Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baby Elephants

I love babies. And baby elephants are just way fun!
These are a few photos from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage nursery division in Nairobi, Kenya.
It was a really fun and awesome day!
A two year old drinking his milk. He gets 3 bottles every 4 hours.

The little ones heading off with their keepers. Each baby has keepers assigned 'round the clock. Elephant calves need their mamas just like human babies do. The keepers are the surrogates and even sleep with the babies in their pens, waking up their charges for night feedings as well. I love their little security blankets... so colorful.

Elephants like eating leaves. Their trunks come in really "handy" for helping them pick stuff up and getting it to their mouths.

Here come the babies for their noon feeding. They raced towards their assigned keepers waiting with their milk bottles. This little guy won by a lot.

And the winner is... The littlest ones drink two bottles of milk every 4 hours.
Elephants are allergic to cow's milk. It gives them diarrhea and they die. So, they drink a baby formula milk from England, which was designed for human babies, but after trial and error they found it's perfect for baby elephants.

They're just so cute!!!

This keeper was awesome. She told us everything we ever wanted to know about elephant babies. She's the one talking in the video below. I think this is her dream job. Lucky!

This little guy was so cute. He sniffed me up, covering me with orange Kenyan mud. Apparently, he liked the way I smelled. Absolutely amazing!

I love baby elephants... sigh.
And nope, my mom won't let me have one.

Friday, July 24, 2009


It's not easy being first, breaking ground, blazing a trail, setting the example. It's easier to be a follower, to walk in someone else's footprints.
So, today I'm thankful for pioneers.

Imagine all the pioneers who made this moment possible in 1969.

Imagine being an Afghan woman who is a police officer.
Malalai Kakar was Afghanistan's most revered police woman. She was shot and killed by two men last September while driving to work with her teenage son who was also in the car. He survived. The Taliban announced they were responsible for her killing. She was the first woman police officer to return to work after the Taliban were ousted in 2001. She worked in Kandahar as the head of the department for crimes against women. She was a role model for women. She was 41 and had 6 children.
What a pioneer!

Imagine being the first woman to join the U.S. Navy.
Miss Loretta Perfectus Walsh was the first female Yeoman in the U.S. Navy. Doesn’t she have a great middle name? She was sworn in as a Chief Yeoman in 1917. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a photo of her. But I did find a photo of this pioneer.

Once a month I passed this portrait hanging in the halls of the Pentagon. Charlotte Winters was the last surviving female veteran of WWI. She and her sister Sophie enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1917. She died last year at the age of 109. She was a Yeoman Second Class in the Navy Reserve.
These women and many others made my service in the U.S. Navy possible.

Imagine walking 3,000 miles to start a new life and expand our country. Imagine cooking with buffalo dung. That's what is in the wheelbarrow in this photo. I'm thinking eeee-ew!

For those of you who are wondering, why pioneers?
On this date in 1847, the first Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in Utah.
Utahns celebrate this day with parades, rodeos, BBQs, fireworks and even a day off, because today is an official state holiday.

happy pioneer day

Take a moment and think about the pioneers who made your life possible.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Playing with yarn

So, today I had root canal. Yes, ouch. But the best part of this day was...

An evening spent with two friends playing with yarn. A few months ago, we had a service auction at church for Relief Society (the women’s organization for the LDS church). Everyone donated a service or skill they had to share. I donated crochet lessons. My friend SS bid for the crochet lessons and won them.

So, together with SS and other friend LY we had a great evening. We ate lentil salad and homemade blueberry cobbler. We talked about how to deal with political differences in our families--try to find mutual respect or just avoid the topic altogether. We shared the great books we’ve read recently --Bel Canto by Ann Patchett; On Chesil Beach & Atonement by Ian Mcewan; the Miss Read books; Love Walked In by Marissa de los Santos. LY, who is just recently married, shared about merging her life with her new hubby’s life—bliss is easier than she thought.

It was a little tricky trying to teach not just one but two people how to crochet, and one is left-handed. It’s interesting to take something I know how to do and break it down into its smallest steps and nuances to try to pass it on to someone else. But I think I did it. We started with a simple project of making a hot pad, because it uses the basic stitch and that’s how my mom taught me. Their stitches looked more even and loose by the end of the evening. I wish I had taken a photo. Here's the pattern we used:

Advice for new beginners includes: Remember to breath. Loosen up. Watch where you’re going. Don’t worry about the mistakes, just keep going. Loosen up. You’ll get used to it soon. Just undo it—you can start over if you want. Sounds familiar, right? I think this is great advice for life as well.

For a day that began with a root canal it sure ended on the right note.

Lentil Salad—I didn’t really use a recipe, but here goes.

2 cups of cooked lentils, seasoned with two smooshed up garlic cloves and salt. Chopped up fresh vegetables--Cucumber, red bell Pepper and summer Squash, Quartered cherry Tomatoes and Minced red Onion. Chunks of Feta. Two cut up Sausages of your choice—I used turkey with sun dried tomato. Season with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Parsley, Basil, Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar To Taste. Serve over your choice of salad greens.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Perfectly Baked

Work potlucks are always fun and the food is always really good. I signed up to bring cookies, and spent the evening baking them up. How do they look?

I used two different baking trays to bake the cookies. The cookies on the lower right were baked on a metal non-stick baking sheet by Wilson, while they ones on the upper left were baked on a baking stone by Pampered Chef. Both batches were baked for the same amount of time at the same temperature. The ones baked on the Pampered Chef tray came out perfectly baked each time. The other ones were over baked and dried out.

Here's the Pampered Chef baking tray doing its thing in the oven. Now, I'm not one for plugging products but this one was too obvious. I "heart" Pampered Chef. Oh, and the cookies were a huge hit at work. Everyone wanted the recipe and seemed a bit stunned when I said it was from the back of the Nestle's Morsels bag. Very simple.

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Photos

Just a few photos from my weekend with family...

Playing in the rain in the volleyball court at the picnic breakfast.
He's such a cutey my little nephew.

Family Photo!

I love blue suckers!

What a pout this little boy puts on!

Best flag ceremony ever. These poor Cub Scouts were so nervous and the boy holding the flag was shaking so bad he almost dropped the flag. I loved the sincerity.
Red, white and blue!

I love my little nephew and my brother!

"I think his tractor's sexy, it really turns me on. I'm always staring at him, while he's chuggin' along. I like the way it's pullin' while were tillin' up the land. I'm even kind of crazy 'bout his farmer tan..."

And of course, no 4th of July parade is complete without the crew of the starship Enterprise wishing everyone, "Live long and prosper."

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and ages too.

This article captures the story of one family's commitment to our country and freedom. It captures what the 4th of July symbolizes to me.

D A Y !!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Unlikely Partners

Go Navy!

The U.S. Navy asked the LDS Church for assistance with the USNS Comfort's recent humanitarian mission to Haiti. This is so COOL!

For more details click on the link below to see the article.