is usually less complicated then most people suspect.

Good marriages have many things in common. Most are made up of two people who are not afraid to be individuals, but realize their strength lies in being a couple. Everyone is a better person when they can put other’s needs before their own. If they look at the thing that is best for the couple or family first, they will become much better partners.

Lots of people already know that mutual respect is an important element of a good relationship. Knowing is not enough if you cannot put that practice into reality. Respect is giving deference to another. Consideration for your partner’s feelings, ideas, beliefs, preferences, schedule etc. make for a much more sharing arrangement. It is vital to avoid making any important decisions by yourself when it effects the home, the family, or both members of the relationship.

An important trait of a good relationship is to keep a sense of humor surrounding most things. Do not take yourself too seriously. Make light of all matters that are not a life and death matter. See the funny side of all events and life in general.

Recognizing that we are all human, subject to error, and have personality frailties makes each person seem acceptable. When your husband snores, or you constantly burn supper, there needs to be an element of forgiving by the spouse. It is easy to be happy with those people who do nothing to annoy you. It is much harder to overlook the imperfections in your beloved. Most couples could name at least half a dozen traits in their mates that they wish they could change. If you have an irritating co-worker it is fairly easy to ignore their bad habits, why can we not do that with spouses? We often treat our marriage partners with less consideration than those people we barely know.

Being good friends is an immediate key to success in marriage. Before you love someone, it helps to like him or her. Marriage partners that are also friends give stability to the relationship. When you are also friends, it adds another level to your relationship. You will spend countless hours together so you should have some similar interests and enjoy each other’s company.

A spiritual base is helpful for strengthening marriages. It gives people the faith they need to work hard on such an important relationship. The answers as to how to make their married life better can be found in scripture.

It is never too early or late to put a bit of life in a marriage. Planning things together can bring a new- found excitement to your relationship whether it is the first baby’s nursery or where you will spend your retirement. Talking about upcoming trips or events adds a fun element to a sometimes, otherwise boring existence. What? You have no upcoming events or trips? First thing you need is to create some. A stagnant existence is not healthy for anyone. It breeds displeasure and bitterness. Even older folks need to have a life. Add excitement to any marriage by making an opportunity to celebrate something. You can even invent a holiday just for you two. Take advantage of all the holidays and events out there to participate in, decorate the house for them, and generally celebrate.

Don’t forget friends. At any stage of life, friends can be an added bonus. Forget the idea that they are his friends or your friends; attempt to make any friend one of both of yours. Friends can be a vital barometer of how well the rest of your life is going. If you navigate towards the wrong type of friends when things are bad, it may be an indication that you cannot talk to your mate like you wish. When your life is filled with supportive friends and you are active, usually the happy state you feel signifies a healthy point in your marriage.

Learn something new together; a hobby, a sport, or join ranks to fight for a cause. These moments of combined efforts will remind you why you loved each other to begin with.

Forget past harms that have been done to you. The idea of forgiveness is probably most important in families and with couples. If you cannot see anything but revenge upon your mate, you need to get counseling.

Don’t forget romance and sex in your marriage. This should be part of married life at any age. You may lose interest in some aspects, but when it is goes altogether so will the relationship. ‘Brides’ appreciate candlelight dinners at any age. Moonlight can still quicken the heart and roses or candy brought for special occasions, or even better for no reason at all. are among the best ways to say I love you.

Good marriages are made up of couples who have the ability to stick together, iron out differences, and negotiate. The couple can be empathic and see things from “their mate’s’ viewpoint.” Before any couple should ever consider ending their marriage, they should look at all the reasons to STAY TOGETHER. Only relationships where violence, degradation, lack of love, or serious addictions is present should be dissolved. Only after several sessions of counseling can any determination be made as to the nature of all the problems surrounding this union. Marriage and divorce are very serious propositions and should be considered with the utmost severity.

It is simple to have a good marriage if you just treat the person you swore to love with the respect and care you wish to receive yourself. Marriage must be between two people who love each other so much they cannot bear to be apart. Good marriages follow the Golden Rule. If you are ready to give unselfishly, love unconditionally, and put another’s need before your own; you are ready to succeed at marriage.

 

Book Review of McNally’s Caper by Lawrence Sanders

 

 McNally

 

If you never read any of the McNally series, you are missing a treat for a light read. They are almost reminiscent of an English Cozy. Archy McNally works at his father’s law firm. He is not a lawyer, but makes Discreet Inquiries for his father. They often work with wealthy clients and Archy always ends up in wild situations.

There are several things that Archy holds important. Number one is he is a snazzy and very bold dresser. His appearance is important to him and he really likes to stand out in a crowd. A second thing that he holds as vital is that he consume great food. The family has a cook that is outstanding and since he lives with his parents, even though he has his own lair, they often share meals. They eat very well and Archy is sure to tell you about it. He enjoys a cigarette from time to time and his liquid refreshment must be every bit as good as his meals.

While solving mysteries for his father, he seems to have no shortage of female companionship. He has a girlfriend he loves, but cannot stop the wealthy females, the heiresses from throwing themselves at him regardless of class and age.

These are like cozies because they solve the complicated crimes, but in less horrific detail for the reader. The mysteries are still good and contain many twists and turns at times, but the reader also enjoys the character of Archy McNally so much he is the story as much as the crime and solving it. Like any other mystery, it has the same elements as any other who-dun-it.

Lawrence Sanders is a great author and the McNally series delights me every time. I recommend all these books.

 

Working with an Illustrator

Dooney & moe Book Photo 2

I love her interpretation of the spider.

 

 

 

Writing my first children’s book meant having illustrations. There is no doubt about my inability to draw. My cats look the same as I was taught to draw them in kindergarten. Not an ounce of improvement toward the likelihood that someone might recognize what it is supposed to be. Thus, my search for an illustrator began. Creating books can get expensive when you pay everyone to do something for you. We are trying to learn to do as much of the process as we can because it is harder for Indy writers to sell books. As I said, I can’t draw.Many of us are on very limited incomes.

My search for an illustrator was very short since I knew a few artistic souls and had been following some of them on Facebook. I only had to approach one and she was agreeable and reasonable and exactly what I needed.

Things to think about when you are considering hiring an illustrator. You want to know that you both are willing to set the same timeline. If you wish to get the book for sale at a specific time, you need to be agreed as to what that timeline or finish date looks like for you both. We, as authors, must not be unreasonable or inflexible since your illustrator or artist may have many more projects ahead of yours. You may both have to give a little to accommodate everyone’s schedule and anticipated time to complete the work.

If you approach someone to do your illustrations, you should check their previous projects, so you can see a sample of their work. I had seen some of this illustrator’s work previously so already knew she had talent. She, however, had never done book illustrations in the past, but then I had never written a children’s book before or worked with an illustrator. We agreed to learn the process as we worked together and went on.

After establishing the agreement as to what you want or need and their willingness to do the job you asked them to do at the price you both settled on, you need to see if your vision is their vision. It is not often the fact that the price is as much as they deserve, but many of us are working with small budgets.

You need to be able to covey what you want so that they will understand what they need to give you. This was a wonderful experience for us. I had not finished the final draft when she took on the job, so I sent her what I thought we needed for each illustration. A paragraph description of what each picture should show. Even though you wrote the book, your illustrator should be given control of the drawings and let them show you their interpretation of what it should look like. Something I read talks about allowing the writer to make a couple minor changes, but if you are ‘on the same page’ so to speak this should be unnecessary.

A super important element of this selection of illustrator should be a happy working relationship. We did this whole project online through texts and emails and never met each other. I am hoping to remedy that and to meet in person someday.

Your illustrator should have the following qualities: patience with you because you are new to each other, a detail – oriented mind, be an excellent listener, a person that doesn’t get too excited because life is unpredictable and a person you could have a long- term relationship with and I found exactly that person. Part of me does not want to share, but that would be selfish.

 

I highly recommend Janice Ducrepont and would suggest you contact her for help with your next project.

E-mail Janice here-paintwrangler@gmail.com

Once the book is published I will replace the drawing above with an illustration from my book.