Tag Archives: april the giraffe

Birthdays Through The Years

As happens around this time each year, today is my birthday.

And while thinking of what to post about today, I’ve been remembering special birthdays of mine through the years.

During my childhood, there weren’t elaborate parties…usually just a cake (made by Mom) and ice cream with family.

One year, a school friend was invited to join us, and she gave me a bottle of lilac scented bubble bath.  Now, the bubble bath was nice, but what was really special was that bottle.  It was just a plastic bottle, roundish on the bottom, but the neck was really long.  This was around the time that my niece and I loved watching “I Dream Of Jeannie” on tv. And through our world of make believe, that empty bubble bath bottle became our “Jeannie bottle”.

The next special birthday was the year I turned eighteen. That year, I received the best present EVER: I graduated from high school ON my eighteenth birthday.  As someone who hated school, I was one happy girl that day.

Junior year pic; I didn’t care for the senior one

My twenty-first birthday was spent at the beach at the Outer Banks.  And I thought my mom would probably like to talk to me on my birthday. Those were the days before cell phones, so I went to a nearby phone booth and called to talk to her.

Not a picture from that trip, but the same era

A few years later, on my birthday just twelve days before Marshall was born, I was having complications with the pregnancy, so I celebrated that one in the hospital. No problem at all: my sole purpose in life at that point was doing whatever was necessary to get him here safely.

Eleven days after that birthday spent in the hospital, and just hours before Marshall arrived

The birthdays since have been spent in various ways…. low-key and celebrating with family and friends.  Motor Man usually treats me to a special outing around the time of my birthday.

A few years ago, when he asked what I’d like to do, I suggested taking a wild horse tour.  At that time, we didn’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle, so we booked a private tour with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. It was so educational and fun: we were hooked. This little one soon joined his mom who had strolled down that path to the left.

Three years ago, we went parasailing in the Outer Banks (wait, that was on HIS list, not mine).

Two years ago, we went for a steam engine ride with special friends Bev and Bill and Pam and Dave.

And, last year, Motor Man took me to meet April, the giraffe.

This year, we don’t have any trips planned.  Yesterday we went to the Outer Banks to see “my” horses , and I’ll share more about that on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, today, I’m celebrating with my two guys, and the coming days will be more gatherings with friends. I am so blessed to have a loving family and special friends in my life.

As I’ve said before, I believe the older you get, the longer birthdays should last.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

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Triskaidekaphobia Random Five Friday

How about five randoms for this Friday, the 13th? Did I stump you with the title of today’s post?

1.) While looking through photos on my computer, I happened upon this one, taken in January, of the early morning sky.  There is a LOT going on in this picture, so much so that it was difficult for me to determine whether I needed to straighten the image or not.

2.) Marshall was at our house Monday morning, and spotted the harbor seal at the marina. We stepped out on the deck, and I whistled to get the seal’s attention. Marshall asked if I were prepared with fish to feed him if he decides to pay us a visit.  And Marshall had a suggestion for a name, should we determine (?) that the seal is a female: “Lu-seal”. My friend, Pam, also suggested “Ce-seal-ia” or “Seal-ine” as in Dion.

3.)  April, the giraffe’s son, Tajiri, celebrates his first birthday on Sunday. Animal Adventure Park, home to April, Taj and dad, Oliver, is planning a birthday party for him that morning at 10. It will be shown on the April the Giraffe web-cam. You may remember that Motor Man took me to AAP last June as part of my birthday celebration. I thought Taj looked like a stuffed animal in this pic.

4.) Every two weeks, my niece, Barb and I meet for lunch, and we did that yesterday. We always enjoy our visits; we chat about what’s going on in our lives and sometimes share memories of family members no longer with us. It’s a tradition that we started after my sister (Barb’s mom) passed in 2015, and one that means a lot to me.

Barb and me….a ‘few” years ago

5.) This weekend, our little town is having its first “Pickers’ Market, which is scheduled to be a monthly event. My friend, Donna, and I are planning to attend to see if we can find any treasures. The weather looks to be great.

Care to share your randoms?

* Triskaidekaphobia: the fear of the number 13

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Monday Morning Mews: The Giraffe Shirt

Hi, readers! Sundae here with this week’s mews.

You may recall that Motor Mommy became a huge April, The Giraffe fan last year.  Motor Man even treated her to a trip to Animal Adventure Park in New York in June for her birthday so she could meet April and her family. If you missed her post about their trip, click here.

Motor Mommy is a member of a couple of Facebook groups pertaining to April. Back in November, while shopping at Macy’s, she discovered a holiday shirt with the image of a giraffe placing a star on a Christmas tree.   She bought one and posted a picture of it on one of those FB pages.

Her fellow members just LOVED it. But many of them didn’t have a Macy’s near them (or their Macy’s didn’t have any of the shirts).  And it wasn’t available online.  A couple of the members offered to pay Motor Mommy to buy and send the shirts to them.  So Motor Mommy went to every Macy’s near us and bought the giraffe shirts they had for sale. THEN… she and Motor Man went on a business trip to Indianapolis, and they stopped at several Macy’s stores in West Virginia, Kentucky and Indianpolis to buy those shirts.

I think she probably mailed out about 30 of them all total. After the members began receiving their shirts, they posted pictures of themselves wearing them. So Motor Man took a picture of Motor Mommy wearing her shirt.  AND I got to be in the picture!

That’s all fine and well, and I was quite honored. But, I just have one question: WHY is she not a member of any calico kitty FB groups???   Hmm????

~These Days Of Mine~

April Love

There are probably very few of you who aren’t familiar with April, the giraffe. For those of you who may not know her story, here it is in a nutshell:

April and her mate, Oliver, live at the Animal Adventure Park in New York state.  The local residents knew that April was expecting a little one, and last winter, they began calling the park (during its off season) to inquire about her condition.  The park’s owner, Jordan Patch, decided to install a simple web cam to allow her nearby fans to keep check on April.  The media caught wind of this and announced that April was due to give birth “any day”. Giraffes are pregnant for around 15 months, and the park staff didn’t know exactly when April was due.  So it seemed that the entire world waited forever for her to give birth.

A Facebook friend of mine posted the link to April’s web cam in late February, and I became a follower.  I wasn’t glued to the computer, but I did check in frequently, and happened to be at home that Saturday morning, April 15, when April gave birthday to her baby boy, later named Tajiri.

A few weeks ago, Motor Man and I began entertaining the idea of traveling to the park (as part of my birthday celebration), so I could meet April, her family and the staff.

The morning of our visit, I awoke very early and was so excited, Motor Man said to me: “Little girl, is this your first Christmas?”

We have seen several interviews with Jordan, and we are impressed with how at ease he is speaking publicly.  We also admire him for what he’s doing to spread knowledge about different species of animals, not just giraffes. I was thrilled to meet him; he’s so personable and willing to have his picture taken with any guest who asks. (You just have to catch up to him: such a busy guy!)

Soon it was time to head to the giraffe exhibit and meet April.

Is my excitement showing?

Our friends that have seen this next picture are surprised when I tell them that she never touched my face…she just curled her tongue around that carrot stick, and it disappeared.

Check out that tongue!

Motor Man was ready with the camera when April agreed to pose with me.

And then, there was adorable Tajiri (“Taj” for short).  He was running around the giraffe yard to the delight of all his fans. Notice the windows in the barn: those are in the space that April and Tajiri share.  April looks out of those when she’s inside; Taj has some growing to do before he’s able to do that, although he’s already 7 feet tall.

April and Taj are out in the yard during the morning, then they’re coaxed back into the barn, so “dad”, Oliver, can enjoy some outdoor time. In this picture, Oliver is on the left, peering around the corner from the stall. Since Oliver is a bull and Taj is still young and small, they aren’t allowed to be in the same area. They do, however, touch noses through the wire separating their spaces in the barn.

Here’s Oliver, making his appearance in the yard. That’s Corey, another of the keepers that we came to know through the web cam.  Corey juggled the giraffe family from barn to yard, etc. Notice that the staff members don’t get too close to Oliver.

Motor Man didn’t rush me at all, so we spent about four hours at the park, and although we saw some of the other animals, most of my time was spent at the giraffe exhibit. I couldn’t seem to drag myself away…

AAP is such a nice place,  special people, special animals. I’m so grateful to Motor Man for making our visit happen.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And The Winners Are

Last week, I announced a giveaway in honor of April, the giraffe’s, new baby boy. The prize is this adorable children’s book.

Normally the word “giveaway” in a blog title brings entries from far and near. Not so this time.  I only had three fellow bloggers comment that they wished to be included in the giveaway, and seven non-bloggers.  So, I decided to give away two books: one to a blogger and one to a non blogger.

Sundae picked the winner in the blogger division.  The name she chose (by a nose) was Pam, who co-writes “Two Spoiled Cats” along with her kitties, Angel Sammy and Baby Teddy.

And the non-blogger, whose name was drawn from a hat by Motor Man, is my friend, former classmate and loyal blog follower, Shirley Dunn.

Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting.  Enjoy your books!

~These Days Of Mine~

Celebrating April With A Giveaway

Confession time: I am one of those hundred of thousands of folks who has been watching the April the Giraffe web-cam at for the past couple of months.  I wouldn’t say that I am obsessed (although Motor Man may tend to lean that way), but I check in on her several many times throughout the day. (And sometimes during the night.)

To say that I was thrilled to be at home and watching Saturday morning when it became apparent that labor had begun would be an understatement. Although I grew up in the country, I didn’t actually live on a farm, so I’d never seen the birth of any animal.

Using the word “miracle” to describe the event would not be an exaggeration.

Since Saturday morning, it’s been fun watching the little guy romp around the pen, making laps around his mom. The web-cam will be turned off at the end of this week, with perhaps sporadic viewing available after that.  Word is that a permanent camera will be installed in the giraffe yard after the park opens for its season in May.

I’ve learned quite a bit about giraffes in the past 2 months: they only sleep about 30 minutes a day, those “things” on their heads are called ossicones, their hooves are the size of dinner plates, and their tongues are dark purple to prevent sunburn while they’re eating leaves from tall trees. Sadly, I also learned that their numbers in the wild have been steadily decreasing. Hopefully, April and her family have helped draw attention to that fact. Some of the donations that have been made to the park during this time will be shared with the Giraffe Conservancy Fund.

These days, I find myself noticing everything giraffe-related, including this adorable children’s book I bought last week.

So, to celebrate April and the birth of her baby (as yet unnamed), I am having a giveaway, and the prize will be this little book. I only wish it had been around for bedtime stories when Marshall was a little boy.

Just leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to be included in the giveaway. It’s a sweet book (even if you don’t have any little ones), and/or would make a nice gift or donation to a library.

Oh, and you have a day or two left to see the web-cam, if you want to take a chance on becoming addicted. Note: Baby Giraffe’s favorite spot is in a corner, so he’s not in camera range all the time.  Click here……and you’re welcome.

~These Days Of Mine~