Archive for April, 2008

Somehow last week I missed alot of Earth Day Celebration events. All these consciousness efforts for conservation of our very own Earth had passed me by. Not that I do not care. I do.

The future of our planet and human carbon footprint are just two of many new it-words (or popular terms) going abuzz these days. I’m still processing internally how I should approach and apply these consciousness efforts to save our planet. Anyway, one of these days I’d reluctantly discuss my carbon footprint.

Yesterday, I went to an invitational event from a local raptor center. The raptor center is a rehabilitation center that caters to injured birds of prey. Some birds can be fixed and set free in the wild; some, unfortunately cannot be fixed so they stay to educate people of their plight. Why do these birds get injured? One of the reasons, I’d say, is because of this so called ‘human carbon footprint’. You can just guess why. Human species are very intelligent. But due to this intelligence, we have destroyed more and will keep destroying ourselves and the other animals that exist on this planet. Yes, humans have done wonders. These wonders are smaller in number compared to the destruction humans leave behind.

Enough of the lecture. But before I show you the treats, this is how much it costs to take care of bird injuries at the center. Remember, there are additional costs to run the whole operation. And it’s only one of the rehabilitation centers all over the United States.

 The Cost of Rehab

If you’d notice, having cats can be devastating to the flying species. I’m guilty for having cats.


Loki ~ Oldest Resident    

Loki, a Barred Owl, the oldest Resident at the Center (hatched in 1981). He suffered multiple fractures to his left wing from a collision with a car in 1983. Loki reminds me, for some reason, of Tom Maroon, my precious cat. It must be the ‘gorgeous eyes’ and an adorable personality that both of them have. Isn’t Loki just beautiful?

Denali, A Bald Eagle

Denali, obviously a Bald Eagle, is one of two newest eagle residents; brought in on December 2007. Hatched on Kodiak Island, Alaska and had wing injury when less than 1 year old. Extensive rehabilitation did not pan out and so she couldn’t be released.

Clio, American Kestrel

Clio, an American Kestrel, was injured in Spring, 2004 when hit by a car while fighting with another Kestrel in a mating or territorial dispute. She suffered severe head trauma; blinded her left eye; most probably has impaired right eye. Kestrels need perfect vision on both eyes to survive since they are day-time hunters of smaller birds, large flying insects, small rodents and lizards.

This is just one of two or more postings of birds of prey and the raptor center. There will be more pictures and descriptions.

Ta-tat for now!

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Tom relaxing          Tom Injured After a Big Fight          Tom Loves Fire

           Tom's Favorite Position                     Tom Relaxing on Top of Husband

NOOOOOOOO! It’s all about Tom Maroon! He’ll be 14 this year. The vet just gave him a clean bill of health. Well actually, he has hyperthyroidism. A common condition that cats develop when they are OLD! However, medication puts that condition in check. For now. Do you realize I have to forgo getting medication for my own health condition (no biggie) so I could afford his?

That’s how much he is loved! I cannot imagine life without this little guy. He is People-friendly. As gentle and cute as he is, he’s a TERROR to other cats and other 4-legged creatures when it comes to territory. (My husband thinks Tom and I came from the same mold ~ territorial!) He will tolerate Jake Cyclone as much as he can, since Jake is younger by two years and was a kitten when they got introduced.

Jake on His Favorite Spot

Jake, on the other hand, is considered maligned and misunderstood. Very big. Very intelligent. Very annoying. People-Shy. Paranoid. And yet, we love him as well. He only lives for his BFBP. That is short for Bed, Food, Box, and Perch. He gets crafty when it comes to his needs, his selfish needs. But that’s another blog entry to feature his adventures and the humans’ misadventure with him.


So, where’re the knitting projects?

Well……..I’ve been lazy…………it’s embarrassing! I have 7 working projects……SEVEN! And what have I been doing instead of knitting?…………Reading blogs and writing blogs. I’m addicted to blogging.

Last night, being a Thursday, I was reading blogs till close to 0200, which made it wee morning Friday hours. I only stopped because I was yelled at. The noise of pounding keyboard keys was too much for working folks. While Thursdays through Saturdays are my weekend off, my two boys had to work on Fridays, like regular sane people. Crazy folks like me have weird hours. What can I say?

Back to the knitting topic…….do you sense I’m sorta avoiding it.


Red Tanktop for a Birthday Girl   A Red Tanktop for a niece’s birthday present. Pattern is simple, made it up myself.

Close Up of Butterfly Stitch   Click to enlarge for a close-up view of butterfly stitch.

Red Shawl   This shawl is not quite done. Needs a button or two. Is meant for a small person.


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Snow on an April Day

It was predicted that the valley would have a dusting of snow on Saturday. Temperatures would be 32° overnight and 46° the whole day. If there’s a dusting in the valley, that would only mean real snow up on the hills. I live on the hills.

And this morning as predicted, this was what I saw outside.Outside the back deck

 neighbor's rooftop  


Mind you, last Saturday the temperature went up to 84° with bright sunshine, a sure sign of warm weather ahead. Humans got fooled. Also fooled were the bees. Bees are harmless, but what we have here are predominantly the yellow jackets and the wasps. They were out on attack mode last Saturday. Well! Today, they are nowhere to be found. HA!

From all this excitement, I think I pulled a chest muscle. Gotta go!

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I didn’t expect many birthday gifts, but that’s alright. I appreciate what I have.  And here they are:

Garden tools with mini-clock from my lil’ sister

 Bday gift from lil sis     bday gift from co-worker     Geranium pot from a co-worker


Kershaw Baby Boa folding knife from my son

bday gift from My Precious     Closed Kershaw Baby Boa    

Mr. Wonderful gave me a gift certificate (no photo) to my favorite local performing arts theatre. His sister mentioned that she has a present waiting for me to be pick up sometime this week.

Speaking of performing arts……..sometime ago, I went to see Forever Tango. The show was quite enjoyable. Featured predominantly was Nuevo Tango.

Forever Tango Show postcard 

Tango Nuevo uses open embrace more than traditional Tango. The music is played with combination of traditional tango and electronica. The dance has more leg kicks, lifting and twirling like ballroom dancing than the traditional Tango. I find that nuevo is more open, but less sensual. However, with traditional Tango the partners tend to be in very closed embrace; with the woman trusting the man to lead the dance. I have a problem with that. I discovered that with partner dancing I tend to lead; annoys the hell out of a man trying to wrestle the lead from me. I have difficulty with ‘very closed embrace’, unless it’s with my husband. Unfortunately, my husband is a non-dancer. He does not see the joy in dancing. Closed embrace and trust are what stop me from really enjoying tango (as a dancer). My instructor is a woman. I dance great when she leads. I crumble in disgrace when an actual dance with a man happens. I’d feel clumsy and stupid. So I don’t know. I’m in a dilemma if I want to pursue learning it further. There’s always ballroom, flamenco, modern dances to fall back to.

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Knife Show Today!

Look what I got at the knife show today. A Katana (Japan) from the Edo period.

katana and sheath   Katana handle, sheath handle   Close-up of katana handle

Pointy implements are such a big deal to My Precious; and me. Swords, switch blades and stilettos grab my interest real quickly; while my son’s into all sorts of knives, especially Balisong (butterfly knife).

Mr. Wonderful is not allowed to handle knives. Or fire except when grilling. Seriously. 

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That word was derived from Alice in Wonderland. I love the sound of that word. It’s uncommon. Another favorite saying of mine: ‘At half past dark’, said PPPiglet, from Winnie the Pooh book.

Last night, the reason why My Precious was avoiding me was because he was hiding the cake he bought at Market of Choice. Don’t you think the cake looks good? It was sooooo sinfully chocolate, the three of us ate half of it in one sitting.

birthday cake

Back to unbirthday…..today is my unbirthday! I went up to a mall village, about an hour and a half drive from home. Spent the whole afternoon just walking around, window-shopping, trying on shoes, browsing through books. But I spent nothing at all, even when tempted to. Talk about self-control, which normally I do not have when it comes to shopping.

Got hungry, though, and ate lunch at this restaurant called Zao Noodle Bar. Actually I only ordered an appetizer called Chicken Summer Rolls, a specialty made with sautéed chicken breast, Thai basil, bean sprouts wrapped in rice paper served with hoisin caramelized onion dipping sauce, crushed peanuts and sambal. Not sure what sambal is. The dish was spicy, but delicious. I took a picture of it, and the restaurant’s decor (partially).

chicken in rice paper wrap   Zao Noodle Bar decor

Overall, the weather turned out splendiferous! I got to take some spring-like photos at the mall.

flowers everywhere  Cow Topiary with a Flower Pot Hat


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Today is my birthday! ….happy happy joy joy!

I break down birthday celebrations in 3 categories.

  • One category I consider non-eventful. These are the between-decade occasions.
  • Another category is what I call the dreadful years, e.g.: …9th birthdays (19th, 29th….I should stop here as I might accidentally reveal my age!) I consider ‘…9th’ birthdays dreadful as it prepare me to face the……
  • Last category, which is the ‘flat ten or decade‘ birthdays or the big deal. This last category is very significant as it lays out the foundation for the incoming decade of my life and how I should go about living it. Usually at that point, I’d be resigning to or accepting of what lies ahead for me.

This year’s birthday falls between non-eventful and big deal. And for weird reasons, everyone at work and a person from my medical insurance company wished me the BD greetings. Usually at work, I try to stay low around this special event as not to bring attention to myself. But no can do today. My manager announced to my whole department that I alone has the April birthday; that there would be cake next Tuesday, April 15th at 2 p.m. (why wait that long?) at the project office table. There’s something wrong here………the whole department will get to eat cake while the recipient (me!) cannot be there because she works nights.  I don’t think they’d even leave me a piece. That’s one of the disadvantages of working nights……the day shift people get to party and let you know about it, but there’s NEVER a leftover for you, not even crumbs. That’s like stabbing you and twisting the knife for more effect. (oops! let’s not get morbid here!)

Anyway, since I work nights, I go home early in the day. So, today I bought donuts. Why? BECAUSE I CAN DO IT WITHOUT REGRETS, THAT’S WHY! (testy isn’t she!?!)

donuts for birthdays

Ate a couple of those oh, so damn good donuts and had tea (2 cups to be exact). Then I took a nap. Oh, wait…..I had to feed the cats, medicate one of them, read the papers especially the comic section, knit a little bit till I couldn’t stay awake any longer.

 Mr. Wonderful left me a voice mail greeting this morning. That was thoughtful! I was going to cut out early from work, but a last minute issue came up and I couldn’t tear myself away from it. It’s what one calls ‘work responsibility’. I really wanted to leave early so I could see Mr. Wonderful before he left for work. But alas! And so he left me that voice mail.

This afternoon, My Precious came home and avoided me. Hhhhmmmm! something is up! He is being surreptitious! I’ll play along with this game. Heeeheee!

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It’s Saturday! A weekend for doing absolutely nothing! Darn! I have tons to iron today. I have been procrastinating this week when it came to ironing.

 Darn Ironing   Stacks of clothes to iron

I’d rather be reading (and of course, knitting TOO).

 Books I have read 

So far, I have read little these days. It would take someone to move mountains before you can get me to read these days. Mind you, I love to read. When I was a teenager, I’d read one softcover at least a night. I’d burn the midnight oil just so I could finish a book. In high school, I fell in love with Greek mythology, English literature, world literature. In college, I added detective stories; sci-fi; non-fiction; glossy, visual art, architecture books and magazines. Through the years after that, I gravitated towards ancient history, vampires, alien world, ghosts, and horror stories. (Ooooooo! I hate to admit here: I’m fascinated with real crime stories.)  

Then, after my son was born, it was all about children’s books. My Precious loved it when it was bed time. It meant animated reading! I created little books for him; collaborated stories with him. Books that are just meant for us privately. Any chance I’d get, I’d volunteer and tutor reading at my son’s school. I miss those days! Reading children’s books were so satisfying to me, I must confess. From time to time, I must admit, I’d sneak in a children’s book reading that I find interesting. They’re quick and simple.

Nowadays, my reading interest peaks surprisingly on quantum physics, black holes, time dimension, and last by not least, parallel world. (And trashy magazines. NOT!) But would you believe, as much as I love dancing, I’ve never had interest in reading any thing pertaining to dance or dancers. I find them boring! Isn’t that strange?

I just finished reading the following:

 One of my favorite magazines     Crochet Magazine? I\'m such a traitor!


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Today, as I went to have my snow tires removed, I was hoping that nature would not play tricks on me, mere mortal. Sure enough, as I was about to leave Les Schwab with my ‘every day’ tires on, the weather changed from sunny to pouring rain. And the temperature dropped. Slushy rain was definitely coming down. However, as got up the hill to where home was, the sun came out again. So all day long, that was what the weather pattern was: pouring rain one minute to absolutely gorgeous sunny the next. No snow, though, which is good. I just hope winter does not come back tomorrow.

This being Friday, my family normally does not cook or get together for dinner on Fridays. We call days like this: ‘YOU-ARE-ON-YOUR-OWN DAY’. That goes with Saturdays as well. But today, I thought it would be nice to cook some baby back ribs and asparagus with rice for dinner. My boys (excluding the cats) just love baby back ribs. They were a bit surprised I was in a good mood to cook on a Friday. There are a couple of reasons behind this effort. One: I had no plans to go dancing tonight ~ too wet to go out; two: the meat needed to be cooked as I didn’t want it sitting in the refrigerator longer than 2 days.

baby back ribs w/asparagus and rice

Nice, huh? That was one satisfying dinner, I tell ya!

 Cat Moment:

 Jake Content on His Bed

 That’s Jake on his favorite knitted bed, feeling content. Do you see his white-dipped paw sticking out?  That bed was meant for two cats. Obviously, Jake is ‘two cats’. Hahahahaha! Jake is a solid 16 pounder!

Oh, I cannot show Jake without showing Tom.

 Tom beside his Red Canopy

Tom just coming out of a nap from his red canopy with another knitted bed meant for a small cat only. Tom is smaller than Jake. Tom loves this pet canopy.  If you’d notice, it has ears and whiskers. I got this one from IKEA. There’s another canopy (blue) outside the front of the house with another knitted bed.  I believe a transient racoon or two, at times, uses it.

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