Monday, January 9, 2012

Auld Lang Syne and Happy Year of the Dragon

It is with great pleasure that I say good-bye to 2011.  It is not that this year was all that bad: We bought our amazing house; traveled to some beautiful destinations; experienced good health; took part in many fun times with our family and friends; and just realized living the good life.

For those of you who follow my blog -- on a personal note -- I lost two individuals who were very dear to me; but it doesn't hurt quite as bad and I'm ready to move on.

To me, 2012 represents a fresh start.

I'm not really about making resolutions.  I truly believe that it is my personal duty to strive to be the best that I can be in my day-to-day life.  BUT, if I were the type to set a new goal or two each year, I would certainly resolve to be nicer to my hubby. (Love you, babe!)

This year, we spent New Year's Eve having brunch with our family and then we watched the ball drop with some very old and dear friends.  It was so fun to share such a special evening with our extended families -- The San Diego Garretts and Carlsbad Coneleys -- ringing in the New Year with our old compadres and surrounded by the new generation of our off springs was so fun...until the next morning when all the kids were up by 7am.

However, January 1 also represents another very special time in our family and gears us up to celebrate another New Year -- The Chinese Lunar New Year -- and our turtles.

Two years ago, we adopted Fasty and Slowy (aka Edward and Bella...I was going through my whole Twilight addiction) from Chinatown in Los Angeles.  Each year, we try and head down to partake in the festivities because...well, why not.  

Our niece and nephew -- Danielle and Stephen -- were in town visiting us and Danielle had suggested the outing.  It was great fun until Jason and Shane started pleading with me to adopt two baby slider turtles.  I said a big fat resounding NO!

So as we were driving home and I was holding the little aquarium (I have no voice in this family), I looked at these tiny creatures that basically still had egg shell on them, and I figured I saved them from being someones dinner that night.

Like every other faux pet we've had so far -- goldfish, frogs, roly polys and plants as opposed to dog, cats or ferrets -- I assumed these guys wouldn't last two weeks.  However, born in the Year of the Tiger, these two turtles have a ferocity that has helped them survive and they just celebrated their two year birthday on January 1.

The tiny little turtles that we acquired are now as big -- or bigger -- than my outstretched hand.  They are healthy and just keep growing.  They are in their third aquarium which basically caused us to down-size our Christmas tree this year because they take up so much space!

Unlike other faux pets, Edward and Bella have these little personalities.  When I wake up in the morning -- even though it is because I feed them the majority of the time -- they get very excited and splash around.  Eagerly, they stretch out their long necks trying to get my to feed them by hand.  Ewwww!  I haven't warmed up to them that much and the threat of salmonella poisoning is enough to keep me at bay.  I mean, have you ever cuddled a turtle?

Despite the fact that they are humongous and can live up to 40 years, they are great pets.  Yet, Jason and I vacillate between breaking into the Wilderness Park and leaving them at the pond to donating them to a turtle rescue.  But knowing how sad this would make Shane and his requests for a puppy might possibly become more like demands, we are making it work.

As we begin 2012, we look upon our slider turtles as members of our family and, as we celebrate the Year of the Dragon, we know it represents the start of another year to honor our ancestors (miss you Nana, Grandmom, Pop Pop, Dan and Judith); to celebrate family and; and just enjoy the good life.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

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