I know many people are years ahead of me when it comes to technology, but Santa was really, really good to me this year and I have found two new adult toys that I love. My Ipod Touch and my Kindle are my new best friends. Mainly because of their apps/books. Christmas at the cabin 2010 ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden ) OK, so I have become a bit obsessed with my IPod touch and the apps that are available out there. So you thought the IPod was just for music? Definitely not so! (I am not a big music person, but I love books.) A little package of 2 Â½ x 4 x Â¼ inches carries a substantial library in your pocket or purse. Are you a nature guide geek? I am afraid I am. I love looking for plants, fungi, birds, insects etc. that I find in the garden or out on a walk and determining their names, likes and any information I can find in field guides I have here at home. The only problem is I never have the right guide book with me when I need it. Now I carry a nice assortment of Audubon guide books around with me in a neat little package of my Ipod. Reference Library on the Ipod ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden ) I am still searching for the perfect gardening book/app. If you come across one let me know. Someday I will find one. Western Gardener (my favorite gardening resource book) needs to develop one soon...I hope. Over winter break I was as able to identify a nice little stand of chanterelle mushrooms growing in the moss by our back door step at the cabin. They were a little too late to harvest this time, but I will be watching for them after the rains from now on. Nothing like carrying six field guides with you and they all fit into one pocket. chantrelle mushrooms past their prime ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden ) Do you like to read, but usually don't have that paperback handy when you are standing or waiting in a line somewhere? That is where the Kindle app is just for you. I was enjoying the current book I am reading waiting for a unfortunate accident to clear (an hour and a half later) when coming home from Christmas break. With 70 classic books that I downloaded for free onto my Ipod I have a few hours of reading at my finger tips when stuck in line waiting. You can also download books free onto your computer if you want. Books published before 1927 are available through a variety of sources of which Kindle/Amazon is just one. Others are the Gutenberg Library www.gutenberg.org/ and Online books at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/ that has over a million books they say. If you have a computer you have a multitude of books available with the touch of a button. There are many other places you will find free books online with a short search on your favorite search engine. No more trips to the library in the cold months unless you enjoy the company there. The other apps I enjoy using is a knot tying app that walks me through how to tie any knot I want/need (over a hundred different knots). I enjoy the carpenter tool that has a level, plumb bob, degree/right angle and measuring piece. I can even hang a picture straight now with this little app. apps I like ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden ) When in a WiFi area I also check my email, catch-up on the happenings at GardenStew, browse the Net and do all those things I might have done on a NetBook including FaceTime or Skype. Ipod and Kindle ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden ) I did briefly mentioned my Kindle. I know that there are other readers out there, but Santa gave me a Kindle and what a joy. The text can be enlarged for my older eyes (most readers can). The reading is easier than the Ipod or even the latest paperbacks. (After a few hours of reading on the Ipod my eyes get tired. Maybe because of the computer like screen.) All those free books are also on my Kindle and it can "sync" with the Ipod. Start from the same place/page as I left on whichever electronic device I read from. The Kindle works off a single charge for almost a week. The best thing is I can download a new book from almost anywhere. This might not be a good thing for my budget since you are almost always at a bookstore. I can also delete any book/sample of book from my Ipod and not get online or have to use my computer. All the deleted books are stored at Amazon in my archived file. This I like, even though I seem to have almost two hundred books on my Kindle at the moment as I sift through and reread many of the classics, and read some never before encountered books as well. I am definitely spoiled rotten, but enjoying every minute of it. If you haven't tried out these new toys give them a browse. Happy New Year to all!