Feeling Joy

We have made it to the end of 2020 and I am sure everyone is ready to start the new year in the hopes that it will be a little more like 2019 before COVID came into our lives. I have to admit. the pandemic disrupted my usual endeavors but it also made things better for me. I found happiness and joy where others might have found discouragement, fear and perhaps anger. I learned to cling to the things that bring happiness in my life and to disassociate with the things that only create frustration.

So what is it that brings you happiness and joy into your life? Here are 5 things that bring my joy and I celebrate them at the end of this year.

  1. Animals
  2. Family
  3. Good Food
  4. Travel
  5. My Savior

One of the Lucky Ones

Today I was thinking a lot about animals. My sister’s cat has come to live with me and he is getting older. He isn’t doing as well as he should but I am doing everything I can to make him comfortable and enjoy life. I haven’t had another pet in my care for a while because I was heartbroken over the loss of my dog a few years back. With the passing of time and the fact that our animals do not live as long as we do, I sometimes question if I want another animal. That thought comes and goes rapidly because I love the way I feel when animals are me and I want them in my home.

So in honor of them–here are 5 quotes and pictures that I just love.

In Your Habitat

The post this week arose from a conversation I had recently with some friends. What animals would you love to see in their natural habitat? Everyone had their favorite as answers came petty quick. We were also able to make a list of animals we don’t EVER want to see in their natural habitat. For me that would include any kind of snake. (I will not be standing in a crowd watching a snake charmer in India).

This conversation then morphed into an article I read in Popular Mechanics about animals that live in the United States that you might not have known about. You can read the article here.

With all of this discussion, I realized that I need to know a little more about the animal kingdom beyond the zoo experience.

So what animal would you like to see in their natural habitat?

  1. Giant Panda: No joke; I went to China and spent a month there and never once went to the sanctuary to see the pandas. My loss for the time being.  
  2. Kiwi: I think they are an absolutely fascinating bird. 
  3. Great White Shark: I know this sounds absolutely crazy but there is a huge part of me that wants to go down in one of the cages and actually see them for real. Okay, I would settle for being on a boat. (The theme from Jaws is actually playing in my head right now). 
  4. Walrus: They are so interesting to me. I really want to know everything about them. 
  5. Elephant: I have actually seen them before not in a zoo but to really see them in their habitat would be incredible. 

You Animal You

So I was talking to a group of kids a couple of weeks back and I was asking them to tell me what they were grateful for.

I do need to add that the kids were between the ages of 5-6.

They thought of their families, their toys, their friends but then they couldn’t think of anything else. To help them out, I started naming items that I am grateful for . . . food, pools, the sun, naps, etc. Needless to say, we got on the topic of animals and never got off. The kids had to not only tell me about their favorite animal and why they were grateful for them but it became a biology lesson on what made that particular animal so great.

So here are my top 5 favorite animals and why I think they are so great.

  1. Dogs: Seriously, if you had known me and my dog Coco, then I don’t have to explain why I think dogs are so great. But interesting fact: Dogs actually do dream. When they twitch and have paw movements while sleeping, it is an indicator that they are dreaming. Thanks Pet Finder for that awesome fact! You can find more unique facts here.
  2. Killer Whales: Let’s be honest. They are soooo beautiful and magnificent to see out in the open ocean. My love of Orcas started with Shamu at Sea World but it went to a whole new level when I saw them while off the coast of Vancouver, Canada. Interesting fact: Did you know that Orcas live over 90 years? Check out other facts here
  3. Sea Otters/River Otters: You can’t tell me that you don’t find Otters completely captivating. I can sit at an aquarium all day and just watch them play with each other. Besides that, they are so cute and they make you want to cuddle with them or at least get a stuffed animal version to cuddle with.  Interesting fact: Did you know that Otters have the thickest fur of any mammal in the animal kingdom? They can have up to 1 million hairs per square inch. Thanks Mental Floss for the fact! You can check out other facts here
  4. Panthers: What’s not to like about a big black cat? Really, big cats stand in an arena all their own with the majesty and respect they deserve. Then you add black fur to the mix and you had me at hello! They are magnificent creatures. Did you know that they are not solid black in color but up close you can actually see prints or spots on their body? Thanks Interesting Fun Facts! Check out more facts here
  5. Sheep: I know this might sound crazy but whenever I spend any time on a farm; the only animal I really want to spend time with are the sheep. Their presence just seem to give the world a pastoral glow. I remember that I wanted to touch one so bad because I thought they would be so soft. I was wrong. Their fur feels like a seriously bad rat nest but it still doesn’t deter my love for seeing the animal out in pasture. Did you know that sheep are able to remember things? The can remember at least 50 individual sheep and humans for years. Thanks One Kind for the fact! Check out more facts here