Mulled cider and wine - recipe: Mix 2 cups dried orange peel, 2 cups broken cinnamon sticks, 1-cup whole allspice berries, 1-cup whole cloves, and 4 broken star anise. Store the mixture in a closed jar. . . . . . To use: Mix ¼ cup of the spices per gallon of wine, cider, or apple juice. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve hot in mugs with cinnamon stick stir-sticks, or fill a punch bowl and garnish with orange slices.
Grackles are aggressive and noisy; they bully the songbirds and hoard the food. TO DISCOURAGE GRACKLES – Since they are large and prefer platform feeders, eliminate those from your garden. If removing the platform feeder is not possible, fill it with striped sunflower seed. Grackles avoid that seed because of the thick, hard shell.