Dec 29, 2011

Post Christmas...

I am grumpily posting. Have a thumping headache, so not really in the right frame of mind to write anything noteworthy.. but anyways....
Christmas Day here on the beach was nice, well, nice indoors.. as we were receiving a bit of a walloping from the cyclone in the south. All of the beaches down the coast had to be closed due to the rough seas and all the erosion those said rough seas were creating. Saw some spectacular waves from our balcony though, of a size I'd never seen before.
After we opened our presents my parents arrived and we all stuffed ourselves with yummy lunch. We had home made potato salad, pasta salad, roast chicken, roast pork, smoked ham, Greek salad...washed down with lots of champagne..no wait that was just me... For desert I made a fiendishly yummy Cherry and White Chocolate Pavlova, with a cherry reduction sauce.  After my parents left we were going to go for the traditional Christmas Day Nanna Nap.. but ten minutes later Hubby's Dad and his GF arrived and we had to do it all over again.. especially the champagne and the pavlova. Couldn't let the Champagne go to waste no could I?...
Love my pressies. The recipe book I wanted, full of yummy macaroons, and chocolates and pastries.. and a little craft caddy filled with lollies. And Mum bought me a Terry's Chocolate Orange because she knows how much I love them :) Hubby's Dad gave us his traditional "card with money" gift :)  All in all it was a nice Christmas and Hubby got his wish of hosting. I was happy for him :)
MF this year..

Craft caddy from my son :)

recipe book from Hubby :)

Yummies made by me! those little tarts are white chocolate ganache tarts.

Cookie tree. Did NOT like the recipe on the box.. See the Karate Bread men?  I made them for my son...lol..

Cherry and White Chocolate Pavlova

with a cherry sauce reduction... mmmmm....

Jewel White...YUM! (I'd already drank the Pink..hehehe)

My Dads beer.. BROO! LOL!




So if your Post Christmas Day sales are anything like ours, you know what I mean when I say the shops were crazy busy! I went to my art shop and finally bought myself another easel. It's not the big free standing one I would have liked, because it would have been impractical in our apartment. I got instead the French Box easel I wanted.. a nice Winsor and Newton one for only $129, with three FREE canvas's. Artutopia! I also picked up a marked down "Do it Yourself" advent calendar. Which I will work on when I find the rest of my craft supplies..which means..yes..another trip into the garage..... 
ready to carry anywhere!





Dec 19, 2011

I shall call this post.. "Boob Tag"

So the apartment across the hall from us has been vacant for quite a while. But now, suddenly, it is occupied. We have no idea when these people moved in, having not seen any moving trucks of any sort. I can only surmise that either A) they moved in while we were out or B) they magically teleported all their furniture in or C) they are minimalists and have no furniture.  I am leaning towards B. Anyway..they are spookily quite neighbours...

I am finally able to come off the steroids. But because it is dangerous to just stop them, it is going to take a very long six weeks to gradually cut down the dose. I can’t wait to be finally rid of them. Although they sort of fixed that latest attack on my eye, being on steroids really isn’t pleasant. They messed up a whole lot of other things. WOMAN things in particular...

I have a skin tag. You know those annoying little random bits of skin that usually you ignore, or tie a piece of thread around and wait till they just drop off? OK, this one is on my right boob. Yes, that’s what I said. Boob. Anyway, I have no idea what happened to it yesterday but it blew up to the size of a pea and had all this ewwy clear stuff coming out of it. Hubby wanted to cut it off.. I was a big sookie la la so instead he tied dental floss around it, in an attempt to starve it of blood and kill it. I know it sounds funny, and hey it kind of is but it’s also kind of disturbing... It reminds me of that baby growing on that monster in Hell Boy 2 that says..”I’m not a baby, I’m a tumour..”

The other day, after my appointment in the city we arrived home after dark and I discovered that the huge apartment block around the corner from us really gets in the Christmas spirit. Almost every balcony is decorated with a light display. So I am going to go round there some time and attempt to take some pictures for you. Our whole neighbourhood looks like one big twinkling tree. It’s so pretty. My son and I are going down to the local Carols tonight and there is a fireworks display on the beach at 8:30, so I will attempt to take some fireworky pics as well.

ooo..!!Hubby is back from the garage... time to decorate MY balcony!!

Later...
OK.. so half the lights I thought I had, I forgot I’d sold them at our last garage sale....  So instead I have just two lots of fairy lights wrapped around the rail on the balcony. A bit puny compared to others round the neighbourhood, but the intention is still there.. :)

Dec 1, 2011

M**er F**er, the Christmas Tree.

Some years, I try to get into the Christmas mood.  I put on some carols and haul out my tree and decorations and have at it while belting out carols with gusto.

Sometimes though.... 
I fight with the tree who I have affectionately named M**er F**er, receiving a number of scrapes and booboos thanks to its wiry, slasher-like sticky out limbs and general un-cooperativeness. I always come out of it looking like I climbed into a bag full of angry cats. That’s also when I put on my “angry” music. Something like Offspring or Limp Bizkit...

Today is the first day of December and while Hubby isn’t interested in festive decorating, he IS a stickler for so-called rules and insists that the tree be put up. Today. So I am off, down to the garage to collect said evil MF tree and decoration box.

One thing I can say is that no Christmas for the past six years has ever been the same. Given that I have been living in a new home each time. I have loved the challenge of figuring out where the MF tree will go, and the lights and other christmasy things I like to put out. This year we are a little short on room, but our dining/lounge room opens out onto our balcony with huge glass doors, so I am thinking of putting the tree right at the front, and given that we are high up, the whole neighbourhood will be able to see our tree in all its sparkling, multicoloured twinkling glory. 
MF last year..

Nov 29, 2011

Christmas, e-readers and allergies..

Christmas for the Sprite family this year will be celebrated at our place. At the beach.  We have decided that we are sick of being the ones to have to travel around the country side to visit people (and to be honest we simply can’t afford it). We have decided to be selfish this year. And why shouldn’t we!? We have a beach, a pool and a lot to be thankful for. The main one being we have made it to another Christmas with Hubby still in it.
Living with a terminal illness that could take you at any moment, kind of makes those special occasions even more precious.
Anyway. Hubby loves to cook. To entertain. But his selfish sister refuses to celebrate Christmas at our place so Hubby can indulge in his passion. Not even once. *sigh* I am actually so glad Hubby is putting his foot down this year and has decided that enough is enough. If they want to see us, they can come here.
So now we are planning Christmas Day being just us. And maybe my parents and Hubby’s Dad plus one. Which will be nice. Hubby will do the main meal and I have all sorts of sweet yummies planned for desert. One being “White Chocolate and cherry macaroons”. Maybe a big strawberry Pavlova as well. After the great strawberry Pavlova wars last year I am NOT going to back down on that one...(for those of you who don’t remember... I was going to make the Pavlova to take to sister-in-laws place. We agreed on it, it was all discussed...then SHE makes one herself! Totally snubbing me, grrr...)
So this year it will be a relaxing, come if you want, kind of day. Which is just the way it should be.

In other news.. My beloved Sony e-reader died. I had to actually continue reading Inheritance with the “real” book..  Anyway, they didn’t fix my e-reader but replaced it with the newest model.. WOOT! It has all these new features, AND.. WIFI! WOOT WOOT!! Hubby is sooo jealous.. Heh. Two things I don’t like about this new one is that it’s stylus is not attached to it (on the old one the stylus slid into a hole on the side) and that its black cover is not dull but shiny. I don’t like shiny. I must clean shiny things, and it annoys me when I get fingerprints on it. I liked the dull, matt finish on the old one. But that’s about it. It does have some cool new features, like the WIFI, and it has a touch zoom feature (like an iPod) and more font sizes, which is good for me with my bung left eye.

My son has his school breakup this year. They have asked us to bring a share plate for morning tea. Now one thing about homeschooled kids is that a lot of them are home schooled because they have severe allergies. So anything we make HAS to be egg and nut free. Alright for Hubby, he is making sushi. But I LOVE to make cupcakes. SO I have had to search the internet for egg free cupcake recipes. Which is not so hard, but I have yet to try a recipe that tastes nice, and won’t kill any children. I am thinking of chocolate cupcakes, with a nice chocolate-butter icing. We shall see.

Nov 27, 2011

Stupidity.

So we have a new car..by new I mean a second hand car gifted to us by our brother-in-law. (it’s really nice) As it happens, Hubby’s Dad’s car died and so we are loaning our little Nissan to him until he gets himself a new car. So yesterday we had to drive it to the place where he would be picking it up. Hubby was in the Nissan, and I was travelling behind in our new Ford. Along the highway Hubby got behind me so I was checking in my rear view mirror to see if he was catching up..anyway I notice him going into the passing lane and this green car dangerously swerving behind him. I slow down slightly so hubby can pass me, and this maniac in the green car is so dangerously close to Hubby’s back bumper..(Hubby later tells me he was so close the car was shaking and he had to break)...
He then passes me and comes over into my lane...the maniac then travels beside Hubby, swerving over, making gestures, trying to get Hubby to pull over.. Like on the side of the highway!! WTH?? Meanwhile I am watching all this, freaking out, heart pounding... Hubby is ignoring this fool and so he pulls in behind Hubby again and tailgates him for ages.... I am so mad and ready to ram this guy. Meanwhile some dude in a blue minivan pulls in between hubby and the green maniac. Green maniac eventually gets pissed off and pulls out and passes everyone, almost hitting a speed limit sign on his way past, being all stupid and hoony.
This was all because he didn’t want to do the correct speed limit. He put a whole lot of people in danger because of his stupidity. I was half expecting to see a big accident further up the highway with him in the starring role, but thankfully the rest of the trip was non-eventful. Dumbass...

Nov 21, 2011

Boganism. What's with that?

The bogan neighbours next door annoy me.
 I love our apartment block. All of its residents are nice, civilised, and quiet. They respect that they have neighbours living close by.

Not so much the small apartment block next door.
 It’s full of loud mouthed, smoking, drinking bogans. They drive like maniacs with no regard for others safety, smoke with their kids in the car (illegal here), drive with toddlers in the front seat (highly illegal here), sit around till all hours of the morning, playing loud music, keeping their poor kids up (not to mention the whole neighbourhood), drinking and then having domestics..Where they seem to not be able to string a sentence together without every second word being the “F” word. The other night some guy came and had a big argument with one woman then proceeded to do a burnout down the street as he drove off. The black tyre marks are still on the road.

And now today... they swim IN OUR POOL! OUR POOL! Grrr.. not only that, the guy walks into the pool area with a beer bottle in his hand. WTH? (Hubby was straight on to the real estate about it.. hopefully they put a lock on the pool gate) Anyway, the nerve of them. And there is no excuse. We have a freaking BEACH just around the corner. You don’t use a pool that doesn’t belong to you. Ever here of public liability? I don't even want to use the pool now. Not until the chlorine has had a chance to do its thing.. what if they peed in it? ew.. Bogan pee....

I don’t judge people by where they live but seriously, no wonder folks have little respect for people like them when all they do is act like  A**holes. I know I sound harsh but I can’t tolerate inconsiderate boganism.

End of Rant.

Nov 19, 2011

Sharing secret moments of hilarity.

My mother and I have a very similar sense of humour, and always find ourselves sharing secret moments of hilarity. Sometimes at the most inappropriate of times.
The other day after the funeral of our friend, everyone was gathered under the nice under covered area, gathered into small groups. Some solemn, others laughing and talking. There were two tables filled with lovely plates full of treats, so given we were hungry, we sort to empty these serving trays of their burdens. I was standing in front of my Mum, both of us clutching our little empty paper plates when suddenly she dropped hers. I bent down to pick it up and the man in front of me just happened to put his foot back at the same time and stood on the plate. I was in a precarious position, bent over with my hand on the plate, and my head hovering near the man’s suit-clad buttocks. I finally managed to pry the plate out from under his foot, and, straightening up, noticed my mother in silent hysterics. So I said to her.. “I thought I was going to have to drop-kick him there for a minute”.. which put us into fits of giggles.
Another time we were at our local restaurant waiting for our meals to arrive. My parents were there, along with Hubby’s Dad and girlfriend. I don’t know how it happened but my Dad put his drink down on the table and it clipped the edge of his fork, sending it hurtling, end on end up over his head and back towards the lady seated behind us, narrowly missing skewering Dad’s eye as it sailed past. Luckily it didn’t hit the lady, who was none the wiser. As my Dad sheepishly retrieved it off the floor, my Mum and I were almost catatonic with laughter. No-one else really saw it happen.
There are times we share that the other wasn’t there to see, but laugh at all the same... like the time all the plastic bags escaped out of the boot of my car and terrorised the neighbourhood..
Or when a duck... a DUCK... SAT on my Mums shoulder. Just because.
None of this is funny to anyone else, but they are things I love to share with my Mum. Things I will always remember with a smile or a giggle.

In other news... I have had my eye appointment. The steroids don't appear to be treating this latest Uveitis, but they still want me to stay on them. I go back in a month, but in the mean time I have to have another electrode test... remember way back when I had to have those wires  ON MY EYE BALLS....? Yes, I have to do THAT again. BLECK! fun times...fun times....

Got my parcel from Amazon. .. a Q&A 5 year journal..
What you do is answer the question on the top of the page, then come back in five years and do the same. It's a really neat way to see how your life changed, if at all, over a five year period...
Anyway...the cover is made of brown paper and I think I might add my own flair to it and do some drawing on it as well.. I'll post pics when it is done.

My ocean is so blue today and it is calling to me, so see you all and have a great weekend. stay safexx

Nov 16, 2011

Through my eye(s)

This is a picture I took of Melbourne...

And THIS is how I see it through my left eye...

See why I am scared now? It feels like I am watching a 3D movie without the glasses, all funky and wrong. Makes me queasy as well. 
But still... last night I drew THIS...
Nice hey? it's a zentangle pattern I was trying out for the first time called Purk..lol! and yep, I FINALLY have my scanner running.

Nov 11, 2011

I DREW today...

Well my left eye may be stuffed for good and my arm is killing me (although not so much as last night after the injection...WOW that hurt like a SOAB!!), but a least I did something today. Today I DREW... and it felt good (although it was a bit difficult) Anyway here is today's effort...

Here are a few more I've done since the last lot...
This one I drew on the beach..it's a clam btw..

This one reminds me of the spiral shell left over from a sea urchin...


See a theme going on here..? yep. The sea and eyes..lol.
Sorry about the creaminess of the paper, it IS white but I took the pics with my camera as I don't have my scanner set up yet.
So I am going to the funeral tomorrow..I think there will be quite a few people there. Any way. It will be good to say goodbye.


 Hope you all have a great weekend :)


OO! In other exciting news. I can now play "Song of Joy" on the guitar. Not very well mind you, but I was even able to work out all by myself and then play the verse bit that wasn't written in the book.. how's that! LOL!

Nov 10, 2011

Spiralling Down...

In a deep spiral of depression. My arm is killing me (I get a shot in it today) my eye doesn't appear to be getting any better. There are two spots now, and they are growing...My worst fear seems to be coming true. I can't see properly. I can't focus on my computer screen, can't draw, can't read.... can't do the things I love that relax and refresh me and throw me out of my funk. I have a 5 minute suduku book that usually takes me two minutes..last night I couldn't even finish it. My head hurts. 
I could just get over it and try to make the most of it. But right now, I choose not to. This sucks and I am going to wallow in my misery for a while.


Oh and I am going to a funeral on Saturday :(

Nov 6, 2011

Kleptomaniac Cat.

Kleptomaniac Cat.


Years ago, I had a cat by the name of Celest.  I acquired her when she was only a baby, turning up bedraggled and starving on my back door step one night.  Oh she was all cute and innocent back then. The poor, stranded kitty. Little did we know that as she got older she would turn to a life of crime. If I had of known, back then, I would have tried some kitty counseling. An intervention. Something…
It all started when we moved back in with my parents. Perhaps she was acting out. Maybe it was all an attention seeking thing.
It started with the sock.
One, man’s sized footy sock.
Lying there in our back yard. We had no idea where it came from, so Mum just put it aside, thinking nothing more of it. It wasn’t long before another sock appeared in the yard. The next day, another. This was starting to get serious. Where were they coming from?
Then one day we saw the culprit. Celest was slinking home from another raid on the neighbours house with, yes, a sock in her mouth.
“OMG! Mum ! It’s Celest! She’s the sock-thief!”

Apparently the neighbours next door had three grown boys who were tradies and they wore two pairs of footy socks each with their work boots. Celest thought that these smelly, sweaty, socks were marvelous, and so she felt the need to pilfer. Pretty soon we had a basket of misbegotten socks. It fell upon my mortified Mother to confess to the neighbours about our criminal cat and return the loot. They thought it was hilarious.

Celest’s criminal ways did not stop when we moved to another house. Her booty became more varied, a child’s shirt, a small plastic giraffe, and underwear . But her main love was socks. She was always an odd little thing. She used to wait outside the bathroom door and when the shower was turned off, beg to be let in so she could rub against our wet legs. Odd.

Sadly, Celest died years ago after being hit by a car, but we always have a laugh when we remember our kooky kleptomaniac cat.


This post inspired by Dbs HERE

Nov 5, 2011

And here comes the Flood...


I received some very bad news today. A lady I knew was involved in a fatal accident. She was the best friend of my elderly friend who is looking after my cat. We used to live next to her and the lady (who died) used to visit almost every day. I am so saddened by this news. I feel terrible for my parents, staying at our friends place at the moment who received the news and in turn told me. (mum sounded so shaken up on the phone) I am sad for my friend, who isn’t even in town at the moment. (she is down visiting her very sick mother). I can’t imagine the pain she is in right now. Even though I didn’t know her that well, I do remember she was a nice old lady who did just about everything for her family and friends.
I still can’t believe she is gone.

One Lovely Blog Award..and some stuff about me.

Thank you to the sweet Frisky Virgin HERE for giving me the one lovely blog award. Her blog is clever and funny and you should check her out..(LOL) Thanks Frisky! 
*So the rules are, I thank and link the person who gave me the award. Done
*Answer the questionnaire...
*Write seven random things about myself...
*and then nominate 15 people to receive said award...


Questionnaire:

* Name your favorite color: Magenta or Egyptian Blue J (hey I’m an artist, I can be specific…)
* Name your favorite song: Am in love with Adele at the moment especially “Set Fire to the Rain”. It depends what mood I’m in. Happy -“Walk like a man” Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Mad – “My way or the Highway” Limp Biskit. Content – anything by Illapu.  
* Name your favorite dessert: Anything dripping in chocolate
* What pisses you off? Mankind (too general?)
* When you are upset, you: Completely shut down and hide. Sulk.  
* Your favorite pet: Moby of course!
* Black or White?  Am I white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?
* Everyday Attitude: Take it as it comes, that’s the way I roll baby.
* Your best feature: Hubby would say boobs. But I would say my general happy nature.
* Guilty pleasure: Churros dipped in melted white chocolate (a recent discovery). Buying journals, making journals, writing in journals, drawing in journals…

7 Random Things About Myself:
I dislike feathers.
Can’t sleep with the wardrobe door open.
Have to have my meat and veggie portions equal.
All my fingerprints are loops, except for one finger. It’s a swirl.
I am learning to play the guitar, even though I have no idea how to read music.
I love Audrey Hepburn movies.
My favourite food is Japanese

Now to nominate 15 people.. weelll...
You all know I don't play by the rules.. so I'm going to say you all deserve this, otherwise you wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be following you..lol..
So post it if you want, I don't mind, but don't forget to at least take the award and put it on your page somewhere. Because you all have lovely blogs.

Nov 3, 2011

It never rains...It Bloody POURS!

As if having Bursitis wasn't bad enough... You all know my problems with my eye... well yesterday I noticed a new blind spot! Right near where the optic nerve is situated... So I had to rush into the eye clinics emergency department today. The doctor in Melbourne told me that if it ever flared up again, to get to emergency straight away.. so I did just that..
Anyway... 5 hours later I eventually get seen by my head doctor and SHE SEES IT! She sees the spot! Then she says "Hmm... I don't like that".. oh..
Not good but at least she has seen this thing when it is active... and so tomorrow I start on a course of the ol' steroids.. yay.. (not)
So I WONT be getting the shot in the shoulder tomorrow.... can't really take a double dose of the roids.. (I sound like some junkie). Hopefully the tablets will treat my shoulder as well.
The side affects are lovely to read... bloating, weight gain, or anorexia, nausea, stretch marks and so on..... hmm... so hard to chose which one is worse.


Meanwhile... 

Nov 1, 2011

Sprite down..

My left arm has been sore (for over a month now), so after I couldn't put up with the pain any longer being nagged by Hubby, I finally went to the doctor yesterday. Today I had to have an ultrasound on it and it appears I have Bursitis. Which is inflammation of the Bursa. What is a Bursae you ask? Well it's a little sack located between two adjoining structures, like tendons, muscles and bones, that decrease friction and assist movement of the tendon over the bony surface.
It's caused by a sudden injury (like mine was), or overuse in a particular activity. It can be treated and it's best to do so before it becomes chronic.
Luckily they caught mine in time. But the treatment is not going to be fun. I have to get a shot into the shoulder under an ultrasound (so they can get it in the right spot). I get it on Friday. Meanwhile I have to take anti-inflammatory meds, and pain meds.
It's extremely painful. And I'm not allowed to do ANYTHING. Hopefully this shot will fix it.


Moby Update...
Moby is one SPOILT kitty. Went to visit the other day and he is living it up. He gets brushed every day, and eats like a royal. Sleeps on her bed at night. My friend is quite smitten with him and I got the impression that she would love Moby to stay there permanently. Which is a big relief. I tell you, my cat would charm even the hardest of hearts.

Oct 31, 2011

Birthday Boy

Yes we have celebrated another birthday in the Sprite household. It was my son's 11th birthday yesterday (30th).
It's amazing how time seems to have flown. It was not long ago that I was holding that piece of plastic with the two lines confirming what I already suspected. I wasn't surprised, freaked out, angry. I was content. Happy. Even though this pregnancy was an "accident" and I was a single mother, I couldn't have been more happier. This is what I was meant to be. A Mummy.


Anyway. We decided we wanted to buy him an electric guitar for his birthday. Hubby took him to the music shop one day and he took a fancy to a red Fender Squier. So, secretly, Hubby went back and ordered the red for him, and also picked one out for his birthday(which, as you know was a couple of weeks ago). They were around $170each. Anyway, the owner had to order our son's in. We got the call it had come in. Two days before son's birthday, Hubby goes to pick up both guitars and amps. Owner can't find son's anywhere, and then realises....
HE. SOLD. IT!!!
Hubby has a slight freakout (though remained remarkably calm for him). Owner is fuming with himself...
Pulls down a $700 Metallic Red Fender Stratocaster (OMG) and says "Here, have this one and I'll wear the extra cost myself"...


How extremely nice is that?
So now son has the guitar that Hubby always dreamed of....lol.
Son was suitably blown away.


So both my boys have their guitars. And I have decided I would like to learn to. But on an Acoustic. Which Hubby has.
Bought myself a pink .70cent pick and I am ready for my lessons..lol. 

Oct 28, 2011

Extinction is Forever.

If you look down a list of endangered animals, you will continually read “Loss of habitat” and “Killed by poaching”. In our bid to dominate, populate and over develop the planet, mankind has been responsible for the irreversible extinction of so many of this worlds creatures.
It wasn’t until the 1800s that a few of our kind realised just how seriously destructive we were, and dedicated their lives to protecting and reversing the things that society had done. It couldn’t have been easy to do so back then, without the technology of today. Despite some heartbreaking losses, they were able to save some species from total extinction.
For example:

The White Rhino
Africa’s southern white rhinoceros was discovered in the early 1800s, and by 1892, a mere 75 years later, it was already thought to have gone extinct. The white rhino’s near extinction came at the hands of European settlers and hunters who enjoyed killing them because of their impressive size, as well as the fact that rhino horn fetched a good price in the Asian folk-medicine market.
Then, in 1895, about 20 southern white rhinos were discovered. People began protecting them, breeding them, and reintroducing them to areas from which they had been extirpated (ceased to exist in the area). Now, after more than 100 years of protection and management, their numbers have increased to nearly 20,000 in the wild. In fact, they are now the most numerous of the world’s five species of rhinos, and are no longer classified as Endangered.
However, white rhinos are once more in trouble, due to the fact that black-market prices for their horns have gotten so high (more than gold) that poachers will take almost any risk to kill one. Hundreds are illegally slaughtered every year. Almost one a day.
In addition, the population of the northern white rhino, is now down to around a half-dozen individuals, and almost extinct. The cause: illegal hunting for the Asia folk-medicine market.


The Siberian Tiger
At the turn of the twentieth century, there were two species of giant tiger—weighing up to 650 pounds (300 kilos)roaming some of the colder areas of Asia: the Amur tiger in the east, and its close cousin, the Caspian tiger, in the west. Both suffered at the hands of humans, who coveted their beautiful hides and also viewed them as potential killers of livestock. The Caspian cat, which had the misfortune of living closer to dense populations of humans, is now extinct. Having not been seen since the 1950s.
The Siberian tiger, whose native range extends along a narrow band of remote and icy Far Eastern Russia, China and Korea, was faring only a bit better until very recently. By the 1930s the Amur tiger’s population had declined to fewer than 40. Finally, in 1947, the Soviet (now Russian) government banned the killing of them. Tigers breed quickly when they have suitable food and habitat, and when they are not being killed faster than they can breed. The Russian tiger population was reported at between 450 and 500, which is a huge conservation success story.
Sadly, success can be short lived. One problem Siberian tigers face is that, because the current population is derived from just a few dozen individuals that survived their near extinction in the first half of the twentieth century, scientists fear the tigers lack sufficient genetic diversity. This means that all of today’s wild Amur tigers may be so genetically similar to one another that, among other problems, an illness capable of killing one of them would likely also be able to kill all of them, because of the fact that their immune systems have the same weaknesses.
Siberian tigers have also been losing habitat to logging and road building, as well as to changes brought about by global warming(yes, it IS real people). Drier, hotter conditions, along with frequent, forest fires, have been a major effect of climate change on tiger habitat.
The biggest threat to Amur tigers has been the recent, alarming increase in illegal hunting. Nearby China has the world’s largest market for tiger body-parts, which are used to make expensive folk medicines. Poachers in Russia will risk almost anything to kill one. So while China can be commended in it’s conservation of the Panda (and let’s face it, the Panda is always going to be good PA for China), the efforts to track down and stop the illegal poaching of tigers, has not been as fervent. 

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In so many instances today, conservationists have to resort to the desperate, last-chance method of captive breeding in order to keep some species from going extinct and leaving our world forever. This is why the regulation of Zoos is so important. (And I don’t mean those privately owned zoos like the one in recent news in Ohio. Were animals are kept purely for rich peoples enjoyment.) We need to support these people who are taking an active role in conserving and helping to reverse what we, as humans have done to our world.

 More recent captive breeding success stories include the California condor, black-footed ferret, golden lion tamarin, and red wolf. It takes time to figure out what is best for a species and to build a successful reintroduction program based on that knowledge. The goal of captive breeding programs is not to just increase population numbers, but to give those new individuals a better chance of survival, after they are re-introduced back into the wild.

While we go on with our daily lives, mother earth is facing a battle for survival. There are some of us out there who care.

Extinction is forever.

Oct 23, 2011

An Arty Weekend

I have finally decorated my paintbrush box. I made this illuminated "S" and used my wood burning tool to put it on. Much nicer than leather burning. Just smells like a BBQ.


I also did another picture..not quite a Zentangle, but I like it all the same.

Are you doing anything arty this weekend?

Oct 18, 2011

Lost in IKEA - one Ant.

Oh Hi.. thought I'd share with you something I found out recently.. And that is how much my friend antarescryptos just LOVES IKEA... after his recent post here about his adventures I thought I'd make this post for you all.. to share the Ikea love around.. lol.
Recently Ant got a little lost in Ikea land.. maybe if he had a map like this it would have been easier to find his way out..

But not to worry... if he DID get locked up inside it he would have had plenty of yummy food to eat..

NO! not the material food Ant.. I mean the Meatballs!... sheesh!


HMM.. I wonder if Ant found any of THESE in the flat pack section....?




How could you not love a place that sells ready to assemble LOL Catz?






So the award goes to...
Just for you Ant..hehehee...
Bet you love IKEA now... lol.