Baby Hummingbird Rescued

Posted by Annie on Apr 10, 2011 in Education

This young man has done an incredible job caring for and training this baby hummingbird.

It is aways nice to have a hand in rescuing troubled wildlife, but it is important that you learn how to avoid doing more harm than good.

If you find an injured hummingbird call your local hummingbird rehabilitation agency immediately. For their phone number, look in the phone book or ask your local animal shelter, zoo, parks department, or conservation agent.

According to Life, Birds, and Everything…

“Rescuing” baby hummingbirds

It’s wildlife baby season over much of North America, a time when people with big hearts and inadequate information sentence untold thousands of young wild birds and mammals to needless suffering and death. Inappropriate diet is a major killer, resulting in stunted growth, rubbery bones, and feathers that break as they mature (if they mature at all). The greatest tragedy is that many of these “orphans” never needed intervention in the first place.

Hummingbirds are frequent victims of misplaced concern.

At this point, 10 to 12 days after hatching, the mother no longer needs to brood them to keep them warm, even at night. To avoid attracting the attention of predators, she stays away from the nest entirely except for the few seconds it takes to feed them. These visits occur at intervals ranging from less than ten minutes to more than an hour and a half.

This is a critical time for hummingbird nests with a human audience. Observers unaware that this dramatic change in the mother’s behavior is part of the normal nesting cycle may miss the short feeding visits and think that the nestlings have been orphaned or abandoned. Panicked calls to nature centers, zoos, Audubon societies, and bird observatories often go something like this: “I’ve been watching a hummingbird nest and the mother hasn’t been back for two days and I’m afraid the babies are going to starve to death!” (If mama hadn’t been back for two days, the nestlings would already be dead.)

Learn more about hummingbirds.



Dreaded Tax Season

Posted by Annie on Apr 1, 2011 in Education, Income Tax

Hey procrastinator,

When are you going to buckle down and get those dreaded taxes done? I’m right there with you. In fact, I’ve been such a procrastinator that I just mailed our 2009 taxes a few days ago. I plan to get our 2010 taxes finished up this week. I have at least started them. It’s just such a time consuming chore.

Homeschoolers don’t really talk about taxes enough. While every so often a rumor is started or a piece of legislation is introduced to create tax-breaks for homeschoolers, I am totally happy to foot the bill for my son’s education, so long as I am free to decide what we purchase.

Over the years, we’ve come to see ourselves as partners in our son’s life and education. Our role as parents is to prepare him for life — to be self-sufficient, happy and prosperous. We encourage him to try as many new things as possible. After all, how do you know whether you like something or not, if you’ve never tried it. We have the same rule at the dinner table. Just give it a try — one bite.

Since we started our home business we’ve encouraged our son to be a part of the family business. We’ve paid him to check links, write reviews, and learn new software that he would find beneficial in the business world. In essence what we’ve done is enrolled our son in vocational school.

We keep our tax situation in mind all year long. When we are considering making a purchase, we always consider whether an item is tax deductible, in the decision-making process. We can deduct any item that helps us to generate revenue for our business. It’s a bonus if we can also use the item purchased for educational purposes.

I strongly encourage any homeschooling family to consider starting their own family business. It has been a wonderful experience for our entire family. We started out slow — our first month we proudly made $330.00, not enough to live on but it was $330 we didn’t have before. In those early days, we were very determined to make it and live where we wanted to live. So, we had to make it work.

My husband worked two part-time jobs and I had two part-time jobs besides trying to run our own business. He worked for a local newspaper a couple days a week and he worked for Staples 4-days a week. I had the midnight shift at 7-11 and I delivered newspapers one day a week. We weren’t setting the world on fire, but we knew one thing for certain — if we combined our efforts and worked together we could accomplish anything.

Today, we have a select group of clientele that we enjoy working with. Our business continues to grow and change, sometimes at an alarming rate. The best part is that neither of us has to work a second job. We are able to devote ourselves fully to our family, our business, our education and our community. If something doesn’t work, we try something else, until we get it right.

The best part is that our son sees us pulling together. We normally include him in on the decision-making process — he may not always get a vote but he at least knows that we take his needs into consideration. We hope that the lessons he learns while still at home, will serve him well throughout his life and that he will have the skills he needs to start his own business or perhaps he will continue to work with us. Only time will tell.

If you decide to take the plunge this year and start your own family business. Be sure to start out right by keeping good records. It doesn’t have to be a complicated system. First off, we ask for a receipt for every purchase. I have two folders for receipts, one for business expenses and one for personal expenses. We also found that it’s a good idea to photocopy any checks you receive from clients. The income should be claimed on your taxes, your expenses will offset some or even all of your added tax burden.

You may or may not need the receipts, depending on the direction your career takes. I’ve known people, who have started their own business only to be noticed, then hired by a corporation at a nice salary through the contacts they have made. Owning your own business is a learning experience, no matter what the outcome. The lessons learned can be applied to other areas of your lives and help expand your child’s business skills.

We’ve found Turbo Tax Home and Business to be very helpful — the software even provides helpful hints and helps to explain complicated tax laws.

Here are a few more articles you may find helpful.

Additional Resources:

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Sonora Library hosts Hardluck Lin

Posted by Annie on Feb 23, 2011 in Activity, California, Education

I’ve been counting down the days… I can’t wait for Friday to hurry up and arrive.

“Hardluck Lin: Teller of Tales,
Spinner of Yarns, Keeper of the History…

Presents: Women of the Gold Rush”

Linda Clark, aka Hardluck Lin, author of the novel The Small Window will conduct a book signing following the live historical presentation at the Sonora Library, Community Room, 480 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA. Friday, February 25th, 2011 rescheduled for Friday, October 28., 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Refreshments will be served.

I was fortunate enough to meet Hardluck Lin at Pinecrest over the summer. I was so entertained and excited, I couldn’t wait for my book to arrive from Amazon. I read through the entire book in just 3-days. I simply couldn’t put it down. My only problem is the book left me wanting to know more.

If you enjoy history and learning about the gold rush era, you won’t want to miss a chance to spend an evening with Hardluck Lin. Linda Clark walks right out of the pages of history and takes you back in time, to the California Gold Rush Days.

Hope to see you there!

Hardluck Lin Schedule of Appearances

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