When Change is Bad

I haven't visited my AnD profile for a while. A friend told me there'd been some changes. I came to check it out....

Wow. This place _ really _ sucks. Whomever came up with these changes, great job royally effing everything up.

What if i told you that you suck
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This Too Shall Pass by Helen Steiner Rice

If I can endure for this minute

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This Is What I Did Today...

I never cease to be amazed at how selfish, uncaring and shallow the human animal can be. From small acts of rudeness at the grocery store to brutal acts of violence in the streets, have we become so wrapped up in ourselves that no one else matters anymore?  Then my faith in humanity gets renewed when I get asked to do something like this...If you've been with me since September, you'll remember my friend Kirk who invited me out to California to work at the Life Changing Lives Charity Event (blog title "I Went Out There to Work" parts 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 )Kirk called me today because he needed my help. He'd been asked to write a letter of recommendation to help a teenager win a lucrative college scholarship being given way by Coke.  No problem! No one can write PR like Kirk.  Small problem. Kirk does freelance PR, now, and no longer has snazzy corporate letterhead to put the letter on. That's when I got called. "How fast can you work?" was the only question. Kirk quickly filled me in a bit on Brant Whiting. I hadn't even seen the information yet, but I agreed to do it.  Kirk's email arrived. Everything happened just as I asked and a pdf was on it's way to the desktop printer at The Dresser in Fullerton, CA (Kirk's wife's shop) 25 minutes later. Yay!  25 minutes out of my life, and I might have just helped send a boy to college. I'll know in February...  You might want to skim the next part, but I wanted to introduce you to the boy we're working for. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Dear Semifinalist Selection Committee,

I know that in common practice letters of recommendation are supposed to be kept brief so that the committee reviewing submissions can quickly get through the commentary on a large number of applicants.   In the case of Brant Whiting (17), I ask your committee’s indulgence in allowing me to take a little more than the usual word count so that I can attempt to adequately communicate the contributions and leadership that I have personally experienced in working with a truly remarkable young man.

I first encountered Brant in 2003-2004 when I was Public Relations and Marketing Director for IQAir Corporation.   IQAir is the world’s largest manufacturer of ultra-high efficiency air filtration products for hospitals in more than 100 countries, and they are widely recognized as the top consumer air purifier manufacturer for homes with people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.   As part of my job, I was in charge of all of IQAir’s charitable giving and philanthropic projects – and that is how I came to first meet Brant Whiting.At the time, I believe Brant was about 11 years old.   He approached IQAir to ask if we would be one of the corporate sponsors for a project he had organized called “The Beanie Brigade.”   The Beanie Brigade collected recycled beanie baby toys and sent them to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq so that our soldiers could give them out to children in the war zone in an attempt to build better relations between U.S. soldiers and the citizens in these areas that were being ravaged by war and the many hardships that come with it.   As PR director for a large international corporation, I was used to meeting requests for philanthropic funding.   What I was not prepared for was to have an 11 year old boy meticulously detail for me a philanthropy that he had conceived on his own, personally raised the start up funding for, and successfully implement.   Brant’s dilemma was that the Beanie Brigade had now grown so large and so successful that he needed corporate support just to keep up on the costs of shipping the thousands and thousands of Beanie Baby toys that were now pouring in to his drop off locations.Brant’s presentation of the Beanie Brigade was remarkable, much better than the vast majority of requests that I received from experienced adult fundraisers – and I was more than a little struck by the fact that sitting across on the other side of my desk making this presentation was an 11 year old boy.I secured the approval of our company founder and CEO, and IQAir became the full time mail sponsor of the Beanie Brigade.   But quite remarkably, Brant’s follow through did not stop with his picking up a check every few weeks to cover postage.   He asked if our employees would like to also include letters of support to our soldiers.   I floated this suggestion at our next staff meeting, and it was very well received by our company employees.And very soon I began to see the “vision” Brant had for asking if our staff would like to include cards and letters to our soldiers with the shipments of Beanie Babies.   Simply stated – the soldiers wrote back.   Soon, an entire wall of our office was covered with pictures of soldiers distributing the toys to children.   We saw the bright smiles on the soldiers’ and children’s faces. (Often this was the first toy the child had ever received.   These were children who lived in homes with dirt floors.)   And the personal stories we received back from the soldiers touched us deeply.There was the doctor who told me about the little boy who was terrified to get a shot of penicillin, but he mustered up his courage to get the shot when he learned that if he got it the doctor would give his little sister the stuffed pink lion she had fallen in love with.I received a letter from a sergeant who had just lost 18 friends in a tragic helicopter crash, and the first package he opened after hearing the news was a box of Beanie Babies, one with a pin on it with the picture of a young woman who had died in Sept. 11.   He wrote me “After losing so many friends in one day, opening that box reminded me of why we are really here.And then there was the soldier who told me of the little girl clutching the blue teddy bear he had given her the day before – and she sat in the road next to an IED left by terrorist.   He said he thought the little girl believed the terrorists wouldn’t blow up the bomb with her sitting next to it… and the gift of a little blue teddy bear saved countless lives that day.But as a public relations professional, what really struck me about all of this was that an 11 year old boy had the vision of how to engage the employees of our company and not just make us financial supporters of his project.   He knew how to actually get our staff to emotionally invest in the lives of soldiers and citizens in countries half way around the world – and he planned and implemented this project completely on his own initiative.After the success we saw in working with Brant on the Beanie Brigade, we became corporate contributors to many other projects he developed: Read All Over, Just Do Right, Play It Forward, Yellow Ribbon Brigade, Choc Kids Cards, and 15 Pennies for Our Troops.  To be honest, there were too many for me to even try to remember as I sit here and type, and each one of these philanthropies came from Brant’s creative vision and his ability to lead and inspire others.My appreciation of Brant is not just my own.   During the last few years I have been Public Relations and Marketing Director for the 25+ companies that make up The Stearns Corporation.   Glenn Stearns, our Chairman, is widely recognized for the philanthropic work of The Stearns Family Charitable Foundation.   Through Stearns I was asked to be on the Board of Directors for a book project that would recognize leading business leaders who have used their success to create successful philanthropies.   These are business leaders who for the most part are themselves multi-billionaires, and they have built some of the most significant charitable organizations in the world.   You cannot imagine my surprise when one day while reviewing who would be chosen for the book, I had another board member ask “Has anyone here heard of a young boy named Brant Whiting?”   Had I heard of him!   I’d watched him over the last 6-7 years launch numerous successful and well managed philanthropic projects.   I cannot properly express the pride I felt that day when I saw Brant chosen as the ONLY teenager to be included in the book.   (As a matter of fact, Brant is the only person included in “On Purpose” who is under the age of 50!)When it was finalized that Brant would be included in the book “On Purpose” – I told the editor that I wanted her to include the story of how and why Brant has dedicated his life the way he has to so significantly give back to helping others.   When Brant was only 8 years old, he suffered a full cardiac arrest caused by severe asthma.   While recovering in the hospital, he made a pledge that he would dedicate this second chance at life that he was given to giving back to helping others.   This was a promise made by an 8 year old boy, and now that he approaches 18 and his life as an adult – I can only imagine how much more this remarkable young man will contribute to giving back to the world around him.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 25 minutes.  What do you think this kid will do with that education if he wins? I got to be part of that. Woooooooow....

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We Party Like (PG) Pirates

September 19th was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. We held our usual celebration and, instead of babbling on and on at you, I'ma gonna post the pictures now  The official banner that freaks out all the neighbors  Rhett's birthday is a few days before Pirate Day. Once again--just like boy-child's birthday--he could have a cake decorated anyway he wanted and chose a Boston Creme Cake instead. FIne. But I'm putting pirate candles on it   Pirate Day cupcakes part IPirate Day cupcakes part 2The first arrival was this Mayfly. Dude! It's loooong past MayLast year we had some problems with kids dropping food on the carpet and walking over it.   So we served all the food outside this year. Rhett built a frame for an awning and brought home some old banner material from work to use as the cover. FACTIOD: As an occupation, Rhett is in the field of graphics too--sign graphics. He manages the local office of a sign company. Their largest client is Spirit Halloween. If you live in the US, you might see a Spirit Store open by you Sept. 1 - Nov. 1. Go shop there! This held the pirate mints in case anyone had barnacle breath  This is our punch bowl before punch. Yes, it's tradition that there be plastic skeletons in the punch. There's a plastic eyeball too. That caldron holds several gallons so I only end up filling it twice.This is my niece Megan. I love her eye patch. It's drawn on. HA!    Oh, she's single, btw. Megan's 23, comes from a good family, a college student studying to be a nutritionist and works at a daycare. And she's not high maintanence. No, she doesn't dress this way all the time.Meet little Miss Amber. She's three. She's also her mommy and daddy's "oops child."   There's 10 years between here and her older sister. Oops.  She knows how cute she is and full of personality. I wish I had the camera when girl-child was teaching Miss Amber to impale herself on a sword. These guys lined the driveway. Got 'em last year at the post-Halloween sales 90% off! BONUSMiss Amber again with my great-nephew Aidin. I'm still mad at my niece and her husband for making me a great-aunt. It's just not fair. I'm not old enough to be a great-aunt, darn it! Anyway, Aidin had a drawn on eye patch too.  Every year there's a battle between the HMS Facade and the Lustful Ghost. The Facade represents the British. We didn't have a British flag when we built her so a pair of Union Jack boxers fill the role  And the Facade throws out the first volleyThere are better picture of the Lustful Ghost HEREAnd hour and a half to fill 100 water balloons and 5 minutes to destroy them allAidin taking the ship! Arrrrrgh! What a good little pirate  And here's Amber again. We have a couple of these miniature ships set up for wee-people. Amber spent a bit of time rolling around in this one then had a static "issue." Nice hairAnd here's my tattoos. No, not real ones...maybe by next year though   I'll let you guess where I wore them   And lest I forget, the alllllll important list of Pirate Curses/Insults! Choose one from each column:ModifierLily-livered Barnacle-bottomed Chum-swillin' Kelp-festooned Rusty-hooked Fish-sniffing Weevil-eatin' Figurehead-fondlin' Albatross-huggin' Hornswogglin' Frog-lickin' Bilge-belchin' Wench-wrestlin' Poop-swabbin' Grog-guzzlin' Porthole-pluggin' Seaweed-smokinNounsLandlubberRum pot Bilge monkey Kraaken Son of a sea cow Gull-dropping collector Fancy lad Sheep shagger Sea dog Monkey dancer Cannon fodder Fishmonger Treasure dropper Parrot spanker Thicky Dirty ol' salt Second assistant cabin boy Our personal family favorites are: "" and ""

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I Went Out There To Work - part 7

Kirk and Marianne had done a wonderful job making me feel at home. They truly have a gift for hospitality. I felt like a part of their family. It was kinda funny, the morning of the even, Kirk was handing me stuff he'd need that evening and I put it in my bag.   Now the time was here and we were both off to find a place to change for the event. I dug into my bag and handed him his things. He smiled, "Bless you..." He'd totally forgotten about them.Remember the bathroom stall? They also make great dressing rooms. Heck, they were bigger than some department store dressing rooms![](/attachments/2009/09/19/10/28824_200909191029041.thumb.jpg)Hair, make up, nails and dress... with the usual lovely expression on my face ::roll eyes::. But hey, you get to see the lady's room's sitting room! That's only one corner. It was big... Yes, I spent all evening in those shoes. Dr. Sholes gel insoles for heels are worth every penny![](/attachments/2009/09/19/10/28824_200909191029047.thumb.jpg)Guests started arriving at 5:30, making their way down a spiral stair case, lined with a fireman honor guard, to a red carpet photo op. A few of the evenings celebrity guests:Joshua Allen and Katee Shean perform the dance piece "No Air" at the Life Changing Lives' fundraiser.Elliott Yamin took a lot of pics with people and performed. What a nice guy. I mean really, truly genuine.Haylie Duff and Nick ZanoHonoree Tibor Rubin, very special heroes, with Roy Firestone (the emcee). Mr. Rubin is a Jew who survived a Nazi concentration camp. After WWII, he made his way to the U.S. and joined the military. He fought in the Korean war, spent time in a POW camp and earned the Metal of Honor NINE TIMES! He was great. He said, "Did you know, if you win more than once, they still only give you one metal?" lol![](/attachments/2009/09/19/10/28824_200909191048321.thumb.jpg)James Littlejohn from the Boys &Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley with Sugar Ray Leonard. Astronaut Charlie Duke! He told awesome stories about going to the moon and working for NASA.Broadway star Jennifer Lewis. Soon after this photo was taken, I heard Ms. Lewis tell her assistant she needed to find the ladies room. I approached and offered my assistance. Even getting directions to the potty, Ms. Lewis was gracious. See behind her? That's the staircase at the end of the Hall of Mirrors that everyone came down.Most of the cast of  The Sopranos  was there. They sat down front at the gala. They were a fun bunch. Later, after dinner, was the live auction where they sold some big, high ticket items. One of the things up for bid was Dinner with The Sopranos the next even there at the St. Regis. One of the actors (I wasn't a fan of the show so I don't know his name, the big guy in the middle) stood up during bidding and announced, "and after dinner, we'll all jump in the hot tub!"There's a bunch more great pictures HERE.I was standing not far from the door leading to the terrance and noticed the oddest phenomenon. People couldn't find the door! They got their pic taken and walked past it. Then they'd stand there dumbfounded. If they kept going straight, they ended up in the restrooms. If they turned down the hall, they ended up in the volunteer rooms. This looks like a job for insert trumpet fanfare! ! That would be me. So I stayed there by the door and helped hapless celebs and rich people find their way to the silent auction.After the photos, guests made their way a few yards down the hall to a door opened onto a terrace. The terrace lead to another staircase that lead down to the lawn of the St. Regis where the silent auction was taking place.The Back of the St. Regis, overlooking the silent auction.The silent auction...When the silent auction was done, everyone came back up the stairs to the Grand Ballroom for dinner.A good pic of the ballroom and a couple knuckle heads   Me, all ghastly pale and washed out, and the centerpiece. Hey, you can see one of my "removed wings" scars...Wouldn't be a proper AnD blog without food pictures. After a salad of Boston Lettuce with roasted baby beats, pistachio crusted boat cheese and truffle vinaigrette dressing, were were served this Kalbi marinated beef tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes and ginger-chianti reduction (aka really tasty gravy). Sorry, no pic of dessert. The St. Regis warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce was gone before I remembered. Did I mention the chocolate sauce was the cake? Yeah. And it came pouring out when you cut into it... Ummmmm....So I'm sitting there, minding my own business, eating away and happen to notice two people standing behind me talking. Wow. Another celeb! I stood up and asked for a pic. She was very gracious.Me and former American Idol runner up Brooke White. I chopped me out of the pic cuz the look on my face was waaaaaaay too dumb and my eyes were close. No, you can't see it.Then Brooke signed grandma's autograph book too. She has such pretty handwriting. Brooke commented on my book, "Wow, this is really pretty." When I told her where I got it, she was all "oooo" and "aaaah..." That was a pretty kewl moment.Jennifer Lewis sang the National Anthem as Challenger the Bald Eagle took a flight across the ball room. I knew this was coming so I was ready. Helps when you know the PR guy. Kirk was very glad Challenger didn't poo on his way across the room. lol! After dinner were several presentation from representitives of Wounded Warrior, Boys and GIrls Club and Make A Wish Foundation. Each presentation was done by someone who'd been benefited by the organization itself. I had to keep remembering my non-waterproof eye make up to keep from crying. All the presenter's stories were very moving. The evening finished out with several live performances by Bo Bice, Brooke White, Elliot Yamin. Honoree awards presented and the live auction items were sold. Things like a LA Lakers suite for you and 11 friends, two elevated ringside seats at the Pacquiao-Cotta Title FIght in Vegas, and Ultimate Nascar Experience, a LAPD Helicopter Ride-Along, a Navy SEALs Experience, a City Slickers getaway in Montana, tickets to the last season of Oprah (yes you read that right...), four tickets to the Grammys and after party passes and, of course, the above mentioned dinner with The Sopranos. Before everyone called it a night (and/or headed to the after party reputed to be gaining strength upstairs), Elliot and Brooke both did one more song and then Bo rocked the house. It was an amazing evening after an amazing day. And I got a day crammed full of things and people I would never forget. That evening, we went home and sat around on the couches with the dogs--my new best friends beagles Cooper and Paisley and their sister, a dog adopted from a Navaho reservation, Ahtay--reflecting on everything. Kirk was glad it was over--he'd spent most of the summer working (and stressing) on it--but thought everything came off very well. He was pleased. I was exhausted and thrilled. And I still had one full day left in CA ahead of me. TO BE CONTINUED...

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I Went Out There To Work - part 6

And so now you know the reason for the title of these blogs. I went out to California to work at the Life Changing Lives event and what ended up happening was much more!The Caregivers Tea was an event within the event organized by Cindy Crawford(!)--who didn't show  . An afternoon of pampering for people who volunteer. Kirk knew I did work with Operation Make A Life Enriched, Saying Thanks and Remembering (OpMALE STAR, a moral support org for deployed military...) and decided I needed a little pampering too...Wow. Me? Here?It was kinda hard to let them lead me away. But I did need my hair and make up done   Only wish I'd gotten the hair and make up they put me in front of the camera. How mortifying!  The lunch buffet table. All the girly fru-fru food you can eat! See the topiary at the end? Just beyond that was the coffee table! Aaaaaaaand the desserts. Well of course I sampled them all! The little cups there on top had a cheese cake filling with bits of pineapple and edible "pearls" on top. The pink squares were pink chocolate. No foam plates and plasticware hereCindy my hair stylist. She was great![](/attachments/2009/09/19/09/28824_200909190922283.thumb.jpg)This is the hair after it was doneSheryl my make up gal. Also awesome. I told her about AnD. Said she might join![](/attachments/2009/09/19/09/28824_2009091909222810.thumb.jpg)FInally, Peggy my manicurist. She had this great Russian(?) accent and did wonders with my nails! Yes, don't I look lovely all done up in my t-shirt and jeans? Geez...Between manicures and daintily gorging myself on free food, there were a number of photo ops to take advantage of. WARNING: I just don't photograph well (my opinion and I think I'm right so don't argue). Cameras just seem to know how to catch me with the dumbest look on my face... ! So please skip the commentary about my dumb expressions, K?See? Don't I look totally stupid? Oh wait. No. That's the dog they were auctioning off. Yes, auctioning. He's a trained assistance dog. The person who "bought" him would, essentially, be paying for his training and he was to be given to a person (probably a Wounded Warrior) who needed his brand of assistance. I gave him a good ear scrubbing. What a nice dog![](/attachments/2009/09/19/09/28824_200909190922282.thumb.jpg)Me and Kirk. He enjoys getting his picture taken as much as I do. Can you tell? The lady who took the pic had to keep backing up in order to get both our face in the picture. He's taaaaaaaaaaaall.Yes, a real Bald Eagle. His name is Challenger. He was a special guest that evening. Click his name and read more about him! More on Challenger later...Remember the big basement clean out I did at my mom's house last fall? Well, in one of the boxes I brought home was this (below). It's my great-grandmother's autograph book. I don't know how my sister and I ended up with it, nor do I know why great-grandma never used it, but I was really glad I'd brought it along. Yep, that's right Idol fans, that's the boy himself, Mr. Bo Bice! I've never been an Idol fan, but I'll be Bo's fan from now on. What a warm and genuine person! Later that evening, he would rock the house...Wonder what great-grandma would think?My afternoon of pampering over, a full tummy and some really good coffee on board, it was time to make my way back to the volunteer room, finish up a few things then get dressed for the gala! I didn't realize till later, not many of the volunteers would get to go. The ones who'd be there would be working. I was going as a guest...TO BE CONTINUED...

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Hot Fudge Walnut Cake - recipe with picture!

I made this the other night for a cookout we went to. Turned out really good and was very tasty! Added bonus was it wasn't all that complicated IMPORTANT: If you wanna try this recipe, read through it first. It's easy to screw up otherwise (from someone who knows about screwing up a recipe  ) ...Hot Fudge Walnut Cake

3/4 cups granulated sugar 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

3 TBSP baking cocoa 

2 tsp baking powder 

¼ tsp. salt 

½ cup milk 

⅓ cup butter, melted 

1½ tsp. vanilla extract 

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 c chopped walnuts

½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup packed light brown sugar4 TBSP baking cocoa1¼ cups hot water Cool Whip 

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. 

  2. In bowl, stir together ¾ cup granulated sugar, flour, 3 tbsp cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla; beat until smooth. 

  3. Stir in chocolate chips. You can add the walnuts here OR use them as a garnish with the Cool Whip at the end. Pour batter into 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. 4. Stir together remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining 4 tbsp cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top; do not stir. 

  4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. 

  5. Garnish with cool whip and walnuts (if not in the batter).Unfortunately I didn't get a picture before the bbq-ers got to it...

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I caved, and then I had candy

We left Mammoth National Park and Cave City behind and pointed ourselves north toward Indianapolis, Indiana. Just outside Indy, we got a hotel, had some dinner, kids spent time in the pool... same routine as the last couple nights. The next morning, Miss Garmin navigated toward our next stop. I say "toward" becuz she obviously wasn't in a good mood and kept telling us to turn left when the building was on the right   This is where we were going: Welcome to Albanese's Candy Factory![](/attachments/2009/06/25/07/28824_200906250738246.thumb.jpg)My wee people were kinda anxious to get in... Isn't the store front cute?Upon entering the front doors, this is how you are greeted   See the black wall in the back? Behind that wall is the actual factory. You can walk up a ramp on the far right, take the self-guided tour and watch them make gummis!   At each window on the self-guided tour, you find a big yellow button and a monitor. Push the button and the monitor  comes to life with a segments of a cheesy narrative done by members of the Albanese's family. It was goofy but informative. We also learned, you can schedule a group tour, completely free, and they guide you through the factory. Did I mention there's free samples? See the white counters out in front of the black wall? All of them are topped with bin after bin after bin of...Gummi's![](/attachments/2009/06/25/07/28824_200906250757432.thumb.jpg)Roasted NutsDipped Chocolatesand Dipped Nuts  If you saw something that struck your fancy and you wanted to try it, just flag down one of the gals in an Albanese's t-shirt and she'll be happy to give you one to try   I could never work there. I came to the conclusion one has to have some sort of an eating disorder to work behind the counter at Albanese's. OK, maybe that's not the truth, but I can't think of any other possible answer. Ever girl and guy (all the guyz t-shirts said "eye candy" on the back. HA!) working the counter there were thin and trim, yet they all seemed to know what was most tasty in each category and all had their "favorite." Maybe they're all hyper thyroid?Prices were really good. When was the last time you got super tasty, moist, juicy gummi's for only $2.49 per pound? If you can't get to north-west Indiana, (according to our tour) Albanese's Gummi's can be found in some Wal-Mart stores. They also sell in Japan, New Zealand and other countries. OH! Annnnd they have an online store  There was also the gift room. See the brown pipe coming down from the ceiling? Wanna know why it's brown (behave yourself!)? Yep, it's running with chocolate Wonka style! They had all kinds of gifty items in there like t-shirts, mugs and picture frames. They'd basket up all your gifty items with your choices of Albanese's treats and shrink wrap it to go.Now that's a jawbreaker![](/attachments/2009/06/25/07/28824_200906250738245.thumb.jpg)The whole place was decorated "fun." If you look at the other interior pics, you'll notice brightly colored walls and displays along with giant flowers and butterflies every where. And this giant beehive and bees. I wish I had something for scale in this pic. Let me put it this way. Those bees were twice the size of your head--or the same size as your head if you have a giant ego  We didn't stay long, but, as you can see, Albanese's left quite an impression  Next stop, point east to the Potawamtomi Zoo...

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Last Stop

I was ready to go home after the candy factory visit, but the wee people had their hearts set on going to the Potawatomi  ( Native American word that means  "people of the place of fire") Zoo. I couldn't find anywhere how the zoo got it's name--and I didn't see any people running around on fire--so I can only surmise there was once a Potawatomi population in that area.Moving on...The Potawatomi Zoo is located in South Bend, Indiana (that's north-central, near the Michigan border). It's not a big zoo, but nicely laid out and they did a nice job taking advantage of the space they had. Our Zoological Society membership came in handy, once again, and got us into this zoo free! BONUS!  I took this pic for Peachey. Did you say recently you liked this kind of flower?Camel 1Camel 2Uuuuuuh... camel pushmepullyou?We-de-de-de






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A-wimoweh, a-wimowehIn the jungleThe mighty jungleThe lion sleeps toniiiiiiiiightIn the jungleThe quiet jungleThe lion sleeps toniiiiight(there Jane, now I've changed the song in your head...)You can be a big pig too! OY!Hey! I think this belongs in my mooning blog  Yet another peacockBut the first tortoise we saw... He was mowing the lawn.If you've ready many of my blogs, you know I love dragonflies. I was pretty excited about this. A whooooooooooooooooooooole pond dedicated to them   As my luck would have it though, there wasn't a single one to be seen. Anywhere. I looked, believe me. Girl-child looked too. A pretty damselfly greeted me in the parking lot though, landed on my hand, and apologized for my disappointment  . ( FACTOID: Dragonflies are usually larger and their wings are always extended like a plane. Damsel's fold their wings behind them when they're resting.)Not many zoos have anteaters (I started to type "aunteater" HA!  ). Back when girl-child was about six months, we visited the zoo in Tucson, Arizona. They have a nice anteater. He licked both of us  I added talk bubbles cuz there's something about prairie dogs that needs dialogue.... Yes, that's a hint. Commence dialoguing for the prairie dogs!  Gibbons grooming. Prior to popular belief, they are not picking out bugs. It's a social "thing" where they groom each other by pick out dirt and dry dead skin.Yeeeeeeeeeeeeah... This totem pole was right outside the petting zoo area. I know, I know... Yeah, it is kinda obscene isn't it? Maybe if I took the picture from another angle? Or maybe I should just submit the picture to the Fail Blog...We were done at Potawatomi Zoo in about two hours, ate our picnic lunch, then pointed north for home...

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Every saint has a past, every sinner a future... Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to go ...Read more

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