Posts Tagged ‘animals’

I’ll admit it. The beautiful photos that my friends and family are posting this time of year are sort of making me homesick.

I miss the changing of the leaves.

I miss wearing sweaters. I miss wearing boots.

I once tried wearing a sweater here in Malaysia. It was an evening gathering by the pool area in our community. I’m not crazy (all of the time) so I wasn’t going to go full on heavy wool sweater. But I had donned a nice, light cotton, button down cardigan that I thought I could handle.

Ten minutes into the occasion and I was sweating bullets.

I said to my friends, “I’ll be right back!”

And I ran home to change into some sleeveless, cotton thingy. It was that bad.

I tried.

Some people can handle the humidity here. I am not one of them. I guess it’s my DNA. My ancestors hail from a temperate climate and I was born in an area that experiences seasonal changes.

I’m seeing beautiful photos of changing leaves, football games and family gatherings.

And I miss it.

My visits are usually during the summer. And sometimes Christmas.

So I miss out on those absolute perfect days and chilly evenings of Autumn. All the apple picking and Halloween/Thanksgiving activities.

I get that these same people will be complaining and posting photos of the long winters.

And I also miss that.

It is interesting to live in a climate that is predictable. But not interesting enough that I want to spend my entire life here.

So, if you are currently experiencing the changing of the seasons, appreciate every moment.

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Sometimes things are exactly as they appear to be. But not always.

Like the time I was in my Texas home, heading up the stairs at dusk and I spy something dark on the carpet. I pick it up. Not sure why because I’ve been known to ignore things and just walk on by. Was a big old wasp and he was not happy. Gave me a good sting to show his displeasure and to teach me a lesson.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed some almonds sitting on a plate in the kitchen. Yes, it was getting dark and I was hungry so I grabbed one and shoved it in my mouth. Nearly broke a tooth on the damn olive pit!

Few months ago I was picking up donations at a friend’s condominium. There are tons of them here in Kuala Lumpur. The Oval. The Pearl. The Dua. And a billion more.

I had been there before so I knew where I was going. Knew where to park and how to navigate my way. The guards didn’t seem to understand me this time. I kept giving the name and told them she was expecting me. They went back and forth with each other. And me. I was getting a little frustrated because I had to pick up my daughter. I might have even been getting a little snarky with the guards. Finally, I said that I needed to go.

And then a light bulb went off in my head. Wrong condo building! I peeled out of there like a bat out of Hell. That was a tad embarrassing.

Oh my goodness. So, now my memory is gone. And my eyes are starting to make Mr. Magoo look like he has 20/20 vision!

Today, I was making an egg brunch casserole. Once I popped it into the oven I grabbed a can of Diet Coke from the fridge. I was sweating and looking forward to the cool jolt down the throat. Took a gulp and was quite surprised that it did not taste like Diet Coke at all! Do they go bad???? I looked at the silver can with red on it and it was a Heineken! Usually Heinies are all green. But these particular cans have silver with a red star on them. And the way it was positioned I just saw silver.

My daughter came downstairs and I said, “Just sitting here drinking beer on a Sunday afternoon.”

She asked, “Why?”

I told her the story. Said that I thought it was soda but it was beer! She said, “Yep, I get it. Happens to me all the time, too.”

I swatted her in the head and told her, “Go on with your bad self!”

It was a good laugh. The egg brunch casserole turned out fine. Apparently I put in all the right ingredients.

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

2 cups of croutons

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp prepared mustard

1/2 tsp onion powder

dash of pepper 

In a 13×9 greased pan, layer croutons and cheese. Mix eggs and other ingredients. Pour over croutons.

Bake at 325 for 55 minutes or until eggs settle. 

Can garnish with bacon or add vegetables. 

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I was recently reading a Facebook page that keeps me updated on local crime here in Malaysia. No, I don’t want to be a crime reporter. But I do want to know anything and everything about how I can avoid being a victim of crime. To learn about places to avoid. Crime appears to be rising here. Mostly purse snatching (car windows smashed while sitting in traffic) and ATM robberies.

One day, on the site, there was a video of a robbery caught on camera. A man pulled into his driveway. Didn’t wait until his gates closed before he got out of his vehicle. Four men jumped out of a car and robbed him before he could even blink.

Someone mentioned the dog barking next door to the man’s home. And said don’t ever ignore a barking dog.

It would make a great fortune cookie. “He who ignores barking dog is not wise.”

I mean, what if they ignored Lassie when Timmy was stuck in the well?

I have a dog. Sure, I complain about him all the time. Okay, okay, I love him. Maybe more than I love some people. Truth.

When he barks it requires me getting off my duff to find the cause of his concern. I sometimes get a little irritated. Especially if it’s outside. I do not want to annoy the neighbors.

But the fact of the matter is that he always barks for a reason.

Mostly due to the never-ending sashaying of slinky stray cats by my house. Just taunting my pup.

I am like the mother of a newborn. I can distinguish his barks. I know when he wants to eat. Well, that’s an easy one with his pathetic little self sitting and staring at our dinner while letting out a string of yaps.

I know when he has to tend to bodily function. Sits by the door and lets out curt barks at short intervals.  No long hound dog howls.

When another dog trots by the house he barks wildly. When his friend “Toby the Pug” (sounds like Mafioso Lite) ambles by with his owner it produces a few small barks (“Hey, buddy, how are ya?”) and then tail’s wagging and body’s shaking.

Someone at the door or a stranger walking by the house? Cacophony.

Does he need some training to tone this down just a tad? Sure he does. On my to do list.

This past summer I was with one of my brothers. We were driving by the home of an old family friend. Checking to see if he was in his garden so that we might stop and have a chat. We slowly pull to the curb just past the house. His big German Shepard starts barking.

My brother, due to the racket, is ready to hightail it out of there. Just not one to bring attention to himself. I could care less. I said, “Let the dog bark. Ralph will be out in a minute to see what’s going on.”

Yep. Ralph soon pokes his head out the porch door to see about the commotion. He was always a wise man.

I know there are plenty of dogs that seem to do nothing but bark all day. It can be annoying but it’s not the dog’s fault. Maybe it’s too hot. Doesn’t want to be outside all day. Keeps hearing other dogs. He’s just communicating.

So, if you hear a dog barking? Remember. It’s for a reason.

And he who ignores a barking dog is not wise.

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On The Edge

I think that the instinct for survival is amazing. Look at the cockroaches. They could teach a lesson or two about avoiding the whole extinction thingy. But I’m not talking about procreating at the speed of sound. That’s just a numbers game.

I am referring to survival of the individual.

My dog is the scrappiest mutt I know and I still have doubts about his ability to “make the right decisions.” He’s part terrier with some beagle so that boy has got himself a sense that relies heavily on his sniffer. But shouldn’t the instinct to survive be strongest?  Instead of wildly chasing a cat that you are not going to eat? Because you just had your “healthy choice” meal. And you are not hungry. And deep down inside you might even be a little afraid of that feline you are chasing.

Will he jump?
Will he jump?

Every time “Thumper” joins us on the balcony with his nose sniffin’ the air my heart pounds. I grab his collar. My husband says, “Leave him alone, Mary. He’s not going to jump from the third floor.”

I say, “Really? He broke his hind leg when he was a puppy trying to jump on the counter where his treats were. The ensuing arguments (after getting vet bill) almost caused our divorce!”

And I continue, “And this same scent hound slammed his body into a corrugated steel fence by the soccer field three weeks ago while chasing a cat!”

Why should I believe he won’t jump? Even though he really is smarter than all get out. But one of his instincts tends to “outstinct” another.

Would he run across the busy street filled with racing cars to catch the cat without a second thought? I think so.

Instinct does not reason. Or allow for a second thought.

I just find it interesting. And I really started thinking about it when I saw ants that had gathered in our coffee cups left on the patio this past weekend in Bali. Nothing too deep to get me thinking.

They were all just enjoying the sweet stuff. Like employees at the water cooler sharing plans for the upcoming weekend.

On the edge

On the edge

Whose going in first?

Like wild animals at the local watering hole. Standing on the edge, sipping away but not daring to wade in.

Why do the ants not drown? Take the plunge thinking it might be sweeter in deeper waters? Why do they stay on the edge? Do they think it’s cold? Are they having second thoughts? Are they arguing?

“No, you go in first.”

“No, you!”

Are they just trying to survive? Is it their itty bitty instinct?

I’m just curious.

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