Random Thoughts & Ramblings

Random Words Of Wisdom To Live By…

  • If a piece of seaweed introduces himself as ‘Bob’, you’ve had too much to drink, period…
  • Don’t ever imitate the call of a male Howler monkey when he’s above you in a tree full of large mangos…
  • Remember, no matter how good the margaritas are, you still have to put the top on the blender before turning it on…
  • If you receive a small canister full of wolf dung (poop) from a friend doing research on the Arctic Tundra, don’t let your domesticated animals (dogs or cats) get wind of it or you may never see them again… (Thank you *D2!) *Please see my About page for details regarding *The Sisters
  • Be prompt in your pick-up at the post office if you order a hive of bees from Italy, lest the U.S. Postal Service can get a bit testy…
  • Even if the wood is a bit wet, never, never add a ‘small amount’ of gasoline to your bonfire…
  • When using a paper cutter with a blade of 16-inches or more, always be aware of the location of your hair braid …
  • Don’t use a slingshot to deter a naughty raccoon in a tree at midnight if your neighbor’s bedroom windows are within 200 feet…
  • An incredibly large Bobcat with an extremely long tail is most certainly a Mountain Lion…


  • When feeding an African Zebra, realize they can elevate their height by standing on their hinds…
  • On that note, zebras have very serious choppers (teeth!) and can do quite a bit of damage to the hand that feeds them…
  • Bears can smell a salami stick, even if you ‘hide it’ under your pillow…
  • Nurse sharks do not have any appreciation or tolerance for having their tail pulled…
  • Cows can kick to the side…
  • If you have the privilege of being close to a Humpback whale when it breaches out of the water, you too can end up with a welt the size of a walnut on your forehead from getting hit by a rogue barnacle…


  • When attempting to photograph Rhesus Macaque monkeys in the wild, always keep a watchful eye on the dominant male of the harem…
  • Pigs will bite if you accidentally put your finger up their nose…
  • Never shoo-away a skunk that has it’s butt facing you, trust me…
  • On that note, NO, tomato juice does not fully cut skunk oil, no matter how many gallons you may bathe in…
  • Note that when an Emus’ head and neck turn electric blue, they’re sexually aroused…
  • If you do not speak the language in the tropical foreign country you are visiting, when you inquire as to why no one is swimming and a local responds with a phrase something like “gat-swerks”, they are referring to Tiger Sharks….
  • When planting rice with little kids in an Indonesian rice field, just know that the large, super shiny black snake that swims through the rice patty your bare-legs are submerged in, is most likely a Cobra…


  • Do not under any circumstances attempt to use crazy glue to fix a rip in your cat’s ear after he’s been in a vicious fight, lest you may end up in the emergency room for assistance in removing your fingers from your cat’s ear… (Please note the unfortunate notch on my cat’s left ear [right side of the photo]. Ooops, a less-than-precise glue job. Bummer!) 🙂
  • Never touch any ‘sensitive areas’ of your body after cutting up a Habanero pepper with your bare hands…
  • Commercial Turkeys (yes, the kind you feast on at Thanksgiving,) are sexually aroused by human toes. So sandals are a particularly poor choice of footwear when visiting a turkey farm…
  • It’s always best to climb Giotto’s Tower (Campanile) in Florence, Italy before noon, because yes there really are 414-steps and one may get dizzy or even the hiccups if attempting after a bit of afternoon Chianti…
  •  If something moves within your plate of raw oysters, don’t eat ANY of them…
  • A 2000 lbs. (1000+ kg) water buffalo can perform a perfect spider-jump (all-4-off-the-floor!) right in front of a fast moving, yet very small motorcycle…
  • On that note, no, a batting helmet should never be used in place of a motorcycle helmet, though it may help preserve one of your ears should you crash….


  • Giraffes like to lick the salt from behind your ears if given the opportunity…
  • It truly is best not to tell Mom about your most recent brush with death while chatting on the phone from a 3rd world country…
  • Never pick up a dead Diamondback Rattlesnake, even if you’ve cut it’s head off… Yuck, what a mess…
  • Don’t buy a taco from a street vender in bum-f@#k-nowhere…
  • Apparently it’s not considered ‘polite’ to ask an Indonesian military police officer to relocate the muzzle of his automatic machine gun away from your face… Who would have guessed…?!
  • You cannot reason with a scorpion, ever…!
  • To be clear, if bitten by a rat while sleeping on a beach somewhere in Lomok, Indonesia, rabies only has a 21-day incubation period…


  • Camels and lamas can (and will!) spit when annoyed.  I think that says it all…
  • If while wandering on a small island somewhere off the coast of Indonesia, you should come across large reptilian footprints with approx. 3 – 4 ft. (1m+) between them and a long tail-drag line behind it, know you are sharing territory with a large (and most likely hungry) Komodo Dragon!
  • An 8 – 10 foot (2 m+) Bull Shark circling you while you’re SCUBA diving isn’t curious, it’s hunting. Trying to keep track of all six of them at once can prove to be just plain terrifying…
  • Yep, glass is a ‘solid liquid…’
  • Goats, even the cute little Pigmy goats, know exactly where the ‘charlie-horse’ is located on your upper leg, and they will aim for it with their horns every time…
  • Hanging out under a large tree is not a good camping spot during a lightning storm…
  • Don’t watch an eclipse with your naked eye just because it happens to be a cloudy day…!
  • A wood shake roof is very slippery when wet…


  • Carelessly sitting on a rock along the California coast, watching a romantic sunset can leave you stranded until the next low tide 12-hours away…
  • Yes, your typical, sweet little gray squirrel will aggressively climb your leg and demand gummy-bears if taunted…
  • Elephant seals move much more quickly than one might suspect…
  • If the sign at the zoo says ‘Do Not Feed. Do Not Tease’, don’t offer the monkey a cookie and then quickly eat it, laughing at their apparent stupidity, lest you spend the rest of the day with monkey poop in your hair… (No seriously, they’ve got one-hell-of-an arm…!)
  • A 10-foot deer fence protecting your precious garden can just as easily lock a deer inside if the gate is left open… OOOPS! 😉
  • Some trees are very clear that they do not wish to be climbed upon…
  • Yes, there is such a thing as a Jumping Spider…!
  • Don’t ever rely upon your parking brake to stop you if your floor break goes out while driving a 1956 VW bug…
  • Never stand idly under a ripe persimmon tree… (That goes for avocados, mangos and papayas as well…)
  • That pretty silver thumb-ring you wore while SCUBA diving, looks just like a small fish to a large Barracuda…
  • Jellyfish really don’t want to bond with you… swear!
  • Never attempt to break up a cat fight while naked, ever…!
  • On that note, don’t attempt to cook bacon while naked either…


  • Beware, if you ever have the opportunity to hear the gloriously melodious song of the Humpback whale while SCUBA diving, it may bring tears of joy to your eyes, thus making quite a mess of your face mask…
  • No matter how drunk you are, dry dog food should never be mistaken for a bowl of peanuts. Yuck…!
  • Seriously, if he walks like a jerk, and he talks like a jerk, he probably isn’t a duck, he’s a dick… Come on now ladies, wake up!
  • Yep, the deepest ocean valley on the planet is deeper than Mt. Everest is high (at 8,850 m or 29,035 ft). Look up between 13° and 21°N latitude and 144° and 146°E. The Mariana Trench is 11,033 m or 36,201 ft deep!
  • Once you’ve launched off a ski jump, it can be very difficult to change direction mid-air in an effort to avoid the large tree right in front of you…
  • On that note, if you’ve had a rather disastrous sports accident within the realm of the civil world, you may wish to ask yourself: ‘What would John Wayne do in this situation?’ (The next steps may add to the adventure or the experience…!) (Thanks *Jim G. Sr!)


Special Pearls For The Bride & Groom:

  • Always remember to eat a meal before your wedding. That way you remain vertical throughout the ceremony…
  • Let your face relax between photos or you’re going to wind up looking like the bastard child of a Charlie McCarthy doll…
  • Pee right before the ceremony! Bride, have someone assist or you’ll certainly flush the train of your dress and end up with a less than perfect waltz down the isle my dear… (Keep track of your pretty lace veil as well!)
  • Don’t waste money on the ceremony or the reception, save it and put a down payment on a house instead…! Honestly, in reality, it’s just a fantastically expensive party that you’ll be entirely too exhausted to truly enjoy… Elope!




The Origin of Le Voov!














Ah, where it all began.  Thank you for your faith in me and your ongoing generosity Jim & Charlene. I appreciate you both very much!  🙂


Layout Weird Things FF Final 2

Weird Things My Kid Gave Me…!

I don’t post much about my Stepdaughter on social media or my blog because I want to be respectful of her privacy. That being said, here is my post dedicated to her…

My lovely, wickedly smart Stepdaughter came to me courtesy of the man of my dreams, Brian. When I first met her, she was sporting a stylish pair of pink plastic sunglasses that fit perfectly on her big, round head. As they approached my house in their car, she had the back window down, and the wind blowing wildly through her wispy white locks. Propped up like a queen on her throne in her little car seat, she was belting out the back-up lyrics to the song ‘The Dream Police’ (poe-leez, poe-leez).

Even being a little tyke of just 3-years old, she already possessed the sage wisdom of knowing the world was her oyster and she had it wrapped comfortably around her teeny-tiny pinkie. Similar to her father, it was love at first sight…

Over the years, our daughter has given me some of the most strange, yet amazing gifts. Here are just a few of them.

Guatemalan Worry Doll

Shortly after we were married, my beloved Mother fell and broke her hip, leading to her moving out of her home and into an assisted living facility. There were so many logistics to work out at that time, and I frequently found myself up in the middle of the night worrying about her.

One night when our daughter got up to wee, half asleep she wandered into the office where I was sitting. Her little eyes were squinting as she entered and inquired as to why I wasn’t sleeping like everybody else in the family? I told her I was worried about Grammy’s happiness.

The next day when I picked her up from kindergarten, she presented me with this tiny worry doll (Muñeca quitapena) from Guatemala. She explained that the worry doll would take all my troubles and worries away, so I could get some well-deserved sleep.

Her logic and sweet thoughtfulness brought me instantly to tears and the little doll has remained on my nightstand ever since…

(Gosh, I wonder if they have these mini-dolls to address the night sweats of menopause…?!!!)

Blue-Eyed Frog

While our daughter attended elementary school, I volunteered as an art class assistant each year. In third grade, we worked with clay and created figurines. Our little artist made a funny frog with huge eyes and a big open mouth. After glazing and going through the kiln, the masterpieces were returned to their rightful owners. On the way home from school, I was presented with a neon green frog with blue eyes as a gift. As she explained, the frog had blue eyes like ours, so she thought I should keep it. To this day that silly frog sits on my desk and looks at me while I work on my blog.

Origami Heart

Many years ago, I was given this origami heart on Valentine’s Day as a gift. Apparently, while learning the basics of the art of origami, our daughter was told “Love is delicate and beautiful, just like origami…” When she shared that with me, again I shed tears of joy.

Little Glass Bee

One of the many reasons my husband is the incredible man he is happens to be is his amazing mother ‘Lu’. She has a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humor, and a creative, thoughtful, brilliant mind. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better Mother-in-law.

Over the years, we have enjoyed sharing summer holidays at Lake Tahoe with Brian’s parents in tow. One day, after enjoying breakfast in the mountain town of Truckee, we decided to do a bit of shopping. We wandered the various shops for an hour or so, before the boys (Brian and his Father) declared ‘shopping-legs’, which meant they were done!

As we piled into the car to return to the cabin, our daughter handed me a wadded up piece of decorative tissue. Confused, I slowly unwrapped the tiny gift and found this beautiful glass bee. I squealed with delight because I love, love, love bees! (Please visit ‘Bee Cause’ on this blog in the category of Health & Nutrition. ? ? ?)

I then learned of the stealthy maneuvering of our Grandma/Grand-daughter team during our post-breakfast shopping trip. Since that day the sweet glass bee has lived in my purse, where I frequently find it in my hand while searching for my keys or a rogue lipstick.

I am forever grateful for our holidays with Brian’s parents because they both have gifted our family with so much love and kindness.

Fimo Clay Carrot

For many years we grew carrots in our winter garden. So, needless to say, we ate a lot of carrots! As I work in the field of nutrition, I often talk about the nutritional value of various foods we consume, particularly the fresh fruit and vegetables we grow in the garden.

Apparently, our discussion about carrots had a big impact on our daughter, thus she created a little carrot out of fimo clay and gave it to me as a memento of our chat. This is yet another keepsake I have in my office that always brings a smile…

Lemon Lady

We have two very prolific Meyer lemon trees in our yard, which provide us with a year-round stock of fresh, sweet lemons. Frequently while cooking, I’ll ask our daughter to run down to the garden and get me a few lemons. On one such occasion, much to my surprise, this sweet ‘lemon lady’ arrived on the counter among a group of freshly picked lemons. After almost wetting my pants with laughter, I decided we would keep her as a cute kitchen mascot of happiness. Eventually, after almost a month, the lemon lady began to fade, but I kept this picture to remind me of her.

Beaded Bee

On our first Christmas together, Brian gave me a small oil painting by one of my favorite artist Juli Adams. The painting is a blue bee with little fancy red shoes on her feet. Blue Bee is one of my most cherished pieces of artwork.

One day after summer camp, our daughter presented me with her artistic creation of a beaded bee. We sat down together and she told me she had designed it to look like my favorite painting Blue Bee. I was struck by her thoughtfulness and ingenuity in creating such a fabulous gift for me…

My Very Own Meerkat

There is a fabulous bench just outside the meerkat enclosure at the Oakland Zoo where, over the years, we have sat and watched the amusing interactions of the resident clan. They groom each other meticulously, chase each other in and out of their burrows, and hunt insects together, all under the watchful eye of the ultra-paranoid, designated sentry. As a family, we have spent hours laughing and enjoying the many games they play with each other from that well-worn bench.

So, for a significant birthday a few years ago, I received this little plastic meerkat from our daughter as a gift. When I asked her why she chose the meerkat, she said it reminded her of all the fun times we’ve spent watching those silly little rascals at the zoo…

This plastic meerkat sentry now sits just above the stove, and brings a smile every time I look at it!

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It always amazes me the joy a thoughtful gift can have for years and years. I absolutely cherish these funky little treasures as they continue to warm my heart every time I look at them. How fortunate we are as a family to share such a powerfully profound bond of love. My hope is that our family will be a model for our daughter when she creates her own family…

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Le Voov! Favorite Quotes (aka: Word Porn!)

Proceed as if success is inevitable…! – Unknown

I’m a Stepmother, what’s your superpower…? – Erin Sunkel

Feelings are like children, you don’t want them driving the car, but you can’t stuff them in the trunk… – Tim Robbins

Not all girls are made of sugar & everything nice. Some girls are made of adventure, dark chocolate, intelligence, cuss words & courage… – Brooke Hampton

Everything you can imagine is real… – Pablo Picasso

Do not try to make sense of my madness or structure my chaos. Love me as I am or leave me be, for this wild heart was not born to be tamed… – Becca Lee

You have to do the right thing… You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it. – John Irving

If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle with others then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself… – Nikita Gill

Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary… – Uta Hagan

Be a whore in the kitchen and a chef in the bedroom…! – Unknown

The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet. – Mohadesa Najumi

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself… – George Bernard Shaw

Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the damn cake… – Unknown

Don’t be afraid of new ideas. Be afraid of old ideas. They keep you where you are and stop you from growing and moving forward. Concentrate on where you want to go, not on what you fear… – Anthony Robbins

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear… Mark Twain

Sometimes I pretend to be normal. But it gets boring, so I go back to being me… Ain Eineziz

I find that when you have a real interest in life and a curious life, that sleep is not the most important thing… Martha Stewart

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change… Charles Darwin

Opportunities don’t happen. You create them… Chris Grosser

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people… – Eleanor Roosevelt

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen… – Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is… – Mary Anne Radmacher

When I get to the end of my life, and I ask one final “What have I done?” Let my answer be: “I have done love…” – Jennifer Pastiloff

Truly perfect is becoming friendly with your imperfections on the way to doing something remarkable… – Seth Godin

Walk tall, kick ass, love music, & never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers & warriors… – Hunter S. Thompson

This quote is taken from Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Hopefully this doesn’t come across as too ‘God-y’

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

This is one of my very favorite quotes

You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take away from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colours fill your mind. – Jac Vanek

My mother loves to quote Rosalind Russell from the 1958 movie Auntie Mame

Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!


More Great Quotes!

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Albert Einstein

The best revenge is massive success…! – Frank Sinatra

Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming… – Alice Walker

Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep. Nine if you’re ugly… – Betty White

No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying… – Stephan Covey

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. – Ansel Adams

Hardship often prepares ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny… – C.S. Lewis

There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women… – Madeleine Albright

Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential… – John Maxwell

While it’s foolish to choose to be stupid, it’s cultural suicide to decide that insights, theories and truth don’t actually matter. If we don’t care to learn more, we won’t spend time or resources on knowledge… – Seth Godin

You are not on this Earth to make everybody love you. You do what you think is right, you treat other people well, and then you keep living your life… – Michelle Obama

The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with… – Tony Robbins

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up… – Thomas A. Edison

All beings seek for happiness; so let your compassion extend itself to all… – Mahavamsa

GRAMMAR: The difference between knowing your shit & knowing you’re shit… – Unknown

A mistake repeated more than once is a decision… – Paulo Coelho

If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse… – Jim Rohn

Life gifts us only with what we can handle. Not what we feel comfortable with, but challenges that make us grow beyond what we feel capable of. Hindsight shows us that we are more resilient and incredible than we give ourselves credit for… – David Cuschieri

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent… – Eleanor Roosevelt

When they go low, we go high…! – Michelle Obama

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them… – Walt Disney

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well… – Virginia Woolf

Unique among all creatures, only the honeybee improves the environment and preys not on any other species… – Royden Brown

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music… – Friedrich Nietzsche

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try… – Unknown

Do one thing every day that scares you… Eleanor Roosevelt

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy… Dale Carnegie

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not… Virgil Thomson

You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it… – Ain Eineziz

Cal·o·ries (noun) 1. Tiny creatures that live in your closet & sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night… – Unknown

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere…! – Albert Einstein

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well… – Diane Ackerman

Good Friends Don’t Let You Do Stupid Things… Alone. – Ain Eineziz

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them… Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will… – Michel de Montaigne

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do… – Galileo Galilei

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace… – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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