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Posts from the ‘Ambient Temperature’ Category

Four Sheep

Counting Sheep; Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

When I think about trying to remain emotionally unattached to an animal, whether a domestic foster pet, an individual in a wildlife study or a domestic farm animal, I always think about my  friend Vicki and her valiant effort to remain emotionally unattached to four sheep named Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moe.

When I was a teenager my  neighbor friend Vicki decided that she would raise sheep for a county fair project. She volunteered at a local veterinarian’s office every summer, and it was her life’s dream to become a veterinarian one day. Doc Smith told her he didn’t think it was a good idea, but since she had her mind made up, to remember that whatever she did, not to name the sheep.  He didn’t want her to become attached to them when it came time for the livestock sale during the county fair.

Vicki took Doc’s advice and told me that she was just going to call them Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moe. She thought this was better than the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, because it wasn’t a ranking per say, just a way to keep the records straight.  And these certainly were not names, just a way to tell them apart. I nodded my tacit approval.

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Image of 2012

Reject Resolutions for 2012! Bring on the Gratitude!

As we say goodbye to 2011, why not also say goodbye to making New Year’s Resolutions for 2012? Let’s face it, if you are one of the overwhelming majority of humans, and statistically speaking, you more than likely are, you won’t stick to the resolution anyway and this deviation from the plan can lead you down a path of self-destruction!

Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik’s research from as early as the 1920s, showed that our subconscious is better at remembering our unfinished tasks than our completed ones.  So, it might be better not to start a project if you don’t plan to finish.  American psychologist Will Joel Friedman claims that being haunted by unfinished business prevents us from living in the present.  This nagging of the subconscious actually moves our accomplishments to the back burner while the remnants of our resolutions move to the forefront, increasing stress and gnawing away at our self-esteem.

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baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Spirit of St. Francis Lives on in the Work of Edwin Lusichi

Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.  This year when I reflect upon the life and works of Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone, one of the most venerated religious figures in history, I can’t help but think about an amazing man named Edwin Lusichi, the Head Baby Elephant Keeper at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Lily and Faith walking away without Hope

Losing Hope but Keeping Faith

Lily and Hope as a small cub

Lily and Hope as a small cub

I am heartbroken.  As I sit and wait with countless others connected to the North American Bear Center’s(NABC) Lily the Black Bear project, I can’t help but feel forlorn. Losing Hope, the yearling daughter of Lily whose birth was viewed online by thousands is missing and presumed murdered by a hunter. I use the term murdered because that is how it feels to me. This hunter set out this season to kill Hope.

Lily and her family have over 132,000 Facebook fans and the news that she is missing has been devastating, prompting thousands of responses from other bear watchers like me, mourning the loss of our Hope.  The bear watchers are not just from the United States. Lily, Hope and Faith have a following in 132 countries and students at over 500 schools have been following the bear family. Many teachers in tears this

Lily Hope and Faith

Lily, Hope and Faith

weekend, were seeking advice of what to tell their  students about what happened to Hope and how to answer the questions that will be coming from the young minds. Why would this hunter shoot such a small bear?  Why Hope? Why indeed.

This is a question for which there is no answer. We as adults are perhaps used to bad news and accidents and yet we are struggling for closure. When Jason, Lily’s cub died earlier this spring, it was a huge loss and the bear community grieved his passing. The elementary children were sad but accepting of his untimely death.  But Jason’s death was not intentional.

Hope’s death, and all signs are pointing towards that being the case, was caused by some mean-spirited ego maniac toting a rifle.  This hunter knew the location where he set up his bait station Read moreRead more

International Bridge Sault Ste Marie

Remembering Sault Sainte Marie

When we were kids, we were lucky. We got to pack up in the truck camper and go on vacation. Sometimes we would head northeast to Maine. We spent a couple of summers in Worcester, Massachusetts while my dad attended classes at Holy Cross.  We went lots of places, and we would buy a decal for the back of the camper to commemorate each location we visited. The whole back right side of the camper was covered with the decals.

One of our neighbors told me that she used to watch us pack up and leave wondering where we were headed to that summer. She told me many years later how wonderful it was that we were able to travel as a family. We had two small dogs at the time, Maggie and Maxine.  They of course went with us, we all piled in the back of the camper and off we went.

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Character Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons

For the Children……Is it enough already?

There is what I consider, a disturbing phrase that seems to be entering into conversations, and once I started to pay attention,  it  seems to me this phrase is pandemic.   More often than not, right in the middle of a topic, someone will blurt out, “Our generation is hopeless, we need to educate the children. The children are our only hope to make a difference for tomorrow!”  “We need to teach the children to care.”  And most of the time, the discussion simmers down, followed by a collective sigh.

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Image of people pointing fingers at person

You Need to Get Out More!

It almost never fails when I am at a  social gathering at some point I will be told You Need to Get Out More!”  This isn’t because I am agoraphobic or  suffer from depression but  is typically in response to my not being able to actively participate in some of the conversations. I admit I do not know any “Real Housewives by name or even by city for that matter. I don’t know who has  gone to exile island on Survivor” and I have enough trouble keeping  up with my laundry let alone  “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”.  I am not even sure why we would want  to be keeping up with them.

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