Sunday, February 3, 2013

The gift of knowledge.

A few weeks ago Joe and I traveled down south to Vision Quest Ranch and Monterey as Christmas gift. We toured the ranch and the next day kayaked along Cannery Row. Vision Quest is a small ranch in Salinas that houses and cares for exotic animals; some are rescues others were show or circus animals. I must say, of the "weekend" (2-3 day) trips that we have taken this has been the most educational one so far. Follow with me as I list some of the amazing facts I have learned.

It seems like we spent the most time with the elephants: Paula, Kristi, Butch, Buffy & Mailika (mostly Butch) so I shall start with them. All were African elephants (big ears).
  • They stand on their tippy-toes, they have a large fat pad that cushions and supports their weight.
  • They cannot run or jump;  they must have at least two feet on the ground due to their weight.
  • The elephant scale tops out at 10,600 lbs, This is know because Butch maxes out the scale.
  • The trunk is all muscle, it is strong enough to uproot a tree (SALAD BAR IS OPEN!) yet has such a fine dexterity that a elephant can pluck a single grass blade.
 I witnessed Kristi peel a single smashed jellybean off of the floor of her night pin (she had stepped on it earlier). I was very amused that this giant, five plus ton animal showed similar behaviors to that of my 75 pound dog, Sparrow, at home. They both have the "I'll go where the 'noms' are" and the "I LOVE TREATS!" mentality. They are also both naughty food takers: Butch took from a bucket that was too near and Sparrow will snatch things off the counter sometimes.
Joe feeding Butch bread NOM NOM!
Ed the hyena
The next animal, the Spotted Hyena,was my favorite at Vision Quest. The trainer said there is not a lot know about them though. Here are the facts I learned.
  • They have social matriarchal hierarchy.
  • Although females are typically larger it is still difficult to distinguish male from female as the females posses a faux penis in which they give birth through.
  • They are second only to the Crocodile                                               in regards to bite pressure. They can                                                also digest bones.
Breakfast with Butch
Our breakfast

All in all Vision Quest was a really great little place. On the morning of our departure Butch and some of the trainers delivered our breakfast and we got to feed Butch again.


My kayak and a seal
After leaving Vision Quest we headed south to Monterey. We settled into our room then ventured down Cannery Row to partake in a kayaking tour by Adventures by the Sea. We do have experience kayaking in the delta at Big Break Regional Shoreline so we could have just rented a kayak (we brought mine with us) and went off on our own but I am glad we did the actual tour. It was Friday and there were no other guests so it was like a private tour! Our guide was great. She used to be a docent in Monterey. She was very knowledgeable about the bay's flora, fauna, and history. She showed us the different kinds of jellies that were in the water. I don't think I would have noticed most of them without her guidance. I am 100% sure I would never have held a moon jelly (a non-stinging jelly). She also showed us the otters and seals. I had a lovely "raspberry" conversation with a seal. Joe was ahead and back to me at the time thought it was just the seal making all the noise. HA! I  learned that a group of otters is called a raft!After the kayaking tour we spent the evening with friends. The next morning we visited the pier to see the seals but ended up spending most of the time on the boat launch dock watching the jelly fish. They were gorgeous and mesmerizing. I had a great time and i hope others will visit these places to have a similar experience.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Big Break of a new year.

Nanita and Scruffy.

All of us with the dogs
 Started the new year off right with a picnic breakfast with friends and a walk. Everyone brought their dogs. Belle and Sparrow didn't get along with each other but were fine with the other dogs. After "woofing" down some sugary breakfast treats we meandered down the trail out to the shoreline. Belle frolicked in the water and Sparrow put just his front paws in. I suggested we walk up a side trail to the left of the kayak launch area. At Big Break Shoreline there is a wide variety of creatures and the trail to the left is a great place to see some of those. This time we got to see a Great Blue Heron. The tide was low at the time of our walk so we were finally able to go out and explore one of the many old abandoned rigs. A friend did some research and she believes this vessel to be an LCM3.
remains of a possible LCM3
With a little bit of mud, balance and bravery we climbed a board the ol' rusty bucket. Below are photos of the vessel and a winch.
Once back on dry solid land we packed up our picnic and headed home.We completed our outdoorsy morning by planting all 5 of the new rosemary "trees" we bought and cutting the lawn.
Happy New Year everyone. 
My rosemary trees.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ode to a freaky kid's parents.

In light of recent events over the last few weeks I have done all sorts of searching; I have soul, resume, cover letter, job and interview question searched (in no particular order). During all of this I have become very keen on deciphering legitimate positions from those awful "we legally can't say pyramid scheme" but its a 3-D Equilateral Triangle based position.

I was mulling over one question this evening: "Who is your greatest role model?" I sat and thought and thought. There have been a few teachers and a few co-workers who of changed my life but all in all it is my parents that take the cake (yum!).

They taught me to be earnest in all that I do. They showed me the rewards of being dependable and hardworking. I saw the true longevity of love in them. They instilled self confidence in me; they never hampered only encouraged me in regards to academic or social activities. 
This is actually the first time i have really thought about it but i now know I owe my "take me as I am or leave me (your loss)" attitude to them. I realize now, no matter how weird or freaky I was dressed or how much black makeup I had on, I was still just me to them. I was never made to feel that I should act or dress according to societies "norms". It is due to this that my creative side was able to flourish. I took up sewing and crafting, past times I still love today.  They let me be me and love me for just for that, for being myself.
 Thanks Mom and Dad. <3

Patch work pants I made.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Jinx- to bring bad luck to; place a jinx on. 

This previous Monday started off as a day that was too good to be true. We woke early enough to slip out and away to embark on the maiden voyage of my newly purchased but already well loved kayak. I have dubbed thee "Kohaku", the name of a river spirit in the movie "spirited away". 
As I returned from our lovely and successful voyage I uploaded photos and uttered the Jinxing words "Time to redefine 'a case of the Mondays' :)" to accompany them. Upon checking my phone I noticed a missed call and a message from an unfamiliar number. It was my boss which is very unusual; I have never been called at home before. Even more unusual was this meeting that had been hastily planned (notices were sent the day before). It was request all employees attend even those on leave or their day off. I had a very bad feeling about this due to the urgency of this meeting. I was correct. The company advised us that come December 1st our roles would be relocated to other states. There were options to move, apply for other positions, or say so long and thanks for all the fish. I want to try something new. I want to search my soul. Even though the light at the end of this tunnel is actually a train, I think I’ll hop aboard and see where it takes me. Already there has been talk of some life changing, well, er, changes. Wish me luck and stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back in the saddle, er, pool.

It has been quite a while since my last post and life is ever moving forward. We have reached our last month of classes. Ceramics class is wonderful but time consuming. We have made some great works of art and learned a ton of new skills. I have been knitting away on several projects, the main three are a Giant's panda hat, knee high socks( although by the time they are one it'll be too warm to wear them) and a case for my sun glasses (oh so scratched!) I hope to enter the 1st 2 projects into the fair this year along with some of the ceramics I've built.

With the weather turning warmer all the plants are doing their thing. I got some new plants at the DVC annual plant sale: kale, snowpeas, pineapple sage,  a poppy, and some strawberries. i need to level the overgrown brush in the back so i can lay out the 4x4 planter beds i got from Costco, very nice!

I also  decided to join a gym to get in better shape to work in the yard and fullfil my hiking goals. I really want to complete the trail between Contra Loma and Black Diamond.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AJ the widow hunter.

So a few weeks back i noticed a  huge amount of spiders in my compost bin. i was sure what they were due to their small size. Their webs were too close in the grooves of the bin to preform the regular "widdy" test. It creeps me out still, that i had a male hanging off of a trowel not knowing what he was. He was small black with whitish spots on his abdomen and no hourglass. Later i spotted a female and knew!! I did what any independent 26 yr old descendant of Black widow bite survivors would have: I went and got my mom!!! With headlamps and flashlights blazing, armed with trowels and sticks, we, proceeded to clear the bin of  these Latrotoxin slinging villains...well there still are some, but they are small ones and i'm not afraid!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yards of yarn!

Funky hat
1st pair of socks
I am so so so very obsessed with knitting now, I learned to knit a little over two months a got and cant seem to put it down! My Grammy used to knit but due to her dementia cannot anymore. I view my knitting as a tribute to her. when i knit around her she says "oh you do that too?" and always seems interested it in. Right now my current knitting projects include socks and the " infamous awwful ugly christmas sweater" for joe. another hat for myself, a scarf for my cousin and a "plushie" TARDIS and Dalek for my nephews
The beginnings of the infamous awwful ugly christmas sweater