Posted by: JulieAloha | April 30, 2017

365 Gratitude Project -Day 120: Poetry

April 30, 2017

This is the last day of Poetry Month and I’ve enjoyed finding new pieces to read and provide here on my blog to support each entry this month – I even wrote a few pieces myself! The forms of poetry are many and varied; the written and spoken word in verse, prose, patter, lyric, song or free association can give rich context to thought or idea, to dream and imagination, and insight into the mind of the poet as well as the reader. I was taught early to love reading and fell in love with poetry as a child. I was influenced by my elementary school librarian, who recognized a kindred soul, and by my sister, Ella, who once gave me an Anthology of Poetry, which I devoured. Do yourself a favor; pick up a verse once in a while and let it sink in to your mind and heart, and keep a little poem in your pocket.

From the Tropical Rainforest exhibit, poetry for the eyes and nose

This has always been one of my favorite poems, from “Alice in Wonderland”:


by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogoves, 
      And the mome raths outgrabe. 

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! 
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
      The frumious Bandersnatch!” 

He took his vorpal sword in hand; 
      Long time the manxome foe he sought— 
So rested he by the Tumtum tree 
      And stood awhile in thought. 

And, as in uffish thought he stood, 
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, 
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, 
      And burbled as it came! 

One, two! One, two! And through and through 
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! 
He left it dead, and with its head 
      He went galumphing back. 

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? 
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy! 
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” 
      He chortled in his joy. 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogoves, 
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 25, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 115: Installation

April 25, 2017

Finally, FINALLY the Computer Lab computers have been upgraded (thank you, Mike!!) It’s been long months of waiting for paperwork and committee work and scheduling and whatnot – but the computers have new hard drives with more capacity and capability and I’m thrilled. While Mike completed the installation, I managed to complete a number of jobs I’ve been meaning to tackle. I went through all the books in the library section, organizing and weeding out outdated materials, some of which we are hoping to replace digitally with (yet another) tech grant. I also worked my way through the children’s area, sorting and cleaning and fixing toys and materials, collecting some which are too noisy for the Lab to trade out at the Family Center, and gathering dress up clothes and puppets and stuffies to wash at home. The supply closet is organized and I swept and mopped and cleaned the bathroom (we don’t have janitorial services). I also spent time researching laptops, tablets, chairs, apps, and printers for the abovementioned new tech grant proposal. And this was all before 2:30!

In the afternoon I took the toys I needed to replace over to the Center and met my manager to take a field trip over to the STAR Center to view their computer lab and volunteer program. Very informative trip! We met up with our Volunteer Coordinator for CHS there and we picked up materials and ideas we can use to form our own volunteer program for our computer lab. We came back very satisfied and enthusiastic to get things rolling.

This was a very productive day!


by Stevan Eikevik

Without heart and mind, the work is drudgery
With heart, the work happily goes astray.
With mind, the work is awash in planning and thinking
With heart and mind, the work is a source of fulfillment for all

by Joel Barker
Their hands are busy…
their hearts join their work with joy;
the world grows better

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 23, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 113: Rainy Day

April 23, 2017

There’s something about a rainy morning… rain seems to make the colors pop and it intensifies the scent of fern and earth and blossom. I love to find the out of the way bloom – I got caught by one of the grounds workers today while standing on tiptoe to get the apple blossom shot – we shared a grin at my antics. I’ve watched the orange blooms from a distance for several days – they’re off my regular morning route on a side path, but today they called me over for the perfect view. And the peacock is a garden all to himself right now, fully feathered and ready for love – too bad we don’t have any peahens. By the way, give the peacocks some room this time of year, they can get a bit tetchy and, though beautiful when fully displayed and shaking their tail feathers, treat that display like a rattlesnake warning, it often means they’re feeling threatened or aggressive.

There Will Come Soft Rains

by Sara Teasdale, 18841933

(War Time)

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone


Posted by: JulieAloha | April 22, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 112: Seattle March for Science

April 22, 2017

What an AMAZING day!!! As part of the Environmental Impact Team, aka Clean up Crew, Jessi and I reported for duty at 8:15 at Cal Anderson Park. We met the rest of the team and got our work assignments – we were part of a 6 person team to work the rear of the March. We started by cleaning up the park until the rally began, then listened to the speakers on the main stage and surveyed the crowd.

Despite the rain and wind, people were in great spirits and excited for the event. Lots of great signs, great costumes, individuals groups, families. As the speeches finished up, the event leaders kept us on time and the front of the March headed out just before noon. We waited…and waited… as more and more people continued to stream into the Park – there had been an accident on the freeway which had delayed many people. Finally we made a judgement call and began cleaning the park again, going over the paths, greenspaces and the play field before heading out to join the tail of the March.

Having learned from criticism of previous Marches, one of the goals of the Science March was to make certain there was little negative impact on the grounds and city – participants were extremely conscientious to leave no trace. We had three teams, one at the front of the March, one imbedded in the middle and ours at the end. Our team found very little to pick up, though we amused the bike police escort following us as we hunted the route behind the March pouncing on every scrap of litter we could see and calling out “garbage!” or “recycling!” gleefully with each find. The end of the March reached the Seattle Center Fountain just about 1:30pm, where signs were being collected by UW to archive (I kept mine). We all dispersed from that point – three of our team walked back along the route together, dropping Jessi where she could catch a bus, then Kianna at Westlake to hit the bus tunnel – I walked all the way back to the Park to head home. 15,286 steps today!! I felt very accomplished…and cold and wet and tired…but very, very pleased.

Science March


Theory, reason, fact;

We Marched today for Science

The truth is out there

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 21, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 111: Field Trips

April 21, 2017

I’m grateful for field trip groups which come prepared. We’re right in the middle of Peak Field Trip Season; yesterday at the Zoo we had 23 school groups, today 21 – that’s over 4,500 kids, teachers and chaperones in just 2 days! Having been a teacher who took kids on many field trips over the years and now working for a major trip destination, I truly appreciate the teachers who come organized and ready with all their materials and information prepared in advance.

Here are my top 10 Field Trip guidelines:

  1. Research your destination in advance. Contact the venue for group or school rates, paying attention to time of year, well in advance of the trip and follow the venue’s guidelines to register your group.
  2. After registering your trip, READ the information sent to you with your confirmation. Check to see what paperwork or materials you need to bring with you; look for requirements for teacher to student ratios; see if the venue provides parking for school busses; check to see if there are any prohibitions or limitations.
  3. Before you go: prepare your teachers, chaperones and students as to what to expect on the Big Day; explain any rules or guidelines in advance; remind children they will be in a public place and teach them what behavior you expect to see and what to do if they become separated from their group; line up your finances, be that purchase order, cash, check or credit card and be prepared for unexpected expenses.
  4. On the day: check, double check and re-check your numbers – how many adults including teachers and aides, how many children of what ages – you have no idea how many teachers arrive without this vital information. Designate ONE teacher to check in your group. It’s a good idea to keep your group separate from the check-in area to allow them space and to keep noise down while they take care of business.
  5. Dress appropriately: check the weather and have a contingency plan.
  6. Bring a first aid kit and check with the venue to see what they have to offer in case of emergency; bring any meds your kids may need on the trip (inhalers, epi-pens, insulin, etc). It’s a good idea to have group shirts or vests for easy identification or use ID stickers or tags on kids with the name of your group and contact information – but for safety be careful about visibly labeling children with their names when in a public place.
  7. Bring food or snacks and the means to clean up after yourselves. I sometimes found it helpful to bring a cart or wagon to transport lunches.
  8. Be flexible, be prepared to keep kids entertained while waiting in lines or for events. (quack-diddly-oh-so…, I Spy, etc.) There may be many groups or schools visiting a venue on the same day – be patient and follow the venue’s staff and instructions.
  9. Before dispersing into a venue, set a meeting time and place to gather when it’s time to leave and communicate with your transportation. Make sure your teachers and chaperones have the means to contact you or each other in case of emergency.
  10. Most importantly, have fun!

The Field Trip

by Eric Ode

The bus engine roared as we clambered on board
and took the first seats we could find.
Matthew had thought he’d have time for the bathroom,
but somehow we left him behind.
Pete put a beetle down Eleanor’s back.
He just didn’t think she would mind.
And Alex threw Tyler’s new coat out the window
when Tyler said something unkind.

It rained down a fuss when we got off the bus.
Our teacher was soaked to the skin.
And then when she found she forgot all our lunches,
her patience began to wear thin.
She got so befuddled, she stepped in a puddle.
The water went up to her shin.
And I’d gladly say what she said when it happened,
but I know that swearing’s a sin.

We moaned and we groaned as we started back home,
cranky, exhausted, and spent.
Sally was certain her stomach was hurtin’.
We soon understood what she meant.
My teacher might feel that this trip was a failure.
I’m sure that was not her intent.
I’ll tell her we had the most wonderful time.
I just can’t recall where we went.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 20, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 110: Renewal

April 20, 2017

Yes, it’s another Spring post.  Usually my favorite season is Winter – I love the cold, crisp air, the smell of wood smoke, the crunch of frost on the ground and the diamond glitter on tree branches and grass blades. But this year I can’t get enough of Spring. Each day brings more loveliness in nature, new buds opening and blooming and more green spreading and coloring in the bare branches. My early morning walks around the Zoo grounds have been an exercise of quiet solitude and appreciation for the natural world around me, each day enveloping me in the rising scent of honeysuckle and clematis and the ever increasing calls of song birds – it’s definitely Spring there! I’m filled with gratitude to be able to share in this waking up of the earth this year.

Isn’t It Reassuring

this is a piece I remember singing in 7th grade, but can’t seem to find the composer, lyricist or arranger

Isn’t it reassuring? Watching the buds appear?
Isn’t it great? Spring to await!
Watchin’ the landscape rejuvenate!
Oh, d
oesn’t it lift your spirit? Doesn’t make you glad?
Isn’t it keen? Viewin’ the scene!
Watchin’ the grass turn green!

The winter’s gone now and the snow!
Seeds burstin’ below!
Cold’s over at last!
And everything’s starting to grow!

Doesn’t it make you happy? Doesn’t it make you see?
Part of the plan, given to man,
ever since time began?
But nevertheless, I can confess, just between you and me,
That it’s good to see it happening, so nice to see it happening
So great to see it happening

Anew! Anew!
And reassuring too!

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 19, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 109: Preparation

April 19, 2017

After a few false starts and corrections, I’m pleased to have finished my sign for the Science March for this coming Saturday. I had looked at many pictures online with ideas for signs; my focus is Conservation, both of the earth and her creatures, and the idea which struck closest to my heart was an image of the earth from space with the caption, “I’m with Her.” I adapted the idea by adding pictures of endangered species, particularly some familiar faces from Woodland Park Zoo among others, and including the caption, “…and Them!” The forecast is for rain, so I also covered the face with clear contact paper to keep my hard work dry. It isn’t perfect – you can clearly see the corrections and the pictures are a little crooked and off center, but I’m very happy with the result!


The Beauty of it All

by Celia Berrell

All we can touch, and all we see
began in cosmic history.
How long ago, came things to be?
Perhaps it was infinity.

All our surroundings hold in store
the clues to what has gone before.
A fascination long prevails
to understand time’s every tale.

Our tiny earth holds precious gifts
as through the universe it drifts.
With organisms varied, rife.
Are we alone in having life?

This special form of energy
enduring in its frailty,
bestows such beauty, all admired.
Intelligence is awe-inspired.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 16, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 106: Easter

April 16, 2017

I’m grateful to have been able to spend this Easter with my Mom. I’ve mentioned before that this Lenten season really brought home some heavy introspection in my life and I’ve felt that this was really my own personal Easter awakening. I’ve come to terms with some sorrow and anguish, find forgiveness in giving it and been able to close some chapters in my life. I finally feel able to lift up my eyes and look forward, to engage with life again – this blog has been no small part of that reconnection. As always, there will be hard times ahead, times in which my gaze will be drawn backward to events which had no closure and never will, but I’m feeling grounded again, ready to begin.

I stayed overnight with Mom to have the most time together that we could. We had a wonderful dinner out Saturday evening at Andy’s Fish House in Snohomish – we each had a cup of chowder, I had a Shrimp Louie salad and Mom had a green salad – the chowder is amazing! Sunday morning we had a light breakfast and went to Easter service at Advent Lutheran in Mill Creek – one of our previous and favorite Pastors and his family are there and I hadn’t seen them for ages. Lovely service! Straightforward, simple and clear message, encouraging and uplifting! I had really felt the need to take communion, it had been a long time and the soul needs refreshing.

We followed church with a quick stop at StarBucks for a treat, then back to her place for rest and relaxation until later in the afternoon when my sister-outlaw joined us for Easter dinner: ham, potatoes au gratin, asparagus, cranberry sauce and caesar salad – delish! What a beautiful day!

Mom was thrilled to find her gardenia had bloomed for the very first time this Easter morning!

Happy Easter! He is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hymn: Christ the Lord is Ris’n Today!

by Charles Wesley, 1730

  1. Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
    Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
    Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
    Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
  2. Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
    Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
    Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
    Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
  3. Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
    Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
    Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
    Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
  4. Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
    Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
    Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
    Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
  5. Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
    Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
    Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
    Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
  6. King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
    Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
    Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
    Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!



Posted by: JulieAloha | April 14, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 104: Lunchtime Lecture

April 14, 2017

I’m grateful to work in a place where we are encouraged to continue to educate ourselves and given the opportunity to do so. Today I went to a Lunchtime Lecture provided by the Zoo and featuring the topic: “The Intelligence of Crows and Ravens” by Kaeli Swift, UW PhD candidate from the School of Environmental and Forest sciences.

We have a LOT of crows around Woodland Park Zoo and are very familiar with their antics and intelligence, but Kaeli had quite a bit to add to our education about our neighborhood corbies. Crows and ravens differ in size and body: ravens are larger and have a wedge shaped tail, crows are smaller and their tail is flat, straight across; both are common in the Pacific Northwest. Their life span in the wild is around 17 years and they are socially monogamous – a pair will bond, but still have a little somthin’ on the side – a clutch may have more than one baby daddy in the nest. They use cooperative breeding and sons from previous years may stick around for a year or two “helping” raise and protect the younger sibs, and if you’ve ever been dive-bombed by crows you know they are VERY protective. Handy hint: crows always try to attack from the back – if you know there’s a nest or fledglings in the area you can mitigate attacks by wearing a hat with eyes on the back or simply putting your hand on your head and wiggling your fingers – they are smart enough not to try to attack a predator face to face.

Babies look like small adults but may have some downy feathers still and the coloration is matte black, not shiny like adult feathers, and their eyes are blue until they mature. Baby crows leave the nest before they are fully flighted, so you may encounter them on the ground and it may seem that they are alone, but beware! the parents are probably nearby as they continue their fledglings’ education from the ground – just leave them alone or risk attack.

The Raven
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”
    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.
    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”
    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.
    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”
    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”
    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”
    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”
    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!
    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Posted by: JulieAloha | April 13, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 103: Upcoming Science March

April 13, 2017

My Science March T-shirt Arrived! Next week I will participate in Seattle’s March for Science, Saturday, April 22 – you can come too! We’re meeting at Cal Anderson Park at 10am for a rally then marching peacefully to the Seattle Center Fountain. My chosen area of science is Conservation of the earth and endangered species, which is one of the reasons I love working at Woodland Park Zoo – our mission statement is:  Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.


Earth Day 2016

by Tivonna

Bells are rung,
words are sung,
uniting all,
Earth Day’s call.

World unity,
its diversity,
in protection and rebirth,
for home—Planet Earth.

Our life giver,
food, water,
warmth and air,
we all are her heirs.

Giving voice for all life,
to dwell without strife,
for coexistence
and interdependence

Preserving her beauty,
conservation our duty,
habitats for all life
and our sense’s delights.

Each playing a part,
before we depart,
in her protection,
and its correction.

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