… This Just In …

I have 20 peanut patties, but after counting them, there is only 16 total. I am currently eating one, as I type this. That will leave 15; three of which are in the freezer, 12 are in my snack locker. 

And, I still think I missed my calling. I should have been a PROFESSIONAL elephant hugger! 

Wile E. Coyote

As a kid, I loved Wile E. Coyote. He made me laugh and shake my head at the same time! I am not sure where my love for him came from. It could be that my maternal g’ma gave me a stuffed Wile E. on my 6th birthday and then my parents took my twin and I to see the elephants at the San Antonio Zoo. Although, not something I would do today, Dad and I rode one of the eles and I just wanted to hug and hug and hug on him. Dad took his cowboy hat off and pretended to be riding a bucking bull. Mom snapped a polaroid of Dad getting bucked and me just laughing my fat little face off. 

What was your favorite cartoon?

I Want…

… an elephant! I mean, seriously, if you know me at all, you know this is not a joke. I really did miss my calling. I should have been a PROFESSIONAL elephant hugger! 

Meet Malkia

This post has been a long time coming, and one that Dwwindsor has gingerly suggested a few times. In November I chose to foster a sweet elephant; her name is Malkia. 

Here is her story:

Walking the plains of Tsavo for many years has been a regal old lady, always easily recognized by her distinctive ivory. This year however, the dry season has been long and harsh and with poor April/May rains, it proved too much for this aging female elephant, who was found collapsed with a young calf by her side.

Elephants have six sets of teeth to last them a lifetime, and as the years progress new sets come through, however once they are on their very last set of teeth these get worn over time, and there is nothing like a brutal dry season to amplify this problem. We believe this is what happened to this beautiful matriarch.

A driver from Tsavo Trust first reported the situation to the DSWT funded Mobile Veterinary Unit’s Dr. Poghon, when they found the mother recumbent on the windswept Dika plains, withered and gaunt and in extremely poor body condition, but with no evidence of any wounds or injuries. Her family stood vigil as the DSWT’s Rescue Team together with KWS rangers lifted her to her feet multiple times. Sadly, she was unable to stand and just crumpled to the ground each time. It was clear her life force was ebbing away and it would be necessary to rescue her young milk dependent calf, approximately six months old, who already was undernourished, presumably as a result of her mother’s compromised condition and lack of milk. 

This old queen of the plains was humanely euthanized to save her the indignation and suffering of being torn apart by predators, whilst her baby was rescued as night approached and was then driven to the Voi stockades where she was placed in one of our taming stockades. She had greens carefully cut for her which she fed on throughout the night, and Keeper Julius slept in the stockade bunk-bed close to her, to keep her company. The presence of an interested army of dependent Voi elephants surrounding her stockade helped settle her as they rumbled in low tones, comforting and reassuring her. She even slept for a while having endured quite the ordeal; how long her mother had been in a collapsed state before being discovered is unknown.

We have called this gorgeous little girl Malkia, which means ‘queen’ in Swahili, in deference to her lost mother, who for sure walked the Tsavo plains even in David Sheldrick’s time, when he was warden of Tsavo some 40 years ago. Considering her impressive ivory, she was lucky to have lived out a long and full life. Now it is our responsibility to look after her precious baby until she too can walk the same plains in the fullness of time as a wild elephant once more. 

In the meantime, both lifesaving milk and tender care and attention is necessary to save a calf, so a rescue aircraft was immediately dispatched the next morning on the 17th of September with our Nursery Keepers on board, to collect the baby and bring her to the Nursery for the care that we are able to administer here. When the Cessna Caravan aircraft landed on the Voi airstrip our Voi Keepers were already there prepared and ready with the baby, eager to load her quickly so as not to delay. Her screams however attracted a wild herd passing by the airfield at the time and a wild matriarch was insistent on rescuing the distressed baby. So much so that her agitated herd were fast approaching the stationary aircraft on the airstrip. The DSWT driver had to position the Landcruiser vehicle between the wild herd and the loading party so as to prevent a disaster from unfolding. This herd is not her family herd, as she was orphaned many miles away from the Voi airfield.

The baby was prepared for the flight, laid on a mattress, placed on a canvas stretcher so she could be ably lifted into the back of the plane, which had already had the seats removed allowing for ample space for her to lie recumbent throughout the 1 hour flight with a Keeper by her side. She was hydrated with a drip for the duration of the flight and arrived safely at the Nursery by 1.30pm in the afternoon. She immediately fed on milk for the first time since being rescued, which was a relief, but she did look exceptionally tired and was ready to lie down on the soft hay of her stable to sleep.

Malkia has thrived in the Nursery, aided by her forceful nature. She is a very determined and mischievous little girl, whose presence here has certainly been felt. Despite being so young when rescued, and under such sad circumstances, she has settled fast; loving and affectionate to her Keepers from the outset.

Malkia and her little friend Esampu have become extremely greedy and vociferous at meal times, with every feeding time accompanied by noise and barging! Despite being so small they can be extremely disruptive giving the Keepers quite the run around. We are happy to report that Malkia has assimilated into Nursery life seamlessly and appears extremely happy and content amongst the other orphans and her now much loved human family.

A Family Bond

It is well known that I want an elephant. They truly should be admired, loved and worshipped. Here is something that one of my Ele sites posted this morning and it is worth a share:

They say that nothing is more important to an elephant than family.

Elephants are well-known for their complex, multi-layered social networks led by an older female. Known as the matriarch, these wise female elephants carry with them a lifetime of inherited wisdom that helps the whole herd survive; where to find water, where to find food, when to avoid danger.

While studies of African elephants show the clear dominance of the matriarch in a herd, for Asian elephants the hierarchy appears to be a little more relaxed. Scientists suggest that this may be because Asian elephants live in more ecologically robust environments, where food and water is generally available and predators are few. Yet the importance of inherited wisdom remains critical for herd survival.

In elephant families:
• Females are in charge: most herds are made up of a matriarch, her sisters, daughters and calves. Family units range in size from 3 to 25 but they sometimes come together in much larger gatherings around watering holes and food sources.
• There are babysitters: the females help look after each other’s calves. It helps young females learn how to look after the young. The chances of survival greatly increase for a calf when females are around and willing to take care of it.
• There is a strong bond: elephants develop strong bonds between friends and family members. They mourn the death of loved ones and have been known to return to areas where family members have died.
• Calves are protected: when the herd is on the move the calves will sometimes hold their mother’s tails with their trunks, while other females surround them to protect them from danger.
• Males tend to be nomadic: adult male elephants live a largely solitary life. When they reach puberty (12-15 years old) the males become more independent and often join more loosely knit ‘bachelor’ herds. They will mate with a female but leave the mother and her herd to raise the calf. 
• Sometimes the family separates: this can be influenced by availability of food and water, how well the herd gets on, or the death of a matriarch. This means that different herds living over vast terrain can be related and are known to keep in touch through rumbling calls.

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In the past year I have learned that family does not always consist of those we are born into, but those we meet and love along the way. Family are those that check on you when the fun has run out and life has set in. Family is what you make it along the path you have chosen, and those that deserve your love and respect in return are who your family will be. Cherish those closest to you and no matter the distance, they will always be there when you need them the most. 

No Politics

I have an unspoken rule, but a well known one at that, which is my cam room, tweets and blog is no place for politics. I understand, and respect, that we all have a right to free speech and opinions, but important issues are not resolved on social media and in cam rooms. We as a whole are so divided that it is disheartening and there is no real solution, nor will we see one any time soon. Those who spin conversations into political arguments are hurting themselves and changing nothing. 

I am not writing this to call anyone out, but I have had several replies to my tweets about our current politics that do not belong on my TL. I am sorry, but my disdain for the treatment of elephants in other countries, such as being forced into submission for tourism, has nothing to do with the current state of the US of A and the hate being spewed from all sides of the aisle. Now, with that said, we as a whole can change how elephants are treated, but that is not in the here and now of what is going on in our country. 

I have a diverse group with a wide range of opinions and experiences, and for the most part, we all get along regardless of whether or not we agree with each other. And, for that I am appreciative. 

A Heartwarming Read . . .

This is an excerpt from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 

Our Ex Orphans seek help for an injured bull elephant

The intelligence of elephants and their compassion for one another will never cease to amaze and inspire us – as demonstrated in Tsavo yesterday. Yatta, Mulika and Kinna, orphans raised by the DSWT and now living wild, appeared at our Ithumba Reintegration Unit with their calves Yetu, Yoyo, Mwende and Kama, accompanied by Lenana and Sidai, two other now wild-living orphans, and a very nervous wild bull elephant. Our team immediately saw what was troubling the bull elephant, whom they had never seen before – he had two arrow wounds on his back and side. Though brought to a place known to the ex-orphans as one of safety, this wild bull’s fearful behaviour was completely understandable, given the presence of humans. For him, it was people that had fired the arrows and caused the pain he was surely suffering.

We immediately raised the alarm and while KWS Veterinarian Dr. Poghon, based 150km away in Voi, prepared the equipment he needed, one of our pilots flew to the scene in a fixed wing aircraft to keep an eye on this bull from the air, in case he decided that hanging around near humans was not such a good idea. Once ready, we then brought Dr. Poghon to Ithumba by helicopter and he was able to successfully dart the injured elephant from the air. The elephant fell in thick bush, so our ground teams got to work quickly clearing a path to him and then moving him into a position where the vet could assess his injuries and treat the wounds. The treatment was a success and Dr. Poghon has given this bull elephant a good prognosis for recovery.

Being able to successfully treat this elephant, one of 1,136 elephants to which the DSWT and KWS Mobile Veterinary Teams have attended to over the last five years is impressive enough. However what is truly incredible in this case is that, were it not for Yatta and the other ex-orphans, he might not have found help and would still be out there today, suffering from the injuries which could easily have killed him.

Yatta, Mulika, Kinna, Lenana and Sidai had no reason to visit Ithumba yesterday, except to bring this wild elephant for help. They knew where he could find that help and they communicated this to him. Injured at the hands of humans, it is hard to imagine what this elephant must have been thinking as the ex-orphan herd brought him to a place of people. However he is fortunate that they did, as their actions – and subsequently those of the DSWT and KWS – ensured he could be treated.

Incredibly, this isn’t the first time our teams have treated an injured elephant in similar circumstances. Back in 2015, we treated a wild elephant who was known to our Keepers and who, we are certain, travelled back to Ithumba to get the help and treatment he needed, along with his injured companians, (read the story here: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/updates/updates.asp…) demonstrating that this Unit is fast becoming known as a place of helping hands and safety, which is thanks to the contributions we receive from our global supporters that help to fund our lifesaving field work.

 

Where to Begin . . .

Goodness, you guys are incredibly good to me. I am going to start with my thank you’s, but they are in no particular order.

Kevin, you are so sweet to surprise me with a candle, and a tank and shorts set. The candle scent fills the house with a soft, subtle pine smell, which is perfect for the winter, and the blue tank set is sexy and fun. Thank you! 

 

Rodney, you disappeared on me for awhile, but you returned last month and immediately found my wishlist. You are kind and so thoughtful, thank you! I love the lingerie and will wear it during my next content-filled weekend, which will be soon. The tank with the bra/panties is sexy-cute! 

Nicster, you have always been a generous and very thoughtful person, and I might add, a patient one at that! I am not sure why, but you have had some trouble with items being shipped and not lost, or just being jockeyed around from one distribution, to another. Cliff had the same problem, so you are not alone. lol. I always love the items you choose, whether it is a blouse that I wear off cam, or a nightie that I wear often while on cam. Thank you! 

Stephen, you surprised me with flip flops, and was so gracious in your note that you really touched my heart. Thank you! I will be wearing them soon and will have to take some pics in them… 

 

Cliff, you went out of your way to custom order ornaments and a clock for me. It is the time and effort that it took you, that warms my heart more than anything. I love the ornaments and next year they will adorn the tree, and the clock is currently in my closet, but only because I am still looking for pictures to hang. I already have 4, but until I get everything I will hold off on putting holes in the wall. You really make me smile. Thank you! 

A Drawing by Sawyer

If you join the Monday night shows, via VNALive, then you have probably chatted with Sawyer. 

He could not sleep awhile back and he put pencil to paper and came up with a thoughtful drawing of me, with an elephant on the t-shirt!! Not only did he add an elephant, but also made it gloomy behind me and anyone that knows me knows that my sunshine is in a gloomy day! I thought it was worth sharing with you guys. Notice the ele on my shirt?

A Slacker, I Am.

I have always made the time to post my thanks to you all, but here lately I have fallen short on that, and I am sorry! I have many thanks to send out, but that it is not limited to just those I mention in this thread.

Mollie- you are always so thoughtful and you have surprised me with a few sweet surprises in the last month. The latest is a cute pillow case duo, with and elephant printed on the front. Thank you!

 

Bubba, you continue to surprise me with your generous surprises, and it means a lot to me. I cut my only pair of yoga pants in a cam show, by request, and you saw the tweet and ordered 2 elephant yoga pants. They are so soft that I have a hard time taking them off before I turn my cam on. In fact, I might just have to take a few days offline just so I can continuously stay in them. Only one pair at a time, but that is why I might need four days, so I can wear them both more than just a few minutes at a time! 

Cliff, you are so sweet and thoughtful! You were on vacation and found socks just for me! Now, when I say “socks just for me”, they were made for me and only me! You found socks for all of the animals that I want, and those that really need my hugs! You’ve got manatees, kangaroos and elephants, too! Thank you for being so kind and always thoughtful. It is a true quality that not everyone has. 

Houseplant: Acquired

Last week I decided I needed a houseplant. Maybe need is the wrong word to use here because my want is much stronger than my need. In that I mean, I do not need one to survive, but I want one to make me smile. 

I have three now, not just one. Let me explain.

Last summer Dawn took clippings from one of my plants and she now has pots overflowing with them. When I was leaving a couple weeks ago she asked if I would like to take a few clippings from her, so now the Purple Heart has made a full circle. I potted them in a small planter for now, but hope to have them in the yard next summer. It looks a bit rough right now, but once it is established it will flourish into a beautiful wandering plant. 

In my search for a houseplant I decided against the lucky bamboo. I mean, seriously, I have had two sets of them (3 stalks each) and both times they had an ill fated end. It was sad and disastrous. 

I chose to go with an ivy because let’s be real, you can’t kill those. I have nursed them back from one-leaf before so I think I am safe with an ivy. 

While looking for the perfect ivy, I found an elephant plant. That’s right, an ELEPHANT plant! It is found in the African bush and it is what the elephants dine on and it provides them with water and nutrients. Thus, an elephant plant. Needless to say, I now have one of those, however, in all of my excitement I failed to read the instructions. It requires a lot of sun light and warmth. Ack! That is not where I had planned to place it. No. I wanted it on a shelf that I will see each time I walk out of my cam room. But, alas, it does not do well in dark corners. 

Now, it sounds as though I am a killer of all plants, but I am not. It is rare that plants are doomed in my care, but there is something about houseplants that have a questionable fate, while in my home. I plan to still have all three of these in one year, plus a few more… so #newbeginnings don’t let me down! lol. 

World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day has been in operation since 2012 and with each passing year, it becomes more widely known and acknowledged. It is amazing how many sanctuaries and organizations have been working to save the pachyderm species for decades and with the help of social media people are starting to appreciate these gentle beasts. 

Ele-Facts:

  • If a baby elephant complains, the entire family will rumble and go over and touch and caress it. 
  • Elephants express grief and compassion. 

  • Elephants play a crucial ecological role in their habitats, such as digging pools of water that other animals depend on.
  • Elephants can live to be over 70 years old.
  • Elephants have a highly developed brain and the largest of all the land mammals. The brain is 3 or 4 times larger than that of humans although smaller as a proportion of body weight. 
  • Elephants purr like cats do, as a means of communication.
  • Elephants prefer one tusk over the other, just as people are either left or right-handed. 
  • Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh. 
  • Elephants are social creatures. They sometimes “hug” by wrapping their trunks together in displays of greeting and affection.
  • Elephants pay homage to the bones of their dead, gently touching the skulls and tusks with their trunks and feet. when an elephant walks past a place that a loved one has died, he/she will stop dead still; a silent and empty pause that can last several minutes.
     

 

Do Not Be a Growler

Are you a growler, a bellyacher, a complainer, a grump? Do you find yourself making a fuss more than not? 

We all have our moments, which sometimes turns into a day, or maybe even a week, but some people are constantly negative. I admit, there are days that it is hard to find the positive in all the overwhelming chaos and responsibilities, but no one enjoys connecting with someone who is a negative-Nellie. 

You might find people more receptive to listening to your bad day if you try to be positive on the good days. I am just saying that if each time you converse with a friend and it is a whoa-is-me discussion, you might find that people tune you out when you start talking. Just think about it and then dig deep and find your happy! lol. 

A Happy Break

Okay, I have been way too negative in my last two posts, and probably most of this week. I think we need some elephants in our day to lift spirits and bring a smile to my face, and hopefully yours. 

The Animal Kingdom is Beautiful

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Studies have shown that an increasing number of African Elephants are now being born tuskless. It was 4-6 percent of females who were born without tusks but now that has risen to 98 percent. They have had no choice but to adapt to a world in which they are hunted for their tusks. One can only hope that the Chinese do not dream up another magical potion that cures cancer using elephant parts. (or any animal part for that matter)

The only need for ivory is on an elephant. Although this story is an amazing testimony to the power of the animal kingdom, it saddens me that they have had to give up their tusks just to stop the poachers. The ivory tusks are what they use to fend off predators in their own kingdom, but now they do not even have that.

A Bracelet with Meaning

41fit230bgl-_sl500_sl135_When I first started wearing bracelets, I added a bundle of Alex and Ani bracelets to my wishlist, not knowing their true meaning of each one made. They are a company with positive vibes and good, strong energy. Each one holds a different meaning and value; some are even in memory of charities and life events. Now when I select a bracelet to be added to my wishlist, it is because I find a connection to the charm. It might sound materialistic, but I am a simple person. When I slip the elephant, butterflies and “Love You Like a Sister” bracelet on, I feel connected to those I hold close to my heart. The elephant makes me smile and the butterfly bracelet gives me hope. So, when Dawn and Rob sent me the Turkey bracelet for Thanksgiving, I was touched and elated. I will wear this bracelet year round because there is so much meaning in the gift. 

As most of you know, t’giving is my favorite day of the year. There are good memories attached to this day, with some sadness here and there, but that is life. This day gives me so much joy for all of the happy I have had in my world. 

This bracelet, along with many others, is something that will always make me think of the happy, and of each t’giving I have experienced. 

Thank you, Rob and Dawn. *hugs*

Elephant Appreciation Day

Today is a very special day because it is dedicated to our gentle giants!!! It is a day to appreciate elephants and love them just because! It is a great day to love them because all they want in life is to have a family and to be loved. They look out for each other and love wholeheartedly and that is something we could sure stand to learn ourselves. Plus, look at their faces, they are just precious and everything adorable and their hearts are so big and lovable!

Appreciate those you have in your world that are good to you because one day you might wake up and realize you lost the elephant in your life. #ElephantAppreciationDay

#WorldElephantDay

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Yesterday was an amazing day from the beginning to the end, for many reasons. I had a great start to the day and it continued on throughout the morning, into the afternoon and through the evening.

It was a great day to celebrate elephant’s and it is heartwarming to see a change in how they are protected and admired. In just the last couple of years advocates have spoken out against the ivory trade, trophy hunters, circus’ and zoos. Sanctuaries for these gentle giants, along with protecting their natural habitats have formed and a bond between human and elephant continues to grow stronger.

We have domesticated animals, right or wrong, we continue to claim another being as ours. I have dogs and I have cats, but to own an elephant, a tiger or a giraffe is outrageously cruel. They are meant to live as free as you and me. They love. They grieve. They play and they fight. They are a part of a community they create and they stand by one another. They are happy. They are lonely. They are sad and they are happy. They are as close to humans as any other species and yet we capture them and force them to do tricks that none of us would ever dream of doing ourselves. They fight back, but only to hold onto what little pride they still have in captivity. It is rare that one fights until the death of their human captor. They are a true gentle giant and they should be celebrated and free.

Any animal in captivity is abused and it saddens me to think that we are only on the brink of doing right by them. My hope is that in my lifetime the elephant population will grow to an all time high and that circus’ will be a thing of the past and all zoos will be a distant memory. I wish for more sanctuaries and refuge homes will be created and with each animal a priority, the human society educated and informed on what is right for the animal kingdom.

I want so much to hug an elephant, and I do hope that one day I will, but it will have to be one who is living amongst his family and who does not fear for his safety and is not hugging me for peanuts. And, when that day comes, he will love me back! lol.

 

Sleep Is a Beautiful Thing!

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I have not been sleeping more than a couple hours at a time, and sometimes that is as much as I sleep in one night. That certainly is not enough for me. I know several of you that sleep three hours on average and any more than that is too much. I think you are an alien, or some form of robot, because I have a hard time with anything less than 6, but 8 is definitely healthier for me. I have managed to survive on 2-4 hours of sleep for the last month, but I finally slept a solid 8 hours and I feel refreshed. It is amazing! Now, if I can get another 8 in tonight, I might be well on my way to catching up. 🙂

Kiko the Giraffe

This video is just precious and it is worthy of being shared with you! It is amazing how lovable animals can be, even when they are different from one another. Different cultures, different colors and different experiences. Yet, they form a bond that makes them inseparable and friends. There have been so many stories similar to this one, but the bear, tiger and lion friendship comes to mind. We could learn a lot from our animal friends.

Kiko the Giraffe and his elephant friends.

Hadari and The Elephant Sanctuary

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Anyone who knows me for five minutes is aware of my love for the elephant kingdom, but only some of you understand my true passion for them. I often joke that I want one, but the truth of the matter is that these gentle souls should be admired and cared for because humanity is an awful being who has done harm to them in more ways than one. It is not just the elephants, it is the animal population as a whole. That soap box is for another day, however, because this post is one of great joy for me.

The other night Bill (aka- BillinTexas or AngelsBill) asked me which elephant foundation I am most devoted to and in all of my excitement I told him about the amazing Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. They take in retired eles who are in terrible need of veterinary care and most have never known love from a human handler. The life they give these old elephants is precious and heartwarming.

Soon after I directed Bill to their home page, I receive an email from the Sanctuary stating that a donation has been made in my honor.

Bill, I cannot tell you how much that means to me. I know it is a tax write-off but for you to make the donation for a cause that is so dear to me, when you could have chosen other charities, is simply amazing. Thank you!

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Mischievous One

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Chanchal was rescued in 2012 after a road accident and she has embraced her new life as a free elephant and she look so happy! Just look at her happy face! She makes me smile!

I Love Him!

I know it is no secret that I love elephants and want one but look at this little guy. I love him! He is so adorably precious and everything is new to him. He is curious and happy and scared, all at the same time! He will be exhausting to his mom but she loves him and will protect him, no  matter what kind of troubles he finds himself in. He will even get upset and throw a temper tantrum, because baby elephants do that, and that is just cute! Don’t you think he looks like he wants a hug?

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The Elephant Sanctuary

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The nations largest natural habitat for elephants is in Tennessee, and they do amazing things for both Asian and African tuskers. They protect the mammal herd, and give them a safe haven to live out their days making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and exploring the habitat. In order to maintain the sanctuary as a true habitat for elephants, it is not open to the public.

They have just welcomed their 25th elephant, named Hadari, a 33 year old African. Because Africans do not get along with the Asians, they have separate areas to call their own. She is joining Flora and Tange, who will, no doubt, love her before too long.

hadari6The owner visited the sanctuary a few months back and met with the on-site doctors to discuss Hadari’s medical history and to develop a safe plan in her transport. She is one of the lucky few who had a decent owner and a good life prior to her move. Hadari was only 2.5 hours away at the Nashville Zoo where she was well cared for and loved, so the transport was easy; she remained calm and stayed curious throughout her move.

Upon arrival, the owner called her into the barn where fresh produce and banana leaves were waiting for her and as she curiously inspected the shelter and ate, the staff closed the gates. Her first night was one of exploration and indecisiveness as to whether she wanted to hang out in her barn or outside in the moonlight.

I think her new digs will be an easy transition for her, and for her new companions. They will be friends in no time!

It is clear that she does not “need” a hug, but I would still love to hug on her!

Closet Purging!

The closet in my studio has gotten out of hand. I cannot close most of my drawers, my jewelry is running amok and I have bags of socks, drawers over flowing with them, and a basket full of happy, colorful, foot warming socks! I pulled out the two dressers, because if I’m going to do it, I might as well clean while I’m at it, and it’s a good thing I did! I found a pair of socks behind the dressers and it’s not just an average pair. NO! It’s a pair of – black and grey with a red heart above two elephants hugging it out – socks. I would have, no doubt, been looking for them tirelessly, never finding them. That would have been tragic! But thankfully that did not happen and tragedy has been averted.

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