Monday, 28 March 2011

Turtle talk

It has been a rough couple of days. But the offspring provided us with ample distractions with his ever increasing vocabulary and new skills. We reckon he is an old soul who has so much packed in his little head including a radar that picks up on our moods and emotions. He was not as difficult as he usually is on the weekends, and this is despite us being cooped up at home.

Anyways, on a lighter note, Hubby and I have been tidying up the basement (it seriously does not reflect the person that I am right now and it is driving me nuts), and are in the process getting rid of a lot of things. You see I am the one in this relationship who has moved forever and forever, so I don't come with a lot of knickknacks. Hubby on the other hand had tonnes of it. We have slowly been getting rid ornaments that are difficult to clean. If something cannot be dusted easily I don't think  it is worth having.

Having said that there are some things he has that are rather cute, like this pair of turtles. They are a bit worn out from being dropped and scraped and stored in boxes etc. But I have kept them because they illustrate our relationship rather well. Can you tell who might be sitting up and yakking nineteen to a dozen and who might be lounging and listening, or at least politely pretending to?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Heavy weight blessings

Store bought indoor crocus 
Yesterday as I pulled into our driveway I notice the mulch on my teeny flowerbed in the front of the house looked like it had been disturbed. So I knelt down to check and guess what? It was Little Miss Crocus peeping out of the dark and into the light!! But today it is all buried under snow!

I want to bitch and moan about the weather. We can't go from 5 degrees to -13. Come on, it is supposed to be Spring, enough already. But you know what, sitting here typing this up and looking out the window just reminds me it is time to weigh my blessings. So here we go:
     I have a warm and safe home to complain about the weather
     My loved ones are all safe and healthy
     There is food in the house
     I have a job that pays (not as much as I'd like, but it pays)
     I don't have to worry about nuclear radiation
     I still have all those pretty flowers to look forward to
     There is promise of warm days ahead and plenty of sunshine
     And my brand new steam mop arrived yesterday (what more could a girl ask for?)
Those are mighty heavy blessings. And on that note, let me go seize the day, and you have a good one too!     

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Back and forth

Have you seen this video?

To me the news of late sounds a bit like Grover. Look at Japan, now back at Libya, back at Japan, now back at Gaddafi...

I want to retreat into my fictitious world where there is peace and everyone love's everybody else. It is proving a lot harder today than usual.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Japan versus Haiti

Besides the news on raising nuclear alert levels following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week, the other bit of news that seems to be taking center stage is how Japan is receiving far less in aids/funds compared to Haiti. Really now people! How naive do you have to be to be comparing the two nations? Haiti is the consequence of exploitative neo-liberal bullshit propagated by industrialized nations working to increase profit margins. Japan is the epitome of self reliance and sustainability. It is considered a future super power.

What also has been bothering me is the fact that around 3,500 people are dead from cholera in Haiti. I distinctly remember reading that cholera was spread by UN relief workers who arrived in Haiti from Nepal following the earthquake in Port-au-Prince. But I can't seem to locate the article now. The forecast for Haiti is grim. Researchers are predicting a death toll as high as 10,000 by November this year. The numbers are ironically similar to what is coming out of Japan.

One of the things that always upset me during days as a news person was how news is all about viewer/readership. News organisations are corporations too. News of nuclear radiation (and threats of it reaching as far as the US West Coast) will help hike the price of air time/page space way more than news of damage and destruction from the tsunami. Death tolls and damage is already  'old' news. In a world like this what chance does a country like Haiti stand?

I am not belittling what has happened in Japan. In fact I want to know how the relief/rescue efforts are going? I want to know more about how people can contact their loved ones in the afflicted parts. How are the people faring? Is nuclear radiation the only threat? Are they safe from the cold weather that has hit Japan?

All of this also makes me wonder if it is because the audience, which is you and me, want this kind of sensational, depressing news. Would we listen/read more if the news was more positive? This whole Haiti/Japan business has been bothering me for a few days now. I don't feel better for having gotten it off my chest. But writing about it will probably help me get through the rest of the day. I will be back to pondering this later today much to the annoyance of my Hubby.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

We're almost there

Spring is almost here folks! I am not basing this on calendars, the groundhog or the weather person. My most reliable source, the American Robin, arrived two days ago. At first I thought it might be the random one that had come back, but I have seen them two days in a row and now I hear them singing.

American Robin
I made a few lame attempt at using my new 300mm to record the arrival of the first of my migratory feathered friends. I might have to lift weights to steady the arm if I want to keep using this lens!

Resident Mrs Cardinal 

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

For my visitor

I know there is someone from Japan who visits my blog regularly. This one's for you.

I don't know how you have been affected by the earthquake, tsunami and now the nuclear reactor explosions. You can't live in Japan or anywhere in the world for that matter and not be affected by a disaster such as this. I can't even begin to wrap my head around the enormity of what has happened. It all seems so unreal. All that is lost can be rebuilt, all that has been washed away is just the material. What really forces me into denial is the loss of lives. I can relate to that. I am truly sorry for your loss.

I hope you take a little comfort in knowing that I am praying for everyone's safety. I am praying, confident that the Land of the Rising Sun will shine again.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Cricket - an acquired taste

Gartmore Estate, Maskeliya, Sri Lanka
Cricket has always been a part of my life, just like black tea. While I have grown to appreciate tea for its flavour, scent and taste, I can’t say I feel the same way about cricket. But the world cup this year has me feeling all nostalgic. I miss the excitement of a whole nation going bonkers about a game that takes an entire day from start to finish. I kind of prefer the thrill of rugby and soccer where you get to see more action in a shorter span of time.

But this year there is a lot of cricket talk going on in the world of social networking which, as far as I am concerned is limited to facebook. And all this cricket talk has me following the matches. All my cricket crazy cousins, new friends and old ones are commenting on teams and players and every now then talking about lousy rain forcing players off the field. I just bookmarked the ICC World Cup website. I can’t help it.

That'll do for a pitch
For people who know me well this may sound funny because there was a time when you had to pay me to follow a match, literally. I would only ever do it for money and even then I never got it right. I never understood when a match was won by runs and when it was won by wickets. But I get it now, all these years later and when it really doesn’t matter whether I follow a match or not. Sounds like I have acquired a taste for it after all.

The next generation of cricketers

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Topsy turvy

Humans have caused damage of every kind to this planet and to every species that lives on it including ourselves. We are terrible at living in harmony with the environment. I think about this all the time, but seeing news of a tiger killing a lion really made me want to say it out loud.

In the wild I am quite sure a lion would beat a tiger or kill it in a fight. I am not exactly sure if it would let a wounded tiger go. I am also not sure if these cats eat one another's kill. What I mean by that is would a lion eat a tiger? Must go off and find out.

But this story is about a tiger getting through a break in the fence and killing a lion in the next pen in a Turkish zoo. Apparently it went for the lion's jugular! What would make a tiger want to do that? Would it be the frustration of being caged? I want to know more about how these cats interacted before the killing. I am sure some folks are thinking, "yeah right, whatever woman, get a life. There are bigger issues to worry about." But I think when species that only kill for food or mates (and perhaps a pride in the case of lions) just randomly kills another we must be concerned. It has something to do with what we are doing as humans.

I have always loved visiting zoos. But I have lost interest lately. The older I get the harder it is for me to see animals caged. Zoos do have their place on this planet, they help rehabilitate, protect endangered species, etc. But even that doesn't seem necessary. If an animal is endangered there is a reason behind it. If dinosaurs existed today the planet would be a very different place. All this protecting of species I am sure has someone (frightfully crazy) thinking about how humans could be 'protected' beyond all odds, to come back and wreak havoc over and over again!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Delicious, Divine, Dreamy

Some books you read, put aside, and never give it a second thought. Others you read and remember parts of it. And then there are some books you read and will remember for life. This is one of those books. Elizabeth Gilbert does a fastastic job of taking you along on her amazing journey through a tumultuous couple of years. The movie does the book no justice, so I recommend you do not watch it. But the book goes from delicious to divine and absolutely dreamy.

The book is divided into 108 sections for reasons the author explains. And if you really want to do justice to her work and her journey, you ought to take 108 days to read it. Read one section a day, experience it with her.

In the first third of her book you will want to indulge in yummy desserts.Of course you can't go to Italy, but you could go over to the closest pasty shop for some tiramisu. I did! (And then some sushi, just to mix it up a little).

When I got to India with Gilbert I wanted to try meditating. Try it! If you've never tried it before you will learn how difficult it is to not think about anything. When you begin to think about how much you are thinking, then you can work on not thinking. Does that make sense? Gilbert explains it a lot better than I ever can.

And the final section of her time in Bali is so honest and so beautiful. It is just inspiring to learn that when you work on the changes you want in life it will come to you. I can't exactly take a year off to go around the world right now, and there really is no need for that. But that does not mean I don't want to. Regardless, I can't imagine anyone reading this book, man or woman, will find it difficult to relate to. There is something in it for everyone.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Feline felons

I love cats. Always have. As a child I have smuggled strays into the house and tried to talk my parents into letting me keep them. But right now there is no room for cats in my life. It has little to do with my offspring and more to do with my passion for birdwatching. I live in a place that has great potential for watching and learning about birds. So when I see three big cats like this just lounging on the fence I worry.

I also have not seen birds in my backyard for sometime now. I put it down to not feeding the birds regularly and the nasty weather. But now I am worried that these fellows have been devouring them. I also have never seen this many cats in the neighbourhood in the years I have lived here. Since our house backs onto a conservation area I am now wondering if there is someway I can get rid of the cats. Perhaps some 'cat haven' place could take them? Should cats in Canada have collars?
Spring is almost here and unless these cats leave I cannot invite the birds. My feeder will turn out to be a death trap.