Canaries Add Beauty And Song to Your Home

canary cage
There’s nothing quite as relaxing, as being blessed with an early morning serenade of song, from the chorus line of finches outside of my bedroom window in early Spring.

It starts as soon as the snow starts to melt, and for some reason, they start warming up around 4am. Not that I’m always up at 4am, but occasionally, I roll over & become startled just enough to catch the beginnings of what promises to be a day filled with inspirational song.

I think you would love a canary of your own, who was always there to sing for you!

Having raised parrots & different types of birds for several years myself, I can speak first hand of the joys of having an avian friend in your home.

Not only are canaries easy to care for, but their beauty is unmatched, both in appearance & song! They come in all shades of white, brown, red, and of course yellow.

Each type of canary has it’s own unique singing style, so it would be best for you to listen to a few different types of birds sing, before you decide which one you would like to call your own.

Beautiful Cages

If you know me at all, you already know how much I love bird cages! There’s just something about them, that is so wonderfully heartwarming to me. I never seem to tire of seeing a beautiful cage. Perhaps it reminds me of the joys of raising birds that my family shared together. In any case, to me…nothing speaks “elegant” more than a beautiful bird cage in your home! And what better use of a beautiful cage, than to be a home for a beautiful singer!


You can find canaries for $35-$100. The price depends on the area in which you live, as well as the type of canary that you ultimately decide to purchase.

Having a singing canary in your home means… never again will you have to wait for spring to enjoy the joyful songs in your home!

I thought you might enjoy hearing a few different canaries perform. I’m sorry ahead of time, because I know you wont be able to resist after hearing them 😉

Victoria Magazine – Helping a reader find a past issue

I receive so many requests for ideas, help, how-to, etc., from our readers, that I’ve decided to start sharing some of those requests & my answers, with the hope that I can help many others in the process.

Here is a recent request from a reader:

Hi Pearl,

I am desperately trying to surprise a dear friend of mine with a back issue of Victoria Magazine that he lost. I see that you were a big fan of all the old magazine which is why I am reaching out to you.

All he can tell me is that there is a section on all things cream, and that there is a wonderful oatmeal recipe in the issue.

Can you help me?

Thank you in advance for anything that you can do.

All my best,

Added Note from Amber: I worked at the magazine in 1996 and 1997 and feel very strongly that it is in those years. Please add that information to the post as readers may have those issues and be able to find it.



Dear Amber,

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Because your friend does not remember exactly what issue the magazine was, these are the ideas that I have come up with to still help you find it.

First of all, does your friend have any idea what “year” his beloved issue was published in? If so, you could pick up the collection for that year for $19.95. That way, even though you’re not sure which “issue” it is, you will still be sure to have it, when you pick up the whole year’s worth of issues…and $19.95 is not a bad price…plus the fact that you’ll have lots of other nice magazines as well!

For example, here is the nov/dec 07 – nov/dec 08 collection

If he remembers what the front cover looks like, you look through front covers of the back issues here.

I tried looking up the issue based on the 2 items that he remembers, but
unfortunately, they do not have any sort of contents listed for each issue
on the website. BUT, I am sure they would have that info in customer

You could call customer service & describe the issue to them:
(877) 675-5361

Another way to go is…ebay! You can pick up a whole “lot” of magazines very inexpensively. This would be perfect if he could recognize the front cover – or knew what year the magazine was published! In any case… if he is a “Victoria” lover, you can’t go wrong by picking up a bundle of past issues 😉

** Readers – do you have any help for Amber? Do you remember an issue of Victoria with lots of info about “all things cream”, and a special oatmeal recipe? If so, post your thoughts in the comments below!

Amber let us know how things turn out!

You can subscribe to one of our favorite magazines
Victoria Magazine by Clicking Here

Editor Update: Victoria Magazine Found!

Here is a note that I just received: from an ebay seller that I contacted to see if she could help us:

“Hello Dear Pearl,
Finally! I have a friend who runs a Victoria Magazine fan forum, and she had all of the “girls” looking. It is November 1997. I have verified in my personal collection, and see the theme was oatmeal and cream. There are a few oatmeal recipes, such as oatmeal scones..

I hope this helps!


* Thank you so much Victoria! And… to all of you Victoria lovers out there, check out Victoria’s ebay store, she carries MANY back issue of Victoria Magazine! How wonderful that you have the opportunity to pick up so many GREAT issues that you might have originally missed out on!

Your Big Laugh for Today!

I thought you could use the extra laugh today 😉

I’d like to introduce you to a funny gal named Chonda Pierce. She has the ability to keep you laughing your head off – or crying your eyes out 😉 It was so refreshing to find a “clean” comedian, who also holds strong moral values!

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs 17:22

May this little post “tickle your innerds” as my grandma used to say 😉

“Honeymoon Package” Comedy By Chonda Pierce

“Weird Things Happen To Me” Comedy By Chonda Pierce

“Lowriders” Comedy By Chonda Pierce

A Drive Through the Country

Beautiful view!

Yesterday I shared the view from my upstairs home office window, but today I thought I’d take you on a little trip around the country roads that surround our village (she’s called the “Queen Village”, because she is said to be fit for a queen!). We’ve had such wonderful weather, but today the news says that there will be rain around mid-morning. So, my romantic sweetie, decided to take me for a ride through the country, so we could try to capture the view before the rain drops started. We’ve had such a dry summer, and we really need the rain, but… with the leaves being extra beautiful this year, I didn’t want to miss my chance… just in case the rain decides to wash many of the beautiful leaves away. Even though it is a bit overcast, I still think you’ll enjoy the drive.

* The picture above is the view from a high hill right outside of the village. This view has always reminded me of the story of “Heidi”, living a quiet country life making her butter & cheese up in the mountains with her grandfather, while the folks in the village below bustled about with their daily city life. The village is down below, but just over the hill, tucked into the forest… is our cottage.

Each picture can be clicked – then choose “all sizes” at the top of the picture to see a bigger view

Vintage Barn
I love this old barn! It is such a big barn, that the owners have to work on it a little at a time.

Barn Windows
Here’s a picture looking at the front of the barn.

A country church in Autumn
This is a church that sits high upon one of the highest hills in the area. I love the deep red trees against the white plaster.

Panther Lake in Autumn
This is Panther Lake – only a few miles from my house.

Red Barn - The farm in color
Here’s another beautiful red barn, that sits on a little horse farm. You can only see the top from here, but they also have a windmill and several other small buildings.

Stone wall frames the view
This is the view from another high hill surrounding the village. I love to come here & look at the village below. I thought this picture was especially lovely, with the old stone wall framing the view. We have stone walls everywhere here! As the tale goes… the village was built on stone. And I’ll tell you, that I for one believe every word of it (especially when trying to dig in the garden – but that’s such a small price to pay for the beauty of stone walls at every turn!)

Stone Bridge
Case in point… here’s an old farm bridge made of field stone. This is the stuff that dreams are made of… my dreams anyway 😉

Fall Color!
I just had to show you the color from this stand of maple trees… don’t you love that chocolate & deep red!

Windmill on a fall day
Here’s another one of the beautiful windmills that we saw today! I love the red & white colors – especially with the reds & oranges on the trees in the background!

As we turned around the bend, almost to our country lane, we saw that the local Amish ladies were selling their farm goods at their stand in front of a local store on Main St. I would love to have been able to share that scene with you, but the Amish do not wish to have their pictures taken. Last year, we had 5 families move into our area, and now, several times a week, we see them in the village sharing their fresh goods with the community (and we are happy to support local farmers – especially where pies are concerned 😉 We were excited to hear that even more families will be moving here soon!

Country Road Take me Home

We got done just in time!

From what I hear… “the sun will come out tomorrow”

But until then…

Country Road Take me Home

Peek Through my Window

Office View - Beautiful Fall Leaves!

I don’t know how it is in your bit of the world, but in our little forest & surrounding village, the landscape is starting to become radiant with color. It’s almost as if a painter is standing above us, and with quick strokes of his brush, he’s changing everything around us into large swatches of deep reds, chocolate browns, and bright oranges!

Today, as I was “working” at my desk, I became captivated by the color I gazed out of my window! I’ve been watching the trees, and they have been subtly changing as we dive deeper in the Autumn season, but today, they are suddenly bursting with extreme color!

I am so thankful that I am able to be surrounded with such abundant beauty. But, I have to admit, sometimes I do become distracted by the view (I can’t seem to help it 😉

River in fall
Click for a better view of the river

Just today I have witnessed…

– A mother deer & her two babies wandering around the forest, and grazing down by the river.

– Several wood peckers dancing up and down the trunks of the tall trees.

– Little creatures such as chipmunks and squirrels, carrying their treasures back to be tucked away in some secret nook or cranny, that has now become their winter pantry.

– And a flock of geese flying so close to my window, that I could actually see what each one looked like.

Our days pass by so fast…

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. James 4:14

So lets enjoy each day to the fullest!

Now, back to work 😉

Trip to the Apple Orchard – Picking the Right Apple for the Job

Apple Orchard

“You & I can count the seeds in an apple, but only God knows how many apples are in each seed”

There’s something so heart warming about the aroma of apples cooking in the kitchen! Maybe it’s because of the memories of childhood when, as a little girl, I would “help” my mom & grandmother peel the buckets of apples on my great-grandma Pearl’s farm. I remember watching great-grandma Pearl put an apple in her hand sitting out on the front porch of her little farmhouse. Then, she would peel it as she spun the apple around and around in her hand. When she finished the entire apple, there would only be one very long piece of apple peel that would drop into the big pile of peels, as the apples made their way to the canning kitchen. Although I tried and tried to “get the big long peel” as a youngster, I’m only just now attaining that great skill 😉 Perhaps it’s the knowledge that Autumn, which is my favorite season of the year, is finally here that makes the onset of apple season so special? Or, could it just be the anticipation of getting a little taste of the delicious dish of apple goodness that is baking in the oven? Knowing me and my nostalgic outlook on life, I’m sure it’s a mixture of all of the above 😉

Even though great-grandma Pearl has long since passed, and I don’t currently have my own orchard, each year our family travels a few miles up North to pick apples at our favorite orchard. We usually wait until the end of October, but this year we decided to go up with some friends to see what we could find earlier in the season. I was amazed to find so many different types of apples available! I guess our trip will be an earlier one from now on, because when we wait until the end of October, most of the variety is already gone. But, that’s not to say that we can’t go up more than once and make the season last as long as possible 😉

I just love going to the apple farm, because besides apples, they have so many other things to see, smell, and taste! There’s the rows of corn stalks lined up like a marching band along the children’s corn maze, keeping the little ones continually guessing how they’re going to find their way out. There’s crate after crate of colorful pumpkins, guards, and squash, and I think the bunches of Indian corn must have every color imaginable, because they aren’t just brown & red anymore! And I mustn’t forget the luscious aromas that escape out of the big red barn, and somehow find their way right to our little noses! The scents of popcorn, cotton candy, apple cider, chocolate fudge, fresh baked donuts, and caramel apples all seem to mingle together and scream come & find me… and of course we must!

Even though I know what “type” of apple that I like the best, when we get to the farm, we still have to ask the same question every year – which is the best kind of apple for eating, and which is the best for baking?

Since I ask this question every year, I thought you might face the same questions when you get to the store, apple orchard, or farm stand in your area. So… I wanted to put together a little list of the different kinds of apples, their descriptions, and what they might be best suited for.

* My little secret… I love a crisp, tart, apple that is great for both eating & baking – so Jonagold wins the “Apple of my Eye” award 😉

Jonagold: An apple that is both tart and sweet. It’s firm texture makes it one of the world’s most preferred eating apples
Jonagold Apple

Golden Delicious: Mild sweet flavor – eating, salads and apple sauce
Golden Delicious Apples

Cortland: Tangy Taste – snacking, salads, and baking
Cortland Apple

Empire: Unique sweet/tart flavor, crisp and juicy – eating and salads
Empire Apples

Ginger Gold: Sweet but mildly tart – eating and salads
Ginger Gold Apples

Golden Delicious: Mild sweet flavor – eating, salads and sauce
Golden Delicious

Honey Crisp: Big juicy and sweet – great eating apple
Honey Crisp Apples

Ida Red: Highly flavored and crisp – eating and baking
ida red

Jonamac: Sweet/tart flavor – eating and sauces

McIntosh: Juicy tangy and aromatic – Most popular eating apple
Macintosh Apples

Macoun: Mild tart taste firm apple – snacking and fresh desserts
Macoun Apples

Northern Spy: Tart apple – eating, sauces, baking
Northern Spy Apple

Red Delicious: Juicy and sweet taste – eating and salads
Red Delicious Apples

Rome: Firm mildly tart flavor – Perfect for baking and sauce, keeps very well
Rome Apples