Watch Out for the Hawk at Volo Bog Winter Fest

Watch out for the bird I said to Noel F. Williams. We were at the Volo Bog in Volo, Illinois enjoying Winter Fest. Lake Shore Vibe rocked the place with four sets during the afternoon. Visitors went on hikes in the snow to see nature at work and the photo contest brought the outdoors inside.

Noel F. Williams vs the Hawk Volo Bog Park

Noel F. Williams vs the Hawk Volo Bog Park

Here’s Noel about to be captured by a Red Tail Hawk. We see these birds of prey in our yard at times.

Operation Sweet Tooth Piece A Cake Bakery Dundee Illinois

The folks at Piece A Cake Bakery in Dundee, Illinois are cooking up something special. Roger and Diane Ahrens, both former Marines, bake delicious cookies, cakes and pies to satisfy any sweet tooth. You can visit their bakeries in East Dundee and in Gilberts, Illinois.

They also support our troops year round through Operation Sweet Tooth. For just the cost of shipping, about $20, you can send a sweet care package to a friend or loved one serving in our military overseas. The Ahrens will whip up a large box filled with cookies carefully wrapped to prevent damage and ship the package to our troops. The boxes are filled with plenty of cookies to share. The couple has donated and shipped over 10,500 cookies in 7000 boxes since they started Operation Sweet Tooth in 2004.

Click here for more information, drop by their stores or call them at 847.836.6703 (East Dundee).
Piece-A-Cake Bakery on Urbanspoon

Giuseppes La Cantina Thanksgiving Stimulus

Giuseppe’s La Cantina is a favorite place my family. We have been welcomed by the Brunetti family since 1963 when they opened their doors in Des Plaines, Illinois and our extended family gathers for dinner once a month.

We held our wedding rehearsal dinner there too. Originally started as Nicks’ La Cantina by brothers Nick and Giuseppe, the restaurant has gone through expansions, renovations and transformations through out the years. The place even rose like a phoenix after a fire closed their doors a few years back.

The family business is grateful for customers who have stayed with them through the years. We are now bringing our third generation of our family for dinners. Once again, the family is giving back to the community.

The Brunetti family knows there are those who are struggling through these challenging times and they want to help. They are offering a free, full course Thanksgiving meal for those who have been or are in danger of foreclosure. Reservations are required at (847) 824-4230.

I spoke to Mary this afternoon about the event. She said reservations must be received by Monday to allow her time to order and prepare the turkeys.

If you are in the mood for a great pizza or Italian dish any other day, drop by Guiseppe’s at 1062 Lee Street. Tell them April sent you.
Giuseppe's on Urbanspoon

Giuseppe's on Foodio54

Ahoy! Tis Time to Talk Pirate Me Hearties

Fourteen years ago John Baur and Mark Summers concocted the Talk Like a Pirate idea. When playing racquetball, they began cursing each other in a pirate like language. They promoted this event annually with mild success. Once Dave Barry and Long John Silver’s restaurants got behind the idea, things went viral.

It served them well. T-shirts, books, and speaking engagements followed. John parlayed this into a move deep into pirate territory with his current home base now St. Croix.

Here’s primer to get you started on talking like a pirate.

At least it is not another Hallmark holiday. To find out more check out the Official Talk Like a Pirate Day website.

To read more about how this annual event got started, read the CNN article.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

While many of us just recently learned of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating 1000 miles off the California coast in the North Pacific Gyre, scientists tell us it has been growing steadily since the 1950’s. Birds and animals get entangled in the trash and ingest tempting looking pieces of plastic causing a high concentration of chemicals in our food chain.

Weight is estimated at over 100 million tons spanning an area twice the size of the state of Texas. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch even has its own Wikipedia entry. Experts believe 80% of the plastic comes from land based sources while 20% comes from ships.

I delighted in taking my kids snorkeling in Hanauma Bay in Hawaii this month. They were wide-eyed as they watched the colorful tropical fish swim arms length away. At all the beaches we visited in Hawaii we found plastic bags and other trash on the shore and in the water. It’s not just Hawaii beaches. We find garbage everywhere we go. While out hiking or geocaching, we take a bag to collect garbage. In fact, the other week I had to buy a tactical backpack to carry our hiking snacks/water in one compartment while filling up the others with beach trash. Cache in – Trash out.

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

Plastic is 100% non biodegradable. It never breaks down.

What do you do about this growing problem? Start locally.
* Bring reusable bags with you when you go shopping. It’s an easy step.
* Pick up trash you find on your walks
* Reduce your waste. Can you fix it? Repurpose? Do without?

Only humans are to blame for this disaster and we are the only ones who can resolve the situation.

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