This snowman is feeding his bird friends. A bucket of seed is being visited by woodpeckers and a nuthatch. An apple core necklace, mouth of raisins, and strings of fresh cranberries look tantalizing to the Cardinal. Broom corn hair, strings of cranberries and peanuts, and a hat topped with black oil sunflower seeds will entice many other birds to visit. Is that a chickadee I hear??
Are we all on a run right now? Running to the store, baking, entertaining friends and family, finishing our craft projects, addressing cards, and wrapping the last of the gifts.
At night, we like to slow down and sit quietly by the fire, the little fir tree lit with ornaments that tell some of the story of our lives.
The quilt at the base of the tree was made by my Nonie Clarke. The starfish that tops the tree came from Laguna Beach in 1965. It was my first ornament and is the best tree topper ever.
The long farm table is filled with the last of the gifts to be wrapped. It may look like chaos, but I have piles separated and labeled for each person. I better finish wrapping these tomorrow because we have company coming this weekend.
The stockings aren't hung by the chimney with care–yet. I'll hang them up on Christmas Eve. The stockings were all done by Christmas Cove Designs in Maine. One knitted stocking for each of the grands. Little Luke, who just left the NNICU (after four and a half difficult months), has the newest one with Santa and a reindeer.
And, finally, my little German stick sheep are flocking on the mantel. I am thankful that they survived the big earthquake in December of 2003. They were lined up along the mantel in our Cambria cottage when the big San Simeon quake hit. All the sheep, the trees, and greenery shot across the living room and landed about ten feet from the mantel. Some were broken, others lost their ears or legs, but these survivors are still a part of our family traditions.
Tomorrow will be baking day with a final wrap up and delivery to neighbors and shut-ins. When the grands come, they'll be whipping up my special "Bird Booster" to satisfy all the birds in our lives and the lives of our friends. We plan to smear the mixture into pine cones and into the dried halves of oranges, but you can simply smear this onto tree trunks and branches.
Kids love to smear the "Bird Booster" into pine cones. This is my good friend, author Sherry Shahan, who is showing off the pine cone her grandsons filled with booster for her for her birthday.
This recipe provides fat and protein, which will help keep birds warm on cold winter nights. This is a simple project for the children in your life and will help connect them to the magical world of nature.
Recipe for Bird Booster from My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder.
1 1/2 cups of peanut butter
1 1/2 cups of shortening, bacon grease, or suet
3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup sand
Mix thoroughly and enjoy watching the birds feast on your offerings.
Sending love across the miles,
This is a live stream of two radio personalities in Cleveland reviewing my bird book and bird feeder. Jeff found their site online and took a photo of them talking with me in California. They were a part of a 23 city "radio tour" that was arranged by Workman Publishing. Yes, 23 interviews, which began at 4:18 a.m. and went on for over 8 hours. Jeff and I got up at 3:30 and prepared for the onslaught.
Yep, I'm in my robe and in bed and talking with radio hosts around the country. The headset is a necessity. It is almost impossible to hold a phone for 8 plus hours, sip tea, drink lemon water, and locate things in my book without fumbling. Click here for a list of stations. Scroll down to December 13, 2012. Some interviews were taped for later broadcast.