Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
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.
It’s what we do for a living! We help you to help yourself!
From the business desk team at http://www.sterlingcreations.com.
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
Helpful tips for February 2020
In this issue:
Articles of the day
* The Wonders of Hydrogen Peroxide
* preparing your garden for winter and feeding winter backyard birds
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
* a review of the Hilton Lacleamy hotel
Courtesy of the research team at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca
Scams of the month:
Before giving you our scam tips of the month, here are some very valueable
You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!
It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.
Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots
to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other
online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from
live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and
callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable
and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and
debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at
stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text
request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details
have been compromised online.
Well! The visa card phone continues to plague our ears!
If you receive an automated phone call telling you that you have eronious
charges on your Visa card; just ignore and hang up.
The faxes from foreigh sources continu to be a pain to our phones.
Some foods that can help to keep your digestive system healthy and in good
Mushrooms, chocolate, tomatoes, salmon.
What’s this about rice?
Well, you can use raw rice grains to help absorb moisture in storage
containers and food cupboards.
Some of the best meat cuts for your review?
Shanks, sides, and shoulder.
2 most effective ways to make new friends?
Your infant and toddler kids and your pets!
What’s this about mixing the colours red and blue?
What do you get when you mix these two colours?
Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team
* The Wonders of Hydrogen Peroxide
A few days ago I got a message, which reminded me about wonders of an
ordinary product most people have somewhere in the house.
“I had a cut on my hand that opened up while I was putting my expensive
duvet cover (recent wedding gift!) on my comforter, now I have blood stains
where I touched it. Is there any hope to getting these stains out
completely? I tried using a carpet cleaning solution and washing it but,
remain. I’m worried these
stains will be there permanently. Thanks so much for your help! Georgia
I responded immediately, directing Georgia to soak the stains with
full-strength hydrogen peroxide, In hopes that she’d not set those stains
heard back quickly. The hydrogen peroxide lightened the stains almost
immediately, and within hours they disappeared completely. See what I mean?
The stuff is downright wonderful.
Hydrogen peroxide is as harmless as it is powerful both as a household
and all around remedy. It is non-toxic, safe, really cheap and available in
any grocery or drug store in a food grade 3% dilution. It’s a wonderful
product and reliable sanitizer.
But there’s one thing you need to keep it mind to avoid disappointment:
Hydrogen peroxide has a limited shelf life of about one year when not
and only six months once opened—provided you store it in a dark place.
Sunlight dissipates it quickly turning it from H2O2 to plain water and
Just remember it needs to be fresh to be effective.
VEGETABLE WASH. You can stop paying $7 or more for “veggie wash.” Make
your own by adding 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to a sink of cold water. Wash
your fruit and vegetables in the solution then rinse thoroughly with cool
DISHWASHER. To disinfect your dishwasher, add 1/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
before you close the door to run a load.
CUTTING BOARD SANITIZER. Spray your cutting board with undiluted hydrogen
peroxide. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then rinse clean.
WHITE TEETH. Make a paste of table salt, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
for the best whitening toothpaste.
T-SHIRT ARMPIT STAINS. Those yellow stains in white t-shirts are quite
annoying. To get them out soak the stains in 3% hydrogen peroxide, which
acts as a natural alternative to bleach, and allow to sit for a few hours.
Lauder as usual.
SANITIZE TOYS AND LUNCH BOXES. Because hydrogen peroxide is a non-toxic
sanitizer, it’s perfect for cleaning plastic toys and lunch boxes.
HUMIDIFIER CLEANSE. Add 2 cups 3% hydrogen peroxide to one gallon water.
Run this through your humidifier or steamer to clean and sanitize the
STINKY TOWELS. Can’t get rid of that annoying odor? Try this: Add 1/2 cup
hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup white vinegar and those stinky towels to the
washing machine. Fill with hot water and your regular detergent and allow to
soak for 15 minutes Continue the cycle as normal. That should get rid of the
AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE. Use hydrogen peroxide sparingly to control fungi
and other pests in fish aquariums. Provided you do use it sparingly, it will
not harm the fish.
CUTS AND INFECTIONS. Soak any infection or cut in 3% hydrogen peroxide for
ten minutes several times a day.
I could go on and on with so many more ways to use hydrogen peroxide, and
perhaps I will sometime in the future. In the meantime, make sure you keep a
good supply of hydrogen peroxide on hand.
(Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate)
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
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
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
* Food: When insects are dead or inaccessible to feeding birds,
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
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
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
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
From the pages of Donna’s diary
A review of the Hilton Lac Leamy Hotel
Since 2012 I have made several visits to the Hilton LacLamy Hotel and on
each occasion I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Not only are the rooms so
very large and comfortable but their service desk staff is top notch and the
restaurant in the hotel is second to none when it comes to the preparation
of food and its staff is simply top notch.
So how would I rate their services? With 1 being the lowest and 5 being the
highest, here are my ratings.
Service desk assistance – 5
Assistance for guests with special needs – 5
Assistance at restaurant – 5
Access to the restaurant was extremely user friendly for a vision impaired
person and navigating among the tables was not very difficult.
For the most part they were very friendly and went above the call of duty
when asked for assistance.
Absolutely divine is all that I can say.
The French cuisine absolutely stood out!
On your next visit to Ottawa, why not make the Hilton Lac Leamy your hotel
Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau
3 Boulevard de Casino
Tel 819 790 6444
I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.
To learn more about me, visit
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