Musings of Mao

The thought of animals abandoned, homeless and without the warmth and comfort of a family breaks my heart.

When I was in Asia, I saw many cats and dogs who lived on the streets.  In Cambodia, two travelers and myself were almost chased by a few dogs on the way to our lodge.

This lady here is the warehouse cat who I named Mao, and every day she runs over to us as we unlock the door and spends the day with us.

Each business in the complex takes care of her, with feeding her,  vet visits, and a cat bed (we have).

If she were in Pennsylvania, there would be no way this could be, but Mao lives in California and loves the sunshine and cuddles of everyone.

She is very fortunate and I think if someone tried to domesticate her she would not be very happy.

Unlike the ones whose purpose was to guard the house or keep mice away,  they loved their humans so much, yet were cared for, she has the love of many.

Mao is the epitome of an independent free spirit.

 

The New Year is upon us

2017 is just days away and the resolutions and promises of improving oneself are in the thoughts of many.

I think back on the year as the beginning of the hopes, travels and work I had for so long hoped to do and anticipate each day.

The risks which make my life exciting and interesting, whatever they may be. From traveling alone and loving it to seriously making a name for myself in the writing world and elephant advocacy… all such a dream come true.

My resolution for the upcoming year is to continue to do all I can here and around the world for the causes I believe are important.  To learn and embrace the culture and people of this vast world, and to write as much as I can about all I see.

I look forward to learning the ukulele, finding myself spiritually, reading every day and finishing school.

I will work everyday to ensure Mo Mo will retire and be free, and I will find deep inside myself the artistic side which must be there, right??

I vow to live each day as an adventure and to laugh, smile, embark on the unknown and humbly bow to the familiar with love and respect.

Twas the day after Christmas

Christmas Day ended with the bells of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  My husband was already asleep and softly snoring next to me.

We had spent the day at the beach, climbing over rocks and wishing to see seals sitting on rocks showing off for the spectators.

Unfortunately, there were none to be seen.

Living in Pennsylvania, at this time of year we are more used to seeing snow than anything else, and being able to see the sunset over the ocean was a gift from nature.

This morning we slept in, then drove to Cambodia Town, which is part of Long Beach.  A few places were closed in observance to the holiday, but we were able to have breakfast at a great place called Monorom.

A great surprise was finding the mural of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, we were unable to get as close as we hoped due to the gates being locked, this shot though is remarkable!

Apparently there is another mural we must find also of Frida, I’m excited for the search.

What are your traditions?

In just a few days Christmas will be here.  The preparation, food, decorations and song will be in full swing.

Throughout my life I have seen traditions come and go.  The old ones fade away with time and new ones begin in remembrance and honor.

When my Dad passed away, I started to decorate for Christmas on his birthday which is December 1.

On this day, my husband and I drink hot chocolate, watch something holiday related and bring the box of decorations from the basement. I feel our loved ones who have passed away are with us as we string the lights on the tree and our cats come to see the decorations and bat them off the branches.

This year was different, because we were going away for the holidays, we chose not to decorate the house, instead I brought most of the ornaments with us.  Lovingly packed them in a suitcase, anticipating placing them on the tree.

I love hearing the tale folklore of all holidays, they go alongside the old wives tales and legends of Santa, snowmen and the christmas tree.

I ask, what are your traditions?  What do you and your family hold dear to your heart?

I would love to hear them and hope you share them.

My Dad loved the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” I have seen this more times than I can count and love it as well.

One of my favorite memories was sitting with him and watching the Bailey family.  His favorite moment was when the bell rings on the tree, ZuZu says that every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.  George laughs and says that’s right, and looks up towards the sky and tells his friend “Thata boy Clarence”. This will forever stay with me in my heart.its-a-wonderful-life

Journey for the Elephants

In January, I will be having two assemblies in my former middle school.  Recently I had a day of presentations with two sophomore classes.

 

The opportunities to share stories about traveling and elephants especially where I grew up is wonderful.

Maybe the students will enjoy it maybe they won’t.

I put a packet for the principal today with art projects from Asia, including an elephant one of course!

I would love to be able to teach them a traditional Thai dance, but I think the “Elephant Song” will be a little easier to learn with two big groups.

 

 

May you have strength now Sidda

I have been sitting here thinking of dear Sidda, a young elephant, only 35 who passed away early Friday.

Following his story, I along with many believed he would overcome his wounds and frail body.  With our whole hearts we told ourselves his spirit was stronger than the pain he was enduring.

This was not to be and as I read the stories since his passing, I only want to remember this dear soul this way.

Not being carried away, body broken and life recently releasing from it.

There is a sense of hope in his eyes, at least I see.

Where are we without it?

Rest in Peace dear Sidda, may you roam in the clouds forever.sidda

As 2017 approaches 

The year is coming to an end and many are thinking of New Year’s Resolutions.

Including myself.

I think about changes, making a difference and learning something new. 

My goals are:

Write everyday, even if only for ten minutes. Submit work constantly. 

Learn the ukulele. My sister is teaching herself and loves it, and after watching Elvis play in Blue Hawaii I am hooked! 

Meditate and be more active in the Shambhala center. 

Cook every recipe from Frida Kahlos cookbook.

Advocate, volunteer and help out with Elephants,  alzheimers and various organizations I am committed to. 

Truly be open spirituality. 

Well this is my list.