Monday Musings: Books, Birds and Birks

Happy Monday ladies. I’m not sure what difference it makes that it’s Monday but let’s start the week off on a happy note:)  Our temperatures hit the 80’s over the weekend which seems ridiculously early to be so hot but I’m loving it because the sun is out. These are a few of the ramblings on my mind this week.

Dust Jacketsthe battle of versailles

I’m really enjoying this book by Pulitzer-prize winning fashion journalist Robin Givhan. It’s a fascinating topic but the dust jacket isn’t holding up well. Trivial I know, but there it is. I like dust jackets because they give you a little synopsis of the book and you can fold them to the inside to keep your place. They’re designed to keep the book clean and it turns out, a book without its jacket, isn’t worth very much. Who knew? People have been known to take off their book jackets, file them neatly, then put back on when they loan the book to friends. Do you remove your dust jackets? Enquiring minds want to know:)


I’ve just bought a third hummingbird feeder and am still striking out. The previous owner left me this feeder which they wouldn’t drink from, so I bought these, which they also won’t go near. I make the recommended 1 to 4 sugar and water mixture, clean the feeder, and yet the hummingbirds want nothing to do with them. My friend Terry had a birdfeeder on her back porch that the birds swarmed. It looked so easy. I read that you should not put red food coloring in the water so I’m not. If I could get even one bird to sip from a feeder, I’d order this adorable glass one. Or this one so I could see them up close. Any suggestions?


I don’t think of myself as a “hippie-type” person but I seem to be leaning that way. I use and wear mala (meditation) beads, I use and diffuse essential oils, I have healing crystals on my desk and bedside table, I eat organic food and now I’ve ordered my first pair of Birkenstocks. I’ve ordered these for the garden and around the house because they’re waterproof and have lots of support. I’ve never worn Birks before but many of you swear by their comfort so I’m anxious for mine to arrive. I may even wear them with the caftan I am obsessing over..more on that another day.

Be well and wear what makes you feel confident.



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  1. Martha Edmundson
    April 29, 2020 / 10:54 am

    Hi, Jennifer. This is an interesting post and of course, I, too, have opinions! Hummingbirds will more readily use a feeder that is near some kind of shrub or small tree that will provide cover and a place to rest. I’ve had all kinds of feeders and really like the expensive red plastic best. I also think having some plants around that attract butterflies is helpful. Google for a list.

    I am a retired librarian and always leave the covers on my books. Often, it’s how I identify them on the shelf! I don’t use the cover flap as a bookmark as it starts the deterioration of the cover (personal opinion).

    I love my Birkenstocks! I’ve had several pairs in the last 20 years. My favorite is called the ‘Florida’. It has three smaller straps across rather than the larger ones. I have the plastic type too that I wear for small chores outside, like watering. I, too, have a bunion. It might hurt for a while, but the shoe will eventually conform to your foot, making it very comfortable.

  2. Pauline
    April 29, 2020 / 5:15 am

    I had a pair of Birkenstocks once. I can tell you that, if you have bunions , they are not for you!

    • Jennifer
      April 29, 2020 / 8:11 am

      I do have bunions so fingers crossed they’ll be ok

  3. Jen
    April 28, 2020 / 7:53 pm

    I leave the book jackets on when flipping through my (many) decorating and coffee table books. I use Kindle for fiction and self-help type books now so no jackets to consider. I’ve never owned Birks but people swear by them! (I’m deathly afraid of garden creatures so wear wellingtons even when it’s sweltering.) I’m very into the idea of caftans and am curious what you recommend. They seem so glamorous yet comfy. Stay well. Xx

  4. Jamie
    April 28, 2020 / 5:12 pm

    My husband is facing surgery and possible further treatment. The idea of healing crystals sound appealing. Could you offer suggestions or point me in a direction. Thank you.

    • Jennifer
      April 29, 2020 / 8:23 am

      I’m not an expert in an way but have read a few small books. I started with this one https://shopstyle.it/l/bgFpN which I bought on audible. I also bought one on Chakra healing which I’ve just started. I’m sending healing thoughts your way

  5. Lynn
    April 28, 2020 / 7:41 am

    Hi Jennifer:

    You will love your Birkenstocks – even though some people call them “old lady shoes” hahah!

    In my opinion, the thing about hummingbird feeders is consistency. When you’re trying to attract them, just keep the feeders out in a friendly, safe space with a fresh supply of undyed sugar water – 1 to 4 ratio. I’ve been doing this for 3 years now and finally have about 4 hummingbirds. I love watching them! If you do this I think they will come. Good luck!

  6. Sandra Matthews
    April 27, 2020 / 6:58 pm

    I love my leather Birkenstock’s.
    When your title said “Birks” I thought Canada’s iconic jewellery store😄
    Be well.

  7. Susie D.
    April 27, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    I tried once with a hummingbird feeder for one day. Sometime between hanging it up and waking up the next morning I discovered that some sort of bird or animal had managed to fling sugar water all over the front of the house, front door, window shutters, front porch and all areas had already been infested with ants. What a big mess! Now I plant zinnia beds with all of their bright colors and there is almost always at least one or two hummingbirds and a lot of beautiful butterflies on the zinnias. All they need is watering and cutting some for bouquets so they rebloom quicker, and they are good to go. All the zinnias need is a sunny place and watering at the roots when they get dry. For a couple of years there was the tiniest little hummingbird who sat on a branch and guarded his zinnia beds from other hummers. Many times I have had the hummers come very close to me and hover and look me right in the face. After discovering how territorial they are, I wonder now if they could see their reflection in my sunglasses and thought there was another hummer invading their space. They also regularly checked the flowered wreath or basket with flowers I usually have on the front door. They left disappointed. They are so beautiful. I’ve seen videos where hummers would come and drink sugar water directly out of peoples hands.

    • Jennifer
      April 28, 2020 / 1:03 pm

      Wow! I need Zinnias

  8. Susan B
    April 27, 2020 / 2:44 pm

    My husband is the hummingbird caretaker around our house. I agree that the simple feeders work well as they’re the easiest to keep clean. He makes a big batch of sugar water and stores it in an old 1/2 gallon Vodka bottle he keeps in the fridge. He also changes the water often as it will ferment in warm weather.
    I’ve never been able to wear birks. The arch doesn’t fit right and makes my feet ache no matter what size I’ve tried. But I know I’m in the minority and many swear by them. As for gardening, I like a closed toe shoe I can slip on and off when going in and out of the house. All it takes is one time of dropping even a small pair of clippers in just the right spot on a toe or stepping in a gooshy mess to see why. Right now I have an old pair of walking shoes with the laces tied really loose so I can slip them on and off. I’m looking for something different, but so far I haven’t come up with anything I like better. I may sacrifice a fairly new pair of BZees slip ons as they can be tossed in the washing machine. Right now, they’re my in-house only shoes.

  9. Linda V
    April 27, 2020 / 1:50 pm

    Please google plants that hummingbirds feed from. They like all trumpet like flowers especially bright red ones. I have firebushes and a bottlebrush tree here in Florida and they would rather feed from them than a feeder. Plus if the feeder is in the sun, the liquid will “turn” and they will not eat it. You ae so lucky to have a nest!

    • Jennifer
      April 28, 2020 / 1:02 pm

      I do see them around my bottle brush tree…darn

  10. Katji
    April 27, 2020 / 1:11 pm

    My mother lived a bit southeast of Folsom and had great luck with the simple plastic Walmart feeders. Maybe one hummer will find your feeder and attract the rest of the flock. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  11. Norma G
    April 27, 2020 / 1:03 pm

    I grew up with a very simple hummingbird feeder and would watch the birds using it often while I was eating breakfast. I haven’t had a feeder for over fifty years, but I do have some Bird of Paradise plants just outside my living room window that the hummingbirds love. So, I sit on my couch and watch the hummingbirds as much as I want. I also love to leave my dining room window open and listen the the chirps and tweets of other birds.
    Book dust covers stay on while I read and they usually remain in good condition. Maybe because I like to read a book in one or two sittings. It’s rare that I start a book without several free hours to read the entire thing straight through.
    I haven’t had any Birkenstocks in decades, but I do love my Clark slides. I have several pair and alternate wearing them. I also have one very well worn pair I wear for slopping around the house.

    • Jennifer
      April 28, 2020 / 1:00 pm

      I’m a big fan of Clarks for comfort too

  12. Rhonda Williams
    April 27, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    I don’t read paper books anymore. Just use Kobo on my phone or computer. This was a godsend throughout menopause as I suffered from insomnia and was reading intermitently throughout the night. I was delighted to start using a tablet and being able to read without disturbing hubby. Never went back to paper books.

    I have a lot of hummingbirds at my place. I plant flowers to attract them and provide them with food. I don’t really like them personally, as I find they are real dive bombers. I’ve had to duck a few times as they seem to fly straight for me. Maybe it’s just me!

    I usually wear rubber boots in the garden at this time of year because it can be cool and/or damp. Later on I wear old Sketchers. I put bark mulch on my flower beds every year, and the texture can be hard on bare skin.

    I love caftans and will look forward to hearing what you think and seeing what you chose!

  13. Carolynn
    April 27, 2020 / 12:13 pm

    I’ve had a few really pretty glass hummingbird feeders over the years. They made a sticky mess on the deck and we never saw one hummingbird. One year, I painted a terra-cotta pot a bright turquoise colour, filled it with orange million bells, and put it on the patio table on that same deck. To my surprise, the hummingbirds loved it. 😊For the first time, we had hummingbirds in our yard.

    • Jennifer
      April 28, 2020 / 12:57 pm

      Wow, I thought they liked red, not orange.I obviously just need to plant more flowers

  14. Eve
    April 27, 2020 / 11:25 am

    Love the picture. I gave up on bird houses and bird feeders. I have dozens of birds who love my back woods and adored my fresh garden veggies, especially strawberries and watermelon. Pricked holes in them but would not have their babies in the bird houses or drink from my hummingbird spigots. Oh well. I love watching them.
    I love dust jackets so I want them on when I’m reading. I usually buy used books at library sales or on eBay so the jacket is not always neat but it doesn’t bother me. I miss holding real books now that I read on my kindle more. I guess it’s like the difference between a music download or a record album cover. We make progress but we lose something along the way.

    • Jennifer
      April 28, 2020 / 12:55 pm

      I like holding real books too. I’ve bought several on my Kindle but never finish them because they’re unsatisfying

  15. Terry
    April 27, 2020 / 11:12 am

    When I read “Birks” in your blog title, I thought you were going to mention Dr. Birx! 🙃

  16. marlene alves
    April 27, 2020 / 11:03 am

    Thank you for this post, Jennifer; such a relief from the Facebook posts full of politics and coronavirus. Delightful reading and informative too!

  17. Christine
    April 27, 2020 / 10:15 am

    I’ve been feeding hummingbirds for the last ten years, enjoying a swarm of birds in my two hanging feeders. This year, a male “bully” has been territorial and chased most of them away. I’m patient, as hummingbirds live 3 to 5 years, that the swarm will return. The bully is beautiful! His chest is a bright fire red, with iridescent green wings. I use the feeders with the perch; however, a few years back, I had trouble with ants. Now I have the models with the cup on top that’s filled with water; ant problem solved. I make my own hummingbird syrup, 1 part sugar/4 parts water. We also have lots of blooms they enjoy. In So Cal, the birds are year-round.
    I keep my jackets on my books. I like the extras the offer too.
    The Birkenstocks style hasn’t attracted me, even in their latest go-around. I prefer huaraches and other braided and wrapped leather styles. Our heat wave began last week in L.A. and I’m afraid it will go through until October now.

    • Jennifer
      April 28, 2020 / 12:46 pm

      He sounds very fun to watch. I would be patient too

  18. Elaine
    April 27, 2020 / 10:08 am

    I discovered that hummingbirds won’t come to a feeder that has no place for them to stand on to rest. Paid a lot of $$ for a couple of beautiful glass hummingbird feeders, made the mixture same as your recipe, but they only fed on the feeder where they could land and rest while they ate. Also regarding Berks, I used to swear by them, but have since switched to Oofos. About the same cost but way more versatile and WAY more comfortable, as evidenced by I now own 9 pairs!

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