life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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pigeon army

Sharing with you a very common sighting at our home.

the pigeon company

the morning group of the pigeon army in our neighbor’s roof

Those are some of the pigeons that regularly visits our place. We are now at peace with them -because they already know that our patio is not for (dive bombing) pooping. However they still nibble on our plants once in a while. Sometimes they also fly real close to our windows and even hang out on top of the air conditioning unit making those loud flapping noises and sometimes scratching (sounds by moving) their talons on the thin steel surface. All that is now normal to us.

It has been months since we moved in, I find it funny that before I used to dislike the pigeons. Now, I look for them and can sort of distinguish one from the other and the group (they have a morning and afternoon group) they belong with.

Sometimes they do some weird antics that includes lying down on the roof, flying from one roof to another then purposely “pushing” another pigeon to fly with them. Making a pigeon totem pole-then they fall and try doing it all over again. *the highest I saw was 4 pigeons stacked together then they toppled over. They can be awkward, amusing and hilarious.

And we have grown to accept and love them. -This actually happened for a few weeks.

  • Update: But unfortunately, the pigeons are back to their disruptive, inquisitive nature that we had no option than to block them out with plastic mesh.

 

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pepper please

Pepper to me is the spice, a name of a friend and also a bunny.

See, Pepper is one of my pet rabbits at home. We have been with her since the day she was born. Her mom is Pudding (My first pet rabbit. A brown rabbit too, but with a lighter brown fur, also our pet.) Pepper has brown fur with black tips. Her color reminds us of peppercorn hence the name Pepper.

One of her unique markings is that she wears a single white “mitten” on her left paw and having long eyelashes.

Pepper is a month old in this photo

a younger me, with a month old pepper

She likes banana and fruit juice/shakes like our other rabbits, and can be greedy when pellets or yogurt is up for grabs. But unlike the other rabbits, she is always calm and demure even. Preferring to just plop down (lounge) near the kitchen while all the others go about running from room to room. Despite her calm demeanor, she always excitedly greets everyone who pass by her area/comes home with rabbit kisses. That gets her a lot of treats and hugs.

It is no surprise that she grew to a nice fluffball the size (or bigger) of a adult cat. Our neighbor’s cats and dogs are usually intimidated by the size of our rabbits. –Truth be told, our rabbits had a lot of love (and treats) from our friends who dote on them. They even get vegetable freebies when we go to the market with a rabbit on hand. Some even asks for selfies with the rabbits.

Pepper is our “diva” at home. She usually gets everything she likes, without you noticing that she get everything she likes. She has her way with humans. She can also be quite persuasive when she wants a treat. It is hard to say no when she stares at you with her big brown eyes.

photo taken on our last visit to the vet

photo taken on our last visit to the vet – she is lounging inside a laundry basket

Pepper lived to a old age (for rabbits) of 5 years. She crossed the rainbow bridge and is hopefully happy and contented there.

Thanks for being my rabbit and staying with us Pepper. You will be missed.

 

*Our pet Rabbits are the reason I chose a brown bunny as my blog logo and also the color palette for this page. 


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troubleshooting

Right now, one of my fur babies is sick. My brown bunny-Pepper is having a case of rabbit “head tilt“.

photos from the internet

photos from the internet

We already took her to the vet. Pepper had a antibiotic injection and was prescribed Polecin.

To be administered twice a day. Two drops on every ear.

By now I am also giving Trixy-the white bunny a drop of Polecin on each ear. Preventive measures.

Moving along, Our revised invites also came in. So, we are now contemplating on how to send all these to their recipients… 

say hello to the trifold version!

say hello to the trifold version!

While doing that, I am also busy crafting/sewing. Yes another D.I.Y. project. I must be cray. 

This time it is for my flower girls. Actually, I am quite happy with their dresses because they look like what I really wanted.

the dress before the flowers

At the shop: the girls dresses before the flowers, pardon the lighting. They look cute right? I am still waiting for the embellishments. 

So fast forward to a few days after… the dresses now look like this.

just look at it.

Again pardon the lighting. 

Ugh. Yes. I wanted applique flowers. But, not those reddish-purple flowers… It is not my color. I specifically asked for pastel colors. blush, lilac and peach. I got blush, purple and the reddish-purple color I hate. So, I had to get it fixed. But again since December is so near… there is no way the seamstress is going to get the time to make new flowers. 

That leaves me with: take it as it is or create my own flowers.

I chose the latter. Again I blame my O.C. -ness. 

So I created flower templates and got 3 yards of crystal organza (these are the shiny type of organza) -one yard per color.

I was still enthusiastic at this time

lilac, blush and peach- finally my colors! I was still excited with starting my project at this time…

And the madness starts. I began cutting out flowers of different sizes that turned out to hacking the fabric with scissors!

All the while asking myself why did I even start this madness?

after cutting

after hacking away the fabric and cleaning up a bit of my mess to make my table picture worthy…

After that photo I have no more decent photos as I was busy burning and sewing the fabric flowers. I will just tell you that it was not easy. 

burn baby burn

I am having a hard time taking a photo of what I am doing and doing the burning so, this photo is just to give you an idea on what I am doing… do I even make sense?

Most of my flowers came out burnt, my hands are also a bit burned. My success rate is a mere 30%.

this one is a success!

this one is a success! so burn around five more (six per layers per flower) and sew them up. 

So here is my weird and wonky burned flowers.

so out of ten

Out of ten flowers, only three make it. 

And some of the wastage I managed to take a photo of… my nanny swept off most of my mess. 

all this in one day

all this scraps in one day.

Of course finally the product of my burnt hands and sweat.

these are made with sweat and tears and shouting and gliter

these are made with sweat and tears.

I only managed to make around six flowers in a three/four hours – I do this after dinner before going to bed. Usually start making these around eight in the evening and throwing in the towel by twelve. I need around eight flowers and six tiny flowers per flower girl.


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devoid of color: painting the walls is not allowed

Kei and I finally got the keys to our starter home!

Along with it came a bunch of paper called the lease contract. Absolutely thrilled with our new place but not too thrilled about the contract. Because one of its rules is the color of the walls cannot be changed.

And we already broke that rule. We had all the green walls painted white. (as a base in preparation to painting it with color) As agreed upon with the building admin, so we thought it was okay. Aparrently the lessor was not happy. He got the whole place fengshui-ed before and the place must be green. Since we already had the place painted white, we were asked to keep it the same way.

photos from the internet

photos from the internet

After all the hours staring at paint swatches? throws them like confetti! White?!

But we have to make it work. So, I go look for inspirations.

Our living room will probably look a bit like this. Only tiny-er. 

photo from the internet

photo from the internet

*If you know the back story of the PRADA Marfa print. It actually fits what I feel right now. 

Taken from Wikipedia: PRADA Marfa is a permanently installed sculpture by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, situated 1.4 miles (2.3 km) northwest of Valentine, Texas, just off U.S. Highway 90(US 90), and about 26 miles (42 km) northwest of the city of Marfa. The sculpture is still there. 

The Prada Marfa poster is the road sign that tells you the store is 1837 miles ahead.

Keyword: NOWHERE (creating something in the middle of nowhere.)

photo from the internet

photo from the internet

 

And this black version looks stylish. I might consider getting that one, provided that Kei approves. Or maybe place a photo collage just like the one in the photo?

For the kitchen this looks neat. We also have a tiny kitchen window like this one, the only difference is the range is the one near the window. Again ours is a smaller than the photo we are looking at. 

photos from the internet

photos from the internet

But our shelves and cabinets are not that sleek. We also have dark colored kitchen counters…

So maybe a combination of these can be of use?

photos form the internet

photos form the internet

And for the dining area, the challenge we face is that we have no windows there.

photos from the internet

photos from the internet

Most of what I found on the internet uses mirrors to create the illusion of a window. This could be an option for us. 

What makes everything better is the tiny somewhat enclosed balcony/patio in our starter home. Right now it has a lot of not so friendly poop machine pigeons. So, we plan to get the space enclosed with a roof to keep the pigeons away.

The area must house a tiny vertical garden, hopefully a bench and my pet bunny.

These inspirations are lovely.

photos from the internet

photos from the internet

Just add the bunny cage and it will be ok.

As for the yucky green bathroom, I would have to leave it be. As if I can do anything about it?! Will just place lots of happy accent pieces to distract myself.

The really tiny laundry room behind the kitchen could be utilized into something compact and organized like this.

photo from the internet

photo from the internet

The space we have looks a lot like the extreme left photo, as it has a window on the side. Middle and right photo is what I am aiming for in the space.

As for the bedroom, we still have to look for a bed.

After all the hassle/s we have been through to get a space and call it our own. I found this (quote) to be true.

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” ― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss


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Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) stories

The only thing I am excited about in September is mid autumn festival. Love the dice game (even if I rarely win) as well as the mooncakes. I actually keep my favorite (lotus 1 egg/ made form lotus paste and with one duck egg) mooncake/s for breakfast, and eat another one come afternoon, as my afternoon snack.

Photo from thailandtatler

Photo from thailandtatler

As a child, I remember walking to a auntie neighbor’s house to see her making mooncakes, as she makes them to sell come mid autumn festival.  The smell of the cakes cooking wafting from her house is just yummy. I usually get a freshly baked mooncake from that auntie as a treat for keeping her company.

My mum and this auntie are friends. She even invites my Mum to cook with her. My mum usually declines and just buys lots of her mooncakes instead. This certain auntie tells me lots of stories regarding mooncake festival while she bakes.

Here are the stories/folklore told to me by our neighbor.

 

Chang E’s story (the moon goddess)

Chang E was a beautiful young girl working in the Jade Emperor’s palace in heaven, where immortals, good people and fairies lived. One day, she accidentally broke a precious porcelain jar. Angered, the Jade Emperor banished her to live on earth, where ordinary people lived. She could return to the Heaven, if she contributed a valuable service on earth.

Chang E was transformed into a member of a poor farming family. When she was 18, a young hunter named Hou Yi from another village spotted her, now a beautiful young woman. They became friends.

One day, a strange phenomenon occurred – 10 suns arose in the sky instead one one, scorching the earth. Hou Yi, an expert archer, stepped forward to try to save the earth. He successfully shot down nine of the suns, becoming an instant hero. He eventually became king and married Chang E.

 

But Hou Yi grew to become a tyrrant. He sought immortality by ordering an elixir be created to prolong his life. The elixir in the form of a single pill was almost ready when Chang E came upon it. She either accidentally or purposely swallowed the pill. This angered King Hou Yi, who went after his wife. Trying to flee, she jumped out the window of a chamber at the top of palace — and, instead of falling, she floated into the sky toward the moon.

King Hou Yi tried to shoot her down with arrows, but without success. Once on the moon, Chang E has only one companion, a (jade?) rabbit, is constantly pounding the elixir of immortality in a large mortar.

 

 

The story of the moon rabbit

The story goes about a god reincarnated into a poor old man and begged food from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit.

When an old man begged for food, the monkey gathered fruits from the trees and the otter collected fish, while the fox wrongfully pilfered a lizard and a pot of milk-curd. The rabbit, who knew only how to gather grass, instead offered its own body, throwing itself into a fire the man had built. The rabbit, however, was not burnt. The old man revealed himself to be a god  and, touched by the rabbit’s virtue, drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see.

Or the  alternate ending that, the god was so moved by the rabbit and sent it to the moon to become an immortal jade rabbit. Ever since, the jade rabbit stayed in the Moon Palace to accompany Chang E and pounded immortal medicine for those living in the heaven.

 

For today, I am going to see my grandama and the rest of the family  later to celebrate mid-autumn festival, and eat mooncakes.

 

*Try to look at the moon tonight, its at its roundest and brightest.

**Mid-autumn festival occurs every 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar.


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status in a bowl

My dad kept fishes as pets. I loved our pet fishes, and being curious with fishes, I read up on them that led me to read about sharks. I know they have rough skin, they are made up of cartilage, they have this certain ampullae of Lorenzini to help them detect the heartbeat of their prey, they have a sharp sense of smell and hearing, they are the apex predators…etc. I am awed with sharks.

bull shark photo from national geographic

bull shark photo from national geographic

I have amassed a lot of toy figures of them, and even more so when I got into swimming and my team is called “sharks”.  (I was stoked to be on the team even if sharks are actually the second best, the dolphins are the dream team.)

Go team sharks!  MIKE PARRY/MINDEN PICTURES-National Geographic Creative

Go sharks!
MIKE PARRY/MINDEN PICTURES-National Geographic Creative

Being Chinese, it was not long that I got introduced to sharksfin soup.

I cannot recall the exact time I first seen the soup. All I know is this soup is bloody expensive it costs about 4000-5000php and up locally. 

sharksfin soup photo from wikipedia

sharksfin soup photo from wikipedia

This soup is common in fine dining Chinese restaurants. It is actually a status symbol delicacy in a bowl. A banquet with this soup is considered good, and without it is considered as mediocre. Usually, I get this about two to three times a year. I never gave it much thought.

 Having the sharksfin or even having the corn soup (considered as cheapest) is ok for me, as long as I have a soup I’m good.

 

However this is really bad. I should care.

In a study made last year, roughly one hundred thousand sharks are being killed every year to be made into soup. That is a lot of sharks being killed.

a female mako shark being finned photo from national geographic

a female mako shark being finned photo from national geographic

Sharks die a cruel death, by shark finning. It  is catching a shark, cutting of its fins with a hot metal blade then throwing the shark back  into the sea to die a painful death by drowning (sharks drown when they can’t swim), loss of blood, being eaten by other animals. Without their fins, sharks are good as dead.

bloody sharks fin - photo by Chip Clark for the Smithsonian

bloody sharks fin – photo by Chip Clark for the Smithsonian

Fins are the only thing that is valuable in the sharks so they usually fin the sharks and leave it to die in the sea, saving precious cargo space to get more fins. In some European countries they are also killed for their meat.

 

photo from shark savers

photo from shark savers

A sharks fin fetches over $10,000 USD. For 1 fin. The high price makes finning sharks appealing to poachers. But this is unsustainable. Shark population is declining at a rapid speed and the sharks are slow to reproduce. These creatures are close to being gone. It is not too late yet to save these animals.

photo from shark savers

photo from shark savers

 

It is very ironic that Shark fin soup is a status symbol in Asian countries, and is considered healthy and full of nutrients. But, it is actually more harm than good. Sharks fin soup contains dangerously high levels of mercury that is linked to several well known diseases including degenerative brain disease and Alzheimer’s.

Jeremy Lin for shark savers

Jeremy Lin for shark savers

I have said no to sharks fin soup.

 

Learn more about the plight of sharks:

http://voiceforsharks.blogspot.com/2014/04/in-ocean-or-in-soup-where-do-sharks.html

http://www.sharkwater.com/


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thankful friday

Another week is done. Seems like the days are passing by quickly…

Art by Katie Daisy

Art by Katie Daisy

thankful

 

Let me count this  weeks joys:

1.) Kei and I met our friends/role models, Atchie Clarisse and Ahya Paul over halo halo! They gave us brownies and owls goodies! Plus life advice! Much thanks!

Brownies and Owls!

Brownies and Owls!

2.) Finally got new nail clippers for the rabbits my furbabies at home. We got this from Daiso at 88php! 

nail clippers for little pets

nail clippers for little pets

3.) Chatted with my cousin Jackie from the USA. She learned that I collect owls and sent me these two cuties to add to my growing owl family! I miss her and our random bonding moments + my super hyper little nephew. 

owls form atchie jack

Owls form Atchie Jackie

4.) Getting to and from work safely on the day the typhoon hit.

5.) Laughing every morning listening to The Morning Rush. Positivity to start the day.

 

 

Enjoy the weekend everyone!