Helpful tips for May 2018

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We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
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From the business desk team at
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Helpful tips for May 2018

In this issue:

General tips
Articles of the day
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary

General tips
Courtesy of the research team at

Okay, what is a really good way to evaluate someone who you think may be
having a stroke?
F stands for look at the facial features.
A stands for look at their arms.
S stands for notice their speech.
T stands for take action.

What are two very good ways to keep your clothes and sheets, blankets, and
pillow sacs free from moths and bugs?
Place lavendar or cedar satchels amongst them every six months.

Some cleaning tips?
Clean your microwave weekly.
Do the same for your bath tub.
Wash your pillows every three months.
Clean your computer keyboards every week.

The best type of container to store your clothes and linnen in?
Yes, plastic, not cardboard or anything else.

Here’s something interesting to know about spaghetti:
It contains less sugar than pasta with shapes.

About black tea and white tea:
These two types of tea are great for controlling the spiralling of one’s
sugar levels.

Okay, and here are some tips for ketchup and mustard before using them.
The magic to this is that you need to shake well before pouring contents
from these jars.
For if you do not; it would be extremely difficult for ketchup and mustard
to come out of the bottles.

Right then, some news about spider plants!
They are gret plants for helping to keep the air clean in your home.

Some tips for quelling a hickups attack:
Eat slower,
Drink water.


Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

A Dan Thompson contribution
preparing your garden for winter and feeding winter backyard birds

I guess today’s tip gives away a few of my hobbies. These are gardening and
feeding God’s beautiful creations of the sky and land.

I have inserted the links after checking if they are still active.

Fall Garden Checklist

Use this timely guide to prepare your garden for winter.

There is also a video full of tips on preparing your garden for winter at
this page:

1. Water:

Give all of your plants a good drink, especially your trees. Their roots
need plenty of moisture to make it through the upcoming months.

2. Shop for Bulbs

Order from catalogs or visit garden stores early for best selection.

If deer or rabbits are a problem in your area, select pest-resistant bulbs
such as daffodils, Siberian squill, and fritillaria.

Take time to learn about the best spring flowering bulbs. Visit the link
below for ideas.

“The best fragrant flowering bulbs”

3. Plant Shrubs and Evergreens

Early fall planting gives new plants enough time to get their roots
established before winter.

4. Clear Debris from the Base of Roses

Fallen rose foliage can give diseases a safe place to overwinter and create
problems in your garden next year.

Learn more about getting your roses ready for winter here:

5. Amend Your Soil

Get the ground ready for next year’s beds and your fall bulbs by tilling the
soil and adding home-made compost.

6. Plant Fall Annuals

Once your summer blooms fade, add color to your garden with fall annuals,
such as mums, pansies, and ornamental kale.

7. Lower the Height on Your Lawn Mower

Grass grows more slowly in fall, but it still needs to be cut to prepare for
winter. A lower cutting height helps the soil dry out more quickly in

8. Feed the Birds

Don’t forget your feathered friends; their food supply grows scarce in

Learn more about bird feeding here:

Such as how to attrack songs birds to your winter garden, creating a bird
friendly garden and more at the link below.

9. Divide and Cut Back Perennials

While you’re digging them up to divide them, try rearranging plants if they
haven’t been working in their current location.

Test Garden Tip: Hold off dividing asters, chrysanthemums, and other
fall-blooming perennials. It’s best to split them in spring.

Tips on dividing perennials can be found at the link below.

10. Dig Summer Bulbs

Love the way your favorite summer bulbs performed this year? Save them for a
repeat show next year! It’s easy: Dig and store dahlias, cannas, caladiums,
callas, and other tender bulbs in peat moss or sand in a cool (around 50
degrees F is best), frost-free spot for the winter.

Get more tips on Storing Tender Flower Garden Bulbs at this link.

11. Rake and Mulch

Left unattended, fallen tree leaves may suffocate your lawn. Shred them and
they make great mulch.

Find the The Best Mulches for your garden here:

12. Get Bulbs in the Ground

Plant your favorite bulbs now for colorful springtime blooms.

You can usually get away with planting bulbs late, up until the soil freezes
solid enough you can’t get a shovel

in the ground.

Don’t miss these bulb planting tips here:

Tips for Planting Your Favorite Bulbs

13. Force Bulbs Indoors for Winter Color

Get an early touch of spring by planting bulbs now to bloom indoors in
January or February. Bulbs such as narcissus and hyacinth work well if you
plant them now and keep them cool until you’re ready to enjoy the blooms.

14. Feed Your Lawn.

Don’t let your lawn go into winter without the nutrients it needs to battle
the long sleep. Know how much lawn food to use with our fertilizer
calculator. Found here:

15. Bring Tender Container Plants Indoors

Remove dead foliage and break up any hardened soil before hauling your
cherished tropical plants (such as mandevilla, passionflower, and citrus)
indoors for the winter.

Tip: Keep an eye out for pests, too. Before bringing plants indoors, spray
them, if necessary, to keep aphids, mealybugs, or other harmful insects out
of your house.

16. Empty Hoses, Fountains, and Drip-Irrigation Systems

Ensure any standing water is removed from your watering equipment; store
items in a dry place.

17. Clean up the Vegetable Garden

Remove weeds and debris so pests won’t make your garden their winter home.

18. Dig Up Annuals

Spent and dead, your summer annuals can now nourish the compost heap.

19. Protect Cold-Sensitive Plants

Shrubs, roses, and perennials that might succumb to blasts of cold should be
protected with mulch or another protective covering. Place these frost
barriers after the first freeze.

Source: Fall Garden Checklist from Home and Garden

Links inserted by Dan after checking if they still were ctive.

* Winter Birds You Can See in the Backyard – Birding and Wild Birds

Updated June 29, 2016.

Novice backyard birders often assume that there are no birds around to enjoy
during the coldest months. In fact, there are many beautiful winter birds
that may normally be found only in far northern habitats but that readily
visit backyards when the snow flies. Backyards can be essential for winter
birds and provide necessary food and water when natural resources are at
their scarcest.

Why Backyards Matter to Winter Birds

In winter, deep snow and ice can bury foods just when birds need more
calories to keep warm through bitter cold. At the same time, water is locked
into frozen ice so birds cannot easily drink. Dropping temperatures can make
birds slower and more vulnerable to illness or predators, and fallen leaves
offer less protection to keep winter birds safe. Fortunately, a
bird-friendly backyard can provide for all of a bird’s needs even during the
coldest months.

* Food: When insects are dead or inaccessible to feeding birds,
nectar-producing flowers
are long gone and seed supplies are exhausted, winter backyards can be a
vital food source. Higher calorie foods such as suet, peanut butter
nuts are ideal for feeding winter birds and will attract more species to the
* Water: While snow and ice are both water, frozen water is less
helpful to birds because they must expend energy to melt it to drink. Even
if birds eat snow directly, their bodies must generate more heat to
metabolize that snow and overcome the chill. A heated bird bath
can be
critical, and birds will quickly find and flock to such an easy, convenient,
liquid water source in winter.

* Shelter: Evergreen trees provide great shelter for winter birds
but in areas where deciduous trees have lost their leaves, not as much
shelter may be available. Birds can take refuge in hollow trees, but those
hideaways may be few and far between. Backyards that offer winter bird
such as dense brush piles, roost boxes or year-round bird houses will
attract more visitors.

* Nesting Sites: Birds do not breed in winter, but year-round
residents remain in the same territories and will quickly revisit their
favorite nesting sites when spring arrives. Ensuring that those sites,
including bird houses or bird nesting shelves
remain safe and suitable can help keep even more backyard birds around all

Top 40 Winter Backyard Birds (U.S. and Canada)

The exact species of winter backyard birds will vary depending on range,
geography and habitat. These 40 species are those most likely to be found in
snowy backyards throughout the United States and Canada. Some are common
backyard birds year-round and others are only winter visitors. Still other
species have regular irruptions
and may be
common one year and absent the next.

When visiting the webpage below, you can click on any species for more
information including identification clues, diet, general range, preferred
habitat, distinct behavior and tips for attracting the species to your

The species found at the webpage blow are not the only backyard birds that
might appear in winter, but they are quite common within their respective
ranges. If a backyard meets their needs, they are likely to be winter

Below is the list of 40 winter backyard birds. Immediately folloing the
list is a link to where you can get more information on each species.

Where Other Birds Go

For many backyard birders, their favorite species – such as tanagers,
hummingbirds, warblers or orioles – are conspicuously absent in winter.
These and many other birds are migratory, and in winter they travel hundreds
or even thousands of miles to milder climates or rich tropical regions that
can support many birds with ease. While the journey can be difficult and
migrating birds face many threats

along the way, these birds will return in the spring to revisit their
breeding grounds and raise their next generation. We may miss them in
winter, but even when the snow flies, many great birds are still flying
around the backyard!

Top 10 Foods for Winter Bird Feeding > Bird Watcher’s Digest

Winter: ’tis the season for feeding birds all across North America,
especially in those regions where it gets mighty cold and snowy. If you are
a veteran bird feeder, you’ve probably gained lots of insight into the
foods your backyard birds prefer. Perhaps you’ve learned through trial and
error, or perhaps you did your homework and read up on the subject.

If you are just getting started in bird feeding, or if you are frustrated by
a lack of success in attracting winter birds to your feeders, the first
thing you need to determine is whether you are feeding the right foods. If
you are not giving the birds what they want, you might not have many birds.

The following 10 foods are extremely popular with backyard birds all across
North America.

If your favorite bird food is not on this list, please let me know. After
all, I am not omniscient. I’m just a guy living in Ohio who likes to feed

10. Black-oil sunflower seed. This seed is the hamburger of the bird world.
Almost any bird that will visit a bird feeder will eat black-oil sunflower.
Birds that can’t crack the seeds themselves will scour the ground under the
feeders, picking up bits and pieces. Bird feeding in North America took a
major leap forward when black-oil sunflower became widely available in the
early 1980s. Why do birds prefer it? The outer shell of a black-oil
sunflower seed is thinner and easier to crack. The kernel inside the shell
is larger than the kernel inside a white-or gray-striped sunflower seed, so
birds get more food per seed from black-oil. This last fact also makes
black-oil a better value for you, the seed buyer. Striped sunflower is
still fine (evening grosbeaks may even prefer it slightly), but black-oil
is better.

9. Peanuts. Peanuts-de-shelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted-are a fairly
recent trend in bird feeding, at least in North America. In Europe, feeding
peanuts has been popular for a long time. Peanut manufacturers and
processors have now identified the bird-feeding market as a good place to
get rid of the peanuts that are broken or otherwise unfit for human
consumption. Ask your feed/seed retailer about peanut bits or rejects.
Several major feeder manufacturers now produce sturdy, efficient
tube-shaped peanut feeders. Woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, and
titmice will readily visit a feeder for this high-protein, high-energy
food. Even cardinals and finches will eat peanuts.

8. Suet. Most humans don’t want a lot of fat in their diet, but for birds in
winter, fat is an excellent source of energy. Ask at your grocery store
butcher counter if you don’t see packages of suet on display. No suet
feeder? No problem-just use an old mesh onion bag. If you want to get fancy
with your suet, you can render it. That is, melt it down to liquid, remove
the unmeltable bits, and then allow it to harden; this is best accomplished
in a microwave oven. Rendered suet lasts longer in hot weather, and while
it’s melted, you can add other ingredients to it (see “bird treats,” #1,

7. Good mixed seed. Is there such a thing as BAD mixed seed? You bet! Bad
mixed seed has lots of filler in it-junk seeds that most birds won’t eat.
Bad mixed seed can include dyed seed meant for pet birds, wheat, and some
forms of red milo that only birds in the Desert Southwest seem to eat. Good
mixed seed has a large amount of sunflower seed, cracked corn, white proso
millet, and perhaps some peanut hearts. The really cheap bags of mixed seed
sold at grocery stores can contain the least useful seeds. Smart feeder
operators buy mixed seed from a specialty bird store or a hardware/feed
store operation. You can even buy the ingredients separately and create your
own specialty mix.

6. Nyjer/thistle seed. Although it can be expensive, Nyjer, or thistle, seed
is eagerly consumed by all the small finches-goldfinches, house, purple,
and Cassin’s finches, pine siskins, and redpolls. You need to feed thistle
in a thistle feeder of some kind-the two most commonly used types of
thistle feeder are a tube feeder with small thistle-seed-sized holes, and a
thistle sock. A thistle sock is a sock-shaped, fine-mesh, synthetic bag
that is filled with thistle seed. Small finches can cling to this bag and
pull seeds out through the bag’s mesh. Two potential problems with thistle:
it can go rancid or moldy quickly in wet weather and uneaten seeds can
germinate in your yard, creating a patch of thistle (Guizotia abyssinica)
plants that you may not want. Fortunately, this problem does not seem to be
widespread. All thistle seed is imported to North America, and it is all
supposed to be sterilized prior to entry into the United States and Canada.

5. Safflower. This white, thin-shelled, conical seed is eaten by many birds
and has the reputation for being the favorite food of the northern
cardinal. Some feeder operators claim that safflower seed is not as readily
eaten by squirrels and blackbirds (caveat: your results may vary). Feed
safflower in any feeder that can accommodate sunflower seed. Avoid feeding
safflower on the ground in wet weather; it can quickly become soggy and
inedible. You can buy safflower in bulk at seed and feed stores.

4. Cracked corn. Sparrows, blackbirds, jays, doves, quail, and squirrels are
just a few of the creatures you can expect at your feeders if you feed
cracked corn. Depending on where you live you may also get turkeys, deer,
elk, moose, and caribou. Fed in moderation, cracked corn will attract
almost any feeder species. Some feeder operators only use this food to lure
the squirrels away from the bird feeders. Squirrels love corn-cracked or
otherwise-best of all. Whole corn that is still on the cob is not a good
bird food because the kernels are too big and hard for most small birds to
digest. Cracked corn is broken up into smaller, more manageable bits.

3. Mealworms. We fed mealworms to a pair of nesting bluebirds all this past
summer. They rewarded us with four healthy broods of young bluebirds.
Eighteen fledglings in one summer should land our bluebirds in the Guinness
Book of World Records. Most feeder birds, except goldfinches, will eat
mealworms if you offer them. Mealworms are available in bait stores, or by
mail order. Don’t worry, they aren’t slimy and gross. In fact, they aren’t
even worms; they are larval stage of a beetle (Tenebrio molitor), if that
makes you feel better. We keep 1,000 mealworms in a tub of old-fashioned
rolled oats and feed them to the birds in a shallow ceramic dish. The dish
has slippery sides so the worms can’t crawl out.

2. Fruit. Humans are supposed to eat at least three servings of fruit every
day. Fruit is also an important dietary element for birds, but it can be
hard to find in many areas in midwinter. Set out grapes, slices of citrus
fruits, apple or banana slices, and even melon rinds, and watch your birds
chow down. If you want to feed raisins, chop them up and soak them in warm
water first to soften them up a bit. Offering fruit to tanagers and orioles
is a traditional spring and summer feeding strategy, but many winter feeder
birds will eat fruit, too.

1. Homemade bird treats. You can come up with your own recipes for winter
bird treats. Smear peanut butter on a tree trunk, and poke some peanut bits
into it. Melt suet in your microwave, and pour it into an ice-cube tray to
harden. Before it solidifies, add peanut bits, raisins, apple bits, or
other bird foods. Put the tray in your freezer to harden. Once it does,
you’ve got cubed bird treats-easy to make and easy to use!

Below is the list of winter backyard birds. Immediately folling the list is
a link where you can find more information about each one.

* American crows

* American goldfinches

* American robins

* American tree sparrows

* Anna’s hummingbirds

* Black-capped chickadees

* Bohemian waxwings

* Carolina chickadees

* Cedar waxwings

* Common redpolls

* Cooper’s hawks

* Dark-eyed juncos

* Downy woodpeckers

* European starlings

* Evening grosbeaks

* Golden-crowned kinglets

* Hairy woodpeckers

* Hoary redpolls

* House finches

* House sparrows

* Mourning doves

* Northern cardinals

* Northern mockingbirds

* Pine grosbeaks

* Pine siskins

* Purple finches

* Red-bellied woodpeckers

* Red-breasted nuthatches

* Red crossbills

* Rock pigeons

* Sharp-shinned hawks

* Snow buntings

* Song sparrows

* Tufted titmice

* White-breasted nuthatches

* White-crowned sparrows

* White-throated sparrows

* White-winged crossbills

* Wild turkeys

Yellow-rumped warblers


A Dan Thompson contribution
Fabric Softener Products are the Problem Not the Solution

In the laundry room, most of us are prone to overkill. We want beautifully

clean, brilliantly white, soft and fluffy laundry results. And we don’t
measure. We

pour stuff out of jugs, straight into the washer, often adding a second big
glug just

to make sure.

We use liquid fabric softener by the gallon and dryer sheets by the hundreds

because there’s no such thing as too soft when it comes to towels and
sheets. And

when things come out looking gray and feeling stiff and crunchy, what do we

More detergent, more softener and even more dryer sheets!

The problem is product build-up that never gets rinsed out. Every time you
do the

laundry, more and more product gets left behind. This build-up of detergent

softeners can make appliances stink, colors look dingy, whites gray and
linens feel

stiff and scratchy. But that’s not the worst.

The medical website,, reports that the perfumes and additives in
laundry products may cause skin problems. Fabric softeners are very
allergenic and can cause eczema, which appears as dry, itchy skin.

Dryer sheets contain volatile organic compounds like acetaldehyde and
butane, which can cause respiratory irritation. Fabric softener chemicals
known as quaternary ammonium compounds, have been linked to asthma. Acetone,

used in dryer sheets, can cause nervous system effects like headaches or


Ironically, commercial fabric softeners-liquid softener you put into the
washing machine and sheets that go into the dryer-are not the way to turn
out beautifully

soft, fluffy clothes, sheets and towels. They are, in the fact, the problem!
The more

you use, the less satisfactory and healthy your results will be.

MEASURE DETERGENT. Check the owner manual to discover the right amount

of detergent for your particular washer. If yours is a HE machine, it uses
very little

water. This is the reason you do not want to add more than you know will be

adequately rinsed away.

NO COMMERCIAL SOFTENERS. Stop using liquid softeners and dryer sheets.

Enjoy the savings.

DOUBLE RINSE WITH VINEGAR. If you’re coming off a laundry-product high, you

may need to double rinse for awhile to coax all of the detergent and product
build- up out of your laundry. Adding 1/2 to 1 cup white vinegar-depending
on the load

size-to the rinse (fill the liquid softener dispenser and it will release

does wonders to rinse out detergent and other product build-up. Don’t worry.

only notice the vinegar smell when clothes are wet and not when dry, even if

on a clothesline.

DRYER BALLS. They don’t contain toxic chemicals, they last for thousands of

loads, get rid of static cling and wrinkles, soften clothes, and they
actually save time and energy by cutting down on drying time. Dryer balls
are the solution!

Dryer balls of 100% wool are the best dryer balls of all. They mechanically

your laundry without any of the harmful chemicals you find in fabric
softener or

dryer sheets. They lift up and separate laundry while drying, reducing both

drying time and wrinkling. Wool dryer balls also retain the heat which it

transfers to your clothes as they tumble, this further speeds up the drying

saving energy and money.

We have many choices in dryer balls, however I have determined that the very

best inexpensive dryer balls are Wool Dryer Balls by Smart Sheep (about

This set of dryer balls will last for years and years without deteriorating,

apart or losing the ability to turn out beautifully soft clothes and linens.
These come

in a 6-pack and are extra large at 9-inches in circumference, each. As dryer

go, these are perfect in every way.

Everyday Cheapskate


From the pages of donna’s travel diary
When packing your carry on

The next time you are preparing to travel by air, it would not hurt to
remember how to pack your carry on so that you do not have to either take
things out and put them into your check in luggage or just simply discard

I am going to include a list of things below that you can take and you can
use this to help you. I compiled these based on my past experience. So
here goes.

No liquids, gels, and creams unless they are under the 1 mil size bottle.
The same for tubes of toothpaste.
No sharp implements such as scissors, pen knives, and nail files.
Best to pack your knitting needles in your check in luggage.
Be ready to hand over your laptop for inspection.
Same for your iPad but you may just get away with not having to do the same
for your iPhone.
Best to buy your food and snacks after you have gone through security.
Label your prescription medication clearly and concisely.
Better to pack your vitamins in your check in luggage.

Try using this list to help you out and see how you get along.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit

On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio
mysteries. Take them with you wherever you go!
In the car, on the plane, on the bus or train, at the beach, anywhere!
Affordable, portable, (computer or i device) and you could either purchase
or Subscribe for unlimited access to my library at
and you can now take advantage of our free downloads here.

If you enjoy podcasts then check out my weekly one called take another 5!
From recipes to apps, and from mystery moment to tips for entrepreneur and
scam alerts!
Available for download at

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