In 1965 I was in 4th grade. My teacher, Miss Troyer, announced an annual county-wide competition and encouraged us all to enter it by writing an essay on this topic: “Why My Father Should Be Chosen Father of the Year.”
I was wildly enthusiastic about the idea because I had the perfect father to submit. The essay had to be two pages long, which seemed like a lot. But written in the size of a typical 11-year-old’s cursive penmanship, it was probably about 100 words.
My essay was full of Dad’s best attributes and general goodness, including an insightful musing of how he always welcomed my friends (true); and, even if they brought their dogs with them, “he wouldn’t mind because he likes dogs, too!” (also, true). Come 𝘖𝘕 – could any other father compete against a bio like that?!
The first draft was a breeze and Miss Troyer loved it! So much, in fact, she moved it to the next level. Personally, that level turned into something that felt like one of Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell because Miss Troyer insisted it was written in INK. With NO mistakes. Or in other words, she’d issued a near-impossible assignment due to ink and my troubled history of working together.
So, about a week and a couple of reams of paper later, I presented her a perfect-𝘪𝘴𝘩 copy that, somehow, resulted in Dad being named Father of the Year.
On the day the $200 and commemorative plaque were awarded, I wore my best ensemble, including white gloves, which, in the day, seemed to elevate any event to one that was just slightly more glorious. Dad picked me up on his lunch hour and drove me downtown where he received his award and our picture was taken by our local newspaper. What a day we had!
In typical style, Dad used his $200 award to buy a present for each person in our family (including our dog, Ginger); unaware, apparently, that HE was our gift.
Of course, the much shorter family-version of this story is that my sister, brother, and I believed our Dad was Father of the Year EVERY year; and in 1965, he even got a plaque for it.
The other years, I’m pretty sure, he got ties.
We’re dog-people around here. No surprise, I’ve mentioned before the relationship between people who feed birds and those who have dogs. Well, we fit the demographic. This video of my grandson, Luke, with his new puppy, Sunny, made me laugh and, ironically, got me thinking about decision making. It’s a challenge to discover the best […]
So you might have heard- COVID-19 has derailed a lot of things since spring. One of them was our “Employee of the Month” spotlight. In the early days of COVID, as we were all learning proper disease prevention protocols, we decided it was best to avoid unnecessary in-person contact- like these Employee of the Month […]
As a woman-owned business, it’s no surprise our company is a big supporter of women in all endeavors. It’s why we’re celebrating this cultural milestone. Today, in New York City’s Central Park, the FIRST EVER statue of real-life women was unveiled. Move over Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, and Juliet Capulet – REAL women are […]
Now that the “back-to-school” madness happens in late summer, fall seems to offer more equilibrium to our lives in ways that go way beyond just temperature. 2020 has been filled with jarring transitions for you & your kids, but the change into fall doesn’t have to be jarring. In fact, it might be the perfect time to indulge in some ‘natural’ destressors! We have 3 tips to help you reconnect with your kiddos (and with nature) this fall!
Maybe, the world needs the innocent, eye-roll-inducing smirk that would come from seeing “Pumpkin Spice Espresso Con Birdè” En-Trays come across Amazon.
This was in my Inbox a couple of days ago, I keep thinking about it. If this year had a tagline, I think it might be a variation of the idea, like, “2020: It Doesn’t Care WHAT You Think Comes Next.” It started well enough, a new year, a new decade, nothing but POTENTIAL! […]
“The Congress finds that physical or mental disabilities in no way diminish a person’s right to fully participate in all aspects of society…” Those are the first few words of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the signing of that legislation. Around here, it’s kind of a big deal. […]
Midsummer. It’s when male American Goldfinch are at their most beautiful because, well, they’re dating. Take this guy. I think his demeanor is the Goldfinch equivalent of a dude hanging at the bar, remaining ever-cool, as he ‘prospects.’ In another month, of course, Mr. Debonair will be sprawled across the ‘La-Z-Bird’ and chasing down pre-game […]
My cousin Gavin is like a little brother to me. He is twelve years my minor, so I have clear memories spanning from his first birthday to now, when he is on the cusp of earning his driver’s license. The time has gone fast, and we’ve both experienced a lot of change. For more than […]
Re-opening is causing a great deal of apprehension, from all life’s stakeholders. Businesses large and small have SO many things to consider in attempting to balance conscientiousness with courage. The logistics, alone, can make the whole process seem overwhelming. OR…it can propel us. A book I read recently put forward this simple mantra to consider […]
This image made me think of my husband, whom I adore. About a month into Covid Hibernation, I lost my mind. In a moment of clarity, I snapped out of my spandex-haze and noticed that the only difference between our daytime clothes and pajamas was that one wardrobe may have had slightly less elastic. Maybe. […]
The past couple of months have honestly felt like a couple of years. Between the pandemic outside of my home and the chaos inside of it, days have become pretty long. Add together the pent-up toddler, the teething infant, numerous loved ones who are “high-risk," 10 extra quarantine-pounds, and mounting cabin fever… -it can quickly become A LOT.
Time to celebrate her. Sunday, May 10th, 2020, is an ordinary Mother’s Day in an EXTRAordinary year. ‘Traditional’ is out the window, which means you might need an idea for a great gift. So… The Bird & Breakfast bird feeder is the perfect gift for a lot of reasons but here are three GREAT ones: […]
If there is such as thing as “time moving too quickly” in this era of quarantine, it would have to apply to SLEEP time. Especially for parents of young children! In the Pre-COVID days, my 3 year old started having trouble sleeping through the night. As her old routine went out the window, it was […]
Every year on April 2nd, the world recognizes “World Autism Awareness Day!” Thanks to expanded research, understanding, diagnosis, and education of Autism Spectrum Disorder, many people are now aware of this condition and the way it effects people who have it. The organization ‘Autism Speaks’ has done more than perhaps any other group to educate […]
“Success” in the time of COVID-19 Look closely, you may have to enlarge the image. It’s a blue, battery-powered kids car stuck between two real cars. Sideways. In a garage. (with a 5 yr-old boy in a spikey bike helmet in the background). The Story: Pre-‘Lockdown,’ some families gathered in a neighborhood park. At a […]
I love the idea of winter as much as the next basic, skinny vanilla latte-loving, oversized sweater-wearing Midwest girl. However, just like my Pinterest attempts, the white winter of my dreams is often much more beautiful in my mind than it is in reality. When you throw kids in the wintry mix, things get […]
A few days ago, I received an email encouraging me to consider a rejuvenating retreat this winter, in Cancun, Mexico. During the Mid-west PermaCloud Season, January usually feels like TEN weeks, not four; so a retreat anywhere piqued my interest. But the lure of a few days on a beach with Drunk Yoga AND Astrology? […]
Squirrel Appreciation Day 2020 In my job I get a lot of questions about bird feeders, our company’s social mission and the occasional one about bird species or habitat (which, I’m not going to lie, I rarely know the answer to; so, heads up if you’re thinking of asking me, I’ll just be a disappointment) […]
So, we missed something in the holiday shuffle- assigning a December “Employee of the Month”! We had a scheduling issue, and before we knew it December came and went without a winner. We genuinely feel awful, so please accept our mea culpa! In an effort to make things right, we have not one, but TWO […]
Let Mr. Canary help you create a lasting impression by feeding birds When I think of Christmas, fond memories flood through me. Some of my best memories of Christmas are times spent with family. I think of my dad playing for me, over and over again, Alvin and the Chipmunks, All I want […]
Mr. Canary Gives Thanks to Those Who Believe Bird Feeding is More than just Feeding Birds As we close in on the Official Kickoff to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, this week feels like the perfect time to share this hilariously inspiring video. The star of this video is my new hero, a […]
The Cardinal, a Holiday Standout [Sigh] You know Winter is near when you can easily spot a cardinal on the leafless tree branches of November. Did you know it’s common for people to find symbolism in different bird species? At Mr. Canary, we see it as another one of the many benefits of […]
Everyone at Mr. Canary® and MainStreet Enterprises at The Arc of Greater Boone County would like to congratulate Lizzy on her recognition as Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep (VIP) for the month of November! We recently interviewed Lizzy to learn more about her tweet life, so be sure to check out the video of our […]
Everyone at Mr. Canary® and MainStreet Enterprises at The Arc of Greater Boone County would like to congratulate Terry on being awarded with Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep (VIP) for the month of September! Our Peeps are Instrumental to the Creation of our Bird Feeders Mr. Canary’s COO, Nathaniel, set out to learn all about […]
On Wife Appreciation Day, Mr. Canary Emphasizes the Importance of Self-care Every third-Sunday of September is set aside for husbands to dote on their wives. Could this celebration be more ironic!? Because, just like every day married life in which we husbands forget to show our gratitude until those “pre-defined moments,” here again we have […]
Mr. Canary Supports Self-Care “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” While certainly an inspirational thought, what does it really mean…what does it look like? Here at Mr. Canary, we just say “Be the Bird.” Now you’re thinking, “Swell, what does THAT mean?” Don’t worry, this isn’t an ethics discussion; it’s simply […]
Everyone at Mr. Canary® and MainStreet Enterprises at The Arc of Greater Boone County would like to congratulate Jai on being awarded with Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep (VIP) for the month of August! We recently interviewed Jai to learn more about what makes her life tweet, so be sure to check out the video […]
Squirrels have become something of the “Anti-Bird” in the minds of many people with backyard bird feeders. And why not?! I mean HOW DARE those ravenous wild animals eat “BIRD seed”. It clearly states on the package “Bird Seed.” Many people are waging backyard wars against squirrels, seeking justice for those birds harmed by squirrels’ […]
A Millennial’s Perspective on Flying the Coup As a twenty-four-year-old, who just nested into my own house, I will say that it isn’t easy making a house into a home, especially on a budget. I’m sure I’m not the only person who thought that it can’t be that hard to make their house look like […]
Mr. Canary Sheds New Light on Bird Feeding I love days like today. You know the kind, you set out to do a specific task that you pre-suppose will turn out one way…and then it turns into something better. That’s how this blog post began. I started out to write about this […]
Happy Bird Day America You may wonder how in the world I can link a bird feeder company to The 4th of July. Admittedly, on face value, it seems like a ploy. But, if there’s one thing Mr. Canary has an indisputable connection to, it’s the United States Marine Corps, and nothing is more connected […]
Mr. Canary’s CEO and lake lover, Jan Long, shares her summer memories of birds at the lake Ah, Summer. The end of June, to me, is the epicenter of summer celebrations. We’ve passed the Unofficial First Day of Summer (Memorial Day), the Official First Day of Summer (Summer Solstice) and are lurching headlong into the […]
Perfect Pairings When it comes to a warm summer evening on your backyard deck, if you’re like me, you want to know “Which wine goes best with watching birds at my feeder?” Well, Spoiler Alert: They ALL do. But because of my expertise in both areas I’m going to offer some suggestions…You’re welcome. You know, […]
What’s a Wedding Without Birds? You know, as months go, there are so many good things associated with June it’s hard to list them all. Some highlights: June opens summer, it kicks off outdoor concert series, it busts kids outta school and June gets a LOT of people married. I was a June bride, so […]
Parenting Hack, Courtesy of a Nerdy Dad I am a Millennial dad, and I can tell you that mealtimes with a little one can be a little squirrelly (pun fully-intended). My daughter Lily is almost 3 years old and as any toddler-parent will tell you, and as some of you surely remember, getting a child […]
Mr. Canary’s Bird & Breakfast is “green”, but what does that really mean or why should you care? Today, Wednesday, June 5th is World Environment Day. Created in 1974, it’s the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. This year the theme is around air pollution. “We’ve got to […]
The dirt, or rather the “poo” that comes with bird feeding. I have to bring it up. NObody wants to talk about it, but we have to face it: when it comes to bathroom habits, birds do NOT follow the same hygiene protocol as people. In fact, I think we can all agree that when […]
Full disclosure, I’ve owned a bird feeding company for 24 years. I, also, had a mother, am a mother, and gave birth to a mother. Not to mention the other Mothers I’m variously related to, friends with, and fans of who have influenced and changed my life in miraculous ways. In other words, I know […]
In 1995 my sister, Chrissy, and I started a business. Well, truthfully that statement is taking a lot of ‘poetic license’ with the term business. We incorporated, for sure; but we had a long way to go to be able to call it a business. What happened was we inadvertently sold a whole bunch of […]
Mr. Canary Company’s founder, Jan Long, shares a special “Thank You” she received from “Steph’s Mom” in this episode of In My Nature! Enjoy the video, and click here to learn more about Mr. Canary Company’s social mission!
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we are proudly debuting the second installation of our “In My Nature” Vlog. In this video, Jan Long explains how Mr. Canary stumbled into becoming a “social enterprise” long before that phrase was even a part of the lexicon. We would like to give a special shout-out to […]
Mr. Canary Company co-founder Jan Long shares her debut video of her “In My Nature” vlog-series in which she answers a long-standing controversy surrounding her company!
Great song title, right! There is something inspiring about belting out those lyrics which makes you feel like, “I’ve got this.” Hearing things like, “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” is great, but actually SEEING that kind of success inspires in a completely different way. Let me introduce nature’s “never say die” […]
Fall is moving by FAST! We are losing that time when beautiful, multi-colored leaves cling to their branches, as we march closer and closer to bare trees and cold breezes. As you’ve been looking up at leaves falling, you might have noticed the huge clouds of birds gliding through the air. This time of year […]
Fact: Cleaning bird feeders is a pain in the tail-feathers. NOBODY enjoys cleaning up after their birds any more than they enjoy cleaning up after their dogs. I’m guessing that you have more pressing (and less disgusting) things to do with your time than clean up bird droppings. If you’re nodding your head “yes” right […]
Anyone who feeds birds knows that sometimes, your “regulars” leave town and your once-bustling birdfeeder sits vacant. This especially happens at finch feeders, designed to accommodate only the smallest songbirds. Goldfinches can be found in most places in the US year ‘round, but many migrate short distances. This means that YOUR finches may have flown […]
It isn’t about the birds. It’s a secret even avid bird lovers aren’t conscious of and it took me awhile to understand, too: birds don’t need us. Oh sure, if you walk down the aisle of any store that carries bird supplies you could easily believe that every birdfeeder and bag of seed is sold for the […]
We are all familiar with the phrase, “The early bird catches the worm.” While that’s often the case, frankly, the American Goldfinch couldn’t care less. For one, goldfinches are committed vegetarians. They’d much rather have Nyjer seed than overrated worms. Being too late to catch the worm (or not caring to) makes the goldfinch late […]
There’s nothing new under the sun right? Wrong. Kind of. All too often we fail to recognize what’s been in front of us all along. While we like to think birders are more observant than the average Joe, even birders were asleep at the binoculars in Cambodia. The Atlantic’s John Metcalfe brought the birding world […]
I found an interesting fact on the Holden Arboretum’s (one of the nation’s leading arboretums and one of the Audubon Society’s Important Bird Areas) webpage about the American Goldfinch. We know that the American Goldfinch works hard for days, building its nest just-so with the best materials and instincts. You can’t just lay your eggs anywhere right? Unless […]
Use these ten simple steps to enhance your wild bird feeding experience. 1. Bird feeding is for people who love watching birds – Always place your bird feeders in places where you can readily and frequently see the birds you are feeding. 2. Start with the basics – Black-oil sunflower in a tubular feeder is […]
If we know anything about goldfinches, it’s that they have appetites! It’s sometimes hard to remember to check your bird feeders to ensure a constant supply for your feathered friends. Sometimes, when you finally realize that it’s empty you truly wonder how long it’s been that way. One day? A few days? A week? More?! […]
After the neighborhood birds had extracted every last seed of thistle possible from my bird feeder, I took it down. Instead of recycling it, I cleaned it up and set it on the counter as a piggy bank. In all honesty, a friend had gifted me a piggy bank for Christmas a couple of years […]
We at the Mr. Canary® Company are invested in many different things. Like most birders, we care about nature and sustainability. We are even ‘pet-people’, dogs specifically. That’s why we want to share this idea with you! How can you take care of nature, our natural resources and your pet all at the same time? […]
For those who may not know, photobombing has become a favorite pastime. Simply put, it’s the action of sneaking into a photo that you’re not supposed to be in. This light-hearted activity is no longer confined to the ornery and attention-seeking among us. Birds are getting in on the act! The culprit at the heart […]