Archive for the ‘Broken Bits’ Category

The Post – The Dear Departed Meatloaf……

January 19, 2011

Let us have a moment of silence for the dear departed meatloaf… should never do a meatloaf in a crockpot without “other things” and liquid – it’s juices do NOT constitute liquid… open in the house on a cold mid-January morn……eating out tonight. By then I might be able to pry the meatloaf out of the pot….. for whatever talents I have in oil painting, writing, studying sea creatures and finding odd facts to share here….that talent does NOT translate to cooking skills….the kitchen is a no-man’s land this morning…..

The Post – Human Body in the Vacuum of Space

January 17, 2011

One of the things you might notice as you read my blog is that from time to time I’ll have odd facts, stories or strange nuggets of information. That’s that “mosaic broken bits” part of me that has a wide range of interests and loves trivia. So, here’s one for today:

I always thought that if you got exposed to the vacuum of space, even a tiny pinprick in your suit, that you were immediately dead due to your body exploding or boiling out. From NASA, it’s not quite like that :  click here

The Post – Seagull seascape progress #2

January 17, 2011

Update on the seagull seascape painting. Added a bit more to all of the seagulls, more highlights and shading to the pilings, and ropes around pilings and connecting them.

Now the painting needs to dry so I can then put a slightly greenish brown wash over the rope – give it that weathered, sea-algae coated look. Right now the rope is too white. The two gulls on the left are getting closer but need to dry before I can put in some defining highlights and shadows on the feathers, eyes and mouths.

The hovering gull is ’emerging from the canvas’ – feathers starting to be defined, beak and eyes starting to go in, darks and lights in the feathers getting stronger. Stay tuned for next progress shot.

The Gift – FOOD!!!!

January 16, 2011

I am not a kitchen-gourmet….my husband’s forte. But I did a pork loin roast for the first time ever in my life today, in the crock pot, which I never used before, using a recipe from the internet no one I know has ever tried. After 8 hours, it fell apart and was great. The apples I put in with it, became the best applesauce. So tonight, my blog is to give a gift and pass on a delicious, not labor-intensive GREAT meal that even I could be proud of!!

Here’s the recipe: click here

Enjoy!!!! 🙂

The Post – A Meditative Gift

January 15, 2011

Here’s a You Tube video done by someone called “puntocaramelo” to accompany Celine Dion singing Ave Maria.  It’s a meditative delight, both visually and audibly.  Click here and enjoy.

The Post – How to Have Your Heart in Your Throat

January 15, 2011

A gift for all this afternoon:  A poem by Jimmy Stewart about his dog named Beau, from a Johnny Carson Show clip.

It is such a heart-warming performance.  Click here and enjoy.

The Post – MBARI and a Squid Performance

January 14, 2011

I LOVE the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute!  They do so many interesting things, from animal research to ROVs and AUVs (remotely operated vehicle; autonomous underwater vehicle – both topics for another day)  But a gift tonight, esp on a Friday night of a busy week, is a video from them of a number of clips of squids in the depths doing what they do best – fluidly moving through their environment.   Enjoy the video!

The Post – New Evidence of Dolphin Intelligence

January 14, 2011

It’s not dolphins blowing bubble rings….though frankly I can’t blow bubble rings so I consider that talent above me and respect any dolphin or human who can do it.

But ANYWAY, several news outlets carried an article about Tanner, a dolphin at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, who was featured for his ability to be blindfolded and still mimic what a fellow dolphin was doing.  CNN video of Tanner

I am not familiar with the place doing this study, but I located both a Facebook page for it, as well as their URL and some info on their mission:

Official Facebook Page – Dolphin Research Center

Some mission and history information from the web Page of the  Dolphin Research Center:

“DRC evolved out of the Institute for Delphinid Research. When DRC’s founders took over the facility in 1984, research remained a high priority. We have since expanded our in-house research goals, and also worked with world-renowned scientists who have come to DRC to study our resident colony of dolphins. General areas of interest include marine mammal cognition, behavior, and husbandry…….

In addition to maintaining the best possible environment for the dolphins and sea lions at the Center, we also dedicate ourselves to assisting marine mammals in distress in the surrounding waters of the Keys. For decades, DRC operated as the Southernmost member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. We rescued and rehabilitated whales and dolphins, providing expert medical attention to help ease the way for our marine friends from the wild. The rescue and rehabilitation procedures provided us with invaluable opportunities for critical research and data collection. DRC extended its rescue commitment to include the endangered manatee and is currently the only facility in the Florida Keys licensed by the Federal Government to assist manatees in distress.

To reach as many people as possible, the Center provides a variety of educational programs that allow the public a chance to learn firsthand about the world of the dolphin.”

I noticed that this facility rescues dolphins that are stranded, helps rehabilitate them, and takes in dolphins rescued from animal shows, or other facilities. So I considered them to be an ethical place. They also have expanded their rescue work to sea lions and the endangered manatees. So all in all they seem like a pretty good place.

Their site also notes that the public can make reservations to get in the water with dolphins, etc….some of the things questioned recently by dolphin researchers as to whether that is appropriate or not. It seems to cross a line from research to human entertainment. I didn’t have a problem with humans signing up to participate in part of their regular routines and care, but I have to admit, I felt like maybe having dolphins provide a “photo-op” for us might be using them a bit.

I have no proof as I’ve never been there and haven’t talked to anyone there. So it may be that the dolphins enjoy us and maybe we provide them with entertainment. This is one of those gray areas where maybe these programs will spawn future marine scientists. Yet I hope the rights of the marine mammals are kept front and center.

In any event, check out the sites. At the main page for the research center you can read a bio on all their creatures and even “adopt” one to help out with the cost of its care.


The Post – Turtle Talk, One More Thing: Globe-trekking

January 13, 2011

In my last post I talked about a turtle rescue facility here in NC, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center . One of the things they do is to attach satellite tracking devices to some of the turtles being released. A link on the site explains how satellite tracking works, and best of all, has links for each of the turtles tagged!  You can see the story of that turtle, how they were injured, and then see the map of their activity after being released. It’s pretty cool!

There’s also a link to another site,, that is just FULL of all kinds of turtle and their journeys – HUNDREDS of turtle journeys all over the world!!!!  One of the maps shows the routes along Florida taken by about 12 turtles. The map looks like rainbow–colored fireworks! The site description reads: “SEATURTLE.ORG’s Satellite Tracking Program has been developed in cooperation with the Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG).”

If that isn’t enough, there was an article on , Sat-nav turtles go on trans-ocean trek, that also has information and maps on sea turtle journeys tracked by satellite. I don’t know for sure if they’re part of MTRG, (possibly, since these researchers were at the University of Exeter in England, and MTRG has a group there), but they’re doing the same kind of work.

If you love turtles, if you’ve ever stayed awake at night wondering where sea turtles go once they scramble off the beaches and slip beneath the waves, if you’ve ever wanted to be a sea turtle and wondered where they go….these sites are for you! Enjoy!

The Post – Let’s Talk Turtle

January 12, 2011

Let’s switch animals for a moment and move to sea turtles, another favorite of mine. And maybe a personal connection. My mother-in-law always promised to come back as a sea turtle and I bet she kept her word.

But anyway…. being an oil painter, that means I keep 4-6 oil paintings going at a time. Given that the paint takes a while to dry whenever I do something, I would be sitting around waiting a week to do something next. Having several going at once means I can keep moving projects forward.

In that vein, aside from the seagull/seascape pic I’m currently working on, and a painting for my niece of the place she’ll be married at in CT next July, I finished everything else. So hence the plans for the dolphin painting. I also want to do a painting for a friend and she loves sea turtles too, so time to start that as well.

I’m not going to get into a discussion…YET…about what canvas and composition for that one, a little pressed for time today. But I would love to share a place with you all that’s one of my favorites on the coast here in NC, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, on Topsail Island, NC.

Though I don’t have the full details, I know it got started with the efforts of Karen Beasley rescuing sea turtles on her own and expanding her efforts. She sadly died young of cancer and her mom took up the mission. The facility has been going since the mid-90s and is now building a new turtle hospital.  Sometimes fishermen give them injured turtles, often they find them. They care for the creatures, heal their wounds – physical for sure, emotional hopefully, but they care for them professionally and with great love. This includes a large number of college students who vie for the opportunity to intern there in the summers.

If you click on the link above you can visit the home page, where there are links to pictures, an index of all the turtles they ever rescued (and their status – MANY success stories), and even a list of turtles you can adopt. As the site states:   All donations are directly applied to food, medical supplies, and operating costs of the hospital. We receive no state or federal funding

Focus is to release except for turtles so badly hurt they can never be released. I’m trying to track down details right now about one turtle I met at a reptile and amphibian show at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC a couple of years ago. A lovely, gentle creature who was blinded by human actions, but had a robust spirit and seemed very content in their care. If I can learn more, I’ll share the story.

They also participate in the turtle nesting project – locating and marking turtle nests to protect them, engaging volunteers to find and mark them and watch over them, helping newly hatched turtles find their way into the ocean waters, etc.

They even fit some of the turtles with monitors to satellite track them and there’s some data at the website under Satellite Tracking!!

Its’s a great facility. If you have a soft spot in your heart for sea turtles, please visit their site. Consider donating, but at least visit the site and learn about all the wonderful works they do. Such beautiful creatures…..and people. 🙂

PS If you ever get to go to Topsail Beach on Topsail Island, NC, GO VISIT THEM!!!! They do tours of the facility in the summer.  Even though it’s popular and you may stand in line in the sweltering hear for a couple hours, it’s worth it to see the turtles AND to see just how professional and caring these people are!