November 2, 2006

Amendment 2 Debate Centering Around Question To Clone or Not To Clone

Before we vote yes or no on Amendment 2 on election Tuesday, many readers may find this information educational.

For starters, what is a stem cell?

According to Vitae Caring Foundation a stem cell is essentially a blank cell, capable of becoming another more differentiated cell type in the body, such as a skin cell, a muscle cell, or a nerve cell. Microscopic in size, stem cells are big news in medical and science circles because they can be used to replace or even heal damaged tissues and cells in the body. They can serve as a built-in repair system for the human body, replenishing other cells as long as a person is still alive.

Amendment 2 on the November 7th ballot is proposing a change to the Missouri State Constitution largely to do with stem cells. The proposed law change has become one of the most embattled issues as the election approaches as stem cell research proponents square off against anti-cloning arguments.

But what the average reader may not know is that the two sides of the debate are arguing a far wider number of issues related to the initiative.

Were extremely pleased that Missourians will be able to decide for themselves if they want to protect their right to access the same stem cell research and cures as other Americans, said Donn Rubin, Chairman of Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures. Some politicians in Jefferson City have repeatedly tried to take away that right, by proposing legislation that would ban and criminalize promising types of stem cell research and cures in Missouri. The Stem Cell Initiative will prevent any such unfair bans. It will protect the right of Missourians to have access to any stem cell research and cures that are allowed in our country and available to other Americans.

Members of Missourians Against Human Cloning (MAHC), one the groups spearheading efforts to defeat the amendment, are urging voters to say no to Amendment 2.

The groups mission statement calls the MAHC a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting ethical science, advancing realistic medical treatments with adult stem cells and opposing the practice of cloning human beings for research purposes.

The MAHC is not alone in approaching the amendment as a cloning issue.

2Tricky.org, a website funded by the Life Communications Fund, says the issue does simply boil down to the question to clone or not to clone. However these opponents of Amendment 2 derived the name for the informational website from the belief that the ballot issue is written in such a tricky manner that the average voter may be confused. The group argues that the confusing ballot language may trick voters into believing a yes vote on the issue will ban human cloning. The group actually argues that passage of Amendment 2 does just the opposite, granting constitutional protection of cloning.

Amendment 2 only outlaws reproductive cloning, which no one in Missouri (or anywhere else on earth) is doing, 2Tricky.org states. Meanwhile, it protects anyone who wants to clone human beings for science experiments. Amendment 2 glosses over the issue of lab-created human life with complicated phrases like Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. But cloning is cloning, and Amendment 2 would put this ethically questionable practice beyond the reach of state law.

The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures says a yes vote on Amendment 2 does ban cloning while also offering legal protection for stem cell research to develop medical cures for diseases.

The organization argues that stem cells could provide cures for many currently incurable or common diseases and injuries, such as diabetes, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, sickle cell disease, cancer, heart disease and spinal cord injury.

These medical conditions affect hundreds of thousands of Missourians including a child, parent or grandparent in over half of all Missouri families.

Im pro-life. During my entire career, I voted pro-life, said former Senator John Danforth, the honorary co-chair for the coalition. I strongly support the Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative because it will save lives and because it respects the sanctity of life.

However opponents of the bill cite the lack of success found in embryonic stem cell research, which the amendment would allow, as compared to the more successful adult stem cell research which is already occurring in the state.

The to Vitae Caring Foundation states that adult stem cell research has produced 72 cures and treatments while embryonic stem cell research and human cloning has produced no cures and treatments.

This is a key area of disagreement between the issues two sides.

Stem cell research offers the promise of cures, the possibility of improved treatments for so many devastating illnesses, like Alzheimers disease. We in Missouri cannot stand to lose that hope. Please vote YES on 2 to help find cures and save lives, said Dr. Consuelo H. Wilkins, of the Alzheimers Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

However Dr. Celeste Miller-Parrish offered a counterpoint in a recent letter to the editor in the Memphis Democrat. She stated I believe the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cure Initiative is falsely representing its position of being benign, and necessary for our future health. It ignores the proven science we have in Adult Stem Cell research that already is making a difference in many medical illnesses. Developing embryonic stem cell research is a waste of money that could be used to further adult stem cell research, which is giving early results. Embryonic stem cell research destroys life at its earliest and most vulnerable stages, and continues the process of de-valuing life. If we pass this Initiative, we ourselves will become responsible for killing the most vulnerable of our society.

Still proponents of embryonic stem cell research point to the possible economic impact passage of Amendment 2 could have on the state.

The Coalition for Lifesaving Cures states that Amendment 2 does not ask for or require state funding for any type of stem cell research. The group says that in fact, it will generate new state revenues and quality jobs by ensuring that Missouri medical institutions can keep and attract private funding for stem cell research. In addition, the development of stem cell cures for costly diseases like diabetes would significantly reduce health care costs for patients and help reduce taxpayer-funded Medicaid costs.

A newly released study titled The Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative: An Economic and Health Care Analysis, conducted by Joseph H. Haslag and Brian K. Long is being championed by proponents of Amendment 2. The study, was conducted on behalf of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

The Stem Cell Initiative does not require any state funding for stem cell research, said Professor Haslag, but its approval by voters will protect research and treatments that could not only benefit hundreds of thousands of Missouri patients, but also reduce health care costs and benefit our states economy.

The study reports that five of the medical conditions that researchers consider to be likely candidates for early, or embryonic, stem cell therapies and cures are Parkinsons disease, stroke, heart attack, spinal cord injury and Type 1 diabetes. It denotes that approximately 285,000 Missourians currently suffer from these five conditions with a total of 860,000 family members sharing the financial and emotional burden of the diseases and injuries impacting one of every 6.5 citizens in the state.

The report also notes that Missourians spend about $2.8 billion per year to treat the five conditions and Missouri state government is estimated to pay about $299 million of this amount each year, primarily through Medicaid.

If successful early stem cell treatments are developed for one or more of these five conditions, the health care cost savings to Missourians would be significant, Haslag states in the report. Under the most conservative projections, if an early stem cell treatment becomes available 15 years from now and reduces the total health care costs associated with Parkinsons disease, stroke, heart attack, spinal cord injury and Type 1 diabetes by just one percent, Missourians health care costs would be reduced by more than $150 million over the following 10 years.

But opponents of the bill are pointing to a money trail in the other direction.

Already the biotech special interests behind the deception that is Amendment 2 have spent $30 million; its an attempt to buy an amendment to the Missouri Constitution, said Cathy Ruse, chief spokesperson, Missourians Against Human Cloning, on the amount of money spent by forces pushing the passage of Constitutional Amendment 2. Theyve spent such enormous money because Amendment 2 is an attempt to deceive the people of Missouri into actually writing the practice of human cloning into the Missouri Constitution.

Opponents argue that the lawyers who wrote Amendment 2 work for giant biotechnology labs that plan to make billions of dollars by cloning humans for research.

The pros and cons from both sides go on and on. To read more about the issue visit these websites:

www.missouricures.com

www.2tricky.org

www.nocloning.org

Two Winners Named in Rose Hardware $500 Shopping Giveaway

Bill Hall of Memphis receives his $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

Bill Hall of Memphis receives his $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

The Christmas season just got a little more golden for Rose Do it Best Hardware and James “Bill” Hall of Memphis and Debbie Goff of Arbela.

On Monday, November 21, 2016, Bill Hall and Debbie Goff were chosen as the winner of the Rose Do it Best Hardware $500 Shopping Giveaway.  Bill and Debbie were selected at random from more than 1,500 entries submitted at the store from August 29-November 15, 2016.

Store owners, Scott and Angela Westhoff said that Rose Do it Best Hardware is delighted to provide two of its customers with the opportunity to make their fall/winter projects a little more exciting.  “Everyone has a few extra chores this time of year, and we’re glad that Bill and Debbie will be able to choose whatever tools and supplies they need to get the job done.  We thank all those who entered the giveaway for their participation.”

Debbie Goff of Arbela receives her $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

Debbie Goff of Arbela receives her $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

Rose Do it Best Hardware is located at 109 South Main on the west side of the Memphis square, and has been serving customers in the area for over 75 years.  Rose Do it Best Hardware offers a complete line of hardware, plumbing, electrical, paint, housewares, and tool supplies for everyone from the do-it-yourself homeowner to the professional.  Rose Do it Best Hardware has been a Do it Best Corp. member since August 2002.

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Do it Best Corp. is the only full-service U.S.-based, member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry.  With annual sales of $2.99 billion, Do it Best Corp. is the second largest co-op in the industry, serving 3800 member-owned stores in the United States and in 53 countries.

Scotland County School Foundation Issues First Round of Grants

SCR-I instructors Kara Wickert, Angie Cochran and Lora Eggleston are pictured with Scotland County School Foundation representatives Ellen Aylward and George Koontz receiving a mini-grant from the foundation to fund a proposed field trip for the school’s book club.

SCR-I instructors Kara Wickert, Angie Cochran and Lora Eggleston are pictured with Scotland County School Foundation representatives Ellen Aylward and George Koontz receiving a mini-grant from the foundation to fund a proposed field trip for the school’s book club.

The Scotland County School Foundation recently awarded its first round of four classroom mini-grants to teachers at SCR-1 elementary and high school.

The grants can be awarded up to the maximum amount of $250.

In the elementary school, Lori Bish requested funds to purchase a mini iPad and case for her students’ use in the classroom.  With the iPad her students can listen to stories, play interactive educational games and also learn the world of technology at their workstation time.

Also at the elementary, Kara Wickert, Angie Cochran and Lora Eggleston, 6th grade book club teachers, requested funding for a field trip to the St. Louis Holocaust Museum.  The field trip is a follow-up to a unit where students read Passage to Freedom and Prisoner B-3087, as well as other holocaust stories.  Their reading has led the students to pursue research into America’s involvement in World War II and other information about the period of history.

At the high school, FACS instructor Jenna Ketchum submitted her grant application to help with the cost of a cheese-tasting lab for her dairy unit in the Foods II class.  Mrs. Ketchum purchases a variety of 70-75 types of cheese for the students to taste and compare flavors, textures, colors, dryness, etc.

Also at the high school, Terri Slaughter requested funding for the purchase of books to use in her Anatomy class entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, about the life of a poor, black tobacco farmer known to scientists as HeLa, whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for the development of the polio vaccine, gene mapping, etc. The Anatomy unit will also cover topics of medical research and bioethics.

If you would like to contribute financially to the work of the Scotland County School Foundation, please contact Ellen Aylward at 660-216-9951 or Chris Kempke at 465-7255.  The Scotland County School Foundation is a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation with the sole mission to provide educational opportunities to the students, teachers, and staff of the Scotland County R-1 School District, beyond those that can be provided by the District itself, and to promote and encourage the highest standards of educational excellence and achievement.

$175,000 Loan, Grant Finalized for New Memphis City Sanitation truck

trash-truck

Grant and loan funding for a new waste disposal truck were finalized at the December 1st meeting of the Memphis City Council with some good news for customers of the local service.

Interest rates for the $150,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered during the closing period for the loan, dropping from 2.875% to 2.375%, creating approximately $400 a month in savings for the Memphis Community Betterment Organization (MCBO), which is securing the funding on behalf of the Memphis City Sanitation.

In addition to the loan, USDA is also providing a $25,000 grant to MCBO to help meet the needs for a new trash truck. The USDA helped secure the low interest rates for the seven-year loan that will allow the city to replace its lone trash truck. Proceeds from residential and commercial refuse collection fees will be used to repay the loan.

Disability Insurance

In other business, the Memphis City Council approved the addition of a short-term disability policy to the insurance coverage offered by the city to its employees.

The policy will aid employees who have an injury or illness that forces them to miss more than seven consecutive days and having exhausted all other sick leave and paid vacation. It will provide a disability payment of 67% of the employee’s base bi-weekly wage or salary. The benefit may be paid for a maximum of 90 days per calendar year.

Law Offenses

The council also brought policy and codes up to date with a new Chapter 215 of the city code book dealing with law offenses.

Passage of Senate Bill 491 and House Bill 1371 by state law makers created several changes to state statutes dealing with crime and punishment and these changes are reflected in the new Chapter 215.

Passed in 2014, the state law changes were the first to Missouri’s criminal code since 1979. Among the changes are stiffer penalties for crimes against children and for fatal drunk driving incidents while reducing penalties for marijuana possession.

Levee

Superintendent Roy Monroe indicated that efforts to pursue a possible earthen levee to protect the city’s light and water plants from future flooding has run into issues with the Missouri Corp of Engineers regarding potential changes to be made to wetland areas.

The city is considering constructing the levee on private property west of the facility as a more cost efficient alternative to building cement flood walls around the city’s main electric substation, which lies east of the Fabius River, which in the past decade has twice flooded enough to threaten the facilities.

Park Shelters

Monroe also reported that the city’s grant application for funding to replace several deteriorating shelter houses at the city parks, was denied by the state.

The council instructed Monroe to seek building estimates for installing metal structures instead of the current wooden construction plans that were proposed in the grant application.

If more economical alternatives can be identified, the council agreed that the city should pursue local partnerships with community groups to seek funding to continue the necessary upgrades in the municipal park system to help expand public opportunities for recreation.

Local Efforts Helping to Bring Christmas to More Families

christmas-gifts-web

Less than 15 shopping days until Christmas! Letters to Santa Claus are being written and children are dreaming of presents under the Christmas tree. But in Scotland County, plenty of people are also remembering that it is better to give than receive.

A number of programs targeting area needy families are ensuring that everyone in Scotland County has a Merry Christmas.

The Christmas Wish program, a joint effort of the Scotland County R-I schools, Scotland County Divisions of Children and Family Services, ShopKo, Dollar General and J’s Foods and headed up by the United Methodist Church of Memphis, wrapped up efforts on December 5th to fill the Christmas lists of local families in need.

Patrons were able to adopt an anonymous child, picking their wish list off the Christmas tree at ShopKo, and completing the shopping for a child in need. Gift cards were also purchased thru J’s to provide a holiday meal and other food stuffs for families.

Project coordinator Stacy Browning of the UMC stated that local efforts helped fulfill the Christmas Wish for 42 families, including 118 children. That number was up slightly from 2015 when 38 families and 100 children were reached.

The gifts will be presented to the families and children on December 12th.

 If you missed out on supporting the Christmas Wish, Ignite Ministries is hosting a similar Toys Under The Tree event on December 17th.

Church leader Les Richmond indicated that 35 families, with just shy of 100 children, were aided by last year’s program.

Donors provide gifts and financial support to the project, which provides one main gift of approximately $35 in value as well as additional smaller “stocking stuffer” items.

Parents can pick out the gifts for their children and have them wrapped right there at the church.

Toys Under the Tree will be held Saturday, December 17th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“If you need help putting Christmas gifts under the tree, there are lots of people in Scotland County that want to help,” said Richmond.

According to the Missouri Community Action Network, the poverty rate in Scotland County is 16.3%. In neighboring counties, that number is 18.2% in Schuyler, 15.7% in Clark, 19.4% in Knox and 26.9% in Adair.

All are above the 14.8% level for the state, where 875,495 Missourians are at 100% or below the Federal Poverty Level, which for a family of four is $24,250. Roughly 30% of those in poverty are children.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 was the high water mark for poverty in the state, when 16.2% of the population lived in poverty. The mark was declined each of the past three recording periods.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported Missouri’s food insecurity rate at 15.2% in 2016, meaning that more than 1 in 7 of the state’s residents at times has problems accessing adequate food.

That is one of the driving forces behind the local Tiger Packs program, which provides nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks on weekends for children who are eligible for the free breakfast/lunch program offered through the public school system.

Sponsored in part by the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance, the program currently serves more than 80 children in the Scotland County R-I school system and the Head Start program.

The program was supported by a fundraising drive at the recent Community Thanksgiving Service as well as by the local Boy Scouts, who have been collecting donations at public events such as the recent Christmas Bazaar in Memphis.

The local giving efforts aren’t limited to children.

The Scotland County Care Center and Residential Terrace offers the Angel tree program, which allows community members to adopt a resident(s) at the facilities to help wish them a Merry Christmas.

Started nearly a decade ago, the Angel ornaments on the tree feature information about a resident, with gift ideas, including dietary restrictions.

Tammy Hammond, activities director at SCCC said the number of angles ranges from 60 to 75 each year, with community members as well as SCCC staff and family, providing gifts of bath products, snacks, games, reading materials and clothing.

“This year we have 64 angels on the tree,” said Hammond. “Boy are the residents surprised and uplifted when they see their package.”

Edina Boy Hurt in Crash Near Rutledge

An Edina boy suffered minor injuries in a one-vehicle crash in Scotland County on Saturday just before noon.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Natalie T. Clark, 16 was eastbound on County Road 200, three miles southwest of Rutledge, when the 1997 Oldsmobile Aurora she was driving went off the left side of the roadway and overturned. A passenger in the vehicle, Thomas F. Reel, 5, sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Reel was transported by private vehicle to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville for treatment of his injuries.

Both of the vehicles occupants were wearing safety devices.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Respawn Video Game Center Opens on the Memphis Square

video-game

Respawn Video Game Center is the newest business to open its doors on the Memphis Square.  They are located on the southeast corner at 101 E. Monroe.

The new gaming center, owned and operated by Chris and Sheena Nichols, opened their doors Saturday, November 19th with an All-Night Gaming Party.  The next All-Night Gaming Party is scheduled for New Year’s Eve from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.  Admission for the all-night event is $25 which includes free Casey’s pizza.  Beverages and snacks will also be available for purchase at the Center’s snack bar.

The All-Night Gaming Parties work like a lock-in.  In order to stay without a guardian, children must be nine years or older.  Parents must leave contact information and any child who desires to go home early, parents will be contacted for pick-up.

Regular hours for the Gaming Center are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 2:00-10:00 p.m., Friday from 2:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

There is a variety of pricing options including hourly ($7/hour, $15/3 hours, and $25 unlimited play).  Membership options include Silver, Gold, and Platinum pricing.  Party Packages for birthdays and other group events are also available.

Additionally, Chris and Sheena are offering an Honor Roll Program.  If students bring in their current Honor Roll certificates, they will get a free hour of play!  Also, area Church Youth Groups, accompanied by Youth Group Leaders, are able to play free on Thursday evenings from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

The gaming center is fully stocked with 15 Xbox One Systems and 15 full HD TVs.  All the Xbox systems are live and LAN connected.  There is also a full surround sound headset for each system and near 100 games to play, including the newest releases.

Chris and Sheena moved to Memphis about five years ago from Terre Haute, Indiana.  Sheena is originally from Memphis and they decided to return to this area so their son, Caiden, could grow up in a small town.  Caiden is currently in the fourth grade.  Chris and Sheena have another son, Jaxon, who is four years old.

Chris is also an LPN at Scotland County Hospital and is continuing his education to receive his RN.  Sheena is an RN and currently the Director of Nurses at the Scotland County Care Center.  Sheena is also continuing her education to receive her Clinical Nurse Specialist degree.

The couple’s purpose for opening Respawn Video Game Center was to give parents an affordable, close, and supervised activity center and another option for hosting birthday parties and other group events.

For all these details and more, call Chris at 660-223-3956 or visit their Facebook page at Respawn Video Game Center.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, December 8 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, December 9 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, December 12 – Waffles, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, December 13 –Scrambled Eggs, Choice of Cereal, Hash Browns, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Ham/Cheese/Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Thursday, December 8 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, December 8 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, December 9 – Tuna Noodle Casserole, Grilled Chicken Patty/Bun, Potato Rounds, Buttered Corn, Strawberry Shortcake, Fresh Fruit

Monday, December 12 – Chicken Patty/Bun, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, December 13 – School Made Pizza, Bar BQ Meatballs, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Vegetable Sticks/Dip, Green Beans, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, Dec. 14 –Sliced Turkey, Sliced Ham, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Buttered Corn, Dinner Roll, Cherry Cheese Cake, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, December 15 – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thurs. December 8 – Creamed Chicken/Biscuit, Tomato and Zucchini Blend, Lettuce Salad, Bread, Fruit Salad

Friday, December 9 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Strawberry Shortcake/Topping

Monday, December 12 – Tenderloin/Bun/Onion, Sweet/Regular Fries, Pineapple, Cauliflower Vegetables, Cake

Tuesday, December 13 – Sausage/Biscuits/Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Applesauce, Ice Cream

Wed., December 14 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Pickled Beets, Hot Roll, Fruit

Thurs. December 15 – Ham and Beans, Onions, Fried Potatoes, Carrot-Pineapple Jell-O Salad, Cornbread, Peanut Butter Cookie

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Dec. 8 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 15 – Scotland County Health Department here for blood pressure checks.  Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

BABY ZEISET

Steven and Janice Zeiset of Memphis are the parents of a daughter, Shalyn Janae Zeiset, born November 29, 2016 at 2:15 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Shalyn weighed 7 lbs 0.8 oz and was 21 inches long. Siblings include Levi, Verlin, Kendon, Devon amd Ronald.

December Birds

December is here, along with all of the festivity, decorations, family gatherings, shopping, office parties, church programs, caroling, cookie exchanges, craft shows, I could go on and on.  Sometimes it seems we get our schedules so full, we do not leave time for ourselves, meditating, celebrating the birth of Christ and a simpler time.

I love to decorate, but sometimes finding myself getting stressed trying to get it all done.  This year, in the back of my mind, I keep saying less is more. Between shopping trips, Christmas plays, a girls’ night out or two, church programs, preparation for the holidays, before you know it the holidays are over.

I am not of the mind set to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, as I do a lot of fall decoration, so I always strive to get the decorations up around the first of the month.  Hasn’t our weather been awesome.

I am so enjoying our extended fall.  Although it’s chilly this week, we still have fairly mild weather.  I have a great many birds on the trail, but not feeding anything at the house,  sparrows are my only visitor, with an occasional House Finch, Gold Finch, and Woodpecker.  I have a few Blue Jays, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers enjoying my corn feeder.

I have an abundance of beautiful pine cones.  Anyone need a gift idea for a bird watching friend, coat one in peanut butter or a cheap butter spread and dip or roll in mixed bird feed. Birds love this.

Another fun recipe for a good bird mix is as follows:  1 cup lard, 1 cup crunchy peanut butter, 2 cups cornmeal,  2 cups old fashioned oats, 1/2 c. Flour, 1/2 c. Sugar, 1/2 c. Raisins, 1/2 c. Ground corn, 1/2 c. Peanuts. Warm lard and peanut butter in microwave and mix with all other ingredients. This can be frozen as suet or fed on a platform feeder.

Enjoy making and giving homemade gifts this year.  Until next time, good bird watching.

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