Posted by: JulieAloha | June 4, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 155: Packing

June 4, 2017

Due to a shift switch I had a day off this week and I was grateful to have the time to get some things done. I packed up dvds and cds and PartyLite and thimbles and kitchen stuff and art stuff and photos and quilt materials, packed it all into my car and drove it out to my Mom’s to store. It took some creative stacking – but it looks like there’s room for more!

Almost everything in here is mine right now, thanks Mom for the help in storing my stuff!

I also went through my closet and packed a big bag of clothes and linens for donation and took out my old printer for recycling. 

I’ve emptied about half of my closet now, over half of the PartyLite pieces and most of two bookshelves, and I’m packing up crates of books and personal items to store next. The condo is starting to look more streamlined as I figure out what I’ll leave for staging before listing it. 

On the way home I stopped at Costco for blueberries, broccoli and cauliflower and I chanced upon a good deal for a carbon monoxide monitor, which I’ll need in order to sell my unit. At home I put groceries away, packing the fruit and veggies in 1 Cup bags for lunches and snacks, and happily took a nap – oh, I love naps! 

In the evening I packed some more items, cleaned everything out from under and behind the dining room table and swept the floor in the dining area – it’s really starting to come together. What a blessing to have a whole day to accomplish great things!

Posted by: JulieAloha | June 3, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 154: Bear Affair

June 3, 2017

Today was Bear Affair and it went beary well, or at least I heard bearly any complaints (though I’m sure I will if I continue being punny). Once a year we focus on bears in the Northwest, we invite conservation organizations such as Western Wildlife Outreach, Conservation Northwest and Wolf Haven to come share their message. 

There are crafts and giveaways, demonstrations by Fish and Wildlife and their Karelian Bear Dog program as well as our favorite demonstration where we set up a scene in the brown bear exhibit and let the boys go to town on it to show how not to set up a campsite or, in this case, a backyard wedding!

Photo by Aliya Summers

One of the big conservation efforts we’ve been involved with this year has been the North Cascades Grizzly Bear Restoration program. Bears play a key role in the wilderness, but brown bears in our region have become so rare that there is a very real possibility they face regional extinction. Interested in learning more or adding your voice? Check out Conservation Northwest’s website for more info. 

Posted by: JulieAloha | June 2, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 153: National Doughnut Day

June 2, 2017

I’m grateful for silly Recognition Days – evidently the first Friday in June has been designated National Doughnut Day so Thursday evening Aliya and I tripped out to Aurora Donuts to get some treats for the office. 

Aurora Donuts is a combination doughnut and ice-cream shop and is family run – I love this family – mom always finishes your order with “Thank you! See you next week!” They believe in the practice of the baker’s dozen here and will add a little to large orders – my 2.5 dozen turned into about 34 assorted doughnuts plus a handful of doughnut holes to “fill the box.” The customer service is amazing and the doughnuts are delicious – my favorites are the French crullers!

The treats were well received in the Admissions department this morning – best reaction goes to Jason: “…yeah, we’ll have to get the OH MY GOD, DOUGHNUTS!!” 🍩

Posted by: JulieAloha | June 1, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 152: Paco & Pluma

June 1, 2017

As I was walking around grounds I chanced to meet these two fine feathered fellows on their morning walk. This is Paco (he’s the taller bloke) and Pluma, two of our Chilean Flamingoes. 

They’re almost a year old now and have lost their baby fluff, you can see their adult plumage beginning to show on their wings. Their eggs were abandoned and they hatched out in an incubator; they’ve been hand raised by keepers and are trained to be Animal Ambassadors in the Alvord Broadleaf Theater. We love to see them walking about grounds with their Keepers. Paco took a brief interest in me – I was wearing my greens and he may have hoped for a treat from another staffer – but he was gently called back to continue his jaunt and I, smiling fondly, went back to my own, better for the encounter. 

Posted by: JulieAloha | May 31, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 151: Red Panda Keeper Talk

May 31, 2017

Meet Carson. He’s an almost 3 year old Red Panda at Woodland Park Zoo and I got to hang with him and Keeper Jamie during a Keeper Talk – part of our Summer Programming. 

We currently have four red pandas at WPZ, males Carson and Yukiko and females Stellar and our newest little girl, Hazel. Red pandas primarily eat bamboo leaves and shoots, fruit and vegetation, though they are considered carnivores due to their digestive system and teeth. They are not closely related to the giant panda, in fact they are the only living species of the genus Ailurus, and are more closely related to the raccoon, skunk and weasel as part of the superfamily Musteloidea. They live in Asia, ranging across several countries, and though they range over a wide area their status has recently been reduced from vulnerable to endangered mainly due to loss of habitat, habitat fragmentation and poaching.

You can help these and other endangered species by educating yourself about them and sharing what you’ve learned with others, by being conscientious shoppers and not supporting industries or countries which allow deforestation and destruction of habitat or illegal trade in exotics or banned products, and by supporting conservation efforts locally and globally – in that way you can share Woodland Park Zoo’s mission to Learn, Care and Act.

You can learn more about Carson by visiting the Zoo or our website The Red Panda Keeper Talk is every Wednesday at 1:30 throughout the Summer season. 

Posted by: JulieAloha | May 30, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 150: Snow Kitty

May 30, 2017

Last year at this time I had the sweetest little visitor: Snow. Early one morning I woke and heard this squeaking and scratching at my bedroom window and I lifted the shade and peered out to see this gorgeous white kitty sitting there, staring back at me. She squeaked at me again and pawed at the window, so I opened it and she jumped in, purring, and made herself right at home. 

She had no collar and her paws were a little worn; I wondered if she had traveled far, I’d never seen her in the neighborhood. So I let her hang out with me until I had to go to work, then set her outside and closed the window. I didn’t expect to see her again, but she was there squeaking at the window when I got home. I let her in and let her stay – she was such a love, wanting to be next to me all the time, following me everywhere, always squeaking a hoarse little meow, answering when I spoke to her. I walked around the neighborhood, up and down the street, she accompanied me but gave no indication of where she might belong and no one I met recognized her. When I headed home she followed and settled on the sofa as if she’d always been there. At night I left the window open in case she needed to go out, she always returned. She seemed determined to stay, so I picked up cat food, some toys, a litter box and litter, and a scratch pad. 

I could have kept her, but she was such a sweet little kitty I was sure someone was missing her. As a last effort to discover her owner I borrowed a crate and took her to a vet to see if she were chipped – by this time I was hoping she was not – but she was. Her chip was unregistered, but when I called the company to inquire they told me the chip had been part of a lot given to the Seattle Humane Society. I could have let things lie there, she’d been with me for almost two weeks by this time, but no, that’s just not me. I called the Humane Society and they checked their records – they had a listing for the family who’d adopted her; as it turned out, they lived about a block and a half away. The Humane Society called them and the family contacted me and my Snow, their Hazel, was reunited…

…and I never saw her again. 

But for two happy weeks I had Snow in May and I am grateful. 

Posted by: JulieAloha | May 29, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 149: Memorial Day

May 29, 2017

Today I’m grateful for many things. I began the day listening to Memorial Day tributes on NPR while I put my lunch together and got ready for work. The roads were clear, not surprising on a Holiday, but welcome. I had plans to continue work on my goals, reorganizing and updating the Admission’s Binders and was picking up the Binders in preparation for that task when one of my Supervisors pulled me aside to thank me for my recent flexibility in scheduling and for my willingness to always help out when needed. I was so pleased – I do work hard because I believe in work ethic, but mostly because I love my job, and it’s so gratifying to be recognized for doing good work. I’ve had other jobs in which criticism was heard far more often than praise or exemplary work was rewarded with the expectation of more and better. Now I’ve also had jobs in which credit was given where it was due and both personal and professional growth was encouraged (thank you, Linda), but I’ve never expected to receive praise and I’m always grateful when given it.

I did accomplish part of my goals and had a fun day with Sandy at South Guest Services again, and I was able to give another coworker a ride home, saving her a long, hot bus ride in the process.

Once home I thought about the meaning of Memorial Day. Its intention is to remember the fallen heroes of war and conflict, to remember their actions and sacrifice and acknowledge the role they played in our freedoms and liberties today. But I also thought about my Supervisor’s words of thanks this morning and I realized that it’s not just heroes who answer the call to action and go beyond the call of duty. When we do what needs to be done, when we get up and go to work and do our job to the best of our ability we honor the memory of those fallen just as much as is done by the grand speeches and flag waving and trumpet fanfares and it’s not just one day of celebration but a daily tribute to those who went before. I will remember their service by continuing my own, and I am thankful, grateful that I live in a place and time in which I am able to do so.

Posted by: JulieAloha | May 28, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 148: Summer Flora

May 28, 2017

I’m grateful for the warm weather bringing forth the sweet scented summer blooms, wisteria, hibiscus, old roses and more – strolling around the Zoo grounds is an exercise in honeyed breezes, floral, spicy, lovely 🌺


Today I also completed one of my goals and am nearly half finished with another, Yay!

May 27, 2017

 I’m grateful to have attended the opening day of our Butterfly Garden and the brand new Pollinator Garden. This is the second year for the Butterfly Garden and this year the seasonal building has a new outer skin which allows more heat and light inside to keep the butterflies and the plants they need happy and healthy. 


The butterflies are free-flight, so you do need to be careful where you step and you need to check to see if you have any hitchhikers before you leave. 

New this year is the Microsoft Pollinator Garden behind the Butterfly Garden. There’s lots of great information about plants and flowers which promote the visitation of butterflies, moths, bees and hummingbirds. They also had several designs for mason bee houses using a variety of natural materials such as wood and paper straws.  

You Butter not Bee a stranger, come visit!

Posted by: JulieAloha | May 26, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 146: Penguin Feeding

May 26, 2017

I’m grateful I had first Access this morning, meaning I manned the entrance gate from opening to 11:00am, which meant I was able to attend the Live Trout feeding of the Humboldt Penguins (every Friday morning during the Summer season). From the moment the fish hit the water to their unfortunate demise takes only about five minutes – those penguins are mega fast! There are always a few fish who elude capture for a short time, but their reprieve is decidedly short-lived, poor fishies. 


This is an enrichment exercise for the penguins, a chance to employ their natural hunting skills, and they LOVE to chase those fish! They zip through the water snapping up trout left and right, turning on a dime and porpoising out of the water. It’s pretty cool to watch – if you get the chance to visit on a Friday morning this summer, I suggest you stand by the window with the deepest water view at the south end of the exhibit. 

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