Lighter Side – Origins of Common Myths and Phrases

  • Why did people used to think tomatoes were poisonous?
  • Why do brides carry flowers?
  • Where did the expression “he doesn’t have a pot to pee” in come from?
  • How did the the custom of wakes begin?
  • Why do people say “It’s raining cats and dogs” or “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water?”

Find the answers to these questions in more with interesting facts about how common myths, traditions, and expressions originated, and how some of them have a grain of truth to them today.

History They Don't Teach In School (Usually, Anyway)

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And Let the Sales Begin

We just turned on many many great deals on several of our best birdhouses and bird feeders from Home Bazaar at Here’s a quick review of some, and much more will be coming soon, including many solar lights, and other great things for your home, or for to check off your holiday gift lists. Video shows small sample, with more coming Friday and different sales coming in next week or so. Why deal with mobs, stampedes and circling around and around for parking? Start your holiday shopping now at home. (Especially when shipping is free!)


Recommended Reading: US’ Biggest Landfill To Become NYC’s Biggest Solar Project

Interesting: see how one landfill visible from space from is being transformed into a 10-MW solar installation (and wetlands restoration to boot!) . From, not a nutty tree hugging site, but one that looks at renewables from  business, environmental and other view points.   “What was once the largest landfill on the planet is being partly reinvented, and solar energy will be playing a big role in that… New York City will convert roughly 47 acres of land at the Freshkills Park on Staten Island into a 10-MW solar installation, five times bigger than any other system in the city and boosting the city’s renewable energy by 50 percent, according to officials. Continue reading

Check Out November Illuminations Newletter on Solar Lights

Illuminations Newsletter BannerIlluminations, Newsletter of

As we begin our 4th year in business, we thought it would be a good time to review how the landscape of solar lighting has changed, and how our store, is evolving to meet these changes.  Below is a summary of the November 2013 issue of Illuminations, our quarterly newsletter. (And, we’re having sales now and more are on the way for later this week and next week.) Continue reading

Games Teach Renewable Energy, Ecology and Sustainable Living

Along with educational toys and experiment kits that focus on solar, renewable energy and ecology, we offer many board games. These are great for kids, family time, even home schooling. Some (like board games on Microbrewing or WineOpoly are more for adults.) Check out our video.

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How to Clean Solar Water Fountains or Birdbath Fountains Safelye

See a Hint of Green? Time to CleanHint of Green, Time to Clean

If you stay on top of algae and other unpleasant things in your fountain by rinsing it out thoroughly when you change or add water, your chances of a full-blown algae bloom are reduced.

In hot weather though, fountains or fountain / birdbaths that are used by lots of birds or placed where lots of plant debris get in the fountain, algae can sneak up on you quickly

Here’s our detailed recommendation of how to clean out nasty algae, mineral scale, leave debris, seed coverings and bird “whatever” without damaging the fountain or harming your backyard birds, other wildlife pets and curious children. And: without harsh chemicals: just hot water, a hose, dish soap and elbow grease. Continue reading

Solar Lanterns, Solar Flashlights, Rechargeables, Even Crank or Dynamo

Solar lanterns offer lots of benefits over traditional ones that use candles, electricity, kerosene or even batteries.  Ditto with solar flashlights, and most of the ones we carry can hold a up to 80% of their solar charge for several months, great for keeping them in your car for emergencies.

Here’s the most recent video on our YouTube channel. Check it out…(and yes, the San Rafael Mission II style solar lanterns are back.) And, there’s a lot to choose from. That’s why we posting our latest video that focuses on these great gadgets. .Some are pretty and really “decorative” lighting, others are highly functional with special features like bendable handles so you can hook them up and keep your hands free, or really do provide light strong enough to use camping or dining (indoors or out). Continue reading

Update To All of You Submitting Spam Comments

We have a low tolerance for cow manure. Zero in fact.

Want to Waste our Time with Spam Comments?

Be prepared for the consequences. We take action and we get results.

For example, we gave a person a warning and they posted five more shortly after the email was sent. The person’s blog and email was cancelled by the service provider.

Read on to see the screen capture of the person who no longer has blog or email account and now has to start from scratch.  Continue reading

DOE Invests $7 million in Clean Energy Projects for Native Americans

Campo Indian Reservation Wind Power, September 2012, from US DOE Website

Campo Indian Reservation Wind Power Project, September 2012, photo from

We get “news alerts” every day about American companies that donate large amounts of money products and services to help communities overseas.

So, it we were pleasantly surprised to see that on 11/14/13, the US Department of Energy announced announced “nine tribal clean energy projects to receive more than $7 million.” The grants were not “handouts” and many projects will be undertaken in partnership with other private and public entities, including various Native Indian nations. The awards will help American Indian and Alaska Native tribes deploy clean energy projects while “saving these communities money, enhancing their energy security and creating new job and business opportunities.” Continue reading