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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Honey Bees Work Hard to Deliver Their Sweet Gift of Honey

Today, the third saturday of August , the 18th of August is known as National Honey Bee Day. You know those little winged hard workers that belong to the bee family and produce the liquid sugary treat known as honey.

Bees travel an average of 55,000 miles to produce just one pound of honey. Throughout their journey they are gathering nectar from two million flowers. After all this week each bee will gather just around 1/2 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

National Honey Bee Day was established in 2009 to recognize beekeepers, educate others and to promote honey production

Did You Know:
That it takes an average of 3,500 honey bees to fly 55,000 miles to make about 1 lb of honey?? It will take 10 lbs of nectar to make a lb of honey.

The variety of different flowers the bees visit helps result in a subtle, yet discernible changes in the taste of honey produced.

The life time of a honey bee is only about 40 days. During its life time about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey will be gathered

Honey bees stroke their wings an exhausting 11,400 times per minute. They communicate with each other through a form of dance.

The honey bees help farmers by pollinating fruits and veggies.

In the colony of honey bees there is only 1 queen, if extra queens become present the queens will fight to the death leaving only 1 queen that lives for 1 to 4 years. Drones are simply there to mate with the queen  A queen will mate with nearly 20 drones and only mate once in its life time. The act of mating is completed in the air. The queen will store the sperm from the drones. The stored sperm will be used for egg bearing over the length of her life.  After the drone mates with the queen its stomach will be tore off and it will die.

The queen honey bee will lay between 1000 to 3000 eggs per day. The other female bees are all worker bees. A healthy bee hive has 40,000 to 60,000 bees.

Honey bees are the only insects that produce food to be eaten by humans. Honey is the only food that has all the substances to sustain life Enzymes, vitamins and minerals are all found in honey.

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Thrill of the Ride ==== National Roller Coaster Day

Many summer time bucket list most likely included a visit to an amusement park and possibly even a ride on a roller coaster. Today, August 16th many roller coaster enthusiast more than likely could have been found at their local amusement park. Each year on this date the National day of Roller Coaster is observed.

One of the earliest patents for an inclined railway was granted to J.G. Taylor in 1872. Just seven years later and another pioneer Richard Knudsen applied for and was granted a patent for an inclined plane railway. Every since those early days roller coaster fans have visited most likely starting with the opening of the first roller coaster at Coney Island in America in 1884. But was it the earliest?? The debate roars on with

  • J. G. Taylor's roller coaster at Rocky Point, Rhode Island in 1872. 
  • Russian Mountains created in 17th century with hills of ice. Saint Petersburg, Russia was the place for this roller coaster. With heights ranging from 70 to 80 feet with a 50 degree drop that were enforced with wooden supports

National roller coaster day has been celebrated since 1986. The reason this date was selected is not known. What is known is that on August 16th the thrilling ride that roller coasters provide is celebrated. Many amusement parks and fairgrounds across America will celebrate the roller coaster. Ticket prices may be reduced, special promotions may be offered, and large celebrations will be celebrated.

Peach Season Perfect Time for Peach Cobbler

Did you know that in an average year there is 7,600 tons of peaches produced in Illinois  August heat is made better by the sweet juice of a freshly picked peach.

There are two basic types of peaches. The Clingstone that has flesh that does just what  its name the flesh of the peach clings to the "stone" or pit of the peach. The other type of peach is the Freestone which again does what the name says with the flesh separating from the stone of the peach. Freestone peaches are preferred for eating fresh and cooking at home.

6 cups fresh peach slices, peeled (about 12 medium peaches)
⅓ cup honey
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup old-fashioned oats
¾ cup wheat germ or flaxseed meal
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
recipe resource here

While Georgia may be known as the peach state, here in southern Illinois during peach season the landscape is dotted with peach stands, peaches are sold at local grocery stores , in parking lots, at farmer markets and more  Peach season normally runs from June to August.

This fuzzy fruit not only taste great but they are good for the human body as well. Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and C and have less than 70 calories with 3 grams of fiber. When selecting the perfect peach find one that has a slight give when touched with your hand rather than your fingertip.

Farm Bureau Illinois was a wonderful resource when preparing this post

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

½ c. unsalted butter, melted or browned
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
1½ c. bread flour (see NOTES)
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (plus a few extra for pressing on the tops)

In a large mixing bowl of the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the melted or browned butter and sugars for 2 minutes on high. Add the vanilla extract, pumpkin puree and egg yolk, mix on low until just combined.
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. With mixing speed on low, gradually combine with the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.
Fold in the chocolate chips, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Scoop balls of dough using a standard size cookie scoop and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gently pat down each ball so that the tops are flat, press a few more chocolate chips in the top of each cookie. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. The cookies will be slightly puffy but they will flatten as the cool. They will also look a little soft in the centers but should not be doughy! The longer you bake them the more crispy they will become. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, about 5 additional minutes.
-You can use all-purpose flour, but the bread flour makes these more dense, chewy and crispy. You can find bread flour in the bulk section of most grocery stores, just buy the amount you need, or it can be found in 5lb. bags in the baking section.
-I've baked these at 375 degrees for 12 minutes and they were just as good!
-If you prefer more spices, add an additional ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon and a ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice.
-These cookies should be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days. Though they taste the best the day they are made- nice and crisp!

recipe resource here

Alexander Calder an American Artist

Alexander Calder , an American Sculpture that is considered to be one of the most important American artist, was born July 22, 1898 and lived a good long life passing at the age of 78 Calder created colorful whimsical abstract public sculptures and innovative mobiles. \

Calder was born to be an artist as his family all ready had shown accomplishment in the area of art. It was in Paris during the 1930s that Calder first had his work recognized and soon after was spotlighted in the Museum of Modern Art i New York as well. Throughout the years his work would be showcased in many museums and shows.

Calder created many large and permanent pieces that could not be moved once created. He has been sad to have a restless creative spirit that led his art skills of sculpting , painting , and printmaking to name just a few areas of art that Calder has excelled in.

Alexander Calder was born in Lawrence Pennsylvania. HIs grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder was from Scotland and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1868 and became a successful sculpture. Among his great works was the William Penn statue on top of Philadelphia City Hall. Calder's father also a sculpture created many pieces around Philadelphia and his mother was a portrait artist. 

In 1987 the Calder Foundation was formed by the children of Calder. The foundation has dedicated itself to the collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting the art of Alexander Calder Currently there are 600 sculptures that includes mobiles, stabliles, standing mobiles and wire sculptures There are also 32 monumental outdoor works and thousands of oil paintings. In addition paper work, toys, jewelry and domestic objects are listed in the collection

Tell Me A Joke

Today, August 16th, is a day that should be full of laughter and having fun. The day is Tell a Joke Day. To tell a joke you have to first know what one is So:

The definition of the word joke according to the online dictionary is:

As a noun the word joke means a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline. 
as a verb the word joke means something you make Make jokes, talk humorously 

Today fill the day with laughter and silliness. It will not only help keep you and those around you in a better mood but also help pass time quickly as well. Jokes can be said quickly with a simple word or made into an entire story. Jokes make us use our thinking skills as they often employ word play, irony, and sarcasm.

The date may have been selected as July 16th is also the birthday of a famous 18th century English actor named Joe Miller. Miller was famous for his one line jokes an July 16th was his birthday.
  1. I hope that you find time to share a joke today. IF you would like leave your favorite joke in our comment section. Thanks and have a Jokingly Good Day

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Celebrate The Wizard Of Oz ==== Do You Know These Movie Qoutes

The Wizard of Oz has traveled through several generations. Created in 1939 it has fans of all ages amongst the movie followers. I am simply wondering if you would be able to recognize the line that the character in the story said. Here are a few examples lets see what you really know about The Wizard of Oz

Why, if I had a brain I could...
[singing] I could while away the hours,
Conferrin' with the flowers,
Consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.


singing] When a man's an empty kettle,
He should be on his mettle,
And yet I'm torn apart.
Just because I'm presumin'
That I could be kinda human
If I only had a heart.

There's no place like home; there's no place like home; there's no place like home...

Read what my medal says. Courage! Ain't it the truth, ain't it the truth!

In 1939 the American musical Wizard of Oz was introduced. Many consider it one of the greatest films in cinema history. The adaptation of L. Frank Baum's children's book in 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become very successful and well known. Victor Fleming directs Judy Garland as Dorothy, and the cast of stars including Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Ellie Burke and Margaret Hamilton among others.

The Movie was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture. The song "Over the Rainbow"  by Herbert Stothart won best original song and best original score. It was one of  MGM's most expensive productions. The Library of Congress has listed The Wizard of Oz as the most seen film in movie history. In 1989 the movie was listed in the top 25 films inaugurated in the National Film Registry. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The War Was Helped By Talkin IN Code

What is a code talker::
a code talker is an individual or group of individuals who talk in an obscure language to create secret communication during wartime. During the World Wars code talkers were important in using the Native American language as a basis to send coded messages. Several hundred Native Americans were used by the United States Marine Corps to send transmissions of secret tactical messages. Using military phone or radio sending codes that were built upon the Indian nation.

Sample of Code Used:

KKidKlizzie-yazziTłʼízí yázhí
LLambDibeh-yazziDibé yázhí
QQuiverCa-yeilthkʼaaʼ yeiłtįįh

Code talkers were valuable not as weapon users or in combat but because of their native language. The cryptographic code was created and for years was unbreakable. The first code talkers were used in War War I. A group of Choctaw soldiers helped American forces battle the German Army n France. Tribal men of the Comanche an Meskwaki as well as Basque were used in and around many different countries during War War II. The Navajo code talkers were based in and around the Pacific and offered the greatest help . 

Philip Johnston a civil engineer has been credited for the idea of using Navajo language. Johnston's father, a missionary, lived around the reservation. The language of the Navajo was mysterious and had never been written. It was not only unbreakable but fast as well. As long as you were fluent in the Navajo language. 

In the spring of 1942 a group of 29 Navajo code talkers came together to create a dictionary and code words for the military terms. The code talker received a message translated it into navajo word and then into English. The irony of the code talkers and the knowledge of navajo language is that during the 1920s the United States tried to break the Native Americans of their culture and language. In fact, even after the war the use of the code talkers was kept a secret until the late 1960s when it was declassified. In 2001 the code talkers were recognized by congress. 

Lets Play Ball ==== Wiffle Ball

I recall sitting outside many summer days watching the boys who lived next door play wiffle ball. Yes, they were much older than me, about 10 years I think but they had so much fun playing that game with a plastic ball and bat. I, myself, played a little softball but we never really played at home just as part of the team. When I grew older and started my own family I wanted to bring back that joy for my own children that the boys next door had so I bought that same plastic ball and bat under the name wiffle to have a bit of fun.

The summer of 1953 in Fairfield Connecticut found the inventor of the wiffle ball observing a game between his son and a friend. The game they played used a perforated plastic golf ball and a broomstick handle. The two friends had tired of baseball as there were not enough players, enough space, and no room to play that was not near any broken windows.

The two had tried to accomplish sliders and curves using the golf ball but it was simply wearing their arms out. The wiffle ball had been inspired but now needed to be created. Using some plastic pieces that were ball shaped It was agreed that the ball with 8 oblong perforations was the best. Thus, the wiffle ball was invented.

The invented ball was easy to make curve and was harder to hit. The making of many strikeouts was present and in the old neighborhood that the family lived in they called a strike out a "wiff" The brand name had been born and known as "WIFFLE" The game of wiffleball became a favorite of many and now is well known around the U.S. and countries around the world.

true story found on

The Wiffle Ball Inc. was chosen to participate in a made in America Product Showcase at the White House. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as well as other members of the Administration and White House staff hosted a Made in America Product Showcase. The products were celebrated and highlighted each state

War Was Finally Over August 14, 1945

It was finally over, the Japanese had surrendered. The end of the war, WWII, has left a bit of confusion. The part that is not confused is that it was a "Victory Over Japan" and would become known as VJ day. The confusion comes with the date and which one should be celebrated Should it be

  • August 14, 1945, the date the Japanese government cabled the U.S. that they surrendered. 
  • August 15, 1945, the date that the news that the Japs had surrendered was announced to the world. 
  • September 2, 1945 the date of the formal surrender ceremony was held in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri President Truman declared September 2nd as VJ day
The battle in Pacific was hard fought and bloody. Japans resistance was fierce, the U.S was battling island to island and casualties on both sides were high. The citizens of the United States will never forget Pearl Harbor that was answered by the United States dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima August 6th , 1945. The Japanese did not surrender as the U.S. wanted rathery they waited and in the meanwhile the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki Japan. 

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

Orange Creamcicle Cake Mix OR Orange Cake Mix
 made according to directions
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding made according to directions
Cool Whip whipped topping

Mix cake according to directions and bake in 9x13 Pyrex dish.
After cake bakes, poke holes throughout top of cake.
Prepare the pudding and pour over cake.
Top the pudding layer with a layer of whipped topping.
Place in fridge at least 4 hours.
Slice and serve!!

recipe resource here

Monday, August 13, 2018

Protect Our Water

Water is used every day doing so many different things. From showers, drinking water, swimming, cooking and the list continues on. Water is a vital and important part of our lives but something some of us may take to for granted. August hosts National Water Quality Month in order to help bring attention to how our household and community water supply is

The EPA suggests that poorly maintained or damaged sewer and septic systems can contaminate nearby water sources. Bacteria, viruses, and chemical toxins can enter waterways via this way. When the pollutants enter the ground they can find their ways to rivers, lakes, and more harming the native ecosystem including plants, fish and shellfish.

Recently as a homeowner I received an annual letter from the sewer department letting us know how the sewer and septic system is doing as well as identifying any potential problems. As homeowners we can keep an eye on all drainage from our home. This includes any interior and / or exterior drains and pipes. We should also be careful of any chemical pesticides and fertilizers that we use. Lawn care products should be applied to the lawn in dry weather or better yet, use organic products that wont harm the water system Other ways you can help make sure of quality water include:

  • Limiting use of antibacterial soap and cleaners
  • switch from the household and health / beauty products that you may use now to a more non toxic natural product
  • do not flush expired medications
  • storm drains are for water only and should not be used in any other way
  • check for leaks and drips in your car these can be harmful chemicals as well
  • avoid chemical pesticides and fertilizers

Read A Romance

With all the kids heading back to school, the dog days of summer here and so many other things that the month of August brings with it perhaps you would love to know there is a great way to escape it all. Read a book, in fact read a romance. It is a great way to escape through the someone else's love story.

August is a great month to Read A Romance Month. A day that romance readers and authors come together to celebrate the most popular genre of fiction. The person behind this event is none other than Bobbi Dumas.

What is your favorite romance book?? Would love to know as while my sister is a romance book reader I have always prefered true life history based stories .Yes, I know there are some that are romantic and I have read a few so I have to say I too love romance in stories

Heading To School.... Are WE Ready

It's that time of year. What time you may ask. Well, back to school time of course. Some children have all ready headed back to school and others like mine will start school. For some children it will be their first day they have ever attended school and for others it may just seem that way. One notable change that takes place happens with the milestone after attending at least 11 years of school as being a senior is always a great year to experience. Yet, another extravagant year is that of kindergarten.

Being ready for kindergarten is important step to being for a lifetime of learning. Skills involved and require for kindergarten and who decides who is ready. Often the state policy, teachers and parents have different opinions of what Kindergarten readiness is.

Teachers often consider children ready for kindergarten base on years of experience and a district wide curriculum. Children should be able to communicate their needs, wants and thoughts verbally, they should also be curious about tasks and skills related to language an literacy skills, math skills, social skills and motor skills. They may not be able to do these subjects by self but be able to show interest. The skills included in kindergarten readiness are:

  • Kids should know their colors. Help them learn their colors using food coloring and milk. Stir the different food colors into the milk one at a time. Stir and the milk colors the child should know what color Playing the color game where you and your child take turns sharing what color objects in your environment are. Closely related to colors are shapes. 
  • Cutting can be hard for some children. Children that do not yet have skills to cut may start off tearing little pieces and strips of paper. Practice, practice, practice using child safe scissors will help build the skill of cutting. Building skill of cutting using old magazine pictures to cut out will help them build the skill
  • While most children are not able to write fluently at the start of kindergarten they can build the skill by practicing the alphabet. Learning the letters that spell their name will help as well. Later writing their own name should be a well practiced skill. Use play dough to create letters and numbers helps their cognitive learning as well as their motor skills. 

Parents definition of being ready for kindergarten may agree more or less with the teachers. Parents thing students should be ready to learn, communicate verbally, share and take turns equally. Parents also believe students who are ready for kindergarten will be able to count to 20 or higher, write with pencils as well as paint with a paintbrush

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy or SMA is the leading genetic cause of death in babies under the age of two. SMA affects all families across ethnic lines and there often is no history of the disease in the family. It is estimated that 1 out of every 40 individuals unknowingly carry the recessive gene for SMA genetic screening for parents to be is the best option for prevention.

Newborns with SMA are seemingly healthy but before long a lack of muscular development is apparent and debilitating. Other areas that may appear affected include muscle weakness which leads to respiratory failure and generalized failure to thrive. Children born with SMA have a compromised quality of life. Parents must often learn about feeding tubes, multiple types of surgeries and therapeutic care and other tasks not normally needed by parents to care for a baby born with SMA.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy robs individuals of their physical strength. It affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, takes away the ability to walk, eat or breathe.

Many are not aware of the disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy, something that we all know must be done so needed funds can be raised Funds are used to help with treatment and therapies as well as hopefully a cure for SMA. How can we help to bring awareness to Spinal Muscular Atrophy??

  • Get organizations and teams in the area involved in raising funds for awareness
  • have a local celebrity or politician to host a proclamation to bring awareness to SMA
  • share with local newspapers, TV and radio stations so in return they can inform others of SMA
  • become an advocate of SMA and partake in fundraising events
  • hold a group candle lighting honoring those who have lost the battle to SMA
  • one of the best ways for bloggers to get involved is to spread the word on social media