Dec 30, 2013

Mad world

Sigh... my Holidays are almost over.  I did manage to read a book, after all!  It was a children's book with lots of pictures but it was an entire book and it was EXCELLENT! 
"A Coyote Solstice Tale" is the story of Coyote and his friends getting together to celebrate and a little human girl showing up, having fled the horror of Holiday madness.  The animals are introduced to her world and then return to the safety of the forest.  Beautifully told in rhyme, this meaningful story is very relevant to our times and clearly outlines the crazy consumerism that's ruining the Holiday.  I highly recommend sharing this story with your loved ones.

We also saw "The Purge", which turned out to be much better and far more thought-provoking than I had hoped.  We were in Los Angeles for Hallowe'en and could have gone to "The Purge" walk-through attraction but were turned off by the violence.  Well, the movie was far more meaningful and interesting, but of course very violent (although NOT gory).  It  speaks about apathy and indifference and how people ignore the things that are very wrong all around them until they're forced to confront them.  Creepy and uncomfortable, definitely watch the extra "making of" featurette to start the discussion going!

Dec 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I just, finally, updated my website (better late than never!) and added a few images to my flickr page (you can see it here: ).

(That's Cere and Bella, they're still looking for their forever homes.  If at all possible, they'd like to be adopted as a pair.  Yes, Bella will eat ANYTHING.) 

Dec 24, 2013

Christmas with Krampus and rats, of course

Chuckle... well, it's true... or a good dose of Krampus!  Thank you, Rose, for Krampus-ing my Yule, your friendship is a true gift! 

Rose visits all the most interesting places in the United States and spots Krampus everywhere!    At a paper show, she found this die cut "scrap".... 

At a gingerbread competition she caught Krampus terrorizing two kiddies!  That's so unbelievably cute! 

And in a shop selling glass ornaments!
And now he hangs out in my tree, thank you Rose! 
Happy Holidays!

Rats are also everywhere in the house this Season, and I have to thank Cathy who adopted Gryphon the Rat a few years ago for not only sending an adorable rodent card but taking the time to affix a rat stamp!!!  Wow.  That's so thoughtful, I love it!
I am blessed.

Dec 21, 2013

Moving toward the light

Happy Solstice everyone!
  (This adorable image is from Bat World Sanctuary.)

And to help Mother Earth at this darkest time of the year, would you please consider sending a letter to the British Colombian government to demand they respect provincial parks and protect them from the energy companies that only want to line their pockets?  Visit the Valhalla Wilderness Society's website for all the details but I've included the letter I sent and the addresses/emails so you can just go ahead and use my letter as you wish. 
  Essentially, the government wants to change the Parks Act so that development can happen within park boundaries.  They also consider reducing various parks' boundaries.
  Thank you, and what you do DOES make a difference so please take action and voice your opinion.

Premier Christy Clark
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Phone: 250 387-1715, Fax: 250 387-0087

Hon. Mary Polak
Minister of Environment
PO Box 9049 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2
Phone: 250 387-1187, Fax: 250 387-1356

Hon. Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9049 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2
Phone: 250 387-6240, Fax: 250 387-1040
To Premier Christy Clark,

 With concern, I recently read that research permits are being given to energy companies to investigate within protected areas for possible drilling and pipelines.  Furthermore, the Park Act may be amended to allow pipelines to run through provincial parks. 

It would seem your government is willing to sell off our parks to development.  This is shocking and extremely short-sighted.  The short-term gains of allowing such development within park boundaries, such as jobs and energy, are nothing compared to the irreparable damage that will be done to the environment (not to mention the loss of tourism dollars). 

Please leave the existing protected areas in tact without boundary reductions. Further, I urge you to support adding more territory to our parks system.

Our parks are places that are important to and belong to all Canadians, irrespective of where they live.  Indeed, they have universal value that transcends the value they hold for a particular nation, and must be protected for all inhabitants of the planet including generations to come.

Please protect our parks and support them for the health of our entire planet.  Please uphold the Parks Act and enforce it, with no research permits granted and no pipelines within their boundaries.

                                                          Thank you,

Dec 14, 2013

Creative touches

 You know, it's impossible to find cookie tins with Krampus on them.  I mean, really, doesn't everyone want to send treats to their loved ones in Krampus tins?  So I made my own:  Mom brought home these tins from the Dollar Store and I added the Krampus images.  So there:  Krampus cookie tins!  

As you may be aware, Christmas just isn't my thing and the more it gets crammed down my throat the more I grow to despise it.  I do NOT want to hear Christmas music all November and December and if you have your tree up before December 1st, you're way too early!  Anyway, no, I have never made any Christmas themed critters and this December I'm making 3 Day of the Dead bears.  I want them to capture the celebratory joy and solemn beauty of the Dia de los Meurtos, so I'm starting with creating unique paw pads for each.  
 The traditional black bear will have hand-drawn skeleton bones on his pads, the traditional white bear will have warm tan pads embossed with an organic pattern and the Hallowe'en/Day of the Dead bear will have fun, hand painted candy corn pads.

Because there are only 321 days to Hallowe'en!

Dec 10, 2013

The bats at Salthaven

Isn't he gorgeous?!  This is the bat we rescued on November 25th, Megan was kind enough to photograph the wee fellow, a Big Brown, who is now feeding himself and being housed with another male.   

Here's another stunning photograph of a bat rehabiliated at Salthaven earlier this year, so handsome!

And here is a Hoary Bat that was also in Salthaven's care.  Look at that face, what a cute smile!

Don't know what to get that hard-to-gift someone on your Xmas list?  Consider gifting a sponsorship for the care of a rescued bat, or an eagle, or a fawn or an injured owl.  Just visit Salthaven's Critter Care page to see all the neat things this sponsorship will deliver to your loved one, along with the knowledge that you're saving members of your chosen species!  What an awesome gift! 

Dec 9, 2013

Baking for the Holidays: Reward Doggy Cookies!

and after...

For my Willow and her cousins Mocha, Zima and Merlin, with love!

Go ahead, make some!  Show your pup how much you love him or her!  Here's the recipe, and double it up!  Go on.  If you get sick of cutting shapes, just cut squares.  Honestly, your pup doesn't care what they look like:  these smell and taste GREAT!

This recipe is from the book "Baking for Your Dog: Tasty Treats for Your Four-Legged Friend" by Ingeborg Pils, the best dog recipe book I ever laid my hands on. 

Dec 4, 2013

Better be good!

Merry Krampus Night!  
December 5th is Krampus Night, when the old fertility demon-turned-St Nic's buddy comes clumping into town to lay his switches on any deserving, naughty children!

Here's a very cute little video and song to tell you all about it: 

All together now! 

The Krampus Song by Jordan Dobbs Rosa

Every year on Christmas Eve
Children fear his name
He looks a lot like Beelzebub
But they are not the same
He travels 'round with Santa Claus
St. Nick ain't his friend
He comes from the northern Alps
Of rural Switzerland
Because he's Krampus, Krampus,
I'm telling you all about Krampus
Krampus, Krampus,
Swing your birch switch high

With matted fur and sheep's horns
Frankly dear he smells
Accompanied by the melody
Of rusty chains and bells

He'll scoop you up and throw you in
His nasty burlap sack
He rears back with a cane and switch
And takes a Yuletide whack

Krampus, Krampus,
Don't you know about Krampus?
Krampus, Krampus,
Swing your birch switch high

No X-Box games... or candy canes
Made of peppermint
He brings the pain of another cane:
Corporal punishment

So if the kids misbehave you'll do well to remember
To don the garb of Krampus on the 5th of December
(That's the traditional day for us to celebrate)
Krampus, Krampus
Look out kids he's Krampus
Krampus, Krampus,
Swing your birch switch high

Krampus, Krampus,
He's the anti-Santi Krampus
Krampus, Krampus,
Swing your birch switch high

Merry Krampus everybody!

Of course, in the Alpine regions, they have Krampus Night where you REALLY do need to watch out!  You can read someone's Krampus experience by clicking here.  

This awesome image is by Brian Leblancart.

I know I'd like to send Krampus to a few houses... Anyway, we've got a bundle of switches on our front door to welcome Krampus and will be celebrating.  
So Merry Krampus Night everyone!