Monday, January 9, 2017

10 Free Puppy Articles

Years of experience with my rescue dogs taught me that a puppy is only cute at first glance. Then you realize that you have a lot to learn about your new furry friend. So here are 10 puppy articles that cover all the basics from grooming to potty training. Just click the hyperlinks to read your favorites.

#1. How to Groom a Fidgeting Puppy

Grooming a fidgeting puppy can be dangerous, especially if you are grooming his eyes, ears or nose. But if you swaddle the puppy in a protective blanket that hinders his movements, you will be able to give him a safe groom. Read this best puppy article.

#2. How to Potty Train a Puppy with a Daily Routine

Potty training a puppy must accommodate a puppy’s small bladder and short attention span. The following puppy potty-training routine will walk you through a normal day and teach you how and when to potty train your puppy. Read this best puppy article.

#3. 10 Best Puppy Care Tips

Like a furry baby, your puppy depends on you for the best puppy care. From avoiding accidents, to health tips and healthy puppy food practices, be the best parent you can be by following this best puppy care tips. Read this best puppy article.

#4. 10 Tips to Finding the Best Dog Breeder

If you intend to buy a purebred puppy, it’s vital that you find the best dog breeder for the breed. Learn how to find the best dog breeder, and what to focus on when selecting between a few breeders. Read this best puppy article.

#5. A Puppy Pen Can Simplify Dog Training

Tips to using a puppy pen to simplify dog training or puppy training. You can use a baby crib or a puppy pen to create a smaller living space for your puppy. The pen is where he’ll go when he behaves contrary to the family’s rules. Then when he behaves well, the family gets to embrace the puppy back into its midst. Read this best puppy article.

#6. What Not to Do when Playing with Your Puppy

Puppies are irresistible, but there are things you should not do when playing with your puppy, lest you encourage bad behavior and end up with an unpleasant dog. Read this best puppy article

#7. Stop Puppy Biting by Thinking like a Puppy

In nature, puppies learn to stop biting by getting bit themselves by other puppies. Discover what humans can learn from this about training their puppies to stop biting. Read this best puppy article

#8. Best Ways to Adopt a Dog: From the Pound, Newspaper Ad, Breeder

If you want to adopt a rescue dog, you can start your search online and see hundreds of dogs in your area. If you want to buy a purebred puppy, how can you avoid unintentionally buying from a puppy mill? Read this best puppy article.

#9. 10 Best Dog Breeds for a Family with Children

Without exception, here are 10 dog breeds which are very popular and make wonderful dogs for a family with children. Make your choice based on lifestyle, where you live, amount of dog grooming required, and the size family dog you want. Discover the in-depth dog adoption answer in this article.

#10. 10 Best Small Dog Breeds who Love Children

Not all small dog breeds love children. Some are too fragile, other can be as temperamental as toddlers. Here are 10 small dog breeds that love children and are laid-back enough not to mind a little paw tugging if it does not hurt. Discover the in-depth dog adoption answer in this article.


#1. The Best Dog Training Articles Collection

In this best dog training articles collection I’ve gathered my knowledge from years of training my rescue dogs. You’ll find practical advice on a wide range of dog training questions facing dog owners. Visit this dog articles collection

#2. Dog Adoption Q&A

Find answers to the most important questions about adopting a dog, from the pros and cons of adopting a dog, to how to get started, how to find a breeder or whether you should adopt a rescue dog. Visit this dog articles collection.

#3. 30 Important Dog Health Questions & Answers

Find answers to 30 dog health questions common to all dog breeds. Learn about dog diseases, parasites, how to stop obsessive paw licking, the best food for your dog, how to give your dog a medical checkup and much, much more! Visit this dog articles collection.

#4. 10 Perfect Gifts You Can Make for Your Dog

Discover how to make your dog 10 perfect gifts to make his life sweeter. From an orthopedic dog bed to a pet patio door or interactive toys, these homemade dog-gift-ideas are fun and easy to make! Visit this dog articles collection.

#5.Advice for Happy Dog Outings

From how to cure dog car sickness, to things you can do in summer together or how to travel around the world with your dog, this collection of dog outing articles will fill you with fun ideas. Visit this dog articles collection.

#6. The Best Dog Grooming Articles Collection

In this best dog grooming articles collection I’ve gathered my knowledge from years of grooming my various rescue dogs. You’ll find practical advice useful in grooming all dog breeds. Visit this dog articles collection.

Labels: 10 Free Puppy Articles

10 Fun Things to Do on the Holiday Break

Have a relaxing holiday season and do some fun things you haven’t done in years. Here are 10 great ideas on fun activities you can do to stay relaxed and keep busy this winter break.

1. Here’s a classic… Go to the movies. Go see the holiday flick or newest horror movie in theater. Everybody loves a good movie now and then. Sometimes it’s hard to fit in with our busy schedules and we would never end up going normally. Take some time out and treat yourself to a good film on the big screen.

2. Go to the pool and relax in the hot tub. An invigorating swim is exactly what you need to get into the holiday cheer. It’s a nice break from everyday life and a rejuvenating experience.

3. Grab a few crazy carpets and go sledding at the closest hill or a good driveway. This is a great tradition to do with your kids or a fun romantic thing to do with your beau.

4. Try your luck at a game of pool. Hit up a local billiards and make a night of it. If you have kids grab a baby sitting or play at a kids recreation center.

5. Buy a dart board and a few sets of darts for under $25 and have the family start a new tradition of darts. Set up your board at regular height and weight and read over the rules. It is an easy game to learn but a harder game to aim. Fun for the whole family and a good bonding experience.

6. Go to indoor go karts, laser tag or paint ball. These are fun involving games kids from young to old love and a great activity to take your family to bond together over the break.

7. Go out for dinner, lunch, coffee or dessert. Pamper yourself and take a break from cooking with a few meals out each week. Or just go out for dessert and a drink after dinner. Drive sober or take a cab.

8. Movie marathon. Rent a ton of classic and new movies and sit there for a full 24 hours watching movie after movie with the whole gang or by yourself. It’s a great activity to do every once and a while and really veg out with lots of snacks and treats.

9. Go skiing at the nearest ski hill or to a fine resort for the big spenders. Skiing is a real holiday break thing to do giving you a feeling of accomplishing a good seasonal break. Or for something new try snowboarding. Try out hitting the slopes this season. It’s fun and a great story to tell the co-workers and friends when you get back.

10. Have a party! Invite over all your friends and family for a fun holiday party. Make a punch and grab some snacks and fun Christmas carols and you and your guests are sure to have a roaring time.

There are lots of great activities you can take part in this holiday season and these are only a few ideas for you and your family to enjoy this holiday break.

Labels: 10 Fun Things to Do on the Holiday Break

10 Favorite Facebook Applications

People flock to Facebook for many reasons. I personally got on it to try and keep a check on my kids and quickly found many of my old classmates and friends that I have not seen or spoken to in over 20 years. The intriguing thing about Facebook is that no matter what your interest are you can find people and groups that have the same interest and it is a great way to network and share information. Now with that said Facebook can also be very addicting and it is so easy to just pop on for a minute to see what is going on and the next thing you know you have spent several hours talking to people and reading their comments.

There are many applications available on Facebook I have compiled a list of my 10 favorite ones. Some are useful, some are fun, and some are great for getting information.

1. MyCalender: This application is great for keeping up with your friend’s birthday, events, and just about anything else that is going on in you network of friends.

2. Bumper Stickers: Share fun images with your friends. Great for self expression, gifts, holidays, birthdays, Christmas.

3. Word Challenge: This is the application that I spend (Waste) most of my time on. It is a very challenging game where you are given letters and you must make words out of them. This is a very addicting and frustrating game.

4. Movies: Compare your taste in movies with friends. Share reviews. Discover new movies. Test your movie knowledge with the Never-Ending Movie Quiz.

5. Pieces of Flair: Show off your interests with Pieces of Flair for your profile! Describe yourself with buttons. Send them to friends as gifts. Browse through our growing collection. If you don’t find what you want, it’s easy to make your own!

6. PicksPal: This app lets Facebook users start sports and entertainment pick competitions with other Facebook members. You’ll be able to publish and promote your picks, including scores, rankings and weekly averages, to be shared with other Facebook users.

7. Netflix Movies: This application allows you to display your Netflix queue and “movies at home” in your profile and updates it once a day. You also can find what movies your friends are watching and get true reviews from people you know

8. Fliptrack: This application lets you create music videos and slideshows with text and effects. You get access to a large music library. They also hold contest periodically.

9. Fighters Club: Team up with your buddies on others over random issues or just FightPoke friends to smithereens! We’ve got manatees, dogs, Chuck Norris and Shaft to help you out, plus a whole lot more! Oh, and.. make money and win some more fights .

10. Events: With Facebook Events, you can organize gatherings and parties with your friends, as well as let people in your community know about upcoming events.

This list is just some of the hundreds of applications that are available on Facebook.

Labels: 10 Favorite Facebook Applications

10 Features the Notion Ink Adam Has that the IPad Doesn't

The Apple iPad is being hailed (and “helled”) all over the “interweb,” but there is another tablet on the rise: the Notion Ink Adam. Notion Ink has developed one of the best tablets to compete with the iPad and these are reasons why it just may be better.

1. 10″ Screen

This might seem a bit minor, but the Notion Ink Adam features a bigger screen than the Apple iPad. Who cares if it’s only .3″ inches better (9.7″ inches on the iPad), it’s still better than the iPad’s screen and wins in the screen size competition.

2. Multiple OS Systems

The Apple iPad runs on iPhone OS 3.2, but the Notion Ink Adam features Android, Ubuntu, and Chromium operating system support which allows its users to use the operating system platform of their choice and one that they feel will be better for their tablet experience.

3. Multiple Browser Support

Using the Apple iPad will leave you stuck with the very strict Safari Browser, but like with operating systems, the Notion Ink Adam features multiple browser support. What browsers, you ask? The Notion Ink Adam features the two top web browsers (in my opinion) Firefox and Google Chrome for better web browsing on the Adam tablet.

4. Media Ports

One of the complaints about the iPad tablet is its lack of USB support, but the Notion Ink Adam one-ups (well, better than one-ups actually) the iPad again with it media port options. The Notion Ink Adam tablet features 3 USB ports, HDMI output, and an SD Card slot.

5. Inbuilt Camera

Despite the rumors and speculations about the Apple iPad having an inbuilt camera, it’s not one of the features of the Apple iPad. Unlike the Apple iPad, one of the Notion Ink Adam features is a 3MP Autofocus inbuilt camera with angle adjustment features for better camera views.

6. 16 hours battery life

The Notion Ink Adam tablet features more than 50% more battery life than the Apple iPad (10 hours) with its 16 hour battery life. Even better is that the Notion Ink Adam battery can last up to 160 hours (6.66 days in devil time) when the backlight features are turned off.

7. Multitasking

“Na na na-nana…” said the Notion Ink Adam to the Apple iPad, “I can multitask and you can’t do that.” With all of the cool features of the Apple iPad tablet, it lacks multitasking features and can only run one application at a time, but the Adam knew better than to disappoint its tablet fan base that way.

8. Flash

“Gee Willikers, Batman! Do you mean the Notion Ink Adam also supports Adobe Flash Player?” By now, everyone knows that the Apple iPad and Adobe have quarreled and Flash support isn’t featured on the iPad (like many other devices). Flash support is just another feature the Notion Ink features on the Adam to make the Adam a bit better than the iPad.

9. Price

Not only does the Notion Ink Adam tablet have lots of better features than the Apple iPad, it also has a better price. While the Apple iPad’s prices range from $499-$829, the Notion Ink Adam starts of under $150 less at $327 and only goes as high as $800.

10. Touchpad

Both the iPad and Notion Ink Adam have multitouch features, but only the Adam has a touchpad. On the back of the Notion Ink Adam is an inbuilt touchpad similar to the ones on modern laptops. The cool thing about this feature is that this is the first time this feature is being implemented in this way. It seems like a feature that will take time getting used to but it does provide a better alternative for those that don’t want to touch their tablet screens all the time.

For more read Notion Ink Adam Tablet to Fight Heads-On with the Apple IPad, Your iPad is Guaranteed to Break No Matter How Careful You Are, and 6 Horribly Bad Tablet Names Worse Than the Apple iPad.

Check out my blog for more of the latest technology news.

Labels: 10 Features the Notion Ink Adam Has that the IPad Doesn't

10 Fourth of July Songs for Your 4th of July Celebration

Many 4th of July celebration parties would not be complete without various Fourth of July songs. If you are out on a boat for your Fourth of July celebration, some great 4th of July songs can help you relax, unwind, and have a great time. If your 4th of July celebration is just hanging out with friends and having a barbecue, great Fourth of July songs can provide great background music. Here are 10 4th of July songs that I think you should listen to at your next 4th of July celebration.

Fourth of July Songs for 4th of July Celebration #1

“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen is the best 4th of July song to listen to. It is very patriotic and has a good beat. The lyrics for this song can be found HERE. This song can be added to your 4th of July celebration play list for $.99 by clicking HERE.

4th of July Songs for Fourth of July Celebration #2

“Red White and Blue” by Lynard Skynard makes my Fourth of July songs list. It’s a great classic rock song that is very patriotic and festive. The lyrics to this song for your 4th of July celebration can be found HERE. Add this to your Fourth of July play list for $.99 by clicking HERE.

Fourth of July Songs for 4th of July Celebration #3

“Our Country” by John Mellancamp is another addition to my 4th of July songs listing. You can read the lyrics to this Fourth of July song by clicking HERE. When you read the lyrics, you will see why this is a great song for your Fourth of July celebration. If you love this song, you can add it to your Fourth of July celebration play list by clicking HERE – go ahead! It’s only $.99.

4th of July Songs for Fourth of July Celebration #4

“Pink Houses” is another song by John Mellancamp that I think is perfect for any 4th of July celebration. This song reminds you that America is a great and diverse country. Read the lyrics HERE. Add this song to your 4th of July celebration play list by clicking HERE and paying $.99.

Fourth of July Songs for 4th of July Celebration #5

“Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John is a great, peppy addition to your 4th of July songs play list. The lyrics can be found HERE. Download this song for $.99 by clicking HERE.

4th of July Songs for Fourth of July Celebration #6

Martina McBride is a singer with a great 4th of July celebration song. Her hit “Independence Day” is something that is on the play list on my iPod. Even though I am not personally a fan of country music, this song has a great beat and is easy to sing along to. The lyrics to this Fourth of July songs can be found HERE. Download this song at Amazon for $.99 by clicking HERE.

Fourth of July Songs for 4th of July Celebration #7

Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” is one of the best 4th of July songs. I remember every morning this song was played on the loudspeaker of my elementary school during Desert Storm. Find the lyrics HERE and add this to your Fourth of July celebration play list by clicking HERE.

4th of July Songs for Fourth of July Celebration #8

Ray Charle’s rendition of “America the Beautiful” is simply wonderful. You can add this classic American song sung by an American icon for $.99 at Amazon by clicking HERE. If you don’t know the lyrics to this Fourth of July song, you can click HERE.

Fourth of July Songs for Fourth of July Celebration #9

Whitney Houston sings “Star Spangled Banner” Flawlessly. The lyrics to our national anthem can be found HERE. Download the version sung by Whitney Houston by clicking HERE.

4th of July Songs for 4th of July Celebration #10

The last of my recommended Fourth of July songs is “American Pie” by Don McLean. This song speaks of Chevy’s and American pie – what could be more American than that? Place this patriotic song on your Fourth of July celebration Play list by clicking HERE. Read the lyrics HERE.

I hope you like the songs I have chosen for your 4th of July celebration. The links I have included for the MP3 downloads are to Amazon. You should be able to find these same songs on iTunes as well.

Labels: 10 Fourth of July Songs for Your 4th of July Celebration

10 Food Favorites for the Grill

There are many things we associate with summertime, and one of the most popular (and tastiest) summer activities is grilling out. It is customary to kick off the summer on Memorial Day with a meal on the backyard grill, and end it the same way on Labor Day. Whether you are a novice griller and looking for ideas, or an experienced grill master trying to get out of a rut of making the same thing over and over, here are the ten most popular items to cook on a grill.


Whether you go with a New York Strip, Ribeye or Filet Mignon, steak is an all-time grill out favorite. Nothing beats the slightly charred outside and medium-rare inside you acquire when cooking a steak on the grill.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are easy-peasy and loved by grandparents and grandchildren equally – nothing will go over so well with so many than a hot dog. Grill some so they are just hot and give others a nice crunchy burn – that’s how I like ’em and I know I am not alone!

Baby Back Ribs

Though some prefer their ribs cooked slowly in a smoker, a grill does an outstanding job on baby backs as well. To ensure tenderness without overcooking, consider pre-cooking your ribs in the oven prior to placing on the grill.

Barbecued Chicken

There is nothing like a juicy bone-in chicken breast cooked over an open flame. The skin develops a crispy texture full of flavor while keeping the inside moist and delicious.

Skewered Shrimp

Why not throw some shrimp on the ol’ barbie (as they supposedly say in Australia)? Just peel your shrimp, line them up side by side on skewers, brush with a little marinade or sauce and toss on the grill – they will be ready in minutes!

Brats and Metts

Known formally as Bratwursts and Mettwurts, these are a favorites in my hometown of Cincinnati due to their German heritage. Top your Brats and Metts with sauerkraut and mustard – purists will scoff if they see you adding ketchup (but I do it anyway!).


If you put salmon directly on your grill you are going to end up with a hot mess (literally) and very little to eat as the fish falls apart and sticks to the grill. But you can remedy this, and cook fantastic salmon on your grill with the aid of fish grilling basket!


Hamburgers allow oodles of customization as you can dress up your basic grilled beef patty with different cheeses and gourmet toppings, or just stick with the basics. If you flip your burger just once and don’t press it down and squeeze out all the flavorful juices, it is hard to go wrong with a burger.

Shish Kabob

You can make your shish kabob with whatever meat and vegetables appeal to you most. Personally I like beef with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, green peppers and onions. Marinating your chunks of meat ahead of time gives it terrific added flavor.

Corn on the Cob

While there are many vegetables you can slice up and grill (zucchini, squash, eggplant, etc.), corn on the cob is no doubt the most popular. The added flavor that comes from an open flame coupled with a slathering of butter, salt, and even a touch of pepper is truly divine.

Labels: 10 Food Favorites for the Grill

10 Free Baby Blanket Crochet Patterns

A lot of kids become attached to a blanket out of security. I know that my three year old has been attached to her blanket since she could be. Making a sentimental gift for a baby is a wonderful thing. You can make these as Christmas gifts for the new baby, or perhaps for a baby shower gift. Please also remember the unfortunate families out there that would love a special blanket for their baby, but need someone to help them out. Crocheting for charity is a very rewarding thing.

I always recommend using baby yarn for new born baby projects. The yarn is softer for their tender little bodies. One of my favorites is Vanna’s Baby. All local craft stores that carry yarn should have baby yarn.

Happy Crocheting!

Around the Rosy Blanket
This blanket is beautiful. It is crocheted in the round, and is very breathtaking. You can always change colors for a more vibrant blanket, or pink or blue to coordinate. Here is another blanket worked in the round where the colors are alternated.

Clusters and Crosses Blanket
This is a very warm blanket to make for babies. You can always change colors, or add appliques to your work.

Easy Blanket
This is a fantastic beginners project. There are step by step instructions with detailed pictures and information. It even shows you how to start a new row. So if you are brand new, I would suggest this one for you. You can always change colors and hook size to fit your needs.

Gingham Baby Blanket
I actually am expecting, and I have made this for my little one. I added a border in white around the outside, but you can make it however you like. This can also be done for a boy just by changing color. Here is a different variety of Gingham Blanket.

Log Cabin Baby Blanket
This patchwork baby blanket is the next to do on my list. I love how it looks quilted, and if used with the right yarns you can not even see holes. Change around and use different yarns for better looks, and fun textures.

Spiral Blanket
This blanket looks amazing. You could use a solid color if you desired, or make one in candy cane colors for a baby’s first Christmas. Use pink, or blue, or yellow.. Whatever your heart desires.

Their 1st Blankie
This is a great granny square pattern. You can always make it smaller or bigger, however you would like.

Zig Zag Blanket
This blanket is easy, and very nice to look at. You can add more colors to it, or lose a few. This is a very warm blanket for those winter months.

Lady Bug Quilt
Don’t let it fool you, it is crocheted. I think this is amazing to look at, and I would love to approach it as a gift for a family friend. This is an advanced project, so I strongly suggest that you work on something a bit smaller if you are new.

Hexagon Baby Blanket
This is easy after learning the stitches. I think it comes out to be very beautiful, and can be made for both girls and boys.

Labels: 10 Free Baby Blanket Crochet Patterns

10 Favorite Books to Read to Children

As parents, we know it is good to read aloud to our children. From infancy through their developmental years, reading is something that children love to do with their caregivers. Once they learn to read, it is still good to read aloud to children as they can often understand much more than they can read on their own. Below are 10 books I have enjoyed reading to my children, and I hope you find a few new titles for you to enjoy with your child.

Infants and Toddlers

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss–This is a silly classic that my children absolutely loved! The cadence and sing-song quality of the poetry matches the colorful drawings perfectly.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton–No childhood would be complete without the story of Mike Mulligan and his refusal to be put out of work by technology.

The House Across the Street by Jules Pfeiffer–This is a cute and imaginative take on the old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

Pre-School and Early Readers

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst–Another classic that children can still identify with today. When your child has had a rough day, this is a great way to end it on a positive note.

Kissing Coyotes by Marcia Vaughan and Kenneth J. Spengler–A loud-mouthed rabbit gets himself into trouble with too much boasting. If you like doing voices, this is written in a vernacular style that is fun to read aloud.

The Puppy who Wanted a Boy by Jane Thayer and Lisa McCue–This sweet holiday story teaches about love and companionship.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig–This lesser-known book by the author of Shrek belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Steig’s humor shines through this simple tale of parental love.

Reading-Age Children

Shibumi and the Kitemaker by Mercer Mayer–This gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of a girl who runs away because of the poverty in her father’s kingdom. What and how she makes her escape and return is the subject of this wonderful book.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein–With its advanced vocabulary and complex characters, The Hobbit is often difficult for children to read by themselves. It is wonderful to read aloud, though, and gives everyone something to look forward to as you work through this wonderful fantasy novel.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss–We end as we began, with Dr. Seuss. The Grinch is great for all ages, but the message really begins to sink in with older children.

Labels: 10 Favorite Books to Read to Children

10 Favorite Perennials of Mine

Who doesn’t love a Perennial? Set them out and watch them grow; but don’t forget their basic needs which provide them with what they require to become rooted and return the next year. A Perennial is a plant or flower which grows from year to year without having to be replanted. There are many types of these plants but my favorites stand out above the rest.

One of my most faithful summer companions is the Prickly Pair Cactus (Opentia ficusindica). This perennial has of course large spines which defend the cactus against curious animals and also provide shade for the plant. Most Cacti have very short growing seasons and long sleeping periods. This is because they have the ability to store massive amounts of water inside their thick skins.The ability to retain water, is one of the cactus’s most fascinating aspects. Another interesting fact about the Prickly pear is that when it cuttings are taken from the original ‘ear’ the peice can re-root after long periods of detachment. The cactus is easy to care for and a very resilient plant.

The Shamrock; a symbol of good luck in Ireland and in the United States as well, is a wonderfully bright green perennial. The Shamrock, when in full bloom has flowers covering the center top of the plant. The flowers are usually dainty pink which are a contrast to the bright green of the foliage–this is a pleasure to the eye. These beautiful plants prefer cool temperatures and may grow dormant if the temperature climbs too high. When the plant is not dormant, keep the soil moist for growing. And if you wish to spread the luck, propogation is very easily done by detaching a portion from the root upward.

Lavender (lavendula) is a lovely and very fragrant flowering plant. It is one of the most tempermental perennial you may strive to grow.It requires dry sunny rocky areas to thrive and produce the best blooms. If you are persistant enough; you will reap the benefits of this marvelous plant. Lavender is used to make incense, perfumes and other fragrant products as well as aides for sleeping and relaxation.
The dried leaves are often used for natural air fresheners and for meditation purposes. Even the color purple, which is the color of this perennial’s flower, is the color of comfort.

The perennial Rose comes in over 100 different species. There are shrubs, vines or simply the long stemmed versions. All roses are beautiful and varied in size and shape. The thorns of the rose bush were adapted to deter animals when foraging within the plants foliage, from damaging the bush. In caring for the Rose; it is very important to keep your roses pruned, deadheaded (dead blooms clipped) and watered on a daily basis. As long as these rules are observed and the plant is watered on a regular basis the blooms will flourish. Roses are known for there tender beauty and of course their fragrance. Rose hips; the fruit of of the plant, ripens in late summer to early fall. The French have developed a rose syrup, which is derived from the rose plant. IN turn, her in the United States, the rose syrup is used to make marshmellows.

The Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia); the deadly yet beautiful perennial, has enough toxin to possibly kill an animal or human. Most people who have owned these plants were never aware of that simple fact. These tall and leafy covered climbers have the most lovely white and yellow trumpet shaped blooms and they show their splender by opening in a wide bell shaped yawn. Such exotic perennials grow easily in moist fertile soil that drains excess water well. Their blooming begins late spring and continue on into the early winter.If care is taken to supply their needs, these beauties seem to come alive.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare);the culinary herb of choice for Italian cuisine, is a very hardy perennial. It is used in pasta sauces, on pizza and in other various recipes. This plant can be grown within a pot or directly in the soil. Oregano thrives in full sunlight and requires fairly moist soil but the herb does okay in fair to poor soil if need be. The scent of Oregano is an added bonus to the benefits of growing this culinary delight.

The Strawberry (fragaria x ananassa) plants are low growing perennials that produce cute white flowers and what some call ‘true fruits’. The true fruits of this plant are actually numerous seeds embedded within the enlarged stem end of the plant. This appears as the strawberry itself. Strawberries produce delicious fruit and will produce over and over from one plant if taken care of properly. The soil must be kept moist and the plant exposed to full sunlight. As well as being a favorite of mine; the strawberry plant, as muost know , is mass produced commercially as well.

Muscadines (vitis rotundifolia) thrive in summer heat and are very very hardy. Their large grape like fruits range in color
from dark red to black. The berries of the muscadine plant have been found to have cancer fighting qualities and are a source of good nutrition. The fruits have also been widely used to make wines and jellies as well as snacks to be eaten raw. In the Southern states; the muscadines are shaken from the trees onto a tarpoleon and collected to even make pies. They have actually become a southern treat.

The bright and beautiful daylily (hemerocallis hybrid) is also sometimes called the Tiger lily. This plant is my personal favorite of the favorites. They are extemely easy to grow and spread quickly. They are both heat and and drought resistant which attributes them to their hardy status. some of the plants have a lovely scent while others have no smell at all. Most people arent aware that the blooms of the daylily are used in Chinese cuisine. If you ever have a bowl of Hot and Sour soup; you will have had a bite of the daylily.

My last but most used plant in my home is the medicinal Aloe (Aloe Vera). This little perennial is a species of succulent that probably originated in Northern Africa. The Aloe plant had long pointed stems with lightly serrated leaves. Aloe is very hardy like the cactus and is used for treating burns and cuts along with being an ingredient in lotions and oils. The plant requires only that the soil be sandy and well drained. Despite these instructions, Aloe can thrive in the poorest soil and conditions for a very long time. Trust me, this has been tested in my learning years as a plant enthusiast.

Although these are some of my favorites; there are many many more to choose from. I love plants and gardening and I love to learn the personalities of the perennials. Enjoy your experiences with these 10 faves of mine and find more that will intrigue you as well.

Labels: 10 Favorite Perennials of Mine

10 Free Birthday Gift Ideas

Free birthday gifts are quite popular in the current financial climate. And free doesn’t have to be junk. As a matter of fact, a free birthday gift can be very meaningful. It just takes a little more thought – and will be valued much more, because ideas for free birthday gifts come from the heart.

1. Create a Coupon: You can easily make birthday coupons for your friends, family and coworkers for free. To create these free birthday coupons, open a word processing program and search for clipart that will match your coupon. For example, if you want to give your child a free birthday coupon that entitles them to a month without having to take out the trash, you could search for trash can.

Once you have selected an image, type your message next to the coupon, selecting a nice font to add character to your free birthday coupon. After you have made the number of free birthday coupons that you need, print them out and put them in an envelope.

We suggest decorating the envelope to make the gift more special. For example, if you have stickers around the house your child would like, decorate the envelope that way. If the free coupons are for your partner, decorate the envelope with hearts and love quotes that can be found online.

2. Make Homemade Treats: Homemade treats make the perfect free birthday gift. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you can easily make a free birthday gifts. Choose easy recipes. Last time, we chose four recipes, split the recipes up and packaged them in birthday boxes (but you could easily put the treats on paper plates and wrap them with birthday wrap and/or plastic wrap.)

The people we gave these free birthday gifts to were thrilled. They liked the snacks and treats more than gifts that weren’t free. Free birthday gifts that come from the heart mean more than something hastily picked up at the local department store.

3. Make a Collage: Whether it’s for your friends or family, a collage of pictures makes a great free birthday gift. A great idea is look online for pictures of celebrities whom your loved ones like. Print the pictures out on photo paper and assemble them on a large piece of cardboard.

You can take a part of a large shipping box and use it to assemble your pictures on. We think it looks great to overlap the pictures. This way the cardboard is completely covered and all you see are the pictures. You can do the same thing with family pictures. This makes a great free birthday gift.

4. Offer Your Services: If you specialize in something, you can easily give a free birthday gift this year. For example, if you own a bakery, offer to make your friends cakes for their birthday parties. If you are a mechanic, offer to change your friend’s oil for free. Your friends will greatly appreciate your services and it will be free.

5. Have a Romantic Dinner: And we don’t mean at a fancy restaurant. This is a great free birthday gift idea for boyfriends/husbands. Prepare your girlfriend/wife a meal from scratch on a night you know will be really hectic for her.

For example, if she calls to tell you that she’s going to go and finish up the birthday shopping that evening, have dinner ready when she gets home. She’ll love you for it.

Another idea, for friends, is to cook a romantic dinner for him/her. Arrive at their house with food from your own pantry and fridge. If your friend has a dining room, set it up with candles and turn down the lights.

If your friend doesn’t have a dining room, set up their living room in a very romantic way. Maybe pushing the coffee table out of the way and placing a blanket and several pillows in the floor and candles around the room. Have your friend sit down and enjoy his/her company while you go into the kitchen and prepare them a wonderful dinner. This is a free birthday gift idea that cannot miss.

6. Give Him/Her a Night Off: Do your friends have a really hectic life? Work, kids, sports practice and more? Give your friends the nights off. Offer to take their children to practice and then take them to your house for dinner, or babysit them for the evening. This will allow your friends to relax after work. A night of relaxation is a wonderful free birthday gift.

7. Do His/Her Errands: Does your partner have several errands to do on the weekend? Do they have to get the oil changed, go grocery shopping or get the kids hair cut? Let them take the weekend off. Get the grocery list from them, take the car and get the oil changed and pick up the groceries. This free birthday gift will get you lots of brownie points.

8. Have Fun with Crafts: Are you good at a certain craft? Do you know how to do cross-stitch or crochet? Make your loved ones a free birthday gift using the hobby you love. A free homemade birthday gift your loved ones can keep forever means so much. When you put so much time into a gift, your recipients do not think about the fact that the birthday gift was free.

9. Create a Book: We all have notebooks lying around the house. Create a free birthday gift that will show how much you really do care. Go online and search for quotes and poems that match the relationship you have with this person.

For example, if you are making this book for your girlfriend/wife, search for love quotes and poems. Then, decorate the outside of the book with hearts and maybe rose petals that have been pressed in a book. To put this much time in a birthday gift — especially for your girlfriend/wife — will mean more than you ever imagined.

10. Burn a Personalized CD: Everyone has their own favorite songs and music. Make your loved one a CD that has all his or her favorite songs this birthday. If it’s for someone extra special, put songs on there that remind you of them. This is another great birthday gift that is free.

It just requires searching for the music and burning the CD. Remember, simple free birthday gifts must come from the heart.

Labels: 10 Free Birthday Gift Ideas

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