Sunday, March 26, 2017

AUNT BUBBA HAS LEFT THE PLANET

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies.

I am so sorry you have not heard from me in nearly three months.  Things became a little intense in late January and escalated from there.

Some of you know about my "Aunt Bubba."  I posted about her back in 2008 and the link will take you to that very short post.  She is the reason we relocated from Austin, Texas to DeRidder, Louisiana, my hometown.

After a very long period of mobility challenges beginning in 2008, she became bedridden in April of 2012.  While that does not appeal to any of us, the blessing was her slight level of dementia that apparently allowed her to think she had actually been up and about!  After sending her flowers for some occasion, I walked into her bedroom.  I saw the flowers and commented on how lovely they were.  She immediately responded, "Yes. Aren't they? I cut them this morning in the garden."  Okay.  LOL!  If that's what she thought, so be it.  It was now true!!  I was happy to discover she did not have real grasp of her situation.  Perfect!

Things remained at that level for nearly five years.  The caregivers, who all have an incredibly special place in Heaven, took such excellent care of her.  They all became her friends and she enjoyed each and every one of them.  Two of them were with her from the beginning in late 2008 until the end.

And that's why I titled this "Aunt Bubba Has Left The Planet."  She turned age 92 on February 1st.  That gave her the longevity title in the family!  Unfortunately, the week prior to that, she began experiencing some major challenges.  Blessedly and peacefully, she passed away on February 20th.  While loss is always difficult, it is made so much less so when one has lived a good, long life and enjoyed so much of it.  She was a very fortunate lady for the most part.  There were losses of her own... but she was definitely a Steel Magnolia!!  She pushed through the difficulties and continued on.  A sweet Southern Belle... with the heart of a lion!!  :)  She (and my mother) graduated from college when not so many women were doing so.  She held positions of importance in her career.  She traveled extensively.  She lived her life to the fullest.  We should all be so lucky!!

With all of that said, it is now we must begin the new chapters of our lives.  The past 8+ years have been focused on managing her care and business affairs.  That will end soon when the final bills are paid and there is nothing left to manage.  Stay tuned for more on the new chapters.  Right now, just look up and say, "Good Job, Aunt Bubba!"

Until next post...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

GLOBAL WILDLIFE CENTER PART 3

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Pals.  I believe this will be the final installment of the Global Wildlife Center adventure.  I saved the best (for me) for last.

While we had been informed the animals were VERY comfortable with people and would easily eat from our hands, I could not have imagined how truly comfortable was an accurate description.


The reason the Giraffe family statue is so appropriate at the Center is due to the actual Giraffe family residing there!  Yes.  There are two "baby" Giraffes along with multiple adults.  You can only tell when you see them all together and notice the difference in height.  There is one "baby" to the left of the tall, center Giraffe, and one off to the right.



So... as we approached and rolled to a stop, the Giraffes slowly came toward our vehicle.  They are absolutely gorgeous, gentle, giants.  Maybe that's why their name begins with a "G."  :)  They clearly knew the drill and slowly stuck those long necks into the openings around our Pinz... and helped themselves to the treats.  I didn't care.  I just could not believe I was this close to a Giraffe.




We let them eat right out of the bucket for a while.  I was terrified I would spook them if I made a move... but I finally couldn't stand it any longer.  Could I get closer?  Not really!  I was already having to lean back to catch the pictures you see.  Could I pet a Giraffe?


Yes!!!  This sweet creature didn't even blink when I reached out and began petting its head while it ate.  I honestly did not want this time to end.

A bit further along, we encountered the "babies."  They were just as friendly as the adults and approached us the same way.  The two of them apparently hang out together and remained close together as they "invaded" our vehicle.  We let them feed on their own for a bit... and then I tried feeding them from my hand.  No problem.  One softly "Hoovered" the treats from my open palm while the other remained head-in-bucket.  What wonderful animals.




I reiterate.  Go to this facility.  Take the Private Pinz Tour with your family or a few friends.  Buy the big bucket of treats.  Believe me... this is not an experience you are likely to have elsewhere in the State of Louisiana.  For those of you in other states, check for this type of center in your area.  You may be surprised, as was I, to discover this marvelous experience so nearby.

That ends our tour.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I know it's not the same as being there.  Treat yourself to this kind of experience when you can.


Until next post...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

GLOBAL WILDLIFE CENTER PART 2

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies.  I told you I would be back with more photos from the Global Wildlife Center adventure.  Here are some more.

There are Camels and there are Dromedaries.  If you are curious about the differences, click here for a short lesson.  (One easy difference: A Camel has two humps.  A Dromedary has one hump.)




There were birds, also, although not nearly as many as there were four-footed critters.  A couple of Geese (below) didn't seem to mind sharing space and snacks with the long-legged Greater Rhea which shares some characteristics with the Ostrich and the Emu... but is neither.




As we drove, this Greater Rhea was determined to keep up and get some snacks!!  They run quite well and have a pretty long stride at higher speed.





Who doesn't love a Llama?  Look at these faces!  These were so sweet and gentle.  They enjoyed eating the treats right from our hands.  One even chased alongside the Pinz as we drove while Charlotte held out treats for it to snack on mid-stride!!  Hilarious!!





The only somewhat enclosed animals were the Kangaroos.  They had a large enclosure surrounding the pond near the main buildings.  There were a number of them.  Two had Joeys (babies!) and we were able to spot a pair of little legs dangling from one mother's pouch.  We weren't able to capture a photo, however, as the mother was turned away from us.




Okay.  Some of you (us) are of an age that allows us to be familiar with the Watusi dance (be sure to watch the video)!  Others may remember some National Geographic specials which included information on the Watusi Tribe in Africa with extremely tall men and extremely colorful clothing.  There are also Watusi Cattle and there were some beautiful examples of them at the Center.  They are known for their exceptionally long horns.




The mother below had her calf with her.  Beautiful animals.


I believe the next lovely bovine was a cross of some other types of cattle.  Sorry, I cannot recall.  But it was a really beautiful animal and I want you to see it.



And... speaking of bovine... who doesn't love a bison?!?

Well, Hello, Charlotte!!!  Got anything for me?


No luck with Charlotte.  I'll try the other rider!  Hello!!!!!!  Whatcha' got for me?  Huh?


Okay.  Okay.  I'm a soft touch.  Have a cuppa' snacks! (My new best friend.)  :)


Alright.  That's a lotta' pictures for you today.  I think there will only be one more round... but it's one I think might amaze you.  It should at least make you want to make the trip.


Until next post...

Friday, December 30, 2016

UNBELIEVABLE!! GLOBAL WILDLIFE CENTER

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!!  You just are not going to believe this post... and a few after it to get all of the pictures to you!

I had never heard of the Global Wildlife Center, much less known it was in southeast Louisiana... a mere 4 hour drive away from where I am in southwest Louisiana.  My friend, Charlotte B., with whom I have traveled on several "excellent adventures", made me aware of it and suggested it might be a good place for us to visit.  We were long overdue for a catch-up and it seemed like a great idea.  She is such a good amateur photographer and it was a perfect spot for photo ops!  Check out the web site but definitely check out the photos I have posted for you.  Most are hers with a few of my cellphone camera photos mixed in.


I will tell you that kids of ALL ages will enjoy this place.  We were fortunate our booking in early December happened to be on a wonderful, beautiful day... albeit a bit chilly (which will explain our attire!).  Sunshine.  No wind to speak of.  Perfect.  Having reviewed information on the web site, I had booked a Private Pinz Tour for us.  You can read more there about the two different types of tours.

Without further ado... please join me on my visit to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana!!

The main buildings and a lovely statue of a giraffe family.  (That will make sense later.)





After loading up in our Pinz (and getting our huge bucket of animal feed piled into the thing!), we headed out to the "savanna"-like area comprised of about 700 acres (with an additional 200 acres in hay for wintertime feeding when necessary).  Ahead of us was one of the Safari Wagon Tours which holds multiple folks.  I assure you all of the animals know exactly what is coming when these roll onto the landscape!!  LOL!!  The whole nearby herd arrived en masse for some feed!  Yes, there are a couple of giraffes in the picture.  The numbers of exotic deer was huge!





There was a sign posted in our Pinz clearly stating that anyone feeding a Zebra would be removed from the tour!!  I asked our lovely guide why that would occur?  She advised that the Zebras were "love-biters" and they loved anyone feeding them... meaning potential "love-bites" from them.  Unfortunately, a Zebra "love-bite" can be rather large, painful, and unwanted!  Made sense.  Hated to have to not feed them, though, since everyone else was getting fed.  Sorry, guys!  :(





Some of the racks on the exotics were just amazing.  We happened to be there during rutting season... so there was a lot of clashing of racks as we drove through.




While not an exotic, this elk was a lovely specimen.  My friend, Charlotte B., enjoyed him until he caught her with his rack!!  He gave her a good jolt but she was an excellent sport about it.  Just don't think you are "safe" due to your being inside a vehicle.  :)



The next photo shows the same type of vehicle we were in (Pinz).  It gives you some scale to the animals we were enjoying.  Yes, you are seeing a Llama, Giraffes, and Zebras with the exotic deer.



Okay!!  Now you know what we are doing.  There are more photos for you... some more "up close and personal" than you could possibly imagine.  I know I wasn't quite prepared for it!!  Stay tuned!!

Until next post...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

"STUFF"

Heidy-Ho, my Blogging Buddies!

I apologize profusely for the length of time since my last post.  There have been some changes here that created other priorities.  I do have some photos for you to enjoy, however, and I have enough for more than one post... so I hope to get a bit "caught up" with posts.

With that said, please allow me to provide you with some shots I found interesting.

First of all, I saw something I had not seen before... nor did I know it was possible.  During my early morning walks, I found the usual beauty (photo #1 below) but also found something unusual to me.  Take a look at photos #2-#5 below and see if you notice something.  (I'll tell you what I saw after the photos.)







Do you see what I saw?  The sun has not yet risen and is still just below the horizon... but the clouds were positioned in such a way that the sun cast shadows from below them!!  Yes... those grey areas you see above the clouds are actually the shadows of the clouds!!  I had never seen this before and found it to be completely interesting.

My favorite holiday has nearly always been Halloween.  I remember my grandmother making homemade fudge, cookies, and caramel popcorn balls.  She would tie clear wrap around an appropriate "serving" of these items (2 pieces of fudge, 3 cookies, and a popcorn ball!) using orange and black ribbon to close them.  She would then place a number of them on a tray.  When her doorbell would ring, she arrived at the door with the tray in hand.  I'm pretty sure there were parents who drove their kids across town (which didn't take more than 5 minutes!) to get one of her special homemade Halloween "treats!"  I know my brother and I insisted my parents take us there VERY early to be sure we got ours!  I doubt we would have missed out on them... but we wanted to be sure.  As an adult, I would dress up to answer the door.  One year I dressed as a Gypsy fortune-teller.  I would "read the palm" of each child, taking cues from them about what they liked, etc.  It was lots of fun and they would stand wide-eyed while I told them about their future... which was always good.  :)

With all of that now in the open, I present you with a few photos I was able to take in Texas as Halloween approached this year.








Glad to see there are still those who get into the "spirit" of the thing!!  :)

Finally, I was driving down one of the many country roads here and came across a newly cut field.  The fun part was what was occupying the field!  Little opportunists, these.  I watched them for a few minutes as they mowed across like a synchronized swimming team!




I hope you have found at least one or two things of interest.  It seems like the best things show up when I am not looking for them!  Perhaps that is how it is should be always!  :)  So... don't look... but be aware and keep your eyes open for something for which you weren't looking.

I will try to post at least once more before Gobbler Day... but in case I miss that, I wish all of you a wonderful Turkey Day!!  Find something to be thankful for as I know there are many things we all sometimes take for granted.

Until next post...