Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts about plastic

My 30th high school reunion is coming up this summer, and I'm pleased to say that over the years I have kept in touch with my best friend from junior high and high school, Mary. We were like-minded then, and thankfully still are today. We're planning a girls' weekend away in July with another friend from high school. We're planning to go to a folk music festival in northern Illinois.

Mary lives with her family in rural east-central Illinois on a farm that belonged to her great-grandparents. She teaches English at the University of Illinois and in her home life she gardens, raises poultry, and preserves food. Mary also writes a weekly column, entitled Birdland, for the Piatt County Journal Republican newspaper. She has graciously given me permission to link to her latest column, in which she writes about plastic and its danger to animals, recycling and reducing use of plastics.

Please read her other posts as well! She has nice photos and interesting things to read about.

pdf to word

For a while now I've been creating .pdf files from my .doc files, but hadn't thought about converting .pdf to .doc files. Here's a neat little tool from Nitro Software to convert .pdf files to .doc or .rtf files --and the best news is, it's FREE! I selected a large .pdf that I had saved on my computer. I then entered the file path into the box, waited about 2 minutes, and the .doc file appeared in my Inbox as an attachment to an email. I opened the attachment, and there it was! All the formatting, text, and pictures/graphics were there. If you need to create a .pdf you can use their downloadable software found at I've never had a problem using primopdf. Again, it's free!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Night-time Visitor

Thursday evening was very windy. I was sitting in bed, checking my email with my cat, Winnie, by my side. The wind was blowing against the house and windows and one particularly loud gust got the attention of Winnie and me. I saw what appeared to be a light-colored leaf stuck in the screen. As we intently watched the 'leaf', I noticed it wasn't moving as a leaf would move. Winnie ran over to the window and jumped on the little shelf in front of the window that Karl constructed for her to sit on. I went to the window as well. In the darkness (our backyard is very dark) I couldn't tell if what i was seeing in the window was Winnie's reflection (she's the dark Tabby featured as my avitar) or an animal on the other side of the window. I then realized it was an animal sitting on the window ledge. I knocked loudly on the window and the animal looked at was a raccoon! Unfazed by Winnie and/or me, it continued to sit on the window ledge and eat bird seed. I yelled to Karl that there was a raccoon on the windowsill and he immediately grabbed his camera and headed outside. Soon after, the raccoon jumped down but continued to eat birdseed. With the wind blowing as it was, Karl was able to sneak up on the raccoon unnoticed. After Karl took his photo, the raccoon dashed off for the safety of a maple tree. You can see the photo here.