Music On A Monday

I’ve mentioned before, how much I enjoy music. And my personal collection can best be described as “eclectic”. I enjoy many different genres, and love discovering new music or artists from around the world.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Last week, a post was circulating over social media. Music being played on Tesla coils. What?? I’m not a science geek, but I was intrigued. So I clicked on the link and read the article. The song being played was Toto’s “Africa”. Probably one of the most popular songs of its time, Africa has actually taken on a life of its own again in recent years. Many cover versions have been done, including my favourite acoustic version by Mike Masse (see it on Youtube). It has been played all night as a fundraiser in Malawi, a version has been done by “The Floppotron”, using 64 floppy disc drives, eight hard drives and a two scanners, and there’s more! But I’ll let you read the article to find out.

So, without any further ado, I give you on this bright Monday morning, Africa. And here is the link to just one of many internet articles about how this was accomplished.

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!


Houseplant Care 101: Spider Plants

Houseplants are lovely. They can brighten up and decorate a room, clean the air, and make a home feel well, more “homey”. But we either love them or hate them! Some people are amazing green thumbs! They could make anything grow, anywhere. But some of us seem to kill plants just by looking at them the wrong way! But is that really our fault?

Admittedly, I have much more success with garden plants than I do with houseplants. Perhaps because Mother Nature has more say in their care, and conditions are more desirable to the plants. I’m happy to say though, that some indoor plants are much easier to care for than others, and I do have good luck growing them. As a rule, anything that doesn’t flower or require a ton of light! If you’re like me, and looking for a houseplant that doesn’t have ridiculous requirements to thrive, and is actually hard to kill, spider plants are one such plant.

The botanical name for spider plants is Chlorophytum comosum. It’s a common plant to find, and loved because it’s basically considered foolproof! There are currently several different types of cultivars available. These plants are great for rooms in homes and offices where there may not be a lot of indirect light. Bedrooms and bathrooms are generally good places to keep a spider plant. They also look wonderful in a hanging baskets, which is where I kept one of mine for years in my apartment. It grew many arms with little baby spider plants growing on the ends, which I clipped and ended up giving to some of my neighbours.

Image courtesy of The Spruce

It was once thought that spider plants were poisonous to dogs and cats, but there has been new research on that subject. I still recommend keeping them out of pets’ ways though… Actually, in there native Africa, many of the locals eat spider plant as a leafy green veggie. I’m not sure I want to try them or not. Would you?

For more info on the care of spider plants, you can click on this helpful link: Spider plant care

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

Batten Down The Hatches!

That’s my saying of choice whenever I know there’s a severe thunderstorm coming my way. And to be honest, when I was in my teens, I wanted to go to meteorology school, so I could become a storm chaser. Needless to say, that didn’t happen (but in my own mind, that’s what I am sometimes!).

A couple of nights ago, we had a doozy of a storm here in SW Ontario. After a stinking hot day, a huge squall line reached across much of the province, bringing extremely strong winds, heavy downpours, hail and even two confirmed tornadoes not far from here.

For most of the afternoon, we were being warned of the potential severity of the incoming squall line. And as suppertime came and went, the skies became darker and darker. But it wasn’t until after 7:30 that the big ominous supercell storm front passed overhead here in St Thomas. I had been sitting on my front porch because the temperatures had finally cooled down to a chilly 30 degrees (including humidex). It was still extremely windy, but at least it felt cool on my skin! So I grabbed my phone.

These are just a couple of quick pics I took. It got helluva dark soon after I took these! In fact, the street lights came on soon after these were shot. And then I could see lightning in the sky. Needless to say, I decided I would be better off indoors. I’m pretty sure the rain started before I had the door closed! And not just the soft, pre-storm rainfall either. It was a monsoon!

The storm as I mentioned, ended up producing two tornadoes, but luckily, no injuries were recorded. There was however, widespread tree damage from the winds, and power outages also. Here is a link to the video I shot from the safety of my enclosed front porch that night. It’s not great, but it does show how the rain was being blown by the strong winds. Storm video

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

Weird Fact Wednesday

As the news about Covid-19 continues to slowly improve, and lock down restrictions are being eased off in stages, many of us are starting to sigh a breath of relief. But we still need to take care. We must not rush this, because there is a strong chance that if we are not vigilant, there will be a second wave of the virus. History has proven this, and more than once. Plaques, fluxes, cholera outbreaks…we’ve had many.

Today, I thought I’d share a story I found online about Bram Stoker, and how a cholera outbreak in his mother’s home town of Sligo, Ireland may have been the inspiration for his famous novel, Dracula.

Stoker’s mother, Charlotte Thornley, had been 14 when the outbreak hit Sligo in 1832. Later in life, Stoker asked her to write down her experiences and memories. He was fascinated by her grisly account of the event, and even did his own extensive research into it. The horrific events that took place during that time are what they say fuelled Stoker’s imagination and brought about his famous book.

But, I’m not going to give away all the details. For those who are interested in a “darker” read today, here is the story… Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

To Grieve A Squirrel

* Warning: Today’s blog may be a little graphic for some readers. Please continue at your own risk, and have tissues close at hand.

I love animals. Especially those with four legs and covered in fur. Cats, dogs, even small critters like guinea pigs and yes, the lowly little squirrels.

I love watching their cute antics. I enjoy feeding them peanuts and training them to trust me enough to take them from my hand. I name the ones I can identify by their markings. They become my urban wildlife pets. Especially lately, where one day seems to blur into another, I get a kick out of sitting in my enclosed front porch, having my morning coffee while the “tree rats”, as I sometimes affectionately call them, entertain me.

And I hurt when I see one killed on the roads. Even if it’s not in my neighborhood, I feel sad for the little critters who don’t make it across the street. And I cringe when I see my furry little friends bolt across my street with a nut from me in its mouth. I’ve been laughed at for yelling at them to “get off the road!”

Lately, some of the young squirrels have been coming by. We know they’re babies because there’s a couple of spots where we know squirrels have been nesting. The younger ones are smaller and shy compared to the “regulars”. And the older squirrels will bully them too, often chasing them onto and back across the street.

That’s exactly what happened last night (Monday) as I was sitting in my porch, feeding the fur kids, and puttering on my laptop. I had watched one of the grey squirrels chase the baby black one, who ran into the road. It then found something interesting to snack on, and sat there. A few seconds later, to my horror, a black pickup truck came tearing around the corner and ran right over my little friend, who didn’t have a chance to decide which direction to run. The truck didn’t even attempt to slow down, and kept up the same speed even after hitting him. I jumped out of my chair, yelling and cursing. I’m sure even the people in the noisy truck heard me. Redneck so-and-so’s! I was, and still am, livid!

But it was over. With misty eyes and shaking hands, I went outside and pulled the little critter up onto the sidewalk by his tail. I didn’t want him to get mangled even worse. I apologized and stroked his little head and back, even knowing he was already gone. (Eric then got rid of the body for me). Sitting here writing this, tears are once again streaming down my face.

Some of you reading this may think I’m soft, or stupid for grieving for a squirrel. There’s loads of them around. They’re just urban pests, right? Wrong. They are little souls, each and every one. This world is a cruel and harsh place. If we can’t love the creatures who share it with us, what does that say about humanity? Here we all are, trying to survive a global pandemic. It breaks my heart to think that we’re going to come out of it still with zero respect for Life. When are we going to learn to take better care of ourselves, each other, our planet and all of the creatures we share it with?? Just a little food for thought….

And to the person driving that black pickup truck, I have NO kind words for you. I hope you are haunted forever by all the critters you have run over. Including my Baby Blacky, may he RIP.

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

Flowers For Hummingbirds

A few days ago, I wrote a piece about butterflies. Today I’d like to feature my other jeweled favourite, hummingbirds. I always feel privileged when these little beauties pay me a visit.

Male Rubythroat Hummingbird. Photo copyright ThruJensLens Photography

Here in Southern Ontario, we usually only have one variety of hummingbird visit us, and that is the Rubythroat, although I have heard the odd story of other varieties in the extreme south of the province. But we are just too cool (temperature wise…) for the more exotic varieties of hummers.

A couple of weeks ago, I broke down and purchased a lovely new hummingbird feeder, which we hung on the front porch. I also filled my two flower pots, in hopes of attracting a hummer or two. Unfortunately, I am still waiting. I have been told that if you don’t hang your feeders before the hummingbirds start coming North, that you will not get any all season. I don’t necessarily believe that, because I have hung feeders well after their migration time, and still had little feathered visitors. Up here, the hummers are usually arriving around early May, depending on the weather patterns and temperatures. I hung my feeder just after the May long weekend.

Hummingbirds are attracted to certain plants, and love the colour of red. So, that’s what I put in my flower pots. It’s also convenient that hummers are attracted to many of the same plants that butterflies are, because I planted my flower beds specifically for that purpose. But, if you’d like some help to pick out plants to attract hummingbirds, I have a very helpful link for you.

I love to sit here in the mornings, in my enclosed porch, writing my blogs, and looking up in hopes of one day seeing a gorgeous little hummingbird enjoying my sugar water. I never use the commercial “red stuff” that you buy at garden centres. The dyes are not necessary, or healthy for your hummers. One part sugar to 3 or 4 parts water is good.

So, without further ado, here is the link I promised about the plants to use to attract hummingbirds. Flowers For Hummingbirds

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

Busy Days, Exciting Times!

I hope everyone is managing to stay busy, like I am during this lovely lock down. I know a lot of businesses are starting to open back up, but I also know a lot of people who can’t go back to work yet.

As you probably know by now, if you’ve been reading my blogs, I’ve been busy doing some writing. I have also been doing some online learning, here and there. There are so many great resources available if we want to expand our knowledge on a vast wealth of topics! Another thing I have been doing, is researching and designing my essential oil blends, and getting ready to sell them. Today I will be making a custom blend for a friend of mine.

This Thursday night (June 11th) on Facebook, there is a local online shopping market, and I am participating as a vendor in it. I am quite excited to be a part of this, because it is all local, home-based small businesses. I will post a link to it at the end of this blog. Also, we are very close to picking a date for the launch of the Choices For Change book on Amazon. I will keep everyone posted, as it will be very exciting for all of us!

I hope everyone has a great Sunday. Stay safe, and take care of each other! Here is the link to the online market. Please note, I am in Ontario Canada. I can’t ship products worldwide at this time… Thanks! Blue Hens Online Market

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

Intoxication Is No Excuse!

I don’t usually get involved in political or ethical dramas, but I feel that our voices need to be heard on this one.

The Ontario Court of Appeals has passed new ruling that is absolutely outrageous! Intoxication is now considered an excuse for sexual assault. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a relationship, on a first date, a sex worker, trans female….it is BY NO MEANS ok for someone to rape you or physically abuse you.

People (and not just women) across Canada are horrified and outraged. There has been a public outcry for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General to immediately overturn this decision. Luckily, we have the power of Social Media, and politicians on our side. Jill Andrew, an NDP MPP for Toronto–St. Paul’s, the Official Opposition Women’s Issues critic, is one such ally. She has started an online petition which is currently closing in on 120,000 signatures.

Please let your voice be heard in this matter! Go to the link below, and sign the petition. You don’t have to have your details shared publicly. It is hard enough for victims of sexual assault and violence to come forward as it is. Victims deserve justice, abusers don’t need more excuses!

Sign the petition here:

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

(1) Try Not To Laugh Watching Funny Kids Fails Compilation 2019 – Part 2 – YouTube

Today’s Friday Funny is a compilation of kids’ fail videos. I remember my brother was more of a daredevil than I ever was. I wonder if our Mom ever cringed the way I do when I watch these video clips! Enjoy, and happy Friday everyone!

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!

Simple Kitchen Hacks | Mental Floss

I found this article, and loved the ingenious hacks and tips it provided. I hope you like them too!

From using cooking spray on your cheese grater to having dental floss on hand, here are some handy kitchen hacks you’ll wish you would have known sooner.

Source: Simple Kitchen Hacks | Mental Floss

Thank you for reading. Please Click the “Like” button below & don’t forget to subscribe to my “Musings”!